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Monday, May 14, 2012

Dembski and Falk: Is Darwinism Theologically Neutral, the critical issue

I have been posting on an exchange between William Dembski, one of the intellectual pillars of the Intelligent Design movement (ID) and Darrel Falk, President of the BioLogos Foundation, which may be characterized as an Evolutionary Creationist organization. Here is the latest previous post.

In the conclusion of his response to Dembski, Falk indicates that he agrees with Dembski about a great many things, and that Darwinism, as usually understood, is not theologically neutral. Falk and Dembski believe that humans are not here by accident, but because of a supernatural purpose.

But Falk does not agree with Dembski on all points.

Dembski wrote:
Given that science is widely regarded as our most reliable universal form of knowledge, the failure of science to provide evidence of God, and in particular Darwin’s exclusion of design from biological origins, undercuts (C2).

Dembski previously stated C2 thus, as one of his non-negotiables of Christianity: "The world reflects God’s glory, a fact that ought to be evident to humanity." (Falk agrees with that, by the way.)

Falk disagrees:
Given the way that God has worked through his regular natural activity, why should we expect to be able to develop a test for the activity of God?  God is always active, but scientific testing of God’s activity would require a “control” where God is not active.  How can we conduct an experiment which studies the “presence vs. absence of God” when God is always present as sustainer as well as creator?

There is more explanation of the disagreement than that, but that's the heart of it. I agree with Falk. Further, I believe that there is scriptural evidence to support his position. Hebrews 11:3 says "By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible." (World English Bible, public domain) Not by experimental evidence, but by faith.

Thanks for reading. Read Falk and Dembski.


Human Ape said...

"Falk and Dembski believe that humans are not here by accident, but because of a supernatural purpose."

We're not here by accident. We're here thanks to a non-random mechanism called natural selection.

Most certainly we are not here because a fairy waved its magic wand (or what you call supernatural purpose).

There's no evidence for anything supernatural. It's just wishful thinking and a cowardly denial of reality.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, HumanApe.

Natural selection is not totally random, and perhaps I should have said that. My main point, however was not randomness, but purpose.

Hebrews 11:3 says that I understand God's activity in origins through faith.

Whether you acknowledge it or not, you don't see supernatural activity in creation because of your faith, and our faiths are certainly different.

There is no scientific evidence that absolutely disproves God's existence. I don't believe that there is any scientific evidence that absolutely proves His existence, either. (Some Christians do.)