Evolution and Theism; an Investigation of Elliot Sober’s View

@ Roozbeh Zareʿ / Assistant Professor of Department of Western Studies, Institute of Islamic

Culture and Thought                                                                                                     r.zare@iict.ac.ir

Sayyed Hassan Hosseini / Professor of Department of Philosophy of Science, Sharif University of Technology                                                                                                                                   hoseinih@sharif.edu

Received: 2021/01/04 - Accepted: 2021/06/17


The theory of evolution gave rise to various philosophical and religious oppositions from the very onset. The conventional modern interpretation of this theory is also regarded in opposition to theism. Naturally, some attempts have been made, since the emergence of this theory, to show the consistency or inconsistency of the claims of this theory with religious doctrines. Elliot Sober, the prominent contemporary biological philosopher, has offered a novel account of the relationship of the evolution theory and theism. He attempts to show the presumptive nature of that theory and prove its consistency with the existence of the hidden determining factors (including God) on the one hand, and investigate the relationship between the claim of unguided nature of the biological mutations and theism on the other hand. The final achievement of his investigations is that the evolution theory is neutral regarding the theistic claims and thus observes the naturalistic methodological rules. In this article, we have expounded Sober’s position and have finally evaluated it. It seems that the image he presents of the unguided nature of evolution based on empirical evidences is incomplete, and he has unduly been transferred from unguided mutations to unguided evolution.

KEY WORDS: evolution, naturalism, theism, Darwinism, Elliot Sober.

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