Progressive Creation with Intelligent Design:

 comments about the views of 

Stephen Jones & Gordon Mills

Originally, the ideas below were in the appendix of a page comparing the Similarities and Differences between Old-Earth Views: Progressive Creation & Evolutionary Creation but it was too large already so the appendix was moved to here:

    In the "Similarities and Differences" page, the views of Stephen Jones are featured in two sections: "Progressive Creation and Common Descent" plus "Scientific Evidence for Common Descent."  Here is some additional information and comments:
      Jones defines his own view of Progressive Mediate Creation: "I believe (on the basis of Genesis 1) that God created the raw materials of the universe immediately from out-of-nothing, and thereafter He created mediately by working (both naturally and supernaturally) through natural processes and existing materials.  Progressive Mediate Creation (PMC) lies between Theistic Evolution (TE) and Progressive Creation (PC) on the Creation-Evolution spectrum.  TE tends to deny (or downplay) God working supernaturally through natural processes, while PC tends to deny (or downplay) God working naturally through natural causes."
      In the definitions proposed by Jones, deistic evolution is "universe created by God; thereafter life originated and developed fully naturally, with God playing no part" while theistic evolution is the same "except that God supernaturally intervened in the origin of life and/or the origin of humans." 
      In my definitions, theistic evolution can include theistic guidance of natural process (so I don't agree that it means "God playing no part") but does not include supernatural interventions, although a person could be an evolutionary creationist for the development of life (in biological evolution) but not for the origin of life (by chemical evolution) or the origin of humans.
      note:  I'm not sure what Jones means by "working (both naturally and supernaturally) through natural processes" so I'll ask him about this.  I think what he is describing is similar to my own view by proposing that, during the process of creation, God used actions that were both natural-appearing (as in the views of Russel, Ruest, and others) and miraculous-appearing.

    In my "Similarities and Differences" page, the views of Gordon Mills are featured in two sections: "Can we be scientifically certain?" and "Can we be theologically certain?"  Here is some additional information and comments:
      Gordon Mills has changed the term he uses to describe his own view.  In 1995, he proposed a Theory of Theistic Evolution as an Alternative to the Naturalistic Theory: "I propose the following as a theory of theistic evolution: that in the history of the origin and development of living organisms, at various levels of organization, there has been a continuing provision of new genetic information by an intelligent cause.  For a theist, that intelligent cause is God."  But in 2002 he acknowledged that "these views are no longer in accord with what others are calling 'Theistic Evolution', and appear to be more appropriately described as a 'Design Theory of Progressive Creation'."  He says "no longer in accord" but his views were basically the same in 1995 and 2002, only his term had changed.
      Mills thinks a full common descent is possible, but not necessary: "A monophyletic origin of life is a possible component, but is clearly not mandatory to my view of theistic evolution.  Likewise, the role of ancestral descent (sometimes referred to as genealogical continuity) is not nearly as essential to my view. ...  In my theory of theistic evolution, consideration of ancestral relationships would include the possibility of new genetic information provided by an intelligent cause."  In 1998a he asks scientific questions about full common descent from a monophyletic (rather than polyphyletic) beginning, and generally he seems to think that the observed evolutionary descent(s) could not occur unless there was intelligently designed input of information. 
      He never explicitly rejects the possibility of independent creations, but he does propose creations by genetic modification: "Many writers assume that a Creator would use only fiat creation, i.e., creating entire organisms.  However, there is no reason to limit the creative activity of a Creator to fiat creation.  In some cases, the jumps necessary to bridge gaps in phylogenetic relationships might be brought about by relatively small changes in chromosomal DNA, particularly with changes in developmental genes.  Unless one can make probability estimates for the possibility of these changes, it may be nearly impossible to know which changes were a consequence of chance mutations and which were due to modifications by a designer. (Mills 2002)"  And he says, "My view of theistic evolution would not contradict their proposal [by Eldredge and Gould] of punctuated equilibrium, but would add one possible explanation for the sudden appearance of new life forms when these new forms required new genetic information. (Mills 1995)" 
      Mills has written a series of papers for the ASA journal, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith.

Similarities and Differences between Old-Earth Views:
Progressive Creation & Evolutionary Creation
for sections with Stephen Jones
for sections with Gordon Mills

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