ID equals a biblical worldview is just the Total Truth

| 34 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

During his testimony, Rob Pennock used this quote in court in support of the proposition that explicitly religious concerns are part of the substance of ID. The quote is from Nancy Pearcey, in her recent book “Total Truth”. I had not seen it before, and it definitely deserves more attention:

“[D]esign theory demonstrates that Christians can sit in the supernaturalist’s ‘chair’ even in their professional lives, seeing the cosmos through the lens of a comprehensive biblical worldview.” (Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth pp. 204-205)

Pennock argued that for ID proponents, intelligent design is intended to scientifically prove the supernatural, moving it into the realm of scientific fact.

2 TrackBacks

Over at Pandasthumb.org Neal Matzke writes: During his testimony, Rob Pennock used this quote in court in support of the proposition that explicitly religious concerns are part of the substance of ID. The quote is from Nancy Pearcey, in her... Read More

Because of the Dover case, there has been much discussionabout the religious motives of those citizens who support Intelligent Design. In fact, there has been a sort of back and forth between meand Nick Matzkein the blogosphere in which Mr.... Read More

34 Comments

In other words, they want to be able to throw themselves from the temple parapet and have God intervene so they float to the ground. There is warning in scripture against such testing of God.

Sometimes I worry that these people really have not read the book they idolize so much.

Of course, that book also warns against such idolization.

Sheesh.

Updates on intelligent designer available! http://sqsme.blogspot.com

Comment #50087

Posted by shafiq on September 29, 2005 07:10 AM (e) (s)

Updates on intelligent designer available! http://sqsme.blogspot.com

Is this a joke? Because it’s really fragmented and rambling.

As crank.net would say: illucid.

Updates on intelligent designer available!

Dude, lay off the pot for a while. It’s destroying your brain.

back in the 60’s that would have definitively qualified you for space cadet status. Wasn’t that part of a cheech and chong comedy routine? I expected “is that you Dave?” at any moment.

back in the 60’s that would have definitively qualified you for space cadet status. Wasn’t that part of a cheech and chong comedy routine? I expected “is that you Dave?” at any moment.

“Dave’s not here, man”.

;)

I tell people I am *not* a former hippie. I still *am*. (grin)

No man - its Dave!

Updates on intelligent designer available!

Whoa, that’s was like, man, being back in Haight Ashbury! Where did I leave those flowers? Like, oh wow.

Sometimes I worry that these people really have not read the book they idolize so much.

They don’t need to READ it, they done been told what it says dude. Besides, I’m not all that sure most of them CAN read.

Updates on intelligent designer available!

This strikes me as a parody of The Time Cube, which for a long while I thought was satire itself. Reality, of course, outdid itself once again.

-Schmitt.

You folks are being commented upon over at Right Reason (this thread actually). Here’s the URL if you want to join in

http://rightreason.ektopos.com/arch[…]pe.html#more

Cheers, Oolong

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “All I have seen has taught me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”

Thanks for the link to Right Reason. Beckwith, unfortunately as usual, is miles off the mark. The quote, which mentions the supernatural, is not used to “poison the well” by associating ID with “supernatural” ghosts and witches.

Instead, it is used to show the much more devastating point that the whole goal of ID is to empirically prove a supernatural view, specifically the “comprehensive biblical worldview.”

Beckwith then accuses me (or rather, if he was paying more attention, Pennock) of taking the quote out of context. Well, let’s see the context, from pp. 404-405 of Nancy Pearcey’s book Total Truth:

[p. 404]

[…]

The attempt to accomodate to philosophical naturalism was illustrated nicely by Francis Schaeffer in an image of two chairs. Those who sit in the naturalist’s “chair,” he said, view the world filtered through a lens that limits their sight to the natural world. But those who sit in the supernaturalist’s “chair” view the world through a much larger lens that makes them aware of an unseen realm that exists in addition to the seen realm. Christians are called to live out their entire lives, including their scientific work, from the perspective of the supernaturalist’s chair, recognizing the full range of reality. [74] This is what it means to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7), with a day-by-day awareness of the unseen dimension of reality.

Sadly, however, even sincere believers keep wandering over to the naturalist’s chair. They may embrance biblical doctrine with their minds, and follow biblical ethics in their practical behavior – and yet still conduct their day-to-day professional lives on the basis of a naturalistic worldview. You might say that in confessing their beliefs they sit in the supernaturalist’s “chair,” but in pursuing their professional work, they walk over and sit in the naturalist’s “chair.” This is what happens when Christians accept methodological naturalism in science.

By contrast, design theory demonstrates that Christians can sit in the supernaturalist’s “chair” even in their professional lives, seeing the cosmos through the lens of a comprehensive biblical worldview. Intelligent Design steps boldly into the scientific arena to build a case based on empirical data. It takes Christianity out of the ineffectual realm of value and stakes out a cognitive

[p. 205 starts]

claim in the realm of objective truth. It restores Christianity to its status as genuine knowledge, equipping us to defend it in the public arena.

Finally, by challenging naturalism in science, it provides the basis for challenging naturalism in theology, morality, politics, and every other field. And none too soon, because naturalism is spilling over the banks of science and making deep inroads into the rest of culture. In the next chapter we will see how naturalistic evolution is being transformed into a universal worldview that is aggressively taking over every aspect of human life and society.

[Pearcey (2004), Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity, pp. 204-205, emphasis original, original quote underlined.]

This stuff, I would argue, is putting it rather more strongly than Beckwith would like to admit. ID is quite clearly an attempt to prove “biblical Christianity” (and, if you keep reading Pearcey 2004, it’s clear that she has a very specific version of “biblical Christianity” in mind, basically the same old fundamentalist creationism she was pushing for decades in the Bible-Science Newsletter).

Not to beat up further on Beckwith, but really, his position on this is preposterous and naive – he blurbed Pearcey’s book, so presumably he read it. He has known the Discovery Institute fellows for years, he must have some idea that their “we do science, not religion” and “ID is not creationism” rhetoric is not supported by their actions.

By way of further illustration, the above-quoted passage is the end of chapter six. On the very next page begins chapter 7, entitled, and I am not making this up, “TODAY BIOLOGY, TOMORROW THE WORLD.”

I am also not making up this quote from the first paragraph of chapter 7:

A first grader came home from school one day and asked: “Who’s lying, Mom – you or my teacher?” That day, it turned out, the teacher had informed the class that humans and apes are descended from a common ancestor. Little Ricky was bright enough to figure out that this didn’t square with what his mother had taught him from the Bible, so he figured one of them must be making things up. Surely, it couldn’t be the teacher; after all, in his young eyes she was the expert, the professional. No, the person he decided to doubt was his mother. With sorrow, she realized that she had better start on a long process of counter-education. (Pearcey, Total Truth, p. 207)

Pearcey then immediately segues into a discussion of the 2002 Ohio science standards battle. Yep, this “critical analysis of evolution” stuff is really all about teaching good science! C’mon.

Beckwith writes,

If Pearcey were saying that design theory demonstrates Christian theism, then Matzke and Pennock would have a point. But Pearcey is not saying that at all. This is why the pandasthumb.org headline for Matzke’s post–ID equals a biblical worldview is just the Total Truth–is misleading (and here I am being charitable)

Well, if the above Pearcey quote about how ID “restores Christianity to its status as genuine knowledge” didn’t convince Beckwith, here are a few more quotes from Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity.

When Christians are willing to reduce religion to noncognitive categories, unconnected to questions of truth or evidence, then we have already lost the battle. We have thrown away our chance of evangelizing people who long for a unified truth that escapes the pervasive fact/value dichotomy.

It the broader impact of Darwinism was to remove Christianity from the sphere of objective truth, then the broader significance of the Intelligent Design movement will be to bring it back. By providing evidence of God’s work in nature, it restores Christianity to the status of a genuine knowledge claim, giving us the means to reclaim a place at the table of public debate. Christians will then be in a position to challenge the fact/value dichotomy that has marginalized religion and morality by reducing them to irrational, subjective experience.

To accomplish that goal, however, we must go beyond negative critiques of naturalistic evolution and lay out the positive evidence for design, putting forward a viable research program. Let’s turn now to the exciting new ways Christians are crafting a positive case for Intelligent Design in the public square. (p. 178)

[Pearcey, Nancy R. (2004). Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. Crossway Books. p. 178]

In the notes, Pearcey writes,

70. I am often asked about the difference between creationism and Intelligent Design theory. The difference lies largely in the method of approach. Creationism starts with the Bible, and asks, What does the Bible say about science? That is a perfectly valid inquiry, just as we ask what the Bible implies for politics or the arts or any other field. But it is not the way to do apologetics. In speaking to a non-Christian culture, we must start with data that our audience finds credible. Thus Intelligent Design theory does not begin with the Bible – it begins with the scientific data and asks, Does the data itself give evidence of an intelligent cause? It makes the case that design can be detected empirically. (p. 415, endote 70)

[Pearcey, Nancy R. (2004). Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. Crossway Books. p. 415, endote 70.]

Beckwith’s arguments for the constitutionality of ID consistently give the impression that he is trying to fit square pegs in round holes. Nancy Pearcey says right there on page 415 that “Intelligent Design theory” is Christian apologetics. I’m sure the ID movement appreciates Beckwith’s attempts to cover for his colleagues, but his fundamental problem is that the ID movement’s core goal really is to promote a specific religious view. And this is one thing the Constitution clearly says the government cannot do.

I’m sure the ID movement appreciates Beckwith’s attempts to cover for his colleagues, but his fundamental problem is that the ID movement’s core goal really is to promote a specific religious view.

Once again, from the Wedge Document:

Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

Governing Goals

* To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.

* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

Hey Beckwith, was the Discovery Institute just lying to potential donors when it made those statements to them?

Or do you want to try and argue that these stated DI goals are “not promoting a religious view” . … ?

Since there are many new people here who have only recently become interested in the ID “debate” (because of the Dover trial), it occurs to me that many of the lurkers in the audience probably don’t know what “The Wedge Document” is, or what it says.

The Wedge Document is an internal memorandum from the Discovery Institute (the leading proponent of Intelligent Designer “Theory”) that was leaked to the Internet in 1999. The Discovery Institute later admitted to its authenticity. Since then, Discovery Institute hasn’t talked very much about the document, or the strategy it outlines. The reason is crushingly obvious, since the Wedge Document makes it readily apparent that the Discovery Institute is flat-out lying to us when it claims that its Intelligent Designer campaign is concerned only with science and does not have any religious aims, purpose or effect.

The Wedge Document is reproduced here, in full.

CENTER FOR THE RENEWAL OF SCIENCE & CULTURE

INTRODUCTION

The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West’s greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.

Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art

The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating. Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards, claiming that environment dictates our behavior and beliefs. Such moral relativism was uncritically adopted by much of the social sciences, and it still undergirds much of modern economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

Materialists also undermined personal responsibility by asserting that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and environment. The results can be seen in modern approaches to criminal justice, product liability, and welfare. In the materialist scheme of things, everyone is a victim and no one can be held accountable for his or her actions.

Finally, materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism. Thinking they could engineer the perfect society through the application of scientific knowledge, materialist reformers advocated coercive government programs that falsely promised to create heaven on earth.

Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature. The Center awards fellowships for original research, holds conferences, and briefs policymakers about the opportunities for life after materialism.

The Center is directed by Discovery Senior Fellow Dr. Stephen Meyer. An Associate Professor of Philosophy at Whitworth College, Dr. Meyer holds a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University. He formerly worked as a geophysicist for the Atlantic Richfield Company.

THE WEDGE STRATEGY

Phase I.

* Scientific Research, Writing & Publicity

Phase II.

* Publicity & Opinion-making

Phase III.

* Cultural Confrontation & Renewal

THE WEDGE PROJECTS

Phase I. Scientific Research, Writing & Publication

* Individual Research Fellowship Program

* Paleontology Research program (Dr. Paul Chien et al.)

* Molecular Biology Research Program (Dr. Douglas Axe et al.)

Phase II. Publicity & Opinion-making

* Book Publicity

* Opinion-Maker Conferences

* Apologetics Seminars

* Teacher Training Program

* Op-ed Fellow

* PBS (or other TV) Co-production

* Publicity Materials / Publications

Phase III. Cultural Confrontation & Renewal

* Academic and Scientific Challenge Conferences

* Potential Legal Action for Teacher Training

* Research Fellowship Program: shift to social sciences and humanities

FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN SUMMARY

The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a “wedge” that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the “thin edge of the wedge,” was Phillip ]ohnson’s critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeatng Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe’s highly successful Darwin’s Black Box followed Johnson’s work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

The Wedge strategy can be divided into three distinct but interdependent phases, which are roughly but not strictly chronological. We believe that, with adequate support, we can accomplish many of the objectives of Phases I and II in the next five years (1999-2003), and begin Phase III (See “Goals/ Five Year Objectives/Activities”).

Phase I: Research, Writing and Publication

Phase II: Publicity and Opinion-making

Phase III: Cultural Confrontation and Renewal

Phase I is the essential component of everything that comes afterward. Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade. A lesson we have learned from the history of science is that it is unnecessary to outnumber the opposing establishment. Scientific revolutions are usually staged by an initially small and relatively young group of scientists who are not blinded by the prevailing prejudices and who are able to do creative work at the pressure points, that is, on those critical issues upon which whole systems of thought hinge. So, in Phase I we are supporting vital witting and research at the sites most likely to crack the materialist edifice.

Phase II. The pnmary purpose of Phase II is to prepare the popular reception of our ideas. The best and truest research can languish unread and unused unless it is properly publicized. For this reason we seek to cultivate and convince influential individuals in pnnt and broadcast media, as well as think tank leaders, scientists and academics, congressional staff, talk show hosts, college and seminary presidents and faculty, future talent and potential academic allies. Because of his long tenure in politics, journalism and public policy, Discovery President Bruce Chapman brings to the project rare knowledge and acquaintance of key op-ed writers, journalists, and political leaders. This combination of scientific and scholarly expertise and media and political connections makes the Wedge unique, and also prevents it from being “merely academic.” Other activities include production of a PBS documentary on intelligent design and its implications, and popular op-ed publishing. Alongside a focus on influential opinion-makers, we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Chnstians. We will do this primarily through apologetics seminars. We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidence’s that support the faith, as well as to “popularize” our ideas in the broader culture.

Phase III. Once our research and writing have had time to mature, and the public prepared for the reception of design theory, we will move toward direct confrontation with the advocates of materialist science through challenge conferences in significant academic settings. We will also pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula. The attention, publicity, and influence of design theory should draw scientific materialists into open debate with design theorists, and we will be ready. With an added emphasis to the social sciences and humanities, we will begin to address the specific social consequences of materialism and the Darwinist theory that supports it in the sciences.

GOALS

Governing Goals

* To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.

* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

Five Year Goals

* To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.

* To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.

* To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Twenty Year Goals

* To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.

* To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its innuence in the fine arts.

* To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

1. A major public debate between design theorists and Darwinists (by 2003)

2. Thirty published books on design and its cultural implications (sex, gender issues, medicine, law, and religion)

3. One hundred scientific, academic and technical articles by our fellows

4. Significant coverage in national media:

* Cover story on major news magazine such as Time or Newsweek

* PBS show such as Nova treating design theory fairly

* Regular press coverage on developments in design theory

* Favorable op-ed pieces and columns on the design movement by 3rd party media

5. Spiritual & cultural renewal:

* Mainline renewal movements begin to appropriate insights from design theory, and to repudiate theologies influenced by materialism

* Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation & repudiate(s)

* Darwinism Seminaries increasingly recognize & repudiate naturalistic presuppositions

* Positive uptake in public opinion polls on issues such as sexuality, abortion and belief in God

6. Ten states begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula & include design theory

7. Scientific achievements:

* An active design movement in Israel, the UK and other influential countries outside the US

* Ten CRSC Fellows teaching at major universities

* Two universities where design theory has become the dominant view

* Design becomes a key concept in the social sciences Legal reform movements base legislative proposals on design theory

ACTVITIES

(1) Research Fellowship Program (for writing and publishing)

(2) Front line research funding at the “pressure points” (e.g., Daul Chien’s Chengjiang Cambrian Fossil Find in paleontology, and Doug Axe’s research laboratory in molecular biology)

(3) Teacher training

(4) Academic Conferences

(5) Opinion-maker Events & Conferences

(6) Alliance-building, recruitment of future scientists and leaders, and strategic partnerships with think tanks, social advocacy groups, educational organizations and institutions, churches, religious groups, foundations and media outlets

(7) Apologetics seminars and public speaking

(8) Op-ed and popular writing

(9) Documentaries and other media productions

(10) Academic debates

(11) Fund Raising and Development

(12) General Administrative support

THE WEDGE STRATEGY PROGRESS SUMMARY

Books

William Dembski and Paul Nelson, two CRSC Fellows, will very soon have books published by major secular university publishers, Cambridge University Press and The University of Chicago Press, respectively. (One critiques Darwinian materialism; the other offers a powerful altenative.)

Nelson’s book, On Common Descent, is the seventeenth book in the prestigious University of Chicago “Evolutionary Monographs” series and the first to critique neo-Dacwinism. Dembski’s book, The Design Inference, was back-ordered in June, two months prior to its release date.

These books follow hard on the heals of Michael Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box (The Free Press) which is now in paperback after nine print runs in hard cover. So far it has been translated into six foreign languages. The success of his book has led to other secular publishers such as McGraw Hill requesting future titles from us. This is a breakthrough.

InterVarsity will publish our large anthology, Mere Creation (based upon the Mere Creation conference) this fall, and Zondervan is publishing Maker of Heaven and Earth: Three Views of the Creation-Evolution Contoversy, edited by fellows John Mark Reynolds and J.P. Moreland.

McGraw Hill solicited an expedited proposal from Meyer, Dembski and Nelson on their book Uncommmon Descent. Finally, Discovery Fellow Ed Larson has won the Pulitzer Prize for Summer for the Gods, his retelling of the Scopes Trial, and InterVarsity has just published his co-authored attack on assisted suicide, A Different Death.

Academic Articles

Our fellows recently have been featured or published articles in major sciendfic and academic journals in The Proceedings to the National Academy of Sciences, Nature, The Scientist, The American Biology Teacher, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Biochemirtry, Philosophy and Biology, Faith & Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Analysis, Book & Culture, Ethics & Medicine, Zygon, Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith, Relgious Studies, Christian Scholars’ Review, The Southern Journal ofPhilosophy, and the Journal of Psychalogy and Theology. Many more such articles are now in press or awaiting review at major secular journals as a result of our first round of research fellowships. Our own journal, Origins & Design, continues to feature scholarly contribudons from CRSC Fellows and other scientists.

Television and Radio Appearances

During 1997 our fellows appeared on numerous radio programs (both Christian and secular) and five nationally televised programs, TechnoPolitics, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Inside the Law, Freedom Speaks, and Firing Line. The special edition of TechnoPolitics that we produced with PBS in November elicited such an unprecedented audience response that the producer Neil Freeman decided to air a second episode from the “out takes.” His enthusiasm for our intellectual agenda helped stimulate a special edition of William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, featuring Phillip Johnson and two of our fellows, Michael Behe and David Berlinski. At Ed Atsinger’s invitation, Phil Johnson and Steve Meyer addressed Salem Communications’ Talk Show Host conference in Dallas last November. As a result, Phil and Steve have been interviewed several times on Salem talk shows across the country. For example, in ]uly Steve Meyer and Mike Behe were interviewed for two hours on the nationally broadcast radio show ]anet Parshall’s America. Canadian Public Radio (CBC) recently featured Steve Meyer on their Tapestry program. The episode, “God & the Scientists,” has aired all across Canada. And in April, William Craig debated Oxford atheist Peter Atkins in Atlanta before a large audience (moderated by William F. Buckley), which was broadcast live via satellite link, local radio, and intenet “webcast.”

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

The Firing Line debate generated positive press coverage for our movement in, of all places, The New York Times, as well as a column by Bill Buckley. In addition, our fellows have published recent articles & op-eds in both the secular and Christian press, including, for example, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Times, National Review, Commentary, Touchstone, The Detroit News, The Boston Review, The Seattle Post-lntelligenter, Christianity Toady, Cosmic Pursuits and World. An op-ed piece by Jonathan Wells and Steve Meyer is awaiting publication in the Washington Post. Their article criticizes the National Academy of Science book Teaching about Evolution for its selective and ideological presentation of scientific evidence. Similar articles are in the works.

United States Supreme Court 1963, The case of School District of Abington Township v. Schempp: The State may not establish a “religion of secularism” in the sense of affirmativaly opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus preferring those who believe in no religion to those who do believe. It might well be said that one’s education is not complete without the study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectlively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistantly with the First Amendment.

United States Supreme Court 1952, Zorach v. Clauson: We are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being…When the state encourages religious instruction or cooporates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our peolpe and accomodates the public service to their spiritual needs.

It might well be said that one’s education is not complete without the study of comparative religion

I quite agree.

It is, of course, the FUNDIES who generally fight tooth and nail against any attempt at comparative religion.

What they want is for THEIR religious opinions to be taught, but no one else’s.

Can you just IMAGINE the response of Joe Fundy when his little girl comes home and says “Guess what, Daddy? Today in school we learned about other gods.”

United States Supreme Court 1952, Zorach v. Clauson: We are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being…When the state encourages religious instruction or cooporates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our peolpe and accomodates the public service to their spiritual needs.

United States Supreme Court, 1857, Dred Scott v Sanford. “Negros had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”

So what’s your point in citing half-century-old overturned Supreme Court decisions?

Overturned? I don’t think so. You sight a ruling from 150 years ago that has been obviously overturned. Many think that our government is opposed to religion in education, and that teaching ID or creationism along side evolution is promoting a “particular religious view.” Read your history.

Fundies? Our founding fathers must have been fundies too. To quote Bruce Hornsby “ That’s just the way it is.”

vampire killers Wrote:

Many think … that teaching ID or creationism along side evolution is promoting a “particular religious view.”

They think it because it’s true. At minimum, ID promotes theism, which is a religious view. In practice, at least in the US, ID is used to promote Christianity (usually of the more fundamental variety), which is certainly a “particular religious view.”

Of course, on top of all that, teaching ID or creationism along side evolution is teaching non-science and claiming it’s science. That means it’s not only teach a “particular religious view,” it’s also “lying.”

Overturned? I don’t think so

Lemon v Kurzman.

Engel v Vitale.

Stone v Graham.

Wallace v Jaffre.

Edwards v Aguillard.

Read them. Read them twice. Have an educated person explain all the big words to you.

Fundies? Our founding fathers must have been fundies too.

Our Founding Fathers were also slaveowners who only allowed white male property owners to vote. (shrug)

Once again I ask, what the hell is your point?

Many think that our government is opposed to religion in education

So THAT’S what ID is all about … ?

“Religion in education” … ?

Are all those IDers who tell us that it’s science and has nothing – nothing at all whatsoever – to do with religion, just lying to us?

That’s what I suspected all along. But thanks for confirming that for us.

It might be useful if people actually went and read Zorach v. Clauson, I don’t think it contradicts more recent decisions, it was a case that upheld a policy whereby parents could excuse students from public school classes to go attend religious instruction on private ground.

Francis J. Beckwith writes,

“Thus, the falsity of materialism helps support the truth of Christianity.”

This is the danger of acting for the sake of apologetics, because there is precisely nothing to prevent FJB from excusing ID thus:

“The falsity of any naturalistic science helps support the truth of Christianity.”

Except, maybe, the obvious impropriety of the statement. It is becoming clearer everyday that this is the sole aim of ID: to promote the lie that naturalistic sciences are a defeater to Christian theism. Even if that were true, FJB ignores (despite all of his praises for sound philosophical argumentation) the logical truth that defeating a defeater does not automatically render a promotion. Thus, one can reject as implausible FJB’s excuse that ID exists to “help support the truth of Christianity”. Rather, the more plausible explanation is that ID is merely a program designed specifically for the purposes of forcing others to “the truth of Christianity”. It does so, not by removing the alleged obstacle of materialism, but by obfuscating the flaws in the ID-promoted worldview, all for the sake of apologetics. In this regard, FJB has already decided which flaws he would prefer to obscure, and truth be damned. For instance, the notion that any naturalistic science is equivalent to materialism is equivalent to an obstacle to Christian theism is one such peculiarities of a flawed worldview. To think that people need the help of FJB to come to Christ by his heroic overthrow of a specific naturalistic science is also rather peculiar. To require others understand how FJB thinks and believes, via imposing bad policies through legal / government endorsement, is another peculiarity of a flawed worldview. Make no mistake, this is the intended effect of Dover advocates like Buckingham.

So, in the end, the natural question is what is the primary motivation of people like FJB. Is it to save Christianity or is it to obscure the flaws in their particular version of Christianity? One has to believe that Christianity needs saving, I suppose, especially in a country where the large majority of its citizens are Christians. But, let me offer this: if reinstituting the design argument (even an allegedly “modest” version of one) is going to save Christianity, then it is already in a bad place. In particular, it will require the Herculean feat of convincing people of the scientific evidence of Design (in particular the Design of the Christian God, and not of some ET from Outer Space). I believe, FJB, to date, has not been willing to stake his reputation on the evidence presented by his peers thus far. Now, isn’t that interesting…

For millions of Christians there are not two chairs. For Darwin and other faithful Christians of his era, their faith started with the assumption – faith-based, not “proven” as science – that God is the motivating force and creator of everything in the universe. From this faith foundation naturally flowed the idea that one could observe God’s methods by observing nature, and further, that what is observed in nature is an accurate and true manifestation of God, God’s work and intentions. Some faithful make the error of creating a deceitful role for God, as was laid out in the book Oomphalos in the early 19th century. Christian commentators then dismissed the idea that God created a new, but “old-looking” Earth because that view is contrary to the nature of God.

Schaeffer may well have made the Oomphalos error. That does not make Schaeffer correct, nor does it make evolution wrong – it just points out that even very good theologians can make serious theological errors.

Science and law should not be built on serious theological error. If there are two chair with different, conflicting views of the universe, it is because somebody has moved the right chair. Put it back.

Oh, one could make a case that the view is better from a different chair – but that case would have to be made with facts and data, with observations in nature.

Clearly that’s not a chair ID advocates care to occupy.

Beckwith has responded to this on Right Reason

If Pearcey were saying that design theory demonstrates Christian theism, then Matzke and Pennock would have a point. But Pearcey is not saying that at all. This is why the pandasthumb.org headline for Matzke’s post–ID equals a biblical worldview is just the Total Truth–is misleading (and here I am being charitable)

Phil Skell also “responds” with his usual denials. Others provide a more relevant response to Beckwith. Well worth checking out.

Ah, Beckwith, who has previously posted here that the civil rights movement was religous and not secular, based on the language of Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” conveniently ignoring that it is addressed to anti-civil rights clergy who were telling him to go slow when pushing for integration. Now he says that the obviously monotheistic, specifically Christian underpinnings of IDC aren’t really based on religion.

I’d say it was amazing, but in Beckwith’s case, it’s entirely commonplace.

Schaeffer did not make the Oomphalos error (which I had never heard of, but am taking from Ed’s comment that it means the “apparent age theory.”) He has a small book entitled No Final Conflict in which he describes the unity of the bible and science. In there he specifically attacks “existential theology”, which holds that the Bible is infallible only in spiritual matters, not when it comes to history or science.

As for how to reconcile the Genesis account with science, he allows for several possibilities including (but not endorsing) apparent age, the day-age view, etc. As for his position, he writes:

“If anyone wonders what my own position is, I am really not sure whether the days in Genesis 1 should be taken as twenty four hours or periods. It seems to me that from a study of the Bible itself one could hold either position.” (No Final Conflict, p. 30)

As for how to reconcile the Genesis account with science, he allows for several possibilities

He’s entitled to his opinions. (shrug) So are you. So am I. So is my next door neighbor and the kid who delivers my pizzas.

Of course, neither me nor my next door neighbor nor the kid who delivers my pizzas are such arrogant self-righteous pricks as to claim that everyone else should accept their religious opinions.

Know anybody like that, Davey . … . . ?

David, even most Bible critics would agree that the author of Genesis meant 24 hour periods when referring to the days in Gen 1.

David, even most Bible critics would agree that the author of Genesis meant 24 hour periods when referring to the days in Gen 1.

You are of course quite wrong. Only the YEC nutjobs think this.

BTW, Genesis had more than one author. And their accounts don’t agree with each other.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on September 28, 2005 11:08 PM.

Disingenuous Institute was the previous entry in this blog.

ID Is NOT Either IT! Nanny nanny boo-boo! is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter