In this article Sunday school teacher Jerry Bergman asks us why the court ruled against ID in the Dover case. His answer is that Ã¢â‚¬Å“critical analysis of Ã¢â‚¬ËœevolutionismÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ leads to intelligent design which leads to the Ã¢â‚¬ËœCreatorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â which Ã¢â‚¬Å“leads to religion, which leads to GodÃ¢â‚¬Â. As evidence for this assertion, Mr. Bergman brings up two atheists who he states have Ã¢â‚¬Å“left atheism and became theists because of intelligent designÃ¢â‚¬Â.
His first example is Anthony Flew, professor emeritus at Reading University and perhaps one of the most renowned atheists of the 20th century. Rumors of Professor Flews conversion have been circulating since about 2001. The rumors turned to fact in the 2004 winter edition of Ã¢â‚¬ËœPhilosophia ChristiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¦it seems to me that the case for an Aristotelian God, who has the characteristics of power and intelligence, is now much stronger than it ever was before.
Since then it has been widely debated as to what he believes, if he believes and for what reasons, if any, he has for these beliefs. The conclusion by some, including myself, has been that Professor Flew subscribes to the God of the Gap Theory. This theory is the one that says if science doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t or canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t explain it; the god of your choice must have done it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not surprising to see that it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sit well with most atheists and more than a few theists.
His second example is Dr. G. Timothy Johnson who has written a book about his personal journey wherein he (favorably?) addresses intelligent design. Johnson is presented as an atheist turned theist, but looking at the reviews it seems to me to point to a theist turned skeptic turned theist.
Nevertheless, the use of these two men is misleading. While these men are both educated and respected, neither is trained in the evolutionary sciences. Flew is a philosopher. Johnson is a medical doctor. They are not experts or authorities when it comes to evolution.
Furthermore, even if both men were experts, the fact remains that they could be wrong. For example, Flew has admitted that he has not studied recent developments in the field of protobiology, which is the discipline that addresses his Ã¢â‚¬ËœproblemÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ with evolution. Not only does that fail to meet the standards of critical analysis as put forth by Mr. Bergman, but tarnishes FlewsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ supposed authority also.
In summary, this piece is nothing more than a fallacious appeal to the respect these men have garnered in their respective fields in order to support the authorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s premise that the banning of ID was because of its religious truths, not because it’s warmed over Christian Creationism that has no place in public schools.