Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Accuracy in Media’s Inaccuracy

Accuracy in Media is Reed Irvine’s little cash cow, an organization that forever beats the media bias drum, all the while showing considerable bias itself. Well it seems that they have discovered the ID movement and their take on how the media handles it is quite amusing:

But those who believe in intelligent design or find gaping holes in the theory of evolution frequently encounter a hostile press. The Discovery Institute recently provided to Accuracy in Media a thick file of complaints about the way their representatives have been treated by the media, especially National Public Radio. The Discovery Institute focuses on the issue of whether there is any evidence of design in nature, rather than whether there is a designer. Still, its representatives tend to be portrayed in religious terms by the media.

Such a tactic is common operating procedure by the ACLU, which is determined to portray any alternative to evolution as religious and therefore not allowed to be taught or even discussed in the public schools.

Their argument seems to be that if the media discusses the religious nature of ID, they’re showing “bias” and it’s all part of their hostile agenda. But of course they are merely helping to support the central deceit at the core of ID, that it’s really just a question of science, no religion involved. That’s the public line used whenever ID advocates are speaking to the media. But what they say to churches and fellow travelers, of course, reveals that the public line is a lie. After all, this is a group whose governing goal, according to the Wedge document, is “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.” Let’s look at just a few quotes from some of the leading lights of ID and see if what the media is reporting is true or not:

From William Dembski

“[A]ny view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient.” (Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology, 1999, p. 206)

“Intelligent design readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.” (Touchstone Magazine, July/August 1999)

“But there are deeper motivations. I think at a fundamental level, in terms of what drives me in this is that I think God’s glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God’s glory is getting robbed…And so there is a cultural war here. Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he’s done – and he’s not getting it.” (Address given at Fellowship Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, March 7, 2004)

Explaining that angels may have been responsible for creating some aspects of life on earth: “And another thing I think we need to be aware of is that not every instance of design we see in nature needs to be directly attributed to God. Certainly as Christians we believe there is an angelic hierarchy – it’s not just that there’s this physical material world and there’s God. There can be various hierarchies of intelligent beings operating, God can work through what can be called derived intelligences – processes which carry out the Divine will, but maybe not perfectly because of the fall.” (Ibid.)

From Phillip Johnson

Admitting that not bringing up God and the bible is strictly a strategic choice: “So the question is: “How to win?” That’s when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the “wedge” strategy: “Stick with the most important thing”?the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, “Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?” and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do.” (Touchstone Magazine interview, June 2002)

“This isn’t really, and never has been a debate about science. Its about religion and philosophy.” (World Magazine, November 30, 1996)

Admitting that the entire purpose of the Wedge strategy is religious: “If we understand our own times, we will know that we should affirm the reality of God by challenging the domination of materialism and naturalism in the world of the mind. With the assistance of many friends I have developed a strategy for doing this….We call our strategy the “wedge.” (Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, 1997, pp. 91-92)

“We are removing the most important cultural roadblock to accepting the role of God as creator.” (LA Times, March 25, 2001)

“Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.” (American Family Radio, January 10, 2003)

“The subject is not just the theory of evolution, the subject is the reality of God.” (Hank Hanegraaf’s “Bible Answer Man” radio program, 12/19/2001)

“We’re not trying to prove the character of God through science. That’s a bad idea. What I’m trying to do is clear away the misunderstandings, the debris that prevent people from accepting that God who wants to accept them.” (Ibid.)

“The objective [of the Wedge Strategy] is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to ‘the truth’ of the Bible and then ‘the question of sin’ and finally ‘introduced to Jesus.’” (Church and State Magazine, April 1999)

“The Intelligent Design movement starts with the recognition that “In the beginning was the Word,” and “In the beginning God created.” Establishing that point isn’t enough, but it is absolutely essential to the rest of the gospel message.” (Forward to Creation, Evolution, & Modern Science, 2000)

From Nancy Pearcy

“By uncovering evidence that natural phenomena are best accounted for by Intelligence, Mind, and Purpose, the theory of Intelligent Design reconnects religion to the realm of public knowledge. It takes Christianity out of the sphere of noncognitive value and restores it to the realm of objective fact, so that it can once more take a place at the table of public discourse. Only when we are willing to restore Christianity to the status of genuine knowledge will we be able to effectively engage the ?cognitive war? that is at the root of today’s culture war.” (Uncommon dissent : intellectuals who find Darwinism unconvincing, 2004, p. 73)

“If the broader impact of Darwinism was to remove Christianity from the sphere of objective truth, then the broader significance of the Intelligent Design movement will be to bring it back. By providing evidence of God’s work in nature, it restores Christianity to the status of a genuine knowledge claim, giving us the means to reclaim a place at the table of public debate. Christians will then be in a position to challenge the fact/value dichotomy that has marginalized religion and morality by reducing them to irrational, subjective experience.” ( Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, 2004)

That should be more than enough for now, but I could easily go on with a few dozen more. The fact is that the IDers speak out of both sides of their mouths on this one, and that is, ironically, by design. Phillip Johnson mapped the strategy and everyone else is following it, by only speaking about the unnamed “intelligent designer” in public and in the secular media. In interviews and publications aimed at the Christian market, the disguise comes off and they’re honest about their motivations and goals. And as Phil Johnson admitted, this is all quite intentional. They’ve been coached to do this. So when the media reports on the religious motivations are they showing bias, or are they just not letting the ID advocates get away with their attempted deceit? If AIM were really interested in accuracy, the answer would be obvious.

The punchline to all of this is that the DI immediately put out a statement trumpeting AIM’s accusations of bias in the media with the headline “We’re not paranoid”. So let me see if I have this straight…you send a packet of complaints about the press daring to tell the truth that you admit to when you’re not talking to the press to another right wing group and they agree with you that it’s terribly unfair for the press to tell the truth to their readers rather than the fiction you prefer them to tell, and that proves that you’re not paranoid for thinking the press is out to get you? I’ll take ridiculous arguments for $1000, Alex.


  1. #1 OGeorge
    December 24, 2004

    Perhaps not the proper post for this, but thanks for a year of great and rational writing Ed. My very best to you and Lynn for an even better new year.

  2. #2 Ed Darrell
    December 28, 2004

    Of course, DI is terribly biased, too. They won’t allow mainstream Christians places on the panels they set up to beat their drum.

    Sauce for the goose? Well, if it’s time for goose sauce, the goose is cooked. It’s time someone put a fork in intelligent design. It’s done.