So fundamentalist Christians like Wichita Baptist minister Terry Fox are plotting to use Intelligent Design as a Trojan horse to destroy liberalism? Well, here's a counterplot from Centerfield. Rick Heller shows how ID could actually backfire on creationists, while staking out a centrist position for Democrats that would be far less alienating to the American majority than hard atheism:
While ID sticks in scientists craws, it wouldn't be so bad if Intelligent Design theory became more popular--if the movement was out of the biblical literalism camp toward Intelligent Design. The toxicity that we see in religion comes primarily from the close attachment to ancient Scriptures. Opposition to homosexuality, for instance, is based on Leviticus, as well as some interpretations of the New Testament. Whether ID is true or not, ID rejects the literal biblical account of creation. Once one rejects the literal truth of one portion of the Bible, one opens up the question of the veracity of every chapter and verse of the Bible. To a biblical literalist, ID could be a step onto the slippery slope toward (gasp!) liberalism.
Furthermore, the creation account has a special role in traditional Christianity. It is the source of Original Sin (In Adam's fall, we sinned all), and it is this sin which we cannot transcend by good works alone, but through faith in Christ, whose death was a substitutionary atonement for our sins. Those who do not believe--e.g. atheists--are therefore damned, and thus hard measures, including the Inquisition and conversion by the sword, can be justified.
So even if Intelligent Design is wrong in a scientific sense, I see it as less toxic than the leading myth, the biblical creation account. Are humans really capable of living without myths? Even as Marxism banished religious myths, it gave birth to a myth of a future Communist heaven on earth. Perhaps what we need is not to abolish myths, but to replace them with more humane ones.
Rick quotes a Gallup poll stating that "45% of Americans reject evolution, 38% believe that evolution occurred under God's guidance, and only 13% take the view that human beings evolved with no assistance from God." And he places himself within that middle 38%, saying that his intuition is that a higher power set the conditions for independent evolution and might even have "loaded the dice" -- "a deist perspective." Interesting! A third ground really is beginning to be staked out. (My own weird speculations -- which could be roughly summed up as 'Maybe DNA is God's brain" -- are here.)