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

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Tue Oct 07 2008 - 09:02:21 EDT

>>> Don Nield <> 10/6/2008 11:34 PM >>> calls
attention to the following book, which Randy has already discussed here some
time ago:

 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


Ted comments: I am quite sympathetic with Bartholomew's approach myself,
but it should be noted that he strongly disagrees with at least two widely
divergent approaches to science/theology issues: that of Dembski, as Don
notes, and also that of Bob Russell and Nancey Murphy. Neither Bill nor Bob
is happy with Bartholomew; they both believe that he has ignored or
misunderstood key aspects of their thought that are relevant to this issue.
Bill will be reviewing the book for PSCF.

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Received on Tue Oct 7 09:03:37 2008

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