Does ID = Creationism?
I swear this is not a blatant example of monkey see, monkey do. Honestly.
I was thinking of re-visiting the first post I ever wrote for my blog because current events warranted a re-post. I mean it. I was thinking about it long before Phil re-posted his.
A brief word from our founder:
In recent years, the ID movement, promoted primarily by the Discovery Institute, has attempted to challenge the philosophical strangle hold evolutionary theory has as the prevailing zeitgeist of our society, especially in schools. Their attempts to undo the grip of evolutionary thinking on the minds of people has sadly met with failure on the court level. The recent example being a case in Pennsylvania, and more than likely one which will take place in Louisiana due to the governor signing a bill to allow ID to be discussed in the class room.
One of the major talking points of IDers is that they are not religious and they certainly aren't creationists. The secular world who hate God refuse to accept their distinction and merely see IDers as being biblical creationists wrapped up in new clothes and this despite their protestations to the contrary. This rejection is held by both leftists, as well as conservatives, who would consider themselves "religious" as in being church attenders. As I noted in a post a week or so ago, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs represents the typical attitude of ID haters, painting them as the "new creationists" and dismissing them as cranks, kooks, and quacks, who promote a pseudo-science attempting to take us all back to the dark ages when people thought the stars and planets moved across the sky because angels were pushing them.
The first post I wrote when I entered the blog-o-sphere happened to be on the one issue I think defines my apologetics when it comes to the origins issue. It was a post interacting with, and dispelling, a newspaper article written by a Kansas City Star columnist who, like the vast majority of anti-ID advocates, believe ID is just another way of saying biblical creationism.
This month of July, 2008, happens to mark the 150th anniversary of when Charles Darwin began compiling his research into the earthshaking book On the Origin of Species by the Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. In light of this, I thought I would re-publish my original post. I reformatted the post a bit, the linksto the article I interact with no longer works, so I just removed them, but overall the material is still relevant in distinguishing between ID and biblical creationism.
Does ID = Creationism?
This is a blatant falsehood.
Anyone who insists upon promoting this lie demonstrates either personal laziness with the ability to discover what ID adherences genuinely believe, or a willing duplicity to intentionally distort the facts.
For those unfamiliar with the ID movement, it is a grass roots effort among a growing number of scientists from a variety of scientific disciplines to challenge the sheer irrational implausibility of Darwinian evolution as the means of explaining the origins of life on our planet. They offer their challenge in a number of ways, but the most common is by acknowledging the obvious complexity of multi-cellular life; a fact either ignored by evolutionists, or dismissed out of hand with illogical explanations.
One of ID’s main talking points is the irreducible complexity of even the smallest microscopic organisms. Simply put, the tinniest bacteria have specifically complex parts that are necessary for the organism to function. Thus, if any one of those parts were “reduced” – taken away or lost – the bacteria would cease to function and could not survive. For example, on a larger scale, the common woodpecker shows such irreducibly complex parts. This unique bird has a specially shaped skull and a padded beak allowing it to take the impact of repeatedly beating its head against a tree. Additionally, the bird’s neck contains a spring loaded bone, providing it the ability of a jackhammer so as to punch holes in wood. Remove the special skull and padded beak and the shock of pounding its head will kill it. Remove the spring loaded neck bone and the woodpecker looses its ability to pound through wood. In short, all of these special parts that give the woodpecker its wood pecking abilities had to be in place at the start of the woodpecker’s existence or it would not be able to survive. Such evidence exposes the stark unreliability of evolutionists to explain the presence of all life on earth, let alone the woodpecker.
The Darwinian philosophy of alleged “common ancestry,” adaptation through mutation and gradual change over long periods of time (or short periods of punctuated equilibrium, depending upon your philosophical, evolutionary leanings), does not even begin to adequately explain the origin of biological life we observe. Intelligent Design proponents are honestly evaluating the evidence and recognize the interpretative conclusion of the evidence drawn by evolutionists is primarily driven by their presuppositional commitment to materialistic atheism and not everyday, applied science.
Scientists in the ID movement dissenting from the “norm,” as it were, believe the fundamental flaws of evolution should be discussed in the public arena, especially the public schools, where these flaws have gone unchallenged for years and are passed along as “fact” by shallow minded biology teachers who forbid students to even consider the problems inherent with evolutionary philosophy. Intelligent Design wishes to provide students with all the available information and points of view interpreting the information so they can learn to think critically; the “status quot” wishes to censor them.
Now granted, ID has the word “design” in its self-description, and that in turn implies some recognition of an intelligent cause to do the designing, but this non-descript intelligence does not equate the God of revealed scripture who created the universe and all that it contains in 6 days as the Genesis narrative tells us. There is nothing necessarily “fundamentalist Christian” with ID’s intelligent cause.
Yet, in spite of the disconnect between the ID’s “intelligent cause” and the revealed, biblical God, witless reporters and writers in the secular media insist upon equating the two. One of the most recent examples is from an article written by Mary Sanchez, a regular opinion writer at the Kansas City Star. In her article, Democracy Under Assault in Schools, originally published on May 3rd, 2005 and re-published in the L.A. Daily News on May 27th, where I read it, Mary tells the tale of one Pedro Irigonegaray, a Cuban immigrant who fled with his family from Castro’s Cuba when he was a boy. Pedro grew up loving the freedom of democracy this wonderful country provides and he eventually became a defense attorney (as all democracy loving immigrants from Communist countries aspire to be) so as to be a crusader defending everyday freedoms in jeopardy of being taking away from the common man. According to Mary, one of those precious freedoms Pedro is involved with defending in Kansas is the freedom from the tyrannical ideas of Intelligent Design. In one of the more strained comparisons I have read in some time, Mary believes that teaching students to critically analyze the philosophical claims of origin science is an assault on American democracy and is akin to full blown communism, albeit, “fundamentalist Christian communism.”
Putting aside her bizarre defense for freedom from religion, I gave up on Mary being a credible editorial opinion maker when she wrote:
As a defense attorney, Irigonegaray’s client was mainstream science, the theory that life evolved through the ages. It was sort of a modern-day Scopes Monkey Trial. The Kansas Board of Education listened to the arguments. Proponents of Intelligent Design (a new way of saying creationism) want the scientific theories of evolution downplayed in the public classrooms. Intelligent design argues that nature is too complicated to be the result of natural causes and is best explained by creator.
One is at a loss where to begin in correcting the distorted ignorance contained in this paragraph, but her comment that Intelligent Design is a new way of saying “creationism” is inexcusable and the easiest to answer if one were to simply do a quick Internet search, an ability Mary apparently does not have. A cursory reading of one of the main websites of the ID movement, The Center for Culture and Science, clearly states ID has revulsion towards any form of biblical creationism. Under their questions section they write this in response to whether or not ID equals creationism:
4. 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. Creationism is focused on defending a literal reading of the Genesis account, usually including the creation of the earth by the Biblical God a few thousand years ago. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design and has no commitment to defending Genesis, the Bible or any other sacred text.
The difference could not be any plainer. The most noteworthy distinction between ID theory and biblical creationism, as the paragraph explains, is creationism’s recognition of the biblical God who has revealed Himself in the pages of Holy Scripture. Moreover, creationists acknowledge and uphold the authority of the Bible as the infallible source of divinely revealed information telling mankind where life came from and who created it.
Intelligent Designers, on the other hand, believe in some non-descript intelligent cause and are agnostic as to who or what this “cause” is. It could be anything from aliens living in another dimension who created our universe using high energy particle accelerators to a super intelligent galactic turtle. Sure, there are some muddle-minded Christians who have latched onto ID theory with an attempt to “Christianize” it. I, as a biblical creationist, recognize the important worth of ID’s task of tearing down the ideological stranglehold evolutionary theory has on the academic mind. But, the fact of ID not being grounded in the true and living God who has clearly revealed Himself only allows any person with a wacky belief about a creator and creation utilize ID arguments.
Many of the promoters for ID are non-religious, non-practicing Catholics. Others are somewhat atheistic. Dr. Jonathan Wells, who wrote a tremendous book exposing the outright scientific fraud published in high school science texts books called The Icons of Evolution is a Moonie. That means he believes a squat, little Korean man is the Son of God. Even the famed, former atheist, Anthony Flew, acknowledges how ID arguments changed his mind about the plausibility of materialistic atheism to explain the world’s origin so that now he believes in some form of deism. Yet, he still reviles the living God, shaking his fist in His face, and he continues to hate Christianity as a revelatory, religious system.
These key distinctions are glaring. Any time a Galileo-like high school biology teacher challenges evolutionary dogma with ID arguments that results in him being brought up on charges of scientific heresy, reporters in the MSM, along with opinion writers like Mary Sanchez, trot out some fossilized biology professor from a local community college who quickly renounces him as promoting religion in public schools. Do these people truly believe they are doing genuine reporting? Defending American liberties from the onslaught of theocratic minded Christians?
How long will these folks persist in their embarrassing ignorance by passing along the same boring, anti-religious clichés comparing ID to fundamentalist Christians desiring to rob Americans of democracy and impose a theocratic government? It is becoming wearisome and unoriginal.