I have been teaching apologetics (including the BioLogos approach) to the young people in my church. I don’t go much into the problems with ID because we are less affected by it in the UK. However, I do present the evidence which supports the idea of there being a Creator. I list about 8 different factors including the fine tuning of the universe. I have found some impressive figures about how the universe and life could not have happened by chance. The young people really appreciate this line of thinking. But I am now wondering how accurate these figures are because some of them come from books where the author has been very influenced by ID concepts - including irreducible complexity etc. (which I don’t consider to be reliable science). So what can I trust from these books? I don’t want this post to be an attack on ID - I am aware of many issues with that viewpoint, and I am firmly in the BioLogos camp! But I am interested in the factors that CAN be reliably quoted concerning evidence that supports the idea of a Creator God (such as the fine tuning).
My opinion is that arguments pertaining to God’s existence based on probability are flawed on a very fundamental level. So my advise would be not to cite probabilities anywhere. In cosmology, we don’t have a grip on how “probable” the precise values of the physical constants are. I think it’s better not to base our arguments on claims of evidence that do not hold up. I know that makes arguments for God less “exciting” to many people, but consider it wiser to be careful than to overstate our case.
I wrote a blog post pertaining to this topic on BioLogos, it may be an interesting read for you related to your question:
Thanks for that. Frustrating though that is for the apologetics course, your arguments make sense. And I possibly saw that coming - which is why I asked the question. In the interests of sharing different viewpoints and getting people to think for themselves, I might still present some of the arguments, but with a health warning that we might not be able to rely on them!
I now have another question: Some people from my church have found faith largely through reading “The Case for a Creator”. When I looked at it, I soon spotted an ID ideology. So I have been gently telling those that can take it that some of the arguments are not valid. With this discussion, I realise that quite a bit is suspect! Though the author means well. Do you have a suggestion for a better book - written for intelligent seekers with an interest in science (but probably not a degree in science)?
This is coming from an atheist, so take it for what it’s worth . . .
It’s not a book, but I have found Dr. Francis Collins’ essay on the subject of the human genome, ID/creationism, and evolution to be really well written, accessible, and scientifically accurate. It’s called “Faith and the Human Genome”, and it is written by a Christian scientist for Christians (and the general public as well).
The views he expresses match up really well to those held by other Christian scientists I have known during my career. And since this is Biologos, I assume there is a strong connection to Dr. Collins somewhere around here.
Thanks for that recommendation… I have read some of Francis Collins writing, but not this!
I appreciate the fact that you take part in the community, rather than the usual “drive-by shooting” strategy of other atheists who occasionally frequent this place.
I’d say several atheists are making positive contributions here. I’m not-so-secretly hoping to convert @T_aquaticus, @Lynn_Munter, and @John_Dalton at some point, but appreciate their time and effort, in any case
P. S. I still can’t tell for sure whether or not @NonlinOrg is an athiest, but if so, hoping there, too!
I didn’t take offense, it was pretty clear @cwhenderson was including me in the sense of ‘not a Christian,’ but thanks!
An aggie myself though it’s nothing to do with Texas. Aggie-nostic. Probably Abby Normal as well.
Does it show?
The main point is that there doesn’t need to be antagonism between science and Christianity. There are tons of Christian scientists who make contributions to science every day, and despite rumors to the contrary, Christian scientists are welcomed with open arms in the scientific community, even by atheists. What scientists care about is science, not the religious beliefs someone may or may not hold outside of science.
In addition, the one thing that both atheist and theist scientists agree on (at least a vast majority of us) is that religious attacks on science are a bad thing for both religion and science.
Not at all. As a former Texas Longhorn, I would’ve spotted you a mile away.
Why do Aggies hang their diplomas from the rearview mirror? So they can use handicapped parking!
Any other suggestions for a replacement for The Case for a Creator? (Collins is useful for some people, but I am thinking of those who would prefer a relaxed chatty book at a slightly lower level.
What’s the probabity that the topic GOD is true and religions understanding of that topic is false based on YEC or IDEAL? There always seems to be a rather humorous convergence here at this point that is very appealing to non religious types. They generally fully accept religions understanding as being expert in context to the topic GOD and yet historically emperical evidence would point away from that.
I suggest Making Sense of it All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life by Thomas V. Morris, a well-known Christian philosopher.
I really like two books (one is very casual and chatty) which is Seven Glorious Days by Karl Giberson (https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Glorious-Days-Scientist-Creation/dp/1557259283).
Another than is written at a graspable level and outlines the main dialogue/conflict between faith and science - Science and Christianity (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1118625242/)
And then a fun read is by Mike McHargue (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1101906049/) which he writes how he went from Christian to Atheist to Christian through modern science.
Other way around, I think.
I was perusing through this thread and saw this question. Besides the other helpful materials listed I know of 2 good books off the top of my head from Christians that I actually know, who are both Christian apologists.
One is Douglas Jacoby’s Compelling Evidence for God and the Bible. This is fairly, “relaxed and chatty”. A little more in depth, especially with science, is John Oakes’ Is There a God? You can just google the authors and view their books on their respective sites.
Technically the other way around of:
- Christian to Atheist to Christian
- Christian to Atheist to Christian