criticising scientific naturalism

From: Ted Davis (tdavis@messiah.edu)
Date: Sun Dec 09 2001 - 20:02:10 EST

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    Bob DeHaan (I think it was) recently asked whether TEs criticized secular
    evolutionists, noting that TEs criticize ID advocates and other critics of
    evolution.

    I'm not sure that I'd call myself a "TE," it depends very much on the
    definition one uses (as we all realize, this can get real tricky), but for
    the purpose of this question let's say I am. I have strongly criticized
    both ID and scientific naturalists in the same space--see the article, a
    fuller version of a cover story I wrote for The Christian Century, that is
    on my webpage here:

    http://www.messiah.edu/HPAGES/FACSTAFF/TDAVIS/gaps.htm

    I have also done so in a review of Ken Miller's important book. The full
    version of my review (attached) I published in the last HPS/ASA newsletter,
    a slightly shorter version is forthcoming in Reports of the NCSE (they
    probably won't print some of my comments on public education and the first
    amendment, since I challenge a view dear to their hearts, but they will
    print most of my comments).

    Many other ASAers have done likewise, and often. (I won't cite the scores
    of examples I could cite, let me just point to Van Till's book, Science Held
    Hostage, as an ideal example of just this. No doubt you can all think of
    others.) So the real question is, why isn't our work as noticeable? I say,
    it's because we're thoughtful evangelical scholars, and catch it from both
    antievolutionists (on the one hand) and secular academics (on the other
    hand)--actually the latter tend to ignore our stuff, their university
    libraries don't buy it and they need to be convinced that we have thoughtful
    things to say. And they don't hire us to teach at their big universities.

    Let me illustrate this point with the example of Michael Ruse, who in the
    past couple of years has been getting press for saying just what evangelical
    scholars have been saying for a generation--that many scientists have made
    evolution into a philosophical worldview that substitutes for religion (or
    something like that, my apologies to Ruse if this isn't completely right).
    Because Ruse says it, people listen, even if it isn't one bit original. Of
    course Ruse says it very well, and with the authority of a chair professor
    at a major research university. See above.

    Ted Davis

    PS. The attachments are in generic rtf format and wordperfect9. If you
    can't open them with msword or if you can't read the footnotes, blame Bill
    Gates: we at Messiah prefer the best wordprocessor in existence.



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