Ceiling Cat help me, I’ve spent most of today rereading Francis Collins’s The Language of God and Ken Miller’s Finding Darwin’s God, both popular accommodationist books. (I reviewed Miller’s book, along with one by Karl Giberson, here).
Miller’s is far superior, largely because he spends a lot of the book dismantling intelligent design (ID). (He also doesn’t mention C. S. Lewis, which Collins does repeatedly.) But what is distressing is that after decrying ID for relying on God-of-the-gaps arguments, Miller goes ahead and uses exactly that device when raising the “fine tuning” argument for God (“science can’t explain the laws of physics that make our existence possible—ergo God”), and speculating that quantum mechanics may be the way that God produces both mutations and free will. It’s also distressing that Miller blames American creationism largely on atheists, without so much as a nod to religion.
“I believe much of the problem [Americans' rejection of evolution] lies with atheists in the scientific community who routinely enlist the material findings of evolutionary biology in support [sic] their own philosophical pronouncements. Sometimes, as we have seen, these take the form of stern, seemingly dispassionate pronouncements about the meaninglessness of life. Other times, we are lectured that the contingency of our presence on this planet invalidates any sense of human purpose. And very often we are told that the raw reality of nature strips the trapping of authority from any human system of morality.” (Miller, p. 277).
Miller seems unaware that creationism long antedates public scientific atheism, and that creationism has held pretty steady despite the growth in the number of nonbelievers. I don’t get his statement about nature toppling human morality.
Collins falls into the same rhetorical trap: both decrying and employing God-of-the-gaps arguments. His most annoying one is the invocation of God as the only explanation for “innate’ human morality, which he calls “the Moral Law.” At any rate, I’ve written about the flawed logic of these books before.
But this post, which has gotten longer than the few lines I envisioned, is merely an excuse to put up this kitten fail:
And it’s such a spectacular fail!