American Scientific Affiliation rejects claim that it promotes intelligent design
Apparently, the American Scientific Affiliation (an organization of Christians in science) is really upset by an accusation printed on the Letters page of Nature claiming that the Association is sympathetic to intelligent design.
The letter followed an editorial and story, neither of which is anything more than the usual collective wringing of hands over the fact that the public accepts that design is a part of nature.
Conveniently, Bill Dembski over at the Uncommon Descent blog archives a version of the ASA letter.
According to ASA executive director Randy Isaac, "While some prominent ASA members such as George Murphy and Keith Miller, both cited in Nature 434, 1062-1065 (28 April 2005), are critics of ID, other members such as William Dembski are advocates of the movement."
Good thing Dembski had enough sense to stay a member of that dozy organization, but really, isn’t it time for them to just wake up and smell the house burning?
Phillip Johnson pointed out over a decade ago that
Really zealous scientific naturalists do not recognize subtle distinctions among theists. To the zealots, people who say they believe in God are either harmless sentimentalists who add some vague God-talk to a basically naturalistic worldview, or they are creationists. In either case, they are fools, but in the latter case they are also a menace. (Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), p. 130.)Why can’t ASA see that the very fact that Dembski is allowed to be a member and that Miller is not an intentional stooge for the naturalists is ASA’s offence? That is precisely why ASA is thought to be abetting ID. The distinction between Miller’s opinion and Dembski’s opinion means nothing to the committed naturalist. Which guy should he euthanize first?
Tough call. Dembski openly blasphemed the Darwinists’ religion with his Darwin doll, but people like Miller do promote religions other than Darwinism among scientists.
So let’s cut the Christian scientists some slack here: scientists usually do not understand political issues anyway. That might explain the ASA Internet discussion group’s recent freakout over the idea that students might be permitted to question Darwinism in Kansas. They’re against it, of course, because they themselves get by without questioning nearly enough about how the system works and exactly why it is that they are marginally more acceptable than Dembski.
To find out more about my book on the intelligent design controversy, go to By Design or by Chance?