The problems that come with Enlightenment “either/or” thinking comes when we adhere to the belief, whether implicitly or explicitly, that “there shall only ever be one explanatory slot for anything requiring an explanation.” However, almost everything in life admits of a plurality of explanations. If you come to my house and see a pot of water boiling on the stove, you may rightly ask me why the water is boiling. One explanation is that the water molecules are moving around excitedly and getting ready to go from a liquid state to a gaseous state. And, you could spend a considerable amount of time investigating what goes on at that level. A second explanation of the boiling water is because I turned the stove on. But still a third explanation is that I want some tea. The scientific method holds the first explanation rightly and firmly within its jurisdiction and is completely adequate to discover and expand upon similar types of explanations. However, it has only the tiniest grasp of the second explanation and can only make inferences to these types of causal events (similar to the cause of the universe). Furthermore, it holds no grasp whatsoever upon the third explanation. Apply the scientific method to its fullest and still you will never come to the explanation that I wanted some tea.
The real conflict here lies in the fact that the naturalist thinks the first explanation of the excited water molecules replaces the third explanation of “I want tea”. But, this not the case. These are not contradictory explanations. They are layered and complimentary. They cannot even apply Occam’s Razor to this because Occam’s razor applies only to competing explanations, not complimentary ones. In a similar fashion, why should the Christian act as if the first explanation undermines the teleology of the third explanation? Whether the water was boiled on the stove or over a quiet fireside in the middle of the woods, the specifics of the event has no bearing on its teleology. Neither does it affect the teleology of the event if the water molecules gradually turned into gas or instantly turned into gas. In the same way, a gradual creation or an instant creation does not affect the teleology of the universe. And why should we be committed to thinking gradual means without purpose? If one were to see a man gradually turn into a pig, a bit of an ear here and a portion of a leg there, it would be a more traumatic event than if the transformation was instant. One might think sinister forces were at work, but it would be hard to say that this was being done on accident.