ID and Creationism, the Missing Link?

Darwinists are just like most other people, in that when they feel their worldview is being attacked, they lash out with unsupported attacks.  One of these attacks is the claim that ID science is nothing more than warmed over creationism – I think the term they use is “Creationism in a cheap tuxedo.”  This is simply a canard that has come about because of the emotional response of having one’s worldview challenged.

Creationism starts and ends with the Bible, Genesis to be exact.  And, while I find the Bible to be a valuable resource in understanding our culture and morality as well as living a good life, it is not a science text.  Also, science does not start with a conclusion and then work backwards to the data.  There is some real research going on in the field that may be suggestive of the creationist account, but it is far from proven and more work would need to be done to convince me.

ID science is a scientific endeavor that starts with the evidence and follows where it leads.  The conclusion from this approach is that the best inference to life’s origins and subsequent development on this planet is that it was designed.  Further, there is a cosmological argument as well that seeks to explain the accepted fine-tuning of the universe within the design paradigm.  These are both born from facts and data, not from reading a specific scripture.  In fact, ID proponents come from all religious backgrounds: Christians, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, atheists, etc.  To paint ID science as creationism in disguise is simply wrong.


21 responses to “ID and Creationism, the Missing Link?

  1. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    You might not like it, professorsmith, but enough evidence exists to link the ID movement to creationism. Apart from the Wedge Document, we have this extraordinary “transitional fossil” cdesign proponentsists discovered by Barbara Forrest in the ID textbook Of Pandas and People.

    On a more serious level, my experience shows that almost all arguments advanced by the IDers have been borrowed from creationists. I can point out lots of examples in this regard, such as missing links, homology is not evidence of ancestry etc. etc. (see Casey Luskin’s writings).

    To be sure, IDers have advanced a few arguments of their own, but even they have creationist roots. For instance, Behe’s irreducible complexity is a dressed-up version of Paley’s watchmaker. Dembski’s UPB is just an attempt to put this on a mathematical footing.

  2. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    And yes, I know that there are Jewish, Muslim, atheist, and even pleasurian proponents of ID. But I am also aware that they represent a tiny minority of the movement. ID is a predominantly Christian thing.

    You and can play this game. For every name of a non-Christian ID supporter I’ll give you three of Christian ones. How’s that for a proof?

  3. professorsmith

    The reply to this deserves its own post on the front page.

  4. Pingback: Guilt By Association « Professor Smith’s Weblog

  5. Onlookers, observe the habitual resort to attacking he messenger instead of addressing the issue. That tends to substantiate Prof Smith’s point in his OP. Oleg, you are underscoring the force of PS’ point!

  6. Oleg Tchernyshyov


    Did you notice that this thread is entitled ID and Creationism, the Missing Link? I’m staying strictly on topic. And I am certainly not attacking its author.

  7. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Here’s more evidence that ID is creationism in disguise. Take the recent attack of IDers on “methodological naturalism.” Was it an invention of ID? No, this, too, came straight from creationists:

    “Scientific creationism’s surprise attack rocked the late Twentieth Century intellectual establishment-acolytes of the worldview of Naturalism. Who could possibly imagine that religion would mount an empirical attack on evolution and its handmaiden, uniformitarian history? But that was decades ago, the shock has worn off, and surprise alone will not finish the job. Empirical arguments developed by an unfunded, outcast minority cannot penetrate the hidebound armor of modern Naturalism despite its many empirical flaws, because at its core Naturalism is not an empirical construct but an integrated worldview. To finish the job started by the scientific creationists, that worldview must be shown to be contrary to truth and thus destroyed. We advocate the primacy of formal over empirical arguments because: (1) they transcend disciplinary boundaries, (2) Naturalism is highly susceptible in that arena since its virulently anti-Christian exterior rests on presuppositions derived from Christian theology, and (3) a formal approach is consistent with Christianity’s historical strengths (and Naturalism’s inherent weaknesses) in theology and philosophy. A well-founded formal attack would also by example correct derivative and serious modern misunderstandings about the nature of knowledge and truth. Once Naturalism is demonstrated formally invalid, empirical research can take its proper role of building science and exploring natural history within the default, superior Christian worldview. Some Intelligent Design advocates have initiated this argument with great effect against biological evolution, but they fall short because they fail to recognize uniformitarianism as foundational to modern Naturalism.” (emphasis mine –OT)

    J. K. Reed et al., Beyond Scientific Creationism, Creat. Soc. Res. Quart. J. 41, No. 3, 216-230 (2004).

    Aside from removing all references to God, IDers use this very approach advancing purely formal arguments (Dembski) against evolutionary biology.

  8. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    I find it amusing to read this line in the original post of this thread where professorsmith writes:

    “Creationism starts and ends with the Bible, Genesis to be exact… ID science is a scientific endeavor that starts with the evidence and follows where it leads.”

    I am amused because this is exactly how Henry M. Morris, a famous creationist, delineated biblical and scientific creationism:

    Question: “What is the difference between scientific creationism and Biblical creationism?”

    Answer: The first is based solely on scientific evidence, from such sciences as those listed above; the second is based on Biblical teachings. The Genesis record includes the account of the six days of creation, the names of the first man and woman, the record of God’s curse on the earth because of human sin, the story of Noah’s ark, and other such events which could never be determined scientifically. On the other hand, scientific creationism deals with such physical entities as fossils, whereas the Bible never refers to fossils at all. It is quite possible for scientific creationism to be discussed and evaluated without any reference whatever to Biblical creationism.

    Creation and its Critics: Answers to Common Questions and Criticisms on the Creation Movement
    by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.

  9. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Another testimony from Henry Morris. He writes:

    Our other hesitation to get on [ID] bandwagon is their use of the same arguments and evidences we Biblical creationists have used for years, while simultaneously trying to distance themselves from us.

    Morris goes on to give specific examples:

    These well-meaning folks did not really invent the idea of intelligent design, of course. Dembski often refers, for example, to the bacterial flagellum as a strong evidence for design (and indeed it is); but one of our ICR scientists (the late Dr. Dick Bliss) was using this example in his talks on creation a generation ago. And what about our monographs on the monarch butterfly, the bombardier beetle, and many other testimonies to divine design? Creationists have been documenting design for many years, going back to Paley’s watchmaker and beyond.

    Dembski uses the term “specified complexity” as the main criterion for recognizing design. This has essentially the same meaning as “organized complexity,” which is more meaningful and which I have often used myself. He refers to the Borel number (1 in 1050) as what he calls a “universal probability bound,” below which chance is precluded. He himself calculates the total conceivable number of specified events throughout cosmic history to be 10150 with one chance out of that number as being the limit of chance. In a book4 written a quarter of a century ago, I had estimated this number to be 10110, and had also referred to the Borel number for comparison. His treatment did add the term “universal probability bound” to the rhetoric.

    The Design Revelation
    by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

    So what else is new?

  10. professorsmith

    Mr. Tchernyshyov,
    You certainly are prolific.

    In your first post, I see no reference to methodological naturalism. ID has no problem with MN; that’s how science is done. Philosophical naturalism, or materialism, however, is another story in that it is an anti-scientific position whereby one stakes out one’s position before hearing all the evidence. Also, it’s not a case of removing references to God. It’s a case of being agnostic about God in regards to the science.

    The second post has a quote from Henry Morris, which is quite interesting, and wholly coincidentally close to what I said. I disagree with Dr. Morris, however, in that I don’t see much difference between Creationism and Creation Science. That said, I do think that Creation Science has yielded some interesting results and has benefitted science in some ways.

    Your last comment sounds like sour grapes to be honest. No, the current crop of ID scientists are not the first. The ancient greeks had similar ideas about design. I do have to question Dr. Morris’s use of “divine design” though, because ID is not about “divine” anything. That’s the difference. Dr. Morris tries to bring everything back to the Christian god while ID is scientific and agnostic on the issue.

  11. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    “ID has no problem with MN”? Really? Casey Luskin will disagree with you on that. And how about this entry in the ISCID Encyclopedia of Science and Philosophy?

    Methodological Naturalism: A methodological principle that some scientists think ought to guide science. Methodological naturalism requires that scientists limit themselves to nauralistic or materialistic explanations when they seek to explain natural phenomena, objects, or processes. On this understanding of how science ought to work, explanations that invoke intelligent causes or the actions of intelligent agents do not qualify as scientific.

    Anyway, the larger point is that ID does use warmed-up creationist arguments.

  12. professorsmith

    Mr. Tchernyshyov,
    Are you using the genetic fallacy, that an argument can’t be a valid one if a Creationist thought it up? Heaven forbid.

    I also fail to see what is wrong with the ISCID definition, except that MN can invoke intelligence and intelligent agents. Otherwise, I would agree with them.

  13. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    I’m not making any statements regarding the validity of creationist claims. I’m only saying that “ID science” is the same old “creation science” sans explicit references to God. Examples above amply demonstrate that. That’s what “creationism in disguise” refers to.

    Validity of these claims is a separate topic.

  14. professorsmith

    This doesn’t prove that ID science is creationism. Are ID science advocates not allowed to use all available arguments? I’ve made arguments on this blog that are not from creationism, so your claim is patently false.

  15. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Could you point me to the specific claims that are not creationist?

  16. professorsmith

    AFAIK, creationists don’t claim dog breeding is ID, nor do they claim that the appendix must have a function for starters. Further, I’m not convinced that Behe’s and Dembski’s arguments are taken from creationists, nor am I concerned about it if they are. A good argument is a good argument regardless of the source. Again, I think you are trying way to hard to prove something that simply isn’t there. I’m not a creationist, nor are the atheists, Jews, agnostics, and Muslims who support ID.

    You are aware that there are creationists who attack ID, right?

  17. Oleg Tchernyshyov


    Before you write your answers to me, run a quick google search. You may learn a few things.

    Of course creationists claimed a function for the appendix. They had to: it was discussed at the Scopes trial.

    Here is what Ken Ham and Carl Wieland wrote about the appendix back in 1997:

    Let’s assume that modern science knew of no function for the appendix. Would that show it was a useless left-over from our past evolution from the animals? Not at all. There would be at least two other possibilities, when our thinking is based upon the Bible:

    1. It had a created function in people originally, but as a result of the Curse (consequent upon Adam’s sin) on all creation, humanity has degenerated. Thus, our body has lost some functions which it once had. Evolution requires a gain in information—new structures, new functions.

    2. It has a created function, but we don’t know what it is yet.

    As for the rest of your argument, it seems like you are switching your position from “ID is not creationism” to “So what’s wrong with creationist arguments?” We can discuss that as well but first you should concede that yes, virtually every argument IDers make is taken from the creationist book.

  18. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Here is a studying aid, a Wikipedia article on Creation science. An excerpt:

    The first creation science texts and curricula were overtly religious in nature, and directly attributed literalistic Biblical interpretations to geological phenomenon. Creation science came to the attention of the wider national public and scientific community as its followers brought their objections to Darwinian evolutionary teachings to the public square, and successfully persuaded school boards and lawmakers that creation science deserved equal consideration alongside Darwinian evolution in the science curriculum. Revised creation science texts and curricula were developed for public schools which removed the theory’s explicit references to Biblical and theological doctrine, and teaching of creation science was implemented in Louisiana, Arkansas and other regions in the United States. By the 1980s, its influence was worldwide.

    Though creation science purports to be a true scientific challenge to Darwinian evolution, it has never been recognized by or accepted within the established scientific community as a scientifically valid method of inquiry. Critics emphasize that creation science fails to meet the key criteria of any true science because it lacks empirical support, supplies no tentative hypotheses, and resolves to describe natural history in terms of scientifically untestable supernatural events.

    Substitute intelligent design for creation science and there won’t be any contradiction. In fact, that’s precisely what the authors of Of Pandas and People did.

  19. professorsmith

    Mr. Tchernyshyov,
    Google is my friend? Well, I guess that shows you how much I read creationist arguments, huh? Oh, but I must get all my arguments from the creationists, even though I’m obviously not knowledgable about them. Sorry, I deal in science, not creationism.

    As for changing my argument, I’m doing nothing of the sort. You are making a genetic fallacy. Some creationist arguments have some truth to them, and there should be no problem with seeking scientific explanations that happen to coincide with what some creationists believe. By your logic, we have to throw out the big bang, since creationists held for a long time that the universe had a beginning. I guess the universe is eternal afterall, huh? This is getting ridiculous.

  20. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    I didn’t suggest that you repeat creationist arguments. You obviously take them from other IDers. They got those arguments from creationists. If you were a little bit curious about the history of your own movement (as I am), you would know these things.

    All of the arguments against evolution currently circulating as “ID science” were lifted wholesale from “creation science” of the 1980s, dressed up and renamed intelligent design. Deny it all you want, but it’s been well documented.

    As to creationists “predicting” the Big Bang, a broken clock is right twice a day. They predicted a Universe that is 6,000 years old. Missed it by what, only 6 orders of magnitude? They were only right in the binary sense: either the world had a beginning or it didn’t. That’s 1 bit of information. It’s like asking whether professorsmith is a physicist or not and getting the right answer. (Do I get cookie points for that? I guess not. I probably would if I showed that professorsmith is not a professor of anything, but that is a story for another day.)

    Hope this helps.

  21. professorsmith

    Or maybe I have my own arguments. Did you ever think of that? Of course not, because all us “creationists” have to borrow from earlier “creationists”…I mean, we just have to. Your worldview depends on it.

    And, I’m glad to note that wikipedia is now being held up as an unimpeachable source. Of course, wikipedia is biased against ID, as UD pointed out a while ago, but don’t let that stop you from using it. I mean, it says what you want it to say, so it must be right. Right?

    And, your broken clock comment just says it all. You can’t stomach that someone who believes differently from you might be right about something. It’s rather sad, really. I just hope that at some point you can admit that you base your stances of your worldview and that you can put your beliefs out there to be challenged and see if they survive the light of science. You set out to prove that ID is creationism “in a cheap tuxedo” and it appears that you’ve devolved into cheap arguments and sarcasm. I think you’ve lost this round. You might want to go lick your wounds and think about the blinders you have put on due to your worldview.