Honolulu Chapter

The importance of having a narrative when confronting the assumption of naturalism | Wintery Knight

November 16, 2014

“It falls to us Christian theists, then, to hold them accountable for their abuse and misrepresentation of science. And that means telling the story of the progress of science accurately, and accurately calling out the religion of naturalism for what it is – a religion rooted in blind faith and ignorance that has been repeatedly and convincingly falsified by the progress of science in the modern era.

Positive arguments for Christian theism:

The kalam cosmological argument and the Big Bang theory

The fine-tuning argument from cosmological constants and quantities

The origin of life, part 1 of 2: the building blocks of life

The origin of life, part 2 of 2: biological information

The sudden origin of phyla in the Cambrian explosion

Galactic habitable zones and circumstellar habitable zones

Irreducible complexity in molecular machines

The creative limits of natural selection and random mutation

Angus Menuge’s ontological argument from reason

Alvin Plantinga’s epistemological argument from reason

William Lane Craig’s moral argument

via The importance of having a narrative when confronting the assumption of naturalism | Wintery Knight.

Philosopher Laszlo Bencze on the Pope’s recent statement on evolution | Uncommon Descent

November 4, 2014

Laszlo Bencze:

“God is not… a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life,” Francis said. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

I believe the Catholic church became hyper sensitized to issues of science vs. religion as a result of the Galileo debacle. This became a huge embarrassment to Catholicism. It was a clash that no pope wished ever to repeat. Post Galileo the church moved ever closer to uncritical acceptance of scientific theories. This accommodation posed no problems so long as the theories were actually physical rather than metaphysical. Thus Newton’s mechanics, Boyle’s law, and Lavoisier’s oxygen theory of combustion meshed uncontroversially with church doctrine.

Unfortunately Darwinism appeared mid 19th century posing as a normal physical theory about how the world works when in fact it was metaphysical speculation. Gun shy Catholicism accepted its claims at face value without doing the careful study that discernment demanded. As a result it was saddled with a fundamental contradiction: belief in a creator god who science had divested of all creative power. To say that science was wrong was to align the church with Protestant fundamentalists who protested in a style that was unseemly and tainted with an anti-science stance the church had long abandoned. Yet to unreservedly endorse evolution was clearly to abdicate all authority to an atheistic secularism.

So the church in its struggles to avoid the two ends of the spectrum eventually cobbled together a compromise solution perhaps best exemplified by Teilhard DeChardin’s The Phenomenon of Man. God let things run their course according to the “laws of evolution” interfering only on three occasions—the beginning of life, the creation of man, and the birth and resurrection of Jesus.

Though DeChardin did not receive official approval of that book, it now seems to have become the defacto stance of the Catholic church. The pope genuflects to Darwin because not to do so is to seem irrelevant and foolish in a world which has accepted Darwin as the Messiah. Yet the pope also reserves a few strongholds for god in a self-referentially incoherent system known as “theistic evolution.”

via Philosopher Laszlo Bencze on the Pope’s recent statement on evolution | Uncommon Descent.

The world is changing: Someone noticed what “evolutionary science” has become, and laughed | Uncommon Descent

November 3, 2014

The world is changing: Someone noticed what “evolutionary science” has become, and laughed | Uncommon Descent.

In San Francisco, at the Bad Ad Hoc Hypothesis (BAHfest):

The premise is simple: Six finalists are chosen out of hundreds of submissions every year to present a well argued, but completely incorrect, evolutionary theory in front of a live audience. The most creative presentation wins. While the science is bunk, the judges are not. The festival began as part of the Cambridge Science Festival in Boston, and as a result, members of the judicial panel include both Harvard and MIT staff members and working scientists.”…