Sunday, May 08, 2011

Alien, Very Alien, Intelligent Design

Interesting is this post on Uncommon Descent which manifests a phenomenon I have become very familiar with; namely, anti-evolutionists attempting to form a cartel with atheist evolutionists on the basis of their mutual belief that “Darwinism” gives God his redundancy notice . “I don’t need that hypothesis” as the saying goes; as if God is a "Law & Disorder" hypothesis. 

In fact, the anti-evolutionists may go as far as to express admiration and respect for atheists who candidly spell out the “materialistic” conclusions of “Darwinism”. I suspect the respect is one way, although I have sneaky suspicion that the new wave atheists don’t mind at all when theists also caricature evolution as a mindless process based on chance. In this article on  the Christian web site Network Norwich and Norfolk James Knight notes that many new wave atheists started their life as Christians, thus hinting at some link between gnu atheism and Christianity. I added a comment to his article noting the apparent cartel forming behavior I have already mentioned and proposed that this may have something to do with the link. The cartel is used by fundamentalists to apply spiritual duress on Christian evolutionists: As James Knight says:

Yes we see a peculiar defense of fundamentalism take place, where, in order to dismiss theistic evolution they (the fundamentalists) put on a new-wave atheist's mask and quote their usual sound-bytes in the hope that theistic evolutionists will begin to stink of ‘Darwinism’, and qualify to the point of ex-communication.

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It is an irony that one reason I can’t get evolutionary theory off my desk is precisely because of intelligent design. The engineering behind life is, within a little, not far from our intellectual reach. In contrast, evolution demands computational problems to be resolved that are way beyond both our intellects and our current computational technology. Above all, the problems of implementing an evolutionary system are all but impossible to resolve in realistic time via a purely stochastic system.

However, I'll grant that evolution cuts across many standard theological expectations: In the UD post I've linked to we find Denyse O’Leary saying:

Christian Darwinists struggle to convince Christians to jettison deeply held beliefs in order to embrace Darwin.

If evolution, or something similar to it, is the fruitful process that has generated the configurations of life then the “specified complexity” of its necessary preconditions are beyond human computation. The prerequisites of evolution, then, are evidence that we are dealing with a very alien form of intelligence. As the Good Book says (Is 55: 8-9)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Just how alien is clear from the context of the above verses  (Is 55: 6-7)

Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Free pardons for all who turn….” violates the mindset of the “God will pay them back” mentality that pervades so much of man’s theology.

As I have said before: I have a reserved view of evolution, but we should not reject evolution for the wrong reasons: ID alone is not good enough reason for rejecting it, especially as we are dealing with such an alien intelligence.

2 comments:

Victoria Kondratev said...

You clearly seem like a confused person on this particular topic. First of all your taking the Bible out of context and bashing intelligent design like your some higher being. Your only human remember?

Timothy V Reeves said...

I'm an intelligent Design Creationist, although self critical. Moreover, as I have said in the text of my post I have a reserved view of evolution. I also respect many of the correspondents on Uncommon Descent.(But not all) Looks to me as though you've missed something vital Victoria.