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“Why intelligent design will change everything”

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Lynn Barton, college educated home-schooling ex-stock broker mother of two tells it like it is:

Like a fierce game of whack-a-mole, wherever I.D.’s politically incorrect head pops up, its opponents rush to smack it back down.

I am enjoying all this tremendously. What makes it so much fun to watch is that so far not one of the critics understands it.

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Note: be forwarned that the article isn’t entirely accurate technically. But it should be good fodder for discussion here.

I wish it occurred to more people that it is the truth we are after, truth at all costs, which we must seek sincerely and diligently. Truth can never separate us from God, and should never be feared. Seek truth first, and all else will be added. avocationist
Kathy, I sympathize with you. I do not like the way AiG does business. However, I encourage you to keep an open mind. I was an Old Earther but some developments with the speed of light changed my mind to YEC. AiG suppressed the work of other YEC's and that's why their arguments are so unconvincing, because the more convincing YEC proofs lie elsewhere (go to www.creationscience.com). That said, it's a shame the YEC community can not appreciate Privileged Planet or the works of John Davison because of their insulated culture. This is some of the best ID work out their. As a side note, I was at the big premeire of Privileged Planet in the Smithsonian. It felt like I was at the debut of major Hollywood movie. Richards and Gonzalez were in the tuxedos and their spouses in glamorous evening gowns, and champagne being served up in the Smithsonian hall of gems, with reporters and dignitaries gathered. It was night I'll never forget. Salvador scordova
Tiax said: "If science let’s you say ‘there is a designer’, it doesn’t follow that tacking on ‘and he is the god of the bible’ is therefore also science." Thats *exactly* the point that is being constantly missed by ID critics. David Hume, Immanuel Kant et al made this point centuries ago. Nevertheless, detecting the effects of agency is empirical and therefore scientific, but it is a leap beyond science into the metaphysical to say that the said agent is the God of the bible. If anyone takes the effort to read what people like Prof Dembski have written, it is clear that ID takes great effort to respect this disctinction. antg
"I’m a little confused as to how ID can be the powerful cultural force she claims it to be." Personally I don't expect a mass wave of people rushing into places of worship if ID were to be widely accepted and known. What I do expect is less of a tendency for intellectual, religious individuals to be sucked in by the academic pressure to adhere to the Darwinian philosophy and, ultimately, succumb to atheism. ID will put a stop to that, and end this silly, nonexistant "religion vs. science" debate that forces people to choose sides. jasonng
I'm new to the ID movement, so articles like this confuse me. I get that shes wrong about a bunch of stuff, but I think (I THINK I'm not sure) that ID accepts evolution within a certain species. But then, what are we positing is "intelligently designed"? The whole human being, or every animal? Or just a cell? Or certain very specific body structures? I would prefer it to be a whole human being...is there evidence for that? And also, if we accept evolution within a species, then isn't the category of "species" just manmade anyway? What I mean is, if we accept that, than why don't we accept that maybe that could happen ENOUGH to create a new species? I'm sorry, just a few clarifications would be great. jt636

I'm a little confused as to how ID can be the powerful cultural force she claims it to be. As has been said many times, ID doesn't let us name names as to who or what does the designing. Sure, people can assign names as their personal beliefs lead them to, but everyone will agree this is outside the realm of ID. How then can Intelligent Design be used to promote Christian values? It seems that these would retain their current status - religious beliefs - no matter how widespread acceptance of ID is. If science let's you say 'there is a designer', it doesn't follow that tacking on 'and he is the god of the bible' is therefore also science.

In the end, I think that this attitude that ID in support of Christian values tends to feed the belief that it is a religion rather than a science.

Well at least it isn't as blatant as Richard "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist" Dawkins. :cool: -ds Tiax
I attend a church where most of the leadership support the Answers in Genesis attempts to make "science" fit a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-2. Ironically, they showed the video from "The Privileged Planet" on the big screen at church, and in a classic case of "I saw the movie but I didn't read the book," they thought it was the best thing since Answers in Genesis to prove their points about creation. My husband bought the book for me, and it was reading it that opened my eyes, mind, and heart to the elegant, irreducible complexity (to borrow a term) of the cosmological design that should be interpreting scripture for us, not the other way around. I made the mistake of telling my pastors that I no longer believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis. My pastors wanted to call a meeting to get me to come to the right interpretation. I e-mailed Dr. Gonzalez, (I live in Ames, Iowa) and he gave me some scholarly references to read on the subject. My husband recommended some books, too, and supported me even though he's not persuaded to change his beliefs. I told my pastors that I'm thrilled to discover that good science ultimately exalts the Designer and that's how I interpret Genesis. Science points to scriptural truth that transcends all the paradigm rungs we must climb in the process of discovering everything the Designer wants us to know. The pastors cancelled the meeting, but I think they're watching me to see what new heresy I'll start believing. I spent some time reading the John Davidson abstracts yesterday and I want to thank everyone who contributes to this site for making this information accessible to those of us who are so hungry for truth and real science. I hope Lynn Barton gets a track-back to the site and catches up. She's on the right track. kathy
Added a disclaimer to the post. Hopefully that helps... dougmoran


I agree that Ms Barton has a few misconceptions about ID - in fact, a few big ones. But DS is right that the big picture is what's important here. Regarding her comments about the cell being irruducibly complex, that just points to a person who understands the concept of IC but doesn't understand the difference between an IC machine in the cell and the cell itself. I think that's understandable given the source.

What struck me about this op. was not so much the technical accuracy of what ID or Darwinism is, because again the big picture is pretty much as she said. I think she does a great job characterizing the current state of afairs regarding the controversy of ID and the impact it is having on the scientific community, their reactions, etc, as well as the intellectual elite, the three branches of government, and overall social implications. Tying it into future social changes is a stretch - but not such a long stretch given the impact Darwinism has had in the opposite direction.

But mostly I just thought it was a great piece to stimulate discussion. Hopefully it does that.

I would add that I have no problem with this post being removed if it is felt to be too technically inacurate to be permitted here.

dougmoran, Thank you for referencing this article. There are some editorial changes I would have made, but let me say, selling ID to the Christian community has not been completely easy, and this article is much appreciated in that it appears in a news publication that caters by and large to a Christian audience. There are some creationists who find ID compromising and are offended that ID doesn't have any reference to the Bible. I did not find out the kind of opposition ID has in the evangelical community until some of them tried to recruit me to help get creationism in the public schools. How quick people were to label me in their minds as a compromosier since I subscribed to ID. Last year Dr. Georgia Purdom slammed ID in the YEC mega-conference. There were 2000 pastors and Bible teacher there who came away with the message that ID is not something that should be welcomed whole heartedly by the church. Dr. Georgia Purdom of Answers in Genesis, Negative on ID These Bible teachers went back to their congregations and likely passed on what ever they heard at the YEC mega confrerence. I'm glad some people in the church are supporting ID as good for the church because ID is good science and ultimately friendly to the church's aims. Salvador scordova
I read Ms. Barton's first few paragraphs with growing enthusiasm. But then she began to make missatements and to overreach with comments like, "Scratch any social ill and you will find Darwinism underneath." Her agenda seemed to shift. By the end of the piece I'm afraid my enthusiasm was completely gone. Sorry. Lutepisc
"I.D. theory is concerned with the origin of life only." That seems an odd thing to say. jwrennie

Sorry for the double comment, but I just caught this:

"nor does it [ID theory] address the question of whether natural selection could lead to the development of entirely new species. I.D. theory is concerned with the origin of life only."

Do I have a massive misconception of what intelligent design is all about, or is she wrong about this? I always thought that the point behind ID was that change between species, or at least some higher taxa was impossible without design, especially since it's always posed as an alternative to evolution, not an alternative to abiogenesis.

You're both wrong. Read the sidebar for the quick definition of ID. -ds Tiax

"You can't improve the cell through one random mutation at a time because if you change any one aspect, the whole thing will crash. For evolutionary change to occur, every single piece of its Rube Goldberg-like factory would have to mutate at exactly the same time, and each single mutation would have to be beneficial, or the cell would just die."

You've got to be kidding me. How is this a 'must read' when she's throwing garbage like this at us?

I must admit she doesn't seem to have a good grasp of the details and I had a similar reaction to the same statement. Amazing that she still gets the big picture right and you don't though, isn't it? Be that as it may, since you're an antagonist I suggest you tone down rhetoric like "throwing garbage" if you expect to continue here. -ds


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