Christianity Today wrote a piece on 04-25-06 entitled “The Other ID Opponents.” The article focuses on the squabble some Biblical creationists have with the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. The article spent an inordinate amount of time discussing Ken Ham’s ministry, Answers in Genesis (a young earth creationist organization), and his beef with ID. I read a lot of things that get my blood boiling, but it’s not too often I will write the author to express my concerns. This time, however, I did just that. I was quite astonished that CT would write such a one-sided story that misrepresented ID and did not let ID proponents speak for themselves. They labeled as “enemy” a genuine friend of Christianity: ID. Read the article at the link above and then the following response I sent to CT:

I am a Pentecostal Christian who has studied both creationism and ID. I was quite shocked at the presentation of the issue in this article. In my opinion it was incredibly one-sided (Ken Ham was referenced or quoted 11 times without a single quote from an ID advocate in response), and I would argue it misconstrued the nature of ID and its relationship to creationism (mainly through the words of Ham).

The theory of ID is not facing off with creationism or Genesis as if the two are at odds. Creationism simply picks up where ID leaves off. ID uses scientific means to identify hallmarks of intelligence in the physical and biological worlds, demonstrating that certain aspects of the world could not have been formed by unintelligent processes such as those put forth by neo-Darwinism. But because of the constraints of science the nature/identity of this designing intelligence (natural or supernatural) cannot be identified, nor can the designer’s methods of design/creation be detailed. That’s where philosophy and religion come in; that’s where Biblical creationism comes in. Biblical creation puts a face on the designer “discovered” through the scientific disciple of design detection.

While some Christians may wish ID spoke to more, it is constrained by the empirical and epistemological limits of the scientific method. It only seeks to demonstrate that undirected material causes alone are not sufficient to explain the specified complexity found in our world. A designing intelligence is needed, and ID has identified positive empirical evidence for the existence of such a designer.

Just because ID is not a do-it-all package that takes one from materialism to theism does not mean ID is not an ally to Biblical creationism. Ken Ham and others seem to argue that since ID doesn’t tackle everything creationists think should be tackled that it is a danger to creationism. That’s like arguing a cancer institute is dangerous to health improvement because it doesn’t tackle AIDS, Leukemia, and the like. While creationism may be the home run of Christian truth, ID is a base hit. We should not try to eject them from the game simply because they don’t slam the ball out of the park. We’re on the same team, and we’re all playing against the Darwinists and their mascot of materialism. We are both united in our opposition to Darwinism’s insistence on blind, undirected natural causes as an explanation for the present state of the cosmos. We are both united in our affirmation that an intelligent designer was responsible for creating. As Nancy Pearcey wrote, “Thus the heart of the battle is whether the universe is the result of Intelligent Agency or of blind, noncognitive forces—and that’s where we must direct our energies.” (Total Truth, 174)

I hope you will write another piece that looks at the issue a little more objectively and allows ID to speak for, and defend itself.