Skip to comments.Pro-Darwin Biology Professor...Supports Teaching Intelligent Design
Posted on 06/23/2007 12:21:46 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
Pro-Darwin Biology Professor Laments Academia's "Intolerance" and Supports Teaching Intelligent Design
Charles Darwin famously said, "A fair result can be obtained only by fully balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question." According to a recent article by J. Scott Turner, a pro-Darwin biology professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, modern Neo-Darwinists are failing to heed Darwin's advice. (We blogged about a similar article by Turner in The Chronicle of Higher Education in January, 2007.) Turner is up front with his skepticism of intelligent design (ID), which will hopefully allow his criticisms to strike a chord with other Darwinists.
Turner starts by observing that the real threat to education today is not ID itself, but the attitude of scientists towards ID: "Unlike most of my colleagues, however, I don't see ID as a threat to biology, public education or the ideals of the republic. To the contrary, what worries me more is the way that many of my colleagues have responded to the challenge." He describes the "modern academy" as "a tedious intellectual monoculture where conformity and not contention is the norm." Turner explains that the "[r]eflexive hostility to ID is largely cut from that cloth: some ID critics are not so much worried about a hurtful climate as they are about a climate in which people are free to disagree with them." He then recounts and laments the hostility faced by Richard Sternberg at the Smithsonian:
It would be comforting if one could dismiss such incidents as the actions of a misguided few. But the intolerance that gave rise to the Sternberg debacle is all too common: you can see it in its unfiltered glory by taking a look at Web sites like pandasthumb.org or recursed.blogspot.com [Jeffry Shallit's blog] and following a few of the threads on ID. The attitudes on display there, which at the extreme verge on antireligious hysteria, can hardly be squared with the relatively innocuous (even if wrong-headed) ideas that sit at ID's core.
(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)
Turner on the Kitzmiller v. Dover Case
Turner sees the Kitzmiller v. Dover case as the dangerous real-world expression of the intolerance common in the academy: "My blood chills ... when these essentially harmless hypocrisies are joined with the all-American tradition of litigiousness, for it is in the hand of courts and lawyers that real damage to cherished academic ideas is likely to be done." He laments the fact that "courts are where many of my colleagues seem determined to go with the ID issue and predicts, I believe we will ultimately come to regret this."
Turner justifies his reasonable foresight by explaining that Kitzmiller only provided a pyrrhic victory for the pro-Darwin lobby:
Although there was general jubilation at the ruling, I think the joy will be short-lived, for we have affirmed the principle that a federal judge, not scientists or teachers, can dictate what is and what is not science, and what may or may not be taught in the classroom. Forgive me if I do not feel more free.
(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)
Turner on Education
Turner explains, quite accurately, that ID remains popular not because of some vast conspiracy or religious fanaticism, but because it deals with an evidentiary fact that resonates with many people, and Darwinian scientists do not respond to ID's arguments effectively:
[I]ntelligent design is one of multiple emerging critiques of materialism in science and evolution. Unfortunately, many scientists fail to see this, preferring the gross caricature that ID is simply "stealth creationism." But this strategy fails to meet the challenge. Rather than simply lament that so many people take ID seriously, scientists would do better to ask why so many take it seriously. The answer would be hard for us to bear: ID is not popular because the stupid or ignorant like it, but because neo-Darwinism's principled banishment of purpose seems less defensible each passing day.
(J. Scott Turner, Signs of Design, The Christian Century, June 12, 2007.)
Turner asks, What, then, is the harm in allowing teachers to deal with the subject as each sees fit? ID can't be taught, he explains, because most scientists believe that "normal standards of tolerance and academic freedom should not apply in the case of ID." He says that the mere suggestion that ID could be taught brings out "all manner of evasions and prevarications that are quite out of character for otherwise balanced, intelligent and reasonable people."
As we noted earlier, hopefully Turners criticisms will strike a chord with Darwinists who might otherwise close their ears to the argument for academic freedom for ID-proponents. Given the intolerance towards ID-sympathy that Turner describes, let us also hope that the chord is heard but the strummer is not harmed.
"The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example." --Rev. R. Furman, D.D., Baptist, of South Carolina
"The doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descendants. The hand of fate has united his color and destiny. Man cannot separate what God hath joined." --United States Senator James Henry Hammon (I can also say that this sentiment of Ham causing black people to be cursed by God was still spoken of by Christians in the South even in the 1970s because I grew up hearing it. I do not know if it still is spoken of today. It severely retarded the development of basic civil rights for black people. )
There is no mention anywhere in the Bible where slavery is described as an unholy or unrighteous or immoral institution. Paul didn't even tell Philemon that he was unholy or unrighteous or immoral for owning slaves. Jesus Christ himself never spoke a single word about slavery. Exodus 21:20-21 could have been enacted into law by state legislatures during the slave days of the South.
Even more fascinating is that Leviticus 25:44-46 (ESV) clearly articulates that the institution of slavery isn't desirable (so there's some healthy self-awareness going on), but nevertheless, it's okay for it to be practiced for whatever reason:
44As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. 45You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. 46You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.
Israelite slaves could leave after 7 years and take their family with them. Oops. No, that's not right.
Exodus 21:5-6 (ESV)Just a guess, but there were probably one or two Dads (okay, most of them) who said they loved their master when they probably wanted to kick him in the groin, just so they could be with their family. Praise God! Praise God!
5But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' 6then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.
Robert Ingersoll's commentary on this particular prescription was thus: Did any devil ever impose upon a household, upon a father, so cruel and so heartless an alternative? Who can worship such a god? Who can bend the knee to such a monster? Who can pray to such a fiend?
Epictetus, the Greek philosopher who was once a slave, used a version of the Golden Rule to say simply that no one should own a slave because no one would desire to be owned as slave. I missed a similar line of reasoning anywhere in the Bible.
Paul's commentary on the subject was mostly about how to be a good slave so the Roman masters didn't view Christians as bad slave stock, not wanting to upset the apple cart. God was renowned for protecting his faithful, so I never understood why Paul didn't let loose with something that would have made William Lloyd Garrison proud and then let God slay the Romans who came to put a stop to this abolitionist Jesus follower. That would have been an awesome story.
I only have a few points to add.
First, that Israel was in bondage in Egypt for four hundred years before God freed them. Their history as recorded in the Tanakh reveals Truth to us through the indwelling Spirit.
Among these truths, is that bondage is not only a matter of circumstance but also of fear and will. Which is to say, whom or what do we serve?
As He freed Israel from the bonds of Egypt, Christ has set us free from the bonds of sin and death - which supersedes our circumstance in this temporal life.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. - Hebrews 2:14-15
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:14-15
Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether [he be] bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. Ephesians 6:5-9
There are people who are kind of in the middle, so my thoughts are not wasted on them. They won’t post in threads like these, though.
It’s also useful because most Christians I meet think I’m a Satan worshiper, so this helps to be able to explain the whys of my belief in no deity.
Okay, well in the works of Warner Wolf, "He speaks highly of you."
That would be because I have no interest in what people believe in the privacy of their own hearts.
I care about the manifestations of ID that attempt to subvert science and science teaching. The versions of ID I object to are, in fact, legal entities.
There is plenty in the Bible, back to front, about the true state of man being a free creature inwardly and that the desirable state of a man is to be free among others.
In addition to the 50 year Jubilee, Jesus (the fulfillment of Jubilee) told us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Also, remember, Jesus' clarification: His kingdom is not of this world.
(Also, don't believe rationalizations by slaveholders.)
Variation plus natural selection constitute an algorithm, so the term random does not apply to the system. If you wish to call the system intelligent, so be it. It has, over time, a visible problem solving behavior.
It is, however, not particularly kind or sensitive to the individual living creatures that participate in the dance, so I fail to see any moral lessons to be derived from it. Variation exhibits little or no foresight, other than spreading its bets across the table, so that some of them win.
Which is fine until someone turns around around and irrationally concludes therefore that something - or some One - doesn't exist when they obviously weren't looking for it or Him in the first place. LOL!
And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matt 22:37-40
I don't recall your having any particular objections to my suggestion of an elective colloquium either.
If that is right, then why argue?
I argue two issues that I think are related. The first is that ID as currently formulated is unproductive. This isn't just my opinion; it is shared by the Discovery Institute. Their internal writings acknowledge their lack of research and even plans for research.
The word design is a great red herring. The question is not whether living things are designed, but how.
No one in biology, whether atheist or theist, ID advocate or Darwinist, denies the Darwinian process: variations occur, some result in greater reproductive success. As far as I can tell, the only thing at issue is the source of variation.
A great deal is made of the word random, and the question of whether variation is random. This will be answered by research, and not by first principles. Science can tell whether a wheel is biased, and eventually discover the process. In any case, we know that the process mimics randomness to a high degree.
My second issue has to do with an acknowledged anti-science element in the ID movement. This ranges from the rather subtle bias against empiricism, all the way to global flood literalism. The latter is by far the dominant strain of motivation. There are no 27 million dollar museums devoted to unnamed design processes. When the school board members at Dover discussed their motives, they did not mention esoteric debates within the scientific community; they discussed Biblical literalism.
Yes; that was Spenser. But Darwin evidently thought the term most felicitous as a description of his theory, for he said so at the time.
The statement that nature is "bloody in tooth and claw" is, as I recall, a direct quote from Darwin on the occasion of his presentation of his theory to the Linnean Society of London in 1859 (IIRC).
Darwinian evolution theory may have some highly vauable insights; in fact, I believe it does. But as you know, I do have reservations (principally WRT to its insistence on random development, which seems to be a fundamental article of its faith). Also I think it is unfortunate that the theory has been highjacked by any number of social and political progressives, not to mention it is association in the public mind with some kind of a "proof" of the non-existence of God. To my mind, these are its defects.
Plus I resent how Neo-Darwinists today seem to want to just "shut down the debate," and penalize all "apostates." The recent Sternberg debacle at the Smithsonian is a case in point.
Thank you for writing, Coyoteman!
And, yet, those between-the-lines words about the true state of man don't seem to contradict the institution of slavery. Because the whole idea is based on dehumanizing the people who are serving as slaves. All men may have been endowed with certain unalienable rights, but the Bible doesn't support that claim. Maybe John Locke should have written the Bible.
Locke believed these rights made sense because he believed that man was a creature of reason and tolerance by nature. The problem is that the Bible states exactly the opposite-- that man is conceived in inequity, born in original sin, and is a totally worthless and unworthy creature in God's eyes (which is why it's supposed to be so great that he allegedly loves us-- even though he shows his love in odd ways). Locke raises up man. God debases man.
Further, Jesus nor any of his disciples or his apostles spoke out in favor of liberty or sought to make any men free from a state of non-spiritual bondage. Liberty and God are incompatible. Free will isn't truly free will because the consequences of exercising it can be as severe as can be imagined-- eternal torture. I don't recall anything about democracies in the Bible.
In addition to the 50 year Jubilee, Jesus (the fulfillment of Jubilee) told us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
There were people like Epictetus who were near-contemporaries of Jesus and his followers and the writers of the New Testament and they were able to apply the Golden Rule in a more full way than Jesus and his followers.
The problem is that Jesus and his followers weren't the least bit concerned about this life. They were basically a moderate death cult (a group of people who celebrate death over life). Everything was about the afterlife and not this life (in many ways, that's sort of what religion is supposed to be about-- it's not a civic organization). You were supposed to be as holy as you could in this life, but this life was just a tiny detour to the final destination-- physical death and spiritual resurrection into Heaven to be with God forever.
Thank you for posting the details of Darwin’s activities WRT abolition. The phrase “nature red in tooth and claw” was a statement that Darwin made to the Linnean Society of London, on the occasion of the presentation of his theory to that august body in 1859. Perhaps he was just being hyperbolic.
Then you must have missed this: "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Thanks for writing, GraniteStateConservative!
There is no indication that Jesus or his followers viewed slaves as "neighbors." No indication whatsoever. In fact, given the many opportunities to address the subject which were presented in the NT, there was no mention of slavery being unethical, immoral, unholy, or unrighteous as an institution. So, there is stronger evidence to suggest that slavery is acceptable than there is that dentistry (a subject which is never brought up in the NT) is acceptable.
Or maybe he was just quoting a recent and famous poem by Tennyson.
I can't vouch for the followers. Perhaps they were just slow on the uptake.
But Jesus was (and is, now and forever) the "neighbor" of every human soul equally. In His love for each individual human person, all men are reconciled one with another, for love of Him. Christianity has only two laws: Love God with your whole heart, and soul, and mind, and strength; and your neighbor as yourself. Christ is simultaneously God and neighbor: What you do "to the least of these, you do it to Me."
Plus Jesus did not discriminate among the people with whom He associated. In fact, He was criticized by some of his followers for hanging out with "publicans" and loose women.... He came to save each and every human person, regardless of station in life; His judgment will come later.
I imagine Jesus would have considered slavery as evidence of the corrupt and fallen state of man, whom He came to redeem by the blood price he paid with His death on the Cross. He paid the price for each and every human soul that it might be freed from the slavery of sin and be reborn so to have life more abundantly, eternally. He came for slave just as much as freeman. In His eyes, all human beings are equally the children of His Father....
And so I don't think you'll find much evidence that the New Testament condones slavery (as you have supposed WRT the OT). In fact, such a supposition is antithetical to the core meaning of the New Dispensation inaugurated by the Incarnation of Christ, which is human liberation. If you don't understand that, then you don't understand the New Testament.
My two cents, FWIW. Thank you for writing, GSC!
Did I say there was anything "wrong" with these phrases? To me they are simply descriptive.
That would be my expectation too, js1138. But you know how public speakers love to throw in allusions to poetry. I gather Darwin quoted the poet in his introductory remarks, probably for attention-grabbing effect.
So your pos at 590
Was not sarcastic?
I imagine the poet wrote it for the same reason.
Most poetry is tendentious and as such is intended to further societal evolution as it was at the time the poetry was composed. If the poem matches your political orientation use it; otherwise write your own.
Tennyson became Poet Laureate within a year of “red in tooth and claw.”
The position is generally regarded as an indicator that one is politically correct and technically polished.
Not generally open to radicals and innovators.
I thought that the Darwinist position is that our cognitive equipment was not designed at all. You don't believe it was, do you?
Why does everything have to be either one way or another with you js1138?
FWIW I generally avoid sarcasm. It doesn't suit me at all.
I strongly agree that the scientists at the Discovery Institute need to conduct specific investigations both to evidence and to falsify the Intelligent Design hypothesis. As it sits, it is more a truism it needs some meat on its bones.
Also, it seems to me that the mathematicians there need to make a U-turn because irreducible complexity is a backwards looking model and therefore is likely to be received as a just so story the common complaint about all models in the historical sciences (archeology, anthropology, Egyptology, evolution.)
New complex system theories are not needed, IMHO self-organizing complexity, cellular automata, functional complexity (to name but a few) are all well established. I aver the mathematicians at the Discover Institute should be focusing on these forward looking mathematical models which should help them identify the guides necessary for the observed order to rise out of chaos in this physical system.
Nevertheless, a persons beliefs should not ipso facto disqualify him from being heard in the town square. If a Young Earth Creationist or a scientist or mathematician from the Discovery Institute is to sit down and be quiet because of his theological or philosophical or ideological beliefs, then so must every atheist.
The town square, the board room and the court room where the decisions that concern you most are made - have their own protocols and objectives. Where the greater weight is given to the wishes of the constituents, your hopes have been dashed. And where the greater weight is given to legal precedence (so far) your hopes have prevailed.
In neither case, though, are the decisions made on the basis of science or math alone and that may be maddening to some, particularly those whose observer problem is that all that there is is matter in all its motions.
I look for more litigation based on new legal theories and, in the end, I suspect itll end up in the Supreme Court. But I also wonder if itll be a moot point, if there will be such an exodus from publicly funded schools over the gay activism that our publicly funded K-12 system will be transformed to a voucher system so even low income parents can choose what their kids will and will not be taught.
Certainly I do. Design is not in dispute. Just the process.
Which is why all the mathematical mumbo-jumbo is beside the point.
Thank you for all of your excellent insights!
Totally tendentious = totally politically correct = hipper than most. Also literary technique must match the era, which then was production oriented, totally polished. Poet Laureate is open to only the most innovative and radical, riding the crest of the power curve (another mass production allusion).
The debate is hardly being shut down. If ID contains anything of scientific merit, it needs to show its cards. There has never been a point in any science where the assertion that we don’t know everything could be mistaken for actual research.
Here is the question to ask, if you want to know whether an idea is productive: does it foster curiosity about how things work? Does it suggest to young people that there are interesting carers in research?
If ID is going to be taken seriously, it needs a Sister Souljah moment. It needs to disassociate itself from creation science and from the Ken Hams of the world.
Indeed. Fair's fair. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, etc., etc.
Thanks so much for your reasonable and thoughtful post, Alamo-Girl!
Then what was the point of his story about the man on the road to Jericho, in response to the lawyer's question, "who is my neighbor"?
In fact, given the many opportunities to address the subject which were presented in the NT, there was no mention of slavery being unethical, immoral, unholy, or unrighteous as an institution.
This is an argument from silence. That the first Christians were not about to overthrow the Roman Empire with its attendent forms of slavery and so did not explicitly in writing advocate abolishing slavery as an institution does not mean that they approved of it. For them it was just a fact of life that was not about to change any time soon.
In the context of that era, look at the amazing way that Paul entreated Philemon to except Philemon's runaway slave, Onesimus, back as a BROTHER. Not just as a neighbor; as a brother!
Paul's Plea for Onesimus8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paulan old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus 10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus,[a] who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12 I am sending himwho is my very heartback to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it backnot to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.
22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
- Philemon 1:10 Onesimus means useful.
Yeah, I can go with irony. There actually are ironies involved, when what starts out as bona fide science ends up being a popular "religion substitute" that utterly denies God.
They can talk all they want. It's when they pretend their claims have some basis in *physical science*in the absence of *physical evidence* that people rightfully object.
There's no objection to discussing these ideas in philosophy classes, theology classes etc. I know you wish to break down the boundaries between physics, theology and philosophy, but considering how many useful things the physical sciences have brought us I think it's a mistake to roll things back to the 12th century.
Let me get this straight. We are not talking about books or magazines or websites. We are talking about what gets taught in science classes. Are you suggesting that because physics says the rate of radioactive decay is constant, and that this leads to conclusions that the Genesis story is not literal history, that physics classes must include alternative scenarios?
Are you suggesting that because astronomy says the earth moves, and this contradicts Biblical literalism, that science classes must include alternative astronomy?
I know you dont like it, but the whole business of science is dispensing with demiurges, and replacing them with regular phenomena. There is no case in the history of science in which researchers have given up and declared we were wrong; arrows really do need angles pushing them along in flight.
Beautifully (and astutely) stated, Diamond! Thank you so much for your excellent essay/post!
Gsc: There is no indication that Jesus or his followers viewed slaves as "neighbors." No indication whatsoever. In fact, given the many opportunities to address the subject which were presented in the NT, there was no mention of slavery being unethical, immoral, unholy, or unrighteous as an institution. So, there is stronger evidence to suggest that slavery is acceptable than there is that dentistry (a subject which is never brought up in the NT) is acceptable.
Likewise in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it very clear the love command extends to our enemies as well:
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
As hosepipe is wont to say, Jesus did not come to establish a religion, He came to establish a family - that inhabits the new heaven and new earth. (Romans 8, Revelation 21-22, et al)
If we focus on the carnal, we are not focusing on the Spiritual, the family, the new life. (Romans 8, I Cor 2, John 15-17 et al.)
That a Christian would find himself in the circumstance of bondage in this life is to be considered a great opportunity and for the Christian who is responsible for him, a very great risk. Likewise with reference to marriage, the Christian husband is held to a greater standard. He is commanded three times to love his wife. The wife, on the other hand, is only commanded to submit to her own husband (not men generally.) See Ephesians 5:22-33
Concerning the opportunity of the one in bondage whether as a slave or a citizen:
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
Honour all [men]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. I Peter 13-25
To God be the glory!
It would do a seeker of truth justice considering what the word "Lord" means..
Many use the word not considering its meaning(s), I think..
Many people seem to want to be the captain of their own ship and the master of their own destiny, submitting to no one - whether God, government, commanders, management, parents, spouse or any man.
But if we submit to God and follow the leading of the indwelling Spirit - we will work out our own sanctification (Phl 2) - and become submissive in this physical realm in the same manner and to the same extent He was.
On what grounds does an atheist object to "devils", "cruelty", "monsters" and "fiends"?
"If a Brute and Blackguard made the world, then he also made our minds. If he made our minds, he also made that very standard in them whereby we judge him to be a Brute and Blackguard. And how can we trust a standard which comes from such a brutal and blackguradly source? If we reject him, we ought also to reject all his works. But one of his works is this very moral standard by which we reject him. If we accept this standard then we are really implying that he is not a Brute and Blackguard. If we reject it, then we have thrown away the only instrument by which we can condemn him. Heroic anti-theism thus has a contradiction in its centre. You must trust the universe in one respect even in order to condemn it in every other."
-C. S. Lewis
I'd hate to see it come down this way because it would diminish the elegance and merit of the Intelligent Design hypothesis turning it into a religious statement per se, i.e. a presumption that the "intelligent cause" is an agent, not a phenomenon, and that agent is God.
The recent appeals court decision that atheism is a religion might provoke this legal argument.
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