ID and God-guided evolution?


#1

Ok, this is a subject that has confused me for some time. Among this forum there are individuals who deny “intellegent design” but acknowledge evolutionary theory. Yet those same individuals also believe that the evolution of life, every speck of it, was directed, formed and guided by God, and still is, as things continue to evolve.

So, why then are they so against intellegent design, claiming that we should be cautious on saying things are “intellegently designed” because of the somewhat faulty entities, and “red in tooth and claw” of nature? Is not intellegent design and a God guided evolution identical, except for the fact that ID believers think God poofed creation into existence and God guided evolutioners believe it took long periods of time for life to come about, but nevertheless, having the same result?

I personally do not think that God is responisble for every piece of creation, but that’s another subject.


#2

Utterring “intelligent Design” is strictly forbidden. It is associated with “Stealth Creationism,” the secret plan for getting religion into public school classrooms. Even now, agents of certain ID Institutes are infiltrating school boards across the country to convince them to “question evolution.” God must never be allowed back into the public school. This is all about politics and has absolutely nothing to do with science.

That said, Intelligent Design does say that the information required to build an organism did not come from nowhere and that complex interactions between different forms of life have their basis in something other than nature, which has no mind, will or direction. How does a bee recognize a flower? How does it know what to do with it? How did it get the knowledge to inform other bees, through a complex dance, how to find this flower? Science may uncover certain biological capabilities but not the origin of such capabilities. For Catholics, the rational mind we call God is the source of these capabilities.

God bless,
Ed


#3

I was aware of the decievement, and if that’s the only reason then I understand.

But, the so-called mysteries of life, where people tend to think God can hide, and science will never unlock the “whys,” should be avoided for preciesly the reasons of furture discoveries. For example, up until the mid 20’th century, no one understood what makes a flower bloom, and it was a mystery only know to the flower’s creator, God. But whoah and behold, the mystery was solved by plant scientists. God does not nessacary make the flower bloom, rather instead the floral induction genes do.

The danger among these “gaps” is that, given enough time, science will explain them (though it is true not ALL phenomenal can be solved). Science has explained things that for centuries have baffled the greatest minds. Natural phenomenal will have natural explanations, and for a matter of stragedy, people should avoid telling scientists what they will never be able to discover, history has proven them wrong. And many times, theists fall away when there is never a need to. God’s work follows a plan and order.


#4

“intelligent design” lower-case is the general teaching of Romans 1:19-20; Wisdom 13; and Vatican Council I (see chapter 2, “On Revelation” paragraph 1, and the canons 1-5 on “God the Creator of all things”).

“The same Holy mother Church holds and teaches that God, the source and end of all things, can be known with certainty from the consideration of created things, by the natural power of human reason….” ( ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/V1.HTM )

i.d. lower-case does not involve a denial of any science.

“Intelligent Design” upper-case means the human body, the eye, and/or the bacterial flagellum (or all of the above) did not evolve. It involves a denial of “common descent” and affirms bogus creationist-based “scientific” arguments. It began with Pandas and People, Darwin on Trial with Phil Johnson, and is the general position of the “Discovery Institute” and its “fellows.”

That’s the distinction I make. id = ok, ID = NOT OK. :stuck_out_tongue:

Catholics can and do affirm i.d., but should reject I.D.

Phil P


#5

I own about 20 creationist books and almost over 100 creationist materials and articles. Darwin on Trial I read when I used to be a creationists, and re-read when I acknowledged evolution. DOT is very cleverly written, but easily refuted by profesional scientists.

I understand what you mean Phil, I just thought theistic evolutionists refuted ID becuase it claimed things are “intellegently designed” when clearly many traits in life are not.

ever read “fossil facts and fantasies?” i forget his name but he is a texas creationist.


#6

“theists fall away”? No. I have learned here, that the mind of man is usually regarded above the mind of God as revealed in the Bible.

The “floral induction genes”? Are you a genetic robot? Preprogrammed by your genes and, to some extent, affected by your environment? Is that all you are? Consider that this faith statement that science will reveal all is not true. The scientific method forbids the study of supernatural influences. Only the Church has the whole, complete answer. Science only has a part. The “floral induction genes” did not program themselves.

God bless,
Ed


#7

The point of the blooming flower was to show that at one time it was said to be a mystery that only God knew, that God caused, and yet we have come to understand how it naturally occurs. How did the genes come to be in the first place? Well, quite simple, through a process of evolution that God initiated, or guided.

No science cannot reveal all, that is true. But it has revealed many wondrous things among this realm.


#8

Edwest2, if you want a good read on how these controversies got started, go buy and read Karl W Giberson’s book “Saving Darwin.” In it he shows how both the scientific community, but even to some hardcore extant, the creationists ignited all the heat and debate regarding the creation-evolution issue. Much of it now revolves around a political agenda, especially with the creationists, rather than stating Truth.


#9

The << I understand what you mean Phil, I just thought theistic evolutionists refuted ID because it claimed things are “intelligently designed” when clearly many traits in life are not. >>

Perhaps. I just want good and honest science taught, which is why I am pro-evolution. I am personally open to “ID” upper-case if it can make a scientific case. It seems as I study it however that it is mostly old discredited “creationist” arguments that were debunked 25+ years ago (e.g. at the 1981-2 Arkansas Creationist Trial, and the books that sprang from that trial, such as Scientists Confront Creationism, and it’s new sequel), or a “God of the gaps” type arguments (e.g. Origin of Life, etc). I also have the dialogue books Debating Design and ID: Dembski and Ruse in Dialogue.

I agree with Richard Dawkins when he amusingly defines the “Intelligent Design” (upper case) argument as:

PREMISE 1: Theory A (evolution) has a lot of scientific evidence supporting it.
PREMISE 2: Theory B (ID) has NO scientific evidence supporting it.
PREMISE 3: Theory A has trouble explaining phenomenon X (bacterial flagellum, etc).

CONCLUSION: Therefore, Theory B must be right! :smiley:

On the other hand, I can agree with some of Phillip E. Johnson’s points (and Ken Miller in his books) when “philosophical” or “metaphysical” naturalism is conflated with science. Most scientists simply treat “Darwinism” as a scientific theory, and stick to “methdological” naturalism (i.e. the scientific method).

Anglican philosopher-theologian Keith Ward (also of Oxford like Dawkins) may be your best antidote against Dawkins, as I am finding out. He has some recent outstanding reply books that I have just purchased:

God, Chance and Necessity (1996), published 10 years before The God Delusion and answers much of that book
Pascal’s Fire (2006)
Is Religion Dangerous? (2006)
The Big Questions in Science and Religion (2008)
Why There Almost Certainly Is A God (2008)

All of these either directly or indirectly reply to and demolish Dawkins.

Phil P


#10

I just recently finished “Saving Darwin” by Karl W Giberson. Was very interesting, especialy dealing with all the political agenda behind the creationist movement. I thought it interesting how Ellen Whit was a BIG initiater on the whole process.

I kind of feel sorry for Darwin, reading some of his biography. He seemed quite depressed alot in life, and started off as it seemed a faithful Christian.

I hate how creationists make him out to be a monster.


#11

So Phil, you’ve read Finding Darwin’s God, and so know Kenneth Miller’s arguments. Is it against the Church to believe that God brought the universe into existense but at some point early on released his will allowing chance to take over? This, to some extant, is what Mr. Miller believes. I also know so because I have talked with him myself, and he is an Orthodox Catholic. It is not to say that God never intervenes, just that, He allowed chance to play a role in His universe.

Interestingly regarding chance, evolution will lead to value. Look at us. If life formed on anothe rplanet, scientists would be suspecting there to be creatures having eye sight, hearing and intelegence. As Mr. Giberson put it:

“How can evolution be entirely random, if certain sophisticated end points are predictible? Evolution is like the path of a water molecule making its way down the side of a mountain–unpredictible on a small scale, but certainly not without a general direction.”

Just curious on your thoughts.


#12

On the contrary, Darwin only gave the atheists more ammunition. They were eager to have something other than purported naturalism in their arsenal. Those who believed in Creation accepted some of what scientists uncovered but found the rest questionable. That is my position. Also, I suggest you read part 69 of Human Persons Created in the Image of God, where it states that random mutation and natural selection without divine providence simply cannot exist.

I heard Professor Richard Dawkins give an answer to the following question: “Didn’t God form man from the dust of the earth and breathe life into his nostrils?” “No.” All a Christian needs to do is point to a copy of The God Delusion to make the point.

God bless,
Ed


#13

It’s a denial of Divine Providence. It’s also theologically incorrect to imagine God “allowing chance to take over” in the development of life, species and human beings.

Christ taught us that every hair on our heads is counted and no sparrow falls without God’s knowledge. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being”. (Acts 17:28)

Darwinism proposes that mankind emerged by accident.

As Fr. George Coyne claimed “God himself could not know for certain that man would be the product of evolution”.

Or as Kenneth Miller’s textbook falsely taught:

“Darwin knew that accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism, the conviction that matter is the stuff of all existence and that all mental and spiritual phenomena are its by-products. Darwinian evolution was not only purposeless but also heartless–a process in which the rigors of nature ruthlessly eliminate the unfit. Suddenly, humanity was reduced to just one more species in a world that cared nothing for us. The great human mind was no more than a mass of evolving neurons. Worst of all, there was no divine plan to guide us.”
(Biology: Discovering Life, by Joseph S. Levine & Kenneth R. Miller (2nd edition, D.C. Heath and Co., 1994), p. 161; emphasis in original)

This is the kind of serious theological error that is widespread in the evolutionist culture today. Sadly, many Catholics (even so-called “orthodox” Catholics like Kenneth Miller) have compromised their faith by spreading this false teaching.


#14

The << So Phil, you’ve read Finding Darwin’s God, and so know Kenneth Miller’s arguments. Is it against the Church to believe that God brought the universe into existence but at some point early on released his will allowing chance to take over? >>

I probably have to re-read Ken Miller, he now has two books. These are all De Fide from Ludwig Ott Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma :

God was moved by His Goodness to create the world. (De Fide)
The world was created for the Glorification of God. (De Fide)
The Three Divine Persons are one single, common Principle of the Creation. (De Fide)
God created the world free from exterior compulsion and inner necessity. (De Fide)
God has created a good world. (De Fide)
The world had a beginning in time. (De Fide)
God alone created the world. (De Fide)
God keeps all created things in existence. (De Fide)
God, through His Providence, protects and guides all that He has created. (De Fide)

So… however “chance” works in evolution, God is still in control. God keeps, protects, and guides all things. I don’t think a Catholic is allowed to say God released his will, since the Catechism tells us “God willed” human beings into existence. “Willed” is used as the synonym or meaning of “created” :

362. The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. The biblical account expresses this reality in symbolical language when it affirms that “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.” [Genesis 2:7] Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.

369. Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God

I will get to this bottom of this if I finish Keith Ward’s books. :stuck_out_tongue:

Phil P


#15

As time goes on the gaps are rapidly multiplying as we are understanding just how much we really do not know. There are more gaps now than before.


#16

Did God know what Adam and Eve were going to look like?


#17

I see a page full of “text” placeholders, an irrelevant article and lists of books.

Of the authors cited a large number are proponents of ID:

Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God by Scott Hahn and **Benjamin Wiker **(Emmaus Road, 2008)
The End of Reason: A Response to the New Atheists by Ravi Zacharias (Zondervan, 2008)
Christian Defense of Theism and Responses to Atheism
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by **William Lane Craig **(Crossway Books, 2008, 3rd edition), deals also with the "new atheists"
There Is A God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by **Antony Flew **with Roy Abraham Varghese (HarperOne, 2007)
God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? by **John Lennox **(Lion Hudson, 2007)
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by **Norman L. Geisler **and **Frank Turek **(Crossway Books, 2004)
Warranted Christian Belief by **Alvin Plantinga **(Oxford Univ Press, 2000), and other books in this series
The Existence of God by **Richard Swinburne **(Oxford Univ Press, 1987, 1979)
General Christian and Catholic Apologetics
The Case for Christ by **Lee Strobel **(Zondervan, 1998)
Why I Am a Christian edited by **Norman L. Geisler **and Paul K. Hoffman (Baker Books, 2001, 2006)
Reasons for Faith: Making a Case for the Christian Faith edited by **Norman L. Geisler **and Chad V. Meister (Crossway Books, 2007)
The Son Rises by **William Lane Craig **(Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001, orig Moody, 1981)
God and the New Physics (1983) and The Mind of God (1992) and The Goldilocks Enigma (2006, 2008) all by Paul Davies


#18

Reggie << I see a page full of “text” placeholders, an irrelevant article and lists of books. >>

Yeah yeah yeah wait until it’s finished. I like to link it to get it in the search engines quicker. Don’t worry, it will be something along the lines of my Da Vinci Code article, my Evidence for Jesus article, my “All About Horus” article, Immaculate Conception article, the Assumption article, or the “How Many Denominations” article, except 10 times more exhaustive. :smiley: You dare doubt my ability to come up with the best Catholic response to Dawkins on the Internet? :smiley: Just kidding. Hopefully not that long, but I link early.

Yes some of those people happen to support ID, but I will be ignoring much of that and simply use their philosophical (and historical/biblical) arguments responding to Dawkins. I don’t think supporting upper-case “Intelligent Design” is a very good response to Dawkins, since Dawkins himself does a pretty good job dismantling ID in his books. Cosmological or “Anthropic Principle” ID I can agree with.

Phil P


#19

Yes, many theists at the time of Darwin believed in an old earth, even a local flood for Noah. And Darwin’s idea of evolution, while some (mainly the scientific community) rejected it, it posed little problems for many theists. What WAS a problem for theists at the time was David Strauss’s “Life of Jesus Critically Examined.” Strauss’s works had conservative christians wringing their hands, lamenting from the pulpits, and writing refutations, rather than Darwin’s new theory.

And while it is true atheists can use Darwin’s idea for their agenda, Dawrin never wished for such a thing. He wasn’t out looking to replace the 6 day literal creation story as which what he himself believed, rather, what he discovered was simply a truth of nature.

And it wasn’t so much a big deal until Ellen White, George McCready Price, and Henery Morris, claiming evolution was of the devil.


#20

Yes. Though i don’t follow why you asked this.


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