Re: Stereotypes and reputations

From: janice matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Sat Aug 06 2005 - 13:57:18 EDT

Tim, you wrote: "..It was in that sense that I answered that Plantinga
doesn't hold that there is an inherent philosophical requirement for
separate creation of species.I knew that Alvin doesn't think some parts of
evolution happened but I don't think he claims that it couldn't, from a
philosophical standpoint (which the latest article suggests)..."

## That's correct. But there is a bottom line in all these
discussions. If I read your perspective correctly, we are coming from
opposite worldviews. I see the worldview of people like Dawkins, Spieth,
Ruse, Ayala, Gould, et.al., to be inherently irrational. Given the view
they hold that they are mere accidents of the evolutionary process, they
can't even be 100% sure that their thoughts are valid - yet, in their
cognitive dissonance, they make "just so" statements. Gould, for instance,
said: " If you replayed evolution on this planet, the chances of getting
any species as smart as humans­ smart enough to reflect on itself­are
"extremely small." .. "we are, whatever our glories and accomplishments, a
momentary cosmic accident that would never arise again if the tree of life
could be replanted from seed and regrown under similar conditions." To
insist otherwise, to see evolution as a natural progression toward
intelligent forms of life, is to indulge a "delusion" grounded in "human
arrogance" and desperate "hope."

As I posted previously, orthodox Christians begin with the warranted
(because it's rational) presupposition that God is. He has spoken; He has
created the universe; He has spoken it into existence. ... any other
proposition is irrational. ...Gould's Materialism gives us a theory which
explains everything else in the whole universe, but which makes it
impossible to believe that our thinking is valid. That’s because an
accident cannot think of itself in any objective sense. Consider Lewis’s
words: “In order to think, we must claim for our reasoning a validity which
is not credible if our own thought is merely a function of our brain, and
our brains are a by-product of irrational, physical processes.” ....[the]
materialist, naturalist ..say[s] there is a naturalistic explanation for
everything. How can they know what they are saying is true? They are making
their claim with a brain that supposedly results from a chance collision of
atoms that came out of the primordial soup 8 billion years ago. .."

Alvin Plantinga: "For the nontheist, evolution is the only game in town; it
is an essential part of any reasonably complete nontheistic way of
thinking; hence the devotion to it, the suggestions that it shouldn't be
discussed in public, and the venom, the theological odium with which
dissent is greeted." ...

"..I take the evidence for an old earth to be strong and the warrant for
the view that the Lord teaches that the earth is young to be relatively
weak. .. ...how can Christian intellectuals-scientists, philosophers,
historians, literary and art critics, Christian thinkers of every sort....
best serve the Christian community... One thing our experts can do for us
is help us avoid rejecting evolution for stupid reasons. The early
literature of Creation -Science, so called, is littered with arguments of
that eminently rejectable sort. We shouldn't reject contemporary science
unless we have to and we shouldn't reject it for the wrong reasons. It is
good thing for our scientists to point out some of these wrong reasons."

"..I can properly correct my view as to what reason teaches by appealing to
my understanding of Scripture; and I can properly correct my understanding
of Scripture by appealing to the teachings of reason. It is of the first
importance, however, that we correctly identify the relevant teachings of
reason. Here I want to turn directly to the present problem, the apparent
disparity between what Scripture and science teach us about the origin and
development of life." ~ Read on:

When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and the Bible.
Alvin Plantinga University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame IN 46556 Christian Scholar's Review XXI:1 (September 1991):
8-33. Used by permission.
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/dialogues/Faith-reason/CRS9-91Plantinga1.html

~ Janice

At 08:54 AM 8/6/2005, Tim wrote:
janice matchett:
>Tim wrote: "I was not describing the creation of the universe
>but the development of life on Earth about 10 billion years
>afterwards. I do not think Alvin Plantiga maintains that the
>separate *creation of species* (or 'kinds') is a necessary
>explanation for the pattern of life observed."
>
>Sorry if I misunderstood you. I'm trying to work and keep
>up with email as I go at the moment. Does this fit better?:
>
>http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/arn/odesign/od181/methnat181.htm >Methodologic
al Naturalism ~ Alvin Plantinga

Well, not quite. I said earlier that I didn't think special creation of
species / kinds was a necessary conclusion based on the data, meaning that
the data is not compelling for that mode of species appearance. That's an
evaluation of the data. As I mentioned in an ealier post, I recognize that
others don't it that way. Then you posted the references to Plantinga's
philosophical works that dealt with ideas like "necessary" first causes.
"Necessary" in that case is of the philosophical variety, in the sense that
it logically required. It was in that sense that I answered that Plantinga
doesn't hold that there is an inherent philosophical requirement for
separate creation of species. I should have been more careful about the
change in meaning. I knew that Alvin doesn't think some parts of evolution
happened but I don't think he claims that it couldn't, from a philosophical
standpoint (which the latest article suggests).

Regards,
Tim I
Received on Sat Aug 6 14:00:29 2005

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