Friday, August 12, 2016

Physical Laws Lack Agent Causation

Monroe, in cooler days than today

John Lennox is Prof. of Mathematics, and Prof. of Philosophy of Religion, at Oxford University. His book God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway? is a beautifully executed and informative piece on the nature of scientific laws, with attention to their explanatory power and their inability to cause anything.

Lennox shows the fundamental "category mistake" (from Gilbert Ryle's The Concept of Mind) scientistic folk make when, e.g., they claim that the laws of physics give us an answer as to why our universe exists. Physical laws have no creative power; i.e., physical laws are not agents. Physical laws explain. To understand this distinction is to be free of the famous "God of the gaps" criticism sometimes leveled at Christian theists.

Lennox nicely shows how "offering people the choice between God and science is therefore illogical." (Kindle Location 400)