Friday, November 20, 2009

Theistic evolution and intelligent design (part 5): Are we bold enough to test it?

In my last post, I drove home the point that intelligent design and theistic evolution, in the most generic sense of the two, should be welcome bedfellows. This is not to say that intelligent design of the kind that says "the bacterial flagellum is too complex and thus evolution cannot be true" should be wedded to theistic evolution; instead I am saying that evolution or no, God is sovereign, and He designed this universe and all life at some level.

However, if we accept that, we are denying what many people (in academia and elsewhere) equate with the theory of biological evolution: a naturalistic worldview. We should have no problem with the idea that all life on earth is related, but we should have a problem with the idea that, since we descended from an ape-like ancestor that also gave rise to chimpanzees (in common vernacular: we came from monkeys), we do not have inherent moral value. Or that we have the same moral value as chimpanzees. Or that we are different in degree only, not in kind. Folks, we were made in the image of God! Tarnished now, but that is true for no other creature (including the angels). And none other has the chance for redemption that we do.

What's more, as Christians we are in a unique position. We can affirm evolution, but we deny the naturalistic worldview. However, the proponent of naturalism (i.e., the atheist) must affirm evolution, because he/she denies the theistic worldview. (I hope I am not simplifying too much here, but I feel I am more or less correct.) And thus, the veracity of biological evolution carries too much weight; the atheist's worldview depends on it. And perhaps this is why evolution is considered sacred to biologists (as I mentioned in an earlier post).

I understand that most biologists would say that evolution has such high regard in biology because the entire field hinges upon it; it is the foundation for all biological research. I say hogwash to that. The field only hinges upon it if you have a naturalistic worldview.

Anyway, back to my main point. The naturalist's worldview hinges on the veracity of evolution. In contrast, the Christian worldview hinges on the veracity of the resurrection, and not on any "intelligent design" argument. We can go into the evidence for the resurrection later, but my point is that as Christians and as scientists (ok, some of us are scientists), we can take or leave biological evolution.

And so my question is: are we bold enough to test it?