The Return of the God Hypothesis

Hey al! I’m briefly back (still an atheist — though I’d rather take the position of James Lindsay in his book Why Everybody is Wrong about God!). I’m here to ask what people think of Stephen Meyer’s new book? Are people buying this? Do you find it convincing? Is ID even worth considering?


Not since Democritus, no.

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Hi Austin!

We will be putting out a review of this book on Friday on the BioLogos website, so keep your eyes out - I’ll make a new thread for it, and also will try and remember to link it here!


Screenshot_2021-04-14 Return of the God Hypothesis Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe Me...

“Irreparable damage to atheist rhetoric” ??? Hmmm, … why do I doubt that?


Thanks all!

Typical desperately blind hubris.

This is wild to have two John Waltons in this sphere.

Here is that John Walton for reference.

Yeah, I had to do a double take. I was thinking: “last time I was hear, John Walton supported Biologos” LOL


Not familiar with James Lindsay or his book but his position which you seem to like sounds like what I’ve heard called ignosticism. If “God” is considered an undefined term then anything we can say about it is likewise so that in a sense everyone who has something to say about God is ‘wrong’. For me that reasoning is a little legalistic, and I favor plain speech.

Does ID here refer to intelligent design? As a non theist I think the idea of creation as the carrying out of an intention by an all powerful divinity borders on the absurd.

But when you think about what it is which gives rise to God belief, to me, creation seems entirely tangential. So I don’t think “belief” in God is best understood as a “hypothesis” of an intellectual sort. I don’t think it is primarily a claim looking for evidence. It’s more basic than that.

to him I would say… no greater arrogance has any man than to rewrite another person’s words and dictate that person’s meaning according to one’s own agenda.

The biggest problem is the lie that this is science. Contrary to Richard Dawkin’s foolishness, it is not a valid scientific hypothesis. It is only poor theology. Design is incompatible with the nature of living things, which are a product of growth and learning not design or manufacture. God is the shepherd of the Bible not the watchmaker of Deism – and we are not machines. So… I have no more use for Stephen Meyer’s Deistic religion than I do for his attack upon science.

From the amazon book intro: “stunning conclusion: the data support not just the existence of an intelligent designer of some kind—but the existence of a personal God.” The use of scientific findings in one’s religious rhetoric does not equal scientific support for the existence of God – even if you are getting the science part of it right. The most you can say is that science has found some claims by theists to be correct just as it has found other claims by theists to be incorrect.


I personally have not read it. I definitely don’t believe in any intelligent design for living things, or even with things like abiogenesis.

But I don’t know a lot about cosmology. I tried to get into it, and somethings are cool to me like speculation and what we can tell geographically ( or whatever terms is used for non earth planets ). I find the talk on potentially earth like planets really cool. But when it comes to things like anti matter, the “sounds of space” when data is converted or how was energy created, how did the first bit of matter come into place , or if there is a multiverse and so on I don’t know anything about it. I know that often I see people here say they reject a “ fine tuned universe” and then I hear them talk about it positively. I know it’s a phrase and idea that I seemed to have gathered from Francis Collins, but then I thought I remembered reading or hearing somewhere that he was possibly going to do a new edition of his book and adjust his language a bit on it.

So ultimately when it comes to the creation of the universe I don’t know enough about it to have a legitimate opinion. I also don’t believe that even our experts have yet cracked it open and know for sure either.

I’ll maybe read the book. In general, I don’t read very much ID material and when it comes to what I’m studying out theologically at the moment there is no space to fit this book in for a few years.

Couple of y’all took a brief biographical statement a little too far :sweat_smile: thanks for your input on ID. I don’t think it’s worth considering, though I find scientism to be woefully short of explanations for the existence of the material universe. Thanks for your thoughts y’all! I’m out again. Much love and peace :v:

Here you go! :slight_smile: Come back to read this! haha

We welcome discussion of it on the OP, if possible!

In general, it’s not too clear if those claiming that the Cambrian radiation is such a problem have actually paid attention to anything since Gould’s Wonderful Life. More recent references get briefly cited to dismiss them, but Meyer does not seem to be really engaging with the massive literature on the processes involved. It’s dated now, but the chapter in Keith Miller’s Perspectives on an Evolving Creation goes through a number of points; Miller has several much more up to date posts on the BioLogos site that give a more current assessment. In short, there are many aspects of the Cambrian radiation that clearly clash with the non-common descent model that the Discovery Institute markets. Some in the ID camp accept common descent, but rather than say “some of us think this and some think that, yet we can all get along and discuss it”, regrettably the ID movement tends to try marketing itself as completely holding whatever position is perceived as suiting the audience. That’s what got it in trouble at Dover - attempting to market as a purely scientific endeavor and as a new name for creation science to different audiences.


Yes, the theologian John Walton wouldn’t agree with an Intelligent Design advocate like Stephen Meyer. This Dr. John Walton’s credentials give significant credibility and weight to what he says.
I bought the book and am reading it. So far, convincing and yes, ID is worth considering.

And wow. “Stephen Meyer’s Deistic religion and attack on science”–huh? First, ID makes no claims about the intelligent designer one way or the other, so how can you call that deism. A deist or theist or even and agnostic can subscribe to intelligent design. The second error in the above quote is that in Meyer’s case, he is a Christian theist.
So I read no discussion here of anything Meyer says, just claims that it isn’t scientific. And then appealing to the Dover case, as if scientific claims can be settled in court. And this case is particularly appalling when even some ID opponents noted that ID is a scientific argument, and that the “expert” witness on that point lied to the court when saying it was not.
Let’s discuss the merits of the book, not just throw around rhetorical jabs.


I’m sure that you were addressing someone’s comments, but you weren’t addressing any comments that I made.

The scientific claims were settled well before it went to court. The Dover case merely recognized that consensus.

That may be the prime directive of ID, but that does not confer any obligation to accept such.

Claims of intelligent design only make sense if the existence of a designer is allowed, therefore, a claim of intelligent design is indeed a claim about a designer. Practical considerations constrain the identity of the purported designer to God, therefore intelligent design can be construed as a claim about God, as per the conclusion of the Dover case. ID is just a feint of William Paley’s watchmaker analogy.


Yeah, kinda like the Catholic Church’s case with Galileo–the scientific claims were settled well before the Church considered them. The Church merely recognized the current scientific consensus (yep, that is true). Which goes to show that “scientific consensus” can always be relied upon,.

So the way science must proceed is by always honoring consensus, and accordingly, a court case is the best way to impose the consensus on those who question it.

The other issue that always astounds me: If we say that God is our Creator, that is not a concept that can be allowed in the public square because it is “religion.” Even if there is actually evidence that intelligence was involved in the beginning of the universe and life, we have to ignore that and try to explain that away even if the naturalistic explanation is false. So we can say that the Cosmos is our creator because that is the only religion that isn’t a religion, so it is the only religion that can be taught using tax dollars.

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New podcast episode with Stephen Meyer out now for those interested in continuing this disussion.