God is not omnipotent

by Neil Rickert

In a debate with an ID proponent ericB, I wrote:

Here’s my puzzle. ID proponents push the case for “fine tuning”. Yet, “fine tuning” would seem to call for something like deism — a god that created the cosmos in just the right way at the start, and then allowed nature (that finely tuned nature of the deities design) to take its course. It seems to me that a proponent of fine tuning should be a proponent of the view that the cosmos was so finely tuned that it was certain that life would emerge from that finely tuned nature.

In response, ericB wrote:

With the exception of living organisms, the rest of what we see in nature seems in principle to allow explanation based on law+chance. Law is causally adequate to account for order and regular arrangements. Chance is causally adequate to account for unspecified complexity and meaningless irregularities.

Yet living organisms are different in documented ways that cannot be reasonably denied. They are systems based upon specified complexity. We’ve never found anything else in the universe (other than artifacts) to have that property.

You can read ericB’s full response here.

So ericB seems to be saying that his God is powerful enough to create a universe in which there would emerge a planet Earth that is fine tuned for life.  But his God is not powerful enough to create that universe so that biological life will emerge.

It seems hard to see that as anything other than a denial of the omnipotence of God.

Not only is ID bad science (really, not much science at all), but it is also bad theology.


3 Comments to “God is not omnipotent”

  1. Is this a coincidence — nope, you wrote on this before me! 😉
    Just synchronicity, I guess.
    I think a “gutted god” could have done it.


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