Saturday, May 30, 2009

Plantinga on Evolution and Naturalism

Alvin Plantinga, the famous Christian philosopher, wrote an article for the layman on his "Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism". You can read it here.

1 comment:

audeophi said...

This article is absolutely stupid. Plantinga is basically asserting the same trite objections of the 17th century scholastics, albeit in fancier garb. The basic premise of his entire essay is this: If you evolved, your physiological thought process is adaptive and therefore you can't trust it to make accurate conclusions. He uses the example of a hypothetical civilization to verify his claim and extends this argument ab adsurdum to make the final precocious claim that the intellect cannot be trusted without the providence of some mystical God figure. Invariably, any study of philosophy will lead to only one definite conclusion in a naturalistic system: the existence of self. All else then falls in the realm of the empirical and thusly the "leap" required is judiciously and cautiously observed. Plantinga is correct when he states that we cannot fully observe the nature of a sentient civilization's intelligence, but he is wrong in the fact that qualitative predictions can be made very well by an intensive study of the way in which the supposed civilization abstracted natural principles and applied them for their extraspecific advancement. In a naturalistic world, the veracity of a said claim is based off of evidence, reason, and most importantly, the success with which such a claim can be applied towards the progress of technology and of ideas. We may make a slight leap of faith in assuming these claims are tenable, but this leap of faith is no larger than the leap of faith Plantinga must make to "assume" the ideas he holds of God really are "rational".