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Hume's response to Darwin

 
 
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 05:27 am
Some people argue that if Darwin is correct about the evolution of species, then this is definitive evidence against the existence of God. Would Hume agree on that as a lot of times Hume mentions about evil things happening around the world.
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InfraBlue
 
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Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 11:51 am
@gregoryl,
Hume wrote that one cannot infer the existence of an infinitely powerful and good god given the existence of evil in the world.

I don't know of anyone that uses the Theory of Evolution as evidence against the existence of God. How do you tie this in with arguments about the existence of evil and God?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 02:20 pm
@InfraBlue,
Quote:
I don't know of anyone that uses the Theory of Evolution as evidence against the existence of God.


I don't know of anyone who does this, either--but this is a claim of anti-evolution theists. They frequently attempt to drag "the big bang" and cosmic origins, as well as the alleged implausibility of life forms arising from "dead" matter as arguments against evolution (which they refer to as "abiogenesis"). Evolution, of course, only describes a process which begins after the cosmos exists, and after life has arisen. Pointing this out to the theists, is, however, a waste of time. Describing scientific inquiry in general, and the study of evolutionary processes in particular, as atheistic, is just about the strongest weapon the fundies have to keep their "flocks" in line.

So, no, of course reasonable people don't claim that the fact of evolution disproves (or proves, for that matter) the existence of god. It is a measure of the success of the hysteria campaign of the religious right, however, that so many people believe it.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 02:44 pm
Many atheists, myself included, had realized we were such before we even heard of evolution.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 02:50 pm
@gregoryl,
gregoryl wrote:
Some people argue that if Darwin is correct about the evolution of species, then this is definitive evidence against the existence of God.

I don't know of anybody who argues that. The closest thing I know to this argument is this: God would have to be a complex, and hence statistically unlikely, entity. That's because he'd need to be complex to to create universes, intelligently design life forms, listen to everyone's prayers, obsessing about everyone's sex life, and all that. It's unreasonable to believe in unlikely entities unless there are powerful argument in their favor. And by destroying Thomas Aquinas's argument from design, evolution, makes belief in a creator-god more unreasonable than it was before.
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joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Sun 11 Dec, 2011 11:14 pm
@gregoryl,
gregoryl wrote:

Some people argue that if Darwin is correct about the evolution of species, then this is definitive evidence against the existence of God. Would Hume agree on that as a lot of times Hume mentions about evil things happening around the world.

Hume was an atheist, so he didn't believe in god anyway. But then he'd also say that inductive reasoning can't "prove" anything, so I guess he'd disagree with the argument that the theory of evolution disproves the existence of god.
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