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The Return of Natural Theology

Photo: Aurora borealis, by NASA/ Bill Dunford.

Influenced by a long line of materialist thinkers, Charles Darwin proposed the mechanism of natural selection as a substitute for God. But how does his evolutionary theory’s explanatory power measure up to recent scientific discoveries? On a new episode of ID the Future, physicist Dr. Brian Miller discusses the resurgence of natural theology in modern science with Pat Flynn, co-host of the Philosophy for the People podcast. Natural theology advances arguments for God based on reason and the discoveries of science. It’s an ancient pursuit that fell out of favor in the 19th century as a materialist account of life’s origins took center stage. But modern scientific findings point to mind, not a mindless process, as the likeliest explanation for a life-friendly universe. As a result, the pendulum is swinging back to teleology, ushering in a new heyday for natural theology.

In addition to giving a historical overview of natural theology, Miller and Flynn also discuss fundamental problems in origin-of-life studies that demand a better explanation than materialists can offer. “Here’s the fundamental challenge,” Miller says. “All natural processes tend to create greater disorder (entropy)…The origin of life requires chemicals to go into a state of both high order and high energy. That never happens without help!”

What about the multiverse as an escape hatch from the evidence of a universe intelligently designed to allow for life? That proposed design-defeater, Miller argues, also faces a huge problem.

Tune in for all this and more in a lively, wide-ranging conversation between Miller and his philosopher host Pat Flynn. Download the podcast or listen to it here. And thanks to Flynn and the Philosophy for the People podcast for permission to share this interview.

Miller is a contributor to the recent volume God’s Grandeur: The Catholic Case for Intelligent Design, available here.