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The ICR’s continued misunderstandings about science

In Intelligent Design: Strengths, Weaknesses,
and the Differences
John Morris, president of ICR, writes:

The differences between Biblical creationism and the IDM should become clear. As an unashamedly Christian/creationist organization, ICR is concerned with the reputation of our God and desires to point all men back to Him. We are not in this work merely to do good science, although this is of great importance to us. We care that students and society are brainwashed away from a relationship with their Creator/Savior. While all creationists necessarily believe in intelligent design, not all ID proponents believe in God. ID is strictly a non-Christian movement, and while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them.

Good grief. Is thermodynamics or statistical mechanics Biblical or non-Biblical? If these disciplines can’t be shown to be Biblical, then is Morris suggesting these ideas can’t be defended or studied or promoted by the ICR? Given that Maxwell (a creationist) and Boltzmann (a Darwinist) were pioneers in the formulation of statistical mechanics and atomic theory, I suppose by John Morris’s standards, these great theories are non-Christian theories, therefore the ICR can’t join in their promotion and study.

I suppose the ICR would have issue with James Clerk Maxwell (likely a YEC himself), whose famous equations have ushered in the modern world. His famous equations require an old universe. Thus, if the ICR had it’s way, a great scientific discovery would be rejected on account that it was “unbiblical”.

Conversely, is chemistry more truthful because it is promoted and studied by “an unashamedly Christian/creationist organization”? I submit, it is because ID culture invites those who are non-professing Christians and non-creationists that people have more reason to accept IDs conclusions than to accept something from the ICR where every idea can be vetoed by theological fiat, where personal theology has primacy over empirical facts.

The ICR might do well to stop running their organization like a church, and more like a scientific enterprise. They might find they could actually be better evangelists by letting the facts have a more prominent place than their theology.

If ID theories were viewed as hypotheses like any other hypotheses in science, then it is easy to see the fallacies Morris is (perhaps inadvertently) promoting.

(HT: Mike Gene at TelicThoughts)

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60 Responses to The ICR’s continued misunderstandings about science

  1. “ID is strictly a non-Christian movement, and while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them.”

    Scordova: “Is thermodynamics or statistical mechanics Biblical or non-Biblical?”

    Right. And what does it really mean to “support” and not “join”? I guess it means they don’t want to be bothered about getting on the front lines of the ID vs Blindwatchmaker war and that their time is better spent elsewhere, promoting evidence they think supports a young earth, and a worldwide flood, etc. More power to ‘em. But I hope the darwinists will begin to honestly make the distinction between ID and creationism.

  2. ID is strictly a non-Christian movement,

    That’s rather insulting. Actually, it is even bearing false witness if he said what he meant rather than simply choosing words poorly.

    The most literal interpretation of what he said is that no IDer is a Christian.

    If he said non-sectarian there would be no objection from me.

  3. Scordova, I think you’ve made a mess of this. The hard fact/value science/religion dichotomy you’re pushing can’t be upheld. All scientists have values; it’s just a question of _which_. Morris’s values are that the Bible is totally accurate and must always be considered when doing anything (including science); someone else’s might be that the Bible’s accuracy must be discounted. The question isn’t over whether you have values or not; the question is over which values. It looks to me like you’re upholding a hard enlightenment viewpoint that denies these things; I’m more used to reading that kind of thing on Dawkins website rather than over here! To ridicule Morris for consistently applying his values is naive, because it perpetuates the myth that someone somewhere is doing value-free science and that we should join him.

  4. ID, a secular thinktank? “ID is strictly a non-Christian movement, and while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them.”?

    Someone show this to PZ Myers and Ken Miller!

  5. Either ID is a Christian or a non-Christian movement. If it is Christian it needs to be advancing Jesus Christ, as ICR does explicitly. It does not, nor does it officially even claim to put a finger on the exact designer, or to be able to. This is the constant defense used by the ID movement to repel attacks that it is just religion-dressed-up-as-science.

    As a movement, I would agree that the ID movement, as opposed to ID’ers themselves, is necessarily non-Christian. Its findings can exist alongside Islam, for instance. If it is a Christian movement it should abandon its designer-agnostic position and present the Gospel whenever opportunity is given.

  6. I’m not sure I see the problem. ICR openly bases their position on the Bible, as a historically accurate account of origins. Of necessity, ID doesn’t take this approach. The purpose of ID is not to promote Christianity or any other religion but simply–if my understanding is accurate–to scientifically recognize intelligent agency.

    ICR’s statement does not appear to devalue either science generally or ID specifically; it just seems to emphasize that ICR is an inherently Christian organization, while IDM is not. Surely ID proponents are pleased with this distinction?

    Morris’s statement refers to ID as a “strictly non-Christian movement.” I can see how such a statement might be taken negatively; however, in the same context, he affirms that ICR “values and supports their work.” Surely this wouldn’t be true if his intended meaning were that ID and Christianity are incompatible. While it may be that he could have chosen a better term (though I suspect his is technically correct), I think it’s clear that he’s not claiming that no IDer can be Christian.

  7. Either ID is a Christian or a non-Christian movement.

    I take “non Christian” to mean having values or requiring behavior incompatible with a true Christian, or having a source or association that can be traced to those specifically not Christian.

    There is nothing associated with ID that a true Christian can’t partake, and it’s founders certainly include Christians.

  8. DavidAnderson,

    Though I can sympathize with your positon, and welcome your disagreement, I am critical of ICR because I do not think they are serving even their own cause well, and they are potentially tarring people like myself (even though I defend YEC as much as anyone here), for being associated with ID.

    The phrase “ID is strictly a non-Christian movement” has a bad connotation associated with it. In the 19th century, when atoms were not believed, there was an atomic-theory movement. Was that a non-Christian movement since atomism had strong pagan roots?

    Consider what Paul had in mind when he started referencing Pagan prophets in Acts 17 in defence of the Christian faith.

    Or consider John 10:38, when Jesus did not presume a person even had the right theology to even properly assess the facts. If having the right theology were a pre-requisite to seeing the most important truths, then none of us fallible beings could ever know the most important truths.

    One can run a church like a church, where there is a common confession, but such an institution is a creedal institution, not really a research institution. If ICR is an evangelistic organization, and one where their creed takes primacy over research, they might want to change their name to something like “Believers in Creation”.

    Doubts are only inflamed when they are suppressed by insistence on creeds. Doubts are healed when they can be put on the table and honestly dealt with.

    I’ve seen too many aspiring Christians driven from the faith by demands of absolute belief. Belief stems from inspiration to believe, not demands to believe.

    The insistence on making science “biblical” actually is probably an unbiblical approach in light of Romans 1:20, John 10:38, and Acts 17. Furthermore, scientific claims are never meant to be the final say, unlike theological claims.

    There is good reason to separate secular enterprises from sacred ones, so long as the secular enterprises are within moral limits. Calculus is not made more biblical by invoking Christian theology as its basis. The same is true of ID.

    The church has regrettably driven out from her ranks those who might have been best gifted to defend her. Tarring Christian ID proponents out of the church is ill-advised. Morris’s essay makes this a bit too easy. Whether he means to or not is another issue.

  9. I have to disagree with you a bit here Sal. ID theorists have long sought to distinguish themselves from creationists and properly so. ICR is simply doing the same thing here.

    They state that their primary purpose is to bring people to Christ by employing solid science to demonstrate that evidence from the natural world can be legitimately interpreted as being consistent with the Bible. This makes them an explicitly Christian enterprise whereas the IDM is not. Morris is simply pointing out that, due to this foundational difference, ICR cannot formerly join the IDM.

    I just don’t see a problem here. There are plenty of ID theorists who would never in a million years (pun intended) join ICR for similar reasons. Such people would not join ICR, despite their good science, because their primary mission is to bring people to Christ.

    More power to ‘em, I say. I actually think it’s a good thing to have varying approaches to science. I also appreciate when scientists of any stripe have the courage of their convictions and are willing to openly speak of their starting assumptions, interpretive frameworks and how those things necessarily influence their conclusions.

    Most creationists, and this certainly includes ICR, have always taken pains to point out that the chief difference between themselves and others lie in their starting assumptions & interpretive framework. Everybody has these things, they are necessary, unavoidable, and to a large extent, unprovable.

    There is no difference in the way creationists do chemistry or physics, it is those starting points that matter. And if you start at the wrong place, you’ll likely end up in the wrong place.

    Among ICR’s axioms is that the Bible is accurate history. History necessarily constrains scientific theorizing. For instance, when a volcanic rock from an historically recorded eruption is radiometrically dated to billions of years, the date gets thrown out because it conflicts with recorded history. ICR is simply employing the Bible as, among other things, an historical constraint on their theorizing.

    As I pointed out above, everybody has a set of axioms/starting assumptions and most of them are unproven and unprovable. Groups like ICR simply make an explicit point of shouting their axioms from the rooftops.

    Mike1962: ICR has been on the frontlines of this war far longer than has the IDM. This is not to disparage the IDM, it is just to state that ICR is hardly shrinking from the battle. By the way, a young earth and/or a worldwide flood would put a stake through the Blind Watchmakers heart faster than anything.

  10. wombatty wrote:

    I have to disagree with you a bit here Sal.

    That’s fine. I expect I’ll get a lot of opinions on this topic.

    Speak freely.

    regards,
    Salvador

  11. wombatty, “ICR is simply employing the Bible as, among other things, an historical constraint on their theorizing.”

    Hmm, actually, it would be more accurate to say they employ a particular interpretation of the Bible, one Sal probably agrees with, but that’s kind of beside the point. Why can’t they “join” ID where ID is non-sectarian? Sounds a bit judgemental, that’s all. But, this sort of statement will do ID more of a service, so it’s probably for the best.

  12. wombatty argued:

    if you start at the wrong place, you’ll likely end up in the wrong place.

    That is an understandable thought, but science is predicated on the notion that one can start with the wrong premises and still arrive at truth.

    A powerful example of this is found in mathematics, where one presumes a false statement is true in order to utterly demonstrate it is false. See: Proofs by Contradiction.

    I’m afraid this is where the subtleties of what the Bible actually says are missed. The Bible teaches that fallible men with their fallible methods may come to faith and knowledge of the truth. It is that way because of God’s grace to help us know the truth, not because man starts off with inherently good methodology.

    The scientific method will lead us to realize life and the universe were no accident. We will come to that conclusion despite our methods and ourselves, not because of them.

    The scientific method succeeds in helping men who start from wrong presuppositions to arrive at important truths. The scientific method succeeds because nature was ordained to help it succeed. The fact we live on a Privileged Planet where science can succeed is no accident.

    Salvador

  13. I tend to agree that “ID is strictly a non-Christian movement”is a slight overstatement. (From what I have read of Morris, however, that is exactly what he believes, that no true Christian can accept an old earth view.) I would rather that Morris said, “ID is strictly an a-Christan movement.”

    In truth, the majority ID views do not comfortably support any literal interpretation of Genesis. YEC holds to a “word of God inerant” interpretation of Geneisis, and demands 6 twenty-four hour consecutive days in Genesis 1. OEC holds to a “word of God interant” interpretation of Geneis, but views the days as a poetic tool. ID (for the most part) follows the evidence where it leads. It is followed by some with an attempt to unify that evidence with a Biblical interpretation.

    The fact, however, that the predominant ID views do not begin with a “word of God inerant” interpretation of Geneis, but follows the scientific evidence instead, is the single factor that debunks the likes of Ms. Forrest (discussed about 15 topics back).

  14. Whereas “non-” negates a denotation “un-” negates a connotation—ID may be non-Christian (or a-Christian) but how could it be un-Christian? If what Morris means is that ID isn’t exclusively Christian or in some way controlled or owned by Christians (as approved by the cult-watchers), then he’s right. He therefore cannot “join” ID even though he supports it. He’s welcome to his opinion but it seem pretty narrow to me.

    Rather long live ID’s “Big Tent”!

    Bfast: “In truth, the majority ID views do not comfortably support any literal interpretation of Genesis.” But then neither does YEC rest comfortably with Genesis 1:2. Let me suggest that a “literal” reading of Genesis forces one into a more midrashic or metaphoric approach—this also in harmony with the rest of Scripture.

    Genesis is difficult (and contentious) and clearly a separate issue than the science ID marks out. What’s wrong with the Two Books model? When studied independently cannot Nature and Scripture inform one another and agree in the end?

  15. I’ve seen too many aspiring Christians driven from the faith by demands of absolute belief. Belief stems from inspiration to believe, not demands to believe.

    Well said, Sal.

  16. Sal wrote:
    …science is predicated on the notion that one can start with the wrong premises and still arrive at truth.

    [...]

    The Bible teaches that fallible men with their fallible methods may come to faith and knowledge of the truth. It is that way because of God’s grace to help us know the truth, not because man starts off with inherently good methodology.

    You make a lot of good points in your post Sal, thanks for the food for thought.

    But man, as per Romans 1, is inherently predisposed to **deny** the evidence that nature yields up to them. This is seen in spades in the evolution camp where Crick, Dawkins & co acknowledge design but chalk it up to appearance. I’m not saying that unbelievers can’t do good science – they clearly do. I’m just pointing out that it’s a factor that needs to be considered.

    Knowing that man is prone to veer off in the wrong direction, I suspect many creationists see the Bible as a set of guardrails (I do, in any case); they won’t get you to where you’re going (i.e. scientific knowledge), but they’ll keep you from ending up in the wrong place (i.e. the bottom of the gulch). That’s not to deny that you can’t get where you’re going without guardrails – you certainly can. The guardrails simply increase the odds that you will get there.

    MIke 1962:

    Hmm, actually, it would be more accurate to say they employ a particular interpretation of the Bible…

    True enough, but words mean things; there is a ‘true interpretation’ of the first chapters of Genesis (whatever it may be). When taking the context, literary structure, the words actually used in contrast to all words that were available to the writer (e.g. there are many Hebrew words for long ages or indeterminate lengths of time – why weren’t they used?) and the like, I think the evidence decisively points to YEC. (see http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4100/)

    But like you said, all that’s beside the point. If the guys at ICR sincerely believe that God’s Word teaches YEC, are they supposed to leave those convictions aside? Should we likewise ask Dr. Behe to conduct his research absent his conviction that common descent is true?

  17. Sal,
    I felt a storm coming when I saw ICR in the title of the blog post. I knew who was the author immediately.

    I was thinking to post my own thoughts, but I realize they were mostly encompassed in at least three of the posts above – namely:
    davidanderson
    rdwoods
    RickToews

    But I’d like to add that I feel there is some misunderstanding. I don’t deny that Morris could have worded or clarified more. And I think it should be emphasized that ICR’s work is inherently pro-ID. They are involved with several projects that are pro-ID… or at least very consistent wit ID. Particualrily the GENE project.
    http://www.icr.org/article/2460/
    As I understand, the focus of this project is to:

    The plan is to focus on analyzing the human genome, demonstrating the certainty that man and the animals have no common ancestor. A second goal is to establish the limits of the created “kind,” delineating the limits of biological adaptation. I really do feel that in genomics we can conclusively show that “evolution by modification from a common ancestor” did not happen!

    I even bought my first copy of Behe’s very pro-ID book, “Darwins Black Box”, from ICR’s small bookstore here in San Diego.

    Finally, I can understand why they (ICR) might not want to compromise their worldview by pretending to be neutral evidentialist in joining a movement with no immediate focus on Christ… even though intelligent design is neccessary & consistent with Christianity.

    Sal, Would you then say the opposite (or a disagreeing form) of the bolded part of Morris’ statement? ie. Would you then say that ID is a purely Christian movement?

    In a sense, I think that it seems like their is some misunderstnading here becasue some tend to favour an evidential approach (Sal, Behe perhaps et al), while others (ICR, AIG.. reformation theologies et al) might favour a more presuppositional approach.

    If anyone is curious, here is a farily good example of a presuppositional defense of Christianity vice an evidential defense:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0khsot_hNWs

    JGuy

  18. Incidentally, go to the ICR.org online store. Notice all those “heretical” Old-Earth “non-Christian” DVD’s on the ICR best-seller list here, courtesy the ID movement.

    What the ICR says and what they practice are somewhat at variance.

    I recall witnessing to a non-Christian Freethinker agnostic who was sincerely seeking in 2003. I knew she would not trust materials by any evangelistic organization like the ICR. She would have presumed they would say anything to convert people. She simply could not trust the material.

    Instead of pounding her with scriptures and the importance of world-veiw I refered her to a classic “heretical” Old-Earth ID book by an agnostic, Robert Jastrow. I then asked about 30 students to pray for her. 6 weeks later she accepted the Chrsitian faith with many tears. She told me a year later it was the very way I argued the case which brought her intellectual hurdles down and made it faith rationally possible.

    The method of argumentation which I felt was the right one to use in her case was taken right out of Acts 17.

  19. Would you then say that ID is a purely Christian movement?

    I would say characterizing things this way is as inappropriate as asking:

    “Is Tuesday is purely red or is Tuesday purely white?” (it is neither).

    Similarly it is inappropriate to ask if Chemistry is Christian or non-Christian (it is neither). The same holds for ID. That’s not to say ID won’t have a powerful effect on the progress of certain religious beliefs in the lives of certain people.

    One could say themrodynamics had a powerful role in promoting the Christian faith and Creation Science. Even so, I would never label thermodynamics as Christian and non-Christian.

    I’m disturbed with the YEC community using phrases like “biblical science”. Is there “biblical chemistry”? Is there “biblical calculus”? Is there “biblical information science” (from which most of ID proceeds)?

    Affixing the “biblical” label doesn’t necessarily give the arguments more strength, it may actually weaken them.

    If one is on an evangelistic mission, trying to appeal to Genesis to refute Darwinism is appealing to the very thing one is trying to prove (or at least make reasonable) to the hearts and minds of the seekers.

    Let’s say a Christian college biolgy student (like Francis Collins) starts having doubts about their faith, do you think if they came to me, and I said, “well the Bible says so right her. So why are you doubting, since it says so right here in Genesis chapter 1.” Do you think that will heal their doubts?

    Has anyone been successful with that form of “apologetic”? I don’t use it because it seems awfully circular. But that’s just me….

    PS
    Strangely enough, though Collins would feel uncomfortable admitting it, his book is rich with anti-Darwinian and pro-Design arguments.

  20. Salvador,

    Though I respect your opinion, I think you are wrong on this one again. The point Morris is making is that ICR has a very different mission than the ID movement. ICR is an evangelical organization dedicated to defending the Bible and equipping the church to defend the Christian faith against attacks in the guise of ‘science’. Just because that is their mission does not mean they can’t also be doing science and their scientific claims that are used to defend the Bible can’t be correct. Their claims must be judged on there own merit, not dismissed out of hand just because ICR is an evangelical ministry.

    You must also stop your strawmen against ICR, AIG, CMI, etc. Just because they take a stand on Bible inerrancy and are upfront that their position is essentially un-falsifiable on scientific grounds when it comes to the age of the Earth does not mean they don’t have a viable scientific model. Find me a link on ICR’s website where a tough scientific question is asked and the answer given is “the Bible says so just believe it”. ICR is involved in original scientific research with many highly skilled scientists contributing.
    In reality, their stand is no different than atheists, uniformitarians, etc. who start with naturalism as their un-falsifiable. Each side tries to best fit the data around their un-falsifiable starting point. The better model is the one which most naturally fits the data with the least ad hoc explanations. Of course, these conclusions are always tentative and are pending new discoveries.

    I must ask what is your obsession with criticizing YEC leaders? Honestly, ICR’s stand hardly differs from many OEC organizations as well.

    http://www.reasons.org/resourc.....re_than_id

    So its hardly fair to single them out as ‘unscientific’.

    It is my view that ID is a very effect medium for scholars from a variety of backgrounds to voice dissent from scientific orthodoxy. But, it is insufficient when it comes to addressing the bigger questions such as is the Bible the word of God? That is not the fault of ID since that is not its objective. But that is why ministries like ICR who have this objective must have a very different philosophy in their methods.

  21. Salvadore, you’ve been slain pretty bad — doesn’t seem right that you should need to defend yourself, mind if I defend you.

    jjhappel, You don’t know Salvadore very well, do you. If there is anyone in this discussion that is open to scientific evidence for a young earth, it is Salvadore.

  22. jhappel wrote:

    Salvador,

    Though I respect your opinion, I think you are wrong on this one again.

    Thank you, and I respect your disagreement. Speak freely.

    jhappel wrote:

    ICR is an evangelical organization dedicated to defending the Bible and equipping the church to defend the Christian faith against attacks in the guise of ‘science’.

    I must ask what is your obsession with criticizing YEC leaders? Honestly, ICR’s stand hardly differs from many OEC organizations as well.

    I assail them because I believe this modus operandi of “evangelizing” is hurting Christ’s church, not helping it.

    Not to mention Kent Hovind, Ted Haggard, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, John Mackay, and the AiG/CMI scandals aren’t exactly helping the YEC cause.

    If these organizations really believe in the truth of YEC and the evidence is abundant for it, they would do well to find that evidence. It is scarce. If one looks at the YoungCosmos.com website one might begin to appreciate the magnitude of the scientific difficulties which face YEC.

    It’s very hard to ask such levels of commitment of ones followers when the physical evidence is lacking. At the very least, if the evidence is weak at this time, the appropriate thing to do is to say so, and not to sugar coat the situation.

    I personally think the YEC hypothesis is promising, but we’re light years away from a serious scientific, empirically defensible theory. We don’t serve the church well by insisting the evidence is abundant when it’s not (at least not yet).

    And even with common descent, I’ll never forget one student at GMU hammering Francis Collins with the Genesis account. When the student confronted Collins with the literallist interpretation, Collins responded with all sincerity, “how do you explain chromosome 2?” The implicit question being “why does life look like it descended from common ancestors.”

    Even the YEC Todd Wood was honest enough to point out the dilemma here: THE CHIMPANZEE GENOME AND THE PROBLEM OF BIOLOGICAL SIMILARITY. The creationist case (both YEC and OEC) would be more believable if Wood’s question were answered convincingly. Wood at least had the integrity to say the case for common descent is still strong in many areas.

    The root problem isn’t the lack of faith in YEC, the root problem is the believability of the YEC message. Plain and simple. If sincere Christians are finding it hard to believe on evidential grounds, how much more anyone else (like say those who are wanting to believe).

    If one insists that the Bible says the world is young, but it looks old to them, that’s a quick way to deconvert people. I personally am content to say there is a right answer to the question, and that I hope I’ll be led to it. I won’t presume my interpretation of scripture is immutable regarding the age of the Earth.

    The objections to a Young Earth are sincere and not from an anti-Christian world view. They proceed from things like Maxwell’s equations (Maxwell may well have been a YEC). They don’t proceed from people bent on destroying the Christian faith (like Richard Dawkins).

    Until those problems are solved or at least look promisingly solved, it’s a bit premature to be demanding people like Guillermo Gonzalez, JP Moreland, or William Lane Craig become YECs. It’s heartbreaking to see these fine Christian gentleman tarred as some sort of traitors to the Christian faith.

    The church would do well to keep such fine minds as these in her fold rather than excommunicate them. JP Moreland and William Lane Craig have great reverence for Christianity. Yet Ken Ham would characterize such fine men as part of an attack on Christian world views because they think the Big Bang is real.

  23. while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them. (Morris)

    These are NOT fightin words.

    If these disciplines can’t be shown to be Biblical, then is Morris suggesting these ideas can’t be defended or studied or promoted by the ICR? (Scardova)

    Not that I can see.

    personal theology has primacy over empirical facts

    YECs would call it ‘normative theology over personal facts’. Therein lies the rub.

  24. “Is thermodynamics or statistical mechanics Biblical or non-Biblical? If these disciplines can’t be shown to be Biblical, then is Morris suggesting these ideas can’t be defended or studied or promoted by the ICR?”

    I would imagine that the ICR does study them, but defend and promote thermodynamics or statistical mechanics? I rather doubt it. The only thing they are there to defend and promote is YEC. They study thermodynamics and statistical mechanics to defend and promote YEC, and I have little doubt that they will use ID the same way.

  25. My understanding of the issue is quite simple: ICR is promoting a particular type of ID, if you like.

    They put in the front row the Bible, and the need to defend the Bible through science. They display freely their believe in Christian religion and they are trying to defend Christian values.

    IDM is different. Not being a religion oriented movement, thus is not defending and is not related to any religion. No particular religious values are defended. I see IDM as a pure scientific approach to the Question Of All Questions: Who Are We And Where Did We Came From ?

    So, I – also – don’t see any problem with Morris’s statement…

  26. Scordova (reply to comment #8): thanks for your reply.

    First para: I don’t see statements that ID is not Christian (in the sense that it does not begin with explicitly Christian presuppositions and then build on them) as “tarring”. ID is different in its starting point, but that doesn’t mean its useless by any stretch. I think it’s one of ID’s strengths that it can take on the materialists on their own grounds and defeat them from there.

    Second para: I don’t read the statement “ID is strictly a non-Christian movement” the way you do. I see Morris as talking about the presuppositional level. As such, it’s a neutral statement and not one I’d get worked up about. ID is non-Christian in its presuppositions at a formal level; that doesn’t mean it’s got to be anathema to Christians.

    Pagan prophets in Acts 17: A sermon I recently preached on this passage is here: http://www.gracebelper.org.uk/.....cts-28.mp3. I agree with you that one does not need to be a Christian to appreciate certain truths; Paul’s point, though, is that the pagan philosophers had stolen truths which belonged to God. This is presuppositional apologetics; I show my non-Christian “debate partner” that he keeps borrowing elements from the Christian worldview which his own materialistic philosophy can’t explain. This is what Paul did: showed that however much the non-Christian tries to suppress the truth, he can’t do it consistently. I think we’re not in much disagreement on that point. I agree with you that it is possible to come to truth “without God” formally; but I disagree that it’s possible to come to truth “without God” absolutely – I’m not sure if that’s what you’re saying.

    After that, you seem to be arguing that to do proper research, we must leave aside all credal commitments. I have a major problem with that, for two reasons. One; it’s impossible – we’re simply not wired that way – that’s the enlightenment myth of scientific impartiality. Such impartiality doesn’t exist. Secondly, the “no creeds” position is itself a creed; it relies on several assumptions from philosophy, specifically materialist philosophy. When someone tries to argue why we should have “no creeds”, they will have to support their case using axioms of their own thinking: those axoims are their creed.

    I agree with your next point that the “requirement to believe” can be abused; people can be driven from the faith by irrational dogmatists. Such, though, is abuse of the faith, not support of it. It’s a different kind of abuse to Dawkins-style assaults, but still abuse. The abuse of a thing does not invalidate the right uses of that thing.

    I agree with you that scientific claims are rarely final. I don’t see though how that undercuts the validity of beginning with non-negotiable presuppositions (as ICR do). Everyone has non-negotiable presuppositions – it’s just a question of which, not whether.

    Let me give an example from your penultimate paragraph. You say, “There is good reason to separate secular enterprises from sacred ones, so long as the secular enterprises are within moral limits.” The concession here is essential; but I think fatal to the position you’re staking out. How can you determine morality without the sacred? In your “so long as” statement here, you’ve smuggled the creedalism back in in the small print. That’s what I’m trying to say – the absence of creeds can be made to sound desirable and plausible, but isn’t actually possible; they always get smuggled back in. So it can’t be anti-science be explicit about them; I think you do the ICR a dis-service here.

    I do appreciate the ID movement and its work because IMO it defeats the materialists on their own grounds. That’s extremely valuable in my mind and I’ve very grateful for it, but I still have to say as a YEC that that’s only a limited part of the I want to see done.

    IMO you’ve reacted too strongly to Morris; I really don’t think he’s trying to cause division. He’s trying to achieve clarity. If you can receive it from me, I’d submit that your original post may have a far more divisive effect than what he wrote.

    Kind regards,
    David

    http://bcse-revealed.blogspot.com

  27. I think Dr. Morris blurred the two issues – ID a formal component of science and ID the cultural “Movement” – in the closing sentence. Nevertheless, in reading the article I didn’t get the impression that Morris was potentially “tarring” anyone in the movement. He’d said previously in the article:

    “The strengths of the IDM are several. It has drawn a large and capable cadre of scholars of many persuasions. Major contributors include agnostics, New Agers, Christians, and evolutionists. It is strictly secular in its writings, lectures, and policy. The two principles above are the glue that binds proponents together. All desire to see science and education freed from the religious shackles of naturalism.”

    So Morris apparently does not disparage Christians in the ID “Movement.” I doubt if ICR would join a Thermodynamics Movement or an Entropy Movement, but I’m sure they would support and make use of all suitable information such movements might produce, as Morris says about the ID Movement.

    Best Regards

  28. [disclaimer: what follows is the opinion of an arm-chair observer; not a professional in philosophy or science of any kind. Take it FWIW.]

    I believe JGuy has hit the nail squarely on the head by pointing out the evidentialist vs. presuppositional approach. A similar debate seems to have been raging for sometime within Christian apologetics in general. Do we attempt to demonstrate the rationality of what is being defended (whether it be YEC or Christianity or Theism in general) by starting with a requirement that the conclusions should be premised with an evidential case, or do we start with the conclusion and work backward looking for evidence to support the conclusion? The former, I believe, is the approach Salvador is suggesting be taken. The latter is open to the accusation of question-begging.

    It is possible to have a synthesis of the two (which, actually, is closer to where I think Salvador is coming from). The synthesis would involve a presupposition of sorts, but not so rigidly held. It would look something like this:

    1) The proponent says: “In my heart of hearts, I believe X (in this case YEC), but I don’t have enough clear evidence (yet) to present a convincing case.” It is more like a cool confidence than a rigid dogma. The hypothesis or presupposition can be questioned. The proponent has confidence that he will be vindicated, but he is not so demanding that he requires every bit of evidence to be tortured into what he thinks fits his hypothesis. A few enigmatic anomalies that run counter his presuppostions are allowed. These are simply chalked up to something like “well we don’t know enough yet to know what that means.”

    2) And therefore, because of #1, we say “for the sake of argument,” let’s assume that either X or non-X is equally plausible, examine the evidence and see which direction it leads.

    Where those of a more presuppositional bent would differ is in #2. They would instead say, “No, X or non-X do not have parity; all interpretation is colored by presuppositions, and I choose X as my presupposition and refuse to believe non-X under any circumstance.”

    This is the distinction I see in the approach taken by some of the mainstream YEC organizations versus the approach taken by people like Salvador and other YEC’s who see no problem “joining” in with the IDM. (I don’t know this for certain, but doesn’t Paul Nelson also lean toward YEC? If so, I would expect–though I don’t know enough about him to say–that being involved with IDM would also partake of this more epistemologically nuanced YEC position).

    I think some of this comes from differences in opinion as to the meaning of “faith.” Many people, both inside and outside of Christianity and theistic beliefs see “faith” as adhering to a set of ideas, no matter how badly they seem to be at odds with reality. This can lead to a fear of being “confused by the facts” and thus disallowing any sort of questioning. However, to me this seems to indicate a lack of confidence in one’s own presuppostions. Time and space, however, does not allow for the digression into a discussion fundamentalist/YEC epistemology that seems to be related here, and which I keep wanting to go into (and keep back-spacing over).

    I for one am one of the people who got confused by the false dichotomy of “either” YEC or Atheism. Part of this also had to do with recognizing the question-begging nature of SOME YEC’s epistemologies. Having thought it through, I now see that there is plenty of room for an OEC or even TE point of view within genuine Christianity. This is one things that helped prevent me from going completely over the edge into unbelief. Having backed away from that precipice, I now see there are some YEC’s who do not take such a question-begging stance, and this has warmed be back up to the ideas of YEC. Some of those who have helped point me in this direction are people like A.E. Wilder-Smith, and… well, Salvador Cordova. So don’t beat him up too badly here.

    That said, Salvador, I see that you have to carefully watch your step to prevent stepping into a pile of doo-doo when you state your opinion on these matters. On the one hand it is healthy and necessary to put these differences on the table and discuss them; on the other hand, you have the potential of angering and alienating many potential allies within the YEC sphere. It’s a fine line you have to walk, and I’m praying that God will give you wisdom.

  29. As a Christian, I don’t mind that ID is religously neutral, and agnostic on the identity of the designer. And also that it has agnostic, atheist, and otherwise non-creationist proponents – it makes it all the easier to debate evolutionists without the smear tactics and ad hominems that they try to use.

    Of course, I do desire that these folks come to a saving knowledge of God, but as far as the single, narrow issue of disproving macroevolution is concerned, it often stymies the arguments that they use as a crutch. If all you want to do is prove to the darwinian that design exists in the universe, then it becomes very easy to do so.

  30. I agree with benkeshet.

    I really don’t see ICR in that article describing ID as un-Christian or anti-Christian, either of which would give complete legitimacy to the complaint. I also don’t think the category-error applies. A movement is defined by its goals and actions and since neither seek to officially promote Christianity in the realm of ID, it is simply non-Christian. The YEC position’s goals and actions seek to promote Christianity first and foremost, therefore it is an unabashedly Christian movement.

    Saying something of the movement says little about the content the movement espouses. Chemistry is neither Christian nor non-Christian, Irreducible Complexity is neither as well. But a movement that seeks to speak about Chemistry specifically as God’s hand in creation, to the glory of His name, while teaching the concepts of Chemistry would be a Christian Chemistry Movement. As it stands, the current way Chemistry is taught is a non-Christian movement. Not un- or anti-Christian, just non-Christian.

  31. From #13: “From what I have read of Morris, however, that is exactly what he believes, that no true Christian can accept an old earth view.”

    Hmmmm. This would surprise me, though I’m not familiar with much that Morris has written. If he really does believe this, though, it’s a shame.

    From #18: “The method of argumentation which I felt was the right one to use in her case was taken right out of Acts 17.”

    Salvador, I completely agree here. Although I’m not going to deny the Holy Spirit’s finesse in opening up a skeptic’s mind to a channel she’s not listening to, common sense says to change the channel. If a non-Christian is unreceptive to overtly evangelistic (sorry, but I don’t like that word–connotations and imagery aren’t appealing) materials, why would you give them to her? There are other ways to get a person started down the path–and if an approach works, isn’t that the main point? I believe the apostle Paul wrote that he became “all things to all people” in order to establish rapport with them.

    I commend you for your outreach efforts and for finding viable ways to connect with people.

  32. Morris’s point may be that no one who is not a YEC is truly a Christian. There seems to be too much of that sort of talk these days. The reply merely begs the question, however, since design implies a designer.

    We hear from IDers about a “wedge strategy” for undoing materialism. But what will fill the vacuum when Darwin is overthrown? The designer implied in ID? Who is this designer?

    It is perhaps ironic that the above post appeared a day after a post at Evolution News and Views about the “ID=Creationism Meme.” Seems the IDers over at DI are very busy trying to shore up their scientific credentials by distancing themselves from “creationism.”

    But is God the “maker of the heavens and the earth? If so, then how does the worldview expressed in the creeds differ from “creationism”?

    Six literal days or not, the question is sovereignty, and ultimately therefore faith. This makes it a little unclear what IDers hope to gain by pandering to the likes of Dawkins and Gould and their self-serving definitions of science.

  33. David Anderson wrote:

    I agree with you that it is possible to come to truth “without God” formally; but I disagree that it’s possible to come to truth “without God” absolutely – I’m not sure if that’s what you’re saying.

    I can understand the confusion, so permit me to clarify. I am of the opinion no one comes to the truth except by the grace of God. We have eyes to see, ears to hear, minds that can reason — we did not give ourselves these abilities but they came from a source beyond us. By way of extension, any truth we arrive at is ultimately through His action. This of course has uncomfortable theological implications, but that is my view. I don’t believe science succeeds because of our ability, but in spite of it. It succeeds because of His Design.

    The situations I often deal with are where the heart is willing but the mind is unbelieving. If the heart is hardened, no amount of rational/evidential/presuppositional discourse will suffice. It didn’t suffice for the Pharoah of Egypt, and I have no reason to believe it will suffice in our day and age…

    Which leads me to this comment by John Morris:

    Another weakness follows from pushing Biblical teaching away. The Bible has answers to life’s big questions. Likewise strict naturalism has consistent answers,
    although quite different. ID has no answers at all which satisfy. Furthermore, the Bible insists that God receive glory for His majestic handiwork, and it is not likely that He will bless or grant lasting
    success to any effort which chooses to omit Him from their thinking.

    Contrast this with what Phil Johnson said Breaking the Modernist Monopoly on Science

    the first thing that has to be done is to get the Bible out of the discussion.

    At first glance it would appear that John Morris approach to the origins question is more honoring to the Christian faith than Phil Johnson’s. But I would not be too quick to render judgement here in light of Acts 17 and John 10:38.

    though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

    The condition of man may well be that he doesn’t accept the Bible or is seriously doubting. To say “the cure for infidelity is faith” is like saying “the cure for sickness is health!”

    I believe first and foremost faith comes through God reaching out to us, but on a more practical note, the passage in John 10:38 gives clues with how to deal unbelief. The cure is not getting a Doubting Thomas to presume the Christ’s words are true (as that is like saying “the cure for sickness is health!”)

    The cure is to let the person start where he is, flaws and all, to acknowledge that he doesn’t trust the Bible, and then go from there. By God’s grace and if his heart is willing there is a promise from Deuteronomy 4:29 that he will find the truth.

    When I gave ID seminars for Campus Crusade for Christ I often had biology majors in attendance, some were really under the stress of an anti-Christian pro Darwin environment. When they were doubting, I did not resort to making them read Genesis because its truthfulness was the very thing in question. I followed the model I believe the Lord gave in John 10:38 for those who are doubting his Words. The cure is to study His works.

    I acquainted the students with all the online resources available. One student was studying physiology, and I simply suggested she ask the teacher about the various theoretical transitionals needed for the formation of a 4 chamber heart. She came back next week and had a beaming smile on her face, “you were right….they have no answer.”

    Consider the value of Proof by Contradiction. I would at least ponder whether honoring God’s word means that we must always start from the presumption the Bible is true. In light of John 10:38 and Act 17, I don’t think the Bible even teaches that.

    I think we need to reach people where they are, and if that means we allow them to acknowledge they don’t believe, or they have serious doubts, then we have to work with that. If having faith in the Bible is a prequisite to believing the Bible, then I think few if any of us would be saved.

  34. Fascinating!

    Just as the messiah is a stumbling stone between and among the three great branches of the Abrahamic faith, so also is Intelligent Design. The liberals capitulated to Darwin long ago, and in the last century the conservatives have passionately embraced YEC. And thus ID is a challenge to both, to the one because it challenges Darwin, to the other because it doesn’t make YEC the cornerstone of its challenge. Judaism is similarly divided by ID across its liberal-orthodox spectrum, except that the orthodox don’t proselytize outside the faith and hence get little attention. And even within Islam, as pointed out by Mustafa Akyol, the secularists embraced Darwin and now fight ID, and there are Muslim YECs too.

    ID is attractive and highly successful because it unites individuals across a broad ideological spectrum and is not bound by bureaucracy nor subject to any overweaning power or hunger for grants. And so the Book of Nature is being opened.

    Let me suggest that the same strategy would work for Genesis. Hitherto the liberals pronounced it myth, and conservative establishments tend to exclude all who dispute their private interpretations. But now that ID is opening the minds of an exegete here and there (with hopefully more on the way), maybe more interpretative models will be seriously discussed and challenged across these politico-ecclesiastical boundaries. There’s more, for example, than Young Earth, Day-Age, Gap- and Framework models. What is needed are just a few bright but not inflexible scholars.

    Materialism stands on two legs: Genesis is myth and Darwin is fact. ID is working marvels on the science front, can the same happen with Genesis?

    Please know that I’m not suggesting exclusion or ridicule or condemnation or anything of the kind in regard to YEC groups. I am suggesting that Genesis, no more than Nature, is the private domain of any group.

  35. Morris: “ID has no answers at all which satisfy.”

    It’s not suppose to have all the answer to all of life’s persistent questions (to quote Guy Noir.) Neither does physics, or chemisty, or oncology. If Morris found out that he had cancer would he resist “joining” the oncolgists and getting treatment because cancer research is non-sectarian?

    In short, it seems the “supporting them” without “joining them” thing is just a silly linquistic effect without any real import whatsoever.

  36. Went back and read Salvador’s comments. What a wise man!

    The only thing I might add is that not all of us will want to commit to a narrow brand of biblical faith. There are big questions and there are lesser ones. Why not extend the right hand of fellowship to those compatible on the bigger things even as we shelf our differences on the little ones? And can we not maintain friendly contact with some who disagree with us even on all the big questions? Most people are not incorrigible and all of us are in the dark or deceived to one degree or another.

    There is a right balance between accomodation to error and paranoia, and Salvador shows us where it is.

  37. Rude, if you haven’t already done so, you might want to check out YoungCosmos.com. It’s still a work in progress at this point, but I think you’ll like what you see there.

  38. [off topic]
    Contrary to the claim by Morris:

    Furthermore, the Bible insists that God receive glory for His majestic handiwork, and it is not likely that He will bless or grant lasting
    success to any effort which chooses to omit Him from their thinking.

    ID proponents professing Christ do not omit Him from their thinking. Let me point out somehting by Bill Dembski:

    The Act of Creation

    Predictive prophecies in Scripture are instances of specified complexity, and signal information inputted by God as part of his sovereign activity within creation

    Bill Dembski

    When a physical artifact conforms to a prescribed pattern, the artifact evidences design. If a clay table bears an inscription that conforms to an independently given pattern, then we presume the artifact has a layaer of design we have just detected.

    The indpendently given pattern of “Nebo-Sarsekim” appeared in the prophecies of Jeremiah. The credebility of Jeremiah’s historical accounts have just moved a few notches higher by the detection of a layer specified complexity in a physical artifact.

    But the story is not that we merely detected design in the clay artifact, but something much larger.

    Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament

    The sound of unbridled joy seldom breaks the quiet of the British Museum’s great Arched Room, which holds its collection of 130,000 Assyrian cuneiform tablets, dating back 5,000 years.

    But Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, let out such a cry last Thursday. He had made what has been called the most important find in Biblical archaeology for 100 years, a discovery that supports the view that the historical books of the Old Testament are based on fact.

    Searching for Babylonian financial accounts among the tablets, Prof Jursa suddenly came across a name he half remembered – Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, described there in a hand 2,500 years old, as “the chief eunuch” of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon.

    Prof Jursa, an Assyriologist, checked the Old Testament and there in chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah, he found, spelled differently, the same name – Nebo-Sarsekim.

    “This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find,” Dr Finkel said yesterday. “If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power.”

    Yes, a throwaway turns out to be precious treasure indeed. How many times have I heard that before!

  39. Yes, a throwaway turns out to be precious treasure indeed. How many times have I heard that before!

    I would suggest that there are no throwaway details in the Old Testament…or the New.

    Rude said:

    There are big questions and there are lesser ones.

    This is of course subjective. I would consider a big question to be: Is the Jesus Christ of the New Testament the Yaweh, the El Shaddai of the Old Testament? A lesser question might be: Is the Earth’s age closer to 6,000, 600,000, or 6,000,000,000 years?

    I don’t expect everyone will see it this way. If one gives the Bible much creedence, it’s interesting to note that it begins with the creation of the earth, it ends with its destruction (arguably) and everything in between is a vector to Jesus Christ.

    This is not to say other subjects or lines of argumentation are unimportant. But if a person never considers the question of whether Christ is who He claimed to be, all other questions are arguably pointless.

    I’ve never heard a testimony where someone came to faith through an epiphany that the Bible has wiggle room regarding the age of the earth. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened! I won’t put limits on how God is able to reach through to any individual; we are all unique and nobody knows this better than He does.

    I would however note that 100 years of Darwinism being beat into the heads of men, women, and children everywhere has not caused the Body’s growth to cease, or even slow down, in my estimation. So apparently people, and a whole lot of them, are capable of accepting the Gospel independent of doubts about YEC vs OEC. And if the debate is never resolved, I don’t expect that God’s ability to bring about genuine repentance through faith in Jesus Christ is going to be affected.

    1Co 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

    1Co 2:1-5 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

    1Co 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    Joh 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Forgive the excessive quoting, but I thought some might find these scriptures useful.

  40. Salvador,

    While you are not happy with the position of ICR, you should be delighted by the position of the Catholic Church. In Columbia (June 2006), the magazine for the Knights of Columbus , a mens group; Stephen M. Barr had some very positive statements about ID. Stephen M. Barr is a theoretical particle physicist.

    He refers to Darwin’s Black Box. He says ‘Unfortunately, to doubt this (evolution) brings down on you the wrath of many biologists, who have forgotten that science is about asking questions.’ He implies therefore that ID inquiry is science. He mentions too many positive things to list, but lastly he says Catholics are free to believe what they want about evolution (including ID). I strongly suggest you do a blog entry about this article.

    I found this article very balanced and encouraging. The Catholic Church is enormus. I think you could get a lot of support there.

  41. Thanks, jb. YoungCosmos.com does look like a sensible site: discussion without dogmatism. I’m pretty much a freak–I think Genesis demands an old earth just as geology–but we should be open to contrary interpretations and be talking to one another.

    I note they reference David Berlinski’s Was There a Big Bang? I’m a skeptic there too–of a lot of things: relativistic time dilation, string theory … some just because they’ve become orthodoxy (as Berlinski notes) that you MUST believe, yet they are still speculative theories. But physics will improve when “soul” or the primacy of agency is incorporated. Then I suspect a lot of things will become clearer.

  42. 42

    You guys have got it all wrong. This isn’t about science or faith at all. It’s about politics.

    ICR must emphasize its uniqueness in order to maintain its intellectual market share. ID does the same thing when confronting Darwinism. ID aggressively stakes its claim to its own patch of intellectual territory when the opponent is Darwinism. Yet when ID people interact with YECs, OECs and other religions, all of the sudden it’s the “Big Tent” approach, where “our ground is your ground”. YEC has encountered that approach before. Darwinism has used it in the past to convert theists into theistic evolutionists. YEC is once again fighting for its life against a theory they view as trying to steal minds from them.

    It would be nice if regular people could understand that these two theories can easily accommodate one another. But regular people, who do not spend every waking moment ironing out what they believe on these issues, will inevitably tend to see the issue in black and white. For them it’s either YEC or ID, and Morris knows this. So, the leaders of YEC must distinguish themselves from ID and fight to maintain their constituency. ID doesn’t do that as much because it is a young and idealistic movement, but just give it 20 or 30 years and ID will be doing exactly the same thing.

    I loved the discussion, but most of it doesn’t address the real reason Ken Ham, Henry Morris, et al are fighting to distinguish themselves. They’ve been fighting forever against Darwinism and it scares them to death that they might have a new opponent. So they respond in the only way they know how. It’s sad to see these war weary veterans fighting on a second front when they don’t have to. I wish there was some way ID could respond to their concerns without sounding combative, but at this point war is the only language they understand.

  43. “I loved the discussion, but most of it doesn’t address the real reason Ken Ham, Henry Morris, et al are fighting to distinguish themselves. They’ve been fighting forever against Darwinism and it scares them to death that they might have a new opponent.”

    What makes you so sure this is their true motives? There are those who really truly believes in what their are preaching and are not government by politics /wealth.

  44. I have been an Acts and Facts reader since 1975. Henry Morris’ “Scientific Creationism” was instrumental in my change from a very unhappy rebel to a person who loves life.

    I vehemently part ways with ICR on this issue. ID looks at physical evidence and upon the basis of observation theorizes Design from Intelligence. Creationism looks at physical evidence in exactly the same way but with the addition of the light of faith that knows the identity of the Designer.

    I am a Creationist because my faith reveals to me the identity of the Designer. ID makes sense to me standing on its own two feet without recourse to faith.

  45. I meant “govern”

  46. Just to throw my 2 cents in…

    I don’t think Morris is wrong, but I do wish he would approach ID like someone would approach, for example, thermodynamics.

    Thermodynamics is true/truth and it can be used to either promote Christ or not.

    ID is the same way. I think ICR has the right approach and say that it doesn’t want to join a non-Christian identity even if its true. I doubt the Apostle Paul on Mar’s Hill was using logic for anything other than overt evangelism.

    ID is just neutral, so why should an evangelistic org. join it? But I do agree that it shouldn’t oppose it, but its is a fair warning to tell other Christians that it is not overtly exalting Christ, b/c I believe, its just pure science.

    I also think its funny when ppl say YEC is such a “narrow view of the Bible” – I think OEC is much more narrow. Rarely, have I seen and OECer give much thought to YEC, but vice versa for YEC; I rarely have seen a YEC not struggle w/ OEC. Before I get bashed, I helped host a Reasons to Believe lecture at my medical school and found that they really didn’t know YEC arguments that well. Besides YEC is not a worldview, its just one part, of one doctrine (the doctrine of creation), albeit w/ lots of implications, but I’d say that I had way more in common w/ my OEC brethren than not.

  47. glenj wrote:

    I have been an Acts and Facts reader since 1975. Henry Morris’ “Scientific Creationism” was instrumental in my change from a very unhappy rebel to a person who loves life.

    Nice to hear from you.

    I too renounced Darwin after reading material from the ICR, even though I was still an OEC after renouncing Darwinism. I don’t think it took but one day to see the folly of Darwinian evolution…..

    I am grateful for the truths the ICR conveyed to me, but my relationship to the organization has not always been positive. On balance, however, I am grateful for them.

  48. I just wanted to point out that ID concepts are used in the Bible for the purposes of proving God’s existence.

    Roman’s 1:19-20 “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

    According to this, God expects those who do NOT have his revealed word to be accountable to Him based on the “Natural” revelations of his existence. (ID)

    Imagine early societies who did NOT have the Bible, but wanted education of God’s existence. The Principles of ID are NOT new. The have merely been suppressed for a little under 200 years.

    The book “The Days Of Peleg” (advertised on this site) presents a pagan (read secular) Peleg who is confronted by Shem (son of Noah) who uses ID in a Socratic way to prove the existence of God. (There was no written word back then.)

    ICR needs to be more open to ID, simply as co-belligerents (common enemy = Naturalism.) The defeat of naturalism simply benefits everyone. Both truth-loving secularists AND evangelical Christians. The goal is the same: Intellectual choice as we all exercise our God-given right of free-will.

  49. Honestly, I can’t believe Sal made a separete issue out of this.
    Won’t even bother to commment on his false dichotomies, bad analogies, and essencially, bad conclusions suported on fallacious permises ;-)

  50. Clarification:

    Re: (There was no written word back then.)
    I meant There was no written “Bible” back then.
    Writing was very prolific in the (mostly) untranslated Sumerian.

  51. 51

    Smidlee: I never said they didn’t believe in what they were doing. Has politics so disillusioned you that any reference to the term means “insincere”?

    YECs are the Battered Bastards of Bastogne. ID is Patton’s Third Army. YEC is cut off, surrounded and doomed, but once rescued they will never admit defeat was a possibility. Indeed, that belief is what sustains them. They will never admit that they were “rescued” by ID or even needed rescuing. It’s entirely possible that they are right, but it’s equally obvious that their situation will improve once ID gets there, provided of course the YECs don’t mistake ID for the enemy.

  52. Tragicmishap,
    I don’t know how you can say that YEC is doomed, when in the most scientifically trained nation in the world, almost half of the population endorse it.

    Secondly, with or without ID, YEC would go on quite nicely, so I don’t see how ID “rescued” YEC. Rescued from what?

    Thirdly, the sucess of ID in the USA is due to the obvious fact that nature itself displays sign of design, but also due to the decades of YEC being almost the only ones publically resisting Darwinian totalists. YECers have spread a lot of information around the USA, and even in many parts of the world, making people more open to the design arguement.

    I don’t see why some ID proponents want to open a war with people who, in general, are sympathetic to ID as a valid scientific theory.

  53. Here is AiG’s advertisement for Behe’s book:

    Darwin’s Black Box

    This author [Behe] does not come from a biblical Christian/literal Genesis viewpoint. Used with this caution in mind, it can still be extremely helpful.

    Well by golly, even AiG recognizes the value of using “unbiblical” sources in education and evangelism.

    I have argued that YEC institutions that say they argue from the authority of the Bible, do not necessarily do so in practice. What they preach and what they practice are not consistent.

    IMHO, at least what they practice is more consistent with what the Bible actually teaches (ala John 10:38 and Acts 17). Good for them.

  54. 54

    Mats: Um, the 101st Airborne and Patton’s Third Army were on the same team. Also, the fact that the 101st Airborne held Bastogne for as long as they did slowed the German advance by clogging up a crucial node in their supply lines. It was important, otherwise they would not have been told to hold it even though it was known they would probably be overrun. And ID has not rescued YEC. Not yet anyway. And I made the point that YECs will themselves be unlikely to admit that they need or ever will need rescuing. The truth of the matter will never be known, because ID is coming.

    BTW, I am a YEC just like scordova, or Sal I guess.

  55. 55
    bioinformaticist

    Hey: haven’t read everything here, but I just wanted to ask for some forgiveness on behalf of YECs. I am a YEC, and invovled with ICR, but am SO THANKFUL for ID and its approach. I think it’s productive, and I think (unlike YEC) it’s appropriate for the public school. And I’m frankly ashamed that some YEC organizations make such hullabaloo about the fact that ID does not necessitate the God of the Bible. Contrarily, I feel this characteristic (autonomy from any religious system) is the one which makes ID an unbiased, scientificially verifiable concept which may be taught in the classroom.

    Of course we must join! Really, I think YEC is a precise perspective on ID. YEC is a proponent, if you will. I don’t know if it’s at all edifying to speak of one group “saving” another; it seems likely to me that ID has largely kept YEC afloat in academia. But that is of no consequence; the bottom line is, we’re all trying to show that design is an objective inference that is supported and informed by empricial observation (which it is!).

    Just wanted you to know I appreciate you. Keep surging forward in this “dry and weary land, where there is no water”; keep thinking logically, creatively, and objectively, though the masses discourage us with their venomous hate and many words. You’re all an inspiration to me.

  56. tragicmishap

    And ID has not rescued YEC. Not yet anyway.

    Rescued YEC *from what* exacly ? If you say that ID will “rescue YEC”, you have to point out from what is ID suposedly saving YEC.

    And I made the point that YECs will themselves be unlikely to admit that they need or ever will need rescuing.

    Could it be bkz we don’t need that saving?

    The truth of the matter will never be known, because ID is coming.

    ID “is not coming”. ID has been around since the ancient greeks, and perhaps even further than that. The Apostle Paul used his version of ID in Romans 1.
    The *modern* incarnation of ID, using the modern knowledge of biochemistry, information science and mathematics, is what is the “new”. However, ID itself, has been around for a long time.

  57. Bioinformaticist

    Hey: haven’t read everything here, but I just wanted to ask for some forgiveness on behalf of YECs.

    Err…who exacly named you the represantive of the YEC community? lol

    I am a YEC, and invovled with ICR, but am SO THANKFUL for ID and its approach.

    So are almost all YECers.

    I think it’s productive, and I think (unlike YEC) it’s appropriate for the public school.

    Actually, YECers think that ID is appropriate for public schools. We, however, don’t want it MANDATED it in public schools.

    And I’m frankly ashamed that some YEC organizations make such hullabaloo about the fact that ID does not necessitate the God of the Bible.

    I think you misunderstand YEC.
    What Biblical Creationists say is that ID is a valid scientific theory. However, what we defend is that, for a Christian, ID is not enough for someone to have a saving knowledge of the Creator, the Lord Jesus.

    Contrarily, I feel this characteristic (autonomy from any religious system) is the one which makes ID an unbiased, scientificially verifiable concept which may be taught in the classroom.

    THe problem, of course, is that when you talk about origins, it’s a bit complicated to be autonomous “from any religious system”. Presently, most high level universities in the world are under the control of the religious humanists.

  58. tragicmishap wrote:

    BTW, I am a YEC just like scordova, or Sal I guess.

    That is correct.

    For the readers benefit, here is my background. Like Michael Behe and a large number of ID proponents, I was raised an Old Earth Darwinist in a Roman Catholic home.

    Upon reading ICR material as a teen, in one day I rejected the Darwinian account of the evolution of life, and never returned to the Darwinian view. My involvement in ID has only reinforced this conviction. Howver I never accepted ICRs “appearance of age” arguments, and was till relatively recently an OEC.

    [For reasons unrelated to creation or ID, I switched denominations, and eventually joined the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).]

    Sanford’s Genetic Entropy strongly suggests the possiblity of recent special creation of life (and hence affirmation of the Geneaology of Christ in Luke chapter 3). The biological trajectory he predicts may be empirically measurable in the coming decades with the cheap gene sequencing technology Solexa is developing.

    However, the work of the greatest creationist scientist, James Clerk Maxwell, suggests that even if creation of life may be recent, the universe is old. Hence, though I classify myself a YEC, consider me only 85% convinced on empirical and theoretical grounds.

    Maxwell’s equations have made the modern world possible (TVs, radios, computers, theory of relativity, lasers, you name it). Unlike Darwinian evolution, it won’t be so easy to just toss them out because his equations conflict with a literalist interpretation of the Bible.

    The solution is to show why Maxwell’s equations are in reality very good approximations. This would require Maxwell’s equations be more accurately described in a:

    1. light-speed decay (CDK) cosmology (Setterfield, Brown, others)

    2. non-isotropic universe (Starlight and Time, Russell Humphreys)

    3. Something else

    Until a convincing scientific case is made, the hypothesis of a YoungCosmos will be pretty hard to believe by many of the finest minds in Christendom (like say William Lane Craig, JP Moreland, others).

    Overturning Darwinan evolution on a scientific basis is piece of cake compared to overturing the work of the greatest creation scientist in James Clerk Maxwell. Maxwell for all I know may well have been a YEC, but when Hubble realized the Universe was far more enormous than Maxwell was aware of, it seemed YEC from a scientific standpoint was doomed. The irony being it was Maxwell’s equations as written, that suppposedly spelled the death sentence for YEC.

    That situation may have a remedy. I and some friends are building a set of 3 websites (under the name of YoungCosmos.com) with a mission of helping explore and solve these scientific problems.

    If one truly believes in YEC, perhaps a bit of prayer is in order.
    Let the reader appreciate the magnitude of the task at hand, and what needs serious insight and revision. It may not be theology that needs revision, but rather the following: Maxwell’s Equations.

  59. 59
    bioinformaticist

    Mats: I am sorry if I bothered you. My only aim is to try to reconcile persons by offerring an apology on behalf of my YEC brothers, who are so often unnecessarily devisive.

    What I meant by my statement was that ID is appropraite for the public school–YEC is not.

    Of course paying lip service to any number of truths is not enough for salvation–even the truth of ID. Salvation is about having an intimate relationship with the living God, not about knowing lots of correct information (although that can be useful). Is this a reason to be devisive concerning those truths, and the people who represent them? “By all means, peace.”

    I agree that universities are under the control of a religion–humanism. All I implied what that ID does not necessitate the God of the Bible, or any one other god. The identity of the Designer is beyond the scope of ID.

  60. 60

    That attitude is exactly what makes ICR and most YECs so unnattractive. I pay them a great compliment, comparing them to some of the most honored American heroes of WWII, and he feels insulted.

    Thank you for the backstory Sal. My dad pretty much became a Christian in medical school after delving into the evolution/creation debate. He used to go around giving seminars about it so I was pretty much inundated with it growing up. As I learned more about the opposing worldview, I began to see each one as no better or worse than the other. Going back and forth in the argumentation, there seemed to be no conclusion that could be made without the other side answering with its own argument. I saw shoddy arguments on both sides, as well as devastating ones. The whole thing became less and less attractive. Then in high school I read Darwin’s Black Box, which my dad recommended to me. I was a bright student in a Christian school that did not have the means to give me advanced education, so I sat through half of each year while the teachers repeated everything the other students had forgotten during the summer. Behe was literally an eye opener. Before I read his book, I didn’t even know what a protein was, not really. All of the sudden I got excited about science. Been that way ever since.

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