The Scientific Problems with Kojonen’s Theistic Evolution Model

ID the Future
Casey Luskin
Stephen Dilley
Audio File (16.08M)

Can evolution and intelligent design work together in harmony? Or is that wishful thinking? On this ID The Future, host Casey Luskin concludes his conversation with philosopher Dr. Stephen Dilley about a recent proposal to marry mainstream evolutionary theory with a case for intelligent design. Dr. Dilley is lead author of a comprehensive critique of Kojonen’s model co-authored with Luskin, Brian Miller, and Emily Reeves and published in the journal Religions.

In the second half of their discussion, Luskin and Dilley explain key scientific problems with Kojonen’s theistic evolution model. First up is Kojonen’s acceptance of both convergent evolution and common ancestry, two methods used by evolutionary biologists to explain common design features among different organisms. But if the design can be explained through natural processes, there is little need to invoke intelligent design. After all, the whole point of mainstream evolutionary theory is to render superfluous the need for intelligent design.

Dr. Dilley also explains why Kojonen’s model contradicts our natural intuition to detect design. If we look at a hummingbird under Kojonen’s proposal, we are still required to see unguided natural processes at work, the appearance of design without actual intelligent design. Yet we are also supposed to acknowledge that an intelligent designer front-loaded the evolutionary process with the creative power it needs to produce the hummingbird. So is it intelligently designed or isn’t it? The theist on the street is left scratching his or her head.

This is Part 2 of a two-part conversation. Listen to Part 1. And look for more interviews responding to Dr. Kojonen’s proposal coming up!

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Stephen Dilley

Senior Fellow and Academic Mentoring Centers Coordinator
Stephen Dilley (PhD, philosophy) is the Academic Mentoring Centers Coordinator and a Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. Prior to joining Discovery, Dr. Dilley was a professor for 14 years at St. Edward’s University (Austin, TX). He is the editor of Darwinian Evolution and Classical Liberalism (Lexington Books) and co-editor of Human Dignity in Bioethics (Routledge). He has published essays in the The British Journal for the History of Science, The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and elsewhere.

Casey Luskin

Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.
Charles Darwin
common ancestry
Convergent Evolution
design intuition
evolutionary creation
front-loaded design
Intelligent Design
natural selection
No categories
Rope Kojonen
theistic evolution
universal common ancestry
universal common descent