Last week, there was a nice write up on Alvin Plantinga in the New York Times. Plantinga, whom I’ve long admired, has a new book out, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. The Times throws some well-deserved bouquets his way:
Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe superintended by a God who created rational-minded creatures in his own image, “is vastly more hospitable to science than naturalism,” with its random process of natural selection, he writes. “Indeed, it is theism, not naturalism, that deserves to be called ‘the scientific worldview.’ ”
Mr. Plantinga readily admits that he has no proof that God exists. But he also thinks that doesn’t matter. Belief in God, he argues, is what philosophers call a basic belief: It is no more in need of proof than the belief that the past exists, or that other people have minds, or that one plus one equals two.
“You really can’t sensibly claim theistic belief is irrational without showing it isn’t true,” Mr. Plantinga said. And that, he argues, is simply beyond what science can do.
But let me also state, for the record, that I think Plantinga’s defense of Michael Behe and “intelligent design” in his new book is very unfortunate, and possibly undermines his argument entirely.