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Sabbath School for a New Generation

Among Seventh Day Adventists, Sabbath School is a time for discussion and learning. It is the belief of this site that Sabbath School should be an exciting venue for the discussion of new ideas, instead of rehashing old arguments. So welcome to a virtual Sabbath School, a Sabbath School for a new generation.

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I am an Electrical Engineer, working at Intel in the Portland area. I received my undergraduate degree from Walla Walla College and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California. The views expressed on this website are my own and do not reflect the viewpoints of anybody else. I reserve the right to change my mind at any point in time.

Friday, March 31, 2006

ID as Bad Theology

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I thought ID was bad theology. My point was that ID is setting up "a god of the gaps" which could be harmful to faith as those gaps become better understood by science. Henry Neufeld has a slightly different take. First he talks about the differences between science and theology and he shows that ID is fundamentally theology. However as a theology it performs poorly

This takes me to the current mini-flap about an article Rumors of Angels: Using ID to Detect Malevolent Spiritual Agents. Scientists quite properly laugh this out of scientific court. But why would ID advocates avoid it? The intelligent designer is not specified. ID is not supposed to be a religious concept. So what difference does it make if the designer is an alien, and unknown intelligence from the stars, an angel, a demon, or God Almighty?

But that article has underlined the problem, because we clearly see that ID cannot distinguish between these various possibilities of a designer, because it is trying to demonstrate design in those little places where some external intelligence (rodents of unusual size, perhaps?) might tinker with life in an experimental lab. It’s precisely because they are not looking for design in the traditional sense that most Christians accept theologically, that this kind of thing cannot be excluded. Evangelical theologians would not be proposing angels and demons as agents of creation. But ID doesn’t really have a defense against it.

Of course this observation is not new. In fact a whole pseudo-religion has been constructed to satirize ID. The church of the flying spaghetti monster has proposed that all these evidences of design proove the existence of their god. So ID cannot choose between an earth created by God, an earth created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or an earth created by evil demons. There logical arguments say that all three options are equally valid. I am surprised that Christians want this taught in public school.


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