“The Language of God” Book Club – Chapter 4
Some people who brook no “god of the gaps” arguments anywhere else look to these three moments as more reasonable places to insert God into natural processes: God spoke matter/energy into existence, God made life out of lifeless matter, and God breathed a soul into human beings.
Series: Science and the Bible (22 entries)
This ongoing series written by historian Ted Davis begins with a brief synopsis of his personal background, and then goes on to reveal his passion for debunking “the now-common view that the history of science and Christianity is one of ongoing, inevitable conflict.”
Series: Asa Gray and Charles Darwin Discuss Evolution and Design (5 entries)
Many Christians believe that they face a painful choice-- either life was designed by God or it is an evolutionary product of natural selection. Charles Darwin himself believed in this dichotomy, and people ever since have felt the need to "choose sides". However, looking back at history, we find that one of Darwin's chief scientific colleagues, Asa Gray, did not share this perspective. In this three-part essay, part 1 charts the relationship of Asa Gray and Charles Darwin. Part 2 describes Darwin's struggle with the problem of natural evil and design in nature, and part 3 explores how Asa Gray was able to embrace evolution without rejecting the idea of design.
Fine-tuning and the “Fruitful Universe”
I ask the question, “Why is the universe so special?” Now scientists don’t like things to be special; we like things to be general, and our natural anticipation would have been that the universe is just a common specimen of what a universe might be like.
Caution! Design Arguments Ahead
Design arguments have been around forever and expressed in various ways. Most of them fall into what we call natural theology, which is the process of inferring something about the existence and nature of God by the inspection of nature.
Understanding Evolution: The Evolutionary Origins of Irreducible Complexity, Part 1
I will take some time to clarify exactly how Michael Behe, the biochemist and Intelligent Design (ID) proponent who has most extensively developed the "irreducible complexity" argument, uses the term.
Beginning with the End in Mind
In today's video, Oxford physicist Ard Louis discusses the famous debate between renowned evolutionary biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Simon Conway Morris over the idea of evolutionary convergence.
On Deciphering the Signature
The interesting thing about this is that Steve Meyer and I are probably really in almost the same exact position when it comes to our core beliefs. We differ primarily in one regard.
Series: From ID to BioLogos (8 entries)
In this series, Dennis Venema describes his personal journey that took him away from the Intelligent Design arguments toward the evolutionary creation worldview. Through careful and honest research, he discovered ID scientific reasoning to be analogy-based, in sharp contrast to evolutionary science, which was supported by concrete data. After accepting this view, God’s presence ever strengthened him as he explored the compatibility between the Bible and God’s creative mechanism.
Bad Science and Weak Theology?
Many scientists feel that the ID movement is an attempt to locate gaps in our scientific knowledge and then to presume those gaps can only be filled by intervention of an external intelligence. It is important to note that ID leaders do not view their work this way.
Series: C.S. Lewis on Evolution and Intelligent Design (8 entries)
This in-depth series by Michael L. Peterson surveys author and apologist C.S. Lewis, reflecting on his arguments for the existence of God as well as his views on Intelligent Design and evolution. Peterson first explains the classical lines of rationale and then discusses Lewis’ Transcendent Intelligence argument. He clearly distinguishes Lewis’ view, however, from other design arguments. As he concludes, he relates Lewis’ thoughts on the firmly grounded theory of evolution, presenting his grand Trinitarian worldview which included this scientific view of the universe.
Providing the crutch for non-believers to lean on is a well-intentioned strategic error that has no benefit and likely does much harm. However, I am even more concerned about something else related to our construction of these crutches.
One of the assumptions underlying this worship project is that the sovereign God provides pointers or signposts to Himself in the natural world.
Distinctions, Part 2: "God as a Scientific Theory?"
Over the past two decades, the intelligent design movement has been working diligently to offer a parallel version of modern science, one that can scientifically show God at work in creation.
Series: Design in Nature (6 entries)
In this series, Oliver R. Barclay examines the idea of God as Designer. He concludes that God did indeed design creation, and that the “state of the world is evidence not only for the existence and power of God but for his kindness and care for his creation.” Barclay then goes on to investigate the arguments for Intelligent Design which attempt to prove that certain examples of design necessarily imply direct intervention by a Great Designer. He points the flaws of such an argument and discusses its implications.
Series: Evolution and the Origin of Biological Information (7 entries)
Dennis Venema begins this series by summarizing a key Intelligent Design belief: that if we see specified information, we infer design because we are unaware of a mechanism that can bring about specified information in the absence of intelligence. In each subsequent part of the series, Venema shows why this argument is wrong. Venema presents evidence to show that natural mechanisms can, in fact, explain the origin of new information. He reminds his readers, however, that this does not in any manner exclude God from the process.
Series: John Polkinghorne on Natural Theology (5 entries)
Polkinghorne discusses the origins and aims of natural theology in this series. It does not offer truth, but rather a “best explanation” for the world, answering primarily meta-questions. Two such questions asked by Polkinghorne are, “Why is science possible at all?” and “What makes the universe so special?” To explore the answers, he looks at the ability of human minds to penetrate mysteries of the natural world as well as the fine-tuning of the universe necessary to produce the fruitfulness of life.
Series: Why Dembski’s Design Inference Doesn’t Work (3 entries)
In this two part series, James Bradley exposes a argument made in the book Design Inference , which was written by Intelligent Design proponent William Dembski. To accomplish this, he carefully examines Dembski’s “explanatory filter” that predicts whether an event occurred by regularity, chance, or design, and exposes its “fatal flaws.”
Series: The Skeptical Biochemist (6 entries)
In this six part series, David Ussery carefully critiques the arguments made by Michael Behe in The Edge of Evolution. Ussery begins with the statement that this series is for those who have read or who are going to read Behe’s book, and that it is detailed in nature. Then, he gives a short synopsis of his background, both personal and philosophical. He proceeds to comb through all nine chapters of the book, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of various arguments made in each.