Re: What can we swallow? (was: More than Three views?)

Robin Mandell (rmandell@jpusa.chi.il.us)
Thu, 25 Feb 1999 18:50:23 -0600

>Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 18:49:41 -0600
>To: Allan Harvey <aharvey@boulder.nist.gov>
>From: Robin Mandell <rmandell@jpusa.chi.il.us>
>Subject: Re: What can we swallow? (was: More than Three views?)
>
>At 12:46 PM 2/25/99 -0700, you wrote:
>>At 10:49 AM 2/25/99 -0600, Robin Mandell wrote:
>>>Hi I have a ? about this:
>>>[Allan Harvey wrote]
>>>>OK, that is a useful clarification. Howard is fairly strongly committed
>>>>to God not having left any "gaps" in what he endowed creation with from
>>>>the beginning, but open to the possibility that he might have done some
>>>>things in natural history directly in spite of that (as an extra
>>>>expression of his character rather than as a necessity).
>>
>>>If God "did some things in natural history" and if he did more things than
>>>expected since He is not Tame and is rather creative and large then
>>>shouldn't one be careful swallowing all of the modern descent by natural
>>>mechanism story? Even if it is totally sound and logical with such a
>>>lively God might some of Darwinism be an interesting possible path but
>>>historically untrue.
>>
>>I personally have no problem with wanting to be careful about
>>"swallowing" all the "natural" explanations for descent. Though one
>>might ask why (apart from possible differences in strength of evidence)
>>we should be more reluctant to "swallow" those scientific explanations
>>than we are to swallow gravity as a natural explanation for planetary
motion.
>>
>>Where I do have a problem (this has come up in previous discussions about
>>Phil Johnson) is when people are not merely careful about swallowing
>>these explanations for how God created, but insist that they must be spit
>>out in order for Christianity to be true. There's nothing wrong with a
>>healthy skepticism about natural explanations, but it becomes bad
>>theology and bad apologetics if we take the Sagan/Johnson position that
>>such "natural" explanations mean God is absent (that is the essence of
>>the "God of the Gaps" error), implying that the truth of Christianity
>>depends on the "natural" explanations being false and on specific
>>postulated "gaps" in natural history being present.
>I agree with both you and David Cambell on most counts. As far as what
Johnson believes or doesn't believe is compatible with God I could not say.
My main thought at first was that the tone of " God might have done some
things directly" in spite of His alleged aversion to this seems kinda
strange to my ears. Don't get me wrong I am all for common descent by
natural mechanism if it ends up ringing the truest but I think we don't
know what we don't know. Mostly my original post was curious to see who
determines how many interventions God is allowed before He has violated
"creations functional integrity" If this sounds like I am challenging
something it is my poor writing. I just want to follow the area described
as 5.0.
>
>>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | aharvey@boulder.nist.gov |
>>| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | "Don't blame the |
>>| National Institute of Standards & Technology | government for what I |
>>| 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303 | say, or vice versa." |
>>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>>