Endurance Ministries
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Enduring to the end!

Truth Matters! 15


What  Are  The  Fruits  Of  The  INTELLIGENT  DESIGN  Movement?
 
 
The following is an evaluation of the Intelligent Design Movement.  A similar theological paper was presented to the Evangelical Theological Society in November, 1997 (at their annual meeting). 
 
Note:  Even though the presentation below is over twenty years dated, the main concerns presented are current and most pertinent today!
 
Paper Title and Outline
 
The  Good,  The  Bad  And  The  Ugly:
Fruits  Of  The  Intelligent  Design  Movement
 
INTRODUCTION
 
FRUITS  OF  THE  INTELLIGENT  DESIGN  MOVEMENT
 
          Good Fruits of the Intelligent Design Movement
                    Using Natural Methods in the Market Place of Ideas
                    Dialogue with the Secular Intellectual Community
          Gaining Credibility through Sound Scientific Arguments
          Listening Carefully, Some Are Then Won Over
          Correcting Error on a Societal Scale
 
          Bad Fruits of the Intelligent Design Movement
                   Epistemological Limitations of Science
                   Epistemological Hierarchical Observations
                
Ugly Fruits of the Intelligent Design Movement
          Fruits of a Different Kind--Hermeneutical Considerations
          Fruits of Very Different Kinds--Worldview Considerations
 
IN  LIGHT  OF  THE  FRUITS,  HOW  MIGHT  WE  RESPOND?
 
CONCLUSION


Paper
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly:
Fruits Of The Intelligent Design Movement
  
INTRODUCTION
 
In order to accommodate the various people groups with which it dealt, the Catholic Church grafted many religious and philosophical ideas into its tradition. Aristotelian (geocentric) cosmology was included within the long list of these extra-biblical ideas. Believing the earth to be the physical center of the universe, the Church referred to some biblical passages which seemed to show added support for the accommodation of the idea. While others believed the passages were referring to the earth being the center of the Creator’s attention, the Church followed ancient Greek theory, thereby affirming the cultural position in vogue. Although Copernicus and Galileo later offered a different (heliocentric) cosmology, the Church decided to retain its dominant traditional position and, in addition to promulgating a geocentric universe, went on to label as heretical those who would not step in line. It was not until years later that the Church adopted a less dogmatic stance regarding the position of the earth in the universe. Indeed, it was only in the decade of the 80's that the Church pardoned Galileo for his cosmological crime. 
 
It is the intention of this paper to cite some of the strengths and weaknesses of the growing Intelligent Design Movement (IDM). Like the historical example above, Intelligent Design Theory (IDT) holds potential parallels. But before considering the strengths and weaknesses of this movement and the many inherent and possible consequences which come with the Intelligent Design (ID) package, the question, “What is the Intelligent Design Movement?” is an appropriate one and is one which need be considered. In brief summary for those not familiar with this emerging and very influential group, the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM) includes a growing list of intellectuals (educators, scientists, philosophers and theologians) who argue for a less-bias science (i.e. __ less naturalistic in philosophical presupposition). The group employs complex systems as examples of the impossibility of naturalistic macro-evolutionary progression. Due to many cases in point (the mouse trap being one of the most basic and often cited illustrations), the design argument and those who argue therein have contributed to the further shake-up of the macro-evolutionary myth. Thus, Intelligent Design Theory (IDT) is serving to further open minds to other theories of origin.
 
With this brief but adequate-for-this-paper sketch of the IDM, let us begin with the positive fruits of the movement. Using a strategy which steers clear of metaphysical supernaturalism, IDT argues on the scientific and philosophical battlefields. Because of the methods employed (science and philosophy of science), open dialogue with the secular academic community has begun to take place.  Due to the strengths of the arguments, heightened credibility among the open-minded intellectual community is spreading. Some have even been won over. As a result, the word is now beginning to reach society in general. IDT is gaining momentum!
 
While these represent some of the good fruits of the movement, there are some tares in the field which must be discerned. Involvement itself in this war of ideas necessitates certain problems due to the advantages* of playing on a very particular epistemological field. The many limitations of the scientific method is the initial concern which must be looked at carefully. Secondly, will the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists, like those of the Progressive Creationists, slip on the hermeneutical slope as a result of having elevated truth methods of man above the revealed Word of God? Will they go on to define the Intelligent Designer through the scientific method? In addition to the epistemological considerations which bear upon the interpretation of Divine Truth, is IDT so accommodating as to allow for other metaphysical positions (e.g. __  Quantum Theory, Eastern Mysticism and its Western counterpart, New Age and other world views) actually in competition with biblical Truth, viewpoints which tout an Intelligent Designer, but one of a very different kind?
 
The topic of origins is among some of the most important considerations which we will face as we come to the beginning of the new millennium. A paradigm shift is in process __ one ID speaker linked the IDM as a major contributor toward both a scientific and spiritual renaissance! We must be discerning as to the many ramifications contained therein. Due to the importance of this issue, we must take serious the opportunity which IDT makes available. The body of this paper concludes with a suggested response. With that, a more thorough investigation into the fruits of the IDM is in order.
 
*    The “advantages” to which we refer are the good fruits of the movement cited above.
 


FRUITS OF THE INTELLIGENT DESIGN MOVEMENT
 
Good Fruits of the Intelligent Design Movement
 
          By way of introducing some of the very helpful aspects of the IDM, permit us to do so through a logical and practical chronological citing.
 
Þ         When promoting its position, the IDM stays away from the meta-
          physical supernaturalistic “offense” by simply arguing on the
          scientific front. (We understand that the ID approach also ventures
          into philosophical considerations. While they build their case from
          a scientific foundation, they are at the same time exposing the
          metaphysical naturalism of the opposition. In order to do so, they
          must enter into the philosophical arena. The emphasis which they
          make, however, when they are out on the battlefield communi-
          cating their ID position, is that which comes through the scientific
          method.) It is this foundation upon which they build.
 
Þ         Open dialogue with secular academia is beginning to take place
          because of the methods employed (scientific argumentation when
          arguing their position and philosophical argumentation when
          exposing the metaphysical naturalism of their opponents).
 
Þ         Due to the strengths of the scientific arguments (e.g. __ Behe’s
          irreducibly complex molecular biological systems), heightened
          credibility among the open-minded intellectual community is
          growing.
 
Þ         As a result, some have been won over. Dean Kenyon, professor
          of biology at San Francisco State University, is an early example
          toward this end.
 
Þ         And finally, the truths of the IDM are now beginning to trickle
          down to society in general. IDT is forging ahead.
 
It is our hope that the above repetition of this paper’s introduction will serve as valid emphasis of the issue’s importance and will bring additional clarity before further considering some of the details.
 
It is clear from the outset that the IDM is faced with a mandate: Argue scientifically, and only scientifically, or be seen as another expression of the Bible-believing fundamentalist’s attempt to invade science with outdated superstition. Failure to do so, as it has been so clearly stated by mouthpieces of the opposition, would invite immediate rejection. As a result, the ID theorists have purposely stayed away from religious argumentation, in spite of the many attempts by the naturalists to draw them onto this particular metaphysical battlefield. Putting to use scientific methodology as their mode of operation, many of the ad hominem arguments used by the opposition have fizzled. This very approach is clearly and often confessed by those who speak out as ID theorists.
 
          “I don’t believe that we should be talking about the Bible at all in
          this debate at this time. It just gets you back into a replay of the
          old movie, ‘Inherit the Wind.’ It shuts down all possibility of
          thinking communication.” [i]
 
          “I want to put this as far away from Genesis as possible” in order
          to avoid the biblical argumentation (in context, especially per-
          taining to the “day” debate). [ii]
 
But this is only one of two reasons why ID theorists must argue from science. Another major objective of their movement is to expose the metaphysical naturalism which has imposed a narrow, presuppositional naturalism upon the scientific method. As the ID theorists correctly argue, this is undermining the very objectivity which once made science great. In other words, ID theorists are wielding a two-edged sword. On one side they are offensively arguing (in affirmation of their position) from the truths of science, while on the other they are offensively exposing (in negation of the opposing position) the extra-scientific metaphysical naturalism currently dominating the practice. To go back and argue from a biblical platform would be to invite the verdict, “Hypocrite! At the same time you are arguing against the metaphysical aspects of methodological naturalism you are speaking from another metaphysical supposition.” In addition to the double standard which would quickly undermine their cause if they were to argue outside of the scientific framework, ID theorists would also be further stereotyped as those like the members of the religious community in the very influential film cited above, Inherit the Wind.* One extended quote follows which further illumines ID methodology and which points to this second reason for arguing from science alone:
 
          “I regard it as absolutely essential to take this debate away from
          the Bible/Science conflict … because there is so much that is
          fictional and unexamined and erroneous in the ‘scientific’ view.
          And, my opinion is, that once we have gotten that criticism done
          with [the imposing of metaphysical naturalism upon the scientific
          method], we will have a very different type of science than we
          do now … What I do know is that the ‘scientific’ answers that
          we’re getting (in the area of evolution) come more out of mater-
          ialist   philosophy   than   out   of   any   kind   of   unprejudiced
          examination of the facts.   The job that needs to be done is to
          dynamite the philosophy, or specifically, the connection between
          that philosophy and empirical science.   We have to differentiate
          materialist bias from unbiased investigation. Now, the term
          ‘science’ combines the two. It’s that separation that I mean to
          achieve and it is, I think, the first giant step towards learning
          the truth about these things.   And it is a hindrance to that for
          me or other people trying to do this [ID] work to get involved in
          the old Bible/Science debate.”   [iii]
 
*     Do you recall the picture with which the viewing audience was bombarded?  It was the
          biblical fundamentalist and his unthinking followers who were made to look like fools.  
          “Clock-stoppers,” “bigots,” “dead,” “ignoramuses,” they were called.  A great deal
          of nonverbal communication and additional discussions in the film which are too long
          to include here were also used to contribute to the stereotyping of Bible-believers
          as evil. It really is a “you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it” kind of film.
 
Because the ID theorists are willing to enter into the debate on the grounds of the opposition (i.e. __ via the scientific method), they are afforded bonuses which were not extended to those who argued from a Creation Science, Theistic Evolution, or Progressive Creation foundation. Whereas in the past, many Creationists have argued in such a way as to bring in non-sense (metaphysical) epistemological authority which is automatically suspect in the eyes of the metaphysical naturalists, the IDM investigates the issue from epistemological methods which are man-based, and thus shares in common the same methods which scientists accept as credible. As a result of using science and philosophy, IDT has argued from a position which is discussible, from the perspective of the open-minded scientific community. Thus, Pandora’s dialogue box has been opened in such a way that past biblical Creationists, for example, were not able to achieve. (This, we need add, is not to fault those who accept and use biblical authority. Actually, it is commendable that those who do so consistently apply their T/truth foundations in such a way as to be all-inclusive __ incorporating all information available on this topic. Is this not an example of holistic approach for which we long?) It is the closed-mindedness of the naturalist that has the incomplete truth method of the ruling party serving as the exclusive epistemological truth authority.
 
ID theorists are willing to enter the ring of ideas on naturalistic ground rules. As a result, open dialogue with secular academia is beginning to take place. Employing the scientific method when arguing that the preponderance of the evidence clearly points to intelligent design, while looked at suspiciously by many due to its tie to a metaphysical claim, the IDM has nevertheless been allowed a hearing. Incorporating philosophical arguments which relate to the scientific method and practical examples which cite the abuse of the method by those who impose a metaphysical naturalism has also served to stir up interest in the debate, further contributing to the opening of discussion on this crucial issue.
 
The movement would not have even gotten off the ground if it had nothing to offer. Lack of sound arguments and warrants to support a position often bring about either a disinterest to hear more or an outright rejection all together. But due to the strengths of the scientific arguments in support of their theory (e.g. __ Dean Kenyon’s chemistry; Behe’s molecular biology) and the undisputed scientific evidence against the opposing paradigm (e.g. __ Denton’s critique of Neo-Darwinism __ although I don’t believe Denton has ever claimed the ID appellation; Johnson’s Darwin on Trial, etc.), the IDM has been instrumental in bringing about a further willingness on the part of the open-minded intellectual and academic community to, at the very least, listen to the arguments. Is this not to be seen as another positive gain? Indeed, it has been the main objective of one of the leading spokesmen of IDT, Phillip Johnson, to reach this, heretofore, most elusive goal.
 
          “My objective all along, and all the more so as every year passes,
          has been to change the cultural war into an academic dispute.           
          … Winning the debate is not the problem. Getting it started is the
          problem.” [iv]
 
At this early juncture, many are beginning to listen. In addition to the recognition of these quality evidences, some have also come to realize the need for closer scrutiny of the methodological naturalism which is driving the scientific process currently in vogue. Some have gone on to investigate ID propositions, concluding with sympathetic uncommitment (Michael Ruse; 1993 American Assoc. for the Adv. of Science meeting). Others have embraced IDT. Because this movement is still quite young, the years immediately ahead will no doubt see realized the accepting of IDT by many others in the academic and intellectual communities.
 
Although those determined to hold tenaciously to their materialist foundation continue to bring pressure to bear concerning the retention of a metaphysical naturalism and have attempted to “table” the IDM, the opposition has not been successful. The IDM is beginning to filter down into mainstream culture, having demonstrated the strength of their position before truth-seeking intellectuals. As a result, articles in major newspapers and magazines reflect and actually promote this very opening of society’s mind.
 
 
Bad Fruits of the Intelligent Design Movement
 
We have all heard it before. What serves as a strength also serves as a potential weakness. We live in an accommodating culture. (One only need look at the growing popularity of the “seeker-sensitive” church movement.) Some call it compromise. Some laud it. Others see it as a necessary evil in order to communicate the Truth in love so as to reach as many as possible. Whichever way one looks at it, this is also a strong motivator and a key ingredient of the methodology used by the IDM. By necessity, if they are to continue to keep the naturalistic audience listening, they must accommodate and steer clear of any appeal to supernatural authority. This is clearly and repeatedly stated and exemplified by communicators of the movement. As a result, they must adhere to an epistemic foundation which will never transcend the limitations of the method. It is the limitations of the method which serves to be one of ID Theory’s greatest weaknesses. One would never reject the lessons of history concerning the limited and, as a result, shifting “truths” of science. Even if one only accepts the examples of the past two decades, the occasions are almost too numerous to count. The using of the scientific method as their truth method is not necessarily “bad” if the big (epistemological) picture is readily acknowledged.
 
In clarifying this major weakness of IDT, a foundational term need first be defined. Epistemology is “the study or theory of the origin, nature, methods and limits of knowledge.” A key element to Webster’s New World Dictionary (Second College Edition) definition which is not always included in other dictionary definitions is the essential truth of the plurality of methods. In addition, it is crucial to note that each method of knowledge has its own
 
          origin,
          nature, and
          set of limitations.
 
In application of common sense wisdom here, when one fairly considers the parameters of the scientific method, one quickly comes to better understand just how far science can take one in pursuit of T/truth.* In fact, due to the influences of postmodernism, many today are quite aware of these severe limitations (unlike the blindness to this glaring reality decades ago). Each time an instrument is constructed which enables us to extend our observations (whether ground-breaking microscopes, telescopes or high speed atom smashers), truths of science change. While some are so universally experienced that they have been labeled “law” and do not change on the large scale, other scientific truths change so much so that they are dropped for theories which better fit current finds. One simple but very clear example along these lines is that of the Hubble Telescope. As a result of its observational (vs. theoretical) finds, the age of the universe has been questioned, not to mention some of the more popular astronomical theories in their entirety.

 
*     Once again, this is the method employed by IDT. This is one of the reasons which 
          contributes to its being labeled “theory."  (The Creation Hypothesis, for example,
          is appropriately titled.) Its mode of operation is tied to a method which is incapable
          of bringing one to certainty about a good many things.

Given these foundational epistemological truths, we must go on to further consider the epistemological ramifications concerning the limitations of the method employed. What about the objectivity of the method, its degree of certainty, the nature and authority of “facts,” our culture’s current view or strong feelings toward the method, etc.? By way of example, consider the following confession toward this end which comes from one ID theorist. While addressing scientific disciplines which have brought strong challenge to Neo-Darwinism, Embryology is considered to be the most detrimental evidence against macro-evolution. But note how this is stated:
 
          “I believe that this [Embryology] may be the most fundamental
          challenge [to Neo-Darwinism] … more fundamental than the
          the molecular [biological] challenge.” [v]
 
It is stated shortly thereafter, “… it’s conceivable it might not pan out.” What degree of certainty does one find in, “this may be…” and “…it might not pan out”? The dependability of the scientific method is weak by its very nature. To then go on to rely on this method in the setting of debate (including those off the intellectual and academic settings) is unnecessarily limiting, indeed erroneous. But is that not what is suggested here?:
 
          “And, my opinion is, that once we have gotten that criticism done
          with [the metaphysical methodology of the naturalist], we will have
          a very different type of science than we do now and things will
          look differently and that will be an excellent time to worry about
          how it does or doesn’t square with the Bible __ Genesis and all the
          rest and so on.   I discourage people from worrying too much
          about that prematurely. Let’s follow the scientific investigation
          where it leads, and it’s going to lead away from materialism, and
          then that whole problem will look different in ways we can’t pre-
          dict now. People who are trying to tell a completely coherent
          Bible/Science story now I think are doomed to failure because
          of this situation.” [vi]
 
No, in light of the big picture, while an opportunity to bring our intellectual and academic communities to Jesus Christ through IDT is one upon which we must capitalize, we must not apply that same yoke to all realms of discussion. To do so would bring great harm. While we may be portrayed as those pathetically deceived creatures who follow the fundamental preacher in the film, “Inherit the Wind,” the consequences of conformity to worldly standards in settings other than those which so mandate is both unnecessary and is not worth the price. The first of two practical examples of the methodological weaknesses of the IDM is cited below.
 
    When arguing on the scientific front, ID theorists must expose
    the metaphysical naturalism of those who then go on to do their
    science in the setting of a methodological naturalism. ID theorists
    must proceed to argue exclusively from the scientific method. They
    must, by default, argue using only the truths of science. To begin
    appealing to a metaphysical authority would be to commit one of
    the great informal fallacies. Such an act would also be a stark
    contradiction.   By its very methodology (the scientific method),
    IDT has tremendous limitations.   Its conclusions must change
    because its method is so defined and it cannot,   by its very
    nature, enter into metaphysical or absolute truth dialogue, for
    to do so would be to go outside its parameters.
 
In addition to building upon a foundation weak by nature, the IDM must also navigate around another very sticky situation. Springing forth from the fact of varying methods comes the valid question of hierarchical epistemological order. If IDT begins to place their man-based epistemological truth method at a level of authority over that of the Word of God, many difficulties arise. The second of two practical examples of the methodological weaknesses of the IDM is now cited.
 
    When informing an audience which accepts metaphysical epistem-
    ological methods which transcend those that are man-based, it is
    the   as-high-as-the-heavens-are-above-the-earth epistemological
    methods that, in their awe, make the man-based ones pale in
    utter insignificance.   When entering into a church,   for example,
    while the molecular biological evidence is indeed interesting, ID
    theorists must remember that the epistemological method from
    which they operate is far beneath the Scriptures. And, God forbid, 
    should they begin to bring in a science-based “truth” which is in
    clear opposition to the Truth of the Word, watch out! To do so
    would be to further drive the wedge!*
 
It is essential that this observation be made here because it is not as clearly discerned when it is addressed at the more practical levels. The most agreed upon area which this concern affects is that of biblical interpretation, the first of the two ugly fruits of the IDM which are addressed in this paper.

*   This age-long and foundational war of ideas concerning authority will continue until our
          Lord returns!   The early church wrestled with it, Martin Luther contended
 over it, and
          His Church today is privileged with the same honor. By the grace 
of Almighty God,
          the debate is a given because we have been given His Truths which
 transcend, in
          quality, quantity and 
time, the truths of man. Indeed, the grass withers, the flower fades,
          but the Word of our God stands forever!  What a contrast between the two most basic 
          
epistemological methods, God’s and man’s. (Ps. 1; Ps. 119:97-100; Is. 40:8; 55:8,9; 
          and I Cor. 1-3 are but a few of the passages which
 further illumine the contrast!) We 
          find it precious that, in His Sovereignty, God uses 
the technological advancements of 
          man to further illumine His glory! Those who
 are wise will endure the heavy privilege. 
          Those who are short-sighted will persist
in throwing off the yoke that so graciously
          and so generously sets us free!
 
 
Ugly Fruits of the Intelligent Design Movement
 
If IDT begins to place scientific authority over that of the Word of God and begins, as a result, to interpret Scripture in light of current scientific theory, they will find themselves on the scrap pile of human opinion by the next generation. This is the very point of the example of Aristotelian cosmology cited in the introduction. Progressive Creationism is currently suffering the same consequence. We need not follow in their footsteps and repeat their mistakes. The interpretations which have come from the Progressive Creationist camp have been nothing short of ugly. Let me cite one deceptive example.

 
It is argued that it could only be seen as deception on God’s part to have created light waves/particles in route over millions of light years. For God to have done so would make God out to be a deceiver. (Even though the text clearly indicates that He has. Indeed, the heavenly luminaries, obviously including their light, were created for the very purpose of bringing light upon the earth, among other reasons!) As a result, He couldn’t have instantaneously created light with apparent age because we know that God cannot deceive. Therefore we must look at God’s creation of light in a very different way than the way it has been looked at since the penning of the account. So the argument goes.
 
We all see the chaff of this straw man. But what is it that has brought about a dogma that would force such an erroneous position? It is that principle of accommodation that brought about the Gap Theory, Theistic Evolution and which drives the hermeneutic of the Progressive Creationist. This is clearly confirmed through a reading over of the main texts which have come out in defense of this position. Although Progressive Creationist popularizers’ stated motive toward the end of reaching intellectuals for Jesus Christ is good, the degree of accommodation necessary to do so undermines the very epistemological Source from which it draws to speak on higher spiritual issues. May wisdom reign: the whole picture must be kept in mind. The IDM shares this desire to better bridge the gap between the academic/intellectual community and the Bible-believing community. With the hope of making Christendom more intellectually credible, they must first gain a hearing.
 
          “Winning the debate is not the problem. Getting it started is
          the problem.” [vii]    “The thing that has to be done … [is] the
          initial dynamiting and then everything will go on. The chain
          reaction will occur of its own accord after that.   The initial
          thing is to obtain a hearing for the notion that materialism
          and scientific investigation are not the same thing.” [viii]
 
After this worthy goal is accomplished, though, will IDT take the next death step as the Progressive Creationists have done and begin to interpret the Word of God through epistemological authorities which are man-based? What is the necessary epistemological method of IDT? We have seen that it cannot be biblical authority but must be the scientific method. Is this bad? No, but it is limited! And it is here where we as the people of God in Jesus Christ must speak up and fill in the transcendent details.
 
The following is a potential scenario which lays bare the final ugly fruit of the IDM addressed in this paper.
 
    A major shift away from the dominant paradigm takes place. The IDM
    is successful in bringing about a renaissance.   (It has been stated by
    Phillip Johnson, an ID spokesman, “We’re seeing now a preparation
    for a spiritual renaissance.”) An opening up of Pandora’s cosmological
    box brings a revolution. At this point, a necessary question emerges:
    According to its method and general conclusion (Intelligent Design),
    what are the metaphysical options allowed by IDT? In addition to
    allowing for a biblical cosmology, IDT also allows for
 
    Gaia __ Holistic panentheism
    Metaphysical Physic’s The Theory of Everything
    Extraterrestrial Seed-Plants __ Evolution from Space
    Polytheism Þ Greek Mythologies …
    Monotheism Þ Deism …
   
 
But you see, due to the methodological yoke which IDT must wear in order to get a hearing in the first place, they are restrained from speaking out specifically on spiritual issues. According to their method, they cannot answer the question, “How is the Intelligent Designer defined?” not to mention the many other metaphysical questions which relate to this first and foremost one.
 
Our point here is that, yes, indeed, a new battle front of the cultural war will be opened. But given the epistemological method of IDT, it will be opened in such a way as to allow for the possibility of many viewpoints. Actually, hasn’t it already been open for quite some time? Given our fallen nature, its struggle with faith and its influence upon the objective scientific method, what will IDT bring with its freedom from metaphysical naturalism? Because it can only speak generally on an Intelligent Designer, IDT allows for many viewpoints, only some of which are listed above. The opening up of this let’s-talk-about-the-intelligent-designer dialogue box must be seen as an opportunity during the early birth pains of this predicted spiritual rebirth. But it must be the Bible-believing community which must speak out as His ambassadors and represent Him (our true and glorious Creator) and His story (the true chronicling of cosmogony and all things therein). The IDM cannot! How will they hear if we do not speak? These other viewpoints are just as fallacious, if not more so, as the popular metaphysical naturalistic cosmology. Is this not a casting out and cleaning up, only to allow for the entrance of even greater errors, in both quantity and quality?


IN LIGHT OF THE FRUITS, HOW MIGHT WE RESPOND?
 
If we agree that our Commission is to “go” into our secular intellectual/academic communities for Jesus Christ and if we are willing to endure the cost of entering a setting limited to the truths of science, we must then give careful consideration toward how we should move ahead. The following two suggestions will be very helpful.
 
1.       We believe we should enthusiastically support the IDM in as many ways possible under 
          two conditions:
 
          If IDT stays true to its scientific method when arguing in the intellectual and academic 
          settings       
 
               We believe we should continue to give support even if those who
               speak out as ID theorists do not always appear to stay within
               their methodological parameters. In other words, even if they,
               on occasion, could be interpreted as undermining the biblical
               account of the six-day creation, we believe we should support
               them. Why? Because there is a difference between clarifying
               their position to the general intellectual audience (i.e. __ that
               the movement does not take up or promote metaphysical
               positions; that they are not biblical fundamentalist wolves
               in scientific sheep’s clothing) as opposed to speaking out
               against biblical creation. If, on the other hand, they begin to
               consistently make statements which might legitimately call
               for the question, “Are the ID theorists naturalistic wolves in
               metaphysical sheep’s clothing?”   or   “Are the ID theorists 
               metaphysical wolves in scientific sheep’s clothing who are 
               unbiblical in their worldview?”   and if they are seen indeed
               to be so, we must withdraw our support.
 
          If and only if we do our part (both to will and to do!) and speak the big-picture 
          Truth in all settings
 
               Because entering into the secular intellectual community requires
               the use of an incomplete truth method (science) which is filled with
               many shortcomings*, a vacuum exists. We all know that people
               are inquisitive and desire to know more. Other voices are sought
               in order to bring in additional pieces of the puzzle.   People
               want to see the entire picture if at all possible!   We know the
               Quantum Physicists are speaking out boldly, pointing the inquirers
               to their puzzle pieces, which indeed are, by their very intent, quite
               puzzling!    We read of the many New Age prophets like David
               Spangler and   Teilhard de Chardin who are gathering a great
               following.   WHERE   IS   OUR   VOICE? Are we willing to 
               make the
sacrifice and speak His Truth in love?
 
               * Two examples in general:
 
                        1.         Simple limitations of the method which prevent, by its very
                                    nature, speaking clearly on the subject matter it can address
                                    [i.e. __   things which are testable via observation],   and,
                         2.         the metaphysical issues which it cannot address [e.g. __
                                     additional details pertaining to creation and the Creator]

2.       We propose we mobilize to fill the vacuum which is necessarily left by the IDM and 
          boldly and unashamedly speak the
the Truth in love for the glory of our great God, 
          Creator, Savior and King and for the
benefit of all humanity!   We must
 
          proclaim biblical Truths (as opposed to the “truths” of
                    Quantum Mechanics and as opposed to those who, within
                    the ranks of Christendom, twist the Scriptures in a way
                    which makes It say something which It does not);
 
          speak out concerning Who this Intelligent Designer is (as
                    opposed to the “What” of the New Age and some of the
                    Quantum Theories); and,
 
           inform as to what He is like (as opposed to the very different
                   god-concepts which are currently scattered through and
                   deeply entrenched in global culture).
 
We must do this if we are to bring the other most treasured doctrines of the Faith (particularly the Gospel of Jesus Christ) to our lost, secular, intellectual and academic communities which will eventually impact street culture in general.
 
 

         
CONCLUSION
 
It is the hope and prayer of Endurance Ministries that history will not repeat itself. We must not follow in the footsteps of Rome and allow cultural mandates of our day to push us from Truth. Ministering with the peculiarities of our culture in mind is critical if we are to reach our generation; accommodation to the extent of compromising the very Truths which make biblical Christianity unique must be avoided. Recorded church history is replete with examples of the error of compromise. The grafting of Aristotelian cosmology into Church tradition serves as only one clear example. We must apply this lesson concerning the Church’s accommodation with the secular cosmology of that day and avoid making the same mistake. If we do not, we will once again find the consequences of adopting an unbiblical tradition to be costly. If we continue to abide in His Truths, we will reap the benefits, similar to that of a tree continually replenished by the neighboring stream.   We will also continue to find ourselves those who are wiser than our enemies, who have more understanding than secular academia, and whose discernment transcends the ancient ones (paraphrase of Psalm 119:97-100). 
 
Robert Jastrow’s well-known quote in his book, God and the Astronomers (1978) will serve the conclusion.
 
          “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of
          reason, the story ends like a bad dream.   He has scaled the 
          mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest
          peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by
          a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
 
Jastrow’s book chronicles his exodus out of the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary camp. The problem, though: he does not go far enough but actually lands in another erroneous camp, that of a particular evolution-from-space scenario. We personally believe this not-going-far-enough also applies to this very quote. By way of conclusion, allow us to retell the story from a vantage point which rests on higher epistemological Truth.
 
          “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power
          of reason, the story ends like a bad dream.   He has scaled the
          mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer”   what he has
          always understood to be the highest peak;   as he pulls himself
          over the final rock,   he is met with great disappointment.   Al-
          though he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been
          sitting there for centuries, he sees a very different rock towering
          up into the heavens! In amazement, he turns and asks the group,
          “Why have you come down from the glorious mountain, which
          transcends these hills as high as the heavens are above the earth?”


 

END  NOTES
 
 
[i]               Johnson, Phillip; “The Reign of Naturalism in Modern American Culture” (Lecture
                                                at McKenzie Study Center for the 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series,
                                               “Naturalism and Reason”); Tape J-1b; Eugene, OR.
 
[ii]               Johnson, Phillip; “The Reign of Naturalism in Modern American Culture” (Lecture
                                                at McKenzie Study Center for the 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series,
                                               “Naturalism and Reason”); Tape J-1b; Eugene, OR.
 
[iii]               Johnson, Phillip; “The Reign of Naturalism in Modern American Culture” (Lecture 
                                                at McKenzie Study Center for the 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series,
                                                “Naturalism and Reason”); Tape J-1a; Eugene, OR.
 
[iv]               Johnson, Phillip; “The Reign of Naturalism in Modern American Culture” (Lecture 
                                                at McKenzie Study Center for the 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series,
                                                “Naturalism and Reason”); Tape J-1b; Eugene, OR.
 
[v]               Johnson, Phillip; “Special Conversation between staff and friends of MSC” (Lecture 
                                                at McKenzie Study Center for the 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series,
                                                “Naturalism and Reason”); Tape J-5; Eugene, OR.
 
[vi]               Johnson, Phillip; “The Reign of Naturalism in Modern American Culture” (Lecture
                                                at McKenzie Study Center for the 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series,      
                                                “Naturalism and Reason”); Tape J-1a; Eugene, OR.
 
[vii]               Johnson, Phillip; “The Reign of Naturalism in Modern American Culture” (Lecture
                                                at McKenzie Study Center for the 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series,
                                                “Naturalism and Reason”); Tape J-1b; Eugene, OR.
 
[viii]               Johnson, Phillip; “The Reign of Naturalism in Modern American Culture” (Lecture
                                                at McKenzie Study Center for the 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series,
                                                “Naturalism and Reason”); Tape J-1b; Eugene, OR.
 
 
Sources considered in discerning the strengths and weaknesses of the Intelligent Design Movement
 
     Books & Articles
 
                Behe, Michael J.; Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution; The Free
                                                Press; New York; 1996 (Also see Behe’s “Molecular Machines: Experimental
                                                Support for the Design Inference” @ http://www.arn.org/arn); 1996
 
                Buell, Jon & Virginia Hearn (Eds.); Darwinism: Science or Philosophy? (Proceedings of a
                                                symposium entitled: “Darwinism: Scientific Inference or Philosophical
                                               Preference?”); Foundation for Thought and Ethics; Texas; 1994
 
               Dembski, William A.; “What Every Theologian Should Know About Creation, Evolution, and
                                                Design”; Princeton Theological Review; Vol.2:3 (Oct., 1995); pp. 15-21
 
               Johnson, Phillip E.; Darwin on Trial; InterVarsity Press; Downers Grove, IL.; 1991
 
               Johnson, Phillip E.; Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds; InterVarsity Press; Downers
                                               Grove, IL.; 1997
 
               Johnson, Phillip E.; Reason in the Balance: A Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law
                                               & Education; InterVarsity Press; Downers Grove, IL.; 1995
 
               Moreland, J.P. (Ed.); The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent
                                               Designer; InterVarsity Press; Downers Grove, IL.; 1994
 
               Pearcey, Nancy R.; “The Evolution Backlash: Debunking Darwin”; World; Vol. 11:38
                                               (March, 1997)
 
     Videos & Cassettes
 
                Focus on Darwinism series (3); Interviews with Phillip Johnson, Michael Denton and Dean
                                                Kenyon; Access Research Network; Colorado Springs, CO.; Video; 1993, 1994
 
                Darwinism: Science or Naturalistic Philosophy?; A debate between William Provine (Cornell
                                                University) and Phillip Johnson (U.C. - Berkeley) at Stanford Univ.; Access
                                                Research Network; Colorado Springs, CO.; Video; 1994
 
                Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?; Phillip Johnson at U.C. - Santa Barbara; Access Research
                                                Network; Colorado Springs, CO.; Video; 1993
 
                The 1996 Gutenberg Lecture Series (“Natualism and Reason”); Lectures by Phillip Johnson
                                                  at the McKinzie Study Center; Eugene, OR.; Tapes J:1-5; Oct., 1996
               
                Introduction to Darwin’s Black Box; Lecturer: Michael J. Behe; Access Research Network;
                                                Colorado Springs, CO.; Tape C008A; 1996
 
 
     Helpful Resources
 
                Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture
                1402 Third Ave. Suite 400
                Seattle, WA.                                                         (206) 292-0401 x 111
                98101                                                                      http://www.discovery.org/csc  
  
 
                Also see:  http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org
               (Now over 700 Ph.D. scientists who are speaking out about the weaknesses of Darwinian theory!)
 

 
Once again, if you would like powerful scientific evidence concerning the fact of Creation, write to us for “The Creation Gift.” Please enclose a $5.00 check payable to "Endurance Ministries" for shipping and handling when you order within the U.S. We are not filling requests outside the U.S. at this time, sorry.)
 
 
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