One of the most enduring misunderstandings in the ID/materialistic evolution debate is that ID is simply a variant of Creationism and therefore a transparent attempt to smuggle religion into public schools. This is, of course, not the case as Krauze at Telic Thoughts illustrates. He recently sent out a questionaire to a couple of dozen anti-ID bloggers asking them to respond. Here's what he sent:
You have been contacted because you contribute to a blog which has been identified as a "pro-science blog". I am conducting a survey on outsiders' perception of intelligent design, and I would appreciate your input. The results will be published on Telic Thoughts, an independent blog about intelligent design, and every reply will be treated as anonymous. Please read the following carefully, and send your answer to [my e-mail address.]
For the purpose of this survey, "creationism" will be defined as "a belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible" (source: Dictionary.com). "Evolution" will be defined as "the theory that all modern life forms are derived from one or a few common ancestors via descent with modification".
Please answer the following:
On which points are intelligent design and creationism identical?
A. Both creationism and intelligent design require one to have a particular interpretation of the Biblical creation account.
B. Both creationism and intelligent design require one to accept a particular age of the Earth and of the universe.
C. Both creationism and intelligent design require one to reject evolution.
D. Both creationism and intelligent design identify the Christian God as the creator.
E. Both creationism and intelligent design hold that there is an intelligence behind certain features of nature.
F. There are no points of similarity between creationism and intelligent design.
G. None of the above options accurately describe the relationship between creationism and intelligent design.
(Please check all that apply.)
His respondents were notably uncooperative:
Unfortunately, some ID critics didn't like the scientific method to be applied to themselves. Within 27 minutes, one of the respondents, Wesley Elsberry of The Austringer, had posted the contents of my letter, advising others to reply by choosing "G". And within hours, other blogs had followed, including the highly popular Pharyngula. As another respondent, Tara Smith, said, "If you received [a mail], check out their comments before sending your answer back." Predictably, all of the respondents who replied either chose "G" or refused to participate in the survey (as it was of course their right to do, the survey being voluntary).
The reaction of these "defenders of science" is itself an interesting piece of sociological data, and I might deal with them in a later post. For now, I will leave you with a question: If the poll was indeed "wretchedly incomplete", as Elsberry claims, why did he see it necessary to notify his fellow bloggers immediately after receiving the poll? Was he worried that some might feel that one or more of my options adequately described their perception of intelligent design?
Of course, the reason Krauze obtained such meager results from his survey is that the anti-ID crowd, if they had answered it honestly, would have had to acknowledge that there really isn't much similarity between ID and Creationism after all, and instantly one of their handiest arguments for bamboozling the public would have gone up in smoke. Rather than admit the truth and give up an effective piece of misleading propaganda, they simply refused to answer. This is a strange response by people who otherwise claim to hold truth in such high esteem.