Re: media & religion

From: Keith Miller <>
Date: Fri Nov 25 2005 - 23:21:23 EST

Gregory wrote:

> For example, ‘struggle for life,’ do you claim it does or does not
> exist in nature? Does evolution have a ‘teleological’ component, does
> it imply direction, and if so, what is it?Darwin, as we all know
> thought evolution was not teleological; he couldn’t see that it (the
> process of evolution and even life itself) had a purpose.

There are two senses in which "guidedness" or "direction" is used. One
sense is that of internal direction from within the natural biological
system. This would be like the vitalism of the last century in which
organisms were impelled toward a goal by their own efforts, or by some
inward force. Internal vitalistic forces have been rejected by modern
science. However, and this is critical, modern science does not and
indeed cannot reject supernatural or divine guidance of the
evolutionary process. Science simply has no way to study or test for
such divine action or teleology. Unfortunately, ID advocates confuse
and obscure the differences. ID advocates often take statements from
the scientific community that refer to guidance in the first sense and
imply that they are rejecting divine guidance. Many theistic
scientists see evolution as an expression of God's creative action and
part of God's purpose and will.

I think that much of Darwin's rejection of divine guidance and purpose
had to do with what he saw as the implications of evolution for
theodicy. Others are free to correct me here.


Keith B. Miller
Research Assistant Professor
Dept of Geology, Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-3201
Received on Fri Nov 25 23:26:45 2005

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