Re: Phil Johnson's Approach

Allan Harvey (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 08:31:04 -0700

>"Recently some Christians in higher education have asked me why
>scientists affiliated with ASA and/or IVCF seem often to be unhappy with
>Phil Johnson's work. I'd like to hear some response to that question
>from both questioners of and supporters of Phil's work."

I agree with George Murphy in that my biggest problem with Johnson is
theological. Johnson seems to put God in a box by insisting that God
*must* have left scientifically discernable marks with regard to the
development of life, or else theism is false. That qualifies as "God of
the gaps", and I think it is as apologetically unwise (and theologically
unsound) as making theism depend on God's intervention to keep the planets
in their orbits. By setting up the theory of evolution as a direct
opponent of theism, Johnson does not allow God the option of expressing his
creative will through "natural" processes.

I think I've said before that the fundamental problem is that Johnson seems
to see "natural processes" and "God's actions" as two disjoint sets, when
the Biblical view is that the first is a subset of the second.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | Phone: (303)497-3555 |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | Fax: (303)497-5224 |
| 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303 | |
| "Don't blame the government for what I say, or vice versa." |