Home » Evolution, Intelligent Design, Philosophy, Religion » Are Falk and Ayala ID Supporters?

Are Falk and Ayala ID Supporters?

We’ve been discussing Falk and Ayala’s theological support for evolution. However, while reading Falk’s arguments, I came to the realization that the only way Falk’s arguments about evolution freeing God from responsibility for the created world make sense is if they assume Intelligent Design is true.

The traditional argument to remove blame for problems in creation from God is to blame it on the freedom given humans to make both good and bad choices. The argument goes something like this:

  1. If humans were automatons, then they could not truly be in community with God, they would just be servants
  2. Freedom implies the freedom to make mistakes
  3. A broken creation (both in humanity and creation in general) stems from the bad choices that humans made, not because God made it that way

Falk uses the same basic argument structure, but backs up both the timeline of when the freedom was given and who it is that is given freedom. As Falk writes:

Some of the by-products of natural selection are intricate structures that can fashion cellular machines that are able to harm us, just like the machines that we humans make. It happens in the context of freedom–God-granted freedom….The greatest beauty in the universe emerges through processes that arise through God-ordained freedom. Let us celebrate that beauty, even as we…endure the hardships that come as a by-product.

When it comes to the origin of life’s machinery, Falk is asserting that there is freedom which is given to creation. For this argument to work, that freedom must exist in the universe itself. That is, Falk’s arguments require that the universe itself have a certain amount of freedom.

Think of it this way – if the universe were purely mechanistic, Falk’s arguments would have no weight — if I kill you with the mechanism of a gun I am just as guilty as if I kill you with my own hands. Likewise, if I played Russian Roullette, even though I am utilizing chance, it is still my own actions. I can only remove culpability from myself if I were to hand the gun to an independent agent who acted in their own cognizance. Therefore, Falk’s arguments assume a non-mechanistic universe – one which actually acts as an agent itself – or else his argument utterly breaks down.

Despite how many times we ID’ers say that ID’s current methods only allow the detection of design and do not allow for the identification of the designer, it seems that this has fallen on deaf ears. ID only requires that the designer be an agent – it does not require that the agent be God. Indeed, for Falk’s arguments to work, there must be an agent acting to create. If there is not, then Falk has not remove culpability from God like he claims. If there is an agent (even if it is the universe itself acting in a non-mechanistic manner), then indeed Falk is actually agreeing with us when we say that we can detect the actions of an agent in the things which are designed.

Falk just doesn’t think that this agent is God, but rather a creative, freedom-given universe. It’s not the view that I personally hold, but it is 100% within the bounds of ID.

Thanks, Darrell Falk, for supporting ID. I just wish you would learn what it was before commenting on it.

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3 Responses to Are Falk and Ayala ID Supporters?

  1. You write: “Falk just doesn’t think that this agent is God, but rather a creative, freedom-given universe. It’s not the view that I personally hold, but it is 100% within the bounds of ID.”

    I disagree. The universe is not intelligent. How can this be intelligent design? Does Falk believe the universe is intelligent? I doubt it.

  2. All I can say is “What the Falk?” :)

    But anyway didn’t “the fall” free “God” from responsibility?

    And I still hold out hope that by examining the design we may be able to figure out the “who, how, when,” etc.

    ID is only about the detection and study of (the design).

    The reason we study it is so we can figure it out.

    Part of the reasoning for figuring it out is to determine how it came to be (the way it is).

    And along the way we may pick up clues as to the “who”.

    Just sayin’…

  3. fmarotta -

    “I disagree. The universe is not intelligent. How can this be intelligent design? Does Falk believe the universe is intelligent? I doubt it.”

    I’m going from what Falk is saying. He seems to be saying that it is. If he is not saying that the universe is intelligent, then his argument fails completely.

    Joseph -

    “Part of the reasoning for figuring it out is to determine how it came to be (the way it is).”

    Part of the nature of design is that many designs leave the mechanism unfindable. For instance, if I have a computer program, it is impossible to tell if the person who typed it out typed it with one hand or two. Maybe he just typed with his thumbs, or maybe he used a breathing straw input device. The mechanism of design is almost entirely obscured.

    The study of design is the study of formal relationships. This is why it is often accused of being anti-science. Science has historically been all about mechanism. In computer science we have developed some tools for examining formal relationships between parts, but this has not been used much outside of it. ID is taking the idea of examining formal relationships and extending it to biology. That doesn’t make the historical, causal relationships unimportant, but it does mean that in some cases, they will be unassessable.

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