Re: [asa] Hadley files stolen and published on the internet...

From: John Walley <>
Date: Tue Nov 24 2009 - 22:13:52 EST

 similarity, the people who promoted the leak gave the document the most malignant interpretation possible. In the case of the Wedge Document this was interpreting it as proof positive that this was some sort of Iranian-style theocracy planned. Whether people disagree about the propriety of these leaks -- one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter -- what is clear is that it's the malignant reading that has been given to both situations is decidedly non- and even anti-Christian. Why We Can Quote the Wedge Document Now While We Can't Quote the "E-mails" If this posting was the only source of the Wedge Document then an effective argument could be made that it shouldn't be quoted, but as we shall see it's not. Do we, for example, have evidence for example that TDI was promoting an anti-evolutionary wedge strategy to evangelical churches independent of this leak? We do but it's going to take the use of the "Wayback Machine". At the 1999 "Reclaiming America for Christ Conference" called by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, Phillip Johnson gave a speech called How the Evolution Debate Can Be Won.  Here's a record of that speech: "To talk of a purposeful or guided evolution is not to talk about evolution at all. That is slow creation. When you understand it that way, you realize that the Darwinian theory of evolution contradicts not just the Book of Genesis, but every word in the Bible from beginning to end. It contradicts the idea that we are here because a creator brought about our existence for a purpose. That is the first thing I realized, and it carries tremendous meaning." He goes on to state: "I have built an intellectual movement in the universities and churches that we call The Wedge, which is devoted to scholarship and writing that furthers this program of questioning the materialistic basis of science. One very famous book that's come out of The Wedge is biochemist Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, which has had an enormous impact on the scientific world." ..."Now the way that I see the logic of our movement going is like this. The first thing you understand
 is that the Darwinian theory isn't true. It's falsified by all of the evidence and the logic is terrible. When you realize that, the next question that occurs to you is, well, where might you get the truth? When I preach from the Bible, as I often do at churches and on Sundays, I don't start with Genesis. I start with John 1:1. In the beginning was the word. In the beginning was intelligence, purpose, and wisdom. The Bible had that right. And the materialist scientists are deluding themselves." Johnson was also quoted by Touchstone Magazine talking about it: So the question is: "How to win?" That’s when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the "wedge" strategy: "Stick with the most important thing"—the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, "Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?" and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do. They’ll ask, "What do you think of Noah’s flood?" or something like that. Never bite on such questions because they’ll lead you into a trackless wasteland and you’ll never get out of it.  You get bits and pieces of the strategy here but there is even better reason why we can quote the Wedge Document now. Because TDI published it in full here: There's another reason why. It's part of public discovery and the public decision made from the Kitzmiller trial. It's called document P-140.  Here's what the Memorandum Opinion of December 20, 2005 of Judge John E Jones III in Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Education says about the Wedge Document: Dramatic evidence of ID’s religious nature and aspirations is found in what is referred to as the “Wedge Document.” The Wedge Document, developed by the Discovery Institute’s Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (hereinafter “CRSC”), represents from an institutional standpoint, the IDM’s goals and objectives, much as writings from the Institute for Creation Research did for the earlier creation-science movement, as discussed in McLean. (11:26-28 (Forrest)); McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1255.The Wedge Document states in its “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary” that the IDM’s goal is to replace science as currently practiced with “theistic and Christian science.” (P-140 at 6). As posited in the Wedge Document, the IDM’s “Governing Goals” are to “defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies” and “to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that
 nature and human beings are created by God.” Id. at 4. The CSRC expressly announces, in the Wedge Document, a program of Christian apologetics to promote ID. A careful review of the Wedge Document’s goals and language throughout the document reveals cultural and religious goals, as opposed to scientific ones. (11:26-48 (Forrest); P-140). ID aspires to change the ground rules of science to make room for religion, specifically, beliefs consonant with a particular version of Christianity. > > >... > > >The Discovery Institute, the think tank promoting ID whose CRSC developed the Wedge Document, acknowledges as “Governing Goals” to “defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies” and “replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” (P-140 at 4). In addition, and as previously noted, the Wedge Document states in its “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary” that the IDM’s goal is to replace science as currently practiced with “theistic and Christian science.” Id. at 6. The IDM accordingly seeks nothing less than a complete scientific revolution in which ID will supplant evolutionary theory. [14]  > > >[14] Further support for this proposition is found in the Wedge Strategy, which is composed of three phases: Phase I is scientific research, writing and publicity; Phase II is publicity and opinion-making; and Phase III is cultural confrontation and renewal. (P-140 at 3). In the “Five Year Strategic Plan Summary,” the Wedge Document explains that the social consequences of materialism have been “devastating” and that it is necessary to broaden the wedge with a positive scientific alternative to materialistic scientific theories, which has come to be called the theory of ID. “Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.” Id. at 6. Phase I of the Wedge Strategy is an essential component and directly references “scientific revolutions.” Phase II explains that alongside a focus on influential opinion-makers,
 “we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Christians. We will do this primarily through apologetics seminars. We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidence that support the faith, as well as to ‘popularize’ our ideas in the broader culture.” Id. Finally, Phase III includes pursuing possible legal assistance “in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula.” Id. at 7. When the defendants complained that the Dover School Board wouldn't or couldn't know about the Wedge Document, Judge Jones replied as follows in footnote 5 of his decision: [5] Defendants contend that the Court should ignore all evidence of ID’s lineage and religious character because the Board members do not personally know Jon Buell, President of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (hereinafter “FTE”), the publisher of Pandas, or Phillip Johnson, nor are they familiar with the Wedge Document or the drafting history of Pandas. Defendants’ argument lacks merit legally and logically. > >The evidence that Defendants are asking this Court to ignore is exactly the sort that the court in McLean considered and found dispositive concerning the question of whether creation science was a scientific view that could be taught in public schools, or a religious one that could not. The McLean court considered writings and statements by creation science advocates like Henry Morris and Duane Gish, as well as the activities and mission statements of creationist think-tanks like the Biblic Science Association, the Institution for Creation Research, and the Creation Science Research Center. McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1259-60. The court did not make the relevance of such evidence conditional on whether the Arkansas Board of Education knew the information. Instead, the court treated the evidence as speaking directly to the threshold question of what creation science was. Moreover, in Edwards, the Supreme Court adopted McLean’s analysis of such evidence
 without reservation, and without any discussion of which details about creation science the defendant school board actually knew. Edwards, 482 U.S. at 590 n.9. I started this thinking that the two incidents were quite similar but now it's becoming clear to me that they are not. I would like to re-iterate a point I made in the middle of this post since it gets past all the details and technicalities that are caused by ethical questions in our digital age. It's the malignant reading of private correspondence that should be eschewed by all Christians. There appears to be a large overlap between intelligent design proponents and climate skeptics. Having been on the receiving end of there must be some sort of theocratic "conspiracy" in the IDM should sensitize them to what a malignant reading does to the truth. We have people on this list crowing about how sensationalist leaks will affect public opinion and I'm sure that it will. But at what cost? The truth? We must remember the truth in Scripture is associated with bearing false witness against your neighbor more so than whether a particular scientific proposition
 is correct. Rich Blinne Member ASA

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Nov 24 22:14:10 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Nov 24 2009 - 22:14:10 EST