Home » Intelligent Design » Why Aren’t Theistic Evolutionists Called Evolutionary Creationists?

Why Aren’t Theistic Evolutionists Called Evolutionary Creationists?

I’m just wondering. ID proponents have been called creationists in cheap tuxedos. Intelligent design theory has been called “intelligent design creationism.” It seems to me that to be consistent, theistic evolutionists such as Francis Collins should be called — with an obviously pejorative intent — evolutionary creationists, or perhaps creationists in expensive tuxedos.

Is there a double standard here, or am I missing something?

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57 Responses to Why Aren’t Theistic Evolutionists Called Evolutionary Creationists?

  1. They are. Theistic Evolutionists is a term that is not as descriptive as Evolutionary Creationists. The reason is that we are “creationists” in the sense that we believe in God and are committed Christians. We just aren’t “progressive creationists” or “young earth creationists.” We are “evolutionary creationists.” The only reason I use both terms on my blog is that many people are familiar with both.

  2. Or I did, anyway. I dropped the TE term a bit back and forgot I had done so.

  3. 3
    Alastair F. Paisley

    Theistic evolution” and “evolutionary creation” are interchangeable terms.

  4. 4
    Alastair F. Paisley

    I do not believe that “intelligent design theory” necessarily rules out theistic evolution or evolutionary creation.

  5. Alastair -

    This is somewhat true. However, in popular parlance, theistic evolution has come to mean “theistic darwinism”.

    As an example, Michael Behe is technically a theistic evolutionist, but he normally does not get the label because his view of evolution is non-Darwinian.

    Those in the biologos camp, however, tend to be actual Darwinists, and as such are generally called theistic evolutionists.

    I think evolutionary creationism is a terrible word, unless there is some new meaning (which, from what I’ve read, there isn’t). People know what theistic evolution is, and what it means. So the only reason to change the name is to try to hoodwink people. As an example, Pandas and People changed the name from “Creationism” to “Intelligent Design” precisely because popular parlance had a definition of creationism which was not equivalent with what the book was about, and therefore a different term was needed. As far as I’m aware, the content of theistic evolution has not changed. They say it changed to emphasize their belief in creation, and evolution as a process used for creation. I would love to believe that, but they have tried at every turn to remove any chance of such an understanding.

  6. 6
    Alastair F. Paisley

    johnnyb,

    Do you believe the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution is inherently atheistic?

  7. As I understand the difference, TE or EC says that God set up the universe to evolve life without His intervention. Matter either does or does not have the properties to form life, and progress to complex life, spontaneously. To choose either one is, IMO, a position of faith. But chemistry strongly suggests that life is extremely unlikely to form spontaneously, and I’m not convinced that simple life can evolve into complex life without guidance. At best, the evidence is that it happened, not how it happened.

  8. johnnyb: excellent points and well put too.

  9. Gage, what you describe is deism. ECs believe in Divine intervention in the form of the Holy Spirit and in the providence of God, as well as the saving power of Christ. We just think that the earth is very old and has been rolling along through God-ordained principles (and with His guidance) for 4.5 billion years.

  10. Straddling both camps (and more) I see how unhelpful most of the labels are, though I guess, like denominational names and temptations to sin, they’re bound to happen.

    If one looks at the nuances of people’s positions carefully, there are TEs, OECs and YECs in ID, and IDs, OECS and YECs in TE. And Deists in both, sad to say.

    BioLogos, I believe, coined the term “Evolutionary Creationism”, yet Jimpethecus, following an article he wrote, got some stick from a poster there recently for a comment that sounded “too creationist”.

    I wish the term “evolutionary creationism” was promoted more, because it would tend to rehabilitate the word “creation” from its modern, politically restricted useage and recover its broad Biblical meaning. That might even do the unthinkable and get Christians to admit that they all believe in creation … and then argue more productively about defining it.

  11. Simple answer: because it is politically incorrect to be called a ‘creationist’ in the USA. You have local school board court cases and your educational system to thank for that.

    ‘creationist’ in USA doesn’t mean Abrahamic view of G-d’s creation; it means ‘anti-science,’ backwards-thinking, with flat earth connotations.

    In Canada, where EC was coined (apparently by Denis Lamoureaux), the situation is different wrt lack of school board court cases and less devolved educational system (compare municipality, province, county, state and federal levels). Lamoureaux, Falk, Giberson, Venema – these are the Canadians (at least, all were born in Canada) who are influencing the BioLogos agenda to become ‘creationists’ of the ‘evolutionary’ variety. Indeed, TE vs. EC is mainly a USAmerican vs. Canadian educational politics of religion issue.

    Yet, it sounds so 20th century (creation vs. evolution) to my post-modern (i.e. epoch, by birth) ears!

    Because BioLogos accepts (most if not all of) ‘evolutionary biology,’ even if it is not clear ‘how Darwinistic’ they are, the scientific community treats them with more respect than ‘creationists’. “You support my consensus, I support you, by not slinging pejorative labels.” Indeed, BioLogosians are not ‘creationists,’ not biblical literalists, not ‘young earthers’. They are instead appeasers in ‘science & faith’ discourse, they are pacifists, even when evidences and approaches among scientists and theologians appear to be opposites or to conflict.

    This is one reason why they took any reference to ‘Darwinism’ off their website (since they initially just called ‘Darwinism’ = evolution by natural selection). They know they don’t have a clear answer for people; same as with ‘real, historical A&E.’ But can’t we all be friends anyway? ; )

  12. How can we be friends with anyone who doesn’t believe in a literal Charles Darwin???

  13. 13
    Alastair F. Paisley

    Jimpithecus,

    Do you believe there is any conflict between theistic evolution and the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution?

  14. Correction: apparently Falk was born in the USA; raised and educated in Canada (uncertain if he has Canadian citizenship or not). Currently he lives in California, teaching at a private evangelical Christian University.

    All others are Canadian; Giberson lives in Massachusetts, Lamoureaux in Alberta, Venama in British Columbia. All are North Americans.

    The contention that TE vs. EC is mainly a USAmerican vs. Canadian educational politics of religion issue remains the same.

  15. I just spent a long time composing a reply only to have it completely wiped out by captcha AFTER i had logged in. Junk this crappy system.

  16. I have trouble with “evolutionism,” which removes God from the equation, but modern evolutionary biology is sound.

  17. In what way is modern evolutionary biology sound?

  18. Sorry for your loss, Jimpithecus.

    Good Practise at UD: Copy all text of your message before pressing ‘Post Comment’. Then you can re-paste it if you forget Captcha.

    The same thing happened to me at BioLogos. Crappy system (aka ‘Go Home Team!’). So I learned from the loss and the same thing didn’t happen twice.

  19. “In what way is modern evolutionary biology sound?”

    In ways that Michael Behe, Douglas Axe, Richard Sternberg, Scott Minnich, Paul Chien, Paul Nelson, Ann Gauger and other IDers (who are biologists) say it is.

    The main theme of this thread is TE and/vs. EC.

  20. I once read a piece by Kenneth Miller where he reviews Michael Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box” and writes: “Perhaps the single most stunning thing about Darwin’s Black Box, Michael Behe’s “Biochemical Challenge to Evolution,” is the amount of territory that its author concedes to Darwinism. As tempted as they might be to pick up this book in their own defense, “scientific creationists” should think twice about enlisting an ally who has concluded that the Earth is several billion years old, that evolutionary biology has had “much success in accounting for the patterns of life we see around us 1,” that evolution accounts for the appearance of new organisms including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and who is convinced that all organisms share a “common ancestor.”

    This seems to be at odds with the PR wing of the DI, which appears to contend none of these things.

  21. I’ve just posted an article on my blog somewhat related to this topic (I argue that I.D. must be inherently theistic). You can check it out here: http://dubitodeus.wordpress.co.....c-tension/

    Comments and criticism are welcome.

  22. This seems to be at odds with the PR wing of the DI, which appears to contend none of these things.

    It seems to be at odds with the PR wing of ID critics, who repeatedly cast ID as a front for full-blown YEC or something close to it, and ID as being ‘anti-evolution’ full stop.

  23. 23
    Alastair F. Paisley

    Jimpithecus,

    RE: “I have trouble with “evolutionism,” which removes God from the equation, but modern evolutionary biology is sound.”

    Do you believe there is any conflict between “theistic evolution” and the “neo-Darwinian theory of evolution?”

  24. 24

    metalogic, your post is a rehash of the old “who designed the designer” argument. It has been refuted many times. See the “frequently raised but weak arguments” section of this blog.

  25. Barry,

    No, it’s not. In fact I agree that “who designed the designer” is a poor argument. I’m merely applying I.D. across the board, and then pointing to tension between nontheistic I.D. and cosmological arguments.

  26. To more directly address what’s said in the “weak arguments” section:

    This argument points out that, by inferring a designer from complexity in machines, the designer must also be complexity.

    In my argument, the regress of natural designers could very well be increasingly simple. It doesn’t matter, all that matters is that there *were* designers.

    This of course then plunges into an infinite loop of who designed the designer.

    I don’t posit an infinite loop. What I argue is that the regress has to eventually terminate in either God, abstract objects, or a contingent supernatural being – and that the latter two clash with arguments for theism.

    Intelligent design does not speak to the nature of designers anymore than Darwin’s theory speaks to the origin of matter.

    In my argument, all that’s required of the designers is that they be intelligent. Yes, I’m *sort of* asking who designed the designer, but not really. The difference is in the answer. When that’s asked of God, the answer can only be “no one, God exists necessarily”. But we can’t say the same for aliens, A.I., or contingent supernatural beings. Really I’m just applying I.D. methodology everywhere it’s appropriate.

  27. I don’t posit an infinite loop. What I argue is that the regress has to eventually terminate in either God, abstract objects, or a contingent supernatural being – and that the latter two clash with arguments for theism.

    Who says the loop has to terminate?

  28. Who says the loop has to terminate?

    Cosmological arguments for God do – and they further argue that the only acceptable termination is God. Hence the tension between nontheistic I.D. and cosmological arguments.

  29. Good question, Alastair #13 & #23 to Jimpithecus. Jimpithecus seems to be equivocating and obfuscating.

    “I dropped the TE term a bit back and forgot I had done so.”

    Yeah, right – forgot!

    “we are “creationists” in the sense that we believe in God and are committed Christians” – Jimpithecus

    So, do you agree that you are a ‘creationist,’ James, in the sense that what you teach is by law not allowed in USAmerican schools? Dressing it up fancy (qualifier) doesn’t change the Barbie.

    Notice the parallel with the MN thread? ‘No, your honour, we’re not methodological naturalists (progressive creationists), we’re not metaphysical naturalists (young earth creationists), we’re just naturalists (evolutionists)!’

  30. Cosmological arguments for God do – and they further argue that the only acceptable termination is God. Hence the tension between nontheistic I.D. and cosmological arguments.

    First, no – not all of them do. Some cosmological works fine with an eternal universe.

    Second – cosmological arguments for God are philosophical arguments. ID proponents don’t claim ID is philosophy, but that it’s science. A cosmological argument for God is not ID – it’s expressly outside the bounds of science.

    Third – ID’s claim is not that “ID is nontheistic”. At best, it’s that it’s theologically neutral in that ID can get as far as “a designer”, and that’s it. Now, someone can accept ID and reject or accept cosmological arguments – they can be a theist or an atheist. But considering ID’s limits, as understood by ID’s own proponents, there’s just no tension of the sort you’re speaking of.

  31. First, no – not all of them do. Some cosmological works fine with an eternal universe.

    The regress isn’t necessarily temporal, it’s about causation. So this doesn’t seem relevant.

    cosmological arguments for God are philosophical arguments. ID proponents don’t claim ID is philosophy, but that it’s science. A cosmological argument for God is not ID – it’s expressly outside the bounds of science.

    Fine, assume that ID is science when examining my argument, which is about philosophy of science. I’m commenting about how I.D is applied, not about I.D. itself.

    ID’s claim is not that “ID is nontheistic”. At best, it’s that it’s theologically neutral in that ID can get as far as “a designer”, and that’s it.

    “Nontheistic” just is “theologically neutral”(contrast nontheistic with atheistic). If you like, consider my argument to be talking about “agnostic I.D.”

    Now, someone can accept ID and reject or accept cosmological arguments

    That’s true, but I’m arguing only that there’s tension between nontheistic I.D. and cosmological arguments, such that I.D. can’t be theologically neutral unless one forfeits cosmological arguments.

  32. The regress isn’t necessarily temporal, it’s about causation. So this doesn’t seem relevant.

    And ID doesn’t get into discussions of essentially ordered series.

    That’s true, but I’m arguing only that there’s tension between nontheistic I.D. and cosmological arguments, such that I.D. can’t be theologically neutral unless one forfeits cosmological arguments.

    But this is just silly, like saying that cosmology can’t be theologically neutral if one accepts a given cosmological proof of God or God’s non-existence. ID’s evidence and inferences are what they are, and stand or fall on their own terms. The moment you include philosophical arguments in your reasoning, you’re no longer doing ID as science – you’re now introducing metaphysics and philosophy, and the result is a non-scientific beast. Rather like how, if you say that evolution is unguided, purposeless, etc, you’ve given up science – you’re off in religion/metaphysics/philosophy-land.

  33. And ID doesn’t get into discussions of essentially ordered series.

    No, but philosophy of science does.

    The moment you include philosophical arguments in your reasoning, you’re no longer doing ID as science – you’re now introducing metaphysics and philosophy, and the result is a non-scientific beast. Rather like how, if you say that evolution is unguided, purposeless, etc, you’ve given up science – you’re off in religion/metaphysics/philosophy-land.

    I never claimed to be doing science. My argument is a philosophical one, about a philosophical issue. I…don’t understand why there’s so many misconceptions here about what I’ve said.

  34. I never claimed to be doing science. My argument is a philosophical one, about a philosophical issue. I…don’t understand why there’s so many misconceptions here about what I’ve said.

    I didn’t say you were doing science. I said that someone who was employing cosmological arguments or including such stances in their reasoning was not doing science. Which means that charging that ID “can’t be theologically neutral unless one forfeits cosmological arguments” just is going nowhere as a claim, because philosophical and metaphysical arguments aren’t part of ID anyway.

    If all you’re claiming is “if you accept the cosmological arguments for God, then you’re going to ultimately conclude that that which is designed ultimately terminates in God”, well, great. Isn’t that tautological? If you’re saying that ID is not theologically neutral if you accept the cosmological arguments, you’re just flat out incorrect.

  35. Which means that charging that ID “can’t be theologically neutral unless one forfeits cosmological arguments” just is going nowhere as a claim, because philosophical and metaphysical arguments aren’t part of ID anyway.

    Whether I.D. is theologically neutral, and whether neutrality causes tension with other beliefs, *are* philosophical claims.

    If you’re saying that ID is not theologically neutral if you accept the cosmological arguments, you’re just flat out incorrect.

    I am saying that, and my article is an argument for that. Good job declaring me wrong by fiat.

  36. “A cosmological argument for God is not ID – it’s expressly outside the bounds of science.” – nullasalus

    Is nullasalus actually suggesting that ‘cosmology’ is not ‘scientific,’ not a ‘science’? His view of ‘science’ is rather small, it seems.

    He is obviously in serious contradiction. He says he does not think that ID is ‘scientific.’ Here we agree. Yet, in the same breath, says “ID’s evidence and inferences are what they are, and stand or fall on their own terms.” What does this mean, layman, on what basis then?

    Thus, nullasalus is promoting ID ‘apologetics’ or ID ‘philosophy’ or ID ‘theology’ if not ID ‘science’? Or just anti-misrepresentation of a ‘big tent’ that can be represented in many possible ways?

    When nullasalus encounters people like him (the considerably few Catholics who are statistically pro-ID), who reject the idea that ‘ID-is-science’ *and* who are competent in philosophy of science, which he does not appear to be, then there’s trouble on the horizon. Why? Because it is very difficult to teach a ‘theistic evolutionist’ who is already convinced in their creed to think otherwise, let alone by short blog posts.

    nullasalus protests that “philosophical and metaphysical arguments aren’t part of ID.” Who’s telling the joke here, please, really? Just check out the number of philosophers and theologians employed by the DI to betray this claim. Ever wondered what Dembski’s “The Bridge” (1999) title is all about?

  37. Is nullasalus actually suggesting that ‘cosmology’ is not ‘scientific,’ not a ‘science’? His view of ‘science’ is rather small, it seems.

    Yeah, Gregory. You may want to check what the cosmological arguments are. No, they’re not science. These are philosophical arguments. This is utterly non-controversial.

    Thus, nullasalus is promoting ID ‘apologetics’ or ID ‘philosophy’ or ID ‘theology’ if not ID ‘science’? Or just anti-misrepresentation of a ‘big tent’ that can be represented in many possible ways?

    I love how you address this to onlookers, rather than just asking me. Here’s what I think: even if I disagree with ID proponents over whether or not ID is science, I happen to think ID proponents should be allowed to speak for themselves, and to understand just what claims they are making. And they manifestly are not arguing that the cosmological argument is ID.

    nullasalus protests that “philosophical and metaphysical arguments aren’t part of ID.” Who’s telling the joke here, please, really? Just check out the number of philosophers and theologians employed by the DI to betray this claim.

    I’ll start caring about this the moment ID proponents argue that the cosmological arguments, or Aquinas’ Five Ways, etc, are science, not philosophy.

    Until that point, the utter extent of philosophy’s role in ID has to do with, at most, philosophy of science considerations. They do not try to pass off Aquinas’ Five Ways (for example) as ID – because by their own definitions, it’s not.

    And since we’re playing to the crowd here: Gregory’s acting up because I’ve told him and his damn obsession with the social sciences off, so now he’s nicely kicked into “fight nullasalus on every subject, in every way” mode. Unfortunately for him, when he rolls in confusing the cosmological argument for God’s existence with cosmology, it makes him look a little crazy.

  38. A major theme of my post seems to have been overlooked, and that is that theistic evolutionists appear to have been at least somewhat immune to the condescension and vitriol directed at ID proponents by Darwinian fundamentalists. This includes the “creationist” label and tuxedo references.

    I guarantee that Francis Collins would never have been appointed to the position of director of the National Institutes of Health had he been an ID proponent.

    My conclusion is that he was given a pass, based upon the notion that his essential thesis (as far as I can tell) is that God can plan, purpose and design — without a plan, or a purpose, and with no design.

    Go figure.

    As a final note: The obviously, superbly engineered technology found in the simplest cell should strike anyone with any rationality and experience in engineering and information processing as slam-dunk, undeniable evidence of intelligent design, through whatever source and by whatever means. Denying the implications of this evidence is essentially equivalent to denying reality.

  39. Hi Gil,

    You wrote: “A major theme of my post seems to have been overlooked, and that is that theistic evolutionists appear to have been at least somewhat immune to the condescension and vitriol…”

    I thought that was looked at directly here:
    “Because BioLogos accepts (most if not all of) ‘evolutionary biology,’ even if it is not clear ‘how Darwinistic’ they are, the scientific community treats them with more respect than ‘creationists’.”

    “I guarantee that Francis Collins would never have been appointed to the position of director of the National Institutes of Health had he been an ID proponent.”

    Totally agreed.

    “My conclusion is that he was given a pass, based upon the notion that his essential thesis (as far as I can tell) is that God can plan, purpose and design — without a plan, or a purpose, and with no design.”

    Don’t forget, Collins fully accepts small id, the idea that God did design, but does not accept Big ID, the notion that we can ‘scientifically’ detect that design.

    “superbly engineered technology found in the simplest cell”

    It seems you’ve bought into the idea that ‘organisms are machines,’ rather than simply organisms. This is an example of mecha-morphic thinking. Now the computer you are reading this message on, surely was designed…and built. To Dembski, that is mundane and uninteresting; but imo that’s where the real action is.

    There would be no need to refer to oneself as a TEist an ECist or an IDer if one’s work was designing and building computers, bridges or airplanes; only in one’s non-technical life with family, friends and peers who might wish to discuss origins and processes of change over time in natural, non-natural and/or supernatural history (the second and third which of course some people deny) do these labels come into play.

  40. I’d like to come back to what Jimpithecus wrote and appreciate that he, as a Phd level biological anthropologist, is visiting Uncommon Descent – maybe this will translate into more UD people visiting BioLogos also.

    “I have trouble with ‘evolutionism,’ which removes God from the equation…” – Jimpithecus

    Is this not a concession UD people can embrace? Indeed, if BioLogos would do more to write against the ideology of evolutionism, I would value their position more on the philosophical dimension. Our problem here, is the continual exaggeration of positions from science into ideology, or from worldview into science; creation into creationism, evolution into evolutionism and design into ‘science-only’.

    For example, the language of an ‘evolutionary creation’ is not problematic, it is acceptable for the majority of Abrahamic monotheists who believe in Creation and also accept ‘evolutionary theory’ as the best available ‘paradigm’ for investigating and discussing processes of change-over-time in natural history. ECs are trying to ‘follow the evidence where it leads,’ and they are doing it while keeping their religion ‘on their sleeve.’

    A ‘naturalist’ (the occupation) can thus safely study natural history and remain (openly and unabashedly) a ‘theist,’ as long as he or she doesn’t embrace the ideology of naturalism or the ideology of evolutionism. The danger of scientism, turning science into ideology, seems to lurk at every step and turn for ‘practising’ natural scientists. Thus, I appreciate Jimpithecus’ words against ‘evolutionism,’ which is part of the term ‘theistic evolutionism.’

    My problem is with and challenge is to the ideological phrase ‘theistic evolution-ism,’ rather than the idea that a theist can accept a (limited) view of evolution as a (biological or natural scientific) theory of change in natural history. I reject turning evolution into a ‘grand unified theory,’ extending from cosmology to biology to culture? Would Jimpithecus (and even nullasalus) and others agree on this here?

    “I wish the term ‘evolutionary creationism’ was promoted more, because it would tend to rehabilitate the word ‘creation’ from its modern, politically restricted useage…” – Jon

    Likewise, I see no problem at all in speaking about ‘creation’ (and also ‘creativity’), but much room for error and heterodoxy in the ideology of ‘creationism.’ BioLogos is more directly opposed to ‘creationism’ in the ‘young earth creationism’ (YEC) variety than is ID (which seems not to care what age one thinks the Earth is). This is an important contribution to USAmerican culture, imhfo (f = foreigner), given the vast numbers of evangelical Christians there who have been deluded by the ideology of ‘creationism.’ This can be attributed at least in part to the highly literalistic culture and to the lack of philosophy of science taught in USAmerican schools.

    But, if I understand Jon’s U.K.-oriented motivation and support for EC, it is that ‘creation’ deserves to be included in school curricula, though not as an ideology. Would it make sense then to include more discussion of creation/Creation, as distinct from the ideology of evolutionism and as distinct from young earth creationism, which promote a convoluted mess called ‘creation science’? How could such a mission be accomplished in ‘western’ societies which highly value ‘separation of religion and state’? We are obviously, neither at BioLogos nor at UD, promoting ‘theocracy’!

    Intelligent design/Design (theory) does not have to face the age of the earth, does not have to ‘become’ a theological (i.e. not just a ‘scientific’) perspective, does not have to speak of the Creator of Creation. But it should be very careful that it does not, as Jimpithecus warns, “remove God from the equation.” On this question, so far, BioLogos ‘science & faith’ position is more holistic than ID’s persistence to be ‘just science’ so as to oppose in particular the neo-Darwinian synthesis in evolutionary biology. This is another reason, Gil, that BioLogos is not ridiculed or ‘cheap tuxedoed’ while ID is.

    Why aren’t TEs called ECs is an important topic for science, philosophy, ideology, religion discourse and I’m glad Gil has raised the question and that Jimpithecus and others who participate at BioLogos are engaging the topic here.

  41. Why do those at Biologos hang onto Christianity?
    I only have one compartment in my head.

  42. 42
    Alastair F. Paisley

    Does anyone here believe there is a conflict between “theistic evolution” and “neo-Darwinian evolution?” Why or why not?

  43. nullasalus wrote: “even if I disagree with ID proponents over whether or not ID is science, I happen to think ID proponents should be allowed to speak for themselves, and to understand just what claims they are making.”

    ID proponents are allowed to speak for themselves, especially at internet sites like UD, Evolution News and Views, ID and Evolution Awareness Centre, ID the Future, Intelligentdesign.org, ARN, Telic Thoughts, etc. (http://www.intelligentdesign.org/resources.php) The last part of the above sentence is confusing, since it could sound like those ID proponents (of whom you are admittedly not one) might not understand their own claims.

    “the utter extent of philosophy’s role in ID has to do with, at most, philosophy of science considerations.”

    Actually, I’d include philosophy of knowledge, aesthetics and ethics as well, among others, though we are agreed that philosophy of science is most important, given the IDM’s insistence that ID is ‘scientific’. If nature is ‘divine technology’ (Fuller 2007) and our job as human beings is to ‘complete nature’ by understanding nature’s ‘design’ and controlling it, then there are serious, big-time ethical issues involved, which I doubt many IDers have yet considered. They want the Darwin (pun lookout) ‘monkey off their back,’ so as to renew society in a post-naturalistic way. The connections between ‘design’ and ‘aesthetics’ should be obvious, which explains why ARN has an IDArts.org page.

    Downplaying the importance of philosophy is typical of western, analytic societies, who have priviledged science and birthed the ideology of scientism. I would recommend you allow Aquinas his important place at the table, nullasalus, for whatever kind of discussion you think you’re having. Philosophy is more important than you seem to credit and it is also a place where the IDM is imo head and shoulders above TE/EC folks at BioLogos, who haven’t a philosopher in their ranks.

    With regard to my supposed “damn obsession with social sciences” and nullasalus suggesting I “look a little crazy,” well, his comments seem to be to have become simply rude and unhospitable. I don’t wish to stoop to such a level, which is not my purpose in coming here.

    But I put thought to and meditated on what to do and a possible solution came to me. As nullasalus has posting privileges here at UD (while I don’t), I’d request a thread just for the two of us, to discuss things in a civil and courteous manner (I’ll be on my best behaviour, null). We could arrange a (question and answer or statement) format acceptable to both and proceed to engage some of the misunderstandings between us, without other commenters involved. Call it ‘leveling the playing field,’ if you like. Who knows, perhaps we might find many things to agree upon, as nullasalus recently suggested. How does it sound?

  44. Gregory,

    The last part of the above sentence is confusing, since it could sound like those ID proponents (of whom you are admittedly not one) might not understand their own claims.

    No, but plenty – and I mean plenty – of people who criticize ID mangle the claims, unintentionally or not. Very few people who criticize ID can actually do so while giving it anything close to a charitable representation.

    Downplaying the importance of philosophy is typical of western, analytic societies,

    I do no such thing. In fact I stress that philosophy and metaphysics are not only important and ultimately inescapable, but that the scope of ‘science’ is far more limited than most appreciate. That’s one reason I’m reluctant to call ID science.

    I’ve defended thomists on this site, along with their decision (such as Ed Feser’s) to not back ID, or regard their views as part of ID.

    As nullasalus has posting privileges here at UD (while I don’t), I’d request a thread just for the two of us, to discuss things in a civil and courteous manner (I’ll be on my best behaviour, null).

    I’d love to discuss things rationally. No need for a thread – if you like, I can just contact you by email and we can go over things privately.

  45. Alistair, how do you define: “neo-Darwinian theory of evolution?”

  46. Alistair, how do you define: “neo-Darwinian theory of evolution?”

    “Would you like that theory with or without the metaphysics, Sir?”

  47. 47
    Alastair F. Paisley

    Jimpithecus,

    Neo-Darwinism is the ‘modern synthesis’ of Darwinian evolution through natural selection with Mendelian genetics

    (source: Wikipedia: Neo-Darwinisim)

  48. 48
    Alastair F. Paisley

    nullasalus,

    Doesn’t Aquinas’ “first cause” argument imply physical indeterminism?

  49. “No, but plenty – and I mean plenty – of people who criticize ID mangle the claims, unintentionally or not. Very few people who criticize ID can actually do so while giving it anything close to a charitable representation.” – nullasalus

    Maybe so, where you live. That is not such a concern for me here. If they show the good science IDers say is available with the ‘design revolution’, the misrepresentation will be much harder to perpetrate. ‘Give us time’ only goes so far (5, 10, 20+ years).

    “I’d love to discuss things rationally. No need for a thread – if you like, I can just contact you by email and we can go over things privately.” – nullasalus

    Sure, o.k. Barry has my e-mail address, so I’m now giving him permission to pass it on to you. Be welcome to contact me at your convenience and I’d be glad to correspond with you privately by e-mail or we could arrange to speak.

  50. 50

    Gregory,

    Maybe so, where you live. That is not such a concern for me here. If they show the good science IDers say is available with the ‘design revolution’, the misrepresentation will be much harder to perpetrate.

    This doesn’t work. A lot of the criticisms ID proponents typically offer are valid now, and have been valid for a long time. A lot of the fundamental observations ID offers (‘Intelligent agents are capable of designing CSI’ + more) are just as valid. Some of the problems can be blamed on ID proponents. Others can’t.

    Be welcome to contact me at your convenience and I’d be glad to correspond with you privately by e-mail or we could arrange to speak.

    Gladly, I’ll do so soon.

  51. 51

    Regarding the first way from Aquinas, I never encountered that claim about it.

  52. Alistair wrote: “Neo-Darwinism is the ‘modern synthesis’ of Darwinian evolution through natural selection with Mendelian genetics”

    Then, yes. I accept it.

  53. 53
    Alastair F. Paisley

    Jimpithecus: “Then, yes. I accept it.”

    Okay. But do you believe there is any conflict between “theistic evolution” and the “neo-Darwinian theory of evolution?”

  54. 54
    Alastair F. Paisley

    nullasalus: “Regarding the first way from Aquinas, I never encountered that claim about it.”

    The “first cause” (“uncaused cause”) implies physical indeterminism. Of course, if everything were physically determined, then the “first cause” argument would not follow.

    Remember that, for purposes of proving God’s existence, Aquinas doesn’t care about the Big Bang or whether the universe had a beginning. The question isn’t about what got things started or how long they’ve been going, but rather what keeps them going.” pg. 103

    Hence, everything in the universe, and indeed the univeres as a whole, must be sustained in being here and now by a cause outside it, a First Cause which upholds the entire series.” pg. 108

    (source: “The Last Superstition” by Edward Feser)

  55. 55

    Alastair,

    If by that you mean ‘if all things were determined by/made to exist as a result of something that was ultimately physical’, I could see your point. Is that what you mean?

  56. 56
    Alastair F. Paisley

    nullasalus: “If by that you mean ‘if all things were determined by/made to exist as a result of something that was ultimately physical’, I could see your point. Is that what you mean?

    Yes, that is partially my point. The materialist believes that everything is physically determined. This is antithetical to any non-material worldview. But more to the point, traditional or classical theism holds that God is actively engage NOW (not in some distant past only) in an ongoing act of creation.

    Creation of the material world by God is an ongoing process – not just a one-shot affair in the beginning that leaves the system to evolve by itself with all its needed active potentialities for the whole process already contained immanently within it. Rather, God is constantly working creatively with the ongoing unfolding of the world’s own built-in active potentialities.”

    (source: pg. 256,”The One and the Many: A Contemporary Thomistic Metaphysics” by W. Norris Clarke, S.J.)

  57. 57

    Alastair,

    But more to the point, traditional or classical theism holds that God is actively engage NOW (not in some distant past only) in an ongoing act of creation.

    Alright. I agree with that.

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