Saturday, August 19, 2006

Who's the Dodos? Intelligent Design Theorists of Evolutionists?

Randy Olson, an evolutionary biologist, made a documentary called Flock of Dodos. that makes the case that the success of Intelligent Design is merely from a slick PR campaign (by Seattle's Discovery Institute) and not based on real science. Olson says there is no crisis of evidence in evolution, but some people still don't believe in it because of a poor job of communication by scientists. The film (I've only seen the trailer and the ABC interview of Olson) attempts to discredit the ID movement by revealing who the real Dodos are--anyone who doubts in evolution.

One thing Olson did well in the interview is to differentiate between Creationists and ID proponents, something that isn't often done. Creationists start with a literal belief in the book of Genesis and try to bend science to fit it. ID theorists don't begin with Genesis but only with the scientific evidence for design in nature. Yet excerpts from the film reveal evolutionists mixing them all together--one of them says we should call out supporters of creationism or ID and tell them "you're an idiot."

Although, it appears to give both sides of the story, the film apparently leaves out much of the story. There IS dissent among scientists. 100 of them from universities signed the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism. Is this scientist in the film calling the likes of these--including agnostic David Berlinski and intellectual giant William F. Buckley, idiots? This debate is not a new PR battle that started in 2000, as the film claims. Biologist Michael Denton wrote Evolution: a Theory in Crisis in 1986. Mathmetician Berlinski, wrote The Deniable Darwin in 1996. UC Berkeley's Philip Johnson put Darwin on Trial in 1993. If one takes a truly objective look, the theory of evolution is in crisis. Even a Dodo can see that.

Billy Graham the Moderate

Newsweek just ran a story on Billy Graham in his twilight years that was encouraging and revealing. The writer put Graham in a favorable light and highlighted his approach--over the years--of not making politics primary, but secondary to the Gospel "which transcends party lines." A few of the quotes jumped out at me as they reinforced much of how I have changed or never bought the conservative Christian party line.

Graham says "I'm not a literalist about the Bible in that every jot and tittle is from the Lord. This is a difference in my thinking through the years." And, "It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be in heaven and who won't. He gave his son for the whole world, and I think he loves everybody regardless of what label they have."

Wise words indeed.