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Design, Direction, and Evolution

Over on The Panda’s Thumb a number of writers are reviewing the new book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. I haven’t read the book. I should, but I probably won’t get to it for two or three months. In the meantime, you can always read the book itself and the Panda’s Thumb reviews.

A key issue in the debate about evolution and intelligent design, especially as it relates to Christianity, is the issue of direction in nature. Is there a purpose in nature, and is that purpose designed by God? If designed, how was it designed? Answers to those questions from ID advocates have varied. Some would claim that a theistic evolutionist such as myself is simply a closet ID supporter who refuses to admit it. Others would find the notion of a theistic evolutionist repugnant. A key to this question is the issue of direction.

Quoting from the Panda’s Thumb review on chapter 1:

“[There] is a fundamental conflict here [but] it is not between religion and science, or even between Christianity and evolution, but between traditional Christianity and Darwinism. Although the latter may allow for the existence of a deity, [that deity would not be] the God of traditional Christianity” (p. 173). Darwinism differs from evolution because it explains “the origin of not just one or a few species, but all species after the first

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