Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Dembski Admits to Being a Creationist

There are few things you can to to get an ID proponent more riled up than call them a creationist. The Discovery Institute screams bloody murder at the notion that ID is creationism and that ID advocates are creationists:

1. “Intelligent Design Creationism” is a pejorative term coined by some Darwinists to attack intelligent design; it is not a neutral label of the intelligent design movement.

Scientists and scholars supportive of intelligent design do not describe themselves as “intelligent design creationists.” Indeed, intelligent design scholars do not regard intelligent design theory as a form of creationism. Therefore to employ the term “intelligent design creationism” is inaccurate, inappropriate, and tendentious, especially on the part of scholars and journalists who are striving to be fair. “Intelligent design creationism” is not a neutral description of intelligent design theory. It is a polemical label created for rhetorical purposes.

William Dembski himself cried foul at being labeled a creationist in his response to my friend Rob Pennock’s book Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics (though he falsely says that the book is entitled Intelligent Design Creationists and Their Critics).

Pennock chose popular and outdated work of mine, positioned various critiques of my work with it, gave me no opportunity to reply to my critics, and packaged it all in a volume titled _Intelligent Design Creationists and Their Critics_, thus casting me as a creationist, which in contemporary academic culture is equivalent to being cast as a flat earther, astrologer, or holocaust denier.

And in his follow up, after being shown to be full of crap on everything else he claimed about the book, he wrote:

“Creationism” is a dirty word in contemporary academic culture and Pennock knows it. What’s more, as a trained philosopher, Pennock knows that intelligent design is not creationism.

And yet here is Dembski, when accused of being a theistic evolutionist by a Christian critic, using that very dirty word to describe himself:

Johnny T. Helms’ concerns about my book THE END OF CHRISTIANITY as well as his concerns about my role as a seminary professor in the SBC are unfounded. I subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as well as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. I believe Adam and Eve were literal historical persons specially created by God. I am not, as he claims, a theistic evolutionist. Within the Southern Baptist seminaries, both old-earth and young-earth creationism are accepted positions. True, young-earth creationism remains the majority view in the SBC, but it is not a litmus test for Christian orthodoxy within the SBC. I’m an old-earth creationist and the two SBC seminaries at which I’ve taught (Southern in Louisville and Southwestern in Ft. Worth) both were fully apprised of my views here in hiring me.

I hear crow goes down better with a little single malt scotch.


  1. #1 Ben Carlton
    January 13, 2010

    Following up on my earlier comment, Dembski wrote a paper called “Reflections on Human Origins” back in 2004 in which he argued that “an evolutionary process unguided by intelligence cannot adequately account for the remarkable intellectual and moral qualities that we see exhibited among humans.” I thought Ian Musgrave had written a thorough rebuttal, but all I can find now are his criticisms of Dembski’s understanding of the genetic similarity between humans and chimps.

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