Credo in Unum Deum

I Believe in One God

Evolution, Science and Philosophy

I am currently in a discussion about evolution with a self-proclaimed atheist.  There are a number of things that this little dialog has taught me or confirmed to me, but I’ll try to stick to just a few.

First, I am constantly awed by the fact the atheist-evolutionist is completely unaware of the fact that he has philosophical presuppositions that can be challenged and which have a essential bearing on his belief in atheistic evolution.

Second, I am just not trained to argue these facts.  It is really almost as bad as two self-proclaimed Bible experts (that is, they read it prayerfully) at the local community Bible church slinging the greek around with authority when neither of them have had a day a greek in their life (oh they have a concordance and interlinear text) and the authorities they rely on have barely a better education themselves.  Frankly, I grow weary of the fact bomb tossing which then each side has to defuse and then lob another bomb back or just run away and let it explode with no harm done (that means just pretend it was never thrown in terms of response).  I just don’t know enough about science to tell this guy that his radio-metrical-cyber-pulsar dating method is crap.  I just don’t know.  I say that scientist X says it is faulty and the radio-metrical-cyber-pulsar daters cheat on the numbers, and he’ll say the Dr. X was fulla crap and didn’t do his research because facts a, b, c.  Yeah, and I am gonna say what?  “Everybody knows pulsars don’t date ugly dudes like you”?  What?

Third, a lot of these guys haven’t heard the news that Logical Positivism was annihilated 50 years ago.  But they have combined it with a fierce anti-realism.  My new friend told me that science is about predicting what will happen in nature.  It is not supposed to tell us anything with certainty.  What!?!

Fourth, I am offended for Science by these guys.   What happened to the bad old days when religion and science worked together and when we believed that Science could give us positive knowledge of the nature of things?  Don’t it make you pine for the past?  But you probably want an Old Latin Mass too, you filthy dark-aged ogre.

Fifth, and finally for now, I think that, for me anyway, philosophy is the only way to converse with these guys.  Logic governs the reasoning of all the disciplines.  Philosophy can assess the unspoken and un-understood assumptions that our atheist-evolutionist holds to.  So that is the route I have taken.  Fine if there ain’t no God out there, that means this universe is eternal.  Go Kalam and the smack is laid down… gently of course. 

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March 26, 2008 - Posted by | Philosophy, Religion, Science

2 Comments »

  1. I’m in a similar situation as you except I am on the other side of the argument. See this exchange http://semanticvector.blogspot.com/2008/03/lesson-in-process-of-science.html.

    I am not here to open a debate with you as well. I jsut have a basic question. The bible, which I presume you belive in, askes you to belive quite a few amazing things (see, for example, comment in my post). I also assume you have bought into most if not all of those beliefs. My question is how you could be so incredulous at evolution but accepting of the quite extrodinary events of the bible which was written at a time when general knowledge about how the world actually worked was at an all time low?

    Comment by Sal Mangano | March 26, 2008

  2. Thanks, Sal. I purposely titled my post the way I did. I didn’t want to get into the religious side of the question. I saw your comment from your blog. I am wondering how closely you have looked at the evidence for the existence of God, generally, and Christianity, specifically. Thomas Nagel, an atheist, is much more kind than you. He acknowledges that some of the smartest and most sophisticated philosophers he knows are Christians and he says that bothers him because he doesn’t want there to be a God. Now, you seem to just do hand-waving, as if there is not the slightest evidence for God. My friend, that is ridiculous. I didn’t say you were ridiculous, I am saying that position is ridiculous…. there is a difference.

    How can I be incredulous at evolution but accept the incredible stories in the Bible? Well, atheistic evolution doesn’t claim to have miracles at its disposal to explain some of its miraculous claims. Christianity does. Is that helpful?

    BTW, have you ever read Plato or Aristotle? or some of the other natural philosophers of the time? Scientific knowledge of how the world operated was at an all time low? I am certain that today, with all our detailed and intricate knowledge of how things really work, we know much less than Plato and Aristotle.

    [comment to general reader: if you don’t value paradox, then you might not get that last statement.]

    Comment by Credo | March 27, 2008


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