Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Wedge Boomerangs

Red State Rabble makes an astute point (i.e., one that comports with my preconceived notions) about the ID discoverist William Dembski's recent appearance in Kansas:

It may be that biblical literalists, who make up the largest potential constituency for Dembski's ideas, found that the first swallow of intelligent design theory went down smoothly enough, but the more they heard from Dembski as the evening wore on, the more conscious they became of an unpleasant aftertaste the theory tends to leave in the mouths of those who are motivated primarily by biblical literalism.

Those doubts about the utility of ID theory for those motivated primarily by a belief in young earth creationism might have been reinforced by Dembski's admission that he accepts scientific evidence indicating the earth is 4.5 billion years old and existed long before the advent of human beings.
That's exactly right, and that's why the Discovery Institute's vaunted wedge strategy has always posed a far bigger threat to Biblical literalism - and thus, to the primary market for anti-evolutionary dogmatics - than to evolution. ID's willingness to make certain tactical concessions to science set it on a collision course with young-earth creationism from the start. And as Michael Behe himself noted in Darwin's Black Box, its definitions are vague enough to leave open such naturalistic "escape clauses" as directed panspermia; thus, it provides no real support for the existence of any god, let alone a specific god like YHWH. For Biblical literalists, even the trace amount of science in ID is deadly poison.

1 comment:

Cervantes said...

Excellent point. The "creation science" and intelligent design strategies are suicidal -- as soon as they bought into the ideas of verifiability and logical argument, they aimed the gun at their own temples.