BioLogos on Intelligent Design

Anyone familiar with BioLogos shouldn’t be surprised that they’re not real keen on intelligent design. But, if you’d like a short video explaining why, here you go. The first half of the video is the most interesting, offering quotes from leading intelligent design proponents, followed by comments from other scientists explaining the broader scientific community views intelligent design arguments. (Note: this is a short video, so don’t look for evidence/arguments here.)

The second half of the video, offering “theological” perspectives on intelligent design is a complete waste of time. For some reason, Thomas Jay Oord thinks that God’s love precludes intelligent design because it would have God “forcing” creation to do things. And, Denis Alexander writes the whole discussion off by appealing to Augustine as support for a “traditional” creation theology that we need to get back to. I’m hard pressed to see how either approach is likely to be helpful here.

[Update: Apparently I linked to the wrong video. Although BioLogos says you can link to the video from their YouTube channel, I can’t find it. Granted, I often can’t find things. So, that’s no surprise. For now you’ll have to view the video on the BioLogos site.]

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on May 25, 2011, in Creation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’m not sure that I find the philosophical arguments for why ID is a misguided approach very convincing. I think the stronger point would be a critique of “trying to catch God at work under a microscope”. In other words, the whole scientific system is built with the goal of explaining how things work and function and if it becomes common place to slip in a “God of the gaps” every time something gets complicated then this could hinder scientific investigation.

    That being said, I think both the ID movement and BioLogos are good for the church because at least it takes science seriously. I grew up around the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) system and my scientific education was greatly hindered in middle school and high school by Ken Ham type apologetics. I think ID and BioLogos have much, much better approaches.

  2. Denis Alexander is not in this video, and Oord doesn’t talk about “forcing” creation to do anything. Did you link to the right video, or did I miss something (real possibility)?

    The most interesting part of this video is “in the beginning” when Cooper lumps ID together with Christian music and art. Maybe she said more than she intended, but it is fascinating to look at the issue from that perspective:

    + Is ID more of an “aesthetic” that reflects preferences and choices? Is Darwinism, for that matter?

    + What are the material causes that resulted in the production of ID as a commodity? The same that produced Christian music and art?

    • Thanks for the heads up. I did in fact link to the wrong video, and I can’t figure out how to embed the correct video. So, I just posted the link to BioLogos instead.

  3. Poor BioLogos! They miss it so much! God’s Creation is His own presupposition, if you will. And here is the approach somewhat of the ID.

  4. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that BioLogos is really just a group of Atheists posing as Christians. While what they are saying does have an air of Christianity to it, it actually sounds more secular than anything. Oord makes it abundantly clear that, from his perspective, Intelligent Design is weak in that “it critiques one particular theory in Evolution” and “it doesn’t offer a grand scheme of how everything works”. What Intelligent Design proponents are saying is not that the Darwinian theory is incorrect, but rather, that it is not clear enough to even be correct.

    The video gives the false impression that Intelligent Design is the work of a band of eager Christian scientists trying to put their theory before facts. But it’s not. It’s the work of scientists, Agnostics and Theists, who recognize, because of incredible advances in nanotechnolgy, that life is not “the common descent from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection”. Oord would have us believe that these scientists a merely objecting to issues that don’t agree with their Christian worldview, whereas in fact, Intelligent Design scientists object to non-scientific claims.

    Ian Hutchinson goes on to say that Intelligent Design is really just the striving “for scientific proofs of God.” It could also easily be argued that Darwinism is really just the striving “for scientific proofs that God does not exist”, but we hope that science is objective, as it should be, and not subjective. Empirical data is the final word on any theory.

    Finally, the presenter closes the video by saying that “God is at work in His creation and “real” science is not a threat” to that. Is she saying that we don’t need to produce dubious sciences (like ID) to counteract real science (like Evolution)? If that doesn’t sound like someone who’s been mentored by Hawkins himself…

    Kepler said that science is man thinking God’s thoughts after Him. The only real science is the one that can admit, based on evidence, that a theory is false, and embrace the new evidence at hand.

  5. Marc (and others),

    I lay out five things I like about ID, five things I don’t like, and my “love objection” in a three-part blog series. Here are the links:

    5 Things I like:

    5 Things I don’t like:

    My objection to ID based on divine love:

    You may not agree with me, of course. But I hope these blogs — especially the last — lay out the logic of my position.



    • Tom, thank you for these resources. I will definitely check them out soon, and I’m sure they’ll give me a better understanding of where you’re coming from on this. I may do a follow-up post when I’m done, and if I do, I hope you’ll come back and offer some more perspective.

  6. I was just listening to some lectures by John Polkinghorne (search iTunesU “H. Orton Wiley Lecture Series in Theology”) and in one of the lectures (I don’t remember which one) he gives his reasons for not liking ID. Not very helpful, I know, but worth checking out for those who are interested in the relationship between theology and science.

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