Saturday, January 8, 2011

Notes from Case for a Creator

Just some notes from "The Case for a Creator" by Lee Strobel

Chapter 4: Where Science Meets Faith

Strobel interviews Stephen C. Meyer PHD

Meyer objects to the belief that Science and Religion cover completely different realms, which he calls NOMA (non-overlapping magisteria).  He argues that Christianity makes many factual claims, that are going to intersect with science and history, and must either be supported or denied.  Meyer suggests science shouldn't necessarily be anti-God.  He prescribes a philsophy of "inference to the best explanation" or abduction. His findings suggest that "Science, done right, points to God."

He provided six examples that are best explained by theism.
   1. The Big Bang requires a cause
   2. Antrhopic Fine-tuning: The universe has finely tuned constants (e.g. Gravitational constant, expansion  rate, etc.) that if any different would make life impossible
   3. Information required for origin of life
   4. Irreducibly complex objects in microbiology
   5. Cambrian Explosion, or the biological "big bang" where dozens of new life forms seemed to appear without transitional intermediates
   6. The consciousness of man.

Strobel asked about supposed bad design (a topic called disteleology) and whether that points to a flawed designer.  Meyer suggested most bad design examples can be explained in three ways:
   1. We don't know enough yet
   2. The design was optimized and constrained -- a laptop user can complain that the screen is too small, but if it were bigger they would complain that it was too heavy, or too expensive.
   3. Theism also posits that the curse of sin is causing a decay of creation.

Articles by Stephen Meyer:
   Evidence for Design in Physics and Biology
   Modern Science and the Return of the God Hypothesis

Other Articles Mentioned:
   Dembski, William.  The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design

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