[asa] chance (formerrly BioLogos - Bad Theology?)

From: Don Nield <d.nield@auckland.ac.nz>
Date: Thu May 28 2009 - 19:34:00 EDT

Yes, it is a potentially foggy area. For some clarification I recommend
the book "God, Chance and Purpose: Can God Have It Both Ways?) by David
J. Bartholomew (Cambridge U.P., 2008). The product description reads:
"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 theory and numerous examples from the natural and social
worlds. "
Don N.

Schwarzwald wrote:
> One question I have about this entire debate...
>
> Is ascribing something to "chance" really a scientific statement, no
> matter how thoroughly we know the conditions? I would understand if
> "chance" were just a statement about the limitations of our knowledge.
> But are "biological item X was created by chance" or "chance events
> resulted in biological item X" scientific statements at all, at least
> in the opinion of most here?
>
> From my layman vantage point, this seems like a foggy area to say the
> least. I could say more, but I'd like to keep this simple, if anyone
> is willing to respond.
>

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Received on Thu May 28 19:34:18 2009

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