Re: Apologetics, Genesis, and C S Lewis

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 09:09:55 -0500 (EST)

At 12:55 PM 12/11/98 -0400, David Campbell wrote:

>As far as we know, predicting the existance of man is outside the scope of
>evolutionary theory. It is debated whether the existence of intelligent
>life is predictable by evolutionary theory. Evolutionary theory can
>predict that, if some form of life were to develop intelligence, it would
>probably be fairly successful, but without observing the fossil record and
>seeing what organisms have large brains, there is little to go on in
>determining what kinds of organisms might plausibly develop it. We can
>guess that a variable environment might be conducive to developing
>intelligence, and a certain size is probably necessary, but as far as we
>know evolution is at least chaotic, probably multifractal, and possibly
>indeterminate.

If evolutionary theory cannot predict man, which is a physical thing, how
can it predict that a form of life can lead to intelligence, a more ethereal
thing? These are just mere words--not a theory in the scientific sense.

Moorad wrote:
>>The statement that man descends from lower forms of life, e.g. apes, is
>>macroevolution. That is to say, there is a change in kind not merely in
degree.

>Clearly being made in God's image is a qualitative change, but for the
>physical aspects the difference is not enormous. (Some people do
>exaggerate the degree of similarity, however.) I believe Behe accepts
>common descent of all organisms, including us.

Let us not mix science and religion. We are discussing evolutionary
theory--a purportedly scientific theory.

>Common descent explains why the molecular similarities exist. It is not
>necessary to think about common descent in order to do the biochemistry,
>but it does explain why the biochemistry shows the similarities between
>species that it does. Common descent also explains why Old World monkeys
>would probably be a bit better as models for humans than New World monkeys,
>why they are more similar to us than rodents, why rodents are more similar
>to us than opossums, etc.

I think the argument is the other way around. Similarities is used to
conclude common descent. But surely that is not the only
explanation--scientific or otherwise.

Moorad wrote:
>>The notion of "God of the gaps" intrigues me. It is often said, in a
>>positive fashion, that people meet God when they find themselves in
>>desperate situations when all other sorts of help have failed--e.g. the rich
>>person who becomes destitute and then turns to God and his life is radically
>>changed. Now if in this instance such a need for God is praised, why is the
>>same situation--when it arises in the attempt of explaining the physical
>>universe--characterized in the negative fashion of "God of the gaps?"
>
>That image is quite good for understanding the problems of "God of the
>gaps". Someone who thinks he only needs God in the desperate situations
>and relies on himself the rest of the time has an unbiblical, limited view
>of God and overly high view of himself. An example is the episode from
>Twain's Roughing It, when he and two friends get disoriented in a blizzard
>and each swears off a bad habit. Upon discovering that they were right
>outside the house, the habits return in about fifteen minutes. Such a view
>of creation, in which God has only a role in the unexplained parts, is both
>unbiblical and a weak view of God, in which every time a phenomenon is
>explained, God's role is diminished. It is popular with those who want to
>attack God, because our increased understanding of nature over time has
>explained many things. It has probably raised as many questions as it has
>answered, but this aspect gets ignored. On the other hand, a similar view
>of creation is all too common among Christians, who then try to defend the
>god of the gaps by attacking scientific evidence instead of recognizing the
>bad theology inherent in such a view. Both the mysteries and the known
>aspects of creation should be cause for wonder and praise. However, I know
>of no theological reason to assign any of the physical aspects of creation
>to "mystery" or "known". Instead, these are determined by our present
>state of scientific knowledge and by the underlying pattern by which God
>runs that particular aspect of creation.
>
>David C.

Anyone who believes in a Creator--external to the universe--must know the
magnitude of such a belief. How can the creature know the Creator? How can
the creature know the way the Creator interacts with His creation? You mean
to say that one day--while still alive--we may know enough that there is no
"mystery" left?

Moorad