Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Seattle Weekly's Roger Downey has an article on Intelligent Design and the Discovery Institute in which Professor Tim and I are mentioned.

One thing Downey doesn't mention is that the Wedge Document was specifically cited by Judge Jones in Kitzmiller v. Dover as evidence against the IDers claim that they are practicing science and not religion, which I thought was pretty cool:
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.

I should say that, devil horns aside (a Charlie Chaplin tribute, actually), I have no problem in general with religion in the public square, or with people making faith-based claims about How We Got Here. I tend to disagree with those claims, but if someone wants to argue that the universe was created by God, I certainly respect their right to make that argument, and I'll look at their evidence. If someone wants to argue that Adam was a dinosaur rancher, I'll look at their evidence for that, too. What I don't respect are people who dress creationism in a science constume in an effort to open up another front in the culture war, which is what the Discovery Institute is up to. I don't doubt that there are people who believe that ID (or creationism) is actual science, but the Wedge Document proves for all time that the Discovery Institute and the people associated with it, that is, the people most responsible for bringing Intelligent Design into the mainstream discourse, do not belong in that crowd.

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