Is ID Just About Atheism vs. Theism?

What rhetoric? IDers claim that they’re just doing science, nothing to do with religion or atheism. That it’s a battle against atheism is supposed to be a secret. Shhhh.


OK, my bad. It was perhaps clearer in my mind. I think for rank-and-file ID folks the real driving issue is that they see atheism as a threat, and evolution is seen by them as atheism’s primary “weapon” (that and communism). So, in order to defend against atheism, they try to “disarm” the weapon by sowing doubt and poking holes. My guess is that most of them aren’t all that concerned about evolution otherwise.

What I saw in the Behe debate was that he seemed unsure of what to do when @swamidass gave a stronger Christian worldview than he was giving and Josh wasn’t grounding his argument in a defense of evolution. It seemed to throw him off. I could be misreading what happened, this is just my impression of watching the video.

I think I was just unsure of what you were saying.

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But how is “it looks more like Rushmore than Everest to me” doing science? I didn’t see a scientific argument in that debate. I saw somebody using certain scientific features of the universe to sow “reasonable doubt” in an atheistic worldview. Again, I’m not claiming any insider knowledge, etc. but when I watched the video I was thinking it looked more like a defense attorney in a courtroom rather than a scientific discussion.


What purpose does “rank and file” serve there? Are you saying that the leaders of the movement don’t see it the way the followers do? But we were talking about the leaders, weren’t we? I’d say that the leaders see it the same way; they’re just more circumspect in admitting it.

I do wonder if Michael Behe cares much about evolution. He does seem uninterested in so much of it, and his interest in the rest seems to consist only of trying to debunk it without considering any clear alternatives. Are you saying that a debate focused on religion rather than (ostensibly) on science puts him off balance?

Are you sure now? IDers say it’s a battle of science vs. science. They really think it’s religion vs. atheism. And it really is religion vs. science. (And the name of the song is called “A sitting on a gate”.)

My purpose was that I don’t know the leaders, I do know many Christians who affirm and support ID. Additionally, I don’t care as much about the leaders as the movement of people. If there is a disconnect between the leaders and ordinary folks in the “movement”, I pay more attention to the later.

I think most people who affirm and support ID think the war is religion vs. atheism, and science is the weaponry.

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It seems to me that ID’ers are not dissimilar to most (if not all) other creationists, in believing that if the theory of evolution is true, then so is atheism. That would certainly explain why ID’ers have as much a hate on for theistic evolutionists as they do for atheistic and secular evolutionists.

It is also why I fear GAE is going to have little effect in persuading creationists to accept science.


I’m not sure what you mean by “science is the weaponry”. They certainly do very little actual science, but they like to give the impression that science is all they do. Is that what you mean?

The Nature of Nature says there is a war between atheism and theism, with science as the “prize.”

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Which part of I.D.?

I can agree on a designer… and reject I.D.

Why? Because I.D. argues that it isnt metaphysics… that it is PHYSICS.

I chuckle all the way out the door.


My apologies… i thought the title of this new thread was from you!

I’m trying to point out a distinction between what the leaders say and what they think (and occasionally, when their guard is down, say), as well as between what the leaders say and what the followers say.

Be precise. Who says that, out of all the many authors represented in that book?

I think it would be fair to say that the atheism v. theism debate has played a part in the discussion around ID, although clearly evolution poses no threat to Christianity or theism in general.

I think a lot of the friction comes from the false association of science and atheism. ID has, in many ways, fallen for the trap of the Atheist Gambit where science is the only path to truth (a gambit I personally don’t ascribe to, btw). The moment ID proponents tried to make ID scientific they tacitly endorsed the false dichotomy of scientific or false. They have tried to backtrack a bit by attacking the scientific method in general, but it falls flat when they so obviously yearn for the endorsement of science. Their actions indicate that ID will only become legitimate once it is taught in science class and accepted as science.

One could say that the ID debate is theism v. atheism by way of a false proxy. This is why it is refreshing to see Christians who are capably demonstrating the root problem within the ID movement.

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And I wonder if this is where the “defending science from the creationists!” stance is maybe not as effective, because it plays into that mindset. Yes, ID can (and has) caused issues in science education. I wonder though if a more effective solution is to support a more robust conversation within the Christian community about what science does and doesn’t say, how MN works, and to work out a more robust theology of the interaction between science and faith. I think this is exactly what @swamidass is doing with GAE.


PS doesn’t endorse arguing over atheism. PS is all about evolutionary science being neutral on theism and atheism.


Arguing over I.D. is virtually the same thing.

ID is about saying that the Cambrian was done by an Intelligent Designer.


I think it would be more effective, especially coming from a Christian scientist. I doubt an atheist like myself would be taken seriously in a Sunday School classroom. :wink:

On a bit of a tangent, I also often wonder if the discussion should touch on the role of the Bible in the church. At times, it seems that some Christians worship the Bible more than they do God. I sometimes sympathize with former generations of the Roman Catholic priesthood who didn’t want their congregations to have free access to the Bible for this very reason. But as I said, that’s more of a tangent for another day . . .


Actually I think atheists scientists are indispensable to this effort. It isn’t an internal conversation we are after, but an alternate better way for Religious communities to engage with secular science.

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Design is a competing hypothesis for evolutionary hypotheses to compare against. Comparing to the null or random hypothesis only has been misleading at best. Assumptions need to be challenged.