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Caroline Crocker’s new website, and where the real action is

I’m pleased to announce the IDEA Center’s new Executive Director has just rolled out her own website:

IntellectualHonesty.info

I met with Dr. Crocker recently at a screening of the movie Expelled. She will be featured prominently in the movie!

The Darwinists have framed the ID debate as being about what should and should not be taught in the public school science classroom. I speculate that the debate over the public school classroom is another example of Bulverism.

As I pointed out here, the real issue is whether life is designed. If so, most every other question pales in comparison. And also lost in the Darwinist Bulverism is whether individuals in universities will have the chance to answer the question of design for themselves, and whether these individuals will have the freedom to tell others what they discover.

The whole time I was a part of the GMU IDEA club, our club officially refrained from taking a position on what should or should not be taught in science classes both in the public schools and universities. Not that the issue was unimportant, but the issue was not to be the focus of IDEA at GMU. In fact, I personally have lobbied that for the time being, instead of the science classroom, ID and creation science could be discussed and studied elsewhere. [See: My correspondence with Eugenie Scott on ID in the universities.]

I always encouraged the pro-ID students to be at peace with their Darwinists professors. I told them being versant in Darwinian evolution is no more a profession of faith in Darwin than being versant in Greek mythology is a profession of faith in the Greek gods. I encouraged them to study Darwinism, to learn it better than their peers, but to always remember the evidences which showed them that Darwinism was false and ID was true…

Thus, the battle in the universities was not about what should be taught in the science classes. Much more important was the battle for pro-ID students having the chance to pursue their ambitions. Let’s take an extreme example: what if the student said, “I want to use my biology degree to work in healthcare, to help lead people to the Christian faith, and to teach them that God is the Creator and life is not the product of Darwinian evolution” ? Can a student be free to express such an ambition without fear of serious reprisal, especially at the graduate level? Not in today’s climate! Were there such students in my circle of comrades? Well, I think there could have been at least a few…:-)

But whether the university likes it or not, is it the university’s business to police whether biology degrees might be used for religious purposes? No! The Darwinists (like Barbara Forrest) have made a big deal about the religious motivations of various ID proponents. Well, are the Darwinists hinting that religious motivations and the intent to use advanced degrees to further the spread of one’s religious convictions are grounds for denying diplomas? Recall how (according to the linked report) Glen Branch of the NCSE hinted that universities should do exactly that! See: War in the making on pro-ID students?. But if schools follow Glen’s advice, such actions by a school might raise serious first amendment issues and violations of the establishment clause….

The real culture war is not over what should or should not be taught in the science classroom. The real culture war is whether individuals will be allowed to pursue their inalienable rights which were endowed to them by their Creator. Individuals have the right to investigate who the Creator is, they have the right to tell others who they think the Creator is. They have the right to acquire Bachelors, Masters Degrees, and PhDs in biology in order to help them achieve those ends.

Darwinists have no right to impede the acquisition of diplomas merely on the grounds that the biology student might use his scientific learning to further the spread of his personal faith and convictions. Whether an individual believes the Creator is a Deity or the Flying Spaghetti monster, that individual has the right to follow his convictions and not be punished academically for having such convictions….I expect the fight over students civil rights may only be beginning.

But in the mean time, individuals do not need to wait for an act of congress or a supreme court ruling to begin their honest search about ultimate questions. There are people like Dr. Crocker who are devoting themselves to giving individuals access to facts which the universities systematically suppress. Whatever happens in the courts or the houses of congress cannot stop the free flow of information. That’s where the action is. Visit http://intellectualhonesty.info to learn more.

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32 Responses to Caroline Crocker’s new website, and where the real action is

  1. Hi Sal!

    Via the PTA I am looking to get an IDAD- Intelligent Design Awareness Day-for our local schools.

    With this no one is singling out the theory of evolution and ID will be presented fairly.

    The videos “The Privileged Planet”, “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” and “The Incorrigible Mr. Berlinski”, have helped me make my case.

    And it just so happens that our area has a school day that can be used- usually before a holiday week there is a “teacher’s day” with no classes. The kids will still get the week off but that “teacher’s day” will hopefully be used for IDAD.

  2. How does one promote the spread of information through IDEA Clubs, etc? In other words, how do we reach students in high school and college, and motivate them to explore ID? Why should they care, and take time and attention from their busy schedules?

  3. Joseph,

    Outstanding! At one school here in Virginia, all the science faculty were given Unlocking the Mystery of Life. The teachers now know what the real score is. The PTA has been an extraodinary means to influence spread of ID. Teachers will be less likely to use ridicule and intimidation against ID-sympathetic students if they are asked to back down, or better yet, the teachers realize the ID-sympathetic students have the facts on their side.

    Also, under equal access laws and guidelines from the US Department of education, students cannot be punished by the powers that be for exploring the issues on their own and even writing book reports or expressing opinions in their homework assignments.

    There have always been channels in the US where the truth can flow. That is partly why 70% of the population in the USA disbelieve Darwinian evolution.

  4. I told the science teachers who have objected that if they can provide some unambiguous scientific data which demonstrates that non-telic processes can account for our universe, living organisms and the subsequent diversity of living organisms, I will back down.

    I also said that if they watch the videos and can make a case that ID is a religious, rather than scientific, notion I will also back down.

    So far no one has done either.

    It may take a while but I think I can make it happen.

    ID isn’t the only thing on our agenda…

  5. Ekstasis,

    Helping to develop a few good individuals who can influence the people in their sphere seems to have been the most important way the IDEA clubs have spread information.

    In general, it begins with developing the leaders of the club and simply acquainting them with where they can access good information: a list of good internet resources, videos, and books. The IDEA center has even provided large numbers of free materials….

    Many students do not have time to invest in the ID movement, and I discourage them from doing so. Their studies and other commitments come first. But I have found that even knowing something as basic as the existence of informative websites like http://www.ideacenter.org is very helpful. Information begins to spread by word of mouth. I’ve been astonished how many people have seen Unlocking the Mystery of Life or at least heard the term “Irreducible Complexity”.

    Once when I was talking to the members of the James Madison Freethinkers (an atheist and agnostic group), the students were wondering why some of JMU’s best science students (whom they knew personally) rejected Darwinian evolution.

    Two of the IDEA members at JMU graduated with honors and awards in biology and anoter Summa Cum Laude in another science field. These students didn’t spend a lot of time in the doing IDEA club activities, and that’s a good thing. They focused on their studies, but had access to materials and people who could answer their questions. Their personal example and witness was probably more influential on the student body and their sphere of contacts than any public relations event or arguments.

    Scientist and attorney Casey Luskin is an example of an IDEA club leader who has been influential in his sphere after his days with IDEA. I can only imagine what would happen if the IDEA clubs developed a thousand such individuals over the next 10 years. :-)

  6. “I also said that if they watch the videos and can make a case that ID is a religious, rather than scientific, notion I will also back down. – Joseph

    I say this is a mistake. Since all science falls under the umbrella of Theology — the Study of God and His Works — the study of design in nature is, by definition, a theologcal topic. It is disingenuous to obscure the obvious fact that design requires a designer and, barring an infinite regress, an eternal and self-existent Designer that people everywhere call “God”.

    And why back down even when theological issues enter the debate? The constitution prohibits the establishment of a religion, not discussions of theological topics. And it expressly allows for “the free exercise” of religion. Since the Bible says we should “teach [these things] to our children, speaking of them when we sit in our houses, and when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we risest up”, both “in season and out of season”, the Christians among us, at least, should not be putting their candles under bushel baskets.

    Rampant materialism isn’t a scientific or intellectual problem; and it won’t be defeated with scientific or intellectual solutions. Spiritual enemies can only be overcome when we don “the whole armor of God” and take up, along with our scientific and intellectual arguments, the essential spiritual weapons God has so graciously provided us.

  7. Christians among us, at least, should not be putting their candles under bushel baskets.

    Rampant materialism isn’t a scientific or intellectual problem; and it won’t be defeated with scientific or intellectual solutions. Spiritual enemies can only be overcome when we don “the whole armor of God” and take up, along with our scientific and intellectual arguments, the essential spiritual weapons God has so graciously provided us.

    Although I think what you say is well meaning, that is not necessarily the way the Apostle Paul defended the Christian faith in Acts 17 when he cited Greek prophets.

    The Greek Prophets of today are science and the scientific methods. God made the world such that whatever flawed world view one may have, one can still be led to the truth. If having a perfect world view is a prerequisite to arriving at the truth, none of us could be saved.

    Thus, I begin my defense of ID with these assumptions for the sake of argument:

    1. There is no God

    2. Methodological Naturalism is True

    3. Materialism is True

    When considering these three premises in light of the evidence, this leads to a contradiction. This form of argument is known as Proof by Contradiction.

    Even though I have the freedom to defend ID by saying , “ID is true because the Bible says so”, I don’t, and even most of the Christians in the IDEA clubs that I knew would find such arguments anemic and not necessarily honoring of God. Acts 17 is a model of how to defend the Christian faith without appeal to circular reasoning.

    One actually may weaken one’s defense of the Christian faith by appealing to the authority of the Bible.

    Romans 1:20 says God made the world to testify of Him such that even those without a Christian world view can see design. We don’t honor the spirit of that verse by insisting one needs the right world view to see design.

    Jesus effectively said in John 10:38, “if you cannot believe my words, believe the works”. Thus even the Lord knows some come to the table who doubt His words. The cure the Lord prescribes is not to exert more effort believing the Christian world-view, but to study the evidence.

    Phil Johnson said, “the first thing we need to do is take the Bible out of the discussion.” I think he is right, and in light of Romans 1:20 and Acts 17, John 10:38 that may actually be the scriptural thing to do, ironic as it may seem.

    Thus the ID argument does not have to be presented with any theological assumptions. The discussion of where the evidence ultimately leads can be saved for another discussion….besides would you want Christian doctrine being taught by those who don’t believe it anyway (such as we might find in public schools)?

  8. “Acts 17 is a model of how to defend the Christian faith without appeal to circular reasoning. – scordova

    One of many. But none of them suggest what you seem to be saying.

    Acts 17:2 says, “And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures…

    And Acts 17:22-23, to which I assume you were making reference, tells us that Paul opened his argument by talking about God: “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”

    “One actually may weaken one’s defense of the Christian faith by appealing to the authority of the Bible. – scordova

    So then faith doesn’t come by hearing, and hearing by the word of God? (Romans 10:17)

    “We don’t honor the spirit of [Romans 1:20] by insisting one needs the right world view to see design. – scordova

    So then it is possible to please God without faith? (Hebrews 11:6)

    “Jesus effectively said in John 10:38, “if you cannot believe my words, believe the works”. – scordova

    But believe what? That His works testified — not to some ill-defined and unknown designer, or that Jesus was merely a great teacher, but — to the fact that He was the long awaited Jewish Messiah, son of David and Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    “Phil Johnson said, “the first thing we need to do is take the Bible out of the discussion.” – scordova

    And he was wrong. “The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” (1 Cor 1:22-23) We have no other message or method. “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”, 1 Cor 2:2. Everything else is gravy. And when you take the meat out from under the gravy, you’ve got nothing really nourishing left.

    “Thus the ID argument does not have to be presented with any theological assumptions. – scordova

    …until some honest seeker asks the obvious question: Since design requires a designer, and since we can’t have an infinite regress of progressively more capable designers, we ultimately get to the necessary, eternal, uncreated Designer that everyone calls “God”, right? Which question, if avoided, makes the advocate of design look either disingenuous or just plain stupid. Or worse — one who compromises his message to avoid offending his audience with that savor of life and death which inevitably follows the Gospel wherever it is rightly preached.
    “The discussion of where the evidence ultimately leads can be saved for another discussion – scordova

    That’s not how Paul, in Acts 17 did things. Every verse of his monologue either includes the word “God” or one or more pronouns referring to God. I really don’t know why you pick this passage to support your approach. Are we working from the same Bible?

    “…would you want Christian doctrine being taught by those who don’t believe it anyway (such as we might find in public schools)? – scordova

    Well, Paul didn’t seem to mind that sort of thing. “…whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18)

    The Intelligent Design argument is summed up simply and lucidly in a single verse: “For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God”, Hebrews 3:4. Leaving off the second half of that thought — for whatever reason — is not what we are called to do.

  9. Any word on the Devil’s Delusion?

  10. So then it is possible to please God without faith? (Hebrews 11:6)

    I didn’t say that.

    Leaving off the second half of that thought — for whatever reason — is not what we are called to do.

    Who said we’re leaving off the second half?

    But there is a time and place for everything under the sun (Eccl), even silence on the gospel at certain times is appropriate in the service of the gospel. (such as in 1 Pet 1).

    Read the IDEACenter Website, and you’ll see the IDEA leadership Identifies the Designer as the Christian God.

    On the other hand, is calculus or thermodynamics made more true by tying it to God and the Bible? How about the Biblical value of Pi? Can you tell me what the Biblical value of Pi is or what the Bible says about the Goldbach conjecture?

    In like manner, the design inference can hold its own and is not necessarily made any truer because some committee of theologians judges it to be “Biblical”. There are inferences deduced in math, physics, information science, engineering science, ID– passing such inferences through a process requiring a Biblical stamp of approval or making a valuation in terms of how people might come to the faith because of the inference
    is not what God intended.

    Also, not every truth from God has been recorded in the Bible (John 20:30).

    The 2nd Law of thermodynamics suggests that the universe had a beginning, and thus was designed. Is it somehow “unbiblical” to teach the 2nd law on its own without always regressing the discussion to the Creator?

    The quiet witness of believing scientists matriculating through the university has helped me continue believing the Bible. Sad to say, there have been a lot of preachers that nearly made me leave the faith because of the way such preachers “defended” the faith.

    Sorry if I take exception to all the preaching going around. Making the case for a creator more believable might be a better use of one’s energy. There is plenty of preaching going around. There is a scarcity of convincing arguments and an abundance of bad ones.

  11. Hey Sal, good to see you blogging on Uncommon Descent again. I think I can speak for many of us, when I say, we have missed you!

  12. PS: I’m not sure if this is the correct forum to pose this question, but here it goes.

    If man was created from the dirt as in Biblical Creation. Does anyone have any idea what that would have looked like? Was it a matter or rearranging atoms?

  13. Thank you Dembskian,

    I had worried that the universities would tell me some day:

    Dear Salvador,

    You criticized Darwin on the internet and in print and in blogs, therefore even though you have a 4.0 in an Applied Physics grad program at Johns Hopkins you will be expelled.

    Further you’ll be expelled becuase you intend to use your degree for the furtherance of the Christian faith.

    By the way, forget the inalienable rights conferred to you by your Creator. Your creator was Darwinian processes, and he doesn’t give a hoot about you…your civil rights don’t count since Judge Jones ruled it is unconstitutional to criticize Darwin.

    I decided, if that happens,
    well, fine. I’m honored to be a martyr. I simply request the schools be forthright about the reasons I’ll be dismissed or denied opportunity to get a diploma. They need to spell out Darwinism’s relevance to physics. Did I miss their explanation when they expelled a professor of physics named Guillermo Gonzalez?

  14. Incidentally, Caroline Crocker’s predecessor, Casey Luskin had a major op-ed regarding the IDEA center published in the San Diego Tribune.

    See: Academic freedom and evolution

    Sadly, it is not uncommon for the academy to be intolerant of dissent from Darwinism. One achievement of the IDEA Club was to provide a “safe-house” for faculty and students who were skeptical of evolution but feared openly expressing their views among their colleagues.

    I regret to say the “safe-house” of IDEA has been moved underground at GMU and other places because of fears for the pro-ID students and faculty. Until the adminstrations are forthright in defending the civil rights of pro-ID students and faculty, I will do what I can to make sure the identities of ID-proponents are kept confidential.

    I have disturbing reports of PhD candidates, MS candidates, even undergrads being querried about their religious beliefs when they apply for enrollment or take classes. This may be illegal. I hope to report on this more later.

  15. have disturbing reports of PhD candidates, MS candidates, even undergrads being querried about their religious beliefs when they apply for enrollment or take classes.

    THIS IS TRUE!!

    I have been asked about my own religious beliefs.

  16. But there is a time and place for everything under the sun (Eccl), even silence on the gospel at certain times is appropriate in the service of the gospel. (such as in 1 Pet 1). – scordova

    Sorry, but I don’t understand your reference to 1 Pet.

    And I shouldn’t be, but I’m always suprised at the eagerness of men — even believers — to define some corner of the universe where talk of God is unwelcome, unnecessary, impertinent, or inappropriate.

    How about the Biblical value of Pi? Can you tell me what the Biblical value of Pi is… – scordova

    When I think of Pi — all those non-repeating digits stretching off into infinity — I can’t help but think of the Infinite Creator of Infinities compared with Whom all of Cantor’s Alephs fade into insignificance. And then I think of 1 Kings 7:23 where Pi, rounded to the nearest cubit, is reduced to the integer 3, and I’m inclined to think of our human weakness and frailty and practical inability to accomplish that which we can dream; which, in due course, leads to thoughts of the Fall, and Redemption, and the world to come, etc. And then I think of Kronecker’s assertion that “the good God created the integers; all else is menschenwerk” and I really begin to wonder…

    Sure, you can think about Pi without including God and the Bible in the picture; but what remains is a bleak intellectual sketch of something that should be a full-color masterwork, moving the whole man — intellect, will, emotions, etc — to fall on his face at the feet of his Creator and sing with the Seraphim, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”

    The 2nd Law of thermodynamics suggests that the universe had a beginning… – scordova

    I think you you’ve got the cart before the horse here. You should say, “The 2nd Law of thermodynamics confirms the ancient pronouncement: ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth’.”

    The quiet witness of believing scientists matriculating through the university has helped me continue believing the Bible. – scordova

    The “quiet” witness of believers has allowed a vocal minority of rabid materialists to take over the universities of our land. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing — or do something so quietly that they’re not noticed. Again, I shouldn’t be, but I’m constantly surprised by Christians who are unwilling to sacrifice a career or a job or a mere degree in the fight for what they claim to believe. Our Fathers were willing to die for the faith – expulsion from a university or being passed over for promotion isn’t even in the same coliseum. Laodiceans! Makes me want to puke. And I don’t think I’m the only one…

  17. But there is a time and place for everything under the sun (Eccl), even silence on the gospel at certain times is appropriate in the service of the gospel. (such as in 1 Pet 1). – scordova

    Sorry, but I don’t understand your reference to 1 Pet.

    Peter was admonishing believing wives that the best way to convert an unbelieving husband was to keep quiet and refrain from their natural tendency to preach and lecture others on how to run their lives.

    It should not be hard to see this applies in other spheres of human relations.

    There is a time when the cause of the Gospel is furthered by keeping one’s mouth shut!

  18. scordova -

    That’s 1 Peter chapter three; no wonder I didn’t get it!

    “Peter was admonishing believing wives that the best way to convert an unbelieving husband was to keep quiet and refrain from their natural tendency to preach and lecture others on how to run their lives.” – scordova

    Of course he was. Because it’s not the wife’s job to “lecture her husband on how to run his life”. The place of a wife in the God-given hierarchy of human relations in helpful submission to her husband.

    “It should not be hard to see this applies in other spheres of human relations.” – scordova

    …when a person, like a wife, is in a God-given place of submission as a result of a public oath to that effect, perhaps. In a free republic with a capitalist economy where anyone is free to leave his post for any reason with a mere two-week’s notice, I don’t see the parallel.

    “There is a time when the cause of the Gospel is furthered by keeping one’s mouth shut!”

    “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers [like Richard Dawkins], having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [like just-so stories of evolution]. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” – 2 Tim 4:1-5

    You sound more like a politician than a Christian.

  19. Hey Sal.

    Do you think there is anything in ID itself that would warrant the cessation of your own self promotion?

    Seriously, what I find most repellent about you is the tendency towards self-promotion. No one really cares about who you have been seen with, or whose company you can say you were in.

    I’ve met William Dembski. He even responded to a question I asked. So what?

  20. what I find most repellent about you is the tendency towards self-promotion.

    In that case you can promote me yourself if that makes you feel better. :-)

  21. There is a time when the cause of the Gospel is furthered by keeping one’s mouth shut!

    Seems like Sal and most of the commenters here at UD missed that point time and again. Thus, as Dr. Dembski said in a previous post

    In the next court case, it will be interesting to depose the people on the other side

    But you can’t help it:

    for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh

  22. By the way Richard Hoppe at Pandas Thumb had this to say here:

    Cordova rewrites history (again)

    Cordova claims ID’s efforts are directed at the universities, not public school science classes.

    I never said there weren’t efforts aimed at public schools. I said the real issue is the question of design. Ultimately, whether we’re designed or not, is probably of greater importance than what is or what is not taught. Let the investigation of the question proceed, and then it is appropriate to ask what can and can not be taught after we have more facts in hand…

    Richard’s inability to give a charitable reading of what I write has never ceased to amaze me. In any case let’s set the record straight by citing Eugenie Scott:

    ID is promoted primarily by university-based antievolutionists

    ID is a lineal descendent of William Paley’s Argument from Design (Paley 1803,)….

    ID literature is more sophisticated than creation science literature, perhaps because it is (except for Of Pandas and People) usually directed more toward a university audience….

    Eugenie Scott

    ID literature is USUALLY directed toward a university audience! There you have it from Eugenie herself!

    I think Richard’s a bit too quick to throw around acusations of re-writing history.

    See: Eugenie Scott defeats Ed Brayton

    And let Barbara Forrest have her say:

    the Wedge’s workers have been carving out a habitable and expanding niche within higher education, cultivating
    cells of followers—students as well as (primarily nonbiology) faculty—on campus after campus. This is the first real success of creationism in the formerly hostile grove of academe.

    Barbara Forrest
    Creationism’s Trojan Horse

    By the way, the Father of the modern ID movement had this to say:

    the essential argument has to be carried on at the higher level, at the university level, and it’s interesting you see that the people that come from the NCSE side are always trying to say this is just an issue in the high schools

    Phil Johnson

  23. [posted at PandasThumb in response to Richard Hoppe]
    I never said there weren’t efforts aimed at the public schools. That’s re-writing what I said, Richard. You’re welcome to do so, but just give yourself proper attribution the next time you do so. I want you to get full credit for how you revise what I say.

    In any case:

    ID literature is more sophisticated than creation science literature, perhaps because it is (except for Of Pandas and People) usually directed more toward a university audience…

    Eugenie Scott

    ID literature is USUALLY directed toward a university audience!

    Also:

    the Wedge’s workers have been carving out a habitable and expanding niche within higher education, cultivating
    cells of followers—students as well as (primarily nonbiology) faculty—on campus after campus. This is the first real success of creationism in the formerly hostile grove of academe.

    Barbara Forrest
    Creationism’s Trojan Horse

    That doesn’t sound like an exclusively public high school focus to me does it?

  24. Sal, it is great to have you back. You really were missed.

    To me, your Scripture avoidance tactic hints at a broader psychological principle. To persuade the doubters, we must take them from where they are, not from where we are. Inasmuch as they have been steeped in Darwinism, we can bring them out of it only if we speak their language. By understanding the evolutionary process and its limits we can counter its extraordinary claims.

    In keeping with this principle, I submit that we must also meet the doubters at the point of their objection. TE’s, for example, seem to care less about science and more about religion. Given that context, we need to meet their theological objections with theological answers. The “bad design” or “God-wouldn’t-do-it-that-way” argument, for example, is a theological problem that requires a theological solution. Occasionally, the problem is philosophical. Some TE’s mistakenly believe that ID confuses “final causes” with “design” or that it conflates “primary causes” with “secondary causes.” We must be prepared to disabuse them of that notion.

    By the way, these same TE’s exhibit a kind of theological schizophrenia that ought to be acknowledged, albeit in a diplomatic way. On the one hand, their Bible declares that design in nature is real; on the other hand, their Darwin characterizes design as illusory. This contradiction cannot endure, of course, so their Christianity ends up being not so much RECONCILED WITH Darwininsm as SUBORDINATED TO it.

    Still, your point about the futility of using Scripture to appeal to a non-believer is sound. I would add only this minor amendment to your proposition. While science is our best option, it ought not to be our only option. As Maslow once said, “if your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” There are times when we need to touch all the bases. I would say that the best way is to use science based arguments, tempered occasionally with philosophical/theological justification when needed. In other words we should tailor our presentation to the needs of our audience.

    By the way, I think that some of the cheap shots that have been aimed at you on this thread are really creepy. I am glad that you don’t take them seriously. Lack of substance often reveals itself in the form of a sneer.

  25. Sal, it is great to have you back. You really were missed.

    To me, your Scripture avoidance tactic hints at a broader psychological principle. To persuade the doubters, we must take them from where they are, not from where we are. Inasmuch as they have been steeped in Darwinism, we can bring them out of it only if we speak their language. By understanding the evolutionary process and its limits we can counter its extraordinary claims.

    StephenB,

    When I visited the JMU Freethinkers in the Fall of 2003, there was a freshman among them who was raised by an atheistic/agnostic family. The family encouraged her to join the freethinkers.

    She and her friends asked many questions that evening, and I ended up spending 4 hours talking to them. I never ridiculed their atheism/agnosticism or their doubts…but tried to listen to their concerns.

    The student asked me for some titles to learn more about Intelligent Design. I could have suggested she read creationist materials or even the Bible, instead I perceived she would be distrusting if I recommended those materials.

    I mentioned 2 titles written by agnostics:

    1. God and the Astronomers by Robert Jastrow

    2. Evolution a Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton.

    I advised her that Denton’s book was difficult reading. I saw her the next week at Freethinkers and she said picked up Jastrow’s book from the library and read it.

    Six weeks later, through mutual acquaintances, I discovered she had become a Christian. She told me a year later that it was the way I presented the case (without appeal to the authority of the Bible) that helped her trust Bible, and that was the last barrier to her making her decision to become a Christian.

    She said she could not trust people who would say anything in order to convert her. It was more trustworthy to hear the witnesses who shared her views….

    And a year later, when I was visiting with the prospective IDEA group at the JMU cafeteria in 2004, by chance I saw her across the cafeteria reading the Bible to her friends….

    It was that experience that helped me see the value of investing time in scientific inquiry and argumentation.

  26. 26
    PannenbergOmega

    I think people are way too hard on Sal Cordova. He seems like a really nice guy.

  27. 27
    PannenbergOmega

    Professor Dembski seems to share some ideas with Reasons to Believe.

    A. They reject Universal Common Descent.
    B. They uphold the authority of scripture.
    C. They believe Noah’s flood was a local event.

    Can anyone confirm this?

  28. Since all science falls under the umbrella of Theology — the Study of God and His Works — the study of design in nature is, by definition, a theologcal topic. It is disingenuous to obscure the obvious fact that design requires a designer and, barring an infinite regress, an eternal and self-existent Designer that people everywhere call “God”.

    And what about the scenario in which we find the designer is not what people refer to as “God”?

    The heck with infinite regress- science works with what we have.

    Theology and philosophy can deal with infinite regress.

  29. 29
    PannenbergOmega

    Joseph. Just out of curiosity, are you still running for office?

  30. “And what about the scenario in which we find the designer is not what people refer to as “God”? The heck with infinite regress- science works with what we have. Theology and philosophy can deal with infinite regress.” – Joseph

    As men, Joseph, we cannot live by science alone; nor can we live by philosophy alone. It is futile to sever the two, for no matter how hard we try to cleave them apart, we nevertheless find them intermingled in our minds: fueling our emotions, guiding our choices, directing our actions.

    And it is equally futile to deny that the lesser -ologies are subsets of Theology, “the Study of God and His Works” — what else, after all, is there to study?

  31. —–Gerry Rzeppa: “we cannot live by science alone; nor can we live by philosophy alone. It is futile to sever the two, for no matter how hard we try to cleave them apart, we nevertheless find them intermingled in our minds: fueling our emotions, guiding our choices, directing our actions.

    Gerry, this is an excellent and conveniently ignored fact. Science can exist only if we presuppose a rational universe, rational minds to comprehend it, and a correspondence between the two. Thus, the metaphysical foundation of dualism, which jump started the whole scientific enterprise in the first place, is now mistakenly dismissed as religious fundamentalism. Indeed, without the “law of non-contradiction,” which is a philosophical (logical) formulation, science would be reduced to a mere phenomenological report of individual experiences.

    Science was never meant to have total autonomy from other disciplines, but it has nevertheless achieved a kind of radical separation. Having declared its illegitimate independence from philosophical/theological ethics, its practitioners now insist that, “anything they can do, they ought to do.” Worse, science has now staked out its own territory as the ONLY legitimate source of true knowledge. On the contrary, scientific facts are meaningless except in the light of philosophical/theological truths that point the reality of a moral universe.

  32. StephenB -

    Once again, very well said. God bless you.

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