Thank you, Larry Fafarman, for answering this, written by Nick Matzke at Panda’s Thumb:
Just last week over at the Thinking Christian blog there was a huge stink raised over the alleged inappropriateness of linking ID to creationism. After much argument the anti-linkage people more or less conceded that there were some good reasons to link ID to a somewhat generic definition of creationism (relying on special creation), but still protested loudly about how inappropriate it was to make the linkage, because most people (allegedly) would assume that creationism = young-earth creationism, and linking ID to young-earth creationism was oh-so-wildly unfair.
No, the “huge stink” was not “over the alleged inappropriateness of linking ID to creationism” — the huge stink was over the term “ID creationism,” which represents the notion that ID and creationism are so intimately linked that ID cannot or should not be mentioned without also mentioning creationism in the same breath.
That is correct. Note that Nick acknowledges we got somewhere at the end of all the discussion. (Thank you for noticing, that, Nick.) But he got it wrong.
I did not protest that “linking ID to young-earth creationism was oh-so-wildly unfair.” I never said, “unfair;” I said, “confused, and poor communication.” I said that to carelessly link ID to creationism, without specifying what you mean by it in context, is to obfuscate issues that should not, must not, be made more muddled than they already are. It is poor communication because it is so likely to be misleading. False conceptions abound on both sides of this issue, and for ID opponents to be careless with their terminology this way is no help.
For Nick to be so careless with his assessment of our discussion does not speak well either for his own awareness of what is going on, or else for his willingness to address it honestly.
In fact it is no help to his own position. In any conflict, dispute, or battle, the last thing a wise contender wants to do is to enter with a distorted view of the other side’s position. Military commanders want to know the enemy’s true strength and position, not some watered-down version that makes them look weaker or stupider than what is real. To see a conflict falsely is to reduce your own readiness for it. Thus the more that opponents misunderstand and misrepresent ID or its proponents, the easier they make it for us in the long run.
So do I think it’s “unfair” that ID gets distorted by careless, unspecified linkage to creationism? Sure, it’s an annoyance: I think in the short run its effect is detrimental to ID’s position, because of the time we have to waste on clearing away misconceptions. In the long run, though, ID’s opponents are the ones being damaged; they’re hurting themselves with it.
In other words, Nick, you’re being unfair to yourself.
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