Re: [asa] Does nature leads you to believe or to reject God?

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Nov 30 2009 - 12:43:18 EST

"Does nature lead you to believe or to reject God?"

My answer is "no".
If you believe that God is good and sovereign, you will see reinforcement of
that in the aspects of nature that you like and will trust in that premise
with regard to the aspects of nature that don't seem to point that way
(i.e., believing that God knows what He is doing even when we don't). If
you do not believe that, you will see reinforcement of your position in
regard to the aspects of nature that you don't like. Looking at nature
alone won't get you anywhere, as Ecclesiastes points out.

"Nature red in tooth and claw" gets a lot of exaggeration. It is an
integral part of evolution as we see it from the late Precambrian on (with
the caveat that red blood and actual claws are probably a bit later than
that), but it is far from the whole picture. Part of the problem is the
fact that nature red in tooth and claw generally makes TV nature programs or
even books a lot more appealing to the general public than the plain old
everyday business of surviving. Cf. the classic description of military
life as prolonged boredom with occasional brief episodes of terror. Thus,
one's impression of the redness of nature is rather different if gathered
from popular accounts than if it is gained from observation. True, many
carnivores operate in the dark or otherwise somewhat inconspicuously; the
biomass of predators (and thus roughly their abundance) is at most about 10%
of their prey; and large predators have had their populations reduced or
eliminated by human presence in a lot of areas, so just watching in the
woods is likely to have observations of predation underrepresented.
 Nevertheless, I haven't seen all that much predation in action, especially
predation on vertebrates.

Also, getting excited apologetically about nature red in tooth and claw
presupposes that animal death has a component of moral wrong to it.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Nov 30 12:43:43 2009

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