What a year it has been for the Discovery Institute and the Intelligent Design movement! Below the fold, I detail the advances that ID has made in the short time since Judge Jones delivered his ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover.
Just as a tree that has been “rimmed” (i.e., had its bark completely cut through on all sides) is effectively dead even if it retains its leaves and appears alive, so Darwinism has met its match with the movement initiated by Phillip Johnson. Expect Darwinism’s death throes, like Judge Jones’s decision, to continue for some time. But don’t mistake death throes for true vitality. Ironically, Judge Jones’s decision is likely to prove a blessing for the intelligent design movement, spurring its proponents to greater
heights and thereby fostering its intellectual vitality and ultimate success.
Taking a longer view, I think Dover will come eventually to be be seen as a moral victory, in the same way that Galileo’s condemnation is now viewed as a moral victory.
Ohio state school board voted to eliminate a lesson plan and science standards that opened the door to teaching ID.
Behe released tenth anniversary edition of Darwin’s Black Box and claims that “[o]ther than updating the list of my children in the Acknowledgements … there is very little of the original text I would change if I wrote it today.” The new afterword fails to mention most of the major criticisms of DBB but despite this the DI refers to it as an “updated version“.
After less than a year as director of the Center for Science and Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dembski becomes research professor of philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. The young-earther Kurt Wise takes Dembski’s position.
Dembski proudly declares that he was “in constant correspondence with Ann [Coulter] regarding her chapters on Darwinism” in her forthcoming Godless.
Ann is taking Phillip Johnson’s message as developed in DARWIN ON TRIAL and REASON IN THE BALANCE and bringing it home to the masses. Critics will dismiss it for its hyperbole, lack of nuance, and in-your-face attitude. But she has the gist just right, which is that materialism (she calls it liberalism) dominates our culture despite being held by only a minority of the populace and has become an agenda among our elites (academy, scientists, media) for total worldview reprogramming.
Coulter notes that her chapters on evolution couldn’t have been written “without the generous tutoring of Michael Behe, Devid Berlinski, and William Dembski”. These same chapters are quickly revealed to be filled with creationist canards.
Access Research Network launches the “ID Arts Initiative”. No one cares.
The DI launches the “Stand up for Science, Stand up for Kansas” campaign which is “intended to defend newly implemented science standards in Kansas from misleading and blatantly false campaigns of misinformation”. Following defeat of pro-ID candidates in August, Paul Nelson claims that the science standards
don’t matter anyway, and John West says the outcome would not stop people from learning about the “growing controversy” over evolution.”
Dembski offers an excuse for not getting any real research done:
The pressures directed against frontline ID proponents are real. From your armchair, it is easy enough to say that we need simply to get to work. But families and livelihoods really are under threat by these Darwinian fascists, and when our days are spent trying to shore up the latter, the former does not get done.
This war will not be decided by courts, legislators, or school boards, but by young people as they wake up to the fact that dogmatic Darwinists have been systematically indoctrinating and disenfranchising them. Just as the counterculture of the 60s overturned the status quo, so a new counterculture, with high school, college, and university students taking the lead, will overturn the Darwinian
Paul Nelson claims that the DI “actually funds a great deal of primary research — go ahead, snicker — but those receiving the support and their specific projects have become a very quiet business indeed, and that need for secrecy may continue for a long time.”
In A Meaningful World, Wiker and Witt claim that Darwinism undercuts mathematics:
[I]n assuming that “species” are not real, Darwinism and the larger reductionist program burn away the original ties that bound the meaning of mathematics to the world and instead leave it stranded on a solipsistic island of the human imagination.
Dembski launches Overwhelming Evidence, a site “modeled on Xanga and Myspace and aimed at concentrating the power of youth to throw off the indoctrination that is being shoved down their throats by groups like the NCSE and enforced by inept judicial rulings like those of Judge Jones … Today’s high school and college students are going to need to reclaim their own freedom.” No one cares.
The DI announces that it has put over $4,000,000 towards “scientific and academic research into evolution and intelligent design in the past decade.”
DI claims of intellectual dishonesty by Judge John Jones turn out to be false. To add a touch of class to the issue, Dembski says “Jones is a narcissistic putz.”
DI claims about the martyrdom of Richard Sternberg are shown to be overblown.
Another defeat is handed to ID as the Cobb Country (GA) disclaimer case is settled.
Overwhelming Evidence features a flash animation of Judge Jones with voice-over by Dembski and farting noises (which are subsequently toned down). ID reaches its intellectual peak for the year.
Quite a year, eh? It’s worthwhile meditating on what we did not see:
- A peer-reviewed paper by Dembski, Wells, Nelson, Meyer …
- Or for that matter, a single peer-reviewed article offering either (a) evidence for design, (b) a method to unambiguously detect design, or (c) a theory of how the Designer did the designing, by any fellow of the DI.
- An exposition of Nelson’s theory of “ontogenetic depth” (promised in March 2004)
- An article by Nelson & Dembski on problems with common descent (promised in April 2005).
- Nelson’s monograph on common descent (currently MIA since the late 90’s).
Way back in January, Dembski predicted “greater heights … intellectual vitality and ultimate success”. You be the judge.