Monday, June 25, 2007

Ambiguity about Atheism at UD

(Reminded by this post) Okay so I just started up blogging here, and William Dembski, ID proponent, gave this blog a plug on his website, Uncommon Descent:
It will be interesting to see how the National Center for Science Education Selling Evolution deals with the growing number of non-religious ID proponents.

It is heartening to see Dr. Dembski give the non-religious supporters of ID a thumbs-up. However, only a few posts later, he turns right around:
The European Council for the Advancement of Atheism

The Council of Europe may justly be renamed as “The European Council for the Advancement of Atheism.” To believe in a God who acts in the world (aka theism) henceforward constitutes “religious extremism.” It will be interesting to see at what point advocacy of ID is regarded in Europe as a “hate crime” against … science? … society? … humanity?
Oh, your’re wondering what this is all about. Check out the following report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the CU (

In case you read through the long passage quoted, it said nothing about atheism. Instead, it labeled Intelligent Design as nothing but a creationist (hah) movement. I'll admit, ID has its roots amongst a group of Christians, however it codifies ideas that are distinct from religious concepts. Here you have two nonreligious bloggers already, writing about ID from a non-religious perspective. Something that Dr Dembski finds encouraging. And more will come.
However, what I don't understand is the apparent duplicitousness. Moments after patting William (Brookfield) on the back, Dr. Dembski uses the "atheism" label to insult the albeit misguided Council of Europe. In my opinion, you can't have it both ways.
I would like to take this moment to note that belief in a creator-god does not equal belief in Intelligent Design. This is a fact that I know Dr. Dembski agrees with. You can believe in a god and be against ID - you can even believe that this god interacts with matter in this universe, however, religious anti-IDists (or religious darwinists) will say that the actions of this god are supernatural, and thus not verifiable scientifically. Thus, a philosophical topic. You can be non-theistic and also be a supporter of ID.
So to call them atheists because they don't care for ID is not only logically unfounded, emotionally charged and stereotypically-based, it works against every effort that Dr. Dembski and other IDists have tried to make to show that ID is not a religious idea but instead a scientific one. And it also alienates those who you seek to attract to your fold.
So what do you think, readers, should the anti-atheist rhetoric be thrown out of the ID movement of is it here to stay? Allow me to suggest that if the polls are to be trusted, then religious darwinists outnumber the nonreligious by at least 3 to 1. Think about that.
(Before everyone jumps on the numbers, I'm assuming 10% of the population is non-religious, and that 40% of the population in one form or another accepts darwinism. Now you can cook the numbers and suggest that only atheists truly accept darwinism, but I'm going off of the polls that allow religious people to agree with evolution without neccessitating that they abandon their religious beliefs in answering the questions.)