The Evidential Argument from Biological Evolution: Part 1

Many conservative Christians and lay atheists alike claim that if biological evolution is true, then God does not exist. Ironically, while many conservative Christians have attacked evolution because it supposedly entails atheism, only one contemporary atheist philosopher has argued that evolution is evidence for atheism: Paul Draper.Draper defends an evidential argument from evolution for naturalism. In other words, Draper's argument does not claim that evolution is logically inconsistent … [Read more...]

GOP Creationist Believes in Evolution Within Phyla

Check this out: addition to the usual nonsense, there is something interesting here. This guy says he believes in evolution up to a point, that is, within a phylum. Creationists all along have endorsed evolution within "kinds," whatever those are. Supposing that this guy knows what a phylum is, he seems to extend the "kind" all the way to phyla. … [Read more...]

William Provine on Evolutionary Naturalism and Morality

Cornell University biologist William Provine debated UC Berkeley law professor in 1998. (Click here for a link to the transcript.) In his opening statement, Provine made the following provocative assertion. Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead … [Read more...]

Link: Darwin’s Argument from Evil by Paul Draper

Draper's chapter was published in Yujin Nagasawa (ed.), Scientific Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion. Palgrave Macmillan. 49 (2012). It's available online for free courtesy of Google Books.LINK … [Read more...]

One Problem with Swinburne’s Case for God

In The Existence of God (2nd edition, hereafter: EOG), Richard Swinburne lays out a systematic cumulative case for the claim that it is more likely than not that God exists.I have a specific objection to the third argument in this case, but I believe this objection throws a monkey wrench into the works, and creates a serious problem for the case as a whole.To understand my objection, it is important to understand the general logical structure of Swinburne’s case for the existence of God. … [Read more...]

Atheist Ethicist on Evolution and Morality

The Atheist Ethicist has been writing a nice series on morality and evolutionary ethics. Posts (so far) include: “Evolution Accounts for Morality?” “Concerning Evolution and Morality” “Evolution and Two Conceptions of Morality” “Evolution, Morality, and Objective Values” “The ‘Necessity’ of an Evolved Moral Sense” “Evolution, Altruism, and Morality” “Evolved Sentiments and Moral Content” “The Immorality of ‘An Evolutionary Basis for Morality’” “Evolution and ‘D … [Read more...]

Religion in Human Evolution

I tried to read Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution. It should have been interesting—prominent social scientist writes ambitious, sweeping book about religion—but I abandoned it about a third of the way through. I rarely fail to finish books. But I couldn't stand this one any more.My impression: it's a profoundly learned but also profoundly superficial book, because it's so obsessed with finding transcendent depth in every religious and wisdom tradition. Bellah just seemed inc … [Read more...]