Sunday, January 08, 2012

Rick Santorum's Support for the Intelligent Design Movement

As I have indicated in my previous post, I think Rick Santorum should be questioned about his support for the intelligent design movement.  What's at issue here is not just a matter of the science curriculum in public schools, because the deeper question is whether Santorum believes that modern evolutionary science is responsible for the decline of Western culture, and whether he thinks the salvation of Western culture requires replacing evolutionary science with a "true science" of intelligent-design creationism. 

This is suggested by what Santorum wrote in 2006 in his Foreword to a collection of essays honoring Phillip Johnson, the founder of the intelligent design movement.  The book is Darwin's Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement, edited by William A. Dembski (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006).  One of the essays in this book is an attack on me by J. Budziszewski, who argues that my defense of Darwinian natural right is a dangerous denial of the Christian morality required for a healthy culture.  Santorum's Foreword suggests that he agrees with this.  I have responded to Budziszewski in two posts that can be found here and here.

Phillip Johnson is the person who first proposed the "wedge strategy"--the idea that a carefully crafted attack on Darwinian evolutionary science could become the "wedge" for ultimately destroying all of modern scientific naturalism and then leading to a "renewal of culture" based on intelligent-design creationism.

Here's the full text of Santorum's Foreword:
This volume celebrates Phillip Johnson's leadership in the intelligent design (ID) movement.  Scholars who have known Phil best and worked with him most closely assembled in April 2004 at Biola University to present him with a collection of papers in his honor.  I wish I could have been there to offer my congratulations and thanks in person.  Instead, I have the privilege of writing this brief foreword from Washington.
Since the publication of Darwin on Trial more than ten years ago, Phillip Johnson has provided extraordinary leadership for an extraordinary cause, namely, to rid science of false philosophy.  The importance of the cause is clear: what could be more important than showing that only a shallow, partisan understanding of science supports the false philosophy of materialist reductionism, with its thoroughly unscientific denial of formal and final causes in nature and its repudiation of the first cause of all being?  As the decline of true science has been a major factor in the decline of Western culture, so too the renewal of science will play a big part in cultural renewal.
Johnson's extraordinary leadership also is clear: rather than fall into the trap of building a cult of personality around himself and his own considerable talents, he has instead helped raise up and promote a whole group of intellectual leaders in the course of scientific renewal.  This kind of selfless Christian leadership is a shining example to us all, young and old.
Speaking of the young, I personally wish to commend Phil for the great help he has given me in my efforts to inject a renewed and unbiased understanding of science and its practice into the curricula of our public schools.  There is much more for us to do, but working with Phil's colleagues at Seattle's Discovery Institute, we have begun the difficult fight for removing the stranglehold of philosophical materialism on textbook science.
Phil, I congratulate and praise you for your tireless work to return science to a sure philosophical grounding in the nature of things as they really are.  Please know that during your Biola celebration, I was with you and your colleagues in spirit.  As much as I was delighted when I first heard about this celebration in your honor, I am again delighted now that the proceedings from that celebration have appeared in book form.
Senator Rick Santorum
It is remarkable to have a United States Senator joining the intelligent design movement led by the Discovery Institute.  As Santorum's language here indicates, he sees himself as serving the plan of the Discovery Institute for overturning modern scientific materialism--particularly, as expressed in Darwinian evolutionary science--and replacing it with the "true science" of intelligent-design creationism.  This plan was first laid out in a secret memorandum--the "Wedge Document"--for establishing the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.  That document can now be found here.

Santorum's support for the intelligent design movement, while serving as Senator from Pennyslvania, included supporting the school board of the Dover Area Public Schools, in Dover, Pennsylvania, when they tried to introduce intelligent design creationism into the schools.  This was overturned by a federal judge as unconstitutional in 2005.  Some of my blog posts on this case can be found here.

It would be good for someone to ask Santorum if as President, he would be carrying out the plan in the Discovery Institute's Wedge Document for overturning scientific naturalism and replacing it with intelligent-design creationism. 

This question could have been asked this morning on the "Meet the Press" Republican presidential debate, particularly when Santorum said that President Obama's failure to support traditional marriage and family life showed Obama's "secular" view of American culture.

1 comment:

Rob S said...

On Fox News in June 2011, Rick Santorum told Glenn Beck that, "There is no such thing as global warming."

Tricky Rick is a science-denier. He would never let facts get in the way of a good opinion, as they say.

In my opinion, anyone ignorant enough to deny the facts of evolution and climate change is automatically unfit for public office.