I have suggested many times before that before one believes what IDC (intelligent design creationism) advocates say about their goals, one should look at the way they handle the matter where they are in control. I’m sure that I will be accused of unfairly lumping ID and creationism together, but if they don’t want that to happen they should make efforts not to look so similar.
While names have changed, and a slogan like “teach the controversy” has become popular only more recently, I can recall the same theme from my own childhood to the present. Evolutionists need to allow the teaching of creationism along side evolution. It’s only fair. At the same time, evolution was never given a fair presentation on the church side. I never heard in Sabbath School (I was raised Seventh-day Adventist) that there were such people as theistic evolutionists, nor did I learn anything about how they would view God as creator. It was always a war between light (creationism) and darkness (evolutionism), the first God’s own truth, and the second the devil’s deception designed to lead one to hell.
Today I found this column from the forthcoming Newsweek, that tells about Richard Colling, who has written a book Random Designer. Now I haven’t read his book, though I will certainly set out to get a copy now. By the description it sounds very much like he and I would be on the same page philosophically and theologically. He’s a professor of biology at Olivet Nazarene University, where his book is now effectively banned. He doesn’t get to teach a basic biology course he has taught for years, and his book can’t be assigned reading.
This action shows some of the destructive potential of ignorance, but it also removes any fig-leaf of respectability from the “teach the controversy” argument. The advocates of creationism generally do not want the controversy taught. They want to win. If they were to win a court case allowing their materials into the public school classrooms, their next move would be to prevent critical examination of those ideas, and then to prevent the teaching of evolutionary theory itself. I simply don’t believe the public propaganda. I never have, but the evidence that it is pure propaganda just keeps building up.
And here I would note that while I oppose inclusion of intelligent design or any other variety of creationism in high school science classes until such time as it becomes mainstream science (don’t hold your breath), I’m perfectly happy to have any theory discussed in higher education. It should be critically discussed, which, in the case of IDC, would mean that it should be thoroughly shredded.
But at Olivet, apparently, they don’t even want students to have to read about the views of a theistic evolutionist. I believe that the Olivet example is what theistic evolutionists such as myself can expect from the ID movement. They want to shut us out. They certainly don’t want to “teach the controversy” about ID, a controversy that is very much alive amongst Christians.
You see, “teaching the controversy” is good when you want to wedge your way into the public schools, or force your way into universities. It’s not so good when someone wants to fairly examine the controversy inside a Christian school. They want a “heads we win, tails you lose” situation.