THIS is a very interesting development. For quite some time we’ve observed creationists operating with a “big tent” strategy as they suppress their differences and work together (more or less) to defeat evolution and most of the rest of science. As long as they remained focused on their common enemy they could cooperate, or at least support the same legislation. But what was always a shaky coalition is showing signs of some serious fractures.
The latest evidence of splintering within the world of creationism comes from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom, who posted this new article at their website: Misreading Earth’s Groanings: Why Evolutionists and Intelligent Design Proponents Fail Ecology 101.
The article appears to be theological in nature, discussing the Fall and the Curse, and their observation that our planet is now groaning “due to the devastating consequences of sin” But beneath the veneer of Genesis-based theology, the article is a bitterly partisan attack on those who fail to agree. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
But the Bible’s explanation for how and, more importantly, why nature is “groaning” is aggressively rejected, or strategically ignored, by two major groups that disparage biblical creationism: evolutionists (either atheistic or theistic), and deists (often represented by Intelligent Design proponents).
See what we mean? ICR is lashing out not only at theistic evolutionists (because they’re evolutionists) but also at the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
Interestingly, this attack from ICR comes at the very time when the Discoveroids seem to be reaching out to the Southern Baptist Convention. You will recall that we wrote Mohler v. Giberson: Klinghoffer Butts In, in which we discussed what seemed to be a genuine Discoveroid initiative extended to Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. At the time it seemed incomprehensible, but now it’s starting to make sense — political sense, that is. If the Discoveroids are losing ICR’s support (or at least acquiescence), they’ll try to outflank them by forming an alliance with the SBC.
But like ICR, the Discoveroids are also hostile to theistic evolutionists. John West recently took aim at BioLogos for that reason, as we discussed here: Workin’ in the Quote Mine. So some elements of the old big tent still survive.
These creationist feuds are too Byzantine to follow, and any alliances that get formed could quickly be dissolved if a better deal comes along. So let’s not try to understand creationist politics too deeply. Instead, we’ll read some more from the ICR article. As we do, remember: When ICR attacks “both camps” they’re talking about: (1) evolutionists (either atheistic or theistic); and (2) what they call “deists” (but they mean Intelligent Design proponents).
Both camps misread our world, failing to comprehend the scientific importance of Adam’s fall and the global curse that it triggered. As a result, explanations from both groups are fundamentally flawed when it comes to understanding real-world ecology.
Pay attention, please! ICR is telling us (and the Discoveroids) that no one can understand the world unless he comprehends “the scientific importance of Adam’s fall and the global curse that it triggered.” We continue:
Similar to deists, proponents of Intelligent Design are, in essence, “secular creationists” who refuse to publicly acknowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Creator. This is, of course, a strategy that they hope will allow them access to the secular-controlled scientific community. However, by intentionally keeping their Bibles closed, they ignore the fact and consequences of the events that occurred in the garden of Eden.
Aha! That’s the Discoveroids’ fatal flaw. Here’s more:
This “closed Bible” approach to studying nature is routinely blended with evolution-based old-earth concepts, uniformitarian geoscience assumptions, and disdain for the historical occurrence of a global flood–betraying an accommodationist compromise with evolutionary mythology.
Those wicked Discoveroids are all bound for the Lake of Fire! Moving along:
Bypassing any big-picture understanding of real-world ecology, ID scientists downplay (or deny) how Adam’s sin in Eden triggered divine judgment on all the earth (Romans 5:12). Their failure to acknowledge the biblical basis for entropy (i.e., the fallenness of man and nature that was begun in Eden) is paralleled by their pattern of denying the catastrophic impact of the global Flood (as chronicled in Genesis 6-9).
We knew the Discoveroids’ allegedly scientific theory of ID wasn’t very impressive, but we didn’t realize that when viewed from the old-time perspective of creation science, the Discoveroids’ scientific pretensions are even more horrible. Another excerpt:
Deism [which to ICR includes ID] had a similar problem with understanding how to explain the “very good” supernatural design universally displayed all throughout nature, with the equally obvious evidence of nature’s fallenness.
Attempting to explain the empirical evidence apart from Genesis 3 (or, similarly, Genesis 6-9) leaves this awkward imbalance: How can such an incomprehensibly good creation — one that points to an infinitely good and personal Creator–have traits that are imperfect, even ugly and cruel, such as dying?
Yes, those two concepts don’t work very well together other than in ICR’s theology. One last excerpt:
The focus of Intelligent Design is on how Someone intelligently and purposefully designed what we see, and on how this Someone is immeasurably superior to the best that mankind could ever achieve. Without the biblical context, it menaces the mind to contemplate the origin of and explanation for the ugliness and disharmony we see in creation.
We finally found some common ground with the creation scientists at ICR — we both have a low opinion of the Discoveroids — albeit for different reasons.
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