Sunday, February 3, 2013

God is no more a “factor” in the mechanics of evolution than in the mechanics of automobiles. My auto mechanic takes neither God nor Darwin into account when repairing a transmission. There is no mention of God in the postulates of Euclidean geometry, either. I don’t know why anyone thinks this is astonishing. It all depends on the nature and depth of our considerations. I don’t take my laundry into account when mowing the lawn.

 Creation and evolution are simply not the same sort of thing; and God cannot be reduced to a mere efficient cause in the World among other efficient causes. The workings of Nature are not somehow independent of God’s giving existence to Nature. Otherwise, gravity and electromagnetism would be as upsetting as evolution.

 “You poor fools,” said William of Conches back in the day. “God can turn a cow into a tree. But has he ever done so? Therefore, give reasons why a thing is so or cease to hold that it is so.”

Or to quote St. Albertus Magnus: “In studying nature we have not to inquire how God the Creator may, as He freely wills, use His creatures to work miracles and thereby show forth His power; we have rather to inquire what Nature with its immanent causes can naturally bring to pass.”

(That is, methodological naturalism in the sciences was a medieval Christian invention.)

-"Ye Olde Statistician" (Mike Flynn) in a comment on Mark Shea's blog)

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