Intelligent Design

Walt Ruloff op-ed on academic suppression at Baylor — “Does the Baylor administration believe in God?”

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Walt Ruloff, the executive producer of the Ben Stein movie EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE ALLOWED, has an amazing op-ed in today’s Baylor Lariat, the school newspaper. WOW!

BU administration silencing science by design
Sept. 18, 2007

It may sound like a crazy question, but it needs to be asked: Does the administration at Baylor believe in God?

This is a legitimate question in light of the university’s heavy-handed actions in shutting down the research Web site of Dr. Robert Marks.

As many of you have heard, Marks, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been conducting research that ultimately may challenge the foundation of Darwinian theory. In layman’s terms, Marks is using highly sophisticated mathematical and computational techniques to determine if there are limits to what natural selection can do.

At Baylor, a Christian institution, this should be pretty unremarkable stuff. I’m assuming most of the faculty, students and alumni believe in God, so wouldn’t it also be safe to assume you have no problem with a professor trying to scientifically quantify the limits of a blind, undirected cause of the origin and subsequent history of life?

It would seem this kind of research would be praised and encouraged at Baylor.

But the dirty little secret is university administrators are much more fearful of the Darwinian Machine than they are of you.

I’ve spent the last two years of my life researching the widely accepted Neo-Darwinian theory and the theory of Intelligent Design.

My team and I (including lawyer, economist, actor, game show host and social commentator Ben Stein) have interviewed dozens of the world’s top experts in biology, astronomy, physics and philosophy.

What we have uncovered in our documentary film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, is an attack on freedom of speech and scientific inquiry that is as frightening as it is appalling. And it’s happening right here at Baylor.

Last month Dr. Ben Kelley, dean of engineering and computer science, shut down Marks’ Web site. He apparently had the blessing of President John Lilley. Why? The university put forth a bunch of phony-baloney procedural explanations that don’t stand up to scrutiny.

The truth however, can be found in an e-mail sent to Marks by Ben Kelley in which he told Marks, “I have received several concerned messages…” about his Web site. These complaints have been kept anonymous. How convenient.

Here’s what’s going on: Somebody within the scientific community let Kelley know that Marks was running a Web site that was friendly to Intelligent Design.

Such a thing is completely unacceptable in today’s university system — even at a Christian institution. Kelley was probably told to have the site shut down immediately or suffer the consequences.

What are those consequences? The ultimate penalty is to have Baylor marginalized by being designated as not a “legitimate institution of higher learning.” So designated merely for the “crime” of allowing Neo-Darwinism to be questioned, since conventional elitist wisdom holds it’s no longer a theory but an inviolable truth.

Do you think this is some kind of fanciful conspiracy theory? Google the names of Richard Sternberg, Caroline Crocker, Guillermo Gonzalez, Dean Kenyon and Bill Dembski and see what you find. These distinguished scientists have suffered severe consequences for questioning Darwinian theory and there are hundreds, if not thousands, more.

We want to speak with President Lilley about this academic suppression, so we are going to give him one more chance. Mr. Stein is sending a crew down to knock on President Lilley’s door Thursday, September 20.

Will he talk? We hope so. But even if he doesn’t, the actions of the Baylor administration will be in our film.

Walt Ruloff

Executive producer, Premise Media

85 Replies to “Walt Ruloff op-ed on academic suppression at Baylor — “Does the Baylor administration believe in God?”

  1. 1
    DaveScot says:

    It appears like Dover wasn’t the last word after all, eh Bill? 🙂

  2. 2
    bork says:

    This is one big mess.

    BTW: The current layout causes some of the words to be blocked by the sidebar. It is quite frustrating.

  3. 3

    We’re trying to take care of the layout problems. This was the very first theme we used at UD, and it was buggy from the start. Please be patient.

  4. 4
    niwrad says:

    “… it was buggy from the start.”

    Buggy? Well, more bugs (the software equivalent of biological random mutations) more unguided evolutionary improvements at UD!

  5. 5
    DrDan says:

    “I’m assuming most of the faculty, students and alumni believe in God, so wouldn’t it also be safe to assume you have no problem with a professor trying to scientifically quantify the limits of a blind, undirected cause of the origin and subsequent history of life?”

    According to the scientific community,
    Its ok to believe in God, as long as this God is kept in the confines of your personal belief. Do not let God enter the workplace.
    God cannot have acted in the history of humanity. There is no fingerprint for God. BU is simply being consistent with the way modern
    Christianity has been acting for the past 50-100 years. Believe in God, fine, but don’t let that belief lead to its logical conclusion,such
    as intelligently designed animals and plants, history that is consistent with the bible, etc.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    I once sat in an ecumenical service of various local churches for Thanksgiving and listened to the minister from the local Congregational Church announce that he actually believed in God. I nearly fell off the pew. A minister admitting that he believed in God like it was unusual.

    I think the phenomena is wider spread than we suspect and that a lot of so called religious people go through the motions and don’t have traditional religious beliefs. So it wouldn’t surprise me at all that officials at religious universities really do not believe in God or the tenets of Christianity. My guess is that their alumni and the parents of the children who attend have stronger religious beliefs.

    So one way to get at them is through the alumni and contributions to the university.

  7. 7
    Jehu says:

    This is great. What is going on at Baylor is scandalous. Lilley needs to learn that the Baptist population that supplies Baylor with its students and its reason for existance are not interested in kowtowing to the Darwinist machine. The Baptists will also not be happy that Lilley is selling out truth in exchange for a little more academic prestige amongst the elite intellectual class.

  8. 8
    Glarson24 says:

    I think that this is going to be a great film, and it will be good finally for being able to see both sides of this issue put before the public. It just does not make very much sense to me that Baylor would even do this.

  9. 9
    Rob says:

    I don’t understand this:

    “At Baylor, a Christian institution, [ID] should be pretty unremarkable stuff. … [Friendliness to Intelligent Design] is completely unacceptable in today’s university system — even at a Christian institution.”

    Given the often-repeated claim that ID is not a religious belief, is based on science instead of religion, and does not start from religious premises, why would Walt Ruloff – or anyone – expect ID to receive more support from a Christian institution than from anywhere else?

  10. 10
    Jehu says:


    Given the often-repeated claim that ID is not a religious belief, is based on science instead of religion, and does not start from religious premises, why would Walt Ruloff – or anyone – expect ID to receive more support from a Christian institution than from anywhere else?

    Before I answer your question, I need to establish something. Are you capable of comprehending the concept that a theory being consistent with a philosophical, religious, or metaphysical belief is distinct from being the belief itself or being founded on that beleif? For example, try wrapping your head around this statement, “ID is consistent with religion but is not itself a religion nor is it founded on religion. ID is also consistent with non-religious beliefs like panspermia.”

    Got that? Bokay.

    Now to answer your question, one would expect a Christian institution to support scientific theories that are consistent with its world view even if those theories are not the same thing as Christianity.

    Here is a question for you Rob. In what way was Prof. Marks project on Evolutionary Infomatics at Baylor not scientific?

  11. 11

    Rob, Your question betrays an insensitivity to the sensibilities of our group. One more strike and you’re out. –WmAD

  12. 12

    A gift on a platter for the film makers.

  13. 13
    TexasChem says:

    WmAD: I’m a little confused. “Rob, Your question betrays an insensitivity to the sensibilities of our group.” What exactly did he do wrong? I’m new at this (I think quite a few people are since the Mark’s thing started). Could you please explain to me what is/isn’t allowed as far as posts. I thought Rob had a ligitimate question and is porbably just new at this too. I don’t think he was trying to be insensitive. Thanks!

  14. 14
    mike1962 says:

    Heh heh, I love it.

  15. 15
    DaveScot says:


    I was thinking this was a blessing in disguise too. You can’t buy publicity like this. By their actions Baylor has now made the Bioinformatics Lab the talk of the town, so to speak. The smart move for Lilley would be to quickly admit his decision was a mistake made in haste under pressure from unnamed sources and then reinstate the Bioinformatics Lab. If he does the dumb thing this is just going to explode into a huge embarrassing brouhaha that will survive longer than he does. I’m betting he does the dumb thing but maybe he’ll surprise me.

  16. 16
    fbeckwith says:

    “Rob, Your question betrays an insensitivity to the sensibilities of our group. One more strike and you’re out. –WmAD”

    Have you been getting anonymous email complaints, or is that appeal only wrong when issued by your enemies? -FJB

  17. 17
    EndoplasmicMessenger says:


    Assuming that your question is sincere, what Rob did wrong is he insinuated that ID is religion in disguise. Rob apparently very well knows the “often-repeated claim that ID is not a religious belief, is based on science instead of religion, and does not start from religious premises.”

    Yet, he apparently questions these claims as being disingenuous without engaging the argument or giving a logical reason why. (See Jehu’s answer for a response to this question.) This is a subtle form of ad hominem attack, which is why WmAD stepped in.

    Very few and very far between are those ID-critics whose desire to know objective truth overcomes their strong internal subjective bias against it. Their deep-seated world view that all is randomness is just too strong to allow them to be objective on the matter. Their primary mode of communication is sarcasm. Years of experience on many internet newsgroups, forums and blogs shows this to be the case. If you have been following the news about the movie Expelled, you know the stakes are getting higher every day. This behavior of ID-critics is about to be extremely well documented.

    It was courteous of WmAD to give Rob a warning. If Rob keeps up his gaming, and continues with snide remarks rather than logically and neutrally engaging the argument for ID, then his cards are exposed and he will be rightly booted.

    This is not a tutorial site on ID. However, if you are an ID newbie and want more information, there are plenty of good books on the subject, some of which are listed on the sidebar of this page.

  18. 18
    TexasChem says:

    Thanks so much for the clarification. Yes, my question was sincere and I greatly appreciate the response. I try to be a “can’t we all just get along” person but it looks like in the case of ID that doesn’t work. I have read several ID books so I am not a newbie. Just a blogging newbie! But I do know there are several people who are more interested now do to the Mark’s problems. Again, thanks for taking the time to answer my question. A little off the subject but still related to academics does anyone know where things stand with G. Gonzales?

  19. 19
    russ says:

    Tip: Until they fix the website, and the ads/links are hidding text, you can highlight and copy text (CTL+C), then paste it (CTL+V) to Windows Notepad (its in program/accessories) and it all pastes fine, including the hidden text. A little tedious, but it lets you look at the missing text.

  20. 20
    lars says:

    “Rob, Your question betrays an insensitivity to the sensibilities of our group. One more strike and you’re out. –WmAD”

    I initially thought that was a tongue-in-cheek parody of sinister Darwinian intolerance of dissenting views. Now I’m not so sure it was meant to be humorous.

    Rob’s question didn’t seem that unreasonable.

  21. 21
    Janice says:

    lars @ 20

    Rob’s question didn’t seem that unreasonable

    Yes it did. Either unreasonable or ignorant.

    Given the fact that Rob knows enough to know that ID is represented (with good reason) as being based on scientific rather than religious premises, and given the fact that he can cobble quite a long sentence together with reasonably good grammar and punctuation, then ignorance seems unlikely and one is left with unreasonableness.

    This reminds me of all the arguments women have with men in which the man insists that the content of his message was innocuous while the woman is incensed because the meaning of the content is reversed by the tone of voice in which it was delivered.

    Of course, tone of voice cannot come across in a post to a blog. Which is why one has to rely on other clues.

    And I note that many hours have passed, yet so far Rob has neither proferred an apology for expressing himself in a manner that could lead to misunderstandings regarding his meaning nor rephrased his question. So my guess is that the call was a good one.

  22. 22
    Janice says:

    BTW, well done, Jehu.

  23. 23
    Grayman says:

    According to Dr. Dembski, “Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.” Given that Janice, how can you maintain that “ID is represented (with good reason) as being based on scientific rather than religious premises”? By the way, to keep EndoplasmicMessenger happy, I beleive I am indeed “engaging the argument giving a logical reason why.”

  24. 24

    Grayman: That quote has been so overused and so used out of context against me that I’m going to boot you for bringing it up here — three strikes. To the rest, that quote comes from a book with a theological press in which I explore the theological implications of ID. The theological implications of a scientific theory or a theological reframing or interpretation of a scientific theory is not identical with it — just as there’s quantum mechanics and there are lots of interpretations of it (e.g., many minds or many worlds).

  25. 25
    Janice says:

    Grayman @ 23

    how can you maintain that “ID is represented (with good reason) as being based on scientific rather than religious premises”?

    You know how people decided that “eoliths” were not manufactured because such stones could, on reasonable grounds, be expected to form naturally whereas the lithic suite of civilisations such as say, the Mousterian, must have been designed because they could not have been formed naturally?

    Same sort of reasoning.

    Natural, random, spontaneous, processes aren’t sufficient to explain the existence of certain features of living things. Therefore those features must have been designed by something capable of designing, i.e., something intelligent.

    It doesn’t matter if the design decisions were made far in advance or whether they were made “on the fly”. What matters is that chance cannot explain these features. And if chance can’t explain them then all that is left is that some intelligent being made some decision about what to do to solve some problem.

    The intelligent agent doesn’t have to be God. It only has to be intelligent. OK?

  26. 26
    Lord Timothy says:

    “BTW: The current layout causes some of the words to be blocked by the sidebar. It is quite frustrating.”

    Try Mozilla Firefox if you have it. That fixed the problem for me.

  27. 27
    tribune7 says:


    You have to understand that the attempt to equate ID with religion is an attempt to win the war without a fight i.e. it allows opponents to say that claims ID makes based on reproducable measurements or observations can be ignored because the entire enterprise is mumbo jumbo.

    Further, this mode of debate has a long history here, and has gotten rather old.

    Regarding Rob’s question — and there are those who think it insincere — as to why we would expect a professed Christian university to not oppose ID, the tenets/conclusions of ID do not in the least challenge Christianity.

    Further, Christian principles require fidelity to the Golden Rule.

    Marks hasn’t appeared to violate any university or academic standard in his endeavors, so why should Baylor — a professed Christian institution — treat him differently than others?

    Here is something to ponder — if a tenured, respected prof had a website challenging the Resurrection would Baylor allow it?

  28. 28
    tribune7 says:

    On a completely unrelated topic since someone in the next room is blaring the Beatles, these lyrics just caught my ear:

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world

    Darwinism really isn’t about science.

  29. 29
    allanius says:

    All theory is totalitarian by nature–the same unifying power that makes theories seem appealing also cannot tolerate dissent–and this intolerance has been on display for some time in secular circles.

    What makes Baylor unique is its Christian charter. Darwin’s theory depends upon the unifying principle that everything that exists came into being through purely natural processes. ID poses a threat to this unity of thought by demonstrating that purely natural processes cannot account for complex designs.

    Baylor, as a prestgious university, therefore finds itself in the interesting predicament of either having to uphold the totalitarianism of the theory or allowing the argument to design to be heard, which is perfectly reasonable, and also consistent with the statement that “through him all things were made, and without him nothing was made that has been made.”

    Baylor finds that it must choose between the prestige it covets in the academic community and dialgoue that reflects its own charter. This makes it a striking example of the intolerance of the theory and of Modernism itself.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    The producers of “EXPELLED” could not have asked for a better premise for their film. I bet they are secretly hoping that the Baylor administration continues to stonewall ID. If they do, It will make the impact of the film on the American public all the greater!
    It is one thing for a secular university to stonewall ID because of its obvious inference to a “source of intelligence”. Yet it is quite another for Baylor, arguably the leading Baptist University in America, to stonewall the ID movement. Baylor should be very excited to allow this type of research since it threatens the very materialistic foundation of the atheistic world view that is in direct opposition to their stated world view.
    This is truly sad for Darwinism/Materialism truly is a drastic obstacle as far as breakthrough science is concerned. Yet, even though I see Darwinism/Materialism blocking breakthrough scientific progress, I can also see an ID foundation in which science opens up many avenues for breakthrough discoveries (such breakthroughs that would come through answering questions as how complex information/light/matter intimately interact with each other) there are many such avenues that could be researched from a ID perspective that are not even considered possible from the Materialistic perspective.

  31. 31
    PaV says:

    I hope the producers of this documentary are aware of the so-called “Velikovsky Affair”. The scientific community in 1950 threatened to cancel all book orders with McMillan Books if they went ahead and published Velikovsky’s “Worlds in Collision”, which gave scientific credence to biblical/mythical writings. If they aren’t aware, they should be aware. This isn’t the first time that the scientific community has tried to suppress speech.

    Hopefully, we are also witnessing the “Fall of the Scientific Empire”, wherein the chief priests of science would have us believe that they will lead us to all “truth”. It seems like they’re really not too interested in the truth.

  32. 32
    StephenB says:

    I have dealt with this “Logos theory” business and similar kinds of foolishnes countless times on other websites. The results were always the same. Never has anyone responded saying, “Oh, I get it now, context matters,” or “yes, you’re right, ‘consistent with’ is not synonymous with ‘depends upon,'” or “right, motives are different than methods.” Never.

    On the contrary, they dig their heels in and start quoting some stupid judge in Pennsylvania or some feminist atheist in New Orleans. What can I conclude, then exept that there is no good faith dialogue taking place? For the sake of third parties who are confused I will offer the needed explanation if there is no one else to do it.

    But on this website I consider it an unnecessary nuisance unless the offending party is truly ignorant and open to the truth. But that can’t be the case when the issue is framed as “the oft-repeated CLAIM that ID is not a religious belief.”

  33. 33
    jerry says:

    ID is not a religious belief but it is inspired by religious belief. It is an attempt to use the tools of science to bolster part of a religious belief. As such it is often difficult for many to discern the difference. There are also times when this difference may not be there at all. Many are using ID as a proselytizing tool.

    This site is evidence of this. How many here are here without some religious motivation? Though it is less than it was in the past it is not uncommon to see people quote passages from the bible as evidence for their beliefs. Or it is not uncommon for many here to defend Young Earth Creationism. Though many like myself will criticize YEC, many who support ID do not try to distance themselves from YEC ideas.

    That is why Rob’s comment is apropos. ID expects a better audience at a Christian institution than one such as Harvard or Cal Berkeley. When the legitimate science part of ID cannot get a hearing at Baylor, then where can it go among major research institutions? Isn’t that what is behind the reaction of people here to Baylor’s suppression of Marks’ site. If Baylor were Iowa State we would be angry but not to the level it is because it is Baylor.

  34. 34
    Carl Sachs says:

    (27) the tenets/conclusions of ID do not in the least challenge Christianity.

    In fairness, whether or not the tenets or conclusions of neo-Darwinism challenge Christianity is open to debate, and there’s a wide range of views. Some people find that ‘theistic evolution’ is acceptable and reasonable — others don’t. (I find it funny that if there’s one thing that Dembski and Dawkins agree on, it’s that people like Collins and Miller are fundamentally confused.)

    Where might I go to find a good criticism of theistic evolution from the perspective of intelligent design theory?

  35. 35 says:

    jerry “ID is inspired by religious belief and is an attempt to use the tools of science to bolster part of a religious belief.”

    In my opinion the following more accurately reflects reality.

    ID can inspire religious belief and may be used by some to bolster such belief.

  36. 36
    StephenB says:

    Given the misunderstanding and outright lying that goes on about this subject, it is absolutely essential to draw a hard line between what ID may be “consistent with” and what it “is.”

  37. 37
    jerry says:,

    I have to disagree with you. ID would be a backwater in terms of the popular conscious if it wasn’t for its religious implications. Maybe for some it can inspire but I gather it is used more to counter act materialist explanations thus it may be more reassurance than inspiration.

    It would also be considered a respectable scientific endeavor if it weren’t for its religious implications but not a major one.

    Also from what I heard recently, ID advocates did nothing to remove young earth aspects of the Kansas scientific standards a few years ago. They had a chance to but they didn’t object to these parts of the standards. If this is true, then the conflation of ID with YEC is deserved because it appears that ID advocates are also YEC advocates and not necessarily interested in correct science. ID should try to separate itself from YEC more overtly to get rid of this conflation.

    Maybe someone who knows more about the Kansas situation might want to comment.

  38. 38
    tribune7 says:

    ID would be a backwater in terms of the popular conscious if it wasn’t for its religious implications.

    Darwinism would be laughed at if not for its religious implications.

    It’s not a matter of “ifs” but about what best fits the evidence.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    There are two prevailing philosophies vying for the right to be called the truth in man’s perception of reality. These two prevailing philosophies are Theism and Materialism. Materialism is sometimes called philosophical or methodological naturalism. Materialism is the current hypothesis entrenched over science as the nt hypothesis guiding scientists. Materialism asserts that everything that exists arose from chance acting on an material basis which has always existed. Whereas, Theism asserts everything that exists arose from the purposeful will of the spirit of Almighty God who has always existed in a timeless eternity. A hypothesis in science is suppose to give proper guidance to scientists and make, somewhat, accurate predictions. In this primary endeavor, for a hypothesis, Materialism has failed miserably. Let’s take a look at a few of the predictions where Materialism has missed the mark and Theism has been remarkably accurate for a philosophy that is supposedly so unscientific.

    1. Materialism did not predict the big bang. Yet Theism always said the universe was created.

    2. Materialism did not predict a sub-atomic (quantum) world that blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. Yet Theism always said the universe is the craftsmanship of God who is not limited by time or space.

    3. Materialism did not predict the fact that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, as revealed by Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Yet Theism always said that God exists in a timeless eternity.

    4. Materialism did not predict the stunning precision for the underlying universal constants for the universe, found in the Anthropic Principle, which allows life as we know it to be possible. Yet Theism always said God laid the foundation of the universe, so the stunning, unchanging, clockwork precision found for the various universal constants is not at all unexpected for Theism.

    5. Materialism predicted that complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Yet statistical analysis of the many required parameters that enable complex life to be possible on earth reveals that the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support complex life in this universe. Theism would have expected the earth to be extremely unique in this universe in its ability to support complex life.

    6. Materialism did not predict the fact that the DNA code is, according to Bill Gates, far, far more advanced than any computer code ever written by man. Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity in the DNA code.

    7. Materialism presumed a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA, which is not the case at all. Yet Theism would have naturally presumed such a high if not, what most likely is, complete negative mutation rate to an organism’s DNA.

    8. Materialism presumed a very simple first life form. Yet the simplest life ever found on Earth is, according to Geneticist Michael Denton PhD., far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity for the “simplest” life on earth.

    9. Materialism predicted that it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Yet we find evidence for “complex” photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth (Minik T. Rosing and Robert Frei, “U-Rich Archaean Sea-Floor Sediments from Greenland—Indications of >3700 Ma Oxygenic Photosynthesis”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 6907 (2003): 1-8) Theism would have naturally expected this sudden appearance of life on earth.

    10. Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life to be self-evident in the fossil record. The Cambrian Explosion, by itself, destroys this myth. Yet Theism would have naturally expected such sudden appearance of the many different and completely unique fossils in the Cambrian explosion.

    11. Materialism predicted that there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record. Yet fossils are characterized by sudden appearance in the fossil record and overall stability as long as they stay in the fossil record. There is not one clear example of unambiguous transition between major species out of millions of collected fossils. Theism would have naturally expected fossils to suddenly appear in the fossil record with stability afterwards as well as no evidence of transmutation into radically new forms.

    I could probably go a lot further for the evidence is extensive and crushing against the Materialistic philosophy. As stated before, an overriding hypothesis in science, such as Materialism currently is, is suppose to give correct guidance to scientists. Materialism has failed miserably in its predictive power for science. The hypothesis with the strongest predictive power in science is “suppose” to be the prevailing philosophy of science. That philosophy should be Theism. Why this shift in science has not yet occurred is a mystery that needs to be remedied to enable new, and potentially wonderful, breakthroughs in science.

  40. 40
    Jehu says:


    That is why Rob’s comment is apropos.

    I have already explained why Rob’s comment is lame. Maybe you weren’t bright enough to understand because your own comments are equally spurious. Please make a logical statement based on what ID actually proposes rather than your personal feelings about ID. For example, make an informed comment about the universal probability bound, specified complexity, or the probability of creating complex specified information via a random walk and how any of those concepts are based on religion. Otherwise, you are just a guy venting an unfounded opinion.

  41. 41
    jerry says:

    Jehu said

    “Maybe you weren’t bright enough to understand because your own comments are equally spurious.”

    I love it. This is an attitude that will bury ID.

    What makes you think you understand what ID is and I don’t. Read what I say carefully.

  42. 42
    DaveScot says:


    I have to disagree with you. ID would be a backwater in terms of the popular conscious if it wasn’t for its religious implications

    I won’t argue with that but I’m not certain it’s true. Do you think the big bang theory would be a backwater in terms of the popular conscious absent theological implications? I’d like to think it wouldn’t be. Maybe I have more faith in scientific integrity than the practioners of science deserve.

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    Carl Sachs,

    I do not think there is a good criticism of Theistic Evolution. They have written several books on the subject and there is a wide range of views on just how God operates in the world. One thing that seems to be in common is an acceptance of neo Darwinism as the mechanism for change in life forms over time. Some almost incorporate it into their theology and I have heard someone commenting at ASA to a theistic evolutionist about what would he do when Darwinism was disproved because part of his theology is based on this mechanism for God’s control of change of life forms.

    Thus, any criticism of neo-Darwinism which is the real forte of ID is also a criticism of theistic evolution.

  44. 44
    StephenB says:

    Jerry, you seem to be doing the same thing ID enemies are doing. You speculate about ID scientists and their motives for devoloping their methods and ignore the methods themselves.

    On the one hand, you say that ID should separate itself more overtly from YEC, on the other hand, you continue to stress what you percieve to be the similarities.

    On the one hand, you suggest that ID “uses the tools of science to bolster religious belief,” on the other hand, you insist “it would be a respectable science if it werent for its religious implications.”

    On the one hand, you seem to lament the fact that uninformed “ID advocates” keep muddying the waters, on the other hand, you seem to suggest that ID scientits deserve to bear the brunt of the resultant confusion.

    I believe the most constructive thing you can do is to use your sphere of influence to clear up the confusion about ID and to make sure that you are familiar with all the relevant terms and concepts involved.

  45. 45
    jerry says:


    I agree with you that the Big Bang’s acceptance has nothing to do with religion even though it supports the idea of a creator and a finite time sequence for the universe. It fits observational data including making predictions. It is a good example of science at work.

    A few hundred years ago there were few avowed atheists but many Deists and the Big Bang would certainly be in sync with their beliefs. The addition of the fine tuning aspect to the Big Bang (which would not upset a Deist), has little awareness in the popular arena. But you now find science coming up with all sorts of ways to try and fight this fine tuning addition because it is embarrassing. Welcome the various multi-verse hypothesis which to me have one objective only, to undermine and ID explanation for the fine tuning.

    There has always been some multi-verse hypotheses but the seriousness with which they are now treated is rooted in attempts to undermine the religious implications of the fine tuning of the Big Bang. But remember that Deists would be comfortable with the Big Bang and fine tuning. What even they would be uncomfortable with is the creation of life itself and maybe a continuing input because this implies a creator that did not go away or leave us on our own.

  46. 46
    jerry says:


    You said

    “I believe the most constructive thing you can do is to use your sphere of influence to clear up the confusion about ID and to make sure that you are familiar with all the relevant terms and concepts involved.”

    What do you think I am trying to do? I believe that YEC is a mill stone around the neck of ID. If I believe this, then what should I do? I can only point out what I think is true and what the dynamics of perceptions are in this debate. Many here may not agree with me but I think more than a few do.

    When Nick Matzke hopes that ID doesn’t criticize the YEC’s because he says it is then easier to conflate the two then I think you have your answer. When someone from ASA comes here and tells us how ID has painted itself into a corner by not criticizing YEC then you have another confirmation of my point of view. Nearly everyone at ASA assumes that ID and YEC are similar. They are ignorant but why do they think this?

    I know what ID is as well as anyone here so to suggest that I smarten up and learn is just a example of putting one’s head in the sand.

  47. 47
    bornagain77 says:

    Oh Yeah, one more i just thought of,

    12. Materialism predicts animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Yet man himself is the last scientifically accepted fossil to suddenly appear in the fossil record. Theism would of predicted that man himself was the last fossil to suddenly appear in the fossil record.

    I truly think the Theistic philosophy has been belittled for no good reason! In Fact, Materialism should rightly be belittled for misleading scientists down wrong paths for so long!!!!

  48. 48
    StephenB says:

    Jerry, I certainly agree with your comment that YEC is a mill stone around the neck of ID. I believe that if you had made that point earlier, there would have been little controversy. Apparently, you were making all your supporting points in advance of your main argument; I recommend that you do it the other way around next time.

    What I don’t understand is what you think we can do that we are not already doing. Beyond setting the record straight and calling out the liars, most of whom are Darwinists, what else is there to do. I don’t know that we have any control over renigade YECers who want to exploit the ID brand name–there is no patent for it as far as I know.

  49. 49
    StephenB says:

    Jerry, I owe you an apology. I think I am beginning to see your point. Is this what you are saying?

    Each time we express outrage over Baylor’s treatment of Prof. Marks. we are dramatizing the fact that a Christian university should be willing to accomodate a relgion-friendly approach to science. How, then, can we keep making indirect references about how religion-friendly ID is without underminng the fact that it is not BASED on religion.

    Keep in mind that context is everything. This problem comes up all the time. The fact that ID is consistent with some religious perspectives does not in any way take away from the fact that its methods are soley empirical.

    We should not lose this opportunity to expose the oppressors and hold their feet to the fire simply because there is a potential for misunderstanding about this subtle point. From this point on, we are going to have to explain ID from both a theological an scientific vantage point anyway. We simply have to keep it up until people get it, because we are telling the truth. It is our adversaries that are lying. Don’t forget that.

  50. 50
    Jehu says:


    I love it. This is an attitude that will bury ID.

    Wrong. ID is not about attitude, it is about the evidence. What will bury ID is evidence that Darwinism can actually create complex specified information. So far the evidence is nil.

    What makes you think you understand what ID is and I don’t. Read what I say carefully.

    I have. You don’t appear to understand ID. You seem only to understand things like attitude, motive, affiliations, and image. I invited you to make an intelligent comment about “the universal probability bound, specified complexity, or the probability of creating complex specified information via a random walk and how any of those concepts are based on religion” and you ducked.

    Jerry, explain for me how the universal probability bound is based on Christianity. Also explain how failure to condem YEC affects the UPB. I am waiting to hear your insightful answer.

  51. 51
    Jehu says:


    Jerry, I certainly agree with your comment that YEC is a mill stone around the neck of ID.

    Oh please, that is very niave. The mill stone around ID’s neck is that it threatens materialist dogma. Then again, the NCSE needs ID as a reason to exist and continue to raise funds. According to the NCSE, ID is huge and growing even bigger. It has spread to the UK where a disturbing precentage of university students agree with it. ID is a threat! Send your checks to the NCSE! Meanwhile, p. falciparum is still not evolving.

  52. 52
    DaveScot says:


    What aspect of YEC does ID refute?

    I’m quite willing to point out anything philosophic, religious, or scientific that ID theory somehow refutes. I simply can’t find anything about ID that disputes YEC. Geology is the primary science in conflict with YEC.

    It’s unreasonable to demand that ID proponents speak to the age of the earth. It’s like demanding that computer scientists make statements about the age of the earth. Nothing about computer science speaks to the age of the earth.

    The demands made by members of the Church of Darwin that ID leaders like Dembski and Behe reject YEC reveal more about the agenda of the chance worshippers than anything else. When IDists refuse to distance themselves from the YEC crowd the chance worshippers smugly say “Aha! ID is just religion in disguise.” What is really revealed by this is that the chance worshippers are at war with religion. The “ID is bad science” mantra is transparently disingenuous.

  53. 53
    jerry says:


    You should know what I understand about ID from my comments over the last couple years. You should also know that ID is heavily identified with religion in the public’s mind, rightly or wrongly. And this identification is exploited strongly by those who oppose ID. This site is the main site on the internet for discussing ID and religion is a constant point of discussion here.

    It is one thing to proclaim on the upper right hand corner of every page what ID is about and to have the link to its definition and then to have a large portion of the discussions here concern the religious implications of it and then deny that ID is not about religion. ID is not just associated with religion in general but heavily associated with one interpretation of religion. Then to go on and make believe that this association does not exist is “having one’s head in the sand.” Especially when it comes back to bite you such as in the recent cases at Iowa State and Baylor.

    It is one thing to discuss specific empirical findings of scientific endeavors but there is another empirical finding that we all ignore and that is the actual perception in the public’s mind. We can excoriate all we want the hypocrisy of the Darwinists but it does no good if it doesn’t move us closer to the objective most of us want. We can then ask how that perception is generated and whether discussions on this site contribute to the perception or not.

    By the way it is more than geology and biology involved in the YEC science controversy, it is also astronomy or cosmology and maybe physics in general that is under attack. I do not believe if one wants to be thought of as an honest purveyor of knowledge in science to then proclaim the hypocrisy of one group’s conclusions and then stand by and not denounce the hypocrisy of another group’s conclusions. Especially when that second lack of denunciation is the source of many of your problems. You cannot cherry pick which science standards you accept and object to.

    If computer science was under attack because of its association with a bogus approach to science and it didn’t denounce this association then you would think it was “nuts.” There would probably be a journal devoted to just why it is not associated to this bad approach to science. It would be self preservation.

  54. 54
    jerry says:


    I once was in a Ph.D. program in mathematics and have had several courses in probability and statistics. I was also an undergraduate physics major and have read a lot of biology and genetics and most of the books written on ID and evolution. And I have read most of the discussions here for the last two years. So assume I know what much of the technical discussionS are about including the probability aspects of it. And I also am eager to learn which I frequently do while participating in or reading these discussions.

    What I find interesting about your comments is that I am one who usually insists that the discussions remain on science. But as I said on another recent thread it is hard to ignore the 2000 pound gorilla in the room when you are trying to keep the discussion strictly on science.

  55. 55
    DaveScot says:


    I certainly understand where you’re coming from. Recall I’m the one who wrote a post here nearly two years ago saying I was going to delete anything that attempted to dispute common ancestry and an old earth.

    That said, I can’t say I’m convinced that the YEC contingent is wrong. We appear to live in a universe that is governed by immutable physical laws and everything is understandable by those laws. Certainly if we apply these laws backward in time we see an old universe and common descent. Appearances however can be deceptive. There’s nothing that proves the universe, the laws that govern it, and its apparent history weren’t created any time from a moment ago to billions of years ago. Consider that time and space now appear to be digital (pixelated). There is a Planck length and a Planck time. This is strikingly like how computer simulations (artificial realities) are constructed. A master clock ticks and at each clock tick a set of rules are applied and the model is updated from one state to the next. The programmer (or hardware designer) chooses the clock rate and rules that apply. He may change both the rules and the clock rate at his whim. He can also start the simulation running with any arbitrary set of initial conditions. He can also stop and start the model at any time. If we as conscious human beings are constructs inside such a model how would we be able to know if what we observe is real or the machinations of some entity outside the model? All we can do is look for inconsistencies (violations) of the rules that govern the model. So far I don’t think we’ve categorically observed any inconsistencies but since the apparent history of the model, viewed from inside the model, is manipulable by an outside agency we really have no way of knowing if the clock was stopped and the rules were changed and the state of the system changed to make the new rules appear to be the rules that were there all along.

    ID is basically a tentative finding of an inconsistency. If RM+NS is the true source of organic evolution it is so statistically unlikely to have generated the patterns that we see that it warrants a conclusion that there’s an entity involved who either stacked the deck (set up the initial conditions and laws to produce a certain outcome), which is the deist position of esteemed minds like Einstein, or there’s an entity that intervened over the course of time to steer the course of events towards a desired outcome. I prefer the deist position – the deck was stacked one time and the immutable rules take over from there in a clockwork universe not because it must be that way but because it makes the universe rational and predictable.

  56. 56
    Janice says:


    YEC is only a mill stone around the neck of ID to people who wouldn’t accept ID anyway. They put that millstone there (and will do whatever they feel necessary to keep it there) because that makes it easier for them to do the other major thing they want to do. That other thing is to believe that there exists nothing greater, smarter or more powerful than themselves. As long as they can keep that belief intact they can convince themselves that they have the right, and the authority, to make their own choices about what is good and evil and, consequently, can determine for themselves how to live their lives. Their minds are closed and will stay closed until God, Himself, decides to open them.

    Now, that’s all very religious but, in the end, as far as these matters are concerned, it’s always about religous beliefs. That is inescapable.

    Where did I come from? From God? Or from random, spontaneous, naturalistic events (there being no God)?

    What am I here for? To know God and enjoy Him forever while serving my fellow human beings? Or to get whatever I can while I still can and too bad about anyone I damage on my way (there being no absolute standards of right and wrong)?

    Where am I going? To an afterlife of rewards or punishments? Or to nothing and nowhere; no rewards but also no punishments (there being no heaven and no hell)?

    I’m a YECer but am perfectly willing to state that many aspects of that belief are based on faith. And when I say faith I’m not talking about something I’ve had to source from my own desire and will to have faith. Frankly, my desire has often faltered and my willpower sucks. “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt 26:41)

    No. I’m talking about faith that is based on evidence; the sort of faith that I have that my chair will hold my weight, and not collapse, when I sit on it. After all, it’s a robust chair with a certificate of good design, it’s always held my weight before, is not shaky and I am not grossly obese. I have good reasons for believing that it will not collapse the next time I decide to sit on it. In the same way I think I have good reasons for believing that God exists and that He can be relied on to reveal to us truthfully, in ways all of us (not just the highly educated and existentialist-minded) can understand, where we came from, what He requires of us in this life and what will happen to us after we have died.

    For me accepting ID now is easy, peasy. In fact, 30 years ago, before the ID intellectual movement even existed in any sort of public form, it was the recognition that chance events cannot account for the way the human body is able to utilise glucose that made me realise that the system must have been designed and, therefore, macroevolution is a crock and, therefore, there is a God. That’s not to say that there’s anything particularly clever and open-minded about me. It just says that God had been working on me to open my mind and draw me to Himself.

    If you’re a Christian why are you worried about YECers and the possible bad rep they may give IDers? Do you not believe that God is able to work all things together for good? Settle back and faithfully do whatever He puts in front of you to do. Be open to learning whatever He wants to teach you. You aren’t required to change the world. Even Jesus didn’t change the world all at once.

    If you aren’t a Christian why are you worried about YECers and the possible bad rep they may give IDers? Shouldn’t you be applauding?

  57. 57
    Patrick says:

    The key is, there are a limited number of resources and working together and putting aside differences is the best approach. Thus, why create a personal schism by continually harping on the age of the earth? It’s been noted before that YECs and OECs can rarely work together even when it comes to issues they agree upon–the personal divide has grown too wide. Bill isn’t going out of his way to skewer someone for not accepting his preferred hypotheses based upon Intelligent Evolution which are obviously very different from any Creationist model derived from specific interpretations of the Bible. Heck, many of us are agnostics…should Bill be getting on our case? Should we not be asking Darwinists to work with us to investigate if there are indeed limits to Darwinian mechanisms (if only some types if the Darwinists happen to be correct)?

    The point is to focus on where we all agree: Darwinism has problems. Once the paradigm shift is over then I’m hoping that everyone will still continue to amiably work together to discover which of the competing ID-compatible hypotheses is correct. Unfortunately, based upon human behavior, if ID becomes the reigning paradigm I expect the “Big Tent” to fragment into competing camps that’ll promptly start sniping at each other…but that’s in the future. But I don’t see why it need be that way. After all, there are competing views within Darwinism but they manage to work together.

  58. 58
    jerry says:


    I think you are missing the point. Your personal faith is well and good and I understand how such things you discuss are part of the human experience for a lot of people. I do not dispute this. However, I do not see where it is relevant when discussing science. It is such discussions that I find turn people off when science or logic are being discussed. I have been around enough people to know that people feel very uncomfortable when such discussions come up. And then to base science on it really makes people uncomfortable.

    My main focus has always been on the science and the best way to promulgate the truth. I am just one lone voice but I think there are others who agree with me. If one doesn’t recognize the social aspects of communication then one is doomed to frustration. There is so much communication in our society so how does one get through to the average person. People have their guards up all the time so it is difficult.

    I maintain that Darwinists, YECs and Theistic Evolutionists are all tied to an ideology and what they believe in science is based on that ideology. The Darwinists and TE’s seem to be only affected by what they believe on evolution while the YEC’s have a different range of beliefs that are pre-determined by a belief that the age of the earth is of recent origin. Each is therefore suspect as a source of truth. One group, the YEC’s, has been painted as “whacko” not only by the Darwinists but by the general population and when a group’s beliefs are so at odds with reality, they have little credibility no matter how much sense they may have on other issues. Where is the dividing line between the nonsense and the truth. My daughter who is well educated and a very sensible person expressed a reluctance to go to a doctor who had such beliefs because she was afraid the beliefs would permeate the doctor’s medical beliefs. Knowing what I do, I assured her that a YEC could be an excellent doctor but she still had her doubts.

    I have no problem with anyone choosing what faith they decide to adhere to but I recognize that ID’s big tent has a major problem and I believe it is counterproductive to the objective most of us have here, namely ridding the culture of materialist thinking. As I said I believe the association of ID with YEC is preventing this objective from happening. I believe the best way to achieve the objective is for an ID movement that is free of the YEC association.

  59. 59
    jerry says:


    I always maintained that if ID ever gets established, then the real food fight would begin. Actually, it you read the history of the Reformation you will find some nasty things said so the food fight has been going on for a long time within western Christianity. And then you should read what has been said between Eastern and Western Christianity and how they treated each other. People have been fighting with each other for thousands of years over religion and there is no reason why it should stop now. And most of it has been over minutiae.

  60. 60
    ultimate175 says:

    From Jerry:

    “Also from what I heard recently, ID advocates did nothing to remove young earth aspects of the Kansas scientific standards a few years ago. They had a chance to but they didn’t object to these parts of the standards. If this is true, then the conflation of ID with YEC is deserved because it appears that ID advocates are also YEC advocates and not necessarily interested in correct science.”

    As it happens Jerry, it’s not true. In fact I don’t recall the age of the Earth being an issue of discussion one way or the other. For a summary of what was actually included in the changes to the standards, see here:

    Kansas standards changes 2005

  61. 61
    jerry says:


    Here is a comment from a thread at ASA by Ted Davis about the conflation of ID with YEC.

    “I would not lump YEC with ID. This, unfortunately, is what many schools are afraid of – they are afraid of the legal and scientific confusion caused by the YEC camp back in the 80’s – they don’t want that to happen again – I don’t blame them. However, if 45% of their students hold YEC misconceptions or any misconception, is it not good teaching to address it scientifically and openly?

    TED: Anyone who pays attention knows that I am the last person to lump ID in with YEC.

    However, as I’ve also made clear, the IDs have contributed substantially to this confusion (to wit, that ID = YEC) by failing to do any/all of the following things.

    (1) ID’s have not made an “old” earth/universe part of their official platform, insofar as they have one. This by itself, obviously, would refute the claim that ID = YEC. Most IDs accept an “old” earth/universe, and a few use big bang cosmology (which is anathema to YECs) to promote design–if more of them did this, there’d be much less confusion. But it isn’t usually the first card played, which IMO it ought to be since the strongest design arguments (IMO) are cosmological rather than biological.

    (2) TDI did not publicly renounce (unless I missed it somewhere, and I looked for it) efforts to remove the big bang and an old earth from science standards in Kansas in 1999. Those were led by an outfit calling itself the “Intelligent Design Network,” and their concerns were clearly YEC in orientation. Rather, TDI pretty much accepted IDN as an ally against a common foe. It’s not entirely unfair, even if it’s inaccurate, that people will then claim that ID = YEC.

    (3) Some leading IDs (Johnson, Dembski among them) have said in strong terms that TE is not acceptable, that it’s just wimpy or wrong or both. They are to some extent claiming this on the basis of a definition of “evolution” that absolutely denies the possibility of interpreting it within a larger metaphysical framework that includes purpose–that is, if you accept their definition of “evolution” or “Darwinism”, then you conclude they are right.

    (4) The full cooperation that leading IDs gave in converting a clearly “creationist” book into the ID book, “Of Pandas and People,” speaks for itself. One of the dumbest decisions that could have been made, IMO.

    In the politics of science, the politics drives the science. Again and again. And again.”

    On Ted Davis’s last sentence, I agree, agree and agree.

  62. 62
    ultimate175 says:

    Jerry, the Intelligent Design Network in Kansas is absolutely not YEC, despite what your sources may think. Now, if they are not explicitly “anti-YEC” enough to prevent confusion in some people’s minds, and that therefore is justification for claiming ID = YEC, well then I guess we can’t win.

    By the way, as I recall, the changes in 1999 were not primarily led by ID groups. In 2005 they were, and that’s why I posted a link to the actual changes in ’05. I suppose they are confusing too, however, since they don’t bash YECs explicitly either.

  63. 63
    jerry says:


    As best I can see there are 4 competing claims for what caused the origin of life and the origin of new species.

    1. Traditional neo Darwinism or some variant of it.

    2. Some other naturalistic cause, yet unknown, that may involve some transfer of information, some self organization of information or some other phenomena. Who knows what it may be.

    3. Interference by some intelligence at various points in time in the creation or rearrangement of genomes.

    4. The creation of one or more genomes in the deep past that had the necessary information to produce the various species we now see on earth and in the fossil record and these original genomes were triggered by some unknown external event to produce new genomes as time progressed and the environment changed.

    I do not know if I expressed them correctly or if there are additional options. I personally do not believe there is any information to support any of them. Which is why most of the arguments are in the negative direction to undermine the three of the four you do not like.

    Since I believe that three of the four would have to leave substantial forensic evidence that they happened and there is the fact that none is available, I tend to lean to the one that doesn’t require forensic evidence to be true. My beliefs are as simple as that.

    Show me evidence for one of the other four and I will listen and maybe believe that is the correct mechanism. Given that, none of the four mechanisms affects my religious beliefs or any other beliefs one iota.

  64. 64
    jerry says:


    I have no other comments except what Ted Davis wrote. If what he says is correct why would the IDN try to remove standards relative to the Big Bang and the age of the earth from the Kansas 1999 document? Did this happen? Or if it didn’t happen then someone should inform Ted Davis who seems to be a reasonable person.

  65. 65
    StephenB says:

    Jerry, I think you are making things more complicated than they need to be. While YEC advocates may muddy the waters somewhat, to the extent that they add to the confusion about IDs methodology (it is only to that extent that I accept your millstone metaphor), they are not real players in the current raging battle. Darwinists know very well what the differences between CS and ID are. They are not confused when they conflate the two, they are lying.

    The general public, on the other hand, which often does confuse the issue, does not militate against us. So, at this point at least, it doesn’t matter. I don’t see why it hurts our cause that they are open to both. If we are going to be “purists,” we could have internal battles on common descent as well. But what sense would that make? Our beef is not with a confused general public, who will eventually make the necessary distinctions. Our beef is with lying Darwinists who do get it right now and will do anything to survive.

    Theistic evolutionists and creation scientists are not really on the front lines. All the hand to hand combat takes place between Darwinists and ID scientists. You should worry less about future philosophical battles among Theists, and more about the current life-and-death battle with Darwinists.

  66. 66
    ultimate175 says:

    IDN did not try to remove references to those things in 1999. That’s not to say someone else didn’t, but IDN did not. As I mentioned before, IDN was not the primary driver of changes in 1999 as they were in 2005, and if you would review the changes IDN proposed in ’05, it would be clear what their primary issues are.

    Correcting Ted Davis is not one of my priorities. I suppose on the logic presented here he would suspect that IDN also thinks the Earth is flat, since it wasn’t explicitly renounced in it’s proposed changes. For the record, IDN does in fact think the Earth is spherical.

  67. 67
    jerry says:

    One of my favorite Darwinists, and there are not many, is someone who used to comment here frequently but I haven’t seen for awhile. He is probably busy. His name for this and other blogs is great_ape. Here is an excellent quote from great_ape from Telic Thoughts relative to the perception of ID from the other side.

    “If ID consisted solely of yourself and a small group of others, your point would carry far more weight with me. As it stands, however, “official ID”, is is a very open-ended platform that enjoys (or suffers, depending on your perspective) a very big tent. You’ve got a handful of reasonable folks amongst an army of yahoo YECs, etc.. They’re all attacking evolutionary theory at every level, from many diverse perspectives, even those aspects of evolution that folks like yourself take as a given.

    Now attacking the status quo and bringing a diversity of perspectives to the table is good. Up to a point. But there’s a point where it becomes unproductive noise and detracts energy from more fruitful endeavors. The society of mapmakers should not have to take up the flat earth debate at each annual meeting. I hold the very same opinion for the geological society and young earth. Now where exactly to draw the line and who decides is a difficult subject, but I know it *must* be drawn, implicitly or explicitly, at some point or nothing would ever get accomplished.

    So take a pragmatic perspective. Forgive the fanciful metaphor, but let’s imagine you’re dealing with a many-headed hydra, a few heads of which are knowledgeable enough to be amenable to a rational debate. The rest of the heads are snarling, biting, and spitting fire. And they’re out to get you. Given limited time/resources–most of us have rather time-consuming jobs, after all–how do you deal with the beast? Do you (generally) engage it intellectually or violently/politically? Consider also that you know full well that, even having reached an understanding with heads #1 and #2, heads #3 thru 3000 will not stop until someone is carried effectively lifeless from the battlefield.

    From a different angle, if you take offense at being lumped in with the “liberals,” and to hearing your adversaries make arguments against positions you don’t even hold, leave the Democratic party and join another. Same with Republican… (For the record, I’m neither.) But when you join a platform you get all the perks (name-recognition, support of peers) *and* the drawbacks (stereotyped, lumped together). And like it or not, ID–because of its open-ended criteria for inclusion–is more like a political platform than a specific philosophical/scientific position. And that’s how the other side is responding to it. If it looks like a duck…quacks like a… In other words, it’s probably OK to shoot it.

    The way I see it, one party (the evolution camp) must respond to the general nature of the beast (2998/3000 snarling/biting/spitting hydra heads), and if there are a couple of rational heads (interesting positions, speculations, etc) among the bunch then chalk those up to collateral damage.

    (yes, we have a few snarling heads of our own, but hopefully I’m conveying my general point. Lumping folks together under the “ID” banner/platform and engaging the “lump” according to its *general* characteristics/dispositions is human nature and necessitated by pragmatic considerations. Not every ID proponent can be individuated and given their due consideration; there’s too much noise coming from the overall beast)

    this was rather rushed, but I hope I was able to convey something thru the sloppiness and mixed metaphors

    Comment by great_ape — February 27, 2007 @ 2:06 am”

    This was a perspective of ID from a main stream scientist. I personally would like great_ape to reappear here because he is always cordial, honest and insightful. And he is a Darwinist in the sense that he support neo Darwinism as the mechanism for species origin.

  68. 68
    tribune7 says:

    Jerry, why should one compromise when one is right?

  69. 69
    jerry says:


    How many things do you think you are right on? How do you determine when you are right? What evidence do you use to determine that you are right?

  70. 70
    ultimate175 says:

    I suppose I’m a bit confused about how any Darwinists are being carried “lifeless off the battlefield” by YEC’s. Can you point me to some?

    Casting ID away under the guise of all this dangerous “noise” from elsewhere seems disingenuous. From my perspective the YEC crowd is powerless against the Darwinist machine. When the many-headed hydra is viewed from that perspective, the most appropriate way to deal with the monster would be to respectfully engage the heads with the most substance and best arguments.

    Lumping ID and YEC together to discard the whole kit and kaboodle is a cop out IMHO.

  71. 71
    StephenB says:

    Jerry, I think you have been conned by smooth talking Darwinists wearing their altruistic colors. Haven’t you ever seen democrats on cable TV giving advice to republicans on how to improve their party. That’s what great-ape was doing to you.

    So, you really believe that if all IDs publicly disavowed creationists and marched in lock step to either Dembski, or Behe, or Meyer (they all have differences, you know) that great ape would change his Darwinist ways and say, “Wow, you folks have got it together now. I am no longer a materialist-atheist.” Come on.

  72. 72
    tribune7 says:

    Jerry –How many things do you think you are right on? How do you determine when you are right?

    I am taking your position as advocating that the ID organizations should make a declaration that YEC is wrong.

    Now, ID does not address — and as far as I can tell — is incapable of addressing YEC.

    If ID is incapable of addressing YEC, the right course is for ID organizations to say ID does not address YEC.

    There should be no compromise on this principle.

  73. 73
    Jack Krebs says:

    I’ve skimmed the above discussion, and can offer some information.

    It is correct that the 1999 standards were primarily driven by YEC proponents. The IDN got more involved at the end, but the state BOE elections had already made it so that a moderate majority would take over and soon vote the YEC influenced standards out, so the IDN efforts were short-lived.

    The IDN did make one important contribution to the 1999 standards, changing the phrase “natural explanations” to “logical explanations” in the definition of science.

    The 2005 standards situation was driven by John Calvert and Bill Harris, both of whom are not YEC, but virtually everyone else involved was YEC: most or all of the rest of the ID group on the standards committee and the conservative members of the state BOE were YEC, and a substantial number of the witnesses at the 2005 science hearings.. The standards themselves did not contain YEC arguments as the 1999 ones did, but most of the supporters did offer YEC arguments at various times when discussing the standards.

    What we have seen in Kansas has been the big tent policy at work: I think at least 90% of the people in Kansas who have supported the anti-evolutionary changes to our standards in 1999 and 2005 are YEC, but they adopted the more general ID arguments in 2005 as a matter of strategy and as a consequence of Calvert, a non-YEC, being the primary leader of their efforts and primary author of the changes they wanted made and the rationale for them.

  74. 74
    Jack Krebs says:

    P.S. For the most part, in Kansas the YEC’s and the non-YEC IDists agree in their denial of common descent.

  75. 75
    ultimate175 says:

    Jerry has been implying that ID=YEC, in part due to “lack of explicit renunciation” in Kansas, as alleged by Ted Davis. It should be clear now that this is erroneous. The IDN is the voice of ID in Kansas, and their record is clear. The IDN’s point of contention is the dogmatic and often undisclosed use of materialism to both proffer certain unsubstantiated explanations, and censor other pieces of data that would likely be construed unsupportive of Darwinism.

    Jack, if you would, I’d like you to elaborate on the YEC witnesses at the hearings. Who were they? How do you know they’re YEC? And if they are, how is it relevant to the 2005 standards, since those standards had nothing to do with YEC matters? It seems to me that this is really a double fallacy (red herring and guilt by association).

    This brings up another point you made on which I’d like you to expound. What YEC arguments were offered by “most of the supporters”?

    I think the last point, that “at least 90% of the people in Kansas who supported” these standards are YEC, is dubious at best. But none the less I’m appreciative that you recognize that ID does not equal YEC, even in Kansas.

  76. 76
    jerry says:


    Thank you for your comments. Is there anything in writing or on the internet about what was done during each of the years?

  77. 77
    ultimate175 says:

    Jerry, did you read the link I posted before?

  78. 78
    ultimate175 says:

    I had another post in response to Jack that hasn’t appeared. Can a moderator tell me if it’s in the holding tank, or if it just disappeared?

  79. 79
    jerry says:


    What I read was changes to the science standards in 2005. None seemed to be really controversial and it gave room to question a lot of neo Darwinism while not proclaiming anything that was YEC.

    Is that how you or others read these changes.

    There was nothing about the sub-text of who argued what either in 2005 or in 1999.

  80. 80
    ultimate175 says:

    Jerry, I agree with your interpretation, and disagree with Jack’s account of events in some respects. I think he is greatly overstating his case in regards to YEC arguments used in 2005, especially considering there was nothing of note in the changes that even relates to YEC matters.

    I can assure you, however, that the 2005 changes were extremely controversial to people like Jack and the Darwinist machine, precisely because they did “give room to question a lot of neo-Darwinism”.

  81. 81
    Jack Krebs says:

    To Patrick: it appears I have been put on moderation, which had not been the case before a few days ago. As I said in another post (which has not gone through), this really makes it impossible to participate: I can’t have a conversation with people if it takes hald a day or more for a comment to go through.

    If my participation is still welcome here, could you look into this matter.


  82. 82
    Forthekids says:


    Kathy Martin is Catholic and NOT a YEC, and she was one of the three board members who was involved in the science hearings. I know this because I had several conversations with her. The only two I know who specifically leaned toward the YE perspective were Abrams and Morris.

    There was nothing in the 2005 standards that the conservative board approved that had any impact on the age of the earth…no YEC arguments in those standards whatsoever.

    Several news articles went as far as saying that evolution had been taken out of the standards and curriculum altogether. In reality, the changes that were made were highly insignificant overall. They could have possibly opened up classroom discussion to considering some of the controversial issues surrounding the ToE, but that’s about it.

    Jack and KCFS went off the deep end with their scare tactics and ended up making the state of Kansan look foolish. In reality, the conservative board members were NOT a bunch of raving fanatical YECers. They were reasonable, rational individuals who had concerns about the dogma being forced upon Kansas schools.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    Jack Krebs says:


  85. 85
    Jack Krebs says:

    Hi all – I appear to be back on immediate access, which is good.

    First, I’d like to point out to ultimate175 and ftk that I didn’t say there were YEC arguments in the 2005 standards. In fact I wrote in #73 above:

    The standards themselves did not contain YEC arguments as the 1999 ones did, but most of the supporters did offer YEC arguments at various times when discussing the standards.

    and I wrote,

    most or all of the rest of the ID group on the standards committee and the conservative members of the state BOE were YEC, and a substantial number of the witnesses at the 2005 science hearings.

    Ftk says that Board members Abrams and Morris “leaned toward the YE perspective,” but that is too mild of a statement: they are definitely young-earth creationists and have readily said so, and so is Board member John Bacon and then-Board member Iris Van Meter. Kathy Martin may not be, and I don’t know about Ken Williard.

    There were eight members of the ID group on the standards, and I know that a majority of them were young-earth creationists, and that they occasionally offered YEC arguments during discussion during the committee meetings.

    Also, a number of other YEC were supporters of and workers for IDN during this time: Celtie Johnson, Mark Mathews, Paul Ackerman, Ken Carlson.

    The truth is that there are lots of YEC in Kansas, and I believe from extensive interaction with the issue that most of the people who have vocally supported the IDN in Kansas are YEC.

    Utimate175 writes,

    Jack, if you would, I’d like you to elaborate on the YEC witnesses at the hearings. Who were they? How do you know they’re YEC?

    I know because we asked about 2/3rds of them how old they thought the earth was, and a number of them said young: Sanford, Leonard, Ely, DeHart, Bryson and perhaps others. You can read the transcripts of this at if you’re interested.

    Ultimate175 asks,

    And if they are, how is it relevant to the 2005 standards, since those standards had nothing to do with YEC matters? It seems to me that this is really a double fallacy (red herring and guilt by association).

    I’m not making any claims about all this – I’m just trying to answer some factual questions about the situations in Kansas that were raised by ultimate175 in posts #62 and #66 above, including supporting his claim that YEC stuff was in the 1999 standards but not in the 2005 standards.

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