Monday, July 13, 2009

Kicking This Off Right

Last Friday evening (7/10/09), I attended a lecture by biophysicist Cornelius G. Hunter at Biola University. During the lecture, Dr. Hunter referenced an article from the "Opinion" section of the 5/22/09 LA Times that was written by UMM biologist PZ Myers. The Dr. Myers' letter is a response to author Charlotte Allen, whose 5/17/09 article, "Atheists: No God, no reason, just whining," called out Myers (and other prominent atheists) for lacking substance in their attacks against religion and attacking a "straw man."

Setting aside the exact nature of the exchange between Allen and Myers, what's significant is a particular line of argumentation used by Myers (an atheist, if you didn't already know) to demonstrate the certainty of the atheist argument (and it is not what you'd think). Knowing Myers' background as a biologist, one would assume that he would cite some credible scientific evidence of evolution that overwhelmingly and without doubt removes any possibility of God's participation in the appearance and formation of life on earth--and you'd be wrong. Instead, Myers actually makes a theistic argument to "disprove" God's existence! To quote Myers,
We [atheists] go right to the central issue of whether there is a god or not. We're pretty certain that if there were an all-powerful being pulling the strings and shaping history for the benefit of human beings, the universe would look rather different than it does.
So that's it? That's his best argument? PZ Myers thinks people should take him on his word that he knows what kind of world God would create?

Unfortunately, this situation, where evolutionists' best arguments "for" naturalism are actually tired and easily rebutted arguments "against" theism, is all too common. Much of Hunter's work appears to be in demonstrating how evolutionary belief is primarily grounded in so-called negative evidence for God rather than in positive, empirical evidence for evolution. Certainly, this appears true in Myers' case.

1 comment:

  1. So just to be clear, one of the most common types of evolutionary reasoning is an eliminative induction (not creation, therefore evolution) based on a false dichotomy (either God did things the way I would expect him to or evolution is true). Good post CJ.