Re: [asa] Europe's Scientific Search for God

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Mon Mar 24 2008 - 16:23:00 EDT

Evolution by natural selection in the classical sense--unguided, with no
transcendent agent to direct mutations along "certain beneficial lines," as
Asa Gray put it, hasn't a clue about how to explain religion--or
mathematics, or philosophy, or our ability to do science, for that matter.
Evolution might or might not be able to account for the complexity of our
brains, per se, but it's mute and powerless to "explain" the higher products
of our brains, which are of course by far the most complex objects yet known
to us anywhere in the universe. Many agnostic and atheist philosophers,
mathematicians, and scientists have stated this much in frank terms. Our
ability to do higher mathematics, for example, was utterly irrelevant to our
survival in evolutionary terms--our ancestors needed to know absolutely
nothing about topology or fractals, manifolds or tensors, even differential
calculus, in order to outwit mammoths and saber-tooth tigers. Nor did they
need to know the profoundly shocking fact (from the point of view of
naturalism) that mathematics of the kinds just mentioned is incredibly
powerful for understanding the external world--a fact that just cries out
for a deeper explanation. Pinker, Dawkins, Dennett and company are flying
into the face of the facts on this one. We can not only do mathematics, but
our mathematics actually matches the subtlest details of the external world.
 How does this make any sense at all, if we aren't in a very real sense
created in the image of God, the divine mathematician (as Kepler, Galileo,
and Copernicus regarded God) who also created the external world?


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Received on Mon Mar 24 16:24:16 2008

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