[quote=PhilVaz]HECD << However, I find it out of character and a distortion of what I thought you understood about the philosophcal foundation of science that you should give a moment’s credence to Plantinga’s notorious exercise in question begging. >>
Don’t be upset with me, I am on your side in this whole creation-evolution-intelligent design mess we got ourselves in.
Phil, I’m not upset with you in the slightest. I was just a little surprised that you gave Plantinga the credence that you did. In fact, you do an astonishing job on this board, with consistent quality and more patience than I can ever muster. I am an unconditional fan of yours.
You may be right, I only noted that an important Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga disagrees. I go with what evangelical Christian geologist Keith Miller has written in his understanding of science that I provided above. Plantinga has another anti-naturalism argument you may not like, his “evolution of cognitive faculties” argument and that “theism is properly basic.” My buddy Apolonio Latar likes that argument, he is majoring in philosophy at Rutgers.
Too much to deal with in one post - would you like me to come back to these arguments?
Plantiga was a well respected religious philosopher. He does not have now, and never has had the wherewithal to be a decent philosopher of science. There is no doubt that he is smart and sophisticated. But like all who have taken up the baton of ID, he is losing the right to respect. He has been seduced by the cause into talking ignorantly about matters that he doesn’t understand. He is not many steps away in his current pronouncements from an unsophisticated apology for introducing ‘God did it’ into science.
I look at the triumph of the Huygens probe to Titan published this week, a triumph of collaboration between NASA and ESA, resulting from the work of hundreds of scientists, and wonder how many of these would entertain Plantinga’s recent notions of science for a second. The answer, is of course, none. Huygens found that the level of methane in Titan’s atmosophere cannot be sustained for more than a few million years without some unknown mechanism to replace it. None of the Huygens scientists is proposing, as far as I know, that the unknown mechanism results from the direct intervention of an intelligent being. They are going to search for a natural mechanism, methodologically naturalistic fools that they are.
Plantinga’s religious sensitivities are affronted, almost as much as those of a YECer, by the idea that humans are the natural result of the evolutionary process. His philosophy has become in recent years, no more than a sophisticated apology for the notion that humans have not evolved throuh the action of natural processes. That is the motivation behind his attacks on evolution and on methodological atheism, and his open support for ID. It is the foundation of his campaign to redefine science to include supernatural phemnomena. Because he has had a sterling career, is respected in the Catholic community and is sophisticated, he is dangerous.
You can also hear Plantinga present his “Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism” from the Veritas.org site.
And you can read Michael Ruse’s excellent rebuttal of Plantinga’s atttack on methodological naturalism here:
He concludes as follows, a conclusion I’m sure you’ll agree with:
‘These then are the arguments that Plantinga brings against methodological naturalism and my responses to him. I would argue that he has given us no reasons to give up on methodological naturalism, or inasmuch as he has, it has been only because of his prior commitment to his own version of Christian theism. So I see no reason why one should not continue to draw the distinction between methodological and metaphysical naturalism; to argue that the two can be separated; and to argue that, whatever may be the philosophical and theological basis underlying metaphysical nat uralism, it is not the case that the methodological naturalist has to adopt the same position. This all being so then, although I am happy to accept that methodological naturalism leads today to a belief in evolution, I am not prepared to accept that methodological naturalism is a philosophy opposed to theism… Evolution and Christianity should not be separated in this way.’