Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
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28-07-2013, 09:32 PM
Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse



This is a good exposé on the history and secret agenda of the creationism/intelligent design movement. It touches on the Kitzmiller vs. Dover school district trial, as well as what has happened since then. The author wrote a book back in 2004 (and updated it in 2007) that I just purchased. It's called Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design.

What reignited my interest in the subject was a thread on another forum. A member asked if creationism and intelligent design were one and the same. Many of the religious people were quick to say no. However, I and several others cited evidence from the Kitzmiller case that showed intelligent design as a movement did not exist prior to 1987. This was quickly brushed aside since, according to them, courts can't dictate what people people think. They believe the two are separate just because some IDers don't identify as creationists. These people are obviously not looking at the subject with a broad historical view. It doesn't matter if people currently disassociate themselves with creationism when internal ID documents from the 1980s describe it as a branch of creationism.
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05-08-2013, 10:02 AM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
So I received the book in the mail and started reading it. It turns out the entire Intelligent Design movement was started because of a divorce. Phillip E. Johnson, the founding father of the ID movement and the Discovery Institute, was a UC Berkley Law professor when his wife divorced him. This traumatic event caused him to become a born again Christian at the age of 38 and question the "materialism" of the world around him. He set his sites on evolution and never looked back. Well, that's not entirely true. He is also an AIDS denialist. He doesn't think HIV causes AIDS. Isn't he just a wonderful human being?
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05-08-2013, 11:51 AM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
(05-08-2013 10:02 AM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  So I received the book in the mail and started reading it. It turns out the entire Intelligent Design movement was started because of a divorce. Phillip E. Johnson, the founding father of the ID movement and the Discovery Institute, was a UC Berkley Law professor when his wife divorced him. This traumatic event caused him to become a born again Christian at the age of 38 and question the "materialism" of the world around him. He set his sites on evolution and never looked back. Well, that's not entirely true. He is also an AIDS denialist. He doesn't think HIV causes AIDS. Isn't he just a wonderful human being?

Yeah, I remember seeing a NOVA program on the Dover trial and it talked a lot about Philip Johnson there as well.

In a sense his tragic story is not uncommon. There are a lot of religious zealots out there who suffer enormous cruelty and trauma, then are left groping around for answers to explain it.

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05-08-2013, 11:59 AM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
I think it depends who you ask. "Intelligent Design" means different things to different people.

Creationism seems to be the "poofing" into existence of stars, planets and lifeforms into existence fully formed (by god). Intelligent Design is sometimes the same thing, but other people take it as a kind of divinely masterminded process of evolution. They accept common ancestry but not natural selection as the mechanism. I don't think either position has merit, but I would accept individuals who thought creationism and ID were separate concepts.

Historically, you're right. One grew out of the other, and I believe they discovered that the intelligent design textbook was just the creationist textbook with the words exchanged.
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05-08-2013, 12:50 PM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
It's no surprise that creationists want ID taught in school, because the two beliefs are obviously very compatible.

I wrote a post a while ago about how ID theorists were clearly not drawing their conclusions from observation but rather starting with creationism and then giving apologies for it. Among these arguments:

1. ID theorists posit an "intelligent agent" rather than an "intelligent agency", presupposing that there is only one designer. This has been changed since then -- I imagine that the scientists at the Discovery Institute caught this mistake, too.

2. ID theorists argue against evolution, rather than trying to fit both their theories and established science into one body of evidence.

3. ID theorists have argued that the universe is not as ancient as cosmologists have asserted that it is.

4. ID theorists have argued for a look at the universe through "common sense" rather than "scientific method". They assume philosophical principles and then ask people to derive their own meanings from them, rather than to educate the public on what ID scientists have actually found themselves (because these scientists are looking for holes in evolution, not positive evidence for ID).

5. The Discovery Institute promotes human exceptionalism, which is yet another euphamism for their pro-life agenda. This clearly has religious roots rather than scientific roots.

6. They argue against "scientific materialism" but promote "traditional beliefs" in God. Why would scientists be against materialism but for religion?

And as pointed out in that famous NOVA special on Kitzmiller, the original Of Pandas and People textbook was about creationism, and later editions simply replaced "creationism" with "Intelligent Design" and "creationists" with "Intelligent Design Proponents" because the theories were so similar that a mere semantics change was the only necessary change to differentiate them.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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05-08-2013, 01:00 PM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
(05-08-2013 12:50 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  [...]

And as pointed out in that famous NOVA special on Kitzmiller, the original Of Pandas and People textbook was about creationism, and later editions simply replaced "creationism" with "Intelligent Design" and "creationists" with "Intelligent Design Proponents" because the theories were so similar that a mere semantics change was the only necessary change to differentiate them.

The author of the aforementioned book is the person who combed through the various drafts and discovered this fact. She mentions it in the video too.
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05-08-2013, 04:08 PM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
Calling the people at The Discovery Institute "scientists" or people that push ID "theorists" is like calling atheism a religion. Real scientists and theorists perform research and look for new information. The Discovery Institute is just a think tank comprised of a buncha well-paid charlatans who come up with ways to finagle Creationism into schools.

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05-08-2013, 08:49 PM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
(05-08-2013 04:08 PM)eksyte Wrote:  Calling the people at The Discovery Institute "scientists" or people that push ID "theorists" is like calling atheism a religion. Real scientists and theorists perform research and look for new information. The Discovery Institute is just a think tank comprised of a buncha well-paid charlatans who come up with ways to finagle Creationism into schools.

They're scientists because they have degrees in scientific fields, not because of the work they do for the Discovery Institute.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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07-08-2013, 12:40 PM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
There is an interesting section on paleontology and the Cambrian Explosion in the book. When a rare deposit of pre-Cambrian lifeforms were found in China, a Chinese creationist associated with the Discovery Institute organized a conference. The expressed purpose was to trick credentialed scientists into presenting so all papers (including those by creation scientists) could be edited together into a book. The only problem is that the mainstream scientists figured out this ploy and strongly objected to the underhanded way that the creationists had tried to sneak their material into such a publication. Thus, the book never happened. The creationists, of course, told a different story about what happened in interviews that followed the conference. They made it seem like the scientists were afraid that the pre-Cambrian fossils didn't support evolution, hence the reason they didn't include any of their stuff in the book.
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07-08-2013, 02:45 PM
RE: Inside Creationism's Trojan Horse
Quote:1. ID theorists posit an "intelligent agent" rather than an "intelligent agency", presupposing that there is only one designer. This has been changed since then -- I imagine that the scientists at the Discovery Institute caught this mistake, too.

2. ID theorists argue against evolution, rather than trying to fit both their theories and established science into one body of evidence.

3. ID theorists have argued that the universe is not as ancient as cosmologists have asserted that it is.

4. ID theorists have argued for a look at the universe through "common sense" rather than "scientific method". They assume philosophical principles and then ask people to derive their own meanings from them, rather than to educate the public on what ID scientists have actually found themselves (because these scientists are looking for holes in evolution, not positive evidence for ID).

5. The Discovery Institute promotes human exceptionalism, which is yet another euphamism for their pro-life agenda. This clearly has religious roots rather than scientific roots.

6. They argue against "scientific materialism" but promote "traditional beliefs" in God. Why would scientists be against materialism but for religion?
[...]

Why do we complicate this so? Make Evolution as true as it can be. If the universe is young, or the solar system or Earth is young, there isn't time for anything in our biosphere but intelligent design...
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