Defending the Wedge Strategy

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Teleologist, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. What is "The Wedge"?
    Recently, a few Intelligent Design (ID) critics have created some confusion over the meaning of "The Wedge." Several statements made by ID detractors in books and blogs have suggested "The Wedge" to be a partially concealed strategy by well-funded religious fanatics to attack science and force it to come under the thumb of a specific religious mindset. (But how concealed can it be when the acknowledged sharp edge of the wedge, Philip Johnson, writes a book entitled, The Wedge of Truth in which he delineates the strategy for all to read?) Some statements have gone so far as to suggest that the advocates of "The Wedge" are dead-set on turning the United States into a theocracy!

    But is this an accurate characterization of "The Wedge," or is this just a baseless appeal by Darwinists to impugn the motives of their adversaries? Well, as they say, when the facts aren't on your side, argue motives. The truth is, with regard to "The Wedge," the facts can speak for themselves. First of all, let's distinguish the Wedge document from the Wedge strategy. "The Wedge" document is nothing more or less than a fundraising proposal generated in 1999 by the Discovery Institute - a think-tank in Seattle, Washington. It is posted in its entirety (as well as a response to all the misinformation that has been spread by Wedge critics) at the Discovery Institute's website here ( Interested readers may want to sift through the document and see for themselves that the Wedge conspiracy charges are simply not true.

    Secondly, there is the Wedge strategy. Wedge advocates are becoming increasingly more convinced that the emerging biochemical and cosmological facts implicate the involvement of intelligence in the natural world. Helping scientists as well as the general public become aware of these facts is the central plank in "The Wedge" strategy. The intent of Wedge supporters is to split apart two arguments often used in tandem to dissuade people from the consideration of design hypotheses.

    One of the two arguments is philosophical in nature and plays a critical defensive role in preserving Darwinism from potentially damaging competition. The thrust of this argument goes like this: science is ill-equipped to handle inferences to design, so therefore, these inferences have to be ruled out on principle alone (i.e., science simply cannot assess the presence of design). The second argument is evidentiary in nature and serves its purpose in offensive situations. The basic thesis here is that all or virtually all of the biological and physical evidence available to us points in the direction of purposeless, blind forces. Together these arguments form a rhetorically powerful one-two punch. When Darwinists are on the offensive, out comes the "evidence" about sloppy design and vestigial organs. These arguments attempt to illustrate the absurdity of a designer who would have possibly "done it that way?" But when ID advocates advance arguments based on observations that all but demand an inference to design, the Darwinist camp quickly switches to defense and reminds everyone that, tempting as it may seem, it is impossible to generate scientific evidence in favor of design - science simply doesn't allow it. Heads, I win; tails, you lose.

    Now of course a major logical flaw occurs when these two arguments are combined. Although design advocates feel both arguments are faulty, any impartial observer can see that the two arguments cannot both be correct. If, on the one hand, science cannot speak to the issue of design, then it makes no sense to a moment later speak of "evidence" that opposes design. And if it is possible to marshal scientific evidence opposing design, then it must be at least theoretically possible to marshal scientific evidence supporting design - so why is it rejected a priori?

    I presume that Darwinists who are bent on protecting their theory from fair critique are aware of this logical flaw, but evidently the utility of employing both arguments makes it irresistible. It is this having-their-cake-and-eating-it-too that necessitates any wedge strategy at all. So, for instance, Wedge advocates point out, among other things, that legitimate sciences infer the presence of design all the time. In fact, entire scientific enterprises exist because design is empirically detectable (regardless of whether the nature or intentions of the designer are discernable or not). What if biological evidence continues to surface, the most honest assessment of which repeatedly merits this inference to design? What if it becomes more and more apparent that there are verifiable signs of designing intelligence in the natural world? This is indeed the juncture at which we sit. Refusing to acknowledge this does not make the evidence go away. In light of this situation, Wedge advocates are simply attempting to reopen the public forum on the presence of design in nature - a forum which has been prematurely shut down by faulty Darwinist rhetoric.

    Exposing the incongruity between the naturalistic doctrine of blind, purposeless causes and the emerging scientific evidence from information theory, molecular biology, and other fields associated with origins issues, is the crux of "The Wedge" strategy. There is nothing clandestine or sinister about it. It is simple, direct, and open for all to observe. Either it will succeed because hypotheses inferring design will lead us into further scientific truth, or it will wither away due to its fruitlessness. Is it evil and pernicious to allow this idea to breathe and see what happens? Is it appropriate to repeatedly make baseless claims designed to dissuade curious observers from taking a closer look? As a Wedge advocate, I would ask you to see past the histrionic hand-wringing of the Darwinists and take a close look at the possibility of design. Examine the evidence and judge for yourself, isn't that the way science is supposed to work?

    Dr. Nesselroade is Associate Professor of Psychology at Asbury College in Kentucky. Readers are welcome to respond to this column at the ARN Discussion Forum (
  2. lol... pure assertion.

    Links please. I'd love to review that emerging evidence.

    I won't hold my breath, though. Every time a creationist/ID'er is asked for any type of proof to back up any of his claims, all we get are crickets chirping. This time will be no different.

    There is no 'emerging evidence' of ID. ID'ers may try to twist this or that result, abusing the language (Z, are you sharepning your hatchet?), but that's about it.
  3. TraderNik wrote:
    Would you recognize evidence of ID if you saw it? Why don't you tell us what you would count as evidence of ID? Every time I ask this question all I get are crickets chirping.
  4. oh boy, only in the 'ol usa. those cookos arent gettin' this much attention anywhere else.
  5. You know... I would assume that this is a joke were it not coming from you, Z.

    Are you seriously suggesting that I must tell you what would count as evidence of a theory that you are peddling??? What in the hell are you talking about?? You're saying that if I can't tell you what counts as evidence for your own theory, my requests for evidence are invalid?? I have no idea what constitutes evidence for your theory. That's why I have been asking you for it 20 times in the past xx days.

    Let's review. We asked for one shred of evidence, asked 20 times. There was no response. On the 21st attempt, you tell us that there is no proof.

    Case closed.

    Z, you are truly losing it, man. Again.
  6. same when i ask about evidence of Santa, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster for that matter... people... they've totally lost their sense of divine fun...
  7. maxpi


    If you want one example of how much non-rational science that "science" [really it is a culture of science] can live with think of this one: Geologists and Anthropoligists have this thing called the Geological Column where they figure out that the lowest life forms should be at the bottom and the higer ones at the top. They calibrate this thing by looking at the strata in which things are found. They calibrate the strata by looking at the geological column. So far there is no real calibration at all, there really is an attempt to make the two match up and in reality when they don't match up it is ignored. Then, they have radiological measurements that should have to match up with their notions of the column and the strata but they throw out any and all readings that don't match their notions of how that stuff should work out, and in reality they throw out 80% of all rediological measurements. What they have is the most irrational, bogus, imaginary construct of the history of the earth and they call it science, brain wash little children with it and declare it to be factual.....and God help anybody that disagrees with them.

    Why shouldn't somebody give that garbage a wedgie??
  8. Sounds like a good reason to posit another alternate explanation, claim it's based on a scientifically provable model of a theory previously thought to be 'unprovable' or faith-based, then when asked for the alleged proof for this previously-thought-to-be unprovable theory, run away and hide for a while, then do a total flip flop and run back out and attempt to argue that the scientific method is unsound (?????????), then start berating anyone who says that at least science is trying to provide proofs for theories, then state that their theory should be taught in our high schools, and finally, when all else fails, start yelling that science is all faith-based as well!!!!!

    Yep, makes sense to me.

    Sheesh. Like roberk said, there may be some rational ID'ers out there, but they aren't in here.
  9. OK, Z, show me a complex multipart lifeform which has no fossil ancestry. In other words, a complex lifeform which appears to have been dropped into its environment out of thin air.

    Or, show me a complex lifeform, existing on Earth, made from something other than DNA/RNA -- a creature made entirely of parts other than cells. Something like a toaster that eats bread to nourish itself, rather than uses electricity to cook toast.
  10. Yes, science hasn't given us much, has it?

    You people are like the politico-environmentalists sitting in SBUX sipping a $5.50 Triple Latte out of an enviro-disaster cup while berating big business for their piggishness. One loses track of all the contradictions.

    Sitting there typing on your computer (science) in a warm house (science) able to make money in the markets (science) with your reading glasses on (science) while your kids read their textbook (science) in order to be allowed to play some vid (science) or maybe get a chance to go for a ride in the car tomorrow night (science) to the movies (science) or maybe to the ball game (science) where they can watch the replays on the Jumbotron (science) and then grow up and come and vist you in the Caymans (science) while you enjoy your retirement with a hope of living with that heart condition (science).

    Yep. Science is mostly brainwashing.

    #10     Nov 24, 2006