Re: ID and Scientific Utility

Dennis Feucht (
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 23:57:44 -0400

Terry Gray said, in part, in reply to Denis Lamoureux:

"(Perhaps the apologetic agenda of intelligent design is
another "blinder" for the intelligent design crowd.) There is a propaganda
machine via the young-earth creationists and the Phil Johnson crowd working
on the average evangelical (especially among private Christian schools and
home schools and the evangelical media--Christianity Today, World Magazine,
Reasons to Believe, and Acts and Facts) that far outdoes that of the
supporters of naturalism and materialism."

This point is well-taken and important to keep in mind because it
distinguishes between motives of scholarship and advocacy. Phil & Co. are
largely motivated to counter an adverse worldview (i.e., scientism) as it
appears within the scientific community. I believe that some of their
efforts could benefit from the refining interaction with fellow Christians
in science and ASA. But I also hope that ASAers will be encourgaed by their
zeal to constructively engage the Establishment in the area of worldviews.
The NOV/DEC97 _ASAN_ is planned to have a list of Websites of ASAers and
ASA listserver participants to promote this kind of effort. (I have Murphy,
Arveson, Miller, Thaxton, Rusbult and Morton on the list. For anyone else,
please e-mail me your URL Website address. Thanks.)

"It's shocking that most evangelicals learn what they know about evolution
from Ken Hamm videos. This propaganda makes any serious consideration of
the evidence for evolution and even the the old earth and big bang
cosmology nearly
impossible in these circles."

And Kent Hovind (sp?) videos. The pro-Johnson ASA News Release probe I
floated earlier on the listserver was motivated in part by a recent effort
by a young-earth advocate in my local school district. She challenged
young-earth and Darwinian statements in the tenth-grade biology textbook. I
had reviewed the book earlier and found no direct evidence of scientism. My
advice to her was to concentrate on the science-as-religion issue instead
of arguing for a young universe.

What is frustrating for me in this situation is that there is not a
plethora of material available for such people that I can draw from,
especially for well-intended Christians under the influence of young-earth
creationism. We need some convincing rhetorically-oriented material.
_Teaching Science_ is not enough; it's intended audience is teachers. _God
Did It, But How?_ reviews the issues but does not equip those "in the
trenches" to oppose scientism and other ungodly views in education.

The scholarly discussion that interests us and is necessary to support
rhetoric is outside the conceptual framework of most others and does not
influence them significantly. We need Websites that can offer appropriate
material for such people, and printed literature. To understand this need
is to go a long way toward understanding what drives the intelligent-design
movement. (Even Phil Johnson, however, is somewhat lost on Ken Hamm fans.)
Scholars are often not good at popularizing and non-scholars don't have an
adequate understanding of the issues. No wonder we're not making much of a
dent in our culture.


Dennis Feucht

>Denis O. Lamoureux DDS PhD PhD
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Terry M. Gray, Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801