Posts tagged ‘Jay Richards’

June 13th, 2012

Where the Conflict Really Lies between Alvin Plantinga, Jay Richards, and William Lane Craig

by Max Andrews

For a greater context and understanding of the current discussion please be sure to read Alvin Plantinga’s most recent book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism. It was published in December of 2009 but I qualified for an early release, I don’t know how, and received my copy November 1st of that year.  I finished reading it within a week.

Within the last week or so there has been a lot of discussion between Plantinga, Jay Richards, and William Lane Craig.  I recently did a post sharing Plantinga’s response to Jay Richards. The heart of the conflict is defining the terms, primarily ‘Darwinism.’  I don’t really disagree with what everyone is saying on their own terms but I would agree with Jay, that Plantinga and Craig are not using Darwinism in the correct sense.  Plantinga uses the randomness in Darwinism, in a theistic context, to me compatible with guidance.

Jay also sent a Question of the Week to Craig concerning the same thing.  Be sure to read Jay’s full question but here’s Craig’s response:

Thanks for these trenchant comments, Jay! Lest distressed readers miss the forest for the trees, we agree on the central point: that insofar as a person claims that the evidence of evolutionary biology has shown that the evolutionary process, based as it is on genetic mutations and natural selection, is undirected, purposeless, or non-teleological, he is making a claim that hopelessly outstrips the scientific evidence and so is unjustified.

June 10th, 2012

Where Alvin Plantinga’s Conflict with Jay Richards Really Lies

by Max Andrews

Where the Conflict Really Lies.jpgReblogged from Alvin Plantinga at Evolution News and Views.

Jay Richards and I agree on a lot, so perhaps we should just agree to disagree on the remainder.But I’d like to offer a brief response to his last response to my response to his review (that’s close, anyway).

In Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism, I used the term “Darwinism” to denote the view or contention that the most important force driving the process of descent with modification is natural selection working on random genetic mutation. And I looked for definitions of “random,” as used in biology, finding that in every official or semi-official definition of “random” I could find, the basic idea is that mutations are random with respect to adaptivity: most mutations are not adaptive, and mutations don’t arise in response to the organism’s adaptive needs in its environment. I said I thought Darwinism, taken this way, is compatible with theism. I believe Jay agrees with that thought. So where do we disagree?

Here’s what Jay proposes as the core of our disagreement:

February 11th, 2012

Being Catholic at Liberty University

by Max Andrews

The following is a guest blog post by Shoshana.  She is an art communications major at Liberty University. Her interests include literature, history, and botany. In her spare time, she enjoys watercolor painting, gardening, and reading fiction.

__________

I am a Catholic student at Liberty University. I am in my sophomore year studying studio art: painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. I very much enjoy my major and Liberty as a whole. I was raised Baptist. When I was eight years old my family entered the Catholic Church. My brother and I decided we wanted to stay at Liberty Christian Academy (LCA–the private Baptist school we had attended since kindergarten) rather than leave our friends and go to a Catholic school. There were times in high school when I regretted my decision to stay at LCA. I had a lot of friends, but none of them understood what I believed. My teachers were all great people, but all of them thought they knew what I as a Catholic believed and were often completely wrong. I cannot recount all the kindly and patiently uttered anti-Catholic speeches I endured, the many unconscious slights against Catholicism, and the few not-so-innocent remarks. One girl in my history class verbally attacked me because I “worshipped Mary”. I wish I had a dime for every time that untruth came up. Instead of asking me what I believed and taking time to listen, this girl assumed that she already knew all of my beliefs. Yet what she “knew” was based on hearsay.  This is perhaps to be overlooked in a teenager, but when the offender was a teacher, he or she needed to be aware that “bearing false witness” (i.e., telling the class that Catholics believe something which they do not believe) is an offense in God’s eyes.  In high school I had a teacher who told me it was his goal to convert me to Protestantism before the year was over. I found that insulting. I was a Christian just as he was (as Dr. Jerry Falwell always said, “Catholics are Christians!”). 

February 12th, 2011

The Discovery Institute’s Seminar on Intelligent Design

by Max Andrews

I attended the Discovery Institute’s Summer Seminar on Intelligent Design (Social Science) in 2010.  My thoughts and comments will be general since we were asked not release specifics concerning information being shared (some of it was yet-to-be published and I don’t know if it has been published yet so I’ll remain silent) and I do not want to “out” any other attendees in their academic endeavors.  Once you’re labeled as an ID proponent your academic career is potentially slowed down or halted.  I’ve already outed myself and I’m pretty vocal about my advocacy of design (I’m a philosopher so it’s not as academically persecuted).

I have no negative comments concerning the DI’s seminar.  In fact, I have more respect for the institute and fellows.  There were two concurrent seminars (natural and social sciences) that interacted with each other on a regular basis and combined on many occasions.  I participated in the social science seminar and being philosophy graduate student I’m not as adept in biology, chemistry, and physics as many others are.  I certainly received a welcoming abundance of science in presentations, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Some of the lecturers included Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Doug Axe, Jay Richards, Jonathan Wells, Richard Sternberg, Ann Gauger, Bruce Gordon, Jonathan Witt, John West, and Casey Luskin.

Lecture topics included:

  1. The role and origin of information in DNA
  2. History of intelligent design
  3. The scientific basis of intelligent design
  4. Science and education policy
  5. Science and education law
  6. Evolution and academic freedom
  7. The media and evolution
  8. The Privileged Planet
  9. Neo-Darwinism
  10. Population genetics
  11. Natural theology in cosmology
  12. The multiverse
  13. Obstacles to unguided evolution
  14. Junk DNA
  15. Biological information and development
  16. The Edge of Evolution
  17. The Social Darwinian Evolution
  18. Theistic evolution
  19. ID and the origins of modern science
  20. The role of genius, beauty, and the aesthetics in design
  21. The metaphysical implications of ID

The schedule is demanding since it requires to fit so much material into a time span just over a week-long.  You’ll interact with the scholars on a one-on-one basis and even enjoy meals together.  They’re not distanced like some professors at the university may be like since there’s only about thirty participants.  I still keep in touch with many of the other participants and have made great friendships.  What’s beautiful about the seminar is that not everyone believes the same thing.  Every participant’s credentials were different ranging from philosophy, theology, law, journalism, biology, medicine, biochemistry, and nuclear physics with only a couple of undergraduates, mostly graduates, and a couple Ph.D.’s.  Religious affiliation was irrelevant, views on evolution and origins vary, and friendly/fruitful debate sparked throughout the seminar.  The DI accepted participants from around the world:  Africa, Norway, Scotland, Wales, California, Texas, and the East Coast.

I left Seattle with 59 pages of notes on my computer.  I’ve referred to my notes on several occasions and have gained valuable and beneficial knowledge.  They provided nearly two-dozen books for me to read in preparation and for studying while there (and of course post-seminar studies).  I spent a total of $50 on my ten day endeavor and that was only for a snack in the airport, an over weight suit case, and another snack at a 7-11 down the street from the campus.  I highly recommend the seminar to anyone who is friendly and open to the ID hypothesis.  I’m doing my graduate research on the multiverse as it pertains to the fine-tuning argument and this seminar has certainly been a valuable asset for me.  Thank you Discovery Institute for sharing this knowledge and granting me the opportunity to briefly study under these scholars.