In response to my last post jurassicmac writes: “Darwinism has nothing to say about God other than that natural processes seem to be sufficient to account for life. I find it odd that the same amount of vitriol isn’t directed at Laplace for showing that the orbits of planets can be explained without invoking supernatural intervention. Darwin did for biology what Laplace (and Newton) did for astronomy: provide an explanatory framework. Why is Darwin vilified and Laplace not?”
It is true that Laplace refined Newton’s calculations and finally showed that the orbits of the planets can be accounted for by a “scientific law,” in this case, the law of gravity. But what is a “scientific law”? It nothing but an observed regularity. The law of gravity does not cause the planets to move in their orbits. It merely describes how they move now that they are moving. How did the planets begin to move in the first place? We don’t know. And where does a law come from? Science does not (because it cannot) speak to that question. From science’s perspective, the law of gravity just is. To the questions of where gravity came from and why it has the properties that it has (as opposed to any of an infinite number of properties it could have), the scientist qua scientist must remain mute, for he can have no answers.
It never ceases to amaze me when people assert something along the lines of God is not necessary to explain “X” because “X” can be accounted for on the basis of scientific laws. What? Do those scientific laws account for their own existence and properties? Now that’s a neat trick.
UPDATE: And by the way, the reason Darwin catches more flack than Laplace is that the natural law Laplace described actually accounts for that data. The natural law Darwin proposed does not.