Monday, July 31, 2017

Maybe it is Too Soon To Retire the 'So There's Nothing Religious About Intelligent Design' Post Title?

I was going to retire the "So there's nothing religious about Intelligent Design (ID)" post title, but this one popped up and I just cannot resist, it fits to perfectly. For the less than honest fellows at the Discovery Institute posted: "For Culturally Illiterate Science Reporters, Canaanite DNA Yields Occasion to Slap Bible Around".  I don't really care to deal with their typical spin on any story, the part that interests me is right at the beginning and near the end. Here is the first line:

"Obviously, your friends at Evolution News are not here to do Biblical exegesis. However, when science headlines tendentiously try to manipulate readers in order to slam the Bible, well, that’s fair game."
Exegesis is defined as:
"is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, particularly a religious text." (Wikipedia: exegesis)
Simply put the Discovery Institute (DI) is going to explain the Bible to us.  I don't think that's particularly correct, but I'll explain my thinking on that a little later in this post.  So, for this opening line itself, if there is nothing inherently religious about the DI and ID, then why is this post even necessary?  Who is the DI, that bastion of pseudo-science, to interpret the Bible to us anyway?  That's what I find so funny.

The second to last paragraph is the most interesting:
"Not “may have survived.” In the Bible’s account, they definitely survived, in large numbers. The original headline? “Ancient DNA counters biblical account of the mysterious Canaanites.” It should be, “Ancient DNA confirms biblical account…”"
So not only is the DI 'interpreting' the Bible for us, they are changing the meaning.  The Bible says the Canaanites were wiped out.  Deuteronomy shows the order to 'let none survive.  So how is the fact that they survived, show that the Biblical account is confirmed -- as claimed by the DI?  It sure doesn't seem confirmed to me!

OK, my issue is that there seems to be words the DI uses that means the exact opposite of what they say. This post wasn't an example of 'exegesis', but one of 'eisegesis', which is defined as:
" . . . is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text. " (Wikipedia: eisegesis)
You can read the whole article and tell me that's isn't exactly what they are doing.  They are spinning in order to claim that science is messing up.  The reality is they are trying to introduce their anti-science agenda into the conversation, while claiming otherwise.  They aren't just 'interpreting', but they are changing the story -- eisegesis not exegesis -- not that we use those terms very often.

Personally when I tell a story and try and be very specific when I am putting my own interpretation on things, especially if I have no idea of the details.  I differentiate carefully between the facts I am trying to explain and my interpretation of those facts.  But then facts and the DI don't seem to have much of a relationship.  I wonder if they used the word 'exegesis' to either sound academic or deliberately mislead people.  I know I had to check the definition myself.  

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