Thanks, Dad

July 12th, 2005

My dad sent me an essay by an historian named Paul Johnson that was published in Forbes magazine, entitled “Thoughts on the existence of God.” Fine, I thought, fun to read. My dad usually sends me interesting tidbits. I noticed that my dad had written a note on the page… “’God’ is interjected in those explanations that are incomplete.” I was intrigued and went on to read the essay, which basically summed up why the author believed that there had to be a God.

Suffice it to say that the first paragraph made me rabid, and the rest of it whipped me into a frenzy. Why dump on science to prove that you believe in God? It is not necessary!!!

So, Mr. Johnson says that Darwinian evolution is “becoming increasingly vulnerable as the progress of science reveals its weaknesses.” Is that supposed to be a bad thing? I thought science was about change, and revising your theories as new evidence appears. I loved his next statement. “One day, perhaps soon, it will collapse in ruin.” Don’t be so melodramatic, Mr. Johnson. How about scientists agreeing that Darwinian evolution, or natural selection, is not the only process leading to change over time. Oh, hey, wait! They already pretty much do. Sorry to defeat your main thesis, but I don’t know that just because natural selection can’t explain all of evolution that automatically means God is involved.

I think my dad was right.

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All in the Mind?

July 1st, 2005

I’ve recently started reading Steven Pinker’s book, The Blank Slate. He begins by tracing the history of the philosophical and psychological arguements for human nature being a product of nature vs. nurture. While we now consider the debate to be fairly moot, Pinker argues that it is the history of the debate that has shaped our current social system. Interesting idea.

However, I got to thinking when he brought up the issue of the Ghost in the Machine. It’s the concept that we are in essence a duality of Mind and Body. Each existing separately; the mind as the ghost and the body as the machine. To believe in the ghost, it seems to me that one would have to lump the brain in with the body, everything physical should make-up the machine. The Mind then is an independent factor that exists separately from, yet in conjunction with the corporeal existence.

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