Science and the Sacred

Science and the Sacred


Belief, Guidance, and Evolution

posted by kgiberson

giberson_talking.jpg

Recently BioLogos‘ Karl Giberson was interviewed by Marcio Campos for the Brazilian newspaper Gazeta do Povo‘s Tubo De Ensaio (i.e. “Test tube”) section. What follows is a translated transcript of that interview, which we will be posting in three installments. Here is the first.

Campos: Starting on more of a lighter note, when I read the subtitle “How to be a Christian and believe in Evolution,” I remembered an article by Pepperdine professor Douglas Swartzendruber, published last July, saying that we don’t “believe” in evolution the way we “believe” in God, angels or Santa Claus. Yet that’s how people are asked in polls: “do you believe in evolution?” I’d like you to comment on this choice of words. Has evolution become a “belief”?

Giberson: Your question spotlights a significant issue in this whole controversy–what do people think the words we are using really mean? Many people think “evolution” means “an atheistic story of origins.” If you ask a religious person do they believe in evolution, many thus feel bound to respond “Of course not.”

There are two senses of the word “believe” that I think are relevant here. In the literal sense, “believe” can simply mean to “accept as true.” We all “believe” that 2 plus 2 is 4. This bland sense of belief would apply, I think, even to people who believe in God but for whom that belief has no consequences. My guess would be that many deists believe in God like they believe in the laws of physics–something “out there” that exists but does not really engage them at any deep level.

But there is a sense–and I am sure this is what Swartzendruber is getting at–in which “believe” carries a more substantial meaning. My “belief” in God engages me in meaningful ways that my belief in gravity does not. However–and here I might depart from Swartzendruber–I think that belief in evolution can also engage one in deeply personal ways that go beyond mere assent. My belief in evolution motivates me to reflect on how I am related to all of life; how I am embedded in the natural history of the universe; how I should treat animals; what I should think about primates; and so on. I think evolution has a sort of transforming power that can change the way one relates to the world around them–in ways that are not unlike belief in God.

Campos: A recent Pew Forum research on how Americans and scientists view evolution and the science-religion relationship says that while 31% of the general public claim that humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time and 32% say they evolved over time due to natural processes, other 22% say they evolved over time “guided by a supreme being”. How to analyze this last number? Is this “guided evolution” possible, or do you see this expression as a disguise for ID or similar views?

Giberson: ID is not really a particular viewpoint. Their “big tent” is so big it includes people that have very little in common: 1) interventionists who accept evolution as long as God tinkers from time to time in detectable ways; 2) young earth creationists; 3) old earth creationists; 4) and even people who don’t believe in God. The most recent ID book, Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer, argues that God created the first cell and then natural selection took over and did the rest–a sort of “biological deism.” ID is really more of a political movement where anti-evolutionists have agreed to set aside their considerable differences and join forces to wage war on evolution. The political character of ID is becoming increasingly apparent and there are signs the movement may be dying.

“Guided evolution” is accepted by many people, especially scientifically informed Christians. It appears under different labels like “theistic evolution,” “evolutionary creationism,” and “BioLogos” the term we are using for our project–chosen to get out from under the negative baggage associated with the word “evolution.”

The idea of God guiding evolution is actually very complex. To be meaningful, we cannot simply accept the secular story and say “God did it.” We need to make some theologically sensible claim about what God is doing and how God is involved in the process.

So let me respond with a helpful anecdote. When I teach evolution to evangelical students at Eastern Nazarene College they are often uncomfortable with the idea that God might work, somewhat invisibly, “through” the laws of nature. This does not seem like the God of the Bible who speaks from burning bushes, makes Eve from Adam’s rib, and rains fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah. I always ask my students “How many of you believe that God guided you to Eastern Nazarene College?” Most of the hands go up. Then I ask “How many of you received this guidance through dramatic, supernatural interruptions of the natural course of events?” All the hands go down.

The conclusion is obvious: if God can “guide” people by working “through” the normal course of every-day events, then most certainly God can guide natural history by working through the laws of nature. This differs in one important way from all the ID positions–it does not require that God interrupt the natural course of events to “occasionally” do some of the creative work. Rather it views God as inhabiting the entire process.

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Gab

posted December 8, 2009 at 9:12 am


I haven’t read Meyer’s book but from what I have heard from him I would be amazed if the position you attribute to him is really what he ‘believes’. Going from the article he tried to publish,”"The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories,” and what he has said elsewhere there is no way he thinks that the Cambrian explosion is explainable without supernatural intervention. Furthermore, after listening to his comments on genetics during the debate last week between himself, Richard Sternberg, Michael Shermer and Donald Prothero I seriously doubt he accepts common ancestry between humans and chimps (and therefore other species too).



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pds

posted December 8, 2009 at 10:00 am


The Design Spectrum
Your assertion that Stephen Meyer’s position is a form of “deism” is laughable. Simply laughable. You really just don’t understand ID or Meyer’s position.
How long will you misrepresent ID in order to try to defeat it? Such straw man arguments will not ultimately be successful, but you may fool a lot of people in the short term.
What we need is honest and respectful dialogue in which both sides are represented accurately. Calling Meyer a “Deist” does not help.



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Larry

posted December 8, 2009 at 10:14 am


What we need is honest and respectful dialogue in which both sides are represented accurately. Calling Meyer a “Deist” does not help.
Perhaps you could start by taking your own advice. He did not call Meyer a “deist”, and saying that he did is, at best, an inaccurate representation.



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A Greenhill

posted December 8, 2009 at 10:20 am


My issue with theistic evolution and the like is the confusion it introduces. If you take that stance you either A) arbitrarily decide when natural processes are insuffficient and insert a supernatural process/event… or B) you make the “theistic” half of “theistic evolution” meaningless and powerless.



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Hennagagaiwwa@hotmail.com

posted December 8, 2009 at 10:27 am


Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0PjoZY4L0



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pds

posted December 8, 2009 at 10:43 am


The Design Spectrum
Larry,
KG said:

The most recent ID book, Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer, argues that God created the first cell and then natural selection took over and did the rest–a sort of “biological deism.”

Anyone who reads my comment can read the exact quote and judge for themselves.
Do you or Giberson have a citation for that assertion about Meyer? Is Giberson reading Meyer accurately and charitably?



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Larry

posted December 8, 2009 at 10:48 am


Anyone who reads my comment can read the exact quote and judge for themselves.
Indeed they can, there is a difference between calling an idea “deistic” and calling a person a deist, even the person whose idea it is. It is quite possible for a devout Christian to hold deistic, or even atheistic, ideas, but this does not make that person a deist or atheist.



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Unapologetic Catholic

posted December 8, 2009 at 11:21 am


“How long will you misrepresent ID in order to try to defeat it? Such straw man arguments will not ultimately be successful, but you may fool a lot of people in the short term.”
You keep asking that question. And dodging those questions intended to find out what you mean by “ID.”
Winged monekys attacked the Scarecrow in the Wizard of OZ, and when they did they attacked a straw man. ID is indeed a similar straw man fabricated by its proponents to avoid the label “creationist.” They continue to hide behind the straw man by refusing to define what ID actually is. That’s why I continue to ask you for the source of your Gould quote. You didn’t get it from an ID site. You got it from a creationist website.
You could help by proividing a workable definition of ID. Such a definition would include at least a scientifically rigorous definition of “irreducible complexity,” “specified complex information” and distinguish ID from Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism.
Short of that, your hand wringing doesn’t wash.
“Is Giberson reading Meyer accurately and charitably?”
Yes.
Are you reading Gould accurately or charitably?
No.



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pds

posted December 8, 2009 at 11:58 am


Larry,
If you promote deistic ideas, you are to some extent a Deist.
Now can you provide a citation to support what Giberson said about Meyer? Is your silence because there is none?



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Daniel Mann

posted December 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm


Karl,
You delineated the difference between your TE position and that of ID concluding, “Rather it [TE] views God as inhabiting the entire process.”
How do you reconcile your (this) position with evolution’s “RANDOM mutation” and “NATURAL selection?” And what evidence do you have for it?



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Larry

posted December 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm


Now can you provide a citation to support what Giberson said about Meyer? Is your silence because there is none?
No, my silence is because I haven’t read Meyer. I know that some on the Internet don’t regard that as a valid reason for silence, but I’m kind of old-fashioned.
If you promote deistic ideas, you are to some extent a Deist.
Nonsense, it just makes you a possibly inconsistent human being like all the rest of us. Don’t turn a discussion on Meyer’s ideas into a discussion on Meyer, they are not the same thing. Not to mention the disrespect shown to our host when you misquote him like that.



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Glen Davidson

posted December 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm


Stephen Meyer, argues that God created the first cell and then natural selection took over and did the rest

As one who also has not read his book, I have to agree with others that everything we know about Meyer and his book militates against that being his argument.
I do think it’s the minimal position of his book, however. It’s kind of, well, even if evolution explained everything else, it still doesn’t explain the origin of life. He’d likely be pleased if he convinced some people to invoke God for the beginning of life, even if they would not do so for any evolution proceeding from the first cell (I gather that he portrays a live cell as the first viable life, an absurd surmise).
What makes that minimal position very unlikely to be the general position of the book, however, is the fact that Meyer has “12 predictions” of ID which are pretty much your standard make it up as you go along IDism, not entailed by any known causes, or even a solid idea of God (one “prediction” says something like “the designer (if beneficial)”–so it’s a “prediction” that cannot be falsified, since the designer conceivably is not beneficial), and the “predictions” involve evolution more than they do the origin of life.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



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Karl Giberson

posted December 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm


My intent was not to accuse Meyer of promoting “deism” and I know Steve is not a deist. Far from it. I used the phrase “sort of” and put “biological deism” in quotes to put two degrees of separation between genuine deism and what Steve is proposing. I was highlighting the emphasis on the origin of life with the rich and unexplained complexity that Steve outlines so well.



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pds

posted December 8, 2009 at 3:24 pm


The Design Spectrum
Karl,
Thanks for the clarification. But where in his book does he suggest Deism for the rest?
You said:

The most recent ID book, Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer, argues that God created the first cell and then natural selection took over and did the rest–a sort of “biological deism.”

How is Meyer’s position more deistic than your version of theistic evolution?



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Daniel Mann

posted December 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm


Karl,
You had stated, “If God can “guide” people by working “through” the normal course of every-day events, then most certainly God can guide natural history by working through the laws of nature. This differs in one important way from all the ID positions–it does not require that God interrupt the natural course of events to “occasionally” do some of the creative work. Rather it views God as inhabiting the entire process.”
Although there are a number of things here that I can agree with, your statement provokes a number of questions:
1. Indeed, God can and does guide us through “the normal course of every-day events.” Also, I fully endorse your claim of “God as inhabiting the entire process” – the course of physical events. However, although I can understand how God might lead through “everyday events,” it is harder to envision how God could carry on His “creative work” merely through unvarying physical laws that do only ONE thing. Besides this, what “creative work” are you referring to?
2. If God is guiding evolution, how does this comport with NATURAL selection and RANDOM mutation?
3. Are you suggesting that God works ONLY in concert with laws? Are you therefore ruling out miracles and prayer answers? You seem to be suggesting that there is something illegitimate about God interrupting “the natural course of events?” Why?
4. What evidence do you have that God is “inhabiting the entire process?” I ask this because you seem to rule out the evidence of ID.
I hope that you will answer these questions. If you have good answers, I will be the first to applaud them. In any event, I think it’s important for all of us to see the implications of your position and how it will impact our lives if we adopt it.



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Karl Giberson

posted December 8, 2009 at 8:51 pm


I would not use quite the same hermeneutic on my writing as you are doing, Daniel. When I talked about “Darwin etching” my beliefs I was really just using a shorthand for “coming to understand what science has determined about the world.” I do not “follow” Darwin as though he were a guru. I follow the evidence where it leads and scientific evidence leads clearly to the belief that there were human beings on the earth long before Adam and Eve. This is complemented by Biblical evidence that the creation stories in Genesis were not historical accounts (Read John Walton’s book on Genesis).
Accepting scientific facts about the world is accepting the truths that God is revealing through science.



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Karl Giberson

posted December 8, 2009 at 8:52 pm


Daniel Mann has highlighted some key questions that all serious Christians wrestle with. Let me offer my speculations on this topic, in all humility acknowledging that I don’t have a simple answer to this question.
Regarding God working in nature I start with something that I experience but do not understand—my own working through nature. In some way I am able to envision a purposeful course of action and then start changing the world around me to achieve that purpose. In 1984 I bought a piece of land south of Boston and built a house on it. A non-physical “plan” became incarnate as that project unfolded and now I live in that house.
I find this a helpful analogy for the reality of God’s action in the world but not the mechanism. Just as neuroscience cannot explain how ideas originate in our heads and then become concrete plans, so God’s action in the world—the incarnation of God’s ideas—is also mysterious. What we know from our experience is that “ideas” can become plans that can take up residence in the physical world. We also know that there appear to be no laws of physics violated by this process.
So, if you ask me how God works in the world, I would respond: “Just like I do.”
And, if you ask me how I work in the world, I would respond: “God only knows.”



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Daniel Mann

posted December 9, 2009 at 9:16 am


Karl,
Once again, I appreciate your gentle, humble and thoughtful response. However, the fact that you can’t answer any of these questions might reflect the fact that the business of marrying Darwin to Jesus is an utterly incoherent endeavor!



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pds

posted December 9, 2009 at 10:30 am


It does not look like I am going to get a citation to where in Meyer’s book he suggests “biological deism.” Regardless how one qualifies it, it is a pretty harsh attack, and quite surprising coming from a theistic evolutionist.
How is Meyer’s position more deistic than your version of theistic evolution? I think that this is an important question.



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Unapologetic Catholic

posted December 9, 2009 at 1:46 pm


Daniel Mann:
I think you deserve more detailed responses to all of your thoughtful questions. Here would be my responses:
1. Indeed, God can and does guide us through “the normal course of every-day events.” Also, I fully endorse your claim of “God as inhabiting the entire process” – the course of physical events. However, although I can understand how God might lead through “everyday events,” it is harder to envision how God could carry on His “creative work” merely through unvarying physical laws that do only ONE thing. Besides this, what “creative work” are you referring to?
God doss not need to carry out his creative work “merely through unvarying physical laws. He created those laws. Those laws are the framework through which He acts. They are not accidental or random. It appears, that, so far, God mostly works His creative actions though those laws. Notice how many qualifications I put in that last sentence!
2. If God is guiding evolution, how does this comport with NATURAL selection and RANDOM mutation?
Natural Selection and random mutation do not mean “philosophically unguided.” Random mutations are in fact as “random” as a coin flip. There appears to be no pattern or predictability on how they occur. These mutations are easily detected in the laboratory. Randomness is the same in biology as it is in meteorology. Hurricane Katrina’s Louisiana landfall was random. Nobody seriously claims God steered Katrina into New Orleans. Yest the weather on earth is bound to create hurricanes. Those hurricanes are constrained in their path by natural processes–the rotation of the earth and the ocean heating. No Hurricanes spin off into Europe for example. Yet their path in the contrainents is random. Hurricane Katrina killed thousands of people, thousands of sparrows. “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” Was Katrina random? Yes. Was God present? Yes. Is evolution random? Yes. Is God present? Yes.
3. Are you suggesting that God works ONLY in concert with laws? Are you therefore ruling out miracles and prayer answers? You seem to be suggesting that there is something illegitimate about God interrupting “the natural course of events?” Why?
Unqualified No. God does not work ONLY in concert with natural laws. Miracles occur.
4. What evidence do you have that God is “inhabiting the entire process?” I ask this because you seem to rule out the evidence of ID.
Evidence of God from a scientific perspective is scant. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.”
The evidence for ID is non-existent. There is nothing to rule out.



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Daniel Mann

posted December 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm


Unapologetic Catholic,
I think that we’re largely in agreement about #1 and 3. (I’m a bit uncertain about what you are trying to say about #2. If God is somewhat guiding the process of evolution, how can we speak about RANDOM and NATURAL?)
I’d rather focus on #4 – an issue that I find so baffling about TEs. On the one hand, you are willing to admit that the “Evidence of God from a scientific perspective is [at least] scant.” (While I would say “profound!”) But then you say that “The evidence for ID is non-existent.” It would seem to me that the same evidence that serves to point to God would serve likewise to point to ID (the Intelligent Designer)? Aren’t the two the same?



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Mere_Christian

posted December 10, 2009 at 8:08 am


Then I ask “How many of you received this guidance through dramatic, supernatural interruptions of the natural course of events?”
- K Gibberson
How many Hebrews/Israelites saw a miraculous event to keep them believing in God before Moses led them out of Eygpt?
How many Hebrews/Israelites, after the generation that wandered in the desert passed away (those Egyptian Israelites), saw a supernatural event to have them believing in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
How many Israelites/Hebrews, saw a miraculous event to convince them to enter the “promised land?”
How many Christians after the end of the Apostolic age (or even during it) had miraculous events cause them to continue to believe in God?
If you take the numbers of people in the Bible that look like they believed in God, and the numbers not mentioned in the Bible that claim they did or do even still, what percentage of people had a personal “supernatural event” lead them to or keep them believing in God?
I haven’t worked the figures, but it looks like a very, very small percentage.



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pds

posted December 10, 2009 at 10:15 am


MC-
Good points. Also notice how he asks the question:
“How many of you received this guidance through dramatic, supernatural interruptions of the natural course of events?”
Why not ask, “How many of you received this guidance through supernatural promptings and leading of the Holy Spirit?” And then ask, “How many of you received this guidance through purely materialistic biochemical functions in your brain?”
Notice how he uses the word “natural” in a way that arguably has a double meaning. I think he phrased it in a way that was likely to confuse students.



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pds

posted December 10, 2009 at 10:20 am


The Design Spectrum
Daniel Mann,
You are right to be baffled. I see an inconsistency there too. For example, Francis Collins sees God’s design in cosmological fine-tuning. But then says there is no evidence of God’s design in the bacterial flagellum. He puts them in 2 different categories and does not explain why.



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Daniel Mann

posted December 10, 2009 at 11:47 am


Thanks pds,
I thought I was going nuts!



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Christopher Hwang

posted December 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm


I’m curious about TE(theistic evolution)’s common grounds.
If we assume your description on Meyer’s position is correct, what is the problem of Meyer’s position with TE?
How is it different from 6 premises of TE Collins described in his book ‘language of God’?



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Unapolgetic Catholic

posted December 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm


To follw up to Daniel Mann’s thoughtful questions:
If God is somewhat guiding the process of evolution, how can we speak about RANDOM and NATURAL?)
God does work through random and natural events. That was the point of my Katrina example. Random bad thing happen but that does not mean God doesn’t care. Even the apostles cast lots to determine Judas’s replacement. There are two reasons why I am probably not clear for you. First I am not a theologian. Second, I think words are utterly inadequate to explain God’s actions in our would. I use the term, “God abides.” I can’t be more specific than that
I’d rather focus on #4 – an issue that I find so baffling about TEs. On the one hand, you are willing to admit that the “Evidence of God from a scientific perspective is [at least] scant.” (While I would say “profound!”) But then you say that “The evidence for ID is non-existent.” It would seem to me that the same evidence that serves to point to God would serve likewise to point to ID (the Intelligent Designer)? Aren’t the two the same?
No. They are not the same. I agree with your use of “profound” but Profound does not mean self-evident. I have no problem identifying God as an Intelligent Designer. I don’t think that name quite does Him Justice, nevertheless.
There is another Intelligent Design however. That Intelligent Design
I’ll refer to as “Intelligent Design™” The Trademark ID is a disingenuous and intellectually dishonest attack on science chiefly sponsored through the Discovery Institute. Trademark ID suggests that some things are irreducibly complex, without offering a workable definition of “irreducible complexity.” Trademark ID offers “specific complex information” as a concept without defining either “specific,” complex,” or “information.” Trademark ID simultaneously argues that the earth is 4.5 billion years old (Behe), 6000 years Old(Nelson and Pearcey) or is amazingly agnostic on the age of the earth (Phillip Johnson and Dembski). Do Johnson and Dembski have an opinion on the shape of the earth?
Trademark ID also has conflicting opinions on human descent from primates and common ancestry of all life.(Behe-yes, Luskin-No).
Former Discovery Institute member and former ID supporter Francis Beckwith has this to say:
It would be one thing if the ID advocates were only offering their point of view as a mere hypothesis subjected to the usual give and take in scientific and philosophical discourse. (In fact, my earlier work on ID assumed as much). But that in fact is not the case. It has over the years morphed into a movement that treats the soundness of its arguments as virtually essential to sustaining the rationality of theism itself. of traditional Western metaphysics and theistic belief…
This embellished sense of ID’s importance in the march of history is not a virture. It is an unattractive enthusiasm that clouds rather than showcases ID’s important, though modest, publishing successes and the legitimate questions these writings bring to bear on many issues that overlap science, theology, and philosophy. Combine this lack of academic modesty with the ubiquitous propagation of ID within Evangelical Protestantism and its churches, seminaries, and parachurch groups (and even among some Catholics) as a new and improved way to topple the materialist critics of Christianity, and you have a recipe for widespread disappointment (and perhaps disillusionment with Christianity) if the ID ship takes on too much water in the sea of philosophical and scientific criticism. For this reason, other non-materialist Christian academics, such as Thomists and some Cosmic Fine Tuning supporters, who would ordinarily find ID’s project intriguing and worth interacting with (as I do), are hesitant to cooperate with a movement that implies to church goers and popular audiences that the very foundations of theism and Western civilization rise or fall on the soundness of Behe’s and Dembski’s inferences.
And there is no evidence to suppor the inferences. Beckwith captures my thought son why Trademark ID is so damaging to Christianity and intellectually dishonest. After its initital promise, it just hasn’t panned out.



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Unaplogetic Catholic

posted December 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm


Beliefnet soemtimes chokes on links, so here’s a link ot the Beckwith article:
http://romereturn.blogspot.com/2009/11/thomas-aquinas-and-intelligent-design.html
And a link to a Christian biologist’s critical review of Meyer’s Signature in the Cell:
http://arrowthroughthesun.blogspot.com/2009/11/book-review-signature-in-cell.html



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Daniel Mann

posted December 11, 2009 at 7:06 am


Unapologetic Catholic,
I certainly agree with you that our words and formulations are inadequate to capture the workings of God. However, even if you are only granting Him veto-power to stop certain events (Katrina—if that’s your point), this would still undermine the Darwinian concepts of RANDOM and NATURAL.
REGARDING ID: Again, I agree with you that IDers are coming from different places scientifically and theologically – hence, the many differences among them! However, this shouldn’t be a reason to disqualify the insights of ID or their critiques of Darwinian theory.
Even if you are right that there is no “workable definition of ‘irreducible complexity’” (although I don’t see a problem here), I don’t see how this makes them dishonest. Actually, I think that they’ve made a very valid insight. In the course of a debate, I even heard the evolutionist Shapiro admit that there isn’t even one detailed Darwinian explanation for ANY structure. Instead, their dogmatic proclamations seem little more than guesswork.
Nor can I sympathize with Francis Beckwith’s complaint: “It [ID] has over the years morphed into a movement that treats the soundness of its arguments as virtually essential to sustaining the rationality of theism itself. of traditional Western metaphysics and theistic belief…For this reason, other non-materialist Christian academics, such as Thomists and some Cosmic Fine Tuning supporters, who would ordinarily find ID’s project intriguing and worth interacting with (as I do), are hesitant to cooperate with a movement that implies to church goers and popular audiences that the very foundations of theism and Western civilization rise or fall on the soundness of Behe’s and Dembski’s inferences.”
Even if IDers do imply this, this critique is ad hominen – it refuses to examine ID’s ideas, but rather its supposed motives, and then disqualifies ID for these motives. (In fact, I sympathize with the contention that Darwin is highly corrosive of the Christian faith, leaving it as little more than a defenseless corpse! It is only because of this threat and the damage that it has done to the faith of so many – just listen to the testimonials – that I have become marginally involved in this question.)
Once again, even if some IDers are arrogant – and knowing human nature, I trust that this is the case – this fact shouldn’t disqualify their insights.



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Francis Beckwith

posted December 12, 2009 at 9:56 pm


One correction: I have never been an ID supporter. I thought, and continue to think, that the deeper question behind the ID project–whether the hegemony of the Enlightenment project is legitimate to exclude from knowledge what was once called “first philosophy–is sound. If you read my writings carefully–including my MJS dissertation at Washington University School of Law, St. Louis (2001), in which I dealt with ID and public education–I never defend ID qua ID.
My forthcoming piece in the University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy–”How to Be An Anti-Intelligent Design Advocate”–will cash a lot of this out. I will be posting it on my website–http://francisbeckwith.com–when it is published in late March, 2010.
The criticism of mine quoted above is not ad hominem, since I am not offering it is a critique of ID qua ID. What I am doing is I offering a critique of the movement.



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Pete Enns

posted December 14, 2009 at 7:24 am


Thank you for posting, Francis. I know many, including myself, are looking forward to your book.



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pds

posted December 14, 2009 at 11:48 am


Francis,
That is an interesting distinction you are trying to make in claiming your critique is not “ad hominem.” I am not sure “ad hominem” is the right description either. But in any case, you go after “ID advocates” and “ID” in your post, not just the “movement” (whatever that is).
Is that really what all or most ID advocates believe? That is not my impression. Is it really that helpful to attack a “movement” without giving specific citations and examples? Seems like a straw man to me.



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grapeseed extract

posted December 17, 2009 at 2:16 am


Good article! I strongly believe that God can guide people working;somewhat invisible but there is somewhere some source of strong power that always guide me when i m working or i m on a wrong path.what you have said i agree with that.I will look around for more views and articles.Keep up.



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COCOLOCO

posted December 18, 2009 at 1:42 am


I BELIEVE THAT SCIENCE PROVIDES SCIENTIFIC PROOF THAT THE BIBLE IS REAL AND TRUE. FOR INSTANCE EXPLAINING THE REASON FOR THE DIFFERENT COLORS OF PEOPLE. TAKE THE FACTS THAT WE LEARNED IN BIOLOGY ABOUT DOMINANT AND RECESSIVE GENES AND WITH THAT IN MIND TAKE THE SCRIPTURES FROM THE BIBLE DISCRIBING THE CREATION OF MAN AND WOMAN THEN DO THE MATH.
Genesis Chapter 2
[5] when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up — for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;
[6] but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground –
[7] then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
[21] So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh;
[22] and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
[23] Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
“dust from the ground” OR SOIL (EARTH) note from this other scientific facts prove this to be true. THE COLOR OF FRESHLY WATERED SOIL IS A DARK TINT ALMOST BLACK AND FROM THIS MAN WAS MADE “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh;
and the rib which the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman….bone of my bones” THE RIB IS A BONE AND BONE IS LIGHT IN COLOR OR ALMOST WHITE AND FROM THIS WOMAN WAS MADE. IN CONCLUSION, ADAM WAS BLACK AND EVE WAS WHITE AND SO THE DOMINANT AND RECESSIVE GENES WHICH EXPLAINS THE DIFFERENT COLORS OF HUMANS.
AS FOR THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION
Genesis Chapter 1
[11] And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so.
[12] The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good
[24] And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so.
[25] And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
[29] And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
[30] And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Genesis Chapter 2
[15] The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
ACCORDING TO THEIR KINDS MEANS MONKEYS PRODUCE MONKEYS, HUMANS PRODUCE HUMANS, ROACHES/ROACHES, BIRDS/ BIRDS, APPLESEEDS/APPLES EACH ONE REPRODUCING ONLY WITH ITS OWN KIND GORILLAS/GORILLAS, EAGLES/EAGLES, FROGS/FROGS HUMANS/HUMANS. SCIENCE SHOWS US THAT WITH A STRAND OF HAIR ONE CAN IDENTIFY THE SPECIFIC SPECIES FROM WHICH IT CAME. IF HUMAN EVOLVED FROM A SPECIES OF MONKEY WOULD WE NOT HAVE SOME OF ITS DNA ALSO BOTH MONKEY AND MAN ARE MAMMALS WHICH MEANS MONKEY WOULD HAVE TO GIVE BIRTH TO A HUMAN. SO WHAT CAME FIRST THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG – CANT HAVE AN EGG WITHOUT THE CHICKEN AND THE ROOSTER. AS FOR THE PLANTS- THE SCIENCE OF AGRICULTURE CLEARLY SHOWS THAT ALMOST ALL VEGETATION NEEDS ASSISTANCE TO REPRODUCE. FRUIT SEEDS NEED TO BE EXTRACTED FROM INSIDE THE FRUIT AND PLANTED UNDERGROUND AT A CERTAIN TIME OR SEASON AND THE SOIL HAS TO BE TILLED THE ONLY SPECIES CAPABLE IS MAN. EVERYTHING THE BIBLE SAYS THAT GOD CREATED HAD TO BE CREATED BY GOD DEVINE AND POWERFUL. EVERYTHING IS PERFECT THE HUMAN ANATOMY IS SO COMPLEX WITH THE BRAIN BEING THE MOST AMAZING AND THE FACT THAT SCIENTIST CANNOT CLONE OR CREATE ANOTHER HUMAN CAUSE IT TAKES TWO A MALE AND FEMALE ACCORDING TO ITS KIND AN EGG AND SPERM /FERTILIZATION- ( WITH PLANTS SEED TO GROUND)
ONE MORE THOUGHT SCIENCE TELLS US THAT OUR BODY IS MADE UP OF APPROX 75% WATER CORRECT ME IF IM WRONG. H2O WHEN WE LOOK AT THE OCEAN ITS BLUE IF YOU WERE TO GATHER SOME IN A JAR IT WOULD SHOW CLEAR SCIENCE TELLS US THAT OUR BLOOD ON THE INSIDE IS BLUE THATS WHAT OUR VEINS SHOW THROUGH THE SKIN ITS ONLY RED WHEN IT HITS THE OXYGEN AND OUR BLOOD CARRIES WHITE CELLS TOO AND WHEN SEPARATED FROM THE RED IS CLEAR IN COLOR IM SURE THERES MORE I HAVENT THOUGHT OF I WOULD LOVE TO HERE COMMENTS, OPIMIONS OR MORE OBSERVATIONS
GOD BLESS ALL, COCOLOCO



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