Recently a blogger over at skepchic set the site on fire with her post about why she supports intelligent design. A reasonably polite flame ware is currently raging and one of the themes brought up is whether intelligent design and theistic evolution are considered different things. What the hell does that mean? It all depends on the kind of game you think god is playing.
In the theistic evolution camp, god is playing dominoes. He/she/it/they set up an intricate pattern for how things would play out, then knocked the first domino over – lets call it the big bang. Everything from that point on plays out according to the plan, without intervention – planets form, life begins and eventually evolution cranks out a few bipedal monkeys.
In the intelligent design corner, god is playing curling.
Rather than just setting things up and watching them play out, god is frantically brooming, altering the course of events throughout history. God had to intervene to create humans; tweak things here, add a pinch of salt there, simmer for several thousand years.
So the question is, which god do you want to believe in? If I wasn’t an atheist I would prefer the domino god, something about it just implies perfection and omnipotence. This viewpoint also doesn’t contradict the evidence we see around us. People who believe in such a god, in such a creation story, can be positive supporters of evolution, science, critical thinking and skepticism.