Re: [asa] Jerry Coyne's Confused Attack on Religion

From: Schwarzwald <schwarzwald@gmail.com>
Date: Mon Jan 26 2009 - 06:31:54 EST

One thing that never ceases to bother me about arguments like this - I find
it utterly duplicitous to play the game of 'If this claim (central or not)
of Christianity is untrue, there is no God.' Not just because so often the
argument is stacked and atrocious with regards to Christianity ('If the
world is not 6000 years old, Christianity is untrue and there is no God')
but because it slyly ties the idea of God to one religion in a way
unwarranted.

Now, I'm christian myself (catholic). But I'm tired of that jump, as if
there were no considerations of deism or a barer theism or otherwise between
christianity and atheism. Saint Paul didn't think so. Aquinas didn't think
so, or - apparently - Aristotle, or Plato, or many others. Even the most
ardent, strict apologists will typically make use of arguments (powerful
ones, in my view) that they admit will only get someone as far as 'There is
a God' or 'There may be (with various strengths of probability, depending) a
God'. Christ is ultimate, but those other steps should not be discounted.
And too often this sloppiness is forgiven because they assume that only one
God apparently 'counts'.

With that off my chest, I'd say Mike Gene has Coyne's faults highlighted
wonderfully. Though I'd even defend Miller's views about God interacting
with nature - science may not 'demand' the view they espouse. But neither
does science rule it out. Maybe it's because what they're talking about
isn't a field science can rightly rule on - and I'd agree with that - but it
damages Coyne's attempts here to the point of sinking the boat anyway.

On Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 10:26 PM, Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com> wrote:

> Hi Randy,
>
>
>
> "Thanks for drawing attention to this review. I was struck by his comment:
> "If we cannot prove that humanoid evolution was inevitable, then the
> reconciliation of evolution and Christianity collapses." and later "Giberson
> and Miller proclaim the inevitability of humanoids for one reason only:
> Christianity demands it."
>
>
>
> This is where Coyne may have a point. If humanoids were the end target from
> the very beginning, then they would qualify as Dembski's "specified
> complexity" and would either need to be the result of inevitable convergence
> (the front-loaded option as dubbed on this list) or of supernatural guidance
> along the way. Conversely, the idea that humanoids were the goal from the
> beginning is not discernable from science but only from revelation. Ergo,
> Christianity demands it but not science."
>
>
>
> Agreed science is not telling us that humans were inevitable. Giberson
> and Miller appear to get their position about convergence from Simon Conway
> Morris. And while I find some of the convergence arguments to be of
> interest, it is more interesting (to me) that the main front-loadin' dude
> (yours truly) finds his views to be more similar to Dawkins than Conway
> Morris. After all, it is *theology* that steers me away from Morris and
> Miller's view I don't think God intended to create "humanoids," as if
> talking dolphins would have sufficed.
>
>
>
> If Coyne wants to pick fights with Miller and Giberson and their attempt to
> use science to support theology, it makes me no difference. After all, I'm
> the one guy who, for years, has consistently argued that these design
> arguments are neither science nor religion/theology/apologetics.
>
>
>
> Where Coyne errs, and errs big time, is in hijacking science to make it sit
> in judgment of God's existence and the truth of the birth and resurrection
> of Christ. That's why I focused on it.
>
>
>
> -Mike Gene
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>
> *To:* asa@calvin.edu
> *Sent:* Sunday, January 25, 2009 9:18 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Jerry Coyne's Confused Attack on Religion
>
> Mike,
> Thanks for drawing attention to this review. I was struck by his comment:
> "If we cannot prove that humanoid evolution was inevitable, then the
> reconciliation of evolution and Christianity collapses." and later "Giberson
> and Miller proclaim the inevitability of humanoids for one reason only:
> Christianity demands it."
>
> This is where Coyne may have a point. If humanoids were the end target
> from the very beginning, then they would qualify as Dembski's "specified
> complexity" and would either need to be the result of inevitable convergence
> (the front-loaded option as dubbed on this list) or of supernatural guidance
> along the way. Conversely, the idea that humanoids were the goal from the
> beginning is not discernable from science but only from revelation. Ergo,
> Christianity demands it but not science.
>
> As for convergence, Coyne notes that "We recognize convergences because
> unrelated species evolve similar traits. In other words, the traits appear
> in more than one species. But sophisticated, self-aware intelligence is a
> singleton: it evolved just once, in a human ancestor."
>
> Randy
>
> Mike wrote:
>
> Jerry Coyne has written a lengthy, critical review of Saving Darwin: How to
> be a Christian and Believe in Evolution by Karl W. Giberson and Only A
> Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul by Kenneth R. Miller.
> You can read it here:
>
>
>
>
> http://www.tnr.com/booksarts/story.html?id=1e3851a3-bdf7-438a-ac2a-a5e381a70472
>
>
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Received on Mon Jan 26 06:32:39 2009

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