Sometimes I read blog comments that strike me as worthy of full posts. Here are two:
Rich – #40450
November 17th 2010
ID does not *require* that “one part was evolution’s doing, and another part was God’s special mechanism.” I’ve corrected both columnists and posters on this about 100 times here, and cited ID literature to prove it, but it appears that you and others are determined to rely on rumor and hearsay for your notions of ID, and are unwilling to read the very careful discussions where ID theorists explain their position. But rumor and hearsay are a lousy basis for scholarship, science, or even as low a level of human interaction as internet debating. So pick up Michael Denton’s Nature’s Destiny and learn how design theory is, at least in principle, compatible with completely naturalistic evolution.
That said, ID does not *rule out* the possibility that God may have punctuated a mainly naturalistic process of evolution with some information-inputting events, which one might call supernatural interventions if one likes. That, too, is entirely compatible with ID theory. ID theory is about establishing the fact of design, not about providing a historical narrative for how the design got into nature. Until TE’s “get” this, all their criticism of ID will continue to miss the mark.
You write: “God is not a God of the gaps.” What does that mean? That God never intervenes in natural processes? That every event which has ever happened in the history of the universe is in principle explicable on the basis of wholly natural antecedents?
If that’s what you mean, you’ve got a few things to explain, just a few tiny little things, like the Resurrection, Virgin Birth, Feeding of the Five Thousand, Raising of Lazarus, Crossing of the Red Sea, Elijah on Mt. Carmel, etc.
On the other hand, if you grant that God sometimes intervenes to break the causal nexus, what gives you the right to say when he would have done this, and when he wouldn’t have? Do you know God’s mind, intentions, plans, preferences? It appears that virtually all TE’s think that they *do* know God well enough to say what he would or wouldn’t do, and they are all *sure* that he never would have performed a miracle in the Cambrian oceans, or in the creation of man, or in the creation of the first life. I wonder where this confidence comes from? Do TE’s have a pipeline to God? How does one get that unlisted phone number?
Rich – #40481
November 18th 2010
When you object to the notion
“that the original magnificent creation of the universe was somehow insufficient”
you are already loading the discussion with assumptions and preferences.
For example, perhaps “the original magnificent creation of the universe” was accomplished by God acting in steps, after which the universe ran in accord with natural laws. If a Swiss clockmaker built the finest clock ever made, which never lost even a second per year, would you complain that the clockmaker’s creation of the clock was “insufficient” because he put it together step-by-step? Isn’t the only important criterion of evaluation *how well the clock works*?
That you think it would be a defective mode of working for God to proceed in steps indicates something about your theological or aesthetic preferences; it doesn’t prove that God couldn’t or wouldn’t have chosen to work that way.
My biggest frustration with TE’s is that they keep telling God how he has to operate. They tell him he can violate the laws of nature hundreds of times in 1st-century Palestine, but that it would be in very bad taste for him to do so half a dozen times during the evolutionary process. ID people are less presumptuous.