Re: Don't forget about me! (distal vs. proximate)

Date: Tue Apr 17 2001 - 06:33:26 EDT

  • Next message: M.B.Roberts: "Re: Don't forget about me! (distal vs. proximate)"

    In a message dated 4/15/01 9:06:58 PM, writes:

    <<However, I can't understand why you appear to be insisting in this thread
    Christians must "critique" evolutionary theories, in a way that is
    distinctive to
    a way that a Christian chemist might critique bond theories, or a Christian
    physicist might critique as aspect quantum mechanics. Rather one would think
    that a Christian paleontologist or evolutionary biologist would make a
    contribution to our understanding of biological formation by original
    rather than simply through a negative critique.>>


    Thanks for your note. I agree that original research is a necessary. My
    wish is that more of it were done outside the evolutionary paradigm on
    problems that the paradigm should be able to solve, but hasn't. For
    instance, the idea that species go through the process of aging is not
    considered a respectable area of research in paleontology, since George
    Simpson squelched the topic in mid century by calling it an absurd idea. Yet
    there is significant evidence for it in the paleontological literature that,
    however, is consistently cast in an exclusively evolutionary framework, and
    thus lost. The concept of phyletic aging implies that phyletic groups go
    through a developmental process that involves the entire life cycle of the
    group and is independent of evolutionary processes. But I doubt if any
    evolutionary biologist or paleontologist would touch the topic.

    Phyletic development happens to be my pet anomaly. It raises doubts in my
    mind about the adequacy of Darwinian evolutionary theory. I would like to
    hear from others about anomalies they have regarding the theory. I'm not
    talking about shortcomings of the theories that will perhaps be resolved in
    time. I am talking about known phenomena that the theory should be able to
    encompass and explain, but doesn't or can't. But what I read are largely
    criticisms of those who raise questions about the theory.

    << I note that Sam Berry, professor of genetics at the University College
    has published extensively on evolutionary ecology and made important advances
    biology in this area. As a leading Christian he has also written several
    on the subject. In all the ones I have read he has severely criticized the
    extension of evolutionary theory into theology a metaphysics. Michael Poole,
    science educator, similarly repeatedly pointed out both the validity of
    evolution as a scientific theory and the dangers of inappropriate extension.
    has publicly debated with Richard Dawkins on occasion. C.S. Lewis, though
    a scientist nor a theologian, was one of the most influential Christians of
    20th century. He recognized that the validity of organic evolution was a
    scientific question, not a theological one and also strongly attacked
    evolutionism (his poem on the subject is brilliantly funny). Donald MacKay
    another highly influential writer on the science-faith interface who
    the misuse of evolutionary theories. How many more examples do you want? In
    fact, I am hard pushed to think of any Christian who has defended organic
    evolution who has not also, to some degree, criticized its misuse in support
    atheistic or naturalistic metaphysics. As Tim Ikeda has also pointed out,
    are quite a a number of non Christians who have also express concern over
    such a
    misuse of science. >>

    As you can see, the misuse of science is not my main concern. My concern is
    that there is no longer a critical attitude toward the theory of evolution;
    that it is placed in the same category as the established theory of chemical
    bonding, when in fact there has been much serious criticism of the theory.



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