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Friday, October 30, 2009

Stupidity of the term "intelligent design creationism"

Nick Matzke wrote on Panda's Thumb,

Just last week over at the Thinking Christian blog there was a huge stink raised over the alleged inappropriateness of linking ID to creationism. After much argument the anti-linkage people more or less conceded that there were some good reasons to link ID to a somewhat generic definition of creationism (relying on special creation), but still protested loudly about how inappropriate it was to make the linkage, because most people (allegedly) would assume that creationism = young-earth creationism, and linking ID to young-earth creationism was oh-so-wildly unfair.

No, the "huge stink" was not "over the alleged inappropriateness of linking ID to creationism" -- the huge stink was over the term "ID creationism," which represents the notion that ID and creationism are so intimately linked that ID cannot or should not be mentioned without also mentioning creationism in the same breath. Tom Gilson wrote on his Thinking Christian blog,
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Several times in the last few days the term “Intelligent Design Creationism” has crossed my line of sight. It’s a misnomer, a duct-taped concatenation of concepts that overlap somewhat, but not enough to merit being stuck together the way ID opponents have done. Robert Pennock is perhaps the worst, but Barbara Forrest, Richard Dawkins, and P.Z. Myers are also frequent offenders.

Gilson did not say that ID and creationism are not linked -- he said that they are "concepts that overlap somewhat, but not enough to merit being stuck together the way ID opponents have done." Evolution has been linked to atheism, sometimes by evolutionists themselves (Richard Dawkins said that evolution theory made it possible to be an "intellectually fulfilled atheist"), but people do not regularly use the term "evolution atheism" or something similar. The term "intelligent design creationism" is just plain asinine.

I don't know if Judge "Jackass" Jones actually uses the term "ID creationism," but he should be added to the list of offenders because he ruled in Kitzmiller v. Dover that "ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."
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4 Comments:

Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

ID and creationism do overlap somewhat, in the sense that it's possible to be an ID proponent and a believer in the special creation of humans (without lower animal ancestors,) at the same time. Paul Nelson is an ID proponent and a young earth creationist at the same time. ID proponent Jonathan Wells appears to me to be an old earth creationist.

ID proponents Michael Behe and Denyse O'Leary, however, are not creationists in any reasonable sense of the word: since both of them believe humans descended from extinct ape-like ancestors; and that, in fact, all living things descended from an ancient, single-celled ancestor. Quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff is another ID proponent who isn't a creationist.

Darwinists may want to check my prospective blog Intelligent Force, on Larry's list of links, for a link to Mohrhoff's favorable review of a book on intelligent design.

The only reasonable definition of creationism is the long-customary
one: creationism is the view that humans (and usually all other species as well,) were specially created out of nothing or out of non-living matter, presumably in an instant. According to young earth creationists the process took a week, and happened in the last 10,000 years. Old earth creationists think all or at least many species were specially created, although at very different times, stretching over millions or billions of years.

It's the special creation of humans, without any lower animal ancestors, which is the essential point for all creationists.

ID proponents think that the evidence indicates some intelligent involvement in the origin of all species. That isn't creationism, since it doesn't require special creation of humans. Intelligence may have played a role as new species descended from older, different ones, over long epochs: that's the view of Behe, Mohrhoff, O'Leary, et. al.

Since ID is a much wider view than
is creationism, it can win the support not only of creationists, but of many who reject creationism. And ID contradicts Darwinism. Thus Darwinist proponents hope to restrict support for ID by spreading the tale that it is creationism.

Friday, October 30, 2009 2:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The "ID is creationism" misrepresentation by the Darwinists is usually "supported" by the history of the book Of Pandas and People. I understand that the first draft used the term "creation," which was replaced by "intelligent design" after the 1987 Supreme Court decision banning the teaching of "creationism" in public schools.

However, the word "creation" in itself doesn't necessarily imply supernatural creation or Biblical creation. Thus Hamlet was Shakespeare's "creation." My understanding is that the first draft said that it can't be determined whether the creative agency was supernatural, or arose by natural processes. (Fred Hoyle advocated what he sometimes called the "creation" of the first carbon-based life, but by a "creator" which emerged naturally in the universe.)

Thus the authors of Pandas may well have changed "creation" to "intelligent design," another term sometimes used by Hoyle, in an effort to keep the courts from misinterpreting their meaning. But the Darwinists, who see conspiracies everywhere, construed the change as a sign that ID is in fact Biblical creationism in disguise: a plot!

It may or may not have been true that the authors of Pandas, Kenyon and Davis, were not only ID proponents but also Biblical creationists, in their private views, at the time they wrote Pandas. It's no doubt true that they hoped that the book would appeal to Biblical creationists, although not to them alone. However it is what the book actually SAYS that should count. I've read the book, although not too thoroughly or carefully. I didn't find anything in it that explicitly advocated either supernatural creation, or Biblical special creation, of humans or of species in general.

And in any case "Pandas" is an older book which hardly characterizes intelligent design as it is formulated and advocated today. Darwinists misprepresent Pandas as some sort of Official Textbook of ID that all ID proponents follow. That is absurdly false.

Monday, November 02, 2009 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Daniel Dennett, the Darwinist amd materialist "philosopher," has written a letter to the New York Times in which he bellows stupidly that intelligent design is both "creationism" and a "hoax." And he ludicrously claims that ID is similar to the idea that "quantum mechanics is the work of the devil."

Obviously, the poor fellow doesn't know that quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff is an intelligent design proponent. For a link to Mohrhoff's views, see my blog Intelligent Force, on Larry's list of links.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009 1:17:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

In his letter to the New York Times, Daniel Dimwit (Oops!I meant Daniel Dennett!) declares that we should all believe that "the ID campaign" is a "hoax and dishonest to the core" because of "Judge John E. Jones III's decision!" The letter is, IMHO, a "masterpiece" of stupidity and unreason. Judges are in no position to decide issues of science, or issues of the philosophy of science.

What? According to Danny we now have to believe that such ID proponents as quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff are hoaxers? Because some Darwin-fan judge happens to rule this way or that way? And we have to add the late astrophysicist Fred Hoyle to the list of hoaxers, "dishonest to the core?"

Before the blood pressure of the Darwin-fans out there rises sky-high, I'd like to point out that I'm not arguing that Mohrhoff is right in his views on ID, or that we ought to blindly follow his views. I'm not sure that he is right; and anyone whatsoever can be wrong. Ditto with Hoyle.

What I am arguing is that ID isn't a hoax, isn't dishonest, and isn't a necessarily supernatural, theistic, or religious view. And much less is it a necessarily creationist view. Got it, Darwinist-believers?

Meanwhile I'd say that "Danny the Darwin-fan" doth protest too much. As ID advances in scientific and intellectual credibilty, these Darwinist zealots seem to be having a nervous breakdown.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009 3:59:00 PM  

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