- Phil S:
I had made a reference to the "Wedge Document" in an earlier post. I
would like to make a quick comment on its introductory statement and
give you a URL so you can look it up yourselves. Here it is:
Here is the intro statement:
CENTER FOR THE RENEWAL OF SCIENCE & CULTURE
The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is
one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was
built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the
West's greatest achievements, including representative democracy,
human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and
Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under
wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of
modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God
and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund
Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as
animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely
impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated
by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This
materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually
every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature
The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were
devastating. Materialists denied the existence of objective moral
standards, claiming that environment dictates our behavior and
beliefs. Such moral relativism was uncritically adopted by much of
the social sciences, and it still undergirds much of modern
economics, political science, psychology and sociology.
Materialists also undermined personal responsibility by asserting
that human thoughts and behaviors are dictated by our biology and
environment. The results can be seen in modern approaches to
criminal justice, product liability, and welfare. In the materialist
scheme of things, everyone is a victim and no one can be held
accountable for his or her actions.
Finally, materialism spawned a virulent strain of utopianism.
Thinking they could engineer the perfect society through the
application of scientific knowledge, materialist reformers advocated
coercive government programs that falsely promised to create heaven
Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture
seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its
cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the
natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences,
the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and
cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism
and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of
nature. The Center awards fellowships for original research, holds
conferences, and briefs policymakers about the opportunities for
life after materialism.
The Center is directed by Discovery Senior Fellow Dr. Stephen Meyer.
An Associate Professor of Philosophy at Whitworth College, Dr. Meyer
holds a Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Science from
Cambridge University. He formerly worked as a geophysicist for the
Atlantic Richfield Company.
Talk about conspiracy theories! They are really arguing against
certain reductionistic & mechanistic tendencies in science, and I
can agree with some of their criticisms in that respect. But the
bait & switch comes when they try to paint all of empirical science
with this characterization, and confuse the naturalistic methodology
of science with the philosophy of naturalism or materialism. Note
how they are not shy about stating their mission to bring God into
the argument, as if modern science were based on a rejection of God.
There is no theory in science that postulates the non-existence of
God. And there is no corollary to evolutionary theory that makes
such an assertion. this is a total straw man.