An Encouraging Moment at Biologos
|May 11, 2011||Posted by nullasalus under Design inference, Evolutionary biology|
Submitted without further comment, for now, is this quote from Part 2 of a review of Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution Is True”. With emphasis added:
Later, he claims “Darwinism tells us that, like all species, human beings arose from the working of blind, purposeless forces over eons of time” (p. 224). There are at least two problems with this line of argument. First, given what Coyne said earlier about evolution’s agnosticism regarding sources of variations in organisms (see Part 1), it’s rather striking that he so clearly rules God out as a possible source. What biologists mean by random variations is that the underlying causes are left open by the theory because mechanisms like natural selection can work with any variations handed to them, whether those variations are due to God’s activity through natural laws (e.g. genetic copying, cosmic rays) or God’s supernatural activity.. Consider the analogy with dice in Part 1 again. That the dice landed snake eyes on a particular throw is fully consistent with there being an underlying law governing the dice or that God somehow determined the particular outcome of the throw (the latter idea lies behind the Old Testament practice of casting lots). Similarly that some organisms in a particular population received a particular genetic variation that increases their likelihood of surviving and reproducing is fully consistent with there being an underlying law governing genetics or that God somehow determined the particular variation.
While I have some problems with how Robert C. Bishop considers this question – for instance, he says “What biologists mean…” without noting that Coyne is a biologist, and Dawkins was one once upon a time – I think his point here is worth considering. And I admit, I’m encouraged to see a view like this aired over at Biologos, even as a guest post.
I wonder if ID proponents will be as encouraged as I am. Any thoughts?