14 June 2010

Intelligent Design Problems

Please view this video before reading on:

At about 1:08 in the video above, Fr. Barron posits that the new Atheists make a "category error", i.e., God is one cause among many other causes of material processes. I think that the video above can be used in a previous discussion about Intelligent Design (ID). (BTW, Cathorick is my other poetic blog.)

There are many different approaches to ID theory.

I used to strongly believe in a version (I don't know the exact label) that went something like this:
All life, including human life, came about in an evolutionary way. The most efficient way to change said life is to change it at the conception stage. Yes, natural selection happens, but the process by which natural selection is made possible is through creating variations of, or changes in DNA. The way that one species takes on features that allow it to survive more frequently is through changes in DNA sequencing. These changes can occur through physical DNA problems, radiation (sun) changes, or other means. The above natural changes do not occur by random; there is no such thing as randomness since God directs things in a particular way that we can only view as random (at this point in our history). Since God directs the changes of DNA matter, God is the Intelligent Designer of all life. The end.

After viewing Fr. Barron's video, I think that those who hold ID views and I are making a "category error" in a similar way that the new Atheists are.

God is not one cause among many, but the cause of all things. God is "being", and all matter is contingent on God; if God, or "being" doesn't exist, than no matter can exist. (Fr. Barron said elsewhere that contingent creation still exists because of God's Love; Love is a matter of God's will.)

As a Catholic caveat, the idea that miracles take place, such as regenerating a lung or overcoming some deathly illness, I now find troubling. Please let me explain.

The reason that some events are seen as miracles is that there is no explanation for them. In other words, there is no scientific or physical explanation that would account for the miracle other than God's action. Another Atheistic way to frame the problem is that God is needed to fill in the gap of our understanding for why something unexplainable takes place.

One thing that ZippyCatholic was getting to (as I understand) was that God created life from a miracle or that life is a continuum of events that leads to said life. Why can't it be both in light of Fr. Barron's comments?

The way that life comes about is through God's being. We don't need God to fill in the gaps (the gap(s) would ultimately be infinite in width and number anyway), God is the reason said question and all questions exist anyway.

So for the miracles in general, why not view everything as a miracle? As far as the sainthood miracles, I'll leave that up to the Church.

While we're at it, you might like Fr. Barron's take on "The [Four] YouTube Heresies".

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