Why, then, have Thomists not been among Behe’s most ardent supporters? First of all, they would agree with many biologists who have pointed out that Behe’s claims of irreducible complexity fail to distinguish between the lack of a known natural explanation of the origin of complex systems and the judgment that such explanation is in principle impossible. Thomists, however, would go even further than most biologists by identifying the first claim as epistemological and the second as ontological. Now, a Thomist might agree with Behe’s epistemological claim that no current or foreseeable future attempt at explanation for certain biological complexities is satisfactory. Yet, a Thomist will reject Behe’s ontological claim that no such explanation can ever be given in terms of the operation of nature. This ontological claim depends on a “god of the gaps” understanding of divine agency and such an understanding of God’s action is cosmogonically fallacious.Hat tip DarwinCatholic.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Michael W. Tkacz on why Thomas Aquinas would be underwhelmed by Intelligent Design: