Re: Apologetics, Genesis, and C S Lewis

David Campbell (bivalve@mailserv0.isis.unc.edu)
Fri, 18 Dec 1998 14:54:48 -0400

>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...
>
>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.

Man is a much more specific thing than intelligence. Bipedal walking might
be predicted as a possibility for animals, for example, but I know of no
particular reason to think that bipedal walking and intelligence would
coincide, for example. Similarly, intelligence is obviously something
useful in certain situations, and so if it were to arise in some organism
it could be selected for.

>>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.

I was trying to separate the two, though I did not make it clear. There is
a theological difference in kind between man and apes, but no particular
physical difference greater than those found between other animals. As far
as what evolutionary theory can address, I do not see a change in kind.

>>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.

Either direction of argument is possible. Other explanations do exist, but
I have not seen any that are as good as common descent.

[snip]
>> 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

No, I mean to say that I do not know of any reason to assume that any one
issue will remain a mystery, except possibly by experience.

I hope this clarifies my previous post.

David C.