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GOD: new evidence


Darwin's 'horrid doubt'

(Beyond Ourselves #11)

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Many people don't know that Charles Darwin had doubts about his own theory. It left him wondering if we can trust our thoughts. He said this:

'The horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?’

If evolution is true, our thoughts may be good for helping us to survive and reproduce, but there is no guarantee that they will be any good at finding the truth.

In fact, for the naturalist (who believes there is nothing except the physical world), things get worse. J B S Haldane was a famous British geneticist and evolutionary biologist. He said this:

‘If materialism is true, it seems to me that we cannot know that it is true. If my opinions are simply the result of the chemical processes going on in my brain, they are determined by the laws of chemistry, not those of logic.’

If naturalism is true, the thoughts in your brain are caused by atoms and molecules interacting – by chemicals and electric currents. But if they are caused like this, why should they be true?

So naturalism is self-contradictory: if it is true, we have no good reason to think that it is true.

Image of Down House courtesy of Glyn Baker on Geograph.

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‘The Universe we live in seems to be a very unlikely place... Are we just lucky? Or is there some deep significance to the fact that we live in a Universe just right for us?’
- New Scientist magazine