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Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between…
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Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (editie 2007)

door William A. Dembski

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Intelligent Design is a pivotal, synthesizing work from a thinker whom Phillip Johnson calls "one of the most important of the design theorists who are sparking a scientific revolution by legitimating the concept of intelligent design in science."
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Titel:Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology
Auteurs:William A. Dembski
Info:InterVarsity Press (2007), Paperback, 312 pages
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Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology door William A. Dembski

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Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology by William A. Dembski (?)
  journeyguy | Apr 2, 2013 |
William Dembski’s book Intelligent Design is his attempt to make the theory of Intelligent Design a plausible option in modern science. The backbone of his theory rests on Complex Specified Information being found in nature in such highly complex elements such as the stages of blood clotting, that Dembski thinks natural selection does not have an adequate explanation for. While Dembski does not commit the usual God of the Gaps fallacy, I think his theory lies in the same vein. 19th century liberal theology was guilty of a God of the Gaps approach in their validation of science, but leaving God’s design and activity for those areas that science had not explained. Of course as science made progress the space for God’s activity was all but eliminated. Dembski on the other hand isn’t attributing God’s design to the unknown, but to the extremely complex and well studied portions of creation that natural selection does not explain. Other scientists disagree that natural selection cannot explain these things in what seems to turn into an argument over imagination. What Dembski finds inconceivable some scientists find they can imagine quite easily. In this sense I think he still makes a God of the Gaps mistake despite his own argument against such a critique.
But my main argument with Dembski is not his science, it is his theology. This book is obviously not a strictly scientific book written to the scientific community. It was written to a general audience, and is packed with his theological insights on the matter of intelligent design. If Intelligent Design was merely Dembski’s way of seeking the truth about design, I would have far less qualms with his work. However it is obvious throughout that this is meant to be a proof of divine intervention, and therefore of God. Dembski makes it clear that intelligent design theory does not conclude the God of Christianity. Paul Tillich has important words for such proof-of-God attempts:
Arguments for the existence of God presuppose the loss of the certainty of God. That which I have to prove by argument has no immediate reality for me. Its reality is mediated for me by some other reality about which I cannot be in doubt, so that this other reality is nearer to me than the reality of God… A God who has been proved is neither near enough to us nor far enough away from us. He is not far enough, because of the very attempt we have made to prove Him. He is not near enough, because nearer things are presupposed by which the knowledge of Him is mediated.
That is to say that by accepting Dembski’s argument for God, or Intelligent Design we presuppose that God is not certain, but Intelligent Design is. And in the end Intelligent Design is more real to us than God. If at any level Dembski is trying to win converts to Christianity I think he does a great disservice by basing the invitation in a cognitive theoretical realm. The danger is that Christians converted by Dembski’s theory will live their Christian life in such a realm; a cognitive agreement to the idea of God rather than an embodied Christian life.
All this is assuming that the reader would be convinced of the Christian God. More likely the person would (if convinced) just attach intelligent design to their preexisting notion of the almighty. Dembski himself admits that his theory is compatible with any religious idea of God. But what is puzzling to me is his chapter Science & Theology in Mutual Support. In this chapter he speaks of the importance of Christ and Christology in science and goes so far as to say “Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners don’t have a clue about him…. the conceptual soundness of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ€? (210). I just don’t understand how his theory of intelligent design can be so unattached to Christianity and then have him make this statement that all science is sound only in Christ. I think that Dembski’s book has merit as he seeks the truth about design, but as far as he applies it to theology I think he runs off course. His argument does not necessarily lead the reader to the Christian God as he might like. And his last chapter about Theology and Science in Mutual Support confuse the notion that intelligent design is not inherently Christian. ( )
1 stem cpardue | Jun 26, 2006 |
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