Reason to belive in God (#2): My students have told me that at times I sound like a preacher in class. Not because I tell them how to think, but because my energy and rhythm make me sound like I am channeling MLK. Maybe I missed my calling. Well, this blog is an opportunity to share my thoughts, honest and unedited. And my thoughts often turn to the question of God.
Let me try out an idea on you. Science tells us that nature is locked in an iron grip of cause and effect, and scientific thinking has an amazing record of success...with the one crucial exception of human beings. Brilliant men have attempted to understand and predict human behavior for a very long time, yet I contend that we have made practically no progress here. Bentham? Yawn. Marx? C'mon. Freud? What a joke. Skinner? Do I look like a lab rat to you? Wilson? Well maybe, but do I look like a lab rat to you?
Now it is not my intention to identify every possible reason why scientific methods have failed to succeed in the social sciences where they have been so wildly successful in the real sciences. But I contend that one cause of the problem is that, unlike everywhere else in nature, there is considerable indeterminacy in human behavior. While carefully done research with a long list of risk factors may be able explain perhaps 50% of the sample's variation in individual behavior, this is far from 100%, and it is unable to predict what Joe (subject number 24) will do. Even the sharpest social scientist is very likely to be wrong if he ventures to predict that, "Joe will do X." Humans have much more control over their destinies than does a horseshoe crab.
So the evidence suggests that humans have somehow escaped (to some extent) the bone-crushing determinism of the universe. Events that don't follow the laws of nature are called miracles. How can Man ever transcend nature's machinery? The theological answer is that God touched him with just a bit of His own freedom.