Phil's closing remarks at NTSE

John W. Burgeson (
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 10:47:44 -0500

There has been some dialog about what Phil Johnson actually said at the
closing NTSE session. This was a very minor part of an hour & 1/2
free-for-all dialog among many of us -- to some people it "stood out." I
asked Phil for a reading on it -- here is his response last night:
---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: Phillip Johnson
TO: John W. Burgeson
DATE: 2/26/97 10:49 PM

You have it basically right. I said that in 1998 we would be moving on
from the debate over whether it is legitimate to investigate intelligent
design at all -- the rule-making and definition-asserting debate -- and go
on to the merits of the issue on the evidence. Of course there will still
be theistic evolutionists around.
---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: John W. Burgeson
TO: Phillip Johnson
DATE: 2/26/97 10:06 AM

Phil -- I've had a couple queries and there has been some discussion on the
evolution forum about what, exactly, you said at one point in your closing
remarks. Here is a copy of what I posted to the reflector on this. Did I
get it right?
Joel wrote, in part: " I understood him (Johnson) to mean that within a
year from now virtually nobody would hold to what he called theistic
evolution, which I take/took to mean any postition who holds that theism
evolution could both be true."

Joel & I were both there; I heard something quite different, specifically,
that within a year the debate over whether (or not) theistic
science/intelligent design was a proper part of science would be settled.
To suggest that within a year all theistic evolutionists would be
"converted" seems to be an outrageous and wholly unbelievable claim; had he
made this claim, I'd think someone might have called him down on it.

I also heard Plantigna suggest, in his Thursday Veritas presentation, that
it was the COMBINATION
of naturalism & evolution that was the problem, not either one by itself,
and that, indeed, some sort of evolution might, indeed, be true.