The gods must be crazy if they call this intelligence, Sydney Morning Herald, August 5, 2006, Deborah Smith. [Review of "Unintelligent Design: Why God isn't as smart as she thinks she is," by Robyn Williams, Allen & Unwin: Sydney, 2006] Continued from part #8.
[Graphic: IDists, as metaphysically panicked Darwinists like Williams perceives them to be!]
An atheist, Williams fondly remembers when scientists and people of faith often discussed their viewpoints at length on the radio, reaching a friendly agreement that "science could look after most of the 'how' questions, while religion would handle the 'why' ". For starters, ID is not "religion". ID is "science" and is therefore concerned with the "how" questions. As Dan Peterson points out, "The capture of science ... by materialist philosophy was aided by the hasty retreat of many theists. ... who duck any conflict by declaring that science and religion occupy non-overlapping domains ... `Science asks how; religion asks why":
"With the mighty technology spawned by science in his hands, man could exalt himself, it seemed, and dispense with God. Although Darwin was by no means the sole cause of the apotheosis of materialist science, his theories gave it crucial support. It is perhaps not altogether a coincidence that the year 1882, in which Darwin died, found Nietzsche proclaiming that `God is dead...and we have killed him.' The capture of science (in considerable measure) by materialist philosophy was aided by the hasty retreat of many theists. There are those who duck any conflict by declaring that science and religion occupy non-overlapping domains or, to use a current catchphrase, separate `magisteria.' One hears this dichotomy expressed in apothegms such as, `Science asks how; religion asks why.' In this view, science is the domain of hard facts and objective truth. Religion is the realm of subjective belief and faith. Science is publicly verifiable, and is the only kind of truth that can be allowed in the public square. Religion is private, unverifiable, and cannot be permitted to intrude into public affairs, including education. The two magisteria do not conflict, because they never come into contact with each other. To achieve this peace, all the theists have to do is interpret away many of the central beliefs of the Judeo-Christian tradition. This retreat makes some theists happy, because they can avoid a fight that they feel ill-equipped to win, and can retire to a cozy warren of warm, fuzzy irrelevancy. It also makes materialists happy, because the field has been ceded to them. As ID advocate Phillip Johnson remarks acerbically:Politically astute scientific naturalists feel no hostility toward those religious leaders who implicitly accept the key naturalistic doctrine that supernatural powers do not actually affect the course of nature. In fact, many scientific leaders disapprove of aggressive atheists like Richard Dawkins, who seem to be asking for trouble by picking fights with religious people who only want to surrender with dignity.' [Johnson, P.E., "Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1997, p.101]"(Peterson, D., "What's the Big Deal About Intelligent Design?," The American Spectator, December 22, 2005. Emphasis original)
But as Peterson continues, "That's what's different about intelligent design. ... It is making scientific claims about the real world. ... Rather than retreating to the gaseous realm of the subjective, it challenges the materialist conception of science on its own turf. ... the materialist worldview is at stake, and the materialists know it. And that's why intelligent design is such a big deal" (my emphasis):
"But the ID theorists do not go gentle into that good night. That's what's different about intelligent design. ID says that the best evidence we have shows that life is the product of a real intelligent agent, actually working in space and time, and that the designer's hand can be detected, scientifically and mathematically, by what we know about the kinds of things that are produced only by intelligence. It is making scientific claims about the real world. Because it relies on objective fact and scientific reasoning, ID seeks admission to the public square. Rather than retreating to the gaseous realm of the subjective, it challenges the materialist conception of science on its own turf. It thus threatens materialism generally, with all that that entails for morality, law, culture -- and even for what it means to be human.' ... If so, the materialist worldview is at stake, and the materialists know it. And that's why intelligent design is such a big deal." (Peterson, Ibid.)
The tactics of the intelligent design movement, however, remind him of the deviousness of Stalinist bullies he observed as a young man. For "tactics" and "deviousness" see previous part #4 on "psychological projection," i.e.:
" a defence mechanism in which one attributes ("projects") to others, one's own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or/and emotions. Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted subconscious impulses/desires without letting the ego recognize them." (Wikipedia)
And a `minor' point is that these "Stalinist bullies" were presumably atheists like Williams, not advocates of "intelligent design"! Their leader, the atheist Joseph Stalin, killed ~20 million people, but all that ID is killing is Materialism and its creation-myth, Darwinism!
It really is astonishing the effect that ID has on materialists, when they feel "the shaking of a worldview he had always assumed to be unchallengeable." Johnson calls "this sad condition," "metaphysical panic." He observes that "Persons suffering from metaphysical panic tend to lash out in impotent rage while making wildly illogical arguments":
"I think we should feel sorry for Jerry Coyne. His own work has contributed to the destruction of Darwinism, and he seems to be suffering from a condition I call metaphysical panic, resulting from the shaking of a worldview he had always assumed to be unchallengeable. Persons suffering from metaphysical panic tend to lash out in impotent rage while making wildly illogical arguments. I encounter regularly." (Johnson, P.E., "Wedge Weekly Update," April 23, 2001. Access Research Network)
In the US its power has been used to erase evolution from science textbooks, to undermine museums and to misrepresent science. Williams needs to take a reality check (to put it mildly). Apart from the fact that "evolution" has not been erased "from evolution from science textbooks" for decades (if it ever was) and today is in every major biology textbook, ID has certainly not erased "evolution from science textbooks." In fact ID's policy is that "Schools Should Teach More About Evolution Not Less"! Nor does ID "undermine museums." However, if "to misrepresent science" in Williams-speak means to expose the many problems and philosophical assumptions of Darwinian "science," then ID enthusiastically pleads guilty!
And the public is falling for it. If the public is falling for ID, they will fall for it even more when they read the fallacious and hysterical arguments against ID in William's book!
In an age "dominated by powerful men causing misery in the name of God while insisting that theirs is the only way", Williams should first consider the beam in his own atheistic eye (Matthew 7:3-5), namely the "powerful men causing misery in the name of" there being no "God while insisting that theirs is the only way", i.e. "between 85 million and 100 million" victims of atheist regimes in the 20th century alone:
"Everyone would agree that some religious people do some very disturbing things. But the introduction of that little word `some' to Dawkins' argument immediately dilutes its impact. For it forces a series of critical questions. How many? Under what circumstances? How often? It also forces a comparative question: how many people with anti-religious views also do some very disturbing things? And once we start to ask that question, we move away from cheap and easy sniping at our intellectual opponents, and have to confront some dark and troubling aspects of human nature. .... But when atheism ceased to be a private matter and became a state ideology, things suddenly became rather different. The liberator turned oppressor. ... Unsurprisingly, these developments tend to be airbrushed out of Dawkins' rather selective reading of history. But they need to be taken with immense seriousness if the full story is to be told. The final opening of the Soviet archives in the 1990s led to revelations that ended any notion that atheism was quite as gracious, gentle, and generous a worldview as some of its more idealistic supporters believed. The Black Book of Communism, based on those archives, [Courtois S., "The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1999] created a sensation when first published in France in 1997 ... Communism was a 'tragedy of planetary dimensions' with a grand total of victims variously estimated by contributors to the volume at between 85 million and 100 million ... One of the greatest ironies of the twentieth century is that many of the most deplorable acts of murder, intolerance, and repression were carried out by those who thought that religion was murderous, intolerant, and repressive - and thus sought to remove it from the face of the planet as a humanitarian act. Even his most uncritical readers should be left wondering why Dawkins has curiously failed to mention, let alone engage with, the blood-spattered trail of atheism in the twentieth century - one of the reasons, incidentally, that I eventually concluded that I could -no longer be an atheist". (McGrath, A.E., "Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life," Blackwell: Malden MA, 2005, pp.112-114. Emphasis original)
scientists and believers need to work hand-in-hand, says Williams. While they may disagree about how the Earth was made, they can still agree that it, and all its wonders, need to be protected. Agreed, but it is not easy for "believers" to "work hand-in-hand" with "scientists" who declare falsely that the "believers" in ID of are part of "a politically sinister movement, a form of terrorism," whose "means are devious, the arguments deceitful" and whose "tactics ... remind him of the deviousness of Stalinist bullies"! But atheists like Dawkins and Williams, with their extremist attacks on ID, are "gifts to the intelligent-design movement":
Why the intelligent design lobby thanks God for Richard Dawkins, The Guardian Madeleine Bunting, March 27, 2006 ...The curious thing is that among those celebrating the prominence of these two Darwinians on both sides of the Atlantic is an unexpected constituency - the American creationist/intelligent-design lobby. Huh? Dawkins, in particular, has become their top pin-up. How so? William Dembski (one of the leading lights of the US intelligent-design lobby) put it like this in an email to Dawkins: "I know that you personally don't believe in God, but I want to thank you for being such a wonderful foil for theism and for intelligent design more generally. In fact, I regularly tell my colleagues that you and your work are one of God's greatest gifts to the intelligent-design movement. So please, keep at it!" ...
because the public (including the next generation of scientists) is going to consider which side is offering solid scientific evidence and arguments to support their position, and which side is reacting with "the dishonorable methods of power politics," employing "propaganda and legal barriers to prevent relevant questions from being asked," relying "on enforcing rules of reasoning that allow no alternative to the official story," choosing not "to confront the best critical arguments" but "caricature them as straw men," which only "makes it apparent that they are afraid to encounter the best arguments against their theory":
"In the final analysis, it is not any specific scientific evidence that convinces me that Darwinism is a pseudoscience that will collapse once it becomes possible for critics to get a fair hearing. It is the way the Darwinists argue their case that makes it apparent that they are afraid to encounter the best arguments against their theory. A real science does not employ propaganda and legal barriers to prevent relevant questions from being asked, nor does it rely on enforcing rules of reasoning that allow no alternative to the official story. If the Darwinists had a good case to make, they would welcome the critics to an academic forum for open debate, and they would want to confront the best critical arguments rather than to caricature them as straw men. Instead they have chosen to rely on the dishonorable methods of power politics." (Johnson, P.E., "The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2000, p.141).