Re: [asa] Rejoinder 4D from Timaeus to Ted Davis: Martian Sculptures and Owen Gingerich

From: Don Nield <d.nield@auckland.ac.nz>
Date: Mon Oct 06 2008 - 23:34:13 EDT

David Opderbeck wrote:
> Timaeus said: Yet, if we accept Gingerich's account here as a tentative
> explanation, clearly God is being mixed up with natural causes.
>
> I respond: This is getting tiresome because you're still not willing to
> consider that "causes" can be both "natural" and "of God." You've admitted,
> I think, that the "cause" of the birth of a baby is both "natural" and
> "God's will." Why can't there be multiple levels of causation elsewhere in
> nature?
>
>
DonN adds: And I would like to press Timaeus further, in a slightly
different respect. *Why can't God work through chance, at multiple levels?*.
 I refer Timaeus to the book by David Bartholomew, "God, Chance and
Purpose: Can God have it both ways?", Cambridge U. P., 2008. I quote
from the back cover: "Scientific accounts of existence give chance a
central role. At the smallest level, quantum theory involves uncertainty
and evolution is driven by chance and necessity. These ideas do not fit
easily with theology in which chance has been seen as the enemy of
purpose. One option is to argue, as proponents of Intelligent Design do,
that chance is not real and can be replaced by the work of a Designer.
Others adhere to a deterministic theology in which God is in total
control. Neither of these views, it is argued, does justice to the
complexity of nature or the greatness of God. The thesis of this book is
that chance is neither unreal nor non-existent but an integral part of
God's creation. This view is expounded, illustrated and defended by
drawing on the resources of probability and numerous examples from the
natural and social worlds."
In particular, Bartholomew has a chapter with the title "Can Intelligent
Design be established scientifically?" in which he examines Dembski's
argument in detail. Bartholomew's conclusion is that Dembski's logic is
not sound and his method is not correctly applied to the real world.
Consequently Dembski's method is not a valid scientific method.
If chance does not rule out divine action, why bother with ID of the DI
sort?

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Received on Mon Oct 6 23:34:41 2008

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