Atheism, for Good Reason, Fears Questions

Blogger David T. at Life’s Private Book has a good post on our modern priesthood. David quotes Baron d’Holbach from the18th century: “Man has been forced to vegetate in his primitive stupidity; nothing has been offered to his mind, but stories of invisible powers, upon whom his happiness was supposed to depend. Occupied solely by his fears, and unintelligible reveries, he has always been at the mercy of his priests, who have reserved to themselves the right of thinking for him, and directing his actions.” David notes that we still have priests, but they are secular priests–Experts–and they provide us with a semblance of meaning and healing: …the referents have changed. The “invisible powers” offered to man today are not Read More ›

God and Evolution: A Response to Stephen Barr (part 3)

This is the final installment of three posts responding to Stephen Barr. The first post can be found here, and the second post can be found here. The Collins/Barr Approach: A God Who Misleads? Stephen Barr identifies himself with the position of Francis Collins who argues that although evolution looks like “a random and undirected process,” it nevertheless could have been guided by God. “Evolution could appear to us to be driven by chance, but from God’s perspective the outcome would be entirely specified.” [Collins, The Language of God, p. 205.] Barr takes me to task for highlighting Collins’ use of the word “could” because I implied that “Collins is not sure whether God did in fact know beforehand. Anyone Read More ›

God and Evolution: A Response to Stephen Barr (part 2)

This is the second of three posts responding to Stephen Barr. The first post can be found here. Mainstream Theistic Evolution: Directed or Undirected? In the initial decades after Darwin proposed his theory, theistic evolution typically was presented as a form of guided evolution. Although Darwin himself rejected the idea that evolution was guided by God to accomplish particular ends, many of Darwin’s contemporaries (including those in the scientific community) rejected undirected natural selection as sufficient to explain all the major advances in the history of life. Instead, according to historian Peter Bowler, there was widespread acceptance of the idea “that evolution was an essentially purposeful process… The human mind and moral values were seen as the intended outcome of Read More ›

God and Evolution: A Response to Stephen Barr (part 1)

Theistic evolutionist Stephen Barr is a serious and thoughtful man, and on the First Things blog, he has raised some serious and thoughtful objections to an essay I wrote for The Washington Post as well as to reflections on that essay by Joe Carter (also at the First Things blog). Unfortunately, I think Barr’s criticisms confuse matters more than they clarify them. Nevertheless, I’m grateful that he has aired his objections, because some of his misunderstandings are shared by other conservative intellectuals, and they deserve a response. This is the first of three posts responding to Barr. False Dilemma or Wishful Thinking: Is Darwinian Evolution Undirected or Not? Barr first claims that Joe Carter and I “are trapped in a Read More ›

Darwin’s (Failed) Predictions: An Interview with Cornelius Hunter, Part II

Yesterday, ENV interviewed molecular biophysicist and Discovery Institute fellow Cornelius Hunter on his new web-book Darwin’s Predictions. Our conversation continued: ENV: A typical instance of a failed prediction would be that Darwin himself expected the geology and paleontology would confirm that the earth is at least 400 million years old, because that’s how long he thought it must need to evolve its repertoire of species. We now know that while the earth and life are much older than that, the time frame for the development of most animal body plans or phyla in the Cambrian explosion occurred in a geological flash of probably of less than 10 million years. What do you think is the most devastating failed prediction you Read More ›