The Discovery Institute keeps denying that their “theory” of intelligent design is creationism, but the posts at their creationist website seem to indicate otherwise. We’ve written before about how they keep making admissions about the religious nature of their designer, whom they never officially identify as Yahweh (because they always pretend that their “theory” is science), but neither they nor their fans have any doubts about who their designer really is.
For example, see Casey Admits the Designer Is the First Cause. Before that they had already emerged out of their closet, pranced around wearing ecclesiastical garb, and confessed that their “scientific” designer — blessed be he! — is transcendent. That means their designer exists beyond time and space, in that inaccessible and incomprehensible realm known only to the gods. Shortly after that we wrote Klinghoffer Admits Intelligent Design Is Theism. And don’t forget their wedge strategy, which makes everything quite clear — see What is the “Wedge Document”?
Now another Discoveroid emerges from the closet. This time it’s Michael Egnor — that’s his writeup at the Encyclopedia of American Loons. His new post is Lawrence Krauss, Eric Metaxas, and Aquinas’ Fifth Way. Yes, it’s another defense of a creationist column we discussed a month ago: More Creationism in the Wall Street Journal. Here are some excerpts from Egnor’s post, with bold font added by us:
[A]theist physicist Lawrence Krauss has responded in The New Yorker to Eric Metaxas’s recent Wall Street Journal essay “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.” Krauss denies that astrobiology and cosmology point to God’s existence.
We wrote about that here: Lawrence Krauss Rebuts Eric Metaxas. What science organization responds to critics of their theory by labeling them as “atheists”? Answer — none do, which tells you all you need to know about the Discoveroids. But Egnor goes on to leave no doubts:
Neither astrobiology nor cosmology, per se, demonstrates God’s existence. God is not demonstrable by the scientific method. … His existence — his glory and wisdom and love — are manifest in creation, but his manifestation is not the same thing as his demonstration.
Wow — this is great stuff! Let’s read on:
There are several strong demonstrations of God’s existence — Aquinas’ Five Ways, the ontological proof, and the argument from moral law, among others. These are logical proofs that depend only minimally on inferences drawn from nature, and do not depend at all on the current state of science.
He’s talking about Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs of God. Each of those has been found fallacious (or at least unpersuasive). Were it otherwise, theology would be as convincing as geometry. But many theologians and believers rely on Aquinas anyway. The Discoveroids certainly do. This was pointed out in the trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. We wrote about it in John Haught: Witness in the Dover Case. Okay, back to Egnor:
I’ll expand on one of the proofs — Aquinas’ Fifth Way, which is apropos one of Krauss’s assertions in his article.
Krauss was talking about the cosmological constant, not Aquinas, so we’ll omit that quote, which is only a pretext that gives Egnor an opportunity to talk about Aquinas. This is the translation of Aquinas’ fifth argument from the Wikipedia article to which we linked earlier:
The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.
We must point out that Aquinas wrote in the 13th-century — before anyone knew anything about what we now call science. To him, if non-living things acted in specific ways, it had to be because they were “directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence.” Not many people would find that persuasive these days, but Egnor does. He says:
The universe behaves in accordance with consistent physical laws. Notice I said consistent — the remarkable thing is not so much that the laws are complex or elegant or specific, but that they are consistent. There is directedness to the universe. It is the consistent directedness of change in nature — the fact that atoms and rocks and bodies and planets and galaxies and the entire universe have tendencies to do one thing and not another — that leads via reason to the existence of God.
Planets don’t suddenly become marshmallows, and electrons don’t run off and behave like protons. Therefore God! That’s Egnor’s argument. Impressive, huh? He continues:
The existence in nature of unintelligent things that consistently act to specific ends presupposes an intelligent being who directs their ends.
The argument is simple, but powerful, and is quite immune to the obfuscation to which atheists habitually resort when complexity and specificity are invoked. Atheists can’t evade the evidence for teleology in the simplest physical processes. One need not understand the intricacies of quantum cosmology. Every drop of rain that drips off Lawrence Krauss’s nose demonstrates God’s existence.
We’ve had to skip a lot — to preserve our sanity. Here’s the end:
When I think of a manifestation of God’s glory, I think of the fine-tuning of the cosmos. When I think of a demonstration of God’s existence, I think of a drop of rain falling to the ground.
That’s very sweet. Go ahead, click over there and read it all, if you like. Then answer this simple question: Is there anyone out there who still thinks the Discoveroids are promoting science? Anyone?
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