Re: Johnson's Concluding Remarks

Murphy (
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 17:12:02 -0500

Gene Dunbar Godbold wrote:

> I have a question that I have kind of implied in several forums and nobody
> has called me on it. I ask it here explicity: If you have evidence that
> certain organisms are descended from certain other organisms--related
> through an evolutionary pathwa--does this then mean for the theist that
> you have figured out how God created all life? Just because you can show
> the former, it seems presumptuous to declare the latter. Humility seems
> to dictate that you say that in such and such cases it seems very likely
> that evolution happened for such and such reasons. Outside of these
> cases, it should be admitted that we aren't sure what happened. Anybody
> have a problem with that?

As scientists we do have to say that. Belief that the universe
is rational, whether on Christian grounds or otherwise, will lead one to
trust that a scientific explanation can be found, even if we don't know
it yet (&, we have to admit, may never know it).
There is a story about Einstein being asked what he would have
done if the 1919 eclipse observations had agreed with Newton's theory
rather than his own. Einstein is supposed to have replied, "Then I
would have been sorry for the dear Lord."

> There is a systematizing impulse that humans have that leads one to want
> to make conclusive statements about things that one doesn't have anywhere
> near conclusive evidence on. I see this in both science and theology.

True. In the latter it's easy to say "Thus saith the Lord" when
we should say, "Here's my theological opinion." We only know God to the
extent that God reveals himself. It was, after all, an Arian who said,
"I know God as well as he knows himself."
George Murphy