Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science

Intelligent Discourse on Intelligent Design: An Editorial

by
Willem B. Drees, editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science
Leiden University Institute of Religious Studies, Leiden University, the Netherlands

“Evolution and creation” may well be the most contested issue in the area of “religion and science” in the United States of America. One could easily fill issue after issue with articles pro and contra various positions. Not that all such articles would be intellectually interesting; the topic has been highly politicized. “Creationism” is a term that might be used for all who understand the world as God’s creation. However, it has come to mean a very particular subgroup of believers. Within this group, the rise of scientific creationism around 1960 was a major development. It was such a marked change that the most extensive historical study, The Creationists, by Ronald L. Numbers (1992), carried as its teasing subtitle: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism (see also the analysis in Kitcher 1982 and Ruse 2005). In response to legal decisions in the United States, this anti-evolution movement morphed into the “Intelligent Design” movement, which does not focus on “the Biblical account”, but rather on the claim that the natural evolutionary process is insufficient, and hence a “Designer” must have been involved (Numbers 2006; Pennock 1999).

Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science has not placed such controversies over evolution center stage in its history; there are many other interesting and more constructive projects to engage in. However, the journal has published various articles on evolution and creation in general, and on “intelligent design” arguments in particular. In this virtual issue, some of these are placed in the light again. Alongside these, there have been in Zygon informative articles on the reception of evolution in other traditions as well, but for this issue we concentrate on the discussion as it developed in the context of Western Christianity, and even more in particular American Protestantism.

References (Those references in bold type were brought together for the intelligent discourse on Intelligent Design virtual issue and may be found here.)

Kitcher, Philip. 1982. Abusing Science: The Case against Scientific Creationism. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Numbers, Ronald L. 1992. The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

———. 2006. The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. (A revised and expanded edition of Numbers 1992.)

Pennock, Robert T. 1999. Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Ruse, Michael. 2005. The Evolution-Creation Struggle. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.


Creation and Evolution

     Arnhard, Larry (2001). “The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of Darwinism.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 36:77-92.

     McMullin, Ernan (1993). “Evolution and Special Creation.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 28:299-335.

     Brooke, John Hedley (2011). “Interpreting the Word and the World.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 46:281-290.

     Wilkins, John S. (2012).“Could God Create Darwinian Accidents?” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 47:30-42.

     Southgate, Christopher (2011). “Re-reading Genesis, John and Job: A Christian Response to Darwinism.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 46:370-395.

     Ruse, Michael (2000) “Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? Ethical Issues.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 35:287-298.


Intelligent Design

     Recker, Doren (2010). “How To Confuse Organisms with Mousetraps: Machine Metaphors and Intelligent Design.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 45: 647-664.

     De Cruz, Helen and Johan De Smedt (2010) “Paley’s iPod: The Cognitive Basis of the Design Argument within Natural Theology” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 45:665-684.

     Kojonen, Erkki Vesa Rope (2013) “Tensions in Intelligent Design’s Critique of Theistic Evolutionism” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 48:251-273.

     Lancaster, James A.T. (2011) “The Semantic Structure of Evolutionary Biology as an Argument against Intelligent Design” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 46:26-46.

     Peterson, Gregory R. (2002) “The Intelligent Design Movement: Science of Ideology?” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 37:7-23.

     Van Till, Howard J. (1999) “Does ’Intelligent Design“ have a chance? An Essay Review.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 34:667-675.

     Blancke, Stefaan (2010) “Creationism in the Netherlands” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 45:791-816.


(You may click on the “Access Free Sample & Back Issues” button, above, for ways of obtaining copies of these articles or visit the Wiley Online Library website for access to these articles through our publishing agent, Wiley-Blackwell.)

initially prepared November 2013

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