Re: Phillip Johnson interview

From: george murphy (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 10:35:42 EDT

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    Keith B Miller wrote:

    > This is a rather clear statement by Johnson that evolution must be
    > disproved in order to be able to accept a creator God.
    > ............................................................
    > So, at this point, you say
    > >that not only has it been revealed that science points to the reality of a
    > >creator after all, but the enormously bad and self-deceptive thinking of the
    > >Darwinian evolutionist is something straight out of Romans 1. Without going any
    > >further than that, I'd say that the biblical worldview has been enormously
    > >affirmed.

            Johnson is a little bit right when he says that "the enormously bad and
    self-deceptive thinking of the Darwinian evolutionist is something straight out of
    Romans 1" but his claim also contains a great deal of misunderstanding.
            Certainly some people ascribe ultimate significance to the natural processes
    involved in evolution - Dawkins of course seems to be an easy example. If that
    happens, these people are doing what Romans 1 describes, "worshipping the creature
    rather than the creator." BUT -
            That has nothing to do with the notion that evolutionary theory is in itself
    "bad and self-deceptive." Those of us who are Christians and who think that
    something like Darwinian evolution is a good scientific theory can still apply
    Romans 1 to those who elevate that theory to the status of a totalizing world view
    and think that physical entities and interactions, chance, and natural selection are
    the ultimate realities.
            Idolatry, which is what Romans 1 addresses, is not a matter of putting
    something intrinsically bad in place of the good God. It is putting something which
    is good _in itself_ in place of the greater good. Wealth, sex, food, &c are all
    parts of God's good creation but they are not God, and they become idols when
    ultimate value is attached to them. Paul condemns worship of the images of humans,
    birds, &c but neither images in themselves nor humans, birds, &c are evil.
            & we can go further and point out that the Intelligent Designer can also be
    an idol if it is thought to be an adequate representation of God, just as the
    wrathful God of vengeance of some parts of scripture can be an idol if separated
    from the total picture of God given by the Bible. & while I do not want to say that
    any of the ID folks are idolators (at least any more than the rest of us!), the
    emphasis on the Intelligent Designer apart from God's self-revelation in Christ can
    certainly encourage such idolatry.
            It might be replied that what the "Darwinist" worships is not any part of
    God's creation but a false theory. I doubt that very many cases of this sort can be
    found among real scientists. Some may think neo-Darwinian theory is the final word
    on life, but they know it's a theory, a map and not the territory.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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