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I was asked yesterday my opinion of “intelligent design.” I am usually cautious when answering such questions – they are often loaded! Not in this case however – and I was happy to acknowledge my unhappiness with the term – for two reasons.

  1. It has been hi-jacked by politicians falling over each other to win the allegiance of an ascendant lobby that applies the term, inadequately in my view, to creationist doctrine. This raises my second objection.
  2. The term is theologically inadequate. It is reductionist in effect, if not in intent. Why not “transcendent design” or “immanent design” or some combination of these (there must be a good German word that would achieve this)? To maintain an argument that in effect, to make its point, diminishes God to mere intelligence opens up the slippery slope to idolatry, fashioning the Creator in our own image.

I realise my objection frustrates the classic “creationism/evolutionism” debate that is undergoing some bizarre revival. Nevertheless, there it is.