Is There a Conflict Between Evolutionary thinking and Naturalism

This video should invite some interesting discussion.

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Draper convincingly refuted the EAAN years ago. The EAAN is a cool argument but it doesn’t come close to succeeding


Link or citation to this Draper?

As far as I am concerned, the EAAN fails because it is a giant strawman. No one claims our mental faculties are deemed reliable by virtue of their having arisen thru evolution. We have scientific reasons to believe they are the result of our brains, and that our brains arose thru evolution. Whether they are reliable is a different question altogether, and one that the theist must answer no less than the atheist.


The truth of our beliefs plays a relatively minor role? Really? Sure, we can come up with examples of false beliefs that could benefit us, but which creature will win out in the long run–one which generally possesses true beliefs, or one which generally possesses false beliefs? I would think the viable possibilities for false detrimental belief greatly outweigh those for false beneficial belief. Coming to beliefs willy-nilly without regard to their truth or falsity sounds like a horrible proposition.

Belief is simply part of the package of tools that we use precisely to interact with reality, and to enhance our chances to survive and thrive. “If we come to believe that all the ways we form beliefs… are not reliable…” Well, we don’t. Contrarily, we might well think that we have naturally evolved to form beliefs in ways which provide a useful reliability with regards to reality, much in the same way that other presumably evolved abilities, for example, a bird’s wings, work in concert with actual conditions in reality.

Wow, is this really one of Plantinga’s “strongest reasons”?


Draper: In Defense of Sensible Naturalism (The Great Debate)


If you give me your email I’ll send you a pdf of Naturalism Defeated? A book of essays concerning the EAAN

Yep! A point Draper makes with a great thought experiment


Another problem with arguments of this sort is there is no way to get any guarantees about the reliability of your rational faculties or your senses. If all your reasoning about whether they are trustworthy is contingent on their trustworthiness, then you can’t get out of that. Theists might be tempted to claim that a good God would want to ensure your senses and rational faculties are reliable, but how do you know there’s a good God without having to use your sense and rational faculties? You may feel like there is, but that feeling could have been planted by an evil God, or be an illusion.

There is simply no way out of this dilemma. We either trust our rational faculties and our senses, or we stop thinking and blind ourselves, which when it is put like that nobody seems to really want to do.


I also think foundationalism handles the EAAN

Or, for that matter, that a good God would not make us with unreliable mental faculties that make us believe a good God wouldn’t do that?


You can turn the argument around on the thrust. From Aron Lucas:


It’s not even clear why the fall would be expected to degrade our cognitive abilities, much less why it would degrade them systematically in many ways that make perfect sense on evolution (such as certain expressions tribalism, hyperactive agency detection, feeling stronger empathy for closer genetic relatives, and various expressions of sexual jealousy).


I still don’t see where the claim that a god would instill in us reliable cognitive faculties comes from. Why must a god do this?