Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#1020: Nancy Pearcey

A.k.a. Creationists’ Miss Information

Nancy Randolph Pearcey is an American evangelical author (several articles with Chuck Colson), columnist for Human Events, affiliated with various Bible Colleges, a leading proponent of Dominionism and a prominent creationist. Her dominionism is perhaps best described in her 2004 book, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, which teaches readers how to implement the idea that a Biblical world view should suffuse every aspect of one’s life and how readers need to be extremely cautious with even deliberating ideas from non-Christians. There may “be occasions when Christians are mistaken on some point while nonbelievers get it right,” she says; “[n]evertheless the overall systems of thought constructed by nonbelievers will be false – for if the system is not built on Biblical truth, then it will be built on some other ultimate principle.” Interestingly and tellingly Michele Bachmann claimed it was a “wonderful book”.

Pearcey is also a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, where she has had the primary responsibility for promoting the intelligent design movement’s viewpoint through op-eds for journals and magazines (especially Marvin Olasky’s World magazine), and contributed to the infamous ID textbook Of Pandas and People. Pearcey has no scientific credentials, of course, but she has a personal relationship with Jesus so the lack of scientific credentials does not seem to matter too much to the Discotute or her fellow creationists. She also possesses the Intelligent Design promoters’ usual problems with distinguishing what she’s involved in from pure religion (officially, of course, the Discotute is not a religious institution). In her 1994 book, co-written with Charles Thaxton, The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy she used her scientific background to explain how information theory leads to God and the end of evolution, in the process proudly flaunting her complete lack of idea what information theory is (hence her nickname).

Recently she has devoted some intellectual efforts also to LGBT issues, calling homosexuality the “denigration of physical anatomy” (she does have a way with words, which is completely insensitive to what those words actually mean) and attacking the claim that sexual orientation is not a lifestyle choice. Since sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice, according to Pearcey, marriage equality will make us lose “the foundation of the American republic.” She has also written on the topic for the WND, where she argues that anatomy has “intrinsic dignity” and that scientists today believe in Cartesian substance dualism.

Nancy’s husband Rick is also a moderately prominent creationist and an awfully silly one. He doesn’t like gays either. When McDonald’s decided not to discriminate against gays, Rick Pearcey claimed that  “McDonald’s has decided, apparently, to declare war on my family. And to declare war on the civilization of liberty, independence, creativity, and humanity under God that my Dad fought for in World War II.” Which might be among the most embarrassingly idiotic things anyone has ever said. He followed it up with the rhetorical “[w]hy help finance groups that turn their backs on the Declaration of Independence, the Founding vision, and the living Creator who holds it all together?” And he concluded that Chick-Fil-A was a better choice because they like “real families” (that would be “real families™”), “not ones made up by the ACLU last Tuesday.” Indeed.

Diagnosis: Your standard dishonest creationist hack. Pearcey does undoubtedly enjoy some insidious influence, however, and must be considered moderately dangerous.

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