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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
Yin and Yang of Kenneth Miller Pehnec, Steve Oct 24, 2002
From the Talk Reason summary of the article:

"The opinion of the reviewer Amiel Rossow is that Miller's book consists of two parts, with greatly differing quality of arguments. The larger part offers a well-substantiated and elegantly presented defense of Darwinism and critique of its opponents, while the smaller part is a much less convincing argument, mostly in a way of declarations, in favor of Miller's religious faith, which, contrary to Miller's assertion, does not appear to be supported by scientific evidence."

Dr. Miller's point, which he made clearly, was that Darwinian Evolution, or any discipline in genuine science for that matter, can not rule out the possibility that God exists. He goes even further to suggest how quantum indeterminacy would allow a personal God to act in the world without need of miracles. It was clearly not Dr. Miller's intent to try to establish some kind of "scientific evidence" for God's existence.

In my opinion, the article by Amiel Rossow is without merit and nothing more than a classic "strawman attack" of no consequence.

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Title Author Date
Yin and Yang of Kenneth Miller Eterman, Alexander Nov 01, 2002
Reading Pehnec's review of Rossow's essay, devoted to Prof. K.R.Miller's book Finding Darwin's God, one is left with the impression that the reviewer lacks any interest in the core of the matter. Pehnec does not even attempt to make an orderly sense out of the texts by Miller and Rossow. All he does is expound his own standpoint, according to which Miller never made any specific assertions regarding the evidence for Supreme Intervention (SI) based on scientific discoveries. All that Miller was allegedly concerned with was stating that the discoveries in question, including the Darwin's evolution theory, did not exclude the hypothesis of SI. This assertion by Pehnec constitutes a final verdict, and if it is accepted, Rossow's article does indeed become irrelevant.
What Pehnec fails to realize is that if that were the case, Miller's book would become irrelevant as well. If Miller's intention had been merely to write a book aimed at defending the theory of evolution, he would not have called it Finding Darwin's God. The book's very structure indicates that the author's goal was to discuss the theological problems that arise at the juncture between science and religion.
By narrowing Miller's book to a single theme Pehnec does to the prominent scientist grave injustice. He overlooks the fact that in order to defend religion from militant atheism, all one has to do is offer some quotes from Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Being perfectly aware of this, Miller would not have wasted his time on erecting fortifications around religion. Quite another matter is the objective of boosting the concept of SI with scientific data.
Miller believes that science wields good evidence to indicate that the concept of SI provides the most reasonable explanation for the existing facts. It is this theory he propounds in his book. At this critical point he meets with a resounding failure. For the same reason that science can neither rule out nor accept the idea of SI, it is incapable of validating it. This hypothesis cannot even be subjected to scientific analysis, because the very process of investigation assumes the rational nature of the investigated phenomenon.
An opponent of biological creationism, Miller attempts to use two popular constructs -- the Big Bang theory and the Anthropic principle -- to vindicate cosmological creationism as argument for the hypothesis of SI. Yet it is creationism that presents a typical example of a theological dead-end -- because any physical traces of Intervention will be incapable of leading us to a supernatural agent.
Here I will not expound my ideas about the unsoundness of Miller's creative theory -- if for no other reason that this has been very well done by Rossow. I would like to add only: Pehnec preferred to turn a blind eye to everything for the sake of which Miller wrote his book. In so doing, he deprived it, rather than Rossow's evaluation, of its subject matter. A callous and unjust review.
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Title Author Date
Yin and Yang of Kenneth Miller Gourant, Alan Nov 03, 2002
Pehnec is certainly entitled to his opinion and is free to conclude that Rossow's review of Miller's book is without merit. Whether such an opinion sounds convincing to others, is a different story.

To those familiar with Millers' book and Rossow's review of it Pehnec's brief rebuttal of Rossow's review creates an impression that Pehnec either did not read Miller's book with a sufficient attention or that he did not read Rossow's review beyond the summary he quotes. If Miller limited his discourse (in what Rossow labeled the "yin" part of Miller's book) only to the assertion that science does not either prove or disprove the existence of a deity, this would hardly invoke controversy. Indeed, from Rossow's review it is clear that he shares such an opinion. However, contrary to Pehnec's contention, Miller actually maintains that science is "the best friend of religion" and suggests a series of arguments (whose feebleness has been discussed by Rossow) in favor of that position which, in particular, can be succinctly expressed as the assertion that the evolution theory supports religious beliefs (and specifically Miller's Christian worldview). To pretend that Miller did not say what he actually said in a quite explicit way would mean hiding the truth for the sake of a certain agenda. However brilliant Millers' book in many respects is (and Rossow gives ample credit where it is due) its weak points should not be concealed just because the book deserves acclaim in other respects. Rossow is absolutely correct in pointing to the "science supports religious faith" thesis in Miller's book - a thesis which has been offered by Miller in a quite unequivocal terms. Pehnec may disagree with Rossow's view on that subject, but to deny that Miller maintains the described position means closing eyes to facts. It looks like it is Pehnec rather than Rossow who, at least partially, fights in this case a straw man.
Related Articles: Yin and Yang of Kenneth Miller