In a recent book, Michael Shermer, whoÃ‚Â ” once aspired to Christian ministry, now is one of the most hostile critics of Christianity” (according to Touchstone Magazine‘s Russell D. Moore), holds forth as follows:
In a feature article in the Christian magazine Touchstone, [William] Dembski was even more direct: ‘Intelligent Design is just the Logos theory of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.’
Make no mistake about it. Creationists and their Intelligent Design brethern do not just want equal time, they want all the time they can get.
First, I find the title of Shermer’s book interesting. If Darwin really mattered, Shermer wouldn’t be writing a book insisting that he does.
I mean, who writes a book called “why better gas mileage matters” or “why preventing cancer matters”? Evident benefits prompt no defence.
And if Darwin is not an evident benefit, after all these years – as National Academy of Sciences member Phil Skell took the risk of pointing out recently in Science – well then he just isn’t.
Re Dembski’s quoted comment, tech guru George Gilder recently said much the same thing.
It’s not a question of sectarian religion. Either the universe is top down, as all traditional philosophies/religions/karmic traditions teach – in which case intelligence/information comes first.
Or it is bottom up, as Shermer and others hope – in which case time and chance somehow produce information and intelligence.
The latter is coming to seem less and less likely all the time, henceÃ‚Â Shermer’s (and others’)Ã‚Â frantic insistence that Darwin matters.
By the way, Touchstone is a great ecumenical Christian religion mag. It recently published an excellent summary of Catholic teachings on evolution – especially welcome because of the huge amount of misunderstanding/misrepresentation (who really knows which, in some cases?) regularly retailed on that subject.
The skinny: The Catholic Church does not and cannot support Darwinism. It actually never did, but so many American religion profs and journalists cannot believe that it doesn’t that they react by simply asserting that it does, or retailing the views of dissidents instead..
And yes, you can bet thatÃ‚Â DembskiÃ‚Â and friendsÃ‚Â want “all the time they can get.” Who doesn’t? Time is a finite resource, and we all want more of it.