There some very unexplainable things in science. As science matures, it becomes more and more abstract. Weird and nonsensical as a matter of fact. It tells us that our understanding of of reality is very limited, simple and naive.
It is a leap of Faith to ascribe this to a Creator. But it also take leap of Faith to claim that a deity doesn’t exist.
A long time ago, back in 2005, I rolled into this forum with a vanity post about intelligent design, making the point (in part) that ID is not the foil of evolutionary theory but of philosophical Naturalism.
Philosophical Naturalism, or the belief that all that we see must be explained only in terms of processes arising from within the system, is not scientific proposition as it is not testable. Rather it is a belief asserted about the first causes of things and it is further one that has developed very dogmatic consensus.
One of the effects of the need to bring about more belief in philosophical Naturalism is found in how the form of “evolution” that is frequently taught in public education is often hopelessly out of date with respect to the actual state of theory ... causing me to joke back in the day that it seems as if bad high school textbooks should be cheaper that good if they want to justify teaching out of date ideas as if biological laws of nature. What this is all about, rather, is that there is a need to teach ways of thinking about life that need no God, that needs no creator. This serves a socially transformative purpose rather than a “scientific” one which is precisely why bad textbooks don’t matter, they ultimately aren’t teaching evolutionary science but are teaching believing in evolution as a doctrine.
Intelligent design is NOT creationism, at least not in any Christian sense. It accepts all the notions bandied about by the evolutionists but is based on observations, often arising from the science of cosmology, that the universe is too perfectly balanced to not be inexplicable, as well as from issues arising from biological chemistry. ID as a philosophical matter was first proposed to liberate the science from the demands of the strict philosophical Naturalism.
ID was picked up by others who had what I’d term “other reasons to believe” than anything arising from science. No different than the secularist have latched onto evolution (and now man made climate change) as a way to advance their other dogs in the hunt.
Thanks for the post!!
The article is “meh”. I can’t tell is the author is an atheist, young-earth creationist of what. The article has some value in that it gets us to think about this issue more carefully. I read about halfway through the article. I have a few comments, but I don;t have time to post a full critique of it.
1)Just because some “theistic evolutionists” dont make room in their Darwin for theism, it does NOT mean that all don’t.
2) The author says, The point is that theistic evolution has moved the discussion such that anything science finds out about the natural world can be interpreted as Gods plan (p. 160). To this I say, “so what?” For every orthodox monotheistic faith, God is sovereign. There are natural laws that God has established to make the universe orderly and predictable for the benefit of all species. This in no way violates the principle that God can choose to direct the universe from time to time towards goals that fulfill God’s plan. There’s just nothing necessarily contradictory; claiming there is is just begging the question.
3) The article writer also says this: “ That is, theistic evolutionists embrace naturalistic evolution as fact, while simultaneously denying the naturalistic implications of naturalistic evolution.” Again, there is nothing inherently contradictory in holding the view that God creates material substance(s) and the laws that govern their behavior, while also having the capability of injecting supernatural causation into the stream of history. The author just keeps begging that which he seems to want to prove.
4) He quotes Rossiter as saying : “ They are not just claiming that the biblical authors of antiquity were ignorant of science (as they most certainly were), but that they were wrong about reality (p. 63).” This may be the only thing I sort of agree with...namely that hyperliteralism is wrong. But evolutionary theists can consistently hold that God created the universe and guided it via physical laws AND supernatural intervention (miracles). The “days” of Genesis can easily be interpreted as ages/epochs or as a general principle of less advanced life preceeding more advanced life...culminating in God’s ultimate creation, Homo Sapiens.
5) Rossiter says this: “It is untrue that science has nothing to say about miracles. If a man is spontaneously (miraculously) healed of a deadly virus while lying on his deathbed, doctors (and scientists) can document it. He had the virus, they knew his condition, and now he doesnt. Of course we may not know why or how, but we can document and study it (p. 79). Sorry, but he’s laughably wrong here. Science cannot say anything scientific about events who’s causes are not natural. Why? because the event would never follow if natural causes were the only thing in existence. There would be absolutely no predictability involved; science is all about predictions and demonstrations. Many scientists do not like the notion of miracles because it violates the whole, “this MUST follow from this” or “this cannot exist without THIS kind of cause”, but again....so what?
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Rev: 3:16 KJV
Simple — God created his creatures that are not merely clay puppets, but complex mechanisms which can repair themselves and even adapt genetically to the complex changing world he also created.
Scientists keep exploring this creation and barely have scratched its extent.
Intelligent Design is God of the Gaps writ large.
Materialist Evolution doesn't explain why there is a universe (or multiverse) in the first place.
Theistic Evolution has to deal with the problem of evil writ large, i.e. why would a loving Creator create and destroy whole species in painful ways over millions of years just so mankind could be the position it was in when Christ arrived.
There is no simple solution. Banging on one theory without admitting the problems with the other theories is misleading at best, and dishonest at worst.
The author states, “they push God into the distant and undetectable cosmic background so that the universe only looks random (but isnt).”
Quite to the contrary, theistic evolution begins with the observation that the universe in no way looks at all random, and directly rebuts the mental sleight-of-hand of Stephen Hawkin’s infinite universes, required to sustain the “infinite number of monkeys would type Shakespeare” analogy.
Rather, Rossiter substitutes deistic evolution for anything resembling Christian theistic evolution, almost certainly relying on his folliowers’ acceptance of the notion that if it’s evolution, it isn’t Christian to obscure the switch.
Given that this intellectual deceit is the basis of his book, I can’t imagine the book having anything useful to contribute to any conversation, other than inspiring his readers to cover their ears.
Incidentally, deistic evolution (”the grand clockmaker”) is refuted wholly simply by quantum physics, which renders determinism impossible;