>I assume you've seen Eugenie Scott's report on the revision of the NABT
>Any comments? I hope that we applaud this move as strongly as we
>criticized the original version.
I do not recall criticizing the original version myself. It seemed to
me a straightforward expression of the view of evolution widely held
in the scientific community.
Of course, the revised statement is only more circumspect than
the version it replaces. The practical effect, however, remains the
same. Evolution is still defined as a natural process explicable by
only natural causes.
Consider a roughly parallel situation.
A black family wanted to join a country club. But the club's
charter had been drafted explicitly to exclude minorities.
"Persons of African descent," declared the document, "shall be
excluded from membership."
When this was brought to the attention of the club's board,
they said, "Oh, sorry. We never meant to say that."
So they revised the charter. Now it read: "This club does
not discriminate against persons of African descent. We
cannot, because, in principle, we take no notice of them
That's the beauty of methodological naturalism. It gives the
philosophical naturalist everything he could ever want, in dealing
with theists -- and the naturalist comes off looking like a
basically decent human being.