An Essay on Simplicity

Granville Sewell has a new post up at Uncommon Descent. It’s short, but if you don’t want to read it, then rest assured it’s just the same post he always writes. Could the four fundamental forces of physics assemble iPhones or nuclear power plants? Absurd! The post is framed in the context of an imaginary discussion between him and an imaginary friend who defends evolution. He plays the role of the bemused clear thinker, while his friend is, of course, dogmatic and unreasonable.

I wouldn’t bother to address it, except that the title caught my eye. The post is called, “Mathematicians are Trained to Value Simplicity.” Indeed! I like simplicity. So let me attempt a serious response to Sewell’s musings.

Personally, I find it incredible that the four fundamental forces of physics, operating from the moment after the Big Bang, could rearrange matter into everything that we see today. That unintelligent causes can ultimately lead to the creation of intelligent creatures, who can then rearrange matter and energy in clever ways, is, I entirely agree, hard to believe. And Darwinian evolution strains credulity as well. I am very sympathetic to the view that natural forces do not construct delicate, biomolecular machines.

As I see it, the idea that naturalism is correct in general, and that Darwinian evolution is correct in particular, has just two things going for it. As it happens, though, they are two big things. The first is that every scrap of evidence discovered by scientists points strongly in that direction. If evolution is false, for example, then it should have been trivially easy to disprove. And yet every scrap of data we have is consistent with what evolution tells us to expect. It certainly did not have to be that way. Science might have discovered that the earth was just ten thousand years old and that there were fundamental discontinuities between organisms that correspond to some plausible notion of “created kind.” Science might have discovered all manner of things that were just fundamentally beyond what natural forces can do. Might have, but didn’t.

Creationists, in their various incarnations, deny this. But their arguments are very poor. If your argument is that “irreducibly complex” systems cannot evolve gradually, or that some back of the envelope probability calculation can prove the intervention of a supernatural designer in natural history, then obviously knowledgeable people are going to laugh at you. If you run around telling people that evolutionary biologists have simply overlooked a conflict between evolution and the second law of thermodynamics, then don’t act surprised if scientists politely suggest you do a little homework.

And if you really spend some time looking at what biologists have discovered–the real thing, not the delusional creationist caricature–then evolution start seeming very plausible after all. For example, those biomolecular systems we were talking about never look quite so impressive after you study them in detail. They are invariably incomprehensible viewed as the products of an engineer’s design, but make perfect sense when viewed as the end result of a long process of evolution. They always show what Stephen Jay Gould referred to as “the senseless signs of history.”

Which brings us to the other thing evolution, and naturalism more generally, have going for them. However superficially implausible they seem, the only alternative on offer is much harder to believe.

Sewell urges us to look for the simple explanation. But there is nothing simple in the idea of an omnipotent magic man who lives in the clouds. Whatever mysteries you think you have found in the naturalistic view of life pale in comparison to what happens when you try to comprehend an entity with the attributes God is said to have.

God is said to be mind without brain. For all the experience we have with actual minds and actual brains, that just looks like a contradiction in terms. God has no physical existence, yet acts of His will can cause whole universes with finely-tuned fundamental constants to appear where there was nothing before. How does He do that? What’s the connection between His will and the creation of matter? God knows what everyone is thinking at every moment of every day. How is that possible? How can he process and store all of that information? He exists “necessarily,” whatever that means, in contrast to the more mundane sort of existence we see all around us each day.

I could go on multiplying the implausibilities, but I think you get the idea. Is this really what Sewell is putting forth as the simple explanation for existence? Is his argument really that iPhones and nuclear power plants become easy to understand if you just help yourself to the existence of an omnipotent being who can poof such things into existence with acts of will? We have very different standards of simplicity, I think.

And that, in the end, is the real difference between evolution and intelligent design. Evolution seems implausible when you first hear it, but comes to seem more and more reasonable the more you study the actual evidence. Intelligent design seems plausible when you first hear it, but comes to seem more and more unreasonable the more you consider the details.

Young hildren are content with magical, supernatural explanations for things. But as we grow up most of us come to realize that invocations of God never really explain much of anything. They just create big mysteries where only small ones existed before.

Comments

  1. #1 Don
    Albuquerque
    September 19, 2015

    I also find it telling that the comments on his post are closed while the comments on yours are open.

  2. #2 dean
    September 19, 2015

    I still wonder whether he actually believes he makes valid arguments, or whether he knows they aren’t but enjoys the reputation the give him among the hard core creationist folks.

  3. #3 Alex SL
    http://phylobotanist.blogspot.com
    September 19, 2015

    And, admittedly implicit in what you wrote, the oldie but goldie “where did god come from, then?” A question that occurs even to bright children yet has never been satisfactorily answered. Indeed the only answer is to conveniently supply god with the attribute of existing by necessity. That is not even an attempt at explanation, only bold assertion.

  4. #4 See Noevo
    September 19, 2015

    To Jason Rosenhouse:

    “And yet every scrap of data we have is consistent with what evolution tells us to expect… Science might have discovered that … there were fundamental discontinuities between organisms that correspond to some plausible notion of “created kind.” … Might have, but didn’t.”

    I was wondering about this and was hoping you could flesh this out a bit.
    I’m sure you’re aware that the evolutionists themselves cut down the iconic Tree of Life years ago as it was too problematic. (Sadly, the TOL probably still appears in school textbooks.)
    The common ancestry experts have for years now been proposing something more akin to a “bush” of life.
    Since bushes, as I recall, have multiple trunks, the evolutionists are actually moving in the direction of what is, in effect, multiple trees.
    Essentially, they’re moving in the direction of an orchard, like in a Garden or something.
    The reason for this change in icons is that they ARE finding “fundamental discontinuities between organisms”.
    ………………
    “Evolution seems implausible when you first hear it, but comes to seem more and more reasonable the more you study the actual evidence.”

    Actually, the exact OPPOSITE is the case with me.
    I believed in evolution for about thirty years, starting around age 14 or 15. I didn’t necessarily understand it well, as far as the details, but it SEEMED plausible. You know, a change here and a change there over millions or billions of years and you could get a LOT of change, and, after all, humans LOOK a lot like monkeys, and monkeys look a bit like…, you know.

    It was only AFTER I actually started reading the evolutionist literature on the details that I began to see Evolution as implausible and more and more un-reasonable.
    ……………
    Greg Laden nearby posts an article on the group of scientists who wrote Obama a letter requesting prosecution of anthropogenic global warming deniers.

    Question: Would you sign or support a similar letter on evolution deniers?

  5. #5 Jason Rosenhouse
    September 20, 2015

    See Noevo–

    Congratulations. I’ve finally had enough of you. You insist on hijacking every thread even though I’ve repeatedly asked you not to. You just repeat the same silly creationist or right-wing talking points (no, the “tree of life” was not chopped down years ago) and I’m afraid I no longer find you interesting.

    I hate banning people but enough is enough.

  6. #6 Alain Van Hout
    September 20, 2015

    Jason, thanks for another thoughtful post. I don’t comment that often, but I do enjoy pretty much all of your posts (the chess posts are typically beyond my level; that’s the only reason why I feel the need to add the ‘pretty much’).

    In case it’s useful: I noticed that the second word of the last paragraph is missing a ‘c’ ;-).

    (I’ve re-read this comment at least twice, but I fully expect Muphry’s law to strike again :p )

  7. #7 Daniel Corcos
    France
    September 20, 2015

    If God created iPhones, does it justify the price?

  8. #8 tomh
    September 20, 2015

    @ #5 JR
    You had a lot more patience than I would have.

  9. #9 Daniel Corcos
    September 20, 2015

    Even if god created iPhones, he did not do it in six days. The fossil record of smartphones, walkie talkies and walkman attests this.

  10. #10 JimV
    United States
    September 20, 2015

    I summarize my rebuttal to the “god ate my homework” position as “an incomprehensible entity of unknown origin and unknown mechanisms of operation who hides from all scientific investigations has no explanatory value”. Shorter, but not as readable as this essay.

    A second point that IDers remain blind to is that the evoutionary algorithm not only explains biological evolution but also all of human scientific and engineering development, leaving no need for any magic. That is, we are creatures developed by evolution to evolve ideas. I have sketched the evidence for this several times before. Perhaps some day a better writer will write an essay on this point – or even a book. (Maybe someone already has.)

  11. #11 Daniel Corcos
    France
    September 20, 2015

    @ Jim V
    I have tried to express the same view in the two posts above. Clearly, there are two different questions, evolution itself, and its mechanism. The question of evolution cannot be discussed with young earth creationists because we do not agree on what an evidence is. The question of its mechanism cannot be discussed with ID proponents, because we do not agree on what intelligence is.
    However should I write an essay on it for other people, I would have to work a lot on the concepts of randomness and causality.

  12. #12 eric
    September 20, 2015

    Well See is gone but I want to take this on anyway, because its actually an interesting science discovery.

    Since bushes, as I recall, have multiple trunks, the evolutionists are actually moving in the direction of what is, in effect, multiple trees.
    Essentially, they’re moving in the direction of an orchard, like in a Garden or something.
    The reason for this change in icons is that they ARE finding “fundamental discontinuities between organisms”.

    AFAIK most bushes have only one trunk. But poor metaphor aside, yes AIUI, many origin of life researchers now think the ‘tree’ concept needs to be rethought for the earliest part of evolution. Note: not the later parts, not anything in probably the last billion years.

    The reason for the rethink is that we’ve learned that for single-celled organisms, lateral gene transfer can often be much more important and more common than it is in multicelluar organisms. So they suspect that new ‘species’ of early organisms arose not wholly or even predominantly via descent with modification, but with gene swapping between mature organisms. In fact the ‘species’ concept may even start to blur altogether; if organisms that can’t reproduce together are still swapping genes. And of course this means the ‘more discontinuity’ comment has it completely backwards; the tree metaphor is being rethought for early organisms because there are more connections between disparate genetic ‘lines’ of organisms, not less.

  13. #13 Bill McNeal
    September 21, 2015

    Oh ye of little faith…. all will soon be revealed when The Donald, Second Coming of Christ, performs the miracle of ISIS evaporation and gently leads us to the Apocalypse which will put Logic in its Proper Place…

  14. #14 sean samis
    September 21, 2015

    Sub.

    sean s.

  15. #15 sean samis
    September 21, 2015

    Jason; It is unfortunate that you had to ban SN, but not as bad as the fact that SN earned it.

    sean s.

  16. #16 Michael Fugate
    September 21, 2015
  17. #17 Max Millhiser
    September 21, 2015

    Angels are made of dark matter.

  18. #18 dean
    September 21, 2015

    Scary stuff Michael – and you are correct, almost as loony as what sn pushes.

  19. #19 Michael Fugate
    September 21, 2015

    I enjoy Catholics who are convinced they are more Catholic than the Pope. It really comes down to if I agree with someone, he or she is automatically right and if I disagree he or she is automatically wrong. There is neither nuance nor reflection. The Pope is neither an economist nor a climate scientist – so he is wrong on those things, but he is neither a medical doctor nor any sort of biologist so why is he right about human life?

  20. #20 John Smith
    September 22, 2015

    Hi Jason,
    I made my way here from Uncommon Descent. Obviously I lean towards the ID camp but I am willing to keep an open mind. The argument that irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve gradually seems entirely compelling to me when features need to be present simultaneously.
    You say that every scrap of data we have is consistent with what evolution tells us to expect yet Cornelius Hunter’s webpage highlights 22 failed evolutionary predictions. Neither were ENCODE’s findings consistent with genomic expectations. The proposed timeline for whale lineage is downright stupefying to me. Yes, it’s good to acknowledge deficiencies and provide alternatives within ones framework but my observation insofar as I have been following the debate has been that mainstream science can propose whatever they like about evolution and then claim the data is consistent.

  21. #21 Daniel Corcos
    France
    September 22, 2015

    @ John Smith
    If you make the effort to understand my posts, then you will find answers to your question. But first, evolution is a fact, not a theory. There are different theories of evolution, and Darwin’s has not been challenged, although he could not examine all the details. The website you mention challenges some statements that are sometimes made by biologists, and are wrong. Now, It is actually difficult to ignore lateral gene transfer and lamarckian evolution for unicellular organisms, as proposed by Eugenr Koonin. But ID does not help in any way.

  22. #22 Richard Wein
    United Kingdom
    September 22, 2015

    Welcome, John Smith.

    I took a look at one item on Hunter’s list (“Mutations are not adaptive”), and found it seriously misguided. The facts that Hunter mentions are minor wrinkles on evolutionary theory, and give us no reason whatsoever to abandon it. In fact, they provide evolution with (slight) additional resources, and so make evolutionary theory slightly more persuasive, not less.

    The great thing about the principle of natural selection was that it explained why we don’t need mutations to be biased towards adaptiveness. Random mutation will do nicely, thank you. But if mutation is biased towards adaptiveness, then so much the better for evolution.

    It seems odd for Hunter to call this point a “prediction” of evolutionary theory. It was more like an assumption, based on (a) the absence of any need for such adaptiveness, and (b) the absence of any sign of such adaptiveness. By all means point out that the assumption was wrong, in a small way. But it’s completely misguided for Hunter to include this in a list which is supposed to tell against evolutionary theory, when in fact the discovery counts slightly in the theory’s favour.

  23. #23 eric
    September 22, 2015

    yet Cornelius Hunter’s webpage highlights 22 failed evolutionary predictions…

    Cornelious Hunter claimed is 2007 that thylacines and wolves are impossibly convergent. First, their convergence is anatomically mostly untrue. Thylacines have all the standard marsupial traits and bone structure, you just actually have to look at their anatomy rather than looking at superficial drawings of them.

    But second and more egregiously, he illustrated his point by comparing two pictures (representing wolf and thylacine) and showing people how similar those pictures were, when one picture was simply a faded and flipped copy of the other one. He took a picture of a thylacine, copied it, mirror-imaged it, and claimed it was a picture of a wolf in order to convince people they were convergent.

    So, I would not trust any argument Mr. Hunter makes as credible. Not only does he make claims not supported by the evidence, but he has in the past confabulated evidence to support his claims.

    Here is more info about that incident, including a screen shot or capture of the pictures on Hunter’s comparison slide. The fraud is pretty obvious and easy to see.

  24. #24 JGC
    September 22, 2015

    The argument that irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve gradually seems entirely compelling to me when features need to be present simultaneously.

    The problem with this argument is that it presumes something which not only is not in evidence but which the available evidence argues strongly against: that these supposedly ‘irreducibly complex’ systems could only and have only ever existed in the form they exhibit now, where all features must be present for function. A simple two-part process for the creation of irreducibly complex systems by evolutionary mechanism is

    1) Add/change one or more parts of a non-irreducible system over generations

    2) Eliminate redundant features over generations, making those additions/changes essential for function

  25. […] Madison University mathematician Jason Rosenhouse has written a postcriticizing a post, “Mathematicians Are Trained to Value Simplicity,” that I wrote […]

  26. #26 Michael Fugate
    September 22, 2015

    As Larry Moran said over at Sandwalk

    Supposed Prediction 19. Functionally unconstrained DNA is not conserved Some short DNA sequences are the same in distantly related species but those sequences can be deleted with no effect on the survival of the species. This falsifies evolution and proves that the intelligent designer has a sense of humor.

  27. #27 Howard Brazee
    United States
    September 23, 2015

    When we look at the incredible size of the universe (space & time), thinking about God – it’s hard to imagine that everything is centered around my congregation’s current beliefs and values. (ignore the values of Jesus Christ as shown in the Bible Pat Robertson). We are such a tiny part of the universe.

  28. #28 Pedr
    September 23, 2015

    @20

    The ID argument that something could not have evolved incrementally because certain features must be present simultaneously ignores the fact that processes use processes and materials that are already present which get ‘hijacked’ so to speak for multiple purposes.

    What I find so telling that argues against ID is how badly designed most organism are. A great book which discusses this is _The Pony Fish’s Glow_, by George C. Williams.

  29. #29 Pedr
    September 23, 2015

    I’d like to play devil’s advocate for a moment ( I am an atheist just to be clear where I stand ). Most of the classical arguments against the existence of god, etc, rely on the concept of the unicity of being put forward by Duns Scotus and others. This is a monist ontology where god is just another being among others. A very special being however, non greater according to Anselm.

    Traditionally, though, Christianity has taught a dualist ontology. There is uncreated being ( god ), and created being ( us and everything else ). God is wholly other and orthogonal to created being. God means the world – therefore it has meaning and purpose. He can be sacramentally present in ways we can’t conceive. To argue from this world, created being, to uncreated being to there is fruitless. The best that can be done is by analogy, but this is fruitless as well. A recent book which touches on this is _The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society_. In modern times, it is the Dutch Calvinists are the ones who most forcefully make this point.
    To make the point as Jason does:

    “God is said to be mind without brain. For all the experience we have with actual minds and actual brains, that just looks like a contradiction in terms. God has no physical existence, yet acts of His will can cause whole universes with finely-tuned fundamental constants to appear where there was nothing before. How does He do that? What’s the connection between His will and the creation of matter? God knows what everyone is thinking at every moment of every day. How is that possible? How can he process and store all of that information? He exists “necessarily,” whatever that means, in contrast to the more mundane sort of existence we see all around us each day. ”

    is a rather uninformed argument and shows a lack of knowledge of theology and philosophy. To my knowledge, only spittle droolers and other fundamentalist Christians would conceive of god in such a matter. RC philosophers such as Charles Taylor and others would be unimpressed by those types of arguments.

    I will say, I think these are immunization strategies, but they are being made.

  30. #30 Ken Phelps
    September 26, 2015

    An interesting post. Since you are, like me, an atheist, I gather you find it as easy to reject the claims of “informed” theologians as those of the droolers. I would be interested to know what your metric is for deciding that a particular set of arguments are sophisticated or informed.

    In my admittedly limited experience, intellectually sophisticated theology offers little more than question begging and equivocation, dressed in unnecessarily obfuscatory language. While I don’t doubt that, as you say, RC philosophers such as Charles Taylor would be unimpressed with Jason’s views, I think it is equally true that the vast majority of Catholics would utterly reject his. It seems to me that theologians and philosophers are very good at defining what God isn’t, but far less clear about articulating their concept of just what a God might actually be. It puzzles me why they persist in using the word “God”, when they must know that only a vanishingly small percentage of believers hold, or have even heard of, such views. While I certainly can’t object to academic discussion that assumes a different level of abstraction vis any particular term, hitching a liturgical wagon to a term, in the full knowledge that you don’t really mean what the congregation thinks you mean, seems just dishonest.

    Phrases like “God means the world…” and “There is uncreated being…” are little more than equivocation and question begging, respectively. I understand that you are not making the case for belief yourself, but I am genuinely interested to know whether you actually consider these sorts of arguments to be sophisticated in their content, or just in their level of obscurantism.

  31. #31 KenPhelps
    September 26, 2015

    Oops, left out who I was responding to. If it isn’t apparent, my comment above is in reference to Pedr #29

  32. #32 Matt
    September 28, 2015

    As a Christian I find the comment, “Young [c]hildren are content with magical, supernatural explanations for things. But as we grow up most of us come to realize that invocations of God never really explain much of anything. They just create big mysteries where only small ones existed before.” unfairly dismissive of people of faith and the many important scientist who possessed a robust faith which drove them deeper into their disciplines. A cursory review of the lives of the great contributors in the sciences reveals, most immediately, the faith of those whose shoulders we stand on today.

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being…” – Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.

    “…it is the knowledge of necessary and eternal truths that distinguishes us from the mere animals and gives us Reason and the sciences, raising us to the knowledge of ourselves and of God…”
    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

    Charles Babbage – known as the first computer scientist who originated the idea of a programmable computer – Who authored such papers as – On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as Manifested in the Creation.

    “One truth is revealed truth, the other is scientific truth. If you really believe that creation is good, there can be no harm in studying science. The more we learn about creation — the way it emerged — it just adds to the glory of God. Personally, I’ve never seen a conflict.” – Joseph Murray – Nobel Laureate in medicine and physiology.

    Wernher von Braun
    Blaise Pascal
    And the list could go on…

    It seems rather duplicitous to co-opt the integral scientific contributions of people of faith then wield round and dismiss them as people of faith.

  33. #33 JGC
    September 28, 2015

    Newton was wrong, though, wasn’t he? There is no necessity to invoke the existence of ‘counsel and dominion of’ some speculative supernatural ‘powerful and intelligent being’ to account for the existence of the solar system.

    The same faith that may motivate people to drive deeper into their discipline unfortunately also often motivates them to embrace erroneous or unnecessary conclusions.

    And the premise that there exists a ‘revealed truth’ in any way comparable to ‘scientific truth’ is itself entirely an article of faith. If such did exist clearly we have no reliable way to determine what that truth might be, as eveidence by the fact that different religious traditions demonstrably embrace disparate and contradictory articles of faith all of which those religious adherents accept as representing revealed truths.

  34. #34 Michael Fugate
    September 28, 2015

    Matt,
    Why Christianity and not Islam or Hinduism or Sikhism or Baha’i, or any of a number of indigenous religions? How do you decide religious “truth”?

    Isn’t belief in God orthogonal to science at best? How would including God in a hypothesis help us understand and predict?

  35. #35 Narad
    September 28, 2015

    Wernher von Braun

    Great choice.

    A screaming comes across the sky….

  36. #36 Ken Phelps
    September 28, 2015

    Matt #32

    Presumably each of the people you list also had a political point of view. Some of those views would, I dare say, be steeped in the cultures of their time and their geographic locales, and almost certainly somewhat different than your own. Would you take their scientific accomplishment to be as supportive of their politics as you take it to be of their religious views?

  37. #37 sean samis
    September 28, 2015

    Matt @32:

    I think the only necessary response to your list of Famous Scientists is to remind you that in the scientific method and in the scientific community, there is no weight given to Proof from Authority. Newton has already been found in error, and I suspect many of the others you listed were fallible too. As are any others you care to name.

    These people did the best they could with what they had; but their opinions unsupported by any evidence are mere personal opinion and have no persuasive power.

    This is a fundamental difference between rationalists and the religious: by definition and practice religious people do and must honor established Authorities; rationalists only honor evidence and proof. We acknowledge the work of great minds (like Newton et al.) but never forget their feet of clay.

    sean s.

  38. #38 Howard Brazee
    United States
    September 28, 2015

    When people use a religion to say “My way is right”, or especially “Your way is wrong”, then we need to ask for more evidence.

    But I’ll start with philosophical questions: “Why does the Creator like your way?” “Why does He care if He is worshiped?” “Why does He care whether we believe in His existence?”

    So often we see basic disagreements within a religion such as the incredibly opposite values of Pat Robertson and Jesus Christ as shown in the Bible.

  39. #39 eric
    September 28, 2015

    It seems rather duplicitous to co-opt the integral scientific contributions of people of faith then wield round and dismiss them as people of faith.

    Feynman loved strip clubs. Wallace was a spiritualist who spent a lot of time in seances. Watson was a horrendous racist.

    A lot of great scientists had their foibles and odd beliefs. Recognizing them as great scientists does not require that we think those odd beliefs or practices are reasonable.

    …but if you want me to do that, I guess I can. Okay, so going to church is as valid as going to a strip club, and Christianity is as credible as spiritualism and white supremacy. All of those things are credible because great scientists believed/did them, right?

  40. #40 Michael Fugate
    September 29, 2015

    I guess we all convinced Matt he was wrong…

    For any research program to benefit from including God (as groups like the DI want), we must know the mind of God. If you know this, Matt, or if any of your listed scientists know or knew this please provide details – otherwise you are shooting blanks.

  41. #41 Pedr
    Majorca
    September 30, 2015

    @ 30 KenPhelps-

    By unsophisticated, I mean crude. Crude in that no one would use concepts like mind, memory, etc with reference to god anymore unless one were completely unfamiliar with the progress of philosophy over the last 100 years. As much as I love Dawkins and his books, and Jason’s blog, it is why Dawkins is generally dismissed by public intellectuals. It’s the same with Harris’s book _The Moral Landscape_ which was a painful embarrassment to read.

    When I ask a typical American intellectual which of Peter Sloterdijk’s books they have read, naively assuming that an ‘intellectual’ would be familiar with Europe’s leading public intellectual, I usually get a blank stare. The one consolation is that Americans are so illiterate that this level of rhetoric is still effective. For example, Leo Behe, Michael Behe’s son, became an atheist after reading Dawkins.

    It’s an arms race. As our arguments become more sophisticated, so does the enemy’s arguments – all the monotheistic filth and their ilk. We finally have monotheists backed so far into a corner that their only refuge is vague abstractions that have no relevance for like today. But, we can’t let them out of that corner. There are still vestiges of this type of thinking – moral realism, mathematical Platonism, the univocity of meaning and being, the quest for a TOE and the unification of science…just monotheistic theology under another register. Our arguments need to become more sophisticated otherwise scientists will continue to labor in the shadow of the church.

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