ID and FGC
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 08:15:55 -0500

I learned a lot in the recent exchange and I would like to share my
thoughts. When considering the concepts of intelligent design (ID) and
fully gifted creation (FGC), one must keep in mind that the disconfirming
other is the philosophical naturalist, who will dismiss the former as
'unwarranted conclusions based on insufficient data' and the latter under
the principle of Occam's razor.

To me, the heart of FGC is a double vision, a religious perspective of
nature that is of the same type as that described in Brenda Farnell's
monograph "Do You See What I Mean?" (1995). FGC is the perspective that
will be adopted by philosophical naturalists if they convert to
once their philosophy has been undermined.

ID is a research project that initially flows from the same double vision.
goal of ID is to confront philosophical naturalism with observations of
irreducible complexity, and thus undermine the tenets of the philosophy.
One problem is that the philosophical naturalist can speculate that natural
mechanisms (yet unknown) may account for these complexities. This leads
to a second problem: In reaction to such resistance, ID may eclipse the
double vision by emphasizing the divine to the exclusion of the natural.
I think that this was the essence of Loren Haarsma's concern.

Another research project is one that I stumbled upon through an artistic
comparison of Genesis and the evolutionary record. I now see that the
project, which might be called paradoxical naturalism, is a research
within FGC.

This program poses scientific questions about ourselves in order to
natural answers that complement revelation. In the Sept 1998 issue of
I posed the question "If something beyond nature is a species specific
then what would have been its adaptive function?" This question is within
subject of evolutionary psychology (EP), a natural science. I believe that
EP will
show that the religious impulse is as much a part of human nature as our
capacity for language. Such an answer undermines philosophical naturalism
since the 'recognition of supernature' is characteristic of the species,
each and every one of us.

One problem is that the philosophical naturalist can still claim that the
divine is an illusion - albeit one that appears intrinsic to human nature.
This view is paradoxical. Philosophers now are making the same types of
arguments about language - and discovering the difficulties of those views.

Thus ID flows from the same double vision as FGC, but has the danger of
eclipsing the natural. Also, it is my impression that FGC will support
programs, such as paradoxical naturalism, that will undermine philsophical
naturalsm. FCG, it seems to me, will be the viewpoint adopted by those
abandoning philosophical naturalism. Van Till's articulation of FCG
draws the naturalist to Christ and appeals to a religious sensibility that
crosses cultures.