Fresh Divergence of Opinion at Biologos – Analogy versus Univocal Language
|August 18, 2011||Posted by Steno under Intelligent Design|
Who speaks for Biologos? Recently a divergence of opinion has arisen between Dennis Venema and others at Biologos over a literal understanding of Adam and Eve. Now a fresh question has arisen between Venema and a post by Mark Noll.
Dennis Venema gives reasons over at Biologos why he came to reject intelligent design and accept evolution. From Intelligent Design to BioLogos, Part 4: Reading Behe
He writes that ID ‘was an argument from analogy, ignorance and incredulity.’ Instead he was ‘looking for an argument from evidence.’
However, ID need not be seen as an argument from analogy, but is an inference to the best explanation involving univocal thinking. As Mark Noll writes, also over at Biologos, The Bible and Science Historically Considered, Part 2
creationism and ID depend upon univocal language between the divine intelligence and human intelligence. If that is so, then it is perfectly appropriate, as the best explanation, to compare human engineering systems with divine engineering , and see the order of the flagellum, or ATP synthase motor, or kinesin walking transporter, in that light.
ID is also not an argument from ‘ignorance and incredulity’, but the univocal belief leads us to the reject the need to reduce explanations to laws of physics and chemistry. Instead it leads us to offer explanations at the most appropriate level – i.e. the best level. It is also univocal ways of thinking that allow us to believe that the universe is intelligible, because of a correspondence between the Creator and humanity. This makes science possible because we can read the created order literally if there exists a degree of harmony between special revelation and general revelation.
It is though the pressure of naturalism that leads to us reject univocal thought patterns, but this will ultimately undermine science because naturalism doesn’t obligate us to read nature literally. Intelligent design proponents are thus the true custodians of science.
Venema also writes that ‘the 2005 Nature paper comparing the human and chimpanzee genomes’ was more satisfactory because it was as ‘argument from evidence.’ But the evidence presented in that paper comparing the two genomes can be read as common design instead of common descent. Ignoring a logical possibility does not lead us to truth in science. In the same way Enlightenment thinking rejects the miraculous because it is generally not part of our direct experience, but then calls such an approach rational. But in truth we need to see our own direct experience as being extremely limited in time and space, and we can only remain rational beings if we are fully aware of what we know and what we do not know. Otherwise we will be self-delusional as scientists if we reject logical possibilities and then think we are engaged in a search for truth.