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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

2008 International Conference on Creationism

The 2008 International Conference on Creationism is being held in Pittsburgh on Aug. 3-7. I found the booklists to be particularly interesting. The books are listed under the categories of basic, intermediate, and advanced. The booklists are badly out-of-date -- they are dated Oct. 24, 2004. The only recognizable intelligent design book in the lists is "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe, though presumably other books in the lists contain ID concepts.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

What they advocate is clearly Bible-literalist, young earth creationism, and "creation science," which is flood geology. It's the idea as I understand it, that fossils are the remains of living things that perished in the Biblical flood. A clearly religious system.

Behe is on their reading list, but so is Richard Dawkins. Behe isn't a creationist, of either the young-earth or old-earth variety. He holds that all life descended by normal physical reproduction from a common ancestor that existed billions of years ago.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 6:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

There's a lot of confusion about the difference between ID and creationism. But ID is a very wide concept, so it's possible for both creationists and non-creationists to accept it; since ID simply holds that the evidence indicates that some sort of intelligence played a designing role in the origin of some features of all living things.

Creationists believe that God specially created humans and usually other species, out of nothing or out of non-living matter. So they can accept the ID analysis if they are so inclined. But so can non-creationists who believe that existing species descended from earlier ones. And non-creationists may hold that the intelligence involved was not God.

The result is a practical alliance, more or less, between those creationists and those non-creationists who accept the ID analysis. But I'd rather be allied with creationists than with Darwinists, materialists, and others who have blind faith in some sort of purely mechanistic evolution.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:23:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said (Wednesday, August 06, 2008 6:50:00 PM) --
>>>>>> What they advocate is clearly Bible-literalist, young earth creationism, and "creation science," which is flood geology. It's the idea as I understand it, that fossils are the remains of living things that perished in the Biblical flood. A clearly religious system. <<<<<<<

Yes, almost all of the book titles on the "intermediate" and "advanced" lists concern geology, but the list of "basic" books has quite a few titles about biological evolution.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

That's right; creationism and intelligent design are totally different! Just look:

"Creation means that various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent Creator with their distinctive features already intact–fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc." (Pandas 1987, creationist version, FTE 4996-4997, pp. 2-14, 2-15)

Compare that to:

"Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc." (Pandas 1993, 2nd edition, published, pp. 99-100)

Then there's the definition of Irreducible Complexity from "Darwin's Black Box," Behe's 1996 work on ID:

"A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."

Compare that to this 1974 quote from creationist Henry Morris:

"This issue can actually be attacked quantitatively, using simple principles of mathematical probability. The problem is simply whether a complex system, in which many components function unitedly together, and in which each component is uniquely necessary to the efficient functioning of the whole, could ever arise by random processes."

Lastly, there's this definition of the "Law of Conservation of Information" from "No Free Lunch," Dembski's 2001 book on the ID concept of "Specified Complexity:"

"This strong proscriptive claim, that natural causes can only transmit CSI but never originate it, I call the Law of Conservation of Information."

Compare that to this 1984 statement from creationist John Creeper:

"Natural selection produces or uncovers previously unseen combinations of genes that have always been there and remain unchanged.... If evolution were true it certainly would produce a change in the ratio of the types of genes which were present, because it would be adding new genetic information which previously did not exist. But the converse of this is not necessarily true. You can change the gene frequency or the ratio of the genes that are already present as much as you like, but unless you add new genes you won’t get evolution.... Evolution, if it were to occur, would require the creation of completely new genetic information."

Yep, no similarity there whatsoever. Oh, by the way, the Discovery Institute also has great deals on this bridge in Brooklyn - Ask about the free shipping!

Friday, August 08, 2008 10:02:00 AM  

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