- Heisenberg on Physics and Philosophy 17/08/2018
- More ground clearance for theology of nature 15/08/2018
- Creation upfront putdown 13/08/2018
- Evolutionary Creation and theology of nature 10/08/2018
- The Crossway Theistic Evolution Book: A Response to Joshua Swamidass 07/08/2018
Author Archives: Jon Garvey
There is a rare breed of scientists – amongst whom for some reason predominate physicists of the first half of the twentieth century – who have both an indisputable grip on science, and a seriously good grasp of philosophy and, in some measure, theology. Arthur Eddington is one, Michael Polanyi a second, and Werner Heisenberg a creditable third.
Having written last time about the weaknesses of views of nature that are entirely “frontloaded”, a related topic is worth revisiting: that it would be inappropriate to regard God as acting in the world.
My last post dealt with the lack of a well-argued theology of nature in 2018 Evolutionary Creation. One model though, at least turns up from time to time, and that is the idea that God so fine-tuned the Big Bang that everything subsequently turned out just as he willed. This is of relevance to the whole theology of creation, not just evolution, of course.
Eddie Robinson’s piece on Theistic Evolution coincided with a thread on Peaceful Science on the same Crossway critique of that position.
According to Aristotelian ideas of causation, a “substantial form” is a holistic entity with its own nature and “ends”, and that distinguishes it from an artifact, which is only a collection of parts given some “end” by an outside manufacturer.
I’ve done a bit on Aristotelian-Thomist metaphysics in the past, and it underlies some of the discussions I have here and at places like Peaceful Science – for example, on why the evolution of life is almost certain to involve far more than current theory can see, even at the natural level. I suppose many readers will still not have a handle on it, though respected Thomist philosopher Ed Feser comes up quite a lot in discussions, more often in the mouths of ID supporters that ECs, who don’t seem to like philosophy for the most part. Here is a quote from Ed, replying to those who say those important … Continue reading
I remember at BioLogos a few years ago Dennis Venema doing a ballpark calculation that, given known mutation rates, he considered there was plenty of time for evolution, understood in Neodarwinian terms, to have produced all the mutations necessary for the differences between the chimp and human genomes since the time they are believed to have diverged.
I’ve just been contributing to a BioLogos thread, in which the recurrent laryngeal nerve of the giraffe was flagged as a candidate for “bad design” (the thread was hived off from one on the equally bad design of the human reproductive system).
I’m not sure what it is about Evolutionary Creation and aversion to natural theology, but it is exemplified by a current thread on BioLogos entitled “A theological argument for the impossibility of proving God by science.” The general position – stated by a number of people apart from the original poster – is that it’s presumptuous to try and reveal God from science if he chooses to keep himself hidden.
I’m re-reading William Dembski’s Being as Communion, which I reviewed back in 2014 in a long series of posts starting here, partly because it’s interesting and partly to see what he says about the human soul for an enquiry over at Peaceful Science.