William ProvineIn hmolscience, William Provine (1942-2015) (FA:186) is American mathematician, evolutionist, geneticist, historian, and atheistic philosopher, noted for []

Atheistic | Philosophy
In 1988, Provine began to profess his own peculiar brand of adamant chance-based, Mendelian-centric, nihilistic atheism (compare: closet atheism):

“The implications of modern science, however, are clearly inconsistent with most religious traditions. No purposive principles exist in nature. Organic evolution has occurred by various combinations of random genetic drift, natural selection, Mendelian heredity, and many other purposeless mechanisms. Humans are complex organic machines that die completely with no survival of soul or psyche. Humans and other animals make choices frequently, but these are determined by the interaction of heredity and environment and are not the result of free will. No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we, have no ultimate meaning in life.”
— William Provine (1988), “Scientists Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible” [5]

“A widespread theological view now exists saying that god started off the world, props it up and works through laws of nature, very subtly, so subtly that its actions are undetectable. But that kind of god is effectively no different to my mind than atheism.”
— William Provine (1988) [2]

“If Darwinism is true, then there are five inescapable conclusions: 1) there’s no evidence for god, 2) there’s no life after death, 3) there’s no absolute foundation for right or wrong, 4) there’s no ultimate meaning for life, and 5) people don’t really have free will.”
— William Provine (1988), as summarized by Lee Strobel (The Case for a Creator, 2004) [3]

“An intellectually honest ‘Christian evolutionist’, a term which itself is an oxymoronic label, has to check their brains at the church door.”
William Provine (1988), “Scientists Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible”; "oxymoronic" affixed by Lee Strobel [5]

“Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin's views. There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That's the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.”
— William Provine (1994), “Darwinism Science or Naturalistic Philosophy?” [7]

In 1994, Provine classified himself as an atheist who denies immortality, a rational basis for ethics, and free will. [1]

In 1998, Provine, in his talk “Evolution: Free Will, Punishment, and the Meaning of Life”, seemingly described himself as a “naturalistic atheist evolutionist”, and stated the following five beliefs, which he derived from Darwin: [4]

1) No gods worth having exist
2) No life after death exists
3) No ultimate foundation for ethics exists
4) No ultimate meaning in life exists
5) Human free will is nonexistent.

In respect to Provine’s points, to clarify, point #1 is correct (no god exists); point #2 is partially correct (not only does life after death not exist, but life in life does not exist); point #3 is wall off base (Goethe correctly stated that the ultimate foundation are the “moral symbols” of physical chemistry); point #4 is off-platform (meaning exists; life does not exist), and point #5 is correct.

Much of this talk, in respect to crime and punishment in respect to determinism, i.e. point five, seemed to be thematic to the slave stealing parable of Zeno of Citium.

Determinism | Indeterminism
Provine, supposedly, in his 1998 talk, curiously stated something along the lines to the effect that he was a split determinist, i.e. a determinist in biology, but not a determinist in physics or chemistry (Ѻ), or something along these lines; thereby rejecting free will for humans, but believing in indeterminism in physical chemistry.

In circa 1994, Provine, described as “pit bull in a debate”, debated atheist turned agnostic (Ѻ) turned intelligent design promoter Phillip Johnson. [1] Provine starts out his course on evolutionary biology, in a style similar to John Patterson, by having students read Phillip Johnson’s 1991 Darwin on Trial, to find the errors.

Praise | Tribute
The following are noted quotes of praise and or tribute:

“I thought Provine was great when I took his evolution course, but his seminar in free will blew my mind. Because of this course, I had the most epiphany of my life, regarding the way I view myself, others, and society. If you have the opportunity to take this course, do so. You will be a better person for it. I graduated in 1995, and even back then Provine was packing them in. He is a preaching atheist and is obviously *very* bias against Christians, religion, and intelligent design. I really love the class mainly because of him.”
— Anons (c.2014), aggregate student reviews

1. Reynolds, John M. (1995). “Que Res Vitas? Phil Johnson Takes His Case to the East” (Ѻ), 16(1).
2. (a) Provine, William. (1988). Publication (pg. 70). Publisher.
(b) Ruse, Michael. (2004). Can a Darwinian be a Christian? The Relationship Between Science and Religion (pg. 98). Publisher.
(c) Strobel, Lee. (2004). The Case for a Creator: a Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Toward God (pg. 26). Zondervan, 2009.
3. (a) Provine, William. (1988), “Evolution and the Foundation of Ethics”, MLB Science, 3(1):25-29; a shorter version appeared as a guest editorial in the Sep 5, 1988 issue of The Scientist, with correspondence and rebuttals in succeeding issues; in: Science, Technology, and Social Progress (editor: Steven Goldman) (pg. 261-62). Lehigh University Press.
(b) Johnson, Phillip E. (1993). Darwin on Trial (pgs. 155-56). Intervarsity Press, 2010.
(c) Strobel, Lee. (2004). The Case for a Creator: a Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Toward God (pg. 18). Zondervan, 2009.
4. Provine, William. (1998). “Evolution: Free Will, Punishment, and the Meaning of Life” (abs), talk at Second Annual Darwin Day Celebration, University of Tennessee, Feb 12.
5. (a) Provine, William. (1988). “Scientists Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible.” (Ѻ) , The Scientist, 2.
(b) Strobel, Lee. (2004). The Case for a Creator: a Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Toward God (pg. 27). Zondervan, 2009.
6. Will Provine – RateMyProfessors.com.
7. (a) Provine, William. (1994). “Darwinism Science or Naturalistic Philosophy?”, Origins Research, 16(2):9.
(b) Hodge, Bodie and Patterson, Roger. (2016). World Religions and Cults, Volume Three: Atheistic and Humanistic Religions (§12:205-226; Provine, pg. 206-207). New Leaf Publishing.

Further reading
● Provine, William. (1988). “Evolution: Free Will, Punishment, and the Meaning of Life”, Journal, Feb 12.

External links
Will Provine – Wikipedia.
William B. Provine (faculty) – Cornell University.

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