Home » Creationism, Intelligent Design » Banning ID in Sweden

Banning ID in Sweden

It’s one thing for the state to control the public school science curriculum. But here we see Sweden also controlling the science curriculum of private schools. How far is the U.S. from following Sweden’s lead?

Creationism to be banished from Swedish schools
Published: 15th October 2007 07:57 CET
Online: www.thelocal.se

The Swedish government is to crack down on the role religion plays in independent faith schools. The new rules will include a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or ‘intelligent design’ alongside evolution.

“Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism,” said Education Minister Jan Björklund to Dagens Nyheter.

Some Christian schools teach biology students that the world and the organisms on it were created by a supreme being. This is often presented as another valid scientific theory alongside evolution – something most scientists reject.

Religious Education will remain on the curriculum and it will still be allowed to start the school day with prayers. But in classes teachers will be expected to stick to the curriculum.

“End-of-term services in school are great,” he said, and added that religious education would remain a school subject. But all elements of religious worship would have to be completely separate from class teaching.

Most independent schools in Sweden are privately owned but funded by government grants.

Björklund also said the Swedish National Agency for Education would double the number of inspections of both council-run and independent schools. He also announced a ban on anonymous financial donations to schools and said he would make it easier to close schools that were breaking the rules.

The stricter rules will be introduced in next year’s education act.

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51 Responses to Banning ID in Sweden

  1. We need to start offering political assylum to Europeans.

  2. 2

    I think I saw recently that Iceland may also be moving in this direction.

    The Darwinista must be getting desperate to resort to such heavy-handed tactics. It’s usually the sign of a declining regime.

  3. Banning science that contradicts the views of the establishment. Where have I heard that before?

    On the positive side, I am glad to have some ammo to use against those who perpetually drag up the Galileo affair. We do not have to go back 374 years to find one incident of the suppression of science. We will soon have our own motion picture! If anyone raises the Galileo issue again I will be able to overwhelm them with suppression on the atheist side.

  4. The new face of fascism: pluralism

  5. The end of a regime indeed!

    So we will soon be saying, in the words of Yoda to Palpatine, “At an end your reign is, and not short enough it was”.

    ;-)

  6. Those Swedes have alot of nerve suppressing good science like that. I guess they’ll also make sure that the Nobel Prize never goes to any ID friendly work.

  7. “Most independent schools in Sweden are privately owned but funded by government grants.”

    Sounds like it’s time for these schools — the ones that want to teach as they see fit, in any event — to get off the government teat. Same thing is going to happen in the U.S. — schools that want to avoid intrusive regulation of their curricula will need to reject ALL government funding. (a la Hillsdale and Grove City Colleges.)

  8. Peter,

    Galileo was not really suppressed. Yes he was house arrested until his death but it was like being sentenced to the comfy chair. It had to do more with the politics of the time than science. He betrayed a friend of his who was pope during the 30 Years War when the pope was trying to arbitrate between two Catholic enemies, France and the Hapsburgs.

    Also much of Galileo’s ideas were wrong. I am not sure what he got right about the planets except discovering the various moons of Jupiter. Copernicus and Kepler had better insight on the motion of planets than he did and they preceded him. What he did that was of super importance was delve into the effects of gravity which led directly to Newton’s ideas who was born the same year Galileo died. This was his real accomplishment though few ever mention it.

    Most people are ignorant of Galileo and what he did and just repeat various unwarranted smears from a 100 years later.

  9. Has anyone here thought of what it will mean for ID if Ron Paul get elected President? He’s a very serious Christian believer. He will not allow the ND to run rampant over the education system any longer.

    Google Ron Paul.

  10. Last night I started listening to the Teaching Company course on the Philosophy of Science. One of the initial efforts in such a course is to define what science is. And one of the examples was ID. I thought the professor, Jeffrey Kasset, did a fair job of doing this, though I will have to listen to it again to see if I agree with everything or see where he might be shading it any.

    He supposed to come back to the topic later in the course but I haven’t seen that yet. Essentially, he distinguishes between various types of creationism and makes the point that ID is a form of creationism but in no way like YEC. And this is true. By admitting a designer, we are saying that some intelligence was responsible at least once for a creation and I believe this is a fair assessment.

    He then went on to say that YEC have a much more active science program, though it was probably bad science. And that ID is a fledgling area that has yet to get off the ground and that while a lot of science is very negative at first of competing paradigms and ID is good at this, it eventually has to have a positive program. This is a standard complaint against ID but he was just talking about science in general how it has been practiced in history.

    What irks us is that bad science, evolutionary biology, is allowed a pass while ID is not. What is happening in Sweden is typical and will be repeated over and over again. Maybe it will be good in the long run, because people tend to resist compulsive approaches. However, as Cornelius Hunter has said, ID has to take a new stance on what the science of ID is about.

  11. You guys seem to be missing something here… these “private” religious schools, unlike religious schools here, receive government funds in Sweden. They are not truly private. They let the foot in the door by taking government funding. If these were truly private schools, I’d call the Swedes Darwinian Fascists, but they’re not.

    And indeed, Google, and Vote, Ron Paul.

  12. If the curriculum in question concerns itself with science, and only science, then where’s the gripe? Like it or not, ID is associated with religion. This may not sit well with many of us here, but there are many who buy into various flavors of religion who also latch onto ID as their best hope of inveigling their way into classrooms.

  13. “Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism,” said Education Minister Jan Björklund

    Does that include Darwinian fundamentalism?

  14. Salut Gilbert! Of course that doesn’t include DF as then they would have to protect pupils from themselves (ie the DF teachers – education minister included). :-o

  15. Would they really close an entire school for “breaking the rules” of teaching NDE? Seems a bit far-fetched….

  16. Comrade Dembski,

    In the interests of promoting pluralism and democracy, we have selected you to be shot. Your posting has subversive overtones which may corrupt its readers. Please report to your local freedom centre for corrective action immediately.

  17. H’mm:

    Over the past few days, we have looked in this Blog at the proposals, claims and behaviour of Dawkins et al, as they hope to monopolise the public square.

    Lo and behold, it is already happening in Sweden!

    As I looked at the Swedish Government’s repressive action, i felt a familiar sour taste in my mouth, for, it seems that the secularists who vaunt themselves on their skeptical, inquiring spirit, are forgetting to be self-critical and self aware — and are verging into becoming tyrannical and oppressive abusers of the vast state power of big-government Welfare states.

    let us take a look at what is already going on in Europe, friends:

    1] “Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism,” said Education Minister Jan Björklund to Dagens Nyheter.

    Here, we can easily see how a handy contentless, propagandistic smear-word often used to improperly equate Bible-believing Christians and Islamist suicide bombers, serves as a thought- and fairness- stopper.

    This is classic, bigoted atmosphere -poisoning through slander. And, it is coming out5 of the mouth of the Minister of “Education” — shades of Orwell’s 1984 and double-speak!

    Even Sam Harris knows better, e.g. when he spoke out [and, sadly, was not properly listened to] at the recent Crystal-Clear Atheism conference:

    He . . . cautioned the audience against lumping all religions together . . . . Specifically, he [Harris] noted that radical Islam was far more threatening than any radical Christian sect, adding that Christians had a right to be outraged when the media treated the two religions similarly . . . .

    Telling isn’t it, that While the audience gave Dawkins a standing ovation [for a speech that passes all bounds of civility and derides moderate Christians thusly: If you've been taught to believe [Christianity] by moderates, what’s to stop you from taking the next step and blowing yourself up?] , Harris received only polite applause.

    Now, too, we see where the ideas and agendas being championed by Mr Dawkins et al lead:

    2] The Swedish government is to crack down on the role religion plays in independent faith schools. The new rules will include a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or ‘intelligent design’ alongside evolution . . . . Some Christian schools teach biology students that the world and the organisms on it were created by a supreme being. This is often presented as another valid scientific theory alongside evolution – something most scientists reject.

    Notice how the “consensus” of atheist-dominated Scientific institutions is presented as if it is unquestionable, authoritative –dare I say, even “gospel” — truth?

    Have these Educators never heard of the Parable of Plato’s Cave, on the dangers of social consensuses enforced by power games, and of suppression of principled dissent? [Surely, the ghost of Socrates can tell us better than this!]

    Or, that Science is supposedly an empirically controlled, open-ended, fallible and hopefully progressive investigation of the truth about the world through inference to best current explanation, not an atheistical dogma to be imposed by state power?

    Or, that Science is in no position to pronounce that by force of the current “consensus” of finite, fallible and possibly even ill-willed “Scientists” atheism or whatever doctrine is fashionable at any given time must monopolise education, science or otherwise?

    Worse in some ways [as both Science and Education should hold values such as truth and fairness dear], they have utterly, and by either criminal negligence or willful slander, missed the mark on ID.

    For, they have imposed a ban on a serious side of major debates in current and emerging science, while they haven’t even bothered to check whether they have been fed a false and loaded “definition” of ID by those with an axe to grind.

    To see that, simply contrast Dembski’s classic summary to their distorted presentation as just excerpted:

    intelligent design begins with a seemingly innocuous question: Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause? . . . Proponents of intelligent design, known as design theorists, purport to study such signs formally, rigorously, and scientifically. Intelligent design may therefore be defined as the science that studies signs of intelligence.

    3] Religious Education will remain on the curriculum and it will still be allowed to start the school day with prayers. But in classes teachers will be expected to stick to the curriculum . . . . all elements of religious worship would have to be completely separate from class teaching. Most independent schools in Sweden are privately owned but funded by government grants.

    Let us note that t5here is no exception for schools that are both privately owned and independent of Government funds. In short,t he Atheists are taking over the schools, by Government fiat.

    Worse, let us remember that the3re is really no such thing as “Government Grants,” for t5he excellent reason that there really is no such thing as “Government Money.” THERE IS ONLY TAX-PAYERS’ MONEY. (And the targetting of anonymous donations is obviously intended to further the degree of control over schools in the hands of these usurpers. let us never forget that the power to tax is the power to control and if there are no proper restraints, to destroy.)

    That is the stewards of the funds of the people of Sweden are here usurping their power and in effect are declaring that the Children of the nation are their wards — whatever their parents may wish to think about it.

    This is tyranny, and the people of Sweden would be well-advised to act in defence of their liberties now, before it is too late. The second paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence would be a great place to begin, not least because it underscores the roots of modern liberty in the Judaeo-Christian tradition:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 - 21, 2:14 - 15 -- i.e. one denies these on pain of reduction to absurdity through self contradictions and self-serving hypocrisies], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .

    For shame, Sweden!

    GEM of TKI

  18. In his book Degenerate Moderns, E. Michael Jones shows how some of the leaders of these institutions and there cultural allies have rationalized their own immoral behavior and projected it onto a universal canvas. The main thesis of his book is that, in the intellectual life, there are only two ultimate alternatives: either the thinker conforms truth to desire or he conforms desire to truth.

    The behavior at issue here is sexual behavior. In the last one hundred years, the western culture elite embarked on a project which entailed a reversal of the values of the intellectual life so that the truth would be subjected to desire as the final criterion of intellectual value.

    For some reason, the theory of intelligent design, while not religious in nature, still manages to make people uncomfortable. Apparently materialist-Darwinists consider it as a kind of reproach directed at their behavior. Even the innovations of a POSSIBLE creator make them crazy. In their troubled minds, any reference to the world of non-material realities reminds them of the natural moral law and threatens to place an unwelcome burden on their conscience.

  19. After thinking about it further, I have a lot of sympathy for what they are doing in Sweden. They are fighting creationism and to that end I applaud them. If ID is associated with creationism it has only itself to blame. So if ID gets tied in with creationism the main direction to look for this is inward not at the Darwinist conspiracy which definitely does exist. But ID makes it easy for them.

    If you want to have a big tent then don”t get upset when the reaction is against this big tent. It is self inflicted. Until ID gets serious about all of evolutionary theory, not just the parts that are easy picking from a logic stand point it will not be considered a serious player separate from its religious comrades.

    Many ID events are used for proselytizing purposes so to get upset when they do not believe our pure as snow secular protestations is hypocrisy. I find it repugnant when ID is used this way for religious purposes but it is encouraged. ID has made its bed.

    I sympathize with ID’s objectives as stated above on every page but it will be very difficult to attain these objectives as long as it has its religious associations which are openly encouraged.

  20. Darwinists are getting desperate.

  21. “Sounds like it’s time for these schools — the ones that want to teach as they see fit, in any event — to get off the government teat. Same thing is going to happen in the U.S. — schools that want to avoid intrusive regulation of their curricula will need to reject ALL government funding. (a la Hillsdale and Grove City Colleges.)”

    So you have a situation where, in effect, people are fined (in the form of school fees) for refusing to allow their children to be indoctrinated by the state; that is, the government forces people to fund state-approved education.

    State education (but not nescessarily state funding for education) ought to be abolished everywhere. Anybody with a sense that the individual should have freedom and dignity appart from the collective ought to be appauled at the idea of state curriculum for schools.

  22. Indeed, BenK, and well said, though I will take it a step further and say that we ought to stop state funding for schools as well. All state funding is, necessarily, taken coercively through taxes. Beyond the simple fact that it’s wrong to steal from people, if you are going to, you ought to provide some assurance that our money is going to something that’s remotely worth what we put into it. Someone could use the vouchers, or whatever you’re thinking would work here, to go to a school that says 2 + 2 = 5. Disallow such things, and you’ve already taken a step towards a state curriculum.

  23. The debate over whether schools should be funded by tax dollars — and to what degree that should include government dictation of the content of their curricula — is an interesting one, but only indirectly related to ID.

    I think the really important part of this story is how Education Ministor Björklund simply classifies any non-Darwinian scenario as “fundamentalism,” and (presumably) classifies Darwinist scenarios as science.

    With the current state of the evidence, I think Björklund’s meaningless classification is the only way to effectively oppose ID. But it’s a tactic that has worked for decades, and I fear it may work for decades more.

  24. Sweden is a hyper-socialist country. Our ‘enlightened’ leaders in New Zealand use Sweden as the Utopian model upon which they can build this place.

    We now have almost gay-marriage here and it’s now (recently) illegal to smack children here.

    Have you seen the best commercial in Europe on YouTube? It is from Sweden and you gotta love the kid, and the reaction of the other shoppers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-OqKWXirsU

    My fear is that the same stench rising from this land is now wafting into the USA.

  25. If you want to have a big tent then don”t get upset when the reaction is against this big tent. It is self inflicted.

    If you blame ID supporters, then you have very low expectations of academics. Shouldn’t education be a discipline in which people actually pay attention to details and nuance? Are academics so daft and brutish, that they can’t descriminate between similar or related ideas?

    But I guess you’re right. Education has become such a disreputable profession that nothing should surprise us. Nevertheless, I don’t think that IDers and Creationists should have to do backflips to accomodate these Stalinists.

  26. Clearly it’s time to stop spending our tax dollars on education. The Stalinists, I mean Darwinists, just waste it on indoctrination. Let’s send our support to Sweden, and gather a collection to send Dembski there to lecture.

    I’ll bring it up with my pastor to make an announcement on Sunday.

  27. Robo, your selection of yahoo flicks was very appropriate for your case.

    Alas, I have studied child psychology. It is intriguing that even in a masters program I was informed that “studies prove” that spanking is emotionally distructive, and produces violent children. However, the specific studies are never sited. Its another example of philosophy driving scientific discovery.

    Fortunately, I live in Canada where corpral discipline is permitted with children between 2 and 12. Hence my children are not naturals for a similar clip.

  28. Borne: Salut Gilbert!

    Gilbert is my full name. My father — a wonderful man and a physical chemist who worked on the Manhattan A-bomb project — named me after Gilbert Newton Lewis, one of the most brilliant chemists who ever lived. I find names interesting. The chemistry and mathematics knowledge I obtained from my father, the physics of Isaac Newton, and the writings of C.S. Lewis, were all instrumental in influencing me. What a strange coincidence.

  29. That Youtube clip is very telling… Isn’t it interesting how a materialist worldview is stifling reproduction, because after all who wants to make the sacrifices and curb selfish pursuits for the sake of a child? And religious worldviews by and large encourage reproduction and value the sacrifice it takes to raise children.

  30. “I don’t think that IDers and Creationists should have to do backflips to accomodate these Stalinists.”

    They want to stop the creationists from making any inroads into the curriculum and I support them all the way and so should anyone who is interested in truth in science. You cannot cry false science here and then remain silent elsewhere on something just as specious.

    I don’t think calling them Stalinists does much good.

  31. Are they really prepared for the backlash this sort of behavior is likely to cause ? If it was tried somewhere like the US (surely proponents of this sort of thing are not so stupid as to try) I suspect the result would be even worse.

  32. Just a short comment about the situation in Sweden.
    Yes, the government is funding private schools. But as we can’t deduct donations to non-profit organizations it would be almost impossible to fund a private school without this money. In fact, I think many of those that allowed private schools som 10-15 yrs ago now regret this.
    It’s been a great success and if the government tried to take the funding away from these schools it would create a great uproar from parents and people in general.
    For the first time these private schools has given us parents a chance to influence our childrens education. When I went to school myself in the 60s and 70s there was no choice at all. So it is an improvement.
    From an american view point it might be hard to see this as an improvement but it is.
    Now this discussion, about ID that is, is coming here as well. In fact, just the other week two of the most influential humanists in Sweden had a big article in a major newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, about just how dangerous ID is.
    I think it’s great! They are really scared!

  33. My two cents: only a fool would rely on a school to teach them EVERYTHING they need to succeed in life. Those who are always looking, listening and learning – wherever they find themselves – should do very well in life.

  34. Jerry

    After thinking about it further, I have a lot of sympathy for what they are doing in Sweden. They are fighting creationism and to that end I applaud them…

    They want to stop the creationists from making any inroads into the curriculum and I support them all the way and so should anyone who is interested in truth in science.

    Oh, I couldn’t disagree with you more. What qualifies a bunch of government functionaries — as opposed to text-book writers and teachers — to decide what is good science and what is bad?

    The power of government rests upon one thing: the power to coerce. What are you going to do when the aparatchicks make decisions that you don’t particularly applaud or support? One word. You will have to comply.

    Oh yeah … they’re Stalinists.

    Pondering a quarter — where it says “LIBERTY” — I say, let educational standards develop normally according to how various educators, uncoerced, read the state of science. (And let parents and students, uncoerced, pick from the various educators according to whatever standards they care to apply.) And keep the freekin’ government OUT OF IT!!!

  35. jstanley01,

    I believe creationist science and the current version of evolutionary biology are very bad science and as such should be resisted as much as possible in anything funded by the government.

    What people choose to do with their own children and in private schools is a different thing. I have no problem with what is taught there though I believe that teaching false science on whatever topic never does anyone any good.

    But you cannot decry something as bad science and then look the other way when an equally bad scientific approach gets pushed especially at the public expense.

    I maintain that one of the main thing keeping bad evolutionary science in the curriculum is the efforts of those who espouse equally bad science. And I believe ID is part of this process of encouraging this equally bad science despite the official denials by those involved. ID as it is currently promulgated is frequently tied to religious events. Efforts like that in Sweden are just a reaction to this phenomena.

    That is one reason why I believe what I do and I will continue to say it and you can continue to disagree. Reading this blog just reinforces my belief. There are many good people here but that does not mean they espouse good science.

  36. I don’t have a disagreement with you, when it comes to the ID being held to rigorous scientific standards. But I think you need to wake up and smell the coffee on a couple of points.

    I believe creationist science and the current version of evolutionary biology are very bad science and as such should be resisted as much as possible in anything funded by the government.

    That sounds all nice and symmetrical, in theory. But in the real world “the current version of evolutionary biology” has hardly been knocked off its pedestal as the ruling orthodoxy of science education — however “bad” it may be IYHO as science.

    But you cannot decry something as bad science and then look the other way when an equally bad scientific approach gets pushed especially at the public expense.

    I maintain that one of the main thing keeping bad evolutionary science in the curriculum is the efforts of those who espouse equally bad science.

    Based on what? An ill-considered action by a Pennsylvania school board, that got slapped down like a fair-haired stepchild? Where — not only in the US, but in Sweden — is even “good ID” being “pushed at the public expense,” much less “creationist science”? (The Swedish law is prophylactic against “those crazy Americans,” I guarantee you.)

    And I believe ID is part of this process of encouraging this equally bad science despite the official denials by those involved. ID as it is currently promulgated is frequently tied to religious events.

    Yeah well, NDE as it is currently promulgated is frequently tied to atheistic events, like book signings by Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens for instance. Why is it okay for Dawkins, Sagan, Futuyma, et. al., ad nauseam, to make use of NDE to promote atheism, but everyone gets their panties in a bunch when Johnson or Dembski use ID to promote theism?

    That ain’t symmetrical neither.

  37. Jerry, do you really believe that Creation science does as much violence to the human mind as Darwinian evolution? Does it, like evolution, rule out design and purpose in principle? Does it promote a monistic world view? Does it negate all non-material realities such as truth, goodness, justice etc.

    Is the fantasy of a young earth created in haste as bad as the fantasy of no creator at all. Which is worse–to have a misplaced notion of truth, or to hate truth in principle? Can the second error be corrected as easily as the first?

    Granted, CS is bad science, but do you really believe that it constitutes a societal threat similar to Darwinism? Does it invade psychology, sociology, business, political science, and just about every other subject under the sun and contaminate them all with the same revolutionary ethic?

  38. StephenB,

    I believe it would be easier to fight Darwinism if creationist science disappeared from the landscape. You can disagree with that but that is what I believe. Screwball ideas come in a lot of different ways and I have seen several from other sources than YEC and all leave people with the same impression. I and some friends have gotten mailings from different Protestant organizations and some self described true Catholic organizations over the time and all have a conspiratory theme and are “loony tunes.” They apparently got our names based on some charitable donations or recommendations of acquaintances.

    It communicates to those who receive it that if you are against Darwin, you belong to some odd ball group and not just on science. If I discuss evolution with what I consider level headed, intelligent, educated people they assume you have been had. The end result is that I rarely discuss it because everyone thinks you are a kook. Now you tell me why? It is not because the education is so doctrinaire but because opposition to it has been effectively marginalized by those who propose bad science which to the average person is nonsense. These advocates make it near impossible to filter out the truth from the nonsense. Most people could care less about evolution. It may not come into their thoughts more than a couple times a year.

    So yes I believe that creation science is a societal threat in the sense that it impedes an intelligent discussion of evolutionary science and thus contributes to the continuance of the bogus science taught in schools and all its negative consequences. You can disagree but this is what I believe based on personal experience.

    And I will say it again. You don’t correct one falsehood by walking hand in hand with another falsehood. If you stand for truth, then you stand for truth, not just some truth. Otherwise people suspect your motives and wonder what you really believe. This has nothing to do with the personal worth of the people who choose to believe creation science. It has to do with how do you accomplish your objectives. And as far as I am concerned any tolerance of creation science or any other bad science is a major obstacle for communicating the truth.

    As I said you are welcome to disagree but I believe this point of view is closer to reality than the “pie in the sky, big tent we can all get along together approach.” Right now people don’t feel threatened by Darwinism but they really do not like what they think are cult like ideas. The last thing they want to be is associated with is such a movement so they avoid it like the plague. Don’t look at those who come to this website as typical of who is out there.

  39. jerry

    Short of herding all of us creationists (I’m an OEC) and other assorted Protestant and Catholic “loony tunes” into concentration camps, I’m not sure exactly what it is that you propose to do. Search the archives here, and see for yourself whether the contributors are willing to take creation science to task when they think it’s warranted. (Grumble, grumble.)

    You say: If you stand for truth, then you stand for truth, not just some truth.

    Yeah well, what about YOU? What in the world do you know about standing for truth, when you admit that you rarely bring up what you to believe to be true for fear of being thought a kook?

    It’s a hard-learned fact in this veil of tears that is the world, that standing for truth usually extracts a price. Ask Dembski or Behe — who’ve staked their careers on what they believe to be true — whether they’ve had to pay a price. And there are others in fields outside of ID, living and dead (and One of them resurrected from the dead), that I could name too.

    Maybe I sound critical, but really, I empathize with your — what I think can be bluntly but fairly described as — whining. I spent more years than I care to admit, far too worried about other people’s perceptions and/or misperceptions of me and my beliefs. It was when I got over my own whining that I not only attained a greater measure of maturity than I had previously enjoyed, but also a great deal more peace of mind.

    Davy Crockett, of Alamo fame, wrote, This saying I leave for when I’m dead, make sure you’re right then go ahead. But I think US Admiral David Glasgow Farragut’s cry at the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay really captured the drama of it when he cried, Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

  40. jstanley01,

    I think you are missing the point. When the term creationist and science is used, it generally refers to YEC and their associated science beliefs, not just to someone who believes God created the universe and life. I believe that. I don’t think that is the issue and that is not what the reaction is about. It is certainly feasible it happened in stages and maybe Genesis is not just allegorical but it didn’t happen 6000 years ago but billions of years ago.

    We are talking about something very different from this with creation science, a science that does not make sense and generates blind obedience to it and a zealous attempt at proselytizing. And people are alert to it even if they know little about YEC. And I can tell you the people I know have little respect and tolerance for people like this because what else are they unreasonable about.

    Most of the people I said would look at you strangely if you bring up evolution believe in God and that He created both the world and life and created man as a special creation. They probably believe in Darwinian evolution as the process God used as a lot of people do because it makes sense to them as it did for me until I started to read about it. Some may have lost their religious faith and may not realize why it happened other than a general lack of belief and part of this probably has to do with Darwinian thinking. But they won’t articulate it that way. Many will point out the inconsistencies in many religious beliefs. The zeitgeist is to live as if God does not exist.

    I am not afraid to discuss what I believe and when it is appropriate I do but I can tell you that few people want to discuss the topic. And when you probe, it is because they believe those that do have an agenda which they prefer not get involved in. Hence, the topic rarely comes up.

    So when Sweden or other organizations ban creationist science, they are banning this blind obedience to a science that does not make sense. If you want to pick out the part of it that has to do with the shortcomings of Darwinian thinking and suggest that this be part of the curriculum, you will have a hard time just limiting the criticism to that until you also subscribe to the rest of science that is related to it and makes sense.

    To me the key is criticism of Darwinian processes. Forget about the rest for the time being because there really isn’t any evidence for anything. The only evidence that is available is that Darwiniian processes don’t work. Anything else about the mechanisms of evolution is speculation.

  41. A thought or two:

    This may badly lag the thread as no 16 supra did [I have been living with a weird Spam filter problem], but the topic is important enough to add a remark.

    1] Jerry, 41: When the term creationist and science is used, it generally refers to YEC and their associated science beliefs, not just to someone who believes God created the universe and life.

    In the original article, the key term of reference is the essentially contentless but handy smear- and scare- word, “fundamentalist” that lies behind, e.g., Dawkins’ uncivil attempt to equate Christians with Islamist suicide bombers, at the recent Crystal Clear Atheism conference, during a speech which received a standing ovation there. [This is wholly inappropriate fear-, closed-mindedness- and hostility- mongering. Cf. my remarks in 16 supra.]

    In particular, through that term, the following is targetted for censorship by the Minister of Education, Sweden:

    The new rules will include a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or ‘intelligent design’ alongside evolution.

    “Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism,”. . . . Some Christian schools teach biology students that the world and the organisms on it were created by a supreme being. This is often presented as another valid scientific theory alongside evolution – something most scientists reject . . . . in classes teachers will be expected to stick to the curriculum.

    First, this misrepresents what ID actually addresses, which is itself an indictment of the Minister of Education and his staff. For, it fails to recognise the difference between inference to design relative to what we know about the origin of funcitonally specified complex information relative to the causal forces: chance, necessity, agency.

    Thus, it ends up imposing an unwarranted atheistical worldview in the name of the consensus of “scientists” and of science education; then censors questions that may challenge that imposition.

    It further forgets that Science is an empirically controlled attempt to explainthe world as we encounter it, so is necessarily open-ended and provisional in its findings.

    So, to pretend that today’s “consensus” must be dogmatically privileged in PRIVATE schools that are ultimately funded by parents, supporters and the money of tax-payers [presumably including said parents], is to impose censorship and dogmatism.

    It is also to usurp parents and seize their children improperly as wards of the state to be indoctrinated as the state demands.

    And, the cited “objectionable” belief is not that specific to YEC adherents, it censors ANYONE who thinks that the world is a Creation of a Supreme being. That is, it is an imposition of atheism in the name of science and science education backed up by censorship even in schools set up precisely to provide an alternative.

    This, plainly, is usurpation and shameless tyranny, and it should be responded to as such. [Cf. 16 above.]

    2] We are talking about something very different from this with creation science, a science that does not make sense and generates blind obedience to it and a zealous attempt at proselytizing.

    This, sadly, is a red herring leading out to a strawman that is then ignited in such a way as to poison the atmosphere and distract attention from the core matter at hand.

    So, again, kindly observe: the objectionable doctrine is that Some Christian schools teach biology students that the world and the organisms on it were created by a supreme being. That is far, far, far broader than any Bible-anchored, Young Earth Creationism that you may wish to object to.

    In short,the guilt by association slander works very well thank you, even among those who should be the most wise to it.

    3] when Sweden or other organizations ban creationist science, they are banning this blind obedience to a science that does not make sense.

    Again, kindly observe what is being banned: Some Christian schools teach biology students that the world and the organisms on it were created by a supreme being.

    THIS is imposition of atheism in the guise of clear intent to De-Christianise Swedish culture, and it is what needs to be addressed.

    Nor, is it fair to accuse even YEC’s broad-brush of “blind obedience” as you do.

    4] To me the key is criticism of Darwinian processes.

    Immediately, this raises in the minds of the PC censors, the issue that you are therefore implicitly teaching that there is an alternative. And in a Christian School context, that alternative would be “obvious.”

    So, criticism of Darwin will be verboten, thank you.

    After all, schools must stick to “the curriculum” WE have set, on pain of being shut down under a crack-down.

    And, don’t you dare think of homeschooling!

    5] Forget about the rest for the time being because there really isn’t any evidence for anything. The only evidence that is available is that Darwiniian processes don’t work. Anything else about the mechanisms of evolution is speculation.

    H’mm, let’s see:

    –> Is there evidence that Science is a provisional, empirically anchored explanatory process and that the “consensus” of scientists today may well be passe tomorrow? [Hint, cf. the career of Newtonian Physics, circa 1680 to 1930.]

    –> is there evidence that atheists are abusing NDT and the “consensus” behind it to promulgate their doctrine in schools and elsewhere, with now declared intent to de-Christianise Western culture? [Hint, cf. the thread on Dawkins' recent conference.]

    –> Is there evidence of institutional censorship and even persecution of “heretical” minorities in the defence of Darwinism and wider Evolutionary Materialism? So, is there evidence that the “consensus” may well be in part political correctness rather than one that is truly evidentially anchored? [Hint, cf Expelled.]

    –> Is there evidence that Darwinian processes are in fact quite limited in capacity and are incapable of generating the degree of information found in body-plan level innovations in life-forms? [Cf Cambrian Revolution, Behe's Edge of Evolution etc.]

    –> Is there evidence that causal forces embrace chance, necessity, agency, and that in contingent situations, agency and/or chance are dominant?

    –> Is there evidence that in every directly observed case of CSI, the cause is an agent? And, that given the issues over information- generation by chance on the required scope of at least 500 – 1,000 bits, chance is unlikely to get to such on the gamut of the observed universe — but, that agency routinely bridges this gap?

    –> is there evidence that life forms, right from the origin of a true cell, are above this threshold, and that body-plan level biodiversity is also above this threshold?

    –> Is there not excellent basis for an induction that life is the product of agency, and that the fact that we happened not to be there to directly observe it is irrelevant? {And this of course generally supports the further phil argument that the relevant agent is probably the theistic God; but if NDT is used as support for the opposite inference, then sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.]

    –> Is there not evidence that the conflation of this train of reasoning with Bible-based YEC, is an insistent atmosphere poisoning strawman promoted by those who have a plain agenda to push an atheistical view in the name of “Science”?

    –> So, are we not therefore looking at censorship rooted in slander and “guilt” by improper association, not a fair-minded assessment on the merits?

    One final question; What then should we do — why?

    GEM of TKI

  42. kairofocus,

    “What then should we do — why?”

    Here’s what I believe should be done.

    ID should get serious about evolution and take points of view on every issue not just cherry pick what will be convenient for the big tent. This will eliminate any vagueness relative to creation science of the YEC variety or other similar variants.

    Every aspect of evolution should be assessed as to whether a design mechanism is the best explanation or not and whether other mechanisms are possible or probable.

    It should immediately recognize an old earth of 4 billion plus years and an universe of 10-20 billion years. It should admit the best estimate of the first appearance of life was about 3.5 bya and all the other likely transitions that took place in the subsequent 3 billion years including the rise of eukaryotes, multi-cellular organisms and culminating in the origin of the phyla during the Cambrian Explosion roughly 520 mya. It should recognize all the progression of life since then and their appropriate timing and the likelihood of which mechanism was responsible for each radiation of new species and the probable timing of everything. It should present fairly what is known about the appearance of homo sapiens and the other human like species.

    It should seriously address the various theories proposed by evolutionary biologists and make specific comments on the various concepts of common descent.

    I could go on but you get the gist of what is required and there should be a complete denial of any YEC or similar creation science that only exists for religious reasons. In fact there should be an overt assessment that there is no good evidence to support a young earth and that nearly all reputable science disproves it.

    Get as far from religion as possible with the exception of a general comment that the complexity of the universe and life indicates a vast intelligence was involved in its origin of both. When it does this then maybe its critical assessment of neo Darwinism will have a more ears in the science community.

    Do I think it will happen? No. Any army needs foot soldiers and unfortunately all the foot soldiers of ID are religiously motivated and mostly of the YEC variety so that is why ID will probably never be able to shed its religious image. Don’t give me the stated dogma that ID does not say anything about religion because when ever ID is brought to attention of some organized body it is always fundamentalist religious people doing most of the work.

    You can read my comments above about why I think saying ID is not religiously motivated is hypocrisy. I read this blog fairly regularly and I know all the official statements about ID and many people here would like to adhere to them. But reality is quite different.

  43. Hi Jerry:

    I see your comment and note as follows:

    1] ID should get serious about evolution and take points of view on every issue not just cherry pick what will be convenient for the big tent.

    It seems to me that simply addressing the issue that agency is a relevant causal force that leaves empirically detectable traces through the manifestation of functionally specific, frequently fine-tuned, often irreducibly as well as combinatorially complex information, is sufficient to trigger a major scientific revolution, in an age whereby materialists have subverted Science and blinkered it through improperly constricting the radius of reason, by using the stalking horse, “methodological naturalism.”

    In so addressing, a whole range of possibilities for reconstructing our empirically anchored understanding of the world ensues.

    2] Every aspect of evolution should be assessed as to whether a design mechanism is the best explanation or not and whether other mechanisms are possible or probable

    Easy to do in general terms, massively difficult to do and requiring thousands of man-decades of effort in praxis.

    In short, we need to recognise that we are dealing with a minority paradigm, in an emergent field that is highly controversial. So, it is unfair to expect the kind of results that have happened across over a century with the said thousands of man-decades of input.

    Further, I think you are pre-occupied with “evolution.” Design is independent of evolution: designers can use or not use evolutionary mechanisms as they see fit. But, once we detect that design is the credible best explanation, it transforms our understandsing of the world: the world becomes meaningful, in the richest sense.

    And that is revolutionary.

    3] there should be a complete denial of any YEC or similar creation science that only exists for religious reasons . . . there should be an overt assessment that there is no good evidence to support a young earth and that nearly all reputable science disproves it.

    First, the issue of design detection is logically utterly separate from the age of the cosmos, real or apparent relative to our current methods and assumptions of exploration. (Consider here, Lord Russell’s famous five-minute old universe paradox — a cosmos created in an instant just a few minutes ago can be empirically indistinguishable from the one we think we inhabit. But, design would still be detectable in such a cosmos.)

    As for “reputable” science, my observation is that the scientific method [insofar as any one method is identifiable . . . cf. here Feyerabend etc] is inherently and inescapably incapable of demonstration beyond revision or even outright rejection, so today’s “consensus” is of no ultimate weight.

    THAT, I think, is something we should underscore.

    5] Get as far from religion as possible with the exception of a general comment that the complexity of the universe and life indicates a vast intelligence was involved in its origin of both

    You pose an impossible task here, and one that has no prospects of real-world success. To see that, first consider: we deal with underlying worldviews here, and theistic ones are no different from atheistical ones in the fact that they ALL make specific worldview-core foundational commitments of an inescapably religious or quasi-religious character [including by implicit or explicit denial of theistic views] that cannot be demonstrated beyond all dispute or doubt.

    Then, look at the Swedish Minister of Education’s declarations at the head of the thread:

    Some Christian schools teach biology students that the world and the organisms on it were created by a supreme being. This is often presented as another valid scientific theory alongside evolution – something most scientists reject.

    Now, I rather doubt that it is accurate to think that even today, globally speaking “most” qualified scientists reject the view that the cosmos is the creation of a supreme being. And certainly, many of the very greatest scientists from Newton, Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo on down to even the elite circle of Nobel Prize winners of our day are not in the atheistical camp.

    But, here we have it: by open-ballot vote [and career-busting those who dare to vote the "wrong" way], we impose the alleged majority view of today’s scientists on education, as though it were unquestionable, unrevisable gospel truth. And, we present the idea that God created as if that necessarily is unscientific (as well as implying that God’s mechanisms could not have included evolutionary ones to one degree or another).

    Nowhere do we find the faintest trace of recognition that body-plan level macroevolution and the models of chemical evolution allegedly making the spontaneous origin of life plausible, are empirically profoundly challenged ands seriously doubtful. But, never mind the challenges, full speed ahead on atheistical censorship of education.

    That is not the YEC’s fault, nor is it the OEC’s fault, nor is ti the fault of the Design Theory.

    It is the fault of a totalitarian, anti-God secularism that seeks to improperly monopolise the public square and which views all opposed ideas, alternative worldviews and their holders alike with utter contempt. In short, it is the logical outcome of Mr Dawkins’ conceit and worse that those who reject his evolutionary materialism are by that fact ignorant and/or insane and/or stupid and/or wicked.

    Indeed, it is plain and naked tyranny.

    6] I think saying ID is not religiously motivated is hypocrisy

    Sorry, we part company decisively here.

    First, I am a scientist in my own right, and in my work I am familiar with the implications of statistical thermodynamics for the spontaneous origin of complex, functionally specified information.

    I therefore have a credible REASON anchored in well-tested reliable science and general observation of the world, to reject the notion that lucky noise created the cosmos we see, including life’s nanotechnology and body-plan level biodiversity.

    Going beyond that, I see excellent reason to recognise that my conscious mind is the first and only direct experience I have. In that light, on observing that evolutionary materialism is profoundly challenged to account for the credibility of tat mind which must even be used to think evo mat thoughts, I find it inescapably self-referentially incoherent.

    Next, I observe as a part of that conscious life, that I am morally obligated,and those around me who are humans are similarly bound. Evo Mat leads to the implication that that experience is a delusion. But if our minds are so delusional then they are utterly untrustworthy in any inference whatever. So, again, I find excellent reason to reject evo mat.

    None of these REASONS constitutes a religious motivation, and indeed, even were there such a motivation, they stand of their own merits and demand an answer at the bar of comparative difficulties.

    I therefore find the ascription of religious motivation to be an improper dismissive ad hominem.

    Indeed, given the REASONS laid out in my always linked [cf. my handle] it is at best thoughtlessly disrespectful, offensive and unworthy. At worst, in the hands of too many evo mat advocates, it is a vicious personal attack designed to cloud and poison the atmosphere thus subverting a consideration of the case on the merits.

    And, I take such intentional, atmosphere poisoning personal attacks very personally. For good reason.

    GEM of TKI

  44. Jerry:

    Suppose ID advocates really did adopt a “platform” as such. There would be certain consequences to establishing criteria not currently in the ID definition.

    How, for example, would you arbitrate the congenial, well-articulated differences between say Dave Scot, who argues on behalf of a “front loading” scheme, and bornagain 77, who, if I understand him correctly, tends more in the directioj of recognizing “later innovations?”

    Or what about the respectfully acknowledged differences between someone like William J. Murray, who speculates about infinite multiple universes, and those like myself, who are inclined to characterize such ruminations as madness?
    Most of us find ourselves somewhere on an ID continuum, the borders of which are well defined yet very far apart. At one extreme reside the agnostics, who almost seem to flirt with materialism, barely avoiding the trap of monism; on the other side we find passionate theists, who almost qualify as Christian fundamentalists, barely avoiding the trap of Creation Science.

    Then, there are those in the middle, who are quite comfortable with faith and reason playing equal and complementary roles. I will grant you that the curve is not bell-shaped— it skews heavily on the side of strong religious faith. Still, this big tent is as much an expression of intellectual diversity as it is exercise in social solidarity.

    I don’t think we can afford to arbitrarily establish membership criteria solely for the sake of creating a more respectable public relations image. Even if we did, do you suppose for one minute that John Derbyshire and George Will would stop representing us, or that Wikipedia would stop stacking the deck against us? Not a chance. We simply have to overcome, that’s all.

  45. Sorry, ovsiously I meant “would GW and JD stop -misrepresenting- us?”

  46. Jerry, one more distinction. Some ID advocates acknowledge the presence of an design principle in nature, while others contend that only a personal, thinking, intelligent agent will suffice as the originator of an innovation. According the the ID definition, we include both. Even so, some of the administrators on this blog would argue over that very point.

  47. StephenB,

    I am only talking about the the mechanisms for the appearance of new species. I do not see how multiple or infinite universes play into that discussion at all.

    Mechanism 3 is front loading.

    A design principle in nature could be the mechanism behind either 1 or 2. There is no evidence for this but theistic evolutionist who include Darwinian processes in their theology have all sorts of ways an intelligence could drive 1 or 2 including messing with quantum mechanics. Such a process was where I was about 10 years ago but for 1 or 2 to happen there should be some forensic evidence supporting either one. None exists so I have to ask why. Which is essentially what I asked of Jack Krebs.

    As an aside, to me the only reason for multiple or infinite universes is that the argument for a naturalistic mechanism for the origin of the universe is so weak that the materialist has to come up with something. They recognize it and so postulate multiple universes to get rid of their dilemma. However, unless I am missing something, it has nothing to do with the origin of species.

    You are also mixing what I said on the other thread with my comment above. I don’t see the relationship. I am reacting to Jack Kreb’s comment about positive information and another comment about the possible alternatives. All I am trying to do is clarify the thinking and show how people support their points of view. I certainly can be wrong or forget something and hopefully, a discussion will bring this out.

    By the way I could care less about John Derbyshire. He is a gifted writer but an angry person and seems to be driven by what he is opposed to. I used to read a lot of his political comments at NRO but gave up a couple years ago. George Will writes some stuff I agree with but he is certainly not one I believe has to be influenced or really care about. The people I believe have to be influenced are the ones I interact with every day.

  48. StephenB,

    I have to apologize because I thought I was on the other thread which I had commented on it an hour earlier. So my comment will not make sense on this thread.

  49. StephenB,

    Since I have screwed on two threads maybe I can get back in sync.

    You said

    “How, for example, would you arbitrate the congenial, well-articulated differences between say Dave Scot, who argues on behalf of a “front loading” scheme, and bornagain 77, who, if I understand him correctly, tends more in the directioj of recognizing “later innovations?””

    I do not see how anything I advocated is at odds with either one. The evidence for each should be presented in a more organized fashion though. What I am advocating is assessing all the evidence and laying out the likelihood for the various scenarios.

    I think multiple universes are not an issue for evolution. I mentioned above on my irrelevant comment what I think of multiple universes. Hey, people can believe whatever they want but I believe you should good reasons for it. If it is faith, fine. But don’t pass off BS as solid thinking.

    What I propose could be in sync with deism. Front loading certainly is but does not have to be. Also what I propose will challenge the theistic evolutionists because as I said above on my irrelevant comment is that I do not believe the evidence supports them.

    I am not sure how anything I propose challenges faith unless that faith is based on something that is contradictory to the scientific evidence. It certainly has not challenged my faith which is not dependent upon any specific reading of the science. I could go with Darwinian processes if that is where the evidence led. To me faith and science should never be at odds.

    Which leads me to my attitude that jumping in bed with those for which ideology drives the science is not productive. You can disagree but how do I try to persuade someone of my position when they point that I have aligned myself with advocates of very bad science. You have no credibility.

  50. StephenB,

    I try to search for what I think is true about these topics so I read several websites. In that vein, I came across an Evangelical site this morning which looks friendly to what I am proposing. I have ordered some of their materials and will read them and make a judgment. It is run by Ray Bohlin who has published a book several years ago which I highly recommend called “The Natural Limits to Biological Change.” Bohlin has a biology background and the book has zero religion content.

    What led me to the site was the following two very interesting articles on the net

    “www.probe.org/radio-program/radio-program/this-weeks-program.html”

    “www.redeemingdarwin.com/articles/”

    When Evangelicals talk about the Cambrian Explosion in terms of 500 mya then I am a little more confident that the rest of their information will not have an agenda.

    I would prefer an Intelligent Design forum which was religion free but as I said the foot solders in the debate are mostly YEC and this prevents this from happening. The articles I mentioned above come from an Evangelical site which is apparently not YEC. But maybe someone else here knows more about that then I do.

  51. I’m glad you found Ray’s articles. May I point you to his article on ID with the permanent link (the one you have in your post changes weekly):

    http://www.probe.org/origins/r.....versy.html

    Sue Bohlin
    Probe Ministries Webmistress

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