Phil Johnson vs. Christian College professors

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Short note: I accidentally came across some extras from a recent World magazine interview with Phil Johnson. They are posted on the World magazine blog as “Creationists and intelligent design” and “Christian college professors vs. Intelligent Design”. This is one of those pages you want to save as a web archive format (MHT) for future reference (see how to do this in IE or Firefox).

E.g., Phil Johnson freely admits,

“The creationists pioneered many of the arguments that we are making today and some of them feel, with some justification, that they haven’t gotten enough credit for what they did [laughs].”

What is Johnson’s actual position on the age of the earth? Well, here, he specifically corrects those who claim he is an old-earther.

When I’m reported as agreeing that the earth is 4.6 billion years old or whatever, I always correct that. We say, ‘No, I don’t take a position on that. That’s a separate issue and we should not discuss that now. It’s not an issue that’s ripe to be discussed. We should discuss that only after we’ve made the breakthrough on the Darwinian mechanism.’ And then, to my young-earth friends I say, ‘We can have a real good discussion or argument if you please on this subject. And we’ll have it in a much better frame of mind for having had the experience of working together on the initial breakthrough. And of course then the world will look different because if the scientific leadership has been that wrong about the creation mechanism, it’s possible that they could be wrong about something else too.’

And what really disappoints Johnson about the ID movement so far? The inability to convince the Christian academic community.

I would say the most frustrating thing to me in my work has not been the difficulty of convincing scientific materialists or professors of evolutionary biology that Darwinism is false. You would expect that to be difficult. They have their whole lives invested; they’re not going to back off of it just because I make some arguments, even if they’re good arguments. The more frustrating train I think has been the Christian leaders and pastors, even very good pastors, especially Christian college and seminary professors. And there the problem is not just convincing them that the theory is wrong, but that it makes a difference. That it’s important whether it’s right or wrong.

Phil, the reason most Christian academics have no patience for ID is because of your acceptance of bogus positions clearly at dramatic odds with the evidence, such as the earth being young (or the idea that evolution can’t create new genetic information, or the idea that there are no transitional fossils, or the idea that the human species poofed into existence, or the idea that the peppered moths are a fraud, or…). In order to accept such nonsense, they have to give up their intellectual integrity and close their eyes to the evidence. They know that this damages the faith in the long run. They’ve seen it many times before.

Phil Johnson seems most concerned about subverting stereotypes, but if he can’t give up on intellectual dishonesty, he hasn’t figured out why the creationism earned such a poor reputation in the first place.

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What would it take? from stranger fruit on May 8, 2005 5:45 PM

Last year, I commented on Phil Johnson (the godfather of ID) and his refusal to come out and support an old age for the Earth. Indeed, he had little problem touring Britain with YEC Andrew Snelling. Over at the Thumb, Nick Matzke discusses a December ... Read More

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Phil Johnson babbled:

the most frustrating thing to me in my work has not been the difficulty of convincing scientific materialists or professors of evolutionary biology that Darwinism is false. …The more frustrating train I think has been the Christian leaders and pastors

I’m surprised. See, I would think the most frustrating thing for Phil would be trying to convince doctors that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS.

Observing this consistent refusal to reason scientifically convinced me that HIV-science is pseudo-science, and that its inflated claims are unworthy of belief. … A candid discussion of HIV and AIDS statistics would make clear that the extent of the “epidemic” has been exaggerated, and that the incidence of HIV infection in the United States is not increasing. … …the closed mindset and intellectual dishonesty that rules HIV research. … In short, the problem with HIV-science is not that any single piece of evidence conclusively falsifies the theory that a pandemic caused by HIV is ravaging the planet. It is that evidence is piling up in all directions that cumulatively calls every aspect of the theory in question. The HIV-scientists respond with the usual weapons of pseudoscience: unexamined assumptions; ad hoc, question-begging arguments; reliance upon the least reliable evidence rather than the most reliable; manipulation of statistics, and even outright misrepresentation. It is time for the scientific community to insist that HIV- science be abandoned, and that real science take its place.

(from http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/pjthinking.htm)

Observing this consistent refusal to reason scientifically convinced me that HIV-science is pseudo-science, and that its inflated claims are unworthy of belief.

Strong words. I wonder if Johnson makes of this paper coauthored by his protoge, Jed Macosko?

Sorry about the garbled formatting. Any chance the Eds could clean it up?

Hey! That looks like quite an interesting paper. Note that the Discovery Institute is credited for funding Macosko. I wonder if there’s some way this work can be construed as furthering the Wedge Strategy.

Phil Johnson doesn’t have to contact every Christian College professor in the world. All he has to do is to talk to Fr.Inchackal-SJ the man who taught me physics and whole lot more at Loyola College, Madras, India. While I wish that Phil Johnson’s bakwas is recognised for what it is and torn up to shreds I would not want him to go up against good old Fr.Inchackal. Johnson wouldn’t know what hit him!

“Bakwas”? I thought I was the only Indian here!

What I found interesting was Johnson’s admission that the validity of the science doesn’t really matter:

“And there the problem is not just convincing them that the theory is wrong, but that it makes a difference. That it’s important whether it’s right or wrong.”

Of course we knew that, but IDists are always falsely insisting that they are just trying to do good science and IDism has nothing to do with religion.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on May 8, 2005 2:11 PM.

The Star Tribune letters was the previous entry in this blog.

Kansas Citizens for Science is the next entry in this blog.

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