December 04, 2005

Intelligent Design Creationists in Academia

The New York Times has an abnormally interesting (and funny) article on intelligent design creationism in academia, in this case, conservative religions academia. Here are a few selected quotations (I have added emphasis here and there):

"It [intelligent design creationism] can function as one of those ambiguous signs in the world that point to an intelligent creator and help support the faith of the faithful, but it just doesn't have the compelling or explanatory power to have much of an impact on the academy," said Frank D. Macchia, a professor of Christian theology at Vanguard University, in Costa Mesa, Calif., which is affiliated with the Assemblies of God, the nation's largest Pentecostal denomination.
At Wheaton College, a prominent evangelical university in Illinois, intelligent design surfaces in the curriculum only as part of an interdisciplinary elective on the origins of life, in which students study evolution and competing theories from theological, scientific and historical perspectives, according to a college spokesperson.
Derek Davis, director of the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies at Baylor, said: "I teach at the largest Baptist university in the world. I'm a religious person. And my basic perspective is intelligent design doesn't belong in science class

Mr. Davis noted that the advocates of intelligent design claim they are not talking about God or religion. "But they are, and everybody knows they are," Mr. Davis said. "I just think we ought to quit playing games. It's a religious worldview that's being advanced."

The article ends with a discussion of the Dover trial and this from Discovery Institute fellow John West,

The future of intelligent design is tied up with academic endeavors. It rises or falls on the science.

Now here's what's really funny about West's comment, earlier in the article, it's author, Laurie Goodstein had reported on the efforts of the Templeton Foundation to fund scientific research in intelligent design and no one submitted a proposals for actual scientific research. The Templeton Foundation had previously funded a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design but there were no takers when it came to doing actual research. Yet the intelligent design community moans and groans that the research money always goes to mainstream scientists.

Could it be that there is simply nothing to research? If this is the case and you know it is, what in the world is John West talking about.

The only place where Intelligent Design creationism has any foothold in academia is at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where they set up the Center for Science and Theology for William A. Dembski after he left Baylor.

Yes, old-fashioned young earth creationism is alive and well in some fundamentalist institutions like the members of the American Association of Christian Schools whose statement of faith reads in part,

We believe in creation, not evolution; that man was created by the direct act of God and in the image of God.

You can read more on this article at Stranger Fruit, Dispatches from the Culture Wars and The Panda's Thumb (these two are the same), Mike the Mad Biologist and Pharyngula (where PZ can't stop laughing).

Posted by DuaneSmith at December 4, 2005 02:58 PM | Read more on Evolution |

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Intelligent Design Creationists in Academia:

» Excellent Article on ID in the New York Times from Lloydletta's Nooz
PZ Meyers is gloating. The Discovery Institute's John West is fuming. Now the ID supporters are trying to say it's not a religious thing because there are Muslim creationists too. [Read More]

Tracked on December 4, 2005 06:02 PM


Post a comment

Please read Abnormal Interest's Comments Policy.


Email Address:


Remember Me?


The following HTML tags are allowed in comments:

and no others.