A Critique of J.P Moreland's Article "Why is Evolution Believed In More Firmly Than The Evidence Warrants?"
It's very difficult to read J.P Moreland and not laugh. However, here is the critique...
There I said that scientific naturalism includes three claims. First, scientific knowledge is vastly superior to all other forms of knowledge.
Except for a select few, naturalists still believe in methods of logic and mathematics, which are a priori by nature. You're simply making a strawman by claiming that naturalists reject a priori methods.
Third, the picture of reality that results from this creation story (which is, in turn, the only story alleged to have the support of scientific ways of knowing) is physicalism: the belief that the physical, material cosmos is all there is, was or ever will be.
While this is generally true, many naturalists subscribe to a form of platonism regarding mathematics. In addition, the naturalist David Chalmers accepts property dualism. Naturalism and physicalism are often coupled together, I agree. But not by any necessary relation.
It is important to note the relationship between these three claims: Most naturalists believe that the physical cosmos is all there is, was or ever will be because their creation story allows no room for miraculous divine activity.
Not one materialist that I have ever met claimed this. Furthermore, there were materialists before evolutionary theory (Spinoza). There is not logically necessary relationship between materialism and evolutionary theory.
(a) their theory of knowledge says that it’s irrational to believe in things that can’t be tested scientifically with the five senses, and (b) because they believe that divine activity can’t be so tested.
A is false as well as B (arguably). Once again, you're implying that naturalists reject the a priori. Some do, but most don't. many people believe B is also false. Richard Dawkins, most notably. He has argued that theists are making claims about the universe. Therefore, Dawkin's argues that theistic claims are open to falsification. Dawkin's makes an interesting claim, but I tend to view religious claims as meaningless.
With this background in mind, let us recall that our present question is not about the scientific evidence for evolution.
Isn't the title of your paper "Why is Evolution Believed In More Firmly Than The EVIDENCE Warrants?"
Evidence is of paramount importance. For if the evidence is strong, which it is, then it is warranted. If the evidence is weak, then belief in evolution is not warranted. So your claim makes little sense.
I think this evidence is quite meager.
Translation: "I have never studied evolutionary theory"
In any case, even if we grant (for the sake of argument) that there is a decent amount of evidence for evolution, the degree of certainty claimed on its behalf and the widespread negative attitude toward creationists are quite beyond what is warranted by the evidence alone. What is going on here?
It's obvious whats going on. You're not making any sense.
First, the widely accepted intellectual authority of science, coupled with the belief that Intelligent Design theory is religion (rather than science) means that evolution is the only view of the origins of life that can claim the backing of reason. In our empirically oriented culture, science (and science alone) has unqualified intellectual acceptance.
Unlike your theology, scientific theories are always debated among scientists. Go to a scientific conference. It's rough. Any scientific theory has to fight to become one. It isn't like one day all the scientists said "ok, today we are going to support evolutionary theory." This is not the ethos of science. I suggest you actually look into how science works. I think you think that science works the way theology works: The bible said it, I believe it, that settles it. Unlike theology, scientific theories are not wild speculation and the manipulation of incoherent concepts. Sorry to burst your balloon, but science is a rigorous field, unlike theology.
On the evening news, when a scientist makes a pronouncement about what causes obesity, crime, or anything else, he/she is taken to speak as our culture’s sole authority on the issue at hand.
Not sole authority, but an authority nevertheless. Why? Because if I want to know the causes of cancer, I will ask a medical doctor. This ought to make sense. All of us cannot be experts at everything. We need to rely upon experts. Now, if I want to know about how to be intellectually dishonest, myopic and how to perform sophistry, I will contact a theologian.
When was the last time you saw a theologian, philosopher or humanities professor consulted as an intellectual leader in the culture?
What do you call Daniel Dennett (Philosopher) and Noam Chomsky (Linguist)? What about Thomas Kuhn? or Karl Popper? Moreover, Bertrand Russell was very active in the political arena. And, let us not forget Peter Singer.
Because many think that Intelligent Design theory is religion masquerading as science, the creation/evolution debate turns into a controversy that pits reason against pure subjective belief and opinion.
And because creationism has no evidence. Perhaps thats why it isn't respected...kinda like Big-Foot theorists and Holocaust deniars arn't respected. There is no evidence for it...none. You just made it up, and pretend like it is science. If pretending made things true, I would be rich and living in the playboy mansion with all the bunnies.
In the infamous creation-science trial in Little Rock, Ark., in December 1981, creation science was ruled out of public schools, not because of the weak evidence for it, but because it was judged religion and not science. Today, in the state of California, you cannot discuss creationist theories in science class for the same reason.
Because religion doesn't belong in science. Isn't this obvious?
Space forbids me to present reasons why almost all philosophers of science, atheist and Christian alike, agree that creation science is at least a science, and not a religious view, regardless of what is to be said about the empirical evidence for or against it.
I really want to see the evidence for this. The closest I have heard is when I went to a talk by Evan Fales. His thesis was that creationism could be science, in principle, but it was as a matter of fact, not a science.
I end the critique here. The rest of the article is like Hovind style debate.
"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions