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The View from Angel Falls


In a December 2013 Human Events article (which also appeared in the El Paso Times), I attempted to clarify exactly what advocates of intelligent design believe. In the final paragraph I wrote:

If you believe that a few fundamental, unintelligent forces of physics alone could have rearranged the basic particles of physics into Apple iPhones, you are probably not an ID proponent, even if you believe in God. But if you believe there must have been more than unintelligent forces at work somewhere, somehow, in the whole process: congratulations, you are one of us after all!

Larry Moran took issue with me:

This is a very broad definition. If you believe in God then you pretty much have to be an IDiot unless you are a strict deist. Every single religious person that I know believes that "there must have been more than unintelligent forces at work somewhere, somehow, in the whole process." Therefore, every Roman Catholic and every evangelical Christian is an IDiot, according to Granville Sewell. This includes Ken Miller and Francis Collins. In fact, it includes every religious scientist...

Most IDiots define their movement in very broad terms but they get really upset with Theistic Evolution Creationists. Apparently, you can't believe in theistic evolution and still be an IDiot. Who knew?

While I believe there are people who call themselves "theistic evolutionists" who are really IDists without realizing it, a true theistic evolutionist (here is my criticism of theistic evolution) would not agree with me that there must have been more than unintelligent forces at work. He would say that while God may have designed the four fundamental forces of physics (the electromagnetic, gravitational, and strong and weak nuclear forces), these unintelligent forces alone are sufficient to explain the origin and evolution of life. Ken Miller and Francis Collins might agree that God could have been present, somewhere, somehow in the origin and evolution of life and the development of human consciousness and intelligence, but they would certainly not agree that a designer must have been involved. They believe chance and natural law are sufficient to explain it all. I do not.

When I took a canoe trip in 2005 to Venezuela's remote Angel Falls (pictured above), I was awestruck by the beauty of this magnificent waterfall, which I believe does indirectly show the hand of a creator. And while I would say that it is possible that God was more directly involved in the sculpting of the tepui from which it falls, and the surrounding physical landscape, I do not see any powerful evidence that there must have been more than unintelligent forces alone involved in the creation of Angel Falls. The laws of nature are indeed magnificently designed, and are enough to create marvelous things, such as the sun and the Earth, and mountains and rivers and waterfalls. So I guess I am a theistic evolutionist when it comes to waterfalls.

But I do not believe that the known forces of nature, whether created by God or not, are sufficient alone to explain humans and Apple iPhones. Hence I am an ID advocate with regard to biological evolution.