Insult to intelligence? Fundamentalist Atheism

Melanie Phillips of the Guardian wrote Creating an insult to intelligence

“Listening to the Today programme this morning, I was irritated once again by yet another misrepresentation of Intelligent Design as a form of Creationism. In an item on the growing popularity of Intelligent Design, John Humphrys interviewed Professor Ken Miller of Brown University in the US who spoke on the subject last evening at the Faraday Institute, Cambridge. Humphrys suggested that Intelligent Design might be considered a kind of middle ground between Darwinism and Creationism. Miller agreed but went further, saying that Intelligent Design was

nothing more than an attempt to repackage good old-fashioned Creationism and make it more palatable.

But this is totally untrue. Miller referred to a landmark US court case in 2005, Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District, which did indeed uphold the argument that Intelligent Design was a form of Creationism in its ruling that teaching Intelligent Design violated the constitutional ban against teaching religion in public schools. But the court was simply wrong, doubtless because it had heard muddled testimony from the likes of Prof Miller.

Whatever the ramifications of the specific school textbooks under scrutiny in the Kitzmiller/Dover case, the fact is that Intelligent Design not only does not come out of Creationism but stands against it. This is because Creationism comes out of religion while Intelligent Design comes out of science. Creationism, whose proponents are Bible literalists, is a specific doctrine which holds that the earth was literally created in six days. Intelligent Design, whose proponents are mainly scientists, holds that the complexity of science suggests that there must have been a governing intelligence behind the origin of matter, which could not have developed spontaneously from nothing.

The confusion arises partly out of ignorance, with people lazily confusing belief in a Creator with Creationism. But belief in a Creator is common to all people of monotheistic faith – with many scientists amongst them — the vast majority of whom would regard Creationism as totally ludicrous. In coming to the conclusion that a governing intelligence must have been responsible for the ultimate origin of matter, Intelligent Design proponents are essentially saying there must have been a creator. The difference between them and people of religious faith is that ID proponents do not necessarily believe in a personalised Creator, or God.

As a result, both Creationists and many others of religious faith disdain Intelligent Design, just as ID proponents think Creationism is totally off the wall. Yet the two continue to be conflated. And ignorance is only partly responsible for the confusion, since militant evangelical atheists deliberately conflate Intelligent Design with Creationism in order to smear and discredit ID and its adherents.

On Today, Humphrys perfectly reasonably pressed Miller further. If ID was merely a disguised form of Creationism, he asked, why were so many intelligent people prepared to accept ID but not Creationism? Miller replied:

Intelligent people can sometimes be wrong.

Indeed; and it is Prof Miller who is wrong. Creationism and Intelligent Design are two completely different ways of looking at the world; and you don’t have to subscribe to either to realise the untruth that is being propagated — and the wrong that is being done to people’s reputations — by the pretence that they are connected.”You will also want to read her column, The Secular Inquisition. Here is an excerpt:

“Since ID holds that some vague kind of intelligent force must have been behind the creation of the universe, there’s surely very little difference (and considerable overlap) between ID proponents and the vast majority of mainstream religious believers – amongst whom are numbered many scientists who have no difficulty reconciling their scientific knowledge about the universe, and the evolution of life within that universe, with belief in an ultimate Creator who kick-started the whole process.

So what’s the big hullabaloo about? ID proponents are said by the Charles Johnsons of this world to deny evolution. But this is not so. Creationists deny evolution. But ID proponents say over and over again they are not Creationists and accept many aspects of evolution, in particular that organisms develop and change over time.

What they don’t accept is that random, blind-chance evolution accounts for the origin of all species and the origin of life, the universe and everything. ID proponents say the idea that science can account for everything – the doctrine known variously as materialism or scientism – flies in the face of reason and evidence and seeks to commandeer the space previously reserved for the unknowable, or religion, which can sit very comfortably alongside science, as it does for so many.

Those who have imbibed evangelical atheistic materialism with their mothers’ milk, however, find it impossible to get their heads round this. Shouting from the rooftops that ID is not science but camouflaged religion, they react so viscerally precisely because ID does come out of science and talks its language.After all, if people are evil and bonkers for believing in an intelligent creator, why aren’t religious believers in a Biblical intelligent Creator also evil and bonkers?

The answer is that it is the science that is seen to be evil and bonkers. While materialist fundamentalists can deal with religious believers by scoffing they are in a separate domain altogether from the real ie scientific world, the suggestion that science might itself arrive at the conclusion that there are limits to what it can understand is a heresy that directly threatens the materialist fundamentalist closed thought-system — and therefore must be stamped out.

Refusing to accept that science and religion can be complementary — and indeed feed each other –because religious faith is out to lunch, they cannot grasp that ID is a metaphysical idea that comes out of but stands separate from science, in that science leads here to an idea with which by definition it must abruptly part company. Instead they insist that the two must be fused – and when that proves impossible, they cry victory.”The Guardian is hardly an arm of Intelligent Design proponents and Melanie Phillips and I disagree in many ways. I find it is interesting that the secular Phillips can cast an unbiased eye at Neo-Darwinists and Naturalistic Materialists in their various forms and recognize them for what they are…fundamentalists who defend their religion against all evidence to the contrary and seek to stifle any and all dissension.

Melanie does not know much about Creationism nor does she recognize the difference between an observation, a supposition and a fact in some areas. For instance, the age of the Universe. It is not a fact that the Universe is 15 billion years old. Secular scientists keep changing the age they believe the Universe to be but this is unobservable. We can measure the speed of light and INFER the age of the Universe. But we were not there to see the beginning and there could be other information that would radically change the conclusions.

For instance, I could grow up in a family with a mother, a father and a sister and be certain that my parents are my biological parents. All the observable evidences point to this. But then, when I am eighteen years old, my mother reveals that my father is actually my step-father and married my mother when my real father abandoned her and me rather than marry, went off to war and was killed. I would discover that my “dad” married my mom when I was less than two years old and they did not want me to feel like I did not belong to both of them but now that I was “of age” they determined that I should know my complete heritage and so on.

That is not really my personal scenario, but such things happen and have happened in real life. In this scenario, the young man is sure of the facts of his birth but those were inferred, not known. Later on, the person that observed and participated in the birth reveals the truth.

Melanie Phillips is quite ignorant of creation science but she is able to see that the religious orthodoxy that is naturalistic materialistic atheism/Neo-Darwinism is a propaganda machine that seeks to stifle discussion and hide uncomfortable evidence in order to protect their cherished fundamental belief system.

Like children, Darwinists and atheists infer their “birth” by chance events. God reveals the truth in the book of Genesis. However, these fundamentalists that cannot tolerate the concept of God hide their eyes and ears and do their best to ignore the Bible as observation even though the description of the beginning of all things in the book of Genesis is far more logical than the fairy tales atheists believe.

Recently I challenged all my commenters to posit a scenario of creation by a Creator God that would make more sense than the one described in Genesis and not one of them uttered a peep. I wonder why? I suspect it is because the first four verses of Genesis indicate a scenario that makes perfect sense if an omnipotent God wants to create a Universe. What He did and in what order is logical because God is brilliant and he does all things well. No big surprise. The resounding silence indicates their agreement with me on this point.

I am writing now one last time before touching on Genesis 1:5, because that verse is a bone of contention among Christians and non-Christians alike and it needs its own thorough post. I am also reminding everyone that the Bible is evidence. I am further reminding everyone that many of you have prejudiced points of view that make you blind to other ideas and people other than Christians have been able to observe and comment on this phenomenon.

May I challenge the thinkers among you to consider Lawrence Selden’s post –

Phillip Johnson on the Natural Bias In Science Regarding Human Evolution

Excerpt:

“Museum reconstructions based on the scanty fossil evidence have had a powerful impact on the public imagination, and the fossils themselves have had a similar effect upon the anthropologists. The psychological atmosphere that surrounds the viewing of hominid fossils is uncannily reminiscent of the veneration of relics at a medieval shrine. That is just how Roger Lewin described the scene at the 1984 Ancestors exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History, an unprecedented showing of original fossils relating to human evolution from all over the world.

The “priceless and fragile relics” were carried by anxious curators in first-class airplane seats and brought to the Museum in a VIP motorcade of limousines with police escort. Inside the Museum, the relics were placed behind bullet-proof glass to be admired by a select preview audience of anthropologists, who spoke in hushed voices because “It was like discussing theology in a cathedral.” A sociologist observing this ritual of the anthropologist tribe remarked, “Sounds like ancestor worship to me.”

Lewin considers it understandable that anthropologists observing the bones of their ancestors should be more emotionally involved with their subject than other kinds of scientists. “There is a difference. There is something inexpressibly moving about cradling in one’s hands a cranium drawn from one’s own ancestry.” Lewin is absolutely correct, and I can’t think of anything more likely to detract from the objectivity of one’s judgement. Descriptions of fossils from people who yearn to cradle their ancestors in their hands ought to be scrutinized as carefully as a letter of recommendation from a job applicant’s mother. In his book Human Evolution, Lewin reports numerous examples of the subjectivity that is characteristic of human origins research, leading him to conclude that the field is invisibly but constantly influenced by humanity’s shifting self-image. In plain English, that means that we see what we expect to see unless we are extremely rigorous in checking our prejudice. (pp.82-83)”You who read this blog, no matter what your belief system, are doing yourself a great disservice if you will not audit your belief system. What do you accept as base suppositions? Have you considered them and compared them to other belief systems? Have you honestly considered any viewpoints other than your own?

I came to my set of beliefs through a long process of study and questioning and studying matters of science and religion and philosophy. It certainly was not ingrained in my by my parents. My schools indoctrinated me but not so much that it was a permanent condition. I read too much Orwell and Rand to accept dogma without question. I still don’t. My belief system is ready to adjust to what I perceive as the truth. Even after coming to accept the Christian faith, I have adjusted many of my beliefs about God and the Bible as I have learned and read and studied. My philosophies of ten years ago are outdated in many ways now.

Now I can watch the Discovery or History or Animal Planet channels with their constant propaganda and filter out the religious doctrine from the fact. Some of you may be in the habit of swallowing all this garbage whole. I got news for ya brother, eating garbage ain’t good for yer health!

There are so many good sites to from which to glean new information on the Internet that a discriminating mind can locate serious and reliable news sources and science sources and learn thereby. Do not be afraid of those with whom you disagree, learn what they believe and consider it in the light of what you believe.

I am not a scientist per se but rather a commentator. I am an expert on world views with a background in both secular and Christian teachings. I have studied various religions. How many of you have read Robert Pirsig and Carlos Castaneda and the Boo-Hoo Bible and the Koran and the Bible and Karl Marx and…well, you get the idea. It made sense to me to learn and study what other people believe while I was seeking the “truth” as I could find it. I now understand that the “truth” is too big to wrap my brain around but I can do my best to understand all of it that I can.

The primary purpose of this blog is to make people think. My plan is that if you will think about the evidence and consider the facts available you may be at least willing to consider coming to the point of view I now share. I owe it to you to do my best to give you a chance to hear from the other side. The scientific high priests of atheism have control of the major media and the school systems. In that respect we might as well be behind the Iron Curtain with all of our information being disseminated by the Communist Party after being vetted for political correctness. My blog is the equivalent of Radio Free Europe, one of the smaller broadcasting stations but definitely part of the network.

I make no money posting this blog. I ask for no donations and have not added advertising. I am reaching out to you readers seeking no gain for myself. My relationship with my God does not demand that I post a blog and I get no “points” that will help me get to heaven and in fact do not believe that anything I do will change my final destination, it is all on Jesus Christ to save me. I am not like the Jehovah’s Witness who comes to your door in order to work his way to a supposed place in a Kingdom to come, no, not at all. Perhaps you do not understand this, but I really post this blog for your sake. I want you to know all the truth you can know and I want you to be able to clearly see the choices available to you. I want you to understand that belief in Jesus Christ is available to you. I wish for you to see that the Bible makes sense and reflects what is observed in the world today. I desire to help preserve my country and not see it torn down and remade into a socialist state. I hope to open eyes to the constant drumbeat of atheistic propaganda that underlies the Darwinist songs of the high priesthood of Naturalistic Materialistic Humanism.

(original link)

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