Dembski’s stand

The following is from Dembski. It’s worth archiving if only because it is the clearest statement by him so far as to where he stands on the YEC-OEC axis:

I subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as well as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. I believe Adam and Eve were literal historical persons specially created by God. I am not … a theistic evolutionist. Within the Southern Baptist seminaries, both old-earth and young-earth creationism are accepted positions. True, young-earth creationism remains the majority view in the SBC, but it is not a litmus test for Christian orthodoxy within the SBC. I’m an old-earth creationist [OEC] … I don’t endorse evolutionary theory, as all my books on intelligent design demonstrate (search my name on the Internet, and you’ll find that I’m often called an “anti-evolutionist”).

Such candor is relatively refreshing but now that Dembski has come out as an OEC, will he now denounce some of the scientific idiocy of the YEC camp? Probably not, given the past history of ID proponents such as Philip Johnson who has refused to do so.


Todd Wood on Evolution (Pt 2)

Todd clarifies:

I believed (and still do) that what I wrote was quite clear and straightforward. Evolution is science, there is evidence for it, but I don’t believe it. I never said it was true. I also never said that all the evidence favors evolution, nor did I say there was no evidence of creation.

Read more here. He’s also got some links to other reactions.

Todd Wood on Evolution

Todd Wood – as many of you will know – is a YEC baraminologist who is a protegee of Kurt Wise. His blog is worth a read as he often takes on some of the sillier anti-evolutionary stuff that is out there (e.g. here). Today he writes:

Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.

Then he states something that very much echoes what Wise has said in the past:

It is my own faith choice to reject evolution, because I believe the Bible reveals true information about the history of the earth that is fundamentally incompatible with evolution. I am motivated to understand God’s creation from what I believe to be a biblical, creationist perspective.

Despite his acceptance of the evidence for evolution, the Bible still trumps all.

“Molecular Darwinism” – like Abe Vigoda – is still not dead

PZ has reminded us that five years ago, Dembski predicted

In the next five years, molecular Darwinism—the idea that Darwinian processes can produce complex molecular structures at the subcellular level—will be dead. When that happens, evolutionary biology will experience a crisis of confidence because evolutionary biology hinges on the evolution of the right molecules. I therefore foresee a Taliban-style collapse of Darwinism in the next ten years.

How’s that working out for you Bill?

(See here if you need the Abe Vigoda reference explained).

Librarian fails at basic biology, “journalist” fails at detecting said failure.


I’ve mentioned Michael Flannery before – he’s an ID sympathizer and librarian at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Now he’s apparently also an expert on canids. Denyse O’Leary approvingly quotes Flannery:

Anyone can breed a weird dog (I mean, assuming they have basic knowledge of canines).

But nature has a funnel.

There are only certain ways that dogs can really live in the wild.

For example, a greyhound can run faster than a wolf, because he doesn’t have heavy jaws – but what happens when he catches up with the prey?

Someone throws him a bag of Science Diet for Adult Working Dogs, right?

… A wild animal that cannot feed itself will die ….

If all the dogs in the world ran away, 50 years later, you would likely see only nature’s usual wolfhound type.

This is so full of fail, it’s hard to know where to start. The assumption that all canids would have to have wolf-like jaws to survive is clearly deeply erroneous – not all canids have (or need) “heavy jaws” because they don’t need them to process their prey.

Greyhounds, by the way, are perfectly capable to hunting, killing, and eating wild prey – Flannery has clearly never heard of hare coursing which often ends with the dismembering of the “prey”. These jaws would be perfectly able to enable a greyhound to survive in the wild. (The breed’s relative gentleness may be another issue).

I can’t figure out whether this reflects worse on Flannery for making the comment, or O’Leary for using her sharp journalistic skills and posting it. Probably a tie, frankly.

(image source)

Klinghoffer: Terrorist was an evolutionist

Following yesterday’s tragedy at the Holocaust Museum, it is more than a little repellant that Discovery Institute senior fellow, David Klinghoffer, proclaims “James von Brunn, Evolutionist” over at BeliefNet. His evidence? von Brunn’s manifesto in which he states:

As with ALL LIBERAL ideologies, miscegenation is totally inconsistent with Natural Law: the species are improved through in-breeding, natural selection and mutation. Only the strong survive. Cross-breeding Whites with species lower on the evolutionary scale diminishes the White gene-pool while increasing the number of physiologically, psychologically and behaviorally deprived mongrels.

Apparently, Klinghoffer feels that this makes von Brunn an evolutionist. He must have been a Mendelian as well, of course.

Kinghoffer gets called on this rank stupidity in the comments but it is worth remembering that he is only being faithful to his DI masters. The “Darwinism has evil consequences” claim is one of the few arguments that the DI have been able to make since Kitzmiller v. Dover and in so doing, all they do is resurrect a pre-existing Young Earther claim. Faced with the sheer lack of scientific credibility for their position, they have made their “culture war” more explicit and stooped to blaming every ill on evolutionary thinking.

Francis Beckwith, Creationism and ID

Back in December 2006 I referred to Francis Beckwith as an ID supporter. This resulted in he informing me that he “has never been much of fan [of] design arguments, ever [and that his] interest in the debate focuses on the jurisprudential questions involving the First Amendment and what could be permissibly taught in public schools under that amendment.” At that time I retracted and removed any reference to Beckwith as a supporter. More recently, Beckwith has objected to others referring to him as a creationist and an ID supporter. Tim Sandefur has replied, and now Barbara Forrest has offered her reply. You be the judge.