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Recently David Klinghoffer, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute (a part of the intelligent design [ID] movement) in Seattle, wrote about the February 4 debate between Bill Nye and me on the Evolution News And Views website. In his article Klinghoffer states the following:
The more people watch Ham debate Nye, the better they will be able to appreciate the stark contrast between advocates of intelligent design and those of creationism.Consider his statement that “ID advocates follow the evidence where it leads.” Now, the ID movement is not a Christian movement. Its proponents are against naturalism and maintain that life is the result of an intelligent designer, but they don’t fully say what they mean by that. It certainly is true that if you look at living things, there is overwhelming evidence of design in them—that life could not have arisen without intelligence. That is the essence of what Romans 1:20 states—that it is so obvious from looking at creation that God exists, and if you do not believe this, you are without excuse.
Creationists themselves are honest about saying what that distinction is. As Mr. Ham’s “Answers in Genesis” colleague Georgia Purdom has candidly said, the main difference is that creationists insist on faith’s directing the conclusions that science reaches. Devout materialists, while reaching opposite conclusions, come at the question of life’s origins in much the same manner. Naturalism demands an answer to the mystery of evolution that excludes intelligent direction. So that’s what it gets and what it offers.
ID advocates follow the evidence where it leads. That, more than the age of Earth, is I think the distinction that drives everything else.
But the ID movement is ignoring evidence: they dismiss the Bible itself as evidence! The Bible claims to be (and I know it to be) the Word of God. By His Spirit God moved people to write for us His revelation about who we are, where we came from, what our problem is (sin), and what the solution is to our problem: Jesus Christ and His free gift of salvation.
The Bible is evidence—it is evidence that enables us to correctly connect the past to the present and understand true history.
Because the ID movement ignores the Bible, its leaders will not publicly lead people to understand who the true God is. A person cannot understand the gospel message from looking at the creation. In fact, because the Bible makes it clear the creation is “groaning” (Genesis 3), we can only understand the reality of death, suffering, bloodshed, disease, etc., by looking at the creation through the lens of the Word of God.
Klinghoffer also seems to imply that the age of the earth is the issue which drives us at AiG. But that’s simply not true. Our emphasis is to stand on the authority of God’s Word, enabling us to have the foundation to build a worldview that will give us the ability to correctly interpret the evidence of the present in relation to the past. What we believe about the age of the earth (that it is relatively young) is a consequence of our stand on biblical authority, and nothing in observational science contradicts that. You see, we use the Bible as evidence!
This writer also states that “creationists insist on faith’s directing the conclusions that science reaches.” He is failing, though, to distinguish between origins science (which can’t be directly observed) and empirical science (which is testable and repeatable). He fails to publicly acknowledge that the Bible is a book of history and even more than that—that it is the inspired, infallible Word of God. This book of history, God’s Word, is evidence that is needed to correctly connect the past with the present.
The ID movement has produced some great research to show the obvious design in living things. But unless they consider all the evidence (which includes the Bible), they will not be able to lead people to a correct understanding of life and the universe.
At least Klinghoffer is going to watch the upcoming debate—well, maybe some of it! Viewers of the debate will see a stark contrast between the stand AiG takes and the position of the ID movement. Again, the big difference is that AiG insists on using the Bible as evidence! Actually, we insist on the Bible as the foundation for our entire Christian worldview, as it is the infallible Word of God.
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