Friday, March 05, 2004

That is not logical...

Ed over at Dispatches responded to my latest polemic on the inconsistency evolutionists exhibit when attempting to argue from a moralistic basis. Unfortunately he still doesn’t see my point that, whether or not he accepts that the evolutionary paradigm is a worldview, he still views the world through its lenses... and he does it inconsistently to boot. It’s interesting to note his response to my rhetorical request, “I would ask Ed to give me a list of those people who hold to the evolutionary paradigm who also believe that the supernatural exists in the form of some sort of deity that interacts with the natural order. I suspect that the list will be extremely short.” As I expected, he lists some prominent theistic evolutionists (a contradiction in terms if there ever was one) with Ken Miller leading the pack. What I didn’t expect was that he would list statements by various Christian denominations that supposedly declare that God as creator is compatible with evolution. That was a nice touch but it still doesn’t address the logical implications of the evolutionary paradigm. First off I must confess that I was leading Ed a bit with my “extremely short” qualification to the request I made. It is a subjective qualification and although he seems to think he listed quite a few scientists “off the top” of his head, what I would now compare it to is the list of scientists who believe the evolutionary paradigm as well as not believing in a supernatural being that interacts with the natural order. Now let’s be real… in the context of that comparison, the original list is extremely short. Regardless, all he has done is list additional people who are just as logically inconsistent as he is with regards to the evolutionary paradigm. An argument from popular opinion carries no weight in this matter. Whether these theistic evolutionists are logically consistent with the implications of the evolutionary paradigm is the only issue this brings up. Ed is being a bit disingenuous here, whether intentional or not though I do not know, for theistic evolutionists do not believe that God interacts with the natural order in regards to evolution. Miracles in that manner are considered out of bounds. To be sure, someone like Ken Miller may state,
“This does not mean that miracles do not occur. A key doctrine to my own faith is that Jesus was born of a virgin, even though it makes no scientific sense – there is the matter of Jesus’s Y-chromosome to account for. But that is the point. Miracles, by definition, do not have to make scientific sense.”
Yet, one wonders what thoughts the likes of Eugenie Scott, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, et. al., are having as they smirk behind Miller’s back. For true evolutionists understand the implications of their naturalistic worldview with regards to religious belief. Phillip Johnson has said,
When God's existence is no longer a fact but a subjective belief (and a highly controversial belief at that), God's moral authority disappears. (emphasis in original)
So Ed has done nothing up to this point except to show that there are other people as logically inconsistent as he is. William Dembski said it well, referring to theistic evolutionists, in his book Intelligent Design,
“If God purposely created life through Darwinian means, then God’s purpose was ostensibly to conceal his purpose in creation. …For the Darwinian establishment the “theism” in theistic evolution is superfluous. For the hard-core naturalist, theistic evolution at best includes God as an unnecessary rider in an otherwise purely naturalistic account of life. Thus by Occam’s razor, since God is an unnecessary rider in our understanding of the physical world, theistic evolution ought to dispense with all talk of God outright and get rid of the useless adjective theistic.” (emphasis in original)
Ed plays the card, which I’ve heard before, that methodological naturalism is different from metaphysical naturalism and, therefore, there is no tie between the evolution and atheism. This is pure nonsense. The logical implications of one conjoin it to the other. Johnson also states,
When "methodological naturalism" is combined with a very strong a priori confidence that materialistic theories invoking only unintelligent causes can account for such phenomena as genetic information and human intelligence, the distinction between methodological and metaphysical naturalism tends to collapse.
To quote Dembski again,
“Not to put too fine a point on it, the Darwinian establishment views theistic evolution as a weak-kneed sycophant that desperately wants the respectability that comes with being a full-blooded Darwinist but refuses to follow the logic of Darwinism through to the end. It takes courage to give up the comforting belief that life on earth has a purpose. It takes courage to live without the consolation of afterlife. Theistic evolutionists lack the stomach to face the ultimate meaninglessness of life, and it is this failure of courage that makes them contemptible in the eyes of full-blooded Darwinists.” (emphasis added)
Ed refers to Daniel Dennett and William Provine, the full-blooded Darwinists I brought up, as being consistent atheists and not consistent evolutionists. He would do well to listen to what Dennett, Provine, Dawkins, Futuyma, and many others are saying, because their thinking is fully consistent with the logical implications of the evolutionary paradigm that is grounded in methodological naturalism. And this is where all those who claim to have “non-atheistic paradigms or worldviews that use inferences drawn from evolution” must face up to reality of the nonsensical approach they have taken. C. S. Lewis said,
“Materialism [naturalism] gave us a theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid.”
You see, if we arrived here via determinism and chance, then our minds are also a product of determinism and chance. If that were so, then how could we ever find that out? Yet I must address the issue of morality which is, indeed, the very issue that started this discussion. Ed makes the argument that we are the ones who determine our moral direction, and not some divine being. He took issue with the way I stated that but the point, regardless of the “if, then” he added, is the same. The bottom-line is that Ed is stating that if there were no divine being then, as he put it, “we still MUST develop some sense of morality on our own.” At this point it is I who am laughing because, once again, Ed appeals to some higher principle that we all MUST answer to. It’s as if we all already know that we MUST act a certain way isn’t it? And this has been precisely my point from square one.

No comments: