Thank you for taking the time to clarify your position for myself and
the other members of the ASA Listserv. I comment briefly here because
I think you misrepresent myself and many other Christians, and because
I found one of your answers to be unclear. I will post your answer and
this to the listserv separately with copies to you.
A natural, true, and non-teleological explanation for the tautology
"naturalism implies naturalism" in my subject was that it was a
typo. Should have been "evolution implies naturalism". Speaking
teleologically, the Lord uses mistakes like this to keep me humble.
I will likely be similarly humbled by what follows.
Ironically, your response to the typo revealed more about your
position than the rest of your answer: To you, evolution implying
naturalism is a tautology, unless one has "sufficient will to believe"
(Incidentally, I find that view even less consistent with the
psychology of my conversion than Carl Sagan's explanation.)
I feel you are unable to comprehend that "nature [as] a closed system
of material causes where intelligent causes are excluded" differs
significantly from a belief in a Creator who created an orderly
universe and may intervene as he chooses (ID is indeed a tautology
within this tradition), not just in the way Phillip Johnson, Carl
Sagan or anyone else says he must. Rather than accommodation to
Darwin, this second possibility is part of a theological tradition
that precedes Darwin, and is much stronger than William Paley, your
antecedent. Arguably, the unquestioning acceptance of Paley's design
apologetic was a primary reason why Darwin could be so destructive to
Christian belief (Evidence: Richard Dawkins still gleefully pretends that
Paley is Christian theology!).
> >2. Can one substitute Phillip Johnson for Carl Sagan in the next
> >sentence without any inconsistency with your position?
> >"In the case of God's existence, the only evidence Sagan would accept is the
> > miraculous violation of the **natural** laws of cause and effect."
> Certainly not. One point I frequently make is that intelligent cause is
> not the same thing as "no cause," nor does it imply "violation" of
This appears to be double-speak. First, Sagan did not say "no cause"
(he was talking about evidence for GOD so God would be the
cause). Second, you and Behe argue that "no natural cause" for
irreducible complexity" implies "intelligent design." Apparently, this
means evidence of intelligent activity beyond natural cause and effect
processes. To most, that is miracle. Third, "violation" as
commonly used by scientists means something contrary to physical
laws. Inasmuch as Behe argues that the appearance of irreducible
complexity cannot be achieved by natural processes, ID implies
"violation" of natural physical law (in this case non-equilibrium
What do you mean by "nor does it imply 'violation' of anything?"
For a significant study of an apologetic enterprise based on physics
with many parallels to your position I recommend Michael Buckley S.J.'s
"At the Origin of Modern Atheism"
At odds but in Christ,
Joel W. Cannon Celebrate Buy Nothing Day !!!!!!!
Dept. of Physics A 24 hour moratorium on Consumer Spending
Centenary College of Louisiana November 28, 1997
P. O. Box 41188
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188 Participate by not participating!
(318)869-5026 FAX buynothingday.html