Judge Jones’ ruling in the Dover, PA has suddenly brought to light what had only been hinted at before, that not all religious people, even evangelicals, were happy with IDC ideas and strategy. Some fundamentalists were unhappy with the IDC movement’s minimalist strategy of claiming only a few supernatural interventions in the evolutionary process. They felt that IDC should go further and argue for the complete Biblical story of creation and be open about the fact that the designer was the Christian god.
In what must be the unkindest cut of all, even some members of the group known as “creation scientists” such as Hugh Ross are applauding the Dover decision, agreeing with the judge that IDC is not science.
Hugh Ross and his group called Reasons to Believe think that their version of creation science is science. They accept the theory of the Big Bang and an old Earth and Universe but believe that “God supernaturally and miraculously created Adam from the “dust of the earth” (not a pre-existing being) just as described in Genesis 1 and 2. Adam and Eve were the first humans, and from them came the entire human race.”
This collection of views puts Hugh Ross under the umbrella of “Old Earth Creationists” (OEC), as opposed to Young Earth Creationists (YEC) who believe that the Earth and the Universe are less than 10,000 years old. The YEC view can be seen at sites like Answers in Genesis.
IDC people had been seeing themselves as a “wedge,” a way of getting into the scientific tent and thus allowing explicit creationists in later. In this model, the IDC forces were the vanguard, the Marines if you will, establishing the beachhead, with the YEC and OEC and other anti-evolutionists providing the backup forces to consolidate the gains. So this attack by some members of the OEC, equivalent to being shot at from the rear by your own troops, must really hurt. In fact, IDCer William Dembski has complained about it.
In Australia, where IDC seems to have made some inroads, Nathan Zamprogno on his website The Baliset Palimpsests has an interesting take on the relationship between IDC and YEC and argues that the wedge strategy may be backfiring. He points out that it is the YEC people who are the people who actually go out and evangelize. The YEC folks are the foot soldiers, so to speak, of the fight against secular science while the IDC people are like armchair generals, directing it from their think-tanks and institutes. But the IDC wedge, rather than dividing secular science from religion, may have had the unintentional effect, by hogging all the religious media attention to its own worldview, of dividing the religious community itself, tempting Christians to choose IDC-type thinking by implying that YEC and OEC views are fringe and extremist, almost cult-like. Zamprogno implies that at some point, YEC and OEC adherents might turn against IDC as not being in their own best interests. Zamprogno’s prediction may be in the process of coming true.
Meanwhile, the journal Science identifies Evolution in Action as its 2005 Breakthrough of the Year, highlighting again how strong the consensus is in the biology community that evolution is the paradigm they want to work with.
I have noticed another significant shift since the Dover case judge’s ruling. Newspaper editorials are coming out and saying flatly that intelligent design should not be in science classrooms. (See this one in USA Today, for example.)
Before the ruling, journalists were following their cautious and curious strategy of ‘balance’, which seemed to mean treating IDC and natural selection as somehow close to equal status as theories in biology. Judge Jones’ ruling seems to have relieved them from them that particular burden. They now have judicial cover to say what has been obvious to other observers for a long time, that IDC is a religious-based belief that has no scientific standing.
It’s about time.
POST SCRIPT: Mazes
I have always loved puzzles and particularly mazes. But as a child I was only aware of the paper maze puzzles. It was only when I saw the Laurel and Hardy film A Chump at Oxford that I learned that there were real mazes that people can actually walk their way through, rather like the last challenge in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Ever since then I have wanted to walk through one of these mazes but have never had the opportunity.
Here are aerial views of some amazing mazes made in corn fields (Thanks to The Progressive Review). They look pretty intimidating. I assume that there is some rescue mechanism for those who get hopelessly lost. Of course, there is a surefire way of finding your way through any two-dimensional maze.
SPOILER ALERT: MAZES SOLUTION COMING UP!
If, from the beginning, you walk so that you keep your right hand in contact with the wall on your right, you will eventually get to the end point, although this might not be the quickest solution. Of course, you can do the same thing with your left hand and left wall. The key thing is not to change hands anytime.
An alternative approach is that at every intersection you encounter in the maze, you either turn always to the left or always to the right.
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