Re: The Science of God & Human Evolution

Adam Crowl (qraal@hotmail.com)
Mon, 07 Dec 1998 02:11:21 PST

>Date: Sun, 06 Dec 1998 09:53:59 -0600
>To: asa@calvin.edu
>From: Robin Mandell <rmandell@jpusa.chi.il.us>
>Subject: Re: The Science of God
>
>[I wrote..]
>>
>> All in all his work is interesting and annoying - his insights are
>>helpful, but his errors are painful. He knows his physics and Talmud,
>>but his biology and palaeontology stinks. I like his ideas, but I
remain
>>sceptical, especially when he insists on dating Adam to 3761 BCE. He's
>>trying to create a middle ground between fundamentalism [of the
Orthodox
>>Jewish variety] and science, and that deserves recognition.
>>
>>Adam
>>
>Hi Adam,
> I liked and disliked Schroeder's books for pretty much the same as
aabove
>though I didn't catch the early mammal bit cause I not that read up oon
>dates yet.Thanks for the review. Being a jew and a follower of Christ
>myself I guess hearing the old sources give freedom to various outlooks
on
>the beginings is reassuring.(too bad they had such a hard time seeing
the
>messiah but they are in the hands of a most trustworthy judge now
)Anyway,
>one last question.I was pretty lost in the math in ch. 4. Is he
arbitraily
>picking these day lengths or is there some objective correlation he is
>lining up with.I think my grasp of physics is so poor that I can't form
the
>question well.Is there a solid idea in his time frame or is it all just
>numbers you can crunch at will.I am not really that high on strong
>concordance I am just curious and want to get this a little
better.Thanks
>again.
>andrew

One of the web-sites referenced by Ole covers this issue, and it's
pretty clear that Schroeder's "significant dates" are pretty vague and
arbitary. That's the problem with all concordists since there's no
objective control on their exegesis. Still the images and sequence of
Genesis has a certain "rightness" which needs explaining. I think the
significance lies in the human perception that origins begins with the
simple and undergoes a process of ordering. In Hebraic thought the
ordering principle is the Word of YHWH; in cosmology it's the evolution
equations that govern matter. Both involve a process, a motion from
"chaos" to "order", as is intuitively "obvious" to even the most
primitive of peoples.

Modern physics has the advantage of being tested and testable. For the
ancient Jews I guess the test was the effectiveness of "magic"/theurgy
based on YHWH's name or some other such system. People often
misunderstand magic as being of Satan, but really it is a kind of
"technology", a way of manipulating reality - since to the ancients God
[or gods] underpinned and determined the Real. We've largely abandoned
magic because of the rise of Science, but many early "scientists" were
magicians.

What I've said will be perceived as controversial since "magic" is so
strongly tied to the demonic in our minds. I'm not saying that it isn't
dangerous stuff and I'm glad that it was abandoned, but it has been a
part of every cosmological system ["religion" if you will] in a role
analogous to Science - not excluding Christianity or Judaism.

>p.s. Where did you see Schroeder strongly backing the bible codes? I
must
>have missed that and would not have expected him to.>
>
Not the codes aka Drosnin, but the earlier work that led to one big
waste of computing time to try to find other hidden codes. It's covered
in detail in the last section of the book, I think.

Adam

PS
Human evolution...

In my haste I didn't define my original question well enough to avoid
the usual philosophical discussion over "believing in" any scientific
theory. Personally I think we can call it belief when people use a
theory to make predictions - "hope of things not yet seen". But
scientific discipline involves not dogmatically sticking to a belief
when it's challenged by data [good data that is.]

To attempt to dig up human ancestors involves faith [hope of things
unseen] that they will be found if we look. To me that's been quite a
successful endeavour. A justified faith.

The other more important issue is the belief that humans are evolved and
being evolved they are the puppets of their genes - Robert [?]Wright's
contention in "The Moral Animal". To an evolutionary Calvinist that may
make sense, and the Fall would be related to the evolution of
"sin"/genetic selfishness. However others may find it erosive to any
concept of responsibility. What do we believe? Can we see an
evolutionary origin for sin? Does "sin" have a basis that science can
seek to understand? Does conscience?

>

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