Monday, September 12, 2016

"Evangelicals for Evolution!" -- I want this as a Bumper Sticker!

Interesting article on Forbes: "Evangelicals Coming Out For Darwin".  While I often think of The BioLogos Foundation as just a 'Theistic Evolution' organization, I hadn't really looked at their disagreement about Intelligent Design (ID) and the tactics of folks like the Discovery Institute (DI).  This article describes a new book (from an academic press) about evangelical scientists, teachers, pastors and theologians who have come to accept evolutionary theory, specifically addressing ID.  I might have to pick this book up in the near future.

A couple of interesting quotes from the article [I added any underlining for emphasis]:

"Dennis Venema, professor of biology at Trinity Western University, . . . who started out as a supporter of intelligent design, actively hostile to evolution, recounts how he simply grew out of ID as it failed to make sense of the science he was learning in graduate school and how poorly the books put out by ID supporters tried to argue against evolution. "
Hmm, ID failed to make sense and how poorly books by ID supporters tried to argue against evolution.  Certainly not the first time we've heard that!  One of my constant critiques of the DI and most ID supporters is that instead of supporting their own ideas, they spend considerably more time and energy, nearly all of their time and energy, trying to denigrate evolutionary theory, and doing a bad job of it.  Here's another one:
"J.B. Stump, a director at BioLogos and also one of the book’s editors, recounts being forced to leave his teaching job at a Christian college for promoting the acceptance of evolution."
Ah, and just where was the DI in their vocal defense of Academic Freedom when this happened?  Nowhere to be seen, they prefer to spend their efforts on the non-existent cases of teachers being  fired for teaching ID.  If you disagree, name one, just one!  The usual cast of ID 'victims' the DI likes to parade include Crocker, Gonzalez, Sternberg, Freshwater, and Coppedge -- none of whom were fired for their support of ID!  
  • Crocker's contract was up and she was not re-hired partly because she was failing to teach the subject she was hired to teach -- science.
  • Gonzalez was not given tenure because he failed in his responsibilities as a professor with graduate students after 7 years in the job.  Seven years and only one completed graduate student and hardly any research funding.  Very poor showing for a tenure seeking professor!  But he was not fired.
  • Sternberg was the already outgoing editor of a minor biological journal who, on his way out the door, violated the journals review procedure to publish one of his friend's ID paper, and now he works for that same friend at the DI.
  • Freshwater was fired for a number of things including failing to do his job, lying to investigators, trying to get his students to lie for him, and burning crosses into kids arms.  He tried to take his case all the way to the US Supreme Court, after failing at all the other levels.  It didn't work.
  • Coppedge was simply downsized and tried to turn it into a religious discrimination suit and failed.  Of course he looked pretty bad when all the evidence showed that he was a poor employee (there were complaints), liked to preach his religion to his co-workers (there were more complaints), and refused to keep his skills current.
So here we have an actual professor forced out of his job because of his refusal to adopt a newly defined narrow view of science and the DI never rallies to his cause.  And yet they keep trying to pass themselves off as a bastion for academic freedom.  Apparently, The DI thinks academic freedom is only the freedom to preach religion in science class.

I hope you take a look at the book referenced as well.  I am sure it's going to annoy folks like the DI and little kennie ham (AiG, Ark Park, and Creation Pseudo-museum infamy).  After all, kennie seems to have convinced himself that only he is the decider in determining whether or not someone is a Christian, but more than likely kennie will determine these 'Evangelicals' are some sort of closet Atheists!

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