Some Facts about Motives - for Paul Nesselroade

Paul Nesselroade opens his recent “Wedge Update” at ARN (here) by saying,

Recently, a few Intelligent Design (ID) critics have created some confusion over the meaning of “The Wedge.” Several statements made by ID detractors in books and blogs (web logs) have suggested “The Wedge” to be a partially concealed strategy by well-funded religious fanatics to attack science and force it to come under the thumb of a specific religious mindset. …

But is this an accurate characterization of “The Wedge,” or is this just a baseless appeal by Darwinists to impugn the motives of their adversaries? Well, as they say, when the facts aren’t on your side, argue motives.

Well, speaking of facts, here’s some information about an “Intelligent Design Conference to be held in beautiful Highlands, North Carolina this June 24-26,” sponsored by the Community Bible Church. (Information here)

The conference information page starts with some standard fare:

MISSION STATEMENT: Your ancestors were monkeys… At least that is what most of our children have been taught over the past two generations. … Darwin’s theory remains controversial to this day - primarily because it has not been supported by scientific facts. …

This Darwinian tradition of random evolution often ignores the scientific data that indicates that our universe could not have progressed by random chance. Yet, some schools still refuse to present evolution as theory, or to present the growing body of evidence that suggests that all living beings are part of a planned and intelligent design.

After invoking Phillip Johnson, they conclude,

Through asking the right questions and through careful consideration of Intelligent Design, we can inspire others to become informed about the facts. We are all educators in some capacity. Solid evidence can be presented in schools and in the public arena that challenges Darwinian theories and that points us in the direction of a God who designed the universe.

One of the goals of the conference is to “Show young people the truth on Intelligent Design in order to prepare them for other theories they will receive in colleges or universities,” and so they are having a special Worldview Youth Conference for students between 12 and 18. The purpose of this part of the conference is

To introduce Jr. and Sr. High Youth to two worldviews.

  1. The secular worldview which is humanistic in nature placing man at the center of all philosophy.

  2. The Biblical worldview which looks to the Bible as the ultimate authority of all truth.

The speakers at the Youth Conference are

Mark Eckel: Associate Professor of Educational Ministries at Moody Bible Institute, speaker on the origin of life and how it relates to worldview.

Dr. Kenneth Boa: President of Reflections Ministries, presenter of the Powers of Ten, designed to expand the viewer’s appreciation for the greatness and glory of God through His creation.

Dr. Michael Behe: Professor of Biological Science, author of Darwin’s Black Box - The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution.

Chuck Colson: International speaker and author on worldview and cultural issues.

Casey Luskin: Co-president of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, a ministry focused on equipping students to promote Intelligent Design.

Now let’s notice a few things.

First of all it is crystal clear here that one of the purposes of Intelligent Design as represented by this conference is to establish that the Christian God is the “designer,” and to integrate ID with a “Christian worldview.”

Contrary to what Nesselroade says, this looks like a “particular religious mindset” to me. I don’t think ID critics are “confused” when they look at conferences like this (and this is one of many) and speak the obvious truth - ID is being used a vehicle for Christian apologetics.

Pointing to conferences such as this is also not a “baseless appeal by Darwinists to impugn the motives of their adversaries.” Obviously it is not baseless, because the facts are here, in black and white. The motives of the ID movement are clear and explicit (eg. the Mission Statement and Goals of this conference,) and the ID critics understanding of those motives are based on facts - things written and said in abundance by ID advocates. I don’t see how people like Nesselroade can in good conscience make the claims they do about the ID movement when we all can see the movement being engaged in activities such as this conference on a daily basis.

P.S. - In some other thread, there are been some discussion about whether the IDEA club, led by Casey Luskin, is a religious club. Despite the requirement that its officers be Christians, Casey says they are just a scientific club.

However, notice that Casey is speaking at the Youth Conference, and his IDEA club is advertised as “a ministry focused on equipping students to promote Intelligent Design.” [my emphasis]

Perhaps Casey would like to explain this?

Let me finish by being blunt: the contradiction between what members of ID movement say in public (e;g. Nesselroade at ARN and Luskin here at the Panda’s Thumb) and what they do and say in other venues is extreme. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that at times they know they are being deliberately dishonest, or at the very least they are in the grip of quite a bit of cognitive dissonance.

What I don’t understand is why they don’t “come clean.” If they think the evidence points to the Christian God as opposed to a world in which no god of any kind exists (which is the false dichotomy that is the real meaning of the Wedge - a topic for another time,) then they would be better off (at least in some ways) to come right out and say that to everyone and in everyplace. At least then we would be talking about the real issues, rather than having to defend science from being hijacked by (dare I use the metaphor) a Trojan Horse in the service of apologetics.