Karsten Pultz reports from Denmark on efforts to suppress the idea of design in nature that are coming from the Danish church. Mr. Pultz is also the author of “Why I have a problem with theistic evolution,”:
Intelligent design being suppressed in academia is old news. But in Denmark even a Christian newspaper participates in biased coverage in favour of evolution.
Recently, Mads Jakobsen, a priest and theologian in the Danish state church, was reprimanded by his bishop, Marianne Christiansen because he had written critically about Darwin’s theory in his parish magazine. The theologian had mainly identified the moral problems which arise when trying to combine survival of the fittest with Christian beliefs, but he seems also to have admitted his doubt of the science behind the theory.
The bishop was outraged that the priest would doubt a “scientifically proven” theory and she publicly demanded that he commit himself to be re-educated in the theory of evolution. The bishop recommended that , Niels Henrik Gregersen, professor of theology at the University of Copenhagen, should provide this criminally ignorant theologian with the proper literature, so that his delusions could be corrected.
The bishop was supported by Svend Andersen, theology professor at the University of Århus, who insisted that “There ought not to be room for such views within the church.” Professor Andersen also expressed the view that a certain intellectual standard must be required of ministers, implying that only a moron would doubt evolution.
The battle between the bishop’s supporters and the few theologians who supported the priest’s right to criticize evolution has been played out mainly in the Christian newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad. The argument has turned mostly on whether the priest has the right to publicly express his view on evolution, and unfortunately not as much on the validity of the theory itself.
Some small comments in the debate section of the newspaper have tried to direct attention to the science itself but alas, it seems that the debate will end before a real discussion of evolution has been ignited. With a population where 85% believe in evolution, we actually do need the theory to be openly questioned.
In the ongoing debate, university teacher Hans Henrik Hjermitslev, who has co-authored papers on creationism in Europe, provided a rather extensive piece about the growth of creationism. Hjermitslev,who has a Phd in the history of science, listed my book Exit Evolution as an example of the contemporary promotion of creationism.
In his article Hjermitslev omits the fact that my book is a purely scientific critique of evolution, based on the books and scientific papers produced by Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, Douglas Axe, Jonathan Wells etc. My book promotes ID, and I do not mix Bible verses in with the science or base any conclusions on the interpretation of the Bible. I have written several pieces in the newspaper I work for, criticizing creationism for its backward reasoning. It starts with the assumption that a certain interpretation of the Bible is true and then cherry-picks evidence to support this belief, instead of doing what I find more appropriate and satisfying, namely the ID approach. There, we look only at the empirical evidence approach and then draw the conclusions, while keeping religious and philosophical questions secondary and preferably in a separate sphere.
Despite the fact that I’ve publicly criticized creationism, Dr. Hjermitslev still defined my work as creationism. Of course, there is nothing new in that regard, it’s the good old trick of categorizing ID as creationism in order to avoid addressing the serious scientific issues it raises. It surprised me to even be mentioned by this academic expert. But maybe the Danish evolutionists are beginning to feel the hot breath from ID on their necks, and are therefore starting to launch preemptive strikes against ID proponents like myself.
What is slightly annoying is the fact that I’m being deprived of the opportunity to respond to the allegations raised against me by this university teacher. The Christian newspaper, Kristeligt Dagblad, simply refuses to air my side of the story. The journalist who manages the debate section chooses to ignore me. I sent him a piece in which I explain what ID is, and how it differs from creationism, for example, that ID considers only empirical evidence and that inference to the best explanation is valid for the ID hypothesis, just as it is for the theory of evolution.
My piece was, naturally, written in defense of pastor Mads Jakobsen but I also made the excuse for the bishop that she, hardly a villain, is just acting in accordance with what we all have learned in school, namely that evolution is a fact. She should not be blamed for the extremely biased way evolution is taught all the way from primary school to university. I got no answer from the journalist, no reaction, and no explanation, – I’m being met with complete silence. So what we have is a Christian newspaper which willingly airs unsubstantiated allegations against my work but at the same time refuses to bring my side of the story.
During the last few months there have been several articles in this Danish Christian newspaper which misrepresents the ID view in the most ignorant ways. In one article it was even defined as a belief in God-directed evolution. Both I and others from the Danish ID movement have tried to make the newspaper correct these errors, but we are being ignored. So the current state ID is facing in Denmark is that a Christian newspaper gangs up with the theological elite to heckle Darwin doubters and prevent an open debate about the validity of Darwin’s theory.
See also: Auto mechanic: Berra’s blunder splutters … yet again? Both the non-religious mechanic and the non-religious engineer found it immensely silly that anyone would suggest that the flagellar motor of the bacterium was the result of anything other than engineering. The second one added that the only question left was which engineering school God graduated from. (Karsten Pultz)
Theistic evolution: Conjuring up one’s own version of evolution and calling it God’s version. (Karsten Pultz)