Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Mother Jones on ID


The battle of Intelligent Design vs. evolution is popularly cast as Christianity vs. science, religion vs. Enlightenment. At the nation’s largest Baptist university, the battle is Christian vs. Christian, and all the bloodier. . . . MORE

Mentok I think your portrayal of the first group especially is fairly accurate. The only thing I would add is that it is not just the Left that feels that way. Moderate conservatives feel the same way. Secularism and Darwinism are not limited to those on the left fringe. They are supported from right of center to the left. jmcd
Bravo Red Reader! DaveScot
jesguessin Sorry about the funding thing. One bad apple can spoil the whole barrel. The complainant that made the remark about fewer cruise missiles decided he wanted to inject his politics into your project. Free speech allows him to say it. People seem to confuse free speech with consequence-free speech. Free speech means the gov't can arrest you for it (generally - shouting fire in a crowded theater etc. excepted). Maybe the decision maker, when he heard, "This is money that won't be used to make cruise missiles" thought "Gosh, he's right. I'd rather use it for cruise missiles" and poof there goes your grant. "It does seem odd to me that ID’ers are working so hard to fix lack of acceptance of their theory by working at the secondary school course syllabus level." DI position is that criticisms of evolution be taught and teachers be free to discuss ID at their discretion. Are you implying something different? The real problem isn't ID's lack of acceptance. ID is accepted by some 80% of the public at large who believe that God either created humans or guided their evolution. The problem is evolution's lack of acceptance and the science establishment is the one using the judicial system to censor any mention of ID and even censor criticism of evolution absent any mention of ID. Now tell me who the bad guy is. One would think if the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming they wouldn't mind the critical analysis as it would just be overwhelmed by the positive evidence. Methinks the academy doth protest too much. ;-) DaveScot
Red Reader you wrote: "We’ve all asked ourselves, “Why the dishonesty? Why the vitriol? Why the viciousnes?” If any of you that have an answer for that, I would love to hear it" From my reading I have come across two types of people who are "evolution activists" in the sense that they either write articles, give speeches, post on blogs and forums etc. The first type sees ID as part of a larger attack on secularism by religious fundamentalists. They see in ID the opening of the door into legitamization of fundamentalist ideology in academia and from there to indoctrination of the newer generations of people for a theocratic purpose. They see the fundamentalist Christians who have entered forcefully into the political sphere in America since the 1980's as taking America a step backward in the intellectual, political, scientific, and social arenas. In the 1960's America and the western world went through a profound change, a renaissance of sorts in many peoples minds. Many people believed that the world was going to be changed in the above categories in a "progressive" "enlightened" way. In the 1980's when Reagan (and Thatcher) came into power bringing with him the till then quite mobilization of the Christian fundamentalist leaders with a political agenda, the "left" (most academics) felt that all of the progress made since the 1960's was being dismantled. Ever since then they have felt under attack. They feel that progressive enlightened civilization is under attack by people with a theocratic agenda. Because many of the Fundamentalist leaders have provided plenty of written material outlining such an attack, the fear does not appear to be totaly unfounded. If the ID movement had come to the fore in the 1960's or 70's I don't think we would have seen what we do today in the irrational reaction to it. What we are witnessing is an irrational emotion laden knee jerk reaction to ID not because of what ID actually says, but in what it represents to people on the left in todays political and social climate. Now more then ever the left feels under attack by a well organized fundamentalist attack on secular society and "progressive enlightened" ideals. The other types of people who are evolution activists are religious people. Numerous "theologians" feel they must come out and attack ID because they are trying to gain a following for themselves. They have put their fingers to the wind and have decided that if they deride ID that religious people who belong to churches which support ID will possibly leave that faith and follow the more "rational" non wacky non fundamentalist preacher/priest/prophet/rabbi/guru. Then there is the third type who have another agenda. They are the people who fund academia, fund mass media, the money people. Without their explicit help we wouldn't see the attack on ID on the level it is at. In fact we wouldn't have ever seen evolution taken root as a scientific orthodoxy in the first place without the specific acquiescence or even purposeful plan of the people who control academia through funding. Who are they? In America the big American Foundations. Rockefeller, Carnagie, Ford etc. See http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/toc1.htm Who made evolution popular and accepted in the first place? That was the Royal Society. The Royal Society is the group which controls and has controlled education in the British Empire for a long time. So who are they? This is the early history of the Royal Society from the website of the Royal Society of New Zealand. http://www.rsnz.org/news/venus/freemason_bg.php mentok
We've all asked ourselves, "Why the dishonesty? Why the vitriol? Why the viciousnes?" If any of you that have an answer for that, I would love to hear it. Here is my theory: Their dishonesty and viciousnes is political and it has to do with what they perceive to be a crumbling political vision for the world, a vision in which they see themselves as the epitomy of the long advance from the priordal soup, the most evolved of all, the rulers of all. Too grandiose a theory? The Declaration of Independence (and the Constitution designed to protect the principles thereof) is premised on this notion: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The Declaration and the Constituion are still the greatest documents ever to have been penned in the field of human government. For the first time in all of history, a nation of men became truely free, truly equal, truly democratic. No king, no dictator, no all-pervasive institution controlling every facet of life. Men were seen as having been born with liberty and freedom as a fundamental right for the first time. The Civil War upheld and extended this principle. Evolution is the political catechism of people who apparantly want to overthrow the notions that men are created, created equal and endowed with inalienable rights. I guess this sounds crazy, but I am coming to believe that this nation is under legal and philosophical attack by people who apparantly want to redefine every plain understanding of the original principles to meanings which they control and enforce, in short, to overthrow the government that was founded in 1789. On the back of the theory of macro-evolution, they have ruled out the notion of a Creator. Therefore there are no inalienable rights. The theory of Evolution is also consistent with their apparant belief that they are the sole arbitars of science, indeed of all truth, even the revision of history, that they are a sort of elite that know more and know better than the "superstitious" who believe in God. A President who really prays, who really believes in God, who wishes to protect and extend liberty throughout the world must be defeated at all costs because he is interrupting the "progressive" movement to the brave new world. They want their power back. By Judicial edict, they have subverted the Declaration and weakened the Constitution. For example, "Life" is no longer an inalienable right, at least not to the unborn, and there is an euthanasia movement to deny the right to Life to the "less than fit", the sick, the frail. Next, they want to rob embryoes of stem cells to rejuvinenate their failing organs to make themselves...immortal? (I admit this sounds far-fetched, but not as far fetched now as it would have sounded 50 years ago.) I am coming to believe that these people have a dark vision of a "brave new world" in which they rule and punish by the new morality of political correctness, where the only allowable intollerance is intollerance of the notion of a super-wise, Intelligent Designer, a world in which they have imposed their superiority on all mankind, themselves the apex of evolution, the rulers of all less-evolved men. Intelligent Design is a threat to their vision. ID sees evidence that there is a greater intelligence than any man's, a deeper wisdom, a greater power. ID reaffirms the foundational principles expressed in the Declaration--Nature's God, the Creator--and exposes the enemies of freedom and liberty for what they are: grovelling, would-be despots. The self-proclaimed elites see themselves under assault, their grand vision threatened, the underpinnings of their "faith" beginning to crack and crumble. Fear is a powerful motivator. They are afraid. They cannot allow children to hear contradictions of their vision. But I have hope. I believe the discovery of the irreducible complexity in cells on the one hand and the recognition of the unique conditions that make life possible on "the Priviledged Planet" are real and unmistakeable evidence of intelligent design. And if intelligent design, then an Intelligent Designer who really is super intelligent, super wise, evidently super powerful and probably super aware of the grand schemes of mankind. He/she/it has seen the schemes before and perhaps seen to it that the schemes have never succeeded. If anybody has any thoughts on this, I would love to hear them. Red Reader
DaveScott: "How many of those involved in the quashed $5M research grant in the situation you described were uninvolved and uncaring in the evolution/ID brouhaha?" 90% didnt give a fig about either politics or, ID, or Darwinism. Some were probably more conservative than the current administration, and some probably enthusiastic flaming liberals like myself. Just one guy caught the spotlight and bang. Time to stop the vindictive mood all around. It's hard though. In recent politics there are a lot of life and death issues, and too many people with the idea that the ends justify the means. Our case: http://www.openbsd.org/press.html around April 2003. It does seem odd to me that ID'ers are working so hard to fix lack of acceptance of their theory by working at the secondary school course syllabus level. Maybe it's not pure ID theorists that are doing it. Perhaps it's just the enthusiastic "Christians" that find a special appeal in the theory, the way it fits nicer with their religious outlook -- perhaps it is just them who are doing it -- so the counter-reaction is more to the non-scientific enthusiasm part, rather than to the pure ID thesis itself. Hard to separate though. Quantum mechanics doesnt suffer so badly from all the New Agers trying to put their spin on it into high school texts. People are pretty sensitive when it comes to teaching minors. Maybe the born again'ers should wait longer until the dust up in the classical scientific circles settles down. (ha ha -- a "spin" on quantum mechinics, pretty good unintended pun, eh?) jesguessin
Progress Dept.: 5 years ago, MoJo didn’t have anyone who could write even a bad article on ID. Older stuff on “creationism” in context of school prayer, etc. The controversy has already passed them by. Author Karen Houppert obviously takes to Bill Underwood and the concept of Lawyer Science. Here’s a telling line: “Underwood is a free-speecher in the Oliver Wendell Holmes tradition…” Wow. For Holmes, Dewey, et al., free speech was “good” only if and when it “worked for society” or “got society where it wanted to go.” And where is that? “Free speech” for today’s pragmatist liberals is almost always limited to acts of desecration, defecation, defilement, obscenity, corpses, mutilation, i.e. flag-burning, shock art, public sex acts, etc. It’s a direct descent from Mario Savio to Ron Athey, Karen Finley and Andreas Serrano. Houppert is perhaps most well-known for her book The Curse, on menstruation and “getting it out in the open” as it were. pmob1
"Intelligent Design asserts that the world's patterns and variety all fit into a master plan." Can you point me to the source that states that ID asserts that all the world's patterns and variety fit into a master plan? "INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS A nonscientific theory that makes a higher power, not evolution, responsible for the intricacies of life and the universe." Can you tell me what makes ID nonscientific? Can you illustrate how it's methods of detecting design differ from scientific methods used in archaelogy and foresics sciences? Can you show me that source that shows that ID denies evolution? I was under the impression that ID denied that natural selection was capable of producing certain (irreducibly complex) systems in nature. I thought that ID doesn't dispute evolution (as a whole) or common descent? dodgingcars
From the article:
INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS A nonscientific theory that makes a higher power, not evolution, responsible for the intricacies of life and the universe. Unlike creationism, which sticks to the literal belief that God created the world in six days, Intelligent Design asserts that the world’s patterns and variety all fit into a master plan.
I guess I've missed this one. Can someone point to me where in the ID literature it says that "the world’s patterns and variety all fit into a master plan." If there going to mis-represent ID, I wish they'd mis-represent it correctly! DonaldM
jesguessin The science establishment is signing petitions (good scientific method there, eh ;-) ), conspiring to destroy careers, suing public schools that dare to question evolution dogma, and conflating a mathematical treatise on design detection with religion is destroying nothing but public trust in the science establishment. That's really a shame as many innocent scientists that don't give a flying fig about evolution dogma are going to get tarred by the same brush as the public backlash plays out. How many of those involved in the quashed $5M research grant in the situation you described were uninvolved and uncaring in the evolution/ID brouhaha? DaveScot
i forget which site had his paper...essay, or maybe it was just his comments. he said that he wanted to make it clear that he went thru all the proper channels with meyers paper on ID and it fit them all. he went to others in the review process and they agreed it had a place in the journal. but he said that he is in no way a supporter, himself, of ID. thats what makes it all the more troubling- he merely accepted an ID paper tho not a supporter himself. with this case alone making such big headlines...its got to have journal publishers, even those who are sympathetic or outright support ID thinking twice before even touching anything related. i mean, when you have to have teh federal govt look into a case of harassment and abuse of sternberg like this- it goes to show you WHY IDers cant get peer reviewed journals to accept their work. dean (again, i foreget his last name) wrote of this subject numerous tiems (ID the Future links to him in one of their most recent posts), and he mentions 2 other cases of people mentioning ID and being hunted like witches by the establishment. he said that the sternberg case alone didnt seem to make for a conspiracy and witch hunt, but these 2 new cases support that view. plus, NPR did a talk last week, i think it was, about others being abused for their support of ID. harassment, threats, etc. eugenie scott tho was all like' no big deal, sternberg still has his office and all, so he cant whine too much. which shows you even the nature of many in the establishment- they see these awful acts of harassment and such and say 'oh well, no biggie!' jboze3131
"sternberg, for example, doesnt even support ID" I gave a quick read to some of the materials on the blog, and such parts of the emails that were released. I didn't quite get the impression that Sternberg doesn't support ID, nevertheless, I was amazed at that example of how big bureaucracies react to violations of the party line. I guess someone has to make the judgement call about what to do each time a new Velikovsky or von Daniken gets published in a serious research journal, but that was excessive. I think the fact that the current administration associates itself with ID, seems to have an overly political approach to science, and the fact that they have been very vindictive about it, makes a lot of people scared and they defend their territories rather too hard. (I was involved with a $5 million DARPA grant that got quashed because of one offhand anti-Bush comment by a lead researcher that happened to hit the newspapers). Time for people to cool down. jesguessin
nothing is hidden here. open witch hunts and attacks and harassment on anyone who even remotely supports the idea is all over the place. heck, sternberg, for example, doesnt even support ID and his life was made hell by these people. jboze3131
Seems to me the ID'ers are superb at finding the hidden agenda of ID within evolution. Dont be too surprised the non-ID'ers think they can find a hidden agenda in the ID movement... jesguessin
I also like how this article itself exposes the witch hunt on anyone who supports ID. Which also clearly leads into peer review journal publishers being scared to death to ever allow any mention of ID in any of their journals (Sternberg for one, Gonzalez for another...and there are 2 other people mentioned by Dean Esmay [I forget what his name is to be honest, but he's linked over at ID THE FUTURE. He's a self identified atheist who thinks this argument is absurd and seems to side with allowing open thought, aka- teach the controversey.]) So, Bill was punished for his views. Hypocrites at Baylor are too ignorant to see the stupidity in this I guess? jboze3131
what a shock. they mention ID and the first sentence is blatant dishonesty about what the theory is.
INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS A nonscientific theory that makes a higher power, not evolution, responsible for the intricacies of life and the universe. Unlike creationism, which sticks to the literal belief that God created the world in six days, Intelligent Design asserts that the world’s patterns and variety all fit into a master plan.
the magazine proclaims it's not a scientific theory, then claims a higher power made all life and the universe...they also claim that evolution is related to the creation of the universe when its not. no one posits NDE started the universe. wondering when people can be honest about this issue if they EVER can. jboze3131

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