Friday, August 15, 2008

Philosopher Alvin Plantinga on why naturalism and evolution are inconsistent

Alvin Plantinga, perhaps the best regarded living Christian philosopher, argues that naturalism and a belief in evolution is philosophically inconsistent:
I said naturalism is in philosophical hot water; this is true on several counts, but here I want to concentrate on just one—one connected with the thought that evolution supports or endorses or is in some way evidence for naturalism. As I see it, this is a whopping error: evolution and naturalism are not merely uneasy bedfellows; they are more like belligerent combatants. One can't rationally accept both evolution and naturalism; one can't rationally be an evolutionary naturalist.
Plantinga employs a form of C. S. Lewis' argument from self-destruction (what some call the "argument from reason") against evolutionary naturalism. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

Off topic, I wasn't sure where to post this.

Does the DI have a position on Bigfoot? I note that DI member Medved (the conservative film critic) is into the Bigfoot scene. See:

Inquiring minds want to know!

Martin Cothran said...


I suggest you do a Google search using the terms 'bigfoot' and 'evolution'. You'll discover comments like this one:

Bigfoot researchers generally lean toward one explanation: The Bigfoot-Giganto Theory (hypothesis). The subject of Gigantopithecus has attracted an increasing amount of interest anthropologists and primatologitsts over the past few decades. The Bigfoot-Giganto hypothesis suggests that bigfoots are surving relatives of the genus Gigantopithecus. Gigantopithecus (the Latin word for "Giant Ape") was a giant cousin of the orangutan. It was presumed to be extinct.

So it sounds like to me if you want to know more about bigfoot, you've got plenty of your fellow evolutionists you can discuss it with.

Anonymous said...

But I'm willing to admit that Bigfoot is intelligently designed. In fact I am rather sure that Bigfoot is designed. Sorry to upset you. I just thought you might know Medved via the DI.

Martin Cothran said...

Oh, no problem at all. I'm sorry to say I've never met Medved. But, just out of curiosity, where do you think Bigfoot fits on the evolutionary tree?

Anonymous said...

Martin Cothran said: "Oh, no problem at all. I'm sorry to say I've never met Medved. But, just out of curiosity, where do you think Bigfoot fits on the evolutionary tree?"

Homoredneckicus pseudosuiticus

Martin Cothran said...

Lol. That's good. My hat's off to you.

kycobb said...

Plantinga is dead on that beliefs can be both adaptive and false. Christianity, for example, exhorts the faithful to "be fruitful and multiply." This is adaptive behavior, whether Christianity is true or not. He is, however, wrong about which way that sword cuts. What this means is that only empirically verifiable data is reliable. This eliminates all faith-based religious beliefs, which are unverifiable and therefore not trustworthy. Atheism isn't a belief in something, its simply a lack of belief in any God. Most atheists probaby have vast numbers of theistic ancestors spread over the last several thousand years, so there is no reason to think that lack of faith in any magical being belief system is an evolved adaptive trait.