Intelligent Design

He said it: ID means that divine and human are comparable

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University of Warwick sociologist Steve Fuller has commented The Guardian (3 May 2010):

The most basic formulation of ID is that biology is divine technology. In other words, God is no less – and possibly no more – than an infinitely better version of the ideal Homo sapiens, whose distinctive species calling card is art, science and technology. Thus, when ID supporters claim that a cell is as intelligently designed as a mousetrap, they mean it literally. The difference between God and us is simply that God is the one being in whom all of our virtues are concentrated perfectly, whereas for our own part those virtues are distributed imperfectly amongst many individuals.It is easy to imagine how this way of putting our relationship with God would result in many academic disputes – and it has. But the basic point that remains radical to this day is that, in important ways, the divine and the human are comparable.

Comments?

12 Replies to “He said it: ID means that divine and human are comparable

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Nowhere does design theory qua theory infer that the inferred design as cause thus designer, is such that the latter is God. One may make a worldview level argument that points that way (and I think a good one) BUT THAT IS NOT A DESIGN INFERENCE AS SUCH.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    What Fuller meant to write was, the most basic formulation of ID by it’s critics is that biology is nothing more than “goddidit.”

    Well, that’s true, isn’t it?

    But even then it would be wrong, because for many ID “supporters” it was Satan who did it. Everything was created perfect, and it’s been all downhill from there.

    Now, personally, I believe the resurrection of Christ was a turning point in history. But even so some people still think that Jesus still has to come back and finish the job since it wasn’t quite completed on his first trip to earth.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    But the basic point that remains radical to this day is that, in important ways, the divine and the human are comparable. Notwithstanding Adam’s fall, we are still created “in the image and likeness of God”. From this biblical claim it follows that we might be capable of deploying the powers that distinguish us from the other animals to come closer to God.

    I guess he’s not a Calvinist.

  4. 4
    Bilbo I says:

    If I remember correctly, Fuller was replying to Ed Feser’s accusation that ID was guilty of making the divine comparable with the human, which is a no-no for Thomist theology. Fuller, in effect, agreed that (theistic) ID did exactly that, and so much the worse for Thomism. The problem is for those who like both Thomism and ID to find a way to make them compatible.

    I’ve given it my first attempt.

  5. 5
    Bilbo I says:

    No, I was thinking of a comment Fuller made here (#4).

  6. 6
    Upright BiPed says:

    Steve, the “most basic formulation of ID” is that there are phenomena in life and cosmos which are best explained by an act of volition, as opposed to an undirected natural process. ID is about the adequacy of explanations regarding observable evidence.

    Full Stop. Stop.

  7. 7
    smordecai says:

    Roman Catholic/protestantism both affirm that God and humans are ontologically distinct. However, ancient Christianity seems to propose a doctrine called Theosis or man becoming like God through Christ. Reference Jordan Vajda,OP

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    To be honest I think it’s more than man becoming like God, for that was the gift of the first creation.

    It’s man becoming one with God, as in “the two shall become one.” That’s the gift of the second creation.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Hey Bilbo,

    I get some weird effects when I mouseover the text on your blog.

    I think to understand Feser one need to study the concept of hylomorphism.

    The problem is for those who like both Thomism and ID to find a way to make them compatible.

    I currently find myself in this group, though I don’t seem to be having any problems making them compatible. It’s probably because I don’t really understand either :).

  10. 10
    Eugene S says:

    The Book of Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

    The last word of science is the first word of the Bible.

    To SMordecai:

    An excellent post! There is also Orthodox Christianity which is around today and is ancient as you noted! Orthodox Christian tradition states exactly what you just mentioned. Theosis is the acquiring of the likeness of God by humans (cf the innate presense of the image of God in us) made possible by grace, i.e. the uncreated energy of God. While the image is always within us, the likesness is present only in potential which we are responsible to cultivate. So theosis is an act of synergy between God and man. For details, please see e.g. the writings of St Gregory Palamas or St Maximus the Confessor.

  11. 11
    Bilbo I says:

    Mung: I get some weird effects when I mouseover the text on your blog.

    Not that I have any control over it, but what kind of weird effects?

  12. 12
    Bilbo I says:

    Mung: I think to understand Feser one need to study the concept of hylomorphism.

    I don’t think so. I think his objection stems from the Thomistic concept of divine simplicity, which entails God and His creation are not comparable. We can only speak of Him analogically, not “univocally.” Thus when we say that we design and God designs, either we mean two completely different things, or we are guilty of speaking univocally.

    Thus my argument is that Aquinas acknowledged that even God created from pre-existing materials, in order to make the human body. It’s difficult to see how this is categorically different from how we create from pre-existing materials. Therefore, it seems Thomistically allowable that God created the first cells from pre-existing materials. Or that God created different species from pre-existing materials.

    And detecting evidence of such acts would be the same as detecting evidence for such acts in the rasing of the dead or giving sight to the blind: this is something that nature is not capable of.

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