Saturday, July 26, 2014

Intelligent Design - Lying for Jesus

Ask any Intelligent Design adherent if ID is creationism, and he will invariably tell you that it isn't.  Discovery Institute says:
Does Discovery Institute favor including the Bible or creationism in science classes or textbooks?

No. Discovery Institute is not a creationist organization, and it does not favor including either creationism or the Bible in biology textbooks or science classes.

Is intelligent design theory the same as creationism?

No. Intelligent design theory is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the "apparent design" in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations.
Of course, the ID adherent is lying.
The term 'intelligent design' was coined by creationists as a means to hide the religious underpinnings of the movement.  This was deemed necessary in order to avoid restrictions imposed by the establishment clause of the constitution, present this theistic material as science, and inject it into the curriculum of public schools, thereby de-legitimizing and supplanting the teaching of genuine science.  They have distanced themselves from creationism for political reasons, and in the process, attempted to redefine the term 'creationism'.

What exactly is creationism?  Victor Reppert says
... it is just plain false to say that advocates of ID are advocates of creationism, if creationism is meant to be something like YEC and flood geology. Behe, for example, affirms common ancestry, something that is an absolute no-no amongst creationists, who will label you an evolutionist if you accept it.
But creationism (as understood by the general public) comes in many forms.  Virtually every theist is a creationist.  According to this article in Wikipedia,
Creationism is the belief that the Universe and living organisms originate "from specific acts of divine creation."
The article makes it clear that creationism encompasses much more than just YEC, including ID and various forms of theistic guided evolution, such as that which is advocated by Michael Behe.  Note that this is not the same as the scientific theory of evolution, which he argues vehemently against.

This article by the National Center for Science Education discusses the creationist roots of the ID movement and their goals, as outlined in the Wedge document:
* To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
* To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.
Now, Victor thinks that if they merely alter their documents* to refer to themselves as 'Intelligent Design' adherents instead of 'creationists', and omit any references to a divine creator, that this somehow makes ID a legitimate science, and they are in compliance with the ruling of the courts, and should be allowed to continue to push their agenda in the schools under the label of Intelligent Design without violating the establishment clause.  But this nefarious strategy does not change the fact that they are still teaching religious-based creationism, and it does not truly separate them from their creationist underpinnings. 

The fact is that ID necessarily implies theistic creation.  Even if you maintain that humans could have been designed by some natural being, perhaps an alien from a distant civilization in another galaxy, you can't escape the logic of ID, which would conclude that this alien must have also been designed.  Unless you are willing to accept that there is an infinite regress of (natural) intelligent designers, a supernatural creator must be at the beginning of the series.  And this is theism.  There's no getting around it.  Anyone who denies it is intellectually dishonest.

* This is precisely what they have done, as Papalinton has pointed out: see here and here.

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