It could be understood as consistent

Kenneth Miller replies to Jerry Coyne on religion and science.

I made no argument that this happy confluence of natural events and physical constants proves the existence of God in any way—only that it could be understood or interpreted as consistent with the Divine by a person of faith.

Ah. Well sure it could, but lots of things could be understood or interpreted as consistent with the Divine by a person of faith. In fact the number of things that could be so understood and interpreted is, pretty obviously, staggeringly large. Persons of faith have no trouble coming up with the ability to understand and interpret whatever there is with whatever they want there to be; that’s what it is to be a person of faith. In short, that’s a pretty feeble standard.

Sam Harris gives a sardonic reading of the same passage:

That’s just the right note to strike with a neo-militant rationalist like Coyne. These people are simply obsessed with finding the best explanation for the patterns we witness in natural world. But faith teaches us that the best, alas, is often the enemy of the good. For instance, given that viruses outnumber animals by ten to one, and given that a single virus like smallpox killed 500 million human beings in the 20th century (many of them children), people like Coyne ask whether these data are best explained by the existence of an all knowing, all powerful, and all loving God who views humanity as His most cherished creation. Wrong question Coyne! You see, the wise have learned to ask, along with Miller, whether it is merely possible, given these facts, that a mysterious God with an inscrutable Will could have created the world. Surely it is! And the heart rejoices…

Heh. Exactly.

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