Wednesday, March 23, 2005

PFAW profiles ID

People For the American Way - Right Wing Watch Online 2005:
[T]he internal debate between “intelligent design” advocates and old-line creationists reveals the true motivations behind their push and confirms that the ideas have little place in a science classroom. “Intelligent design” pioneer Williams Dembski recently wrote a reply to criticisms by creationist Henry Morris of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). Morris had critiqued “intelligent design” for what he felt was its shortcomings as compared with the young-earth creationism espoused by ICR.

Dembski replied that “in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration.” Dembski praised Morris as a “great man” and closed with an invitation: “I would… like to encourage Henry Morris and all young-earth creationists to view intelligent design as a friend in the destruction of Darwinian materialism and in developing the scientific understanding of design in nature.”

Phillip Johnson, referred to as the “godfather” of intelligent design, was even more explicit about his sectarian motivations. He told World magazine in 2003: "It's a great error Christian leaders and intellectual leaders have made to think the origin of life just one of those things scientists and professors argue about. The fundamental question is whether God is real or imaginary. The entire way of thinking that underlies Darwinian evolution assumes that God is out of the picture as any kind of a real entity."
People for the American Way offer a lot of great background on this nonsense.

I want to respond to the religion thing, because people get confused. Evolution is science, creationism is religion. That's cool.

You can have a religious belief in creationism, while still being a practicing evolutionary biologist. I think it would take a particularly sophisticated mind to keep that separate, but it's possible.

The problem with all of this is not that it's religious per se. The problem is that it's an attempt to force a particular religion on everyone. Not everyone believes in biblical creationism. The Norse creation myth has an origin of life that isn't created, the life just shows up. There are the egg myths, the cave myths, etc.

Science classes are for science. That's the issue. Not whether religious views are accurate, or whether they should be taught anywhere. Should religious ideology be forced on public school students. Should religious ideology be allowed to cut in line, skip established procedure for being accepted as a scientific idea, and leap into biology classes which don't have time to cover important material as it is.

I say no.