The False Dilemma: "Science or Religion?"
CSC fellow David Klinghoffer has a recent column in the Jerusalem Post which explains how intelligent design is different from creationism and examines the difficulty many religious believers have with Darwin's theory:
When Jews and Christians alike aren't being forced into false dilemmas, we are given alternatives to Darwinian theory that can be imagined as reconciling science and theology only if the whole subject is kept cloudy and confused.
Thus the two most recent popes have appeared to speak of the Church's comfort with "evolution" but without defining the term. Does it mean an unguided process or a guided one? One that gives scientific evidence of a Designer's purpose, or not?
The ambiguity and hedging probably comes from a fear of putting their Church on the losing side of a historic controversy, and an unfamiliarity with the scientific details.
This is the set up for -- you guessed it -- theistic evolution:
Thanks to the prevailing murkiness, Catholic doctrine is often identified in the media with "theistic evolution." Theistic evolution is another gradation of belief between creationism and Darwinism, but an unsatisfactory one. It boils down to the proposition that life's history was guided by natural laws that God designed but in such a way as to leave no evidence of that fact.
One problem with theistic evolution is that natural laws are predictable whereas Darwinian evolution, according to its own theorists, is entirely unpredictable. Think of those laws that govern weather patterns or the formation of geological features. Not so with Darwinian evolution, which can take any of countless very different directions. How could such a purposeless process reflect divine purpose?
Read the whole piece here.