Theistic Evolutionists

I often suggest that there are at least cynical reasons to encourage those scientists who proclaim the compatibility of modern science and traditional faiths. The need for such a protective coloration to present to the public is especially plausible when trying to keep creationists out of the hair of scientific interests.

Still, I admit that there are reasons to feel uncomfortable about some varieties of theistic evolutionist and other compatibilists as well. For example, Karl Giberson and Darrel Falk, Christian scientists, have an op-ed in USA Today, “We believe in evolution — and God.” It’s fine as far at it goes. It’s full of the standard kinds of intellectual laziness, but then, as I said, I’m somewhat in favor of exploiting such laziness to protect science from the even worse species of loonies. But there is a problem when theistic evolutionists don’t just indulge in the usual vapid “evolution is God’s way of creation” nonsense but start pushing bullshit with more substance. For example, Giberson and Falk say that

Evolution is not a chaotic and wasteful process, as the critics charge. Evolution occurs in an orderly universe, on a foundation of natural laws and faithful processes. The narrative of cosmic history preceding the origin of life is remarkable; the laws enabling life appear finely tuned for that possibility. The ability of organisms to evolve empowers them to adapt to changing environments. Our belief that God creates through evolution is a satisfying claim uniting our faith and our science.

In other words, the Francis Collins claim that while intelligent design doesn’t appear in biology, it shows up in physics. (No accident, since Giberson and Falk are involved with BioLogos.)

I guess that if I had to choose, I’d prefer the BioLogos kind of intelligent design to the Discovery Institute version. Nonetheless, it annoys me that we have to put up with any sort of intelligent design at all.

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About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University


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