I have trouble with the first definition of ID you give too, since it
implicitly contains a reference to time, when you talk about
"conceptualization." Time and space are created by God, but God is outside
time. So we cannot talk about what God does, except in so far as He reveals
Himself in time. That may be part of providence, but to talk about anything,
which God did or does "before" time was created, does not make sense to me.
For me that means, that we do better not to talk about intelligent
design. I am not a theologian either, but it seems to me, that when we talk
about God's work, to describe it as intelligent, presupposes, that we know what
intelligent is. From out of our creaturely intelligence we than decide that God
is intelligent. I do not want to judge God's work above what we know from God's
Word. Personally, I think, that it leaves room for evolution, even
macro-evolution. However, Romans 8:20 warns us, that the whole creation is
affected by our human fall in sin. We have to show that we listened to God. We
may even describe God's work in so far as we can describe it with our little
brain. We may say God created us, but as His creatures we will never understand
His work. Our studies may discover ever new things in creation and creation's
history, but to try to say that God was intelligent by our standards is, I
think, sacrilegious. We can only admire His works, even when we know, that we
have only a beginning of wisdom.
For those reasons I have trouble with intelligent design arguments. I
know: God created. I am willing to admit, that He may have used evolutionary
methods, and I will not contradict anyone who thinks that God used evolution to
come to this time in creation, provided that we realize that "time" is part of
More important is that those of us who work in these areas, research, and
weigh arguments, without condemning those who are coming to other conclusions
than we do. Most dangerous is, if we through ecclesiastical statements silence
other people, brothers in Christ, who seek their only salvation in Christ.
A few days ago Gladwin talked about "scientific method." That is another
term I have trouble with. Firstly, because I have seen more than one definition
of what it means. Secondly, because "science'' is too limited in the
definition. Sometimes it includes certain scholarly enterprise, sometimes it
excludes it. In my opinion, all scholarship is science. To describe as science
making guesses, and than to see if they hold under all circumstances, is too
narrow a description of science. Nobody restricts him/her self to that. To say
the experiment has to be repeatable, excludes practically all research into
origins, if we are honest. I am all in favour of methodological research, but
the "scientific method" is in my opinion a very limited and incomplete
description of what researchers do. Especially Christian researchers have to do
more than that. Science is much more than describing and relating everything.
If we want to be complete we should try to systematize too. Etc.
The best description is probably: "science is what scientists do, and don't
limit science to any particular area.
"Understanding God" and what God does will always be impossible to our
limited human brains. We should realize that, and just trust what He says to
us, in creation and in His Word. (And that does not mean, that there is only
one interpretation of Gen.1-11.)
Jan de Koning