Monday, April 2, 2012

Reviewing Ruse Reviewing Plantinga

I guess you're all holding your breath, wondering when if ever I'll get around to reviewing Michael Ruse's so called review of Alvin Plantinga's book, Where the Conflict Really Lies; Science, Religion, and Naturalism. I call it a "so called review" because Ruse doesn't really review Plantinga's book. He aims merely to accuse Plantinga of...well, here, let's let him say it:

"Now, Plantinga has given us a full-length treatment of his views on science and its relationship to religion. I can only say that either he has changed his mind in the last year or, shall we say, he was not being entirely forthcoming. There is a chapter of the book on Intelligent Design Theory and I challenge any independent person to read it and not conclude that Plantinga accepts this theory over modern evolutionary theory, especially the dominant modern Darwinian evolutionary theory. But read the chapter yourself if you have doubts about what I claim. Make your own judgment."

No doubt Ruse would say that I am not an "independent person" since I am an Intelligent Design advocate. Nevertheless, I have read Plantinga's book, and I do indeed have major doubts about Ruse's claim. My judgment is that Plantinga does NOT accept Intelligent Design Theory over modern evolutionary theory. I was rather disappointed in finding this out. I had hoped that perhaps Plantinga had indeed changed his mind and found ID to be better than modern evolutionary theory. My hope rested on the shifting sand of Michael Ruse's ability to read. In the future I'll know not to put too much faith in it.

Since Ruse presents absolutely no evidence that Plantinga does accept ID, I need say nothing further. I have done what Ruse asked me to do. I read the book and made my own judgment. I suggest the reader do likewise.

1 comment:

Joshua Blanchard said...

Reviews of Plantinga on this point are infuriating - and there are several of them, on blogs and elsewhere. Plantinga explicitly disagrees with Behe in the book, wanting to replace ID with something else. It's quite striking when the headline on the ID point should be the exact opposite of what reviewers claim.

Not only that, but reviewers must also believe a related proposition their view entails, that Plantinga is openly lying or grossly self-misinformed when he repeatedly says he's not an ID-advocate. This is, of course, independently implausible.