Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Losing Miller's God

Here's something from a post at Quiche Moraine, about someone who went to a talk by theistic evolutionist Ken Miller:

"I first asked why God couldn’t have made all creatures vegetarians, so that some animals wouldn’t have to painfully and cruelly kill and eat others. (Kenneth) Miller said that that would mean that God would be stepping in and interfering with the natural evolutionary processes that he had set in motion. (Evidently God avoids miracles these days.)"

Its always strange to hear this type of answer. Why couldn't God have set up some type of evolutionary process which did not lead to death and pain? He would not have had to intervene with the evolutionary process, he simply would have had to set up the universe so that non-carnivorous creatures evolved. Being all-knowing and all-powerful, you would think God could do that.

Here's some other things I found disturbing:

"It seemed to me that this god wasn’t of much use. 'So in other words,' I said, 'this world operates exactly the way we would expect it to operate if there were no god.' Miller agreed, citing retired Vatican astronomer George Coyne, who said that the universe doesn’t need God."

"As I walked back to my car, I thought: Miller has all but admitted that there is no actual evidence for a god, and that certainly a god wasn’t involved in the daily process of evolution. And yet Miller believes in a god. This must mean that he believes on a basis other than evidence. In other words, on faith. Evidently the belief came first and the rationalizations second."

I think Ken Miller is a nice guy who has a soft spot for God and religion. He's just not applying the same rigorous standards to his theology as he does in science or in any other area of his life. I think this has lead him to cognitive dissonance, as is evident to me in the blog post.

3 comments:

circleh said...

Belief in God is a matter of faith, and as such, evidence and logic doesn't play into that at all. Which is why religious apologetics of any kind, including the kinds that use scientific terminology, simply doesn't go very far.

Anonymous said...

Cognitive dissonance? Why the reluctance to consider this: An intellectual of significant scientific literacy disagrees with you on metaphysical matters? Why the need to explain it away with "cognitive dissonance" or something else? I disagree with people all the time, that doesn't mean I think they're mentally inferior.

AIGBusted said...

I didn't say Miller was mentally deficient, I said he was caught in cognitive dissonance, which means that he holds two conflicting ideas.