Are you a devoted disciple of Darwin?

I’m about to find out if I am…

…it says “Only scores close to zero indicate someone outside Darwin’s thrall.

Is 21/40 close to zero? Probably not. Apparently I’m within Darwin’s thrall.

Although since the test consists mostly of deciding which of two clearly wrong statements is the least wrong, I don’t think the result means much.

A couple of specific criticisms:

  1. The question about free will may be backwards as well as irrelevant
  2. I wasn’t expecting a question about English lit. I really wasn’t expecting a question that requires Jane Austen to have had a time machine.

The only firm conclusion I have reached from this exercise is that William Dembski is an idiot who doesn’t understand logic, science, evolution or the application of polling techniques.


Organisms, while highly complex, are fundamentally no different from humanly constructed machines.#

Organisms are essentially different from humanly constructed machines.

I selected what Dembski considers to be the non-Darwinian answer here. Humanly constructed machines are intelligently designed. Organisms are not.

Should THIS thread by merged here:

Those comments have been merged here. Carry on!

Sure just merge them.

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This is the level of illogic expected of IDs.

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Poor Billy has produced this question in a long line of fatuous false dichotomies, as part of his “Darwin Devotion Detector” questionnaire:

Just look at the sheer insanity of it.

*With thanks to @dsterncardinale’s youtube channel where I spotted this.
*PS: The title is clickbait, calm down!


In cases like this I find the flat earth test instructive. Just substitute “spherical earth” for “Darwinism” and see what sense it makes.

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Hi Rum
If you took this test and aside from the weakness of the questions selected the answers that best described your position where would you come out?

No, it’s that he’s a dishonest hack. He knows exactly what he’s doing here.


But maybe he does understand right wing propaganda techniques.


It’s actually worse than this. I tracked down the “disparage or denigrate” quote – it does not come from Jones’ ‘ruling’, his order giving “declaratory judgement” at the end of his decision, it comes from a section of his prior discussion where he foreshadows his eventual order, and what it actually says is:

… we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID.

[My emphasis]

So Jones was not ruling “that it is illegal to ‘disparage or denigrate’ Darwinism in public schools” (restricting free speech), on the contrary he was ruling that it was the School Board’s ‘compelled speech’ restriction on free speech and “creating a [School Board]-imposed ideology” that was illegal.

Dembski is condemning Jones for doing the exact opposite of what he actually did.

I do not think it would be unfair to call Dembski a bald-faced liar for this.

This and similar acts of dishonesty is why I condemn the Discovery Institute as a den of charlatans (it is hard to bring to mind a prominent member of that institution that has not similarly been caught out).

Given the DI’s central and near-ubiquitous role in the ID movement, it is hard to see how that movement will ever garner any credibility until after the DI is dead and buried.


Gotta love the blurb at the end:

Bill is an active researcher in the field of intelligent design.

I guess we have very different definitions of “active” and “researcher.”


Well, he knows exactly what he’s trying to do here - which seems to be to tell ID fans what their views should be and reinforce their false notions. But he’s doing it really, really badly.

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Poor Billy has produced this question in a long line of fatuous false dichotomies, as part of his “Darwin Devotion Detector” questionnaire:

Just look at the sheer insanity of it.

*With thanks to @dsterncardinale’s youtube channel where I spotted this.
*PS: The title is clickbait, calm down!


Much like a bad case of Gaper’s Block, I find myself reading William Dembski nonsense like this despite knowing that it is going to infuriate me and make my blood pressure increase. Then I remind myself that Dembski created a fart-machine website after the Dover trial in order to pour sixth-grader type mockery on Judge Jones and famous “Darwinists.” It is not like there is a high probability that his anti-evolution arguments will become more sophisticated and sound over time.

I usually try to critique people’s arguments and not claim to read minds and know their intent. But as @Puck_Mendelssohn and many others on this forum have stated many times, it gets extremely difficult NOT to assume that people like Dembski—especially with his twin doctorates in philosophy and mathematics—fully understand and nevertheless deliberately and dishonestly deploys their well-worn logic fallacies, false dichotomies, and outright lies.

As a Bible-affirming Christ-follower who considers most of the published Intelligent Design theory to be mediocre (and worse than mediocre) philosophical musings masquerading as science, I’m particularly irritated by these often quoted nuggets from the mind of William Dembski:

Intelligent design opens the whole possibility of us being created in the image of a benevolent God.

No. The “whole possibility” of people being created in the image of God was enthusiastically discussed for millennia before a struggling Seattle think-tank (originally founded to address and advocate public policy, especially Puget Sound area mass transit) “struck gold” by changing their emphasis to right-wing politics and pseudoscience.

The job of apologetics is to clear the ground — to clear obstacles that prevent people from coming to the knowledge of Christ. And if there’s anything that I think has blocked the growth of Christ as the free reign of the spirit and people accepting the scripture and Jesus Christ, it is the Darwinian naturalistic view.

He needs to think better and much harder. Misrepresentation, outright lies, atrocious logic, woeful ignorance, and childish antics including fart-machines are much bigger roadblocks.

I’m fine with the uninformed people I know who affirm ID simply because they assume that it means that God created everything and did so in an intelligent manner—and that the result is a fascinating universe which science can explore. And I do realize that there are ID advocates with solid scientific academic credentials and careers who are not guilty of the worst behaviors of some of the most prominent ID celebrities. But I do wish they would do more to flag and disavow the behaviors of people like William Dembski.


Hi Roy
I scored myself by 1. agreeing with the design answer 2. agreeing with the darwinian answer 3. not agreeing with either answer.

  1. 22 votes
  2. 2 votes
  3. 16 votes

The question you should ask yourself is whether a “Darwinian” would actually agree with any significant percentage of the “Darwinian” answers. The test is almost entirely built on strawmen.


I’ve posted my answers to the quiz on my blog, as well as some thoughts on the quiz itself. Dembski seems to think of “Darwinism” as some sort of secular religion, rather than as a scientific idea.

Am I a Darwin Devotee? Taking the Dembski Quiz - Better Right Than Happy


Huh. I also decided it might be worthwhile to provide my answers and commentary. Now I’m curious how much we overlap.

My overall results were:
“Darwinian”: 10
Not “Darwinian”: 16
Abstain: 17

Yes, I know those add up to more than 40; I chose both answers a few times. Yes, I am at least as disappointed as you that they don’t add up to 42 either.


@Faizal_Ali, I enjoyed your critique of Dembski’s quiz and share your amazement at his strange ideas and strategies. I also appreciated this comment under a Youtube video reacting to Dembski’s nonsense:

There’s so many strawmen in this document [i.e., Dembski’s quiz] it scared all the crows away in a 10km radius.

Of course, Dembski doesn’t care if none of it makes sense. He is preaching to the choir that donates to ID “research.”

Meanwhile, Dembski’s quiz shows no sign of intelligent design.