There has been a lot of discussion over the years about how much and in what ways young-earth creationism and intelligent design are the same and in what ways they are different.
Here’s one similarity: both are blasphemous.
Both work with the assumption that God would only have created in a certain way, and would not work through processes such as those that biologists, geneticists, and paleontologists study. And since the evidence is more than adequate to demonstrate that the history of life on this planet followed a course that is described in more-or-less accurate terms by mainstream science, with processes at work that are at least partially described and accounted for by mainstream evolutionary theory, there is only one conclusion that a religious believer who is well-informed about science can draw:
Both young-earth creationism and intelligent design insult the Creator and demean creation.
If that isn’t blasphemy, what is?
Although it is done somewhat less openly by proponents of intelligent design, both groups try to justify their insults addressed at God the Creator, ironically, by appeal to particular interpretations of a book they believe that He wrote.
Ken Ham and others like him famously deny that they interpret the Bible, insisting that they just read it. Anyone who knows what reading involves would laugh at such a statement, until they realized that the creationists who say such things aren’t kidding.But which is easier to interpret – texts written in human languages, or scientific data? While scientists know better than to say the equivalent of “we don’t interpret the data – we just read it,” there is a sense in which this statement would make somewhat more sense, and be slightly more true, in the case of the natural sciences than in the case of reading texts.
And while we’re on the subject, anyone with literacy skills can write a book claiming to be by or about God or to reveal the truth. It is much harder to make a planet, or life, let alone a universe. And so, if one believes that there is a Creator and wants to get an appropriate sense of the majesty, power, wisdom and activity of that Creator, should one look to texts written by people (whether divinely inspired or not) or to the creation itself?
To allow one’s interpretation of texts to trump scientific evidence, motivate you to distort that evidence, motivate you to insult thousands of committed believers who work in the natural sciences, and motivate you to describe as inappropriate methods of creation things that the evidence suggests actually happened – isn’t a group, individual or movement with these characteristics rightly described as blasphemous?