On the Use of the Term "Creationism" in Popular Debate in the Past Century or So

Hello, Ron. Your post asks a reasonable question, and I’ll try to do it justice.

I agree that the “big tent” nature of ID creates problems for many people who encounter it. They often find it confusing or even self-contradictory. As you have pointed out, some of the lines of argument of IDers who are YEC clash with lines of argument coming from IDers who accept an old earth and common descent. I’ll try to clarify as well as I can.

I divide the ID movement into three main groups:

1 – the YEC-IDers.

2 – the OEC-IDers.

3 – the evolutionist IDers.

Examples: for 1, Paul Nelson; for 2, Steve Meyer; for 3, Michael Behe.

Now, the first two of these groups consist of creationists of various types, and therefore differ from the third group on a major issue – they deny the reality of descent with modification (beyond small changes within, say, families). And the first two groups differ from each other, in that the YECs deny much of modern geology and astronomy, whereas the OECs only challenge aspects of evolutionary biology.

So, you naturally ask, why are all these groups working together?

I see ID (understood as a theory rather than as a social movement) as a branch of design detection theory; it’s part of information science, in a way, or at least related to information science. Though all of these groups offer different histories of the universe, earth, and life, they all affirm certain methods to detecting design in nature. That is what unites them, across all religious differences (attitudes to the Genesis, etc.) and historical differences (how old the earth is, whether or not evolution occurred, etc.).

The two main contentions of ID have been:

1 – on the negative side, “Darwinian”, or more generally, largely chance-driven accounts, cannot explain the presence of the amount of complex specified information, etc. that we see in living things;

2 – on the positive side, nature exhibits features that we know, from our human experience, to be within the range of power of intelligent agents.

You will see these two points reiterated in all ID literature, with various wording, in various contexts.

It’s because Nelson, Meyer, Behe, etc. agree on these two broad points that they can all work together, despite major differences among them on other matters.

Thus, I see ID theory as neutral regarding the question “creation versus evolution”, but as taking a strong stand on the issue of “design versus chance.” This is why you can have, on the same Discovery website, endorsements of books which question the evidence for the descent of human beings from apes, but also, endorsements of books which accept that view. Both types of book are promoted because both argue that, whether or not descent with modification is real, the outcomes of the the creative process (whatever it was, a series of discrete miracles or a gradual transformation of previous forms) are such that we would not expect them to occur in the absence of intelligence.

Those are who are looking for a precise historical account of what happened in the past won’t find it in ID. Indeed, this is a criticism that many creationists make of ID, that it doesn’t offer a detailed narrative about the past, as creationism does. They say that ID is great on criticizing Darwinism etc., and useful, but not really a complete theory of origins, because it refrains from giving an alternate an anti-evolutionary historical account. So for them, ID becomes a useful tool, but is not really a strong origins position.

I think this weakness, if it is a weakness, is in the nature of the beast. By limiting itself to design detection, by conducting itself as a part of information science, ID exempts itself from offering specific details of exactly what happened, at particular points of the past. It’s concerned more about the formal than the material side of “design” in nature.

Does any of this help?

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Point 1 is an argument from ignorance based personal incredulity dressed up in pseudo-scientific language. That is not acceptable when trying to make a scientific case.

Point 2 is a basic logic blunder. Because intelligence can do something isn’t evidence intelligence did do something, especially when plausible non-intelligent naturalistic pathways are available. A human designed freezer making ice isn’t evidence an external guiding intelligence created the ice on the frozen pond in the park.

Both of ID-Creationism’s main tenets as you describe them are invalid and unacceptable in science. Of course to the ID-Creationists that doesn’t matter because their goal is not to convince science, it’s to gull scientifically untrained laymen into supporting their religious based political goals.

I don’t think that’s why. It’s that they all agree on one central point (one you dance around), that God is heavily involved in creating the diversity of life. The reason they can all work together is that they don’t consider how he does it important. If ID were real science they’d be spending a lot of time testing their very different ideas. And in fact the lack of serious controversy around their differences is a good clue that the motivation isn’t scientific at all. Another is that ID consists almost entirely of attacks on evolutionary biology of one sort or another. There is no positive program.


Point 2 is predicated on our experience with intelligence. Supposedly. If ID really wanted to extend that logic, then we would presume that the designer is mortal and that there is more than one.

To use the blind watchmaker trope, if we found thousands of watches in a forest of wildly different ages (billions of years), we wouldn’t assume that one watchmaker was responsible. At least not if we were putting forth a scientific hypothesis.

It also wasn’t a hypothesis.

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Point 2 is not just a logic blunder, it is also false; our human experience does not include intelligent agents producing the natural features that IDers like to focus on (cells, bacterial flagella, immune systems, blood-clotting cascades), so we don’t know that they are within that range - they may be beyond it.


At the end of the now-terminated discussion on “What Is a Hypothesis according to…”, Jonathan Burke returned to the subject of the discussion here. He wrote:

“The actual phrase in question, “Intelligent Design Creationism”, is philologically valid as demonstrated by over 100 years of examples (which you ignored).”

This statement is incorrect. There do not exist “over 100 years of examples” of the phrase “intelligent design creationism.” The examples which J. Burke produced are for terms such as “evolutionary creationism,” not “intelligent design creationism,” which is (a) a new term, which only arose in response to the rise of ID, i.e., only arose within the past 20-25 years; (b) a term deliberately coined for polemical purposes, and deliberately coined in full knowledge that the people at whom it was aimed would not agree with the term’s characterization of their views.

“Intelligent design creationism” was never meant purely as an objective descriptor of ID. It always, from its very first usage (coming from the camp of Eugenie Scott and her friends), was intended to create an unpleasant aroma around the movement which called itself just “intelligent design.” The addition of the word “creationism” evoked, and was intended to evoke, a set of cultural associations: “Bible Belt”; “Bible thumpers”; “people without much scientific education”; “Genesis literalists”; “people opposed to science”; “people who deny common descent”; “people who think the earth is only 6,000 years old”; “people like those narrow-minded folks in the movie Inherit the Wind” and so on. Anyone familiar with how language works, how rhetoric works, and the history of origins debates in the USA knows that this was the intent of Scott and others, to evoke these associations and thus convey the impression that all ID proponents were creationists and ipso facto odious.

If Scott did not have this intent, then she would have behaved differently when Behe protested that he was not a creationist and accepted an old earth and common descent. She would have said, “I stand corrected, and from now on will qualify my usage so as to exclude my scientist-colleague Michael Behe.” She could have said that “most” ID proponents were creationists, or she could have spoken of “arguments used in common by ID proponents and creationists,” or the like. Her persistence in applying a label which she knew would mislead readers into thinking Behe and some other ID proponents denied common descent shows that her choice of words was tainted by polemical motives.

J. Burke would have us believe that a term coined in order to belittle a group of thinkers, and coined by the partisans opposed to those thinkers, automatically deserves a place as part of “standard English.” But it doesn’t, any more than any other term invented for the sake of putting a group down deserves to be called “standard English.” I wonder whether he would allow the phrase “Christadelphian heretics” as one that innocently attempts to objectively describe Christadelphianism as historically outside of orthodox Christianity, or would say that the phrase has polemical intent. Would he say that “Christadelphian heretics” was interchangeable in meaning with “Christadelphians”? If not, the application to “intelligent design creationists” is plain.

Rope Kojonen, a scholar whose work J. Burke has praised, has written an entire book about intelligent design, and has not found it necessary to brand ID as “intelligent design creationism.” The difference between Kojonen and those who speak of “intelligent design creationism” is that Kojonen is interested in clearly and precisely defining the movement and the set of ideas he is criticizing, rather than in scoring culture-war points. On blog sites like this, the majority of participants are hard-liners for one position or the other, and they are here to score culture-war points. Thus, it’s not surprising that the anti-ID folks here would not exhibit the careful, detailed scholarly analysis of Kojonen and use more qualified and less absolute language. Partisans don’t “do” nuance.

No, Robert, it wouldn’t. In fact, I cited a Jehovah’s Witnesses publication indicating that the Witnesses were within this definition! You must have missed it. And of course Reasons to Believe is an organization consciously promoting Old Earth Creationism – Creationism – and is creationist in accord with the standard usage of the term throughout the past 100 years. My examples above show that the “young earth” position, though very common among creationists since 1960, is not essential to the definition of creationism. The essential points are denial of evolution, and acceptance, based on a reading of the Bible, of the direct creation of species or at least “kinds.” The age of the earth is a detail, and creationists differ among themselves over that. You will note that only a few of the examples above specify a very young earth, which is evidence of a range of views within creationism on that subject.

As for the Discovery Institute, Discovery takes no formal stance on “creationism” and therefore the percentage of people within Discovery who are creationist or not creationist is immaterial to my discussion. But taken as individuals, many members of Discovery, I estimate the majority, would qualify as “creationists” in accord with the historical definition given above. If you want to say that most Discovery people are creationists, I won’t disagree with you. It is only if you say that all ID proponents are creationist, or if you say that ID theory is inherently creationist, that I will disagree with you.

If you want to insist on a broader meaning of “creationism” to include all who “believe that the world was created,” then you could conclude that 99.99% of ID proponents are “creationist,” but this would come at the high cost of admitting that Francis Collins and Ken Miller and everyone at BioLogos and all orthodox Muslims, Jews and Christians are also “creationist,” and then the negative connotations of “creationism” – which Eugenie Scott has always tacitly appealed to – would be lost. To sneer at ID as “creationism” would then imply sneering at Collins, Miller, and all the Christian clergy who signed the clergy letter, etc. And Scott couldn’t have afforded to slam her allies in that way. Only a definition of “creationists” that doesn’t include her Christian scientist allies and Christian clergy allies would do for her purposes. But there is no philologically consistent way of excluding Collins, Miller, etc. from “creationism” without also excluding Behe and some other ID proponents. So all she could do was slide over her inconsistent usage and hope that her readers wouldn’t catch the problem. Unfortunately for her, some of her readers are too intelligent, and too careful with words, to let her sleight of hand get by.

Interestingly, there is a Biologos forum discussion right now in response to Biologos being listed by media bias fact check as a pseudoscience organization, albeit a mild one (docile? adorable?).

Overall, we rate the Biologos Foundation a mild pseudoscience website based on ascribing evolution to the hand and workings of God, which is not known or provable.

So it seems that if you believe God had anything to do with anything, you are a pseudo scientist. Welcome to the club.


Once more you are completely failing to read what I write. I did not say there existed over 100 years of examples of the phrase “intelligent design creationism”. You appear to be referring to the information I first raised in this post. It includes these statements.

Additionally he’s only treating the common use of “creationism” and “creationist” as isolated nouns, completely avoiding the fact that they are also commonly used in adjectival noun phrases, specifically with the broader meaning that he wants to avoid. He’s also ignorant of how old terms such as “evolutionary creationism” and “creation by evolution” are, but that’s another story.

You didn’t address that. Or this.

That’s precisely why terms such as “creation by evolution”, “evolutionary creationism”, “Young Earth Creationism”, and “Old Earth Creationism”, actually predate the term “intelligent design”. I have no problem at all identifying myself as a kind of creationist; specifically, an evolutionary creationist.

Or this.

No. That’s precisely why “creationism” and “creationist” continue to be used in common terms such as “Young Earth Creationst” and “Old Earth Creationist” and “Evolutionary Creationist”, because people fully recognize that it is of use in identifying distinct parties in origins debates. No one reading those terms says “Well you’ve used the word “creationist” each time, so it’s totally unclear how they’re all different, they all look the same to me, I can’t tell them apart”. The use of the word “creationist” in those terms does exactly what it’s supposed to do; identify what they all have in common . That’s precisely how it’s used when speaking of “ID Creationism”.

You keep trying to avoid this point. It was at this point that you tried to shift the goalposts by claiming that using “creationism” with the term “evolutionary” or “evolution” was confusing, since (according to your unsubstantiated claim), these terms are mutually exclusive.

I then proved your claim was untrue.

As I demonstrated, the use of “creation by evolution” dates to at least 1973, and the use of “evolutionary creationism” dates to at least 1910, both of them predating even the term “Intelligent Design”. People have been using these terms for 100 years without any confusion.

You haven’t addressed this.

No. I did not provide those as examples of the phrase “intelligent design creationism”. You have not addressed what I wrote in that post. Here it is again.

You confined yourself to the use of the word “creationism” by itself, whilst totally ignoring over 100 years of the use of the words “creationist” and “creationism” in adjectival noun phrases.

  1. Young Earth Creationism.
  2. Old Earth Creationism.
  3. Intelligent Design Creationism.

Nor have you addressed what I wrote in a previous post. Here it is again.

I read what you wrote. I have already pointed out these facts.

  1. Your analysis was confined strictly to “usage of “creationist” and “creationism” (when these terms are used without an adjective in front of them)”. This immediately skews the results.
  2. You did not mention that “creation by evolution” has been used since at least 1873.
  3. You did not mention that “evolutionary creationism” has been used since at least 1910.
  4. You did not mention that “intelligent design creationism” is a widely used term, and has been used since at least 1996.

Why did you not mention these facts?

Nor this followup post.


Here’s what you did say:

Given this sentence, a normal English reader would take it that the “over 100 years of examples” were examples of the use of the phrase “intelligent design creationism.” If this is not what you meant by the sentence, then you wrote awkwardly and unclearly.

Correct, and that confinement was deliberate. It is such usage that has drilled into the minds of North Americans who follow origins debates a certain meaning of “creationism” – a meaning which they tend to hear immediately when they hear the word – unless there is a context which warns them to adjust that meaning.

If they see the phrase “evolutionary creation,” then they have such context and such a warning. Given that “evolution” and “creationism” are so commonly opposed, they have to stop and think for a minute, and then can figure out that “evolutionary creation” means “creation through an evolutionary process,” i.e., what up until recently was usually called “theistic evolution.”

When they see the phrase “ID creationism” or “intelligent design creationism,” they do not have such a context and warning, because it is very clear to them that the people who coined the phrase and constantly use the phrase do not mean “creation through an evolutionary process” or “theistic evolution.” It is very clear to them that the people who use the phrase mean that ID is anti-evolutionary and “creationist” in the sense they are accustomed to hearing.

So your desperate attempt – to prove me wrong by arguing that putting any phrase whatsoever in front of the word “creationism” changes the meaning in a crucial way – fails. The phrase “intelligent design creationism,” as employed by the vast majority of the people who use it, does nothing more than specify yet another brand of “creationism,” where creationism is clearly meant to imply: (a) anti-evolution; (b) primarily religious, specifically Christian and Bible-based, motivation. In other words, the “creationism” within the phrase “intelligent design creationism” remains the “creationism” I defined above (on the basis of actual usage rather than on the basis of my preferences). Sticking the qualifier “intelligent design” in front of “creationism” doesn’t alter the cultural aroma of the new compound – and that aroma is exactly what Scott and her gang intended to convey. She wanted everyone who read her phrase to imagine that ID was at bottom just more of Morris and Whitcomb, and she knew that “creationism” would bring up the image of a mob of fundamentalists singing “We’ll hang Bert Cates from a sour apple tree” (from the widely-seen film Inherit the Wind).

Because it’s irrelevant to the point I was making. Neither the NCSE nor the people here (such as Faizal Ali) mean “creation by evolution” when they use the phrase “intelligent design creationism.” They mean that in intelligent design theory, creation is not by evolution. Usually they mean that in intelligent design theory, God “poofs” new kinds into existence.

Because it’s irrelevant. Scott and Faizal Ali do not use the phrase “intelligent design evolutionary creationism,” nor do they mean that “creation” for ID proponents is “evolutionary.” See the previous point.

It’s “widely” used only by a particular group of culture warriors (mostly internet geeks) amounting to about .01 per cent of the North American population, and it’s used polemically and with malice aforethought. It’s deliberately and willfully inaccurate, as it conveys the impression that all ID proponents are anti-evolution (which is empirically falsified by many counterexamples), and it conveys the impression the ID as a theoretical position is both anti-evolutionary and dependent on Biblical revelation, both of which are false.

Further, you didn’t answer my example above: If, starting around 1996, “Christadelphian heretics” became “widely used” by a group of active internet posters and travelling university lecturers as a replacement for “Christadelphian,” would that fact that this substitution was a new social reality make the label a fair one to describe Christadelphians? Or would you protest the addition of a word which, in your view, was (a) incorrectly applied and (b) applied for polemical and partisan motives, to make people dislike or distrust Christadelphians? Would you ask that people simply refer to “Christadelphians” when naming or identifying your group? Would you be reasonable to do so?

Good gravy. Is Eddie still bellyaching because no one accepts the silly claim his preferred meaning of “Creationist” is the only correct one? :roll_eyes:


I already quoted that, remember? I quoted it in full, whereas you initially did not.

Sorry, no. The sentence explicitly cites a statement I made in a previous post. I even linked to it for your convenience. That’s the context of that statement. Deliberately ignoring that context, is not what the average intelligent reader would do.

Oh yes it was definitely deliberate.

Sure, they do, because ID is neutral on evolution, remember?

Where is the evidence that this is what they will automatically think? How can you prove that it will be “very clear to them” what the people who “coined the phrase” intended it to mean? I don’t even know who coined the phrase, so how would they know?

Yes. Because it is. It’s a kind of creationism just as Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, and Evolutionary Creationism are. All of those three views are identified as “creationism” despite the fact that only one of them accepts creation. So it is perfectly clear that the average person is entirely capable of understanding that when “creationism” is placed at the end of an adjectival noun phrase like this, it doesn’t necessarily mean “6,000 year old earth”, or “literal interpretation of Genesis”, or “evolution denial”. These three positions have the same thing in common with each other, as they have in common with ID. That’s why all four positions are rightly described as “creationism”, and self identified, at that.

This demonstrates that not only have you totally forgotten the original context of that statement I made, you didn’t even bother to click on the link I provided to remind you of why I wrote it. This is what I wrote.

  • You did not mention that “creation by evolution” has been used since at least 1873.
  • You did not mention that “evolutionary creationism” has been used since at least 1910.

I wrote that explicitly in the context of your claim that it is long established that “creationist” and “creationism” are terms which are incompatible with acceptance of evolution, and specifically your claim that these terms have always conveyed “the belief that macroevolution did not happen, that instead all the basic types of living creature were created directly by God, that the Biblical story of creation is Genesis 1 was intended historically and is essentially historically accurate, and that science must conform to the Genesis account”. Very clearly there is over 100 years of evidence proving your claims are untrue.

A particular group of culture warriors and Internet geeks, like the people who publish in peer reviewed scholarly literature, including scientific journals and works published by OUP? What a joke. I notice you provide no evidence for your claims, as usual.

Of course it would. Christadelphians are heretics by definition. How is it that you know so little about theological terminology?

For those interested, this is why ID is identified as another form of creationism.

  1. Scientific creationism is one of the intellectual antecedents of the intelligent design movement.
  2. The designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God.
  3. Intelligent design can be described as Special Creation.
  4. Persons who believe that the earth is billions of years old, and that simple forms of life evolved gradually to become more complex forms including humans, are “creationists” if they believe that a supernatural Creator not only initiated this process but in some meaningful sense controls it in furtherance of a purpose.
  5. cdesignproponentist.

We’re talking about the usage and intentions of Scott, etc., not the usage and intentions of the ID proponents. The ID people say that ID is neutral on evolution. But it has always been the position of Scott and the NCSE that the ID people are lying about that, and that ID is really anti-evolution. So when she says “intelligent design creationism,” she means that intelligent design is a brand of creationism, a close relation of OEC and YEC, which like them rejects evolution.

Note that ID people never call ID “intelligent design creationism.” They do not regard ID as a brand of creationism. They regard it as a set of arguments for the presence of design in nature. It’s compatible with creationism, but it’s not creationism. Their own term for their own movement is “ID” not “ID creationism” and that term should be respected.

False on two counts. First, “evolutionary creationism” is not “creationism,” as that term is normally used in American discourse. Evolutionary creationism, as the term is mostly used these days, is acceptance of evolution (meaning the wholly naturally-caused process described by modern biologists) accompanied by a pious gloss that God is somehow, in some way, associated with or remotely responsible for evolution (and frequently accompanied by tart replies that the question how God is involved is impertinent). It also denies that Genesis is even approximately literally-historically true regarding origins, and thus flies in the face of all known forms of creationism. “Evolutionary creationism” is thus a subdivision of “evolutionism”, not of “creationism” – again, as those two terms have been generally used in popular discourse – as I have repeatedly qualified, despite your deafness to the qualification.

Second, ID, as its proponents define it, is not a form of creationism. The distinction between ID and creationism is many times explained in ID writing, including articles posted on the Discovery website. You either refuse to read them, or you fail to understand the clearly articulated distinctions that they make.

But it isn’t – by the people who invented the name “ID”. That word is imposed on their own name by people hostile to their theory.

No, ID is not self-identified as creationism. It is identified by its enemies as creationism.

Big deal. For every one time that you can find the phrase “evolutionary creationism” in popular discourse from 1910 to 1990, you can find “creationism” without the adjective probably 10,000 times – and virtually always with the meaning I have identified. I am talking, again, about general usage in American popular discourse, not rare usage.

I don’t know that I said “always”; I was trying to show the overwhelming general usage of the term “creationism” when used alone, not claiming that there were never isolated exceptions. If I ever said “always”, change it to “the vast majority of the time.” With that qualification, I have accurately recorded what most people have meant by, and understood by, “creationism” when used on its own.

The most natural way of taking the phrase “intelligent design creationism” would be “a form of creationism involving the assertion of intelligent design.” But that is not what ID is. ID is a set of arguments for intelligent design in nature; none of its arguments depend on any premise derived from creationism. Therefore, the phrase is misleading. And the point is that the misleading is deliberate.

Yep, almost all culture-war geeks, with possibly a very small minority of the usage coming from non-geeks who have picked up the usage of the geeks uncritically. And I notice that you have provided no evidence for your claim that the term is used in “scientific journals” and “works published by OUP.”

Yes, they are heretics by definition, if historical orthodoxy is the standard against which heresy is measured. But since you think that historical orthodoxy is on many points actually an erroneous interpretation of Christian faith, I’m surprised that you would defer to the traditional usage of these terms, instead of calling for their abandonment. After all, “orthodoxy” means “right view” or “right opinion” and you do not think that mainstream Christianity has the “right opinion.” Indeed, since you uphold the Christadelphian view of Christianity (minus later accretions from fundamentalism that you deplore), from your point of view, the Christadelphian view is more entitled to the label “orthodox” than traditional mainstream Christianity is.

In any case, I did not ask you whether the judgment that Christadelphians were heretics could be historically justified. I asked you whether you would find it acceptable if the term “Christadelphian” by itself vanished from the English language and was in every case replaced by “Christadelphian heretic” or “Christadelphian heresy”. Would you not find that replacement to be somewhat prejudicial, and would you not think the motivation for such a replacement partisan and mean-spirited? Would you not think that the people behind that replacement were deliberately trying to convey the sense that there was something wrong about Christadelphian belief, that Christadelphianism was a kind a religious disease that ought to be avoided?

There’s a palpable rhetorical difference between saying: “Christadelphians believe X, which I judge to be a heresy,” and “Christadelphian heretics believe X.” The first formulation admits to a process of reasoning by which the judgment of heretic was reached, whereas the second formulation treats the judgment of heresy as a fact, and from a rhetorical point of view seeks to close down discussion prematurely. I would never routinely refer to Christadelphians as “Christadelphian heretics” – even though I believe that their heretical status can be demonstrated. I would not put my judgment into the name that I call them. I would respect their choice regarding the name by which they ask to be called.

This is what should be done with ID. ID should be called “intelligent design” because that is what its proponents call it. That does not stop anyone from saying that they personally believe that ID is really creationism, and giving reasons for that. I have nothing against anyone saying, “The theory of intelligent design asserts X, and I believe that this is a form of creationism, because [clear definition of creationism following]…” That is quite different, rhetorically, from saying “intelligent design creationism affirms X” – for the reason I explained above. If you can’t perceive such subtle differences, and how they are used for culture-war purposes, then it would appear that in your Classics undergrad, you did not study what used to be a standard part of Classics, i.e., the study of Rhetoric.

Hegel is one of the antecedents of Marxism, but that doesn’t mean that Marxism is Hegelianism. Plato is one of the antecedents of Aristotle, but that doesn’t make Aristotelianism Platonism. Silent films are the cultural antecedents of talkie films, but that doesn’t make talkie films silent films.

False. You know perfectly well that there are ID proponents who worship the Jewish God, the Muslim God, Krishna, etc. There are also agnostic ID proponents who offer no idea who the designer might be. Why do you perpetuate a falsehood?

Intelligent design is compatible with special creation; “can be described as” is false, for reasons of both syntax and contents.

Not in the typical usage of American popular debates of the past hundred years; I established that empirically.

Which appeared in a book originally written by creationists, the first version appearing before the ID movement had defined “intelligent design theory,” with the version employed by the Dover board being published by an entity other than Discovery.

So you’ve given five inadequate reasons for identifying ID as creationism.

The theory of intelligent design asserts there is irreducible complexity in nature, and I believe that this is a form of creationism, because creationism is the belief that God, by any means, directly and purposely intervened in nature to bring about developments which could not have happened by incremental or solely natural means.

You were actually talking about what people would think when they read “ID creationism”. You claimed they would read it in a particular way because they knew who coined it and why. You provided no evidence for either of these claims.

Do you understand why they think ID is really anti-evolution?

Is she though? And how do you prove that’s what people automatically think when they read “ID creationism”?

Of course they don’t, because they don’t want it associated with religion. They want people to think that it’s science. They can’t get it into school science curricula unless people are convinced that it’s science.

Bait and switch. Evolutionary creationism is “creationism” as the term “creationism” is commonly used in an adjectival noun phrase in American discourse, and as it has been used for the last 100 years or so.

I have quoted ID definitions many times on this forum. As I have pointed out previously, those definitions do not draw a distinction which differentiates ID creationism from YEC, OEC, and EC. The creationism is what ID has in common with the creationism of YEC, OEC, and EC.

You’re saying that the people who invented the name “ID” are incapable of understanding that when “creationism” is placed at the end of an adjectival noun phrase like this, it means a particular, qualified form of creationism?

ID has been identified as creationism by certain ID proponents, including some of the earliest, and some of the founders of the movement.

Irrelevant. That’s like saying there’s no such thing as OEC, because you can find “creationism” without the adjective “probably 10,000 times”.

But as I have pointed out, neither YEC, OEC, EC, or ID creationism, use the term “creationism” alone. They use it in an adjectival noun phrase which qualifies its meaning.

Evidence please.

Oh you weren’t aware? Here are a few to get you started.

Barnes, Ralph M. “The Arguments for Creationism and the Arguments for Evolution: A Study in Contrasts.” Skeptic (Altadena, CA), 22 September 2018. The Arguments for Creationism and the Arguments for Evolution: A Study in Contrasts - Document - Gale Academic OneFile.
Cleaves, Anna, and Rob Toplis. “In the Shadow of Intelligent Design: The Teaching of Evolution.” Journal of Biological Education 42.1 (2007): 30–35.
Coyne, Jerry. “When Science Meets Religion in the Classroom.” Nature 435.7040 (2005): 275–275.
Forrest, Barbara. “Still Creationism after All These Years: Understanding and Counteracting Intelligent Design.” Integr Comp Biol 48.2 (2008): 189–201.
Kern, William Travis. “Intelligent Design and Creationism in Our Schools” 1 (2014): 5.
Kutschera, U. “Designer Scientific Literature.” Nature 423.6936 (2003): 116–116.
Nakhnikian, George. “It Ain’t Necessarily So: An Essay Review of Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives.” Philosophy of Science 71.4 (2004): 593–604.
Padian, Kevin. “Waiting for the Watchmaker.” Science 295.5564 (2002): 2373–74.
Sarkar, Sahotra. “Sober on Intelligent Design.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83.3 (2011): 683–91.
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We are heretics by definition of the very word “heretic”.

You might not be aware that “heretic” doesn’t mean “theologically in the wrong”.

I know, which is why I said nothing about whether the judgment that Christadelphians were heretics could be historically justified. You’ve really confused yourself this time. You spent so long arguing against something I never said, that you’ve convinced yourself that I did say it, and now you’re returning to the original topic as if it was me who went offtopic, when it was actually you.

No that is not what you asked. Are you really unable to remember what you wrote just a couple of hours ago, or is this yet another case of you goalpost shifting? This is not remotely comparable what you’re complaining about with regard to ID, since the term “ID” by itself has not vanished from the English language and been replaced in every case by “ID creationism”, nor is anyone calling for this. Your non sequiturs get worse and worse.

I don’t care which of these people say. Christadelphians are rightly described as heretics, just like Lutherans and the Reformed churches.

Are you disagreeing that scientific creationism is one of the intellectual antecedents of the intelligent design movement?

Why do you say that it’s false to say “The designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God”?

Then why does a book described by the Discovery Institute as setting forth “the modern theory of ID” exclusively use the term “Special Creation”?

So you disagree with the statement that persons who believe that the earth is billions of years old, and that simple forms of life evolved gradually to become more complex forms including humans, are “creationists” if they believe that a supernatural Creator not only initiated this process but in some meaningful sense controls it in furtherance of a purpose?

Yes, creationists who literally re-labled their creationist views as “Intelligent Design”. That’s how Intelligent Design came to be; it’s just literally relabeled creationism.

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Why? When Behe introduced the term “irreducible complexity” into ID literature, he clearly explained it as essentially an engineering term, related to the structure and operation of organs or systems. He was describing what he saw in nature, not saying anything at all about God or creation. See Darwin’s Black Box, first edition, page 39.

I think you are confusing “irreducibly complex systems are found in nature” with “the origin of irreducibly complex systems cannot be explained without reference to acts of miraculous creation.” Asserting only the former does not make one a creationist. And as for the latter, Behe at any rate has never explicitly said that miracles (as opposed to design) would be necessary.

Again, as the term “creationism” has generally been used in popular discussion for the past hundred years, the two recurring elements are: (1) denial of evolution; (2) appeal to the Bible, especially Genesis. Behe does not deny evolution, but affirms it, and he never appeals to the Bible. So he is one ID proponent whose arguments are not creationist. He of course believes in a Creator – he is a Catholic Christian – but as I indicated in my article, the sense of “creationist” in these popular discussions has almost always meant something more specific than “I believe there was a Creator.” If the only requirement for being a creationist is believing in a Creator, then Ken Miller, Francis Collins, and a whole bunch of other people who would not like being referred to as “creationists” are creationists.

Not to nitpick, but I have spent my life in engineering, and whatever else the term “irreducible complexity” may be, it is not to be found anywhere in any discipline of engineering.

To quote Nikki Haley “I do not get confused”. Well, not here anyways. I do not accept that there is, in the larger picture, the distinction being pressed, which I regard as an artificial and arbitrary boundary.