You wish, Bill

William Dembski sadly reports that Answers in Genesis is handing out a “$50,000” prize* for a creationist essay…for which no Intelligent Design advocates need reply. He moans that ID doesn’t have anywhere near the resources of the traditional creationists (which is true—AiG is bigger, but the DI has just gotten more press), and then uses this to make the argument that he really wishes they could have made at Dover:

This contest demonstrates that creationism and ID are charting separate paths.

No, not exactly. Separate strategies, maybe, but the same goals. There are substantial differences in dogma between different creationist groups, but they’re all anti-evolution and anti-science and belong to the same general category of science kooks. Answers in Genesis is a Young Earth Creationist organization led by Ken Ham, and they don’t get along with Old Earth Creationist Hugh Ross’s Reasons to Believe; a follower of Hugh Ross would not qualify for the “$50,000” prize, either, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a creationist. William “intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory” Dembski is just a leader in one sectarian branch of the rotten creationist tree, as is Hugh “Starting about 2 to 4 million years ago, God began creating man-like mammals or ‘hominids’…Then, about 10 to 25 thousand years ago, God replaced them with Adam and Eve” Ross and Ken “Genesis is true” Ham—or Harun “The carbon atom, like everything else, has been created by Allah” Yahya. Same difference. It doesn’t matter what little, transient cult they belong to, they hold ignorance in common.

*Not really. It’s a scholarship for $50,000 to Liberty University. Yeah, being shackled to stupid people and forced to memorize dogma is a real prize. Since the cost of housing someone in a prison is about $20K/year, maybe I should get a gun and rob a gas station for a chance at winning a $200,000 prize!


  1. says

    Too bad it’s not a real cash prize. If it were, I’d write a stunning essay full to the brim with Biblical literalism, and then I’d donate every cent of the winnings to NCSE (or maybe Planned Parenthood).

  2. ham says

    yep the best you can do is brown nose all the way to the ultimate prize: the DI clownship – so you are then one of the official clowns of the DI.

    They don`t even have the 50.000, it is all spent already in child-porn (since they are too small to self sustain themselves like the cleric man of other bigger churches). Hopefully they too can soon provide for their perverted needs once more morons joined the club and produced little ID offsprings, that are tought in little ID fundamentalist schools how to be absolutely obedient when deity Dembski does strange physical examinations on them.

  3. lo says

    If that limited 10 internet-pages, self taught knowledge about informatics is considered an understanding of “information theory” i am glad we have icons like Bill Gates.

  4. Kevin Jones says

    Hallelujah, a new dogma is born. Okay, this is a little late, ID has been around awhile, but I think we can safely say that we’re seeing the early stages of a new religious developement. Just because ID started out as a thin edge strategy to get creationism in the door for public education doesn’t mean it can’t now take on a life of its own. Since a religion requires no proof, all it takes is a few charismatic people who believe in it to get it going. Will ID take off? Who knows. But it’s pretty amusing to see a schism develope between religious ideologies that precisely illustrates the reason why science is fundamentally better- with science you can always resolve your dispute by testing your theories against the real world.

  5. j says

    How ironic that the prison is named Liberty University. Reminds me of the Ministry of Love. Ignorance is strength.

  6. Molly, NYC says

    He moans that ID doesn’t have anywhere near the resources of the traditional creationists . . .

    How many resources do you need to just make stuff up?

  7. says

    maybe I should get a gun and rob a gas station for a chance at winning a $200,000 prize!

    Thing is, you’d be making a more positive contribution to society than the winner of AiG’s scholarship, too.

  8. says

    QrazyQat beat me to it here. Third prize, a master’s program at Liberty U; Fourth prize, full tuition through Ph.D.; Fifth prize, Liberty Law School.

  9. Rey Fox says

    Perhaps we should start spreading vicious rumors about these organizations, get them to declare all-out war on each other.

  10. quork says

    He moans that ID doesn’t have anywhere near the resources of the traditional creationists

    Is this the same William Dembski who demanded $200 per hour for not testifying in the Dover trial?

  11. SEF says

    AiG Creationism and Intelligent Design Creationism are probably less different from each other than Catholicism and Protestantism are. They just have subtly different twists to their otherwise largely identical lies and substantially similar tactics (eg quote mining, misrepresenting real science and scientists and even misrepresenting their own stuff/people as being science/scientists etc).

    However, if they are charting paths, perhaps they are both turning more towards the FSM in their piracy. Have any meaty missionaries paid them a visit lately? Yea verily it is easier for a noodle to pass through a spaghetti hoop than to get a rich creationist to pay their due taxes.

  12. says

    Heh. I’m still around. Heh, heh. Always got time to jump on the Dembster.

    Wild Bill could always cough up a testable hypothesis and submit a legitimate research proposal to the Templeton Foundation, you know. Now that the Templeton Foundation has rejected the Discovery Institute’s pleas for further funding, you’d think he’d put in longer hours in that “lab.” Right?

    Must be rough being a 45-year-old who gets his allowance cut.

  13. says

    According to the image Dembski posted with the contest rules on it, entrants must use at least one reference from the book Evolution Exposed, and one reference from the AIG web site. One could almost see this as a ploy to drive up their book sales and web hit counter.

  14. Torbjörn Larsson says

    “”Today’s public schools are saturated with evolutionary thinking and immorality.””

    It is telling that Dembski didn’t separate ID and AIG due to AIG’s non-neutral stance on science and its values, but on a creationist distinction. ID is clearly not about science according to Dembski’s actions.

    And as Kevin notes, the fact that we can see a schism is hurting for creationism. Not that science from time to time can have competing theories and schisms. But these theories compete within the same framework. It is clearly a political/religious schism.

  15. Sunny says

    You know what though, PZ, if me winning an essay contest about a subject that I find unbelievably obtuse would guarantee that nobody else would win a scholarship to a university known for producing unbelievably obtuse people, I would definitely give it a try.

  16. Carlie says

    In most sweepstakes/contests, if you read the fine print there is usually a (admittedly smaller) cash value option offered for the winner. Is this required by law? Any possibility it would be in effect here?

  17. says

    Drat! The prize is a “scholarship,” not 50,000 actual dollars. I’d have loved to send them shit-in-a-can in essay format if that much money were really involved!