One of the twenty-year goals of the Discovery Institute’s Wedge was to see the influence of “design theory” in the fine arts. I’ve often wondered what that could possible mean. And now, thanks to Access Research Network’s “ID Arts Initiative” I now know.
In today’s ARN Announce (it’s not online yet), Dennis Wagner presents his vision of “the Right-Brain approach to intelligent design”:
Our worldview impacts all areas of life including the arts. The arts also reflect philosophical and cultural trends in human societies. If intelligent design philosophical and scientific concepts are valid, we believe they will both inspire, and be reflected in, our art, music, literature and film. Much of the focus of the ID movement to date has been on left-brain activities (logical, sequential, rational, analytical, objective, focused on parts). We believe there is also a right-brain approach to the issues (more intuitive than logical, and focused on the creative process) that may speak to an even wider audience through the arts. Some people who might never crack a science book, will grasp ID concepts through image, lyric, or prose.
I don’t think we can really call the “Left-Brain approach” as exemplified by ID supporters as “logical, sequential, rational, analytical, objective,” but I’ll leave that alone for now.
Says Jody Sjogren, BS Zoology, MS medical illustration, illustrator for Wells’ execrable Icons of Evolution, director of IDnet of Ohio, and primarily an aviation artist :
[H]ow, then, do we describe the origin of life, with all of its complexity and diversity? Was it merely a thoughtless, random chemical process that did not have anything in mind?
In my view, the experience of human creativity gives us a logical, ‘proof-positive experience’ for answering this question. When we consider the origin of life from our perspective as artists, architects, and engineers, it appears that an awfully big creative thought preceded the universe and the life within it (not to mention the will and ability to act on the thought). As with art, architecture, and engineering, a logical explanation suggests that Mind Preceded Matter. This is the essence of intelligent design.”
Who needs science when you can have aviation artists and architects solve the big problems.
We would like to explore these concepts and offer a line of ID-inspired art, music, literature and film products. We do not mean to imply that ID art is produced in a particular way, or even has a particular look or feel to it. We are simply looking to create a “brand” of artists who are connected in some way to the concept that there is a design to life that transcends the randomness of the neo-Darwinian (or materialist) worldview and that their art somehow emanates from or reflects an ID-friendly worldview.
Just as ID is portrayed by some as the bridge between science and theology, we view the arts we feature in a similar way. Somewhere between the secular and the sacred. The art does not have to make any obvious statement about anything, but if it does, the lyrics, images and product descriptions might offer hints about the designed nature of the world around us.
Wagner gives three examples of “ID art”. The first is a painting of a SR-71 Blackbird and a raven (cute, eh?) by Sjogren: “With variable-geometry wings; on-board maintenance, repair, and refueling systems; and even the ability to reproduce itself, the Raven compels us to consider that intelligent design is as logical an explanation for the origin of living systems as it is for man-made machines.” Umm.
The second is a watercolor of a split rock in Colorado. Wagner notes that “[s]ome might wander upon this scene and only see random patterns of nature. As an artist operating in an intelligently designed world, Chris [Wolley, the artist] finds purpose.” Eh? Purpose? In a naturally split rock? Wolley apparently sees the purpose: “[the split] is large enough to provide shelter in a time of storm or a solid foundation if one chooses to spend time there.” God does indeed move in mysterious ways.
The third example is a cartoon by Chuck Asay, that I reproduce below. Nuff said.
There’s also ID music and fiction … but I’ve run out of energy for this tenious dreck.