teleology and stuff

The term ‘teleology’ comes from the Greek term ‘telos’, meaning a ‘goal’, an ‘end’, or that toward which a thing tends.

We often skip over or assume (or ignore?) the notion of teleology.  But without it, we cannot say that something is ‘wrong’ with anything.  We cannot speak of anything functioning ‘poorly’ or ‘well’, or of somthing having been ‘poorly’ or ‘well’ designed.  If things don’t tend toward any goal or end, we have no reason to be either pleased or disappointed with any given thing.

In this imaginary conversation, James Chastek cleverly points out how science cannot speak of whether or not the forces in nature are ‘blind’ or of some other kind.  All we can do is measure the result of these forces/causes – of whatever sort(s) they are.

tansaa events in 2009

TANSAA (Theology and Natural Sciences Aotearoa Auckland – a group emerging from LaidlawCarey Graduate School) is finalising their programme for 2009, and it’s looking great.

I’m particularly chuffed about the Conference planned for August 1, hosted by my church, Northcote Baptist.  Details: Continue reading “tansaa events in 2009”

another science and faith article…

Here.  Interesting stuff…

flew’s brain still works

{***EDIT: The review discussed below – allegedly by Antony Flew of ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins – is of uncertain origins.  I’m awaiting an email response to clarify the source.  Discerning how much Flew’s age is affecting his critical thinking is a difficult thing.  Poor memory doesn’t – automatically – mean poor logical thought.  I’ll update this when I hear more…***}

{***EDIT 2: ‘Bethinking.org’ Emailed me back with this:

Dear Dale,
Sorry for the delay replying.  This was written by Flew who wanted to get it published. Flew mentioned
it to a mutual friend, who then spoke to me – I have seen a pdf of the original manuscript and some subsequent correspondence with Flew that took place during the process of publishing it (I live some distance from the mutual friend). Other friends have seen the original.
I hope that helps,
Chris Knight
Apologetics Website Co-ordinator

I’ve thanked him and also mentioned the challenge that Flew may well have been ‘helped’ (or bypassed?) in writings such as these, and have suggested that ‘bethinking’ posts further evidence about Flew’s authorship.  To be continued?  Maybe? ***}

Antony Flew used to be an atheist – now he’s… well… a Deist (or pantheist or Spinozan or a believer in the ‘god’ of Aristotle or Einstein or… well… something…)

Swiftly, his book “There Is A God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind” (I didn’t write the sub-title – don’t blame me) was dismissed by some atheists as a ‘sad’ case of an older man losing his mental capacities, and being ‘manipulated’, etc. Some claimed that the book didn’t represent Flew’s own thoughtsContinue reading “flew’s brain still works”

gould: science a natural venture

Here Gould threatens a ‘knuckle-rapping’ to both theists and atheists who would try to use science (in general) or the theory of evolution by natural selection (in particular) to butress their worldview.

People familiar with Gould will detect the scent of N.O.M.A. (Nonoverlapping Magesteria – don’t ask me why it’s not N.M. or N.O.M.) in this, but it still seems to make some good points… Continue reading “gould: science a natural venture”

ken miller on ‘the colbert report’

http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/videos.jhtml?episodeId=173099

(tried to embed video but HTML didn’t work – maybe a problem between HTML and CSS???  That’s how for my web knowledge goes…  not very far…)

recent book purchase

Many books are on my desk at the moment.  Books for my theological study, and books for my personal interest.  I have too many books on my desk.  I cannot read them all…

Yet this did not prevent me from picking up 7 more books on our recent trip to the states… Continue reading “recent book purchase”

is anything significant?

This question (‘Is anything significant?’) can be fleshed out a bit…

We could ask, “Is everything equally in-significant?”, or we could ask, “Is everything equally highly-significant?”

What makes something (an event or object [which can quite rightly be said to be ‘events’ in themselves]) significant, and another thing not so?

Continue reading “is anything significant?”

from abiogenesis to evolution

Many a debate could (and should) be cut short by a simple observation:

On one hand, evolution deals with how life has evolved and/or changed over time, while on the other hand, abiogenesis deals with how life began in the first place.

Theists (more specifically, the young-earth creationist kind) often use the mystery of abiogenesis to attempt to dis-prove, refute or otherwise argue-against evolutionary theory. The quick retort from opponents (both atheists and theists) is that evolution and abiogenesis are not the same thing. To which I would eagerly agree. They are most certainly not.

But… (there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there?) …are they not quite connected? Continue reading “from abiogenesis to evolution”

the ‘science’ of intelligent design

I must thrive on controversy or something. I’ve got posts on speaking in ‘tongues‘, sexual ethics and now –if those weren’t enough– I’m posting on the evolution/creation debate… Sigh… Where to begin!!??

Where I’ve come from
Since I like honesty, I’ll start with a very short (and therefore un-detailed) review of how I’ve thought in the past, and where I’m at now…
Continue reading “the ‘science’ of intelligent design”