I have argued before that the only sense of theistic evolutionist that makes any sense without doing irreparable harm to science is something like Leibniz' notion that God has created or actualised the world that best serves whatever utility functions God has (i.e., whatever is in his Plan) out of a large number, possibly infinite, of worlds. The primary cause, in other words, lies in the choice of and creation of a world that through secondary causes (natural laws) results in the things and outcomes he Planned. This makes absolutely no scientific difference whatsoever, and so it consonant with the best scientific explanation. But because a great many theists seem to think of God as a kind of Great Pointy Haired Manager, who acts to micromanage everything in the universe, they insist that to be a theist is necessarily to give up some of the explanatory power of science in favour of a providential account (which we cannot know anyway, because God's Ways are Mysterious).
Friday, December 12, 2008
John Wilkins on the problems with theistic evolution.