Alvin Plantinga on Paul Draper’s evolutionary atheology: implications of theism’s noncontingency

Tyler Wunder
Wilfrid Laurier University
In his recently published Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism 2011 Alvin Plantinga criticises Paul Draper’s evolutionary argument against theism as part of a larger project to show that evolution poses no threat to Christian belief. Plantinga focuses upon Draper’s probabilistic claim that the facts of evolution are much more probable on naturalism than on theism, and with regard to that claim makes two specific points. First, Draper’s probabilistic claim contradicts theism’s necessary falsehood; unless Draper wishes to acknowledge that theism is necessarily true, his claim commits him to theism’s contingency and so sets him at odds with a mainstream that sees God’s existence as decidedly noncontingent. Second, Plantinga argues that Draper’s probabilistic claim is, even if true, overwhelmed by counterclaims about facts that are more likely on theism than naturalism. I argue this critique of Draper depends upon a serious error, and that Plantinga overlooks the full implications of his own presuppositions. Correcting these shortcomings shows that Plantinga’s own probabilistic-apologetics (e.g., the ‘Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism’) requires theism’s contingency no less than does Draper’s atheology
Keywords Alvin Plantinga  Paul Draper  Evolutionary argument against naturalism  Theism  Contingency  Probability
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DOI 10.1007/s11153-012-9361-6
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Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Oxford University Press USA.
Warranted Christian Belief.P. Helm - 2000 - Mind 110 (440):1110-1115.

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