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

From: Merv <mrb22667@kansas.net>
Date: Tue Mar 25 2008 - 01:06:48 EDT

Ted Davis wrote
> 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.
>
Actually we aren't in a position to know (on scientific turf) how our
mathematical abilities impact our evolutionary standing. Being a
relatively recent blip on the geological time line, it may turn out that
all these extra "encumbrances" of higher consciousness and mathematical
savvy do nothing but trigger a geologically sudden species-suicide by
mass weapons development and profligate amplification of our means of
effecting evil. We have nothing yet on other species whose tenures were
in the tens or hundreds of millions of years (if we were to arbitrarily
select longevity as a signal of virtue or success) or even our own
pre-mathematical forbears whose generations would still dwarf this last
couple of moments of time that we proudly herald as the enlightenment
centuries. Maybe our need to go down this path was part of the
forbidden fruit in the first place. Now that we've taken it, God works
with us and allows us to follow that curiosity to much sorrow and some
redeemed results, or so I speculate. --Sort of like the Israelites
wanting a king despite God's wishes, but grudgingly He relented --gave
them over to it, and then even blessed them (and the world) through
those kings.

I don't necessarily defend this as the true (Christian) view, except at
the end; I'm just suggesting that the D&D boys aren't the only ones out
of their depth in trying to construct or de-construct some
meta-narrative around evolutionary ideas. We are too. Thank God for
his Word.

--Merv

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Mar 25 00:10:03 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 25 2008 - 00:10:03 EDT