Faith and Evolution: New Website

William Dembski posted on a new website launched by the Discovery Institute (faithandevolution.org).  The design is sleek, and there is some useful information there.  I was reading some of the information on theistic evolution and came across this astounding passage:

And biologist Kenneth Miller of Brown University, author of the popular book Finding Darwin’s God (which is used in many Christian colleges), insists that evolution is an undirected process, flatly denying that God guided the evolutionary process to achieve any particular result—including the development of human beings. Indeed, Miller insists that “mankind’s appearance on this planet was not preordained, that we are here… as an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out.” [Finding Darwin’s God (1999), p. 272]

Miller does say that God knew that the undirected process of evolution was so wonderful it would create some sort of rational creature capable of praising Him eventually. But what that something would be was radically undetermined. How undetermined? At a 2007 conference, Miller admitted that evolution could have produced “a big-brained dinosaur” or a “mollusk with exceptional mental capabilities” rather than human beings. [Quoted in Darwin Day, p. 226]

The Outsider, DB, would call this type of thinking, making it up as we go.  Essentially, that appears to be the approach of most theistic evolutionists. Unfortunately, they seem to apply a similar process to theology that many Darwinists apply to history. In other words, they imagine God to be whatever they want (e.g., a powerless cosmic puppy dog who loves you perhaps). Basically, they often seem to be worshiping science first and God second. But the God they worship (second to science) appears to be one of their own making.

Reference:
According to theistic evolution, did God direct evolution and know its outcome?

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8 Responses

  1. Shrink said,

    Basically, they (theistic evolutionists) often seem to be worshiping science first and God second. But the God they worship (second to science) appears to be one of their own making.

    The Apostle Paul said,

    For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1: 21-25)

    and

    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, (2 Timothy 4:3)

    These folks need to choose whom they will believe and serve: God or their inept minds and ungodly desires! They can’t serve both (God and mammon), as the Christ told us!

  2. Perhaps due in part to his Catholicism, Miller is quite comfortable with a distinction between what he knows as a scientist and what he knows as a person of faith. Scientifically speaking, he knows that evolution is not a teleological process. Spiritually speaking, he knows that God wanted to bring forth a being that was worthy of the gift of a rational soul.

    I don’t quite understand what the objection is to Miller’s theological speculations. For it seems to me that Miller is saying something that should not be terribly objectionable — namely, that God could have given a rational soul to something other than a large-brained primate.

    Is the complaint that Miller’s theological speculations are not grounded in Scripture? Or is the complaint that he is engaging in theological speculation at all? Is it that he makes a distinction between what is known empirically and what is known spiritually?

  3. Is the complaint that Miller’s theological speculations are not grounded in Scripture?

    My complaint is that Miller’s speculations are generally not grounded on anything but his own imagination and even the way that he imagines things is refuted by what we already know. Take one of his favorite examples with respect to imagining things about the past, the mousetrap. It is a relatively simple thing that we already know is a product of intelligent design given intelligence as we know it. Yet Miller actually celebrates the fact that it is possible to use Darwinian “reasoning” to imagine that what we know is a product of ID is not a product of ID. This only shows that it is possible to use Darwinism to imagine the impact of conceptual thinking and intelligence on the physical world away. And if he’s wrong about something as simple as a mousetrap then he may be wrong about other things as well. Sometimes when reading the old eugenicists and so on I find myself thinking, “How could they be this stupid.” yet Miller’s Darwinism is the same type of thinking and few treat his thought with the contempt and disdain which it deserves.

    Miller’s way of “thinking,” such as it is, is the sort of muddle apparently produced by a limited intellect rooted in past events created in a primordial mud puddle. It’s not surprising that his theological thought is also rooted in ignorance and hypothetical goo: “…mankind’s appearance on this planet was not preordained, that we are here… as an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out.”

    Imagining things about the past is has little to do with “history” and a sound scientific knowledge of cause and effect naturally eliminates “happenstance” as it advances. Statements about happenstance and chance of that sort are merely statements of ignorance with respect to cause and effect, which is the sort of ignorance with respect to science which Miller’s views are generally rooted in.

  4. Basically, they (theistic evolutionists) often seem to be worshiping science first and God second.

    The irony of this pattern is that by generally denying the impact of thought and mind on the physical world they root their “science”/knowledge in ignorance while failing to realize that notions like chance and happenstance are statements of ignorance, not knowledge.

  5. Yep, they keep making it up as they go! In my worldly, fleshly opinion, it’s nothing more than willful ignorance (or stupidity and blindness, take your pick) covered up with intellectualism (blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada) and arrogance, whether they be atheist/agnostic or theistic evolutionist.

    From my spiritual perspective, I see it as the Apostle Paul:

    And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those (atheists/agnostics and perhaps, even theistic evolutionists) who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they MIGHT NOT SEE the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4: 3-4)

    Or as Will Shakespeare put it, “What fools these mortals be!”

  6. Imagining things about the past is has little to do with “history” and a sound scientific knowledge of cause and effect naturally eliminates “happenstance” as it advances. Statements about happenstance and chance of that sort are merely statements of ignorance with respect to cause and effect

    I have two questions about your view here, Mynym.

    The first is about history: do you think that knowledge about the past is possible? Under what conditions? What distinguishes knowledge of the past from imagining things about the past?

    The second is about cause and effect. Do you think that the physical world is deterministic? I.e. that there is no genuine randomness in the physical world? Or is that our knowledge ought to be opposed to all randomness? What do you make of quantum theories which suggest otherwise?

  7. Kris,

    That is a great post that well illustrates how Darwinists resort to straw man arguments against ID proponents (and don’t even understand ID). I suppose they feel justified in doing so because they consider ID to be pseudoscience to begin with. They know that none of their fellow like-minded scientists will call them on their arguments. Even peer-reviewed journals will publish their straw man arguments, while rejecting ID articles, or even letters from authors whose work is being criticized (e.g., Behe).

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