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Being, Freedom, and MethodThemes from the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen$
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John A. Keller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198715702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715702.001.0001

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Theism and Allism

Theism and Allism

Chapter:
(p.227) 11 Theism and Allism
Source:
Being, Freedom, and Method
Author(s):

Alex Rosenberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715702.003.0013

This paper defends the claim that one cannot, with logical consistency, be a theist and embrace the theory of natural selection as an explanation for adaptation. It further illustrates the problems and identifies limitations in van Inwagen’s attempt to do so. Several of these problems revolve around the compatibility of objective chance (of the sort involved in thermodynamic processes, and especially the second law) and the theist’s commitment to omniscience, one that van Inwagen endorses. This problem would not arise on an interpretation of Darwinian theory that avoids a commitment to objective chances. But the role of drift in the theory’s account of the process of evolution makes this commitment unavoidable.

Keywords:   theism, evolution, van Inwagen, probability, objective chance, drift, selection, adaptation, omniscience, theism

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