Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Centre for Intelligent Design admits "Designer was God" (almost)

After continuous denial of any idea that Intelligent Design is Creationism the C4ID let their guard down in this review of the recent pretend science get together in Malvern.

In fact, for a group that insists they are not creationists they do a very good impression of creationists.  They make creationist arguments and the fact all it's members are members of fundamentalist creationist sects is just a coincidence.

They have even come out and admitted that their intelligent designer is god after all.

It was God after all
There are only two possibilities.  Either Nature is all there is, or there is an intelligent cause beyond Nature.
If an "intelligent cause beyond nature" is not in fact God i.e. the "Supernatural", then the C4ID are simply using a different dictionary from the rest of us.

So why are they so obsessed with pretending Intelligent Design is not a form of creationism?  There are two reasons, first they covet the respectability of science and want to use this to proselytise.  Unlike most Christians in this country they seem happy to use false pretences to trick people into their reach.  Secondly the materials they use come from the US where avoidance of the mention of God was a legal tactic used to try to smuggle creationism into schools where the constitution forbids the state promotion of religion.

Here are the three pillars of creationism and a few extracts from the C4ID piece where you can see them make these creationist arguments.

Science = Atheism.  The controversy is Atheists versus Christians.  
In a devastating critique of the New Atheism, Lennox claimed that political correctness paralyses rational debate and that materialism, with its reductionist agenda, actually undermines rationality.  If what we recognise as rational thought is no more than random chemical processes in our brains, how can we regard any pronouncement as valid, including the conclusion that minds are the product of a purely material cause?  The bottom line, as C S Lewis the Oxford don and Christian apologist contended years ago, is that the existence of reason within nature points to a need for reason outside of nature, such as a transcendent intelligent cause.
So there you have it.  And John Lennox, in his brilliant survey of the controversy around the design argument, stressed that the essential problem is not the quality of the evidence, but the worldview that is brought to interpret the evidence.  
Apparently religious scientists don't exist.  Apparently the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury and even the large majority of evangelical Christians in the UK are all somehow being biased by their atheistic world views.

The Science has some gaps/is generally poor quality/there is a genuine scientific controversy/ it is about to collapse.
If you think neo-Darwinism is beyond scientific dispute and that the design debate is an irrelevance, you should have heard this.
Particularly telling was Axe’s exposition of the current criticisms of Darwinian evolution in the scientific literature, made all the more powerful because they come from sources that do not apparently endorse Intelligent Design.
Quote-mining anyone?
And the criticisms are not minor.  Deep doubts about the accuracy of the universal tree of life, embarrassing discrepancies in the genetic data for the accepted evolutionary path from early apes to humans, and evidence that mutation and natural selection just cannot provide a mechanism for evolutionary change are among the major areas being elucidated.  To support his argument, Doug Axe quoted a number of papers from respected and readily available scientific journals.  These references will be made available in due course.
So we can't point out the quote mining just yet then?
At one point Axe likened Darwinism to a chair which has had all its legs removed, but still manages to support all that rests on it.  ‘Scientific levitation’, was the spontaneous reaction of a member of the audience.
It also included extended periods of debate around the key issues arising from intelligent design, indicating that a growing body of informed opinion is sympathetic to the position.
We look forward to looking out for anything at all substantiating such grandiose claims and we will cover them in detail here on this blog.

Be fair and teach both sides.
But the scientific consensus clings to certain non-negotiable dogmas, including the proposition that there is a tree of life and that it has a purely natural cause.  So if you want to be recognised as a professional scientist, don’t stray beyond these boundaries, despite where you may think the evidence points.
Now remember that it is the C4ID who bans anyone from attending their shindigs that doesn't already agree with them.  Who is excluding who?

We challenge the C4ID to let someone nominated by the BCSE attend one of their retreats and report back on what goes on.

Finally we see crude attempts from C4ID to muddle up methodological and philosophical naturalism.  Just another aspect of the false attempt to equate science with atheism.

This tension is as old as the Greek philosophers and is ultimately about whether a creative cause beyond Nature can be considered.

Science does not rule out the supernatural by default.  It rules it out for two reasons.  First of all when you think of ways to specifically test for the effects of God you fail to find them.  Secondly, it is very hard to test for most supernatural claims as they are very vague.  Intelligent Design is a case in point,  how can you test for an unknown supernatural someone, designing something at sometime in someway and for some unknown reason?  When the Intelligent Design Creationists can answer that then they can actually test their ideas and when they can do that then they can claim it is science.

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