I commend you for posting it here where it is sure to get some
critical review. You may feel roughly equivalent to when I send my
Christian writings to my atheist friends--expecting disagreement but
perhaps also finding weaks spots or better ways to say what you are
I am trying to avoid being sucked into an ongoing discussion because I
am extremely busy now, so will post a guerilla (or maybe gorilla)
attack and leave.
My principal objection is a one I hold concerning many discussions of
science/faith, Creationist or otherwise. That is, it leaves (or
reinforces) the impression that evolution presents problems for
Christians but not to other worldviews. To the degree evolution is a
problem to Christians with their high view of man, and their believe
in free will, it is a HUMAN PROBLEM, not a Christian problem.
In this case I have the the more specific objection stated earlier
that it implicitly seems to assume (although it is not stated) the
only way God will act is in miraculous ways. That truth in
evolutionary theory implies untruth for Christianity. That seems a
dubious and sandy apologetic. Why let Carl Sagan et. al. determine how
our God must act.
On technical grounds, I believe the use of the words "theory" and
"prove" reflect lay misunderstandings in science. You prove things in
mathematics not in science, and as George Murphy has said earlier
theory (such as theory of relativity) implies an accepted body of
knowledge. It reminds me of when I testified as an expert witness
about a traffic case (someone alleged that a Lincoln had rear-ended a
thunderbird and bounced backward into a third car that was behind the
Lincoln--physically impossible or to be consistent with not proving
things extremely implausible)
An interesting parallell to just a theory is that in a courtroom,
Newton's laws (certainly the application of them) are "just a theory."
I learned this more clearly
when I testified as an expert witness about a traffic case (someone
alleged that a Lincoln had rear-ended a thunderbird and bounced
backward into a third car that was behind the Lincoln--physically
impossible or to be consistent with not proving things extremely
The DA asked me after I finished telling them that this was virtually
impossible, "Tell me what assumptions you made in your theory."
The correct but wrong (for dealing with a lay audience) was, "I just
assumed that objects behaved the same way in Bossier City LA as in the
rest of the universe." It was a mistake because I assumed for a short
second that what he and I meant by theory were the same thing.
The case was eventually decided in my favor.
> Hey folks,
> I just found out that the Alabama Textbook Insert has been revised and
> is being honed so it can be used in the textbooks of all the states. If
> you have any comments on the following, I would appreciate hearing from
> Bill Payne
> Revision of the AL Textbook Insert
> > This textbook discusses the controversial theory of evolution. As you study
> > this material please keep the following in mind:
> > The word "evolution" may refer to many types of change. "Evolution" is used
> > to describe changes that occur at or below the species level. This process,
> > called microevolution, can be observed and described as fact (e.g., dog
> > breeds), although no new major animal groups have been observed to arise by
> > microevolution. "Evolution" is used to refer to the change from one major
> > body plan into another (e.g., reptiles into birds). This process, called
> > macroevolution, has never been observed and should be considered a theory.
> > Evolution also refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces
> > produced a world of living things.
> > There are many unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not
> > mentioned in your textbooks, including:
> > Why did the major groups of animals (phyla) appear "suddenly" in the fossil
> > record (known as the Cambrian Explosion)?
> > Why have no new major groups (phyla) of living things appeared in the
> > fossil record since the Cambrian Explosion?
> > Why do major groups (phyla) of plants and animals have no transitional
> > forms in the fossil record?
> > How did you and all living things come to possess such a complete and
> > complex set of "instructions" for building a living body?
> > Study hard and keep an open mind. Someday you may contribute to the theories
> > of how living things appeared on earth.
Joel W. Cannon Celebrate Buy Nothing Day !!!!!!!
Dept. of Physics A 24 hour moratorium on Consumer Spending
Centenary College of Louisiana November 28, 1997
P. O. Box 41188
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188 Participate by not participating!
(318)869-5026 FAX buynothingday.html