Canadians Promoting Intelligent Design Theory – Cameron Wybrow, Denyse O’Leary and Bruce Gordon

This post examines the positions and contributions of 3 Canadian IDists. Two of them easily, if shallowly embrace their IDism in public (as journalist & professor) and one still hasn’t openly reached that point of audacious self-promotion or reflexivity.

Some background: I have watched this evolutionism-creationism-IDT ‘controversy’ (which operates mainly in USAmerica) for more than 10 years. The winners so far are agnostics, atheists and also anti-IDist pro-evolutionary theory Abrahamic theists. The latter are not bothered by the repetitive doubts of agnostics or the anti-theism of atheists because they responsibly accept the horizontality of cutting-edge science while staying faithful to their vertical religious traditions. But the ‘points’ scored by agnostics and atheists against IDists have indeed been considerable, which is evident from the growing numbers of non-theists or non-religious in the USA, a country some call a pre-atheist nation.

As someone living ‘outside’ of the North American ‘culture war,’ let the following put into context the ‘work’ of three Canadian ‘Cdesign proponentsists,’ or what I call in short ‘IDists.’

Denyse O’Leary is already known here for her Uncommon Descent ‘News’ position and perhaps for her “Design vs. Chance” book polemic. O’Leary was recently an Anglican Christian before becoming a Roman Catholic Christian (RCC = Roman Catholic Church), though she doesn’t seem to cognitively grasp the effective logical RCC critiques that have been made of IDism (e.g. Edward Feser). At least, she hasn’t explained why she doesn’t accept these critiques (and neither successfully has fellow Catholic, UD contributor Vincent J. Torley). She has become repeatedly and predictably shrill, shallow and exaggerative against ‘theistic evolution’ (e.g. her anti-ASA posts, to the regret of Caroline Crocker) based on her out-spoken personal desire to be thought of as an ‘IDist.’ She obviously *wants* to be identified as an ideological IDist.

As a result of her ideological journalism and shallow interpretation of the RCC, undoubtedly, most global Vatican-affiliated scientists pay her no attention, nor should they. She is as marginal to actual top-level scholarship and peripheral in her journalistic relevance as a person living on a small lake in the Yukon with no electricity, phone or books. The truth is, however, she actually lives in Canada’s biggest city Toronto.

O’Leary apparently rejects the Catholic Church’s position on ‘evolution,’ instead wishing to be a ‘revolutionary’ of the Dembskian IDist variety. She is an anti-intellectual that is anti-science (by her crude definition of ‘science’) and anti-thinking (which is obvious from her ignorant, scholarship-lite propaganda), as her posts at UD often show. Hers is attempted grandmother-talk as if it is on the cutting-edge of knowledge, when it is so obviously decades-behind-the-times. She puts thinking, honourable and courteous grandmothers, especially Catholics to shame on the topic of evolution, creation and (lowercase) intelligent design.

One example of O’Leary’s absurd polemics: “The whole point of being a theistic evolutionist is to be good buddies with the smart guys of the world, the evolutionists.”

O‘Leary also authors “Canadian Writers that are Christians,” “Mindful Hack” and “Comments on Our Republic.” Check out the latter blog to see how she intentionally associates herself with cracked, marginal ideas and figures. Yet she operates as a journalistic front for IDism, pretending to be an intelligent IDist (oxymoron though it largely is), even to speak in favour of Discovery Institute leaders with her ‘News’ at UD. Is she paid by the Discovery Institute or has she received money from them? Through book sales indirectly as they (and ARN) advertise her works, undoubtedly yes. Otherwise, perhaps we’ll never know, as secretive as the DI is.

And honestly folks, what was Denyse O’Leary smoking before she gave the presentation linked below? Did she have an IDT-mania glue-sniff with IDists before the speech? Did she take 5 liquor shots too many and just wobble up to the podium? This recorded talk should be auto-tuned/songified for its humour (anyone at TSZ ready to try?)! 😉

It starts with: “As I mentioned earlier … [oops, correction!] … as Jay [Richards] mentioned earlier, I am a journalist” (as if she forgot) and it just gets more mentally absurd by the minute. Does Biola University really want to be associated with Denyse O’Leary’s public display of lunacy?! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA780yWDZAI) Look for this video to be removed due to embarrassment.

O’Leary quite obviously wishes she was or could be an intellectual; that people would potentially take her thoughts seriously in academic circles. Unfortunately for her, she isn’t and most scholars don’t and won’t. And her association with far, wild-right wing, conspiracy-theory blogs (like “Comments on Our Republic”) does her story and credibility no good.

Strike One for Canadian IDists.

Bruce Gordon is a curious (Lorax-type) fellow, with a background in applied mathematics and philosophy of physics, and by training a pianist (or at least piano teacher). However, he speaks with so much pseudo-science and pseudo-philosophy jargon even in popular audiences that jokes were passed around among students at the DI’s Summer Program (2008) about his communication. Is he worth taking seriously or better just humoured with an innocent tug on his goatee and a fond laugh at his surface-level earnestness for IDism?

Gordon worked at (and apparently still for) the Discovery Institute, as former Research Director for the Centre for Science and Culture and writes for www.evolutionnews.org. He now works at a private Christian university in Texas (https://www.hbu.edu/Choosing-HBU/Academics/Colleges-Schools/School-of-Christian-Thought/Departments/Department-of-Philosophy/Faculty/New-document.aspx), after working at a private Christian University in New York (http://www.tkc.edu/academics/faculty/display.asp?id=82, which happens to be the same place where ethicist/administrator Paul de Vries works, the man who unfortunately coined the duo ‘methodological naturalism’), in the USA where he has lived for 25 years, though he was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Gordon has chosen to teach IDT at these universities, which reveals why observers of the IDM see quite clearly IDT’s obvious affiliation with Right-Wing, Conservative, Evangelical (RWCE) figures. And Gordon will likely not deny this obvious link to your face if you ask him. Iow, he will not deny his personhood and how intertwined his personal theology is with his definition of ‘IDT.’

Gordon holds a master’s degree in (RWCE) religious apologetics, but intentionally acts like ‘just a physicist’ for the Discovery Institute; as if IDT is a ‘strictly natural scientific’ theory (e.g. as Casey Luskin pretends it). He is one of the archetypical reasons that the Discovery Institute has failed so badly outside of USAmerican evangelicalism to reach a broader audience – by refusing to actually involve humanity’s knowledge as ‘designers/creators’ in its ‘theory.’ Gordon became the Director of the Michael Polanyi Centre at Baylor University after the Dembski ‘Waterloo’ debacle and has become an obvious dupe for the DI ever since.

The thing about it is that Gordon is a decent, genuine guy, a cuddly Canadian with a Grover-like smile. The question is why he has allowed himself to be so badly deceived by Johnson, Dembski and other leading IDists and why he has embraced IDist ideology, if for no other reason than trying to self-validate his evangelical Christian worldview in the light of evolutionary biology, geology and cosmology?

One simple example of Gordon’s grossly negligent distortions on behalf of IDism; he refers to ‘Design theory’ in the first two words of this paper, without the faintest understanding of significant works using ‘design theory’ outside of physics, chemistry and cosmology: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Apologetics/ResearchNews1-01Gordon.html The man simply and sadly didn’t/doesn’t seem to realise that ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ and ‘Design Theory’ are not synonyms. Most careful thinkers recognise the difference, but DI dupes (including those like Gordon who are/were generously funded by the DI) are unable to see this or admit it publically.

A likeable fool for IDism. Strike Two for Canadian IDists.

Cameron Wybrow is the slipperiest and most guileful of the three, but just as RWCE. He recently started freelance writing articles for Salvo Magazine, which is basically a pop-front for IDism. Its editors and supporters are made up largely of DI-IDists. This shows that Wybrow seems finally ready to embrace his position publically as an IDist, after several years writing under pseudonyms at various pro-IDT, TE/EC and general Christian apologetics websites.

Wybrow received his PhD in Western Religious Thought from McMaster University, which makes him well-qualified to become an IDist, especially as he is also a politically Conservative thinker. A brief internet search shows that as recently as 1996, he was a part-time lecturer in Biblical Greek at McMaster Divinity College, again, a subject which surely qualifies for promoting IDism (?). He wrote a book in 1993 about Michael B. Foster (http://www.conservapedia.com/Michael_B._Foster) and previously “The Bible, Baconianism & Mastery over Nature” (1991).

He is perhaps best (only?) known for his ‘positive review’ of Michael Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” in the Philadelphia Inquirer (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1884366/posts?page=76, which O’Leary responded to on her blog – http://post-darwinist.blogspot.com/2007/08/canadian-writer-gets-positive-review-of.html  – the two are apparently in cahoots with each other, presumably as ‘revolutionaries’ for their beloved IDism). Lesser known, Wybrow was a contributor to the Discovery Institute Press’s proto-apologetics text on C.S. Lewis, “The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society” (2012).

Wybrow is on the editorial board of “Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy,” which again, fits him well with the politicking activities of the Discovery Institute. Other than that, Wybrow is virtually invisible on the internet. One might imagine he is the ghost writer or ghost editor for IDist texts coming out of the DI, as one of his internet pseudonymous personas has suggested regarding his regular e-mails with DI folks. But, since the man remains hidden, we cannot surely know.

If you want to see ‘Expelled Syndrome’ in action, look no further than Cameron Wybrow. Strike Three for Canadian IDists (even if Wybrow is not yet ‘out’).

Why would anyone care about this? The Canadian IDists are out there, even if they don’t always show their faces, unlike the Canadian 7th Day Adventist founding-YEC George McCready Price. You might be surprised that they are often doing the dirty work behind the scenes for the political propaganda machine of the DI and other RWCE’s.

Wybrow in particular is every bit as dangerous as a Soviet poster maker who doesn’t realise the aggressive ideology that he is serving. He just does his duty as a rogue ‘revolutionary’ even if he claims not to want to be part of the ‘Movement’ itself. Such is the self-trickery that some people suffering unnecessarily from Expelled Syndrome display.

As a Canadian Abrahamic believer, I am ashamed of and offended by my fellow nationals’ religious apologetics for IDist scientism. IDists have become so jaded by their idolatry of IDism that they have even abandoned hope of what their fellow Abrahamic believers recognise regarding IDism’s weaknesses. It is therefore my duty to criticise the pseudo-intellectual and heterodox activities that such IDist propagandists as Wybrow, Gordon and O’Leary are engaged in.

This message is written so that it may be passed on to other Abrahamic believers and even atheists who faithfully reject IDism, hoping that they will join in pushing back against irresponsible IDism in Canada and by Canadians/Canadiennes. One doesn’t need to be an atheist to see how damaging IDists and their propaganda are to quality scholarship; one can be an Abrahamic anti-IDist (and anti-evolutionist) with good conscience.

Even within predominantly ‘secular’ Canada, it is a grave threat that IDists like Wybrow and O’Leary are suggesting one cannot be an Abrahamic believer and reject IDism on solid and convincing grounds. Their views, taken to their illogical conclusion, are indeed anti-constitutional, given their obvious discrimination against atheists. Such is the predicament that these two fanatical Canadian propagandists for IDism have yet to face publically and likely won’t.

Yet a bright side persists in the Canadian discourse. Alternative approaches to IDT’s ‘Darwinist’ bogeyman are nevertheless available. Sure, Wybrow, Gordon and O’Leary taunt, tickle, bicker and bitch that there is nothing credible for a person of faith to accept other than IDism. They are of course wrong and peddling an irrelevant, outdated and heterodox fideism. Their churches (had they the resources and interest to openly oppose IDism) should rebuke them for how they intentionally mislead people, while playing themselves as innocent victims. The truth is that they are radical, revolutionary-wannabe, unreliable, ideological IDists.

O’Leary at least might hope for reconciliation with the RCC should she eventually cease and desist from absurdly propagandising for IDim and try to learn from educated, intellectual Roman Catholics (e.g. Mark Ryland and Francis Beckwith) who have overcome the (attempted invisible) shadows of the DI’s IDT.

The Canadian IDists highlighted in this post are every bit as duplicitous as the Discovery Institute CSC’s American right-wing government advocate John G. West (who edited the book in which Wybrow’s most recent pro-ID work was printed). West was soundly defeated at his own IDT Summer Program in which he promoted IDT in Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and is still licking his wounds privately.

There *is* no IDT in SSH. And as such, West conceded to this author that IDT *cannot* be a theory outside of natural-physical sciences. Yet West lacks confidence, courage, logic and political will to openly share his concession in public because he knows it would lead to a serious setback to the DI’s ‘revolutionary’ ‘cultural renewal’ goals in the USA and globally (just like PNAC failed).

Question: Why did the DI intentionally shift from ‘IDT in SSH’ to pseudo-apologetics in the name of C.S. Lewis at its Summer Program? Anyone reading this with information or links to confessions by IDists is encouraged to share it in the comments section.

This thread marks a sad story about Canadian ideologues and idolaters: Denyse O’Leary, Bruce Gordon and Cameron Wybrow, among others. They have lost so much professionally and personally by their ideological affiliation to IDism and not surprisingly are still in denial about it. They have shown a lack courage or fidelity to admit their deviance from mainstream Catholic and Orthodox thought, shrinking back into heterodox Protestant (or in Denyse’s case, pseudo-Catholic) fideism to protect themselves. Will the Church not welcome them back should they turn from their anti-intellectual, anti-holistic, conflict-mongering IDist position?

Let agnostics, atheists and post-IDT theists have a field day with them, based on just deserts, that it may possibly help them to overcome what has distorted, deprived and/or debilitated them.

The main point is this: I take seriously the arguments of ‘skeptics’ (at TSZ) and even anti-theists regarding IDT. However, the challenges to IDism are strongest and most difficult for IDists when made by theists around the world. Is Canadian IDism a way forward? No. Imo, it is a clear and obvious step backwards; an avoidance of reality.

Hopefully we will not have to suffer another YEC Canadian G.M. Price either in O’Leary, Gordon or Wybrow. From what I’ve seen so far, regarding their levels of competency, adventure and courage, we are not in danger, even from their fundamentalist IDism. But safety from risk should be enabled, as this message has aimed to show.

Gregory

HT: Barry Arrington & Jon Garvey

p.s. the pro-theological Abrahamic views of the author are not to be held responsible for the atheological &/or ‘skeptical’ views and anti-IDism/anti-creationism of reply comments in this thread.

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23 thoughts on “Canadians Promoting Intelligent Design Theory – Cameron Wybrow, Denyse O’Leary and Bruce Gordon

  1. Thanks.

    I think you’ve described Denyse O’Leary pretty well. I’m not as familiar with the other two that you mention.

    p.s. the pro-theological Abrahamic views of the author are not to be held responsible for the atheological &/or ‘skeptical’ views and anti-IDism/anti-creationism of reply comments in this thread.

    LOL.

    Since you brought that up, I’ll comment on the religious aspects.

    I grew up as a sincere member of a evangelical Church (in Australia), though I later gave that up. So I think I have some familiarity with Christian thinking. And to me, the views of O’Leary and other IDists are as inconsistent with Christianity as they are with the scientific evidence. You seem to agree, as best I understand your post (such as your mention of Feser).

    The opposition to theistic evolution; the tendency to see science as a giant conspiracy organized by “the Darwin Lobby” – these seem to point to something very cult-like in the ID movement.

    As a teenager, I was undecided about evolution. But I found it interesting and plausible, and not a problem for my Christianity. If God created everything, then science is reporting the details of what was created and how it was created. The science could not contradict a proper understanding of that creation. Yet the ID people are unable or unwilling to see that. They make a mockery of their own God.

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  2. Hi, this is an interesting post, but it seems to assume some background knowledge that I don’t have. Are you saying you were once a member of a Discovery Institute program and got kicked out or something? And that they changed the program later as a result? It seems that your views on ID have changed over time also…or maybe you were always skeptical. Maybe this post had a backgrounder post somewhere that I missed?

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  3. Is there anything particularly Canadian these three other than their birthplace? As far as I can tell from your piece, they act through US channels and follow the US Discovery institute line overall.

    They don’t have any further visibility in Canada as far as I as aware (I live in Toronto).

    But it is refreshing to see a story about Canadians that does not mention Rob Ford.

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  4. Gregory:

    Some background: I have watched this evolutionism-creationism-IDT ‘controversy’ (which operates mainly in USAmerica) for more than 10 years.

    So you’re one-fifth of a Mike Elzinga. I can’t wait to meet you in another 40 years.

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  5. lisamoore,
    Hi lisamoore,

    Is this your first post at TSZ? Are you pro-IDT or anti-IDT (or something more nuanced)? Are you a Canadian?

    I’m a Canadian who is anti-IDT, which should be clear from this thread.

    Mung,

    In 40 years, IDT will have long ago been cast into the dustbin of history. Surely your schizophrenic, bipolar self (as you playfully claim of yourself at UD) agrees?

    Gregory

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  6. “the views of O’Leary and other IDists are as inconsistent with Christianity as they are with the scientific evidence.” – Neil Rickert

    Well, I’m no judge of O’Leary, Gordon or Wybrow wrt their Christian faith. The main point is that their beliefs *are* involved, inevitably, in their embrace of IDism. Gordon would admit this openly, as an honest man and Prof at a private Christian university. O’Leary has made her conversion known in the blogosphere & it is obvious that her faith is tied tightly together with her IDism. Wybrow is most nuanced (or slippery, as I said above), as a Religious Studies ex-scholar, suggesting that IDT needn’t be ‘strictly scientific’ as DI folks like Luskin and West require. Denyse & Bruce are more obvious and public in their RWCE views, while Wybrow continues to suffer from Expelled Syndrome.

    “something very cult-like in the ID movement.” – Neil Rickert

    Yes, I think that is an accurate assessment, at least for some IDists. You should have seen some of the faces of university students when Dembski (tired from jet-lag and dishevelled) walked into the room. Gasps were audible. The study of cults is fascinating and the study of the IDM (mainly American RWCE neo-creationists, including @25-40% YECs) adds its own special features. Wybrow idolises Behe, which resulted in his defense of “Edge of Evolution” in print, thus sealing his fate as an IDM accomplice.

    I suspect much the same is true for ‘skeptic’ heroes like R. Dawkins, V. Stenger, M. Shermer, J. Coyne, M. Ruse, P.Z. Myers, S. Harris, P. Atkins, D. Dennett, S. Blackmore, et al. – for those who have vested worldview interests in promoting atheism or agnosticism. Cult of personality is certainly not monopolised by IDism.

    “As a teenager, I was undecided about evolution. But I found it interesting and plausible, and not a problem for my Christianity.” – Neil Rickert

    Yes, many Christians, Muslims, Jews and Baha’is don’t find ‘evolutionary theory’ problematic for their religious life and perspectives. For me, what is problematic is the ideology of evolutionism; please note the –ism carefully (though several people here do not acknowledge it). Limited evolutionary biology should not be and is not a problem for most people of religious faith. This does not mean, of course, that theists should embrace the atheist zoocentric ideology of R. Trivers, E.O. Wilson, D.S. Wilson, S. Pinker, et al.

    “If God created everything, then [natural] science is reporting the details of what was created and how it was created. The [natural] science could not contradict a proper understanding of that [supernatural] c[C]reation.” – Neil Rickert

    Goodness, Neil, for a moment you sounded catholic again. Heaven forbid? ; )

    “Yet the ID people are unable or unwilling to see that. They make a mockery of their own God.” – Neil Rickert

    I wouldn’t call it ‘a mockery’; a shortcoming or a distortion perhaps yes. Many folks I met at the DI were devout, curious and sincere, willing to think about natural scientific evidence and actually interested in thinking about ‘natural’ evidence. That does not compensate that they were almost totally unprepared to face the ideologies involved in evolutionism, creationism and IDT.

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  7. Hello BruceS in Toronto,

    “They don’t have any further visibility in Canada as far as I as aware.”

    Yeah, IDists seem to be pretty much invisible in Canada. O’Leary as a freelance journalist, sometimes published in mainstream media (which she repeatedly detests), is the most visible of the three IDists listed here. Getting Wybrow to admit that the IDM is actually based in the USA has been tough enough. He even denies that there is such a movement, though IDM leaders (e.g. Dembski, Nelson, Behe) in the DI use the term ‘movement’ in regard to their activities & desires.

    Most Canadian scholars accept limited evolutionary theories in natural sciences, even those that are also religious believers, such as Charles Taylor and Reginald Bibby, as well as atheist or agnostic anti-IDT philosophers in Canada such as Kai Neilson and Ian Hacking too. I cannot think of a prominent Canadian scholar (like J.R. Saul or W. Kymlicka) who has signed-on to USAmerican IDism. Can you BruceS?

    Walt Ruloff, who produced and bankrolled “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is another activist Canadian IDist, though, like O’Leary, not a scholar.

    Maybe lisamoore will provide some names?

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  8. Gregory:
    too. I cannot think of a prominent Canadian scholar (like J.R. Saul or W. Kymlicka) who has signed-on to USAmerican IDism. Can you BruceS?

    I am sure there are IDists in Canada, but they make no serious attempt to influence education so it is not a public issue here.

    Not to say the disregard of science is not a concern here: we have a federal government which does not believe in climate change, which apparently muzzles scientists it funds, and which has broken the statistical reliability of our census. Further, they are likely to get re-elected as these are not major issues with the electorate and because the usual opposition party seems to have chosen its third poor leader in a row.

    But I don’t think IDists have much traction in Canada.

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  9. BruceS: I am sure there are IDists in Canada, but they make no serious attempt to influence education so it is not a public issue here.

    Not to say the disregard of science is not a concern here:we have a federal government which does not believe in climate change, which apparently muzzles scientists it funds,and which has broken the statistical reliability of our census.Further, they are likely to get re-elected as these are not major issues with the electorate and because the usual opposition party seems to have chosen its third poor leader in a row.

    But I don’t think IDists have much traction in Canada.

    I’m afraid that Canada is not free of the infection, particularly at the University of Guelph. Larry Moran discussed them a few years back.

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  10. Patrick: I’m afraid that Canada is not free of the infection, particularly at the University of Guelph.Larry Moran discussed them a few years back.

    You are right, they are definitely here.
    I also enjoy Larry Moran’s blog. I considered bringing it up in my original note as evidence that ID does not have a big profile here, since even as a Canadian blogger Larry writes mostly about American ID figures (but not entirely, as you point out).

    However, to me the big difference is these people are not attempting to have any influence on Canadian public policy, especially to the extent that the DI does in the US.

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  11. BruceS: You are right, they are definitely here.
    I also enjoy Larry Moran’s blog.I considered bringing it up in my original note as evidence that ID does not have a big profile here, since even as a Canadian blogger Larry writes mostly about American ID figures (but not entirely, as you point out).

    However, to me the big difference is these people are not attempting to have any influence on Canadian public policy, especially to the extent that the DI does in the US.

    Very true. Count yourselves lucky!

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  12. My comment didn’t post at first, I guess it eventually went through.

    Gregory: Maybe lisamoore will provide some names?

    I don’t have any names, I’m not Canadian!

    I got into this after reading Barbara Forrest’s book _Creationism’s_Trojan_Horse, so I’ve been reading up on the history of the ID movement — I’m a skeptic. At first I didn’t get what Gregory said about confronting John West in 2008, I thought maybe he worked for the Discovery Institute and had changed his mind or something. I didn’t realize he was talking about a summer course thing that the Discovery Institute does/did, which I guess Gregory attended back then.

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  13. My comment didn’t post at first, I guess it eventually went through.

    First post from new members goes to the moderation queue. I approved it as soon as I saw it.

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  14. “these people are not attempting to have any influence on Canadian public policy, especially to the extent that the DI does in the US.” – BruceS

    “Count yourselves lucky!” – Patrick

    Yes, it’s quite a different scene with IDists and IDism in Canada, with a different political and religious climate. O’Leary is a journalist for USAmerican IDism, but sometimes reports about Canada and IDT on her blogs and as ‘News’ at UD. Wybrow is starting to get into bed (actually, he already *is* in bed, publishing) with the DI, and Gordon is obviously already running with them too. O’Leary and Wybrow are both published in the most recent edition of IDM-oriented Salvo magazine, apparently the only two Canadians.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper would never be stupid enough to support a ‘teach the controversy’ strategy in Canada (as GWB did) and it would be an incredible long-shot to imagine ever in Canada a trial like what happened in Dover.

    O’Leary, Gordon and Wybrow simply have to USAmericanise themselves wrt to IDT because IDT is an obviously USAmerican ‘theory’ and the IDM a USAmerican RWCE-funded movement.

    Then again, BruceS could probably say more about this than I can, as I’m not currently living in Canada.

    Another notable Canadian linked to IDT (which might be unfair) is Muzaffar Iqbāl, originally from Pakistan, but now holding Canadian citizenship. It does not appear that Dr. Iqbāl is an IDist, at least in the ideological sense of promoting its propaganda, as are the other three mentioned in this thread. Rather, he “has endorsed work by Dembski,” signed the “Dissent from Darwinism” list, and was a Fellow of ISCID, which is now defunct. Again, one can be anti-Darwinism without being pro-IDT, just as with David Berlinski. Iqbāl’s position is likely closer to other scientifically responsible and credible Abrahamic believers in the International Society for Science and Religion, of which he is an elected member. He does not have a single paper listed on his CV that includes the term ‘Design’ and his many other activities reveal a serious scholar and science, philosophy, theology/worldview contributor, unparalleled by any IDists (who publish in glossy magazines appealing to USAmerican evangelicals and consider than ‘scholarly’).

    One of the major figures on the Canadian landscape on the science, philosophy, theology/worldview discourse is Denis Lamoureux at the University of Alberta. Lamoureux is strongly positioned against IDT, which he says should be termed ‘Interventionistic Design Theory.’ This is similar to the position of Robert J. Russell of CTNS, who has worked with Iqbāl and the Vatican Observatory. Nevertheless, as an Abrahamic theist, Lamoureux accepts lower case (pre-IDT) ‘intelligent design’ or ‘argument for design’ as divine revelation, while properly rejecting IDT’s obvious scientism, disguised as anti-scientistic.

    Other information about Canadian IDists or IDism in Canada is welcome in this thread.

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  15. lisamoore,

    Thanks for clarifying. Yes, I did attend the DI’s Summer Program in 2008, where I met John G. West and Bruce Gordon (and quite a few other IDM ringleaders). The DI changed their program 2 years later from Intelligent Design in Social Sciences and Humanities to the C.S. Lewis Fellows Program on Science and Society (see here).

    West came to realise that there simply cannot be an uppercase ‘Intelligent Design’ Theory in social sciences and humanities, as he (and his Wedge-enthralled colleagues) had presumed, which is likely why they opted instead for a more obvious apologetics-orientation in the name of C.S. Lewis (who was certainly far from even being the best Brit of his time on ‘science & society’ issues, though of great interest nevertheless to RWCEs).

    As for the proportions, I can report that there was one other Canadian (and one USAmerican studying in Canada) at 2008’s Summer Program, out of about 40 participants. Some of my observations have been shared from this event, while others still await publication.

    No, I’ve never been employed by the DI, nor would I be. But I was and still am curious about them, as a sociologist, educator and global citizen. And yes, my opinions have surely changed about IDT over a decade of observing the IDM and its IDT, while also training academically in history, philosophy and sociology of science. I wrote a master’s thesis partly about the IDM and have published several papers that reference it, though for the most part not positively.

    There is much to be skeptical about IDT and the IDM, but some things can simply be understood and taken on faith.

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  16. OUCH.
    I am a CANADIAN YEC and this is the first thread I ever saw on this forum that was malicious. This from a Canadian he says!! Rob Forb and this Gregory are changing our image.

    Canada was founded on creationist foundations of the Protestant faith and in Quebec the Roman Catholic faith.
    It is our intellectual heritage and a part odf why we rose to the heights in human civilization so much so everyone is desperate to live in Canada except Americans.

    ID and YEC people in Canada are everywhere. In fact probably big percentages in the pop.

    This was quite a speech/rant against a few cats.
    Yet if they were not effective then why such a reaction against them.
    Its because they have made a name for themselves in the circles that care about science and origins.
    They have already won their Juno beach and poised for further advances.
    I know the female writer from a ID forum.
    She’s great. She’s not YEC but tough and smart and takes on the bad guys very well. Their are few women in these things and she is a great pioneer for upcoming creationist chicks or even evolutionists women who are overshadowed by the men in their world.
    I recommend readers here check out her stuff.
    She takes on many aspects of evolutionism including the chaos in psychology fields which I note because YEC see serious problems there.

    Anyways this is just a defence against a strange long proclamation about the merits of sundry ID thinkers in the old dominion.
    Equal time eh YEC Canucks should get this attention too.!!

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  17. Robert Byers: I am a CANADIAN YEC and this is the first thread I ever saw on this forum that was malicious.

    Malicious — hardly. Perhaps factually wrong, but if you believe that then why not bring some actual facts in rebuttal.

    Canada was founded on creationist foundations of the Protestant faith and in Quebec the Roman Catholic faith.

    As far as I know, just about all Christians are creationists, but most are neither YECs nor ID proponents.

    ID and YEC people in Canada are everywhere. In fact probably big percentages in the pop.

    How about some actual facts? There should be some poll data you could check.

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  18. Neil Rickert:
    How about some actual facts?There should be some poll data you could check.

    There was a 2012 Angus Reid poll which said:

    According to the findings, 61 per cent of Canadians and 69 per cent of Britons think human beings evolved from simpler life forms, while just 30 per cent of Americans agree.

    Fifty-one per cent of Americans, meanwhile, think God created people in the past 10,000 years, a belief commonly known as “creationism” that is shared by only 22 per cent of Canadians and 17 per cent of Britons.

    For historical reasons several Canadian provinces still have publicly funded Catholic (mainly) schools. But the schools have to follow a curriculum set at provincial level for all schools and it includes evolution (Larry Moran wrote on this curriculum in Ontario a few years ago if you want more info). There is no organized ID or creationist pressure to change that, as far as I am aware.

    (When polled, the majority of Ontarians think we should have only a single publicly funded school system But no politician seems to want to pursue that for now.)

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  19. “OUCH. I am a CANADIAN YEC” – Robert Byers

    Canadians who self-identify (proudly, like Robert Byers) as ‘young earth creationists’ deserve an OUCH for a reality check. It is obvious that Mr. Robert Byers is way out of touch with reality. Will he return to reality one of these days, which includes facing the mass of Christians who reject his YECist fanaticism?

    “ID and YEC people in Canada are everywhere. In fact probably big percentages in the pop.” – Robert Byers

    “Fifty-one per cent of Americans, meanwhile, think God created people in the past 10,000 years, a belief commonly known as “creationism” that is shared by only 22 per cent of Canadians and 17 per cent of Britons.” – quoted from Social Survey

    Is 22% a ‘big percentage’ according to Torontonian Byers? Will he respond to the statistics? No. Robert Byers disappears when information appears. His claim of ‘in fact’ is just empty propaganda fueled by ideology and not by reason or education.

    “Canada was founded on creationist foundations” – Byers

    No, Mr. Byers, it wasn’t. Such false-talk is unbecoming of Abrahamic faith. Believing in Creation does *not* automatically make one a ‘creationist’ as you wrongly assume. But this likely isn’t a wrong/falsity that you are currently willing to educate yourself about and/or admit. It’s why your ‘creationist ideological breed’ is dying.

    This thread was about 3 Canadian IDists. R. Numbers in “Galileo Goes to Jail and other Myths about Science and Religion” shares with us that IDism is not restricted to the USA, nor is young earth creationism, as Byers demonstrates.
    Mr. Byers’ ideology is both sad and unworthy of the Church which he calls home.

    “As far as I know, just about all Christians are creationists, but most are neither YECs nor ID proponents.” – Neil Rickert

    Half right: half wrong. No, most Christians are *NOT* ‘creationists.’ Neither are most Muslims, Jews or Bahai’s ‘creationists’. That is, unless you consider anyone who believes in ‘Creation’ as a ‘creationist.’ But that’s a rather distorted view, misunderstanding the ideologies involved.

    Have you not read this: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1971/JASA12-71Bube.html?

    You are right, Neil, however, that most Christians are neither YECs nor IDists. It is surely less than 10%, probably less than 5 % globally. Byers is an outlier, and with his ‘in fact’ claim here, an untrustworthy one.

    “You might consider reading as well the books by Thomas Woodward.” – Mung

    No, Woodward is an ideologically primitive, apologist RWCE USAmerican. Here’s a superior alternative: http://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Chance-cosmic-fugue-prelude/dp/8378860000

    But ‘Mung’ is likely not ready to face the Christian devastation of his beloved IDism, given that ‘Mung’ is openly (though cynically) an IDist (even if not of the Salvador Cordova variety), probably even in one way or another paid by the Discovery Institute.

    This thread is about three Canadians who unwisely jumped on the bandwagon of a RWCE ‘movement’ in the USA. One of them, of course, still won’t admit that he’s done just that. In the end it doesn’t really matter because the evidence of recent activities stands against him. O’Leary, Gordon and Wybrow obviously adore IDism, seeking to secure their ‘careers’ based on their allegiance to it. O’Leary at least writes about other topics as a journalist. Wybrow and Gordon, however, seem undistinguished as PhDs who’ve sold their souls to the IDM.

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  20. “Canada was founded on creationist foundations of the Protestant faith and in Quebec the Roman Catholic faith.” – Robert Byers

    No, it wasn’t, Robert. That is, unless you count every Abrahamic believer automatically as a ‘creationist.’

    Do you not recognise the ideology of ‘creationism’ that distinguishes it from simply (or with much complexity) accepting Creation? People of Abrahamic religions *DO NOT* want to be associated with ‘creationists’ or ‘creationism’ as you mean them/it because of the obvious anti-science, anti-knowledge and propaganda involved. I am *NOT* an atheist, so please try to understand the main point.

    “ID and YEC people in Canada are everywhere. In fact probably big percentages in the pop.” – Robert Byers

    Everywhere?! No.

    What does “probably big percentages in the pop” actually mean to Robert Byers? Please be specific. Attach numbers. Display a rigorous mind, rather than a loose generalisation. Quantify your speculation. That’s what science, in this case, social science, does with explanations and descriptions.

    BruceS quoted a 2012 Angus Reid poll:

    “Fifty-one per cent of Americans, meanwhile, think God created people in the past 10,000 years, a belief commonly known as “creationism” that is shared by only 22 per cent of Canadians and 17 per cent of Britons.” – quoted from Social Survey

    What do you have to say about this, Robert?

    Personally, I quite doubt that 22% of Canadians “think God created people in the past 10,000 years.” Almost exclusively it is in evangelical churches in Canada where this outdated view is held. Now, of course, if Robert spends 90% of his time with people from those churches, we would understand why his numbers are biased.

    And the irony for this thread is that, afaik, neither O’Leary (Catholic), Gordon (evangelical) or Wybrow (Anglican) are YECs. They know that evangelicals and fundamentalists must outgrow this backwards literalistic scourge. But they use very similar, and in some cases the same, propaganda tactics, depend on the same RWCE USAmerican funding channels, and make the same attacks on Charles Robert Darwin as their ‘creationist’ evangelical brothers and sisters.

    The day IDists start properly, and with intellectual dignity, attacking and undermining YECism will reveal the end of the IDM as it currently exists.

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