Tuesday, April 25, 2006


ID's Mad Scientists

Crandaddy, the pseudonymous Igor to William Dembski's Dr. Frankenstein down in the dungeons of Uncommon Descent has a bone to pick with RSR. Crandaddy didn't like our Barbara Forrest profile. He writes:
Now, here’s what I don’t understand. Forrest has a PhD in philosophy from Tulane, yet the best ID=Creationism arguments she seems to be able to put forth are either red herrings (The designer has to be supernatural.) or ad hominems (The IDists are big, bad Creationists trying to sneak religion into science classrooms.) Why
can’t ID opponents focus on the arguments, themselves, and show how they are equivalent to Creationism?
Now, by ad hominem, Crandaddy seems to mean appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason, but as we point out in our profile, Forrest doesn't really claim that the ID faithful are creationists in disguise. All she does, is cite their own statements to prove it so.

In her Dover testimony, Forrest read into the court record this statement by Phillip Johnson, the father of the intelligent design movement:
"My colleagues and I speak of theistic realism, or sometimes mere creation, as the defining concept of our movement. This means that we affirm that God is objectively real as creator, and that the reality of God is tangibly recorded in evidence accessible to science, particularly in biology."
She also demonstrated, quite convincingly, that the authors of the intelligent design textbook, Of Pandas and People, believe that intelligent design is the same as creationism. They simply substituted the words intelligent design for creationism in the text, without changing the definition.

In his ruling, Judge Jones underscored the importance of this point:
(1) the definition for creation science in early drafts is identical to the definition of ID; (2) cognates of the word creation (creationism and creationist), which appeared approximately 150 times were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID; and (3) the changes occurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards.
Crandaddy asks why ID opponents can't "focus on the arguments, themselves, and show how they are equivalent to Creationism." The fact is, that is exactly what Forrest has done. She's listened carefully to all the leading ID proponents. She recorded what they had to say. And now, she's simply playing them back for all to hear.

That's why ID activists hate her so.

The truth is, intelligent design theorists are a bit like mad scientists. They've made a crude attempt to graft the head of fundamentalist Christianity onto the body of science. The result is a monster.


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