An Atheist Questions the Logic of Darwinism, Part 3

Part 3 of the series

Thomistic Bent

In the previous post, we learned that Thomas Nagel’s book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False maintains that if indeed the world really exists in a mind-independent way (such as sugar or water) and if some things exist in a mind-dependent way (such as the taste of sweetness or the experience of pain as being bad), then consciousness exists and our observations of the world are not an illusion. Such a consciousness presents several complications for Neo-Darwinism due to 1) the need for a physical body to evolve a mental brain before the capabilities of the brain are considered, 2) the failure of a way to break down consciousness into components that could evolve, and 3) the failure to have an evolutionary schema that would allow for mental and physical evolution to happen in single events in organism.

Nagel’s next tact is…

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An Atheist Questions the Logic of Darwinism, Part 2

Part 2 in this series.

Thomistic Bent

Thomas Nagel, in his important book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False, systematically challenges several important areas of study, claiming that neo-Darwinism cannot adequately explain the development of the biological world around us. The three big areas that he presents as issues are consciousness, cognition, and value.

Nagel argues that consciousness presents a significant problem for Darwinism. Since consciousness exists as a part of life, it must be considered in the explanation of how life came to be. As evolutionary biology is a physical theory, it has a choice of either reducing the mental to the physical or claiming the mental has some active part in life. If the evolutionist chooses the first option, it cannot account for mental things that are not physically reducible. If the second option is chosen, then evolutionary biology is no longer a purely physical theory…

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An Atheist Questions the Logic of Darwinism (Part 1)

This post from my friend Glenn is a great fit with my previous posts on evolution. David

Thomistic Bent

Evolution, as understood in the popular circles as purely random physical mutations filtered by natural selection, is increasingly under attack. It’s defenders must continue to climb further onto a limb and make explanations that taste more and more like just-so stories.

One recent attack on evolution comes from atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel who wrote the book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. Nagel’s explanations are reasonable, but written as a philosopher who sometimes paints in broad strokes. His conclusions, however, are strong enough to deserve attention from the Darwinists.

Nagel is no religious zealot, for he clearly states what he would conclude if left to his own personal desires: “My preference for an immanent, natural explanation is congruent with my atheism.”(p.95) He denies any arguments that require a Designer (p.12), yet calls for intelligent design proponents to be treated more fairly and…

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Basic Islam – Part 5

Part five in John’s series on Islam. I agree that witnessing to Muslims should be done with a loving heart. Attacking someone’s religion is never a good way to build a relationship or trust. In my opinion the two toughest religions to witness to are Islam and Mormonism. To convert from either means banishment from family and friends. In the case of Islam it can mean death. Have a blessed day, David

Veracity

Uncomfortable Harry Bliss, The New Yorker, September 6, 2010

Suppose that you’re a Christian who wants to share your faith with a Muslim. How would you go about doing that? Further, suppose that you appreciate how difficult it is for anyone to overcome what they have been taught adamantly since birth. Muslims who convert to Christianity are considered apostate and subject oftentimes to ostracism and harsh treatment. They break their family’s hearts. The penalty for apostasy in many Islamic countries is death. Conversion is serious business. Sharing could get very uncomfortable.

There are many, many testimonies online about Muslims who have converted to Christianity. Their stories are fascinating, heartbreaking, shocking, tragic, joyful, unlikely, and often involve dreams. Many relate miraculous healing or delivery from dire circumstances. Some, like the five Christians noted below who were raised by Muslim parents, answer a calling to witness to the global Muslim and Christian communities after…

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Basic Islam – Part 4

Part four in John’s series on Islam. I would add that this post is important to understand.Mohammad led an army that conquered the Middle East and Islam was spread by force. Eventually Islam conquered most of the Iberian peninsular as well as great parts of Europe.I think John hit it on the nose when he wrote that violence is in the DNA if Islam. Have a blessed day, David

Veracity

Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their misfortune and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
James 1:27, NET

Islam and Violence

In our previous post on Basic Islam, we introduced the question, “Has true Islam been hijacked by radical elements, as many claim, or do the acts of terror that are so prevalent in the world today have epistemological roots in Islamic doctrine and theology?”

It’s been an interesting week. I met Nabeel Qureshi and asked him how he would answer that question. (I also attended several conference presentations on Islam, and heard some diverse opinions on how to respond to Islam and how to deal with Muslim refugees.)

It’s an extremely loaded question. On one hand, those of us who have been blessed with close friends who are Muslim have a hard time accepting that Islam equates necessarily to violence. On the…

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Basic Islam – Part 3

Part three in John’s series on Islam. David

Veracity

(Photo credit: PrayForQatar.com) (Photo credit: PrayForQatar.com)

Editorial Note

While writing this post, Islamic terrorists carried out a series of attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, friends, and all those affected by these atrocious acts of barbarism. At such a time as this it is quite difficult to think about Islam in any objective light. Has true Islam been hijacked by radical elements, as many claim, or do the acts of terror that are so prevalent in the world today have epistemological roots in Islamic doctrine and theology? Political leaders call for a war on terrorism, and we think about drone strikes and military missions. Sadly, people everywhere are being drawn into this war—whether it makes sense to them or not.

I am not inclined to run around claiming that the apocalyptic end of mankind is at hand, but regarding war Jesus said,

“For many will come in my…

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Basic Islam – Part 2

Part two in John’s series on Islam. David

Veracity

In our previous post on the basics of Islam, we noted that Islam is defined by:

The Quran is believed by Muslims to be the word of God dictated by the angel Gabriel to Muhammad. The Hadith are the recorded sayings and actions of Muhammad. There are thousands of them, and many have questionable authenticity, so there is a grading system. The biographies of Muhammad, or sīra, are considered by some to be part of the Hadith. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the exemplar of their faith and they aspire to imitate him. The sīra provide information that helps in their practice.

All Muslims accept the authority of the Quran. As you get more into the Hadith, the faith divides into sects with differing interpretations and beliefs (not unlike Christian denominationalism). The authority framework is all important, and shapes the derivative interpretations of Islam.

If you’re going to understand…

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