Dembski: Expelled, the true reason

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In an article by the Southern Baptist Texan, Dembski describes why people should be watching ‘Expelled’. And no it is not because of the suppression of the ‘science’ of intelligent design, no, no no. It’s all about the idea that there is a “…Darwinian, atheistic mafia whose purpose is to ruin the careers of anybody who delves into the idea of intelligent design.”

Not surprisingly he argues (sic) that:

Dembski Wrote:

Dembski told the Southern Baptist TEXAN that those who most need to see the movie are “parents of children in high school or college, as well as those children themselves, who may think that the biological sciences are a dispassionate search for truth about life but many of whose practitioners see biology, especially evolutionary biology, as an ideological weapon to destroy faith in God.”

St Augustine explained it well when he stated:

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]

This has nothing to do with the scientific accuracy of evolutionary theory but all with destroying Darwinism at all cost.

Craft added, “I think the public, once they understand more and more what Darwinian evolution represents, I think they will reject that and move against it.”

How sad.

However, on a brighter note, PZ Myers is named in the same sentence as Richard Dawkins

If you’ll notice, big science is trying to squash the talking about God in academia. People say ID is religion dressed up in a cheap tuxedo. Well, big science is atheism dressed up in a cheap tuxedo. Their motivation when you scratch the surface is so unreal in terms of propagating their atheism. Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers [noted atheistic evolutionists], they are chilling in what they are trying to do.

Chilling indeed how they confront ID proponents face to face and destroy their arguments…

On an even brighter note ID seems to have abandoned attempts to become scientifically relevant and instead is following in the footsteps of other creationist movements to argue that science, and especially biological science is inherently atheistic.

What a crock. We Christians have nothing to fear from science but science itself. When we reject science because it does not agree with our Faith then both lose.

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more on Expelled from Tony's curricublog on February 9, 2008 7:43 PM

For anybody interested in the source, it’s in Augustine’s book The literal meaning of Genesis (where Augustine explains that Genesis does not literally mean what “literal” Creationsists claim that it means). ... Read More

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Dembski lying:

but many of whose practitioners see biology, especially evolutionary biology, as an ideological weapon to destroy faith in God.”

What an outrageous lie. Dembski has been reading the Book of Saint Goebbels again, lie big and lie often.

The vast majority of people go into biological sciences including such as medicine because they are interested in the biological sciences.

Given the time, money, and thought involved in getting advanced degrees and the amount of time the public spends paying attention to scientists (near zero), trying to use biology as a propaganda platform would be cosmicly stupid. You don’t need any education to be stupid and lie as the fundies demonstrate daily.

Among other things modern biology has fed 6.7 billion people and extended our life spans from 47 to 78 years in a century.

What have the Dembski’s of the world ever done? Besides lie. I’m just going to have to say it, this clown is evil. And not very bright. The Dembski’s of the world have done more to discredit Xianity than Dawkins and his colleagues could even imagine.

To paraphrase a line from the old movie, “It’s a wonderful life”, every time a fundie cultist lies an atheist is born.

Chilling indeed how they confront ID proponents face to face and destroy their arguments…

Yeah, it’s as though they’re being attacked by the educated segment of our society…

Disingenuous Dembski Wrote:

If you’ll notice, big science is trying to squash the talking about God in academia. People say ID is religion dressed up in a cheap tuxedo. Well, big science is atheism dressed up in a cheap tuxedo. Their motivation when you scratch the surface is so unreal in terms of propagating their atheism. Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers [noted atheistic evolutionists], they are chilling in what they are trying to do.

Uh, yeah, here’s Sal Cordova, Dembski’s lickspittle, writing on Dembski’s blog about the acceptance by IDists of Francis Collins, one of the deepest of the deep into “Big Science” (apparently Dembski has another term to dishonestly disparage others with now):

It might have been easy for many IDers in the audience to have turned red with a bit of rage over that portion of Collins talk, but I felt none of that. I simply saw a great scientist mistaken about an issue, and he got so much of the rest right. I mean, Hector Avalos wanted to punish Guillermo Gonzalez for the very things Collins was saying that night, but here at GMU, Collins was welcomed and heralded as a great scientist, and there was no shame whatsoever for him to share his deeply personal views. I would gladly welcome Collins into the ID community as a real and sincere critic. I do not view him as “the enemy”. I am confident Collins isn’t out to destroy ID. I think he is willing to see ID succeed. He does not have a vested interest in seeing ID fail.

And below, he has the audacity to whine that we’re not faulting Collins for promoting his religion (some would, notably Myers and Dawkins), while if the speaker was from the DI, “the talk would be characterized as an fundamentalist plot to spread the Christian faith.” No, dimwitted moron, we have nothing against Christians spreading Christianity, hence we don’t mind Collins being Christian (few do, at any rate), or spreading his faith. We do mind egregious liars trying to force religion to be accepted as science:

Here is the irony. If someone from the Discovery Institute spoke, the talk would be characterized as an fundamentalist plot to spread the Christian faith. If a pro-Darwin scientist speaks about Jesus Christ, they are applauded for helping people of faith warm toward the “science” of Darwinism. Such speakers will be given a free-pass to share the Gospel. Is their any complaint from Barbara Forrest about Collins helping to spread the Christian faith? Has there been an ounce of outrage in the blogsphere of Collins sharing the Gospel on college campuses? Maybe only a little, but not much.

These quotes are from the UD:

19 October 2006 Francis Collins: “I greatly respect William Dembski…best wishes to Salvador Cordova and the IDEA club”

So let’s go back to Dembski’s flat-out lie:

Well, big science is atheism dressed up in a cheap tuxedo.

Oh yeah, Sal’s whining that we’re not attacking Collins and other Christians who honestly accept the evidence (though he characterizes it differently), and Dembski, unimaginative and dishonest dolt that he is, simply projects that “Big Science” of which Collins is a part is “atheism dressed up in a cheap tuxedo.”

There’s something about Expelled, it seems to have moved ID from being very dishonest, to a level of dishonesty rarely seen (Keith Eaton keeps making unbelievable claims, for one association of extreme dishonesty with extreme dishonesty), as it no longer cares that it continually contridicts its own previous lies, from the contradicting the original claim that ID wasn’t religious, to this recent claim of Dembski which smears every last honest Christian scientist as an atheist, or at best a shill for atheists.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/3yyvfg

To paraphrase a line from the old movie, “It’s a wonderful life”, every time a fundie cultist lies an atheist is born.

If only ‘twere true, we would have a rational electorate in this country.

Oh, I left a bit off from one of my parenthetical statements. I meant to write, “Keith Eaton keeps making unbelievable claims about Expelled and its impact, for one association of extreme dishonesty with extreme dishonesty”

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/3yyvfg

I don’t think anything refutes such claims of a conspiracy theory better than the evidence from the history of science itself. For instance, the reason flood geology and other older ideas were overturned was not because of an atheist conspiracy, but because of the “flood” of overwhelming evidence that could not be denied. The evidence has regularly moved the scientific consensus in directions that have made at least some scientists uncomfortable for ideological reasons. In physics, for instance, some atheists had a preference for a steady-state cosmology because it seemed less apt to be interpreted as connected to Genesis 1 or as pointing to a creator. The Big Bang has nonetheless become the dominant point of view, not because of a theistic conspiracy, but because of the evidence.

So if the evidence clearly shows that claims of conspiracy are nonsensical, why do people like Dembski continue to make them? Simple. It is the only way they can make sense of the fact that the vast majority of the world’s intelligent and well-informed people are unpersuaded by his claims.

There is a much simpler interpretation, though, that does better justice to the evidence. That is to conclude that Dembski is wrong, or at the very least the “evidence” he claims supports his views and the “arguments” he uses are unpersuasive among those who know the relevant scientific fields well.

http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.[…]spiracy.html

It is ‘easy’ to reject Dembski’s claim as a lie, and yet this belief, correct or not, lies at the foundation of the Intelligent Design movement and the Wedge Document. This is not about science as much as about the mind of the Believer who exposed to methodological naturalism may come to reject Faith in favor of science. ID briefly attempted to provide a scientific foundation that would allow the scientist to find Faith in science but abandoned it when it became obvious that ID was scientifically vacuous. So what else to do but to return to the original position that methodological naturalism is dangerous to religious faith.

The recent successes of atheists like Richard Dawkins and various others, does not make life easier for the Intelligent Design proponent, especially because science comes so naturally to atheism. This of course does not mean that science IS atheistic, just that atheists can effortlessly absorb scientific findings without feeling threatened in its beliefs. In many ways, the atheist is more mature and secure in his beliefs (I avoid the word faith here) than the average Intelligent Design Creationist. Now that I think about it, I see Young Earth Creationism as being more secure in their faith even though they are more upfront in rejecting science, or perhaps because they are more upfront. Intelligent Design is in the unenviable position of attempting to accept science (ID can effortlessly embrace methodological naturalism (and extend it)) as a foundation for their Faith. For this to work however they have to make their Faith dependent on the extension of methodological naturalism and so far any such attempts have failed to become scientifically fruitful, productive and relevant. We see some return to methodological naturalism when ID proponents argue that since everything is designed, we should see design everywhere (Casey Luskin). It’s a good sign that ID has come to reject its own foundation and is returning to the principles of Theism ala Collins, Miller and others, all scientists who have managed to combine their Faith with their Science without doing a disservice to either one (perhaps Collins’ perspective on altruism excluded…).

PvM:

It is ‘easy’ to reject Dembski’s claim as a lie, and yet this belief, correct or not, lies at the foundation of the Intelligent Design movement and the Wedge Document. This is not about science as much as about the mind of the Believer who exposed to methodological naturalism may come to reject Faith in favor of science. ID briefly attempted to provide a scientific foundation that would allow the scientist to find Faith in science but abandoned it when it became obvious that ID was scientifically vacuous. So what else to do but to return to the original position that methodological naturalism is dangerous to religious faith.

[sarcasm]Intelligent Design is a science! It has superior explanatory and descriptive powers to evil atheistic darwinism![/sarcasm]

Perhaps there lies the problem. ID insists on having a better explanation than atheism even though its addition to science adds nothing. Why should ID insist on a better scientific explanation when science can embrace both Christianity and Atheism alike? Especially since ID obviously has failed to deliver on its promise and thus undermined not just itself but also religious faith and handed a powerful weapon to those it fears most, the atheists. After all, what is more powerful a weapon in the hands of the atheist that the admissions by ID proponents themselves who lament the lack of scientific fertility of ID?

I also don’t think that there is really a theory of intelligent design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that’s comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are quite convinced that it’s doable, but that’s for them to prove…No product is ready for competition in the educational world.

Source: Philip Johnson In the matter of Berkeley v. Berkeley by Michelangelo D’Agostino 10, 2006 p31 Berkeley Science Review See also Panda’s Thumb posting

Stanton:

PvM:

It is ‘easy’ to reject Dembski’s claim as a lie, and yet this belief, correct or not, lies at the foundation of the Intelligent Design movement and the Wedge Document. This is not about science as much as about the mind of the Believer who exposed to methodological naturalism may come to reject Faith in favor of science. ID briefly attempted to provide a scientific foundation that would allow the scientist to find Faith in science but abandoned it when it became obvious that ID was scientifically vacuous. So what else to do but to return to the original position that methodological naturalism is dangerous to religious faith.

[sarcasm]Intelligent Design is a science! It has superior explanatory and descriptive powers to evil atheistic darwinism![/sarcasm]

Evolutionary science is an atheist conspiracy? Is he kidding or what? This is the exact statement that comes from one of the more deluded members of talk.origins, but Dembski?

I mean, we all know that this is what he has wanted to say for years, but how stupid does one have to be to actually come out and say it, in his position?

What exactly does he believe is going on? Are evil atheists secretly becoming sleepers in the biological sciences, like the 9/11 terrorists?

Look at who he has accused. BIOLOGICAL SCIENTISTS. People who do science for a living, something Dembski may not be familiar with.

Who are these people, Dembski? Are you going to name them all? Bearing in mind that you work for an organisation which specialises in ideological weaponry (let’s have a look at the Wedge Document, and all your broken promises sometime), how bloody evil and hypocritical are you?

“Here is the irony”?

Here is the irony.

The pro-science people do not attack the Christian faith of Collins (and others).

Ordinarily, that would be taken as evidence that pro-science does not mean anti-Christian.

But the advocate of ID does not merely ignore this sort of evidence. It is, somehow or other, part of their indictment of the pro-science stand.

I guess there is a sort of rhetorical continuity, if not logical consistency, to this.

This of course does not mean that science IS atheistic, just that atheists can effortlessly absorb scientific findings without feeling threatened in its beliefs. In many ways, the atheist is more mature and secure in his beliefs (I avoid the word faith here) than the average Intelligent Design Creationist.

Science is as atheistic as presiding over the Eucharist, no more nor less. What I’m saying is, the priest or whoever sets up and administers the Eucharist performs no miracles, nor relies upon any, unless it is true that the wine turns into Jesus’ blood. The priest relies, ultimately, upon physics, chemistry, and biology to produce the wine, carries it around according to “natural law,” and is not troubled by the lack of any “supernatural” manifestations.

That’s not to say that the Eucharist is not a spiritual act, in the same way that Einstein said something to the effect that we may see everything as miraculous, or nothing as miraculous. It’s just to say that there is nothing inherently contrary to religion in general (though it may be contrary in the specific) or to spirituality to treat wine like a normal liquid, nor to treat biology as if it is unlike anything that we have ever observed to be designed, as indeed everybody treats life differently from designed things. Or, why do we think of life as “sacred,” without considering designed things to be sacred (unless some consecrating event has occurred, usually)?

The truth of the matter is that there is no sense in resting one’s lack of belief upon science, including evolutionary science. Coming out of fundamentalism to my current state of godlessness (which I resisted, at times) I had to realize at some point that there is no truth in the idea that evolution is a good reason to disbelieve in God, for there is simply no logic that can lead from evolution to the lack of God. One may indeed associate modern philosophy which deals reasonably well with science with godlessness, however whatever the arguments, there is certainly no science which can speak to the existence or non-existence of God.

I would say that the main reason one would consider science and atheism to be such a great match is due to the gradual desacralization of the world, which did not begin with modern science, at least. I think that this comes from the amount of detail which we deal with scientific and technical matters, for it is difficult not to think abstractly and “objectively” with highly complex phenomena. Life becomes that way, too, when we study it out, and it probably is no accident that the most complex science, biology, has the lowest proportion of theists in it, at least at the top levels.

What seems to bear out what I’ve written above is that probably the most “objectifying” and “abstract” view of life is almost certainly the IDist view, despite objections that “design” isn’t mechanistic or “materialistic” (then what is it? That’s what we mean by “design”, dolts). Behe’s always on about life being made of machines, which requires both linguistic mistakes, and a mistaken view of the “machines” of life. The creationists like to claim that our conception of life makes it so that it isn’t sacred, while Behe tries to make out humans as if they are factories comprised of machines.

ID (especially sans God, as it has tried to make itself) is the ultimate degradation of humanity. Einstein’s view is something that can see the miracle in the “matter,” by contrast, and it affords some chance for a more spiritual view, for those who can consider the world as he did. Life is not, in fact, a contrivance, it is something that belongs to the mysteries of time, and in our lineage, of the choices of individuals. It is not the Frankenstein’s world that Behe, et al., would like to turn it into.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/3yyvfg

This part isn’t correct, I’m afraid.

TomS:

The pro-science people do not attack the Christian faith of Collins (and others).

Richard Dawkins does.

Oh… Sam Harris does too.

There are probably others.

People say ID is religion dressed up in a cheap tuxedo.

He doesn’t listen very carefully, does he: ID is creationism dressed up in a lab coat.

I wouldn’t even call it a pseudoscience; it’s a Pretend Science, of exactly the same sort you see on “Ghost Hunters”, “UFO Hunters”, “Bigfoot Hunters”, and other drek of that sort that now infests what were once educational television channels in the USA.

I would say that the main reason one would consider science and atheism to be such a great match is due to the gradual desacralization of the world

It’s because, strictly speaking, science makes the assumption that reality is consistent, and then uses reality as the arbiter of any investigation, any disagreement.

What Glen is talking about isn’t what makes science compatible with atheism, but rather the gradual trend toward setting aside magical thinking so as to see reality more clearly. To the extent that non-atheistic convictions are based on testable statements, these convictions make testing more difficult even to conceive, much less perform - because they’re regarded as true a priori. Those people are standing on the shoulders of the wrong giants.

I think it’s true that more dedicated and intelligent people are entering science unburdened by the non-negotiable faith in the objectively false. The issue is whether any meaningful or fulfilling religion can exist without a concrete foundation in what’s objectively false.

It is ‘easy’ to reject Dembski’s claim as a lie, and yet this belief, correct or not, lies at the foundation of the Intelligent Design movement and the Wedge Document. This is not about science as much as about the mind of the Believer who exposed to methodological naturalism may come to reject Faith in favor of science. ID briefly attempted to provide a scientific foundation that would allow the scientist to find Faith in science but abandoned it when it became obvious that ID was scientifically vacuous. So what else to do but to return to the original position that methodological naturalism is dangerous to religious faith.

I disagree. This is purely an attempt to wedge creationism back into schoolkiddies’ childhood endoctrination.

If it was about the dangers of MN, chemisty and Mendelian genetics would be as evil as Darwinism. Even mathematics – it’s not even materialist, and yet it still fails to include God in its fabric! What could be a more deliberate snub to faith!!!

No, the rants about materialism & MN arise simply because biology, geology, and cosmology have so utterly refuted Dembski’s favorite creation myth that they only way he can possibly hope to keep it credible is by adding supernatural axioms to those fields. He needs a myth to explain why the “intelligent, educated segment of the population” rejects the myth that ID is Real Science.

The interesting question is whether Dembski eats his own dogfood, or if this is just a cynical political rant intended to push the buttons of his presumed fundamentalist audience in The Texan.

I mean, we all know that this is what he has wanted to say for years, but how stupid does one have to be to actually come out and say it, in his position?

Given that his position is “failed science critic, now working at a seminary for a fundamentalist Christian sect, with no hope of improving his lot due to a mouth that has left a series of burned bridges behind him”, I suspect that this is actually the *smart* thing for him to say.

Of course, you may well ask how stupid does one have to be to actually say it and *believe* it.

Most working academics in the sciences are to busy to bother with girding their loins and arming themselves with shields of philosophical naturalism and helmets of atheism and snatching up some sword of materialism then running off to defend the fabled land of Darwinia. It just doesn’t exist it is a made up place in the minds of others, those who need to tip at windmills. Like some complicated computer game they have fallen prey to master gamers who have promised the next level. It is most tiresome.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Venus Mousetrap:

Evolutionary science is an atheist conspiracy? Is he kidding or what? This is the exact statement that comes from one of the more deluded members of talk.origins, but Dembski?

I mean, we all know that this is what he has wanted to say for years, but how stupid does one have to be to actually come out and say it, in his position?

What exactly does he believe is going on? Are evil atheists secretly becoming sleepers in the biological sciences, like the 9/11 terrorists?

Look at who he has accused. BIOLOGICAL SCIENTISTS. People who do science for a living, something Dembski may not be familiar with.

Who are these people, Dembski? Are you going to name them all? Bearing in mind that you work for an organisation which specialises in ideological weaponry (let’s have a look at the Wedge Document, and all your broken promises sometime), how bloody evil and hypocritical are you?

Was it Duane Gish or Henry Morris that claimed that Darwin was inspired by the ancient Greek Atomists, who, in turn, were the descendants of the followers of Nimrod of Babylon, who, in turn, was taught “Descent with Modification” straight from the lips of Satan?

Richard Dawkins does.

Where does Dawkins attacks the faith of Collins? Where does Harris?

Pvm:

Richard Dawkins does.

Where does Dawkins attacks the faith of Collins? Where does Harris?

One must never conflate, confuse, or worse, mistake Dawkins’ statements about religion in general with/for personal attacks against the personal beliefs of religious scientists.

I love how they say that atheists use science to disprove god. I know many atheists will also use the bible/quran to disprove god. Although most Christians probably don’t read the bible and if they do its not without someone else telling them the interpretation of the text. I don’t forsee parents telling their children not to read the bible, because atheists use it as a weapon against god.

Was it Duane Gish or Henry Morris that claimed that Darwin was inspired by the ancient Greek Atomists, who, in turn, were the descendants of the followers of Nimrod of Babylon, who, in turn, was taught “Descent with Modification” straight from the lips of Satan?

Actually, that’s more reasonable than (but as bereft of evidence as) the IDist claim, which is that “Darwinism” is either a religion or an Epicurean philosophy of “naturalism.” Neither of those could provide any sort of the details and predictions of evolution, which indeed had to come via inference from the evidence. They can hardly admit the latter fact, however, so they’re really as devoid of explanation of how the “false science of Darwinism” could exist as they are devoid of any explanation for what we see in the biosphere.

At least the YECreationists have an intelligent design “theory” for how evolutionary ideas arose. Somehow, the IDiots have failed to notice that they’d need to explain how a complex working theory could arise without some supernatural (or at least, superintelligent) being working both to produce it and to corrupt godless and Christian scientists to accept such a “wrong idea.”

I guess that’s why they have to believe in (or try to, anyhow) their conspiracy theories, and have to pretend that “Big Science” is atheistic in some manner that, for example, physics is not accused of being. But it’s an absurdity on the face of it, for not only is it the largest conspiracy that I can ever think of as being proposed, it has to include masses of Catholic professors as being in on this “atheist conspiracy.” Good thing most IDists are protestant, and so don’t feel the need to explain the great number of religious biologists at Catholic schools who accept evolutionary theory without objections or qualms (most of the ID people remain quite opposed to Catholicism, so don’t feel the need to explain their perfidy).

There’s a kind of internal logic to the Satanic origins of MET that YECs like to claim, while there is no sense at all in IDist claims of evolutionists’ atheistic drive to prevent consideration of “design.” That’s why it’s the most thoroughgoing and implausible conspiracy theory to date–at least among those of which I know.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/3yyvfg

Flint Wrote:

I think it’s true that more dedicated and intelligent people are entering science unburdened by the non-negotiable faith in the objectively false. The issue is whether any meaningful or fulfilling religion can exist without a concrete foundation in what’s objectively false.

I would certainly hope that the first sentence above is true. However, they may not be coming from our culture here in the U.S., given the apparent decline in the interest of U.S. students in science. Many of the brightest students I have encountered who go into science are from families whose roots and religions are in other cultures.

As to the issue Flint mentions in the second part, as near as I can tell, the answer may still be yes, and that those who seem to manage this are extremely honest about the limitations of science in addressing issues related to their “spiritual quests” (or whatever one wants to call it). They make no excuses or apologies about lack of objective evidence for the “object” of their quest. Nor do they have any of the proselytizing angst and need for scientific validation that characterizes the fundamentalists in this country.

There is a certain pragmatism that seems to be involved in this frame of mind. Human history and human imagination leave many questions open and unanswered (perhaps unanswerable). Science itself depends on a seemingly unbounded human imagination, but after science matured, it has been able to sort through some of these imagined possibilities and eliminate much of what is bogus. What remains, in the form of religion or spiritual quests, are historically and intricately bound up with cultural traditions, myths, and milestones in human development. These form a cohesive center around which many cultures conduct their activities. So there are potential “guiding possibilities” on the conduct of living still out there to be sought and explored, and, perhaps, always will be.

Looking back at the historical development of science and mathematics, we see that many cultures and religious and non-religious beliefs have been involved along the way. So it is presumptuous to suggest, as some of the ID/Creationists do, that one’s sectarian religion favors the development of mathematical, scientific, or technological ideas by opening a larger panorama of possible “scientific” explanations.

I think it could be argued that objective reality, of the sort that science deals with, will eventually intrude on the awareness of people in almost any culture and religion (although, in my more sarcastic moments, I sometimes think U.S. fundamentalists might be an exception). Just the pragmatic aspects of daily living in an unforgiving physical universe would provide the grist for technological ideas that, in turn, lead to the kind of thinking we now call scientific. With some luck and some clever insights, a human society just might survive long enough for some of these ideas to develop into a workable science.

But, of course, this kind of “coming to terms” with the environment is characteristic of the development of the human brain. Making too much of this may be hubris. Cockroaches have been around a lot longer. I won’t claim to know anything about their “religion”.

Frankly, I’m glad that they’re giving up on the science and regressing back to the days of all-out creationism. It makes it so much easier to frame as science vs. religion (the courts agree: teach science in the the science classroom, don’t teach religion in the science classroom) rather than the “one viewpoint of science” vs. “other viewpoint of science” that they tried and failed so thoroughly to promote. They can waste their time with their sole argument that “Darwinism” is a religion.

I’ve been an atheist for over 15 years and I have never seen anyone use biology or evolution to disprove god. I’ve seen plenty of people (including myself) use the Bible instead.

Nothing makes the religionists case look worse that the primary material, the Bible.

Read it and tell me I’m wrong! :-)

Well, at least the Texan got Dembski’s title right: “ID apologist.”

Dammit! Dembski is going to blow our cover!

“Well, it’s a well known fact, Sonny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.”

“So who’s in this Pentavirate?”

“The Queen, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Rothschilds, and Colonel Sanders before he went tits up. Oh, I hated the Colonel…with his wee beady eyes, and that smug look on his face! ‘Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!’”

-From So I Married an Axe Murderer

Just sounds the the fearful rantings of a scared little boy. His belief systems crumbles around him inch by inch as science advances. Saying that science is out to destroy religion is just an expose of his inner most fear. It is akin to saying there is a conspiracy among wolves to eliminate the rabbit population. There isn’t, its just the natural result of wolves being wolves.

Dembski told the Southern Baptist TEXAN that those who most need to see the movie are “parents of children in high school or college, as well as those children themselves, who may think that the biological sciences are a dispassionate search for truth about life but many of whose practitioners see biology, especially evolutionary biology, as an ideological weapon to destroy faith in God.”

Emphasis added. Seems they are low on faith in ID or its Designer. Neither stand much of a chance if people are left to grow up and decide for themselves what to believe.

Brainwashing is the name of the game.

practitioners see biology, especially evolutionary biology, as an ideological weapon to destroy faith in God.

I believe Dembski is lying there. But it certainly is no lie that ID is only a weapon to restore faith in his God.

My guess is that Dembski is feeling heat from his peers at whatever Baptist college he is stuck at.

From the Author blurp for Meyer’s new book it sounds like he is no longer teaching at his old college, and may be a full time scam artists at the Discovery Institute. I was just visiting the site a couple days ago and Meyer is listed as vice president. You can’t run a dishonest bait and switch scam on your own creationist support base and expect to have any respect from people that watched it all happen.

Ron Okimoto:

My guess is that Dembski is feeling heat from his peers at whatever Baptist college he is stuck at.

Hard to imagine, given the slug like nervous system of these fanatics, but maybe.

The Southern Baptists all seeem to be YECs, 6,000 year old earth, Jews keeping dinosaurs as pets, Noah had a Big Boat, the tower of Babel was a bad idea, women should be barefoot and pregnant, stone disobedient children to death, and so on. Your average fundie.

Dembski is an IDist, whatever that is. They are so vague on their “theory” that it is hard to tell what they believe. Some are old earth, common descent types with the designer showing up every once in a while to rearrange the scenery.

To a YEC, ID could be considered heresy and blashemy. In the old days, Dembski would be looking at an inquisition under torture and even being burned at the stake. It could be that the Baptists actually looked at what Dembski believes and decided it wasn’t fundie enough.

Alternatively he could just be cracking up, losing his marbles. He seemed a bit odd in the head in the first place, and age has a habit of either healing the fault lines or making them wider.

raven Wrote:

Dembski is an IDist, whatever that is. They are so vague on their “theory” that it is hard to tell what they believe. Some are old earth, common descent types with the designer showing up every once in a while to rearrange the scenery.

With IDers it’s not what they believe but what they promote that counts. A good bet is that they privately know that evolution is correct, or at least that YEC and OEC-without-common-descent is nonense. I think that in the early days they were shooting for an OEC compromise (without the designer’s identity of course). After all, the more well-read creationists were all but ready to concede OEC before Morris et al repackaged YEC as a slick psueodoscience. Behe might have naively thought that such creationists would also accept common descent as long as there were “interventions”.

As it turns out, probably to the surprise of most major IDers, most rank-and-file creationists are so compartmentalized that they just tune out what they don’t like about ID, and can’t get enough of its feel-good anti-“Darwinism” sound bites. So ID ironically winds up promoting YEC more than anything. It’s YEC leaders who complain about ID’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach.

http://thestubborncurmudgeon.blogsp[…]-dallas.html

ID is actually creationism dressed up in a baggy sweater.

For Richard K:

My comments were in reference to this quotation:

Here is the irony. If someone from the Discovery Institute spoke, the talk would be characterized as an fundamentalist plot to spread the Christian faith. If a pro-Darwin scientist speaks about Jesus Christ, they are applauded for helping people of faith warm toward the “science” of Darwinism. Such speakers will be given a free-pass to share the Gospel. Is their any complaint from Barbara Forrest about Collins helping to spread the Christian faith? Has there been an ounce of outrage in the blogsphere of Collins sharing the Gospel on college campuses? Maybe only a little, but not much.

I well recognize that there is a wide range of opinions on matters of faith among the pro-science people.

Here is the irony. If someone from the Discovery Institute spoke, the talk would be characterized as an fundamentalist plot to spread the Christian faith.

Ah, but the difference is that some us on the pro-science side (though not enough IMO) do criticize those who characterize DI propaganda as “a fundamentalist plot to spread the Christian faith.” If only because it isn’t. It may reinforce pre-held convictions of fundamentalists (Muslims as well as Christians, BTW), but it probably does more damage to mainsream Christian faith than anything.

When I first heard this I was hoping it was phony, but so far no rebuttals from the Ben Stein or Expelled camp, so now I am not so sure.

In this and several other articles the producers of “Expelled” are bribing fundamentalist Christian churches and schools in order to drive up attendance. Read for yourself “Producers of Expelled trying to bribe Christian schools into encouraging, bribing or forcing their students to see their movie”(http://theframeproblem.wordpress.co[…]their-movie/) , “ID rakes it in and gets a rake in the face”(http://www.newuniversity.org/checkDB.php?id=6529), and ““Joel’s Army” group bribes churches to raise attendance figures for creationist film”(http://community.livejournal.com/da[…]/2008/01/16/).

Many films offer all sorts of deals to specific demographics in order to get people to pay to see their film, but this should border on illegal! Take a look:

Your school will be awarded a donation based upon the number of ticket stubs you turn in (see submission instructions in FAQ section). That structure is as follows:

0-99 ticket stubs submitted = $5 per ticket stub 100-299 ticket stubs submitted = $1,000 donated to your school 300-499 ticket stubs submitted = $2,500 donated to your school 500 ticket stubs submitted = $5,000 donated to your school Each school across the nation will be competing for the top honor of submitting the most ticket stubs with that school having their $5,000 donation matched for a total donation of $10,000!

Now if I were an enterprising school I would go to the theater and ask for the stubs and submit them to get a check. But it goes further, take at look at “getExpelled.com”(http://www.getexpelled.com/schools.php)

What is the Expelled Challenge?

To engage Christian schools and home school groups to get as many students, parents, and faculty from their school/group out to see Ben Stein’s new movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (opening in theaters April 2008).

Here are some suggestions as to how to do that: # Organize a school field trip and invite parents to attend as well. # Offer extra credit to your students to go on their own time.

What is the reward?

The reward is two-fold. First, your students will encounter firsthand the debate between Intelligent Design and evolution, and also the importance of knowing what you believe and standing firm in what you believe. Second, by collecting the ticket stubs from your students, faculty, staff and parents, you could be eligible to win a $10,000 donation.

Each school/home group that registers through the link below and submits their ticket stubs will be eligible for a donation as funds permit, but the school that submits the most ticket stubs will win a donation of $10,000!

Please click on the link at the bottom of this page to register your school to take the Expelled Challenge and tell us how many ticket stubs you think your school will submit. Registering is very important as only schools who register will be eligible for donated funds. Please note, if funds are available, they will be given according to the order in which the schools are registered. Deadline for registering is March 28, 2008.

I really hope this is phony, but so far no one has rebutted it. Hollywood should weigh in!

ID is more than creationism in a new set of clothes.

It also comprises the following components:

(1) A huge PR machine aimed at Christian fundamentalists;
(2) Strawman attacks on modern science;
(3) Strawman attacks on historical science (e.g. Kettlewell and the peppered moths);
(4) Strawman attacks on the philosophy of science (i.e. claiming that methodological naturalism is a bad thing);
(5) Arguments from ignorance (the classic “god of the gaps”);
(6) Arguments from personal incredulity (“well, I can’t see any way that could have arisen naturally!”);
(7) Lies, damn lies, and Dembski;
(8) A very tired non-sequitur (“Because you are wrong, I am therefore right”);
(9) A new set of terminology designed to obfuscate the substance of any argument made, but that sounds good to the ignorant.

Feel free to add your own items - I may well have missed some logical fallacies perpetrated by Dembski, Behe, Wells, Johnson and their pals.

Nigel,

The “scientific” creationism that began with Henry Morris et al is all of that (minus Dembski of course) plus answers to the kind of questions that you and I ask, and that are increasingly evaded by anti-evolutionists.

Ironically, ID took whatever hope creationism had as science, and exchanged it for something that merely sounds more scientific to nonscientists.

What lacks a deliberate promotion of those 9 points are the honest but confused “creationist beliefs” of the rank and file. That’s what the usual target audience has in mind when IDers say that “ID is not creationism,” and why we need to be crystal clear when we say that “ID is creationism.”

Glen Davidson said:

Disingenuous Dembski Wrote: If you’ll notice, big science is trying to squash the talking about God in academia. People say ID is religion dressed up in a cheap tuxedo. Well, big science is atheism dressed up in a cheap tuxedo. Their motivation when you scratch the surface is so unreal in terms of propagating their atheism. Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers [noted atheistic evolutionists], they are chilling in what they are trying to do.

Does anyone here know where Dembski wrote the sentences attributed to him above? (Anyone have a citation?)

Ted Herrlich: I really hope this is phony, but so far no one has rebutted it. Hollywood should weigh in!

It is not phony, I remember it being discussed in P’sT itself. Further it is typical of the DI to try to game the system. They tried it with Dembski’s book in Amazon. Wrote glowing reviews from sycophants and tried to censor opposing comments. Eventually one star comments overwhelmed the 5 star ones there. In a stroke of genius someone wrote a very sarcastic comment and awarded the book 5 stars. Others voted that comment up. Thus both the one star comment and the five star comment trashed the book soundly.

They are trying to cram as many viewers as possible for the first two weeks.

As far as I can tell, no modern creationist, and especially none of the Intelligent Design proponents are even remotely interested in actually doing science. What else can explain the fact that creationists and IDiots have never made even a token effort to submit research papers to be peer-reviewed? At best, they think that creating the illusion of science will some how make up for this fatal flaw. And at worst, they try to rewrite the definition of “science” so that they can illegitimately seize legitimacy, hence the legal battles over science curricula. And they don’t care if they wind up destroying the US’ scientific progress in the process, as.

And their fanbase is too stupid, or too brainwashed, or too stupid and too brainwashed to realize this, as well. I mean, look at the way UncommonDescent’s peanut gallery were discussing Simmons’ incompetent fact-checking and the way Prof. Myers verbally flayed him alive. Not a single one of them seemed to care or mind that the reason why Myers butchered Simmons was because Intelligent Design is nothing more than lies, innuendo, smoke and cracked mirrors.

Frank J:

Nigel,

The “scientific” creationism that began with Henry Morris et al is all of that (minus Dembski of course) plus answers to the kind of questions that you and I ask, and that are increasingly evaded by anti-evolutionists.

Ironically, ID took whatever hope creationism had as science, and exchanged it for something that merely sounds more scientific to nonscientists.

What lacks a deliberate promotion of those 9 points are the honest but confused “creationist beliefs” of the rank and file. That’s what the usual target audience has in mind when IDers say that “ID is not creationism,” and why we need to be crystal clear when we say that “ID is creationism.”

Frank, I mostly agree, but I have one small quibble. The “creation science” of the ’60s and ’70s did not have the invented terminology of ID - it mostly used plain language, which made it easier (a) to parse out the core of any argument, and (b) to refute. I’m sure you have read some of the articles on Talk Reason where the authors attempt to translate Dembski’s blather into something with which one can communicate.

OT, I particularly liked one article where the author cleaned up Dembski’s definitions of “specification”, “complexity” and “information” - only to discover that they all meant Improbability! Or should that be improbability3?

was because Intelligent Design is nothing more than lies, innuendo, smoke and cracked mirrors.

Cracked mirrors? No wonder ID has such bad luck!

In many ways, the atheist is more mature and secure in his beliefs

Except that atheism isn’t based on beliefs but a daily continuing validation of observations of actual religions deities and their proposed properties, and the ever larger zoo of such deities proposed. And theists may agree on these validations, just excepting their adopted religion.

Lies, damn lies, and Dembski;

ROTFL! Dembski, the improbable (or should that be improbable3? :-) wedge in the scientific mechanism of knowledge building.

Henry J:

was because Intelligent Design is nothing more than lies, innuendo, smoke and cracked mirrors.

Cracked mirrors? No wonder ID has such bad luck!

Imagine the sort of luck Dracula would have had if he had cornered Van Helsing in a house of mirrors.

Imagine the sort of luck Dracula would have had if he had cornered Van Helsing in a house of mirrors.

Would it be good or bad luck? Helsing wouldn’t be distracted by reflected images of his nemesis, but Dracula would have to distinguish his enemy from the reflections of him.

Henry

Henry J:

Imagine the sort of luck Dracula would have had if he had cornered Van Helsing in a house of mirrors.

Would it be good or bad luck? Helsing wouldn’t be distracted by reflected images of his nemesis, but Dracula would have to distinguish his enemy from the reflections of him.

Henry

Very bad luck: go look for the Farside cartoon with this topic…

Nigel D Wrote:

Frank, I mostly agree, but I have one small quibble. The “creation science” of the ’60s and ’70s did not have the invented terminology of ID - it mostly used plain language, which made it easier (a) to parse out the core of any argument, and (b) to refute.

Sure, and specifically, the authors made it clear that they were supporting a particular interpretation of Genesis. From what I can tell, though, the early drafts of “Of Pandas and People,” even before “cdesign proponentsists,” were already starting to abandon specific claims - YEC or OEC - in favor of more “teflon” language that emphasized what’s wrong with “Darwinism” instead of any promising new science. Once it “evolved” into ID, and acquired Dembski (by “horizontal transfer”?), it turned wordsmithing into a “science.”

Frank J:

Nigel D Wrote:

Frank, I mostly agree, but I have one small quibble. The “creation science” of the ’60s and ’70s did not have the invented terminology of ID - it mostly used plain language, which made it easier (a) to parse out the core of any argument, and (b) to refute.

Sure, and specifically, the authors made it clear that they were supporting a particular interpretation of Genesis. From what I can tell, though, the early drafts of “Of Pandas and People,” even before “cdesign proponentsists,” were already starting to abandon specific claims - YEC or OEC - in favor of more “teflon” language that emphasized what’s wrong with “Darwinism” instead of any promising new science. Once it “evolved” into ID, and acquired Dembski (by “horizontal transfer”?), it turned wordsmithing into a “science.”

Too true. At least the older-style YECs made themselves look more obviously lunatic than the DI fellows, from the perspective of the uninformed Joe Public.

Stanton:

Henry J:

Imagine the sort of luck Dracula would have had if he had cornered Van Helsing in a house of mirrors.

Would it be good or bad luck? Helsing wouldn’t be distracted by reflected images of his nemesis, but Dracula would have to distinguish his enemy from the reflections of him.

Henry

Very bad luck: go look for the Farside cartoon with this topic…

“Dracula’s plan was working perfectly except for one minor oversight”

Good job (as always), but readers should note that 1 Timothy 1.7 is not a citation to Augustine’s text. For that bibliographic reference and links, see http://curricublog.org/2008/02/09/more-expelled/

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on February 4, 2008 11:26 AM.

The Intelligent Design Challenge – Dénouement was the previous entry in this blog.

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