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Richard Dawkinsí Darwinian Objection to Unexplained Complexity in God

Patrick Richmond
S & CB 19 (2)
October 2007


Richard Dawkins has popularised the argument that Darwinism leaves God looking unnecessary and extremely improbable. God would have to be even more complicated than his creatures and so even more in need of explanation than they are, but no explanation is appropriate. This paper attempts to clarify the argument and examine responses to it. It investigates claims that Darwinism does not explain everything, that no explanation of Godís complexity is needed, that Godís complexity is explained in terms of factual or logical necessity, and that God is simple, not complex. None of these responses seems completely convincing. Finally it argues that Godís knowledge of the actual world can be explained in terms of his irreducible ability to choose among alternatives based on their value, and his unlimited awareness of alternatives needs no complex specification and need not be organised, statistically improbable or composed of parts.

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