In John Walton’s (professor at Wheaton) new book, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate, we have yet another proposition to discuss:
Current debate about Intelligent Design ultimately concerns purpose.
Walton thinks Genesis 1 is about theology, about design, about purpose, and about function. Everything about creation is about God’s purposes and designs. Nothing, he says, “just happens.”
ID is into “irreducible complexity,” that there are structures that require parts and those parts had to be functional all at once for the structure to exist and work. ID does not offer a theory of origins. It essentially critiques the adequacy of Neo-Darwinianism. But, as Walton has said, teleology is outside science. And ID can only be established “if all naturalistic explanations have been ruled out” (128) and too often ID looks like a “God of the gaps” approach (128-129).
In Walton’s mind, ID is rooted in metaphysics: purpose. Neo-Darwinianism is too: no purpose. Perhaps “meta-Darwinism” is the way forward. The key is to recognize that science is in the quest to progress from its best explanation to the next better explanation. For Walton, the total separation of metaphysics and science is not realistic. They “blend together in life” (131).
Walton thinks ID departs from science when it finds purpose.