Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Casey Luskin on TE’s evidence-phobia


Closing our religion coverage for the week: In a 2014 article in Christian Research Journal, “The New Theistic Evolutionists: BioLogos and the Rush to Embrace the ‘Consensus’ (not online), Luskin writes:

Of course, when BioLogos claims “it is all intelligently designed,” they mean that strictly as a faith-based theological doctrine for which they can provide no supporting scientific evidence. Indeed, it’s ironic that BioLogos accuses ID of “removing God from the process of creation” when Collins writes that “science’s domain is to explore nature. God’s domain is in the spiritual world, a realm not possible to explore with the tools and language of science.” Under Collins’s view, God’s “domain” is seemingly fenced off from “nature,” which belongs to “science.”

Since CIDs [Christian intelligent design supporters] treat design as a scientific hypothesis, not a theological doctrine, they would reply that a failure scientifically to detect design doesn’t mean God was somehow theologically absent, and would say that natural explanations don’t “remov[e] God.” BTEs [BioLogos theistic evolutionists] thus fail to recognize that CIDs have no objection to God using natural, secondary causes. They also fail to appreciate that in some cases, CIDs argue that natural explanations can even provide evidence for design (e.g., cosmic fine-tuning). But CIDs disagree with BTEs that God must always use natural causes, and argue we should allow the possibility that God might act in a scientifically detectable manner. Thus, one important dividing line is:

• BTEs accept materialistic evolutionary explanations (such as neo-Darwinism) where the history of life appears unguided, and deny we scientifically detect design.

• CIDs hold we may scientifically detect design as the best scientific explanation for many aspects of biology.


[A]ccording to textbooks and leading evolutionary biologists, neo-Darwinian evolution is defined as an unguided or undirected process of natural selection acting upon random mutation. Thus, when theistic evolutionists say that “God guided evolution,” what they mean is that somehow God guided an evolutionary process which for all scientific intents and purposes appears unguided. As Francis Collins put it in The Language of God, God created life such that “from our perspective, limited as it is by the tyranny of linear time, this would appear a random and undirected process.” Whether it is theologically or philosophically coherent to claim that “God guided an apparently unguided process” I will leave to the theologians and the philosophers. ID avoids these problems by maintaining that life’s history doesn’t appear unguided, and that we can scientifically detect that intelligent action was involved.

Theistic evolutionists sometimes try to obscure these differences, such as when BioLogos says “it is all intelligently designed.” But when pressed, they’ll admit this is a strictly theological view, since they believe none of that design is scientifically detectable. CIDs wonder how one can speak of “intelligent design” if it’s always hidden and undetectable. “We’re promoting a scientific theory, not a theological doctrine,” replies ID, “and our theory detects design in nature through scientific observations and evidence.”

Some theistic evolutionists will then further reply by saying, “Since we both believe in some form of ‘intelligent design,’ the differences between our views are small.” ID proponents retort: “Whether small or not, these differences make all the difference in the world.”

And there’s the rub. By denying that we scientifically detect design in nature, BTEs cede to materialists some of the most important territory in the debate over atheism and religion. Biologically speaking, theistic evolution gives no reasons to believe in God.

To be clear, I’m not saying that if one accepts Darwinian evolution then one cannot be a Christian. Accepting or rejecting the grand Darwinian story is a “disputable” or “secondary” matter, and Christians have freedom to hold different views on this issue. But while it may be possible to claim God used apparently unguided evolutionary processes to create life, that doesn’t mean Darwinian evolution is theologically neutral.

According to orthodox Darwinian thinking, undirected processes created not just our bodies, but also our brains, our behaviors, our deepest desires, and even our religious impulses. Under theistic Darwinism, God guided all these processes such that the whole show appears unguided. Thus, theistic evolution stands in direct contrast to Romans 1:20 where the Paul taught that God is “clearly seen” in nature. In contrast, theistic evolution implies God’s involvement in creating humans is completely unseeable,

Theistic evolution may not be absolutely incompatible with believing in God, but it offers no scientific reasons to do so. Perhaps this is why William Provine writes: “One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.”

So many people marketing theistic evolution these days dislike evidence. Some of them are really big on unresearchable testimonies too.

If the evolution scene were what they claim it is, you’d think we’d be the ones not to want evidence. But we totally rely on it and are comfortable with it.

See also: Is this guy the Baptist Dawkins? His Darwin is a consuming fire. Do a lot of typical Baptists think this way?

The Prophet of Patheos


What the fossils told us in their own words

Follow UD News at Twitter!

What is so weird about the whole culture of scientism, is that, like atheism , with which it is so congruent (rather than parallel) is that it is to science, what the most fundamentalist Christian sect is to the whole intellectual panoply, theological, philosophical and equally PRE-EMINENTLY SCIENTIFIC, of Roman-Catholic and mainstream Protestant, Judaeo-Christian culture, largely bequeathed by the early Fathers, egregiously intellectual saints, monks and churchmen down the centuries. It was reported today that in the US, the Bible is currently the most attacked book in the public library system - for its sex, violence, etc...! This, mark you, one of the primary foundation stones upon which national cultures of European provenance, Christian values, even our legal systems, have historically rested. So over-arching and seminal, in fact, that Arts students seeking entry to Balliol College Oxford, historically considered very progressive, are required to read the Bible from cover to cover, even before commencing their studies. And, thanks to the atheist, oligarch principals of the multinationals, who fund Academia these days, those colleges are in thrall to the former - as are the mainstream media, government and just about every other lever of power and influence : in thrall to an anti-intellectual, anomian cult. Axel
I spent a little time at Biologos in recent months. I was flabbergasted at the unshakable intent to RUN from anything that might even be considered physical evidence. They shudder from it. Get it away. The only thing they hate more is YECs. They are very busy about the whole business of shuddering from evidence and hating Christians who embarrass them. *The above remarks contain only a very marginal amount of hyperbole. Upright BiPed
Theistic evolutionism is scientism, that is, science and philosophy. It cannot pretend to follow the core teaching of Yahweh/Jesus and scripture. What it does show, it that the Judaeo-Christian scriptures are an embarrassment to many. Hence, by extension, Jesus is embarrassing. Certainly, as a Catholic, I have encountered Catholics arguing that the laws of Sinai were man-made, and in the kenosis of Jesus, he emptied himself of not knowing of evolutionism, all to justify some form of Darwinism. See Darwin’s Rottweiler and the Public Understanding of Scientism. Extract: "According to the theory of evolution, biological systems evolve through the incremental accumulation of beneficial mutations. Dawkins explains why: ‘The larger the leap through genetic space, the lower the probability that the resulting change will be viable, let alone an improvement. [Hence] evolution must in general be a crawl through genetic space, not a series of leaps.’ [7] He describes this gradual approach to obtaining biological complexity as ‘Climbing Mount Improbable.’ [8] Improbable because, as Steven Vogel writes, the theory stipulates that ‘Nature in effect must transmute a motorcycle into an automobile while providing continuous transportation.’ [9] As Stephen Jay Gould admitted: ‘Our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediaries in many cases has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.’ [10] Nevertheless, Dawkins, who assumes that evolution must be true because it is the only theory able to fill in the explanatory gap left by the exclusion of design, is content to say that even though we have no idea what path organisms took up Mount Improbable, they must have done so: ‘however daunting the sheer cliffs that the adaptive mountain first presents, graded ramps can be found the other side and the peak eventually scaled’ [11] How does Dawkins know that these ‘graded ramps can be found’ in advance of showing what they are, without even looking for them? Because Dawkins’ justification for this assumption is philosophical rather than scientific: ‘Without stirring from our chair, we can see that it must be so’, [12] explains Dawkins, ‘because nothing except gradual accumulation could, in principle, do the job. . .’ [13] What job? The job of explaining life naturalistically! Dawkins’ conclusion rests upon his presupposition that there is no designer." http://arn.org/docs/williams/pw_dawkinsfallacies.htm Theistic evolutionists, want to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. mw
"What was a major argument by Watson and Crick that supposedly disproves the idea of an intelligent Creator God? They discovered a mechanism to copy the genetic information that functions according to the laws of chemistry, and they claim that this disproves the need for a creator. However, this merely knocks down the straw man of the faulty belief called vitalism, which says that living organisms have a ‘vital force’ beyond ordinary physics and chemistry." http://creation.com/designed-by-aliens-crick-watson-atheism-panspermia They authoritatively said, summoning all the power of consensus science, that there is no intelligent design in nature, bowing to Darwin. While they bowed to panspermia and Darwin. But wait, an alleged Alien hovered over Sinai some years ago, and lasered a message in stone. Of course, any message which says creation was in six days, must be alien. Still, Moses bowed the knee. mw
AMEN. Luskin is right on. I am yEC but understand and embrace ID thinkers, though most reject YEC, because their whole intellectual strike is that nature shows in itself the evidence and even only evidence that its creation is from a design of a thinking being. They shy from the being but it means that. To exclude the option of a being, just in methodology, as behind creation is NOT accurate science but inaccurate. It excludes a option of hypothesis. The hypothesis of a creator must be allowed if people see it that way. The rules must allow this. The rules can not rule this hypothesis option out at the starting gate. The bad guys are trying to do this. Robert Byers

Leave a Reply