Intelligent design psychology and evolutionary psychology on consciousness: turning water into wine.


Rosemead School of Psychology

Publication Date

Spring 2002


From the titles of some recent evolutionary psychology publications on the mind, one could get the impression that the mystery of consciousness has been solved, but serious questions and doubts persist. Many scientists have deep reservations about Dar- winian theory. Some of these scientists promote the Intelligent Design movement, which has received recent attention from scholars in biology, biochem- istry, mathematics, philosophy, and theology. Intelli- gent Design theory both challenges the naturalistic evolutionary account of life and proposes an alterna- tive scientific research program. Its aim is to investi- gate the natural world for evidence of divine causes and to detect the patterns or fingerprints of an intelli- gent designer. The implications of this theory for the field of psychology are examined, and a new field, a Christian version of Intelligent Design Psychology (IDPC) is proposed. The article then briefly compares the psychological implications of IDPC with its chief rival, a naturalistic version of evolutionary psychology (EPN), in relation to consciousness and self-consciousness, including why these phenomena provide serious difficulties for EPN, while at the same time providing positive support for IDPC. Both approach- es are examined for their comparative abilities to describe, explain, and predict various facets of human persons that center on consciousness and self- conscious emotions.


Intelligent design (Teleology); Psychology and religion

Publication Title

Journal of Psychology & Theology





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