Has anyone else taken Beliefnet's "creation" test yet? Let us know how you score. But I have a question for our friends at Beliefnet about one of their questions. It looks like this:
Q8. If it were true that humans evolved from other animals by random chance and were not intentionally created by God, then . . .
1. My religious faith would be shaken. 2. It would not affect my religious beliefs. 3. It would reinforce my belief that only matter exists
This gets us right back to one of the big questions raised in our still evolving thread here about the New York Times' mega-series about the competing priesthoods in the Darwinism debate. The Beliefnet question assumes that someone can prove randomness in a lab. They can create evidence that helps them make the case, but they are going to have to interpret the data -- a process that involves worldview and belief.
So this question short-circuits the science/logic/philosophy sequence. This is, of course, the heart of the story that jouralists are struggling to cover.
Did the ghost of Dr. Carl Sagan write that question?
You want to know my results on the 0 to 70 scale? You can probably guess. I am not a "Young Earth Believer," of course, but I could not help but notice that, on the "results" page that popped up, the Beliefnet editors had described that option with the following information:
0 - 27 -- Young Earth Believer: When it comes to the origins of the universe and of life, the Bible is your guide. Read William Dembski's case for teaching intelligent design in classrooms here.
Now wait a minute. I know Dr. William Dembski -- an Orthodox guy with a stack of earned degrees including a doctorate in math from that famous fundamentalist institution called the University of Chicago -- and this is not a "Young Earth Believer" kind of a guy, although he is now linked to a Southern Baptist seminary.
Did someone on the Beliefnet staff do the coding on that page wrong? Was it a mistake for Dembski to be linked with that stance?