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James Beebe's Review of Plantinga's Where the Conflict Really Lies

...at Prosblogion (here).

Comments

Bilbo said…
I'm not sure why Sober constricts Darwinian evolution only to "no physical mechanism (either inside organisms or outside of them) that detects which mutations would be beneficial and causes those mutations to occur". Does he mean that if non-physical mechanisms detected and caused beneficial mutations that this would be consistent with neo-Darwinism? If so, then how would those mutations still be random? Or how would the selection process be natural, instead of supernatural?

For this reason, I think Plantinga's argument that Theism and neo-Darwinism are consistent fails.

However, I think a case for their consistency can be made on other grounds, that Ken Miller made clear in his book, Finding Darwin's God..

Begin by imagining that God wants a certain die to be rolled and come up with a six. Now God could cheat and make it happen. Or He could simply roll the die until it happens "on its own."

Likewise, God could want a human-like creature to appear. He could "cheat" and guide the physical process and that produces one. Or He could make a universe large enough that eventually it would produce such a creature "on its own."

I'm an ID proponent who believes that our universe isn't big enough so it could have produced us "on its own," and that therefore God must have "cheated." But I see no philosophical or theological reason why He must have cheated. Merely an empirical one.

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...in the latest issue of Philosophy Compass. Here's the abstract:
Reformed epistemology, roughly, is the thesis that religious belief can be rational without argument. After providing some background, I present Plantinga's defense of reformed epistemology and its influence on religious debunking arguments. I then discuss three objections to Plantinga's arguments that arise from the following topics: skeptical theism, cognitive science of religion, and basicality. I then show how reformed epistemology has recently been undergirded by a number of epistemological theories, including phenomenal conservatism and virtue epistemology. I end by noting that a good objection to reformed epistemology must criticize either a substantive epistemological theory or the application of that theory to religious belief; I also show that the famous Great Pumpkin Objection is an example of the former. And if a copy should make its way to my inbox...

UPDATE: Thanks!