Evolution and Intelligent Design. Who Needs God?

  • Article (PDF)
  • 12 pages, 7000 words, 164 kB
  • Level: university

This article by Fr. George V. Coyne, S. J., Director of the Vatican Observatory from 1978 to 2006, first appeared in Divine Action and Natural Selection, edited by J. Seckbach and R. Gordon (World Scientific 2009), pages 9-26.  Fr. Coyne writes:

One of the principal issues involved in the debate about the supposed insufficiency of neo-Darwinian evolution and the contested validity of intelligent design explanations for biological phenomena is that to do with the meaning of science itself, as it has been understood since the time of Galileo. As a background to defending my claim that the intelligent design explanations are not science, I wish to present a fundamental distinction which is at the basis of understanding what science does and what it cannot, as such, do. This is the distinction between what is meant by “origins” and what is meant by “creation.” In so doing I wish to set a cosmological background to the discussion of biological evolution. Then I will give a brief history of scientific methodology in order to substantiate my claim that the intelligent design movement lies outside of that methodology.

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Evolution and Intelligent Design