A Deist in Christian Clothing?

https://evolutionnews.org/2018/09/a-deist-in-christian-clothing/

@bjmiller I’d like to discuss this article with you, to see if we can find some common ground. Here is one key excerpt to start with:

Many of Lamoureux’s audience have minimal understanding of quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, or the intricate details of Darwinian evolution. As a result the EFS represents little more than a benevolent fiction. However, its inherent deficiencies have more serious consequences for those who encounter hostile skeptics. This danger was demonstrated vividly in a debate between Lamoureux, Stephen Meyer, and Lawrence Krauss. Krauss is an atheist whose primary goal seems to be to use science to discredit belief in God. During the debate, Lamoureux attempted to detach Darwinian evolution from atheism using his EFS, but his arguments appeared so unconvincing that Krauss did not even bother to respond. If anything, he saw Lamoureux as an ally in his drive to argue against the evidence for direct design in nature and in his promoting a harmony between evolution and faith which is so scientifically and logically unsound that it could be dismantled by a savvy atheist with relative ease.

Compounding the danger, Lamoureux unwittingly encourages Christians to embrace not a meaningful dialogue between faith and science but a self-imposed intellectual captivity where they surrender their right to critically evaluate materialist theories about the origin and development of life.

I’m glad you see Denis efforts as benevolent. I also share many of your concerns with his work too, but I do think he has the best interests of the Church in mind. He is doing what he thinks will be most helpful.

In your mind, am I am a deist in Christian clothing? Do the good relationships I have with atheists make you distrust me?

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Doesn’t your first point about information and the early universe only stand if the argument that only intelligence can create information is correct? If other aspects of nature can create information, which i think it can, i don’t see that point having any force.
Also, I totally disagree with you that the laws of physics don’t seem designed to produce life. This is something I want to discuss this weekend when I have more free time. All the best.

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Also, I don’t see any contradiction between calling evolution a guided and goal directed process and holding to Darwinian evolution. I think you are taking advantage of sloppy and even misleading (to the public anyway) terminology. Biologists know what purposeless, unguided and random really mean. These aren’t metaphysical statements. They don’t mean uncaused. This is a point people like Plantinga and Sober have made with strong force. And on top of that randomness can be used to achieve a predetermined goal. If the system is designed correctly with certain constraints (which evolution certainly has) then randomness can be used to achieve a goal. This is why the work of people like Conway Morris is important. It looks like the evolutionary process is part of a system like the ones we know are created by intelligent agents.

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My father used to say that while he believed strongly in God, it is impossible to actually prove His existence from any one miracle. That helped me a lot in discussing things with an atheist professor in undergrad. I didn’t have to prove God’s existence by experiment.

“his arguments appeared so unconvincing that Krauss did not even bother to respond. If anything, he saw Lamoureux as an ally in his drive to argue against the evidence for direct design”

I saw this debate, too. No debate is perfect, because limited time makes the participants able to only address certain parts of their positions. I don’t see that this assessment was stated anywhere (Krauss didn’t say he thought the arguments were poor–rather, I agree that he disagreed more with Meyer than Lamoureux, and spent more time there). The bugaboo seems to be the definition of complexity–some would say it meant “intelligent design,” and others didn’t.

I would agree with and appreciate @swamidass that Dr Lamoureux is coming at this from a sincere intent. He has double doctored in theology and evolution (and a third in dentistry), with an emphasis on jaw and teeth development; most recently I read about his working with a researcher on scale evolution into teeth. I would say Krauss most likely wasn’t able to comment on the evolution that Lamoureux was, either; they were both experts, but in different fields. I learned a lot from all 3. It was a pity that Meyer had a migraine, but Kraus tried to help him set up–and Meyer voiced appreciation for that.

@bjmiller, I have never dialogued with you, but I welcome your thoughts as sincere questioning, to the glory of God–as were Meyer’s and Lamoureux’; and even Krauss may be seeking. Thanks.

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