Re: Question

Date: Fri Mar 30 2001 - 23:42:30 EST

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "The Johnson/Provine resonance"

    In a message dated 3/30/01 7:15:51 PM Mountain Standard Time, writes:

    > Yet we haven't heard about: d) non-theist scientists who feel that
    > evolution (& science) indicates nothing about the presence or
    > absence of purpose in the universe.

    I suspect that is partly because such scientists are mostly busy with their
    science. Those who mistakenly think they can extrapolate their science into
    metaphysical conclusions are willing to put such conclusions in their
    writing, whereas those who recognize that one can't get metaphysics from
    science would tend not to mention metaphysics. So they may well be the silent

    It is worth mentioning that the recent book by Stephen J. Gould, "Rocks of
    Ages," seems to take a position that fits in your category (d). I can also
    quote G. Brent Dalrymple from his book "The Age of the Earth":
    "Let us be clear about one thing, however: this information provides us no
    answers to the larger question of whether we are ultimately the result of a
    grand and purposeful design, or merely an accident of past and current
    physical processes. Science can attempt to determine how and when the Earth
    and its surroundings were created, but the question of why it all exists is
    not one that science can speak to" [p.3]

    I do think Tim has hit upon a useful classification scheme -- one that
    recognizes the core metaphysical assumption (that the natural explanations of
    evolution imply no God, which is a good example of the "God of the Gaps"
    fallacy) Phil Johnson et al. has in common with Dawkins et al.

    Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
    "Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
     attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cats"

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