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What's the Big Deal About Intelligent Design?
The American Spectator ^ | 12/22/2005 12:05:03 AM | Dan Peterson

Posted on 12/22/2005 8:44:09 AM PST by Sweetjustusnow

In the past decade or two, a group of scientists, biologists, mathematicians, philosophers, and other thinkers have marshaled powerful critiques of Darwinian theory on scientific and mathematical grounds. Although they generally don't dispute that evolution of some sort has occurred, they vigorously contest the neo-Darwinian claim that life could arise by an undirected, purely material process of chance variation and natural selection.

(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: crevolist; intellegentdesign
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More fodder for flamers... ;)
1 posted on 12/22/2005 8:44:12 AM PST by Sweetjustusnow
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To: Sweetjustusnow
What's the Big Deal About Intelligent Design?

I love articles and posts with such useful economical headlines.

Either way, from both perspectives, pro or con, it is a "Big Deal" only to persons so easily obsessed as to be on my lifetime Avoid at all Costs list...

2 posted on 12/22/2005 8:49:39 AM PST by Publius6961 (The IQ of California voters is about 420........... .............cumulatively)
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To: Sweetjustusnow

"It is precisely because intelligent design relies exclusively on scientific methods, evidence, and reasoning that the Darwinist establishment is going bonkers"

Ouch....even a falling house of cards still hurts. I feel your pain Darwin freaks...but you'll get over it.


3 posted on 12/22/2005 8:50:20 AM PST by fizziwig
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To: Sweetjustusnow
There is a joke about scientist talking to God and stating they could create life from only dirt. God than states can you create the dirt? The current orthodoxy about Darwinism is worse than the Inquisition. I believe the current crop of scientist would put others to the pyre if they were allowed. The same for global warming, oil depletion, etc.
4 posted on 12/22/2005 8:50:52 AM PST by bronxboy
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To: Sweetjustusnow
ID bothers the puerile peter pan posters like those here -- lost boys who never grew up and are still rebelling against the church ;lady who upbraided them when they were 13.

At another level, the sloppy and lazy science that is in so much evoutionary work is easily criticized for the simplistic logic and simplistic nature.

Someone like Philip Johnston and otheres are very sharp people who know logic argument and rhetoric.

Their citicisms hit a nerve because they are right in their criticisms of the intellectual efforts going in to much evoutionary discussion.

It took these lawyers and other religious conservatives to point out the tautologies and banal ideas put forth because mainstream active biologists pay no attention to the archaic and essentially anachronistic students of evolution.

5 posted on 12/22/2005 8:51:41 AM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: Publius6961
Either way, from both perspectives, pro or con, it is a "Big Deal" only to persons so easily obsessed as to be on my lifetime Avoid at all Costs list...

LOL! There's something to that....

On the other hand, when conducted civilly the debate can be really quite interesting and fun.

6 posted on 12/22/2005 8:51:43 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Sweetjustusnow

The big guns of ID like Michael Behe, accept common descent as a given.

Denton, author of "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," believes in fine tuning, the idea that the universe was set up at creation to produce evolution. Denton's ideology is one hundred percent compatible with mainstream biology.

I haven't been able to figure out why creationists think ID supports a young earth interpretation.


7 posted on 12/22/2005 8:55:57 AM PST by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: tallhappy
"At another level, the sloppy and lazy science that is in so much evoutionary work is easily criticized for the simplistic logic and simplistic nature."

The irony is that conventional evolutionary theory is not a "hard" science, yet its defenders treat any critique of it as "anti-science." I've gone a bit overboard in some of my comments to those people, but they strike me as insufferably smug, and that is one quality that pushes my buttons.
8 posted on 12/22/2005 9:01:10 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: js1138
I haven't been able to figure out why creationists think ID supports a young earth interpretation.

It is because they think the Bible says so and therefore it is, QED.

and this is why ID is ridiculed by scientists.

9 posted on 12/22/2005 9:03:12 AM PST by staytrue (MOONBAT conservatives are those who would rather lose to a liberal than support a moderate)
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To: js1138

"I haven't been able to figure out why creationists think ID supports a young earth interpretation."

Creationism...i.e a literal interp of the old testament, is a different version of "Intelligent Design." The two get mixed up frequently and this causes endless and meaningless exchanges between ID folk and Darwinists. Creationist ID is the straw man used by Darwinists to dismiss all ID.


10 posted on 12/22/2005 9:03:29 AM PST by fizziwig
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To: Steve_Seattle

Yes exactly. Well said.


11 posted on 12/22/2005 9:04:27 AM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: staytrue

I'm not aware of any mainstream proponent of ID who argues for a young earth or a 6,000 year-old earth.


12 posted on 12/22/2005 9:04:59 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: Sweetjustusnow
This thread ought to be fun. Thanks for the flame material!

Whatever the courts may decide, the intelligent design cat is already out of the bag. President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist have endorsed acquainting students with ID.

May I be the first to say that if you reject ID you are against President George W. Bush!

"You are either with us or with the terrorists."

/sarc

13 posted on 12/22/2005 9:05:03 AM PST by manwiththehands ("Merry Christmas .... and Happy New Year ... you can take your seat now ...")
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To: bronxboy
The current orthodoxy about Darwinism is worse than the Inquisition.

Actually, The current orthodoxy about ID is worse than the Inquisition because if you disagree, you disagree with the creationists interpretation of GOD.

14 posted on 12/22/2005 9:05:14 AM PST by staytrue (MOONBAT conservatives are those who would rather lose to a liberal than support a moderate)
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To: Sweetjustusnow
The Dover statement observes that Darwin's theory is only a theory, not fact; notes that intelligent design is an explanation that differs from Darwin's view

Religious explanations are also just theories - crappy, primitive, unscientific theories.

The Dover school board, by the way, did not cut back the teaching of Darwinian evolution in its schools

The judge offered a far less flattering description of the school board members who voted for ID...and the voters turned them out of office.

15 posted on 12/22/2005 9:06:13 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: Steve_Seattle

do a google on creationism young earth

Results 1 - 10 of about 544,000 for creationism young earth. (0.20 seconds)


16 posted on 12/22/2005 9:09:59 AM PST by staytrue (MOONBAT conservatives are those who would rather lose to a liberal than support a moderate)
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To: Sweetjustusnow

Any train of thought relying on "God made it." is not scientific.


17 posted on 12/22/2005 9:10:03 AM PST by GreenOgre (mohammed is the false prophet of a false god.)
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To: Sweetjustusnow

I haven't had much to say on this subject, mainly because there is a much bigger issue here that nobody really talks about. The controversy over Darwinian Evolution vs. Intelligent Design in public schools overlooks the fact that most students these days lack the basic rational and logical thought processes to study science in any meaningful way in the first place. There is really no reason -- from a scientific standpoint, that is -- to teach scientific matters to kids who are increasingly incapable of handling many of the basic reading, writing, comprehension, and mathematical skills that used to be taken for granted in this country.


18 posted on 12/22/2005 9:10:18 AM PST by Alberta's Child (What it all boils down to is that no one's really got it figured out just yet.)
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To: manwiththehands
May I be the first to say that if you reject ID you are against President George W. Bush!

Well: "Sorry George, but I'm siding with Darwin on this one!"

19 posted on 12/22/2005 9:10:18 AM PST by blowfish
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To: Publius6961
Core of the Argument: The arguments put forth by the ID theorists -- hammering home the fundamental, longstanding, unresolved flaws in Darwinism, and demonstrating affirmatively that life exhibits evidence of design -- have not been refuted. Counterarguments fly as fast in this debate as the arguments, and neither side can claim victory. It is precisely because intelligent design relies exclusively on scientific methods, evidence, and reasoning that the Darwinist establishment is going bonkers. But there is another reason that goes even deeper. Let us suppose for a moment that the scientific evidence, evaluated in a truly impartial manner, would strongly point to design by a creator rather than to undirected natural forces as the source of life. Let us suppose, just for the sake of argument, that this evidence was really quite manifest and clear. What then? Would all the scientists, philosophers, political advocacy groups, teachers' unions, journalists, and others who were previously committed to Darwinism follow that evidence exactly where it leads? Would they shrug and say, "Oh, OK. We were wrong," and admit that the design thesis is the best explanation? Or would a large body of opinion, scientific and otherwise, insist that anything that points to a creator, regardless of the evidence, is automatically "not science"? A designer who actually works in the world is a concept that some cannot admit even to be a possibility. It is ruled out in advance on philosophical grounds. Although there are nuances and intermediate positions, ID has stirred up a conflict between two competing worldviews: materialism and theism.
20 posted on 12/22/2005 9:10:54 AM PST by WmCraven_Wk
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To: Sweetjustusnow

The answer is easy. ID let's the "God people" get their foot in the door. It's nothing more complex than that.


21 posted on 12/22/2005 9:11:22 AM PST by frgoff
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To: Sweetjustusnow

The Darwinists have had a monopoly on American education every since Clarence Darrow tried to defend the right of a farming community to have their kids taught the Bible in school.

All we are talking about now is to suggest to kids that maybe there just might be scientific, statistical reasons for believing that the General Theory of evolution is simply not in accordance with the facts.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I have always thought that there were insuperable difficulties in explaining the nature of things by a purely Darwinian account. But that isn't the issue. The issue is whether science will be laid down by judicial fiat rather than experiment and rational argument. At present, it is laid down by judicial fiat, as confirmed by that recent judgment.

NO ARGUMENTS ALLOWED. It's all Darwin, all the time, and you'd better like it, because the judges won't have it any other way. It's not a monopoly as long as no one is making any money off of it.

Oops, what's that you say? People ARE making money off of this monopoly? Salaries, research grants, teachers unions, cushy jobs that might be at risk if Darwin doesn't maintain his monopoly, funds flowing in to the ACLU to defend their turf?

Oh, well, so it goes. We can't allow any discussion, because ONLY DARWIN IS SCIENTIFIC. NO OTHERS NEED APPLY.


22 posted on 12/22/2005 9:12:18 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: manwiththehands
President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist have endorsed acquainting students with ID. May I be the first to say that if you reject ID you are against President George W. Bush!

You can acquaint students with ID in a non science class like theology, sociology, english, etc., BUT NOT IN SCIENCE CLASS BECAUSE IT IS NOT SCIENCE.

23 posted on 12/22/2005 9:12:45 AM PST by staytrue (MOONBAT conservatives are those who would rather lose to a liberal than support a moderate)
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To: Sweetjustusnow
The eye in any phylum. It appears succesfully from the beginning, as does reproduction. No evolution there!
24 posted on 12/22/2005 9:13:26 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Sweetjustusnow
It is precisely because intelligent design relies exclusively on scientific methods...

Either this writer is ignorant or a liar. It's very rare to encounter an argument in favor of ID where the proponent does not get the facts wrong either by deliberate misrepresentation or rampant ignorance. Lying about ID is not the way to begin an intelligent discourse.

25 posted on 12/22/2005 9:13:33 AM PST by Rudder
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To: Publius6961

ha ha...clever post.


26 posted on 12/22/2005 9:14:50 AM PST by wallcrawlr (Pray for the troops [all the troops here and abroad]: Success....and nothing less!!)
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To: fizziwig
I feel your pain Darwin freaks...but you'll get over it.

Get over it? The anti-Darwin Diproids just got whupped like a red-headed step-child.

Darwin freaks so not in pain.

27 posted on 12/22/2005 9:15:12 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (so natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about - J S Mill)
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To: liberallarry

"THOSE WHO NOW OCCUPY the public square will fight to keep possession of it. The advocates of Darwinian materialism believe that they are in possession of The Truth, and are perfectly willing to invoke the power of the state to suppress competing views, as the Dover suit shows."

"For many centuries, the best explanation of the origin of life and the lawfulness of the universe was thought to be design, which was not considered inconsistent with science at all. Matthew Arnold, nevertheless, presciently foresaw the direction the tides would flow in the 19th century, and well into the 20th. But of the three theories that seemed so potent during that period -- Marxism, Freudianism, Darwinism -- two have already been washed away by history. Will Darwin's theory be next? If so, the materialist worldview is at stake, and the materialists know it.

And that's why intelligent design is such a big deal."


28 posted on 12/22/2005 9:16:13 AM PST by Sweetjustusnow (Oust the IslamoCommies here and abroad.)
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To: tallhappy
At another level, the sloppy and lazy science that is in so much evoutionary work is easily criticized for the simplistic logic and simplistic nature.

I'm certain the scientists who study Evolutionary Theory would be more than happy fo ryou to publish your "easy critisms" ot their "simplistic logic" in the relevant science journals. I look forward to reading your monographs on the subject.

29 posted on 12/22/2005 9:16:28 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: Cicero
The Darwinists have had a monopoly on American education every since...

Science has had a monopoly on American science education every since... and rightly so.

It is a lot like Religion having a monopoly in religion classes or writing having a monopoly in writing class.

Further, Darwin is ancient history. There are many components to science that goes beyond darwin's incomplete and partially incorrect theories.

30 posted on 12/22/2005 9:16:41 AM PST by staytrue (MOONBAT conservatives are those who would rather lose to a liberal than support a moderate)
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To: frgoff

LOL - what exactly are "God people"?


31 posted on 12/22/2005 9:16:49 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: tallhappy
ID bothers the puerile peter pan posters like those here -- lost boys who never grew up and are still rebelling against the church ;lady who upbraided them when they were 13.

Says the one who argues like a 13-year old.

32 posted on 12/22/2005 9:17:33 AM PST by PMCarey
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To: fizziwig

Dogmatic Darwinists now defend radical judicial activism to

keep rational thought out of the schools (?)


33 posted on 12/22/2005 9:17:56 AM PST by Para-Ord.45
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To: staytrue
...this is why ID is ridiculed by scientists.

You fall into the ignorant category...unless, of course, you're lying. If you read the article, then you would know what the objections raised by scientists are. You should inform yourself with accurate information about this debate.

34 posted on 12/22/2005 9:18:01 AM PST by Rudder
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To: Rudder
Either this writer is ignorant or a liar.

The author is a lawyer. You can assume therefore that it is probably the latter.

35 posted on 12/22/2005 9:18:13 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: Sweetjustusnow
What's the big deal...

1) It provides a platform for certain libertarians (whose cultural familiars are liberals) to vent their hostilities about the religious. "Rightwing Christians are defiling the Holy Altar of Science"-- these guys just want a stick to beat rightward religious with.

2) Leftists want badly to chip off votes from vulnerable GOP pols in battleground states. They'd love to embarrass enough pols and libertarians with the "uncouth" associtiation with the extremely effective Christian right--at least enough to knock a few GOP Senators out of office. Just enough to turn the Senate Democratic.

And the leftists goad the libertarians into doing their work for them--"Save Science From the Heathen!"

36 posted on 12/22/2005 9:18:14 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Sweetjustusnow
The advocates of Darwinian materialism believe that they are in possession of The Truth, and are perfectly willing to invoke the power of the state to suppress competing views

And yet The advocates of GOD believe that they are in possession of The Truth, and are perfectly willing to invoke the power of RELIGION AND GOD to suppress competing views

37 posted on 12/22/2005 9:19:10 AM PST by staytrue (MOONBAT conservatives are those who would rather lose to a liberal than support a moderate)
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To: Sweetjustusnow
Peterson makes it absolutely clear, accepting all the claims of the major ID-ists (Behe, Dembski, Johnson, etc.) at face value, what the big deal is. ONE of the world's great monotheistic religions might well be true. (Although ID can never tell us which if any, etc. etc.)

But the claims of IDs main proponents cannot be accepted on face value. There is no objective measure for detecting design in situations where we don't have clear direct information. (We know, for instance, the origin of watches.) Claims that such have been developed do not withstand critical scrutiny. There are evolutionary scenarios to produce irreducibly complex structures, despite the ubiquitious pretense among ID-ists that there are none. And of course, as Dover trial Judge Jones noted, ID is a repackaging of creationism.

No, it indeed "isn't science," Mr. Peterson. That's the big deal.

38 posted on 12/22/2005 9:21:04 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Sweetjustusnow
Stupid quote 1: The arguments put forth by the ID theorists -- hammering home the fundamental, longstanding, unresolved flaws in Darwinism, and demonstrating affirmatively that life exhibits evidence of design -- have not been refuted.

Yes, because ID offers NO FALSIFICATION CRITERIA, therefore cannot be refuted. Moreover, ID has failed completely and utterly to "demonstrate affirmatively that life exhibits evidence of design". The complete demolishing of Behe in Dover is ample testament to that -- forcing the leading light of ID to admit that his examples were a)not IC and b) that Common Descent is true and C) that God might not exist anymore based on his review of the evidence. Yeah, a great victory for the affirmative demonstation of design.

39 posted on 12/22/2005 9:22:55 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: Sweetjustusnow
Despite the efforts of ID opponents to label them as "creationists," their arguments are not based on religious premises or Scriptural authority, and ID does not attempt to determine the identity of the designer.

Nonsense. They got caught red-handed on both points in the Dover case, which is why they got slam-dunked in the ruling.

As for the title question, one might as well ask what's the big deal about Clinton getting a blow job and lying about it. If one believes that truth matters and that rule of law matters, then it's a big deal; if not, then I suppose it isn't.

40 posted on 12/22/2005 9:24:21 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: Sweetjustusnow
Dawkins states: "It is easy to think of DNA as the information by which a body makes another body like itself. It would be more correct to see a body as the vehicle used by DNA to make more DNA like itself."

He must have gotten that idea from my tagline!

41 posted on 12/22/2005 9:24:37 AM PST by shuckmaster (An oak tree is an acorns way of making more acorns)
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To: Rudder
If you read the article, then you would know what the objections raised by scientists are.

I've read the article. It has viturally nothing to contribute in the way of scientific objections and instead is an attack on "materialism" in science and an attempt to make the weird argument that because the institution of science arose in Christian Europe and many scientists are Christian, Intelligent Design is true and Evolution is materialistic claptrap.

42 posted on 12/22/2005 9:27:07 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: Sweetjustusnow
"THOSE WHO NOW OCCUPY the public square will fight to keep possession of it.

Always. Lord Acton has something to say about that...

The advocates of Darwinian materialism believe that they are in possession of The Truth, and are perfectly willing to invoke the power of the state to suppress competing views, as the Dover suit shows."

Horseshit. Nobody's closing the churches. People are fighting to keep religious dogma out of science classes.

"For many centuries, the best explanation of the origin of life and the lawfulness of the universe was thought to be design, which was not considered inconsistent with science at all.

For many centuries the earth was thought to be the center of the universe. Did that make it so? Lots of crappy ideas have a long life.

But of the three theories that seemed so potent during that period -- Marxism, Freudianism, Darwinism -- two have already been washed away by history. Will Darwin's theory be next? If so, the materialist worldview is at stake, and the materialists know it.

The materialist world view is hardly at risk because Darwinism might be. Science has proved its worth 10,000 times over. Nor have Marxism and Freudianism been "washed away"...but rather transformed by experience. We aren't going back to possession by demons or aristocracy by birthright.

And that's why intelligent design is such a big deal."

ID is a big deal because religious types feel threatened.

43 posted on 12/22/2005 9:27:58 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: Sweetjustusnow
Let us suppose, just for the sake of argument, that this evidence was really quite manifest and clear. What then? Would all the scientists, philosophers, political advocacy groups, teachers' unions, journalists, and others who were previously committed to Darwinism follow that evidence exactly where it leads? Would they shrug and say, "Oh, OK. We were wrong," and admit that the design thesis is the best explanation?

Or would a large body of opinion, scientific and otherwise, insist that anything that points to a creator, regardless of the evidence, is automatically "not science"?

We don't have to "suppose" any such thing. We have real-world examples.

If there is, in fact, "a large body of opinion, scientific and otherwise" asserting that (for example) chihuauahs descended from wolves by unguided natural selection, then Peterson is right. If no such position being seriously advanced, then Peterson is wrong. A simple, testable prediction from the theory. I leave the checking of the prediction against the facts as an exercise for the student.

44 posted on 12/22/2005 9:28:57 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: GreenOgre

"Any train of thought relying on "God made it." is not scientific."

Any train of thought relying on "nature made it" (i.e. naturalism) is also not science by the same logic.


45 posted on 12/22/2005 9:29:15 AM PST by fizziwig
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To: PMCarey

Yes, you saw yourself, did you? Well done!


46 posted on 12/22/2005 9:30:48 AM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: Oztrich Boy

"Get over it? The anti-Darwin Diproids just got whupped like a red-headed step-child."

Darwin droids won that battle, but they are losing the war.


47 posted on 12/22/2005 9:31:35 AM PST by fizziwig
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To: frgoff
The answer is easy. ID let's the "God people" get their foot in the door. It's nothing more complex than that.

Put down the broad brush for a sec. Not all of us "God people" are ignorant about science. It is unfair to lump all Christians into the ID and/or young earth creation groups. Here is an exerpt from "Evolutionary Creation", by Dr. Denis O. Lamoureux, PhD biology and PhD theology.

Evolutionary creation claims the Father, Son and Holy Spirit created the universe and life through an evolutionary process. This position fully embraces both the religious beliefs of conservative Christianity and the scientific theories of cosmological, geological and biological evolution. It contends that God ordains and sustains the laws of nature, including the mechanisms of evolution. More specifically, evolution is 'teleological,' and features plan, purpose and promise. In particular, this view of origins asserts that humanity evolved from primate ancestors, and during this natural process the Image of God arose and sin entered the world. Evolutionary creationists experience God's presence and action in their lives. They contend that the Lord meets men and women in a personal relationship, which at times involves both dramatic and subtle miraculous signs and wonders...

... Within Protestant evangelical circles, evolutionary creation is held by a small but growing number of individuals educated in both science and Scripture. In particular, a majority of these Christians trained in the biological sciences accept this position. The leading evangelical evolutionary creationist today is Howard Van Till. He spent most of his career at Calvin College, an institution considered to be the leading evangelical college in the United States supporting this view of origins. Van Till claims that God created the world 'fully-gifted' from its inception so that all the universe and life would evolve without subsequent Divine interventions. Evolutionary creation best describes the official position of the Roman Catholic Church, though it is often referred to in this tradition as 'theistic evolution.' In 1996 Pope John Paul II made international headlines by claiming that "new knowledge leads to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis..."

... Evolutionary creation recognizes that the relationship between science and Scripture is the key to developing a Christian view of origins. This position notes that the Church's past struggle to relate the Bible and Galileo's astronomy provides valuable lessons for believers today wrestling with the creation accounts and the evolutionary sciences. Conservative Christians accepting evolution as God's method of creation are inspired by the famed aphorism that arose during this 17th century controversy, "The intention of the Holy Spirit is to teach us how one goes to heaven and not how heaven goes." Rewritten for the 21st Church, evolutionary creationists encourage us to understand:

The purpose of the Bible is to teach us that God is the Creator, and not how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit created.

48 posted on 12/22/2005 9:34:27 AM PST by M203M4 ( MERRY CHRISTMAS)
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To: RogueIsland

In one section he lists the objections by scientists, and they all fall under one statement: "ID is not science." Of, he proceeds ahead while ignoring that very critical point.


49 posted on 12/22/2005 9:36:45 AM PST by Rudder
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To: Rudder
Of course, he proceeds ahead while ignoring that very critical point.
50 posted on 12/22/2005 9:39:04 AM PST by Rudder
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