Intelligent Design

Theistic Evolutionists: The Reality Behind the Illusion is Itself an Illusion

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. . . and the reality behind that illusion is, well, the initial illusion.

Richard Dawkins famously declared that the appearance of design in living things is overwhelming. Theistic evolutionists do not disagree.  But, like arch-atheist Dawkins, they assert that the appearance of design is an illusion and Darwinian evolution is the reality behind the illusion.

But TEs don’t agree with Dawkins about everything; they are, after all, “theistic.”  And to give themselves a fig leaf for the whole “theistic” part, they assert that at a deeper, empirically undetectable ontological level, God directs the process toward an end.

In summary, the TE position is that the reality behind the illusion is itself an illusion, and the ultimate reality behind that illusion is the initial illusion, i.e. design.

The twirling sound you hear is William of Ockham spinning in his grave.

See also here.

8 Replies to “Theistic Evolutionists: The Reality Behind the Illusion is Itself an Illusion

  1. 1
    ScuzzaMan says:

    The Theistic Evolutionist’s God is not a creator God.

    He (assuming He is still a he) is a manipulator God. He’s a genetic engineer God. He’s a transhumanist God, uploading material patterns from His storage mechanism into the pre-engineered proto-human physiological memory banks of the brain.

    Theistic Evolution is the theism of people who don’t believe their God is capable of:
    – creation,
    – the revelation of truth,
    – the preservation of truth, or
    – the salvation of Man.

    One would wonder why they bother, if one did not already know that theistic evolution is the religious equivalent of the liberal conservative.

    The double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

    Theistic evolution is for and by people who want the religious comfort of thinking of themselves as being good people without any of the nasty consequences of actually being good people, i.e. without the despite of the world. It’s a frightened religionist’s plea for the intellectual respect of people having nothing but contempt for religion and religionists. In other words it is logically impossible.

    It is the religious equivalent of the faux conservatives whose sole strategy is to agree with the liberals whenever the liberals take offence at any hint of not getting their own way, and still hasn’t figured out that they hate him just the same and will heap scorn and derision upon him no matter how he grovels and repeats their silly mantras of the day.

    Note this parallel well: both incessantly shrill dogmas (Liberalism and Evolution) are based on the rejection of the evidence, coordinated shouting at dissenters, and the constant changing of the facts to suit the circumstance.

    Conceding to either one is intellectual suicide.

  2. 2
    hazel says:

    Barry writes, ” they assert that at a deeper, empirically undetectable ontological level, God directs the process toward an end.”

    That’s a good sentence. I think there are people who don’t believe in the Christian God who nevertheless believe that there is “something” behind it all, including human beings. I think perhaps Wigner (see the Wigner thread) might agree with the above sentence, for instance.

  3. 3
    Fasteddious says:

    I like to ask, “What is the scientific difference between Theistic Evolution and Atheistic Evolution?” I have yet to get an answer from any theistic evolutionists.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Fasteddious @ 3- I see the makings of a great comic:

    An atheist and a theistic evolutionist are approaching the Pearly Gate and arguing about why is the other even bothering. When they arrive they are asked the question:

    “What is the scientific difference between Theistic Evolution and Atheistic Evolution?”

    The (former) atheist answers “Nothing” and is allowed in

    The theistic evolutionist also answers “Nothing, but we all knew God was behind it all” and is kept out

  5. 5
    AaronS1978 says:

    Personally I’m not a fan of theistic evolution anymore. I used to actually be a TE. It was bio logos that made me turn away from it. Any new scientific discovery that would come out, any new study, it would seem like they would Immediately excepted at face value and then try to Rationalize it. A lot of times the very thing that was excepted at face value (good example oxytocin studies) years later would have conflicting evidence or just be plainly falsified by another study.

    TE people seem they want ontology and a creator in their theory but fear questioning or challenging the status quo of Darwinian evolution but they are very quick to criticize anything involved with intelligent design which really doesn’t make sense either since a lot of us should be on the same side.

  6. 6
    PeterA says:

    AaronS1978 @5:

    Interesting comment. Thanks.

    Do you know whether TEs engage in serious open-minded discussions on biology research discovery topics using the latest peer-review papers available?

    How do they react to the atheist biologists who openly declare that the Darwinian evolutionary paradigm requires a major overhaul because RV+NS doesn’t do the trick in light of the latest discoveries?

  7. 7
    AaronS1978 says:

    Sorry for my late response

    And yes of course there are people it just depends on the type of person that you are in a list of other things on whether or not you would be open to a discussion between theories

    And I certainly don’t speak for everybody I would never do that it was just my experience with it

    People like Dennis Alexander and Tim o Connor

    We’re actually authors at bio logos that I like because They took a firm stance against things like genetic determinism. In fact when many of the Evo psych people came out and started saying there was a gene for this in a gene for that Dennis Alexander wrote an entire three part series denouncing it and breaking it apart which I did very much appreciate

    So it really is all based on the type of person that you are some immediately except it and just try to integrate it into their belief as truth and others will stand against the problem that I had with my logos was a lot of them would just except it as truth and integrated into their articles. there was one about the consciousness in the aesthetic mind that I did not like
    Because it treated the entire book like it was true.

    So much like any of us or anybody else it depends on the person I just always found it weird that intelligent design and theistic evolution should be at odds and the ones that seem to throw the most punches and criticize the most are the TE people, And there are tons of examples of this on evolution news.org

  8. 8
    ET says:

    The theistic evolutionists over on Peaceful science say two seemingly contradictory things:

    1- That blind watchmaker evolution is bogus/ not indication of today’s evolutionary thought. Meaning Darwinian evolution and the modern synthesis are bogus/ not indicative of today’s evolutionary thought. They never do really say what their stance is with respect to the cause of mutations.

    2- Evolution is guided but we cannot tell scientifically. Which means that their position doesn’t appear to have any differences, scientifically, when compared to Darwinian evolution and the modern synthesis.

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