Atheism Christian Darwinism Intelligent Design

Rev. Michael Dowd Does Not Allow The Discussion Of Evolution To Evolve.

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This past Christmas, there was nothing new under the sun. The folks below, who make evolution their singular mantra, have not evolved the discussion of evolution to include and invite Intelligent Design advocates to the table to discuss science, evolution, or Christianity. I would’ve thought that, since the argument is always made by ID opponents (who are normally apologists for evolution) that ID is creation in a cheap lab coat, in other words, a thin cover for Christianity, ID advocates would’ve at least been invited to discuss Christianity. This co-option of evolution into Christianity reminds me of the co-option of Eugenics into Christianity in the early part of last century, a bad idea that will pass.

This Christmas, Christianity evolves

• Rev. Michael Dowd convenes diverse Christian leaders who see science as sacred
• EvolutionaryChristianity.com to host free podcasts and seminars

DECEMBER 22, 2010 – This Christmas season, bestselling author and evolutionary evangelist Rev. Michael Dowd is having an online revival of sorts, and pitching what may be the biggest tent yet for fellow Christians who embrace evolution and honor science: EvolutionaryChristianity.com.

As a sequel to his breakthrough book Thank God for Evolution (Viking/Plume), Rev. Dowd is hosting and producing a living library of free podcasts and live panels with preeminent Christians on the leading edge of science and religion, where mythic beliefs and measurable reality collide.

» View schedule and bios
» View live panel schedule
» View speakers grouped by affiliation

“The New Atheists and scriptural literalists are not the only games in town,” says Dowd. “In contrast to Richard Dawkins’ God-less universe, tens of millions of us in the middle celebrate both Jesus and Darwin. For us, religious faith is strengthened by what God is revealing through science.”

Take a look at the panel and the schedule, no ID advocates were present. This is not a real discussion, it’s an echo-chamber. The New Atheists and scriptural literalists and Christian Darwinists are not the only games in town either, Mr. Dowd. How is religious faith strengthened by a process that admits to no teleology, no plan, no ultimate purpose in everything living? I agree that religious faith can be strengthened through science, it’s called Intelligent Design, but only after you make the inference from design to whom you believe the designer to be for whatever reasons you may have. At least this path is a straight shot because there is coherence between the ideas of design and a Designer. There is no coherence between the ideas of a Designer and no design being used as evidence for a Designer. How God would be hidden in a process of mindless and purposelessness evolution could be used to claim that God is more evident through that same process, escapes me. Do these folks believe that the idea of a supreme mind behind things in nature, somehow doesn’t strengthen religious conviction? And this mind being hidden and not evident does strengthen the conviction that there is a mind? I give it up.

12 Replies to “Rev. Michael Dowd Does Not Allow The Discussion Of Evolution To Evolve.

  1. 1
    nullasalus says:

    How is religious faith strengthened by a process that admits to no teleology, no plan, no ultimate purpose in everything living?

    I have yet to hear anyone at this conference. What I do remember of Dowd in the past doesn’t impress me on this topic, and certainly there’s a number of people on the panel (Spong? Really?) that I object to. Not exactly a balanced presentation. And not the most stirring balance even for TEs.

    That said, there are some who accept evolution who would insist that there is, in fact, teleology, a plan, and even ultimate purpose in everything living (and everything not living, for that matter) as well as evolution itself.

    The reasonable reply I’ve heard here is ‘That wouldn’t be Darwinism.’ And for the most part, I think that’s right. On the other hand, it wouldn’t just be ID proponents saying that – it would also be New Atheists. Take a look at what happened over at Biologos the one time they showed something akin to some boldness and hinted that evolution, as well as the evolution of man, may have been intended and preordained by God. Dawkins and company didn’t celebrate this – they were outraged.

    Maybe a good way to reach a middle ground is for ID proponents to accent how evolution could, despite the claims of Darwinists, be purposeful, teleological, and be at least the product of a mind.

  2. 2
    nullasalus says:

    In contrast to Richard Dawkins’ God-less universe, tens of millions of us in the middle celebrate both Jesus and Darwin.

    This, on the other hand, is disturbing. I’d think even most TEs should balk at the idea of “celebrating both Jesus and Darwin”, as if there were any kind of parity in play there.

    Not to mention…

    Rev. Michael Dowd convenes diverse Christian leaders who see science as sacred

    Science as sacred? Really? Not merely useful, not important, but science itself as sacred?

  3. 3
    Clive Hayden says:

    nullasalus,

    Rev. Michael Dowd convenes diverse Christian leaders who see science as sacred

    Science as sacred? Really? Not merely useful, not important, but science itself as sacred?

    I know, it’s morbid. As if a convention could be sacred, like driving on the right side of the road is sacred.

  4. 4
    nullasalus says:

    Clive,

    I know, it’s morbid. As if a convention could be sacred, like driving on the right side of the road is sacred.

    What particularly gets me is I swear I’ve seen ID proponents criticized on the grounds that they are engaged in scientism, and have elevated science to a level it isn’t worthy of (indeed, in a manner mimicking some of the New Atheists.)

    But here we have “science is sacred”?

  5. 5
    Collin says:

    Off-topic,

    I was just watching an old Star Trek TNG episode and I think a lot of people here would be interested in this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

  6. 6
    avocationist says:

    “…for fellow Christians who embrace evolution and honor science”

    The highly annoying implication is that unless you embrace evolution, you do not honor science.

    That is smug, and places them in the same category of the religious as those who assume they have a lock on truth and God, to the exclusion of others.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Collin, I’m not a bid si-fi fan, but the first part of that Star Trek clip was cool,,, if the writers only knew the rest of the story of the sheer poverty of material processes to generate such algorithms the story would have really got interesting, at least from my perspective 🙂

  8. 8
    Bruce David says:

    There was a time when I was a strict materialist, and believed in the neo-Darwinian synthesis. Then, as my spiritual awareness developed through a number of life altering experiences, I began to believe in a teleological version of Darwinism, where God directed the “random” mutations of genomes to bring about the world as we now know it, including the species known as homo sapiens. This, in my imagination, was done in such a way as to be invisible to us now looking backwards in time to the origins of things.

    However, since I have been deeply immersed in this controversy between ID and Darwinism, I have come to see that even that modified version of Darwinism cannot be true, because you simply can’t get major modifications to complex systems through incremental change, not if the system has to work after each such incremental change. This is basically Behe’s notion of irreducible complexity, which operates at all levels of an organism, not just in cell biochemistry, Behe’s area of expertise.

    A great example of this is the neck of the giraffe, where it turns out that even such a seemingly simple change as the elongation of the neck of some animal involves many simultaneous changes throughout the whole organism, including the subcutaneous fascia, the heart, the lungs, the addition of a nexus of blood vessels at the base of the skull, and more. When you consider all the simultaneous modifications necessary to change the reptilian bellows lung into the avian circular lung, for example, the problem is even more compounded.

    My career was in IT. I was personally involved in designing and programming major modifications to existing systems, and I know, as any IT professional knows, you simply can’t do it one line of code at a time, not if each version of the new system has to work. And biological organisms are many orders of magnitude more complex than even the most complex system we humans have yet devised.

  9. 9
    O'Leary says:

    Clive, note the phrases,

    “what may be the biggest tent yet”

    “breakthrough book ”

    “preeminent Christians on the leading edge of science and religion”

    Does the word “blowhard” come to mind?

    I mean, the utter presumption!

    Anybody who puts the ol’ Brit racist toff Darwin on the same level as Jesus – and hasn’t yet been defrocked – is one of the “preeminent Christians on the leading edge of science and religion”?

    Wowza!

    Can you believe that Dowd actually wrote to me, suggesting that because I am a Catholic, I’d like an opportunity to get involved in some vulgar Hull raise against the Bible?

    Oh yes?

    I whistled that fellow out of my box right promptly.

    Anyone want to raise Hull against the Bible, you don’t come near my parish in Toronto. You’d have to sit there a long time to hear anything that ISN’T from the Bible – unless you count “Coffee and muffins are served after all morning masses.”

  10. 10
    tragic mishap says:

    That’s what I was gonna say null. “Jesus and Darwin”? Careful buddy.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    I wonder if the ‘enlightened’ Rev. Dowd could ever give this sermon from his pulpit:

    Amazing! 11 Year-Old Reveals Jesus Throughout the Entire Bible! – Inspirational Video
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=76WDLLNX

  12. 12
    Ted Davis says:

    Readers might find the following an interesting exercise, relative to Mr Dowd’s project. But, first, they will need to sign up (for free) and download some of the audio interviews he has posted at http://evolutionarychristianit.....downloads/

    If you do this, be sure to listen to mine–and those of Ken Miller, Bill Phillips, John Polkinghorne, and Charley Townes (among others). Nothing there about making science–or nature, or the process of evolution–“sacred.” That’s part of Mr Dowd’s agenda, but he interviewed quite a few people who don’t share it.

    I thank Mr Dowd for his intellectual honesty: he let each of us speak for ourselves, and (at least in my case) our views came off very accurately. That’s a lot better than the sound bites and distortions that one so often finds in the blogosphere. I commend him, while differing from him fundamentally on matters of religion.

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