Archive for April, 2012

Human Extension and Theistic Evolution/Evolutionary Creation – What Happens When ‘Neo’ Comes?

Much of what I wrote in the previous post can be likewise directed toward the two positions called ‘theistic evolution’ (TE) and ‘evolutionary creation’ (EC). These two similar views are particularly popular among monotheists of the Abrahamic faiths who have little problem with the natural-physical science of evolutionary biology and at the same time who reject ‘young earth’ (YE) arguments based on a literal reading of the first two chapters in the Book of Genesis. As Robert J. Russell says, “evolution is God’s way of creating life.” (2003: 336) This ‘camp’ of thinkers called TE or EC is more openly religious than ‘intelligent design’ (ID) proponents due to the fact that they include ‘theism’ or ‘creation’ in their respective labels.

TE and EC as positions or labels basically constitute those people who believe that the Creator guides or directs the processes of change-over-time that we observe ‘in nature,’ even if we cannot scientifically prove the guidance or direction (cf. Teleology). They represent the vast majority of religious persons today who see no conflict between evolutionary biology and religious belief or spirituality, between accepting an ‘old Earth,’ studying theology and/or being a person of faith. Where the discussion becomes most complicated and full of tension is when evolutionary psychology, sociobiology, ethology and cognitive studies (e.g. origins of consciousness) are involved and when (neo-)Darwinian evolution is turned into an atheistic and oftentimes anti-theistic ideology called ‘(neo-)Darwinism.’  Continue reading ‘Human Extension and Theistic Evolution/Evolutionary Creation – What Happens When ‘Neo’ Comes?’

Human Extension and Intelligent Design – What Happens When ‘Neo’ Comes?

Intelligent Design theory (IDT) begins with effects and makes inference to causes (Stephen C. Meyer). The effects in question are specific patterns of information that can supposedly be detected ‘in nature.’ The assumption is that ‘minds’ are the only known sources that cause information. Therefore, even on the topics of the origins of life and the origins of biological information (and even sometimes on origins of mankind), one must ‘infer design’ that is intelligent and which comes from a non-human mind or divine Mind.

When it comes to the origins of biological information, the idea that an intelligent agent was the cause is contestable because IDT depends on analogy with human minds. When it comes to human-made artefacts, i.e. things that are produced by what William Dembski calls ‘mundane designers’ (in contrast to ‘transcendental designers,’ 1999), we can indeed infer that the minds, bodies and/or spirits of human beings are/were involved. However, it is a leap of faith (from theology to science) to suggest that what causes human artefacts is necessarily the same ‘kind of mind’ as what caused (past tense – i.e. big history) biological information millions of years ago in the sense of life origins.

Continue reading ‘Human Extension and Intelligent Design – What Happens When ‘Neo’ Comes?’

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