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BBC and a Darwin Love Fest

The BBC is getting excited about Darwin’s 200th birthday with a whole series of programmes on Darwin and evolution. Although a national broadcaster, there doesn’t seem much attempt at balance, preferring for instance to talk about creationists rather than talk to creationists (again – intelligent design is lumped in with creationism). This was the case with the Beyond Belief programme broadcast last night on BBC radio 4 (5th Jan 2009 16:30pm) Beyond Belief in which three Darwinists were brought on from Judaism, Islam and Christianity to tell us what they think creationists and intelligent design supporters believe.

Alister McGrath spoke for the Christian faith, informing us that Protestant Christian creationists were in a sort of holy huddle mentality afraid of the light of the Darwinists and circling with their wagons. Other Christians, he commented, were in a state of disbelief that such people might still exist. Much as I respect and like Alister, and have valued some of his books, this programme did come across as ever so slightly pompous. If the BBC want to know what creationists and IDers believe then why not ask them straight, instead of talking about them and treating them as some sort of laboratory rats to be examined by sociologists.

So why the continued rejection of Darwinism? Can it possibly be that some have actually looked behind the Darwinian curtain, examined the evidence in depth, and found little to get excited about? The Darwinists have got it so ingrained into their minds that we are stupid and mentally weak that they fail to see that their own position is built on a mutually supporting, back-slapping, paradigm with no pressure to test the evidence in depth. Instead Darwin’s theory looks like the small Wizard of Oz – a small guy with a big megaphone and lots of pretence. In other words, there is some truth in Darwinian claims, but Darwinism is not a universal explanation, instead it is limited in scope. It would be nice for the Darwinists to acknowledge that creationists and intelligent design supporters have principled and well thought through objections to Darwin’s theory based on logic and evidence.

Undoubtedly those of us living in the UK can expect more of the same patronising programming from the BBC over coming weeks as they fall over themselves to try and indoctrinate the doubters into the Darwin religion. But hardened Darwin doubters will no doubt see through the same old rhetoric.
Science and Values

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16 Responses to BBC and a Darwin Love Fest

  1. The Plan
    We materialists need only to see ID “blurbed”
    To the unwashed public who can’t be disturbed
    By reading past the fold.
    They’ll believe what they’re told!
    They like their bread white, un-spiced and un-herbed.

    The Attack
    The media’s the message even if it’s unverbed
    For the idiot masses all so churched, so sub-urbed
    Let’s sic “cheap tuxedo”
    (. . . more subtle than Guido);
    They’ll swallow it whole – and we have the nerve!

    The Response
    Like pigs on the farm, we’re fed, “Charles! Superb!”
    But your rhetoric’s steaming, so you get us perturbed.
    Each time we step in your “pile,”
    Even we rank and file
    Can tell yet again that your dogma’s uncurbed.

  2. I am surprised that BBC did not include a link to their own, Roy Davies. Well here it is for anyone that is interested:

    http://www.darwin-conspiracy.co.uk/

  3. Many people here have held Alister McGrath up as some standup guy because he is a Christian who rejected atheism and debated Dawkins. But he is a believer in Darwinian evolution that does not question Dawkins’ science conclusions and should know better what the difference between creationists and those who support ID. So I question the “stand up” guy description.

    I also have found many of the Christians at ASA who are also believers in Darwinian evolution as intolerant of ID and its believers. Some Christians! Of course we have some here who are not tolerant of TE Christians.

  4. 4

    This morning on my way to work, BBC Radio 4 was broadcasting a ridiculous Darwin hagiography by Melvin Bragg, normally a fairly switched-on guy who ought to know better. On my way back they were broadcasting a play which was thinly-veiled attack on the Christian academies funded by Sir Peter Vardy, that dare to criticize Darwinism in Biology classes (in fact they still teach it, so that students get through their exams, but add the disclaimer that it isn’t actually true).

    All in all it makes me rather glad that my family stopped watching television six months ago, so we don’t need to subsidise this bilge with our licence fee.

  5. What I can’t understand about McGrath’s anti-ID position is that he gave a glowing review of John Lennox’s book ‘God’s Undertaker’.

    Yet this book explicitly doubts Darwinian evolution and endorses biological design.

    Lennox talks about the pathetic fossil record, the OOL failure and the problem of getting information without intelligence.

    Does Mcgrath not notice that this is ID???

  6. He also endorses Behe’s irreducible complexity, the 1966 Wistar Institute, and Philip Johnson’s key point that evolution’s success is mainly due to the fact it’s the only game in town for the materialists (who dominate mainstream science).

    Did McGrath skip pages 1-179 ? :p

  7. Re Alister McGrath and similar persons: I would suggest that many academics have noticed the trolls.

    I certainly have, so I cannot suppose that they have not.

    One of the effects of Darwinism is to unleash on the public a vast swarm of third- and fourth-rate minds – people whose best contribution is to reprise the slogans they have learned to shout somewhere, in a very low-quality education institution.

    I do not think the world is in their debt for that, you may be sure.

  8. 8

    I’m sure we all here understand that the constant conflation of the terms “creationism” and “intelligent design” by Darwinists is a thinly veiled attempt to discredit (without need for evidence) the scientific basis of ID and to link it exclusively to a religion based (indeed Chrisitian faith based) philosophy. This is also the reason why proponents of ID are ignored when any public definition of ID is required. This allows Darwinists to invent their own mischievous definition of ID to suit thier own agenda. The ignorant remain so as a result. It’s all a ruse and the compliant media continue to assist in this deception.

  9. Sure, it seems odd and beyond or beneath or below rationality, that otherwise seemingly intelligent people could so consistently misrepresent ID and become bootlicks to the utter madness of Darwin worship and it’s retarded view of “science”. Lest we forget: They are not really interested in the truth per se when it comes to their careers, or if they are, than they are sell-outs to a political propaganda movement because that is where they see their future prospects.

    It isn’t ID per se, that is being fought against by the Darwin cultists. It isn’t evolution per se, that is being championed by the Darwin cultists. It is the idea that there is a mortal threat to “progressive” “secular” culture. That threat, in the minds of the fearful, is based upon their belief that religious – and specifically Christian – dogma, when taken seriously by people, will manifest in the gradual disintegration of “human rights” by theocratic minded political leadership.

    Therefore, to their deluded way of looking at the world, if they can just get people to believe in Evolution, that it will act “like an acid” and corrode peoples faith in God, and therefore religion in general, and therefore the likelihood of the gradual theocratization of “secular humanist” culture, will be averted.

    Truth be damned, it isn’t about truth, nor science, nor facts, nor anything other then dread of theocracy in some form or another. This is the reson why no matter how much truth websites like this puts out, or books come out, or movies come out, it really is falling on deaf ears. That’s why so many “religious” people are also against ID. They also fear political cultural change (or they are sell outs). As long as God is safely tucked away in people’s imaginations, or in old books, or in philosophy; and doesn’t make an appearance and confront people to their face (as ID forces on people) then people feel they are safe from theocratization and for good measure they will worship Darwin and try to force everyone else to worship him as well, just in case…

    You must know your enemy in order to know how to defeat him.

  10. Regarding (macro)evolution, most of the professed Christians I’ve come across who accept it continually appeal to authority in their defence of it and cite the usual arguments about scientific academic consensus and how contrary arguments never get published in peer-reviewed journals, etc., etc., blah, blah. They have no clue yet are quite sure that they are well-informed. Certainly they don’t know enough to know that Galileo’s main enemies were academics, not priests.

    In another (mainstream church-run) forum I asked readers to say what they think science, as an activity, is. Nobody responded. After I prodded one argumentative person he finally wrote that he doesn’t have a “working definition” of science but that this lack doesn’t bother him; he’s quite sure that “[w]e are all transitional species”. What I’d written previously (about the differences in method and philosophy between those who are trying to produce generalisable descriptions of how various processes in the natural world are currently occurring compared to those who are trying to explain how a singular past event (e.g., the hypothesised ape-to-man trans-speciation) occurred) appears not to have registered with him at all.

    He reminds me of a close personal relative who, not knowing enough Scripture to know that God is spirit (and, therefore, is not sexed) once decided that God is a “she”. It suited my relative to think that at a particular time of her life. She has always believed what she wants to believe and, for some time, she hasn’t believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at all.

    I can’t understand how adult humans of normal intelligence can take such a cavalier attitude to truth and logic. Presumably it’s related to the fact that we are born sinners who love ourselves and our wants of the moment more than anything. I guess I just have to be grateful for the grace that has been shown to me so that I am not now among those who are dying.

  11. Janice,

    Many people appeal to authority pertaining to the theory of evolution.

    Seeing that they don’t have the scientific data appealing to authority is all they do have.

    I am constantly reminded of the “Project Steve” list. But when pressed as to how many “Steves” can support their acceptance with scientific data, I just get silence.

    And every time I ask for a testable hypothesis I always get one minus the debated mechanisms. And even then I can take each hypothesis and turn it so that it supports ID or Creation!

    So the next time you are on a forum in which people deride ID just ask them to present a testable hypothesis using undirecetd processes. Then sit back and watch the flailing begin…

  12. Bit off-topic but closely related.
    I find it sad that science seems to be the field that attracts mostly people who need the validation and the ego boost of being right no matter what.
    As we can unfortunately remember from our time in high school it was mostly the geeks that had self-esteem problems and low tolerance for social pressure.
    The low tolerance for feeling rejected makes the social acceptance seeking people submit more easily to the consensus of big science even if they secretly disagree.

    It’s no wonder there is so low amount of “witnessing” ID people as in this academic climate those disagreeing with consensus feel tremendous social pressure (Asch, 1951) and rejection from media, scientists and about everyone. The pressure is so high in fact that even religious people take the easy path and agree with evolutionism when it’s apparently contradictory with their beliefs.
    The western media is trying really hard to portray creationist and IDist as stupid, ignorant and uneducated.
    It’s to be expected as atheism cornerstone of evolutionism is intellectual narcissism which can be essentially described by three sentences:
    1. I am so smart and educated that I KNOW there is no god.

    2. I am so smart and educated that I KNOW no god would make this world as it is so therefore there is no god.
    3. Because god doesn’t SUBMIT to my tests therefore there is no god.

    …and of course from those sentences it follows that everyone disagreeing is stupid, ignorant, uneducated or just wicked.

  13. mentok @ 9

    I’m tempted to say “follow the money,” but that answer is woefully incomplete.

    Historically, there’s no greater bulwark of political liberty than a Protestant Christianity in which each man, reading his own Bible in his own language, counts himself primarily reponsible before God, not men. Even Roman Catholicism, in its iterations as an established religion, did not represent a “theocracy,” in that its authority was “separate but equal” vis-a-vis the political authorities.

    Through the binoculars of my particular escatology, “theocratization of ‘secular humanist’ culture” is not what’s being avoided by TPTB*, it is the goal. A goal best illustrated by II Thessalonians 2:4, in its description of the one who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

    * the powers that be

  14. Great post mentok and also jstanley01′s response. I would simply add that I for one have always known this is not about science or reason. However, science and reason are the only avenues available for advance in the public sphere.

    Joseph: “So the next time you are on a forum in which people deride ID just ask them to present a testable hypothesis using undirecetd processes. Then sit back and watch the flailing begin…”

    I have done this and it is exactly as you say. I asked for a Darwinian hypothesis from a professor of biology once, saying that the scientific process is to make hypotheses, do experimentation, then accept or reject the hypotheses. He complained that I was asking him to predict the future, as if I was consulting a fortune-teller.

  15. 15

    Can it possibly be that some have actually looked behind the Darwinian curtain,

    Indeed yes, some have seen the gruesome show behind the curtain.

  16. I haven’t looked too much behind the curtain of Darwinism, but I’ve seen what shows up on stage: Infanticide, genocide, and eugenics. Good work to all those enlightened, progressive elitists like Richard Dawkins. They are the enemy of freedom of thought. They represent the Naziism of the intellectual world (and maybe more Naziism in the real world if they have their way).

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