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7.10 Religion and Leading Proponents

Arguments for Intelligent Design are formulated in secular terms and intentionally avoid identifying the designer. However the majority of principal Intelligent Design advocates are publicly religious Christians who believe that the designer is the Christian God. Stuart Burgess, Phillip E. Johnson, William Dembski, and Stephen C. Meyer are evangelical Protestants, and Michael Behe is a Roman Catholic, while Jonathan Wells is a member of the Unification Church. Phillip E. Johnson stated that employing secular language in arguments is a necessary first step for ultimately reintroducing the Christian concept of God as the designer.

The strategy of deliberately disguising the religious intent of Intelligent Design has been described by William Dembski in “The Design Inference”. Dembski mentions a god or an “alien life force” as two possible options for the identity of the designer; however, in his book “Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology”, Dembski states that “Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory. Dembski also stated, “ID is part of God’s general revelation. Both Johnson and Dembski cite the Bible’s Gospel of John as the foundation of Intelligent Design.

Barbara Forrest contends such statements reveal that leading proponents see Intelligent Design as essentially religious in nature. She writes that the leading proponents of Intelligent Design are closely allied with the ultra-conservative Christian Reconstructionism movement. She mentions the extent of the funding provided to the Institute by Howard Ahmanson Jr., a leading figure in the Reconstructionist movement.