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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2008
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Claim CI001.1:

Intelligent design (ID) is scientific, not religious.


  1. The ID movement is motivated by and inseparable from a narrow religious viewpoint. In the words of its founders and leaders:
    There's a difference of opinion about how important this debate [advocating intelligent design] is. What I always say is that it's not just scientific theory. The question is best understood as: Is God real or imaginary? (Phillip Johnson, "The Search for Intelligent Design in the Universe", Silicon Valley Magazine, 9 Jan. 2000.)
    "We are taking an intuition most people have [the belief in God] and making it a scientific and academic enterprise. We are removing the most important cultural roadblock to accepting the role of God as creator. (Phillip Johnson, "Enlisting Science to Find the Fingerprints of a Creator", LA Times, 25 Mar. 2001.)
    Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools (P. Johnson 2003).
    "Father's words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle (J. Wells n.d.).
    If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of Chalcedon (i.e. the doctrine that Christ is fully human and fully divine) and view Christ as the telos toward which God is drawing the whole of creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient. (William Dembski, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology, Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 1999.)
    "Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory (Dembski 1999, 84).
    Johnson said he and most others in the intelligent design movement believe the designer is the God of the Bible (Maynard 2001).
    See Poindexter (2003) for more such quotes.

  2. Intelligent design is explicitly religious as a motive for legislative change of educational standards. Legislation introduced in Michigan attempts to add "intelligent design of a Creator" to the science standards of middle and high school (Michigan House Bill 4946).

  3. Several books on intelligent design are published by InterVarsity Press, which says of itself,
    Who is Intervarsity Press? We are a publisher of Christian books and Bible studies.
    As an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing resources that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of life. (IVP n.d.)
    The video "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" purportedly "tells the story of contemporary scientists who are advancing a powerful but controversial idea -- the theory of intelligent design." But it was produced by and promoted almost exclusively by fundamentalist Christian organizations (Evans 2003).

  4. The ID movement attempts to hide its religious basis in order to give the appearance of secular objectivity (Branch 2002). Their attempt is dishonest propaganda. "The trend among many Christian groups these days is to camouflage their creationism as 'Intelligent Design' or 'Progressive Creationism' " (Morris 1999). And despite their claims, the movement has no science.

  5. Intelligent design is blatantly anti-religious if the religion is one they disagree with. For example, Phillip Johnson equates theistic evolution (which would include most of Christianity) with atheism because of its acceptance of evolution.


Poindexter, Brian. 2003. The horse's mouth.


  1. Branch, G. 2002. Evolving banners at the Discovery Institute. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 22(5): 12.
  2. Dembski, William. 1999. Signs of intelligence: A primer on the discernment of intelligent design. Touchstone 12(4) (Jul/Aug): 76-84.
  3. Evans, Skip. 2003. Who promotes Unlocking the Mystery of Life?
  4. IVP Online. n.d. About us.
  5. Johnson, Phillip. 2003. American Family Radio, Jan. 10, 2003.
  6. Maynard, Steve. 2001. Life's intelligent design. Tacoma News Tribune, May 7, 2001.
  7. Michigan House Bill 4946. July 2, 2003, House introduced bill.
  8. Morris, John D., 1999. Open letter included with mailing of April 1999 Acts and Facts.
  9. Poindexter, B. 2003. (see above)
  10. Wells, Jonathan. n.d. Darwinism: Why I went for a second Ph.D., Unification Church.

Further Reading:

Brauer, Matthew J., Barbara Forrest and Steven G. Gey. 2005. Is it science yet?: Intelligent design creationism and the Constitution. Washington University Law Quaterly 83(1): 1-149.
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created 2003-5-30, modified 2005-10-14