Re: The Science of God & Human Evolution

Robin Mandell (rmandell@jpusa.chi.il.us)
Mon, 07 Dec 1998 10:55:48 -0600

At 02:11 AM 12/7/98 PST, Adam Crowl wrote:
>>>
>>
>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.
Hi Adam.
You will of course have to elaborate on the magic bit.Not because magic
equals
demon but because more often nowadays I think magic equals illusion and
rabbits.Can you lay it out a little more esp. the magic in Christianity. >
>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?
Sounds like a quest doomed to failure unless you are merely wishing for a
new definition of these concepts. The first command is to love the Lord thy
God with all heart and mind and much of sin proceeds from the antithesis of
this. To me it seems outside of the language of science but maybe I am
missing the aim of your last paragraph.I do not think that the best wine
will ever do anything but burst the wineskins of our reason.

>
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