Cryptic Ichthus

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Bill Dembski complains of the injustice of being referred to, with his Discovery Institute colleagues, as an “Intelligent Design Creationist.” It’s possible, he writes, to believe in Intelligent Design and to not be a creationist, therefore the term “Intelligent Design Creationist” cannot be accurate. This criticism makes the logically dubious claim that since some ID advocates are not creationists then “Intelligent Design Creationists” don’t exist. However, as long as there is a brand of creationism that is identifiable as being of the “Intelligent Design” flavor, then there is such a thing as “Intelligent Design Creationism.” (It is this flavor of creationism, as creationism, that Rob Pennock and Barbara Forrest address in their criticisms.) The “Intelligent Design” strain of creationism deserves special notice because it is particularly insidious. Unlike its predecessor “Scientific Creationism,” IDC has attempted to present a false public face devoid of any commitment to theological particulars.

The emergence of “Intelligent Design Creationism” from “Scientific Creationism” is not a haphazard conjecture. The connections are very well researched, and many of the players and their tactics are exactly the same. As the current advocates of ID, including Bill “any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient” Dembski make clear (when they are speaking to an audience of like-minded believers), Intelligent Design is the bridge between science and theology (see, for example, Dembski, W., 1999, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill.).

In his IDtheFuture post Dembski writes:

To see that the creationist label is misleading, consider that one can advocate intelligent design without advocating creationism. Creationism typically denotes a literal interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis as well as an attempt to harmonize science with this interpretation. It can also denote the view common to theists that a personal transcendent God created the world (a view taught by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). In either case, however, creationism presupposes that the world came into being through a creative power separate from the world.

It may be true that “one can advocate intelligent design without advocating creationism.” There are message-board contributors who advocate Intelligent Design ideas that are certainly not “creationist” in the ways that Dembski identifies. But except to provide cover from charges of sectarianism, these theorists make little contribution to the ID program. Rather than asking “can one be an IDist and not a creationist?”, the germane question should be “are the major proponents of ID creationists?”

One doesn’t need to plumb the depths of these advocates’ personal faiths to reach a conclusion. The public writings and pronouncements of an appreciable sample of the ID leadership contain plenty of creationist assertions, that is, that the world’s origin came about via a creative power separate from the world. (The only difference between this claim and ID is that the latter pretends to find empirical and naturalistic evidence for that origin.) There are certainly Intelligent Design advocates who are creationists.

“Intelligent Design Creationism” is a useful term because it recognizes the historical flow of the creationist movement. When it became clear that religion could not be taught in science classrooms, “scientific creationism” was invented to put a veneer of respectability over creationist claims. When that failed in the courts, the opponents of evolutionary biology took a further step into vagueness. They purged their public vocabularies of religious-sounding claims and asserted that there was no religious content at all in their “scientific” endeavors.

Dembski’s claim that ID and Creationism are generally exclusive is especially amusing given the masthead under which he writes.

The science graduate degrees held by the main contributors to “IDtheFuture” are outnumbered by the graduate degrees held in theology. At least one of the contributors is known to be a Young Earth Creationist (and Dembski himself has frequently hedged about his belief that the earth is greater than 6000 years old.) Unless the “Intelligent Design” beliefs of this group are wholly separate from their creationist beliefs, there is demonstrably an overlap between the two concepts.

Finally, the alert reader of IDtheFuture will note that in the blog’s header (reproduced below) there appears to be the not-very-well hidden icon of persecuted early Christianity, the Icthus, complete with pectoral fins and right eye. An extraordinary coincidence, if it accidentally emerged from the design. If put there intentionally, the cryptic icthus makes an eloquent point about the true relationship of Christian theology to Intelligent Design, Dembski’s protestations notwithstanding. Like the icthus on the DI header, the presence of creationism within “Intelligent Design” is hidden in plain sight.

109 Comments

An excellent essay by Mike Gene for readers’ consideration: “Intelligent Design Creationism”

http://www.idthink.net/back/idc/

“There is one good thing about the term “Intelligent Design Creationism.” Those who use the term to make sense of this debate give themselves away as being biased and incapable of considering this debate objectively. When one relies on stereotypes to inform their opinions about issues, it is fairly safe to say that you are dealing with a mindset that thinks the issues have been resolved and we should move on to labeling and fighting people who got it wrong. After all, is it a coincidence that every one who uses the term “Intelligent Design Creationism” also just happens to think that ID is nonsense?”

FL

I think a good test of whether or not one is an Intelligent Design Creationist is whether or not they cite evolution itself as evidence for intelligent design. For the special creationist in ID clothing, evolution (beyond a certain trivial level) is anathema, no matter how intelligent it would be to design species with the ability to adapt to changing and hostile conditions. For the person who believes in Intelligent Design, without any a priori obligation to special creationist dogma, the design of evolution itself could and should form the core of the case for ID. Hence, systematic bias against the intelligent design of evolution is a good indicator of whether one is an Intelligent Design Creationist.

Horsehocky. My edition of Webster’s defines creation as

1: the act of creating;esp: the act of bringing the world into ordered existence

So, does this or does this not sound like the argument from design that the ID creationists use? ID is a subset of creationism. We should not let them play semantic tricks to deny their history, let alone their intent.

Horsehocky. My edition of Webster’s defines creation as

1: the act of creating;esp: the act of bringing the world into ordered existence

So, does this or does this not sound like the argument from design that the ID creationists use? ID is a subset of creationism. We should not let them play semantic tricks to deny their history, let alone their intent.

So, using this very same definition, y’all should be labeling theistic evolutionists as “creationists” just as often as you do with ID advocates. Why are y’all not doing so? Hmmmm?

FL

I think Dembski is correct. “Intelligent Design Creationist” is obviously a name chosen with hostility towards the ID program in mind (even if the users feel that hostility is justified since the program consists entirely of dishonest PR spinmeistering.)

That is why I use the value-neutral, baggage-free terms “Dembskiist” and “Dembskiism.”

“Dembskiism” accurately denotes the ground-breaking work of the Isaac Newton of Information Theory which is the mathematical basis for all the scientific discoveries made by ID and the practical applications thereof.

Furthermore, when discussing the subject with the general public, using “Dembskiism” allows one to avoid the confusingly vague term “Intelligent Design”, which many might mistakenly think had something to do with industrial engineering or interior decorating. Or with Creationism, for that matter, since Creationists propose an Intelligent Designer too.

So, using this very same definition, y’all should be labeling theistic evolutionists as “creationists” just as often as you do with ID advocates. Why are y’all not doing so? Hmmmm?

My understanding is that this distinction is drawn on this very blog several times a day. There are those who think evolution is the technique by which the Creator allows new life forms to arise, and those who think the Creator uses some other method. Evolution is a scientific theory – the best current explanation for all known evidence. In this respect it is just like any other scientific theory. It’s logically permissible to presume that a Creator uses those processes and mechanisms science as a whole investigates, as His chosen tools amd methods. Why not?

The dispute isn’t over whether there is a Creator at all. The dispute is over whether what appear to be real-world natural processes have in fact resulted in what we see around us.

I dunno, Flint. I think I understand what you’re saying there, but all the same, I clearly do NOT see PT evolutionists attaching the specific labels “creationism” or “creationists” whenever they use the terms “theistic evolution” or “theistic evolutionists” in their posts and threads.

In contrast (~highly visible~ contrast, I might add), you can clearly see the labels “creationism” or “creationists” attached to the term “Intelligent Design” very often around here, nearly all the time in fact, by PT’s pro-evolution posters.

Using Frank Schmidt’s Webster-definition of “creation”, however, there appears to be no rational reason for such a double-standard among PT pro-evolution posters.

Therefore, PT pro-evolution posters should be publicly labeling theistic evolution (-ists) as “creationism (-ists)” just as often as they do Intelligent Design and ID advocates.

But, as I look at various threads and posts, PT evolutionists are clearly NOT doing so. My question remains, why? Why the double standard on the part of pro-evolution posters?

FL

FL:

I don’t see this double standard, but I’ll try not to assume you are playing semantic hide-and-seek. The term “creationists” is used very consistently here, to describe those who do NOT accept that current life forms evolved from some common ancestor, and do NOT accept that the theory of evolution adequately describes the mechanism by which this happened. In general, it’s not really expected that anyone who denies that something happened at all, would turn around and accept an explanation for what they deny happened.

And by this usage, theistic evolutionists aren’t creationists. If you visit the ARN board, you will find that while not every Officially Approved Poster wears his faith in Christ on his sleeve, they are united by a common rejection of the theory of evolution, generally considered as random mutation plus natural selection. I personally wouldn’t consider some of these people creationists.

There are also some people who regard complex adaptive systems as inherently creative and as having some non-embodied emergent “intelligence” in some general sense. These people aren’t creationists either, though they might state that evolutionary processes create new life forms (technically true).

So what distinguishes intelligent design are the underlying assumptions about the methods used by the intelligent designer. If that designer is implicitly assumed to be a single quasi-human agent whose activities violate the theory of evolution, then whoever takes this position meets the usage of “creationist” as it is found here (and nearly everywhere else).

So I think you are attempting to sow confusion where none exists. There is no double standard. Anyone who believes in a “designer” or “creator” who uses evolution as commonly understood as the means of design and creation simply does not qualify for the term “creationist” as applied. We could probably substitute “evolution-rejector” and almost nobody involved in the entire issue would have to change places in any way.

IDists are creationists in a stronger sense than just believing in God creating the universe. Many traditional evolutionists and other scientists believe that – although they would typically say it is an extra-scientific conclusion, not something you would teach in a high school science class. IDists are all, at a minimum, “special creationists” who believe that God has periodically intervened and “poofed” things existence during the history of life – organisms, IC structures, and/or “information”.

They won’t say it, but these all involve violations of the laws of thermodynamics – conservation of mass/energy is obviously violated in most cases, and even merely rearranging molecules in a DNA chain would require expenditure of energy. In other words, extremely reliable physical laws are discarded arbitrarily by IDists based on a few flaky claims of “gaps” in their misunderstanding of evolution. This, I suspect, is part of why physicists so often rush to the defense of the biologists.

FL

So, using this very same definition, y’all should be labeling theistic evolutionists as “creationists” just as often as you do with ID advocates. Why are y’all not doing so? Hmmmm?

Because the theistic evolutionists around here are not anti-science axxholes like the ID creationists, who strive to have their religious beliefs taught as science in public school science classrooms.

That’s why.

Also, when most of us say “creationist” around here we are almost always referring to the “argument from ignorance”, “goddiddit”, and “Genesis is science” crowd inclusively. If your dictionary doesn’t reflect this usage now, it likely will in the future.

Finally, the alert reader of IDtheFuture will note that in the blog’s header (reproduced below) there appears to be the not-very-well hidden icon of persecuted early Christianity, the Icthus, complete with pectoral fins and right eye.

I guess I’m not alert because I didn’t notice it. But the likelihood that the fish “just happened” is less than the likelihood that the flagella evolved without divine intervention.

Found on a search and had to share.

With all sincere (?) apologies to G & S:

I am the very model of the Modern Fundigelical, “It’s Information!” veg’table or animal, not mineral; I know the men of Science, and I quote their fights historical, From phlo-giston to quantum hum, in order categorical; I’m very well acquainted too with matters mathematical, I coin complex equations, crunching concepts problematical, Thinking theorems thermo’namical I’m gushing with a glut o’ news: I’ve fancy alleged finds about new legs to that hypotenuse. I’m very good at integral and differential probabling, I know some scientific names of beings fornicabaling; In short, in matters veg’table or animal, not mineral, I bring my background prejudice as Modern Fundigelical.

I know my mythic history, Saint Anslem’s and Sir Caradoc’s, I answer hard acrostics, I’ve developed taste for paradox. I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Science savers’ suss, Not noting Nature’s vile peculiarities Diabolus. I see specified complexity in Dada art and Zoffanies, Not hearing chorus croaking from “The Frogs” by Aristophanes. Then I can write a laundry list in Babylonic cuneiform, And calculate the hist’ry of flagella’s micro-uniforms; Thus I can claim a case for which I’ve “done the probability,” And whistle all the airs of “Irreducible Complexity.” In short, in matters veg’table or animal, not mineral, I “count the information” a la Modern Fundigelical.

In fact, when I know what is meant by “deductin’ “ and “product’in “, When I can tell at sight where Life’s great Treeform felt God’s Javelin, When such affairs as theories and discov’ries I’m more wary at, When I know more precisely what is meant by “lab’ratoriat?”, When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern scienc-ries, When I grasp my genetics more than novices in nunneries; In short, when I’ve a smattering of elemental bio-gy, You’ll cry “No Greater Fundigelical has Ever Lived than Thee!”

See my scientary knowledge, though I’m plucky and adventury, Had only been brought down from a late date of the last century; But still in matters veg’table or animal, not mineral, I’ll push NonInformation like a Modern Fundigelical!!

“My edition of Webster’s defines creation as

1: the act of creating;esp: the act of bringing the world into ordered existence”

verified. even the latest edition (online) uses the same definition as its primary definition.

does anyone else find this to be an odd primary definition of the word creation?

certainly not the definition that springs to mind in everyday conversation, is it?

sir_toejam,

Are you aware that Merriam Webster’s is owned by the Church of Christ, Scientist?

Try searching it for other belief-sensitive definitions, such as for the word “God”:

The Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.

Now compare it to, say, MicroSoft’s Encarta World Dictionary (print edition):

The being believed in monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Islam, and Christianity to be the all-powerful all-knowing creator of the universe, worshiped as the only god.

Begging the question, anyone?

My first brilliant insight of the year:

Notice how IDists differ on many of what would appear to be central tenets of their worldview? If you don’t like YEC, we’re old-earth. But it’s ok if you’re young-earth too. Christian? Atheist? All ok. Makes it hard to boil ID down to its essence. With apologies to 50 million American Catholics, I’ve got a name for this.…

Cafeteria Creationism!

Whaddya think?

“Are you aware that Merriam Webster’s is owned by the Church of Christ, Scientist?”

no, i wasn’t!

However, it now seems logical in retrospect. thanks for the tip.

cheers

hmm. double checking on that produces no mention of CCS in ownership.

rather, as of 1996, it shows it as being owned by the Benton Foundation (as part of Encycopedia Brittanica, Inc., and subsequently sold to an investment group led by Jacob Safra. As of at least 1999, this was still the case.

did this change? I sure couldn’t find any reference to it. do you have the link to documentation showing the changeover?

or are you just pulling my leg for kicks?

So, using this very same definition, y’all should be labeling theistic evolutionists as “creationists” just as often as you do with ID advocates. Why are y’all not doing so? Hmmmm?

In fact, some theistic evolutionists have called themselves creationists (Dobzhansky comes to mind), by way of pointing out that belief in a higher power that created life is not mutually exclusive with a belief that evolution is the process by which that happened.

However, over the last several decades, the term “creationist” has come to denote that specific strain of thought which is opposed to evolution on religious grounds and whose adherents believe that living things were created spontaneously through miraculous acts. By that definition, intelligent-design advocates most certainly are creationists. The only difference between them and the hardcore young-earth crowd is that they refuse to provide any additional details on where or when they think those miraculous acts took place.

“Creationism”, in everyday usage, tends to mean one of two things: It can either mean the beliefs subscribed to by those who call themselves creationists, or it can mean the socio-political movement engaged in by those who call themselves creationists. As for the latter, the connections between ID and creationism are so thorough that it’s hardly worth trying to separate them into separate movements. ID is in fact a form of creationism by this usage, and it would be dishonest for its proponents to deny it.

As for the first usage, it’s not always clear what “creationism” entails. I generally consider one who believes in special creation of “kinds” of organisms to be a “creationist”. So someone who believes in common descent, like Michael Behe, is not a creationist. However, someone who rejects common descent, like Phillip Johnson, is. Keep in mind that this definition is more or less arbitrary, but I think it’s the most useful. According to this definition, most leading members of the ID movement are creationists, and that probably includes Dembski.

Whatever the case, it’s clear that for all of their whining at being likened to creationists, the ID movement has consistenly forged alliances with traditional creationists, and steadfastly refused to take any action or make any statement denouncing creationism, including the young-Earth variety, as scientifically incorrect. So even if we assume that IDists are not creationists, whatever we mean by the term, it is their own fault that such ambiguity exists to begin with.

moioci Wrote:

Cafeteria Creationism!

Whaddya think?

I like it. I will steal it. :)

Matt Brauer Wrote:

Finally, the alert reader of IDtheFuture will note that in the blog’s header (reproduced below) there appears to be the not-very-well hidden icon of persecuted early Christianity, the Icthus, complete with pectoral fins and right eye. An extraordinary coincidence, if it accidentally emerged from the design.

I have to admit, while it certainly might be intentional, it strikes me as most likely a coincidence.

Far more telling IMO is the DI’s old banner with God directly zapping a DNA molecule:

http://tinyurl.com/4oc6h

Cafeteria Creationism!

Whaddya think?

Here’s another one, “Intelligently-Designed Creationism”

“Dembskiism” is too close to “Lysenkoism” for my taste. Plus, it’s unfair to Bill, I hope.

I don’t see this double standard, but I’ll try not to assume you are playing semantic hide-and-seek.

Thanks, Flint. And I’ll try not to assume likewise of you, either. (Now GWW is another matter, but let us set that issue aside for now). :-)

However, in order for you to be able to argue for a consistent PT usage of the term “creationism / creationist”, you’ve clearly abandoned Frank’s Webster-definition, entirely so, and instead substituted a definition of your own. Duly noted.

But even with that move, there seems to be a question to be asked about arbitrary PT usage of that label. On the one hand, you said:

The term “creationists” is used very consistently here, to describe those who do NOT accept that current life forms evolved from some common ancestor, and do NOT accept that the theory of evolution adequately describes the mechanism by which this happened.

Okay, that’s on the table, but then on the other hand, you said:

If you visit the ARN board, you will find that while not every Officially Approved Poster wears his faith in Christ on his sleeve, they are united by a common rejection of the theory of evolution, generally considered as random mutation plus natural selection. I personally wouldn’t consider some of these people creationists.

…Which means, in principle, that a person could reject both (1) the quoted claim that “current life forms evolved from some common ancestor”, and (2) the quoted claim “that the theory of evolution adequately describes the mechanism by which this happened” and yet not be a creationist.

In plain terms, then, I as a person who favors advocating the ID hypothesis, can thus plausibly reject both claims of your first quoted paragraph and yet not be a creationist after all, just like some of the ARN people whom you personally don’t consider to be creationists. That, honestly, is the bottom line of your two paragraphs taken together.

So under those circumstances, I’m kinda left wondering, yet again, why PT pro-evolution folks consistently, nearly always, attach the “creationism” label to Intelligent Design and its advocates. Once again, upon closer examination, such labeling looks like an arbitrary choice, just as it did under Frank’s definition and comments. What that tells me, then, is that there exists uo single, uniform, consistent definition of a “creationist”. This also tells me that when I see somebody using the phrase “Intelligent Design Creationism” or “IDC”, I’m looking at a clearly arbritrary designation, a backhanded quasi-pejorative offered by somebody who may well fit the description offered by Mike Gene in the link above. (Hopefully PT posters took time to seriously think about what Mike Gene said.)

In fact, Dembski’s article offered a surprising (but extremely pointed and inescapable) example of this very arbitrariness. Let’s look closer:

When (Kenneth) Miller tries to drag God and Darwin to the bargaining table (by finding design or purpose underlying the laws of physics), his sense of proportion or probability abandons him, and he himself proves to be just another “God of the Gaps” creationist. That is, he joins Phillip Johnson, William Dembski, and company in seizing upon the not-yet-explained as if it must be a locus of intentional action by the Christian deity.

—–UC professor Frederick Crews, New York Review of Books, 10-18-2001

Imagine that, folks. Theistic evolutionist Ken Miller getting slammed with the “creationist” label simply because he wrote something another evolutionist didn’t like. Go figure!

No wonder Dembski wrote what he wrote.

No wonder Mike Gene wrote what he wrote.

No wonder I agree with them both.

So I think you are attempting to sow confusion

For the record, I am not. I took both your definition/comments, and Frank’s likewise, with equal seriousness, and I believe my assessment of both have been as rational and as fair as possible (to speak in my own defense, if I may.)

But let’s be clear on this: Even if I were indeed so motivated to sow some bad seed around here, it wouldn’t change the present situation on the table. In fact, the arbritrariness by which y’all Darwinists (collectively speaking) are labeling folks as “creationists”, would give me all the bad seed I needed for plenty good sowin’s and plenty delicious harvestin’s. Now ain’t that the truth, Flint?

FL

Quickie typo correction; sorry about that. The following sentence should read:

What that tells me, then, is that there exists no single, uniform, consistent definition of a “creationist”.

FL

FL Wrote:

…What that tells me, then, is that there exists uo single, uniform, consistent definition of a “creationist”.

In fact, the arbritrariness by which y’all Darwinists (collectively speaking) are labeling folks as “creationists”

I guess FL rejects the term “creationist” as applied to him. Just for the record, I reject the term “Darwinist” applied to me.

“Creationism” has come to accurately label people who are united in their belief that whatever Darwin said, Darwin was wrong. That belief is shared by the traditional young-Earth creationists and the modern ID creationists. That belief is not shared by anyone who understands evolution.

“What that tells me, then, is that there exists uo single, uniform, consistent definition of a “creationist”. “

it’s very simple, really, those of us who are tired of trolls attempt to lump them under one guise so it’s easier to address them.

since you have convinced us you are not a troll, you get to label yourself.

I see no difference between the logic here, and on any other forum i have EVER pariticipated in.

you are assumed to be a troll, until you can prove otherwise.

trying to extrapolate forum behavior into a general consesus statement is a bit like trying to claim the internet is entirely reflective of all of human society.

can someone please point out the relative value of this discussion of nomenclature?

FL said:

What that tells me, then, is that there exists no single, uniform, consistent definition of a “creationist”.

Probably not, no. Main reason being that the big tent groups folks so widely different in their beliefs that it is almost impossible to create a definition which fits them all at the same time. Itake exception at your (veiled) suggestion that the lack of definition is somehow a blow against PT, though - PT didn’t create the Big Tent, they are just trying to live with it. Maybe if you, FL, will provide us with a suitable definition that covers everyone under the Big Tent, we might start using that as the definition of creationist.

For the record, I vaguely define creationist as “person who rejects the evidence of biology, instead prefering to invent their own unproven assumptions, and who then pretends there is a conspiracy against him”. And yes, I know it doesn’t fit anyone. But then, I’ve yet to hear even one statement of ID theory, so you have to keep evolving, just to keep up with the creationists.

By the way, FL, are you ready to present an ID theory? or are you still sitting on the fence? Or do you hold to some wild guess that you hope will debunk the Theory of Evolution?

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

If the first link in comment 25326 doesn’t work, try this:

http://reason.com/9707/fe.bailey.shtml

like i said…

“Right-Wing Creation Extremists”

like i said…

“Right-Wing Creation Extremists”

I’m not directing a holy war at anyone. If you reread my post, you’ll note that I was descrbing others.

Sorry, should have been more clear — so was I.

I would like to hear form an IDer about this. What is it, precisely, that you hope to accomplish? Since 90% of the US already accepts theism, is ID just a wily method to try and convert the remaining 10%? Ss that why IDers keep crowing so loudly about Flew?

Is that what this is really all about? Just another Holy War against the Unbelievers?

In a nutshell, I’d say yes…and no…

One of the points I’ve observed isn’t that 90% of the population are theists…it’s that 90% of the population aren’t conservative evangelical/born-again Christians. As Dembski himself said in the other thread just posted, it’s a golden opportunity to “reclaim society for Christ”. So that leads to the conclusion that they’re out to convert everyone to their brand of Christianity, while tearing down the apparent enemy that they see, as E pointed out.

But given the repeated evidence for their blatant dishonesty, I have to come to the slightly more jaded conclusion that this struggle is really little more than a power trip. They want to be the people in charge, but they don’t want to pay the piper.

That’s the reason why to some extent, this doesn’t to me seem to be wholly a “Holy War”. The people fighting a Holy War have a 110% fanatical adherence to their religious beliefs, down to the very letter. Given the very unChristian dishonesty and tactics which they have time and time again resorted to, I would say that they believe more in their own self-promotion and the fulfillment of their egos more than in the convictions given to them by their religious beliefs – and it is subconsciously that, not their faith, which is the dominant force driving them.

rampancy:

Given the very unChristian dishonesty and tactics which they have time and time again resorted to, I would say that they believe more in their own self-promotion and the fulfillment of their egos more than in the convictions given to them by their religious beliefs — and it is subconsciously that, not their faith, which is the dominant force driving them.

In a way, I guess, I’m less cynical. My take is that they are quite fanatical about this particular aspect (basically, creationism - or maybe I should say anti-evolution) of evangelical christianity. Much more so than they are about all the rest of it (all that tiresome stuff about feeding the poor, housing the homeless, swords to plowshares, rendering unto Caesar…). That’s why Jonathan Wells - a Moonie, not a Christian - is one of the ID illuminati.

well, as long as we are throwing out opinions…

I don’t see ma and pa kettle as the one’s really responsible for trying to alter the teaching of science; I think it is all a ploy by the right to try to control thought in America. just another way to gain a larger political grassroots base. they convince ma and pa kettle they are “fighting for their faith”. frickin’ liars.

I could go into listing evidence in support, like the right’s most recent attack on the judiciary, and the right’s most recent accusation of demos being “anti-faith”. But the list would be VERY long and likely take about an hour for me to complete.

cheers

I don’t see ma and pa kettle as the one’s really responsible for trying to alter the teaching of science; I think it is all a ploy by the right to try to control thought in America. just another way to gain a larger political grassroots base. they convince ma and pa kettle they are “fighting for their faith”. frickin’ liars.

I could go into listing evidence in support, like the right’s most recent attack on the judiciary, and the right’s most recent accusation of demos being “anti-faith”. But the list would be VERY long and likely take about an hour for me to complete.

See: http://www.geocities.com/lflank/fundies.htm

Russell Wrote:

In a way, I guess, I’m less cynical. My take is that they are quite fanatical about this particular aspect (basically, creationism - or maybe I should say anti-evolution) of evangelical christianity. Much more so than they are about all the rest of it (all that tiresome stuff about feeding the poor, housing the homeless, swords to plowshares, rendering unto Caesar … ). That’s why Jonathan Wells - a Moonie, not a Christian - is one of the ID illuminati.

And because of that (accepting Wells, and even pro-reproductive cloning advocate Rael, under the “big tent”) I am perhaps even more cynical than Rampancy, at least when referring to the chief ID players, if not their clueless groupies. Note that the real fighters on the “religious conservative” side of the culture war, e.g. Dr. Laura and the late Pope John Paul II, are unwelcome in the big tent because they didn’t buy into creationism or ID. While I still agree with Ronald Bailey (see comment 25356) that the chief IDers and creationists are afraid that the public cannot safely handle acceptance of evolution, I’m seeing this as more about self-promotion than sincere cultural renewal efforts. IOW they are more John Edward than Pat Robertson.

Hmmm, first time I hear of IDTheFuture … such wishful thinking in that name. ID is nothing but an attempt to turn the clock back.

sir_toejam pretty much nailed it for me. It’s all about intellectual control, ultimately.

But you raise a point Russell which I’ve given a lot of thought to. Okay, so the ID/C movement has been established to be largely based upon a predominantly Christian worldview. If they are battling so hard for God and Christ, as they say, why don’t they contribute to global efforts to end hunger and poverty? Surely that’s an easier and more powerful way to effect massive change in favour of Christianity than trying to fight for forced intellectual change on a country-by-country basis…I seriously wonder if Behe, Wells, Johnson et al., if they found themselves in a village stricken by the Asian tsunami, would be passing out Bibles and preaching about Creationism rather than handing out food and drinking water.

I’d also like to add that the people in the ID/C movement appear to not care at all about the damage that they’re doing to Christianity as a whole. I’m reminded of a comment I once read on talkorigins.org from a debate where the pro-ID speaker attacked John Paul II over his support for evolutionary biology. They’re not even willing to have any kind of reasoned exchange of ideas with other Christians, only adopting the same sort of with-us-or-against-us binary logic that they use when talking to non-Christians. They don’t care they they’ve marginalized Christianity in the minds of others, or that they’re ruining the relationships with people of other faith and belief systems that Christians like myself have tried to cultivate – as long as they’ve put themselves in a position of clear intellectual and political power.

Rampancy,

Your comment is right on. ID is just as destructive to science education as it is to religion in the US.

@lenny:

See: http://www.geocities.com/lflank/fundies.htm

I see you already did some of the leg work.

;)

cheers

I read Dr. Lenny’s well documented summary of the right’s recent political agenda, which appears to relegate the right to politicians run amok with delusions of granduer. I also read a piece given as a link to me by someone (heh, probably Dr. Lenny) tracing a more “parental concern” underlying the right’s political support for the ID movement, stemming from concerns about society and its underpinnings as expressed by Strauss and Kristol:

http://reason.com/9707/fe.bailey.shtml

these are the only two logical conclusions i can come to regarding the politics behind the ID movement.

so which do folks here think is closer to the real political motivations behind ID?

rampant political power mongering, backed by some false righteousness?

-or-

concern over the underpinnings of society as expressed by Kristol?

cheers

so which do folks here think is closer to the real political motivations behind ID?

rampant political power mongering, backed by some false righteousness?

-or-

concern over the underpinnings of society as expressed by Kristol?

The two are not incompatible; “they know what’s best for us, and they will make us do it whether we like it or not”.

“The two are not incompatible”

true, dat. However, the question was not “are both possible?” it was, more related to which strikes one as the more important factor.

cheers

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 9, column 2, byte 287 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

are you saying i need to be more specific?

;)

Why is the split between Creationism and Intelligent Design so hard to see? Creationism (as generally defined) deals with and only with the God of classical western theism. Intelligent Design does not speak of this God. It speaks of any god or any higher life force that may be responsible for the creation of the universe. So for ID detractors, it’s irrelevant to constantly gripe that Dembski believes in Creationism. He’s not trying to convince you of Creationism. Deal with the arguments for ID. Are they true or false?

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Brauer published on April 14, 2005 7:28 AM.

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