He became a devout Christian when he was 19 and subsequently went off to Bible school then got a Doctorate of Ministry in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary. He's now a Ph.D. candidate in the Philosophy of Religion department at the University of Birmingham (UK). I'd love to be on his thesis committee but I'm not a philosopher. Maybe they'll invite John Wilkins to serve as external reviewer at the thesis defense?
The theme of his videos and website is ...
We provide quick, credible answers to apologetic questions that resource people with a hunger to defend their Christian faith.
Here's an interview with Jonathan McLatchie where McLatchie tires to pretend that ID is a legitimate scientific investigation that has nothing to do with creationism. Keep in mind that he's doing this while being interviewed by a Christian Pastor in a Christian apologetics video. Watch the video, it's only one minute.
There are some ID proponents who attempt to do what Jonathan McLatchie describes. The most notable is Bill Dembski who claims to have developed a method to distinguish things that are designed from things that arose naturally. His schtick is information theory and computer science. Nobody believes that Bill Dembski can actually tell whether bacterial flagella were designed or evolved and his arguments have been thoroughly dissected and refuted by experts in the field of information science.
Nevertheless, the attempt, such as it was, was a real attempt to do science. It turned out to be bad science.
The main ID effort has always focused on disproving or disparaging evolution and not on proving design. Some of this attempt to discredit evolution is real science and it overlaps to some extent with legitimate scientists who are critical of some aspects of biological evolution.
Jonathan McLatchie shows us what apologetics is all about. It's about trying to apologize and find excuses for irrational behavior. You do this by pretending that your real motives and beliefs are very different from the ones that everybody sees.
Intelligent design includes activities that count as science1 but Intelligent Design (upper case) is not a scientific discipline, it's a movement. It's a movement led by the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington (USA) and funded by rich Christians. It's a movement where all the main proponents are religious men and women who believe in a creator god.2. They are creationists. Some of them are Young Earth Creationists.
The main goal of the movement is to provide scientific justification for the belief in a creator god. No amount of twisting and turning (apologetics) is going to fool us into thinking that the ID movement has nothing to do with the belief in a creator. The entire movement is just another version of creationism and all you have to do is look on the main ID blogs and websites to see that this is true. That's why we refer, correctly, to the movement as Intelligent Design Creationism.
Here's the mission philosophy of the Discovery Institure ...
Mind, not matter, is the source and crown of creation, the wellspring of human achievement. Conceived by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and Christians, and elaborated in the American Founding, Western culture has encouraged creativity, enabled discovery and upheld the uniqueness and dignity of human beings.They oppose "materialism" and favor gods and creationism. It's a joke to think that their mission is all about mounting a scientific case for intelligent design when they begin with the premise that a supernatural designer already exists.
Linking religious, political, and economic liberty, the Judeo-Christian culture has established the rule of law, codified respect for human rights and conceived constitutional democracy. It has engendered development of science and technology, as well as economic creativity and innovation.
In contrast, the contemporary materialistic worldview denies the intrinsic dignity and freedom of human beings and enfeebles scientific creativity and technological innovation. Its vision of a closing circle of human possibilities on a planet of limited horizons summons instead the deadening ideologies of scarcity, conflict, mutual suspicion and despair.
This lie started off being funny a few decades ago when the movement was created but it's past being amusing. Now it's just a bald-faced lie to claim that Intelligent Design Creationists are motivated by a genuine scientific search for evidence of design. They are motivated by the desire to discredit materialistic science and defend their belief in creator gods.
I respect Jonathan McLatchie. He knows a lot about molecular biology and evolution and he's no fan of Young Earth Creationism. I suspect he has fallen in to the trap of deceiving himself about his true motives.
1. Many of the topics in their books are worth discussing and from time to time they make valid scientific points. I'm talking about motive here.
2. With the possible exception of David Berlinski who says he's a secular Jew but really doesn't know what he is.