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The Templeton Prize for Regress in Religion

The Templeton Prize used to encourage progress in religion. Truly impressive people like Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Stanley Jaki, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn once received this prize (go here for past winners). In the last decade, however, the Prize has been continually given to people inhabiting the Templeton Foundation’s inner circle, who promise to keep contemporary science inviolate and make sure that religion keeps its hands off. With Francisco Ayala’s receipt of the prize yesterday, the pattern continues. Ayala is as thorough-going a Darwinist as one will find. According to him, science and religion reside in air-tight compartments. So much for a fruitful dialogue between science and religion. The New Scientist appreciates the point:

Templeton prize is bad news for religion, not science

Michael Brooks, consultant | 25 March 2010

In his acceptance today of the £1 million Templeton prize for “an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”, evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala forcefully denied that science contradicts religion.

“If they are properly understood,” he said, “they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters.”

I don’t believe this, and Ayala, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, should know better.  Science is about finding out how the physical world works. The only way in which science and religion can “concern different matters” is if religion has absolutely nothing to do with the physical world occupied by its believers.

But — and here’s the rub — that is exactly what Templeton “religion” is all about. Its efforts to find common ground between science and religion have systematically destroyed pretty much every religious claim. Little in the creed of the Presbyterian church, for example — of which the late John Templeton was a lifelong member — survives its axe.

When I attended a journalism fellowship funded by the Templeton Foundation in 2005, I learned from Templeton-endorsed scientists and theologians that the way to establish a peaceful co-existence of science and religion was to make no religious claims at all.

They said that creationism is out, as is intelligent design. There can be no afterlife. Nor does anyone have an eternal soul. There was no virgin birth — that was most probably a story made up after Mary was raped by a Roman soldier. There was no physical resurrection of Jesus. None of the miracles actually happened. And prayers are not answered.

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24 Responses to The Templeton Prize for Regress in Religion

  1. I follow Templeton regularly, and I have yet to see the organization deny creationism (in the sense of God creating, sustaining, and affecting the world), an afterlife, a virgin birth, Christ’s resurrection, miracles, etc. If they’re saying these things, I’d love to see some names and read some quotes, because I don’t see where they’re coming from otherwise.

    I think the Templeton Foundation makes a lot of mistakes, particularly with regards to ID. But I also realize that atheists are perpetually freaked out by the organization, and struggle to cope with (and rationalize) the fact that people can be scientists, intellectuals, and still religious.

    That said, I think there were better recipients for the reward than Ayala. He really is the weakest TE I know of.

  2. I had just posted this Ayala video on Sal’s thread but it is more fitting here:

    ,,,This following video shows Ayala getting “whomped”, as one Ayala sympathizer put it, by Dr. Craig

    Is Intelligent Design Viable?
    http://www.youtube.com/view_pl.....D6/view_pl…..09D7F22AD6

    ————–

    Since Ayala won the Templeton prize,,,,

    “The Templeton Prize honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.”
    http://www.templetonprize.org/abouttheprize.html

    ,,,I’m left severely wondering exactly how is Ayala “affirming life’s spiritual dimension” when he is vehemently opposed to any ID inference whatsoever in biology? Seems very clear to me he is trying his utmost to belittle “life’s spiritual dimension” by regulating us to accidents from a warm little pond.

    Come to think of it, I believe if anyone has really made “exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”, and made people think seriously about that issue, it would be Dr. Craig.

    None-the-less I have a strong feeling Dr. Craig has a far greater reward in store for him:

    Matthew 16:27
    “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”

  3. Fixed link to debate videos:
    Is Intelligent Design Viable?
    “Dr. William Lane Craig defends the viability of the often misunderstood and controversial theory of intelligent design from evolutionist and ardent ID critic Dr. Francisco J. Ayala”

  4. 4

    I am not sure why anyone would give Templeton any credibility. They’ll give money to any charlatan that they think can front for them.

  5. I agree with nullusalus @1.

    I have not seen Templeton endorse half the views in this New Scientist piece, e.g., no virgin birth, no afterlife. Perhaps some liberal-minded delegates do, off the record, but with no citations, I am not obliged to believe a word any NS journalist says.

    I rather think it has been written by a journalist eager to comfort certain types of doubting atheist, who experience uneasiness at the thought of scientists being religious. Perhaps himself.

    I’m not sure Templeton reflects the beliefs of Christians who work in the sciences on the ground in the UK. I surely hope not!

    Like any group, they bestow awards on their own. Its just a shame they are now (i) so unilateral, (ii) suffer from institutional inertia, and (iii) are too inclined to believe their own press releases.

    I am genuinely sad, because I grew up a TE enjoying a lot of stuff they put out. And I wouldn’t mind them continuing to generate interesting TE viewpoints for discussion. But I rather feel that they are not interested in the truth any more. They are now on a mission to bludgeon, not to persuade, still less to inform or encourage free thinking. Their top priority is that Christians don’t look silly in front of new atheists. Which, as this NS article makes clear, is sadly ironic.

  6. According to Ayala:

    “If they [science and religion] are properly understood…they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters.”

    This ‘independence’ view of science and religion seems to be accepted by a lot of people nowadays. Ian Barbour, who won the Templeton Prize in 1999, for example, promotes this view. Likewise, Pope Leo XIII (in 1893), Pope Pius XI (in 1931), Pope John Paul II (in 1980) have all made statements to this effect.

    Whilst the independence view is an easy way to avoid conflict, it’s hardly defensible given the fact that religion does make empirical claims – like, for example, that the universe had a beginning. So I completely agree with the author of the article on this one; it’s ridiculous to try and claim that science and religion have no overlapping concerns. They do.

  7. Someone writes above:

    If you have a faith that is important to you, don’t try to rationalise it. It’s OK to be religious, believing that there’s a purpose to the universe and that you have an insight into a hidden realm of knowledge. As neuroscientists and psychologists are discovering, that’s actually the default human state.

    But attempting to prove your religion is based on anything rational or scientific is a fool’s errand. As the Templeton Foundation has rather self-defeatingly shown over the last few years, it just doesn’t work because they actually do have overlapping concerns, whatever Ayala says.

    What’s more, you might just strip away your own faith in the process. Believe me.

    So, anyone who thinks that the universe is the product of a divine mind is wrong … ?

    Haven’t we all heard enough of this publicly funded nonsense?

    I have never found a reason to think it wrong.

  8. Green

    “This ‘independence’ view of science and religion seems to be accepted by a lot of people nowadays.”

    To quote Richard Dawkins p55 ‘The god delusion”

    “That sounds terrific – right up until you give it a moment’s thought.”

    and “This sounds terrific, right up until you give it a moment’s thought. You then realize that the presence of a creative deity in the universe is clearly a scientific hypothesis. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more momentous hypothesis in all of science.” here http://74.125.153.132/search?q.....#038;gl=au

  9. The Templeton Prize has become a joke. Ayala portrayed himself as something of a clown in the Craig/Ayala debate.

    I almost felt sorry for poor Ayala, because he was so outclassed by Craig in every category: scientific, intellectual, and theological.

  10. Actually the level of Ayala’s argumets is very low. He is no better than a debater from some neodarwinian pit like Panda’s thumb. I commented once an Ayala’s article “On Reading the Cell’s Signature” on Biologos:

    http://www.biologos.org/blog/o.....signature/

    Ayala’s claim that chimps and humans have 2% difference in genome was in my opinion ridiculous.
    Some yeras ago scientists claimed that human had 100.000 genes. But already at that time 2% difference was taken for granted. Obviously without knowing – and thus comparing – real genes, or better all alleles between chimps and humans. One calls such 2% number “Hausnumero” or “Bulgarian constant”.

    Ayala also wrote that supranatural is excluded in creating of birth canals in women because:

    “The birth canal is too narrow for the head of the newborn to pass easily through it, so that millions of innocent babies—and their mothers—have died in childbirth throughout human history.”

    Actually the same argument was used against natural selection by zoologist professor Adolf Portmann. Because natural selection should have given advantage to woman with wider canals. You know: more offsprings, survival advantage, blabla – all that neodarwinian mantras.

    One should just compare the precise and intelligent thinking of great scholar Adolf Portmann and neodarwinian ravings of Ayala…

    http://cadra.wordpress.com/

  11. I understand Dr Dembski accepted a grant from the Templeton Foundation so they can’t be all bad.

    As for NOMA, it was a worthy attempt to keep science and religion at arm’s length but in practice it was a non-starter. The simple fact is that whenever religion makes a claim about the natural world it is bound to attract scientific attention since it falls within the latter’s domain of competence. If, for example, there is a scriptural account of a global flood, science can report whether or not evidence for such an event can be found in the geological record. Anything which lies beyond the natural world in the sense of being entirely disconnected from it – what we could mean by “supernatural” – is irrelevant since it is, by definition, inaccessible and incapable of having any effect.

    Again, in practice, it would appear that, for the most part, believing scientists do not allow their religion to influence their research. Presumably, where there is a conflict between faith and science, they allow the evidence to decide the matter. If available evidence is inconclusive then the question is left open.

    As for Dr Craig, he is clearly an accomplished public speaker but, having watched some of the videos and read some of his articles, he is not advancing any arguments that we have not heard previously. There are answers to them, even if his opponents are not always able to articulate them effectively before an audience.

    Victory in these debates will usually be awarded to the more skilful and engaging public speaker, who is not necessarily the one with the better evidence or arguments. They are best viewed as a form of entertainment which, in practice, decide very little.

  12. “Ayala also wrote that supranatural is excluded in creating of birth canals in women because:

    “The birth canal is too narrow for the head of the newborn to pass easily through it, so that millions of innocent babies—and their mothers—have died in childbirth throughout human history.”

    So this Dr. Ayala does not think that all women have always known this fact? But how could we not?

    The question isn’t whether God exists, but, is it worth it?

    Look, once upon a time, women were forbidden military activities for the precise reason that one must, at various points … as the Scandinavians put it … lie down in the straw [to give birth].

    The thought was, as a German once explained to me – you’ve already done your duty. Your country cannot ask more of you than what it has already.

  13. Seversky you state:

    “If, for example, there is a scriptural account of a global flood, science can report whether or not evidence for such an event can be found in the geological record.”

    You know I use to wonder that if such a cataclysmic event happened, why is there not extensive evidence for it? And as is the case with most things Darwinian, as I dug deeper, I found there actually is some very compelling evidence for a Global cataclysmic flood that has been vehemently suppressed by naturalists. and just think Seversky, in your nonchalant It can just be published attitude, If one is severely hounded and persecuted just for merely allowing a paper to be published in a scientific journal that merely questions the validity of naturalistic processes to account for the “staggering complexity that far exceeds our punt understanding” in life itself, to what extent would one be hounded for publishing a paper that directly implicated God’s hand in the history of man. I can imagine the geologist would be the number 1 target of relentless smear and ridicule to say the least.

    The following videos outline some surprisingly strong geological evidence for a global flood:

    Startling Evidence That Noah’s Flood Really Happened – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....1519871387

    Where Darwin Went Wrong – geology video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3darzVqzV2o

    As well, there is actually very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human races to the three sons of Noah:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/ancestors.xml

    Here is a site that, though written from a Young Earth perspective, gives a fairly good overview of the many strange anomalies in the fossil record that point to an ancient global flood:

    The Fossil Record
    http://detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html

    Yet to be fair here is a paper outlining some fairly reasonable objections to a global flood:

    Noah’s Flood: A Bird’s-Eye View – Hugh Ross
    http://www.reasons.org/astrono.....-article-1

    This following video, and article, are very interesting for they talk about the evidence for a “genetic Adam” and a “genetic Eve”, and how the evidence relates to Noah’s flood:

    Does human genetic evidence support Noah’s flood? Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168

    Book Review; Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man:
    Excerpt: The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah’s sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature.
    http://www.godandscience.org/n.....05-09.html

    The following video is downright eye-opening with its evidence:

    The Physical Ashen Remains Of Sodom and Gomorrah – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwTVFk1HK3Y

    As well Seversky, you mention that debates never really settle anything, yet you seem to forget that IDists have consistently beaten evolutionists in every debate. Can you think of one where a scholar of ID has been beaten by an evolutionists? Shoot I vehemently disagree with you that debates are meaningless and think that debates have a note of honesty you can’t find elsewhere for fair debates between scholars strip away all the unaired pretense that pervades peer-review and allows each side to present the “overwhelming evidence” for its case, for all to see and judge for themselves, without the censoring filter that stifles our supposedly “free press” nowadays. That you as a atheist would try to belittle debates, since they consistently reflect badly on atheist, is actually to be expected from a sect of our population determined to undermine any fair hearing of the ID side.

  14. Seversky:

    I understand Dr Dembski accepted a grant from the Templeton Foundation so they can’t be all bad.

    He accepted some time ago when they weren’t all that bad. Things have changed, especially after Sir John Templeton’s passing.

    Trying to extrapolate what happened several years ago to today is like giving credit to the Obama administration for the good works of prior US Presidents.

    Recent Templeton recipients who are marginally pro-cosmological ID are John Barrow, Paul Davies, John Polkinghorne, Charles Townes. None of those are pro-biological ID that I know of, and Polkinghorne and Davies are very pro-Darwin. Arthur Peacock is another Darwinist who won the Templton. Now we have Ayala. Next will probably be Francis Collins.

  15. And then Ken Miller? :)

  16. As for Dr Craig, he is clearly an accomplished public speaker but, having watched some of the videos and read some of his articles, he is not advancing any arguments that we have not heard previously. There are answers to them, even if his opponents are not always able to articulate them effectively before an audience.

    Not happy with this really. You make Dr Craig sound like a crowd-spinning charlatan who only wins victories by heavy rhetoric… and Ayala out to be a poor, flustered academic overcome by salvoes from a slick opponent.

    Rubbish. I saw none of that here. Ayala simply didn’t answer Craig’s questions. In fact, he seemed to be on another planet. I watched this debate on YT, in my lounge, with a cup of coffee. I wasn’t propelled along by some crowd enthusiasm.

    Now, one could argue that it is unfair to blindside an opponent with technical questions that they have not had time to prepare for, or questions that are well out of the opponent’s field. But bear in mind this guy has just been award a cool million for his grasp of this stuff and his ability to communicate it. Craig’s questions were quite straightforward, politely articulated and deserved an answer. What more do you want? Debate format was responsible for the embarrassment Ayala suffered here? Not on this occasion.

    I take no pleasure in seeing anyone taken apart in a debate (unless they are particularly vile characters— which Ayala certainly isn’t). I genuinely wanted him to engage with Craig.

    …he is not advancing any arguments that we have not heard previously. There are answers to them, even if his opponents are not always able to articulate them…

    If there are such obvious everybody-knows-them, knock-down counterarguments to Craig’s points, why were they not simply stated by Ayala? (Or for that matter in your post?) I find the “there are answers” phrase a bit hollow, whether from atheist, TE, ID, other.

    Blaming the debate format on this occasion is an easy-out. Sour grapes!

  17. Seversky,

    Dr. William Lane Craig wins debates not only because, in your own words, he is “an accomplished” “more skillful” and “engaging” public speaker, but because he strives to gracefully articulate unshakable truths we all understand in a larger framework. Minds watching and listening are able to decipher noise and distortion from the information provided by the other debater. Information conveyed either through vocal tone, behavior or modus ponens. In the Origin of Life debates especially, one constantly squares what is being said with what one knows intimately by introspection.
    When you say [debates] are best viewed as a form of entertainment which, in practice, decide very little, I would suggest to you they can actually decide the fate of the world (Gen 3) or an entire country (Debate One-Liners, Gaffes of Yesteryear).

  18. Mr Equinoxe,

    I agree. I took advantage of the link provided above and watched the series of videos of the debate.

    As with other such debates I’ve listened to, the speakers talked past each other for the entire time. Both men had their material, and stuck with it. Dr Ayala did not let Dr Craig frame the question to his liking, and stuck to a view of “viable” that included theological issues, as he saw fitting to convince an audience of believers. Dr Craig had the advantage at each stage of following Dr Ayala, and somewhat tailoring his prepared material to the specifics of what Dr Ayala said.

    It was, as Dr Craig noted in his summation, strange to see the scientist arguing many theological points and the theologian trying to speak only to ID’s viability within biological science (after pointing out how broadly ID could be interperted in his opening remarks).

    To me, the presentations were reminiscent of the Meyer/von Sternberg/Provine/Shermer debate recently. The pro-evolution speakers spent quite a while on basic topics over a wide area, while the pro-ID side tended to narrowly define their understanding of the debate question. I personally prefer the way that Drs Craig and Meyer defined the debate question, and I think debates like this would be more valuable pasttimes if the question to be debated was narrowly defined for each side from the start.

  19. Mr Barfety,

    In the Origin of Life debates especially, one constantly squares what is being said with what one knows intimately by introspection.

    Can you give an example of what you know about the events of 3.5 billion years ago by introspection?

  20. Ayala is quoted:
    “”I contend that science and religious beliefs need not be in contradiction,” Ayala said in prepared remarks for the 25 March 2010 announcement of the prize at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC.

    “If they are properly understood, they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters.”

    Ayala noted, “Science concerns the processes that account for the natural world: how the planets move; the composition of matter and space; the origin and function of organisms.”

    He added, “Religion concerns the meaning and purpose of the world and of human life, the proper relation of people to their creator and to each other, and the moral values that inspire and govern people’s life.”"

    http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/11617

    Clearly when one looks at more of what Ayala says, the piece by Michael Brooks appears not to represent Ayala’s thinking in any overall sense.

    Francis Schaeffer also said that their would be no final conflict between science and Christianity. Schaeffer was certainly no EC/TE. But to really understand his meaning it is necessary to read deeply in his writings just like one has to do with Ayala.

    As an EC/TE when I want to know the value of pi I don’t go to the Old Testament and find that the value is 3. No I would measure the value on a flat surface or use some numerical method of calculating it. Sure 3 is not a bad first approximation but we don’t look to the Bible for exhaustive scientific truth. One could also assume that spherical geometry was being used when the rim of the bowl was being measured and that things were just right so that the value of 3 was exactly correct. From my reading of Hunter, O’Leary, Dembski, Meyer or Behe it appears to me that ID follows the same procedure and studies nature, but I could be mistaken.

    Dr Dembski’s comment also appears to misrepresent Ayala’s position. “According to him, science and religion reside in air-tight compartments.” Folks we have enough real issues where we differ in substantive fashion, lets try to disagree on the real issues not straw men. Now maybe some at Templeton do but no EC/TE that I interact much with on blogs takes that position.

    NOMA is not a position I can accept. History is important to Christianity and if it could be definitively proved that Christ did not live, die and rise again, 2000 or so years ago then I for one would throw Christianity out with the garbage.

  21. @Nakashima [18]:

    Thanks for your reply… you are quite right. Talking past each other is exactly the phrase. I would like to see a discussion where the questions/issues were posted to the debate entrants some time in advance, giving them time to prepare. It was a bit unsatisfying for the audience.

    @gingoro [20]:

    Thanks for your post.

    (EC/)TE is a position I grew up in and can still accept. But I have swung more towards the ID end of the spectrum in recent years.

    As far as I can see, the best expressions of TE (such as the new natural theologies of the likes of Conway Morris and McGrath) are actually either ID-in-denial or what might be called “proto-ID” anyway. They are just couched in language acceptable to certain ID-unfriendly communities.

    I agree that the domains of competency outlined for both religion and science that you quote above do indeed constitute proper subsets of those domains. I just think they are incomplete. Science (to some extent) informs moral decisions; religions (to some extent, and variously) provide science with a context. So the fact these definitions do not overlap is somewhat artificial.

    I could, by analogy, provide the following definitions: “fine art concerns oil paintings; chemistry concerns how compounds react”. Of course, these statements are true but the scope threatens to obscure possible areas of overlap or dialogue. Would I be right in saying chemistry has nothing to do with art? Nothing at all? Now you say you can’t accept NOMA, which I think is great. Perhaps it would help if you outlined exactly where you believe the overlapping majesteria are, in that case?

    I look forward to your reply.

  22. equinoxe @ 16

    Not happy with this really. You make Dr Craig sound like a crowd-spinning charlatan who only wins victories by heavy rhetoric… and Ayala out to be a poor, flustered academic overcome by salvoes from a slick opponent.

    That is your characterization not mine but, in my view, it does contain an element of truth.

    Dr Ayala’s willingness to debate Dr Craig in English, which is not his first language, is to be respected but was probably a strategic error in retrospect. While his command of the language is very good, his accent is strong and his delivery slow and painstaking so that the audience was required to concentrate closely in order to catch what he was saying. By contrast, Dr Craig was, not surprisingly, entirely at home in his native tongue and was able to deploy his full range of oratorical skills to command the audiences attention. Do you really believe Dr Craig would have been anything like as persuasive if the roles had been reversed and he had been required to deliver his speeches in Spanish to an audience of Spaniards?

    If there are such obvious everybody-knows-them, knock-down counterarguments to Craig’s points, why were they not simply stated by Ayala? (Or for that matter in your post?) I find the “there are answers” phrase a bit hollow, whether from atheist, TE, ID, other.

    I cannot answer for why Dr Ayala presented his case in the way he did. You will have to ask him.

    What I heard in Dr Craig’s opening statement, however, was his claim that the observations of industrial melanism in peppered moths did not constitute an example of evolution in action because although the proportion of light-colored to dark-colored moths changed, there were no cases of one type of moth evolving into the other type. I must admit I was taken aback that a scholar of Dr Craig’s standing would make such an ill-informed comment. Had I been on the platform my first question would have been to ask him if that was not natural selection what on Earth he thought natural selection meant if not environmental filtering of competing variants.

    My initial thought was that if that is the best he has to offer then what is all the fuss about? However, if you really believe that his arguments are unanswerable then why not post a few of the best here and we will see if they are as good as you think.

  23. Thanks for your reply, Seversky.

    That is your characterization not mine.

    Well in that case, I was just colouring in the outline you drew. You came across as a bit dismissive of Craig on account of his (apparently questionable) role as “public speaker”. The was the substance of my (small) corrective.

    Dr Ayala’s willingness to debate Dr Craig in English, which is not his first language, is to be respected

    Absolutely – and I do respect him for it. I almost commented myself to that effect. I didn’t think I was particularly unkind to Ayala, was I? I certainly didn’t intend to be! In fact, I went out of my way to emphasise that point!

    Perhaps my remark about Ayala being on another planet was ill-worded, I’ll concede that. But I do engage with academics who have English as a second language on a frequent basis and the thread of what he was saying came across as unclear to me, even when genuinely bearing with him.

    I cannot answer for why Dr Ayala presented his case in the way he did. You will have to ask him.

    It is unlikely I will get the chance.

    Had I been on the platform my first question would have been to ask him if that was not natural selection what on Earth he thought natural selection meant if not environmental filtering of competing variants.

    I was under the impression that Craig was saying that changes in the proportions of competing variants in a population is what natural selection does explain (or in fact, is!). And that this is consistent with ID. That’s certainly how I’ve always understood things to be.

    However, if you really believe that his arguments are unanswerable…

    I don’t believe his arguments are unanswerable. I didn’t say I thought they were in my previous post.


    …then why not post a few of the best here and we will see if they are as good as you think.

    I could paste some here, but it would take some time for me to watch the debate again, and I suspect you are just debunking for sport. I am not much for arguments like that, partly because I am not a biologist, and I would just be replying to you in an armchair fashion, in pasted quotations etc.—something of which I am no fan.

    Winning arguments in which I am not qualified to engage isn’t important to me. So I will politely decline on this occasion! Perhaps another time, though: when the topic moves to areas where I am more able to get properly involved.

  24. equinoxe @ 21
    Sorry for the late reply but I have chronic illness and was too sick to write sensibly. This will be a short reply and if you are still reading comments on this post and respond in a couple of days I will write more.

    Many if not all of the TEs who were participating last year in the ASA email facility accept McGrath’s style of intelligent design. As I see it the difference is:
    1. The number of things that indicate design to ECs, as opposed to matters where they think the science is not yet understood.
    2. The degree of certainty that ECs attach to the design that they perceive as directly indicating a designer. My guess is that this may vary from little certainty to considerable certainty for ECs but not to a proven fact as many in IDs seem to hold at least to this observer.
    3. Many/some ECs see God especially in the regularities of nature and not just in the exceptions as I do.

    I happen to think that in terms of the OoL that there is a roughly a 90% chance that God intervened beyond the laws of nature and the initial conditions but have little to no belief that it is provable one way or the other as a scientific matter.

    Dave W

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