Just to be clear on BioLogos

Hi, Just be sure, BioLogo’s stance on evolution is that God set off evolution, but did not need to interfere with it (although he could)and knew the outcome correct? BioLogos don’t believe that God directed evolution right because thats more like Intelligent Design and evolution seems to random not directed.

Biologos believes God is the Creator. Of everything … both originally and now.

As to how God’s guidance looks in all those processes, Biologos doesn’t take an official stand on the details [beyond observing that evolution is part of it all, and that creation has been unfolding for billions of years] even though individuals at Biologos probably have a spectrum of opinions on what such guidance looks like. So … no, Biologos does not take an official stance either way that God “directed evolution” in its particulars or that God didn’t. That’s a harder question; one that science can’t address and so is harder to come by an agreed upon consensus.

While many who consider themselves “friends” or “supporters” here are indeed suspicious of or even outright hostile to anything ID (of the Discovery Institute sort), that is not codified into any Biologos official position that “we shall be anti-ID”. Will see if this attracts any needed correction, but that is what I understand of Biologos right now.

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I’m asking mainly because of the book Fact vs Faith by Jerry Coyne who says that science can not reconciled with the Christian faith if evolution is random and unidirected, that is why I’m asking.

Well, you’re in the right place. Right here is a crowd of people who are living, breathing counter-examples to such a false claim. It’s just as simple as if he’d said “It is impossible that a person should be able to blink and breathe at the same time” … and here we all are blinking and breathing. Coyne couldn’t get any wronger, though perhaps he’s up for the challenge.

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I am aware and this forum has been helpful so far.

Does recognizing the capital “L” in the term “BioLogos”, as Collins intended it, help? If so, might want to change the title of the thread. Are you aware of why the capital letter in the middle of the word is used? The Language of God book says why, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

Yes I am aware,I just forgot.

I agree with Mervin. It is sort of like the Facebook relationship status: It’s complicated.
While there are a variety of opinions, it is safe to say that BioLogos holds that God takes an active role in creation, though the nature of that role may not be apparent or detectable. I think of it as ID on the quantam level perhaps, though sure that idea falls apart too at some point. However, I think it is important to say that BioLogos does not accept deism as God’s role in creation in the sense that God just wound it up and let it run.
ID on the other hand seems to say that intelligent design is observable and testable, but as of yet has not really shown that to be the case, putting out statistical and mathematical models, but you know what that say about statistics…

There is nothing outside science, in nature, that needs addressing.

But there is stuff outside of science … that needs addressing! Enter into the realms of philosophy, religion, arts and humanities, theisms … the places where the Coynes of the world [apparently] fear to openly tread.

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Aye Mervin, but none of that stuff is in the same category. To suggest that anything in nature and nature itself needs addressing unnaturally or supernaturally is not based on any observation of nature. And as you know, I want to believe in the transcendent, thanks be to God in Christ. All the other stuff we make up can be wonderful. And just maybe, hopefully, there’s one thing we didn’t.

Exactly. I think we’re in agreement. And I enthusiastically join your hope in the transcendent and I even go further to dare that … we didn’t just make most of that stuff up.

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I would find this pretty persuasive point if it were clearly demonstrable. My opinion is evidence for unguided evolution is cherry picked. Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker is probably the best argument for Coyne’s position. Worth reading to see what you think.

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Having been founded by a scientist, Biologos does not support ID in the claim that evolution does not work. But there is no implication of Deism here to claim that God cannot or does not play a role either in evolution or in our lives.

God is not an inept carpenter who cannot craft a table that cannot stand on its own but has to hold it together. Likewise evolution does not require God to make it work any more than our bodies require God to make them work. But that does not mean that God is a carpenter who will not add finishing touches to his table, or that God will never heal the sick, or that God did not participate in the process of evolution to steer it to the way that He wanted it to go.

That is not an issue on which everyone here agrees. Some may go with absolute predestination and absolute foreknowledge but there are others like myself who don’t believe in that

Yes evolution is fundamentally random even if it is not completely random. So even though it works without divine help, it won’t necessarily go in the direction God is aiming for without a little divine interference. Like I mentioned before there is that event which wiped out the dinosaurs which sounds to me a lot like the flood. God can and does interfere when things are going wrong. But I don’t think God was aiming for a particular shape but more a matter of capabilities such as language and compassion…

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For me there is just simply only so many coincidences that can occur before I feel like there is something working in the background. Something that requires faith. You can’t pin it down to any one thing. You can’t “science” it out. I think it’s their, and it’s only found by faith. I see everything on this planet from the perspective that God made it. I also believe that everything in nature can be explained without God. You can do it either way. It bothers some. It does not bother me. I don’t feel the need to prove God exists. I even think if we could, it would not matter and mankind would reject it. I believe Jesus preformed miracles in the face of many men. Out of that crowd some chose to accept it and some chose to reject it. I believe that will always be the case.

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Everything I understand about Biologos is that, however God may or may not have directed evolution, any such guidance is undetectable by any scientific or empiric method and thus indistinguishable from natural or random processes. Natural/naturalistic conclusions about biological phenomena are the only ones permitted to be considered, the design hypothesis is ruled out of court from the beginning.

Otherwise, Biologos could have a “big tent” approach and allow ID as a possible avenue of discussion.

And I think a denial or rejection of ID is in fact codified into their basic self-description, or do I misunderstand?

In contrast to EC, YEC, and OEC, Intelligent Design (ID) does not explicitly align itself with Christianity. It claims that the existence of an intelligent cause of the universe and of the development of life is a testable scientific hypothesis. ID arguments often point to parts of scientific theories where there is no consensus and claim that the best solution is to appeal to the direct action of an intelligent designer. At BioLogos, we believe that our intelligent God designed the universe, but we do not see scientific or biblical reasons to give up on pursuing natural explanations for how God governs natural phenomena. We believe that scientific explanations complement a robust theological understanding of God’s role as designer, creator, and sustainer of the universe.

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Does your conclusion above come from this particular sentence in the linked essay?

At BioLogos, we believe that our intelligent God designed the universe, but we do not see scientific or biblical reasons to give up on pursuing natural explanations for how God governs natural phenomena.

If so, you may have a point. I do think the above sentence gets at the heart of the difference so many here see with ID. ID, as I understand it, wants science to have some threshold of effort beyond which science concludes “we’ve done all we can, and came up dry … there must be an opaque design explanation here that we cannot any longer investigate.” And moreover, IDists want that to be acknowledged as a scientific conclusion. Whereas the Biologos statement above (while stopping short of saying ‘we will never ever do this…’), does state ‘we see no scientific or biblical reasons’ to establish a threshold for giving up on pursuit of ‘natural’ explanations. It would be interesting (perhaps revealing?) that you or IDists generally might interpret that statement as a denial that such a threshold could ever be seen to exist. It would be tantamount to a denial of the heart of the ID program: That design can be shown as a scientifically demonstrable conclusion. What I read in that Biologos statement doesn’t necessarily shut the door on that possibility. It just essentially claims: “we don’t yet see any …”. We all can perhaps be forgiven for drawing from that the (I think largely accurate) further inference: “…and nor do we expect any will ever be found…” But it doesn’t quite get there. Not in codified form here anyway. I shouldn’t be surprised if you found words to that effect somewhere, though, as I do think you are right that it is a general attitude of friends of Biologos.

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Indeed, if their statement included the word “yet” (or some similar sentiment), I would agree. But everything I’ve seen or read suggests their position to be such that it would never be appropriate to conclude intelligent agency in any conceivable circumstance.

In addition, to clarify, ID doesn’t necessarily require exclusion of any and all other possibilities before concluding intelligent agency. Obviously, that is part of any scientific or logical process, to rule out alternative explanations. But the ID endeavor also seeks a positive case… When we look at our smart phones, do we Consciously or unconsciously go through a process to exclude every other conceivable natural explanation before concluding it was designed? Or are there simple and obvious hallmarks of design by which it is reasonable to conclude intentional design as the best explanation?

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In other words, everything I have read from anyone associated with Biologos claims that the idea of concluding intelligent agency is wrong (usually by appealing to methodological naturalism.), rather than claiming such appeals are premature.

Otherwise, the emphasis on methodological naturalism would have no purpose. MN doesn’t say “seek a natural explanation until you’ve determined there isn’t one and then you can posit intelligent causes …” It says only natural causes shall be considered. This means that concluding intelligent agency will never be acceptable… not simply that it is premature.

I think that misses the point. BioLogos states that intelligent agency is a given, a foregone conclusion, and science is the appropriate way to learn about that creation.

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