I found this discussion between Daniel Dennett, co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and a University Professor at Tufts University, and Dr. John F. Haught, theologian and Senior Research Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, on the topic of intelligent design to be interesting.

Dennett takes issue with the preaching of the concept of intelligent design from the pulpit. Nothing surprising there. But his language strikes a rather ironic note methinks. While he lambastes pastors preaching “bad science” from the pulpit, he uses the language of bad religion to do it. Dennett frames his query in terms of immorality and forgiveness. Implicitly he acknowledges that his “darwinism” has many of the same attributes of religious doctrine.

Haught, for his part, rightfully asserts that the concept of “intelligent design” is not a mainstream Christian idea and that it seems unhelpful for the advocates of “darwinsim” to always be picking a fight with what amounts to a straw man. The real debate is a theological one and should not be confined to the fringes of Christian thought.

Now while intelligent design and ol’ fashioned creationism may be theologically weak, what is missing from this discussion (albeit a short one) is any mention of the deficiencies of “darwinism” from a theological and, dare I say, scientific point of view.

Further, as my own general rule, when a scientific theory acquires the doctrinally telling suffix of “ism,” there is more at work than simple science.

For sure, there is good science and there is bad science. When a “philosopher” such as Dennett seriously asks whether science is sinful, you can be sure we are not really talking about science anymore.