Home » Creationism, Intelligent Design, Religion, Science » “Coming clean” about YEC?

“Coming clean” about YEC?

Jack Krebs at Panda’s Thumb claims that I have “come clean” as a young earth creationist. There are a couple of problems with his announcement: (1) It’s not true, and (2) there’s nothing in my words that he quoted to justify his claim.

Krebs seems to think that my recent statements clarifying my views represent either a compromise or a “retraction” of my earlier views. But that is false. It’s a matter of public record that I am an evangelical Christian. I have publicly defended the complete trustworthiness and inerrancy of Scripture; but my comments in The End of Christianity led some to believe otherwise. The purpose of my recent statement was to make it clear that I believe in biblical inerrancy.

As a matter of literary genre, I continue to think that the book of Genesis is not a science textbook. But I do think that the events referred to in the opening chapters of Genesis describe real events that took place in history (though God’s initial creation from nothing is, in a sense, the very initiation of history itself rather than “in” history). I am of the opinion that the days of Genesis 1 refer to God’s workweek rather than to six twenty-four hour days. I also know that orthodox Christians disagree on this question. That disagreement is not, however, a disagreement over the trustworthiness of Scripture, but rather, over its best interpretation.

Krebs seems to think that by saying that the creation events are historical I must be saying that God’s creation days are each twenty four hours long and took place sometime in the last few thousand years. I assume that more careful readers of my comments will not make the same mistake.

More importantly, and contrary to Krebs’ insinuation, nothing in my view of Scripture contradicts my belief that nature provides strong empirical evidence of intelligent design. As I have explained many times before, the design inference is not based on the Bible or any other sacred text. It is based on what can be logically ascertained from nature’s own data. Anyone who wants to understand my real views on intelligent design and its relationship to science should read The Design of Life (co-authored with Jonathan Wells) and also consult my peer-reviewed work at www.EvoInfo.org.

I might add that my views on Christian theology should be just as irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence I present for intelligent design as Richard Dawkins’ views on atheism are irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence he presents for Darwinism.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

45 Responses to “Coming clean” about YEC?

  1. “I might add that my views on Christian theology should be just as irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence I present for intelligent design as Richard Dawkins’ views on atheism are irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence he presents for Darwinism.”

    Well said. If all people who argue about Intelligent Design and Evolution would keep this straight, we’d have a lot more civil discourse and intelligent conversation. And I don’t think that the main offenders are ID-ers.

  2. Having faith — even in a young Earth — is not delusional.

    Having faith and not realizing it, OTOH, is extremely delusional.

    Those who think that biological complexity can be explained via random events and then further insist that such an explanation is definitive and absolute are delusional.

    Not only should they not be taken seriously, they MUST not be taken seriously.

  3. 3

    Why this obsession with YEC by ID critics? It is like the only criticism of ID that they got is to conflate it with a religious position.

    Dembski: “I might add that my views on Christian theology should be just as irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence I present for intelligent design as Richard Dawkins’ views on atheism are irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence he presents for Darwinism.”

    I sympathize with you, Dr. D. But unfortunately, there’s a double standard out there.

  4. It looks like Krebs offered a clarification, and scratched the YEC part from his post.

  5. I have interacted with Jack Krebs many times. If there is one thing I have learned about him it is this: The man simply cannot [or will not] make the distinction between a motive and method.

    For Krebs, any Christian who accepts a Creator God cannot draw a legitimate inference to design because, as the story goes, the believer cannot separate his religion from his research and will always be smuggling his faith assumptions into his scientific conclusions.

  6. Just to save people time searching to see what the evos will say in response, I think I have captured it below:

    Mr Dembski,

    Obviously you are lying.

    You have admitted that Intelligent Design is the same as Young Earth Creationism and now you are in damage control mode.

    The cat is out of the bag.

    We have you.

    We own you.

    You cannot run, you cannot hide.

    Your ridiculous attempt to try to stem the flow of blood is amusing.

    Did I say we have you?

    We do you know.

    Don’t even think of ever testifying for ID- we own you.

    respectfully,

    the tards of evoville

    Thank you, thank you very much…

  7. Ok so Bill has always openly stated that he is a Christian.

    And Christianity does have a known link to the Bible. That has been public knowledge for quite some time.

    So what is wrong with these people that they are forced to comb through everything IDists say and write in order to try to dig something up on ID?

    “Oh wow look I have never seen Dembski use the word inerrancy before so he must be a YEC.”

    Lunatic fringe…

  8. If God DID take 6 literal days, my only question would be: Why did He take so long?

  9. Unlike some critics of Dr. Dembski, I actually read the book “The End Of Christianity”. Though I may not agree with Dr. Dembski point-for-point on all things, I did not read into the text something that was not there, which I think what Krebs is trying to get away with.

    If anything, I thought Dr. Dembski was sympathetic to the YE view, but not because it is convincing (which many, including I, do not find it to be). Neither did I find Dr. Dembski making a defense of Old Earth Creationism.

    I think the point he was trying to make, is that there is a good case for biblical inerrancy, regardless of what creation faith one holds to, including faith in naturalism.

  10. I might add that my views on Christian theology should be just as irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence I present for intelligent design as Richard Dawkins’ views on atheism are irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence he presents for Darwinism.

    Except, of course, that DarwinDefenders, in general, are neither logical nor rational.

  11. StephenB:The man simply cannot [or will not] make the distinction between a motive and method.

    Isn’t his inability (or disinclination) called “projection”?

  12. Why this obsession with YEC by ID critics? It is like the only criticism of ID that they got is to conflate it with a religious position.

    That is correct. It is ALL they have. They desperately need to argue against YECs and nothing else. It is the softest target.

    Dembski is their greatest enemy and need to weaken him somehow. He has big ideas and is publishing them in peer-reviewed articles. This cannot be said for most if any folks in the other camp.

    I will ask ANY in that other camp reading this thread, what big ideas have ANY of you come up with in your careers. What significant impact are you making in your respective fields. Dembski is making an impact in BOTH theology AND information theory AND biology.

    Dembski, Marks, Meyer, et al are simply cruising right past you (pl) and what is your reaction?: YEC! Liar!, Destroyer of Science!.

    Dr. Dembski, keep up the good work I do hope you, Marks, Myer, etc will continue to publish peer-reviewed articles and keep up the scientific pressure on the opposition. They are in an extremely defensive position and I would like to see it kept that way.

    Let their taunts, ridicule and derision continue. While you are busy Minding your business, they’ll just be left in the scientific dust.

  13. Desperation in Darwinland. Only 40% of American adults believe in the Modern Synthesis! Time to whip out the smear tactics before the polling gets any worse and the grants and tenure start melting away. (“I can’t believe I’m losing to that idiot!”)

    “Coming clean” about your faith? Good idea. Now everybody knows you’re the only honest man in the room. After all, why would the Krebster try to tar your science with your faith? There’s only one reason—your faith comes into conflict with his own. It’s like Democrat vs Republican. If you are, the other guy’s just got to be evil. Six-day creationist! In some circles, that’s almost worse than being a Nazi.

    Some people seem to think the kind of honesty seen here has to be suppressed. They fret that you can’t get a seat at the table if you don’t hide your light under a bushel and dissemble and smirk and shuffle your feet. Fortunately the time for catacombs is passing. Basic science, with no reference whatsoever to metaphysics, with no axe to grind and armed with nothing but inquisitiveness and boundless ambition, is in the process of overturning the reigning paradigm.

    We now know that Natural Selection is in fact quite unnatural. It was the one of the great anthropomorphisms of all time. People would be crazy not to see good design and beauty in nature. Darwin was one of those—think of his butterflies—and since he knew he would certainly choose the most beautiful ones if he were king of the world, he said to himself, “Hey—nature must have chosen them, too!”

    WRONG! Nature is nothing like Darwin. It has no way of knowing that butterflies are beautiful, even after they get that way. Faith is the only possible reason why bright guys like the Krebster find this so difficult to understand. There is no “methinks it is like a weasel” in nature, no target, no goal in mind, no will to order. And mindless nature has no way of “selecting” it when it finds its way into being.

    “The fool says in his heart there is no God.”

  14. Dear Dr. Dembski,

    thank you for clarifying your positions: so, you think that the best interpretation of Genesis in light of the scientific evidence is that the world is old and that a global flood has happened?

  15. I might add that my views on Christian theology should be just as irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence I present for intelligent design as Richard Dawkins’ views on atheism are irrelevant for evaluating the scientific evidence he presents for Darwinism.
    Indeed, well said! I assume that in the future we won’t see any articles on Darwin’s views on these matters here at Uncommon Descent?

    IMO, the way a scientists incorporates the geological evidence into a framework of a global flood says a lot about his approach to science in general.

  16. Thanks for this clarification. Yes, the rumour had come may way and it had me worried for a moment. Mischief making seems standard practice in this debate.

  17. 17

    All I can say is: looks like it’s time to update the Wikipedia article on Dr. Dembski.

  18. A quick look around the interweb and Dr Dembski’s OP has the evolutionitwits frothing- as if they just put a handful of alka-seltzer tablets in their mouths.

    Who needs TV for entertainment when the world has evolutionitwits for that?

  19. —Ilion: “Isn’t his inability (or disinclination) called “projection?”

    Yes, I think that is a fair interpretation. ["I smuggle religion (Darwinism) into my scientific conclusions, therefore my adversary must also be guilty of the same anti-scientific practice"].

  20. Here is a debate between OEC Hugh Ross and YEC Kent Hovind:

    Kent Hovind vs Hugh Ross debate
    http://video.google.com/videop.....035484286#

    To me it seems crystal clear that Dr. Hugh Ross is the one who is maintaining a accurate interpretation and integrity between science and scripture whereas Dr. Hovind is being disingenuous to the honest reconciliation of the two.

  21. Michael Behe & Keith Fox debate Intelligent Design – Unbelievable Christian Radio – This probably deserves its own thread:

    Darwin’s Black Box – Michael Behe & Keith Fox debate Intelligent Design
    http://ondemand.premier.org.uk.....oFeed.aspx

    http://www.premierradio.org.uk.....x?mediaid={A942B34A-2BF8-482C-BA7C-61F3C95DC77A}

    media file:
    83fbd346-f8f8-4f6b-a27e-27bcb4c0a9e5.mp3

  22. I am a young earth creationist. I admire Dr. Dembski, and believe me I would know if he was a YEC. He’s most definitely not, and I don’t know how you could make that mistake unless you had no clue whatsoever what you are talking about.

  23. Just to clarify things for me: can someone give me a resource which elucidates the difference between Biblical inerrancy and Biblical literalism. I would prefer to be clear regarding the definition of the terms before I ask further questions and I’d prefer to get that clarification from people who understand the distinction. Thanks!

  24. Eliazimm: In answer to your question, check out the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy: http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html. When faculty at theologically conservative seminaries, such as the one where I teach, are asked to subscribe to inerrancy, this statement is usually what’s meant.

    For the record, I’ve been an unashamed inerrantist for 30 years. I come at this from the Protestant tradition. But Roman Catholics are expected to be inerrantists as well: The Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church stresses that the Bible is true and, this is a direct quote, “without error.”

  25. Thank you very much. I’m very grateful for your time. I hope the new semester/term is going well.

    I will do my best to digest the information. And, as usual, I really appreciate being able to come to Uncommon Descent to ask my questions. It matters to me that I get answers from the ID community and I applaud the time and effort being put in to make it an open forum for all.

  26. EZ:

    A footnote.

    Inerrancy, strictly, affirms that the Bible autographs (duly and properly exegeted) were perfectly accurate in what it affirms, reflecting the perfection of the Author. In praxis, the MSS in hand [as a body] are held to be a sufficiently competent witness to those autographs to be trustworthy and authoritative.

    Literalism is a strawman issue, distorting sensus literalis. (though of course, we can find some rather simplistic Christians out there who may even be suspicious of exegetical work from the Hebrew, Aramaic or Koine Greek. [Some seem to forget that the KJV is a translation, not the original language.]

    The historic approach to exegesis [and at an informal level, to Bible study] seeks to accurately understand the best text in light of textual and occasional context, grammatical factors, genre, geography, history and other evidence. That text is to be observed, analysed for meaning, correlated with our own situation, and then applied to it.

    On the OEC/YEC debate, the issue pivots on what the proper, intended sense of the text is, taken as a record of the testimony of the One who was there [Cf Job 38:1 - 4]. Serious people have taken varying positions, and not just over the past 150 or so years; C S Lewis, for instance, was fond of citing Augustine’s view [~ 400 AD].

    Both views prioritise exegesis.

    There are many, many variants, for instance there is a day-age view popularised by the Scofield reference Bible, and there is even a view that the relativisation of time creates a context in which the cosmological timeline of some 14 bn yr corresponds to a much shorter one from the perspective of the earth.

    By contrast a theistic evolutionist view will “typically” — there will doubtless be significant variations here — seek to hold that the text was not meant to be historically accurate, but to teach the principle of creation. So, interpretations will need to more or less view it as a creation myth with the kernel of truth being that we live in a Creation, and under the sovereignty of God. But the theistic evolutionist usually does not feel particularly bound to any specific details or sequencing of the double-narrative.

    Design thought is diverse form all of this, being an empirical inference on tested, reliable signs of intelligently directed configuration.

    So far as I can make out, WmAD is primarily a design thinker and scientist, and as a philosopher and theologian is concerned with a much broader spectrum of issues than exegesis. He seems to believe in an old earth, old cosmos, and holds that the days referenced may responsibly be exegeted in that frame of thought.

    GEM of TKI

  27. I won’t say I’m completely conversant in all the finer points but I think the following paragraph (from Dr Dembski’s link) is a pretty good summary:

    “So history must be treated as history, poetry as poetry, hyperbole and metaphor as hyperbole and metaphor, generalization and approximation as what they are, and so forth. Differences between literary conventions in Bible times and in ours must also be observed: since, for instance, non-chronological narration and imprecise citation were conventional and acceptable and violated no expectations in those days, we must not regard these things as faults when we find them in Bible writers. When total precision of a particular kind was not expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it. Scripture is inerrant, not in the sense of being absolutely precise by modern standards, but in the sense of making good its claims and achieving that measure of focused truth at which its authors aimed.”

    And I thank Dr Dembski and KF for taking the time to respond with thought and grace. And I hope my question and the responses have clarified the issue for others. I think there is still room for argument but I shall leave that for others more qualified to focus on the finer points.

    I always try to be honest when posting here and, I have to admit, my first reaction to this thread is to try and find things I can argue against. :-) It’s not just being a ‘Darwinist’, I’m also very pedantic. In this case I admit to not being up to the debate and shall shut up. But it was the responses I got which pointed that out and I’d like to make sure my appreciation is noted.

  28. Dr. Dembski, is your “Clarification Regarding My Book The End of Christianity,” found in David L. Allen’s article, a document in itself or does it solely constitute the four paragraphs therein? If it is its own document, would you happen to have a link to it?

  29. Pardon: perfectly accurate in what they affirm

  30. “bornagain77″ (#18) wrote…whereas Dr. Hovind is being disingenuous to the honest reconciliation of (science and scripture)…

    This should not be any surprise. “Dr.” Hovind, who still has six years to serve in Federal prison for tax evasion, got his “masters” and “doctorate” degrees from the un-accredited Patriot “University” in Colorado. His version of YECism is so bogus it has even been disowned by the YEC mothership, Answers In Genesis. (http://www.kent-hovind.com/aig_debunk.htm)

  31. Footnotes:

    1: BA: Perhaps, it would be fair to point as well to this exchange between AiG’s Jason Lisle and Hugh Ross, both being astronomers.

    2: PB: the above should suffice to show that the matter is not as simplistic as your “mothership” remarks suggest. Let us all learn how to disagree with a modicum of civility and respect, rather than thinly veiled contempt.

    ___________________

    Following up on the earlier point:

    3: EZ, re the key warranting argument of the historic Christian faith

    To a certain extent, the debates over the infallibility and proper exegesis of scripture tend to lead us astray in thinking about the core case that the Christian Faith makes as a live worldview option.

    I therefore think it wise to pause and summarise —

    and, here I need to pause: I trust my high-animosity critics and deriders at antievo etc will appreciate [as the simple and easily accessible contrast between my always linked note and a comment here at UD will show] that what is a longish blog comment is a very short summary of a much more extensive argument in the main –

    . . . a few key points.

    These will be by way of main reference to the key, eyewitness authored, quite accurately transmitted, authentic primary source document passages accessible in translation as Acts ch 17:16 – 34 [~ AD 62], 1 Cor 15:1 – 11 [AD 55, re immediate events of AD 50 - 51, and onward on incidents and primary testimony dating to AD ~ 35 - 38, on a primary event AD 30 or 33 ], and Rom 1:16 – 3:26 [AD 57]:

    a –> You will note that I am in effect making a claim — one that is quite defensible — that these texts are primary, eyewitness authenticated C1 source documents, not committing myself to any particular view beyond being serious and authentic sources that may be received as credibly trustworthy under the so-called ancient documents rule and other linked principles for evaluating evidence largely rooted in testimony. (That is, the burden of disproof of such documents as credible testimony rests on the objector once certain basic authenticating tests are passed.)

    b –> In our era, we are but little instructed in such matters, and sadly — and, antievo detractors, I do very much mean this, I am not a liar (which is what you directly imply in some criticisms I recently surveyed, a grievous insult) — we tend to easily fall into the clutches of the selectively hyperskeptical and their ever so misleading rhetoric based on a cluster of characteristic fallacies.

    (And, antievo detractors, the trifecta of distraction, distortion and demonisation or denigration is one of those fallacies. Why don’t you fair-mindedly deal with issues on the substance, on the merits, instead of leading people astray into the feverish swamplands of misrepresentation, mischaracterisation, slanderous denigration, and hostility?)

    Sorry EZ, I needed to get this off my chest, and to clear the smoke of burning ad hominem-soaked strawmen. As was just done to Dr Dembski by former UD commenter Jack Krebs

    c –> Now, Morison put up a telling challenge on the implications of the testimony in the three key texts, and the historical impact of that testimony. That challenge must be faced and addressed cogently, if we are to make a good conclusion:

    ______________________

    >> [N]ow the peculiar thing . . . is that not only did [belief in Jesus' resurrection as in part testified to by the empty tomb] spread to every member of the Party of Jesus of whom we have any trace, but they brought it to Jerusalem and carried it with inconceivable audacity into the most keenly intellectual centre of Judaea . . . and in the face of every impediment which a brilliant and highly organised camarilla could devise. And they won. Within twenty years the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish Church and impressed itself upon every town on the Eastern littoral of the Mediterranean from Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had began to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire . . . . Why did it win? . . . . We have to account not only for the enthusiasm of its friends, but for the paralysis of its enemies and for the ever growing stream of new converts . . . When we remember what certain highly placed personages would almost certainly have given to have strangled this movement at its birth but could not – how one desperate expedient after another was adopted to silence the apostles, until that veritable bow of Ulysses, the Great Persecution, was tried and broke in pieces in their hands [the chief persecutor became the leading C1 Missionary/Apostle!] – we begin to realise that behind all these subterfuges and makeshifts there must have been a silent, unanswerable fact. [Who Moved the Stone, (Faber, 1971; nb. orig. pub. 1930), pp. 114 - 115.] >>

    ______________________

    d –> Effects have causes, and causes must be adequate to sustain their effects. What cause is sufficient to explain the pattern of effects as just summarised by Morison?

    [ . . . ]

  32. e –> For 2,000 years, the Christian answer has been that the C1 disciples, especially the circle of 500 noted on in 1 Cor 15:1 – 11 (some 20 of which we can identify by name or give identifying details), spoke the truth: they encountered Jesus of Nazareth as one risen from death, and as Lord of Life, who poured out his life-transforming Spirit on them in power, sending them out to bear witness to the gospel: in fulfillment of specific prophecies such as ~ 700 BC Isa 52:13 – 53:12 [right down to the resurrection], Jesus came, died for our sins, was buried, and ruse as triumphant Lord of Life and Saviour.

    f –> In that context, the C1 disciples and their successors came to accept the OT as the fulfilled word of God, the God who raised our Lord from death. In addition, they came to view the writings of the apostles and those who worked closely with them as the authentic additional record from the same God who raised Jesus from death.

    g –> Thus, the scriptures were viewed by them as the Word of God, partaking of his power, authority and perfection. Hear the testimony of Peter, on the eve of his own crucifixion, c 65 AD, in Rome:

    2 Pet 1:15And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

    16We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty . . .

    h –> And, remember, right down to today, life-transforming miracles of many kinds continue to happen as people pray according to the same scriptures, including in my own life, i.e. people see and experience the same power in their own lives and on the same texts. (Thus we see the natural root of the doctrine of the infallibility of Scripture.)

    i –> So also, this is the NT perspective and testable assertion on the inference to design, and beyond that, to a Creator:

    Rom 1:19 . . . what may be known about God is plain to [men], because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    j –> had that not been so, it would have been pounced on gleefully by objectors,. So, why is it suddenly ultra vires for Christians, having done or having studied the relevant scientific work, to point out that it is credible on empirical evidence and reasonable inductions to signs of design, that life and the cosmos are artifacts of a coherent design that points strongly to an extra-cosmic, highly intelligent, sophisticated and extremely powerful Designer?

    k –> Do not the New Atheists, Dawkins at the head of the pack, try to argue that though life has in it many features that strongly look designed for a purpose, life is only misleadingly designoid, since they can construct a darwinian narrative to account for it without reference to a designer? [And, are they not grievously challenged to empirically show, for instance, how digitally coded, functionally specific complex information and associated organised effecting nanomachinery could originate by blind chance and mechanical necessity, absent imposition of a priori evolutionary materialism under the guise of methodological naturalism?]

    k –> And does this not hold, regardless of whether the timeline of the real past of the cosmos (as opposed to our more or less speculative reconstructions: we were not there to see the ACTUAL past of origins) is 6 – 10 k years, or 14 bn?

    ________________

    So, I think we need to put a few things in perspective. I hope this helps.

    GEM of TKI

  33. Gee, if Joseph’s quotation from “the tards of evoville” is verbatim, what can you say? What sort of sicko form of arrogant insulting intimidatory drivel is it? Is this really the level these guys stoop to? Wow!

  34. Mr Dembski: You said: I accept that the events described in Genesis 1- 11 happened in ordinary space-time

    What did you mean by this ?

  35. NZer,

    Joseph’s quote was not verbatim. However, the below quote from Paul Burnett is.

    KF, this is what we are up against; atheism hiding behind scientific coattails.

    Hey Burnett, since it appears you have somehow managed to keep your posting priveleges here, why don’t you speak directly to Bill Dembski regarding your comment below.

    Look him in the (blog) eye and explain the below.

    The floor is open to you.

    Dembski and the other whores at the Dishonesty Institute are trying every bit as hard as the Taliban and Al Qaeda to destroy Western civilization. They must not be given any break – any quarter – at all.

    They started the culture war and they will not give up until they are marginalized into the obscurity they so richly deserve. Watching the destruction of Dembski may be disturbing, but it is necessary. And it’s just a beginning. Every single one of the cdesign proponentsists has to be ground into the dust to save the 21st century from the Dark Ages.

  36. Paul is doing what he always has done. He is all political, and has a great deal of trust in what he thinks. He gave up on science and evidence long ago.

    Hey Paul, when you go to work and associate with people who don’t necessarily share your god thing, do you back off a bit? Do you ask when you donate blood to make sure none of those christian whores profit from your self-acclaimed generosity?

  37. F/N:

    I take liberty to give the specific link to Mr Paul Burnett’s comment, which is on page 5 of the exchange at Panda’s Thumb on the post by Mr Jack Krebs that seems to have first spread the false rumour regarding Dr Dembski’s theology.

    The Burnett cite — which fills me with sadness to see how one can so fill himself with hostility and slander — is a capital example of the hyperskptical trifecta combination fallacy in action:

    a red herring distractor, dragging attention away from the main issue, then leading out to a strawman simplistic misrepresentation of the presumed argument in the main being objected to. The objector then sets out to soak the strawman in attacks against the credibility or character of those making the case being caricatured, and he — almost always the case — then triumphalistically lights up the same; all, to distract attention from the main issue, and also clouding and poisoning the atmosphere with blinding hostility. That is, distraction from the track of truth, led out to agenda-serving distortion of issues and perspectives, and culminating in character assassinating slanderous demonisation of people, dismissal, polarisation and divisiveness.

    It also, equally sadly, typifies the pattern of the hostile, indoctrinated, closed ideologically warped mind in action.

    It is worth excerpting my analysis:

    ____________________

    >> Stubbornly irrational, question-begging resistance to correction and/or alternative views . . . .

    This fallacy manifests itself in a habitual pattern of thought, feelings and argument that is:

    (a) question-beggingly committed to and/or

    (b) indoctrinated into thinking in the circle of a particular view or position and/or

    (c) blindly adherent to “the consensus” or vision and school of thought or paradigm of a particular set of authorities. [NB*: This last includes today's new Magisterium: "Science."]

    As a result,

    (d) the victim of closed-mindedness becomes unwarrantedly (i.e. fallaciously and often abusively) resistant to new or alternative ideas, information or correction . . . .

    That is, it is not a matter of mere disagreement that is at stake here, but of

    (e) stubborn and objectively unjustified refusal to be corrected or to entertain or fairly discuss on the merits ideas or points of view outside of a favoured circle of thought.

    In extreme cases,

    (f) the closed minded person who has access to power or influence may engage in the willfully deceptive (and even demonic) practice of actively suppressing the inconvenient truth that s/he knows or should know.

    (By contrast, a properly educated person is open-minded but critically aware: s/he is aware of the possibility and prevalence of error, and so (i) habitually investigates and then (ii) accurately, objectively and fairly describes major alternative views, fact claims and lines of argument on a topic, (iii) comparing them on congruence to his/her real-world experience and that of others s/he knows and respects, general factual correctness, logical coherence and degree of explanatory power; thus (iv) holds a personal view that results from such a process of comparative difficulties, while (v) recognising and respecting that on major matters of debate or controversy, different people will hold different views.) >>

    ____________________

    I hope Mr Burnett — and several others at Panda’s Thumb — can find the decency to apologise and change their ways.

    For, redemption is possible, even for “the chief of sinners” — the self-description of the Apostle Paul.

    Let us trust that Mr Burnett can find the same grace that his great namesake found.

    It is appropriate to close with a prayer:

    Grace, open our eyes, and soften our hearts, AMEN.

    GEM of TKI

  38. PS: I think the article by Petersen here on the history of design-oriented thought in our civilisation, the linked — yes, linked — rise of modern science and the onward implications of the renewal of design thought in science will be a useful first counterbalance to the rhetoric of civilisation-destruction that PB resorts to in the excerpt above.

    Similarly, PB’s over the top anti-civilisation jihadism slander could do with a few balancing thoughts on the material contribution of Biblical thought to the rise and success of modern democratic self-government by a free people, here.

    I must also call his attention to the correctives on his implicit equating of Al Qaeda-style jihadism with Biblical Christian faith, which is clearly based on a warped view of “fundamentalism,” here.

  39. F/N 2: I find it further saddening that no-one there immediately picked PB up on his abusive tone, language and attitude.

    In fact, they began to pile on, with a certain Mr John Kwok — a frequently encountered attack reviewer of ID books at Amazon — in the forefront. (I am fairly sure that if someone supportive of ID were to use now such intemperate language at UD [even in retaliation], s/he would be called on it in short order by someone from the ID side, with moderators heading their way in short order.)

    When we see the sort of attitudes and slanderous perceptions at work, and ask ourselves what would happen if people holding those views and attitudes were to gain power, the sort of frequently reported abuse of design thinkers in the academic institutions is immediately very plausible.

    PT, sadly, is clearly a hate speech, incitatory site.

    All of a piece with Mr Myers’ recent, gloatingly public desecration of a Catholic communion host.

    PT, it is time to stop the hate.

    Or else, YOUR people will have exposed themselves for the world to see as seeking to “to destroy Western civilization.” For, surely, respect for others is as foundational a Western value as you can get.

    Let me cite John Locke as he set out to ground principles of liberty and government, in Ch 2 of his 2nd essay on civil govt, by citing “the Judicious” Rev’d Richard Hooker in his Ecclesiastical Polity, 1594:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . .

    No prizes for guessing just which Teachers, what tradition and what worldview that principle comes from.

    For shame!

  40. I didn’t know the famous and important I.D pioneer was a YEC. Excellent.
    I understood right away he was not changing anything about identity.
    The opposition is desperate to discredit. The bad guys always are I notice.
    I don’t know if Mr Dembski not seeing six days is from geological ideas he has confidence in.?
    Remember what Darwin said. He said if geological assumptions are not accepted by any reader of his then put down his books on evolution.
    Amen.

    Creationists of any species likewise should demand of geology what we demand of biology. Make your case on the merits.
    I’m just saying that there is no reason in nature to see long periods of time and so no need to see six days other the six days.
    As long as the story of Adam/Eve as the first people and the fall is accepted the stuff before that is not important.
    I suggest to mr Dembski to remember all publicity is good publicity.
    He might say he don’t need any more but creationists welcome attention to him as it stirs up the nations.
    Scrunity of evolutionism is always to the gain of creationism and so stiring brings this about.

  41. Robert you state:

    ‘I’m just saying that there is no reason in nature to see long periods of time and so no need to see six days other the six days.’

    Actually Robert there are very good reasons,(scripturally, theologically, and scientifically), for seeing the 6 days as long period of times. And contrary to the accusations of a ‘YEC Dr. Dembski’ by Jack Krebs, Dr. Dembski has in fact provided, IMO, a very robust and coherent Old Earth Creatiion theodicy in which to deal with death proceeding the fall of man here in this book:

    William Dembski’s New Book “The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World” Is available at Amazon here:
    http://www.amazon.com/End-Chri.....038;sr=1-1

    You can read an excerpt of the book here: Finding a Good God in an Evil World – William Dembski
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

  42. RB@40 Thank you; in fact many creationists after having done what you suggested, have arrived at opposing views. Furthermore, a careful reading of The End of Christianity (Dembski) from cover to cover is illuminating to the discussion. That could be followed by Ronald Numbers’, The Creationists. blessings-

  43. NZer – you are giving the impression that we don’t understand irony down here…

  44. 44

    EZ, (a little off topic)

    I’m a little late here, but I wanted to respond to this:

    “I always try to be honest when posting here and, I have to admit, my first reaction to this thread is to try and find things I can argue against. It’s not just being a ‘Darwinist’, I’m also very pedantic. In this case I admit to not being up to the debate and shall shut up. But it was the responses I got which pointed that out and I’d like to make sure my appreciation is noted.”

    Thanks for such kind words towards those from whom I have also learned a great deal. BTW, you don’t have to shut up, you just have to agree with us. ;)

    Well no, in actual fact, I speak for myself – I enjoy discussion; especially when there are opposing views. I always have – even though I’m a choir boy at heart (everything in perfect harmony). I especially like it when people ask questions that we might not have thought to ask, and you have done so plenty as I recall.

  45. Collin in #1

    Well said. If all people who argue about Intelligent Design and Evolution would keep this straight, we’d have a lot more civil discourse and intelligent conversation. And I don’t think that the main offenders are ID-ers.

    Well, the problem is they [the anti ID crowd]can’t “keep this straight”. As Richard Lewontin explained several years ago when he wrote:

    ‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    Hardly the way to go about leaving one’s philosophical assumptions at the door, wouldn’t you say?

Leave a Reply