Is Intelligent Design Like Scientology?

You seriously need to catch up.

Just recently Patrick posted about Isreal: Israeli schools reported to avoid teaching evolution. I just today, I pointed you to a guy making the case in Turkey: Is Intelligent Design Like Scientology?.

If you just google around a bit, you’ll find out things worth knowing. For example ISIS is all about creationism in schools, and unlike DI they use guns to enforce it: Thank you DI for not actually waging a real war about this; I’ll take you over them any day.

Turkey is getting rid of evolution teaching in universities this year:

In 2017, Turkey announced plans to end the teaching evolution before the university level, with education Alpaslan Durmuş claiming it is too complicated and “controversial” a topic to be understood by young minds.[79].

Read more at that link. You will find that it is not a uniquely American or a uniquely Christian problem. Yes, American ID and creationism looms large, but that is just because:

  1. We live in the US
  2. US has a lot of money and influence

This was even an issue in Hong Kong that came up, when I visited a couple weeks ago.


You can only transcend your time by understanding it.

Just pointing out superficial similarities between the ID movement and prior notions of design is not transcending your time. That is what ID was doing since its inception.

You are a smart guy @Ashwin_s. Find a better way.

It is world wide and it centers on where governments and theocracies are one and the same. DI is nothing like the power and brutality of foreign regimes and theocracies.

That is important to keep 100% clear, especially when things like ISIS are raised in conversation. There is a connection, but DI would not endorse ISIS. They also are not ISIS. In the most important ways, they are not the same thing.

I don’t think the similarities are superficial. I am sure ID started out small and provincial. I also believe it started out as more of a reaction to the overt abuse of science to promote athiesm.
However, there is no reason it will stay that way. Appropriating and imitating impressive historical examples is just part of the process by which a movement reaches maturity. There is also an evolution that happens through debate and discussion (both internal as well as with critiques).

Pegging ID as a movement stuck in a local trial in the US is not correctly representing it in my opinion. And I don’t think it’s a strategy which will work for much longer. It is essentially a rhetorical strategy. I am not speaking about legal or political factors here… only about aspects of dialogue/definitions.

Certainly not. No one from DI is anything like ISIS or totalitarian regimes. DI people are fine Americans. Very good people. YECs are also good people. If we step back a little from the curture wars, we can see that we are not much different from each other. I am sure that Greg and I can watch a football game together. Me sipping a Sambuca with Pizza and him with a roadkill burger that he personally ran over himself with his pickup.


Why would that matter? There is abundant evidence that there are major differences, on just about every angle you look at it.

1 Like

Because movements “move”. They don’t get stuck in time warps. Perhaps ID today is different from what it was 20 years ago.
Why not allow the proponents to d fine ID. Redefining the movement through emotional rhetoric feeding on the fears of people is just an political strategy… and a poor one in my opinion. It’s the brute use of a position of relative power IMO.

That doesn’t change one thing I’ve said. Of course, ID has evolved since the 90s. No one would dispute this.

In what way are we redefining it with emotional rhetoric? Sounds like you are redefining my statements as emotional rhetoric. I’m just giving you that historical perspective you said you valued.

Talking about schools and courts seem to evoke a very emotional response as far as I can see from an outside perspective.
I don’t think you are using it… but the argument was not made by you.
Why not let ID folks define ID?

Sure, why not. But why is it that one organization, Discovery Institute is the epicenter of everything ID? Where are these other ID folks? Who are they?

1 Like

Doublespeak and a poor track record in this.

I am the one who determines Titles on this forum. It is fairly entertaining some of the requests I’ve gotten. I’m happy to accommodate people, but I am not willing to give out titles that, essentially, claim “I’m The Right One” or “I am Smarter Than You” or “I Am The Biblical One.” This is all unfair naming. So, we can negotiate with ID in naming, but within limits. The goal should be neutrality. That is why, for example, I do not call ID creationism, though it certainly is motivated often by creationism.

There are other versions of ID.only in different countries. For the US context, you can look at the DI. For Brazil, try the Brazilian ID conference. Or the ID center in Mackenzie university there. Other middle Eastern countries, China etc have scientists who hold to ID.
so I would expect definitions to be debated among these people.
Believe it or not there are Japanese supporters of intelligent design too. I will attach a link to heir site. I have no idea who the main people are or their credentials. But I am sure the Japanese perspective will have unique features.

1 Like

Thanks I wasn’t aware of ID in other countries.


I find this very interesting especially in the cultural perspective. I would love to see how other cultures approach the ID argument. It should give us new perspectives and hopefully expose cultural biases in the current debate on both sides.

Yes, you are right about that.

I grew up in Australia, so I am very aware of this.


Patrick, think about it. How acceptable is the argument that ID is not science because a US judge decided so in a US court based on the US constitution for an American school Board to someone who is not American?

As the the debate goes international, you would have to move beyond legal definitions and craft arguments based on history/philosophy of Science. Definitions will have to become more global and transcultural.

1 Like

Whether or not it is science is a separate issue.

I think they are ultimately right on the conclusion, but the ID arguments emphasized in biology appear to be invalid. This does much to confuse a right conclusion.

At some point I hope it will be widely recognized within ID that the best case for design arises when we ruthlessly purge all bad arguments for design. Arguing against legitimately invalid arguments, makes space for and draws attention to the good ones.


Those are both sponsored by the U.S. based Discovery Institute.

Other countries also have their share of flat Earthers and Geocentrists too. That doesn’t make flat Earthism and Geocentrism be up and coming relevant scientific ideas.

That ruling only legally keeps religion-based ID claims out of public science classes. That ID as presented now is not science is well known throughout the mainstream science community.

1 Like