There’s a big, two-day creationist revival meeting starting tomorrow at Faith Bible Church in The Woodlands, Texas. You can read all about the event at the page the church has created for it: Reasons 2014, which says:
Are science and Christian faith friends or enemies? Do advances in cosmology, biochemistry, paleontology, and genetics undermine essential Christian doctrines, or is there in fact compelling evidence for design in nature? Join us as we explore these questions under the guidance of leading scholars specializing in the fields of intelligent design, science and faith and cultural apologetics. The goal of REASONS 2014 will be to demonstrate the beautiful compatibility and synergy of the natural sciences and orthodox Christianity.
It looks like a typical creationist — oops, intelligent design — revival meeting, but there are a couple of special things about it. First is their list of speakers. The three big names should be familiar to you. As described at the church’s website, they are: (1) William Dembski, Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture; (2) Stephen Meyer, Director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (CSC) and a founder both of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement and of the CSC, Intelligent Design’s primary intellectual and scientific headquarters; and (3) John West, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, where he is Associate Director of Discovery’s Center for Science & Culture and Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs.
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It’s an all-star lineup! But there may be more to it. At the Huffington Post, Michael Zimmerman, who is known to us because of the Clergy Letter Project, has an article titled Intelligent Design’s Final Days, in which he says that this event:
explicitly links this form of creationism to “essential Christian doctrines.” This is of particular significance because the most important talking point of those who promote intelligent design is that it has absolutely no link to Christianity in particular or to religion in general.
He quotes the event’s description, which we already gave you, and he says:
The choice is starkly presented. Scientific advances either undermine “essential Christian doctrines” or they provide evidence for intelligent design. According to the conference promoters, therefore, intelligent design is the only interpretation of scientific evidence that is compatible with their version of Christianity.
After mentioning the three Discoveroids who will be there, he concludes:
All three of these intelligent design stars are now comfortable moving away from their previous position and saying what all of us have known from the beginning: intelligent design is linked to “essential Christian doctrines.”
We’ve always known what intelligent design is — it’s creationism (the old-Earth variety). Everyone knows that, despite the Discoveroids’ incessant denials. But so what? Why is Zimmerman so excited?
The Discoveroids have these revival meetings all the time, at churches and at bible colleges. We’ve reported on a number of them, for example: Discoveroid Revival Meeting in San Diego (at a church), and also Discovery Institute Plans Another Revival at Biola (at a bible college). Sometimes they rent a space on some college campus, and promote that unfortunate institution’s name as it if were their conference, but except for their drooling fans, everybody knows better.
Does anyone doubt what goes on at those events? We’ve never attended one, but we’ve always assumed that after a few fuzzy speeches, they swiftly evolve (so to speak) into that good ol’ fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism.
Tomorrow’s event will undoubtedly be more of the same, so we don’t know what caused Zimmerman to get all worked up. It’ll be creationist business as usual. And when it’s over, and the Discoveroids shaken the sawdust from their hair brushed it off their clothes, they’ll go back to Seattle and continue to insist that they’re running a science think tank.
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