It’s no secret that the species of Christian intelligent design creationism embodied in the Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture has no love for theistic evolution/evolutionary creationism. It’s also no secret that they’re masters of the bait and switch. As far back as 2002 when Stephen Meyers and Jonathan Wells sprung their “teach the controversy” compromise on the Ohio State Board of Education they’ve sailed under false colors, only to drop their deceptive flag of convenience at the last minute to run up their true theocratic colors. Now Darrel Falk, President of Francis Collins’ BioLogos Foundation, has fallen victim to the Disco Dancers’ bait and switch.
Falk was a participant in the recent Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science conference. The conference was organized ostensibly in order that Christians, particularly Christians who are scientists, could explore common ground. It included a range of people as speakers, Old Earth Creationists all, and featured such luminaries as Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe. a leading old earth creationism ministry.
Part of Falk’s involvement was to have been as co-leader, with Stephen Meyer, of a breakout discussion on the origin of life, with participation also by Randy Isaac of the American Scientific Affiliation and Douglas Axe of the DI’s Biologic Institute. Falk tells us he sought and got firm reassurances that his participation wasn’t mere tokenism. He writes that the conference organizer said
… the organizers assured me that since they were travelling to personally meet with each speaker, I could be assured that even this session would exemplify Christians working together in a spirit of Christ-centered unity. We might differ on scientific and theological details, but we each would be held accountable to work within this context. I appreciated that.
That was the bait. Then at the last minute came the switch. Less than a week before it was to occur, the Disco ‘Tute publicized the event as a debate, using martial language that doesn’t seem to reflect that “Christ-centered unity.”
Next week the Vibrant Dance of Faith and Science becomes the God and evolution showdown in Austin, as the question of whether faith in God can co-exist with Darwinian evolution will be discussed and debated with people of faith on all different points of the spectrum.
Attendees have three days of speakers and sessions but should prepare for a rumble on Thursday, October 28, when Stephen Meyer and Doug Axe will go up against Darrel Falk and Randy Isaac in a debate on the origin of life, moderated by Walter Bradley.
That was contrary to the assurances that Falk says he received, and he tells us the Disco ‘Tute, in the person of an Associate Director, refused to withdraw the description when asked by the conference organizers. Is anyone surprised? The only person at the Disco ‘Tute who holds the title “Associate Director” is political scientist John West, so the implication is that it was West who approved the martial verbiage under Director Stephen Meyer’s leadership. So Falk, to his credit, pulled out of the session.
Welcome to our world, Professor Falk. Anyone still wonder why we don’t trust the Disco ‘Tute’s apparatchiks? As William Dembski plainly said,
Design theorists are no friends of theistic evolution.
They really aren’t, you know, Professor Falk.
Finally, for a foreshadowing of Falk’s experience see Steve Matheson’s prescient critique of the underlying premises of BioLogos’ participation in the “Vibrant Dance” conference:
As long as Reasons To Believe and the Discovery Institute engage in openly dishonest attacks on science and deliberate distortions of scientific knowledge, discussions about “unity” between them and BioLogos should focus entirely on their failure to meet (or seek to meet) standards of integrity.
Good luck with that!