intelligent design & Intelligent Design (was Re: Vienna cardinal draws lines in Intelligent Design row)

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Mon Nov 21 2005 - 13:12:28 EST

2 few points relative to this a.m.'s posts:

1) No one should to talk about "intelligent design" without knowing, and
clearly indicating that knowledge in discussion, the difference between 2
senses of "intelligent design."

    a) intelligent design (normally without caps) as a theological
affirmation that a rational God has purposes for creation. In this sense
all Christians (& many
        others) believe in id.

    b) Intelligent Design (often capitalized) as a claim that divine
purpose can be discerned (at least partly) from scientific observation, &
that the idea of design
        should be made part of scientific ttheories.

Virtually all who say b will also say a but the reverse is not the case. In
particular, Pope Benedict has, not surprisingly, affirmed a. (& of course
no one with sense ever suggested that any pope would endorse "purposeless
evolution.") But he has not yet said anything to indicate that he endorses
b. (& if he does intend to address the specific American situation he will
probably do it in English, as Pius XI did the threat of Naziism in German
with /Mit Brennender Sorge/.

2) Process theists do not reject the idea of divine purpose. In fact in
some ways it's easier for them to do that than it is for those who accept
divine omnipotence, for the latter then have to deal with the well known
problems connected with the fact that what goes on in the world often
doesn't look like what we expect God's design to be. Process theologians,
OTOH, say that God does have purposes for creation & is trying all the time
to accomplish them. But since God isn't the sole cause of anything that
happens in the world, it shouldn't be expected that the divine design will
be evident in nature.

BTW, I am not a process theologian, though I don't view it as negatively as
some here.

Received on Mon Nov 21 13:12:42 2005

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