The Pre‐modern Sins of Intelligent Design

Robert T. Pennock

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780199543656
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

The Pre‐modern Sins of Intelligent Design


Is it really possible to detect God's hand in the operations of the world? That is the religious question that is at issue in the intelligent design (ID) debate. ID theorists believe that they can do this, and claim to do it scientifically. ID creationists (IDCs) usually point to biology, but the patterns that they believe are signs of intelligence are also found in physics, chemistry, and meteorology. They point to the complexities of the eye, the immune system, and the bacterial flagellum, but for every system that serves a benign purpose, one finds those designed to cause suffering and devastation. Such issues, known as the problem of evil, are made particularly poignant by the ID analysis of divine design. This article examines these and other theological problems. It also examines whether scientists are really committing some pre-modern sin and whether IDCs should consider the beam in their own eye.

Keywords: ID debate; God; problem of evil; ID creationists; biology; divine design; pre-modern sin

Article.  7869 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religion and Science

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