What makes BioLogos different from Evolutionism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design? | The BioLogos Forum


(system) #1

Note: This post is adapted from the common questions page of the same name. It provides a concise, clear guide to where BioLogos fits in the origins debate. We thought it might be important to underline our beliefs in light of our many recent dialogues with those who have different views.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blog/what-makes-biologos-different-from-evolutionism-creationism-and-intelligent

(Brad Kramer) #2

The adaptation posted here was a team effort between myself, Deb Haarsma, and Jim Stump. At least one of us will try to engage thoughtful comments and questions.


(David Hume (nom de plume)) #4

To me as a sceptic, this statement reveals that you believe in miracles and that you disagree with people who don’t believe in miracles. It also indicates that you and/or your target audience think it useful to use terms like ‘evolutionism’ and ‘scientism’ to describe the positions of people who don’t believe in the supernatural. Interestingly, you put these pronouncements first.

I don’t wish to sound even slightly sarcastic or dismissive of your beliefs. I want your mission to succeed. But I don’t think you understand what your rhetoric looks like to sceptics (you might call them atheists or ‘evolutionists’ by your odd definitions in the post). Maybe it has to be that way, I don’t know.


(Brad Kramer) #5

[quote=“Humeandroid, post:4, topic:241”]
To me as a sceptic, this statement reveals that you believe in miracles and that you disagree with people who don’t believe in miracles. It also indicates that you and/or your target audience think it useful to use terms like ‘evolutionism’ and ‘scientism’ to describe the positions of people who don’t believe in the supernatural.
[/quote] We wouldn’t disagree with anything in this quote, except to say that those who deny the supernatural are almost always (but not necessarily) relying on a combination of evolutionism and scientism as part of their worldview. I suppose those who openly worship nature as divine would not fall under the category of scientism, but they also wouldn’t affirm the supernatural, at least not in a Christian way.

[quote=“Humeandroid, post:4, topic:241”]
I don’t think you understand what your rhetoric looks like to sceptics (you might call them atheists or ‘evolutionists’ by your odd definitions in the post).[/quote] What does our rhetoric look like to skeptics (pardon the US spelling)? How might we improve it?


(David Hume (nom de plume)) #6

Sorry about the UK (correct) spelling, I can use US (incorrect) spelling to demonstrate my open mindedness :smile:. I think we should continue our discussion after the post tomorrow. Do you agree?


(Brad Kramer) #7

I’m not quite sure the post tomorrow addresses this specific question, but I’m happy to defer until tomorrow.


#8

Humeandroid:
“It also indicates that you and/or your target audience think it useful to use terms like ‘evolutionism’ and ‘scientism’ to describe the positions of people who don’t believe in the supernatural.”

BradKramer:
“those who deny the supernatural”

See what you did there, Brad? Do you really think that merely not believing something is equivalent to denying it? I think there’s a huge difference between those positions.


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(Brad Kramer) #11

@Eddie I don’t see anything in Michael Denton’s view, as articulated by you, that I would disagree with. I think the big divide here is whether ID can be inferred in a secular sense (I see design, therefore I believe in God), or through the lens of faith (I believe in God, and therefore I see design). In other words, is the design inference something that should be officially recognized by scientific authorities as a necessary consequence of science. This seems to be the thrust of ID—that science should be officially non-atheistic because of design inferences, even if it doesn’t endorse one version of theism over another. I think it’s fair to say that BioLogos sees design as a “faith inference” drawn from the whole of nature, rather than as a necessary scientific or mathematical inference. Alister McGrath’s essay in the Darwin’s Doubt series is a great reference about all this.

It’s also important to note that your definition of ID is not how it is commonly understood by its adherents (including a younger version of myself, by the way). ID is a synonym of special creation for most Christian adherents of the theory, such that if something “explained” by ID was further “explained” by natural causes, the design inference would no longer be valid. That’s how I understand irreducible complexity, for instance.


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(Brad Kramer) #16

It is a very strange sort of “pure form” of an idea that has barely any public spokespersons. An idea is defined by how it is publicly explained and defended, which is a big reason why “gracious dialogue” is such an important goal for us at BioLogos. ID adherents are almost entirely special creationists who are less than cautious about proclaiming this publicly. While I sympathize with the ID community in feeling mis-represented, I understand why most people think of ID as a special creationist movement. As I said previously, when I was an ID adherent in high school, it was explicitly explained to me as a scientific form of special creationism, and that’s how I understood its critique of evolution. If it is indeed true, as you say, that ID does not require supernatural intervention, its adherents have done a very poor job of explaining this. I do know of Behe’s views about the possibility of common descent, but I only found out after I had already left the movement, and if I had known in high school that he accepted the possibility of common descent, I would have been shocked.

I am no expert in neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, but I can tell you that we will publishing an interesting piece soon on current dialogue about evolutionary paradigms within the scientific community.

I am out of time for this discussion, personally. @jstump might want to follow up. Thanks for your thoughts, @Eddie.


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(system) #18

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