Over at NPR, Alva Noe asks and answers, Do We Know How Life Began? Not Really, and quotes Peter Godfrey Smith’s review over at the London Review of Books of Thomas Nagel’s recent book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.
Got that? It doesn’t matter; just read the quote or click for more::
How did life first happen? How did it begin? We don’t know. As Peter Godfrey Smith puts it, in his elegant review of Thomas Nagel’s recent book: "We still know very little about how life began, and it is hard to assess whether this problem will eventually yield to ‘normal science’ or whether a more dramatic innovation is needed."
The philosophical implications are there. Imagine a new age of reason when ‘normal science’, like mythology before it, is replaced by something even more dramatic. Quantum? What?
Is the ‘dramatic innovation’ the proper domain of the Shroud?
“Is the ‘dramatic innovation’ the proper domain of the Shroud?”
Peter Godfrey Smith is right.
I don’t agree that the origin of life, the Big Bang, and evolution is evidence of God’s existence. Rather, it is evidence that God does not exist because it is evidence that the universe is not intelligible. The evidence that the universe is intelligible is the success of the scientific method and the fact that things don’t pop into or out of existence without a reason. This evidence is contradicted by the Big Bang, etc.
The evidence for God’s existence is that we have free will. Free will means we possess a center of action that makes us unified with respect to ourselves and different from other beings. Hence, we are finite beings. An infinite being exists because a finite being needs a cause. If all beings in the universe needed a cause, the universe would not be intelligible. In the West, we call the infinite being God.
This raises the question of what motivated God to create finite beings. The only thing that could motivate God to do anything is self-love. Finite beings exist because God loved Himself as giving. But God could just as well love Himself without giving. Why God created finite beings is a mystery. God’s existence raises the question of whether or not God has communicated Himself to mankind. That is another matter.
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