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At the Heart of Theistic Evolution, an Inescapable Contradiction

David Klinghoffer

Some theistic evolutionists take umbrage at theistic evolution being called “theistic evolution.” In a brief video, philosopher J.P. Moreland identifies the implicit logical contradiction reflected in the name itself.

Professor Moreland, a Center for Science & Culture Fellow, discusses the subject of the new book he contributed to as a writer and editor, Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique. He succinctly identifies the problem, while qualifying that not all forms of TE are caught in this particular trap. Most theistic evolutionists want to retain God as the “guide” behind evolution (hence the “theistic” aspect of their argument). At the same time, evolution by the classic definition is an unguided process. Says Dr. Moreland, “You can’t have a process that is guided and unguided at the same time. That is completely contradictory.”

Moreland also wonders whether, if there can be no scientific evidence for design in nature (as most TE advocates insist), it makes any difference if you say evolution is guided, or unguided. It’s a good question. If they conceded that such evidence can and does exist, they would, of course, be proponents of intelligent design.