Is Intelligent Design Dead? (RJS)

There is an interesting column by Paul Wallace on the Huffington Post: Intelligent Design is Dead: A Christian Perspective. Wallace quotes another blogger, Jason Rosenhouse: In the nineties and early 2000s, ID seemed to be producing one novel argument after another… it was [then] possible to wonder seriously if ID was a serious intellectual movement, [Read More…]

Questions – What about Intelligent Design? (RJS)

A couple of weeks ago I posted on the book by Karl Giberson and Francis Collins The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions and posed a few questions… specifically What arguments against evolution do you find convincing? Why? and What arguments would you like to see discussed on this blog (in [Read More…]

What About Intelligent Design? (RJS)

I began a series last week looking at issues in theology and the impact that the evidence for evolution has on our theology. This series is based on a book of essays, Theology After Darwin (available from amazon UK or, as pointed out by a commenter on the last post, a search of on author = Berry and title = Theology After Darwin will yield a USA-based source for a new copy of the book at a reasonable price.) The second chapter, written by Denis Alexander, carries the provocative title After Darwin: Is Intelligent Design Intelligent? For those wrestling with the ideas, or who want to understand why scientists and scholars are often skeptical of the intelligent design movement, this is a good even-handed source. It is short, clear, and to the point.

Denis Alexander is a molecular biologist with a Ph.D. in Neurochemistry. He is the Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge. Since 1992 he has been Editor of the journal Science & Christian Belief and currently serves on the National Committee of Christians in Science and as a member of the International Society for Science and Religion. He has published many scientific articles in the primary literature, something over 50, and has a good overall citation rate (i.e. other professionals read and interact with his professional scientific work). He has also published a book, Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose?, referred to quite often in this short essay that presents his belief in the coherence of evolutionary theory with a biblical doctrine of creation. I have not read his book yet – but intend to get a copy and put it on my (ever growing) list.

Key to Alexander’s view is a robust understanding of the work of God in creation. Calvin, he notes, had such a view.

God’s activity in nature, Calvin taught, was continuous and complete. There were no ‘gaps’ which could be attributed to forces or agents outside of God’s immediate control. Nature was not autonomous. The Word or command of God was the only edict required to bring direction or purpose into inanimate matter. (p. 23)

The discussions of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century departed from such a robust view, looking for evidence of God in design, in areas where natural mechanisms were demonstrably insufficient. In the face of naturalism and secular materialism concrete evidence for God appeared essential.

What do you understand or mean by the term Intelligent Design?

Do you think Intelligent Design is a useful pursuit or field of inquiry? [Read more…]