I Was Right

It’s good to say: Palin’s a creationist.

Elsewhere in this volume she talks about creationism, saying she “didn’t believe in the theory that human beings — thinking, loving beings — originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea” or from “monkeys who eventually swung down from the trees.” In everything that happens to her, from meeting Todd to her selection by Mr. McCain for the Republican ticket, she sees the hand of God: “My life is in His hands. I encourage readers to do what I did many years ago, invite Him in to take over.”

The only question is, what manner of creationist is she? That quote leaves open the old-earth, young-earth, and intelligent design varieties. While young-earth creationists are unquestionably the worst, as the most ignorant, being a member of any group speaks immediately ill of one’s mental faculties. I guess we’ll have to buy the book to find out.

UPDATE: she’s either an old earth or ID creationist. Given the supporters of one are usually supporters of the other, and in fact can’t tell the difference between them most of the time (h/t Judge Jones of the E.D. PA), it’s probably not important which one she is.

11 comments

  1. This is an honest question: what is, in your opinion, the technical difference of Intelligent Design to the other two?

  2. Mintman: dishonesty?

    Ames: Luckily, we’ll be able to get it extremely cheap – Amazon is already offering it at 69% off.

    Yes, sixty-nine percent.

    1. Just check it out from the library. That’s infinity-percent off!

  3. @Mike: EPIC. Nevertheless I’m being pressured by friends not to even give her that satisfaction. What would Barack Obama do?

    Mintman: good question, actually — I think YEC and ID are certainly distinct, although some adherents don’t; OEC and ID is a more interesting question. At some level, the distinction is only stylistic — ID tries to use the language of science, OEC is proud of its religious base — but I’ve always seen OEC as arguing that God “created” animals at the outset, and guided the process, while I’ve thought ID leaves room for abiogenesis, with God simply guiding the evolutionary process. Maybe I’m wrong. Tell me if so! Know thy enemy.

    1. I seriously doubt any of them would ascribe to abiogenesis. The idea that life could spontaneously being without the hand of god is much more controbersial than saying life could simply progress without it. And there are people who wholly accept evolution who aren’t so sure of abiogensis.

      No, what I think the difference between ID and OEC is that ID matches the results of evolution but with a different mechanism. Instead of natural processes, ID substitutes an Old Testament-style hands-on god. OEC, on the other hand doesn’t just say that god created life at the beginning, but that every form of life from there on out was individually crafted and plopped down on earth fully formed. ID allows for a species to be “guided” from an ancient form to its current one, but OEC would say that each species of bird, for instances, has always been exactly the way it is today. There might be a wider range of beliefs that fit OEC, but ID at least means that species can change.

      1. Yeah, that’s pretty much the gist of it. The ‘mainstream’ OEC approach is the Day-Age Interpretation, which holds that the Creation happened as is described in Genesis 1, but that each “day” should be interpreted as a sort of geological/biological age of millions of years.

        ID, on the other hand, sort of accepts the scientific view of geological creation and biological evolution, but repackages the whole deal to show how it’s really all just part of God’s plans. Sorry, I’ll read that again: …how it’s really best explained as the result of interventions by an “intelligent entity”.

        As far as abiogenesis is concerned, I doubt you’ll ever find that outside of at least the more progressive branches of theistic evolution. I get the impression it tends to drown a bit in the argument over evolution, though.

  4. I really held out hope that this wasn’t the case. Denial of common descent is a stronger antievolution position than nearly all of the ID folks hold publicly, although in lieu of actual research the DI’s Biologic Institute is affiliating itself with some YECs.

    If we set aside the fact that ID really exists as a Trojan horse for creationism, then YEC, OEC, and ID are all linked by belief in supernatural causation. YEC and OEC rely on Genesis-based divine spontaneous generation, with YEC bringing in Bishop Ussher’s age of the Earth and literal 24-hour days of creation. Without proposing any sort of mechanism (since it isn’t science), ID invokes supernatural (divine) influence to explain biological complexity.

  5. DickTurpis · ·

    It seems to me that the majority of religious people in the country must believe in some form of Intelligent Design, so it’s hardly surprising that any politician does, let alone Palin. To believe in an all-powerful god, and yet deny that such a being had anything to do with the most miraculous thing in the universe, life (particularly intelligent human life), just makes me wonder what the hell it is their god does. It seems he exists, he’d had to have some hand in creating and developing life. For that reason, I don’t have a real problem with OEC/IDers themselves, as long as they keep their supernatural theories out of science classrooms. YECers, on the other hand, are downright delusional. I’m actually a bit surprised if indeed Palin is not one.

    1. …just makes me wonder what the hell it is their god does.

      “God creates out of nothing. Wonderful, you say. Yes, to be sure, but He does what is still more wonderful: He makes saints out of sinners.”

      Søren Kierkegaard (1838)

    2. To believe in an all-powerful god, and yet deny that such a being had anything to do with the most miraculous thing in the universe, life (particularly intelligent human life), just makes me wonder what the hell it is their god does.

      Who is saying god had nothing to do with it? (OK, aside from me.) Evolution, especially without abiogenesis, leaves plenty for god to do. He may not be tinkering, saying “This one gets wings now, this one gets lungs now and can crawl on land,” but it can be said that natural selection is god’s instrument.

      This has been parodied with the theory of “intelligent falling” which says that god’s hand guides falling objects and celesital bodies, not the law of gravity. This is laughable today, particularly because we know of gravity, but it worked for more superstitious peoples in the past.

      But in the laws of gravity Newton did not see the absence of god, but rather an elegance that supported his beliefs. Darwin felt much the same way about natural selection. So why can’t people today, if they do choose to believe in god, see natural selection alongside gravity as yet another mechanism of god’s rational world?

      1. So why can’t people today, if they do choose to believe in god, see natural selection alongside gravity as yet another mechanism of god’s rational world?

        I just discovered that this perspective is essentially theistic evolution.

%d bloggers like this: