Christian Darwinism Intelligent Design

Why do Christian Darwinists care so little for facts?

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Evolution News and Views Oh, call them “Christian evolutionists” if you want. Terminology wars are fun but let’s talk about facts.

In “Karl Giberson Has a Problem With Bill Dembski’s “View of Science”, Anika Smith (ENV, May 13, 2011) responds to Giberson’s article at Patheos,

When he finally does get around to addressing Dembski himself [after a side trip into young earth creationism], Giberson objects to Dembski’s use of marketing metaphors as an ad hominem attack, which is strange considering that Dembski wrote that this is something that scientists and people with ideas generally ought to communicate and advance them, with nothing cynical or slimy about it. Either Giberson is hypersensitive and looking for an excuse to display his lofty umbrage, or he is working to avoid the actual questions raised by Dembski’s review. Most likely it’s both.He does, however, give us a nice quote for giggles:

The scientific literature is not filled with growing concerns about the viability of the theory; scientific meetings do not have sessions devoted to alternative explanations for origins; and leading scientists are not on record objecting to the continuous and blinkered embrace of evolution by their colleagues.

Has he never heard of Jerry Fodor? Lynn Margulis? The Altenberg 16?

That’s a question I too have wrestled with, while writing a book, and here’s my assessment. First, let me state the question: Why are Christian Darwinists like Giberson systematically blind and deaf to the fact that there are good science reasons for doubting Darwin?

Smith attempts, politely, to exculpate Giberson on the ground of ignorance. While that’s an excuse for lay people, in a scholar, ignorance is a serious fault and not a harmless one. One must ask, “What should he reasonably know, given his position?” He should reasonably have known about Fodor, Margulis, and Altenberg. This stuff has been news for years.

One could, of course, spill the contents of the overloaded news drawer for this file on everyone’s face, but why bother. I came to the conclusion that Christian Darwinists are not especially interested in facts because their project is not about facts.

They are interested in exposing “intellectually impoverished” evangelicals to shame and ridicule for their “humiliating” disbelief in consensus science, to drive them onto the foundering SS Darwin. Then Giberson and his colleagues will be spared social humiliation in front of fashionable Darwinists – but can still be influential evangelical Christians.

If that’s the project, I now understand: The Christian Darwinist can’t address facts because there are good reasons for doubting Darwin. Thus he risk s replacing wrong doubts with right ones, thus worsening his own plight. The only solution for him is never to grapple with legitimate doubts – except to attack those who raise them – and leave it to the ID folk to explain to evangelical Christians the good reasons for doubting Darwin.

And I leave it to the reader to judge which group is worth more to the evangelical Christian community now.

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