SocraticGadfly: God – the No. 1 abortionist (if he exists)

June 01, 2009

God – the No. 1 abortionist (if he exists)

In light of yesterday’s murder of Dr. George Tiller, this is an edited repost of an old post.

Francisco Ayala, one of the world’s greatest evolutionary biologists, AND one of the most renowned biological scientists being a professed Christian, as part of openly defending the compatibility of evolution and religious belief, has been a busy man with the controversy over “Expelled.”

And, he’s not afraid to be as blunt with IDers as Richard Dawkins:
In fact, he said, evolution “is more consistent with belief in a personal god than intelligent design. If God has designed organisms, he has a lot to account for.”

Consider, he said, that at least 20 percent of pregnancies are known to end in spontaneous abortion. If that results from divinely inspired anatomy, Dr. Ayala said, “God is the greatest abortionist of them all.”

Ayala talks more about the compatibility, that he sees, of religion and science, his latest book, “Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion.”

Ayala also offers his take on the “teach the controversy,” or similar statements, espoused by many evolution doubters from President Bush on down, as well as evolution denialists:
He dismisses the argument that it is only fair to teach both sides of the evolution/creationism controversy. “We don’t teach alchemy along with chemistry,” he said. “We don’t teach witchcraft along with medicine. We don’t teach astrology with astronomy.”

Ayala’s work on behalf of evolutionary biology is greatly appreciated.

(Oh, if you refuse to believe he’s a practicing Christian, read here.)

But, his comments also underscore part of why I became an atheist.

If you accept the idea that God, in the Western monotheistic version, cannot be “all,” how much of a “less than all” do you accept and still find worthy of the label “God,” as far as powers or skills of design?

Or, second question – how much below “less than all” do you get until you recognize that your “God” is nothing but a “god of the gaps” and that these gaps have been being closed by both science and philosophy for 300 years or more?

Or transferring this issue beyond what philosophers call “natural evil” to “moral evil,” how much “inhumanity” (the older Mark Twain would say it’s quite human) do you accept as the production, whether active or passive, of a “morally less than all” divinity before junking the idea entirely?

And, that said, at the end of the NYT story, Ayala himself refuses to discuss whether he is still a religious believer or not.

Addendum: Issues like teratomas and the related human chimeras add to this issue.

No comments: