Re: from Re: Intelligent Design ?

From: David C Campbell <amblema@bama.ua.edu>
Date: Mon Aug 22 2005 - 13:36:15 EDT

>## But Pim had written: "Intelligent design can in fact be explained
by a designer of fully natural origin: Mutation..."
>How is that different from the evolutionary naturalism of Darwin, and
his stated fears about its implications?
>"With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of
man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower
animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in
the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in
such a mind?" ~ Charles Darwin<

The key issue is distinguishing proximal and ultimate causes. I have
not seen any claim for design in biochemical complexity that I think
could not be explained by mutation and natural selection. However,
those processes are fully under God's control and guidance.

It's not going to look very different from philosophical naturalism at
the physical level, i.e., in what science can detect and deal with. It
is radically different in its philosophical and religious assumptions
and what theological interpretation is given to the scientific results.
 On the other hand, all too many young earth or intelligent design
arguments claim that the science should look very different while
accepting the philosophical claims of the naturalists. Think of the
New Testament passages on doing a good job, or Peter's advice on being
a good wife. Good Christian work is something that anyone can
recognize as good work, such that outsiders will be positively
impressed. However, rather than doing this good work out of a desire
to make a profit or impress people, they do it out of love for God and
for others.

Darwin did not embrace a fully naturalistic world view; e.g., later
editions of the Origin of Species suggest that God created the first
cell(s) and it/they evolved from there (ironically essentially what
Behe proposes). However, there are certainly other people who try
using evolution in support of a fully naturalistic world view.
Evolution is no more or less a support for a naturalistic world view
than is gravity. Both propose physical models that provide proximal
scientific explanations for a process. As such, neither tells us
anything one way or the other about God's role in the processes. If
one accepts the unbiblical premise that things with scientific
explanations do not have God involved, then both gravity and evolution
remove God from parts of the picture.

Note also that the problematic credibility of a mind that is merely
evolved without any supernatural involvement is both illogical and
useless as support for any worldview. It is illogical because it
relies on a disparaging opinion of monkey and ape mental capacities and
disregards the substantial changes in mental capacities that took place
in human evolution. Of course, a "horrid doubt" need not be logical to
be disturbing. Darwin was not presenting a logical argument. It is
useless for supporting or attacking any worldview because it implies
general non-credibility of human reasoning and thus is self-defeating.

----------------------------------------
Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487
"James gave the huffle of a snail in
danger But no one heard him at all" A.
A. Milne
Received on Mon Aug 22 15:05:35 2005

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