Friday, January 23, 2009


Sir David Attenborough - under-informed on ID

The Times2 carried an interview with Sir David Attenborough on Thursday January 22nd 2009 - here's a short extract:

Of course, Darwin does not theorize on the creation of the Universe, and many Christians have made their peace with him. "The Pope has. The Archbishop of Canterbury has. They all say, 'Yes, of course, the Book of Genesis is only a myth, a creation myth. Come on, grow up'. That's what civilized religious people say." His beef is with those who want to teach creationism or its offshoot "intelligent design"...

1) That's a false dilemma there between a) belief in evolution plus reading Genesis as a creation myth or b) not reading Genesis as a creation myth and embracing intelligent design theory (or creationism). For a start, what about those - like myself - who embrace intelligent design theory but read Genesis as a creation myth (in the proper cultural sense of 'myth')? And what about those who embrace ID without being Christian or Jewish or Muslim?

2) The implied claim that creationists are all uncivilized seems to me to be in bad taste.

3) ID is not an offshoot of creationism. Historically, ID pre-dates creationism! ID is not a creationist plot to take over American schools; it's modern formulation pre-dates the relevant American court rulings against teaching creationism.

4) Given the above, Sir David appears to be under-informed on this subject.

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