God? Very Probably

Posted: December 31, 2016 in Uncategorized
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My winter’s read between Christmas and New Year’s has been Robert Nelson’s intriguing God? Very Probably (Cascade, 2015). Nelson is a professor at the University of Maryland. His focus has been on implicit worldviews active in the worlds of the sciences. The subtitle is: Five Rational Ways to Think about the Question of God. No, he’s not going down Aristotle’s proofs for God track. He rather strolls out into the ring as an economist/mathematician and an uber well read student of the Neo-Darwinians/Atheists. He takes the intellectual fight to their own scientific backyards.

If you are looking for some defense of classical theism or creationism you will not find it here. Neither will you find a mindless defense of what has come to be called the Darwinian synthesis. Nelson exposes the conspicuous lack of considering new evidence and screening out of inconvenient facts regardless of the camp in which they live.

For example, creationists screen out a fossil record of millions of of years because they need a creation that took place 6,000 years ago. Neo-Darwinians screen out the fact that almost all paleontologists in the field who examine their core stratigraphy records note that nothing like a gradual evolution of the species takes place; dramatic ruptures in the process are more often the norm and individual species change very little over very long periods of time. As a matter of fact, there is more novelty that takes place through cross-fertilization than within individual species.

Nelson explores the miracle of Mathematical order, Darwinism as a secular religion, scientifically unexplainable human consciousness, divine agency in recorded history and the intersections of secular religions with Christianity and modernity.

Each of these chapters merits a book in and of itself. Nelson gathers them all in one, which is no small achievement. This is not an easy read, but it is written as a popularizing of arguments that have formerly been highly academic. But for the motivated, this is a great winter’s read. Dare you.

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