In a furthering attempt to demonstrate that intelligent design is not creationism, a writer over at uncommondescent attempts to explain how theist who believe in 'theistic evolution' are at best incoherent and in his apt bit of respectful charity,"But we can help you!".
The writer begins describing the critical opposition between theistic evolutionists and theist ( one I assume the writer automatically judges to be non-evolution believing christian based on the biblical interpretation that follows ). It is a sort of short summary, that attempts to define the theistic-evolutionist as being criticized as being unable to draw a definitive compatibility between their personal beliefs and evolutionary science. The writer then attempts to set up the theistic evolutionist position as the defense made to that accusation in the form of:
Yet a person very well versed in TE literature has informed me that many TEs do not appear to feel any such intellectual discomfort. They reconcile Christianity and Darwin, he suggests, by holding to an "old earth creationist" position, by interpreting Genesis non-literally, and by treating evolution as God's "creation tool."
The writer immediately admits the point that interpretative drawings upon the christian bible are wide enough to allow various differently held positions in the form of:
The first two points are non-controversial. There is plenty of room within orthodox Christianity for the belief that the earth is very old, and for less-than-completely-literal interpretations of Genesis.
Cudworth begins by redefining a tool as something being in control of the user in the 'strict' sense. Then immediately categorizes evolution in the typical creationist canard of being 'chance', therefore concluding it is out of gods control. Now, the error should be readily apparent in two ways. Cudworth immediately removes several possibilities by defining the mutations that occur as chance rather then themselves being the result of a causational existence as much as evolution as a process is itself. It seems that Cudworth's god is so limited in power it can never percieve a future outcome, nor plan for a future outcome like something as simple as a mathematical algorithm, a plastic coin sorting box, financial adviser, or any example of self organization both in physics/biology. It makes me wonder if Cudworth even has a concept of how any experimental outcome in the sciences can be even predicted based on the variables induced at the beginning of the experiment. It is as if the entire process of predicting an outcome based on the initial data, never and cannot occur.
Redefining tools, limiting a god of a mythology's ability upon nothing more then ones own authority, and entirely ignoring the same causational exercise one embraces as the proof of gods existence - is not the end of this dishonest diatribe of one christian to another. Cudworth immediately falls back on his own biblical interpretation to which he compares theistic evolutionist with no more rejection of their reason, then they do not believe as he does. The usage involves the limited definitions stated above to ultimately conclude in a strawman, where one presumes something one does not explain. He immediately cites the notion of 'divine providence', that is the idea that god provides for the needs of humans and the needs of earth for the indeterminate future. Then for no other reason then his own incredulity, dismisses gods providence for providing the very process he claims god has no control over because god cannot control a process that is only as controlled as the variables it recieves? Even if we set aside that 'providence' itself is just another analog like the literal interpretation of genesis, it is pretty inconsistent to presume one cannot control what is itself limited by what one solely introduces. That is, natural selection as a process is as dependent upon the variables in its environemnt as the outcome of an experiment in a lab or even a mathematical algorithm.
Cudworth seems to recognize that his only factor is solely dependent on the personal/individual interpretation of belief in both how and what is believed. He admits as much with:
"A non-providential God is clearly not an orthodox Christian God, and it therefore appears that theistic evolutionism generates heretical Christianity."
But unfortunately, Cudworth then goes on a diabtribe against theistic evolutionist entirely outside the topic of what he claimed previously. Where Cudworth said theistic evolutionist are incoherent based on definitions of his own creation, limitations of his own defined god, and presumptions about how and what to believe about whatever religious mythology he might conclude himself to be. He draws up a response perhaps trying to play devil's advocate to his own claims based and dishonestly uses his own limited framework for which to reply ie falling back on his original strawman. The exception is that this time, he concludes that science defines natural selection as working through 'chance' ( with little more mention of actual selection in natural selection ). Including where he presumes for us that,"operationally, science must proceed as if chance alone is at work."
I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that we must operate as it if were nothing more then the inclusion of another variable that allowed the non-random selective criteria to occur. No 'chance' or 'design', required. It is simply, the result of a series of combining events that are quantifiable and can be analyzed. Does that make it chance? Well, if you look up the definition of chance in one aspect you'll get that very thing the product or result of a combination of events. Yet another will tell you that chance is luck, unpredicitable and unknown. If we use Cudworths usage of chance, he of course considers 'chance' to be outside of not only mans control but outside of gods control. So clearly, cudworth goes with chance being unknown to describe a field of science that fully well knows the non-random/non-chance selective cause behind a process.
Beyond this Cudworth simply repeats himself several times using the same various strawmen, limited definitions, and false dichotomy of 'chance' vs 'design'. He never returns to demonstrate a means to quantify design in a situation where we cannot tell the difference in outcomes and seems to criticize theistic evolutionists for believing in the same faith that he himself claims to believe in the christian god/mythology. He concludes on demonizing both atheists and christians who do not believe like he does, re-affirms a strawman, and never provides any information to support intelligent design. He presumes that anyone that accepts scientific methodology and the biological sciences, immediately removes the possibility of 'design'. Then uses that as an element to criticize others, when as a movement ID has never produced anything workable in the first place.