Intelligent Design

[quote mine] Ken Miller : “physics has rescued religion”

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This [quantum uncertainty] is something biologists, almost universally, have not yet come to grips with. And its consequences are enormous. It certainly means that we should wonder more than we currently do about the saying that life is made of “mere” matter….

This means that absolute materialism, a view that control and predictability and ultimate explanation are possible, breaks down in a way that is biologically significant. It means that after we have obtained understanding of so much of the world around us, the ultimate mastery of even the tiniest bit of matter in the universe will always elude us….

[Thus] The core assumptions supporting the “scientific” disbelief [atheism] of the absolute materialist are wrong, even by the terms of science itself…

What matters is the straightforward, factual, strictly scientific recognition that matter in the universe behaves in such a way that we can never achieve complete knowledge of any fragment of it, and that life itself is structured in a way that allows biological history to pivot directly on these tiny uncertainties. That ought to allow even the most critical scientist to admit that the breaks in causality at the atomic level make it fundamentally impossible to exclude the idea that what we have really caught a glimpse of might indeed reflect the mind of God.
….

In the final analysis, absolute materialsm does not triumph because it cannot fully explain the nature of reality.

pages 208-209, 214, 219 Finding Darwin’s God

The above quotes Miller used to justify an earlier claim:

Quantum reality is strange, troublesome, and downright illogical, but its unexpected discovery solves one of the key philosophical problems faced by any religious person: How can a world governed by precise physical law escape a strictly deterministic future?…

The indeterminate nature of quantum behavior means that the details of the future are not strictly determined by present reality….few theologians appreciate the degree to which physics has rescued religion from the dangers of Newtonian predictability. I susspect that they do not know (at least not yet) who their true friends are!

pages 203,204

I saw Miller echoing ideas I found in Barrow’s Book. In other parts of his book, Miller suggest reality is influenced by an Eternal God.

Finally, if I may add a little twist to all of these fine words by Miller, let me add one further observation. Ken much-of-the-problem-lies-with-atheists Miller blasts materialism as unscientific, and the atheistic position as not a scientific position. One could almost see him agreeing with, oh, something we’ve all heard before:

….new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

Salvador

5 Replies to “[quote mine] Ken Miller : “physics has rescued religion”

  1. 1

    I have a belief in divine providence, so my belief in causation meshed with that. I also am not a strict materialist, but causation applies to immaterial stuff as well.

    What I’m trying to say is that it isn’t quantum uncertainty that leaves room for religion. It’s the Big Bang that’s important, at least to those of us who religiously posited a beginning.

    Causation only causes a problem with those who think everything (brains, etc.) only have materialist causes. But I’m not going to posit that immaterial stuff is uncaused.

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    Red Reader says:

    Miller would like to build an aura of religious mystique around Darwin’s *narrative* (fable) of the origins of life. That people will read his book and find respectability in what he says just shows there is a tendency in the human heart to worship.

    Since Miller feels free to worship Darwin’s god, I feel free to answer him with warnings from mine:
    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2Ti4:2-3)
    “…for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” (Mt. 18:7)

  3. 3
    kvwells says:

    I do not think that whether or not the Universe is deterministic in nature is a primary consideration for “any religious person” or for any ir- or non-religious type either. Religion as an act of man is primarily an attempt to wrestle with the question of conscience. Darwinism, Nihilism (sorry about the redundancy), Determinism and the host of other isms that blossomed out of enlightenment thinking are whistles in the dark. “I know these promptings I (used to) feel, these whispers which hint at Something Else, come from nothing and lead to nothing. So I am free to take my own (but how do I own nothing?) path to null.”

    I do not wish to suggest that the consideration of conscience is greater than the consideration that, “if there is a Designer, what must he think of me?” But I think this question comes after the discovery(?)of the Question within us.

    I must insist that materialism/darwinism is Post-meaning man, with clenched jaw and stifled ears, trying to beat his conscience to death with textbooks.

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