<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Plantinga (Alvin) - Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism - Preface (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21559.htm">Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism - Preface</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/P/Author_Plantinga (Alvin).htm">Plantinga (Alvin)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Plantinga (Alvin) - Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_21/PaperSummary_21559.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Full <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_1">Text</A></U><SUB>1</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_1"></A></U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>My overall claim in this book: <em>there is superficial conflict but deep concord between science and theistic religion, but superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism</em>. </li><li>Now central to the great monotheistic religions  Christianity, Judaism, Islam  is the thought that there is such a person as God: a personal agent who has created the world and is all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good. I take <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_2">naturalism</A></U><SUB>2</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_2"></A> to be the thought that there is no such person as God, or anything like God. Naturalism is stronger than atheism: you can be an atheist without rising to the full heights (sinking to the lowest depths?) of naturalism; but you can't be a naturalist without being an atheist. </li><li>Naturalism is what we could call a worldview, a sort of total way of looking at ourselves and our world. It isn't clearly a religion: the term "religion" is vague, and naturalism falls into the vague area of its application. Still, naturalism plays many of the same roles as a religion. In particular, it gives answers to the great human questions: Is there such a person as God? How should we live? Can we look forward to <a name="1"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_9/Notes_978.htm">life after death</A><SUP>3</SUP>? What is our place in the universe? How are we related to other creatures? Naturalism gives answers here: there is no God, and it makes no sense to hope for <a name="2"></a><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_9/Notes_978.htm">life after death</A><SUP>4</SUP>. As to our place in the grand scheme of things, we human beings are <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_5">just</A></U><SUB>5</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_5"></A> another animal with a peculiar way of making a living. Naturalism isn't clearly a religion; but since it plays some of the same roles as a religion, we could properly call it a <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_6">quasi-religion</A></U><SUB>6</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_6"></A>. </li><li>If my thesis is right, therefore  if there is deep concord between science and Christian or theistic belief, but deep conflict between science and naturalism  then there is a science/religion (or science/quasi-religion) conflict, all right, but it isn't between science and theistic religion: it's between science and naturalism. </li><li>Many would dispute my claim that there is no serious conflict between religion and science  indeed, many seem to think naturalism or atheism is part of the "scientific worldview." Among them are the "new atheists": <a name="3"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/D/Author_Dawkins (Richard).htm">Richard Dawkins</A>, <a name="4"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/D/Author_Dennett (Daniel).htm">Daniel Dennett</A>, <a name="5"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/H/Author_Hitchens (Christopher).htm">Christopher Hitchens</A>, and <a name="6"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/H/Author_Harris (Sam).htm">Sam Harris</A>. These are the Four Horsemen  not of the Apocalypse, nor of Notre Dame, but of atheism; and their aim is to run roughshod over religion. Their objections and complaints are manifold. First, they attribute most of the ills of the world to religion: they point to the Crusades, to witch hunts, to religious wars, to intolerance, to current terrorism, and much else besides. Of course the world's religions do indeed have much to repent; still (as has often been pointed out) the suffering, death, and havoc attributable to religious belief and practice pales into utter <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_7">insignificance</A></U><SUB>7</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_7"></A> beside that due to the atheistic and secular ideologies of the twentieth century alone. </li><li>The Four Horsemen also claim that religious belief is unreasonable and irrational, as silly as believing in the Spaghetti Monster or Superman, or maybe even the Green Lantern. Their claims are loud and strident. They propose to deal with their opponents not by way of reasoned argument and discussion, but by way of ridicule and "naked contempt" (see footnote <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_8">24</A></U><SUB>8</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_8"></A> in chapter 2). Why they choose this route is not wholly clear. One possibility, of course, is that their atheism is adolescent rebellion carried on by other means. Another (consistent with the first) is that they know of no good reasons or arguments for their views, and hence resort to schoolyard tactics. In terms of intellectual competence, the new atheists are certainly <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_9">inferior</A></U><SUB>9</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_9"></A> to the "old atheists"  <a name="7"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/R/Author_Russell (Bertrand).htm">Bertrand Russell</A> and <a name="8"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/M/Author_Mackie (J.L.).htm">J.L. Mackie</A> come to mind. They are also inferior to many other contemporary but less strident <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_10">atheists</A></U><SUB>10</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_10"></A>  <a name="9"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/N/Author_Nagel (Thomas).htm">Thomas Nagel</A>, <a name="10"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/T/Author_Tooley (Michael).htm">Michael Tooley</A>, and <a name="11"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/R/Author_Rowe (William L.).htm">William L. Rowe</A>, for example. We may perhaps hope that the new atheists are but a <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_11">temporary</A></U><SUB>11</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_11"></A> blemish on the face of serious conversation in this crucial area. </li><li>Be all that as it may, these new atheists unite with the old atheists in declaring that there is deep and irreconcilable conflict between theistic religion  Christian belief, for example  and science. (And here they are joined by some from the opposite end of the spectrum: those Christians who believe that reason and modem science are the enemies of Christian belief.) Now if this were true, it would be both important and unhappy. Modern science is certainly the most striking and impressive intellectual phenomenon of the last half millennium. Think of the development of physics from the time of Isaac Newton to the present: the sheer intellectual brilliance and power of that tradition is astonishing. It involves a large number of extremely talented people, but also an army of less incandescent luminaries  all addressing an evolving set of overlapping questions in such a way that the later answers often build on and carry further the earlier answers. What is particularly striking about modern science (at least to a philosopher) is that it is in this way a <em>cooperative</em> venture. (Of course it is also, often, an extremely <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_12">competitive</A></U><SUB>12</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_12"></A> venture.) Scientists not only collaborate with each other; they regularly build on each other s results. </li><li>It's no surprise that this intellectual splendour has also had some unfortunate and unintended side effects. Some treat science as if it were a sort of infallible oracle, like a divine revelation  or if not infallible (since it seems so regularly to change its mind), at any rate such that when it comes to fixing belief, science is the court of last appeal. But this can't be right. First, science doesn't <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_13">address</A></U><SUB>13</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_13"></A> some of the topics where we most need enlightenment: religion, politics, and morals, for example. Many look to scientists for guidance on matters outside of science, matters on which scientists have no special expertise. They apparently think of scientists as the new priestly class; unsurprisingly, scientists don't ordinarily discourage this tendency. But of course a scientist pontificating on matters outside her field is no better than <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_14">anyone</A></U><SUB>14</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_14"></A> else pontificating on matters outside her field. Second, science contradicts itself, both over time and at the same time. Two of the most important and overarching contemporary scientific theories are general relativity and quantum mechanics. Both are highly confirmed and enormously impressive; unfortunately, they can't both be <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_15">correct</A></U><SUB>15</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_15"></A>. </li><li>Still, modern science is impressive and amazing. If there were serious conflicts between religion and current science, that would be very significant; initially, at least, it would cast doubt on those religious beliefs inconsistent with current science. But in fact, I will argue, there is no such conflict between Christian belief and science, while there is conflict between naturalism and science. My argument goes as follows. In Part I, Alleged Conflict, I note some areas of supposed conflict between science and Christian (and theistic) belief. <ol type="i"><li>First, there is evolution. </li><li>Second, there is the claim that theistic religions endorse miracles or other kind of special divine action, thereby going against science. </ol>I argue that these apparent conflicts are merely apparent. There is no real conflict between theistic religion and the scientific theory of evolution. What there is, instead, is conflict between theistic religion and a philosophical gloss or add-on to the scientific doctrine of evolution: the claim that evolution is <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_16">undirected</A></U><SUB>16</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_16"></A>, unguided, unorchestrated by God (or anyone else). </li><li>I argue next that there is no conflict between science and the thought that there are and have been miracles  for example, miraculous healings, and the chief miracle of Christianity, Jesus' rising from the dead. In particular, I argue that special divine action, including miracles, is not incompatible with the various <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_17">conservation</A></U><SUB>17</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_17"></A> laws (the conservation of energy, for example), in that these laws apply to systems that are <em>causally closed</em>  closed to causal influence from the outside. Any system in which a divine miracle occurs, however, would <em>not</em> be causally closed; hence such a system is not addressed by those laws. </li><li>In Part II, Superficial Conflict, I point out that there are indeed some areas of <em>actual</em> conflict between science and Christian belief. For example, certain theories from evolutionary psychology, and certain theories in scientific scripture scholarship (or "historical Biblical criticism," as I will call it) are inconsistent with Christian belief. Unlike the alleged conflicts in Part I, these are real conflicts. Though real, however, these conflicts are <em>superficial</em>; that is because they don't tend to provide defeaters for Christian or theistic belief. The reason, as I argue, is that the scientific evidence base, constrained as it is by methodological naturalism, is only a part of the <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_18">Christian</A></U><SUB>18</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_18"></A> evidence base. Perhaps certain Christian beliefs are improbable from that partial evidence base; it doesn't follow that they are improbable from a Christian's complete evidence base. If so, however, these theories don't (automatically, at any rate) constitute or provide a defeater for the Christian beliefs with which they conflict. This conflict is therefore properly thought of as superficial. </li><li>So far, then, what we see is that there is superficial conflict between Christian belief and science. But there is also concord, as I argue in Part III. In chapters 7 and 8 I consider the "fine-tuning" arguments for theism, pointing out that they offer <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_19">non-negligible</A></U><SUB>19</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_19"></A> evidence for theistic belief. And in chapter 9, Deep Concord, I point out several ways in which Christian and theistic ways of thinking are deeply hospitable to science. These all revolve around one central theme: according to Christian belief; God has created us in his image, which includes our being able, like God himself, to have knowledge of ourselves and our world. He has therefore created us and our world in such a way that there is a <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_20">match</A></U><SUB>20</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_20"></A> between our cognitive powers and the world. To use the medieval phrase, there is an <em>adaequatio intellectus ad rem</em> (an adequation of the intellect to reality). </li><li>In Part IV, Deep Conflict, I argue that the same most emphatically does not go for science and naturalism. Here there is superficial concord, if only because so many distinguished thinkers wrap themselves in naturalism like a politician in the flag, claiming that science is a <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_21">supporting</A></U><SUB>21</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_21"></A> pillar in the temple of naturalism. But such concord is at best superficial; more exactly, perhaps, it isn't as much superficial as merely alleged. </li><li>On the other hand, there is deep and serious conflict between naturalism and science. Taking naturalism to include materialism with respect to human beings, I argue that it is improbable, given naturalism and evolution, that our cognitive faculties are <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_22">reliable</A></U><SUB>22</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_22"></A>. It is improbable that they provide us with a suitable preponderance of true belief over false. But then a naturalist who accepts current evolutionary theory has a defeater for the proposition that our faculties are reliable. Furthermore, if she has a defeater for the proposition that her cognitive faculties are reliable, she has a defeater for any belief she takes to be produced by her faculties. But of course <em>all</em> of her beliefs have been produced by her faculties  including, naturally enough, her belief in naturalism and evolution. That belief, therefore  the conjunction of naturalism and evolution  is one that she can't rationally accept. Hence naturalism and evolution are in serious conflict: one can't <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_23">rationally</A></U><SUB>23</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_23"></A> accept them both. And hence, as I said above, there is a science/religion conflict (maybe a science/quasi-religion conflict) to be sure, but it is between science and <em>naturalism</em>, not science and theistic belief </li><li>I have employed two sizes of print: the main argument goes on in the large print, with more specialized points and other additions in the small. This book is not intended merely for specialists in philosophy. I hope that students with a course or two in philosophy or for that matter anyone with an interest in the subject will find it intelligible and interesting. </li><li>Earlier versions of chapters 3 and 4 appeared as "What is intervention"?" in <em>Theology and Science</em>, volume 6, number 4. (November, 2008); parts of chapters 5 and 6 appeared earlier in "Games Scientists Play" in <em>The Believing Primate</em>, eds. Jeffrey Schloss and Michael Murray, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). </li><li>This book originated as Gifford Lectures, entitled "Science and Religion: Conflict or Concord?" in the University of St. Andrews in 2005.[& ]</li><li>There are many to whom I am indebted for wise advice and valuable comment: for <U><A HREF="#On-Page_Link_P21559_24">example</A></U><SUB>24</SUB><a name="On-Page_Return_P21559_24"></A>, & <a name="12"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/M/Author_Merricks (Trenton).htm">Trenton Merricks</A>, & <a name="13"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/R/Author_Ratzsch (Del).htm">Del Ratzsch</A>, <a name="14"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/R/Author_Rea (Michael).htm">Michael Rea</A>, <a name="15"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/S/Author_Sober (Elliott).htm">Elliott Sober</A>, <a name="16"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/W/Author_White (Roger).htm">Roger White</A>. & Special thanks are due to & <a name="17"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/C/Author_Crisp (Thomas M.).htm">Thomas M. Crisp</A>, and <a name="18"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/H/Author_Howard-Snyder (Daniel).htm">Daniel Howard-Snyder</A>, all of whom graciously read and commented on the entire manuscript; Dan Howard-Snyder's comments almost amounted to another book on the subject. I am entirely sensitive to the fact that with so much distinguished help I should have done better. </li><li>In 1939, the eminent British philosopher <a name="19"></a><A HREF = "../../Authors/B/Author_Broad (C.D.).htm">C.D. Broad</A> remarked that discussions of the relations between religion and science "had acquired something of the repulsiveness of half cold mutton in half-congealed gravy." Some contemporary forays into the subject, for example by the above Four Horseman, are perhaps less half-cold and half-congealed than overheated and overdone. I'm hoping my contribution to the topic is both more judicious and more appetizing. </li></ol></FONT><BR><HR><BR><U><B>In-Page Footnotes</U></B><a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_1"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_1"><B>Footnote 1</B></A></U>: Except some acknowledgements and other administrative stuff have been excised. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_2"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_2"><B>Footnote 2</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>It s important to note this definition, as it s an ontological claim rather than the methodological one that science should be conducted as though  if there is such a being  he does not exercise his power at the moment and interfere with your experiments or observations. Without this methodological assumption, science is not possible. </li><li>Nor is it the same as the common-sense presupposition that we should resist supernaturalist claims unless it is the only available option, and should not routinely make supernatural claims to get us out of difficult explanatory holes. </li><li>As I m always saying, supernaturalists are very suspicious of the supernatural claims made on behalf of rival religions (or even rival variants of their own religion). </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_5"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_5"><B>Footnote 5</B></A></U>: Why does this automatically follow? Why not account a special place to the possessors of human brains  the most complex objects in the universe? <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_6"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_6"><B>Footnote 6</B></A></U>: Bah! Is any worldview a religion then? Naturalism has no cult. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_7"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_7"><B>Footnote 7</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>I agree that the  Four Horsemen do over-egg their claims about the bad effects of  religion . The matter has more to do with ideology and the zealous  certainty  and the numbers are muddled by technology; modern technology (and rising population) gives opportunities for an increased body-count. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_8"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_8"><B>Footnote 8</B></A></U>: This is a silly expostulation by Dawkins. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_9"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_9"><B>Footnote 9</B></A></U>: I agree, and all their  Brights stuff makes things worse. They are embarrassing in that regard. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_10"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_10"><B>Footnote 10</B></A></U>: This is useful to know; especially Rowe, as a philosopher of religion!<a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_11"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_11"><B>Footnote 11</B></A></U>: I agree. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_12"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_12"><B>Footnote 12</B></A></U>: Well, yes  but only as to who gets there first  or whose theory initially generates the most interest  not on who s right  the facts catch out the incorrect theories  in the end, at least. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_13"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_13"><B>Footnote 13</B></A></U>: Indeed, and this needs to be remembered  but philosophy (and  art , etc.) can cover the other areas. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_14"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_14"><B>Footnote 14</B></A></U>: This is an exaggeration. Scientists tend to be more intelligent and better educated than the average Joe  and are certainly better at this task than  celebrities  but they should certainly recognise their limitations. <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_15"></A><BR><BR><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_15"><B>Footnote 15</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>While true, this is to expect too much of partial theories, that are useful in their domain of application. Just because we don t yet have  and may never have  a theory of everything  doesn t mean we should give up hope that science can be a reliable guide to much of interest, even if not all. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_16"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_16"><B>Footnote 16</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>While there s no reason why God  if he exists  shouldn t guide evolution, there are lots of problems with this idea. </li><li>Firstly, it gets God s hands dirty with all the nasty things that have happened.</li><li>Second, it s a  God of the Gaps approach, which is methodologically unsound and scientifically vitiating  and a hostage to fortune theologically. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_17"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_17"><B>Footnote 17</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>Plantinga ignores (here at least) Hume s arguments about the epistemic problem of miracles. </li><li>The point isn t that God couldn t do this sort of thing; he could break the conservation laws if he wanted. </li><li>It s rather that the regularities we see are so constant that why should we ever believe a report  or even our own eyes? </li><li>And there s also the view that the rise of science has changed people s general expectation of what s possible and credible. Miracles and science fit awkwardly. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_18"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_18"><B>Footnote 18</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>I think Plantinga allows for foundational beliefs immune from criticism.</li><li>If these are added to the Christian  evidence base , then of course there s no conflict.</li><li>Certain Christian truths are true just because they are Christian truths, and if (say) evolutionary psychology disagrees with them, so much the worse for EP. </li><li>But this isn t the way science works. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_19"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_19"><B>Footnote 19</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>I agree that the  fortuitous settings of the fundamental constants does require explanation, and treating them as just  given is unsatisfying. This is the theist s best hope. </li><li>Multiverse (or repeated expansion / collapse) theories, tied to an indexical anthropic principle, may be correct, but they are ontologically (or temporally) profligate (to say the least). </li><li>That said, the  fine tuning god isn t necessarily the Christian God, so positing such a being doesn t get us much beyond taking the universe as the basic unexplained foundation on which all other explanation rests. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_20"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_20"><B>Footnote 20</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>Can t evolution have done this too? There needs to be a cognitive match for all animals for them to operate adequately (to their cognitive level) and to compete successfully. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_21"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_21"><B>Footnote 21</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>I really don t see things this way round. </li><li>As I ve noted above, methodological naturalism is a supporting pillar of the scientific method. </li><li>A scientist just doesn t accept  it was a miracle as an explanation of anything, and if he does, it s equivalent to saying  I don t know . </li><li>Worse, such an attitude vitiates the difficult task of continuing to look for a naturalistic explanation. </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_22"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_22"><B>Footnote 22</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>Well, it s important to see what his arguments are, but as an intuition, I don t share it. As noted above, isn t evolution by natural selection up to the job?</li><li>In any case, our cognitive faculties aren t always up to the job  and putting this down to the fall  while it may also do the job  is question-begging as it relies on (one interpretation of) the Judeo-Christian story. </li></ul><a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_23"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_23"><B>Footnote 23</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>This is another bootstrapping argument  like that against Logical Positivism. </li><li>But I think it s much less successful. It depends on an empirical claim  hard to establish  that evolution couldn t have selected for rational cognition </li><li>Plantinga doesn t here (unless this is his actual point) make the claim that evolution wouldn t have selected for the sort of higher faculties such as aesthetic appreciation, mathematical ability and the like  which seem far from the concerns of hunter-gatherers. </li><li>The usual response to such claims is that these faculties were selected for other purposes and then co-opted. A bit like feathers initially providing warmth, and only later flight. </li></ul> <a name="On-Page_Link_P21559_24"></A><U><A HREF="#On-Page_Return_P21559_24"><B>Footnote 24</B></A></U>: <ul type="disc"><li>I ve cut out those I ve never heard of. </li><li>Most are Christians, though Elliott Sober is an interesting addition  useful as an expert on the philosophy of biology. I wonder what he made of the argument? </li></ul><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T09:39" pubdate>02/08/2018 09:39:00</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>