ICR Attacks Discovery Institute (Again)

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.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

11 responses to “ICR Attacks Discovery Institute (Again)

  1. Curmidgeon: “It’s nice to see creationist factions fighting among themselves; but ultimately we don’t think it means very much.”

    It wouldn’t mean much if the public was aware of it. But very few outside the community of anti-evolution activists and their critcs are. Sadly, most people, including most who claim to accept evolutipon, have no idea what the Enlightenment is. Instead they often buy the “fairness” of “teachning both sides,” and even if they don’t buy creationism (as they know it) they say things like “what’s the harm, let them believe.” If they only know how deadlocked they are as to what parts of mainstream science to concede, or how they “support” any alternate claims they make, it would truly be “enlightening.” And a lot more interesting to the science-challenged than all that evidence for evolution.

    BTW, did the Discoveroids strike back at ICR, or “play dead” as usual?

  2. Frank J asks:

    BTW, did the Discoveroids strike back at ICR, or “play dead” as usual?

    I don’t recall any response. The Discoveroids have criticized BioLogos, but not ICR. That’s telling, because the “sin” of BioLogos is that although they’re theists, they’re scientists who accept evolution.

  3. Dance, puppets, dance…

    Like the old socialist maxim, “no enemy to the left”, the various flavors of creationism do not opnely criticize the more Biblically literal; they might only go so far as to privately disagree on tactics.

  4. …although they’re theists, they’re scientists who accept evolution.

    I have no beef with that, and I suspect few people who frequent this blog do. The Discoveroids may want to practice a little tolerance. It’s the Christian thing to do, according to Christians.

    It’s nice to see creationist factions fighting among themselves; but ultimately we don’t think it means very much…

    What about Divide and Conquer? Colloquially known as the Wimpy Strategy (i.e: “Let’s you and him fight!”), I’ve also seen it successfully employed in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

  5. The more that the Discovery Institute argues that ID is neutral toward religion, the smaller the big tent becomes as folks like ICR and AiG distance themselves. On the other hand, if the DI defends itself by arguing that ID advocates are, in fact, good biblical creationists, they expose the scam and undermine their wedge approach.

    It will be interesting to see how they approach this, if they choose to respond at all.

  6. magpie61 says: “What about Divide and Conquer?”

    I just don’t see it. No one cares about their theological squabbles about the age of the earth and such. The major Christian denominations are already in disagreement over evolution, and they don’t go to war over it. No one really cares. If you’re unhappy with the doctrines of your church, just switch churches and you’ll be happy. No fuss, no muss. That’s really the extent of the “science controversy.”

    The only actual problem in the real world is when they unite — as they do — to combat the teaching of science. In that context, the creationists are all together, and there’s really no way the science teachers can play off the young-earthers against the old-earthers. They’re united against evolution.

  7. Frank J makes a good point. Most people don’t know very much about the Enlightenment. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I had only the vaguest idea of what it was until I started looking at blogs like this one, which led me to do more research, and I found out how important it is. Its great to see the creationists argue amongst themselves, and if we can get all those in support of the Enlightenment to stand together we can still win 🙂

  8. Or maybe I’m just too young and optimistic, and the harsh reality will will set in a few years.

  9. maxff says: “Or maybe I’m just too young and optimistic …”

    Check out a few Gallup polls on evolution and creationism. It’ll cure you real quick.

  10. However, this practice effectively nullifies the Genesis record, functionally denying that the first book of the Bible is authoritatively relevant for explaining origins.

    Actually, denying that Genesis is relevant is not necessary. Someone first has to authoritatively show that it is relevant.

  11. ID wants to remove the religion? I thought it was pretty obvious that that was a front…