Nagel, Fodor, and Plantinga responding to Darwin. Plantinga is excusable because of his theology and the manner in which this requires him to reject the thesis that humanity is the result of random chance. There’s no compromise here in evolutionary theory: every species, including humans, is, within the framework of evolutionary theory the result of random chance, and could have just as easily not existed. I see no possible compromise here between anthropocentric theologies that attribute a privileged place to humans in relation to the divine and evolutionary thought. I am not suggesting that it is not possible to develop a non-anthropocentric theology that is consistent with evolutionary theory, but this would require ousting humans from their special place in the order of creation. When this type of theology is formulated I confess that I see little reason why this divinity would be worthy of worship or veneration. To worship such an entity makes about as much sense as worshiping gravity; then again, my cynical tendency is to think anthropocentric theologies and the religious worship that accompanies them as a rather oblique attempt to engage in economic or calculative exchange with the divine (as per Socrates’ suggestion in the Euthyphro). What is really disappointing in this article is the manner in which Nagel and Fodor reject evolutionary theory, placing normative considerations (a.k.a. wishful thinking) over what the evidence clearly suggests.

Hat tip to Cogburn.