2 Replies to “Podcasts: Nancy Pearcey on humans as robots, freeloading from religion

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    Seversky says:

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.

    If I think that a hungry tiger is just a big, friendly kitty who wants to play and someone else thinks it is an extremely dangerous predator that wants to eat one of us, guess which belief is more likely to be true and guess who’s more likely to survive? It’s nonsense to try and separate survival and truth value. Survival in a dangerous environment depends on an account of that is as accurate as possible. Yes, you can envisage false beliefs that might incidentally benefit survival but overall the truer the belief the better.

    And that being the case, why wouldn’t such a mind, that tends to survive because it forms truer beliefs than others, be able to apply itself to metaphysical questions? Creating explanations for the physical involves mental modeling. Why shouldn’t that capacity be adaptable to modeling metaphysical explanations? No, it may not be absolutely reliable or accurate in its explanations and conclusions but what else is? What else is there?

    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.

    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,

    Some philosophers argue that free will and consciousness are illusions because there are well-known problems with both concepts. How do we tell whether or not evolution or any other explanation about the world is true or not? See if it hangs together logically and compare it with what we see, in other words, the scientific method.

    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.

    Is it rational to believe in the existence of a God based on a compilation of stories written over hundreds of years, whose original authors are unknown, many of which cannot be verified, some of which show signs of tampering, some of which describe phenomena which are at odds with what we observe to day and which are riddled with discrepancies and contradictions?

    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.

    And one of the reasons why believers fail give due weight to the problems with their own belief systems is the flip side of hyperskepticism, hypercredulity.

  2. 2
    Andre says:

    Seversky

    You are of course correct to think that God of the bible might be the wrong one and that may very well be. But that does not mean the universe and all in it was not designed. People of the Christian faith do question their faith I do it often.

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