•  7
    Review: Divine Action, Determinism, and the Laws of Nature (review)
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (2): 211-213. 2021.
  •  4
    Divine Action and the Laws of Nature: A Reply to Łukasiewicz
    Roczniki Filozoficzne 68 (3): 127-136. 2020.
    Działanie Boga a prawa przyrody: odpowiedź Łukasiewiczowi W odpowiedzi Łukasiewiczowi na Opatrzność Boża a przypadek w świecie bronię trzech wniosków. Po pierwsze, stanowisko nazwane przez niego „deizmem epistemicznym” staje przed wyzwaniami ze strony fizyki, których często się nie zauważa. Po drugie, jeśli teiści opowiadający się za argumentem celowościowym opartym na tzw. delikatnym dostrojeniu nie mają racji, to nie ma jej również większość fizyków, która uważa, że delikatne dostrojenie wymag…Read more
  •  37
    A longstanding question at the intersection of science, philosophy, and theology is how God might act, or not, when governing the universe. Many believe that determinism would prevent God from acting at all, since to do so would require violating the laws of nature. However, when a robust view of these laws is coupled with the kind of determinism now used in dynamics, a new model of divine action emerges. This book presents a new approach to divine action beyond the current focus on quantum mech…Read more
  •  8
  •  26
    Breaking Laws of Nature
    Philosophia Christi 19 (1): 83-101. 2017.
    One of the main arguments against interventionist views of special divine action is that God would not violate his own laws. But if intervention entails the breaking of natural law, what precisely is being broken? While the nature of the laws of nature has been widely explored by philosophers of science, important distinctions are often ignored in the science and religion literature. In this paper, I consider the three main approaches to laws: Humean anti-realism, supervenience on more funda…Read more
  •  7
    The Design Revolution: Answering the Tough Questions About Intelligent Design (review)
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4): 674-679. 2004.
  • The indispensable role of models in science has long been recognized by philosophers. In contemporary dynamics, the models are often simply sets of equations. Bridging the gap between pure mathematics and real-world phenomenon is especially difficult when the model is chaotic. I address the charge that this bridge has not, in fact, been built and that chaos remains "just math." Although the problems discussed have become acute with the rise of modern chaos theory, their roots were recognized nea…Read more
  •  503
    Theism, naturalism, and scientific realism
    Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 53 (3): 152-166. 2017.
    Scientific knowledge is not merely a matter of reconciling theories and laws with data and observations. Science presupposes a number of metatheoretic shaping principles in order to judge good methods and theories from bad. Some of these principles are metaphysical and some are methodological. While many shaping principles have endured since the scientific revolution, others have changed in response to conceptual pressures both from within science and without. Many of them have theistic roots. F…Read more
  •  34
    The Design Revolution: Answering the Tough Questions About Intelligent Design (review)
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (4): 674-679. 2004.
  •  284
    Has chaos been explained?
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4): 683-700. 2001.
    In his recent book, Explaining Chaos, Peter Smith presents a new problem in the foundations of chaos theory. Specifically, he argues that the standard ways of justifying idealizations in mathematical models fail when it comes to the infinite intricacy found in strange attractors. I argue that Smith's analysis undermines much of the explanatory power of chaos theory. A better approach is developed by drawing analogies from the models found in continuum mechanics.
  •  628
    Motives Still Don't Matter: Reply to Pynes
    Zygon 47 (4): 662-665. 2012.
    This paper continues a dialogue that began with an article by Jeffrey Koperski entitled “Two Bad Ways to Attack Intelligent Design and Two Good Ones,” published in the June 2008 issue of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. In a response article, Christopher Pynes argues that ad hominem arguments are sometimes legitimate, especially when critiquing Intelligent Design (2012). We show that Pynes’s examples only apply to matters of testimony, not the kinds of arguments found in the best defenses…Read more
  •  44
    Models, confirmation, and chaos
    Philosophy of Science 65 (4): 624-648. 1998.
    The use of idealized models in science is by now well-documented. Such models are typically constructed in a “top-down” fashion: starting with an intractable theory or law and working down toward the phenomenon. This view of model-building has motivated a family of confirmation schemes based on the convergence of prediction and observation. This paper considers how chaotic dynamics blocks the convergence view of confirmation and has forced experimentalists to take a different approach to mod…Read more
  •  67
    Bas C. Van Fraassen: The empirical stance (review)
    Faith and Philosophy 21 (2): 256-259. 2004.
    Review of The Empirical Stance
  •  763
    Intelligent Design and the End of Science
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4): 567-588. 2003.
    In his recent anthology, Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, Robert Pennock continues his attack on what he considers to be the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design Theory. In this critical review, I discuss the main issues in the debate. Although the rhetoric is often heavy and the articles are intentionally stacked against Intelligent Design, there are many interesting topics in the philosophy of science to be found. I conclude that, contra Pennock, there is nothing intrinsically…Read more
  •  54
    Metatheoretic Shaping Principles: Where Science meets Theology
    In William Hasker Thomas Jay Oord & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), God in an Open Universe, . 2011.
    Scientific knowledge is often categorized as experimental or theoretical. There is, however, a third layer where philosophy of science and science proper overlap, the realm of metatheoretic shaping principles. For example, we assume that the causal regularities observed today will also hold tomorrow. Researchers are thereby relying on two metaphysical doctrines: the uniformity of nature and mechanistic causation. There are also the “explanatory virtues” of simplicity, testability, internal and e…Read more
  •  421
    Should we care about fine-tuning?
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2): 303-319. 2005.
    There is an ongoing debate over cosmological fine-tuning between those holding that design is the best explanation and those who favor a multiverse. A small group of critics has recently challenged both sides, charging that their probabilistic intuitions are unfounded. If the critics are correct, then a growing literature in both philosophy and physics lacks a mathematical foundation. In this paper, I show that just such a foundation exists. Cosmologists are now providing the kinds of measure-th…Read more
  •  369
    Creationism
    In Gary Laderman & Arri Eisen (eds.), Science, Religion, and Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Controversy, Sharpe Reference. 2006.
    Creationism is usually paired these days with evolution, as in “The Creation vs. Evolution Debate.” Although there is something right about that, it is not the whole story. The controversy is older than Darwin and touches on far more than biological evolution. In this chapter, we consider broader questions about the origin of the universe and the relation between science and Scripture: How old is the universe? If God created it, how did he do so? How should we interpret the account of creation i…Read more
  •  46
    Divine Action and the Quantum Amplification Problem
    Theology and Science 13 (4): 379-394. 2015.
    For quantum mechanics to form the crux of a robust model of divine action, random quantum fluctuations must be amplified into the macroscopic realm. What has not been recognized in the divine action literature to date is the degree to which differential dynamics, continuum mechanics, and condensed matter physics prevent such fluctuations from infecting meso- and macroscopic systems. Once all of the relevant physics is considered, models of divine action based on quantum randomness are shown to b…Read more
  •  12
    Intelligent Design and the End of Science
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4): 569-590. 2003.
    In his recent anthology, Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, Robert Pennock continues his attack on what he considers to be the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design Theory. In this critical review, I discuss the main issues in the debate. Although the volume’s rhetoric is often heavy and the articles are intentionally stacked against Intelligent Design, it touches upon many interesting topics in the philosophy of science. I conclude that, contra Pennock, there is nothing intrinsically…Read more
  •  126
    Teleological Arguments for God’s Existence
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2015.
    Some phenomena within nature exhibit such exquisiteness of structure, function or interconnectedness that many people have found it natural—if not inescapable—to see a deliberative and directive mind behind those phenomena. The mind in question, being prior to nature itself, is typically taken to be supernatural. Philosophically inclined thinkers have both historically and at present labored to shape the relevant intuition into a more formal, logically rigorous inference. The resultant theistic …Read more
  •  669
    Four arguments are examined in order to assess the state of the Intelligent Design debate. First, critics continually cite the fact that ID proponents have religious motivations. When used as criticism of ID arguments, this is an obvious ad hominem. Nonetheless, philosophers and scientists alike continue to wield such arguments for their rhetorical value. Second, in his expert testimony in the Dover trial, philosopher Robert Pennock used repudiated claims in order to brand ID as a kind of pseudo…Read more
  •  168
    God, Chaos, and the Quantum Dice
    Zygon 35 (3): 545-559. 2000.
    A recent noninterventionist account of divine agency has been proposed that marries the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics to the instability of chaos theory. On this account, God is able to bring about observable effects in the macroscopic world by determining the outcome quantum events. When this determination occurs in the presence of chaos, the ability to influence large systems is multiplied. This paper argues that although the proposal is highly intuitive, current research in dyn…Read more
  •  80
    Models
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006.
    The word “model” is highly ambiguous, and there is no uniform terminology used by either scientists or philosophers. Here, a model is considered to be a representation of some object, behavior, or system that one wants to understand. This article presents the most common type of models found in science as well as the different relations—traditionally called “analogies”—between models and between a given model and its subject. Although once considered merely heuristic devices, they are now seen a…Read more
  •  74
    Theologians and philosophers of religion are increasingly interested in physics. From the fine-tuning of universal constants to quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology, physics is a surprisingly common subject where religion is involved. Bridging the gap between issues in religion and those in physics can be quite difficult, however. Fortunately, the philosophy of science provides a middle ground between the two disciplines. In this book, a philosopher of science provides a critical ana…Read more