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Series: Asa Gray and Charles Darwin Discuss Evolution and Design
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.
Series: From ID to BioLogos
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.
The (Lack Of) Conflict Between Science and Religion in College Students
Media-hungry atheist, creationist and religious fundamentalist provocateurs have dominated the science and religion narrative for the past decade. A recently published large-scale survey of college students, however, finds that the call to arms has fallen on deaf ears.
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.
Series: Design in Nature
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: John Polkinghorne on Natural Theology
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.
Ard Louis on Intelligent Design
In this short video, physicist Ard Louis expresses some doubts about Intelligent Design, noting that his primary resistance to the movement is based on theological grounds rather than science.
Through a Glass Darkly
BioLogos enthusiastically endorses the idea that the universe is intelligently designed and we certainly believe that the creator of the universe is intelligent. I want to acknowledge the real similarities between fine-tuning arguments and arguments made by ID.
Intelligent Design and Me, Part 1: In the Beginning
When the ID movement first burst on the scene in the mid-1990s, it lacked the amateurishness of the creation-science movement while at the same time making its main goal to unseat philosophical naturalism. As a philosopher who had critiqued one sort of naturalist project in his doctoral dissertation, ID intrigued me.
Series: Science and the Bible: Intelligent Design
In this series, Ted Davis identifies the history, core tenets and assumptions about the Intelligent Design view.
Ask an Evolutionary Creationist: A Q&A with Dennis Venema
Even if Darwin had never lived and no one else had come up with the idea of common ancestry, modern genomics would have forced us to that conclusion even if there was no other evidence available.
Intelligent Design, Thomas Aquinas, and the Ubiquity of Final Causes
In this paper, Baylor philosophy professor Francis Beckwith distinguishes between Intelligent Design (ID) and Thomistic Design (TD).
Design in Nature
In this paper, adapted from an article from Science & Christian Belief, Dr. Oliver R. Barclay compares and contrasts the biblical view of design in nature with modern design arguments.
America’s Culture Wars: A Different Perspective
In this video Conversation, Rev. N.T. Wright responds to the controversy in evangelicalism about evolution. Is this a “culture war” issue?
The topic of Intelligent Design (ID) comes up frequently here. Because ID can be hard to pin down, it’s worth pausing to remind ourselves what we’re talking about when we use the term on this site.
What Do You Mean When You Say "Evolution"?
In this video clip, Oxford University biophysicist, Ard Louis posits that one of the reasons Christians are hostile to evolution is that they latch onto a particular definition, which puts it in conflict with their theological convictions.
Are gaps in scientific knowledge evidence for God?
Every field of science has unanswered questions and gaps in our understanding. Scientists typically view these as open research questions. Others sometimes argue that if science can’t explain how something happened, then God must be the explanation. Such arguments are called “god-of-the-gaps” arguments. The risk in these arguments is that science is always developing. If gaps in scientific knowledge are the basis for belief in God, then as scientists fill in the gaps, the evidence for God disappears. The God of the Bible, however, is much more than a god of the gaps. Christians believe that God is always at work in the natural world, in the gaps as well as in the areas that science can explain.
Series: Reducing Irreducible Complexity
In this series, Darrel Falk and Ard Louis carefully examine the idea that certain biological structures are irreducibly complex—an idea put forth by scientists such as Michael Behe and Michael Denton. After providing a brief background on Behe and the beginnings of the Intelligent Design movement, Falk dives into Behe’s mouse trap model. He then reveals the scientific and theological problems associated with design inference. The series finishes with a discourse about the bacterial flagellum (another classic example of an irreducible structure). There is, Falk and Louis confirm, no sound reason on the basis of Christianity or science to assert that divine intervention was necessary at specific points in the unfolding creation process.
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Evolution, the Enlightenment, and Worldviews
In this video conversation, N.T. Wright discusses how the Enlightenment worldview -- which clearly separates God from the world -- has impacted our view of Scripture, and why cleaning the "spectacles" through which we view the world can help us see both Scripture and the world more clearly.
Does Evolution Compromise Human Morality?
Once we have a scientific hypothesis for how something exists, it is tempting to make the philosophical inference that this is also why it exists.