Rational Scientific Theories from Theism

Biology Approach to Theistic Science

Creationism and Theistic Science?

The name theistic science has recently been used in some circles in connection with 'creation science' and 'intelligent design theory'. This use appears to have been started by Alvin Plantinga in his 1991 article When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and the Bible (published in Christian Scholar's Review XXI:1 (September 1991): 8-33) where he claimed 
Finally, in all the areas of academic endeavor, we Christians must think about the matter at hand from a Christian perspective; we need Theistic Science. Perhaps the discipline in question, as ordinarily practiced, involves a methodological naturalism; if so, then what we need, finally, is not answers to our questions from that perspective, valuable in some ways as it may be. What we really need are answers to our questions from the perspective of all that we know-what we about God, and what we know by faith, by way of revelation, as well as know in other ways. In many areas, this means that Christians must rework the area in question from this perspective. This idea may be shocking but it is not new. 
This suggestion has started extensive debates. The position has been developed by J.P. Moreland, especially in his article Is Science a Threat or Help to Faith? A look at the concept of Theistic Science, and used by Phillip E. Johnson, in books and in articles such as Creator or Blind Watchmaker?

In all of these articles, however, the main application in mind is to creationism vs theories of evolution, and the main theism in mind is that of the "Reformed Christians [who] are wholly in earnest about the Bible" (to quote Plantinga). 

There are arguments opposing this application to creationism by Robert Pennock  who has written a book Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism (reviewed in Scientific American).

Further discussion of evolution in a theistic context looks at theological responses to biological evolution, and argues, on the basis of some fundamental themes of Christian theology, that evolution is to be preferred to creationism from the theological standpoint.

Present Use

I do not believe that the recent creation of the world is either supported by religion, or supported by science. In fact, science shows that the world and living creatures gradually developed, and we will see later that 'proper theism' shows that God almost always uses means to sustain and develop the world. 

There are several appearances that God creates things instantaneously (whether the universe, organisms, or humans), but this is not in accordance with the postulates of theistic science as advocated here. The appearances of rapid creation in the first chapters of Genesis, for example, have to be interpreted correctly, and distinguished from literal history, as Swedenborg explains. 

In any case: theistic science depends on good and true theistic principles, and good science

Intelligent Design?

The Intelligent Design (ID) movement consists of a negative critique of Darwinist evolution, and the beginnings of a more positive account based on theism. The negative message is reaching people, most recently Antony Flew, but the positive message is still in need of development (or replacement). The step from 'initial design in a deism' to 'constant sustenance in a theism' is still not being made properly.

Further discussion

See section on biological evolution in theistic science.


www.TheisticScience.org Author: Ian J. Thompson, Email: IanT at TheisticScience.org