History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Denton needs to repudiate the Old Testament ‘intelligent design’ junk religion to discuss design in biology

February 24th, 2016 · No Comments


Denton is the author of the classic Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, a book whose success depended on its neutrality on the issue of design (the last chapter comes close), in fact appearing before the Discovery Institute even existed. The term ‘Intelligent Design’, if I recall hardly existed (until Behe in 1996), and that made Denton’s book a far more useful text.

Now his new book seems to be associated closely with the Discovery Institute and Intelligent Design. It becomes problematical for those who question Christian design mythology.

It might help if Denton publicly disavowed the Old Testament with its theistic ‘Intelligent Design’ mythology. We cannot mix science and Old Testament theistic historicism. The question has turned the evolution question, with a lot of help from darwinists into a quagmire.

This does not forbid the use of design arguments in biology. Design in nature is clear from the evidence, but its explanation remains difficult although there is every possibility of naturalistic design.
This does not exclude ‘Intelligent Design’, if its meaning is clarified, and if proof can be given of a particular form or agent of such ‘intelligence’. But the term ‘intelligent’ is abused to be a double entendre: the there should be a distinction of ‘directed design as machine construction in biological systems’ and ‘intelligent’ design by a designer agent. Critics often forget this point: you can propose design by a designer but you must prove your case (the design inference is suggestive but not conclusive). It is then essential to point out that while Intelligent Design via a designing agent is perfectly good science if that is the way it happened the reality is that such a case crosses the boundary of metaphysics and is virtually impossible to prove (scientists often make the case that ID is by definition beyond science. Not so, only probably not the case. It is probably beyond proof, and infantile in most versions. But if someone can proove a designer fielded a design, then that would be the scientific explanation. Not likely)

So it is important to make clear to Discovery Institute biologists that the Old Testament is NOT a usable documentation of historical design. Confusing ‘design’ arguments in religion and biology has confused everyone, including biologists who overreact and propose false theories like natural selection.

But we cannot exclude the possibility of designers in evolution. The evolution of man is in any case so far beyond explanation at this point that darwinism is far more offensive than religious explanation.

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