Oakes is also less commonly used as a masculine given name. In the passage immediately following his six“sentence discussion of the Fifth Way, Aquinas explains the connection: “As Augustine says, since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil. For by the author’s lights, God has left the finches on the Galapagos Islands to fend for themselves, and will intervene but occasionally, and only when absolutely necessary, to get a significantly different species up and running. 46, art. Unfortunately, his own work falls into that same trap. He never appeals, as Fr. Perhaps they are being philosophically unsophisticated, and will pay the price in lost prestige when the writings of Cardinal Newman become more widely known. Although there is no reference to a “Holy Arranger” or “Celestial Cell Constructor,” John 1:3 does say that “all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”. The inference to biological design is a modest argument that doesn’t penetrate to the mysteries of our faith. He never claims that general revelation can prove the additional and indispensable truths of special revelation; he only claims that rejection of the former prevents reception of the latter. As Gilson rightly says, “The whole series of intermediate causes [is] one sole second cause, of which God is the first cause.”. True, Complexity Theory is not without its problems. In my opinion, the only possible approach for a Christian theologian in dealing with the presence of evil is that of Thomas Aquinas, who holds, pace David Hume, that an omnipotent and benevolent God can coexist with evil in His finite creation, but only when the world is viewed both as a totality and under the aegis of eschatology. They merely place a lower limit, so to speak, on what kind of Creator may reasonably be proposed. Following Newman, whom he quotes (“I believe in design because I believe in God, not in a God because I see design”), Fr. The materialist must prove, rather than assume, that intelligence had nothing to do with it. Now I gather from his letter that he still harbors these same misgivings. He persisted, and signed up as a private in the 9th Coast Artillery, New York National Guard, and served from 1917 until the Armistice in 1918. I am sorry if Phillip E. Johnson feels I ridiculed his citation of the Prologue to St. John’s Gospel, which was not my intention. For that reason”much as this assertion will stick in the craw of Phillip Johnson”Richard Dawkins is right when he says that “biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed.” The truth of this principle, however, in no way justifies the metaphysical implications that this doctrinaire atheist tries to squeeze out of it. In How We Believe , Michael Shermer, president of the Skeptics Society, describes a poll asking Americans why they believe in God. Now Prof. Johnson’s concession of microevolution to materialist Darwinism while cordoning off macro­ evolution as a redoubt of Intelligent Design is either Creation “Science” on the installment plan, or (more likely) Deism put under a stroboscope. We see that things lacking awareness, such as natural bodies , act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result [which was exactly Darwin’s point, by the way]. In my review I was not referring so much to his concession (quoted by Mr. Ghelardi) that if God does not exist then natural selection is our best available candidate for how complex forms came to be”although that quote certainly is as good an indication as any of my contention that the design argument will only end up becoming a breeding ground for atheism, a fetid terrarium for a whole new brood of Richard Dawkinses (not a pleasant thought, that). Certainly not Johnson. But besides the sheer prima facie preposterousness of the charge that John Paul II has been taken in by secularist and materialist arguments, my main worry in Prof. Johnson’s criticism of the Pope’s letter on evolution is the way he continues to suffer under, well, the fallacy of the false dilemma. Why not start with perfectly obvious features of our existence that cannot in principle be explained”or even explained away”by naturalism? Darwin pointed out that if horses had evolved saddles, his theory would immediately be falsified. Again, not so. Unfortunately, that was Paley’s logic too; and life“forms that he, with an annoying self“assurance, so insouciantly assumed were irreducibly complex soon proved to be eminently explainable in other terms. Only after long and arduous reflection was its incompatibility with the Christian notion of God eventually established. Oakes has committed the fallacy of the false dilemma, erroneously assuming that the two parts of Newman’s aphorism exhaust all possibilities. The critique of Darwinism is important not because Intelligent Design theory tells us about the character of God”it doesn’t. (“Theories of evolution [that], in accordance with the philosophies inspiring them, consider the mind as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man.”) However, I also have to be fair to the reporters who misconstrued it. Unfortunately, Johnson’s own concession has ended up selling the company store. Thus Thomas cannot even remotely have in mind the staggering intricacies of our modern“day neo“teleologists (and as if he could deal with such complex issues in a mere six sentences). I certainly agree that nothing is more irritating to an author than to be judged for failing to do what he never planned to do. But one of Newman’s points in The Idea of a University is that, among other things, the Argument from Design is too hard to follow, and thus fails to qualify as general revelation. Edward T. Oakes’ review of Phillip E. Johnson’s book is very welcome, both because of its scientific lucidity, and its grounding in Catholic sensibilities. Oakes’ opening reference to John Henry Newman’s description of the “favorite rhetorical trick” of secular intellectuals, especially scientific materialists. Suppose, he says, that Robinson Crusoe came across a circle of stones around some ashes. As Étienne Gilson says in The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas : “We have, therefore, in the proof of finality, as in all the preceding proofs, a sensible datum which looks for its sufficient reasons in God and finds it in Him alone ” (emphasis added). I have the greatest respect for John Paul II, and have consistently defended his statement by explaining the importance of the crucial qualifying sentence that the reporters fail to quote. Oakes implies by comparing him to William Paley, to apparent design in biology as an “argument from design” to prove the existence of God. But I suspect that if those laws do emerge it will be via some theory roughly along the lines of the “complexity theory” of Stuart Kauffman and other members of his Santa Fe Institute. Journalism career. Design is the founding axiom of Deist religion; and as Darwin’s own life attests, nothing more rapidly congeals into atheism (or agnosticism) than Deism (see James Turner’s Without God, Without Creed for an account of this declension). Fr. In 1900, when The New York Times decided to issue a daily edition at the Paris Exposition, Oakes was placed in charge of the enterprise; and his work met with such favor that he was decorated by the President of the French Republic with the cross of the Legion of Honor. Everything in nature, therefore, is directed to its goal by someone with understanding, and this we call God. It originates from the Old English word 'ac' meaning oak.The first recorded mention of the surname is in Somerset.. Alan Oakes (born 1962), English football player and coach; Alf Oakes (1901–1967), English footballer; Andy Oakes (born 1952), English author; Andy Oakes (born 1977), English footballer But why flog Johnson with such quotes when he agrees? Nancy R. Pearcey The Discovery Institute Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture Seattle, Washington. It might come as some surprise to readers of this reply to learn that Thomas’ argument in the Fifth Way amounts to no more than five or six sentences in Latin (depending on the punctuation decisions of various editors). Michael J. Behe Department of Biology Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. That is why special revelation is also indispensable, beginning with the opening verses of the Gospel of John. His principal charge seems to be that Intelligent Design, being but half a gospel, is a false gospel. In any event, Fr. George Washington Ochs Oakes (October 27, 1861 in Cincinnati, Ohio – October 26, 1931) was an American journalist. I am glad that First Things asked Edward T. Oakes to review my book The Wedge of Truth (January) because I have admired his essays. Brother of fellow journalist Adolph Ochs, George Oakes was educated at the University of Tennessee, where he graduated in 1879. I take it as granted on all sides that while the arrow is a man“made object and thus irreducibly complex, Thomas is focusing not on its manufacture but on its motion as an otherwise inert object. (How that emergence might occur naturally is the burden of Complexity Theorists to explain. In 1894 Oakes was elected mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was reelected in 1896, and received a unanimous renomination in 1898, but declined it. Father Oakes describes this as “a strange segue from information theory to theology.” In fact, it is not at all strange, given the analogy that Fr.