'Intelligent Design' Advocates Acknowledge the Truth: It Really Is About Religion

by Dan Quinn

Have they finally stopped pretending otherwise? Leaders in the “intelligent design”/creationism movement are promoting a Texas conference next month that explicitly ties “intelligent design” to “essential Christian doctrines.”

Supporters of “intelligent design” — or ID, the deceptive, pseudo-scientific “alternative” to evolutionary science — have long insisted that they aren’t promoting a religious concept like straight-up creationism. The “designer” responsible for life as we see it today, they say, isn’t necessarily God. Of course, their arguments have fooled no one: ID is creationism dressed up in a lab coat. That’s why a Republican-appointed federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover decision that “intelligent design” isn’t science and that teaching it in public school science classrooms is government promotion of religion.

So it was interesting to see how ID proponents are pitching a March 14-15 conference at Faith Bible Church in The Woodlands north of Houston. From the event’s webpage, see how proponents equate “essential Christian doctrines” with “design in nature” (intelligent design):

“Are science and Christian faith friends or enemies? Do advances in cosmology, biochemistry, paleontology, and genetics undermine essential Christian doctrines, or is there in fact compelling evidence for design in nature? Join us as we explore these questions under the guidance of leading scholars specializing in the fields of intelligent design, science and faith and cultural apologetics.”

So much for the charade.

The main speakers — William Dembski, Stephen Meyer and John West — are all affiliated with the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based institutional home of the “intelligent design”/creationism movement. On one thing we can agree: religion and science are not enemies. After all, many people of faith — including many leading scientists — accept the science of evolution.

An honest conversation about the intersection of faith and science could be an enriching experience. But this March conference won’t provide an honest conversation. The Discovery Institute’s propaganda artists will simply repeat their usual litany of distortions, claiming that overwhelming scientific evidence doesn’t support evolution. Maybe someone should remind them that lying is hostile to “essential Christian doctrines.”

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