Monday, December 05, 2005

`Intelligent Design ... is Creation Science in disguise'

Here is a reply of mine to a comment made to one of my posts, which I consider to be worth posting. I have substituted "AN" for the person's name, added quotes and made other changes.

----- Original Message -----
From: Stephen E. Jones
To: [...]
Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2005 11:37 PM

[...]

AN>Even the concept of Intelligent Design, which claims that the design in nature is scientific proof of a designer, is Creation Science in disguise.

Thanks for your comment above, but I disagree with it.

"Creation Science" (as commonly understood- e.g. the definitions in the Arkansas `balanced treatment' Act 590 of 1981):

"If the defendants are correct and the Court is limited to an examination of the language of the Act, the evidence is overwhelming that both the purpose and effect of Act 590 is the advancement of religion in the public schools. Section 4 of the Act provides:
Definitions. As used in this Act: (a) `Creation-science' means the scientific evidences for creation and inferences from those scientific evidences. Creation-science includes the scientific evidences and related inferences that indicate: (1) Sudden creation of the universe, energy, and life from nothing; (2) The insufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of all living kinds from a single organism; (3) Changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants and animals; (4) Separate ancestry for man and apes; (5) Explanation of the earth's geology by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a worldwide flood; and (6) A relatively recent inception of the earth and living kinds.
... The evidence establishes that the definition of `creation science' contained in 4(a) has as its unmentioned reference the first 11 chapters of the Book of Genesis. Among the many creation epics in human history, the account of sudden creation from nothing, or creatio ex nihilo, and subsequent destruction of the world by flood is unique to Genesis. The concepts of 4(a) are the literal Fundamentalists' view of Genesis. Section 4(a) is unquestionably a statement of religion, with the exception of 4(a)(2) which is a negative thrust aimed at what the creationists understand to be the theory of evolution. Both the concepts and wording of Section 4(a) convey an inescapable religiosity. Section 4(a)(2) describes `sudden creation of the universe, energy and life from nothing.' Every theologian who testified, including defense witnesses, expressed the opinion that the statement referred to a supernatural creation which was performed by God." (Geisler N.L., "The Judge's Decision Against the Creation-Evolution Act," in "The Creator in the Courtroom `Scopes II': The 1981 Arkansas Creation- Evolution Trial," Mott Media: Milford MI, 1982, pp.172-173)

is, as the judge in the Arkansas trial pointed out above, based on the Bible. That is, it "has as its unmentioned reference the first 11 chapters of the Book of Genesis."

That is why Creation Science tries to present scientific evidence for an Earth only ~10,000 years old, and that the fossil record was laid down by a worldwide Noah's Flood (not that the Bible requires either of those two interpretations). As the judge pointed out, the definition of "Creation Science" in the Arkansas Act, "are not merely similar to the literal interpretation of Genesis; they are identical [to it]" and "The facts [are] that creation science is inspired by the book of Genesis":

"Defendants argue that: (1) the fact that 4(a) conveys ideas similar to the literal interpretation of Genesis does not make it conclusively a statement of religion; (2) that reference to a creation from nothing is not necessarily a religious concept since the Act only suggests a creator who has power, intelligence, and a sense of design and not necessarily the attributes of love, compassion, and justice; and (3) that simply teaching about the concept of a creator is not a religious exercise unless the student is required to make a commitment to the concept of a creator. The evidence fully answers these arguments. The ideas of 4(a)(1) are not merely similar to the literal interpretation of Genesis; they are identical and parallel to no other story of creation. ... The leading creationist writers, Morris and Gish, acknowledge that the idea of creation described in 4(a)(1) is the concept of creation by God and make no pretense to the contrary. ... The facts that creation science is inspired by the book of Genesis and that Section 4(a) is consistent with a literal interpretation of Genesis leave no doubt that a major effect of the Act is the advancement of particular religious beliefs." (Geisler, 1982, pp.173-174).

You won't find anything like that in ID, which is based only on the evidence for design in nature, not the Bible. Some IDists are not even theists, e.g. Discovery Institute Senior Fellow, David Berlinski:

"As I have many times remarked, I have no creationist agenda whatsoever and, beyond respecting the injunction to have a good time all the time, no religious principles, either." (Berlinski D., "A Scientific Scandal," Commentary, July 8, 2003).
Also some IDists accept universal common ancestry (e.g. Mike Behe and myself). There are no advocates for Creation Science who are not theists or who accept universal common ancestry. Indeed, the latter follows by definition of "Creation-science" above as including: "(3) Changes only within fixed limits of originally created kinds of plants and animals; [and] (4) Separate ancestry for man and apes".

To be sure, one can believe in both Creation Science and Intelligent Design but they are two different things. Not all who believe in Creation Science, believe in Intelligent Design, and not all who believe in Intelligent Design, believe in Creation Science.

However, if after this you still maintain that "Intelligent Design ... is Creation Science in disguise", then we must agree to differ.

[...]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

3 comments:

Dr. Gary Chiang said...

Hi Stephen,
I'm not sure why you have missed my point yet again, but you have.
The comment that you quote is a MISQUOTE so please stop using it. You are misrepresenting me, and this is being dishonest to your readers.
I have never said that ID is creation science in disguise. What I said is that Evolutionists claim that ID is creation science in disguise. If you want to declare what the difference is between ID and creation science, please do. But don't hinge it on a phrase that you appear to have made up.
Gary

Stephen E. Jones said...

Gary

>Hi Stephen,
I'm not sure why you have missed my point yet again, but you have.
The comment that you quote is a MISQUOTE so please stop using it. You are misrepresenting me, and this is being dishonest to your readers.

Again, I did not misquote you. You said, "I have come to the realization that the Evolutionists are right about one thing. ... Even the concept of Intelligent Design, which claims that the design in nature is scientific proof of a designer, is Creation Science in disguise."

Not knowing you, and going only by your words, I took it that that is what you believe. If you actually believe that the evolutionists are wrong in their claim that "Intelligent Design ... is Creation Science in disguise" then your comment did not say it.

Stephen E. Jones

Dr. Gary Chiang said...

Then maybe, Stephen, you will be kind enough to tell us where you got my "so-call" words from?
Again, I have never said that ID is Creation Science in disguise.
I believe ID and Creation Science are different, but Evolutionists claim that they are the same.
So will you please clarify where you got my words from.
You partially quote from the preface of my book, A Christian's Guide to Defeating Evolution: the biological approach, but what you said I wrote is not written as such in the preface.
Could you be kind enough to clarify this on your blog.
Gary