“You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.”

President Bush’s innocuous-sounding answer to the question of teaching Intelligent Design (ID) in public school classrooms has had the media in an uproar lately. While not explicitly an endorsement of ID, but certainly an endorsement of academic freedom and an open-minded approach to learning, his comments have been labeled “one more example of the extreme right’s attempt to create a Taliban-like society.”[1] Apparently a “Taliban-like society” is one that is willing to be “exposed to different ideas.” That must be why our troops are spending so much time and money hunting for Osama bin Laden…he’s just too open-minded to be allowed to run loose in the world. (Many thanks to the LA Times for straightening me out on this.)

Far from being Taliban-like, the ID movement is beginning to make a lot of people uncomfortable. Although its approach is not without its own difficulties, ID’s major strength has been in asking the difficult questions that Darwinists have been willing to ignore for the last 150 years. In order for strict materialistic evolution to work—i.e. no God, no how (which is what purely naturalistic science requires by definition)—standard observable laws of science must be conveniently “put aside.” Old favorites like “life only comes from life,” “order does not arise from chaos,” and “mutations cannot increase genetic information”[2] are not addressed when it comes to Original “science.” These laws are only allowed to come into effect AFTER the evolutionary mechanism (whatever that may be) has been put into action. Even then they don’t fit with observational science, and this is what ID adherents want to have answered. They are not content to allow evolutionary scientists to curl up in their Kantian boxes and act as if faith and reason operate independently. “The idea that fact can be separated from values and meaning ‘jibes poorly with what we know of the history of science.’”[3]

While the ID movement is pushing hard, the orthodox evolutionists are beginning to push back. “Belief in the supernatural, especially belief in God, is not only incompatible with good science, this kind of belief is damaging to the well-being of the human race.”[4] That’s quite a statement. I would like to know if Dr. Hauptman has verified this empirically or this is a statement of sheer belief that he takes on faith? While he makes his living as a chemist, he is daily standing on the shoulders of pioneers in the field of chemistry (e.g. Robert Boyle) that knew that science was only possible because of their belief in God. Without a belief in a transcendent, omnipotent, omni-present and omniscient God, irrationality becomes rational. Disorder becomes order. Why should today’s experiment turn out the same results as yesterday’s? There is no rational basis for believing this and Dr. Hauptman must steal from the Christian worldview to prop up his own anti-Christian one.

Some are not so bold in their ignorance as Dr. Hauptman and are trying to place the blame elsewhere:

Accepting the fact of evolution does not necessarily mean discarding a personal faith in God. But accepting intelligent design means discarding science. Much has been made of a 2004 poll showing that some 45 percent of Americans believe that the Earth - and humans with it - was created as described in the book of Genesis, and within the past 10,000 years. This isn’t a triumph of faith. It’s a failure of education.[5]

The only “failure of education” is that evolution has been running unopposed for over 30 years in the public school system in America, and it still hasn’t been able to convince almost half of the population that Genesis is only an enchanting myth for the children on Sunday morning. This is a “failure” all right, but it’s their own doing, not the Church’s. The Church has a hard enough time trying to convince couples to honor their marriage vows,[6] much less what to believe about Genesis and creation/evolution. But Klinkenborg is not quite finished exercising his nonsense. He concludes his editorial this way:

The essential, but often well-disguised, purpose of intelligent design, is to preserve the myth of a separate, divine creation for humans in the belief that only that can explain who we are. But there is a destructive hubris, a fearful arrogance, in that myth. It sets us apart from nature, except to dominate it. It misses both the grace and the moral depth of knowing that humans have only the same stake, the same right, in the Earth as every other creature that has ever lived here. There is a righteousness —a responsibility—in the deep, ancestral origins we share with all of life.[7]

He’s gonna have his materialism and his religion, too. But, without a Designer, grace, morals, rights, righteousness and responsibility are irrelevant and absurd. They are machinations of a materialistic mind that can’t live with the social consequences of its intellectual dogma. This is the ultimate case of intellectual schizophrenia. President Bush is simply asking for a little exposure to different ideas, but Klinkenborg demands blind allegiance to his unempirical empiricism. I think I’ll stick with W. on this one…

Endnotes:

[1] Originally from LA Times, quoted by Mark Bergin, “Mad Scientists,” WORLD Magazine (August 20, 2005), 23. [2] Lee Spetner, Not By Chance (Brooklyn, NY: Judaica Press, 1998).
[3] Cornelia Dean, “Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science,” New York Times (August 23, 2005).
[4] Ibid (emphasis mine)
[5] Verlyn Klinkenborg, “Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution,” New York Times (August 23, 2005).
[6] George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented: “While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages.http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm
[7] Verlyn Klinkenborg, “Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution,” New York Times (August 23, 2005).