How do Christians present the teleological argument for God's existence in an era where abiogenesis and evolution are so widely accepted?

Whilst i know i could have just referenced the URL for this, the way the question is worded is i think well done and as such I thought i would share this post from another forum…it presents a number of important dilemmas i think for both Teism and YECism.

Note, I have introduced this question because it has implications for us all, implications that challenge the idea of there even being a God and that is extremely worrying.

I think each of us need to ensure that we understand the dilemmas we face…things that directly challenge our belief. I see this as fulfilling the biblical statement that we should build our house on rock (i know usually the Rock is Christ…im extrapolating/extending that).

My hope is that both TE and YEC can find common ground to counter the argument against God.

Note i have not written any text below

The teleological argument is defined as follows:

The teleological argument (from τέλος, telos, ‘end, aim, goal’; also known as physico-theological argument, argument from design, or intelligent design argument) is an argument for the existence of God or, more generally, that complex functionality in the natural world which looks designed is evidence of an intelligent creator.

Source: Teleological argument - Wikipedia

I’m aware of at least two Bible passages that seem to resonate a lot with the teleological argument:

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1 NKJV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25 NKJV)

However, secular mainstream science tells us a different story from the theistic one, emphasizing naturalistic explanations such as abiogenesis and evolution. This perspective excludes the notion of an intelligent creator, largely due to science’s steadfast commitment to methodological naturalism. Advocates of this naturalistic approach in scientific research argue that supernatural explanations are not viable because they cannot be tested, falsified, or subjected to empirical investigation.

Moreover, there are atheists like Richard Dawkins who champion the theory of evolution as their trump card against the teleological argument:

“Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

Richard Dawkins (2015). “The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design”, p.18, W. W. Norton & Company

In response to the question Is the teleological argument for God completely refuted?, this answer asserts:

The teleological argument is effectively dead. The last gasp at it was by William Dembski and Michael Behe with “irreducible complexity” (the intellectual core of the intelligent design movement), and they simply failed to understand the actual problem and/or came up with handwaving to state that certain things were impossible, when in fact they were not only possible but there were examples of them.

That evolution provides the mechanism to produce all the complexity of life seen today is no longer in serious doubt; and that simple physical laws suffice to produce all the complexity of the universe is also no longer in serious doubt. The only area not completely nailed down is fine-tuning of universal constants, and that makes for an incredibly weak teleological argument since all we know about reality with different constants is that our familiar physics doesn’t work. We cannot predict whether there’d be some other complex physical reality admitting evolution, so we can’t tell if the numbers are actually finely tuned and thus whether we should be surprised by them.

Or in response to the question How does the theory of evolution make it less likely that the world is designed?, the most upvoted answer states:

When Laplace wrote his Newtonian, materialist explanation of the universe, Napoleon asked him where God fit into the scheme. “I have no need of that hypothesis, Sire,” was Laplace’s famous reply.

Your question is fair enough, but employs a common misrepresentation of science. You can take any scientific theory and then add on God, as if inviting a “plus one.” Many scientists do, but only on their own time, so to speak.

To jettison redundant hypotheses is simply a critical working scientific convention, wielding Ockham’s razor. You can always add God back in, but not into the published, peer-reviewed science.

If you want to use God as part of your causal explanation of physical events, you must offer some experimental way to falsify that hypothesis. And this is where believers usually have a problem.

Exactly what repeatable experiment would falsify the God hypothesis? A non-biased, double-blind series of unanswered prayers? It is not so much that evolution “disproves” God. It is simply that it offers a compelling, verifiable explanation of observations that does not require God.

If some scientists do indeed seem hostile to the idea of God, it is more properly a hostility towards undecidable claims that muddy the waters, subvert the scientific method, and then tend to backload a lot of moral implications and assertions.

Even concerning abiogenesis, whose evidential support is arguably much weaker than that of neo-Darwinism, we encounter statements such as the following:

Is abiogenesis proven?

No. It is not proven.

Regarding evidence, we know there was a time when Earth did not have life, now it does. So life did get started somehow. There is no evidence of intelligent agency involved and no other problem in science has been solved by invoking non-human intelligence. Thus the operating assumption is that OOL was a natural event.

As to how it can happen, that is an open and active area of research. And while it hasn’t been solved there are promising avenues of research.

Could God have done it? We can’t say he couldn’t have, but there is no reason to think he did.

Source: Is abiogenesis proven? - r/DebateEvolution

In an era where the teleological argument for God encounters significant challenges from advocates of abiogenesis and evolution, how do Christians who present it navigate these obstacles to make the argument more intellectually compelling to those who don’t believe in God?

WHen are you going to give this a rest? Science is not our enemy!

And that is the root of their problem and no ours. Those who argues against God, that is.

God does ot need to be proven, in fact e cannot be. As long as God can only be identified by faith the world can turn. If God was ever proven beyond doubt or seen by everyone Eg the second coming) the world would change for ever.

As long as God is a God of faith He can be justifiably ignored. Their excuse is that they cannot do not know Him.and likewise God does not have to react, in fact cannot react, because to do so would be to reveal Himself We are free to follow or not.

If God is visible and known then He has to react. If He allows people to see Him and ignore Him He is seen as impotent. If H reacts and punishes then He is a tyrant, dictator. the ultimate Dictator who cannot be overthrown.

Just because people se science as an excuse not to see God does not mean we have to attack science. It is a fool’s argument.

God wants people to follow Him because they want to . Because they believe His way is right.not because of fear or punishment or even the self interested Heaven. Being a Christian is about behaving in a Godly manner, for its own sake. We align ourselves with God and try our best to do what is right. It is a way of life and a way of living rather than just a religion.

Why are people so obsessed with the consequences of doing evil? It is not about consequences! It is about living correctly. And to say that such a way of living is impossible without God is self defeating! It is possible to always choose the right way and behave correctly. It is possible. It may be unlikely, due to circumstances and human greed, and the dynamics of life on earth, But ti claim it is impossible it to accuse God of not making this world fair and just, and “good”. When ever we declare “This world is unfair” we criticise and accuse God!

Christianity is a way t understand what it is to align ourselves with God, but it is not an exclusive club or the only way to live, or think.

So let people study science. Science is about understanding the world and as your quote from Romans says, we understand God by understanding the world. Let people thnk that God is not relevent to them. God does not want to force them so why must you?

Abiogenesis cannot be proven any more than Evolution can be proven to be exactly as taught. God is there whether people can see Him or not, and he makes sure that they cannot see Him unless they want to. God is in Creatio.He is in Evolution. You can see God, why can’t you see Him in Evolution? Why can’t you accept that God is invisible to science so a scientific theory will not include Him? Just because they do not , does not mean he is not there!

Genesis says “In the beginning God…” what more do you want?



Therein lies the fault: this makes the leap from methodological naturalism to philosophical naturalism, which is a solid non-sequitur – there is no logic connecting the two. Supernatural explanations are not viable because there is no test for divine presence or divine activity, not on any logical grounds. As has been said here often enough, without a Divinometer, science is unable to say the least thing about God, and that includes whether or not He is real.

The assertion is baseless. The teleological argument does not require “irreducible complexity”, it only requires fine tuning: design does not have to apply to individual systems, it can apply to the entire system – which is why there have been atheists and agnostics who came to faith due to their study of evolution; such an elegant and powerful system, they concluded, could only come from a Designer.

So the fact that Behe and Dembski are in error about irreducible complexity doesn’t bother the teleological argument in the least; that claim fails due to a category error.

So? Using this is claim there is no Designer is like saying that since all the complexity of an oil painting can be explained by the materials of canvas and paint and brush then there is no artist.

The flaw here is the claim that there is any “reality with different constants”. Such conjecture is not science but metaphysics; as more than one top physicist has said, if there’s no way to test it then scientifically it does not exist.

This also fails: evolution rests on chemistry, and chemistry is just physics, and physics has to ultimately deal with the fact that given that we and our universe exist, then there must be something that has always existed. The choice then comes down to claiming that it is the universe that has always existed, or rather a physics reality equivalent to a universe that was capable of giving rise to this one, or that there is an eternal Mind behind the universe that set the constants as we find them – yet it must be noted that even if the first is true it does not rule out the second, as John Lennox of Cambridge has noted; so that on the one hand there is either Mind plus physics, while on the other there is just Mind.

In that case the scientists involved are not doing science, they are doing metaphysics: since science has no Divinometer, the existence of God cannot muddy any waters or subvert the scientific method.

Nor can there be without that Divinometer.

Which is really a rather inane statement since no one but scientists who don’t want to believe in God have ever advanced the idea that invoking non-human intelligence has any bearing on science

As I have shown – unless they can offer a Divinometer, nothing they have to say about the reality of God has any meaning. They have to face the root fact that either physics reality has always existed or that there is a Designer/Creator, and even if the first is true that does not exclude a Designer/Creator – and thus it comes down to a personal choice; science can say nothing on the matter.


Christians are not told to argue people into the Kingdom but to be a witness. A witness tells what they’ve seen or experienced and then is done. Likewise does a prophet give the message and then moves on.
Christians are also told by Jesus to live in a certain way. If we obeyed Jesus’ commands alone, we would BE a witness. Maybe we could change the world again, as the first Christians did – by serving in love and telling the Good News. Allowing our lives and the Holy Spirit to convince people through faith.

Faith comes by hearing what?


Who says that they re in error? Just because they come from a YEC background? That is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I have never seen the virtue in backing the scientific view of Evolution. Or defending it just because the attack comes from a viewpoint that yiu do not share.

Science may not be able to “see” or identify God but you do not have to defend their “ungodly” conclusions.

Evolution “needs” God to work. IC is just one “proof” of this.


I’ve pondered this often and always end up comparing the world then and the one now. In the first century, the Gospel was a radical challenge to practically everything religious, ethical, social, and even political, so when Christians did things like organize a watch on the places where unwanted infants were exposed in order to rescue them it was not just shocking but a challenge to the established order, as was never exposing infants themselves. But today society has been shaped by Christian values for two millennia, so such simple things draw no attention, and today’s counterpart – pro-life groups – don’t even approach that dedication to life but instead seek political power to coerce others into desire behavior; if every pro-life group was like the Lutherans for Life I worked with briefly, people spending significant chunks of their own income to provide for as many mothers as possible so they could keep babies, that might stir up something similar to what rescuing exposed infants did in the world of the first century.

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Can you think of any things that Jesus preached that Christians today ignore, for the lack of which society suffers? Things that, if we did them, would turn our worlds on their heads?
What if Christians of all kinds held our societies, communities and governments at all levels to account for the ways our accepted systems perpetuate injustice, poverty and inequality? We’d be busy for the rest of time, and demonstrating the beautiful vision of the kingdom of God. And opening doors to the gospel, while making the world a better place.

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For me the strongest argument , which I am still not convinced by, is that the cosmos just seems to be to fine tuned for so many things that if it were to be different life just does not seem possible. Now, I find cosmology super boring and so I don’t personally know all the calculations. There may be a podcast by “recovering evangelicals” by Luke Janssen that may touch up on it. His disbelief towards intelligent design is honestly enough for me to consider his consideration of this argument without me knowing it myself.

Now again, ultimately it’s not convincing to me. I’m just not certain that I’ll ever being 100% that magic/supernatural influences will be more likely as a solution than chance and so on.

While I am highly skeptical of anyone’s claim of the supernatural, such as dreams and so on, I also am not able to say without a doubt it’s all fake or coincidental. There are so many stories we could not fill up all the books of the earth…….of people throughout the world claiming something supernatural. Even atheists will often admit to having strange experiences that just makes no sense to them.

But then again…. There is a joke……

Is it just coincidence or divine intervention that you often make it to the toilet just at the very exact second before things get gross.

So scientific arguments have never been convincing to me. I am much more sold on human experiences, even if I don’t really believe it, all those well maybe it’s 0.99% possible adds up.

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Great question, Adam. However, I think that there are a lot of reasons to believe in God. For example, it seems we need a belief in justice; in meaning; abstract reasoning; and many other things. It almost seems to mirror the question of the problem of evil. For example, in “Night,” as I recall hearing, Elie Wiesel recounts the story of how several Jewish scholars put God on trial in the concentration camp. They came to the conclusion that they could not find a reason for God to have allowed them to be there. At the end, I’ve heard, one of them still rose and said, “Now is the time for evening prayer.”

It is not an easy question. I think God Himself knows our hearts.


I have a somewhat silly tale on this…

when i was in my early teens, whilst dad was studying at university and we had little money, we were given a lawn mower by a friend…the trouble was, then dam thing never worked (i mean really, it never worked). Isuspect the idea was that our friend couldnt get it to work and given my dad was a licensed mechanic prior to his going to university, perhaps dad could get it going…and we needed a mower.

I got it out of the shed one day and spent a long time trying to start it, however, it refused to start. In a moment of exascerbation i prayed for God to start the mower.

Do you know, as soon as i had finished that prayer the mower fired up (it really did start the very next attempt). The mower started and ran for only a short time, and then it stopped…and never ever ran again.

I am 100% certain God started the mower that day…the fact it never ran again is irrelevant given a lawm mower is a machine that requires certain things to function as intended. Petrol engines need compression, fuel, spark and correct timing in order to function…clearly this machine had problems such that its obvious that a miracle is not going to permanently fix nuts and bolts…but a miracle does absolutely demonstrate Gods power to show himself to us. I do not think we should expect a miracle to be a permanent fix for a shoddy lawn mower and my above tail has no supporting scientific evidence. On th contrary, the science of how a combustion engine functions falsifies my claim…but i can say honestly its a true story. Its not my sole reason for believing in God, but it does help some when i have doubts.


How do Christians present the teleological argument for God’s existence in an era where abiogenesis and evolution are so widely accepted?

I believe in God not in arguments such as these. They replace your faith in God with a faith in the premises of these arguments. That is idolatry. They do not convince skeptics and they distort your understanding of God as well as your faith.

No argument against God has been presented. Instead you equate the defeat of belief in an argument with a defeat of a belief in God. What better evidence is there that you have replaced God with this argument.

So… why have people replaced God with arguments like these. It is because it helps them to use religion and the word “God” as tools of power over other people.

“I have never seen the virtue in backing the scientific view of Evolution. Or defending it just because the attack comes from a viewpoint that yiu do not share.”

  • Since when does someone who doesn’t believe in TE, see any virtue in backing the scientific view of evolution or seek help, for that matter, from those who do in arguing against evolution; unless they’re looking for donations.
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Seeing it was me not Roymond who made the comment, and have been advocating TE not ToE since I got here…

And there is no mechanism for donations here, even if I wanted them , which I do not.

Someone has got their wires well and truly crossed.

Any proponent of TE should argue against ToE IMHO. ToE is godless.



Even though there may be alternative tunings which permit life, I think these would be incredibly rare, at least somewhat akin to the way whole numbers are rare - even though there is an infinite amount of them, they are infinitely rare on the number line. It is easier to set out and make all sorts of inert universes than life-nurturing ones. For myself, energy beings, crystal creatures, sentient fogs, and the like are not very credible even as a sci-fi fan.

To account for fine tuning, the alternative views seem to sort into some anthropic principle, laws of nature just being what they are, that there is some fundamental principle we have not discovered as to why the constants must assume the values they do, and of course teleological arguments based on God’s creative purpose. One’s preference for any of these is presently a matter of worldview or faith.


ToM (meteorology) is godless, but as a proponent of “God sends the rain to the just and unjust” I don’t argue against it.


Is idolatry godly? Is a belief in idols better than a belief in no god at all? Evidently the idolaters would have us believe so. But no, it is not so.

Belief in an idol, including a belief in apologetic arguments and other ways of equating God to unrelated beliefs, is not godly because these idols are not God. These idols are nothing and so a belief in them is a belief in no god and thus this is not better than atheism.


Meteorology is not the same as ToE, just because it comes under the umbrella of science.

Meteorology is here and now, it is visible and its working understood. ToE is pure speculation based on artifacts and some creative DNA manipulation.

ToE assumes that nature made itself without the help of God. Meteorology is just the mechanisms God put in place. God does not need to "interfere in the weather.

I get so tired of the same idiotic comparisons.



Meteorology and ToE are both science, the findings of the same methodology – a method for discovering the truth about nature with the honesty of testing hypotheses (rather than looking for reasons to believe) and the objectivity of following written procedures which give the same result no matter what you want or believe. Thus calling ToE godless is EXACTLY the same as calling meteorology and any other science godless.

ToE is NOT speculation. There is more evidence for the evolution than for any other science – evidence from completely different sources bring us to the same conclusions. DNA giving us precise calculations to give independent confirmation or refutation any conclusions we have in biology. Thus we know that Darwin was wrong about dogs, and all are descended from one species of wolf – just one of many many corrections we have from the new information we are getting from DNA.

Meteorology like biology and all other sciences investigate the natural causes of phenomenon in nature and you can only do that by assuming that everything is not just the whim of demons and gods.

I get so tired of the special pleading and hypocrisy by creationists to justify their demand for the power and authority to dictate to people how things happened magically contrary to what the objective evidence is telling us. The sad result of this is power play is to reduce religion to pure fantasy and thus supporting the idea of atheists that religion is nothing but failed primitive attempts at science.


Then it would seem that meteorology is even a larger threat (to a mistaken approach to apologetics) since it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Doesn’t meteorology also assume nature made itself without the help of God in the very same way? Why can’t the ToE be the mechanism that God put in place to produce species?