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Kingdom of Priests

On the Darwin debate, minds are opening in England in some very prominent places. First, A.N. Wilson affirmed the Darwin-Hitler connection. Now at the London Spectator, Melanie Phillips, author of Londonistan, rebukes Darwinists for deceiving the public by persistently conflating intelligent design with Biblical literalist creationism.

She quotes Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller’s statement that ID is 

nothing more than an attempt to repackage good old-fashioned Creationism and make it more palatable.

Replies Phillips:

But this is totally untrue. Miller referred to a landmark US court case in 2005, Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District, which did indeed uphold the argument that Intelligent Design was a form of Creationism in its ruling that teaching Intelligent Design violated the constitutional ban against teaching religion in public schools. But the court was simply wrong, doubtless because it had heard muddled testimony from the likes of Prof Miller.

Whatever the ramifications of the specific school textbooks under scrutiny in the Kitzmiller/Dover case, the fact is that Intelligent Design not only does not come out of Creationism but stands against it. This is because Creationism comes out of religion while Intelligent Design comes out of science.

She concludes:

Creationism and Intelligent Design are two completely different ways of looking at the world; and you don’t have to subscribe to either to realise the untruth that is being propagated — and the wrong that is being done to people’s reputations — by the pretence that they are connected.

Melanie Phillips, who is very smart, doesn’t with her testimony alone prove anything at all about whether ID theorists are right. But her example does suggest that there’s room for fair-mindedness on the issue.
Meanwhile in the U.S., many of us still have not received this particular memo. Maybe we are more intimidated by the social disgrace that goes along with being accused of being a “creationist” than we are interested in getting at the truth of what other people actually believe, whether we might agree with them or not.
Thus a somewhat well known American journalist responding to this blog queries me in an email edged with contempt, “Do you really believe that the earth (and the universe) is roughly 6,000 years old?”
I answered, “Now [name excised], this is very interesting. Why would you think that I think this about the age of the universe? I’m trying to get to the bottom of a mystery here.”
Of course, he never replied.
Isn’t this just the way it always goes? When a bunch of commenters demanded my midrashic source for same-sex marriage in ancient Canaan, strongly implying that I must be making it up, and then in a subsequent post I gave the precise source and its context, what was their response? Silence.

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