RE: Question

From: Hofmann, Jim (jhofmann@Exchange.FULLERTON.EDU)
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 14:09:45 EST

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: Fw: Question"

    I don't know if Dawkins has reviewed Miller's book, but he wrote a rather
    blunt (what else?) critique of Pope John Paul II's 1996 comments on the
    spiritual component of humanity that science cannot address. Here's a mild

    "More generally it is completely unrealistic to claim, as Gould and many
    others do, that religion keeps itself away from science's turf, restricting
    itself to morals and values. A universe with a supernatural presence would
    be a fundamentally and qualitatively different kind of universe from one
    without. The difference is, inescapably, a scientific difference. Religions
    make existence claims, and this means scientific claims. "

    If you want harsher examples, you can find them at:

    "When Religion Steps on Science's Turf : The Alleged Separation Between the
    Two Is Not So Tidy " by Richard Dawkins

    Jim Hofmann
    Philosophy Department and Liberal Studies Program
    California State University Fullerton

     -----Original Message-----
    From: Todd S. Greene []
    Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 10:58 AM
    Subject: Fw: Question

    Hi, George.

    But when it is expert theologians who are the Christian anti-
    evolutionists who are doing the citing of Simpson, Dawkins, Sagan, and
    so on in this regard, then you can cite the expert theologians as
    confirming what Simpson and others have said. And there is no lack of
    such theologians. It is in the scientific area where the general picture
    of the real world is pretty clear, and there is little disagreement.
    (The debate is in the particulars.) It is the theological world that is
    in disarray not only regarding the real world's history and its extent
    in space and time but also regarding theological aspects that relate to
    these issues, including humankind's place in these contradictory
    theological conceptions of the real world.

    But, yes, it's amusing to see someone cite Simpson's or some other
    scientist's remarks about theological implications as gospel, while at
    the same time he is disputing everything else the scientist says on the

    However, it is quite clear that antiquity and biological evolution are
    quite incompatible with particular kinds of biblical interpretations
    and theological conceptions based on them, and in this respect Simpson
    and others are correct. But it would be interesting to see someone like
    Richard Dawkins, for example, directly address the points presented by
    such a discussion as represented by Kenneth R. Miller in his book
    *Finding Darwin's God*.

    Todd S. Greene

    ###### George Murphy, 3/26/01 5:58 PM ######
    "Howard J. Van Till" wrote:

    > Jim offered the following quotation in response to Bert's request:
    >> How about this:
    >> "Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not
    >> have him in mind"
    >> George Gaylord Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution, pp. 344-345.
    >> Quoted by Johnson at the following:
    > Two comments to keep in mind when quoting such a remark:
    > 1. This is an expression of Simpson's personal belief, not a statement
    > that is (or could be) the conclusion of purely scientific
    > considerations. The scientific concept of evolution, for instance,
    > does not lead to this conclusion, nor does it need it as a
    > foundational presupposition.
    > 2. Just because a preacher of naturalism (who also happens to be a
    > prominent scientist) says "X", it does not follow that X is true or
    > that X is considered to be true by the majority of scientists.

    & a footnote to Howard's 2d footnote: Further statements by scientists
    such as Simpson that therefore evolution is incompatible with
    Christianity carry very little weight. I am amused when Christian
    anti-evolutionists cite such statements approvingly, as if Simpson et
    al were expert theologians.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Dialogue"

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