Intelligent Design makes more sense than BioLogos

(Darius Beckham) #1

I’m starting to think intelligent design theories are more plausible than the ones advocated by BioLogos researchers. The science is more sound, philosophically honest, and makes more sense of Scripture.

My theory about the Flood
(Brad Kramer) #2

@Dpiiiius this is an interesting statement. Can you please elaborate what you mean?

(George Brooks) #3


I doubt that what you are “starting to think” has much to do with what you are reading in these BioLogos forums.

For, if your recent thoughts were changing because of what you read here, you would have concluded the following:

A) Both I.D. proponents, and many BioLogos supporters, believe that God actively shapes the genetic structure of life forms;

B) and that even some I.D. proponents accept that the modern life forms we see today came out of a multi-million year period where God-determined speciation has occurred;

C) otherwise, I.D. proponents have to hypothesize a sudden burst of evolution in order to explain how the animals that existed when they were released from the Ark could be responsible for the Millions+ of species that we currently find on Earth today.

When you say “more plausible than the [theories] advocated by BioLogos” I would be fascinated to know which theory or theories you mean. Much time by many BioLogos supporters is invested in pointing out how old the Earth is, and/or that God’s role in evolution is crucial.

(Phil) #4

I think that there is a lot of common ground. However, my opinion is one that was voiced here, and is that ID is a great philosophy, but poor science.

(Darius Beckham) #7

Hey Brad, thanks for reaching out! I didn’t expect this to become an independent thread, but I guess I opened a can of worms through my comment. It was more of an unecessary branching statement from a concluding thought to a post made by @Casper_Hesp, and not really connected to @AntoineSuarez’s thread My theory about the Flood at all. Before I respond though, I have to say right off the bat that the title of this thread (“Intelligent Design makes more sense than BioLogos”) is not what I said in my original post, and is undoubtedly click-bait.

Relatively well known people like Alvin Plantinga, Stephen Meyer, Douglas Axe, William Dembksi, etc. (who are all either very accomplished scientists, mathematicians, and/or philosophers with great credentials) often stress that the most fundamental difference between ID and theistic evolution isn’t the science per-say, but the latter’s adherence to a philosophy they call “methodological naturalism” (or MN). I’m convinced that BioLogos’s insistence that ID is essentially a form of pseudoscience is simply inaccurate, and that BL’s starting assumption that God did not supernaturally intervene whatsoever in creation (e.g. everything we observe today has come about purely through random mutation and natural selection, or Darwinian processes) is just that - a philosophically unnecessary and scientifically flawed assumption that stems from MN.

I’m far from being anything remotely near a scientist (in fact I’m an undergraduate English major to be precise), so I can only consider and weigh the work that actual scientists are doing. And once again, from what I’ve learned I find the ID arguments to be compelling. I see how BioLogos passionately adheres to the popular secular trend of stressing naturalistic explanations for virtually everything observable, but I don’t know why this is so, especially since this is a Christian ministry. Of course that’s not to say BL doesn’t clearly state that God is the ultimate cause / Creator, but the conception of creation presented here seems to be decidedly more deist-leaning, with God simply acting once in the very beginning (i.e. the Big Bang) and not anymore subsequently.

How is special divine intervention in creation implausible? Why is ID so heavily criticized and marginalized by BioLogos when the former is simply pointing out in the world what the Bible claims about the world in multiple passages, which is that it clearly evidences God’s creative hand? Not only do I think methodological naturalism is just a bad starting point, the numerous positive arguments that ID scientists make to demonstrate flaws in Darwinian evolutionary theory as an explanation for the observable diversity of life are equally solid, especially the ones regarding new information. The specific ID viewpoints and claims are available online and/or in book format, so I’m not going to list them. A Google search will produce desired results. I hope that elaboration helps!

(Darius Beckham) #8

Word, peep my reply to Brad.

(Peaceful Science) #9

This is a totally false characterization of BL. Did you know that?

I believe that God does intervene in creation.

Also no evolutionary biologist believes that “everything we observe today has come about purely through random mutation and natural selection, or Darwinian processes.” Darwinism in this sense was falsified a long long time ago, well before ID entered the scene.

You can disagree with us, but please do not so absurdly misrepresent us.

It is not. BioLogos specifically affirms this in the Ressurection and many (most?) of us (including Francis Collins!) affirm that God acts in this world in other ways too.

(Darius Beckham) #10

Hey Phil, I agree that there’s a lot of common ground. The ID field is commonly bashed though, and it’s often labeled as pseudoscience by many in the evolutionary creation / theistic evolution crowd. From what I’ve read, ID philosophy and science are both good - and in my sincere evaluation they’re better than BioLogos’s on both fronts too! Take care.

(Peaceful Science) #11

Show me one positive argument? As a scientist that studies biological information, I have yet to see one mathematical ID argument that did not have serious and irrecoverable mathematical errors.

(Darius Beckham) #12

I should’ve added a caveat earlier in that paragraph you quoted from, but way to ignore the rest of my post and cherry pick that excerpt. I went on to state: [quote=“Dpiiiius, post:7, topic:35483”]
Of course that’s not to say BL doesn’t clearly state that God is the ultimate cause / Creator, but the conception of creation presented here seems to be decidedly more deist-leaning, with God simply acting once in the very beginning (i.e. the Big Bang) and not anymore subsequently.

You then quoted my question that specifically addressed special creation and went on to answer it with this:

Is the resurrection the same thing as creation? I’m not talking about miraculous acts, I’m clearly referring to the origins and development of biological life.

(Peaceful Science) #13

This is false. We do not deny God’s action in creation. I am NOT a Deist, and find deism to be entirely inconsistent with the God of the Bible. I believe that God providentially governs all things including evolution, and acts as He sees fit to do as He pleases with it. He directs evolution however He sees fit.

(Darius Beckham) #14

Okay, Dr. Swamidass. Please explain precisely why you oppose intelligent design then.

(Phil) #15

Darius, I agree that ID does a good job of stating God sustains and directs, but I have never seen a good example of science supporting ID. What do you feel is a good example of good science directly attributed to ID?

(Peaceful Science) #16

First of I agree with IDs ultimate conclusion, that God designed us and acts in this world. That is something I like about them. No argument here.

However, their math is wrong. The rhetoric is awesome, but I am entirely unconvinced by the scientific arguments, even if I ignore MN. There are (to experts) obvious errors in the math that go uncorrected for decades. This has been covered at length in other posts. From my point of view, they are saying…

God designed us, and we know this because 1 + 1 = 3.

Well, 1+1 actually equals 2, but yes God designed us.

Moreover, I think ID’s (implicity) theology is wrong too. This is tricky, because ID has no explicit theology. But ID makes no sense unless you think human effort by default can clearly reveal how God acts in this world, independent of His revelation. This is just false in every area of life, including creation. That theological assumption is just wrong and cannot be justified from Scripture. So I reject it.

Just to reiterate, I know that God acts, but I do not know how unless He tells me. He does not speak of mutations and DNA in Scripture, so I do not know how He providentially governs evolution. I do not deny He inspires mutations, but I have no way of proving this.

(Darius Beckham) #17

@jpm @Swamidass

Thanks for your replies. I want to say up front once again that I am not a scientist. Not only am I a “scientific layman” so to speak, I’m also laughably terrible at math. So I cannot account for the validity of the more math-oriented scientific research that anyone publishes, from either standpoint. Researchers in the ID field have conducted a variety of experiments. Many have essentially demonstrated that simple cellular organisms lack the ability to add new information to their genetic codes, which is apparently necessary in order for them to become more complex organisms. Ola Hössjer and Ann Gauger have also recently proposed a model for human ancestral descent from a single pair. Despite my lack of knowledge, I must admit that I find it hard to believe that ID science is bad and the math is full of errors when taking into account the fact that many of these ID scientists and mathematicians studied at elite institutions. Cambridge, MIT, CalTech, Harvard, Chicago, and UPenn are just a few of the schools that some of the well known ID proponents either graduated from or worked at. College credentials certainly don’t make a man or woman, but an education from a school as serious as one of these definitely goes a long way and should be considered objectively. I’m willing to admit though that because of my mathematical incompetence I could simply be mistaken.

I legitimately don’t understand what this means, I’m not even trying to be disrespectful.

(Peaceful Science) #18

I’ll respond later. Packing for a flight now. Doing a Veritas Forum tomorrow.

(Darius Beckham) #19

Nice, I hope that goes well!

(Christy Hemphill) #20

:grin: Undoubtedly! Look how popular this thread has become in one afternoon.

That’s not BioLogos’ position. Here it is from the official “What We Believe” Page

[quote] We believe that God created the universe, the earth, and all life over billions of years. God continues to sustain the existence and functioning of the natural world, and the cosmos continues to declare the glory of God. Therefore, we reject ideologies such as Deism that claim the universe is self-sustaining, that God is no longer active in the natural world, or that God is not active in human history.

We believe that God typically sustains the world using faithful, consistent processes that humans describe as “natural laws.” Yet we also affirm that God works outside of natural law in supernatural events, including the miracles described in Scripture. In both natural and supernatural ways, God continues to be directly involved in creation and in human history.

We believe that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Thus, evolution is not in opposition to God, but a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes. Therefore, we reject ideologies that claim that evolution is a purposeless process or that evolution replaces God. - See more at: -** [/quote]

(George Brooks) #21


I think you should update your notes on BioLogos, my dear sir. While it is always difficult to say “all” or “every” when it comes to people’s religious, metaphysical or even scientific views, there are a great many BioLogos supporters like myself, who not only allow for, but Insist Upon, the idea that God’s supernatural hand controls Evolution - - or even that God’s supernatural hand controls the Creation of Life by means of Evolution.

Some prefer a little more cause, and a little less miracle, and vice versa. A sample distinction would be those BioLogos supporters who believe God set up the Dinosaur-killing asteroid at the moment of Creation. While other BioLogos supporters are perfectly comfortable with the idea that asteroid was created somewhere out in deep space, and aimed by God to collide with Earth at the desired speed and angle.

Your criticism of BioLogos seems to be a holdover from your criticism of some Atheist blog somewhere else. It certainly doesn’t apply to the official mission statements of BioLogos (URL provided below):

(Christy Hemphill) #22

Special divine intervention in creation is not implausible, who is saying it is? I was a French major, which is basically an English major except with French novels to read, and probably just about as useful in life. :stuck_out_tongue: So I don’t understand the nitty-gritty details of the science or math either. I have gathered that the major beef with ID is when it claims divine intervention can be studied scientifically and proven empirically. That and the fact that some of their main messaging efforts in books and on sites like Evolution News and Views is geared at lay-people, not peers in the sciences, and seems more interested in discrediting and promoting suspicion of mainstream scientific consensus than in putting forward a viable counter model of their own. There is major disagreement in the ID camp over basic scientific facts like the age of the universe and whether common descent is real or not, so their unifying message seems to be “don’t trust scientific consensus” instead of an actual testable hypotheses of their own.