Sunday, February 2, 2014

A quiz for those of you who think you understand Intelligent Design Creationism

One of the great ironies of the Intelligent Design Creationist movement is that its proponents don't understand evolution and they don't understand what their movement stands for. They can't agree on the meaning of intelligent design.

You might think I'm exaggerating about not understanding their own goals but just think about it for a moment. The movement encompasses people like Michael Denton who promote a deist version of creation and it also welcomes huge numbers of Young Earth Creationists who believe in the literal truth of the biblical creation myth. Many proponents are somewhere in between these extremes but the vast majority think that there's something seriously wrong with evolution that demands the intervention of an intelligent designer. The designer may have just made bacterial flagella and a few other complex molecular machines or he/she may have stepped in to make all the animal phyla. Almost every proponent of Intelligent Design Creationism thinks that the designer intervened in the human lineage to make humans special.

Someone named "nullasalus" thinks that it's only critics of Intelligent Design Creationism who are confused. He tries to set us straight at: A Quiz for Intelligent Design Critics.
In the near decade that I’ve been watching the Intelligent Design movement, one thing has consistently amazed me: the pathological inability of many ID critics to accurately represent what ID actually is, what claims and assumptions are made on the part of the most noteworthy ID proponents, and so on. Even ID critics who have been repeatedly informed about what ID is seem to have a knack for forgetting this in later exchanges. It’s frustrating – and this from a guy who’s not even a defender of ID as science.
I try really hard not to misrepresent the Intelligent Design Creationist movement. That includes my preference for adding the word "Creationist" to their label. What they're talking about is creationism—a being who creates the universe and who creates some aspects of living organisms.

It's never easy to say exactly what "the most noteworthy ID proponents" mean by intelligent design. That's because they can't agree among themselves. The most common characteristic is that they are all anti-evolution in one way of another. Some of them accept microevolution and some accept common descent but almost all of their writings focus on some aspect of evolution that they don't accept. It could be the idea of junk DNA, or the evolution of animals in the Cambrian, or any one of a long list of "icons of evolution" that scientists get wrong.

A great many prominent ID proponents are opposed to "materialism"—that means they support non-materialism, otherwise known as supernaturalism (e.g. founder Phillip Johnson). A great many prominent ID proponents try to paint all supporters of evolution as social Darwinists. They try to link us to Nazis and they go out of their way to denigrate Charles Darwin. This seems to be an integral part of the Intelligent Design Creationist movement and it can't be ignored.

Just read the titles of the major ID books. They are all about attacking evolution.

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