Re: Provine Ridicules TE's

Bill Hamilton (
Tue, 03 Mar 1998 09:53:46 -0500

At 01:40 PM 3/2/98 -0800, E G M wrote:

>The members of this Forum are welcome to check the Slides of Dr.
>Provine's lecture at the Darwin's day festivities. As I have said
>before, true naturalistic evolutionists hate IDTers as much as the
>hate TE's.

I've had occasion to think lately about the habit of making assertions we
can't support. I have a good friend who stops by at lunchtime and we talk
theology and philosophy. He's mentioned on a couple of occasions that his
mother is an atheist, and the the origin of her atheism -- according to her
-- is that even though she was brought up in a good German Lutheran family
who tried to bring their children up in the faith, that when she learned
about evolution in school she concluded that evolution proves there's no
God. Perhaps someone who didn't pursue a career in the sciences can be
forgiven for the several logical flaws in the above argument, but when an
intelligent individual like Will Provine falls for them, you have to
wonder. It seems to me that the most you can say is that evolution doesn't
prove or disprove the existence of the supernatural. There is a huge
difference between saying that evolution cannot have anything to say about
the supernatural and saying that it disproves the existence of the
supernatural. Provine also says that

>Gods that work through the laws of nature, or that originate the universe,
>are unharmed by the demise of the argument from design.
>But these gods are also worthless.

Presumably they are worthless because (he believes) they can't affect
affairs in nature. I suppose Provine can be forgiven for not having studied
nonlinear dynamics or quantum mechanics. If he had, I doubt he would be
making such assertions. I'm not saying that either of these fields can
tell us how a God who works through the laws of nature can influence the
course of events, but they ought at least to give us hints that there are
indeterminacies in nature that may be fundamental -- and that these and/or
other indeterminacies we haven't discovered yet may be part of the "tool
kit" a creator may use to influence events. I respect Will, but I wish
he'd admit there are fields he hasn't studied -- and many more that no one
has studied yet, which make such bald assertions rather difficult to
support. (note that he doesn't support any of them in the slides)
Bill Hamilton
Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems
GM R&D Center
Warren, MI