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Friday, October 22, 2010

William Dembski, Young-Earth Creationist?

The Panda's Thumb Blog is no friend to the Intelligent Design (ID) movement, but it seems to usually get its facts right, quoting original sources, with links, wherever possible. On October 20, 2010, it reported that William Dembski, one of the most important figures in ID, now says that he is a Young-Earth Creationist. This seems to be a recent development. The same post quotes Dembski as believing that the scientific evidence ruled out YEC, as recently as 2009. I have posted on the difference between ID and YEC, and also quoted Dembski as not being a YEC.

The article indicates that it is possible that Dembski changed his mind on the subject to retain his position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It doesn't strongly put that forth, and offers no evidence for that possibility.

There doesn't have to be any shame in changing one's mind. I've done it myself, on origins, and a lot of other things. It is possible that Dembski has changed his simply because he now believes that the Biblical evidence for YEC is overwhelming. He evidently believes that Biblical evidence is more important than scientific evidence. My own belief, and that of many others, is that God reveals Himself to us both through nature and through the Bible (and in other ways, especially through Jesus Christ) and that, if we understood both correctly, there would be no conflict between them. I further believe that the scientific evidence for an old earth, and an old universe, is overwhelming, and that the Bible can be interpreted as not being opposed to that idea without doing violence to the Scripture. I may be wrong.


Thanks for reading.

5 comments:

FancyHorse said...

God reveals Himself to us both through nature and through the Bible (and in other ways, especially through Jesus Christ) and that, if we understood both correctly, there would be no conflict between them.

I believe this, too. God wrote (inspired the writers of) the Bible, and He created earth and the universe. I belive that the more we learn about the earth and universe through science (with an open mind), the more we will see that the Bible is right.

Ted Herrlich said...

How will this sit with his Discovery Institute's lords and masters? I mean they tend to bend over backwards to appease the members of their 'big tent' approach and avoid internal conflicts until they can 'rid the world of evolution'. Billy switching camps might create some internal conflict -- we can always hope. Will Billy's next fluff piece still support Michael Behe who, as far as I know, is not only not a YEC but a supporter of Common Descent? This might be fun.

Thanks to Jack Krebs, Lauri Lebo, and PZ Myers for highlighting all the fun and games. Now to get some popcorn and watch for fallout. Who will be first? Will Dembski try and weasel his way out of it? Will a mouthpiece for the DI tell us how Dembski's change is no big deal? Will Dembski continue to spout about nothing at all? Stay tuned!

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, FancyHorse!

Thanks, Ted Herrlich. No doubt The Panda's Thumb will keep up with all this.

atlibertytosay said...

I further believe that the scientific evidence for an old earth, and an old universe, is overwhelming

I was always taught that Science was based on observation. Who has written down, taped, or videographed evidence that we know to be FACT BECAUSE it was observed and cataloged?

I know you've written on it before ... but do you not lend ANY credence to the Bible being literal or what about the "1000 years as a day to the Lord" passages?

Do you not think our God is powerful enough to have done it in 7 days?

Are there not extremely detailed genealogies of REAL people, places, and events in the old and new testaments that to a historian gives a reasonably accurate timeline as when man started having intelligence to write or chronicle things?

Just asking, not accusing or trying to seem like I have the answers either.

I believe everything that 10 scientists at random can tell me that have no prior knowledge of my question.

Martin LaBar said...

I believe that the Bible should be taken literally where it was meant to be. Most of it should be, including at least a good part of Genesis, other historical books, and the Gospels, etc., in the NT. Some of it, namely much of the prophetic books, including most or all of Revelation (and perhaps the prophetic bits of Paul's letters) probably weren't meant to be taken literally, but at least partly symbolically. The Psalms, and other poetry weren't meant to be taken literally.

The Bible is its own best commentary. It is always dangerous to take some single verse literally (for example that four angels stand at the four corners of the earth) without considering what the rest of scripture says on the subject,
and why it was written, and who it was written to.

There are differences of opinion among Bible-believing scholars as to whether some passages were meant to be taken literally, for example, Genesis teaches that the flood was world-wide, or that God's creative activity was restricted to six literal 24-hour days.

I believe that the "1000 years is as a day" was not meant to say that a day equals exactly 1000 years, but to tell us that God's view of time is greatly different than ours. In other words, I believe that that statement is a figure of speech.

God could have created everything in six 24-hour days, but the evidence of His activity we gather through science, about the age of the universe, and the age of the earth, leads me to believe that He didn't.

Yes, there are chronologies. There are some problems with them -- some people obviously left out -- in the chronologies in Chronicles. This may mean that people were left out in Genesis, also. But I don't see how, even if some people were left out, we can push Adam back to a million or so years ago, based on the chronologies.

I think that you are right. We have a reasonably accurate guess as to when humans started having intelligence to write or chronicle things.

I do not have all the answers. God does. I could be wrong about anything above.

Thanks for asking.