Martin Poulsom

The Pros and Cons of “Intelligent Design”

Article
13/2 - Fall 2008, pages 177–195
Date of online publication: 15 November 2008
Date of publication: 01 November 2008

Abstract

The theories of Darwinian evolution and Intelligent Design appear to be locked in an intractable debate, partly because they offer rival scientific explanations for the phenomenon of descent with modification in biology. This paper analyses the dispute in two ways: firstly, it seeks to clarify the exact nature of the logical flaw that has been alleged to lie at the heart of Intelligent Design theory. Secondly, it proposes that, in spite of this error, the Intelligent Design theory advocated by Michael Behe takes at least one significant step in the right direction. Although Behe's suggestion is promising, it is shown to be not nearly radical enough.

Keywords

Cite this article

Poulsom, Martin. “The Pros and Cons of ‘Intelligent Design’.” Forum Philosophicum 13, no. 2 (2008): 177–195. doi:10.5840/forphil200813217

Bibliography

Behe, Michael J. Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. New York: The Free Press, 1996.

Behe, Michael J. The Edge of Evolution. New York: The Free Press, 2007.

Behe, Michael J. “Evidence for Intelligent Design from Biochemistry.” Think: Philosophy for Everyone 11 (2005): 27–39.

Behe, Michael J. “The Positive Side of Intelligent Design: A Response to Loren Haarsm.” Dialogue 59, no. 1 (2007): 63.

Behe, Michael J. “The Modern Intelligent Design Hypothesis: Breaking Rules.” In God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, edited by Neil A Manson, 277–291. London: Routledge, 2003.

Byrne, Patrick H. “Evolution, Randomness, and Divine Purpose: A Reply to Cardinal Schönborn.” Theological Studies 67 (2006): 653–665.

Burrell, David B. Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1993.

Burrell, David B. Aquinas: God and Action. London: Routledge, 1979.

Burrell, David B. Knowing the Unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1986.

Burrell, David B., and Elena Malits. Original Peace: Restoring God's Creation. New York: Paulist Press, 1997.

Burrell, David B. Friendship and Ways to Truth. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000.

Burrell, David B. “From Analogy of ‘Being’ to the Analogy of Being.” In Faith and Freedom: An Interfaith Perspective, 113–126. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

Clarke, W. Norris. “Is a Natural Theology Still Possible Today?” In Physics, Philosophy and Theology: A Common Quest for Understanding, edited by Robert J. Russell, William R. Stoeger, and George V. Coyne, 103–123.Vatican City: Vatican Observatory, 1988.

Davies, Paul. The Fifth Miracle: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1999.

Davies, Brian. The Thought of Thomas Aquinas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Dawkins, Richard. The Blind Watchmaker. Harlow: Longman, 1986.

Dembski, William. “The Chance of the Gaps.” In God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, edited by Neil A. Manson, 251–252. London: Routlede, 2003.

Gould, Stephen Jay. “Nonoverlapping magisterial.” In An Evolving Dialogue: Theological and Scientific Perspectives on Evolution, edited by James B. Miller, 315–326. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1998.

Goldenberg, Suzanne. “Creationists Defeated in Kansas School Vote on Science Teaching.” Guardian, February 15, 2007. Accessed April 11, 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/feb/15/schoolsworldwide.religion.

Hawking, Stephen. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. London: Bantam, 1988.

Hume David. “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.” In Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and Other Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007

Haarsma, Loren. “Is Intelligent Design ‘Scientific’?” Dialogue 59, no. 1 (2007): 55–62.

Healy, Nicholas M. Thomas Aquinas: Theologian of the Christian Life, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.

Hughes, Gerard J. The Nature of God. London: Routledge, 1995.

Hughes, Gerard J. 1987, “Aquinas and the Limits of Agnosticism.” In The Philosophical Assessment of Theology: Essays in Honour of Frederick C. Copleston, edited by Gerard J. Hughes, 35–63. Tunbridge Wells: Search Press.

Inwagen, Peter van. “The Compatibility of Darwinism and Design.” In God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, edited by Neil A. Manson, 348–363. London: Routlede, 2003.

Kelsey, David H. “The Doctrine of Creation From Nothing.” In Evolution and Creation, edited by Ernan McMullin, 176–195. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985.

Kerr, Fergus. After Aquinas: Versions of Thomism. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2002.

O’Connor, Robert. “The Design Inference: Old Wine in New Wineskins.” In God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, edited by Neil A. Manson, 66–87. London: Routlede, 2003.

Orgel, Leslie E. The Origins of Life: Molecules and Natural Selection. New York: Wiley, 1973.

Orr, H. Allen. “Darwin v. Intelligent Design.” Think: Philosophy for Everyone 11(2005): 41–53.

Manson, Neil A., ed. God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science. London: Routlede, 2003.

McInerny, Ralph. Aquinas and Analogy. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1996.

Miller, James B., ed. An Evolving Dialogue: Scientific, Historical, Philosophical and Theological Perspectives on Evolution. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1998.

Miller, Kenneth R., “Answering the Biochemical Argument from Design.” In God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, edited by Neil A. Manson, 292–307. London: Routlede, 2003.

Polkinghorne, John. Scientists as Theologians: A Comparison of the Writings of Ian Barbour, Arthur Peacocke and John Polkinghorne, London: SPCK, 1996

Ruse, Michael. “Intelligent Design Theory and its Context.” Think: Philosophy for Everyone 11 (2005): 7–16.

Velde, Rudi A. te. Aquinas on God The ‘Divine Science’ of the Summa Theologiae. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006.

Schillebeeckx, Edward. World and Church. Translated by N. D. Smith. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1971.

Schillebeeckx, Edward. God and Man. Translated by E. Edward Fitzgerald and Peter Tomlinson. London: Sheed and Ward, 1969.

Schillebeeckx, Edward. Interim Report on the Books Jesus and Christ. Translated by John Bowden, London: SCM Press, 1980.

Schillebeeckx, Edward. God Among Us: The Gospel Proclaimed. Translated by John Bowden, London: SCM Press, 1983.

Schillebeeckx, Edward. Tussentijds verhaal over twee Jesus boeken. Bloemendaal: Nelissen, 1978.

Schillebeeckx, Edward. Evangelie verhalen, Baarn: Nelissen, 1982.

Sokolowski, Robert. The God of Faith and Reason: Foundations of Christian Theology. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1982.

Smulders, Pieter. “Creation.” In Encyclopedia of Theology: A Concise Sacramentum Mundi, edited by Karl Rahner, 313–328. London: Burns & Oates, 1975.

Swinburne, Richard. “Arguments from Design.” Think 1 (2002): 49–54.

Tanner, Kathryn. God and Creation in Christian Theology: Tyranny or Empowerment? Oxford: Blackwell, 1988.

Tanner, Kathryn. Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.

Torrell, Jean-Pierre. Saint Thomas Aquinas. Translated by Robert Royal. Vol. 2, Spiritual Master. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2003.

Ward, Keith. Religion and Creation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Williams, Anna N. “Deification in the Summa Theologiae: A Structural Interpretation of the Prima Pars.” The Thomist 61, no. 2 (1997): 219–225.

Copyright