Anyone who studies design in nature will have heard it a million times, usually from theistic Darwinists: "Identifying design in life forms is risky to faith because once we find out how it really happened, your faith will be diminished. Protect your faith by assuming that God played no direct role." Yes, but what ifthere is no gap? Who, except the theistic Darwinists, said there was? It's their scam, and boy have they milked it.
Design isn't, in principle, a gap; it is a high level of specified information, too high to be law or chance. Call it an insertion, rather than a gap. Some say it must be God but we can't know that just from spotting design. It's more the other way around. People who believe in God or are aware of the idea of God assign such intelligent causes in nature to him. Because it seems reasonable. It's not logically compelling, just reasonable.
The smarter ID critics point out that ID is about the God of the physicists – which is true provided we think Einstein and Bohr, not Hawking and Guth as standing for physicists.
That said, what about the people who insist that design is itself a gap? Here is how that could make sense:
– Nature is really a cosmic jumble of particles that sprang into existence out of a vacuum fluctuation. This universe happens to sustain intelligent life; an infinity of universes doesn't.
– The human mind, among other things, evolved out of those colliding forces by natural selection. It evolved to spread selfish genes, not to apprehend truth. Thus design never means intelligence. There is no such thing. There is only an illusion that we call intelligence.
– Whenever we encounter a situation that appears to imply intelligence, we recognize it as an illusion – other words, there is a gap – and keep looking for the "true" explanation.
If you are a materialist atheist, you will, of course, see a gap anywhere intelligence is apparent and want to close that gap with law and chance.
The Christian or theistic Darwinist does the same, except for one thing: He typically grafts a lot of God talk onto the simple series of propositions above, positing a God who is best protected by being assumed to do nothing at all, and especially nothing that we can detect.
Never mind that Scriptures say we should detect his hand, and even that we are at fault if we don't. Like this:
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse
I've actually heard a Christian Darwinist – George Murphy – argue that that doesn't mean that we should be able to clearly see it.
It all comes down to whether you think that the universe – and you – can be adequately explained without assuming the existence of actual intelligence of any type. Of any type, notice. Including what you think of as yours. It is a constant drumbeat from the new atheists now. You have no mind. No free will. No self.
Some think that the theistic Darwinist emits all his God talk precisely to obscure which side of that question he is really on. Thoughts?
See also: ID theorists are an evil and adulterous generation. – a classic Christian Darwinist piece.
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Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.