Category Archives: Science

Final causes and Brexit

I think what irks me most about the scientistic mindset is how much it takes for granted about the world, as if needing no explanation – things like logic, reliable human faculties and so on.

Posted in Creation, Politics and sociology, Science, Theology | 2 Comments

No computation without teleology

Support for the suggestion in my last post, that we are likely to be missing significant biological truths by not recognising Aristotelian formal and final causation, comes from a philosophical direction in a recent article by Thomist analytic philosopher Ed Feser .

Posted in Creation, Philosophy, Science, Theology | 16 Comments

The shape of things to come

Reader Wayne Fair kindly sent me a link to this overview article on morphogenetic fields, which has nothing (directly, at least) to do with Rupert Sheldrake or telepathy, but which does address an important and under-investigated subject. The author of this review article, Michael Levin, is particularly interested in the highly practical goal of organ regeneration after trauma or surgery, and the theoretical basis of form is closely tied into equally important medical issues such as the causes of cancer.

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Free will and final causation

In a Peaceful Science thread continuing the discussion of the view mentioned in my last post, John Harshman criticises what he calls the incoherence of the very idea of free will.

Posted in Adam, Philosophy, Science, Theology, Theology of nature | Leave a comment

The noble savage

A guy called Jeremy Christian has posted his own view of “Adam and Eve and all that” on Peaceful Science, delighted to find something in Genealogical Adam that mirrored thoughts he’d been having for a long time. I’ve not interacted much with him there, but would like to discuss one area of agreement and disagreement in more depth here.

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The Indus Valley and randomness

YouTube, somehow tapping into my brainwaves, suggested this video to me, about the effort to interpret the alphabetic inscriptions of the Indus Valley civilization.

Posted in Creation, Genealogical Adam, Science, Theology | 3 Comments

The happiness of creation

My wife was preparing for a Bible study yesterday, and we were discussing whether “blessed” or “happy” is the better translation in the beatitudes of Matthew 5. It turns out to have some relevance for the understanding of the theology of nature.

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Why providence is meticulous

A commenter on Peaceful Science told how his school science teacher used to demonstrate student inattention in physics classes by saying that flies can walk on the ceiling because they are too small to be affected by the law of gravity. That’s actually quite a good introduction to this piece on the universality of providence, for the lawlike processes of nature have, theologically speaking, been historically referred to as God’s general providence.

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Theology of nature – final causation

Something odd happened during the history of the mechanical philosophy that, in effect, gave us the theology of nature which now forms our default thinking. Bacon and his chums dispensed with teleology within nature (inherent teleology) with the aim of removing Aristotelian superstition and glorifying God as the only will operating in nature. And God’s purposes for nature (extrinsic teleology) were excluded from scientific study because they were considered intractable. Science would deal only with an entirely passive nature operating under efficient causes only.

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Theology of nature – the moral key

At the end of his 2018 Gifford lecture series, N T Wright tells us that the coming of Christ not only unlocks the coming new creation, but enables us to understand the present creation. The cross is at the centre of any theology of nature. I think he’s right, but this needs some careful unpacking to contribute to our theology of nature.

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