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“Thomist” philosophers’ opposition to ID

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On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin talks with Felipe Aizpún, author of The Fifth Way and Intelligent Design (La quinta vía y el diseño inteligente) and prolific writer on ID and the debate over origins. Aizpún shares how intelligent design is both a scientific and philosophical argument, and discusses Thomist philosophers’ opposition to ID. [20 min approx]

Let’s hope Aizpún is more charitable than I’m (O’Leary for News) inclined to be.

What with a paradigm shift well under way*, all I can say is, don’t let them get away with claiming afterward that they meant something else.

Not after all the supercilious abuse they have handed out to people who are far more likely to be right than they are:

Design in nature is becoming more apparent by the year, as are the evasions of Christian scholars who have sought to make their reputations by helping Christians adjust, without despondency, to the idea that there really is no design in nature (also, God is so great he need not exist, but don’t worry about that; worry is a sin).

Take home point: The ID community is rapidly getting beyond the need to even care what such persons think.

It may not be design, but it is certainly not Darwin. And if those people were suffering from lack of attention before, it will sure get worse now. Still, there may be a few slab spaces left in that Abbey.**

* See, for example, just in last night: here and here.

** Many people who got Darwin buried in Westminster Abbey supposed that Christianity was on the way out. Indeed, they would help push. While a dim science teacher who goes to church might not realize that, there was never any excuse for intelligent, educated people to collaborate.

But the beauty is, who cares? It’s somewhat like BioLogos deigning eventually to review (and dismiss) Darwin’s Doubt as if anyone cares now, when the book has had such enormous influence among thoughtful people.

Templeton, you made a bad investment there.

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ss: Your framing of an evolution vs. creationism dichotomy only reveals your own willful ignorance of the issues and ID's position on them. Educate yourself. Phinehas
I don’t really care what Thomist philosophers think about anything, but as for the “paradigm shift”, the evidence of that is contrary. Dawkins has made himself an exemplar of why Twitter is a bad thing for impatient people and Suzan Mazur’s book is evidence of what Ms. Mazur thinks. Meanwhile, over at the Gallup poll, they find that the number who believe that evolution is true continues to grow, the number who embrace creationism continues to shrink, and that among 18 to 29 year-olds, a distinct majority believe in some form of evolution. Since 1982, acceptance of Evolution has shifted distinctly away from “evolution with God’s help” to “evolution, but God had no part in process”. http://www.gallup.com/poll/21814/evolution-creationism-intelligent-design.aspx http://www.gallup.com/poll/170822/believe-creationist-view-human-origins.aspx The Pew Research Center has similar data. http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/ Of course, polls don’t prove theories, but they do show that year on year, in America, creationism is a fading brand. sean s. sean samis
Thanks, guys. I am familiar with all of those gentlemen but did not know they were Thomists. This is good information. Charlie
Also, several legitimate Catholic Thomists, such as Jay Richards, Benjamin Wiker, and Fr. Thomas Dubay have explained ID's compatibility with Thomism. So-called "Thomist" critics of ID are bluffing and they know it. That is why they don't dare to visit this site. StephenB
Charlie, tgpeeler is right. Norman Geisler, a legitimte Thomist, is a good place to start. Indeed, he has written a book on Aquinas' philosophy, which I have read and can recommend. (Sorry, I don't remember the exact title. It has been a while since I read it). StephenB
Norman Geisler is the most prominent Protestant "Thomist" that I know of. Check Amazon. tgpeeler
Hi George E. and StephenB. I am not a Thomist nor an expert on Thomism or Thomists. But I have read a lot of Thomas Aquinas and have found his teachings very consistent with ID. When I have said so, with direct quotes from Aquinas, those anti-IDists who claim Thomist bonafides have informed me that I just don't understand him and am not qualified to read him without an interpreter. In many cases it seems "Thomist" is a way of saying "I am not a Protestant and don't like ID even though I continually misrepresent its claims". To finally get to the point, do either of you know of any Protestant Thomists or experts on his teachings whose writings are accessible to the layman? Thanks. Charlie
George E., You are absolutely correct. Thomism, properly understood does not conflict with ID. Many, perhaps most of these anti-ID partisans are not true Thomists at all. As shameless parasites, they use their master's name as a cachet to compensate for their unworthy arguments on behalf of Darwinism. To misrepresent the Angelic Doctor in this way constitutes the worst kind of slander. To avoid the company of UD commentators who are capable of scrutinizing their claims is the worst kind of cowardice. StephenB
I've studied Thomism for years, and there's nothing more obvious than that Thomism is perfectly compatible with the ID thesis. In fact, that which ID infers only after exhausting research and analysis, Thomas's Fifth Way sees as being obvious just by looking at the world. Here is Thomas's argument:
The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God. [Emphasis mine]
Therefore, the only issue any true Thomistic philosopher might have with ID would be that the latter seems to require too much evidence in order to come to its conclusion. Alas, for the most part the "Thomists" found in the universities are not true Thomists, but can be better described as the Scholastic wing of the Darwinist Borg. George E.

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