What Are They So Afraid Of?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

The pattern of censorship of the intelligent design movement continues with more disappointing news from California.  Check out this summary of what’s going on with the California Science Center.

It would be so much easier to allow a real debate to go on and defeat the ID movement with scientific data and arguments, if you are opposed to it.  Why play these dirty tricks on ID proponents?  Ultimately these tactics just backfire.

What are they so afraid of?

  • Greg

    What are they afraid of you ask? That they would need a savior.

  • Mitchell Kent

    Even a GW Bush appointed, conservative, federal juge, (self proclaimed born again Christian, Boy Scout Leader), Ruled in the Dover Pa trail that ID is nothing more than creationism and is not science. He also said the DI people were fundamentally dishonest.
    Judge Jones said…
    “The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents. […]
    The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy. With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.”

    The DI and ID people are all going to he11 because they continue to knowingly lie,
    breaking one of God’s 10 commandments. They also keep offering the false choice of God or Science, when in fact there are more Christians who except evolution than there are atheists. DI and ID are far right extremist who prey on the ignorance on science, of the American public.
    We should always point that out whenever they lie/speak

  • Bill Pratt

    Can you explain to me what the theory of intelligent design is?

  • Mitchell Kent

    “theory of intelligent design” is oxymoronic.

    can you tell me what a scientific of theory is?

    If not I have it for you.

  • Bill Pratt

    Fine. Drop the word “theory” and tell me what the intelligent design view is.

  • Mitchell

    After 6 weeks of the testimony in a court of law by the best that the DI and ID could muster, Judge Jones says it’s not Science and has no place in public education. You asked what I was afraid of, I’m afraid of stupid people who demand that their religion be taught as science.

    So a Scientific theory is a conclusion based on observable evidence that can be tested, reproduced and has been reviewed by peers. Although most theories can never be 100% proven, evolution is considered to be a fact. In over 150 years no contrary evidence has been found to disprove it.

    A “fact” is the same for everyone, even if some people won’t except it. Intelligent design is a spiritual belief and is very subjective. In other words to each there own.
    God gave us a brain to figure this all out. What a shame if we were to go threw life and not understand him/her. If you really want to touch the mind of God, study science. It’s far more awesome than anything in the bible.

  • Bill Pratt

    Still waiting for you to tell me what ID is…..So far all I’ve heard is: 1) not science, 2) spiritual belief, 3) very subjective. Is that your total understanding of ID or is there more? Put yourself in the shoes of an ID proponent. How would he describe the ID view?

  • Mitchell

    If anyone would make a conclusion about ID based on the conduct of the Discovery Institute, you must conclude that ID is dishonest and malicious attempt at snake oil.

    They truly are a bunch of Charlatans who have done more to push people away from God than any godless person ever did.

    If you notice, the only websites that can get away such rubbish are the sites that don’t allow public comments. Too many people are on to them and are fed up with it.

    The Discovery Institute (btw has never discovered anything) represents the far right religious extremists in this county. They are the true enemies of all faithful people who want to have freedom of religion.

    And Bill , I didn’t come here to debate the religious beliefs of the Discovery Institute, because I really have no idea how to do that. But what the heck, I looked at it, and NO “it’s too completed to happen on its own so it must be GOD)“ is just too far of a starting point to hack it out here.
    To really understand evolution (you can always except evolution at any time) you have to know a lot of stuff. To believe in creationism as the DI pushes, you have to know nothing.

    So Bill ,you really need to ask yourself, am I a smart guy? Or do I really believe in any crazy thing the guys at the DI tell me?

  • Bill Pratt

    OK, so now we know ID is 1) not science, 2) spiritual belief, 3) very subjective, 4) dishonest, 5) and a malicious attempt at snake oil. Other than that, you’ve described in vivid terms your dislike for the Discovery Institute, which is one of many organizations that promote ID.

    What is clear now is that you do not, in fact, know what ID is and that your approach to the issue of ID is to call it names and call the Discovery Institute names. I just don’t see how you hope to persuade anybody of anything with this approach. You would be much better served actually educating yourself about ID so that you could argue its lack of merit in a calm and rational manner.

    Why all the name calling? Is this the only way you know how to interact with people who disagree with you?

  • Mitchell

    I answered all your questions completely and honestly. And you answered none of mine.

    Faith in God and an understanding of nature don’t conflict, they go hand in hand. God is here to help us on matters of religion and science is here to tell us how it all came to be.
    Sounds perfect to me.
    It’s time that people of faith reject fake science as we all have with other medieval beliefs.
    If we don’t, we risk the further decline of the Christian religion and the dumping down of the American public.

    If you belong to a church that preaches science from the pulpit, then it’s time for a new church.

    I hope a have made you really think about it.
    Please Bill, don’t pull down this thread, keep it so that religious people of all faith who come here know that they can except science and keep the faith. To take it down or try to hide it would only prove I’m right.

    I hope you don’t mind but I would like to later post some websites that I think people should see about science. Not spin, just science with no axe to grind. I Promise.

    God bless you all.

  • Mitchell,

    I must say that at least for me, you have not given me anything to think about because you have yet to tell us exactly what you think ID is. All you have done is call it names.

    What exactly do you believe ID to be? And, I don’t mean some broad foul name, i.e., fake science or selling snake oil. Describe what you believe ID to be exactly.

    In addition, I believe your idea of bifurcating faith and science would actually be a huge step backwards for Christianity. God is the God of all… we can approach Him with our minds as well as faith. The two do not need to be separate.


  • Bill Pratt

    I have never taken down a thread since we started this blog. I have removed a handful of comments that used profanity or were otherwise outrageously rude or nasty. You do not fall in this category and I won’t remove your comments unless they cross over that line. I find your viewpoint to be very unfortunate, but we are dedicated to open and honest debate on this blog.

  • Mitchell

    I’ve given you plenty to think about and your know it, ID is all that I described from above and more. You say it’s unfortunate I say It’s far more wonderful because the truth will set you free.
    I but I guess I’ve given you nothing real to argue about because I hear nothing from any of all of you on disputing what I have said.

    Except the bifurcating comment. I love that word, I so rarely see it used in a sentience

    Regarding that. I do want to emphasize that I know what it is like to give up on long, hard, deeply held beliefs.
    But you must come to terms that the fact that bible is not accurate when it come to science. (.) OK? Please, it is just not. If your part of that new earth belief, well than I’m not here for you. (Oh God,, why would I waste my time on that) To all other rational thinkers of faith, I ask that you speak out. And speak out now and do it loud. If not at your own church then seek out a new church that is also rotational when it come to matters on science.

    So now you have your comment you want to argue about as I said ..


  • Mitchell

    Here’s one of the better sites on Science. I will admit that about one third of my opinions come from watching PBS, I think they are for the most part spot-on. I like the News Hour and BBC America News. On Sunday there is the Religion in the News show. Oh yeah,, NOVA.
    Here you can learn about the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial and hear Philip Johnson of the Discovery Institute give his side.
    I also recommend FRONTLINE, but thy are for the most part non-science stories.

    I believe that part of being a well-informed person means you get your information form different and diverse sources.


  • Mitchell

    So here is where the Discovery institute is directly hurting kids. One thing you will notice in this clip is all big industry names. Most are well known Republican Conservative and Christian. Also Republication politicians who have come together with Black and Hispanic political leaders to provide quality Science and Math education to mostly inner-city poor kids, The CSC opened a desperately needed K to Jr high Charter School that local parents fight to have sons and daughters attn.
    The California Science Center is smack dab in South Central LA.
    25 Years ago almost no one would come near the near the little Museum, because of the crime and blight. Now the park is renovated and packed with kids and adults.
    The STAPLES CENTER is just up the road, and crime is at a decades low, and falling.
    Being State employees the SCS is always at the bottom of the pay scale in all the Science Museums pay surveys.
    Regardless most management have been there for years or decades. With the CEO having been the for almost 30 years. In the past, some his management have move on to other museums to make TWICE the SCS CEO pay. The CSC has the highest charitable rating possible. Even the Discovery Institute called them prestigious before they went and sued them. The CSC has become world respected.
    And now they spend time , money and effort on defending the Science Center from a bunch of THUGS.
    Shame on the discovery Institute. Have they no decency?

  • Mitchell

    More food for thought,

    Click here: Science, Non-Science, and Pseudoscience – The Panda’s Thumb


    4. Claims of unfair exclusion or even persecution. The best recent example, of course, is Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. IIRC, in the McLean trial creationists made the claim that their papers were unfairly rejected from mainstream scientific journals. When examples of such papers were requested, none appeared. That claim re-surfaced in the Ohio State Board of Education battles in 2002-2003.

    5. Claims of maverick status: Related to #4. Pseudoscientists often explicitly cast themselves as mavericks, claiming that they are bucking the tide of “mainstream” science and creating new scientific “paradigms” (a term that should be cast into the outer darkness; Thomas Kuhn has a lot to answer for there). The Wedge document illustrates this sort of phenomenon with its goal “To replace materialistic explanations with … theistic understanding …”.

    Click here: What’s New in An Index to Creationist Claims

  • Bill Pratt

    What does the goodness of the California Science Museum have to do with anything? The Discovery Institute is claiming that individuals within the CSC acted illegally, and that they should be held accountable. Institutions are made up of individual people, and sometimes those people act badly. By your logic, because the CSC has been a virtuous organization, then nobody who works there should ever be accused of any wrongdoing! So, if I work at the CSC, I can do whatever I want, and break any law? Is that what you’re saying?

  • Mitchell

    if the youtube clip won’t play, just search youtube for Califorina Science Center.

  • Bill Pratt

    Thanks for the links. Since you’re suggesting that readers of this blog get a balanced perspective, could you set the example and tell us which pro-ID books you’ve read?

  • Mitchell

    I have read (most) of Pandas and People and again if found that “it’s too completed to happen on its own so it must be GOD)“ is just not a compelling augment.

    Please click around this guys site a bit. I hope you find it as fascinating as I did. .

    Click here: Thoughts in a Haystack


    or so says Mark Buckle, pastor of Fernhill Church in City Rise, New Zealand:

    We are discovering new things every day.

    Technology is advancing and everything useful is getting smaller and cheaper. We seem to be light years ahead of our not-so-distant ancestors who harboured all sorts of irrational fears and superstitions.

  • Mitchell

    I don’t think any laws were broken at the CSC. The DI claims they were and we know how well they hold up in court. What laws do you think they broke? Maybe you should use the word the allegedly and hold your opinion till the courts have a say.

  • Bill Pratt

    Of Pandas and People was written in 1989. It is clear you did not understand what you were reading because the argument from ID has never been “It’s too complicated, so God did it.” That is a totally false view of ID, as has been pointed out by ID proponents many times. But, for those who don’t actually care to study the position, it’s a convenient straw man to knock down over and over again.

    Since that book was written, there have been dozens, if not over a hundred books written advancing ID arguments and evidence. You need to update yourself and read some more recent books. This is a movement which is relatively new (in its modern form) and is thus adding material at a very rapid pace.

    I have read several books on evolution, written by staunch evolutionists. I have also visited pro-evolution websites and read articles on evolution. I feel I understand the issues fairly well, although I am still learning. At my house now is Donald Prothero’s Evolution. He is one of the most ardent anti-ID scientists around. I look forward to hearing his arguments and thinking about what he has to say.

    Your problem is that you have thoroughly demonized ID proponents, and thus you have enabled yourself to not listen to anything they say. Once you demonize someone, you don’t have to listen to them any more, because they are evil. Again, I would suggest you take a different tack and educate yourself on the issues.

    When you can come on this blog and give me a thoughtful definition of ID, and explain several of its arguments in a fair and reasonable fashion, then you will start to gain listeners. Until then, most people reading your posts are just going to roll their eyes.

  • Bill Pratt

    We will see.

  • Mitchell

    You keep misrepresenting my statements. I thought I made my self very clear on the matter.
    I understand all I need to know about ID
    I have read the transcripts of the Dover Pa trail, the book of Pandas and People and the DI web-site.

    I know it’s all junk science and a dead end. And I must add very shallow and easy to debunk.
    Even I can do it and I can’t spell worth a bean.

    To squander anymore of my time on it is pointless.

    You are free to believe what you want and preach it also. But don’t call it science and don’t try to shove it into the public education system.

  • Mitchell


    “This kind of thinking is in sharp contrast to that of people like creationist Todd Wood, who argues that a true walk with Jesus Christ renders the evidence of the natural world irrelevant. To my way of thinking (along with Polkinghorne, Kenneth Miller, Francis Collins and a whole host of other TEs) the evidence is almost as important as the walk with Christ because, as Miller put it, it reflects the mind of God. We can hardly walk with Christ and ignore his creation.”

  • Bill Pratt

    “But don’t call it science and don’t try to shove it into the public education system.”

    Neither I nor the Discovery Institute have ever advocated teaching ID in public school science classrooms. Are you sure you’re reading DI’s website??? In fact, they strongly advised against the Dover school board policy. Since you’re an expert on DI, I’m sure you knew this already.

  • Mitchell,

    I understand all I need to know about ID.

    Bsed upon the knowledge of ID that you have demonstrated here, I would say you need to set your standard of what you think you “need” a little bit higher.


  • Darell & Bill,

    Just wanted you to know that I used this news item in a message illustration in today’s Sunday message. I was in Acts 6 where those in the synagogue could not resist the wisdom (and truth) of what Stephen was arguing. So they used dishonest means to seek to silence Stephen. This tactic against the truth of Scripture is as old as the Church, and yet still going on today. And ID is hardly Scripture, but ANYTHING that might go against atheistic, evolutionary Darwinism must be silenced.

    I like to use current events in illustrations when possible – and since I had not seen this until you blogged on it, I tip my hat to you.


    A couple of your questions concerning the lawsuit indicate you haven’t even bothered to read this blog entry in its entirety. The showers of the film claim a violation of contract and damages as a result of the cancellation after the museum had already contracted to show the film. The museum claims a failure to perform in the contract allowed them to cancel the film. Sounds like the perfect setting for a court case. Are only evolutionists protected by contract laws in our nation, and should ID proponents take their seat in the back of the bus?

    And it gets better, since the musuem possibly broke the information laws by failing to provide all necessary documents, since it looks like a couple would be damaging to their defense and support the claims of the plaintiff. Your willingness to post 14 times thus far, without even reading the blog entry in full is telling of something…espcially in light of our blog hosts encouraging you to do some research on the things you propose to know and comment upon.

    As an aside, why do you think this fine museum, that you praise above, agreed to show Darwins Dilemma in the first place? Did the ‘thuggish’ Discovery Institute put guns to their heads or something.

  • Ben

    With a quick search I was able to find a list of 449 contradictions in the Bible.
    Hears one. They both can not be right. One or both must be wrong. With 449 contradictions most people conclude that although we may want to take the Bible seriously, we can not take it literally.
    Matthew 6:5-6
    And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father in secret shall reward thee openly.
    1 Timothy 2:8
    I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands.

    Steve, It is people like you that are responsible for the Decline in our Christian religion in the country and the world.
    You’re the reason that 2/3 of all evangelical kids leave the church in their 20s.
    You’re the reason why there has been a 20% drop over the years the US Christians numbers and during the same time atheist have dubbed making atheism the fasting growing belief system in the country. Also in the same time all other religions have also doubled. You’re the reason why 1/3 of all teen suicide are gay.
    We are headed for the same place that Europe is, where 80 to 90 % the population identify themselves as atheists.

    My God is so more awesome than yours. I feel sorry you.

    You’re doing the atheists a favor.

    You have not only turned your back on your god-given intellect; you have turned your back on God.
    People like you are always been anti science, anti medicine, anti cure and anti intellectual.
    Throughout history people like you have team up with bigots, people who treat woman like property and clergy who rape children.
    Its one thing to believe in a 5000yo mentality, it another when you infect our children with your ignorance and tell them they are going to burn in hell if they don’t believe the same way you do.
    I call that child abuse.

    So do all the Atheist and other non-Christians a favor and keep it up.


  • Mitchell

    opps,sorry, I posted this last message from another computer and someone eleses name showed up.

    I am auther of this post.

  • Mitchell, Thank you for the encouragement. When I receive a reply such as yours, it encourages me I must be doing something right. I simply challenged you to read the details about this lawsuit. Nothing personal.

    If you are concerned about the state of evangelical Christianity, especially the youth, as a result of my ministry, then I invite you to visit us for services some Sunday. My name links to our church website, and you are welcome to attend. I always am available after service to talk face-to-face with anyone who so desires. Maybe I will see you there sometime.

  • Bill Pratt

    Pastor Steve,
    You are truly a patient man, full of the Holy Spirit. You have shown a lot of restraint, more than I could.

    God bless you and your ministry,

  • Pastor Steve,

    I ditto Bill.

    God Bless You!!


  • Boz

    Bill Pratt said: “Neither I nor the Discovery Institute have ever advocated teaching ID in public school science classrooms.”

    This is false.

    Teach the Controversy is the name of a Discovery Institute campaign to promote intelligent design, a variant of traditional creationism, while attempting to discredit evolution in United States public high school science courses.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

    # 1 Forrest, Barbara (May,2007) (PDF), Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement: Its True Nature and Goals. A Position Paper from the Center for Inquiry, Office of Public Policy, Washington, D.C.: Center for Inquiry, Inc., http://www.centerforinquiry.net/uploads/attachments/intelligent-design.pdf

    # 2 a Does Seattle group “teach controversy” or contribute to it? Linda Shaw. The Seattle Times, March 31, 2005.

    # 3 Small Group Wields Major Influence in Intelligent Design Debate ABC News, November 9 2005

    # 4″ID’s home base is the Center for Science and Culture at Seattle’s conservative Discovery Institute. Meyer directs the center; former Reagan adviser Bruce Chapman heads the larger institute, with input from the Christian supply-sider and former American Spectator owner George Gilder (also a Discovery senior fellow). From this perch, the ID crowd has pushed a “teach the controversy” approach to evolution that closely influenced the Ohio State Board of Education’s recently proposed science standards, which would require students to learn how scientists “continue to investigate and critically analyze” aspects of Darwin’s theory.” Chris Mooney. The American Prospect. December 2, 2002 Survival of the Slickest: How anti-evolutionists are mutating their message

    # 5 Teaching Intelligent Design: What Happened When? by William A. Dembski”The clarion call of the intelligent design movement is to “teach the controversy.” There is a very real controversy centering on how properly to account for biological complexity (cf. the ongoing events in Kansas), and it is a scientific controversy.”

    # 6 Nick Matzke’s analysis shows how teaching the controversy using the Critical Analysis of Evolution model lesson plan is a means of teaching all the intelligent design arguments without using the intelligent design label.No one here but us Critical Analysis-ists… Nick Matzke. The Panda’s Thumb, July 11 2006

  • Boz

    Mitchell said: “[steve] You’re the reason that 2/3 of all evangelical kids leave the church in their 20s. You’re the reason why there has been a 20% drop over the years the US Christians numbers and during the same time atheist have dubbed making atheism the fasting growing belief system in the country. Also in the same time all other religions have also doubled. You’re the reason why 1/3 of all teen suicide are gay.
    We are headed for the same place that Europe is, where 80 to 90 % the population identify themselves as atheists.”

    Mitchell, you are wrong about the proportion of atheists in europe.

    The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 found that, on average, 52% of the citizens of EU member states state that they believe in a god, 27% believe there is some sort of spirit or life force while 18% do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god or life force. 3% declined to answer

    warning: very large document.

    How do you know that 2/3 of all evangelical kids leave the church in their 20s?

    you said that there has been a 20% drop over the years the US Christians numbers. How many years? How do you know that such a decline has occured?

    Mitchell, where are you getting these numbers from? I suspect that you are either making them up or copy/pasting the words.

  • Boz

    Bill Pratt said: “Until then, most people reading your[Mitchell’s] posts are just going to roll their eyes.”

    You don’t know this – you’re guessing.

  • Bill Pratt

    What you’ve done is mostly quote rabid anti-ID folks. I did not ask you what the people who can’t stand DI think that DI says. This would be akin to me claiming I know what African-Americans think by quoting the Ku Klux Klan. I suggest you go to DI’s website and find their official position on teaching ID in the classroom. Come back and report that to us. Then we can actually decide what the truth is.


  • Bill Pratt

    Seriously? You took time to write this? Come one, Boz. You’re better than this.

  • Boz,

    Why quote from a Wikipedia site as if it has any authority?

    Isn’t it a little disingenuous to have others tell us what a person or group believes when we can go to the source?

    Just go to the Discovery Institute itself. A relevant quote:

    Since intelligent design is a new theory of biological origins, we recommend that students not be required to learn about it. Nevertheless, we think they should learn about the scientific strengths and weaknesses of orthodox Darwinism.

    Here is the link to the whole article:


    So actually, Bill is correct and your claim is the false one.

  • Pingback: California Science Center Settles Lawsuit with Pro-Intelligent Design Group | Tough Questions Answered()

  • Lee Bowman

    Bill got right to the point in just a few sentences and nailed it; that critics of ID employ ‘dirty tricks’ more than reason and intelligent debate to weigh the evidence.

    While not clearly enumerated in the post, ID’sts are well aware of the tricks employed, such as hammering on dead issues like junk DNA, supposed vestigials, overstating extinctions, and of course ‘bad design’ arguments, some of which are refutable, but at least debatable.

    The most reviled tactics are things like tying ID’sts to flat-earth believers, conspiricists, and agenda based motive mongering, to name a few. They need to be addressed, however, since they continue to surface.

    The ‘afraid’ premise is evidenced by 1) the plethora of tactics, most without real substance, and by 2) the fact that the responses are so ongoing and virulent. If ID’sts were really just a bunch of illiterates (unschooled in science), antagonists (kill science), and fundies (motive driven), why not just leave them be? Richard Dawkins himself warns his followers that to respond even minimally is to give them credence.

    So yes, fear IS an operative. But to get back to the original question, just what IS it that they (Dawkins et al) are afraid of?

    In short, it’s the purported undermining of science, or put more succinctly, the undermining of its narrow view of cosmology, and how it operates. Intelligent design is not a philosophy or religious stance. It is merely a hypothesis based on observation. Given the data, science cannot/should not/ MUST not summarily exclude teleology as a viable explanation for the cosmos and of biologic life.

    When, and perhaps ONLY when, organizations like AAAS come to realize and accept that the philosophical belief that nothing exists beyond what is physical will progress be made on all fronts, science included.