We all enjoy those rare instances when one creationist faction publicly criticizes another. We’ve documented a few of these (see: Creationism: A House Divided Against Itself).
This time the attacker is the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Who are they attacking?
ICR is criticizing 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).
As our title suggests, this isn’t the first time ICR has attacked the Discoveroids. We wrote about an earlier episode a year ago: Discovery Institute Attacked by ICR. This time it’s even better, because ICR is attacking the Discoveroids’ wedge strategy. The full text of that nefarious manifesto can be read here: The Wedge Document. We recently discussed it in What Is “Critical Thinking”?
Okay, that’s enough introduction. ICR’s article is titled The Failed Apologetic of the Wedge Strategy. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Is it possible to profess confidence in God’s Word, yet act like the Bible is not authoritatively relevant? Yes, according to the Lord Jesus Christ, who was confronted with that very situation when He called into question the public professions and practices of the Pharisees. He called their behavior “hypocrisy.”
Let’s skip over the scripture lesson and read on:
In other words, the Pharisees followed popular culture rather than treating the Scriptures as the authoritatively relevant Word of God.
Okay we get it — the Pharisees were hypocrites. But where do the Discoveroids fit into this? We continue:
During the 1700s and early 1800s, following the secular influence of the Enlightenment philosophers, a closed-Bible approach to studying earth history became popular in certain professedly Christian academic circles. While insisting that the world of nature be studied apart from biblical revelation about nature, these Christian academics displayed obvious hypocrisy toward God’s Word — “It is God’s Word, but look here at what we discovered in nature.”
Yes, the Enlightenment philosophers decided to concentrate on verifiable evidence, instead of blindly accepting ancient authority. Creationists (whether young-earth or old-earth) don’t like the Enlightenment; they like Authority — evidence be damned! That’s how creation “science” works.
Now, finally, ICR turns its attention from the Pharisees and the Enlightenment to the Discoveroids:
In our time, founders of the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM) employed the “wedge” strategy, an approach to design-focused science that intentionally uses a closed-Bible approach to investigating earth history and origins, with a goal to remove “religion” from academic discussions in order to prove that science “naturally” exhibits design. However, this practice effectively nullifies the Genesis record, functionally denying that the first book of the Bible is authoritatively relevant for explaining origins.
Aha! ICR accuses the Discoveroids of denying the relevance of Genesis. We know why the Discoveroids do this — they hope to wiggle around the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. But by pretending to ignore Genesis (in favor of their imaginary design theory), they’re denying the only reason there is to reject the theory of evolution. The Discoveroids’ legal strategy makes them rebels without a cause — or rather, they’re rebels who do have a cause, but it’s a cause that dare not speak its name. Here’s more:
Accordingly, IDM’s closed-Bible approach is just as flawed and disappointing as the approaches used by the geoscientists of the early 1800s — those same old-earth geoscientists who provided a uniformitarian platform for Charles Darwin’s natural selection theory.
ICR says the Discoveroids are just as bad as those pioneering geologists whose work encouraged — gasp! — Charles Darwin. Strong criticism indeed! Moving along:
The Wedge strategy of IDM, as a form of apologetics, disappoints on several serious grounds.
We’ll skip that, although it has its interesting moments. Then they say this:
Admittedly, movements like Intelligent Design, which essentially take the characteristics of religious deism, do occasionally post “gains” for God’s natural revelation (e.g., showing biology’s “irreducible complexity”). But the price paid for these gains is a net loss, because it gives the appearance that God’s Word is not needed and, thus, not authoritatively relevant to origins science — and nothing is more false than that.
“Irreducible complexity” is a gain? BWAHAHAHAHA! Here’s ICR ‘s conclusion:
Past and present deistic approaches to origins science have not been, and can never be, apologetic strategies that aim to defend biblical truth. Rather, the closed-Bible approach is a “wedge” that separates God’s special revelation from His general revelation, an unbiblical idea with tragic consequences, casting doubt on the Bible’s relevance and authority.
It’s nice to see creationist factions fighting among themselves; but ultimately we don’t think it means very much. They all hate the Enlightenment, and science — especially evolution — so they’ll still stick together against their common enemy whenever they can.
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