“Signature in the Cell” Tampa: Part 1

I attended the “Signature in the Cell” “intelligent design” creationism (IDC) event last night in Tampa, Florida. This featured Stephen C. Meyer, author of the book of the same name, Michael Medved, David Berlinski, and Tom Woodward, the event organizer and historian to the IDC movement.

I have only a short amount of time for blogging on weekdays, so this will have to be brief. I need to address the use of “IDC”, since Medved in his opening remarks called terming ID as creationism a “big lie”. More on this later, but Medved basically told the crowd that ID was not that fuddy-duddy, hick fan base 6-day creation stuff, and no one on that panel would say so. Then Tom Woodward got up, extolled the ID “big tent”, and explained that YEC people like Paul Nelson and himself were still doing fine inside the ID movement. Beyond the simple fact that Medved doesn’t know the IDC demographic, there is the fact that the sense I use “IDC” in is demonstrable. “Intelligent design” creationism deserves the label because its tactics and arguments are a proper subset of those used in promoting “creation science” or “scientific creationism” (SciCre). There is nothing to “intelligent design” other than a label change and some gilding of the arguments previously used in religious antievolution; the content of IDC demonstrates this point quite well.

OK, that will probably have to do. I’ll note that the venue was about 4/5ths full. I’ve emailed Woodward to ask for the total attendance. Medved said that it seemed to him that the event was like a political rally. No, Michael, that was a political rally. IDC is a socio-political movement, nothing more.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

5 thoughts on ““Signature in the Cell” Tampa: Part 1

  • 2010/01/29 at 9:47 pm
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    Looking forward to the full report …

  • 2010/01/30 at 9:12 am
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    Intelligent Design is not Creationism
    like
    Homeopathy is not Quackery.

    Many Creationists do not hold to a 6-day event 6,000 years ago, without denying they are Creationists.

  • 2010/01/30 at 12:12 pm
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    I’m looking forward to the full report also.

    I also have a question– in your opinion, do the leaders in the ID movement deliberately lie and deceive? Over at BioLogos, Darrel Falk and probably the other leaders there maintain that the ID folks are not liars and deceivers, just misguided. My own thought is that it’s perhaps very difficult to acknowledge that a fellow Christian would deliberately deceive.

  • 2010/01/30 at 1:42 pm
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    I think that it is hard for many advocates who push themselves as being experts whose opinion others can trust to escape the inference that are knowingly telling falsehoods. It is one thing for one IDC cheerleader to mislead another IDC cheerleader when they are just exchanging bits of ignorance. When, though, a professional IDC advocate claims to know what they are talking about and nonetheless keeps repeating the same error they’ve been repeatedly corrected on, you pretty much know that they are pulling your leg, either about the content or their pretension to expertise.

    I got into this back in 1986 because I was incensed that people like Henry M. Morris would tell falsehood after falsehood while claiming the mantle of Christian brotherhood. It seemed to me that I had to be vocal in my rebuttals to religious antievolution ideas lest my belief be taken as complicity in what those folks were doing.

  • 2010/01/31 at 11:06 am
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    Over at BioLogos, Darrel Falk and probably the other leaders there maintain that the ID folks are not liars and deceivers, just misguided.

    This is a major problem that certain Christian groups (the Biologos scientists, conservative William F. Buckley style Catholics, reform and evangelical Christians) are very reluctant to deal with. But sooner or later I think they are going to have to acknowledge and repudiate the intellectual dishonesty at the heart of the entire intelligent design program.

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