Because I wrote about Alvin Plantinga yesterday, and one commenter wondered if I wasn’t mistaken in saying that Plantinga finds naturalism and evolution incompatible, I’m showing a short interview with the man. Here Simon Smart, of the Australian Centre for Public Christianity, gets Plantinga’s take on several issues. Three items are worth noting:
- Plantinga’s reason for believing in the Christian God, which essentially boils down to “I just know it’s true.”
- The dissing of New Atheists by both Smart and Plantinga as either money-hungry or unsophisticated (begins at 1:53). It’s the usual trope: New Atheist arguments are inferior to those adumbrated by the “old” atheists (usually Bertrand Russell, Albert Camus, and so on).
- Plantinga’s explanation of the incompatibility of naturalism and materialistic evolution beginning at 2:56. As I noted, Plantinga feels that pure materialistic evolution gives us no reason to think that our “beliefs” are true. I love this statement.
“If you accept naturalism and materialism—that combination—then it seems to me that you’ll have to take it that for any particular belief, the probability that it’s true is about a half. It could as likely be true as false.”
Therefore, if you see a lion running toward you, roaring and baring its fangs, your belief that it wants to kill you has only half a chance of being true. Or your belief that, if you’re thirsty, drinking water will make you feel better, is as likely untrue as true. And so on. The man simply can’t understand that evolution will instill in us representations and perceptions of the real world that are generally accurate.