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Jan 28 2014

I love to watch my enemies flail at each other

Two creationist camps, both alike in dignity, in fair America, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. Not that they were ever very civil to begin with.

The Discovery Institute snipes at Answers in Genesis, suggesting that the Nye-Ham debate is going to humiliate the science side and also clarify the difference between Intelligent Design creationism and Overtly Religious creationism; Ken Ham fires back at the Discovery Institute, arguing that ID fails to lead people to the One True God.

This can only end in blood, we hope. Or poison.

49 comments

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  1. 1
    Reginald Selkirk

    … and also clarify the difference between Intelligent Design creationism and Overtly Religious creationism

    Har har. I just finished reading Creationism’s Trojan Horse by Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross.

  2. 2
    David Marjanović

    Overtly Religious creationism

    Ham is an orc? …How fitting.

  3. 3
    jefferylanam

    But do they bit their thumbs at each other?

  4. 4
    Crimson Clupeidae

    The Discovery Institute snipes at Answers in Genesis[.]

    Did they use fart noises again?

  5. 5
    doublereed

    Do people actually buy the idea that intelligent design and creationism are different? Like I’ve never heard creationists argue “no no no you’re thinking of creationism, not intelligent design!”

    Does that argument actually work on anyone?

  6. 6
    Randomfactor

    Maybe they could just debate one another and let Nye bow out? Kilkenny cats…

  7. 7
    tubi

    @5

    Do people actually buy the idea that intelligent design and creationism are different?

    As far as I can tell, ID is different only in that it doesn’t say which god did the creating. Nevertheless, they continue to insist there is some grand significant difference between the two.

    I’ve never heard them say what the difference is, however.

  8. 8
    Reginald Selkirk

    I’ve never heard them say what the difference is, however.

    The difference is that “creationism” is prohibited from being taught in public school science classes by strong legal precedents. They wish those precedents not to aplly to “intelligent design.”
    cdesign proponentsists.

  9. 9
    David Marjanović

    As far as I can tell, ID is different only in that it doesn’t say which god did the creating.

    Technically, ID allows Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and suchlike. However, sooner or later every cdesign proponentsist makes clear that they actually assume Yahwe. For instance, why has none of them ever proposed Multiple Designers Theory?

  10. 10
    PZ Myers

    The difference is that ID creationism knows their religious roots will destroy them in court, so they hide their beliefs, while religious creationism is too committed to faith to care, and flaunts their religious roots.

  11. 11
    cottonnero

    Which is to say, ID is creationism wearing a wig.

  12. 12
    Michael Brew

    The difference is the reason “true” creationists dislike ID proponents: they don’t publicly acknowledge tge Christian god. Oh, that’s obviously the assumption and creationists know it, but the True Believers regard hiding it as an act of cowardice (and it kind of is, which is why the feelings are mutual since ID proponents are afraid of creationists naively ruining their long game) and a denial of their god, which is just as bad as blasphemy in their eyes, though far more useful to them.

  13. 13
    timgueguen

    ID is creationism in a really bad wig, and also wearing those big plastic glasses with a giant plastic moustache attached.

  14. 14
    paulburnett

    PZ: “Two creationist camps, both alike in dignity, in fair America, where we lay our scene…”

    Been watching Shakespeare In Love while you’re snowed in?

  15. 15
    b. - Order of Lagomorpha

    Does this mean there are Deeeeeep Riffffffffts?

    I don’t see much to choose from between the two. One is a jackass who’s semi-up-front about his jackassery. The other jackass(es) attempt covert jackassery, badly.

  16. 16
    cag

    ID paraphrased – My lie is better than your lie, creationist.
    Creationism paraphrased – My lie is better than your lie, IDist.

  17. 17
    Gregory in Seattle

    If you are going to be casting creationist nonsense into Shakespearean prose. you have need of the Shakespearean Insulter.

  18. 18
    Sastra

    doublereed #5 wrote:

    Do people actually buy the idea that intelligent design and creationism are different?

    The only people who really have to buy it are the ID proponents themselves. After that, they seriously think their ‘scientific’ alternative to the theory of evolution – an alternative spelled out by its refusal to spell anything out and therefore content itself forever with sniping that there are “legitimate questions” — will merit inclusion in public school science classes and maybe eventually even in universities. Note the direction.

    Just as you can point out many differences between Catholicism and Protestants, you could, if you wanted to, find distinctions between Young Earth Creationism and Intelligent Design. It’s not just the coyness about God — the “problems with evolution” are technically better than the blunt Flood Geology and silly crocoducks of the YEC.

    When I say “better” I of course don’t mean “good.” I mean they’re more esoteric and complicated than the ones which try to support a 6,000 or 10,000 year old earth — stuff like irreducible flagellum and Specified complexity.” You have to know a bit more biology and take a bit more time to explain WHY they’re wrong — and why the gap isn’t a gap and even if it were it’s not a place where we’ve got no choice but to assume a frontloaded “Intelligent Design.” More pseudointellectualism than bootstrap common sense.

    The ID crowd likes to think of themselves as being to the Theory of Evolution as Deepak Chopra is to Quantum Physics.

    Wait, no — that’s how I like to think of them.

  19. 19
    Olav

    I know at least a few people who genuinely believed intelligent design, while they thought they were rejecting creationism. This was around the time that Michael Behe became sort of famous with his “irreducible complexity” nonsense. ID was then seen by many people as an alternative scientific explanation for evolution. Adherents would accept the reality of evolution and of common ancestry, together with the timescales involved, while imagining that God must have intervened at different points in the process to nudge it in the right direction so that it would eventually lead to humans.

    Understood in this way ID is indeed quite distinct from hard creationism, the six-days-six-thousand-years-ago variant otherwise known as Young Earth Creationism. It was seen as the reasonable position to hold in some circles: the scientific reality of evolution with just a little extra.

    The people I mentioned have all since given up on ID and have accepted that it has not any explanations (or hope for evidence of the supernatural) to offer, that none of its promises have materialised. Back to reality.

  20. 20
    Reginald Selkirk

    Ken Ham fires back at the Discovery Institute, arguing that ID fails to lead people to the One True God.

    But “Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.” – William Dembski

  21. 21
    cicely

    Which is to say, ID is creationism wearing a wig.

    Nah.
    Black-rimmed glasses and a spit-curl—only convincing to those afflicted with Plot Blindness.
    -

  22. 22
    kevinalexander

    Which is to say, ID is creationism wearing a wig.

    And a lab coat and a blackboard with sciency things on it.

  23. 23
    scienceavenger

    So the IDists and the Hamster are enemies…and the enemy of my enemy is my friend…which takes me places I don’t want to go.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Owlmirror

    I recall that back when Expectorated! Expelled! came out, there was some friendly meeting between Ben Stein — presumably representing the DI — and Ken Ham.

    Google sez:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/03/13/rare-hyperbole/

    Gotta link to this, just for mentioning Extirpated! Expelled!

    http://www.expelledexposed.com/

  26. 26
    Glenn Graham

    I always thought ID advocates were creationists. But then again, before I started exploring these topics I also thought that a young earth creationist was a creationist under the age of 25.

  27. 27
    Marcus Ranum

    Voltaire’s prayer: “let my enemies be ridiculous”

  28. 28
    NelC

    “Alike in dignity”? Snort! Same subterranean level, I’d say.

  29. 29
    Marcus Ranum

    ID was then seen by many people as an alternative scientific explanation for evolution

    Odd, since it lacks explanatory power. I suppose if one could also explain how to do superluminal travel or planet-seeing or present evidence of the same it might be interesting, but it’d still leave the unanswered question of who created the creators.

  30. 30
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    cicely:

    Nah.
    Black-rimmed glasses and a spit-curl—only convincing to those afflicted with Plot Blindness.

    Intelligent design is to creationism what Clark Kent is to Superman? :)
    It’s all the more funny given the savior imagery of Superman.

  31. 31
    anuran

    We can only hope for a Gingham Dog and Calico Cat ending

  32. 32
    jste

    Multiple Designers Theory

    Huh… hadn’t seen that one before… Design by Committee could help the ID crowd explain away annoying complications like the appendix, if they just let a few other gods into their pantheon…

  33. 33
    Olav

    Me #19:

    ID was then seen by many people as an alternative scientific explanation for evolution

    Marcus Ranum #29 replies:

    Odd, since it lacks explanatory power. I suppose if one could also explain how to do superluminal travel or planet-seeing or present evidence of the same it might be interesting, but it’d still leave the unanswered question of who created the creators.

    Well, duh ;-)

    Of course I meant to say that to a lot of people, perhaps people who had not looked into it too deeply yet, the intelligent design proposal did seem to hold a promise that important discoveries could be made with just a little more research.

    So perhaps I should have inserted the word “potential” somewhere in that sentence that you quoted.

    Again it seems to me that the original believers in intelligent design have now fallen apart in two categories. Those who have become desillusioned with the concept and have returned to a more rational, scientific position. Or perhaps they have just given up thinking much about evolution altogether. And then there are those for whom it was never really about the science or about knowledge, who have revealed themselves as true creationist ideologues – I would certainly count the Discovery Institute among those. For them it is a strategy.

  34. 34
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Seal up the mouth of outrage for a while,
    Till we can clear these ambiguities
    And know their spring, their head, their true descent.
    And then will I be general of your woes
    And lead you, even to death. Meantime forbear,
    And let mischance be slave to patience.

    Bring forth the parties of suspicion.

    The Bard’s way ahead of you. :-)

    Back to reality.

    *gah* New earworm.

  35. 35
    mnb0

    “Odd, since it lacks explanatory power.”
    Yes, but it took some time to sink in. A Dutch example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cees_Dekker

  36. 36
    Ray, rude-ass yankee (Whimsy, I has it)

    cm’s changeable moniker@34, I read that as panties of suspicion. Can’t tell where my mind is tonight.
    Lots of Shakespeare references here lately, cool.

    I think ID vs. Creationism would make an interesting pay-per-view cage match. “Two enter, none emerge!”

  37. 37
    RobertL

    Didn’t Napoleon say to never interrupt your enemy while he was making a mistake?

  38. 38
    Holms

    This can only end in blood, we hope. Or poison.

    No, we don’t.

  39. 39
    robro

    Schism, thy name is religion.

  40. 40
    Nick Gotts

    Didn’t Napoleon say to never interrupt your enemy while he was making a mistake? – RobertL@37

    Yes, quite probably - at least, something like that has been attributed to him at least since 1836, although history tells us that famous names attract apocryphal aphorisms. And history also tells us that Napoleon lost :-p

  41. 41
    Nick Gotts

    Holms@38,

    Are you missing the Shakespearean reference? Romeo and Juliet, the Montagues and Capulets.

  42. 42
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    …and also clarify the difference between Intelligent Design creationism and Overtly Religious creationism…

    There’s a difference?

    Like an actual, tangible difference, I mean. Beyond empty rhetorical tricks, I see none.

  43. 43
    Piotr Gąsiorowski

    ID is creationism wearing a lab coat and protective glasses. With some laboratory glassware, a device that goes “beep” and a PC in the background.

  44. 44
    David Marjanović

    Design by Committee could help the ID crowd explain away annoying complications like the appendix, if they just let a few other gods into their pantheon…

    …but they never do. Whenever they’re not saying “yeah, theoretically it could be Sufficiently Advanced Aliens or whatever *handwave*”, they always assume a single Designer Who is omnimax and ineffable.

  45. 45
    birgerjohansson

    Can we please sic the IDers on the muslim salafists and vice versa? Grab some popcorn and watch the battle royale.
    We could spread a rumor that the genetic babble of the IDers support the idea that teh Creator is a shiíte and not a sunni.
    Exactly how to accomplish this is something I delegate to your evil intellects*.

    *cold and vast, like H G Wells´Martians**

    **which are the true designers, although they improved upon a design left by the engineer***

    ***from Prometheus.

  46. 46
    birgerjohansson

    David Marjanovic,
    The Engineers came first, then the Eschaton made a time loop to work on the Archaean organisms, making sure we would evolve and build the Eschaton.

  47. 47
    Holms

    Are you missing the Shakespearean reference? Romeo and Juliet, the Montagues and Capulets.

    Ohhhhhhh and that makes it cool to wish violence on people, gotcha.

  48. 48
    charvakan

    I love Ken Ham’s “proof” that the bible is evidence : “The Bible claims to be (and I know it to be) the Word of God.”

  49. 49
    Nick Gotts

    Holms@47,

    Don’t. Be. So. Silly. It means it wasn’t, in fact, wishing violence on people.

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