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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thinkquote of the day: Darwinism and traditional religion

A friend sends me some comments from British philosophy of science prof John Dupré'sDarwin's Legacy: What Evolution Means Today (Oxford University Press, 2003), on Darwinism and traditional religion:

While seen by some as providing a novel account of God’s ways of world-making, others have seen the theory as the last essential element in a naturalistic and materialistic view of the universe, and as thereby removing the last hiding place for God or gods. (p. 2)

Darwinism undermines the only remotely plausible reason for believing in the existence of God. And, some extreme liberal versions of Christianity apart, belief in the existence of God does seem to be a minimal condition for Christianity. Consequently, and contrary to the orthodox philosophical view of the matter, I believe that Christians—not merely fundamentalist Christians—are quite right to try to undermine Darwinism, and Richard Dawkins is quite right that, since their attempts to do this are wholly unsuccessful, there is nothing worthwhile left of the argument from design. More contentiously, I want to insist that without the argument from design there is nothing very credible left of theism generally, and Christianity in particular. Hence Ruse’s argument for compatibility, while generally successful, seems to me largely beside the point. (pg. 46)

And to think - people wonder why there is an intelligent design controversy! The main reason there is an intelligent design controversy, of course, is that materialism (and Darwinism happens to be materialism's creation story), is failing for lack of evidence, as Mario Beauregard and I show in The Spiritual Brain. However, a secondary reason is that, no matter how many "Clergy Projects" are fronted - to convince people otherwise - most committed Darwinists think as Dupré does. Indeed, believing as they do, they must think as he does, by a rather obvious chain of logic.
My other blog is the Mindful Hack, which keeps tabs on neuroscience and the mind.

If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

My recent series on the spate of anti-God books, teen blasphemy challenge, et cetera, and the mounting anxiety of materialist atheists that lies behind it.

My review of Francis Collins’ book The Language of God , my backgrounder about peer review issues, or the evolutionary biologist’s opinion that all students friendly to intelligent design should be flunked.

Lists of theoretical and applied scientists who doubt Darwin and of academic ID publications.

My U of Toronto talk on why there is an intelligent design controversy, or my talk on media coverage of the controversy at the University of Minnesota.

A summary of tech guru George Gilder's arguments for ID and against Darwinism

A critical look at why March of the Penguins was thought to be an ID film.

A summary of recent opinion columns on the ID controversy

A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

A summary of the Catholic Church's entry into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.

O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove’s critique of Darwinism.

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.
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