William A. Dembski

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Bill Dembski

William Albert "Bill" Dembski (born July 18, 1960) is an American mathematician, philosopher and theologian known for advocating the idea of intelligent design in opposition to the theory of evolution through natural selection.

Sourced[edit]

1990s[edit]

  • As far as design theorists are concerned, theistic evolution is American evangelicalism's ill-conceived accommodation to Darwinism.
  • Design theorists are no friends of theistic evolution.
    • "What Every Theologian Should Know about Creation, Evolution, and Design", Transactions (Center for Interdisciplinary Studies) 3 (2): 1-8 , May/June 1995
  • The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.

2000s[edit]

  • Intelligent Design opens the whole possibility of us being created in the image of a benevolent God.
  • The job of apologetics is to clear the ground, to clear obstacles that prevent people from coming to the knowledge of Christ.... And if there's anything that I think has blocked the growth of Christ as the free reign of the Spirit and people accepting the Scripture and Jesus Christ, it is the Darwinian naturalistic view.... It's important that we understand the world. God has created it; Jesus is incarnate in the world.
    • "Defeating Darwinism in Our Culture" panel discussion, National Religious Broadcasters meeting, Anaheim, 2000-02-06, as quoted in Shermer, Michael (2006). Why Darwin matters: the case against intelligent design. New York: Times Books. LCC QH366.2.S494 2006. ISBN 978-0-8050-8306-4. 
  • The world is a mirror representing the divine life...
  • The mechanical philosophy was ever blind to this fact. Intelligent design, on the other hand, readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.
    • with A., Kushiner, James M., (editors),Signs of intelligence: understanding intelligent design. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos Press. 2001. LCC BL263.S54 2001. ISBN 1587430045. 
  • Intelligent design is eminently falsifiable. Specified complexity in general and irreducible complexity in biology are within the theory of intelligent design the key markers of intelligent agency. If it could be shown that biological systems like the bacterial flagellum that are wonderfully complex, elegant, and integrated could have been formed by a gradual Darwinian process (which by definition is non-telic), then intelligent design would be falsified on the general grounds that one doesn't invoke intelligent causes when purely natural causes will do. In that case Occam's razor finishes off intelligent design quite nicely.
  • The fact is that for complex systems like the bacterial flagellum no biologist has or is anywhere close to reconstructing its history in Darwinian terms. Is Darwinian theory therefore falsified? Hardly. I have yet to witness one committed Darwinist concede that any feature of nature might even in principle provide countervailing evidence to Darwinism. In place of such a concession one is instead always treated to an admission of ignorance. Thus it's not that Darwinism has been falsified or disconfirmed, but that we simply don't know enough about the biological system in question and its historical context to determine how the Darwinian mechanism might have produced it.
  • From our vantage, materialism is not a neutral, value-free, minimalist position from which to pursue inquiry. Rather, it is itself an ideology with an agenda. What’s more, it requires an evolutionary creation story to keep it afloat. On scientific grounds, we regard that creation story to be false. What’s more, we regard the ideological agenda that has flowed from it to be destructive to rational discourse. Our concerns are therefore entirely parallel to the evolutionists’. Indeed, all the evolutionists’ worst fears about what the world would be like if we succeed have, in our view, already been realized through the success of materialism and evolution. Hence, as a strategy for unseating materialism and evolution, the term "Wedge" has come to denote an intellectual and cultural movement that many find congenial.
  • I think the opportunity to deal with students and getting them properly oriented on science and theology and the relation between those is going to be important because science has been such an instrument used by the materialists to undermine the Christian faith and religious belief generally.
  • This is really an opportunity to mobilize a new generation of scholars and pastors not just to equip the saints but also to engage the culture and reclaim it for Christ. That's really what is driving me.
  • But there are deeper motivations. I think at a fundamental level, in terms of what drives me in this is that I think God's glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God's glory is getting robbed...And so there is a cultural war here. Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he's done - and he's not getting it.
  • And another thing I think we need to be aware of is that not every instance of design we see in nature needs to be directly attributed to God. Certainly as Christians we believe there is an angelic hierarchy - it's not just that there's this physical material world and there's God. There can be various hierarchies of intelligent beings operating, God can work through what can be called derived intelligences - processes which carry out the Divine will, but maybe not perfectly because of the fall.
    • address given at Fellowship Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, 2004-03-07, quoted in Coyne, Jerry (11 August 2005), "The case against intelligent design: the faith that dare not speak its name", The New Republic 
  • In the next five years, molecular Darwinism—the idea that Darwinian processes can produce complex molecular structures at the subcellular level—will be dead. When that happens, evolutionary biology will experience a crisis of confidence because evolutionary biology hinges on the evolution of the right molecules. I therefore foresee a Taliban-style collapse of Darwinism in the next ten years. Intelligent design will of course profit greatly from this.
  • Thus, in a crucial way, the Kansas hearings repeat the pattern set by the Scopes Trial, which has been repeated many times since, namely, evolutionists escaped critical scrutiny by not having to undergo cross-examination. In this case, they accomplished the feat by boycotting the hearings. I therefore await the day when the hearings are not voluntary but involve subpoenas that compel evolutionists to be deposed and interrogated at length on their views.
  • What I propose, then, is a strategy for interrogating the Darwinists to, as it were, squeeze the truth out of them.
  • Even many Christians who have been raised and indoctrinated in a secular mindset ... will say, 'Look, we're just going to have to accept the science of the day and try to make our peace with it theologically.' ... And there is no peace theologically ... ultimately with this view [Darwinian evolution]. But they accept it. And so, this idea of intelligent design becomes very threatening.
  • The mountains of evidence are already there. The problem is that evidence is itself inherently hermeneutical, influenced by cognitive predispositions to interpret certain types of data as supporting/confirming certain types of conclusions. If one wears materialistic blinders, there can be no evidence for ID hence the constant refrain by people like Barbara Forrest and Eugenie Scott that there is no evidence for ID. There is none for them because they have shut their eyes to it.

Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology (1999)[edit]

Intelligent design: the bridge between science & theology. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press. 1999. LCC BL240.2.D46 1999. ISBN 9780830823147. 
  • The question rather is how we should do science and theology in light of the impending collapse of Enlightenment rationalism and scientific naturalism. These ideologies are on the way out. They are on the way out.
    • page 14
  • My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ.
    • page 206
  • If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of Chalcedon (i.e., the doctrine that Christ is fully human and fully divine) and view Christ as the telos toward which God is drawing the whole of creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient.
    • page 206
  • Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners do not have a clue about him.
    • page 210
  • The scientific picture of the world championed since the Enlightenment is not just wrong but massively wrong. Indeed entire fields of inquiry, especially in the human sciences, will need to be rethought from the ground up in terms of intelligent design.
    • page 224

The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design (2004)[edit]

The design revolution: answering the toughest questions about intelligent design. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press. 2003. LCC BS652.D46 2004. ISBN 9780830832163. 
  • Theism (whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim) holds that God by wisdom created the world. The origin of the world and its subsequent ordering thus results from the designing activity of an intelligent agent—God. Naturalism, on the other hand, allows no place for intelligent agency except at the end of a blind, purposeless material process. Within naturalism, any intelligence is an evolved intelligence. Moreover, the evolutionary process by which any such intelligence developed is itself blind and purposeless. As a consequence, naturalism makes intelligence not a basic creative force within nature but an evolutionary byproduct. In particular, humans (the natural objects best known to exhibit intelligence) are not the crown of creation, not the carefully designed outcome of a purposeful creator, and certainly not creatures made in the image of a benevolent God. Rather, humans are an accident of natural history.
    • p. 8-9

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