Is Evolution really Intelligent Design?


#1

For over a century, the ongoing debate has been Evolution versus Creation. However, more recently I’ve been reading/hearing people say that evolution itself points to a creator and implies intelligent design rather than being at odds with it. Has anyone heard this too? Do any of you have sources you would recommend on the topic? Any thoughts would be appreciated. :slight_smile:


#2

I easily found this nicely balanced article: Evolution vs. intelligent design: which model has more integrity? in a google search. I think it explains things quite well–for the average layman, like you and me. :wink:


#3

Regarding the points that article makes about Antony Flew, I recommend you also read this article by Richard Carrier regarding Antony Flew’s “conversion.”

The article argues that teaching intelligent design would not violate the separation of church and state. I would recommend reading the text of Kitzmiller v. Dover, in particular section E, which applies the Lemon test - the accepted test for separation - to this issue in detail.

The article then equates deism with pantheism - which is a bad idea - and then argues that Einstein’s science is actually based on pantheism. Einstein might have been a pantheist, but even if he wrote his theories because he thought little blue fairies told him to, that wouldn’t matter. Eintein’s theories have been verified by the scientific method (whatever that is), not by pantheism. One can believe in relativity and think pantheism is just silly.

Then the article claims something along these lines: supporters of evolution claim that intelligent design is not science, because it is not materialistic. Regardless of whether or not they claim this - regardless of whether or not intelligent design reallly iis science or not - it is bad science. It is not supported by the evidence.

The article then attempts to show that evolutionists do not have integrity. Whether or not this is true has little bearing on whether or not intelligent design is good science. One point that I would, however, like to address in particular is this one: “Evolutionists claim if ID were good science, we would see more pro-ID papers published in reputable journals. But these papers have an anit-ID bias that leads them to immediately reject ID papers.” This claim would be much more plausible if the author compared the percentage of pro-ID papers that get rejected to the normal rejection rate - but I have yet to see a list of rejected papers.

The article makes the claim that many biologists don’t know what the Cambrian explosion is… which I find mildly implausible. That aside, the article also acts as if the Cambrian explosion lasted a week or so. The most reasonable estimates put its duration at five to ten million years, with some closer to forty. TalkOrigins as usual has a nice discussion of the Cambrian explosion re intelligent design.

The article also makes the “information argument,” which is mildly implausible. I don’t want to go into details, but it seems that if this were true, genetic algorithms could not work - and yet they do.

It argues that punctuated equilibrium points towards an intelligent designer. Again, the article seems to misunderstand time scales. Gould’s rapid periods of change could last over ten thousand generations.

For more information regarding these bad arguments, either wait for one of the people in this forum more concerned with evolution to show up, or go look at TalkOrigins, which is very, very comprehensive.


#4

While their ends point may look similar, theistic evolution and ID take drastically different approaches

Theistic evolution accepts all that science shows us (under the understanding that faith and reason can’t contradict) but says that God is ultimately responsible. Thus an atheist and a theist can agree completely on the science portion of it and agree to disagree on the theology.

ID as I understand it comes in two flavors:
(a) The “we can’t explain X so God/designer must have done it”. A classic God of the gaps fallacy. or
(b) The “X is too complex/improbable for it to have arisen naturally so it must have been designed” school which is a basic argument from incredulity fallacy.
both of these leave the ID proponant at odds with science and IMHO a theologicaly weaker position


#5

[quote=steveandersen]While their ends point may look similar, theistic evolution and ID take drastically different approaches

Theistic evolution accepts all that science shows us (under the understanding that faith and reason can’t contradict) but says that God is ultimately responsible. Thus an atheist and a theist can agree completely on the science portion of it and agree to disagree on the theology.

ID as I understand it comes in two flavors:
(a) The “we can’t explain X so God/designer must have done it”. A classic God of the gaps fallacy. or
(b) The “X is too complex/improbable for it to have arisen naturally so it must have been designed” school which is a basic argument from incredulity fallacy.
both of these leave the ID proponant at odds with science and IMHO a theologicaly weaker position
[/quote]

I don’t ascribe to either “flavor” of ID you’ve cited here. I believe, based on the evidence, that God not only programmed all of life, but that he continues to do so. Like any other programmer he has the right to correct, change, reorganize his own creation as he sees fit. I don’t think that options “a” and “b” are proofs of ID, but I do think they are suggestive and shouldn’t ipso facto be dismissed. After all, there are such examples in the evolution theory too–an attempt to fill in the gaps–that are less than satisfying, not really based on science but on suppositions that cannot be supported by evidence or experimentation.


#6

[quote=Della]I don’t ascribe to either “flavor” of ID you’ve cited here.
[/quote]

If I’m misstating what ID is, I’m sorry. Those were my understandings of it. What do you think ID states?

[quote=Della]… I don’t think that options “a” and “b” are proofs of ID, but I do think they are suggestive and shouldn’t ipso facto be dismissed.
[/quote]

Well…….strictly from a science point of view, ID is not falsifiable and thus not valid theory.

From a theological point of view (a) is problematic since it implicitly limits God to things we can’t explain …yet. Which raises the question of what do we do once we have an explanation. While (b) bases one’s “proof” for God on one’s personal comfort level/understanding of probabilities. Like I said IMHO those are weaker positions.

[quote=Della] After all, there are such examples in the evolution theory too–an attempt to fill in the gaps–that are less than satisfying, not really based on science but on suppositions that cannot be supported by evidence or experimentation.
[/quote]

I doubt that anything that is published in a scientific paper or textbook is not backed up with data and/or experimentation


#7

[quote=Della]I don’t ascribe to either “flavor” of ID you’ve cited here. I believe, based on the evidence, that God not only programmed all of life, but that he continues to do so. Like any other programmer he has the right to correct, change, reorganize his own creation as he sees fit. I don’t think that options “a” and “b” are proofs of ID, but I do think they are suggestive and shouldn’t ipso facto be dismissed.
[/quote]

I think that you will find several posters here that agree that God created all life but the manner of which He did it is best explained by evolution. If we understand that science is the study of nature and God, being supernatural, is outside the realm of science, we don’t have the impossible task of trying to prove God with science. ID is a way to “prove” God and therefore is not science. That is why almost every scientist dismisses it.

After all, there are such examples in the evolution theory too–an attempt to fill in the gaps–that are less than satisfying, not really based on science but on suppositions that cannot be supported by evidence or experimentation.

If you have some examples of peer-reviewed scientific articles that have no supporting evidence, whether observational or experimental, please provide a link to it. It would be the first time I have ever seen such an article.

Peace

Tim


#8

Perhaps God is His wisdom has made emperical proof of His design impossible for humans to prove so that we would have to have faith.


#9

JSmitty << For over a century, the ongoing debate has been Evolution versus Creation. >>

Incorrect, there hasn’t been a debate on the issue in the scientific community for at least 100 years. From a booklet “Evolution and the Fossil Record” PDF published jointly by the American Geological Institute and The Paleontological Society:

“Evolution is the central unifying concept of natural history; it is the foundation of all of modern paleontology and biology…Biological evolution is not debated in the scientific community – organisms become new species through modification over time… ‘it simply has not been an issue for a century’ [citing Futuyma]…The crowning achievement of paleontology has been the demonstration, from the history of life, of the validity of the evolutionary theory…” (Evolution and the Fossil Record 2001 PDF, pages 1, 10, 13)

JSmitty << Do any of you have sources you would recommend on the topic? >>

Why yes I do. The absolutely three best books you can read on this topic:

Finding Darwin’s God by Ken Miller
Perspectives on an Evolving Creation by Keith Miller
Coming to Peace with Science by Darrel Falk

One book I might recommend by an Intelligent Design advocate:

The Design Revolution by William Dembski

And as an appendix, the Pope’s commentary on Genesis 1-3 or the International Theological Commission creation-evolution statement that I’ve linked at least 4.5 billion times in here. :thumbsup: And for humor’s sake, my Catholic Creationism and Jack Chick Comics article.

Phil P


#10

[quote=buffalo]Perhaps God is His wisdom has made emperical proof of His design impossible for humans to prove so that we would have to have faith.
[/quote]

I could go with that. Of course, you understand that if that is the case, ID really is a waste of time!:smiley:

Peace

Tim


#11

[quote=Orogeny]I could go with that. Of course, you understand that if that is the case, ID really is a waste of time!:smiley:

Peace

Tim
[/quote]

Of course Tim, you know me, I would have to suggest we do look. In fact our evidences for God from the beginning have sharpened our understanding of God and developed our doctrine. Perhaps the pursuit of ID can serve us in that way.


#12

[quote=buffalo]Of course Tim, you know me, I would have to suggest we do look. In fact our evidences for God from the beginning have sharpened our understanding of God and developed our doctrine. Perhaps the pursuit of ID can serve us in that way.
[/quote]

Yep. I knew that I would get a response to that.:slight_smile:

My question is if God made emperical proof of His design impossible for humans to prove so that we would have to have faith, are we not just wasting our time looking for it? Should we not just rely on our faith to know God?

Our understanding of God is nothing if we don’t have faith. There is no natural evidence in the world that would make me believe in God if it weren’t for the grace He gives us. That’s why I think it is a waste of time to pursue God through science.

Peace

Tim


#13

Before you guys start debating Evolution and Intelligent Design, I just wanted to clear this up. I didn’t intend this thread to be a debate, but rather a discussion on how Evolution could actually be an argument for the existence of God (b/c in a Peter Kreeft book I read, the character says that he thinks that evolution is the best argument for an intelligent Designer, and I’m just looking for more details on that theory.)


#14

[quote=Orogeny]That’s why I think it is a waste of time to pursue God through science.
[/quote]

It’s not impossible to pursue the supernatural through science. The Church does it all the time when investigating miracles and determining whether or not an exorcism is necessary.


#15

[quote=Orogeny]Yep. I knew that I would get a response to that.:slight_smile:

My question is if God made emperical proof of His design impossible for humans to prove so that we would have to have faith, are we not just wasting our time looking for it? Should we not just rely on our faith to know God?

Our understanding of God is nothing if we don’t have faith. There is no natural evidence in the world that would make me believe in God if it weren’t for the grace He gives us. That’s why I think it is a waste of time to pursue God through science.

Peace

Tim
[/quote]

God also gave us reason and senses. By the correct use of these we can come to know God through His works. So I do not think it a waste of time. We could probably look back in time and people may have thought that investigating nature a waste of time for the same reason, but in fact we learned more about His wonders.


#16

[quote=JSmitty2005]For over a century, the ongoing debate has been Evolution versus Creation. However, more recently I’ve been reading/hearing people say that evolution itself points to a creator and implies intelligent design rather than being at odds with it. Has anyone heard this too? Do any of you have sources you would recommend on the topic? Any thoughts would be appreciated. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

If by “intelligent design,” you mean God’s intelligence being used in order to create evolution, then this idea is very old. Check out Princeton president and faithful Presbyterian James McCosh, who developed this idea way back in 1871. (Yes, the source is Wikipedia, but they’re correct on this one. :))


#17

JSmitty << I didn’t intend this thread to be a debate, but rather a discussion on how Evolution could actually be an argument for the existence of God >>

All right, if that’s the case, I recommend William Lane Craig and his Big Bang Cosmology arguments or the “anthropic principle” design arguments. That is what I call “lower-case” intelligent design. :thumbsup:

Phil P


#18

Ancient Faith and Modern Physics

  1. Part II: “In the Beginning”: The Big Bang as “a vindication of the religious view of the universe and a blow to the materialist view.”
  2. Part III: “Is the Universe Designed?”: on the evidence that the universe was designed by an intelligence.
  3. Part IV: “Man’s Place in the Cosmos”: on anthropic “coincidences” that make human life possible in the universe.
  4. Part V: “What is Man?”: is the human mind reducible to material laws?
  5. Part V: “What is Man?”: is there free will?

#19

[quote=buffalo]God also gave us reason and senses. By the correct use of these we can come to know God through His works. So I do not think it a waste of time. We could probably look back in time and people may have thought that investigating nature a waste of time for the same reason, but in fact we learned more about His wonders.
[/quote]

Can we know God through science without His grace? My position is that without the grace of God, we will not, in fact cannot, know Him. All the reason and senses in the world won’t do the trick.

Peace

Tim


#20

[quote=JSmitty2005]It’s not impossible to pursue the supernatural through science. The Church does it all the time when investigating miracles and determining whether or not an exorcism is necessary.
[/quote]

The minute you bring in a supernatural explanation for an observed event, you are outside the realm of science. The Church attempts to find a scientific explanation for those things and only when one cannot be found does she proclaim a miracle or possession. At that point, it becomes a matter of faith. Just like ID.

Peace

Tim


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