I’m travelling currently, so I’ll keep the sophisticated philosophy to a minimum, and do some sociology instead. I’ve been wondering — why is it that there’s a trend of theistic evolutionists (like Ken Miller and Francis Collins) vociferously arguing that there’s not scientific evidence for design in biology, and yet there is scientific evidence for design in physics, while there’s no corresponding trend of physicists arguing that there’s no scientific evidence for design in physics, and yet there is in biology? 

(In case you’re not familiar with the argumentative moves of the theistic evolutionists I’m talking about, Ken Miller, in his book Only a Theory, suggests that the fine-tuning argument is a good argument for the existence of God, while Francis Collins, in his book The Language of God, cites the big bang as support for theism.)

I should make clear that there’s a sense in which Miller and Collins presumably would find evidence for design in biology, it’s just not evidence of the sort that intelligent design proponents cite. Perhaps that is the difference, for Miller and Collins — they don’t believe in a God that intervenes in the world, and yet this seems to be the sort of designer that the intelligent design proponents are arguing for, at least with their evolution-based arguments. The physics-based arguments (like the fine-tuning argument and the cosmological argument) don’t necessarily argue for a designer that regularly intervenes in the universe. 

This does raise a more general issue — is it easier to find purported evidence for God in physics than in biology? Are physics-based intelligent design arguments stronger arguments? And from a sociological standpoint, since we’ve seen an incredible push by mainstream biologists against evolution-based intelligent design arguments, will we in the future see a corresponding push by mainstream physicists against physics-based intelligent design arguments? I have the sense that there’s something different about the physics community, that would lead them to be less opposed to arguments for a designer, but I’ll save my reasons for why I think that for another time.

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