Theistic evolutionists hold that Darwinian evolution is God’s way of bringing about the diversity of life on earth. They used to be content to criticize ID on scientific grounds. But that’s no longer enough. They are now charging ID with undermining the very fabric of civilization and even the Christian religion itself. Ken Miller’s most recent book, just out, makes this point in the title — Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul. From the title, you’d think that Darwin is the Messiah and that until his ideas about evolution gained acceptance, our souls were in jeopardy.
Miller has called himself an Orthodox Christian and an Orthodox Darwinian (cf. the 2001 PBS Evolution Series). But one has to wonder which of these masters he serves more faithfully. A year or so ago, when Richard Dawkins’s website posted a blasphemy challenge (reported at UD here — the challenge urged people to post a YouTube video of themselves blaspheming the Holy Spirit), I asked Ken Miller for his reaction. He pooh-poohed it as “a clumsy attempt to trivialize important issues.” The obvious question this raises is whether systematic efforts by atheists to trivialize (and indeed denigrate) important issues is itself an important issue.
Could it be that the evolutionists’ assault on both science (by perpetuating the fraud that natural selection has unmatched creative powers) and religion (by using evolution as a club to beat people of faith) is undermining America’s soul? Not according to Miller. He’s got other fish to fry. For him, it’s the ID proponents’ assault on evolution that is undermining America’s soul. Forget about Dawkins and his blasphemy challenge. Let’s shaft the ID community.
Francis Collins agrees. His endorsement of Miller’s book leaves no doubt that the ID people are a bigger threat than the atheistic evolutionists like Dawkins:
“In this powerfully argued and timely book, Ken Miller takes on the fundamental core of the Intelligent Design movement, and shows with compelling examples and devastating logic that ID is not only bad science but is potentially threatening in other deeper ways to America’s future. But make no mistake, this is not some atheistic screed — Prof. Miller’s perspective as a devout believer will allow his case to resonate with believers and non-believers alike.” –Francis Collins, Director, the Human Genome Project and author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
With devout believers like this, give me a good infidel any time. Ever since Phil Johnson began publicly voicing his criticisms of Darwinism in the early 90s, his biggest detractors and most vicious critics have been — surprise, surprise — fellow Christians. In fact, we had a Mere Creation conference at Biola University in 1996 rather than at Calvin College (where we had planned to hold it initially) because Howard Van Till was so enraged with Johnson during his visit in the winter of 1996 that he was visibly shaking (Johnson and Niles Eldredge were having a debate at Calvin College — Eldredge turned to Phil after witnessing Van Till’s meltdown and remarked that even though things get heated among fellow evolutionists, it’s nothing like what he witnessed here).
So here’s the deal, everyone. Theistic evolutionists are implacably opposed to ID (Denis Alexander, head of a Templeton funded science-religion center in Oxford recently admitted, in these very terms, that this is his view toward ID when he asked for my consent to use and edit a video of me — and you wonder why I didn’t give my permission). They are happy to jump in bed with Richard Dawkins if it means defeating ID. They are on the wrong side of the culture war.* And they need to be defeated.
What’s our strategy. The strategy is multipronged. Let me just give you one prong: WIN THE YOUTH. The release date for Miller’s book is June 12th. I’ve got a book titled Understanding Intelligent Design: Everything You Need to Know in Plain Language (co-authored with youth speaker and high-school teacher Sean McDowell) whose release date is July 1st. It is geared specifically at mobilizing Christian young people, homeschoolers, and church youth groups with the ID alternative to Darwinian evolution. You might want to compare Francis Collins’ endorsment of Miller’s book with Ann Coulter’s endorsement of mine:
In my book Godless, I showed that Darwinism is the hoax of the century and, consequently, the core of the religion of liberalism…. Liberals respond to critics of their religion like Cotton Mather to Salem’s “witches.” With this book, two more witches present themselves for burning: Sean McDowell, whose gift is communicating with young people, and Bill Dembski, often called the Isaac Newton of intelligent design. I think Dembski is more like the Dick Butkus of Intelligent Design. His record for tackling Darwiniacs is unmatched. This book gives young people all the ammo they need to take on Darwinism and understand the only viable scientific alternative to Darwinism: intelligent design. Every high school student in America needs a copy of Understanding Intelligent Design. –Ann Coulter, BESTSELLING author of Godless: The Church of Liberalism
You know, I would be happy to sit down with theistic evolutionists and discuss our differences. I think they are wrong to baptize Darwin’s theory as God’s mode of creation. But I don’t think they are immoral or un-Christian for holding their views. But ID proponents, for wanting ID to have a place at the table as a scientific alternative to Darwinism, are, according to Miller, Collins, Alexander, etc., immoral, undermining Western civilization, and destroying America’s soul. Well, you want this fight, you’ve got it.
*Miller himself uses the warfare metaphor in the subtitle of his most recent book — Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul.