Creationism's Trojan Horse

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Creationism's Trojan Horse
Book Forrest.JPG
Author Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross
Published 2004 (Oxford University Press)
Media type Hardcover
Pages 416
ISBN 0-19-515742-7
OCLC 50913078
231.7/652 21
LC Class BS659 .F67 2004

Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design[1] is a 2004 book by Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross on the origins of intelligent design, specifically the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture and its wedge strategy. The book is highly critical of what it refers to as intelligent design creationism[2] and the authors document the intelligent design movement's fundamentalist Christian origins and funding.

The book grew out of an essay, "The Wedge at Work: How Intelligent Design Creationism Is Wedging Its Way into the Cultural and Academic Mainstream"[3] which Forrest wrote for the book Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics[4] (2001) edited by Robert T. Pennock. It is published by Oxford University Press and has a foreword by Steven Weinberg.

It can be seen as carrying on the history of creationism from where Ronald Numbers's treatise The Creationists (1992)[5] on the "creation science" movement, left off.

Reviews[edit]

Michael Cavanaugh, President of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science called the book "chilling", saying that "It lets one see how totalitarian religious thought can begin to take hold even of a multi-cultural free society."[6] Karl Giberson, editor-in-chief of the Templeton Foundation's Science & Theology News chose it as the July's Editor's Choice and described it as a "remarkable analysis".[7] Allan H. Harvey reviewed the book for Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, the journal of the American Scientific Affiliation and criticized the authors' understanding of Christian theology, but wrote that "its thoroughness makes Creationism's Trojan Horse worth reading for those who are concerned about the movement's influence on public opinion and science education."[8]

There were also positive reviews in the scientific literature, by Steve Olson in Science,[9] by Rudolf A. Raff in Evolution & Development,[10] by Barry Palevitz in Bioscience[11] and by Lawrence S. Lerner in Physics & Society.[12]

Chris Mooney reviewed the book for his CSICOP column and used it to compare ID creationism with young earth creationism.[13] Biologist Bruce Grant described the authors as "heroes", saying their work was "the most thorough introduction to that enemy [intelligent design creationism]".[14]

The book also had endorsements from Richard Dawkins, E.O. Wilson, Ursula Goodenough, Massimo Pigliucci, Eugenie C. Scott and Steven Pinker.

Response by the Discovery Institute[edit]

The main subject of the book, the Discovery Institute, was however highly critical of Creationism's Trojan Horse. Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute wrote a review in the theology journal Philosophia Christi published by the Evangelical Philosophical Society and said that it had "erroneous reasoning" and that "on every page of the book, there is a tone of paranoia."[15]

Witt and John G. West of the Discovery Institute also had an article published in November 2004 edition of Science & Theology News entitled "Unraveling The Threads of Darwinist Paranoia".[16] A month later, Forrest and Gross wrote in Science & Theology News, with a reply by Witt and West.[17] Ian Musgrave contributed a letter to the editor in the February 2005 edition replying to West and Witt's reply.[18]

Research for Kitzmiller v. Dover[edit]

The research which Forrest in particular did led to her appearing as an expert witness for the plaintiffs at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District intelligent design trial,[19][20] in which intelligent design was ruled to be religious creationism and not science, and thus could not be taught as science in public school classrooms of Dover, Pennsylvania because of the Establishment clause of the US Constitution.[21]

During the trial, pre-publication drafts of the textbook at the center of the controversy Of Pandas and People were uncovered which revealed its creationist origins and how it had changed from using creationist terminology to using intelligent design terminology as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Edwards v. Aguillard. This formed an important part of Forrest's testimony.[22]

A few days before Forrest's testimony, the Discovery Institute published its own "brief history of the scientific theory of intelligent design" by Jonathan Witt, in which he attempts to diminish the importance of Edwards v. Aguillard, claiming instead that the origin of intelligent design was much older.[23]

Editions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ISBN 0-19-515742-7
  2. ^ Introduction to Creationism's Trojan Horse
  3. ^ The Wedge at Work: How Intelligent Design Creationism Is Wedging Its Way into the Cultural and Academic Mainstream, Barbara Forrest
  4. ^ ISBN 0-262-66124-1
  5. ^ ISBN 0-520-08393-8
  6. ^ IRAS President reviews Creationism’s Trojan Horse Matt Brauer, The Panda's Thumb weblog, March 25, 2004
  7. ^ ID movement assaulted in aggressive new polemic, Karl Giberson, Science & Theology News, July 1, 2004.
  8. ^ Review of Forrest and Gross, Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, Allan H. Harvey, June 2005 issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, (vol. 57, No. 2, p. 157).
  9. ^ Evolution and Creationism: Shapes of a Wedge, Steve Olson, Science 7 May 2004: 825-826
  10. ^ The creationist Hydra grows a new head—a review of Unintelligent Design by Mark Perakh and Creationism's Trojan Horse by Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross, Rudolf A. Raff, Evolution & Development 6:4, 289-291 (2004)
  11. ^ Review in Bioscience by Barry Palevitz
  12. ^ Review in Physics & Society by Lawrence S. Lerner
  13. ^ IDing ID: Is "Intelligent Design" theory really "Creation Science" version 2.0? Not exactly, but the parallels are certainly suggestive, Chris Mooney August 9, 2004
  14. ^ Intentional Deception: Intelligent Design Creationism by Bruce S. Grant, June 1, 2004.
  15. ^ Review by Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute in Philosophia Christi
  16. ^ Unraveling The Threads of Darwinist Paranoia, John G. West and Jonathan Witt, Discovery Institute, November 2004.
  17. ^ Intelligent design has distinctly evolutionary nature, Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross Science & Theology News, December 2004, with a reply When anti-ID vitriol prevails, scientific debate loses by John G. West and Jonathan Witt
  18. ^ ID lacks creditable scholarship, Ian Musgrave, letter to Science & Theology News
  19. ^ Expert Witness Report for Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Barbara Forrest
  20. ^ Testimony of Barbara Forrest, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
  21. ^ Kitzmiller v. Dover decision
  22. ^ I guess ID really was “Creationism’s Trojan Horse” after all, Nick Matzke, October 13, 2005, The Panda's Thumb
  23. ^ The Origin of Intelligent Design: A brief history of the scientific theory of intelligent design, Jonathan Witt, Discovery Institute

External links[edit]