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Robert Pennock


The Evidence Against the New Creationism: Robert Pennock

In his writings, law professor Phillip Johnson portrays himself as a soldier in the "culture wars," the point man in a "wedge strategy" to break apart the "religion" of evolution and to bring creationism into the mainstream. Johnson's is a philosophical attack, and the movement he leads is top-heavy with philosophers, such as William Dembski, Robert Koons, Stephen Meyer, J. P. Moreland, Paul Nelson, and Alvin Plantinga. It also includes conservative commentators, such as John Ankerberg and Nancy Pearcey, and even some scientists, like Michael Behe, Walter Bradley, and Jonathan Wells. In Tower of Babel, I discussed the most important contributions of these intelligent-design creationists (hereafter IDCS), and new writings of established creationists such as Norman Geisler, Henry and John Morris, and Hugh Ross. Contrary to Johnson's charge, I did not portray all creationists as Genesis literalists, but I was careful to describe (in their own terms) the interesting theological factionalism among Christian antievolutionists and antievolutionists who start from other religious viewpoints.

Johnson has organized an uneasy alliance against a common enemy. IDCS unite in their opposition to evolution and in their disdain for those Christians who believe one can be a theist while accepting its truth. William Dembski draws the new creationists' line in the sand, writing that IDCS "are no friends of theistic evolutionists." Johnson labels such believers "theistic naturalists" to highlight what he takes to be the incoherence of their "accommodationist" view. It is such compatibilist positions that his wedge aims to split, which is why, as he admits, so many Christian theologians oppose his movement.

Johnson says that IDCS push "the details" into the background. What this means is that they try to keep hidden their specific beliefs about the age of the earth, Noah's flood, and the goings-on in the garden. But scientists know that when testing a scientific hypothesis, the Devil is in ...

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