Where the “undetectable God” takes you

A new post on Fr Aidan Kimel’s blog Eclectic Orthodoxy caught my eye, because it references the late Hugh McCann, whose book Creation and the Sovereignty of God impressed me greatly recently. McCann seeks to show how true libertarian freedom is compatible with – and even depends upon – full divine sovereignty over all created events. Continue reading

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Asa Gray and methodological naturalism

The American botanist Asa Gray was, probably, the very first Darwinian theistic evolutionist, in that he was in correspondence with Darwin for years before the latter’s theory was published, and as an orthodox Congregationalist had discussed with him the theory’s theological implications. I recently discovered an online link to the body of Gray’s writings on evolution, Darwiniana, and thought to do a post in relation to current discussions on methodological naturalism. Continue reading

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Some thoughts on information and meaning (3)

One of the most surprising things about the universe, until one takes the freedom of a Creator into account, is its contingency. Perhaps I dealt with that a little in the first essay in this short series, in which I mentioned the restrictive nature of “Humpish information”, excluding all kinds of other possibilities, as well as its communicative and teleological (and therefore non-scientific) nature. But it’s even more surprising when one considers the number of things that are true, such as valid mathematical constructions, but which don’t pan out in actual reality. One would expect truths of logic to lead to necessary reality (as the Greek philosophers seem to have assumed) – but only some do. Continue reading

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Some thoughts on information and meaning (2)

This post is something of a speculative exploration of the relationship between “information” and “meaning”. I wondered as I conceived it whether anyone would find it useful, but in fact Sy Garte’s comment on Merv Bitkofer’s post seems to lead straight into it, so maybe it will lead to some fruitful reflections. Continue reading

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Humanity, MN, and other boundary issues

In this essay, I argue that our orientation should be a more important focus than the precise locations of boundary lines with regard to where our eternal hope resides.  And since boundaries come up at all for discussion, it should go nearly without saying, that I’ll have my philosophical and theological hat on as I examine a landscape that subsumes science (its modern form) as one of the included territories.  My route meanders a bit to include discussion of the contrast between the materialist agenda and the Christian one. Continue reading

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Some thoughts on information and meaning (1)

A recent thread on Uncommon Descent (now deleted for some reason) was discussing information in living systems. One of their resident skeptics commented that it was significant that, for all the ID talk about information, nobody could give a scientific definition of it. Continue reading

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How law-abiding is God?

I get the impression that Evolutionary Creation, especially in the shape of BioLogos, is less keen on “open process theism” than it was a year or two ago. It’s hard to be sure, though, because whilst individuals there will criticise people like our Eddie Robinson for tarring them with its brush, none of them seem to be saying, “Yes, that was the prevalent theology of theistic evolution, but we now believe that was an error.” Continue reading

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Joshua assaults the walls of Jericho…

I’m sure Joshua Swamidass will hate that heading, but he’s asked me to draw our readers’ attention to his new initiative (funded and everything!) to seek common ground between all positions from Naturalist Evolutionism to Young Earth Creationism. And if that isn’t a supernatural attack on the culture-war walls of the US origins discussion, I’m not sure what is!

The “manifesto” for the initiative may be found on his blog here. It’s great to see a relative newcomer to the table with the vision and initiative to makes such things happen. Please pray for it, because one thing that’s certain is that he’ll be accused of being  a Creationist by some, an Apostate by others, and by many others as “consorting with the enemy”, whoever they may happen to be!

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Science’s self-imposed gaps

Is the cosmic fine-tuning argument an example of the “God of the Gaps” argument? Biologos likes the first, as opposed to Intelligent Design, and dislikes the second, so their answer would presumably be “no”. I contend, however, that CFT does point to empirically obvious gaps in the understanding of the natural world which are instructive for answering the question of whether God’s activity is distinguishable in nature in the affirmative. Continue reading

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The Designer revealed by his ways

Argon (an occasional poster here in the past) made an ironic, but serious, point over on the Methodological Naturalism thread at Biologos.

After talking about a result in his own protein modelling research that seems to fall midway between the predictions of “chance” and “design” (whilst favouring neither), he concludes that God has a sense of humour – or, more seriously, that deliberate ambiguity is built into the Creation:

It is highly improbable that a designer would leave ambiguous, non-objectively discernible marks on its creation. Similarly, it is improbable that a purely natural, designer-less universe would leave ambiguous marks behind. Considering the great difficulty in demonstrating the existence or non-existence of a designer throughout the ages, this leaves one to conclude: The universe was designed so as to make the certainty of a designer completely indeterminable.

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