Having researched and studied both sides of the evolution/intelligent design fiasco (known affectionately as a controversy, I suppose), it has recently occurred to me the underlying reason for the intelligent design supporter's reactionary and often pugilistic response to the so-called "materialistic and godlessly evil theory" of evolution (and let us not forget, lest history repeat itself, that this is not the first time science and religion have quarreled). In order to arrive at the cause of this animated name-calling, I pose the following question: why is it we can't detect God in the natural world?
The simple answer, of course, is that science, our methodology for detecting and dissecting the natural world (including, of course, the entire universe and all aspects of it which we can scientifically study), is, by definition, limited to said natural world. God, being supernatural, is thus (also by definition) outside of the realm of science, and thus would not be discovered in the same manner. This leads us, however, to a slight conundrum. Consider Romans 1:20, wherein Paul states that "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." To the liberal spiritualist, this is true in the sense that we "feel" God's qualities, as opposed to "seeing" them, and no controversy seems to exist (though this does not provide an adequate solution). To the intelligent design supporter, however, we surely must be able to "see" - in a scientific sense - God's handiwork in the natural world (in the same way we can see man's handiwork in the faces on Mt. Rushmore, one of Dr. Behe's favorite examples).
The thorn in the ID supporter's side arises thus. If more and more of the world can be explained by natural means (and I'm not at all reverting to the argument that people now are more intelligent than any other time, because we're not, but we do have a much broader and deeper knowledge base) and we end up merely "detecting" God in the shadowy psyches of human beings, where does that leave us? Science can't, as we determined, prove or disprove God, but how do we know the "why" of what we are discovering? If we leave science to deal with the natural, it becomes solely an act of philosophical argument to prove God's existence, and we all know that philosophy leads to pointless sophistry, and truths are reduced to opinion (or, conversely, opinions are elevated to truths) - and here is where we are certainly not any more "learned" than in ages past. I am convinced (as a scientist) that intelligent design is not science, but the believer in me asks, shouldn't science, existing as a method for us to experience the natural world (as it has been "created"), convey to us things about God, and if not, are we left with no remaining argument against a scientism-like philosophy? Is God "demoted" to being simply a Force in the realm of the "heart" and "soul," completely segregated from natural existence in the same way that feelings, beliefs, preferences and philosophy are? Is this why the intelligentsia have such a problem "taking it all on faith," since feelings hold no sway in science (nor should they)?
Do we truly lose anything, as the ID supporters fear, by accepting that science and God are, in a sense, eternally and consistently exclusive to completely separate facets of existence?
"See the thorn twist in my side...."
The Language of God (Collins)
The Blind Watchmaker (Dawkins)
The Real Face of Atheism (Zacharias)
What is Life? (Shrodinger)
Flock of Dodos: The Evolution - Intelligent Design Circus (Olson)
6 days ago