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Ignore, Laugh, Fight, Win

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. –Mahatma Gandhi

Exam Question: Which stage are we in with the ID debate and what will victory look like?
Extra Credit: How long till victory? Justify your answer.

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25 Responses to Ignore, Laugh, Fight, Win

  1. 1

    I’m inclined to say that they are still in the laughing phase. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is exhibit A. Episodes like Dr. Sternberg endured are still few and far between.

    How long will it take? My guess is less than fifty years. It’s possible it could be much faster though.

    1859 – 1926 = 87 years
    1963 – 1926 = 37 years

    We already have our book, that is Darwin’s Black Box IMO. We now have our lost, well-publicized court case, Dover. The difference there was less than ten years. For evolution, it was 87. So I’m guessing that the ratio is 1:10 between the two examples, the difference being the mainly the internet and the speed of communication. So how long before we get our day in court? 37/10 = 3.7 years. Unfortunately, that is ridiculous. It takes much longer to change minds and institutions, but it should be noted that ID is progressing much faster than evolution did at the early stages of the theory.

  2. 2

    After looking at my post, I think we are actually closer to the fighting phase than I implied. Perhaps what we see now is a transitional form? If so, we had better beat our plowshares into swords, because it’s about to get dirty.

  3. “God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist.” What does Gandhi mean by this, and how might it apply to the ravings of Richard Dawkins? Extra credit: Justify your answer.

    Regarding the above quote, we are obviously in the cusp between laughing and fighting. It will be the end of the judgement when this mess is over and the enemies of truth ( in whatever their various guises, and there are many ) are defeated.

  4. Hmm,

    Which stage are we in with the ID now? Fierce battle, I’d say. Victory? It’d be when ID is the prevailing philosophy, but there’d still be many more battles to fight. Witness the end of the Cold War which gave us a only short respite before having to deal with Islamic terrorism. In fact it makes one wonder: Have we entered an age where materialism is dying and the fight once again will be about God.

    How long till victory? Afraid that’s too tough. We do the fighting but the schedule may be in the hand of the Designer. Here, let me quote again what Winston Churchill said before the US congress December 26, 1941:

    “If you will allow me to use other language, I will say that he must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below of which we have the honor to be the faithful servants. It is not given to us to peer into the mysteries of the future. Still, I avow my hope and faith, sure and inviolate, that in the days to come the British and American peoples will, for their own safety and for the good of all, walk together in majesty, in justice and in peace.” (accessible at https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/ww2/churchill122641.html)

    Indeed, this can’t be what y’all had in mind, but it seems to me from the Scripture and a study of history that the Designer schedules things in patterns of seven (as also some other sequences). When ID wins the mathematicians might see fit to evaluate such patterns–how do we know what events to connect and what patterns are significant?

    The Reign of Terror and the Age of Revolution, for example, began with the storming of the Bastille in 1789, the same year that all three branches of the United States government came into effect. A more benevolent Enlightenment had taken root on these shores which triumphed in Europe 200 years later, on November 9, 1989, the anniversary of Kristall Nacht, and seven years to the day from the Pope’s historic plea from Santiago de Compostela, Spain “Yo, Obispo de Roma y Pastor de la Iglesia universal, desde Santiago, te lanzo, vieja Europa, un grito lleno de amor: Vuelve a encontrarte. Sé tú misma. Descubre tus orígenes. Aviva tus raíces. Revive aquellos valores auténticos que hicieron gloriosa tu historia y benéfica tu presencia en los demás continentes.” (see at (http://www.vatican.va/holy_fat.....co_sp.html — sorry, there’s no English there).

    Interestingly the Wall also fell 70 years after Woodrow Wilson involved the USA in deciding Europe’s future in the Treaty of Versailles and 40 years after the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO).

    Also of interest, perhaps, is that Darwin published 70 years after that violent birth of state materialism, and the stock market crashed bringing a world wide depression 70 years after Darwin had said, “It’s the economy (materialism), stupid!”

  5. The ID debate is not won or lost on any grand stage. Rather, the fate of this idea is decided in each human heart. This flame will live in some, and die in others.

  6. The battle has entered its last days.

    Obviously many are offended by the notion of an intelligence superior to their own. That is the snare of intellectual pride – by definition, they will be eternally offended, and victory will go to the humble.

    Victory is in experiencing adveristy, and not taking offense.

  7. What is needed are young people to go through colleges and get their PhD’s in the sciences. Then these folks need to make discoveries based upon a model put forth by the ID community. Then they need to replace the professors pushing evolutionism. The process should take a generation.

    Dan

  8. Ideas never die, just the people who believe in them. It will take a generation to replace to evolutionists because of their a priori commitment to naturalistic materialism that is based in faith and self-idenity rather than critical evaluation of the evidence.

  9. 9

    I think we are in the fighting stage. There’s more fighting than laughing, and much of that is vicious or hollow. I give it less than 5 years to victory, but then, victory probably won’t be in one exact moment. We may just find that ID and its ideas are just accepted quietly more and more, in curriculums and elsewhere. It’s spreading around the world.

    But I made a bet 5 years ago with my husband that the paradigm would fall in 5 years. I suppose I am ready to concede defeat and buy him his vodka, but then I didn’t really expect 5 years and I wasn’t sure at the time I would even know him that long, so I had to be optimistic. And yet, things are so much more advanced than they were 5 years ago!
    ++++++++++
    “God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist.” What does Gandhi mean by this, and how might it apply to the ravings of Richard Dawkins? Extra credit: Justify your answer.

    Our soul is made of divine substance and that is why we can have faith in God and know God inwardly. Knowing God inwardly and the refinement of conscience are all but synonymous. As for the atheist, remember that he has a soul too, and it is made of the same substance. They, too, can struggle with conscience and ethics even though they don’t see its source. Just because someone is an atheist does not and cannot mean that they have no relationship with God. Everyone has a relationship with God. Like I said yesterday, God’s spirit is everywhere present and fills all things. That’s why atheism is funny.

    I have no idea what Gandhi meant; just guessing.

  10. Rather, the fate of this idea is decided in each human heart.
    Well said Apollo230

  11. We’re in the fighting stage.
    Evidence
    – The call to arms from *tenured* professors that even such fields as archeology should report their findings in evolutionary terms.
    – Ridiculous articles such as the one in the paper that recently “found” evidence in the DNA(!) that humans and chimpanzees decended from a common ancestor, then separated, then intermarried (producing what race do we think?) and then separated again.
    – Paul (U. of Kansas) Mirecki’s bogus claim of having been attacked by Fundamentalists.
    – The Dover Decision
    – The Ohio reversal
    – And the gathering army of over 500 professors who do not think Darwinian explanations are very convincing.

    Five years ago, the Darwinists were uniformly ignoring ID. Now they are on the offense against it.

    The 500 signees at DI will grow to 10,000 or more.

    But, we may be closer to the intellectual freedom being sought than we think. And I believe the last battle will be fought in the Supreme Court where five justices may not even bother commenting on Judge Jones dismal decision, but will uphold the Constitution’s prohibition against the Government’s onslaught to establish atheism as the official state religion with Darwinism as it’s central and very religious dogma.

  12. hello, again, avocationist! i think you took a great stab at the answer, and who knows what it really is. I love Gandhi, and have since I was old enough to know who he was. From what I can gather from his words, he considered truth to be the absolute highest expression of God’s nature. He also said “I can see that in the midst of death, life persists; in the midst of untruth, truth persists; in the midst of darkness, light persists. Hence I gather that God is life, truth, light. He is Love. He is the supreme good.” If someone becomes an atheist because of a conscience offended by the falsehoods of religion (any religion) then this act, stemming from the spiritual part of the human which desires truth, is of God. The allegiance to truth is what binds the theist and the atheist. You don’t find atheists claiming they are atheists because it is untrue that there is no God. They believe it because they believe it to be truth. They may be wrong, but they believe in truth. This ineradicable allegiance to truth binds even apparently polar opinions in a way that active falsehood or lies never can. No matter how corrupt the world becomes, it will never get to the point that people say “We believe in sin and nihilism because we have found it to be a great big lie!” This is, in my opinion, strong evidence of our created nature. We may become deluded, but we cannot upend the Way of the universe.

  13. We are in the conflict stage. Almost no one is laughing now (except uncomfortably, because of insecurity about a demonstrably indefensible thesis).

    Victory in 20 years, max. The evidence for design is now overwhelming, and information is being disseminated at an exponentially increasing rate because of the Internet.

    Victory will look like the downfall of alchemy and attempts to make perpetual-motion machines, because the underlying presumptions of blind-watchmaker Darwinian theory are wrong.

  14. “Which stage are we in with the ID debate and what will victory look like?”

    It seems pretty clear to me that we are in the fighting stage. I don’t think victory will come all at once but will instead be a slow, gradual transition. Ironically, design arguments are more fit than Darwinian arguments (or other materialist arguments contra ID for that matter). As time progresses, more and more people will see this. By the time I’m an old man, I expect the people who so viciously attack ID today to be commonly likened to George Orwell’s Thought Police or the people who carried out the Inquisitions–They’ll go down in history as ideologues who tried to suppress free thought.

    “How long till victory? Justify your answer.”

    Since, as I implied above, I don’t think there will be a singular moment of victory, I can’t really give a straight answer to this question. I do, however, think that within the next ten years critical analysis of Darwinian evolution in public schools will become commonplace. The very fact that the materialist inquisition is fighting this betrays their desperation; I think they’ll be losing their stranglehold on this one soon. As for students being free to learn about intelligent design arguments, give it 15 to 20 years. I know that seems like a long time, but the materialistic bias is very firmly ingrained in our society and will take time to wear away. Though with the patience and diligence of ID advocates, wear away it will.

  15. I think we are straddled between the laughing stage and the conflict stage, with the momentum edging us forward to plummet headlong into conflict.

    There are some die-hards who are still lagging behind in the laughing phase – the tail end of the movement- but with a forboding sense of war.

    And then there are those who have turned the corner and have drawn their swords and bloodied themselves in pre-war skirmishes (Dover etc) with the life of free-thought and true science.

    My estimate is that in 2-4 years the full scale war will have begun with no-one left laughing except in propaganda reminicent of the Iraqi Minister of *mis*Information Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf:

    ——————————————————————————-
    “There are no American infidels (ID’ers) in Baghdad (Science). Never!”

    “My feelings – as usual – we will slaughter them all”

    “Our initial assessment is that they will all die”

    ‘We have destroyed 2 tanks (Irriducible Complexity), fighter planes (Information theory), 2 helicopters (Objections to Evolution Icons) and their shovels (Anti-Evo Blogs) – We have driven them back.”

    Please, please! The Americans (ID’ers) are relying on what I called yesterday a desperate and stupid method.” (Irriducible Complexity & Information theory)

    “I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers (ID’ers) in Baghdad (Science).”

    “They’re not even within 100 miles of Baghdad (Science). They are not in any
    place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion … they are
    trying to sell to the others an illusion.”
    —————————————————————————————

    I agree with previous posts that there will not be a decisive victory per-se but in about 5-8 years with the rampant spread of ID there will be a firm foothold of ID throughout science and then a gradual 2-3year realisation that the Emporer doesn’t have any clothes on.

    The Berlin Wall fell…
    The Iron Curtain fell….
    Apartheid fell….
    Evolution is like the Titanic leaving Southhampton, her Captians have proclaimed her unsinkable….get off while you still can!

  16. We are clearly in the fighting stage. No doubt about it. The time for ignoring ID belongs to the past.

    Like Ruse said, this is war and ID is winning faster than Darwinists thought.

    I think that the crucial tactical mistake of ignoring ID has caused damages that Darwinism will never recover from. Just imagine how effective it would have been if Darwinists had realized the danger when Phil Johnson wrote his book DoT (“Darwin on Trial”)

    People who study military confontations know how much hinges on just short moments (days, hours, and even minutes).

    Darwinists had almost a decade (since DoT was written) to realize what was going on, but remained static. Only in the beggining of the century they apeared to wake up from their letargic sleep, and face the challenge.

    I believe one of the first anti-Design/anti-Creation gestures was the program “Evolution” by PBS.

    Ever since then, they finally engaged in full scale, world wide, defence of their theory. I say world wide bkz I read a few days ago that the NSCE was helping Darwinists from Eastern Europe to defend Darwinism.

    Anyway, we are clearly in the “fight”, “zero conscesion”, “deny everything they say” stage now.

    As to the question regarding the final ID victory. I have to agree with Jehu on this one. ID will only “win” when the older generation of Darwinists start to die off. [I am not advocating Darwinian mass murder ;-)]

    The new generation, who, God willing, will take ID more seriously than the old school, will bring ID to the Darwin temples (peer review, museums, mass media, etc), making it harder for Darwinism to be “officially” the ONLY scientific creation story.

  17. We’re in the laughing stage. The arguments are still misrepresented. It’s only a fight, in this realm, when everyone agrees on the terms. The argument by definitional fiat is still employed (science == naturalism == knowledge, design theory == supernaturalism == faith == belief without evidence).

    But, even if we are in the fighting stage, it does not imply that we will win – if by win we mean the integration of a design-theoretic paradigm with what has heretofore been called evolutionary biology. This conflict is foundational to the perennial conflict between theism and atheism. The fight may even devolve into violence, with the ruling class deploying the state against us dissenters, as Dennet and Dawkins have either suggested or implied should be done.

  18. Exam Question: Which stage are we in with the ID debate and what will victory look like?

    I believe ID finds itself in a mosaic of all the phases mentioned in the quote except that it is most certainly not being ignored!

    Being laughed at: ID often gets painted as absurd, but this is increasingly for rhetorical reasons, rather than because it is genuinely seen as frivolous.

    Fighting: Pronouncements from official bodies, court rulings and organised resistance (NCSE et al) – yes it is a fight and has been for a while.

    Winning: ID as an idea has taken root and importantly there are a range of academics who are willing to seriously look at the questions being asked – a small but important victory.

    Extra Credit: How long till victory? Justify your answer.

    Glad you asked! Firstly, I wish we didn’t see it in terms of win / lose. I would like to see something like the quantum mechanics range of interpretations applied to life’s history: we can have the ‘telic interpretation’ added to the ‘Darwinian interpretation’ of natural history. There is room for both, but I know which one is more plausible…

    Nevertheless, victory might be achieved when:

    1. Dialogue with theistic evolutionists is reopened. Somehow ID has managed to alienate them. At the same time ID really needs to consciously move away from creationism. While I know they are sincere, it has become almost cult-like and does a disservice to both science and the bible. However I will respect people who hold to this view for faith reasons but accept the evidence currently is weak.

    2. Your upcoming ‘The mathematical underpinnings of intelligent design’ is published in a peer reviewed publication, with endorsements from a few respected (and relevant) academics, and with good responses to the inevitable ‘but this doesn’t apply to evolution’ objections. Then people may begin to realise that it was all just one giant perpetual motion machine…

    3. More widespread acceptance of the argument that the genetic code, and biological information in general is not reducible to chemistry and physics. For the acceptance of the scientific community, the conclusion must be: ‘the code is an axiom to biology’ (after Yockey) not, ‘it is designed’. They don’t like that and it leaves a get-out clause for those who really still want to be atheists.

    4. A fresh look at the fossil record like the John Davison (?) papers linked to on this site.

    5. When Richard Dawkins finally achieves intellectual self destruction. He is getting easier to be dismissed – witness the responses to his dire TV programme from theists, atheist and agnostics. His ideas will go down with him.

    6. In a way, ID does not need to do anything – science is speaking quite well for itself!

    All in all, I have no particular timescale, but these should be good pointers in my opinion.

    Finally I wish we would get it all into a bit more perspective – there are far more pressing matters in life!

    Thanks,
    antg

  19. antg:
    “Nevertheless, victory might be achieved when: 1. Dialogue with theistic evolutionists is reopened. Somehow ID has managed to alienate them.”

    Part of the answer to the question implied by the last statement is that we find it difficult to post here without getting censored (even when we’re being very nice). Another alienating factor is when support for evolution is equated to Nazism, nihilism, communism, atheism, WoodyAllenism (http://www.uncommondescent.com.....0#comments) etc.

    “In a way, ID does not need to do anything – science is speaking quite well for itself!”

    Produce the science and us scientists will listen.

    Another alienating factor is when support for evolution is equated to Nazism, nihilism, communism, atheism, WoodyAllenism

    If the shoe fits… -ds

  20. Agree with Jaredl – this is not just a scientific discussion, where facts are dispassionately sifted and weighed. This is one front in a larger spirtual war, one that was going on long before Darwin. As Whittaker Chambers said in “Witness” (replace “communist” with “darwinist” if you’d like:

    “It is not new. It is, in fact, man’s second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of the Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: “Ye shall be as gods.” It is the great alternative faith of mankind. Like all great faiths, its force derives from a simple vision. Other ages have had great visions. They have always been different versions of the same vision: the vision of God and man’s relationship to God. The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God.

    It is the vision of man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world. It is the vision of man’s liberated mind, by the sole force of its rational intelligence, redirecting man’s destiny and reorganizing man’s life and the world. It is the vision of man, once more the central figure of the Creation, not because God made man in His image, but because man’s mind makes him the most intelligent of the animals. Copernicus and his successors displaced man as the central fact of the universe by proving that the earth was not the central star of the universe. Communism restores man to his sovereignty by the simple method of denying God.”

    “The Da Vinci” code just opened to record box office, despite even secular historians agreeing that it is a load of bunk. We have a long way to go…

  21. George:

    I would happily be a theistic evolutionist if it could be shown that natural selection is a good explanation for, for example, the subcellular machinery we see, the obvious one being the now famous bacterial flagellum. So, if I may turn it around: show ME the science. To me, science seems to think the problem is essentially solved and just a few details are lacking. I think people like Denton and Michael Behe have shown there is good reason to think that this is wrong.

    On your first point: it seems to me TE’s have vocally denounced ID, but when scientist equate evolution with atheism, etc they seem a lot more quiet. Is there a reason or am I just searching in the wrong places?

  22. 22
    LowenheimSkolem

    My answer is really only relevent to the second half of the question. But anyhow, without offering a specific “timeline” I’d like to suggest that ID will be victorious when it’s able to more fully win over people like me. Now, let me explain. I’m a rather open-minded philosoper-in-training and I’m sympathetic to the ID project and many of its aims. From what I’ve read, I agree that there are some serious hole in the Neo-Darwinian story. I’m certainly opposed to scientism, reductionism, and the Churchlands, broadly construed. I don’t have the ontological scruples that most naturalists have, and I’m open to the existence of abstract objects like numbers, propositions, and the deity. However, that alone isn’t going to make me a design proponent, and, while I’m not an atheist, I don’t have any particular religious commitments that lead me directly to design. So what I’m looking for are a few more knock down arguments for ID. Maybe these exist and I just haven’t gotten around to doing the reading, or maybe they are forthcoming, but as of now I’m still looking.

    Thus the task in front of you all, as far as I can tell, is to win over those of us who are oscillating between ID and some sort of theistic evolution. I think that there exists a rather silent but large number of folks that meet such a description within the academy and within the broader educated society. We’re standing at the waters edge, we just a little more incentive to take a drink. If this were to happen, it might not mean a surefire victory for ID, but it would certainly mean a strong increase in the ranks.

  23. antg:

    “1. Dialogue with theistic evolutionists is reopened. Somehow ID has managed to alienate them. At the same time ID really needs to consciously move away from creationism. While I know they are sincere, it has become almost cult-like and does a disservice to both science and the bible. However I will respect people who hold to this view for faith reasons but accept the evidence currently is weak.”

    http://www.origins.org/article.....ologn.html

    Dembski writes:

    “Design theorists are no friends of theistic evolution. As far as design theorists are concerned, theistic evolution is American evangelicalism’s ill-conceived accommodation to Darwinism. What theistic evolution does is take the Darwinian picture of the biological world and baptize it, identifying this picture with the way God created life. When boiled down to its scientific content, theistic evolution is no different from atheistic evolution, accepting as it does only purposeless, naturalistic, material processes for the origin and development of life.”

  24. antg:
    “To me, science seems to think the problem is essentially solved and just a few details are lacking. I think people like Denton and Michael Behe have shown there is good reason to think that this is wrong.”

    Science most certainly doesn’t think there are just a few details lacking. There are a whole lot of details lacking, but the underlying framework has repeatedly shown to be solid. This is something that ID still lacks. When can we expect a rigorous theory of ID?

    “it seems to me TE’s have vocally denounced ID, but when scientist equate evolution with atheism, etc they seem a lot more quiet. Is there a reason or am I just searching in the wrong places?”

    I guess you’re thinking of people like Dawkins? I don’t care what he has to say about science and religion, because it’s just his opinion, not a scientific hypothesis. Personally, I don’t think his opinions about religion are very helpful, and they only serve to inflame creationists and make them think all evolution-supporters are of the same mind, as you can see on this blog.

    ds:
    “If the shoe fits… -ds”

    Is there something about Hitler’s shoe size that you know and aren’t telling? But if evolution = All Those Bad Things, then 1) why are there so many “theistic evolutionists” and 2) why aren’t there more evolutionary biologists in prison? Note that I’ve been very good and restrained myself from snarky comments about fascism and censorship.

    the underlying framework has repeatedly shown to be solidM

    The underlying framework (the mechanism(s) of creative evolution) has to account for the creative evolution of many novel cell types, tissue types, organs, and body plans. What exactly do you think has repeatedly shown a solid mechanism for this? This of course discounts (for the sake of argument about what evolutionary theory needs to describe) the creation of the first DNA-based cell which is IMO the most difficult thing to explain.

    Note that I’ve been very good and restrained myself from snarky comments about fascism and censorship.

    It would be really ironic if your restraint was due to knowing you’d be censored if you didn’t restrain yoursef. -ds

  25. For those who say “we’re in the laughing stage” I would disagree. The science establishment is taking ID deadly serious. There are still those who are laughing, but they’re not the ones who are in charge of science.

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