The Ugly Face of Creationism

WE ARE sometimes asked why we blog anonymously. There’s a good reason to be found at the blog of U.S.News & World Report, which has an extraordinary article: Creation of Christian Soldiers a Chilling Sidelight of Darwin Bashing. It’s by Robert T. Pennock.

Robert T. Pennock teaches philosophy at at Michigan State University. Perhaps of more significance to our readers, he was one of the star witnesses for the anti-ID (intelligent design) side during the trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. When it comes to opposing creationism and ID, Pennock knows what he’s talking about.

Here are some excerpts from Pennock’s article, with bold added by us:

After the Dover, Pa., trial that burst the balloon of the intelligent design (ID) creationist movement, we had a few years of relative peace. But here we are amid the scientific celebrations of Darwin’s 200th birthday … having to deal with a renewed attack on science and yet another repetition of the old creationist arguments as yet another Discovery Institute urban cow-dude tries to resuscitate the dead ID horse under the guise of “academic freedom.”

We understand the exasperation. Then, after refuting some accusations that had been made about him, he says:

Contrary to Luskin’s claims, it is actually ID proponents who engage in name-calling and intimidation. ID activists are well known for rattling legal sabers and personally attacking their opponents (www.antievolution.org documents representative examples of some of the name-calling and also provides useful information that rebuts many common ID arguments). They think nothing of blaming “evolutionism” and “Darwinists” for everything from abortion and homosexuality to the killings at Columbine and more. They compare those who write against them to Hitler and Goebbels.

Indeed, the climax of Ben Stein’s ID movie Expelled blamed evolutionary science for Nazi atrocities, including the Holocaust. Stein explained the central message of the film in an interview on Trinity Broadcasting Network: The Holocaust is “where science leads you,” he opined. “Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.”

Nice guys. Let’s continue:

Following his decision against ID in the Kitzmiller case, Judge Jones received death threats. He and his family had to be put under the protection for a week by federal marshals. “If you would have told me when I got on the bench four years ago that I would have death threats in a case like this as opposed to, for example, a crack cocaine case where I mete out a heavy sentence, I would have told you that you were crazy,” Jones said in a speech about this, “But I did. And that’s a sad statement.”

There were press accounts about that. Here’s more that we didn’t know before:

When I returned home after giving my own testimony against ID as an expert witness in that same case, I found two threatening messages waiting on my answering machine. Although neither made an explicit threat, both were sufficiently disturbing that the police had to be brought in and my phone had to be set up with caller-ID as a precaution.

Aren’t creationists wonderful, loving people? Moving along:

I don’t believe that creationist activists themselves would makes such calls; no doubt such threats come from individuals who are mentally unstable. But creationist leaders regularly say things that encourages such individuals.

Pennock then cites early examples of creationists’ inciting their followers to militant behavior. We’ll let you click over to the article and read those for yourself. Here’s more:

ID creationists regularly make similar militaristic statements today; they see this not as a debate, but as part of what they call a culture war.

[…]

Philip Johnson, the godfather of the ID movement, described evolutionary biologists as being like Napoleon’s army in Moscow, “They have occupied a lot of territory, and they think they’ve won the war. And yet they are very exposed in a hostile climate with a population that’s very much unfriendly” … Following their loss in the Dover case, ID leader William Dembski wrote that the decision would “”galvanize the Christian community”; school boards and state legislators “may tread more cautiously” he said, “but tread on evolution they will — the culture war demands it!” … Elsewhere Dembski has written a call to unapologetic apologetics and martyrdom: “[T]his is our calling as Christian apologists, to bear witness to the truth, even to the point of death (be it the death of our bodies or the death of our careers).”

Here’s one last excerpt, from near the end of Pennock’s essay:

As I wrote in a recent op-ed about Expelled and the ID culture wars, it is hard to know how to respond in a civil manner to such ignorant extremism. Let me go further here: Such views (and I do here mean views, not people) do not deserve a civil response. They deserve more than disapproval and ridicule. They deserve the moral outrage of all who are friends of reason and truth.

That’s the experience of an academic philosopher who opposes creationism and intelligent design (creationism’s inbred love-child). Instead of a tranquil, scholarly life, he finds himself entangled in the nightmare world of creationism — a world where his opponents make death threats, issue calls to martyrdom, and liken his views to those of Hitler.

Teach the controversy!

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4 responses to “The Ugly Face of Creationism

  1. I’m gonna start calling them ‘militant xtians’.

  2. Stacy says: “I’m gonna start calling them ‘militant xtians’.”

    I’ll stick with “creationists.” That says it all.

  3. This just comes to show just how hypocritical creationists really are and that how are they completely no different than the Taliban, Al qaeda, and other forms of terrorists.

  4. retiredsciguy

    Reminds me of some of the things Scientologists did to a newspaper reporter who had the temerity to do an expose’ and other perceived “enemies” some decades ago — the ’70s, perhaps. Rattlesnakes in mailboxes, death threats, etc. All kinds of nastiness. Same mindset, evidently.