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Is ID science or religion?
antievolution.org ^ | Prof. Phillip E. Johnson

Posted on 01/25/2006 9:27:55 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez

Prof. Johnson is considered to be the father of the Intelligent Design movement. What follows is known as The Wedge Strategy, authored by Johnson.

In the words of the recognized father of the ID movement...ID is religion.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: creationisminadress; crevolist; fakescience; goddooditamen; idjunkscience; intelligentdesign; pseudoscience
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THE WEDGE STRATEGY

CENTER FOR THE RENEWAL OF SCIENCE & CULTURE

INTRODUCTION

The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West's greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.

Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art

The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating. Materialists denied the existence of objective moral standards, claiming that environment dictates our behavior and beliefs. Such moral relativism was uncritically adopted by much of the social sciences, and it still undergirds much of modern economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

Materialists also undermined personal responsibility by asserting that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and environment. The results can be seen in modern approaches to criminal justice, product liability, and welfare. In the materialist scheme of things, everyone is a victim and no one can be held accountable for his or her actions.

Finally, materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism. Thinking they could engineer the perfect society through the application of scientific knowledge, materialist reformers advocated coercive government programs that falsely promised to create heaven on earth.

Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature. The Center awards fellowships for original research, holds conferences, and briefs policymakers about the opportunities for life after materialism.

The Center is directed by Discovery Senior Fellow Dr. Stephen Meyer. An Associate Professor of Philosophy at Whitworth College, Dr. Meyer holds a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University. He formerly worked as a geophysicist for the Atlantic Richfield Company.

THE WEDGE STRATEGY

Phase I.

Phase II.

Phase III.

THE WEDGE PROJECTS

Phase I. Scientific Research, Writing & Publication

Phase II. Publicity & Opinion-making

Phase III. Cultural Confrontation & Renewal

FIVE YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN SUMMARY

The social consequences of materialism have been devastating. As symptoms, those consequences are certainly worth treating. However, we are convinced that in order to defeat materialism, we must cut it off at its source. That source is scientific materialism. This is precisely our strategy. If we view the predominant materialistic science as a giant tree, our strategy is intended to function as a "wedge" that, while relatively small, can split the trunk when applied at its weakest points. The very beginning of this strategy, the "thin edge of the wedge," was Phillip ]ohnson's critique of Darwinism begun in 1991 in Darwinism on Trial, and continued in Reason in the Balance and Defeatng Darwinism by Opening Minds. Michael Behe's highly successful Darwin's Black Box followed Johnson's work. We are building on this momentum, broadening the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of intelligent design (ID). Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.

The Wedge strategy can be divided into three distinct but interdependent phases, which are roughly but not strictly chronological. We believe that, with adequate support, we can accomplish many of the objectives of Phases I and II in the next five years (1999-2003), and begin Phase III (See "Goals/ Five Year Objectives/Activities").

Phase I: Research, Writing and Publication

Phase II: Publicity and Opinion-making

Phase III: Cultural Confrontation and Renewal

Phase I is the essential component of everything that comes afterward. Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade. A lesson we have learned from the history of science is that it is unnecessary to outnumber the opposing establishment. Scientific revolutions are usually staged by an initially small and relatively young group of scientists who are not blinded by the prevailing prejudices and who are able to do creative work at the pressure points, that is, on those critical issues upon which whole systems of thought hinge. So, in Phase I we are supporting vital witting and research at the sites most likely to crack the materialist edifice.

Phase II. The pnmary purpose of Phase II is to prepare the popular reception of our ideas. The best and truest research can languish unread and unused unless it is properly publicized. For this reason we seek to cultivate and convince influential individuals in pnnt and broadcast media, as well as think tank leaders, scientists and academics, congressional staff, talk show hosts, college and seminary presidents and faculty, future talent and potential academic allies. Because of his long tenure in politics, journalism and public policy, Discovery President Bruce Chapman brings to the project rare knowledge and acquaintance of key op-ed writers, journalists, and political leaders. This combination of scientific and scholarly expertise and media and political connections makes the Wedge unique, and also prevents it from being "merely academic." Other activities include production of a PBS documentary on intelligent design and its implications, and popular op-ed publishing. Alongside a focus on influential opinion-makers, we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Chnstians. We will do this primarily through apologetics seminars. We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidence's that support the faith, as well as to "popularize" our ideas in the broader culture.

Phase III. Once our research and writing have had time to mature, and the public prepared for the reception of design theory, we will move toward direct confrontation with the advocates of materialist science through challenge conferences in significant academic settings. We will also pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula. The attention, publicity, and influence of design theory should draw scientific materialists into open debate with design theorists, and we will be ready. With an added emphasis to the social sciences and humanities, we will begin to address the specific social consequences of materialism and the Darwinist theory that supports it in the sciences.

GOALS

Governing Goals

Five Year Goals

Twenty Year Goals

FIVE YEAR OBJECTIVES

1. A major public debate between design theorists and Darwinists (by 2003)

2. Thirty published books on design and its cultural implications (sex, gender issues, medicine, law, and religion)

3. One hundred scientific, academic and technical articles by our fellows

4. Significant coverage in national media:

5. Spiritual & cultural renewal:

6. Ten states begin to rectify ideological imbalance in their science curricula & include design theory

7. Scientific achievements:

ACTVITIES

(1) Research Fellowship Program (for writing and publishing)

(2) Front line research funding at the "pressure points" (e.g., Daul Chien's Chengjiang Cambrian Fossil Find in paleontology, and Doug Axe's research laboratory in molecular biology)

(3) Teacher training

(4) Academic Conferences

(5) Opinion-maker Events & Conferences

(6) Alliance-building, recruitment of future scientists and leaders, and strategic partnerships with think tanks, social advocacy groups, educational organizations and institutions, churches, religious groups, foundations and media outlets

(7) Apologetics seminars and public speaking

(8) Op-ed and popular writing

(9) Documentaries and other media productions

(10) Academic debates

(11) Fund Raising and Development

(12) General Administrative support

THE WEDGE STRATEGY PROGRESS SUMMARY

Books

William Dembski and Paul Nelson, two CRSC Fellows, will very soon have books published by major secular university publishers, Cambridge University Press and The University of Chicago Press, respectively. (One critiques Darwinian materialism; the other offers a powerful altenative.)

Nelson's book, On Common Descent, is the seventeenth book in the prestigious University of Chicago "Evolutionary Monographs" series and the first to critique neo-Dacwinism. Dembski's book, The Design Inference, was back-ordered in June, two months prior to its release date.

These books follow hard on the heals of Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box (The Free Press) which is now in paperback after nine print runs in hard cover. So far it has been translated into six foreign languages. The success of his book has led to other secular publishers such as McGraw Hill requesting future titles from us. This is a breakthrough.

InterVarsity will publish our large anthology, Mere Creation (based upon the Mere Creation conference) this fall, and Zondervan is publishing Maker of Heaven and Earth: Three Views of the Creation-Evolution Contoversy, edited by fellows John Mark Reynolds and J.P. Moreland.

McGraw Hill solicited an expedited proposal from Meyer, Dembski and Nelson on their book Uncommmon Descent. Finally, Discovery Fellow Ed Larson has won the Pulitzer Prize for Summer for the Gods, his retelling of the Scopes Trial, and InterVarsity has just published his co-authored attack on assisted suicide, A Different Death.

Academic Articles

Our fellows recently have been featured or published articles in major sciendfic and academic journals in The Proceedings to the National Academy of Sciences, Nature, The Scientist, The American Biology Teacher, Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Biochemirtry, Philosophy and Biology, Faith & Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Analysis, Book & Culture, Ethics & Medicine, Zygon, Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith, Relgious Studies, Christian Scholars' Review, The Southern Journal ofPhilosophy, and the Journal of Psychalogy and Theology. Many more such articles are now in press or awaiting review at major secular journals as a result of our first round of research fellowships. Our own journal, Origins & Design, continues to feature scholarly contribudons from CRSC Fellows and other scientists.

Television and Radio Appearances

During 1997 our fellows appeared on numerous radio programs (both Christian and secular) and five nationally televised programs, TechnoPolitics, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Inside the Law, Freedom Speaks, and Firing Line. The special edition of TechnoPolitics that we produced with PBS in November elicited such an unprecedented audience response that the producer Neil Freeman decided to air a second episode from the "out takes." His enthusiasm for our intellectual agenda helped stimulate a special edition of William F. Buckley's Firing Line, featuring Phillip Johnson and two of our fellows, Michael Behe and David Berlinski. At Ed Atsinger's invitation, Phil Johnson and Steve Meyer addressed Salem Communications' Talk Show Host conference in Dallas last November. As a result, Phil and Steve have been interviewed several times on Salem talk shows across the country. For example, in ]uly Steve Meyer and Mike Behe were interviewed for two hours on the nationally broadcast radio show ]anet Parshall's America. Canadian Public Radio (CBC) recently featured Steve Meyer on their Tapestry program. The episode, "God & the Scientists," has aired all across Canada. And in April, William Craig debated Oxford atheist Peter Atkins in Atlanta before a large audience (moderated by William F. Buckley), which was broadcast live via satellite link, local radio, and intenet "webcast."

Newspaper and Magazine Articles

The Firing Line debate generated positive press coverage for our movement in, of all places, The New York Times, as well as a column by Bill Buckley. In addition, our fellows have published recent articles & op-eds in both the secular and Christian press, including, for example, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Times, National Review, Commentary, Touchstone, The Detroit News, The Boston Review, The Seattle Post-lntelligenter, Christianity Toady, Cosmic Pursuits and World. An op-ed piece by Jonathan Wells and Steve Meyer is awaiting publication in the Washington Post. Their article criticizes the National Academy of Science book Teaching about Evolution for its selective and ideological presentation of scientific evidence. Similar articles are in the works.

1 posted on 01/25/2006 9:27:56 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez
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To: jwalsh07

PING!


2 posted on 01/25/2006 9:29:28 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez

LOL, Luis I'm just an interested observer. I make no bones about ID or neo Darwinism. I'm a creationist and I'll go to my grave secure in the belief that God did it all. The details are sometimes an amusing pastime here at evo/crevo central but no more than that to me.


3 posted on 01/25/2006 9:33:11 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Luis Gonzalez; PatrickHenry
Late night Wedge Strategy ===> Placemarker <===

Will check back in the morning to see if anything has evolved.

4 posted on 01/25/2006 9:36:24 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: jwalsh07

You're just running away before I have enough time to read up on allele frequencies...that's all.

:-)


5 posted on 01/25/2006 9:40:09 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Nothing unusual about a group of individuals organizing efforts to promote their views. It's no like they are doing it in secret. Just look at the following:

Phase I is the essential component of everything that comes afterward. Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade. A lesson we have learned from the history of science is that it is unnecessary to outnumber the opposing establishment. Scientific revolutions are usually staged by an initially small and relatively young group of scientists who are not blinded by the prevailing prejudices and who are able to do creative work at the pressure points, that is, on those critical issues upon which whole systems of thought hinge. So, in Phase I we are supporting vital witting and research at the sites most likely to crack the materialist edifice.

They obviously recognize the need for solid science, unlike evolutionists.

6 posted on 01/25/2006 9:45:35 PM PST by connectthedots
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To: Luis Gonzalez

bump


7 posted on 01/25/2006 9:46:25 PM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: Luis Gonzalez

The mullahs are fighting the same battles right now as well.


8 posted on 01/25/2006 9:46:48 PM PST by M203M4
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To: jwalsh07
...no bones...

No bones? Of course there are bones! Here's some now! (pardon the quote mining).



Fossil: Sts 5 Site: Sterkfontein Cave South Africa (1)

Discovered By: R. Broom & J. Robinson 1947 (1)

Estimated Age of Fossil: 2.5 mya * determined by Stratigraphic, floral & faunal data (1, 4)

Species Name: Australopithecus africanus (1, 2)

Gender: Male (based on CAT scan of wisdom teeth roots) (1, 30) Female (original interpretation) (4)

Cranial Capacity: 485 cc (2, 4)

Information: No tools found in same layer (4)

Interpretation: Erect posture (based on forward facing foramen magnum) (8)

Nickname: Mrs. Ples (1)

See original source for notes:
http://www.mos.org/evolution/fossils/fossilview.php?fid=24

9 posted on 01/25/2006 9:47:56 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: connectthedots

The problem is that ID'ers refuse to admit the fact that ID IS religion.

Promote your views, but do so without lying about it.

ID, according to the father of the movement, is religion attempting to control science.


10 posted on 01/25/2006 9:48:03 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez

Oh crap, here we go again...


11 posted on 01/25/2006 9:53:09 PM PST by JamesP81
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To: M203M4
The mullahs are fighting the same battles right now as well.

A new record. I think the last time I checked it took about 50 posts for an evo to compare christians to islamofascists. This time, it only took eight. The response time is getting better...
12 posted on 01/25/2006 9:54:50 PM PST by JamesP81
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Their article criticizes the National Academy of Science book Teaching about Evolution for its selective and ideological presentation of scientific evidence.

The Long March Through the Institutions may have infected the scientific community. Imagine that!

13 posted on 01/25/2006 9:57:25 PM PST by ForGod'sSake
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To: Luis Gonzalez
The origination of the Wedge Strategy.

Psa 90:17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.

14 posted on 01/25/2006 10:00:38 PM PST by bondserv (God governs our universe and has seen fit to offer us a pardon. )
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Nowadays the DI's website is full of bland, public relations boilerplate. The ID spokespeople have retreated so far, it's enough to make you wonder why they even care about the subject at all!

But there was a time, early on in the movement's life, when they were young, brash, and refreshingly upfront about their true agenda.

The DI formed the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture in November, 1996. The press release explained how the center came to be and its purpose. (NOTE: These references come from the Wayback Machine archive.)

Major grants help establish Center for Renewal of Science and Culture

For over a century, Western science has been influenced by the idea that God is either dead or irrelevant. Two foundations recently awarded Discovery Institute nearly a million dollars in grants to examine and confront this materialistic bias in science, law, and the humanities. The grants will be used to establish the Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture at Discovery, which will award research fellowships to scholars, hold conferences, and disseminate research findings among opinionmakers and the general public.

...

The new Center grew out of last summer's "Death of Materialism" conference that Discovery organized and which has gathered increased attention since the four keynote addresses were published by the Intercollegiate Review earlier this year.

"The conference pointed the way," Discovery President Bruce Chapman says, "and helped us mobilize support to attack the scientific argument for the 20th century's ideology of materialism and the host of social 'isms' that attend it."...

From November 1996 through the end of 1998, here's the text you'd find when you came to the CRSC homepage:
Life After Materialism

For more than a century, science attempted to explain all human behaviour as the subrational product of unbending chemical, genetic, or environmental forces. The spiritual side of human nature was ignored, if not denied outright.

This rigid scientific materialism infected all other areas of human knowledge, laying the foundations for much of modern psychology, sociology, economics, and political science. Yet today new developments in biology, physics, and artificial intelligence are raising serious doubts about scientific materialism and re-opening the case for the supernatural.

What do these exciting developments mean for the social sciences that were built upon the foundation of materialism? This project brings together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences in order to explore what the demise of materialism means for reviving the various disciplines. 

But that's just the cliff-notes version. Click on "About the Center", and you get the full, blistering indictment:
THE proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West's greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.

Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed human beings not as eternal and accountable beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by chance and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and music.

The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating. Materialists denied the existence of objective standards binding on all cultures, claiming that environment dictates our moral beliefs. Such moral relativism was uncritically adopted by much of the social sciences, and it still undergirds much of modern economics, political science, psychology and sociology.

Materialists also undermined personal responsibility by asserting that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and environment. The results can be seen in modern approaches to criminal justice, product liability, and welfare. In the materialist scheme of things, everyone is a victim and no one can be held accountable for his or her actions.

Finally, materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism. Thinking they could engineer the perfect society through the application of scientific knowledge, materialist reformers advocated coercive government programs that falsely promised to create heaven on earth.

Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its damning cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for the supernatural. The Center awards fellowships for original research, holds conferences, and briefs policymakers about the opportunities for life after materialism.

The Center is directed by Discovery Senior Fellow Dr. Stephen Meyer. An Associate Professor of Philosophy at Whitworth College, Dr. Meyer holds a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University. He formerly worked as a geophysicist for the Atlantic Richfield Company.

This text was later lifted whole to become the Introduction of the infamous Wedge Document.

They also helpfully explained themselves further in their "What is Materialism?" FAQ:

#1. What is Materialism?

For these purposes, it has little to do with greed. Or wanting to buy too much at the mall to boost your self-esteem.

Materialism is the modern day philosophy that holds that matter is all there is. It's the philosophy that says "If you can't touch it, smell it, taste it or explain it through the hard sciences, it doesn't exist." Men are merely complex machines and not spiritual beings.

And it's approved by most intellectuals around the world.

One other thing: we're out to topple it.

#2. What is Naturalism?

It's another word for materialism. There are no discernible differences. Kind of like "soda and pop," " shrimp and prawns." Naturalism states that nature is " all there is."

#3. OK, then what is Darwinism?

Darwinism is the belief that we evolved not only from the apes, but that we started from nothing other than purposeless mass. As late Harvard evolutionary biologist George Gaylord Simpson said, "Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned."

Charles Darwin is to Materialism like Karl Marx is to Communism. Like Adam Smith is to Capitalism. This is not to say that Darwin himself is responsible for the full course of Darwinism since his death. But he opened the door.

#4. Materialism, Naturalism, Darwinism, all these isms,
what do they have to do with me and my life?

Materialism is a powerful philosophy of life today because it sets the boundaries for what is right and wrong in society. It explains the ''rules'' that govern our civilization. It goes to the very intellectual roots of society, the very foundation that our social and cultural institutions are built upon.

Indeed, if materialism is right -- as most intellectuals propose -- then ''God'' is merely a figment of our imagination. Therefore, God didn't create man; man created God. Doestoyevsky once said that ''if God is dead then all things are lawful. '' Might makes right. The State is the ultimate enforcer of rules.

Let's look at how materialism has infected the legal system, welfare and popular culture.

#5. How has materialism infected the legal system?


Materialism teaches us that God is dead. It follows that divine revelation cannot be the basis of human law.

Human law can only be based on upon the current opinion of the people who have the power to make and interpret laws. In our society, that power rests in the hands of an elite class of judges, lawmakers and other experts.

" We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" quickly loses much validity if our "Creator" does not exist. Result: a culture of irresponsibility and victimhood.

The present culture took decades to develop. Look at a 1930s text in criminal law that upholds the materialist foundation:

"Man is no more responsible for becoming willful and committing a crime than a flower for becoming red and fragrant. In both instances, the end products are predetermined by nature."

#6. How has materialism infected our welfare system?

Dating back to the 1960s, those who conceived the war on poverty believed that poverty could be eradicated because they believed its root causes were material: poverty, educational deprivation, crime, etc. Thirty five years later, we realize that throwing material resources at the problem has made it worse, not better.

By ignoring the moral and spiritual dimensions of poverty, we have ignored the real problems of poverty: family breakdown, illegitimacy and government-fostered dependency.

#7. How has materialism infected popular culture?

If morals are relative and nothing is absolute, anything goes. It requires no deep intellectual digging to see how materialism has assaulted popular culture.

Popular culture seldom portrays religion favorably yet often with disdain. Those characters who seem to hold traditional or conservative values will surely be mocked, seen as "square" and even "oppressors" of some sort of unalienable right bestowed upon humankind from Hollywood.

#8. But can't I believe in Darwin and God? After all, couldn't God have used evolution to create life and mankind?

Much depends on how you define "evolution." Some people think evolution describes how things change over a period of time ( i.e. a finch's beak length, a moth's color etc). Others think that slow and
gradual change to one organism can be translated directly into how life itself was created.

At a very basic level, we think evolution might explain the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest and that it can explain some form of development, but not original development.

#9. What is the Center for the Renewal for Science and Culture?

The Center is the intellectual base for the effort to overthrow materialism. Recruiting leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center promotes the latest scientific research that undercuts materialism. Specifically, the Center awards fellowships for original research, hold conferences and briefs policy and opinion makers about the opportunities for life after materialism.

Postmodernists of the Right

So, what does it all add up to? The Intelligent Design advocates, like most creationists, are afraid of this scenario happening:

  1. If we only teach our children naturalistic theories of biology, they'll lose their belief in the supernatural.
     
  2. This will cause them to lose their belief in God.
     
  3. Without believing in a supernatural God who can tell us what to think about right and wrong, they'll lose any reason to believe that there are objective reasons or standards for moral behavior.

Or to put it another way: Creationists are afraid that the natural world gives us no objective standards by which to judge an action as right or wrong. Creationists believe there is no objective truth down here in the natural world.

Traditional postmodernists of the left also assume there are no objective truths. This is called "moral subjectivism". Postmodernists believe that "truth" is merely a self-serving social convention that's accepted by each interest group as the acutal Truth. They argue that all societal disputes are ultimately won by whichever interest group is more ruthless in pursuit of its own self-interest. So their solution to preventing this Hobbesian "war of all against all" is to support the underdog in any dispute, so as to maintain a tense standoff of equals. (Historically, postmodernists have tended to side with the left in any dispute, causing many people to wonder if postmodernism is itself a self-serving philosophy.)

Amazingly, creationists and the ID advocates - who are mostly political conservatives - largely agree with this moral subjectivism! Their proposed solution is to get the opinion leaders & intelligentsia of society to all believe in the same external Authority Figure, who can declare for all of us what He wants to define as right and wrong. They want His - perhaps arbitrary - pronouncements to stand in for the objective moral truths that the right-wing postmodernists believe don't really exist in the real world.

America's founding fathers would disagree with this philosophy. They believed, rightly, that we are able to use our reason to come to an understanding of objective reality. The Truths may not exactly be self-evident as Jefferson wrote. It may take much wisdom and painful experience in learning from history. But objective Truth is out there for us to discover. It's a pity that conservatives of the creationist stripe have lost confidence in the existence of objective Truth.

15 posted on 01/25/2006 10:13:26 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: your mind)
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To: bondserv

Then you agree that ID is religion in disguise trying to force itself into the realm of science?

Teach Biblical Creationism in every parochial school and preach it from every pulpit, but keep it out of the publicly funded school system.

Each in its place, and each with its function.


16 posted on 01/25/2006 10:15:50 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez

I think it would be fair to say that most IDers are also creationists; but not all. It would be just as fair to say that many evolutionists are also secular humanists, but not all; and secular humanism is a religion.

I, for one, have been open with the fact that I believe in both creation and ID. They are not incompatible.

Those who support ID/creation are not attempting to control science any more than evolutionists; and probably less so than evolutionists.

The fact is, there are lots of unresolved issues related to the truth of evolution; so many that no reasonable person would claim that the evidene reaches the level of proof.


17 posted on 01/25/2006 10:17:32 PM PST by connectthedots
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To: jennyp
Here's a passage from an article by Jerry Coyne from last August:

Given the overwhelming evidence for evolution and the lack of evidence for ID, how can intelligent people hold such views? Is their faith so strong that it blinds them to all evidence? It is a bit more complicated than that. After all, many theologians and religious people accept evolution. The real issues behind intelligent design--and much of creationism--are purpose and morality: specifically, the fear that if evolution is true, then we are no different from other animals, not the special objects of God's creation but a contingent product of natural selection, and so we lack real purpose, and our morality is just the law of the jungle. Tom DeLay furnished a colorful example of this view on the floor of the House of Representatives on June 16, 1999. Explaining the causes of the massacre at Columbine High School, he read a sarcastic letter in a Texas newspaper that suggested that "it couldn't have been because our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who have evolutionized out of some primordial soup of mud." 

The notion that naturalism and materialism are the enemies of morality and a sense of human purpose, and that religion is their only ally, is pervasive in the writings of IDers. As Johnson noted, "Once God is culturally determined to be imaginary, then God's morality loses its foundation and withers away." Nancy Pearcey, a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, summarizes why evolution disturbs so many Americans:  

Why does the public care so passionately about a theory of biology? Because people sense intuitively that there's much more at stake than a scientific theory. They know that when naturalistic evolution is taught in the science classroom, then a naturalistic view of ethics will be taught down the hallway in the history classroom, the sociology classroom, the family life classroom, and in all areas of the curriculum. 
Even some parents in Dover, though opposed to teaching ID in school, worry that learning evolution will erode the Christian values that they are trying to instill in their children.  

But the acceptance of evolution need not efface morality or purpose. Evolution is simply a theory about the process and patterns of life's diversification, not a grand philosophical scheme about the meaning of life. Philosophers have argued for years about whether ethics should have a basis in nature. There is certainly no logical connection between evolution and immorality. Nor is there a causal connection: in Europe, religion is far less pervasive than in America, and belief in evolution is more widespread, but somehow the continent remains civilized. Most religious scientists, laymen, and theologians have not found the acceptance of evolution to impede living an upright, meaningful life. And the idea that religion provides the sole foundation for meaning and morality also cannot be right: the world is full of skeptics, agnostics, and atheists who live good and meaningful lives. 


18 posted on 01/25/2006 10:17:46 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: your mind)
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To: jennyp
Amazingly, creationists and the ID advocates - who are mostly political conservatives - largely agree with this moral subjectivism!

Wow. I don't know how long you tortured that logic, but I assure you, if it knew anything, it talked.

Creationists, generally being Christians, are, frankly, the biggest champions of the concept of absolute moral truth. Where you get this idea has me severely stumped.
19 posted on 01/25/2006 10:19:00 PM PST by JamesP81
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To: JamesP81

I am not comparing Christians to islamofascists. I am comparing idiots with idiots. Please don't insult my faith by grouping me with morons.


20 posted on 01/25/2006 10:24:00 PM PST by M203M4
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To: M203M4
The mullahs are fighting the same battles right now as well.

Alright, I'll bite. If that isn't comparing Christians to Islamofascists, then what did you really mean?
21 posted on 01/25/2006 10:26:26 PM PST by JamesP81
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PhillipJohnsonDidit placemark


22 posted on 01/25/2006 10:30:57 PM PST by dread78645 (Intelligent Design. It causes people to lie - joebucks)
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To: All

I will toss my two cents in at this point. ID is not science, never was and never will be. It is not a theory and cannot compete with evolution since evolution is a theory and ID is not.


23 posted on 01/25/2006 10:31:24 PM PST by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: connectthedots
"Those who support ID/creation are not attempting to control science any more than evolutionists; and probably less so than evolutionists."

I don't recall a single instance of a scientific organization suing to force religion to be discussed at the pulpits.

"Evolutionism" is a scientific theory, competing against other scientific theories, in the scientific arena...that makes perfect sense.

What doesn't make any sense, is the idea of religion entering the scientific arena in order to promote the notion of an unknown power greater than ourselves being the creator/designer of everything.

So, if you believe in Creation, you cannot possibly believe in ID because they are absolutely incompatible; ID denies the God of the Bible by suggesting that the source of Creation is an unknown force.

If you believe in Biblical Creationism, then you KNOW that force; it isn't unknown.

24 posted on 01/25/2006 10:45:43 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Then you agree that ID is religion in disguise trying to force itself into the realm of science?

Here is the science of Intelligent Design. Further research into the area of molecular building through genetic information - which is in it's infancy - are revealing mechanisms that require intelligent impetuous to explain complex interrelated systems which exhibit engineering at levels of magnitude beyond Random Mutations and Natural Selection + unlimited time's jurisdiction.

25 posted on 01/25/2006 10:52:20 PM PST by bondserv (God governs our universe and has seen fit to offer us a pardon. )
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To: JamesP81
Christian Intelligent Design:

Islamofascist Intelligent Design:


26 posted on 01/25/2006 10:53:22 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: bondserv

And if you believe in Biblical Creation, then who is that intelligent impetus in your opinion?


27 posted on 01/25/2006 10:55:12 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: connectthedots
Correction:

I don't recall a single instance of a scientific organization suing to force religion evolution to be discussed at the pulpits.

28 posted on 01/25/2006 10:56:37 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: JamesP81
Creationists, generally being Christians, are, frankly, the biggest champions of the concept of absolute moral truth. Where you get this idea has me severely stumped.

Oh, creationists wish there were objective moral truth. But they agree (wrongly) with postmodernists that there isn't really any objective moral truth. Hence their quoting the Dostoyevsky quote in their FAQ #4 above: "if God is dead then all things are lawful." Creationists fear that without God the Authority Figure to provide a morality for everyone to follow, everyone'll just go off half-cocked with their own self-serving belief system, and inevitably fight every other interest group that follows their own private system of "truths".

The real world provides us with plenty of objective consequences to good vs. bad behavior. Everyone gets to see a society's basic animating philosophies play themselves out over time. This gives us an objective framework by which to judge & learn.

I see Creationists as being in the third stage of grief: Magical thinking. They think that if only we can get everyone to believe in this one God - and this one conception of God - then we'll all be on the same moral page again, and society's headlong rush into nihilism (caused by accepting "materialistic" evolution as stated in #15) will be stopped.

29 posted on 01/25/2006 10:57:14 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: your mind)
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To: RadioAstronomer
I will toss my two cents in at this point. ID is not science, never was and never will be. It is not a theory and cannot compete with evolution since evolution is a theory and ID is not.

Hello Radio,

ID will be mathematically proven through continued genetic and molecular research to be the only explanation for the complex interrelated systems of life. Intelligent impetuous will be found to be a requirement.

Wait for the momentum to provide the necessary funding to prove this out before you declare it DOA. We are already beginning to see that a large segment of society's desire to see the work that will present a rational scientific investigation. The new money will give it a real shot at being checked into.

30 posted on 01/25/2006 11:01:01 PM PST by bondserv (God governs our universe and has seen fit to offer us a pardon. )
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To: Luis Gonzalez
And if you believe in Biblical Creation, then who is that intelligent impetus in your opinion?

We will begin to explore that question when the science leaves us no other avenue. In my opinion, we are currently on the threshold of a scientific revolution.

Question for the day:

With modern dating methods, what age would a freshly created piece of matter date at?

31 posted on 01/25/2006 11:05:17 PM PST by bondserv (God governs our universe and has seen fit to offer us a pardon. )
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To: Luis Gonzalez
Yes, Hillary, it's all a vast right wing conspiracy.

Why some people are obsessed with Discovery Institute is interesting in itself. Unresolved issues.

32 posted on 01/25/2006 11:08:04 PM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: bondserv
"ID will be mathematically proven through continued genetic and molecular research to be the only explanation for the complex interrelated systems of life. Intelligent impetuous will be found to be a requirement."

LOL!!!

That has a Borg quality to it.

33 posted on 01/25/2006 11:11:49 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
That has a Borg quality to it.

Communal common sense. :-)

34 posted on 01/25/2006 11:13:48 PM PST by bondserv (God governs our universe and has seen fit to offer us a pardon. )
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To: bondserv
"We will begin to explore that question when the science leaves us no other avenue."

The question was directed at you, not at the hive.

You defend the notion if ID, so, in your opinion, who is that Intelligence?

35 posted on 01/25/2006 11:14:49 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: bondserv
Wait for the momentum to provide the necessary funding to prove this out before you declare it DOA. We are already beginning to see that a large segment of society's desire to see the work that will present a rational scientific investigation. The new money will give it a real shot at being checked into.

PMFJI, but what money???

The DI raises a million $$$ per year. Where are the scientific studies that they've funded? The Templeton Foundation asked them for research proposals, because they had supporters with money to burn who wanted to support the research. But the DI never got back to them with research proposals!

36 posted on 01/25/2006 11:15:10 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: your mind)
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To: Luis Gonzalez

Why? An open debate and teaching is fair for the students. They are smarter than so many adults. And teaching ID isn't congress passing a law establishing a religion. Local schools have the right to teach ID. It's clear to see in the Constitution; no need "interpeting".


37 posted on 01/25/2006 11:16:18 PM PST by fabian
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To: tallhappy
Why some people are obsessed with Discovery Institute is interesting in itself. Unresolved issues.

What do you think of postmodernism & ethical subjectivism?

What do you think of people on the right who agree with postmodernists' ethical subjectivism?

38 posted on 01/25/2006 11:17:16 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: your mind)
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To: jennyp
What do you think of postmodernism & ethical subjectivism?

Not much.

39 posted on 01/25/2006 11:21:10 PM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: fabian
"An open debate and teaching is fair for the students."

So, you'd be in favor of giving equal time to the promotion of evolution during religious services?

For the sake of the open debate notion.

40 posted on 01/25/2006 11:27:00 PM PST by Luis Gonzalez (Some people see the world as they would want it to be, effective people see the world as it is.)
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To: jennyp
Oh, creationists wish there were objective moral truth. But they agree (wrongly) with postmodernists that there isn't really any objective moral truth.

Fortunately for you, insanity is perfectly legal. The message of absolute moral truth is found all throughout the bible, preachers preach on it all the time, hell, even Christian rock bands sing about it (if you're interested, you can try the song 'Absolute' by Thousand Foot Krutch. They are the same style and similar skill as POD, which is also a Christian band, unbeknowest to many).
41 posted on 01/25/2006 11:29:22 PM PST by JamesP81
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: Luis Gonzalez
Is ID science or religion?

No, it's neither. But it is long-winded.

43 posted on 01/26/2006 12:18:53 AM PST by ARepublicanForAllReasons (A "democratic socialist" is just a communist who happens to be outgunned!)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
What doesn't make any sense, is the idea of religion entering the scientific arena in order to promote the notion of an unknown power greater than ourselves being the creator/designer of everything.

Christianity is not separate from 'truth'. Christians are just as capable of being excellent scientists as anyone. Evolutionists are closed minded when they reject out-of-hand any consideration of the existence of God.

So, if you believe in Creation, you cannot possibly believe in ID because they are absolutely incompatible; ID denies the God of the Bible by suggesting that the source of Creation is an unknown force.

ID does not take a position as to the identity of the 'unknown force'. Creationists do. Personally, I do wonder how an IDer can maintain that the 'unknown force' is something other than God; and, specifically, God of the Bible. But then, I am a Christian. I could see why someone of a different religion might think it to be some other 'god'.

If you believe in Biblical Creationism, then you KNOW that force; it isn't unknown.

That would certainly be true for me. Please keep in mind that the God I believe in is not afraid of the truth; and neither am I. There are simply too many holes and gaps in evolution to consider it to be true on the macro level.

44 posted on 01/26/2006 12:20:44 AM PST by connectthedots
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45 posted on 01/26/2006 12:56:00 AM PST by DoughtyOne (01/11/06: Ted Kennedy becomes the designated driver and moral spokesperson for the Democrat party.)
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
I usually don't ping for pure creationism, but ...

Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 340 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

46 posted on 01/26/2006 3:12:41 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez

Philosophy.


47 posted on 01/26/2006 3:13:24 AM PST by The Red Zone
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To: connectthedots
"just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade"

"Solid science" does not contain ANY need to "persuade". Science is "prove" or "not prove".

The need to "persuade" is clearly the realm of philosophy or religion - NOT science.

One of the first paragraphs of their own document tells you, up front, that this is not science. That is the one fact ID'ers produce that is believable.

48 posted on 01/26/2006 3:18:00 AM PST by KeepUSfree (WOSD = fascism pure and simple.)
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To: Luis Gonzalez
ID certainly isn't science and I really don't think it's religion either (even though the religious community seems to be particularly susceptible to being suckered in by it). It's more or less a charlatan hoax perpetuated by agenda driven people who want to destroy or at least seriously diminish our nations advancements in science education.
49 posted on 01/26/2006 4:32:23 AM PST by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns)
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To: tallhappy
Why some people are obsessed with Discovery Institute is interesting in itself.

Because the Discovery Institute has become the long pole in the tent of creationism. The DI is to creationism as the Democratic Party is to liberalism in the United States.

If creationists don't like that, they should remove the DI from the position of authority within their movement.

50 posted on 01/26/2006 4:36:50 AM PST by Physicist
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