Re: An answer from Phil (fwd)

Joel Cannon (
Wed, 26 Feb 1997 12:06:11 -0600 (CST)

Forwarded message:

Gene Dunbar Godbold quoted a post from Burgy:

> > How can you categorically rule out the possibility of theistic
> > evolution, i.e. the idea that God can direct outcomes non-mechanically in
> > accordance with His will, but in a way that looks like random evolution to
> > us?
> >

I suspect that I, and a number of other people, would not fit that
definition of TE because it is more precise than our knowledge
warrants. I actually do not like the term because it means to most
people what was quoted.

I merely believe that a theism that includes a God who has
created the universe, and who can and does intervene in history
(e.g. through his son Jesus), does not preclude an evolutionary
history. Within this view the randomness can be real, not apparent.

My position is akin to what Plantinga has argued with regard to the
problem of evil. He does not attempt to explain all the details of why
there is evil (that is called theodicy), but argues that evil is not
incompatible with a loving, all-powerful God. Similarly, I do not try
to explain how (or why) God created things in the way that he
has, but find it not logically incompatible that an all-powerful God
has done so.

Metaphorically speaking, we are not going to hit home runs and
vanquish the heathens (like some imagine doing by overturning
neo-Darwinian theory) with an argument like this. However, I think
solid, humble, and truthful singles are preferable in this case.

Joel W. Cannon
Dept. of Physics
Centenary College of Louisiana
P. O. Box 41188
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188

(318)869-5026 FAX