Sunday, November 5, 2017

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Trojan Horse

Anthony McIntyre reviews a book on the Intelligent Design Movement published several years ago.



Intelligent Design should more honestly be phrased Intelligent Deception. Even this is still inaccurate but unlike Intelligent Design, not intentionally so. The ID concept is not intelligent. At times it is not even intelligible. It is a deception inflicted by intelligent minds which makes it so egregious. That university professors and lawyers should set out to deceive the public with an ensemble of ideas they know to be rubbish is what made Intelligent Design a stratagem of subterfuge.  

Maybe it is because of the involvement of lawyers rather than in spite of them that ID has emerged. Bruce Grant in his review of Trojan Horse made the point that in the field of law “the objective is to win the argument rather than to find the truth.”

William Behe, a leading advocate of the “science” of ID, admitted in court that as a science ID was on a par with astrology. Yet, Behe and his theological star gazers sought to intelligently deceive the general public with hoax science.  This deceit and the dangers it poses is precisely what is what Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross set out to expose and subvert in Trojan Horse. 

On first reading this work many years ago it soon became clear why Forrest had emerged as a hate figure for the religious right. An erudite and perspicacious scholar she had followed the meanderings and posturing of ID for years and was in a strong position to tear it asunder. Along with Paul R. Gross, she traced the history of Intelligent Design’s efforts to undermine science and introduce a creationist narrative into schools through means of the "wedge strategy." Trojan Horse is in large part a deconstruction of the wedge strategy. It traces all the plans, tactics and lobbying pursued by the ID movement, including its chronic lying and links to fundamentalist Christian groups,

All of this ID manoeuvring is aimed at protecting and promoting the essence of the ID case: the myth that human beings are an act of special creation. As a species, according to ID bunkum, we were placed on the earth by a higher power and we are most definitely not the product of a long evolutionary process. It is religion masquerading as science which seeks to undermine the findings of Darwin and the process of natural selection via the use of concepts like irreducible complexity.

William Dembski, who is no longer part of the ID scene, was regarded by the authors as the intellectual driving force and front man of ID. His role was to compose complex mathematical formulae aimed at baffling and bamboozling. Dembski in fact gave the game away with his comment that “intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.”

Judge Jones in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District accused the ID advocates of outright lying. He prohibited ID from being taught in schools as science. Forrest was a main witness in the case for the plaintiffs although not before the ID crowd sought to have her barred, alleging that she was a conspiracy theorist.
                   
The ID lobby responded by accusing the book of being littered with errors. Hard to sound credible when relying on the bible for an explanation of the world’s development. 

One of the major disadvantages for ID was that its authors refused to have their work peer reviewed. This intellectual mafia became men of respect from other Mafiosi in the same pseudo-scientific gang. In Forrest and Gross the religious Mob found itself pitted against an Elliot Ness type.

Not a difficult read for the non-scientific mind to grasp, read together with Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg they constitute a useful intellectual weapon in intellectual armoury of those worried by claims that President Donal Trump is trying to create a Christian nationalism that will seek to roll back secular progressivism.

Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross, 2004. Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design. Published by ASIN: B01FJ05K46.



Anthony McIntyre blogs @ The Pensive Quill.

Follow Anthony McIntyre on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre      

4 comments :

Steve R said...

"President Donald Trump is trying to create a Christian nationalism that will seek to roll back secular progressivsm"

I think Trump will use what is most expedient to his desire at the time. He may court the Christian Fascists in the US with jingoism and use outright the language of bigotry, but only to consolidate his power.

That being said I think even the Creatards know the game is up when it comes to (non)ID. All of their claims are easily disproven, and disproven comprehensively.

What causes me alarm in the year 2017 is there are actually sentient people who steadfastly believe the Earth is flat.

Much like the Idiot ID proponents the Flat Earthers walk among us...and vote.

Pass the Kool-Aid....

Peter said...

“the objective is to win the argument rather than to find the truth.” And there you have it. There is a video on YT of Ken Ham preaching to children about ID. Sew the seeds of doubt when they are young on fear of eternal damnation. These religious whack jobs need to be seriously opposed.

Niall said...

ID - Isn't it quite odd and worrying especially here that Intelligent Design is supported by people who have Oxbridge backgrounds and have even held public office yet not only vehemently support such idiotic nonsense but want to impose it on the rest of us.....I don't have any issue with people who have a religious faith as long as they don't impose it...you can cut the heads of chickens and dance in the moonlight around a stone circle if you want just as long as they are not my chickens and not in my field!

grouch said...

is dawkins now a flat earther, an idiot and a creatard fellow traveller?

2 mins 37 sec to 3mins 30 sec of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uidpJlNbKsQ

note he dares not mention God, just some other more intelligent life form in the universe. as the theory of evolution is now falling apart (mostly to common sense), this will probably be the next 'theory' from the scientific elite.

if ur interested in fraud, which some id people have been accused of above, well they're not the only ones, - haeckels drawings and the peppered moth fiasco are about as big a fraud as u can get.

the theory of evolution is a fossil.