Re: The Church of Darwin (WSJ 16 Aug 1999)

Howard J. Van Till (
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 16:25:52 -0400

I had written:

> The RFEP proposes that the answer is, "Yes, the Creation has been richly
> gifted by God with a formational economy that is sufficiently robust to
> make its evolutionary development viable in such a way as to accomplish
> God's intentions for its formational history." In such a Creation,
> occasional episodes of *form-imposing* divine intervention would not be
> necessary elements in its formational history.

To which R. L. Miller responded:

>And your evidence is?

HVT: Every entry on the list of formational capabilities that the universe
is known to have, a list that is both remarkably lengthy growing daily.

To be fair, of course, I must note that neither the RFEP nor its denial can
be *proved* in a strict sense. Proof or disproof would require that we know
the complete list perfectly. Lacking that, as we always will, we must make
and evaluate proposals.

Some Christians believe that IF the universe's formational economy is
sufficiently robust to make macroevolution both possible and probable, THEN
the worldview of naturalism wins.

Some Christians propose that the formational economy of the Creation has
gaps in it--gaps formed by missing capabilities--that make evolutionary
continuity impossible and require occasional episodes of form-imposing
divine intervention to bridge those gaps.

Some Christians, including myself, believe that the Creation's formational
economy satisfies the RFEP, and that compensatory gap-bridging
interventions are therefore not necessary to accomplish God's intentions
for the Creation's formational history.

> RLM: "I also wonder how the Spirit world fits into RFEP.
> HVT: The RFEP has nothing to say about any of this.

RLM: But the Spirit world is part of our reality, part of it created by God
in >the same sense that worlds and people were. Isn't part of the charter
of the >ASA to mediate between science and Spirit? How do we explain angels
and demons >to our scientist friends who are not hostile to Christianity
but nevertheless >are sceptical? Is this part of the "foolishness of the

HVT: Of course these are important issues for the membership of ASA. All
I'm saying is that the RFEP is a proposition having a limited domain and
does not provide answers to all questions.

Howard Van Till