Friday, 9 May 2008

The Discovery Institute's wilful destruction of Christian values

Last year I wrote a series of posts being a list of the Top 10 Institutions That Ruin The World.

#10 on that list was the Intelligence Design Movement, Discovery Institute, as outlined in the re-post below.

Without their multi-decade push, starting with Creation Science and transforming into Intelligent Design such loopy spokespeople as Richard Dawkins (who I used to admire tremendously; The Selfish Gene is a terrific book) and Karen Armstrong etc would not have been able to so successfully influence people against religion with the major negative consequence being that Christian values are increasingly dismissed as illegitimate.

Ben Stein's recent movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, rivals the worst of Michael Moore's error riddled, quotes out of context drivel.

The fact is that scientific theories need to be able to make predictions that can be tested. If they are tested and shown to be false then the theory falls over.

Intelligent Design makes NO PREDICTIONS that can be tested...!!!

It is therefore not science. Get over it.

The fact that science can not yet explain aspects of the world or universe does not validate crackpot theories like Intelligent Design any more than it does Scientology.

I'm sure that the Discover Institute and its supporters don't understand, or even believe, the damage they are doing to Christianity. They also don't understand how much power they give to the Euro-left, one of the most malign influences in the world.
#10 - The Intelligent Design Movement, Discovery Institute

Intelligent Design postulates that the world is too complex to have evolved naturally, that there seems to be an order to things and that this order was created by a Designer. Intelligent Design (ID) is a product of the Discovery Institute, a Christian think tank that aims to counter what it sees as today's materialistic and immoral society through a recovery in the strength of Judeo-Christian values.

To the casual observer that might reduce to 'Christians believe in God as the Creator'. Big deal. Unfortunately, it is a big deal and a really big one at that. Let me explain.

In order to garner public acceptance of Creationism (that the world is 6,000 years old and the Old Testament is the literal truth et blah) it was renamed Creation Science, with the term first being used way back in the 1960s. The Creation Science movement tried hard for a long time to establish its bona fides and even attracted some high profile scientists to argue for the cause. However, the oxymoronic name and fundamentalist dogma were simply too great a hurdle to overcome and so acceptance of Creation Science remained largely confined within the Christian evangelical movement.

Enter the Discovery Institute and Intelligent Design. Understanding that Creation Science was a dead duck, the Discovery Institute sought a successor, one that would not just be a rebadged version of Creation Science but would be promoted as having the same legitimacy as Evolution. In order to deal with its opponents, a set of arguments were prepared that strongly countered the criticism of Creation Science. The aim was to have ID taught alongside Evolution in the biology classes of America's schools.

In 2004 the Discovery Institute was in a position to push ID into the school system and chose the Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania. In summary: it stacked the School Board, raised the concern of Evolution being taught exclusively, took advice from the Thomas More Law Center, advocated teaching ID alongside Evolution and put it to a vote, which was carried 6-3. The situation ended up in court and in September 2005 Judge Jones issued a 139 page finding of fact stating that ID was no different to Creation Science, that it was therefore unconstitutional and that the ID proponents were pretty much a pack of lunatics. It could not have been a worse result for the Discovery Institute.

The reason that the Intelligent Design movement is an institution that is ruining the world is that the case became so high profile it polarised people against Christianity that would have otherwise held neutral or respectful views. It became a lightning rod for the worst, and loudest, groups in society such as the ACLU to hold up as proof of a Christian conspiracy to take over America. For the devout non-believer in society whose major value is narcissism and who believes in this same Christian conspiracy the ID movement ensured that the Christian Values baby got thrown out with the God bathwater. The fact that there's even a supposed Christian conspiracy is due to non-believers not being able to separate Christian values from Christianity and when they hear people talking about positive Christian values they equate that with God, which they've rejected.

Values are what bind a society together and without them we need to give government the task of making laws about how we'll conduct ourselves. Every time government passes a law that forces us to act in a particular way we give up a piece of our personal freedom. This is one of the reasons socialism is so destructive. It's no fluke that those countries with strong Judeo-Christian values made the greatest progress in the last two hundred years or that those that have rejected those values are now facing the greatest challenges. The difference between Western Europe and the USA in terms of societal values has never been starker. Europe is now almost completely secular, mostly socialist in the way it taxes society, passes laws seemingly as sport and has a birth rate that will see the population decline by 20-30% by 2050. No wonder countries like Germany and Holland have net positive emigration rates (i.e. more people are leaving the place than moving in).

The US and Australia retain their sense of cultural identity and values but there is always an ongoing battle against the socialist forces in society wanting to bring those down and replace them with the State. To people like me that are profoundly atheist (surprised by that?) who appreciate the strength of Judeo-Christian values, understand their role in making our countries great and wish to see society continue to be guided by their wisdom the Intelligent Design Movement's decision to act in the way it did seriously harmed the public's positive view of Judeo-Christian values - to our great detriment.

The Intelligent Design Movement and the Discovery Institute are #10 on my list of Institutions That Ruin The World.
(Nothing Follows)

8 comments:

Elijah said...

As a Christian I am bloody embarrassed by these black holes of intelligence.

Jack Lacton said...

Elijah,

Good on you for saying so. It is an embarrassment and no different to the statist, ridiculous pronouncements coming from so-called Muslim scientists.

Stevo said...

F. me dead, Muslim "scientists". And Christian "scientists". And there are Christian Scientists. And Scientologists. F. (Fuck) all to do with science, Jack. Whilst religion is untouchable, we'll continue to enjoy such crap. I don't have a panacea because religion is so entrenched. It hurts.

Where's Orwell these days? He'd love it.

Gregg said...

Great post. Although I'm an atheist I have considerable respect for religion, the Judeo/Christian tradition in particular. I'm also quite conservative on most issues. It's painful to see so many conservatives being duped by this ID idiocy. "Expelled" is as bad as "Loose Change" and Michael Moore's crap. Sorry, people...evolution is a fact, deal with it.

Francis W. Porretto said...

You don't often miss the core of an issue, Jack, but this time you've whiffed rather badly.

"Intelligent Design makes NO PREDICTIONS that can be tested...!!!"

True but irrelevant. Intelligent design is not science, does not claim to be science, and should not be dismissed on scientific grounds. It is a possible explanation for the emergence of life on Earth, just as is evolution.

Prediction is forward-looking. Explanation is rearward-looking. With regard to something that's already happened that no one was around to observe, prediction is impossible, for there is always more than one way any past event could have come about. Evolution makes no predictions about past events, either. Concerning its predictions about future events, such as they are, I remain agnostic.

I'm a scientist (astrophysics) by education and remain one in outlook. One of the things astrophysicists caution ourselves about repeatedly is excessive confidence about our postulates. Time was, we believed natural law to be immutable. Recent observations of extremely large structures at great distances have called that postulate into question. Current cosmological theory requires that natural law be mutable. So we try not to be insufferable prigs about our assumptions.

On the particle-physics side, recent developments have utterly destroyed the Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy. Virtually all modern electronic devices would fail if that Law were as ironclad as we once believed it to be. Indeed, quantum physics could make no further progress.

Both the evolutionists and the intelligent designers err in being excessively confident, and wholly dismissive of the opposition. Being a theist myself (Roman Catholic), I'm happy to leave the origin of our species, and any others that might wander by, up to God. If He created the world with a fossil record to baffle us temporal creatures, at least it helps to maintain full employment in academia. But If He chose to use evolution to create us, I can only compliment Him on having designed the system that produced Charlize Theron, Jessica Simpson, and Angelina Jolie.

It's time everyone lightened up a trifle.

Anonymous said...

Francis

Your preamble lost it big time .... Intelligent Design makes no predictions that can be tested. True but irrelevant. Intelligent design is not science ....

I'm glad you said that. We live in a life where most things gets tested (I was to say everything, religion seems to be exempt), so why is ID exempt? Faith? Faith means to me that something might happen, but it might not. I have a bit more certainty in life Frsancis, and I don't need faith to help me.

Stevo

Anonymous said...

Where's the designer then? The basic concept of ID doesn't require any mysticism whatsoever. Doesn't need a god, doesn't need prophets, doesn't need any religious paraphernalia. So, again, where's the designer? And why would they bother? Lonely? Class project perhaps?

Anonymous said...

>On the particle-physics side, recent developments have utterly destroyed the Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy. Virtually all modern electronic devices would fail if that Law were as ironclad as we once believed it to be. Indeed, quantum physics could make no further progress.


As a fellow doctorate in physics, I have to say that this guy doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. Respectfully, provide a reference for that shit, or shut the fuck up.