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ID the Future Intelligent Design, Evolution, and Science Podcast
Episodes

Is ID Bad Theology? No, but the Objection Is

Episode
1418
Host
Jay Richards
Guest
Jay Richards
Duration
00:13:29
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On this ID the Future philosopher Jay Richards responds to Mark Vernon’s charge that intelligent design is bad theology. No, Richards says, the charge itself is based on bad theology, bad reasoning, and a faulty understanding of both intelligent design theory and theism. First, the theory of intelligent design doesn’t specify the identify of a designer or the specific means of causation. It merely makes an argument to intelligent design as the best explanation for certain features of the natural world.

Second, even if it did involve arguing that the designer was God and that God had intervened at particular points in the history of the cosmos, such as in the origin of life or the emergence of human beings, it would hardly be blasphemy. Far from it. It would be orthodox theism, an outlook shared by theists as diverse as Christians, Jews, and Muslims, just to name a few. Under theism, God is understood as free and able to create both ex nihilo (out of nothing) at the beginning of creation, and within the created order. God, Richards says, “is under no obligation to conform to Mark Vernon’s rules of tidiness and propriety.” Vernon has mistaken a narrow deism for theism and then charged theists with blasphemy for considering God free to act within the created order.

Richards’s commentary is taken from his concluding essay in the anthology Signature of Controversy: Responses to Critics of Signature in the Cell (Discovery Institute Press), available for purchase here. Richards is a senior fellow of Discovery Institute and co-author, with Guillermo Gonzalez, of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery.

Jay W. Richards

Senior Fellow at Discovery, Senior Research Fellow at Heritage Foundation
Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the Executive Editor of The Stream. Richards is author or editor of more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013) and Indivisible (2012); The Human Advantage; Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; The Hobbit Party with Jonathan Witt; and Eat, Fast, Feast. His most recent book, with Douglas Axe and William Briggs, is The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic Into a Catastrophe.