Theology: What ID is, is not
|January 18, 2015||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, News|
Yesterday, I noted that the term “Intelligent design 2.0″ seems to have arisen as an oppo research “talking point.” Probably invented to justify the jobs of Christian profs who don’t believe the universe shows evidence of design. That’s a hard sell outside the ivy-infested towers—but you just watch, kids’ll go into debt for tuition to hear them. Then, of course, the kids must front those people’s story at a white collar job to pay it all back.
What does their position amount to? “Yes! Yes! I believe in Jesus! But I don’t believe that the universe shows evidence of design. It was all, well, whatta great, great, tremendous accident!”
Sigh. Waste of a life, but gotta give them credit for working for a living.
Intelligent design, a program of scientific investigation not of theology, is a broad term, one that includes a range of ideas. Nichols and I have both pointed to natural selection’s co-discoverer Alfred Russel Wallace, who called upon an “Overruling Intelligence” to explain the special attributes of human beings. Wallace was a spiritualist, not a Christian. Was he a “creationist”? As Nichols points out, Wallace’s World of Life “is consonant with Saint Thomas Aquinas’s teaching that God governs interior things through superior ones — not because he is lacking in his own power but, on the contrary, from the abundance of his goodness, by which he allows creatures to share the causality that constitutes his nature as the First Cause Uncaused. The First Cause gives being; secondary causes determine it” (note 31, p. 218). Wallace would not have disagreed.
All of this places in context what ID is and what it is not. ID argues for design. A Designer, in the sense that traditional Western theism would recognize, is not required by the theory, but it is certainly consonant with it. The expectation of finding evidence of design in created nature is common to a variety of traditions, including Catholicism as explained by Aidan Nichols, arguably the positions of many mainline Protestant denominations, and indeed Wallace’s view (see his “New Thoughts on Evolution”). Is ID to be identified with any one of these? No! Can it accommodate any of them? Yes!
Intelligent design is not a Christian apologetic. Its very willingness to accommodate, to be inclusive, indeed to be ecumenical in approach means that ID is too broad to suggest any particular defense of a more specific position. More.
Conspirazoids who have, at times, populated O’Leary for News’s Inbox are convinced nonetheless that it is all a big plot to create Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s fever swamp dystopia in the southern United States:
Swamp. No fever. Dumb ass novelist. Dumber followers. In Canada, big chill just now. So what has changed?
Follow UD News at Twitter!