Mission Impossible: From the BioLogos Files

Theistic evolution must struggle against the Darwinian version of evolution that neither expects nor permits finding any objective evidence of design in biology.

The mission of theistic evolution (TE) sometimes seems to be to do the impossible. The type of evolution TE proponents must really struggle to reconcile with their faith is not mere change over time or even universal common descent, but the Darwinian version of evolution that neither expects nor permits finding any objective evidence of design in biology.


The staff at BioLogos are best known for their efforts to promote Darwinian theory to Evangelical Christians. In a way, they win my admiration for even trying. But you can’t be surprised that the nature of the quest results in strange convolutions — as, for example, when they write to their supporters and other interested observers of the public discussion. I don’t seem to be on the right email lists for the group, but our colleague Steve Meyer passes along a couple of gems that he received.

One implores, “Meet the Mantis Shrimp, Stephen!” Under a charming and beautiful photo of the creature, BioLogos president Deborah Haarsma provides a wonderful description of the mantis shrimp with its “sixteen types of color-receptive cones, allowing them to see ultraviolet wavelengths invisible to us.” She asks:

Stephen, do you see God’s glory in this amazing creature?

Any theist who’s also an advocate of intelligent design unsurprisingly sees “God’s glory” reflected in nature. Meyer replied to the email, “Yes, I do. It looks like it displays evidence of His extremely intelligent design. What say you folks about that?”

Another email from BioLogos on “The Jewel-Feathered Micro-Dinosaur” asks Dr. Meyer, “Did you know this about the hummingbird, Stephen?” The email is signed by evolutionary biologist Sarah Bodbyl Roels. She winds up to this:

Whether experiencing their brilliant colors and dazzling aerial displays, or pondering their specialized characters, hummingbirds are awe-inspiring. I see God in these jewel-feathered micro-dinosaurs, do you?


Thanks, Sarah, I definitely do see evidence of the Divine Nature (God’s power and wisdom, Romans 1) revealed in these exquisite creatures.
Many of us think of the features of living organisms (such as those of the hummingbird’s you cite) as evidence of intelligent design!
Perhaps you and other colleagues at BioLogos increasingly do too. Perhaps we are finding common ground?

Have you seen our film? You might recommend it to your readers! http://flightthegeniusofbirds.com

By all means, if they’re discovering new common ground with ID, warmly welcome these good people and thoughtful scientists aboard. Don’t, of course, hold your breath waiting for it. Whether it’s hummingbirds or mantis shrimp, the signature of theistic evolution is to resist recognizing scientific evidence of its own claims about nature.

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