Thursday, 27 May 2010

Theology Meets Science?

In an interesting move recently the journal PNAS, a renowned scientific journal, published an article by geneticist  John Avise which thoroughly critiqued Intelligent Design. What is interesting about the article is that it discusses theology. Avise asserts rightly that ID and creationism offer nothing in answer to the issue of natural suffering. I also agree that embracing evolution aids theodicy, but not to the extent that Avise does. He believes evolution completely gets God off the hook, but this is quite a naive view. If natural selection is God's chosen method then we understand that suffering is part of the creativity, but not why God chose to use such a method. The argument needs further development, in which natural selection plays only a small part. Why did God choose a method which allows for such suffering? Whether or not God could have chosen a different method, one with all the benefits of evolution and none of the negatives is something we cannot truly answer. Perhaps freedom of process necessitates suffering? Perhaps progress cannot be achieved without it? It seems that within this universe these are truths, but whether a different universe could be achieved is a question that may not be answered. Avise is right in part, but overlooks this critical point.

The article has not gone unnoticed by critics who are not pleased with this publication, namely scientists against accommodationism. Overall the article is worth a read and will resonate well with theistic evolutionists, below is his proposed change:

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