Friday, September 01, 2006


Die-hard Darwinists

"To a die-hard Darwinist, ANY account of the development of life that does not commit to a materialist (unguided, unplanned) explanation can be stigmatized as 'creationism,' writes Discovery Institute President Bruce Chapman.

RSR will leave aside, for now, the strange attraction to the use of all caps and multiple exclamation points exhibited by city slicker ID theorists and their country cousin creation science brethren.

We won't even point to this deplorable writing tic as evidence that ID and creationism, like magnet therapy and the foot operated breast enlarger pump, are but two products rolling off the end of the same endlessly turning quack assembly line.

Chapman's latest post, published today on Discovery's Evolution News and Views blog, begins as an analysis of an article in The Guardian suggesting that a meeting to be held this week by Pope Benedict "could herald a fundamental shift in the Vatican's view of evolution."

Since most Catholics understand the scientific and theological deficiencies of creationism, Chapman ends his post by arguing, yet again, that "ID scientists are “not creationists” either ”in disguise” or otherwise."

The media, writes Chapman, have unfairly adopted the stigmatized definition of ID proposed by die-hard Darwinists rather than "definitions [note the plural, RSR] offered by ID scientists. This is very frustrating for the ID scientists, and to say the least, impedes serious dialogue."

Is it really the so-called Darwinists who have labeled ID as a mere variant of creationism?

Certainly, the seeming aversion of Darwinists to the multiple exclamation point writing style has forced them to come up with colorful ways of expressing themselves.

Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross have called ID a Trojan horse designed to sneak creationism into the science curriculum of the public schools. And, in a memorable turn of phrase, Leonard Krishtalka, who directs the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas, has called intelligent design nothing more than creationism in a cheep tuxedo.

The best evidence that intelligent design really is creationism in disguise, however, comes not from die-hard Darwinists, but from intelligent design theorists themselves.

That evidence is preserved – in much the same way the fossil evidence for evolution is salted away in layers of sediment deposited over time – in the many drafts of the ID textbook, "Of Pandas and People."

At the Dover intelligent design trial, Barbara Forrest, a professor of Philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University, testified that early drafts of the textbook said, "Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc."

Following the Supreme Court's 1987 Edwards decision striking down a Louisiana law requiring that when evolution is taught in public schools creationism must also be taught, the authors of Pandas substituted the words intelligent design for creation:

"Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc."
In his ruling in the Dover case, Judge Jones wrote:

By comparing the pre and post Edwards drafts of Pandas, three astonishing points emerge: (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 changesoccurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards.
It wasn't die-hard Darwinists, but ID "theorists" who wrote and edited "Of Pandas and People." It is they who believe intelligent design and creationism are one and the same. And that's one inconvenient truth Bruce Chapman can't hide no matter how many capital letters he erects in front of it or how many exclamation points he stacks on top.


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