Intelligent Design Paley's ghost speaks out

Evolution News: In His New Book, Denton Shows How Science Leads the Charge to Theism

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Neil Thomas writes:

William Paley once quipped that observation of the complexity of the human eye (which, it will be recalled, was wont to give Darwin uncomfortable doubts about the efficacy of natural selection) supplied an assured “cure for atheism.” Extending Paley’s quip, I would add that if the eye doesn’t do it for you, the brain with its quadrillions of synchronized electro-chemical operations almost certainly will. There seems to be little exaggeration in claiming that cytology, the microscopic study of cells enabled by the ultra-high magnifications of the electron microscope, has led to a wholly unexpected revival of the fortunes of Paley’s once derided natural theology.

Recent advances in biological science, a subject formerly proclaimed to be corrosive of metaphysical beliefs1, have somewhat unexpectedly become a stimulus to the emergence of new advances which endorse many of the older observations of natural theology. As astronomer Paul Davies remarked some four decades ago, “It may seem bizarre, but in my opinion science offers a surer path to God than religion.”2 Supporting this contention — that science itself leads the charge toward a fresh theistic turn — Michael Denton makes the firm observation in his new book, The Miracle of Man: The Fine Tuning of Nature for Human Existence, that recent studies of the way the terrestrial environment appears to be fine-tuned for humankind are “not based on the Judeo-Christian scriptures or classical philosophy but on evidence derived from advances in our scientific understanding of nature.” (p. 208)

Gifts from the Gods

Providing chapter and verse for his views, in convincing detail with an enviably multi-disciplinary command, Denton elaborates on ways in which the properties of light, carbon, water, and metals contribute to the fitness of nature for humankind, providing substantial circumstantial evidence that the world we inhabit was “pre-adapted” for our use. 

The notion that we are simply an “epiphenomenon” of mindless processes cast adrift in a cosmos configured by pure chance has in the last half century or so been challenged by a new scientific landscape, Denton argues — with some understatement. For as Michael Behe comments in his advance praise of Denton’s work, the philosopher Bertrand Russell’s notorious contention that “Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving” has turned out to be “the most spectacularly wrong-headed pronouncement of the 20th century.”

Cosmologists make no bones about the fact they can see no logical pathway to how we all came to be here on this planet. The cosmological constants which create conditions favorable to life are on any statistical reckoning improbable to an extreme, even prohibitive degree. The same goes for the genesis and proliferation of life forms: the whole phenomenon remains stubbornly unamenable to rational decipherment.

Evolution News

188 Replies to “Evolution News: In His New Book, Denton Shows How Science Leads the Charge to Theism

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    It worked that way for me. Churches turned me away from religion. Churches are just one more place where Cool people reject me harshly and painfully. If this is the place of God, I don’t want any part of it and it obviously doesn’t want any part of me.

    After 10 years working in science, the structures and functions of the cochlea were my epiphany.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    Science and religion do two different things.

    Science points to a creator. Something so exquisitely designed as the universe and Earth and then life points to purpose.

    Religion deals with the creator’s intentions.

    ID has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with the first. People here do a disservice to ID as soon as they bring religion into the discussion. Essentially they are helping to belittle ID when the do.

    But most people who come to UD are not interested in understanding and promoting ID.

  3. 3
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jerry
    ID has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with the first. People here do a disservice to ID as soon as they bring religion into the discussion. Essentially they are help belittling ID when the do.

    Idea of matter creating life is in itself a religious claim .
    All hypotheses of the past(beyond science direct observation) are religious claims even if are made under the patronage of science .
    Design of life is an objective truth . Atheists face this objective truth by repressing it not by explaining it because any attempt of them to explain how an impossible thing is possible brings a smile .

    Jordan Peterson: Scientific truth versus religious truth
    Jordan Peterson’s STUNNING Ideas On SCIENCE vs RELIGION Debate

  4. 4
    chuckdarwin says:

    Science, aka Intelligent Design, “leads the charge to theism.” Or ID leads us to the “God Hypothesis.” But ID is not religion. Trying to keep up with ID’s on again, off again dalliance with religion is like being seduced into a mad house…..

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    As soon as I say ID has nothing to do with religion, someone introduces it.

    That there is a creator is not religious. Religion is this creator’s specific relationship to the creation if there is one. For that one has to go way past ID.

    Now, the denial of a creator is stupid and the reason for it may be found in an individual’s distaste for religion. Atheism by itself pure and simple is denial of the obvious and has nothing to do with any specific religion. Atheism as denial of a creator could be a topic for ID but that’s not what people are after.

    So atheism as denial of religion is a topic that has nothing to do with ID. I know it’s one of the favorite topics on UD. That still doesn’t mean it has anything to do with ID.

    How many comments would be hollowed out if the commenter couldn’t mention certain irrelevant words. The “D” word or the “a” word or the “r” word and especially the “C” word.

    Aside: Jordan Peterson is a big believer in Darwinian evolution. It’s an essential part of his writings. Maybe changed since he has an epiphany on many things.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    But ID is not religion. Trying to keep up with ID’s on again, off again dalliance with religion is like being seduced into a mad house

    We already know you are in the mad house.

    Your comments indicate that. Do they restrict the number of comments you can make?

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry & CD, one of the core intellectual errors of our time is the false [and usually polarised or toxic] dichotomy/dilemma. The issue is not Science vs demonic religion. First, science exists in the prior context of philosophical issues and approaches that for example clarify knowledge, logic, being etc. Worldviews are real, and some are theistic, where ethical theism is a family of worldviews and sound results from origins science are relevant to factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power of worldviews. Ethical theism may be somewhat friendly to various religious traditions, but it is not equal to them; e.g. it is not based on any Scripture, Magisterium or institution. It so happens that a finitely remote beginning, a fine tuned cosmos, cells at core of life that have complex algorithmic code etc are supportive of the concept of a designing, necessary being creator. That we are responsibly, rationally free enough to warrant knowledge and have self evident first duties to truth, right reason etc indicate that we transcend blindly mechanical gigo driven computation and are morally governed. That points to the necessary being reality root being an adequate ground for such built in law, i.e. inherently good and utterly wise. So yes, we are looking at ethical theism in a world where cosmology so physics and chemistry too are already design friendly sciences and the actual information rich facts of cell based life show that biology will join the circle. Phil, not rel, but friendly to such. KF

  8. 8
    jerry says:

    Kf,

    I have no real idea what you are saying. It’s a hodgepodge of one phrase after the other.

    I personally don’t disparage religion, in fact I consider it far more important than ID. But ID is not about religion. So mixing them is counterproductive because it leads many to consider they are the same.

    I have said this before. My purpose for excluding religion is to put the emphasis on ID. Every religion postulates a god/gods. ID supports that aspect of religion. It does not, however, support any specific one especially the Judeo/Christian God.

    People want to equate any ideology with religion. That’s specious too since many ideologies deny a god, which is the basis for religious belief. It again conflates different ideas since they have some aspect of similarity.

    Likewise, ethics and religion are different ideas. Yes, they have some things in common but are essentially different. Again people conflate separate ideas as if they are one.

    But the reason many are here is to proselytize. That’s not a formula for conversion to anything.

    Back to the OP. Denton puts the universe and Earth first because they are the prerequisites for life. Most just want to discuss life etc. But first things first.

    How life appeared and developed is secondary once the power of a creator is obvious from the universe and Earth.

  9. 9
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    First, science exists in the prior context of philosophical issues and approaches that for example clarify knowledge, logic, being etc.

    Interesting thought. Science requires a certain philosophical standard. In fact, as you say, it exists only because of that philosophical foundation. ID, therefore, as science – is built on that philosophy.
    However, science does not exist in a vacuum. The philosophy that grounds science grounds other, related and necessary ideas. Religion is one of them.
    For example, the term “creator” is from philosophy and points to theology. “To create” strictly speaking comes from the idea of creation de novo – not a repurposing of elements or a design using already existing elements.
    Additionally, to say “ID points to a creator” would eliminate polytheism. So, it would be a religious statement.
    I never use the term “creator” in for what ID shows, but rather “an agent” for the design. The agent does not need to be a singular entity, since ID cannot determine that.

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ID is compatible with Deism also. Not just theism.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Return of the God Hypothesis – Stephen Meyer – book review
    Excerpt: theism provides a better overall explanation than deism of the three key facts about biological and cosmological origins under examination: (1) the material universe had a beginning; (2) the material universe has been finely tuned for life from the beginning; and (3) large discontinuous increases in functionally specified information have entered the biosphere since the beginning. Deism can explain the first two of those facts; theism can explain all three.
    https://returnofthegodhypothesis.com/book/preview/

  12. 12
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Deism can explain the FSCI – front loaded from the beginning by a creative act and then left to work itself out over time.

  13. 13
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, that may be my bad for making a rather compressed remark. However, it is in fact quite connected, step by step. CD posed a false Religion vs Science claim, a false dilemma, as linked there is a third option, philosophy, which is the context in which Science emerged. Demonic religion points to the terms used by Lewontin and Sagan. Philosophy has a branch on knowledge [Epistemology, from which Phil of Sci grows], Logic is another main branch, and logic of being or ontology is a main part of Metaphysics. Worldviews are anchored in all three and lay out how we interpret ourselves and our world. Ethical theism is a family of such views, and sound scientific results on origins are obviously relevant. Factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power are three key tests for worldviews. Ethical theism is a family of worldviews, not a religion. Certain scientific findings are friendly to it. And so forth. KF

    PS, Notice Wikipedia’s confessions and gaps:

    Historically, philosophy [= love of wisdom] encompassed all bodies of knowledge and a practitioner was known as a philosopher.[14] From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, “natural philosophy” encompassed astronomy, medicine, and physics.[15] For example, Newton’s 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy later became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.[16][17] Since then, various areas of investigation that were traditionally part of philosophy have become separate academic disciplines, and namely the social sciences such as psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics [–> Cf Moral Philosophy].

    Today, major subfields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, which is concerned with the fundamental nature of existence and reality; epistemology, which studies the nature of knowledge and [–> justified] belief; ethics, which is concerned with moral value [–> or truth]; and logic, which studies the rules of inference that allow one to derive conclusions from true premises [–> leaves off inductive and abductive].[18][19] Other notable subfields include philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, political philosophy, aesthetics [–> aesthetics and ethics are two parts of a top level domain, axiology], philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. [–> mixes secondary aspects with the core]

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    ID is compatible with Deism also

    I maintain that this is false.

    Why? Because there are zillions of specifics in the creation that cry out intent. One big one is that life arrived. That had to be an intent especially since the universe and Earth is so fine tuned for life.

    Then there is the nature of the life created. So while I separate ID from religion, it’s impossible to conclude there was no intent. And intent implies care about what happens. This does not necessarily imply intervention to achieve any objective but it does not rule it out.

    If Deism wants to accept intent and a creator interested in how the creation progresses, then that’s different from my understanding of it.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Does Front-End Loading & Theistic Evolution Explain the Information in Life? – Stephen Meyer – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW0985W4rks

    Conservation of information, evolution, etc – Sept. 30, 2014
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].”
    Gödel – As quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
    Gödel’s argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start – and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough.,,,
    More recently this led him (Dembski) to postulate a Law of Conservation of Information, or actually to consolidate the idea, first put forward by Nobel-prizewinner Peter Medawar in the 1980s. Medawar had shown, as others before him, that in mathematical and computational operations, no new information can be created, but new findings are always implicit in the original starting points – laws and axioms.,,,
    http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.u.....ution-etc/

    The Front-loading Fiction – Dr. Robert Sheldon – 2009
    ?Excerpt: Historically, the argument for front-loading came from Laplacian determinism based on a Newtonian or mechanical universe–if one could control all the initial conditions, then the outcome was predetermined. First quantum mechanics, and then chaos-theory has basically destroyed it, since no amount of precision can control the outcome far in the future. (The exponential nature of the precision required to predetermine the outcome exceeds the information storage of the medium.),,, Even should God have infinite knowledge of the outcome of such a biological algorithm, the information regarding its outcome cannot be contained within the system itself.?http://procrustes.blogtownhall.....tion.thtml

    How well can information be stored from the beginning to the end of time? – Jan. 13, 2015
    Excerpt: Information can never be stored perfectly. Whether on a CD, a hard disk drive, or a piece of papyrus, technological imperfections create noise that limits the preservation of information over time. But even if you had a perfect storage medium with zero imperfections, there would still be fundamental limits placed on information storage due to the laws of physics that govern the evolution of the universe ever since the Big Bang.,,,
    To do this, they modelled information transmission over a “channel” that is essentially spacetime itself, described by the Robertson-Walker metric. Their model combines the theories of general relativity and quantum information by considering the quantum state of matter (specifically, spin-1/2 particles) as the universe expands. In this model, the evolution of the universe creates noise which, in the context of quantum communication, acts like an amplitude damping channel.
    The physicists’ main result is that, the faster the universe expands, the less well the information can be preserved.,,,
    So to answer the original question of how much information can be stored from the beginning to the end of time, the results suggest “not very much.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-01-h.....on-be.html

    The free will theorem of John H. Conway and Simon B. Kochen,,,
    Since the free will theorem applies to any arbitrary physical theory consistent with the axioms, it would not even be possible to place the information into the universe’s past in an ad hoc way. The argument proceeds from the Kochen-Specker theorem, which shows that the result of any individual measurement of spin was not fixed (pre-determined) independently of the choice of measurements.
    http://www.informationphilosop.....eorem.html

    Of related note to my second note, i.e. ‘Godel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution’,,, Godel’s incompleteness theorem has now been extended to physics:

    In the following article entitled ‘Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics’, which studied the derivation of macroscopic properties from a complete microscopic description, the researchers remark that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

  16. 16
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    Thanks for finding that quote from Stephen Meyer’s book.

    theism provides a better overall explanation than deism of the three key facts about biological and cosmological origins under examination

    Here he is talking about theism vs deism. But is he saying that ID points to theism more than deism? If so, that would contradict everything I’ve ever said about ID and religion – since it would mean that ID would say something about the designer.
    It does seem like he’s saying that. He seems to be saying “the science points to theism and not deism” – the science, therefore, is ID.
    That would be very significant – since I have always said that ID does not refer to the nature of the designer, but Meyer here would disagree with that.
    Your thoughts? Do you think ID requires theism and is therefore not compatible with deism?

  17. 17
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    I maintain that this is false.

    Then ID is religious and says something about the designer. You’re saying theism and not deism. Those are religious questions. Or we could say “theological not scientific”.

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    If Deism wants to accept intent and a creator interested in how the creation progresses, then that’s different from my understanding of it.

    No, Deism does not have intent. “Intention” is an attribute or characteristic of the designer. So, you’re saying that ID tells us who the designer is – it must be a theistic God and not Deistic. For deism, it’s an impersonal God. But the supposed ID science is saying that the designer must be personal, monotheistic God?
    That’s theology, not science. It would be saying ID is not a science proposal but is theological and religious and requires theism.

  19. 19
    jerry says:

    So, you’re saying that ID tells us who the designer is – it must be a theistic God and not Deistic

    You are making things up.

    You are implying there are only two choices. Maybe there are but then one has to define what is meant by theistic. What distinguishes a theistic god from a deistic one. Is Zeus a theistic or deistic god? He certainly did not leave his creation alone.

    I’m saying that the creation had intent. That’s all. You can make up what we think what that intent was but ID will not verify it.

    In other words we have no idea if that intent included a relationship or expected any specific behavior. Now given this, one can try to find some consistency between the creation and some intents but not others.

    I don’t believe the theistic/deistic dichotomy does it. All theistic means is that there is a creator so how is that different from deistic? Maybe we don’t have the vocabulary for this.

    Also no where does ID imply there is only a monotheistic god. That’s external to ID.

  20. 20
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    What distinguishes a theistic god from a deistic one.

    You think ID science can tell you that?

    Is Zeus a theistic or deistic god?

    You’re asking religious questions – just after claiming ID is not religious. Zeus is part of polytheism. Multiple gods. You’re going to claim that ID requires monotheism? Again, that’s religion.

    I’m saying that the creation had intent. That’s all.

    That’s not all you’re saying. The science does not indicate whether the designer had intent or not – that’s a characteristic of the designer. An impersonal, non-intentional deistic God could be the designer. You rejected that and claimed it for ID. Again, you’re putting religious ideas into ID.
    You may be right. I’m willing to be corrected and accept that ID is, actually, a religious teaching and not science. That’s what BA77 is indicating and that’s what Stephen Meyer is indicating when they claim that ID rejects deism. To reject deism is to say that ID knows “what kind of God the designer is”. That’s religion. Science cannot tell you what kind of God exists.
    But again, you guys may be right.

    All theistic means is that there is a creator so how is that different from deistic? Maybe we don’t have the vocabulary for this.

    You just said that ID rejected deism. Now you’re changing your mind and you don’t know how to define the terms?
    Theistic means more than “there is a creator”. Again, deism is an impersonal supreme being – therefore, it does not act by intent but through necessity.

  21. 21
    jerry says:

    You think ID science can tell you that?

    Again, you are just making things up.

    Why?

    By the way Meyer’s video misses the point on god. Meyer has reduced his creator by necessity to an inferior tinkering engineer. A fantastic engineer but still one that limited.

    My idea of the creator is one much more intelligent and powerful than the one Meyer postulates.

  22. 22
    ET says:

    Why do evolutionists conflate IDists’ personal beliefs with ID?

  23. 23
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    To reject deism is to say that ID knows “what kind of God the designer is”. That’s religion. Science cannot tell you what kind of God exists.

    Compared with mind-body problem the symbol controlled cell system is a piece of cake but still is out of reach for evolutionary biologists. . From time to time, we love , we care ,and we know that these qualities are good and valuable, are part of us , can’t be dismissed. If we project these qualities over an unknown Designer there is no room for a deist type of designer.

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    LCD

    If we project these qualities over an unknown Designer there is no room for a deist type of designer.

    The empirical science of ID can’t give you that conclusion. You’re talking about the nature of God. There’s plenty of room for a deist God within ID. Because ID cannot tell you that your God makes sense or not – ID cannot analyze the nature of God. Theology can – but that’s different.
    A deist can say that, by necessity, the deist God created everything we observe.
    To refute that, you cannot use ID science. In the same way, ID cannot tell you that the Blessed Trinity is the true God.

  25. 25
    Silver Asiatic says:

    All ID can say from the science is that there is evidence of intelligent design in nature. It cannot tell you what kind of intelligence made it. Meyer seems to be claiming that biological complexity requires theism. That’s not true (but hey, I think he knows a lot more about ID than I do so maybe I’m wrong?). What I do know is that science cannot tell you about the nature of God. There would be no way to scientifically test that. We can test for the presence of intelligent design, but not for the nature of the designer. An IDist can claim it was Zeus or Jupiter or Mithros – as long as it is a non-natural cause and an intelligence, then ID has to accept that.
    Meyer, BA77, Jerry and maybe KF seem to disagree.
    There are ID supporters who think first life was seeded by aliens. ID cannot tell you that God is the designer and alien life is not. All it can say is that blind, natural, material known causes are not the source and that intelligence can produce the results.
    If you think otherwise, then you have to show how to analyze the nature of God by empirical scientific testing.
    To argue for theism or deism or polytheism, you can’t do it with science. Philosophy and theology, yes but you can’t take it into a lab or do mathematical modelling on what a theistic God would do versus a deist.

  26. 26
    Belfast says:

    It’s more than possible that discussion on “intelligent design” will fade away because of the wrong decision in the Dover case. In Dover, the judge essentially held that ID was another name for creationism, and had been invented or applied to skirt the ruling of the Supreme Court in the Edwards case.
    In Edwards, a statute barred teaching evolution in public schools unless it was accompanied by teaching creationism was held to be unconstitutional as the Constitution prohibits laws respecting establishment of religion.
    The Dover decision was wrong, not least because the concept ‘Intelligent Design’ not only preceded Edwards by millennia, but also because the modern use of phrase had been deliberately introduced in an effort to avoid any connection with creationism specifically, religion generally, and to keep observations empirical.
    At this link is a detailed account of its history and the efforts to distance ID from religion;
    https://web.archive.org/web/20080917172539/http://www.opposingviews.com/arguments/id-does-not-address-religious-claims-about-the-supernatural
    Discussion is sterile because it is up to evolutionists to prove their case a chain of unbelievable accidents created life, and this has not been done.
    Their stammering denials that evolution has nothing to do with the creation of life crashes against their claim of causality when it tries to deal with first life, plus the fact that no year goes past without sensational pronouncements as to where and how first life appeared. I don’t think the list is exhaustive but some are RNA world, viral origins, iron–sulphur and zinc worlds, clay crystal, primordial soup, deep sea vent, extra-terrestrial life, other general extra-terrestrial infall, lipid world, chilly start, pre-RNA world, TNA world, XNA world, warm little pond, nucleo-peptide world, sugar world, spinning living crystals, multiple genesis,…

  27. 27
    es58 says:

    Pollistra@1
    After 10 years working in science, the structures and functions of the cochlea were my epiphany.
    I know a guy who came to same conclusion from same evidence as grad student 40 years ago but said the professor couldn’t see it bc he was writing a book on open marriage at the same time

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    SA,

    I am a bit puzzled. Refreshing my memory from Routledge Enc Phil:

    https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/deism/v-1

    DEISM
    Rowe, William L.
    DOI 10.4324/9780415249126-K013-1
    Article Summary

    In the popular sense, a deist is someone who believes that God created the world but thereafter has exercised no providential control over what goes on in it. In the proper sense, a deist is someone who affirms a divine creator but denies any divine revelation, holding that human reason alone can give us everything we need to know to live a correct moral and religious life. In this sense of ‘deism’ some deists held that God exercises providential control over the world and provides for a future state of rewards and punishments, while other deists denied this. However, they all agreed that human reason alone was the basis on which religious questions had to be settled, rejecting the orthodox claim to a special divine revelation of truths that go beyond human reason. Deism flourished in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, principally in England, France and America.

    Has the scheme evolved towards pantheism or panentheism in recent years?

    KF

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    ES58/Polistra, mechanical fast fourier transform. KF

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    Maybe we should retire the terms “theism” and “deism” when discussing ID. There does not seem to be value for ID and they are essentially religious terms.

    I use creator most of the time to describe the entity behind creation of the universe. Apparently it can be extended to Earth but not necessarily to life no matter how it originated. It may be the same entity or may be not.

    The use of “god” in lower or upper case also has religious connotations.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the terms are in context philosophical; we are not locked into false dilemmas under the religious war against Science agit prop myth; even Galileo’s fate was not that, and he was ill advised to alienate a pope who had formerly been sympathetic by putting his words in the mouth of Simplicio — in effect, a straw simpleton. Those who twist language and context into pretzels do so in willful refusal to acknowledge public facts about ID, putting themselves in the category of Wikipedia. Instead, we need to recognise validity of inference to best explanation on signs, and the distinction between process [cf arson] and agent [cf arsonist]. We are not dealing with innocent misunderstandings, not at this level. Those who are innocently misled but care to reason correctly, fairly and reasonably would be responsive. We are not seeing that, this is essentially Alinsky’s rules for radicals agit prop in action. The correct response is to expose that and its bankruptcy as well as misanthropic anticivilisational attitude. That is a far wider pattern, especially in the US. KF

  32. 32
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Jerry, the terms are in context philosophical; we are not locked into false dilemmas under the religious war against Science agit prop myth

    True. It’s not a scientific distinction. ID does not evaluate the nature of the designer. Deism is perfectly compatible with the intelligent designer. Unlike what Meyer said, ID does not give us a theistic designer. As you rightly point out, KF – that is a philosophical (and I’ll add theological thus “theism”) distinction, not scientific.

    a deist is someone who believes that God created the world but thereafter has exercised no providential control over what goes on in it

    Right – the deist God is an intelligent designer. There’s nothing in science that can refute this. Whether deism is true or not is a debate for philosophy and then theology. ID cannot tell us whether God intervenes in nature or is involved in human affairs or not. The science cannot evaluate the nature, attributes and operations of God.

    Has the scheme evolved towards pantheism or panentheism in recent years?

    Yes, again – ID is compatible with these two views also. How God interacts with nature of if God is one with nature are not questions that ID can answer. All we have from ID is that nature gives evidence of intelligent design. From that we conclude that some intelligent agent is responsible for the design. Whether this is the Holy Trinity or Allah or Zeus or a pantheistic force – is not a question that ID science can evaluate.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, first I would distinguish that fine tuning of the physics of the cosmos does obviously raise questions of extracosmic design. I am willing to acknowledge that what we see in cells and body plans could be accounted for on a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al. As has been noted for years. I predict, we will see unicorns made in the lab within a century. Process is not agent. That said I am puzzled as to whether current deists are drifting towards an impersonal concept of God. Because classic deism sees God as an ethical creator, but deny that scriptural or other revelatory traditions are valid [in my view, they fail to reckon with 1 Cor 15 properly, but that is an evidentiary matter]. I further note that part blame for slandering religion and smearing adherents as a whole, traces to deism. But my understanding has been, variant theism not pantheism or panentheism, or are we seeing philosophical smorgasbord with little attention to coherence, explanatory power and factual adequacy? KF

  34. 34
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/7
    When looking at the issue of importing religion into topics like ID, the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principle is most useful. If it walks like religion, talks like religion and smells like religion, etc. Simply look at the headline for the OP— what part of ID qua theism (aka, religion) do you not get?

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, Doubling down, in the teeth of being corrected on abundant, accessible facts. Instead, just stop, admit your unfair misrepresentation and refusal to be corrected, amend your ways and do better. KF

  36. 36
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Silver Asiatic
    All ID can say from the science is that there is evidence of intelligent design in nature.
    It cannot tell you what kind of intelligence made it.

    Nope. From studying cell we can infer an attribute of designer named intelligence but (unfortunatelly for your argumentation) life is not reduced to internal coded systems, DNA/RNA,etc . Life is much more than cells.Did you hear about human intelligence and ethic? I didn’t hear science/biology denying the ethic dimension of human life.
    We certainly can deduce from science that study human behaviour that designer is ethical not only intelligent.

    Your deist designer argument fails.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems we need a reminder on the ideological imposition being pushed:

    [Lewontin:] . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

  38. 38
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/in passim
    SA/32
    SA makes some excellent points regarding ID and various theological belief systems. Having said that, however, I don’t see what “added value” ID brings to the table. If you accept the “design principle” then implied is that everything, ultimately, is designed. Given the quasi-axiom that ID is agnostic as to the designer and her/his/its identity and MO, it thus adds nothing.

  39. 39
    ET says:

    Wow. Whay chucky is saying is that archaeology and forensic don’t offer any added value.

    It’s a fool’s strawman to think that ID says everything is designed.

  40. 40
    ET says:

    Intelligent Design does not say anything about worship. Nothing about the who, how, whey, when and where to worship. ID doesn’t say anything about salvation. ID doesn’t say anything about giving service or prayers.

    What this means is it takes a desperate person to try to link ID to any religion.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, again, a first duty is truth, another right reason, a third warrant (part of prudence). These are foundational to sound civilisation, much less science. In that context though you are patently inclined to dismiss hyperskeptically, it is true that there are signs that on test reliably indicate design as key causal factor. Several of these turn up in the world of life starting with coded algorithms in the cell. Others turn up in the physics of the cosmos, which shows fine tuning. So, once science is released from ideological capture by evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers, it is progress to acknowledge such. Where, in effect we have found a SETI signal, it is in the cells of our bodies. That changes things going forward. KF

  42. 42
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Chuckdarwin
    If you accept the “design principle” then implied is that everything, ultimately, is designed.

    Yep. When you are right you are right. 🙂 SA, did you hear Chuck? He is jumpy because he knows what the designer inference means and he don’t like it but in the same time he push an insane hypothesis that chemical created life . He thinks he is the sane one.

    PS: Chucky don’t worry the ID proponents believe that aliens did it. I hope you are ok with aliens that don’t give you commandments on how to behave.

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    the terms are in context philosophical

    Nonsense.

    Define each. And if you do, are they all inclusive, overlapping, mutually exclusive?

    He thinks he is the sane one.

    ChuckDarwin is in the mad house.

    They let him comment a couple times a day.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, kindly note, in context. We deal here with worldviews and critical analysis thereof on comparative difficulties, not religious traditions. There is a family of worldviews that see a God as the wellspring of reality, not merely a demiurge or the like. They see God as reasonably knowable as a being, and will address philosophical arguments regarding existence and nature of God in terms of metaphysics and logic of being as opposed to chapter-verse of some scriptural tradition, etc. They see God as personal, creative, designing and ethical; embracing here what at least some deists thought. As opposed to the impersonal ground of being or pole of being of pantheism or panentheism. They are design thinkers, viewing design as an intelligent, volitional, conscious act of an agent not sheer deterministic necessity. And so forth. KF

  45. 45
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jerry

    KF
    the terms are in context philosophical

    Nonsense.

    Define each. And if you do, are they all inclusive, overlapping, mutually exclusive?

    KF is right. To do science you have to use logic /reason/ethic in the same time . Where sit all these “tools” ? Inside of a person’s mind that have a worldview. There are no persons that have no worldview therefore anything is thought will have the “secret” signature of worldview that will be in the background.
    You (we all)think in a certain way because of the hidden influence of y(our) worldview.

  46. 46
    jerry says:

    In other words you can not answer my simple. questions.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, if you are trying to comment on my response, your questions are simplistic and distractive. It is not an open-to-debate point that philosophy engages issues of theism, God etc. There are writings on record across 2500 years in our civilisation on that, we must not be held hostage to willful ignorance. All I have done is to point out that it is inappropriate to push these into the side tracked, propagandistic context of the alleged war of religion against reason and its champion science. Nor is it appropriate to cancel broader worldviews issues raised by the design inference, the design paradigm and postulates as well as design friendly sciences because committed ideologues don’t wish to hear about such. We mark distinct contexts and approaches and we address here in terms of comparative difficulties across explanatory power, coherence and factual adequacy. That is what makes this philosophical and it is of pivotal importance to see what issues of reality, being, warrant, logic etc have to say. Even the recognition that our rationality is morally governed i/l/o first duties to truth, right reason, warrant etc is key. KF

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, Plato goes on Record:

    Ath [enian Stranger in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos — the natural order], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity, contrasted to “the action of mind” i.e. intelligently directed configuration] . . . .

    [[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them . . . .

    Then, by Heaven, we have discovered the source of this vain opinion of all those physical investigators . . . . they affirm that which is the first cause of the generation and destruction of all things, to be not first, but last, and that which is last to be first, and hence they have fallen into error about the true nature of the Gods.

    Cle. Still I do not understand you.

    Ath. Nearly all of them, my friends, seem to be ignorant of the nature and power of the soul [[ = psuche], especially in what relates to her origin: they do not know that she is among the first of things, and before all bodies, and is the chief author of their changes and transpositions. And if this is true, and if the soul is older than the body, must not the things which are of the soul’s kindred be of necessity prior to those which appertain to the body?

    Cle. Certainly.

    Ath. Then thought and attention and mind and art and law will be prior to that which is hard and soft and heavy and light; and the great and primitive works and actions will be works of art; they will be the first, and after them will come nature and works of nature, which however is a wrong term for men to apply to them; these will follow, and will be under the government of art and mind.

    Cle. But why is the word “nature” wrong?

    Ath. Because those who use the term mean to say that nature is the first creative power; but if the soul turn out to be the primeval element, and not fire or air, then in the truest sense and beyond other things the soul may be said to exist by nature; and this would be true if you proved that the soul is older than the body, but not otherwise.

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second. [–> notice, the self-moved, initiating, reflexively acting causal agent, which defines freedom as essential to our nature, and this is root of discussion on agents as first causes.]

    [[ . . . .]

    Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

    Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

    Ath. I do.

    Cle. Certainly we should.

    Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

    Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

    Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

    Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

    Cle. Exactly.

    Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

    [[ . . . . ]

    Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.

    Remember, Plato was a pagan Greek who exercised here freedom to reason philosophically and cosmologically.

  49. 49
    relatd says:

    It is obvious that design exists in nature.

    There is no need, according to science, to connect it to God/gods or some supernatural belief system.

    That said, the Catholic Church specifically states that God is the cause of causes. Things don’t just happen by accident, including the creation of living things.

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, the issue is first that design exists, inferred per reliable sign; in the world of cell based life and in the cosmos. Next, what best explains it, and that is not settled by an institution’s say so. For cells, plausibly a molecular nanotech lab could do so. SETI has succeeded, not by radio telescope but by learning what is in DNA, which then becomes the first written document, one antecedent to cell based life on earth. History needs to be rethought in that light. In short, the issue is, whose lab and that cannot be thoroughly answered from evaluating traces of design. Further, the cosmos is fine tuned to support cell based life. That is extracosmic design by an agent powerful and knowledgeable enough to build worlds. Then, we are in it and are rational, responsible, free, morally governed rooted in self evident first moral duties to truth, right reason, fairness etc, requiring a root of reality bridging the is-ought gap. From that we see a bill of requisites for the necessary being world root, inherently good and utterly wise. This is an outline sketch of the God of ethical theism. Those radically hostile to God do not want to go there, wish to cloak themselves in the mantle of reason and science. But evolutionary materialistic scientism (thus its fellow travellers) is inherently self-referentially undermining of reason . . . a gigo bound computational substrate is not rational, and is incapable of bridging is-ought in the world root. We could keep going, this is just a start. All of this is full of import for civilisation and lawful government. KF

  51. 51
    jerry says:

    the Catholic Church specifically states that God is the cause of causes. Things don’t just happen by accident, including the creation of living things

    This is a religious position not based on ID.

    The Catholic Church as an institution has been hostile to ID though many Catholics have not. I believe Denyse is a Catholic as are some of the founding members of The Discovery Institute.

    People on this web site desperately want to conflate ID with religion. It’s why they comment. They frequently will quote scripture and use it as a basis for their beliefs.

    I personally believe this is undermining ID.

  52. 52
    relatd says:

    kairosfocus at 50,

    Not very helpful.

    The dividing line is this:

    Science as god. Responsible to no one. No need for right and wrong, just whatever works or is desired.

    Religion and science. Responsible to God and His laws and all He has taught us. The ground of all reason and all truth.

  53. 53
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 50,

    Are you kidding me? Or to put it another way, Are you kidding me!!!? What is being undermined? Living things are designed – that is ID. They contain a code that can only come from an intelligent agent. How does that undermine anything?

    ID does not need to contain or refer to anything religious, but my reference is relevant. See the Op-Ed by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn in the New York Times titled Finding Design in Nature. The Catholic Church is not hostile to ID.

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, have a look at the UD Weak Argument Correctives under the Resources tab. KF

  55. 55
    relatd says:

    kairosfocus at 54,

    “correctives” of what? There is an overwhelming fear among some that their fortress of science will be overthrown by ID. That their “I can do whatever I want” atheism will disappear under the light of a scientific discovery. There are codes and molecular switches and other things inside living things that act precisely. These codes can only exist because of an intelligence.

    They want what Richard Dawkins wants to believe: things look designed but they are not. They must cling to this.

    Are you surprised that people are not “Science Only” but take ID and see how it fits with their beliefs? That many Christians take ID and connect it to Divine revelation? And can they do that? Yes, they can.

    Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn: “Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”

    Are you afraid that some will reject ID because non-atheists combine the science of ID with religion?

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    Word fence strikes again . . .

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd,

    I first note that it is in fact taught by the Catholic Church, echoing Paul in Rom 1 and other texts highlighting that the source of reality is communicative reason himself. They go on to highlight that evidence in the world without and our minds and consciences within are sufficient for the reality of God to be intelligible. That is a testable claim, and it is responsive to a C1 circumstance where for centuries deep questions about reality and its roots had been pondered.

    Hence for instance Paul’s citations in his Ac 17 presentation to Athens’ intellectual leadership.

    These are worldview issues, and sound empirical findings and logical analysis are relevant to seeing if they are well warranted. Also, people who thought like this have been foundational to modern science.
    In that context, the design inference arises as a scientific-evidential-inductive logic question. Are there reliable, observable signs of intelligently directed configuration as cause? For, if the answer is yes, that goes to the goal of science to accurately describe our common world. If no, that too is important. But as a matter of fact, there are, starting with functionally specific complex organisation and/or associated information in the world of life. There is a reason Dawkins had to concede the appearance of design. But contrary to his blind watchmaker claims, he has never been able to account for such FSCO/I on blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    The fine tuned cosmos is another powerful case and one pointing to design of the world.

    More can be said.

    [Try the WAC’s, 1 – 5]

    KF

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    Got that much through WF!

  59. 59
    relatd says:

    KF at 57,

    People can and will connect ID to their religious beliefs. The Catholic Church knows science and faith are separate but it can, and does connect the two.

  60. 60
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jerry
    In other words you can not answer my simple. questions.

    Your ideas about what somebody “should think ” enter under ethic /moral kingdom and not under scientific area.Stay under scientific umbrella and don’t make moral claims because moral claims ARE NOT SCIENTIFICALLY VALID and you don’t want that your personal opinions to be construed 😉

  61. 61
    relatd says:

    “moral claims are nor scientifically valid”

    If I was an atheist, I would need science quite badly.

  62. 62
    jerry says:

    Your ideas about what somebody “should think ” enter under ethic /moral kingdom and not under scientific area.Stay under scientific umbrella and don’t make moral claims because moral claims ARE NOT SCIENTIFICALLY VALID and you don’t want that your personal opinions to be construed

    I haven’t a clue what you are saying.

    But I’m definitely not making moral claims. Just the opposite. I’m trying to keep ID away from them.

    People have a tendency to make up what others are saying.

  63. 63
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jerry
    But I’m definitely not making moral claims . Just the opposite. I’m trying to keep ID away from them.

    Let’s see:

    Maybe we should retire the terms “theism” and “deism” when discussing ID.

    Is this a scientific claim or a moral claim? Do not exists a scientific observation of a cell process that would conclude with what “should” be done about some words(theism,deism,ID,etc.) that weren’t even observed in the cell. A scientific observation of a cell process would end with : We observed that a liniar code was translated into a 3d code with the help of a 4d system. As you see a scientific observation do not contain should, ought, must these are moral claims unrelated with the science.

  64. 64
    Viola Lee says:

    “Maybe we should retire the terms “theism” and “deism” when discussing ID” is not a moral claim.

    Not every statement that uses words like “should” or “ought” is a moral claim.

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Interesting comments regarding ID and theology/philosophy, deism and theism …

    ET said:

    Intelligent Design does not say anything about worship. Nothing about the who, how, whey, when and where to worship. ID doesn’t say anything about salvation. ID doesn’t say anything about giving service or prayers.
    What this means is it takes a desperate person to try to link ID to any religion.

    That’s the fact as I always knew it. I was very troubled that Stephen C. Meyer said that ID concludes with theism and not deism. But ID cannot tell us what religious or philosophical belief to have – only that there is intelligent design. But even great thinkers like Meyer can mess up at times – and I think he really did on this one.

    KF

    I further note that part blame for slandering religion and smearing adherents as a whole, traces to deism. But my understanding has been, variant theism not pantheism or panentheism, or are we seeing philosophical smorgasbord with little attention to coherence, explanatory power and factual adequacy?

    I hear you and share your concern. There’s a long-term conflict between deists and theists, but not always. Plus, the main and essential thing is – ID doesn’t make this decision. The deist can believe in a God that is an impersonal, intelligent force – that created all the elements of the universe, life, fine-tuning, rationality and even a moral sense (although the deist will not answer to God for moral judgement). But ID has nothing to say about this – ID cannot analyze God for what God does or doesn’t do.

  66. 66
    Silver Asiatic says:

    LCD

    Did you hear about human intelligence and ethic? I didn’t hear science/biology denying the ethic dimension of human life.

    Science and biology cannot tell us about the nature of God. A deist can say that God created ethics, even though there is no final judgement or accounting. Ethics can be created by God from the beginning as a means of order for life. ID says nothing about it. Science cannot tell us that theism is correct and deism is incorrect. That’s philosophy and theology – not empirical science. ID is science – on observable nature. We cannot analyze God’s nature and we cannot observe it scientifically.

    SA, did you hear Chuck? He is jumpy because he knows what the designer inference means and he don’t like it but in the same time he push an insane hypothesis that chemical created life . He thinks he is the sane one.

    He incorrectly said that ID cannot provide a determination of “observed intelligent design” since everything is designed. Although, the idea that “everything is designed” is compatible with deism, so that refutes what you said. But ID only identifies those things that “cannot be explained by natural causes”. ID eliminates things that can be explained by natural causes – not to say “those thing are not designed” but only that “those things do not give empirical evidence of intelligent design”.
    So, CD was incorrect there.
    But he is correct that ID is compatible with Deism.

  67. 67
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Silver Asiatic
    Science and biology cannot tell us about the nature of God.

    🙂 Use science and biology to prove that your claim is true.

    Secondly, you are very confused the attributes of God and the nature of God are different . The attributes of God are knowable and can be deduced from outside world signs and symbols while the nature of God is beyond our understanding. Nobody talked about knowing the nature of God.

    ID is compatible with Deism

    Your opinion can be backed up by science and biology ?

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, as far as I understand, deism did not conceive of God in an impersonal sense. Has that now come in? How so? KF

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD & SA (attn Relatd), the design inference strictly does not itself convey metaphysical import; it infers process not agent or identity or ontological status. That’s why a nanotech lab could fill the bill for cell based life on earth. Cosmological design implies designer, thus intelligence and sufficient volition to act. it also implies power and knowledge. Pantheists and panentheists doubtless have workarounds but this does trend personal. Then, we can observe that our rational, responsible freedom is morally governed i/l/o self evident first duties. While science does not directly address morality save as responsible professionals in society, it rests on an ethical branch on which we all sit. This becomes part of the comparative difficulties process and it is incompatible with materialism and fellow travellers. Not that such is a surprise, such is also incompatible with rational freedom required to warrant knowledge and decisively fails the coherence test. As it is institutionally entrenched, this is often rephrased as an unsolved problem such as aspects of the hard problem of consciousness. But it is decisive, lab coat clad or not, materialism aka physicalism fails. Of course it also drives the spark in a pond or the like abiogenesis then branching tree macroevolution must have happened perception, but that goes down with its incoherence in the end. So, we have a worldviews context that goes beyond inference and theory but such includes constraints on any rational and responsible worldview that science needs to recognise. A sort of rationality-responsibility-moral government anthropic principle obtains, the root of reality must be such that creatures like us are possible and can credibly reason and know. Hence, Haldane, who more or less seems to have become Hindu. KF

    PS, Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For

    if

    [p:] my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain

    [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes; notice, “my brain,” i.e. self referential]
    ______________________________

    [ THEN]

    [q:] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    [–> indeed, blindly mechanical computation is not in itself a rational process, the only rationality is the canned rationality of the programmer, where survival-filtered lucky noise is not a credible programmer, note the functionally specific, highly complex organised information rich code and algorithms in D/RNA, i.e. language and goal directed stepwise process . . . an observationally validated adequate source for such is _____ ?]

    [Corollary 1:] They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically.

    And hence

    [Corollary 2:] I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. [–> grand, self-referential delusion, utterly absurd self-falsifying incoherence]

    [Implied, Corollary 3: Reason and rationality collapse in a grand delusion, including of course general, philosophical, logical, ontological and moral knowledge; reductio ad absurdum, a FAILED, and FALSE, intellectually futile and bankrupt, ruinously absurd system of thought.]

    In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, all of our rational thought is morally governed by pervasive, first principle self evident duties, to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence, fairness etc. Thinking on scientific topics is not an exception. Cooking lab notebooks, cherry picking results, deliberate bias, disregard for truth and soundness, knowing abuse of canons of logic, willfully dirty math [especially statistricks], blind adherence to partyline ideological thinking, closed mindedness, unfair attacks against others etc all compromise the integrity of science. And that’s before we get to real evils like scientific abuse and misuse of sci-tech to willfully do evil. Somebody, set up the chemistry and engineering that created the gas chambers in the death camps. Somebody set up the Tuskegee studies that left people with untreated STDs, Somebody undertook the Nazi medical experiments.

  71. 71
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    PPS, all of our rational thought is morally governed by pervasive, first principle self evident duties, to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence, fairness etc. Thinking on scientific topics is not an exception. Cooking lab notebooks, cherry picking results, deliberate bias, disregard for truth and soundness, knowing abuse of canons of logic, willfully dirty math [especially statistricks], blind adherence to partyline ideological thinking, closed mindedness, unfair attacks against others etc all compromise the integrity of science. And that’s before we get to real evils like scientific abuse and misuse of sci-tech to willfully do evil. Somebody, set up the chemistry and engineering that created the gas chambers in the death camps. Somebody set up the Tuskegee studies that left people with untreated STDs, Somebody undertook the Nazi medical experiments.

    Indeed . First Principles(or their negative) are always first ground on which we build everything else (including science).

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, surprise — not — those who hope to profit by violating first principles are parasiting off their pervasiveness. For simple example, if language became ever so often deceptive, trust and community — so, too, communication, would break down. Civilisation would go down in the avalanche. Lying seeks to profit by relying on the general expectation of truthfulness. Similarly, cynical false accusation seeks to profit from creating suspicion of its target. Those who want to take science into ideological captivity, exploit science’s reputation for objectivity and reliable accuracy. So even the violators rely on the first principle level first duties. KF

  73. 73
    bornagain77 says:

    SA and Jerry try to defend (enlightenment) Deism?

    Yet, ironically and contrary to popular belief, enlightenment Deism, not naturalism, undergird the founding of Darwin’s theory itself, (as well as currently undergirding Theistic Evolution)

    The Descent of Darwin – Pastor Joe Boot – (The Theodicy of Darwinism) – article
    Excerpt: Examination of the origins of The Origin of Species demonstrates that evolutionary theory is neither original to Darwin, nor primarily the product of scientific observations. Darwin sought reasons to reject the scriptural doctrines of God and creation, and found them in Enlightenment deism. Ultimately, evolution is a thoroughly religious worldview.
    Ideological Origins of Evolution
    ,, These men embodied the spirit of the Enlightenment, turning to a Greek conception of a “first cause” – not the God of the Bible, but a principle of rationality and natural law that operated independently of the Creator, who had long since withdrawn from creation.
    https://www.ezrainstitute.com/resource-library/articles/the-descent-of-darwin-evolution-in-religious-worldviews/

    Creation Super Conference (2011 day6) The Descent of Darwin – Pastor Joe Boot
    https://youtu.be/iKzUSWU7c2s?t=3032
    “Let me tell you what the biggest tragedy of this whole story is. The biggest tragedy of the story of Charles Darwin,, is that he learned it, (i.e. the Deistic metaphysics behind Darwinism), from the church. And he learned it in a sensibly Christian university (while) training for the ministry.”
    – 57:44 minute mark

    Did Darwin Believe in God? By Richard Weikart – 2011
    Excerpt: “Though denying that God had a direct hand in creating species, he (Darwin) did nonetheless indicate that God created the natural laws of the cosmos, including the laws of evolutionary development. He also interpolated a statement about a Creator breathing life into one or a few (primitive) organisms into the 1860 edition of Origin.”
    http://www.americanthinker.com.....n_god.html

    And again, Stephen Meyer in his book “Return of the God Hypothesis” argues theism provides a better overall explanation than deism for the scientific evidence that we now have in hand.

    Return of the God Hypothesis – Stephen Meyer – book review
    Excerpt: theism provides a better overall explanation than deism of the three key facts about biological and cosmological origins under examination: (1) the material universe had a beginning; (2) the material universe has been finely tuned for life from the beginning; and (3) large discontinuous increases in functionally specified information have entered the biosphere since the beginning. Deism can explain the first two of those facts; theism can explain all three.
    https://returnofthegodhypothesis.com/book/preview/

    Of further note, Judeo-Christian presuppositions, not Deistic presuppositions, gave us modern science

    The Judeo-Christian Origins of Modern Science – Stephen Meyer (PhD. philosophy of science, Cambridge) – 2022 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss-kzyXeqdQ

    In short, enlightenment Deism turns out to be parasitic on, and, (as Darwin himself clearly illustrated), very corrosive to the Judeo-Christian presuppositions that gave us modern science in the first place.

  74. 74
    jerry says:

    Not every statement that uses words like “should” or “ought” is a moral claim

    Yes, logic should prevail.

    But it doesn’t. I ask for definitions of words being thrown about so we have clarity and I get gobbledygook answers and no definitions. And continued use of words for which no one will define.

    Has UD descended into Alice in Wonderland?

    By the way, deists are theists. Deism is a subset of Theism. Monotheism is a subset of Theism. So it’s logically possible to have monotheistic deists and polytheistic deists.

    If one disagrees, then any use of these terms should be restricted to their understanding. Hence, the need for definitions.
    But definitions of anything are a religious issue for some. As I said Alice in Wonderland may be a good analogy.

    Aside: we should (pardon use of word with moral connotations ) ask ChuckDarwin if he is a monotheistic deist or polytheistic deist?

  75. 75
    jerry says:

    SA and Jerry try to defend (enlightenment) Deism

    Another made up statement.

    Are we trying to set a record for make believe here?

  76. 76
    bornagain77 says:

    Jerry claims he is not arguing for Deism

    Yet at 21 Jerry argued,

    By the way Meyer’s video misses the point on god. Meyer has reduced his creator by necessity to an inferior tinkering engineer. A fantastic engineer but still one that limited.

    My idea of the creator is one much more intelligent and powerful than the one Meyer postulates.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/evolution-news-in-his-new-book-denton-shows-how-science-leads-the-charge-to-theism/#comment-755576

    So God is held by Jerry to be ‘inferior’ if He reaches into creation and creates subsequently to His initial act of creation,

    If that is not arguing for enlightenment Deism and/or Theistic evolution I don’t know what is.

  77. 77
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry asks:

    Has UD descended into Alice in Wonderland?

    Well, it has evolved over the years.

  78. 78
    Fred Hickson says:

    Jerry writes:

    By the way, deists are theists. Deism is a subset of Theism. Monotheism is a subset of Theism. So it’s logically possible to have monotheistic deists and polytheistic deists.

    Almost a tree-like nested hierarchy!

  79. 79
    JHolo says:

    KF: PPS, all of our rational thought is morally governed by pervasive, first principle self evident duties, to truth, right reason, warrant and wider prudence, fairness etc.

    Repetition does not make truth.

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, ironically, to object you just appealed to recognised duties to truth, right reason, warrant and fairness. In short you showed yet again the branch on which we all sit first principle nature of the first duties. But then, while one who implies no obligation to right reason but seeks to exploit our adherence to same, will be un-moved by blatant self referential incoherence much less the necessary falsity stemming from that. So, in defence of civilisation we mark such individuals and movements as relying on misanthropy and anticivilisational tactics that if successful undermine human thriving. Are you sure you still want to go down that road? KF

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    FH & Jerry, yes deism classic form is a type of theism. Theism, properly, is a short form of monotheism, it is radically different from polytheism and henotheism. I have seen recent attempts to say theism embraces polytheism but in fact gods are ontologically utterly distinct from God. A better framing would examine animism and its vague concept of the usually veiled high God, with other lesser spirits or manifestations. From that we see how Theism speaks in the name of the high God, a capital example being the Karen of Burma. Polytheism, as say City of God argued 1500+ years ago, is an extension of the lower gods. Henotheism sees a battle of national or clan gods, possibly including God as confronting such and scattering them, the 10 plagues of Egypt being a classic example. And much more. KF

  82. 82
    JHolo says:

    KF: JH, ironically, to object you just appealed to recognised duties to truth, right reason, warrant and fairness.

    Repetition does not make truth.

  83. 83
    chuckdarwin says:

    BA/73
    From the “God Hypothesis” link BA provides:

    And since deism denies that God could have or would have acted to add any such necessary information after an original act of creation, deistic and other truly front-loaded design hypotheses cannot account for the origin of the first life.Since, on the other hand, theism does posit an intelligent agent who acts in a creative way (in addition to sustaining the laws of nature) after the beginning of the universe, theism provides a better explanation for the origin of the information necessary to produce the first cell as well as subsequent innovations in the history of life.

    Thus, of these two worldview hypotheses, theism provides a better overall explanation than deism of the three key facts about biological and cosmological origins under examination: (1) the material universe had a beginning; (2) the material universe has been finely tuned for life from the beginning; and (3) large discontinuous increases in functionally specified information have entered the biosphere since the beginning. Deism can explain the first two of those facts; theism can explain all three. (emphasis added)

    Meyer’s position on deism is motivated reasoning at its worst. Moreover, is not a scientific observation but a philosophical preference–Meyer provides no empirical basis for his conclusion, nor is any likely forthcoming. Logically there is no reason to distinguish between the creative power of a theistic vs. deist creator. In fact, one could just as easily argue that a deistic creator that “front-loaded” all contingencies for life to arise in the cosmos is more powerful and creative than a theistic creator that is required to ride herd on his or her or its creation. Meyer explicitly concedes that a deistic creator can “explain” the Big Bang and the anthropic principle, but arbitrarily concludes, based on his personal religious bias, that a deistic creator cannot explain “discontinuous” increases in functionally specified information “entering” the biosphere.

  84. 84
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    SA and Jerry try to defend (enlightenment) Deism

    ID is a scientific project. It doesn’t tell us about the nature of God.

  85. 85
    jerry says:

    So God is held by Jerry to be ‘inferior’ if He reaches into creation and creates subsequently to His initial act of creation,

    Never said this.

    I said that Meyer hypothesizes this which means Meyer says this not me. Meyer hypothesizes that God couldn’t have done it differently. I said that the creator could have done it this way or could have made the creation so it would have happened automatically. In other words the creator I hypothesize is more powerful than the one hypothesized by Meyer.

    As I said there seems to be a spate of people making things up.

    The more interesting question is why the all powerful creator decides to do it in steps when He could have done it at one time in the initial creation. That is what should be the discussion not the nonsense on this thread. But that question has no relevance for ID so is best addressed elsewhere.

  86. 86
    relatd says:

    SA at 84,

    “ID is a scientific project. It doesn’t tell us about the nature of God.”

    Fine but people can and do connect it to their beliefs.

  87. 87
    jerry says:

    ID is a scientific project. It doesn’t tell us about the nature of God.

    I disagree on two things here.

    ID is not a scientific project. It is a layer that provides a better explanation of the scientific findings found some place else.

          That is why I call it Science+

    It is science plus something else, namely a lot of logic used to interpret the findings. That is what. the Denton book is all about. He does no study or produce any findings. But he uses findings found somewhere else and adds a logical interpretation.

    Essentially it’s what Meyer’s work is all about. He does no science. He certainly does take a zillion findings and adds logic to them.

    Second, I believe we can infer some things about the creator. Namely, that there was purpose/intent in the creation if the creator made the creation so obviously appropriate for complex life. That is what the Denton book is all about.

    What can be inferred will not lead to any specific religion or religious belief other than there is a creator who is interested in the creation made. That is why I said this understanding argues against a deistic creator.

  88. 88
    JHolo says:

    SA: ID is a scientific project. It doesn’t tell us about the nature of God.

    That’s strange, because every other scientific theory tells you something about the nature of the cause. Evolution requires a source of heritable variation.

  89. 89
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    Meyer’s position on deism is motivated reasoning at its worst.

    Agreed. It’s a big mistake, completely illogical and makes ID sound like a philosophical or theological project. He’s wrong there.

    Moreover, is not a scientific observation but a philosophical preference–Meyer provides no empirical basis for his conclusion, nor is any likely forthcoming.

    Exactly. It’s not science.

    Logically there is no reason to distinguish between the creative power of a theistic vs. deist creator. In fact, one could just as easily argue that a deistic creator that “front-loaded” all contingencies for life to arise in the cosmos is more powerful and creative than a theistic creator that is required to ride herd on his or her or its creation.

    That’s right. A deist can say that God created everything, even though God is impersonal. Even the origin of life could have been planned by a deistic God.

    Meyer explicitly concedes that a deistic creator can “explain” the Big Bang and the anthropic principle, but arbitrarily concludes, based on his personal religious bias, that a deistic creator cannot explain “discontinuous” increases in functionally specified information “entering” the biosphere.

    Exactly. Meyer is claiming that God had to “intervene” in order to create life, but again – the deist God could have planned it all from the beginning.

    A theistic argument against deism has to use philosophy and theology – not ID science.

  90. 90
    bornagain77 says:

    Jerry at 85 denies that he argues for Deism and then proceeds to argue for Deism.

    Over and out.

  91. 91
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JH

    Evolution requires a source of heritable variation.

    Through empirical observation, ID shows that source to be intelligence. Evolution claims it as blind, unintelligent nature – but that’s where evolution (and materialism) fails.

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    SA, to put it mildly and politely, your, (and ChuckyD’s), grasp of the actual science at hand is questionable at best.

  93. 93
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    It is science plus something else, namely a lot of logic

    All science requires logic. ID is science. It adds and requires nothing more than ordinary biology or cosmology requires. We observe the existence of intelligent design. That’s it. No “+” required.
    Anybody can understand and accept it. You don’t need extra theology or philosophy.
    The same science that gives you evolution can (and should) give you ID.
    ID is just a scientific project – nothing more.

  94. 94
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    SA, to put it mildly and politely, your, (and ChuckyD’s), grasp of the actual science at hand is questionable at best.

    I asked you directly if ID requires a theistic creator but you didn’t answer. So, I’ll try again.
    Does biology tell us the difference between a theistic God and a Deist God? What else does biology tell us about the nature and attributes of God? Do we learn from biology when and where and how much God acts in nature?

  95. 95
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    I’m willing to accept that your version of ID is theological. It seems that Stephen C. Meyer’s version is.
    Again, I will accept that “mainstream ID is a religious project” if that’s what you and the consensus of ID supporters think.
    The fact that I don’t like that or I disagree with it is not very relevant – since I’m just one voice.
    If everyone is saying (as Jerry is) “ID Is not science” – and also “ID is a religious project” – I can fully accept that’s what you’re saying. If that’s the true definition of ID, then my version is not ID.
    Again, I’m ok with that. I don’t want to misrepresent ID.

  96. 96
    asauber says:

    My take:

    1. ID says something about the Great Designer. That’s why Evolutionists hate it so much.

    2. ID is science. It includes other lesser designers we know. That’s another reason Evolutionists hate it so much.

    3. ID isn’t theology, but it does make room for it (makes theology reasonable). See #1.

    I don’t know who this aligns me with, but the above points are indisputable.

    Andrew

  97. 97
    relatd says:

    SA,

    “ID is just a scientific project – nothing more.”

    Do you honestly believe that actual people stop at ‘nothing more’?

  98. 98
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Relatd

    Do you honestly believe that actual people stop at ‘nothing more’?

    If they discover that ID is correct and that there is intelligent design in nature, then I would hope they would pursue the philosophy and theology that would help them understand who the designer is. ID will not help them with that though.

  99. 99
    relatd says:

    SA at 98,

    So ID helps people with nothing? This is just a restatement of the old ‘science is over here and religion is over there.’

    Not credible or logical.

  100. 100
    bornagain77 says:

    Several people on this thread have tried to distance ID from the clear theological implications inherent from the empirical evidence. Going so far as to label such an inference to Theism as being “philosophical and theological’, not scientific.

    Yet this is to misunderstand the scientific method itself.

    Inference to the best explanation, and/or inference to the best worldview, is literally built into the ‘bottom up’ inductive reasoning that lies behind the scientific method itself.

    “Bottom up” inductive reasoning is, practically speaking, a completely different form of reasoning than the ‘top down’ deductive reasoning of the ancient Greeks in which they “pronounced on how the world should behave, with insufficient attention to how the world in fact did behave.” (Henry Schaefer)

    Deductive vs. Inductive reasoning – top-down vs. bottom-up – graph
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4b/b7/75/4bb77537cdd971924fb52de1070b4120.jpg

    As wikipedia itself, (no friend of ID), puts it, “Inductive reasoning is distinct from deductive reasoning. While, if the premises are correct, the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.”

    Inductive reasoning
    Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying some evidence, but not full assurance, of the truth of the conclusion.[1] It is also described as a method where one’s experiences and observations, including what are learned from others, are synthesized to come up with a general truth.[2] Many dictionaries define inductive reasoning as the derivation of general principles from specific observations (arguing from specific to general), although there are many inductive arguments that do not have that form.[3]
    Inductive reasoning is distinct from deductive reasoning. While, if the premises are correct, the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.[4]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning

    Specifically, In his book “Novum Organum” (which is translated “New Method”), Francis Bacon, a devout Christian who is widely regarded as the father of the scientific method itself, championed an entirely new method of inductive reasoning, (where repeated experimentation played a central role in one’s reasoning to a general truth), over and above Aristotle’s deductive reasoning, (where one’s priori assumption of a general truth, (i.e. your major premises), played a central role in one’s reasoning), which had been the dominate form of reasoning that had been around for 2000 years at that time.

    As the following article succinctly put it, “Sir Francis Bacon advanced a new way of philosophical inquiry known as inductive reasoning, in which the inquirer comes to a probable conclusion based on several specific observations.”

    Deductive and Inductive Reasoning (Bacon vs Aristotle – Scientific Revolution) – video
    Excerpt: Deductive reasoning, which uses general premises to arrive at a certain conclusion, has been around since Aristotle. In his book Novum Organum (1620, translated ‘new method’), Sir Francis Bacon advanced a new way of philosophical inquiry known as inductive reasoning, in which the inquirer comes to a probable conclusion based on several specific observations.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAdpPABoTzE

    Thus in conclusion, although several people on this thread have tried to distance ID from the Theological, and/or philosophical, implications inherent from the entire body of empirical evidence, the fact of the matter is that the inductive reasoning, that lays behind the scientific method itself, is in fact itself a method of “philosophical inquiry” in which a person reasons to ‘a general truth’, ‘a probable conclusion’, and/or to a general worldview from the empirical evidence.

    In short, inference to the best worldview and/or inference to the best explanation is literally bulit into the foundation of the scientific method itself.

    And I hold that Stephen Meyer is correct in holding that the worldview of Theism provides, by far, the most satisfactory explanation of the entire body of scientific evidence that we now have in hand,,, over and above the competing worldviews of Deism, Pantheism and Naturalism.

    Stephen Meyer discusses those four competing worldviews and how they measure up to the scientific evidence that we now have in hand in the following video:

    The Four Great Discoveries of Modern Science That Prove God Exists (‘competing worldviews’, 3:15 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hls6dawWQL0&t=194s

  101. 101
    relatd says:

    ID, as a foundation, can, and often does, lead to other things. ID as nothing more than ‘science’ is just a standalone concept that, according to some, can never be connected to philosophy or religion. Deism – the maybe god. OK. But in the end, ID is a development that cannot be left entirely by itself, or Richard Dawkins can keep saying that living things only look designed but are not – in reality. That is quite obviously false.

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, doubling down on corrected error does not transmute what you wish to suggest into truth. Ironically, you appeal again to what you would refute thus ending in incoherence, in a way that signals to us that you will insistently speak with disregard to truth, right reason and fairness. Not a good place to be, but you wish to be there, sad. KF

  103. 103
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    several people on this thread have tried to distance ID from the Theological, and/or philosophical, implications

    Ok, you see ID as a philosophical and theological project that uses science. So biological science tells you about who the designer is. So why not just say that? Why use the term “intelligent designer” when you mean God? Also, where in the scientific literature is the analysis of the deistic God versus the theistic God that ID identifies? In fact, where in ID literature does it tell us about the characteristics of this this Theistic God that ID explains? I’ve read several ID books and haven’t seen it. Behe, for example, says nothing about the attributes and identity of the God that ID scientifically demonstrates. Why not?

  104. 104
    jerry says:

    Here is a quote I made 16 years ago and it is playing out to some extent on this thread

    I have often said here that if ID ever wins the day then the real food fight would begin. It would be a religious debate and this site would then be of no use so it would take place elsewhere. But such debates have been going on for over 2000 years so it would not be new….

    ID is not about any religious belief other than there is a designer but whoever designed the universe has to be a very powerful intelligence.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ernst-mayr-at-the-millennium-a-study-in-misplaced-triumphalism/#comment-50559

  105. 105
    bornagain77 says:

    SA at 103; ” I’ve read several ID books and haven’t seen it (an inference to God).”

    SA at 95 “It seems that Stephen C. Meyer’s version is (God).”

    Oh well,,,

    Over and out.

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, the design inference is an operation of science, on tested reliable sign. A postulational framework, cf OP here, builds from that to frame a research programme or theory that interfaces with several design friendly sciences. Thanks to cosmology that already includes physics and chemistry. Soon, thanks to OoL issues . . . by definition, physics and chemistry with a generous helping of thermodynamics . . . and given the copious coded algorithmic information in the cell, that will include biology. Indeed as the codes are the earliest texts, we have enfolded SETI and given it success (though in an unexpected place, cells in our bodies); SETI obviously being a design friendly science. Information theory, communication and cybernetics are already in the fold; ponder how one identifies signal and noise to measure signal to noise ratio. As History is the study of the past decisively informed by text, we have bridged to a central art. Archaeology and forensics are already in the fold. As origins sciences speak to core philosophy which in turn engages theology, there are extensions to those fields of study; just as the failed, self-refuting, bankrupt paradigm, evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers similarly extends across the academy and culture alike. No wonder there is a movement that embraces the paradigm and moves beyond school of thought to cultural movement. However, it remains that the core is the design inference on tested, reliable sign. Hence the emphasis of this blog. KF

  107. 107
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 104,

    So just forget about ID in real life? It’s just “science” so leave it there?

    Does ID describe scientific findings better than Blind, Unguided Chance – that has no goal?

    Food fight? You bet. Imagine people waking up to the idea of “something/one designed me?” Oh my Darwin!

    Your choices are:

    1) God – gee, we hope not.

    2) Aliens – so who designed them?

    3) Sentient robots from Earth’s future – so who designed them?

    If the answer is 1) – !!!!!!!!! – OR !!!!!!!!!???? Now what do I do? I’m accountable to someone? Oh no!!!!!

  108. 108
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry @104

    I fully agree. ID is not a religious project meant to prove who God is or what religion is true. If ID wins, this site goes away and IDists will argue with each other about God. But that’s a step forward since those IDists will be former materialists and atheists. So, it will be about pantheism or polytheism or deism or Allah or Judaism or Protestantism … etc. Discussions moved to religious and apologetic blogs and sites.

  109. 109
    Silver Asiatic says:

    relatd

    Imagine people waking up to the idea of “something/one designed me?”

    ID is not going to help you figure out who that is. All ID gives you is evidence of intelligent design in nature. So, there’s a designer. You now have to go elsewhere to investigate the candidates. More biology and physics are not going to give you anything.

  110. 110
    relatd says:

    SA at 108,

    So in ‘neat and tidy land,’ ID stops developing as a science but just turns into a religion debate? Seriously? Everyone stops posting here because everything scientific about ID has been discovered?

  111. 111
    Viola Lee says:

    97 says,

    SA, “ID is just a scientific project – nothing more.”

    Do you honestly believe that actual people stop at ‘nothing more’?

    This was Philip Johnson’s strategy from the beginning: establish “scientifically” that there is a creator, defeat naturalism, and then let religion take over.

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, kindly note 106 above. KF

  113. 113
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    As origins sciences speak to core philosophy which in turn engages theology, there are extensions to those fields of study

    Right. For example, a person could evaluate Plato’s idea of God versus traditional Theism.

    Is the platonic metaphysical vision compatible with that of Traditional Theism? Some would contend that the two are compatible, while others would argue to the contrary.
    https://iep.utm.edu/pla-thei/

    A study of the bacterial flagellum is not going to help us on this. A theological analysis is not what ID is built for.

  114. 114
    relatd says:

    SA at 109,

    ID will not help anyone figure out who that is? That’s not logical. People, meaning average people, will and are connecting it to some form of beyond-Human intelligence, usually God. You are just repeating a tired old line. Science is meant to be a useful tool.

    If ID points to an intelligence, who do you think people will choose? Aliens? Based on what? Beings from other dimensions? Based on what? Or God. Based on the Bible?

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    Philip Johnson’s actual strategy, in reply to Lewontin, and in response to tactics that would have landed stock promoters in deep hot water:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original — the context is Lewontin in NYRB] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.

    [–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.” [NB: I am aware that Rational Wiki has backed away, un-announced, from the cat-out-of-the-bag direct phrasing that was in place a few years ago. That historic phrasing is still valid as a summary of what is going on.]

    Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural.” Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.]

    And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And it is not an appeal to ever- diminishing- ignorance to point out that design, rooted in intelligent action, routinely configures systems exhibiting functionally specific, often fine tuned complex organisation and associated information. Nor, that it is the only observed cause of such, nor that the search challenge of our observed cosmos makes it maximally implausible that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity can account for such.]

    That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    The various pretzel-twisted strawman caricatures as in Wikipedia fail.
    KF

  116. 116
    asauber says:

    “If ID points to an intelligence, who do you think people will choose?”

    Relatd,

    SA is right. ID doesn’t provide further info to help in the choosing. Theology would based on info there.

    Andrew

  117. 117
    relatd says:

    Viola Lee at 111,

    Let religion take over means what? Please define.

    Science stops because “religion takes over”? Not likely.

  118. 118
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 116,

    So science is not used in real life? It is not used to interprtet reality by average people?

    Which of the following is true:

    1) Living things only look designed but are not in reality.

    2) Living things are designed and we have evidence of this – in reality.

    By the way:

    1) Do you have an ancestor that was an ape-like creature or a lemur-like creature?
    2) Why not?

  119. 119
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Silver Asiatic
    Does biology tell us the difference between a theistic God and a Deist God? What else does biology tell us about the nature and attributes of God?

    🙂 First, you are looking in the wrong place. Don’t look at the bacteria that are studied under microscope turn the microscope to study yourself and you’ll discover much more about creator than the complexity of bacteria .

    Secondly, there is no difference whatsoever between atheism , deism, flyingspagettism .

    A theistic argument against deism has to use philosophy and theology – not ID science.

    You use philosophy to accuse other people that use philosophy? Make sense.

  120. 120
    asauber says:

    “So science is not used in real life? It is not used to interprtet reality by average people?”

    Relatd,

    It is. But what the Average Joe regards as science has limitations. It is capable of answering some questions in a certain way, but not all questions.

    I think the issue in this thread is simply one of where ID’s borders are. As a staunch Catholic Christian, I have no problem with ID having lines of demarcation. That it does, does not diminish faith in any way.

    Andrew

  121. 121
    kairosfocus says:

    Related, we are looking at distinct disciplines, where there is usually little understanding of philosophy, and typically even less so in regard to theology. Sciences seek to accurately describe, explain/ interpret/ understand and predict the world on empirical evidence. philosophy is a root, cross cutting discipline that addresses hard, fundamental questions with an emphasis on comparative difficulties of worldviews in regard to factual adequacy, coherence, explanatory power. Theology seeks to study God and things of God in the context of a religious tradition and often scriptures. They may contribute to one another and may look at the same issues but they work differently and may or may not come to a consensus. It is in that context that I pointed out that the design inference is an observational evidence based conclusion regarding causal process, intelligently directed configuration or contrivance. On the world of cell based life it is plausible that a molecular nanotech lab several generations beyond Venter could explain what we see. As in the days of Plato, it is cosmological evidence that points beyond the observed cosmos. Coming forward from reality root, that gives us a candidate to beat for the lab to work with cell based life. I would point to other issues tied to moral government of our rational, responsible freedom and what they call for in the root of reality. The inherently good, utterly wise and awesomely powerful with deep knowledge, also being necessary – independent and eternal — being. KF

  122. 122
    asauber says:

    Value Added Comment:

    I think popular culture has attempted to condition us into thinking science has all the answers, they just haven’t been articulated yet.

    That notion is totally wrong. So I wouldn’t try to attempt to make science apply everywhere. It doesn’t. Theology is more important. I prefer not to diminish theology by squeezing it to fit in a smaller box.

    Andrew

  123. 123
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA/95
    A great analogy for how ID has been corrupted by those that choose to conflate ID and religion, is how the phrase “Black lives matter”, with which virtually everyone agrees, morphed into the political movement, Black Lives Matter, which has become one of the most divisive political movements of our times.

  124. 124
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 120,

    Do you have any idea what you’re saying? As a Catholic? Ken Miller will tell you that science, meaning evolution, as presented in Biology textbooks does not diminish faith.

    Where is God in theistic evolution? Can anyone show precisely where God did – in reality – anything? As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell. So ‘theistic evolution’ is a worthless idea.

    Pope Benedict pointed out that there is a demarcation line between science and faith. However, he also said: “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God.”

  125. 125
    jerry says:

    Some people act as those who advocate ID do not carry it forward past ID. That’s absurd. Nearly everyone makes other judgements but they are not based on ID. So. they are not relevant here.

    If one is a Christian. then there is a three step process

    1) There is a creator/God – definitely supported by ID
    2) Christ is God or Christ was sent by God – The whole New Testament is about this – nothing in ID says anything about this.
    3) Christ started a religion – fairly obvious from the New Testament – nothing in ID says anything about this.

    Now people who are from other religions would all benefit from 1) but 2) and 3) are directly relevant to Christianity and not to another specific religion and definitely not relevant to ID. Points 2) and 3) can be modified to acceptance of other religions but would also have nothing to do with ID. So why have that debate here on anything religious?

    Has anyone on this thread that endorsed ID denied the first point? No! What has come up is what we can include about the creator identified from ID. Definitely more than just existence but certainly a long way from everything. People definitely want to put their spin on this but what we can conclude is limited.

    Aside: I used to believe in evolution by Darwinian methods. I read about an evolutionary biology teacher who got censored for changing his mind at one of the University of California campuses I looked into it and then went to a discussion of ID at the New School in New York City with Dembski, Behe and Meyer. I left convince that Darwinian evolution was bogus and hooked on ID.

    My faith did not change one iota as a result.

    Final aside: Chuckdarwin if all wrong as usual. He’s got it backwards.

  126. 126
    relatd says:

    “what we can conclude is limited” Obviously not. ID is sitting in a box marked “NO Philosophy or Religion HERE” but what do people use science for? Nothing? It’s not used to describe reality? Does ID describe reality better than evolution?

    If it does, then who or what is the Intelligence? Nothing? Aliens. We sure hope it isn’t God?

  127. 127
    asauber says:

    “Do you have any idea what you’re saying? As a Catholic?”

    Relatd,

    I do. I’ve been thinking about this stuff every day for many years.

    Evolution in textbooks doesn’t diminish faith because it is far-fetched story-telling to anyone who examines it for more than 10 minutes. Some people buy the lie, though, because they don’t know any better. That’s a different issue.

    And I never said ID has nothing to do with faith. I said it makes theology reasonable from a scientific perspective. I said ID having boundaries doesn’t diminish faith. It just organizes thought about these issues.

    Andrew

  128. 128
    relatd says:

    Andrew,

    You are mistaken about Biology textbooks. I spoke to a relative about what she was being taught in Biology class. When I questioned certain things, she said “Why would they lie to me?” People expect to hear truth, not speculation.

    [B]“[E]volution works without either plan or purpose — Evolution is random and undirected.”[/B]
    ([I]Biology[/I], by Kenneth R. Miller & Joseph S. Levine (1st ed., Prentice Hall, 1991), pg. 658; (3rd ed., Prentice Hall, 1995), pg. 658; (4th ed., Prentice Hall, 1998), pg. 658; emphasis in original.)

    “[B]Humans represent just one tiny, largely fortuitous, and late-arising twig[/B] on the enormously arborescent bush of life.”
    (Stephen J Gould quoted in Biology, by Peter H Raven & George B Johnson (5th ed., McGraw Hill, 1999), pg 15; (6th ed., McGraw Hill, 2000), pg. 16.)

    “By coupling [B]undirected, purposeless [/B]variation to the [B]blind, uncaring [/B]process of natural selection, [B]Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous[/B].”
    ([I]Evolutionary Biology[/I], by Douglas J. Futuyma (3rd ed., Sinauer Associates Inc., 1998), p. 5.)

    “Darwin knew that [B]accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism[/B], the conviction that [B]matter is the stuff of all existence [/B]and that all mental and spiritual phenomena are its by-products. Darwinian evolution was [B]not only purposeless but also heartless[/B]–a process in which the rigors of nature ruthlessly eliminate the unfit. Suddenly, [B]humanity was reduced to just one more species in a world that cared nothing for us[/B]. The great human mind was no more than a mass of evolving neurons. Worst of all, [B]there was no divine plan to guide us[/B].”
    ([I]Biology[/I]: Discovering Life by Joseph S. Levine & Kenneth R. Miller (1st ed., D.C. Heath and Co., 1992), pg. 152; (2nd ed.. D.C. Heath and Co., 1994), p. 161; emphases in original.)

    “Adopting this view of the world means accepting not only the processes of evolution, but also the view that the living world is constantly evolving, and that [B]evolutionary change occurs without any goals[/B].’ The idea that [B]evolution is not directed [/B]towards a final goal state has been more difficult for many people to accept than the process of evolution itself.”
    (Life: The Science of Biology by William K. Purves, David Sadava, Gordon H. Orians, & H. Craig Keller, (6th ed., Sinauer; W.H. Freeman and Co., 2001), pg. 3.)

    “The ‘blind’ watchmaker is natural selection. [B]Natural selection is totally blind [/B]to the future. “[B]Humans are fundamentally not exceptional [/B]because we came from the same evolutionary source as every other species. It is natural selection of selfish genes that has given us our bodies and brains “Natural selection is a bewilderingly simple idea. And yet what [B]it explains is the whole of life[/B], the diversity of life, the apparent design of life.”
    (Richard Dawkins quoted in [I]Biology [/I]by Neil A. Campbell, Jane B. Reese. & Lawrence G. Mitchell (5th ed., Addison Wesley Longman, 1999), pgs. 412-413.)

    “Of course, no species has ‘chosen’ a strategy. Rather, its ancestors ‘little by little, generation after generation’ merely wandered into a successful way of life through the action of random evolutionary forces. Once pointed in a certain direction, a line of evolution survives only if the cosmic dice continues to roll in its favor. [B]“[J]ust by chance[/B], a wonderful diversity of life has developed during the billions of years in which organisms have been evolving on earth.
    (Biology by Burton S. Guttman (1st ed., McGraw Hill, 1999), pgs. 36-37.)

    “It is difficult to avoid the speculation that Darwin, as has been the case with others, found the implications of his theory difficult to confront. “The real difficulty in accepting Darwins theory has always been that it seems to diminish our significance. Earlier, astronomy had made it clear that the earth is not the center of the solar universe, or even of our own solar system. Now the new biology asked us to accept the proposition that, like all other organisms, [B]we too are the products of a random process that, as far as science can show, we are not created for any special purpose or as part of any universal design[/B].”
    (Invitation to Biology, by Helena Curtis & N. Sue Barnes(3rd ed., Worth, 1981), pgs. 474-475.)[/QUOTE]

  129. 129
    asauber says:

    And I bet most people who profess belief in Evolution as taught in textbooks, couldn’t explain to you very much about it.

    Andrew

  130. 130
    asauber says:

    “When I questioned certain things, she said “Why would they lie to me?”

    Relatd

    Did you explain to her why they would lie?

    Andrew

  131. 131
    asauber says:

    Faith is mysterious. It’s partly a supernatural gift. One doesn’t just give it up because of some Evolution drivel. If some nonsense about Evolution causes you to do change your life, you probably had an empty head prior to.

    Andrew

  132. 132
    jerry says:

    Where is God in theistic evolution? Can anyone show precisely where God did – in reality – anything? As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell. So ‘theistic evolution’ is a worthless idea.

    I suggest you read Denton’s new book.

    There is a lot of what the creator did that is outlined in that book that happened prior to life developing and complex life appearing. Now the process for life beginning and how it then progressed is unknown. The theistic evolutionists believe the process was part of the initial creation. It just played out over time and may in fact still be playing out. If one denies that, then why did the all powerful God do it later in stages when He could have done it at the original creation?

    As I said above that it a very interesting question which no one here takes on. Maybe. they shouldn’t since it has nothing to do with ID. But some of the discussion on ID at other places actually do address it.

  133. 133
    relatd says:

    “it has nothing to do with ID” OK.

    Who or what was the intelligence in Intelligent Design? Just writing “you won’t find that in ID” means nothing for the average person looking to get an accurate picture of reality.

    Your choices are: Nothing created you. You are just the end result of Blind, Unguided Luck.

    Or a definite someone created you.

  134. 134
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 131,

    Students expect their teachers to give them factual information about science, about evolution. As a kid, I believed my science teacher who said we evolved. It was only later, when valid objections were raised, that I saw how much of what was being published in textbooks was biased and just plain guesswork.

  135. 135
    asauber says:

    “Students expect their teachers to give them factual information about science, about evolution.”

    This is true. Its shameful they are misled.

    Andrew

  136. 136
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 130,

    I encouraged her to examine what she was being told more carefully.

  137. 137
    JHolo says:

    KF: JH, doubling down on corrected error does not transmute what you wish to suggest into truth. Ironically, you appeal again to what you would refute thus ending in incoherence, in a way that signals to us that you will insistently speak with disregard to truth, right reason and fairness. Not a good place to be, but you wish to be there, sad.

    So, if I disagree with you, the only explanation is that I am lying. Well, at least I now know that you have no intention or desire to have a fair and honest discussion about the issues.

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, a loaded strawman. Disagreement is not lying, speaking with disregard to truth in hope of profiting thereby is lying. In your case, you tried to deny self evident truths that you are again appealing to by playing the put upon victim, falsely accused of lying. No, here you you are clinging to crooked yardstick thinking despite cogent correction including pointing out how you cannot even object to first duties of reason without appealing to them. Your attempt to project unfairness and dishonesty to me are further appeals to the said first duties of reason you are trying to dismiss as self evident by way of being branch on which we cannot but sit first principles.We can ask, what is objectionable about untruth, dishonesty and unfairness if there are no binding pervasive first duties of reason? It would be funny, if it were not so sad and so loaded with consequences. Rejecting duty to truth, right reason, warrant and fairness etc opens the door to disregard to truth, right reason and more. Which are anti civilisational. i suggest you reconsider, given the manifest incoherence of your attempted retorts. But then, if our rational, responsible freedom is morally governed through built in first laws which are also start points of morality, that has worldview level implications, given that the is-ought gap can only be bridged in the root of reality. That is, we need a source of the world that is not only powerful and capable of a fine tuned cosmos but also is inherently good and utterly wise, answering Hume’s Guillotine and the Euthyphro dilemma. Which, undermines certain lab coat clad ideologies. But then, that is part of why those ideologies are self referentially incoherent, intellectually bankrupt and morally bankrupt. Let us turn from them to sounder footing. KF

  139. 139
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, science is shot through with deep philosophical considerations from the outset. However, we can take it that many will understand objectivity, careful observation, cogent inference and the like without having to do a full orbed debate on logic of being, wider metaphysics, logic and epistemology with a dash or two of ethics. That is what the design inference is about, inferring the signified causal factor intelligently directed configuration, on tested reliable signs such as FSCO/I, fine tuning etc. Notice, process not agent at work. That requires other considerations as laid out. And, on current state of play an advanced molecular nanotech lab run by say Venter’s great grandson, seems likely to be able to account for the cell and body plans. What is undeniably extracosmic is the fine tuned physics setting up a world where c hem aqueous medium cells are possible, thus biology. KF

  140. 140
    ET says:

    A great analogy for how evolution has been corrupted by those that choose to conflate evolution and atheism, is how the phrase “Black lives matter”, with which virtually everyone agrees, morphed into the political movement, Black Lives Matter, which has become one of the most divisive political movements of our times.

  141. 141
    relatd says:

    KF at 139,

    I get it. But science does get applied, doesn’t it? It gets used by people. Until ID was defined, what did people rely on? Blind, Unguided Chance? It naturally followed that IF that was an accurate description of reality then what did it say about human beings? That we are just nothing. The result of Blind, Unguided Luck. You can’t avoid this conclusion if you believe that is how the actual process works.

    I am sure people here understand that science is a separate investigation from religion, but it follows that science involving living things must represent reality.

    Version 1) You are just the end result of Blind, Unguided Luck.

    Version 2) You were intelligently designed along with the observable universe.

  142. 142
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, that is why we mark a distinction between a key inference and research programme and the wider design movement. Indeed, strictly, we can trace the movement back to Plato, who makes a cosmological design inference in The Laws Bk X and criticises evolutionary materialism. The more things change, the more they remain the same. KF

  143. 143
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Ch 11 in Meyer, Return of the God Hypothesis:

    Metaphysics is the discipline of philosophy that addresses the
    fundamental nature of reality. Ontology, a subdiscipline of metaphysics, is
    concerned with questions of “being” or ultimate reality. It asks, “What is
    the thing or the entity or the process from which everything else comes?”
    Philosophers recognize several main worldviews with different answers to
    this ultimate, or “prime-reality,” question. “Naturalism” (or materialism)
    views matter and energy and the laws of nature as the prime realities.
    “Pantheism” asserts an impersonal deity present in matter and energy as the
    prime reality. “Theism” affirms a personal, intelligent, transcendent God
    who also acts within the creation. And “deism” affirms a personal,
    transcendent, intelligent God who does not act within the created order after
    its initial origin
    (Fig. 11.3).
    These four worldviews represent four possible ways of answering three
    basic questions about ultimate reality: Does God exist? If so, is God
    personal or impersonal? If personal, does God act only at the beginning of
    the universe or also after it within the created order?

    So, Meyer is affirming that deists see God as personal.

    KF

  144. 144
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Jerry
    3) Christ started a religion – fairly obvious from the New Testament – nothing in ID says anything about this.

    If you were a Creator would you code some kind of signature into biology that would prove that you are the source ?
    If we look to the DNA do we detect such a signature ? Shocking or not even Dawkins talked about that in “Expelled no intelligence allowed” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t09Pzg9MSZ8&t=540s
    PS: But of course to be possible to understand the signature in genome first we have to find out who is the Creator through an “auxilliary channel” . Right? Do exist this auxilliary channel? Of course .

  145. 145
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    So, Meyer is affirming that deists see God as personal.

    That’s certainly one view, but the important thing is this:

    If personal, does God act only at the beginning of the universe or also after it within the created order?

    Meyer is claiming that ID answers that question, which is completely false. ID does not know when or how God acts in the universe. Meyer is saying that there is “an increase in information” so therefore, God had to intervene and create new information at the Cambrian explosion, for example.
    Not only is that not science at all, and not only does he have no direct evidence of when God did whatever God did, but a deist could just say that God created everything at the beginning and front loaded the information which was released through natural (even invisible to human) means through time. No intervention necessary.
    That Meyer made this big mistake is disappointing to me.

  146. 146
    bornagain77 says:

    “That Meyer made this big mistake is disappointing to me.”

    My bet is that it is SA who is making a big mistake.

  147. 147
    Viola Lee says:

    I don’t think there is anything in deism that would specify whether the deistic entity does or does not care about human beings. Deism just asserts that the entity created the universe with both its rules and its initial conditions and then let things play out. Presumably an omniscient omnipotent entity could set things up so that human beings came into existence 14 billion years later, with the qualities of caring for each other, having religious ideas, etc., just as we experience today.

    The problem with this is that as far as we can experience the world, quantum mechanics and chaos theory (and free will if that somehow can come to pass at some point) would disrupt the determinism that is part of the deistic view.

    On the other hand, a deistic entity might know full well that such disruptions would mean that it couldn’t pre-plan everything, but might be perfectly willing to kick the world and then let it develop in undetermined ways, which might mean that human beings on earth might or might not have come into existence on earth: that is, the deistic entity didn’t care about any particular events when it got things started, but was content with knowing that it had created an interesting set of rules that would produce an interesting, eventful universe.

  148. 148
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Silver Asiatic
    a deist could just say that God created everything at the beginning and front loaded the information which was released through natural (even invisible to human) means through time. No intervention necessary.

    🙂 Why would a “god” do something and then abandon it? If a man do that is considered crazy so why would someone consider the idea of a god that act like “a mother” that abandon her new-born in a dumpster?

  149. 149
    Viola Lee says:

    This is an omnipresent “god” we might be talking about. If it has planned everything and is present at all moments so that it it “there” at all moments of the unfolding of that plan, then they has been no abandonment.

  150. 150
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/143

    So, Meyer is affirming that deists see God as personal.

    This is a 17th century iteration of deism in its infancy. Deism was as much a political as religious movement attempting to create a non-sectarian response to the endless European religious wars of the 16th through 18th centuries.

    I think most, if not all, serious deists today would reject the idea of a “personal” God and define their deism as follows:

    1) The creator is eternal, transcendent, impersonal and unknowable
    2) After creation of the world, the creator does/did not intervene any further in creation (e.g., the rejection of miracles, answers to prayers, periodic “discontinuous infusions” of information, etc.)
    3) Reason and observation are the only sources of knowledge (rejection of Scripture as revealed truth)

    A moment’s reflection shows that the concept of a “personal God” is incompatible with the creator’s non-interventionist nature.

  151. 151
    jerry says:

    Do we have a breakthrough?

    At last someone who will define something. Even if the definition is not consistent with others use of the word or the world around us.

  152. 152
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    A moment’s reflection shows that the concept of a “personal God” is incompatible with the creator’s non-interventionist nature.

    Once again I’ll agree with you here. Meyer’s definition of deism is not the standard or common one, as a personal God. But I really don’t care that much how he defines the actions of God. Meyer is claiming that ID sorts out what God is or isn’t doing and what God is or what God isn’t.
    There are no scientific papers that discuss this. Meyer is just using his own religious opinions as if they are science (or maybe he doesn’t care about the science and is just flatly asserting that “ID is a religious program”?).
    Again, biology is not going to tell us whether God is personal or not, and it’s not going to tell is if God intervened in nature at some time, or if all things were programmed from eternity.
    Science is not even going to tell us if our version of God makes sense or not. We could have a god that is absurd and illogical, but biology cannot get involved with that. Nor can physics.

  153. 153
    kairosfocus says:

    Impersonal deity is pantheism or panentheism. So Deism seems to here be a movement name.

  154. 154
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, can you find me a standard reference defining a modern form of deism that rejects personality of God [posessing self-awareness and being self moving, volitional etc], that is not tantamount to something like pantheism or panentheism? KF

  155. 155
    Silver Asiatic says:

    LCD

    Why would a “god” do something and then abandon it?

    It sounds like you’re looking for a religious conversation. You are asking about the nature of God and actions of God. I could assist you with references to the Bible or to Aristotle or St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Gregory Nazianzen or the creed of St. Athanasius …
    But what some here do not understand is that ID doesn’t address those things. There are no biological papers talking about the creative power of God or God’s actions from eternity. There are no physics papers analyzing whether God intervenes in nature or if He leaves nature unattended (or if that is even possible). Physics doesn’t address that. Nor does biology.
    ID works with physics and biology – not with a study of the Holy Bible.

    There are all sorts of religious questions I would be happy to discuss with anyone. Is Allah the true God? Does the Holy Spirit process from the Father and the Son? Is the Talmud consistent? Does Prajapati share theological origins with the earliest Hebrew theology?
    The point here is that we can’t analyze chemical compounds or the mating rituals of antelopes to come up with answers to those questions.
    Or, on second thought, certainly someone could decide that biology will tell them whether the Holy Spirit only proceeds from the Father or not. Maybe someone thinks chemical compounds show that by their numeric arrangements. There are people who think there are hidden codes in the Bible that predict future events (The Bible Code). People can make whatever claim they want. Why not?
    But again, for the sake of ID and this blog – this is not the place to sort all of that out.

    I accept that some people here disagree with me and they think that ID is a religious project.
    But I’m just giving my version of ID. For me, ID is science, not religion.

  156. 156
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    SA, can you find me a standard reference defining a modern form of deism that rejects personality of God

    Good question and I can certainly do that. Meyer made a statement about deism.
    Notice, he made no reference to empirical science there. He didn’t show any peer-reviewed scientific papers that explain what the deist God is. He just asserted a definition.
    So, he’s engaging in philosophical and theological opinions – as if that is ID.

    Back to your question: I think CD’s post @150 is informative. Deism proposes a god that is non-interventionist and does not offer humanity any divine revelation. To simply say “the deist God is personal” is simply to make an assertion. Where’s the evidence?
    The point here is that we could discuss the personality of Zeus or the decision-making of Allah or whether the God of the Old Testament different from that of the New.
    But do you agree that ID does not address those issues?
    There are no biology papers or physics papers that discuss evidence for the Holy Trinity as seen in protein folding mechanisms or even in quantum physics (where apparently one can see any imaginable thing).
    ID is looking at science. Not philosophy or theology.

    Yes, pantheism is considered impersonal, but again – not necessarily. There can be a personal aspect to the gods of animism and in various forms of nature worship.
    Certainly, there is a personal quality, intentionality and intervention in the ancestral gods of ancient paganism also.
    Fascinating and useful subjects. If ID is a religious project, as some here insist – then it has to sort all of that out. There should be ID papers explaining the nature of indigenous gods, the gods of ancient paganism, Sumerian, Egyptian religions … quite a lot. Does biology tell us which is the true God?

  157. 157
    Silver Asiatic says:

    VL

    On the other hand, a deistic entity might know full well that such disruptions would mean that it couldn’t pre-plan everything, but might be perfectly willing to kick the world and then let it develop in undetermined ways, which might mean that human beings on earth might or might not have come into existence on earth: that is, the deistic entity didn’t care about any particular events when it got things started, but was content with knowing that it had created an interesting set of rules that would produce an interesting, eventful universe.

    True. Meyer is saying that “the increase of information” at the Cambrian era or Origin of Life means that God had to intervene and create new information on earth.
    But as you point out, a deistic God could have a plan that runs “unsupervised”.
    That makes no science philosophically, but people can have all sorts of ideas of God whether they make sense of not is not for science to determine.
    I have Christian friends who are very anti-ID for the exact reason that Meyer illustrates. In my friends’ view, God is never absent from the earth. God sustains every molecule and infuses all of living and non-living things with His “information” (His presence). In fact, it’s impossible for anything to exist without God sustaining it – God is everywhere and in everything.
    Meyer’s view (which my friends have criticized and I defended Meyer claiming “he doesn’t believe that”, but now I see he does) is that God is absent, and then comes in to the earth to intervene.
    People call that “the tinkerer God”.
    I never liked that phrase which I thought was disrespectful to people who think that way, but it is somewhat like what they’re saying.
    Meyer is saying that ID indicates theism because God comes into the earth at various times (when, specifically? Does ID say?) and adds information. So, the deist God can’t do that, supposedly – thus ID only supports theism.
    But again, intervention is not necessary and ID does not show that God intervened to create the first life. As stated, all of that could have been part of an eternally-created program that unfolds over time. No intervention necessary. Whether there is a random-unknown aspect that God Himself couldn’t know is a theological dispute. An omnipotent God would know everything, so no surprises would be possible even in quantum effects.
    But you could have some kind of “less intelligent” God.
    It doesn’t make sense to me, but ID cannot tell us anything about it.
    ID is just using materialist-science with the same assumptions that atheistic-Darwinism has and from that observes evidence of intelligent design.
    Otherwise, if ID was a religious project that sorted out the nature of the deistic God versus theistic, then it’s not going to be worth much at the level of science. There are no scientific papers that address such things.

  158. 158
    relatd says:

    Viola Lee at 147,

    Let things play out? That’s like taking a wind-up toy and putting it on the floor. It usually found a wall to crash into.

  159. 159
    relatd says:

    LCD at 148,

    I suspect the reason for this is so that everything could have its “freedom” of action. The direct involvement of a deity implies that the deity cares about His creation.

  160. 160
    relatd says:

    SA at 152,

    Will you forget about what biology can’t tell us? Richard Dawkins can tell us that living things only appear designed. That is based on biology. Those who have never read any biology hear that and some think he’s right. Do you understand the problem?

    So for the hundredth time: I think everybody here gets it.

  161. 161
    relatd says:

    SA at 155,

    What are you defending? Does Richard Dawkins separate biology from his beliefs? I hope you understand that most people will take ID and connect it to their beliefs. I’m not optimistic about your stopping the “ID doesn’t say” mission you’re on but thought I should point that out.

  162. 162
    asauber says:

    “Richard Dawkins can tell us that living things only appear designed. That is based on biology.”

    Relatd,

    His conclusion is not based on biology. It’s based on philosophy.

    Andrew

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, I don’t see a standard reference, are we dealing with a particular movement that has taken up the term, Deism and used it in its own way? KF

    PS,

    de·ism (d???z??m, d??-)
    n.
    A religious belief holding that God created the universe and established rationally comprehensible moral and natural laws [–> implies personality] but does not intervene in human affairs through miracles or supernatural revelation.
    [French déisme, from Latin deus, god; see dyeu- in Indo-European roots.]
    de?ist n.
    de·is?tic adj.
    de·is?ti·cal·ly adv.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  164. 164
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 162,

    On the contrary, Dawkins is an expert and people tend to trust experts. Just like they trust their biology teacher who tells them our ancestors were apes or lemurs or fish. So immediately, without even understanding what philosophy is, what does the average person think? It must be true?

  165. 165
    asauber says:

    Relatd,

    The truly average person doesn’t know who Dawkins is. But anyway, he is presented as an expert, but his appeal is limited, I think. He has said and written some really stupid stuff.

    Andrew

  166. 166
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 165,

    30 busses in London in 2009 carried the following message: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

    Worrying about what? Punishment? For what? Nothing? This is what happens when science – yes, science – becomes god.

  167. 167
    asauber says:

    “This is what happens when science – yes, science – becomes god.”

    Relatd,

    Yes. I see your point, but I think science is only god to some, not all. The bigger issue is the self as god, enabled by current culture to self-obsess. Life is entertainment and consumption. What else is on Netflix?

    Andrew

  168. 168
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 167,

    I see the current media culture as defective. I ignore most of it.

    “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die.” Nothing new there.

  169. 169
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/154
    SA/in passim
    You both (perhaps unconsciously) made a subtle, but important shift from “personal God” to the “personality of God.” The latter is merely a description gleaned from religious sources and varies greatly, even within the same religious traditions, e.g., the God of the Old Testament vs. the God of the New Testament, etc.

    To me a “personal God” is one with whom you can form a reciprocal relationship through worship, prayer, meditation, ritual, sacrifices, iconography etc. The more personalized one’s God, the more likely that God will take on one’s human characteristics, e.g., we build our gods in human form, an inverted imago dei. In Christian theology, God is made into an actual human. You can take this even further where in Mormon theology we are all potential gods–the ultimate form of anthropomorphism (or idolatry depending on your perspective).

    The point, however, is that a modern deist would find this type of speculation pointless. Although I
    I’m not aware of a “standard” work on modern deism, I will note that historically many deists held on to the notion of a personal God worthy of worship. That is even carried forward in some synopses such as Wiki or Encyl. Britannica, etc. today. There is also much confusion between deism, pantheism and panentheism. For example, many philosophers and historians refer to Spinoza as a pantheist, when to my mind he was clearly a deist. Even Einstein failed to understand the distinction when he said he believed in Spinoza’s God, and then went on to describe that belief as pantheism. Or, then, maybe I’m the odd one out and completely mistaken–its happened before…..

  170. 170
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    A religious belief holding that God created the universe and established rationally comprehensible moral and natural laws [–> implies personality] but does not intervene in human affairs through miracles or supernatural revelation.

    CD’s post at 169 is relevant.

    Yes, personality is implied. I used the term “impersonal” describing deism and that was inaccurate.
    Although the term “person” has a theological origin

    Person in Trinitarian-Christological Theology.

    Hebrew is without a term for our concept “person.” There are instances in the Old Testament when the word p?nîm (face) practically corresponds to our understanding of person. The Greek word for face, ????????, likewise has the meaning of person (cf. 2 Cor 1.11). Postapostolic Christian teachers soon discovered that mere repetition of biblical phrases inadequately preserved the integrity of the Christian faith taking root in the Greco-Roman world. Because of the central place personality has in the mysteries of the Trinity and of Christ, there was need of a gradual clarification of the notion of person in Catholic theology. We shall trace this theological development of the notion of person in the mysteries of the Trinity and incarnation through four general stages.
    https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/person-theology

    So we would say theism has a “personal” God, or an “interactive” God who cares about creation.
    The deist God may be worshipped (as Freemasons believed) but there’s no interactivity.
    The deist God created the moral laws, but is not the source of forgiveness of sins and there may or may not be immortality of the soul.
    Some deists are basically just materialist-atheist who think there’s a creating-force as the origin of the universe, but other than that, we’re on our own. Other deists are basically Christian minus unpopular Christian doctrines.

    Different Deists had different beliefs about the immortality of the soul, about the existence of Hell and damnation to punish the wicked, and the existence of Heaven to reward the virtuous. Anthony Collins,[30] Bolingbroke, Thomas Chubb, and Peter Annet were materialists and either denied or doubted the immortality of the soul.[31] Benjamin Franklin believed in reincarnation or resurrection. Lord Herbert of Cherbury and William Wollaston[32] held that souls exist, survive death, and in the afterlife are rewarded or punished by God for their behavior in life. Thomas Paine believed in the “probability” of the immortality of the soul.[33]

    I don’t know why I didn’t look here sooner:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

    Instead, deists were forced to turn to arguments based on experience and nature. Under the influence of Newton, they turned to the argument from design as the principal argument for the existence of God

    Some deists oppose the idea of “a personal God”.

    The 2001 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) report estimated that between 1990 and 2001 the number of self-identifying Deists grew from 6,000 to 49,000, representing about 0.02% of the U.S. population at the time.[86] The 2008 ARIS survey found, based on their stated beliefs rather than their religious identification, that 70% of Americans believe in a personal God:[i] roughly 12% are atheists or agnostics, and 12% believe in “a deist or paganistic concept of the Divine as a higher power” rather than a personal God.

    Probably in America “deist” means “Non-Christian believer in God”. So those are people who are not atheist, not any Christian denomination, not any other religion, but just believe that God exists.
    The idea of “higher power” is something 12-Step recovery groups like AA use.

  171. 171
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Silver Asiatic
    Science cannot tell us that theism is correct and deism is incorrect.

    Silver Asiatic
    but a deist could just say that…

    Your logic is invalid.
    You can’t try to prove that is impossible to know what colour has a ball inside a box by pushing yourself another competing coloured ball(that contradict exactly what you try to prove: “impossibility to know what colour has the ball”) 😆

    That Meyer made this big mistake is disappointing to me.

    That’s because you use a bottom-up materialistic logic that prove your incompetence to talk about science.

  172. 172
    jerry says:

    Whoever the creator and whatever designation one wants to assign to him (choosing male description and not neutral such as “it”) there was much foresight.

    Denton’s book lays out the necessary foresight in terms of the physical universe and properties of chemistry that was necessary for complex life. Why such preparation and then a lack of interest in his creation?

    But there are other preparations that had to happen long after the creation of the universe and the Earth (in Earth I mean all the specifics of Earth’s star system and even its location in the galaxy in addition to the specific properties of our planet and the rest of the solar system)

    There had to be effective ecologies to promote life. Did they happen by chance or were they designed to happen to make life thrive. Without them the life on Earth would certainly be different.

    Does the fact that they appeared mean that the creator cared about his creation’s needs long after the initial creation. This does not mean there had to be intervention but that conditions changed some times dramatically and foresight was necessary. Does that describe any deism we recognize? What does it say about the creator?

    Aside: ID ignores ecologies as if they will just automatically spring up. But is that true? Ecologies will die if one or more members outperform or underperform other members. It’s one of the basic reasons Darwinian change has to be very minor. Else the new improved version will dominate and destroy the ecology and hence itself by leaving more numerous offspring.

    Also ecologies are not totally life forms. Ecologies obviously can include water and other molecules that help the ecology thrive.

  173. 173
    asauber says:

    Mildly Interesting Aside, many years ago when I first started mentioning ID in conversation (with select friends) I was warned by one to watch out that ID attracted a lot of strange ideas about powers in the universe (to paraphrase) since it didn’t elaborate about particulars of the Designer.

    Seen a little of that over the years, but mostly it’s been pretty conventional. Most of the eruptions of activity at UD are political, not necessarily directly odd Designer ideas.

    Andrew

  174. 174
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, personal being is not about personal relationships save as an onward capability of persons. When you say to someone with appropriate background that God is not personal, that implies want of certain attributes of being, not that God does not relate to us. So, no, we have not made a subtle shift in terms, you have used an unusual, unnaounced shift in normal sense. KF

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, the 30 buses inadvertently illustrated the problem. Whatever else, God is a serious candidate, world framework, necessary being; utterly unlike say a flying spaghetti monster, another inadvertent sign of lack of understanding. . So, either he is impossible of being or is actual. So, if we only have someone’s estimate that God is improbable [on what grounds?] then they actually imply God is possible and so actual. In short the posed on expertise is sadly lacking in the worldviews and philosophical realm. Something that is notorious about the so called new atheists. KF

  176. 176
    relatd says:

    KF at 175,

    There is a lack of rigor or sloppiness in the worldviews and philosophical realm. For the person who spends a lot of time on the internet, the waters are muddied further by various people who have no apparent expertise spouting about various things as if they do. Should any of them ‘gain enough followers,’ that could mean a lot of people are taking incomplete information and/or information that is without listed sources, and believing it as is.

    Since there are those who dislike religion or belief in supernatural beings, why not create a flying spaghetti monster as a mockery of God? After all, the inviolate dividing line between life’s origin and evolution means literally anything may have been involved in the origin of life for some who reject the ‘natural origin’ idea and want to assign the task to another sentient source.

    God is a serious candidate.

  177. 177
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    As Jordan Peterson said we think in naratives that are encapsulated in our worldview. Our worldview is built on ethical roots because any choice is based on our personal perception of value (I choose X because I perceive X being more “valuable” than Y,Z,Q)
    All worldviews have ethics(=choosing bigger value as perceived by a person) as pillar.
    This is a big problem for materialists because first comes ethics and THEN came any other concept that humanity can think. All thoughts as are produced by our mind come out with a small tag on which is written with very small letters : ethics but majority don’t pay attention being too absorbed to their thoughts.

  178. 178
    relatd says:

    I think there are only two ways to get a worldview: You are taught a particular view from a young age or you acquire one through effort or absorption of certain ideas. Being taught from a young age means getting this worldview from someone who is trusted and who tells you that this worldview works, and has worked for a long time. Ethics are included, but are not based on a personal perception. You either accept or perhaps, later reject the whole package.

    Those who are young but have no one they consider a good teacher, either make the effort to collect examples of what they believe to be a good worldview. Or, they may find others with a worldview that appeals to them and they absorb the ethical aspects, but as long as they all seem to fit the worldview.

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, there is always sloppiness when those who lack adequate depth pose themselves as having well founded (but in fact typically ill founded) views.

    In recent years, the new atheists were widely feted but those who were actually knowledgeable on matters philosophical etc often found them deeply wanting on many subjects they preened themselves on while pouring scorn on the despised other. Here is a classic, utterly revealing exchange on a world from “nothing.” At about the same time we saw Dan Brown equally celebrated for his Da Vinci Code, even as his prefatory fact claims were in fact without substantial merit. Many other equally sadly telling cases can be pointed to.

    In the NT (for a theological case in point), we are outright warned that the unstable and ignorant will twist scripture to ruin, especially the points that are harder to understand.

    As for philosophy, suffice to observe Socrates’ dialogues to see how many ill-formed opinions collapse into incoherence. When it comes to the novelty above, suffice to say that the notion that the concept that God as person (and there is a “fulness of time” providential reason why Greek is also a foundational language of scripture and theology, this being one of just two languages of our broader civilisation comfortable in philosophy, the other being german) is about his willingness to love and interact with us, his creatures, is with little substantial merit.

    As the dictionary cited and standard scholarly sources describe, deism as a philosophical movement understood God to be personal in the context of self awareness, volition, ability to communicate intent, act to design and effect a world, express moral views and laws, etc.

    It seems we have now seen a survey that sees opinion that contrasts deism with God seen as personal, but that rather sounds like a misnomer. If the unengaged clock winder view of God or the like is taken to mean want of that aspect of being, we are dealing with a pantheism or its kissing cousin. If instead it is meant to imply only aloofness, it is poorly chosen wording indeed. This is why I am still calling for provision of an authoritative source that defines or explains deism in the terms advanced above.

    And, to be clear, Meyer, reflects the general understanding of deism we find in the guild of scholarship.

    Perhaps, if a coherent case can be made out, we can say there is a neo-deism movement, but of such I can find but little substantial sign. KF .

  180. 180
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, I now remember C S Lewis’ observation that many imply embodiment, corporeality when they affirm or deny personhood.

  181. 181
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    It seems we have now seen a survey that sees opinion that contrasts deism with God seen as personal, but that rather sounds like a misnomer.

    This one definition of a ‘personal god’.

    A personal god, or personal goddess, is a deity who can be related to as a person,[1] instead of as an impersonal force, such as the Absolute, “the All”, or the “Ground of Being”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_god

    There are several varieties of Deism. Some of them accept a personal God, others do not.

    In general, most deists view God as a personal god. This is illustrated by the 17th-century assertions of Lord Edward Herbert, universally regarded as the Father of English Deism, which stated that there is one Supreme God, and he ought to be worshipped.[29] However, deism is a general belief encompassing people with varying specific beliefs, and the notion of God as a personal god cannot be ascribed to all deists.

    Notice the listing on that page:

    Christian deism is a term applied both to Christians who incorporate deistic principles into their beliefs and to deists who follow the moral teachings of Jesus without believing in his divinity.[30] With regard to those who are essentially deists who follow the moral teachings of Jesus, these are a subset of classical deists. Consequently, they believe in a personal god, but they do not necessarily believe in a personal relationship with God.

    Classical deists who adhere to Herbert’s common notion certainly believe in a personal god because those notions include the belief that God dispenses rewards and punishments both in this life and after it.[29] This is not something which would be done by an impersonal force. However, a personal relationship with God is not contemplated, since living a virtuous and pious life is seen as the primary means of worshiping God.[29]

    Humanist deists accept the core principles of deism but incorporate humanist beliefs into their faith.[31] Thus, humanistic deists believe in a personal god who created the universe. The key element that separates humanistic deists from other deists is the emphasis on the importance of human development over religious development and on the relationships among human beings over the relationships between humans and God.[31][32] Those who self-identify as humanistic deists may take an approach based upon what is found in classical deism and allow their worship of God to manifest itself primarily (or exclusively) in the manner in which they treat others. Other humanistic deists may prioritize their relationships with other human beings over their relationship with God, yet still maintain a personal relationship with the Supreme Being.

    Pandeists believe that in the process of creating the universe, God underwent a metamorphosis from a conscious and sentient being or force to an unconscious and unresponsive entity by becoming the universe.[33] Consequently, pandeists do not believe that a personal god currently exists.

    Polydeists reject the notion that one Supreme Being would have created the universe and then left it to its own devices which is a common belief shared by many deists. Rather, they conclude that several gods who are superhuman but not omnipotent each created parts of the universe.[34] Polydeists hold an affirmative belief that the gods who created the universe are completely uninvolved in the world and pose no threat and offer no hope to humanity.[35] Polydeists see living virtuous and pious lives as the primary components of worshiping God, firmly adhering to one of the common notions set forth by Herbert.[29] Thus, polydeists believe that there are several personal gods. Yet, they do not believe they can have a relationship with any of them.

    Scientific deists believe, based on an analysis utilizing the scientific method, that a personal god created the universe. This analysis finds no evidence of a purpose God may have had for creation of the universe or evidence that God attempted to communicate such purpose to humanity. It therefore concludes that there is no purpose to creation other than that which human beings choose to make for themselves.[36] Thus, scientific deists believe in a personal god, but generally do not believe in relationships between God and human beings, because they believe that there is no proof of a purpose for creation.

    Spiritual deism is a belief in the core principles of deism with an emphasis on spirituality including the connections between humans and each other, nature and God. Within spiritual deism, there is an absolute belief in a personal god as the creator of the universe along with the ability to build a spiritual relationship with God.[37] While Spiritual deism is nondogmatic, its followers generally believe that there can be no progress for mankind without a belief in a personal god.

  182. 182
    Silver Asiatic says:

    This page gives an overview:
    Models of God
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/god-ultimates/

    The point I walk away with is that there are several non-theistic views of God. Just calling them all deist does not seem accurate enough.

    … are there perhaps any non-theistic (non-God) models of what is ultimate …?

    Specifically (here is model 3), such classical Advaitans hold that since reality is one and the cosmos is many, the cosmos cannot be real. It looks as if there is a cosmos filled with many things, but the cosmos is merely an appearance (maya), and taking it to be reality is like taking a rope at dusk to be a snake (Shankara’s famous metaphor, see, e.g., Tapasyananda 1990: 34). With the cosmos out of the picture, the theocosm is just the “theo” part; to use the metaphor above, the ultimate is all dweller, no house. That move makes the terms “Brahman” and “God” interchangeable, and on it, God-Brahman is generally read as impersonal …

    On any of these readings of nonbeing, it is clear why the Dao is taken to be impersonal: the Dao is not only not anthropomorphic; it is not even thingmorphic. It is also clear why it is taken to be ineffable: it is not just because its being is beyond us; it is also because it is not a being at all, and most uses of words (to talk like Zhuangzi) thing it. So we find Daoist texts using the tricks of the ineffability trade to talk about the Dao, including famously, e.g., a use of the via negativa in the opening line of the DDJ: “the way that can be spoken of is not the constant way…

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, that boils down to, a neo-deism that is sufficiently present among Wikipedians or the like — so, popular level radical secularism — that it survives Wikipedia’s moderation process; as opposed to having sufficient presence to make it into more formal scholarship. (We now need to amend, avoid Wikipedia, to: critically monitor it as reflecting trends and movements to be considered in education and street level communication.) However, the concept of personality as part of the key attributes of God is NOT owned by such. It is an ancient Philosophical and Systematic Theological concept anchored on sufficient history that the standard sense is objectively well warranted and the redefinition — yes that is what it is — being offered then comes across as at least quite ill-informed. Aloofness of God as asserted [and as is in my view probably incoherent: love is the pivot of goodness] is not absence of self-aware consciousness or volition involved in being inherently good or use of rational freedom through utter wisdom, thus design and implementing of a world with a physics etc. (This draws out the tendency of rejecting attributes of God as historically understood to be incoherent, as through the holistic-microcosm-facets principle, each key divine attribute traceable to logic of being and greatest possible being i/l/o necessary, reality root being involves and points to the others, so denial of one is incoherent or tantamount to denial of all.) Allusions to Eastern views simply draw out that the shift has in it elements of pantheistic or panentheistic influences. Pantheism etc are not ethical [mono]theism, so likely we are seeing worldviews syncretism which does tend to create an incongruous, incomplete picture, in effect in an ultra modern radically relativistic age, we should not be surprised to see buffet style approaches to thinking that are not particularly sensitive to the significance of coherence. Going forward, we have yet another point of cultural trend to deal with in trying to think and communicate responsibly and rationally. KF

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, I take up the recently added SEP article on

    God and Other Ultimates
    First published Fri Dec 17, 2021

    What it takes to be ultimate is to be the most fundamentally real, valuable or fulfilling among all that there is or could be. Historically, philosophy of religion in the West has taken God to be ultimate. Over the past century, the field has become increasingly aware that ultimacy is grasped under different concepts in the world’s religions, philosophies and quasi-religious philosophies—so not only as “God” but also as, e.g., “Brahman”, “the Dao”, and more. Moreover, people have thought to conceptualize each of these ultimates in numerous ways across cultures and times, so there are many models of Brahman, many models of God, many models of the Dao, and more; perhaps there is even a model of what is ultimate for each person who has thought hard about it. This entry presents a framework for understanding this vast landscape of models of God and other ultimates and then surveys some of its major sights. Familiarity with this landscape can clarify the long journey to deciding whether there is anything ultimate, among other benefits.

    You will recall, that for years I engaged a debate here on the beginningless causal-temporal past claim. Across three years of long and often contentious exchanges, I drew out that once we reckon with the reality of transfinite and infinitesimal quantities on a broader number line, we can readily see that explicit or implicit traverse of the transfinite in finite stages is an infeasible supertask.

    I can add to this that the use of hyperreals h and H finds a foreshadowing in the implicit extension of the number line to include points of +/- infinity and infinitesimals such as dx. Where, h is smaller than any 1/n for any n we can actually count to. Correspondingly, H = 1/h, is larger than any such n. Notice the tendency to carry out definite integration with infinities as range markers. That is these are important concepts for logic of structure and quantity thence wider logic of being. Where, I showed on published record how any possible world, from von Neumann’s construction and considerations of distinct identity etc, will have in its fabric N,Z,Q,R,C,R* etc, which gives core Mathematics its absolutely universal power.

    Sorry to desperately compress three years of exchanges, but this is a required stage to address logic of being and reality root issues as came up in the exchanges above. Those inclined to brush aside should at least recognise that there are fairly serious and extensive considerations behind what they do not wish to take up in a step by step assessment on comparative difficulties.

    We are therefore seeing elimination of two branches of this form of the Agrippa style trilemma: there was no beginningless quasi physical past (even, for the case of a quantum foam multiverse by fluctuations model) and there is no circular retrocausation or other ways of trying to draw a world out of utter non-being, the true nothingness. Were there ever such, it would forever obtain, as Craig et al are clipped on here in an evisceration of Dawkins. Similarly, circular retrocausation is an attempt to draw a world out of a not yet existent hat. Going beyond, no other form of reality from non being is viable. Non being has no causal power and is inert, indeed it is only a concept, as a world is, utter non-being never was the case. And yes, eternity lurks here, we have reason to believe there is an order of being beyond our causal temporal thermodynamic domain, CTThD.

    That leaves only, finitely remote, necessary being on the table as serious candidate root from which reality as a whole springs, World Zero, W0.

    The logic of being issue then is to characterise W0.

    That requires another brief backgrounder, using possible worlds [PW] speak to clarify options on being and non being. Pardon, enough has come up that a stepwise follow the breadcrumbs process is indicated. Many around UD do not know these were hammered out again and again in past discussions across altogether over a decade.

    A PW is a sufficiently complete description by listing propositions, of a way this or another world is, was, could be, could have been or the like. This allows us to form concepts of possible vs impossible being. Something that is possible of being exists or would exist in at least one PW. By contrast, what is impossible of being cannot exist in any PW, as the core characteristics that define its distinct identity are mutually contradictory so cannot be coherently effected. The Euclidean space square circle is a classic. Note, this implies that in addition to the abstract quantities, there are abstract spaces in any world, the Euclidean plane can be viewed anachronistically but analytically soundly as the complex plane with coordinates etc suppressed, a space for 2-d vectors. The ijk scheme [and lurking Quaternions, God help us] allows 3-d etc. Yes, abstracta constrain and express being and can be rightly seen as beings too. There is no distinct possible world without twoness, thus the number 2. There is but one empty set which pervades all worlds as part of the fabric of reality.

    These are pump priming concepts that allow us to see that certain things in logic of being are not arbitrary figments of imagination. And particularly, the strawman caricature imagination of priestcraft used to impose cultural domination etc. The Frankfurt School, critical theory narrative of cancelling and dismissing fails. Where, obviously, CRT fans, I ‘ent no oppressive heterosexual white man, nor am I the caricatured derided Uncle Tom. Who, was a model of patient Christian endurance under oppression he had no power to overturn.

    Going further, we see of possible beings, contingent and necessary beings, as 2 and {} exemplify.

    From {} –> 0 we derive or rather clarify N, Z, Q, R, C, R* etc. See von Neumann and onward extensions that recognise that from integers onward we are dealing with vectors, things with size and direction.

    Yes, – 18.65 is not a mere fiction as we can see from the difference between 10 miles northwards and 10 miles southward. Yes, all of these have come up in debates and are part of bush clearing that may make the odd jumping tommy goffe crawl out and show its neurotoxin-loaded fangs.

    A contingent being would be present in at least one PW but not in all. Ponder how a fire is a possibility until ignited and sustained and how it can go out. Yes, this means, contingent beings [CB’s] are causally dependent and constrained. Fire is a classic example, as I recall from my Copi on Logic. (Which, we would all benefit from reading.)

    By contrast, consider a being present in every possible world, i.e. a necessary being, NB. Such is not causally dependent on external, enabling causal factors so in W, present but in utterly near neighbour W’ not present as a causal enabling factor is in “off” state. Call this the light switch model and connexions to digital logic and computers etc will make possibility spaces clear.

    NBs, then have an obvious interpretation, they are part of the required fabric or framework for a world from W0 on up to be actualised.

    (Our education systems — for want of ruder, apter terms — have many gaps and logic of being is one of them. But we can make up a modified 2 x 2 array, row 1 possible of being, row 2 impossible of being. Col 1 contingent, col 2 non contingent or necessary. Of course in row 2 we need not bother with the partition between columns. This is not my thread, I cannot put up the chart I have used for some years.)

    We can next ponder candidate beings. For example a euclidean space square circle is a failed candidate. A fire is a candidate that once ignited, succeeds.

    God, is a serious candidate necessary being, by contrast with a fire [contingent] or a flying spaghetti monster [either contingent or impossible as incoherent as a living entity]. Perhaps, the most serious such candidate.

    Such a candidate is proposed as part of the fabric or framework that can enable any PW to be. Such, then, will either

    CASE 1: fail to be serious [not plausible for God] or else

    CASE 2: is impossible of being as a euclidean square circle is, or else

    CASE 3: succeeds and is present in every PW including ours 9see math entities above).
    ____________________________

    CASE 1 is not plausible, there is no serious argument that succeeds in showing CASE 2, we are left with CASE 3.

    COR A: Those who object to CASE 3, need to show cause that CASE 1 obtains ______ or that CASE 2 obtains _______ . I freely say, there are no good arguments for CASE 1 or CASE 2, especially after Plantinga’s free will defense shattered the deductive/logical form problem of evil 50 years ago.

    COR B: God is the necessary being W0, root of reality.

    COR C: Strictly, there is but one reality, the order or domain that embraces all PW’s including ours and any others that are actualised in some sense, including computer sims etc.

    COR D: In this sense, PW’s are model or actualised sub cosmi within reality, including at least W0 as the eternal domain from which other worlds come about or are contemplated.

    COR E: PW speak with logic of being is a fruitful framework to clarify our understanding of reality and possibility.

    COR F: Mathematical, abstract logic model worlds are PWs and where they contain NBs these then extend across all PWs, giving core math its universal power.

    COR G: Where such a model is close enough to take up an accurate or reliable mimic of our world, it gives power to Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and Computer Science, etc. (So, these considerations clarify a lot of things in disciplines of study we prize.)

    What remains is to characterise God on logic of being understood i/l/o our own selves in our world.

    Here, we factor in that we are morally governed creatures (as has been pointed out) and need to bridge the is-ought gap, which, post Hume can only be done in the reality root. Likewise, post Euthyphro, it must not be arbitrary or an independent domain.

    The solution to beat is generic [= God of the Philosophers] ethical [mono]theism. That is, per worldview level inference to best explanation on comparative difficulties:

    COR H: W0 is the reality root, i.e. the inherently good and utterly wise creator God; a necessary and maximally great being. One, worthy of our honour and loyalty, and of the responsible, rational, freely given service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature.

    COR H identifies W0 as God, and implies self aware consciousness, volition and action — personhood as opposed to aloofness which does not fit with love root of goodness. Repeat, inherent goodness pivots on love and aloofness — an artifact of an age that sought to tame our passions — is not consistent with love. Deism is inherently flawed. We can also note the holistic, microcosm, facets principle, that each core attribute of God draws on the others and contributes to them to maximally compossible degree. This is part of what maximal greatness of his being entails.

    We already have a kernel in hand, one that can be explored through idea of God philosophical theology and systematic theology. Those seeking details are directed thereto, with the caution, seek solid sources. There have always been many misconceptions and outright confusions on such topics.

    Backgrounder.

    KF

  185. 185
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, more, without endorsing all that is said:

    Perfect being theology was birthed during the Hellenistic era from the fusing of the Jewish idea of a single God that acts in history (the theos in “perfect being theology”) with the Greek philosophical idea of perfect ultimacy (“perfect being”).[37] From the very start, there were conceptual tensions in the combination: how can the God who led us out of Egypt, who hears our prayers and who intervenes in the world as the Jews say (Cohen 1987: 44) also be immutable, impassible and a se as the Greeks say (e.g., Guthrie 1965: 26–39, 272–279; Guthrie 1981: 254–263)? This question is sometimes framed: how can “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” be the “God of the philosophers?” Even after perfect being theology had passed for centuries from Judaism to Christianity to Islam—with an important handoff in the midst by Anselm who amped up the Greek perfection by taking God to be that than which no greater can be conceived—the great medieval theologians in all three faiths were still hitting up against the tensions and finding ways to tamp them down. For instance, on the issue of anthropomorphic descriptions of God in the Bible and the Quran, both Maimonides and Aquinas read them as negations and said that God “is not a body” (Dorff 2013: 113; Kennedy 2013: 158) and both Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and al-Ghazali parted with “theologians who took all these descriptions literally” because “beings that have bodily form…have characteristics incompatible with a perfect being” (Hasan 2013: 142).

    The tensions continued into the modern era and are still felt in our time. Perhaps as early as 1644, perfect being theology split into two camps over them (see Davies 2004: chapter 1, and Page 2019). Both camps take God to be absolutely perfect, but disagree over what it takes to be perfect: “classical theists” deny or weaken God’s personhood to save the Greek perfections such as impassibility, immutability and simplicity, while “theistic personalists” (a species of “neoclassical theists”) conversely deny or weaken the Greek perfections to save God’s personhood. “Open theists” (model 9 in this entry), for example, are theistic personalists: they call for new readings of, e.g., omnipotence and omniscience and drop immutability and impassibility to comport with God’s desire “to be in an ongoing, dynamic relationship with us” (Basinger 2013: 264–268, see also, e.g., Clark 1992; Pinnock et al. 1994; Sanders 1998).[38] Other neoclassical theists aim merely to resolve inconsistencies among the perfections, as in Nagasawa’s Maximal God Theism (2008, 2017; model 10). In addition to its old challenges, perfect being theology also hit new ones in the modern era from advances in science. When it met Newtonian mechanics (and more) during the Enlightenment, the combination spawned “deism”, the idea that God set the initial conditions of the universe and then left it to play out on its own (model 11). Deism is a dualism because it assumes God can leave the world behind and thus is neither “in” it as in panentheism nor identical with it as in pantheism. Picture all these theistic dualisms as close to Dvaita Vedanta’s image of the eternal builder building a house out of something different from itself and dwelling in it as it pleases, but make the house not necessarily eternal (it may have had a start and may end), and for classical theism, give the builder all the perfections; for neoclassical theisms, give it a few less and perhaps have it throw better parties in the house; and for deism, have the builder abandon the house altogether once it is built and leave it to its own devices, like an “absentee landlord” (Mitchell 2008: 169).

    On the other end of the spectrum from these varieties of theistic dualism, we find pantheism, the species of monism that takes the One to be God (a general model, 13). All monisms face a problem of unity: how are the many things in the world integrated enough to call them One? But pantheisms face an additional problem of divinity: even if all is truly One, does the One have what it takes to be God? Here we will focus on two contemporary pantheisms, both in Buckareff & Nagasawa (2016) . . . .

    These are, then, several models of God, sorted mainly by how they see the relationship between God and the world. Is the God that is modeled in each of these ways metaphysically, axiologically and soteriologically ultimate, in Schellenberg’s terms? Interestingly, the answers differ dramatically for each model. To offer just two examples, on classical theism we get a yes, yes, yes: God as single-handed origin of the universe, making everything out of nothing, is metaphysically the fundamental fact; and, in Anselm’s hands, God as the greatest not only actual but also possible being in every category of being, is as axiologically ultimate as anything can be; and in Aquinas’ idea, God as our very telos, the point of our being, is soteriologically ultimate as well. In contrast, God on Alexander’s view gets a no, maybe, maybe. Alexander’s deity is not metaphysically the most fundamental fact in any of the ways collected in the models seen so far: it is neither the efficient cause of the universe (as in the dualisms), nor its material cause (as in the pantheisms and some panentheisms) nor its final cause (as in Bishop and Perszyk).[43] Alexander also cannot say if deity will be axiologically or soteriologically ultimate when it arrives, since deity is by definition unknown for him. Thus, God as modeled in some ways is ultimate and in others is not.

    Notice, definition of Deism and contrast with pantheism etc.

  186. 186
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Both, atheism and deism imply NO RELATION with God and that make them fellow travellers (overlapping on the conclusion ,even if they have different premises).

  187. 187
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Good research and commentary, thank you.

    When it met Newtonian mechanics (and more) during the Enlightenment, the combination spawned “deism”, the idea that God set the initial conditions of the universe and then left it to play out on its own (model 11). Deism is a dualism because it assumes God can leave the world behind and thus is neither “in” it as in panentheism nor identical with it as in pantheism.

    Yes, Newton is considered a “proto-deist” or a “non-theist” at least. This was a common movement among high-church Anglicans at the time. William Blake considered Newton a deist – a believer in “true, original, monotheistic religion first discovered in ancient times by natural reason.”
    So for that time, Deism was considered “natural religion” – as in “natural theology”. This is the God that is knowable through reason alone. It disregards all revelation. It’s the God of the philosophers.

    Others along with Newton were Voltaire, Rousseau, Gibbon, and Hume

    Blake describes the nature of deistic religion: Deism, is the Worship of the God of this World by the means of what you call natural Religion and Natural Philosophy, and of Natural Morality or Self-Righteousness, the Selfish Virtues of the Natural Heart. This was the Religion of the Pharisees who murder’d Jesus. Deism is the same ends in the same. (See The Complete Writings, p. 682.)

    Matthew Tindal was another of the prominent Deists. The title of his book suggests its central argument, that true Christianity consists solely of the natural religion known to all men by their natural reason from the beginning of the world, that the Gospels only republished the religion of nature, and that all the rest of Christianity during the previous fifteen hundred years, was a packet of superstitions foisted onto believers by priests serving their own self interest. Newton’s published works contain the argument from design for the existence of God, an argument so similar to a thousand other arguments common in his age that commentators have assumed his orthodoxy.

    So, there’s an anti-Christian element to it, but at the same time, Deists used the philosophical argument from design (and others from causality and necessary being, etc – basically Aristotle’s arguments).

    Meyer says that not only is deism eliminated by science, but pantheism is eliminated because a creator “within the cosmos” could not explain the origin of laws of nature and physics. He says the same about a supposed alien designer of first life.
    This is problematic for two reasons: First, Meyer assumes the designer of first life is the same as the designer of the universe. He needs to show the science that supports that. Supposedly, he has scientific evidence that the designer is monotheistic. I see no scientific literature supporting him on that.
    Secondly, it’s easy enough for a pantheist to say that all the natural laws are “manifestations of the divine”. So, the pantheistic god is in the cosmos but is also the source of all of the cosmos.
    That could be argued against logically, but again – that’s a philosophical debate that Meyer does not get into. He’s just giving his philosophical opinion, saying that observed reality lines up better with theism than with deism, but to make that a scientific study he needs some data and none is given. He also needs to fully explain what he means by deism, giving all the varieties and then somehow refute all of them using science.

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, Newton was a theist, though of clearly unitarian sentiments. KF

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