Even More on ID/Creationism

Professor Gerald Coyne has an excellent six page story on Creationism/ID in the TNR, some of which I will excerpt:

Why all the fuss about a seemingly inoffensive statement? Who could possibly object to students “keep[ing] an open mind” and examining a respectable-sounding alternative to evolution? Isn’t science about testing theories against each other? The furor makes sense only in light of the tortuous history of creationism in America. Since it arose after World War I, Christianfundamentalist creationism has undergone its own evolution, taking on newer forms after absorbing repeated blows from the courts. “Intelligent design,” as I will show, is merely the latest incarnation of the biblical creationism espoused by William Jennings Bryan in Dayton. Far from a respectable scientific alternative to evolution, it is a clever attempt to sneak religion, cloaked in the guise of science, into the public schools…

Given the copious evidence for evolution, it seems unlikely that it will be replaced by an alternative theory. But that is exactly what intelligent-design creationists are demanding. Is there some dramatic new evidence, then, or some insufficiency of neo-Darwinism, that warrants overturning the theory of evolution?

The question is worth asking, but the answer is no. Intelligent design is simply the third attempt of creationists to proselytize our children at the expense of good science and clear thinking. Having failed to ban evolution from schools, and later to get equal classroom time for scientific creationism, they have made a few adjustments designed to sneak Christian cosmogony past the First Amendment. And these adjustments have given ID a popularity never enjoyed by earlier forms of creationism. Even the president of the United States has lent a sympathetic ear: George W. Bush recently told reporters in Texas that intelligent design should be taught in public schools alongside evolution because “part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought.” Articles by IDers, or about their “theory,” regularly appear in mainstream publications such as The New York Times…

It is clear, then, that intelligent design did not arise because of some long-standing problems with evolutionary theory, or because new facts have called neoDarwinism into question. ID is here for only one reason–to act as a Trojan horse poised before the public schools: a seemingly secular vessel ready to inject its religious message into the science curriculum.

Read the whole thing– it is a fascinating description of the chronology of events and the flaws in ID/Creationism.

None of his story, however, gets to why ID/Creationism is being pushed by certain segments of society. On Nightline Wednesday, Ted Koppel had George Will and Cal Thomas on, and they provided the best description for the “Whys?”

Why did President Bush make his ID remarks?

TED KOPPEL: All right. Let me – let me bring George into the same question. Why do you believe that the President has taken a stance on this?

GEORGE WILL: Well, let me apply Occam’s razor to that question and give the simplest answer that comes forward. I think he believes it. I would be amazed if the President did not believe in intelligent design because this President believes in a providential view of history. That is, he believes that events, wars and other developments are infused with God’s purposefulness. This is not an eccentric belief. If you read the 16th President, Abraham’s second inaugural, it’s full of the idea of providential history. Once you subscribe to that, infusing purposefulness and benevolence, if you will, into the evolution of species is a piece of cake. The critics of the teaching of evolution, the adherence to -intelligent design do not, as I understand it, question that the species do evolve. It is the postulated mechanism that they object to. They say that it is purposeful and benevolent, as God is, and not cruel and random. It’s not nature, red in tooth and claw.

And why is there a renewed attempt to infuse science with faith:

TED KOPPEL: Why can this not, even from a political point of view, Cal, simply be set aside in the context of saying, whether or not we want to say that evolution is God’s doing or random design, however you want to describe it, nevertheless, we have an obligation to try and figure out how it happened?

CAL THOMAS: Well, Ted, I think it could be if it was seen as a stand-alone issue. But taken together with school prayer, same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, the Terry Schiavo case, it is a general feeling that everything that a lot of God-fearing, tax-paying, flag-waving, patriotic Americans care about is taken away. It’s being taken away by the courts and by the wider culture. So, standing alone, this might not have had the resonance that it does. But taken together with all of these other things, I think that’s where the problem lies.

TED KOPPEL: So, part of this, George, is about science but most of it, really in the final analysis, is about politics?

GEORGE WILL: It’s about cultural anxiety. It’s about a sense of being marginalized and disrespected by certain groups. It’s a worry about the coarsening of the culture. All of these may be, to varying degrees, legitimate worries. They have absolutely nothing to do with the scientific puzzle of explaining the mechanism that produced us.

I regret I can not provide the entire transcript for you, as it is available only via Lexis-Nexis, but I think Will and Thomas are absolutely right- were the religious right not fighting pitched battles on every front, and, perhaps, losing many of these skirmishes in the Culture Wars, this would not be an issue. The world is changing, many feel alienated and marginalized, and thus, we have these Quixotic rear-guard actions in battles that in all likelihood have already been lost.

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48 replies
  1. 1
    TylerDurden says:

    John I think you’re right, except for the fact that Thomas is saying the exact opposite. He’s saying the liberals are taking everything away. That would of course be because of all the power they wield right now.

  2. 2
    Defense Guy says:

    TylerDurden

    Take a look at the issues Cal mentions and then tell me which side the RR has come out on the ‘winning’ side of.

  3. 3
    KC says:

    John, I think you sum it up well. Also, just for anyone interested in the history of creationism, Ronald Numbers (History Prof. at Univ. of Madison), The Creationists, is a pretty academic book but thorough. He covers creationism from the 19th century up through the early 90s. Also, probably the best refutation I’ve seen of the new ID creationist arguments is Robert Pennock’s (Philosophy Prof. at Texas A&M), Tower of Babel. He gives Phillip Johnson, the legal-minded leader of the new ID creationist movement, a new asshole. Just a couple reading tips for those interested.

  4. 4
    Walker says:

    While these may be the reasons for the current religious right’s push over ID, there is some reason to believe that its larger appeal is a reaction to the “academic left”. In Sokal’s 1997 book Fashionable Nonsense, he suggested that the relativism of modern academia would lead to a weakening of the political authority of science.

    Between the left-leaning relativists of academia and the right-leaning reletavists of modern politics, sometimes I wonder if we aren’t seeing a whole scale attack on the Enlightenment.

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    “He’s saying the liberals are taking everything away. That would of course be because of all the power they wield right now.”

    That was my take too. The liberals are practically an unlected dictatorship. The population doesn’t agree with them on anything but they have the courts and the media behind them, and one way or another they seem to run out public schools. And they have to have their way on absolutely everything, whether it be the orignins of life, prayer in school, the homosexual agenda, everything. Where does it end?

  6. 6
    Jim Allen says:

    Re: “It’s about cultural anxiety. It’s about a sense of being marginalized and disrespected by certain groups. It’s a worry about the coarsening of the culture. All of these may be, to varying degrees, legitimate worries. They have absolutely nothing to do with the scientific puzzle of explaining the mechanism that produced us.”

    Exactly the same thing can be said of the “other side”. The culture of scientific and academic progress, of intellectual curiosity, of challenging and expanding the mind and our understanding of all that surrounds us, is under serious attack by people who can’t be bothered to think, and who take the easy way out, positing a “deus ex machina” explanation that explains exactly nothing. Their “proof” of their view is to take excerpts of philosophy and metaphor from a book that was written centuries ago by people who didn’t even understand the mechanics of rainfall and present them as “facts” that refute scientific principals that have withstood (and been modified by) methodical testing and thorough and ongoing review.

    This is intellectual laziness at its worst, and it’s spreading from the top town.

  7. 7
    jg says:

    he liberals are practically an unlected dictatorship. The population doesn’t agree with them on anything

    The population agrees with them quite a bit. why do you think conseervatives are trying so hard to get you to stop listening to liberals? There’s a very good reason why you are all being trained to be dismissive of anything that might possibly contain a liberal opinion. You’d probably agree with it if you actually heard it. Maybe not but they can’t take that chance. Same as muslim countries outlawing any teaching of christianity.

  8. 8
    KC says:

    “Liberals are practically an unelected dictatorship,” really? Is that true? Or, DougJ, is that you pretending to give us a good example of how paranoid conspiracists think? When I visit Atrios, DKos, take your pic of liberal sites, I see a lot of people crying over the rise of the conservative right and the fall of Democrats. Just look at this post from DKos today and tell me where you see the “unelected dictatorship.”

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    KC, I liked that post from Kos. It is good to read something from the other side to see that they have many of the same problems and concerns. I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m demonizing liberals sometimes. I do realize that many — okay, most — of you are good Americans who want the best for their families. But I still think you’re wrong about most issues.

  10. 10
    TylerDurden says:

    I think what Cal and Defense Guy are missing the same point, it’s not the liberals it’s the general population. This admin has proved it’s strong enough to push just about anything through congress. Well what about the items on the RR agenda? When 60+ percent of the American public are not in your court it’s not gonna happen.

  11. 11
    docG says:

    When is the expiration date on the “liberal boogyman” ploy? For our conservative friends, could you please name one thing in your personal lives that you cannot do because of the evil liberals?

  12. 12
    DougJ says:

    “For our conservative friends, could you please name one thing in your personal lives that you cannot do because of the evil liberals?”

    Have prayer in school, get a gun without waiting three days, shield our children from the filth in the media…when do you want me to stop?

  13. 13
    Orogeny says:

    One thing that I never hear is that fact that the Creationism/Intelligent Design vs. Evolution debate disappears once you get past the high school level. As far as I know, other than at a few fundamentalist institutions (Bob Jones and Liberty come to mind), there aren’t any reputable colleges or universities that would even consider including ID in their biology programs. I work at a small Methodist-affiliated liberal-arts college and our BY faculty would laugh at anyone who suggested that they incorporate ID or Creationism into their classes. I have a friend who is a Biology prof at a Southern Baptist-affiliated university and his reaction, when asked about ID and Creationism, was that such topics were confined to their Philosophy department, except for a once-a-year debate that they had “just for fun.”

    To me, this says more than anything else about the validity of ID as science.

  14. 14
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    Hey, DougJ, you can have prayer in your religious school. Just keep it out of my public school. You don’t like the filth on TV? Me neither, so I don’t own one.

    And you left out the worst part, which is because of liberals you are so tempted by those shameless hussies without their burqas.

  15. 15
    Defense Guy says:

    TylerDurden

    He’s saying the liberals are taking everything away. That would of course be because of all the power they wield right now.

    So the snark was just put in there for no purpose then eh? The idea that the argument is foolish because they ‘have all the power’ is not the one you were trying to make. I get it, or at least I get that you would rather just have your words stand for whatever is convienant at the time.

  16. 16
    Daniel B says:

    School prayer – Students have a right to pray in school, just as long as the school administration does not organize it. At my high school, Christian students gather weekly in front of the school in the mornings and pray around the flag pole. Nothing wrong with that.

    Gun with a waiting period – Patience is a virtue. Would you rather wait three days to get your gun or allow criminals to get guns in their hands due to insufficient background checks?

    Filthy media – The culture is a reflection of the American people. I am a capitalist. Are you? If certain genres sell, then more will be produced. Supply and demand. I can bet you that more Christian films will be produced in the wake of the mega success of “Passion.” That is how WE impact our culture and the media. Its called capitalism. “Desperate Housewives” is just as popular in the heartland as in NYC so don’t pretend that the conservatives don’t consume and encouage the same programming and culture. The media filth is neither a liberal or conservative product, its an American product.

  17. 17
    metalgrid says:


    Have prayer in schools

    I recall they still have prayers in certain schools. You might want to sent your kid to one of them.


    Get a gun without waiting 3 days

    I can sympathize with this.


    Shield our children from the filth in the media

    Why are your children partaking of the media without parental oversight? You are a negligent and bad parent if you don’t have every channel blocked on your TV other than Fox.

  18. 18
    docG says:

    “For our conservative friends, could you please name one thing in your personal lives that you cannot do because of the evil liberals?”

    Have prayer in school, get a gun without waiting three days, shield our children from the filth in the media…when do you want me to stop?

    I believe everything you mentioned are in the public domain, not private. You and I can pray privately all we want, I have owned guns for almost 40 years and can get new ones with little problem. My wife and I raised three children and limited their media watching, with admittedly some effort to keep the trash out. Sorry, the argument doesn’t wash. Some liberals severely overplayed their hand, I’ll agree (political correctness run amok, for example), but overall I am free to live my life as I choose and so are you. The conservatives major problem politically is not liberals, it is the inability of the social and fiscal conservatives to work together. Face it, the liberals are long out of power.

  19. 19
    MJS says:

    They say that it is purposeful and benevolent, as God is, and not cruel and random. It’s not nature, red in tooth and claw.

    Prove it. Why, when an invisible deity is removed from an uproveable assertion, does “nature” suddenly become empty and cruel? Nature is neither: it simply is. It’s up to humans to decide what is acceptable and what isn’t. People who celebrate ID do not–I repeat–do not trust or believe in god per se–they believe in a version of a god, one where “goodness” reigns and “badness” is projected onto the shadow, or the other, or liberals or brown people or whatever is handy. It is a dogma that takes no responsibility for behavior but asserts that we are guilty of some hideous ancient crime, and all that is natural is “fallen.” To not understand the building blocks of your own mythos is a core problem of true believers: I want to win the lottery, but I don’t have to make you believe that I will.

    I assert that understanding the world is different from what you “believe” the world is, and this is another difference between “that which can be measured” and “belief.”

    btw: DougJ: if your child wants to pray in a public school (and you know how those kids want to pray) there is nothing to stop him or her from performing this private, ritualistic act. Also, shut off the TV if it bothers your sensibilities: television exists as a vehicle for advertising, and when you have it on for your children you are exposing them to an IV drip of pure marketing. Television exists so that you and yours will continue to watch television, nothing more. When a big story breaks, TV is there, when nothing is happening, TV is there. It is omnipresent, but when you turn it off it it’s just another piece of furniture.

    Lastly: Is waiting three days for a gun so awful? Itchy trigger finger?

    +++

  20. 20
    JohnD says:

    DougJ, filth is not the fault of the media. Even if you shut down every T.V. and newspaper outlet in America, you will not be able to shield your children from it. Why? Because there will always be that friend of theirs who teaches them the dirty words, or sneaks them into their dad’s porn collection.

    The best you can do is a parent is to talk openly and honestly about “filth” with you kids. Chances are, they already know more than you think they do. Your kids are going to learn dirty words and see dirty pictures. What matters is not whether they are exposed to them, but how they react when they are. That is your job as a parent.

    There is a tendency in this country to expand the definition of the word “child” in regards to “filth” (whoever gets to decide what that is). Conservatives are always screeching about “shielding my kids from indecency” and then you find out their “kids” are 20 year old college students. It’s ridiculous. Yes, there is an age below which some concepts can be damaging if not fully explained, but at age 13 most American children know all of even the dirtiest words and sex acts. Some of faster among them have even performed some of these. Parents don’t like to think about that, but it is true. It is reality. It has been reality since before “the media” and will be into eternity. What matters is that you, as a parent, take the responsbility of preparing your children to handle it maturely.

    Also, what is the use of prayer in school? How does it help them learn a trade? I went to Catholic schools my whole life and we said prayers in school and even had full semester courses on the Old Testament. At the end of the day, I was at a competitive disadvantage with my peers in college because instead of studying computer science, I took religious classes. The one good thing to come of this education is that I know the Bible and I know that it can be a very dangerous tool in the hands of warmongering, bedroom invading conservatives who pick and choose which rules apply to us and which apply to them. Talk about an unelected dictatorship!

    Also, what’s the big deal about waiting three days to get a gun? I have a wait a few days for a prescription to be filled. I had to wait through long lines and a driving test to get my driver’s license. I had to wait over a month for my financing to go through so I could get my house. Which one of these do you suppose are more important for building a strong, healthy society? A gun is a product, just like any other product. It shouldn’t be a matter of great import to cut your waiting time down for buying a product.

  21. 21
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Have prayer in school,

    Your kids can pray in school all they like. The school just can’t compel students to pray. So really, you’re complaining that you can’t force prayer on everybody. Which is a stupid thing to complain about.

    get a gun without waiting three days,

    GUN STORE CLERK: Sorry, pally, there’s a three-day waiting list.
    HOMER SIMPSON: Three days?!?!? But I’m angry now!

    shield our children from the filth in the media

    Wait, you want the government to do part of your job as a parent? And here I thought conservatives were all about “personal responsibility” and “small government” and such.

  22. 22
    jmh says:

    Jerry Coyne does provide a why in The New Republic article:

    The real issues behind intelligent design–and much of creationism–are purpose and morality: specifically, the fear that if evolution is true, then we are no different from other animals, not the special objects of God’s creation but a contingent product of natural selection, and so we lack real purpose, and our morality is just the law of the jungle.

    At least that is what I thought that part was providing.

  23. 23
    KC says:

    DougJ, I wasn’t suggesting that you were demonizing me or anybody, I was just pointing out how unlikely it was that liberals are some kind of “unelected dictatoriship.” They’ve lost multiple elections in a row and even here in California, seem confined to the coasts mostly. Yeah, there are Democrats elected from the Central Valley, where I’m from, but they aren’t really liberals. I’d bet a lot of DKos folks would have big problems with some of them. My point, as a conservative Dem, is that even within the Democratic party, liberals aren’t the force they used to be.

    As for cultural issues, etc., I think you’re probably right. A lot of people don’t like gay marriage, a lot of people don’t like abortion. But there again, in many states, gays can’t get married (even California has civil unions, not marriages); in many states, it’s very difficult for women to get abortions. I just don’t see the “unelected dictatorship” of liberals.

  24. 24
    TylerDurden says:

    Defense Guy – my argument has not changed. Despite what pundits would want you to believe, the reason there are no changes on abortion, prayer, creationism, right to die, etc., is not because of liberals in congress. They clearly have no power. This administration has more power than a White House has seen since FDR. But what does it do about this issues? Talk tough and then sidestep action. Bush can get up out of bed and fly across country to sign a Shaivo bill but once things turned well hey it’s out of his hands. He jammed a big pork sandwiches of a highway bill through congress but can’t get anything on the floor about prayer in school? Then an Easter ham of an energy bill gets through, but still nothing on right to die. And then they get CAFTA thorugh with Republican congressman still icing their arms from all the time spent akwardly behind their back but not one constitutional ammendment against gay marriage. Seems as if it’s easier to blame it on the liberals than on the facts.

  25. 25
    Defense Guy says:

    Seems as if it’s easier to blame it on the liberals than on the facts.

    In this back and forth, only you have blamed it on the liberals. I have made no such claim.

  26. 26
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    Perusing Free Republic for a few minutes would lead one to the immediate conclusion that any Intelligent Designer is pretty fucking stupid. I read one earnest pro-ID poster state that evolution just had to be false because, get this, he couldn’t figure how men and women had evolved at the same time.

    Also, male nipples. Your honor, the prosecution rests.

  27. 27
    Caroline says:

    I’m surprised that Cal Thomas and other fundamentalists don’t get W to enact and ID law like they did a Terri Schiavo law. Or maybe they will just put a codicil in the next spending bill which mandates it.

  28. 28
    TylerDurden says:

    One thing about this whole “prayer in school” thing which dovetails into the “religous symbols” argument as well. If Muslim kids wanted to take time out and face the east while chanting and touching their head to a mat would Sean Hannity be holding vigil outside a school until it happened? If a prominent judge who happened to be a Rabbi decided he wanted a big monument with some of the 603 commandments left over in the Torah, would Ann Coulter bust out a column defending it? Let’s get it clear, when the media talks about “freedom of religion” in schools and public it means “freedom of Catholics and Protestants”.

  29. 29
    Defense Guy says:

    Jimmy Jazz

    The same argument could be made, just as dishonestly about evolution as proxy for abiogenesis and it’s advocates over at DU. Let us rather ignore those people and deal with the issues without lie.

  30. 30
    Don says:

    Only Cal Thomas could find some way to use Shiavo and homosexuality as a reason to question evolution. Personally CT is what makes me question evolution, though the idea that he was inflicted on us explicitly is equally bad.

    Jerry Coyne does provide a why in The New Republic article:

    The real issues behind intelligent design—and much of creationism—are purpose and morality: specifically, the fear that if evolution is true, then we are no different from other animals, not the special objects of God’s creation but a contingent product of natural selection, and so we lack real purpose, and our morality is just the law of the jungle

    It’s so pathetic the degree to which some people of faith lack any depth and/or flexibility in their belief. If every living thing on earth comes from the same stock and development isn’t it all the more an honor to have a creator expect us to try to be more, behave better, honor each other? If we are pious and pure without ever resisting temptation that’s better than if we turn our backs on filth/misbehavior/capri pants?

  31. 31
    metalgrid says:

    Mr. Don,
    If that were the case, they would feel inferior to atheists who figured out how to be good, loving human beings without a god promising eternal damnation if they weren’t.

    But for all the pontification and generalizations we do, I’m sure there are plenty of reasons that will never be brought up until some of these people sit down with a psychiatrist for a few years.

  32. 32

    There is a sense in which “The liberals are practically an unlected dictatorship” line rings true. The world is changing, and the pace of change is too rapid for some folks. We have all this new-fangled technology, longer lifespans, 100 channels of cable TV, birth control pills, foreigners all over the place, electricity, hybrid cars, telephones that you can take anywhere, Innernets, and even nucular power plants. The old-time wisdom that was good enough for granny and them doesn’t have much of a following any more, and sometimes people quoting Bible verses are scorned and ridiculed. Oh lordy, them damn libruls are taking over ever last thang, what’s a God-fearing Christian to do?

    In some sense, technical and social change is always “liberal” as it liberates people from constraints and pushes society toward greater liberty. The unelected liberal dictatorship is the geeks in labcoats that are making all this happen.

    So naturally, some people want to slow things down, and that’s where the ID nonsense comes from.

    But there’s about as many lefties who are scared of change as righties, if the truth be known; the lefties want us to stop using oil and get back to bicycles and organic apples.

    Change is scary, but there’s no alternative.

  33. 33
    jg says:

    Let’s get it clear, when the media talks about “freedom of religion” in schools and public it means “freedom of Catholics and Protestants”.

    Lets not pretend these people are any friendlier with Catholics than they need to be. Funny how they thought Kennedy would be a shell through which the Vatican ran the US. Now they think its OK for the pope to tell Catholic politicians to excomunicate themselves if there voting doesn’t obey catholicism.

  34. 34
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    The same argument could be made, just as dishonestly about evolution as proxy for abiogenesis and it’s advocates over at DU. Let us rather ignore those people and deal with the issues without lie.

    Fair enough, but my point stands: if you really believed in a creator who fashioned man “in His image”, that doesn’t exactly fill me with awe for that creator given the result.

  35. 35
    Jimmy Jazz says:

    Switch that blockquote.

  36. 36
    tBone says:

    Fair enough, but my point stands: if you really believed in a creator who fashioned man “in His image”, that doesn’t exactly fill me with awe for that creator given the result.

    Great. Thanks to you, God is going to smite the Internet to correct his image problem. Now what the hell am I supposed to do at work all day?

  37. 37
    Tina says:

    Tyler, there are actually 613 commandments (248 positive “thou shalt” and 365 “shalt not”)

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrar.....tzvot.html

    OT: I’ve always been entertained by fundies who bemoan the decline of “traditional values.” The 613 are as traditional as you can get, and there are many many people who live their lives around them. Try getting a coherent explanation of why some of the rules went out the window (i.e. ham & cheese is OK) and some are the basics of human civilization (no icky gay stuff; if you need a laugh, try pointing out that under a literal reading of Leviticus, lesbianism is just fine).

  38. 38

    The Internet was inspired by God, working his miracle through the mind of Al Gore (just so’s we’d all know it was a miracle.) No way is the Big Guy gonna smite it.

  39. 39
    jg says:

    Maybe we haven’t yet evolved to His image. Let that rattle around in the creationist brain for a while. :-)

  40. 40

    Yup. BTW, Creation Science and Intelligent Design aren’t the same, but they’re both descended from a common ancestor.

  41. 41
    Allan Ire says:

    You wouldn’t publish the entire Nightline transcript, because it shows that even the penultimate Conservative George Will believes that “Intelligent Design” is an affront to human intelligence and spirit. It would also show how you are perpetrating lies of commission by your ommissions.

  42. 42
    Robert says:

    My opinion is that the fundamentalists attacks against science are a wholesale assault upon the gains of the Enlightenment and the whole Scientific Revolution.

    These are uneducated and maybe even brainwashed folks who have never looked through a telescope or a microscope, imo. Maybe they hold a magnifier up to their bible pages.

    Intelligent Design is Garbage. Who designed the Designer ?? Maybe Philip Johnson can answer that.

    “The ficticious “Designer” is none other than the Christian God of their Bible. What a deceitful plot by the fundamentalists to inject religion into science classes.

    If a God exists then something greater than Him must have created him. Who designed the Designer?

    The proponents can’t answer that and become annoyed whenever the question is asked.

    “The Designer” has to be described and have an origin for the fantasy to have any weight, imo.

    Robert

  43. 43
    tBone says:

    You wouldn’t publish the entire Nightline transcript, because it shows that even the penultimate Conservative George Will believes that “Intelligent Design” is an affront to human intelligence and spirit. It would also show how you are perpetrating lies of commission by your ommissions.

    Um, if this is aimed at John, you are waaaaay off-base. Go back through his posts for the past couple of weeks and it will be very clear how he feels about ID. (Hint: he ain’t too fond of it.)

  44. 44
    MJS says:

    … the lefties want us to stop using oil and get back to bicycles and organic apples.

    Darn those hippy organic apples! And we had come so far!

    +++

  45. 45
    tBone says:

    I for one would welcome the return of organic apples. I keep chipping my teeth on these new-fangled bionic ones. They make a cool sound when they run, though.

  46. 46
    AlanDownunder says:

    Daniel B

    School prayer – Students have a right to pray in school, just as long as the school administration does not organize it. At my high school, Christian students gather weekly in front of the school in the mornings and pray around the flag pole. Nothing wrong with that.

    Is the graven image lowered for the occasion?

  47. 47
    Larry says:

    Fundamentalists believe that humans are godlike creatures with animalistic tendencies that must be repressed.

    Rationalists believe that humans are animals with godlike tendencies that must be encouraged.

  48. 48
    Music Man says:

    I am always amazed by advocates of school prayer… Would they be so quick to support prayers if they began:

    “Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee….” or

    “Blessed are You, HaShem, our God, King of the Universe, Who formed man with intelligence…” or

    “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” or

    “Oh! Goddess Saraswati, my humble prostrations to thee, who are the fulfiller of all wishes…” or

    “Hail, Satan, Lord of Darkness, King of Hell, Ruler of the Earth,God of this World!”

    It makes a big difference who is leading the prayer.

    We can only allow children to decide for themselves what prayers are right for them (if any) and allow them to do so without persecution. And lets be honest, folks, so long as there are tests, there will be prayers in schools!

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