Thanks to the “intelligent design” movement, the distance between evangelical Christians holding to a belief in some form of evolution and those opposed to the theory has narrowed, though not without tension and divisions.
The Christian Research Journal (Volume 24 Number 4) reports that the emergence of the intelligent design movement has helped create a “big tent” approach among evangelicals in attacking Darwinian theories and teachings that deny God’s existence. In the past those holding to a belief in creationism, which teaches that the earth was created in seven literal days, allowed no room for evolution .Intelligent design necessitates that the earth has a creator but makes wide allowance for how the creation took place.
Paul Nelson, a creationist himself, writes that some traditional creationists remain unhappy with the intelligent design movement. The inclusion of “progressive creationists” (those holding that God created the world in a longer than seven day time span) and theistic evolutionists (that God was somehow involved in evolution) in the anti-Darwinist camp muddies the water, as pantheist, and New Age views also can be supported by these theories, according to veteran creationist leader Henry Morris.
Nelson adds that there may be a class factor in the conflict. “Over the past decade, the demographics of dissent from neo-Darwinian evolution have changed dramatically. In some discussions on university campuses or Internet listservers, traditional creationists now find themselves the distinct minority among skeptics of neo-Darwinism.
Although they have grown accustomed to scorn from evolutionary scientists, traditional creationists may be unhappy to discover that their own allies (other anti-Darinians) regard them as poor cousins visiting from the trailer park…” Nelson holds that the big-tent approach best allows all kinds of anti-Darwinists to influence secular culture.
(Christian Research Journal, P.O. Box 7000, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688-7000)