Monday, May 16, 2005

Nice 'tude, Dembski

I read this today, and I was kind of amused at the condescension and projection oozing from Dembski's post which supports "suitably equivocating about the meaning of science so that anti-scientific people will try to confuse the public and themselves into consenting to a theory that ordinary standards of evidence rendered completely insupportable":

When interrogating Darwinists with the goal of opening up discussion in the high school biology curriculum about evolution (i.e., strengths, weaknesses, and alternatives), I therefore propose subjecting them to a sustained line of questioning about what they mean by each of these five terms: science, nature, creation, design, and evolution. In addition, it will help to keep in mind that for the purposes of interrogation, there are three types of Darwinists:

(1) The Richard Dawkins Darwinist (abbreviated RD Darwinist), who is virulently against religion of any stripe and uses evolution as a club to beat religious believers. Richard Dawkins Darwinists despise religious belief and regard religious believers as having to check their brains at the door if they are want to maintain both their faith and evolutionary theory.

(2) The Eugenie Scott Darwinist (abbreviated ES Darwinist), who is not religious in any traditional sense (in particular, this type of Darwinist does not think God does or can act in any way that makes a difference in the natural world) but at the same time thinks it is ill-advised to antagonize religious believers by using evolutionary theory as a club. The Eugenie Scott Darwinist wants to placate religious believers by assuring them that they can be good followers of their faith as well as good Darwinists.

(3) The Kenneth Miller Darwinist (abbreviated KM Darwinist), who is a traditional Judeo-Christian believer, holds that God has acted miraculously in salvation history (with such miracles as the parting of the Red Sea, the resurrection of Christ, the Virgin Birth, etc.) but denies that God’s activity in natural history is scientifically detectable. The Kenneth Miller Darwinist is an orthodox religious believer and an orthodox Darwinist. He is the poster child for the Eugenie Scott Darwinist.

The vise strategy consists in subjecting each of these types of Darwinists to a sustained line of questioning about these five key terms, questions that they have no choice but to answer (hence the “vise” metaphor). The aim of this line of questioning is to make clear to those reading or listening to the Darwinists’ testimonies that their defense of evolution and opposition to ID are prejudicial, self-contradictory, ideologically driven, and above all insupportable on the basis of the underlying science....

Thus, in regard to religion, for the RD Darwinists, the aim of the interrogation is to goad them into following the example of Rumpelstiltskin by publicly tearing themselves apart in their rage against religion. The prefect ending to such an interrogation would be for them to admit that they are Darwinists first and foremost because Darwinism is the most effective tool for destroying religion (this is the ideal — don’t expect to achieve it).

The ES and KM Darwinists, by contrast, need not so much to be antagonized or goaded as gently guided into an intellectually indefensible position regarding religious belief. Even so, the strategy for approaching these two types of Darwinists must be a bit different. The ES Darwinist wants to appear open minded and generous, assuring religious believers that Darwinism is compatible with their religious beliefs. For the ES Darwinists, the aim of the interrogation is to show that they are patronizing elitists who don’t have a religious bone in their bodies but who nonetheless presume to tell religious believers how they should make their peace with evolution.

Finally, the KM Darwinist actually does have a sincere religious faith, believing that God is the creator of the world and has acted miraculously in salvation history

(Emphasis mine to show how highly Dembski thinks of people who don't subscribe to his religious beliefs.)
It really is shocking that somebody who holds a position in academia can be frankly, such a religious bigot: the idea that somebody might be a serious Buddhist or Taoist simply does not appear on this man's radar.

We don't need to "interrogate" Dembski as to what he means by "science, nature, creation, design, and evolution." He let the cat out of the bag when he started ridiculing others' religous positions.

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