NOVA: Intelligent Design on Trial

Published November 18th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson


NOVA’s most recent program is about the Intelligent Design debate over the last few years. They’ve put together an excellent companion website, and as of November 16th, you can watch the entire program online – I highly recommend it. NOVA always does a fantastic job on their programs and this is no exception.

My one criticism is that they neglected to mention the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s role in the Intelligent Design vs Science debate.

153 Responses to “NOVA: Intelligent Design on Trial”

  1. Pluto (Butterfly lover) says:

    @PacificPam (Butterfly)- That’s my girl.

  2. Old Grouch says:

    @ Pluto – Sorry I’m tardy in reply; but I don’t get all that much time for “surfing” and/or enjoying the blog some days; and yesterday was one of those.
    You have summed it up quite well. The “inspiration” – or, if you will, the gift of Faith – led to writing it down, for wider distribution of the Good News (Gospel), as well as for opportunity to repeat the lessons and biographical information in a way that would re-afirm and strengthen the individual, and Community, in their living examples.
    Also, the interactions of the Communities themselves (Ecclesia/congregatons/churches) led to times when one group had questions concerning local “problems”, which were referred to that living authority – such as the Apostle Paul – who answered their questions, and gave such worldly guidance as necessary. As time went by, certain Communities developed large libraries, as well as a local reputation for being good examples; and questions were directed there, with answers coming from the then living Bishop, or other recognized leader. (The Epistles)
    The various offshoots, and heresies, also developed a body of written materials, some of which imitated and/or closely paralleled the Orthodox writings; and which also circulated widely. The Council assembled as much of this material as it could, from as universal a representation of the local Churches as was then possible to accomplish. All were considered, and comparred to the essential of Tradition – and the Theology of the Symbolion – and the final Canon adopted for Leiturgos (Public Worship) was the Council’s form of a “seal of approval” on the materials. The written word and the oral Tradition/word were congruent, and Theologically Orthodox (Right Glorifying, Right Worshiping)for use throughout the world.
    The Septuagint (Seventy) version of the Hebrew Scriptures was appended to the books assembled as “New Testament”, on the basis of its being prophetic and pre-figuring the Mysteriae of Christianity. This was NOT a form of “adoption” of Hebrew “Laws”, or the Jewish Ritual forms of Kosher/Clean, Tref/Unclean; nor were these ever considered as now binding on Christians in perpetuity.
    Rather, the New Testament includes a somewhat truncated historical/biographical section – the Acts of the Apostles – in which Christians learn of the way in which the Apostles themselves, in the Council at Jerusalem, disposed of not only the matter of circumcision, but also of the dietary – and other – Hebrew legalisms.
    The Protestant regression to bibliolatry only serves to show the emptiness of their whole idea of Christianity. If the Hebrew Scriptures be – as with Mohamed’s Qran – something perpetual, absolute, and binding forever, why then don’t Protestants also insist on circumcision, and the whole of the Kosher/Tref set of laws and instructions?

    @ Those quoting the passage concerning Jesus’s words about the “fulfillment of the Law”:
    It is the fundamental premise of Christianity that HE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW. (Read the Epistles of St. Paul for the formal exposition here.) That there are human rules and regulations, social, political, cultural, etc., etc., is one thing. That the Hebrew Law (Torah/Talmud, etc.) has been fulfilled, and is now not necessary to Christians is quite another.
    The great difference between Orthodoxy and Romanism/Protestantism lies in the fundamental premise that Christianity is an INDIVIDUAL experience – the GIFT of Faith personally, Incorporating the soul IN CHRIST. Romanism/Protestantism, on the other hand, hold Christianity to be an INSTITUTIONAL experience – “salvation” by way of JOINING THE CHURCH, and being a follower of all the rules and regulations of the GROUP.
    This WESTERN religious position comes from the Roman adoption of the philosophical approach to “knowing ABOUT God”, by way of Augustine of Hippo, Origen, and the Aristotleian from of “logic”. This mind-set was specifically condemned by Council, with Origen, and all his followers – of whom Augustine of Hippo was an avowed member – named in the condemnation.
    Orthodoxy, on the other hand begins with the statement: “We know nothing ABOUT God. We know God.” And the essential of MYSTERY – a Total Transcendence become an Incarnate Immanence – is the Christian message. (Which leads to the further development of human kind’s own Theosis, individually.)

  3. Captain Capelli d'angelo says:

    @ old grouch

    Your answer to my point about the application of Old Testament law is pretty typical. You didn’t answer. Instead we took a trip through other verse and dogma.

    Back to the point…Matt 5:18 is straightforward and says you as a christian abide by all OT law. You are not even allowed to break the “least” of the laws. Verse 19 and 20 are the punitive verses that call you names (beast) and say you can’t get into heaven unless you abide by 5:18. Are you saying by virtue of your response that other evidence you have proves these verses errant?

  4. Old Grouch says:

    @Captain Capelli d’angelo. Sorry. You are assuming that Orthodox Christianity is, somehow, historically subsequent to, or out of, the Western European Protestant Revolution, where bibliolatry – i.e., supposedly basing the Church on the book; and making the book into an idol, as with Mohamed and the Qran – takes the place of the actual historical reality of Christianity, which began as ORAL TRADITION, with the book as “coroberation” NOT, as you seem to be insisting, the “model for inception”.
    If, for you, Protestant bibliolatry is your form of “Christianity”, there is no more to say. We are then actually dealing with two different religions entirely; and as a long time history student, and teacher, I can only stick to the historical facts that show them to be such. What you speak of as “other verse and dogma” is Orthodox Christianity

    I am an Orthodox Christian. Orthdoxy does not regard the book as inerrant, nor as being some kind of imposition of absolute law, based on the Hebrew Torah. I cannot answer a question concerning something that IS NOT Orthodox Theology as if it were. The evidence is the 2,000+ years of Orthodox Christianity; the history of the Seven Oecumenical Councils – where Orthodox Theology was established – the Symbolion (Creed); which is that Profession of Faith which Orthodoxy makes at all Worship – That which is Prayed is that which is believed. – and the host of writers known as the Fathers of the Church, who detail Orthodox belief and practice. For me, as an Orthodox Christian, that is where all Dogma is found.
    If you want support for, or acquiesance to, a Protestant presentation, I can’t give it to you. Thank you for your patience in reading what I have presented.

  5. Peter Popoff says:

    Hello Old Grouch,

    You are one of the best read Christians I’ve seen on this site
    in the year that I’ve been coming here.
    While I’ve established a trademark of being concise on this forum.
    I’ll stick to that trait and ask you why God lets children be born ill,
    And-or with terminal illness?
    I trust you won’t give me a Bible quote (I know them all anyway).
    But I will admit I’m lacking in the way of the Orthodox belief system.
    Could you shed light on my question (from the Orthodox point of belief)?
    Thank you,
    Peter Popoff

  6. Old Grouch says:

    @ Peter Popoff – The whole matter of, “Why God lets . . . whatever . . . “, is one that presumes that human-kind itself KNOWS HOW “God should act”. This mind-set is based on the premise that the finite/created somehow exceeds – or “controls”, or affects – the Infinite/Uncreated. And this approach is at the root of the anthropomorphization of God that gives us the mythological pantheons, where the “deities” simply mirror human behavior on a grandiose scale. From this anthropomorphic conception of “deity”, philosophy builds a whole structure of what humans “know” – or are supposed to be able to “know – ABOUT – God”, including such esoteric concepts as just exactly how each Person of the Holy Trinity inter-connects, and inter-acts, from inception. (And, if you don’t think that one is a real mind-bender, you haven’t had a Jesuit philosophy major.)
    Orthodoxy simply refuses the whole idea of an anthropomorphic approach. As Orthodox, we know nothing ABOUT God; we know God. And this is a PERSONAL knowledge, by way of Revelation, brought to fruition with the Incarnation, and available to each of us through our Incorporation into the Living Body of Christ on Earth, by Baptism/Chrismation. Indeed, Orthodoxy goes on to teach: “Everything we say about Him, He is not.” Which serves to remind us that we are dealing with an Absolute Transcendence, beyond all human comprehension; Who has become an Incarnate Imanence for the purpose of restoring His whole creation to that which it was when He looked upon it, and “saw that it was good”.
    We are allowed to use human language to teach, discuss, etc., etc., since language is the basic form of human communication. But, that which we teach, discuss, etc., etc., remains always “other than” the limits of language, which “otherness” is at root of the whole Mystery of Faith. Or, to try to put into some more or less modern terms, philosophy teaches “how to build a box, and know all about everything in that box”. While Orthodoxy begins by insisting that we “think outside ANY box”; or, perhaps to say it a bit better, since there is NO BOX, of any kind, that can begin to “hold” God, we really aren’t supposed to “think ABOUT” – i.e., label, pigeon-hole, categorize, set limits and boundaries, etc., etc., – God, or the “specifics” of the Mysteriae (Sacraments) to begin with, even though we live them as part of our own Theosis.
    Councils strictly condemned the Augustinian formulae that began with his idea of the “stragis”, or “indellible mark”, as the sign of “Priesthood”; but Rome adopted the Augustinian “boxes”, and developed its entire pseudo-Theology on the premises that these were “necessary to salvation”; and that any “thinking outside the box” was heretical, which led to the excesses of the un-Holy Inquisition, where even the slightest degree of thought ventured against a “definition” could get one burned at the stake. Having now created “God” in man’s own image and likeness, by way of philosophy, Western Romanism could answer any and all questions of what “God ought to . . . .”. And, answers are found in the massive volumes of Thomism, etc., etc., to almost every HUMAN question – economic, social, cultural, political, etc. etc. – that Romanism developed over the Centuries.
    We are all human. And most of us are familiar with the Western ethos, and Western philosophical approach. So, we too ask, “How/why God lets . . . ?” For Orthodoxy, strictly speaking, that is not really an “allowable” question. When Adam turned away from God, creation and human-kind were opened to suffering and death. And, as hard as it is sometimes to abstain from anthropomorphizing God, and seeking a particular answer as to “Why God lets . . . ?”, nevertheless that question remains one that has no really satisfactory human answer. Except insofar as the answer be one in which we acknowledge that we, as humans, do not fully know all ABOUT God, nor all that much ABOUT His overall – as well as often particular – plan and purpose.
    We can only surrender the question; act with our fullest compassion; and, in Faith, leave it to God.
    Which is not to say that it is not terribly frustrating to experience someone actually asking the question in a specific case. But, Orthodoxy doesn’t claim to have “all the answers”, as other forms of religion do sometimes claim.

  7. PacificPam (ñaca ñaca) says:

    Man…I don’t even want to read this

  8. Masey says:

    I don’t think there’s any obligation. Just use your scroll wheel.

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