Re: Shapes of a Wedge

From: William Hamilton <whamilton51@comcast.net>
Date: Wed May 19 2004 - 19:49:29 EDT

On Wednesday, May 19, 2004, at 03:16 PM, Jan de Koning wrote:

> I am sorry, but "evolution" is not a "historical science" but a
> biological one. A friend who is a biologist offered to take me into
> any forest to show that evolution is happening now, and combined with
> other historical sciences, evolution can be proved.

This is one of the sticking points in the creation/evolution debate.
Creationists will doggedly insist that evolution means common descent,
while those trained in the biological sciences will assert that
evolution is differential frequencies of alleles in a population. Of
course once you allow variation to take place at all you open up the
possibility that the species boundary will be crossed, but most
creationists will bullheadedly deny this. I would gladly accept the
invitation to see evolution in progress in the forest. Know any
biologists in Oakland County, MI? Maybe I could learn something that
would make my creationist friends think.

The statement that evolution can be proven is problematic. Nothing in
the sciences can be absolutely proven. I believe that when Stephen Jay
Gould claimed that evolution is fact he defined "fact" to mean a
conclusion which was so well-supported by evidence that it would be
perverse to deny it. Creationists can be a perverse lot.

> I believe, that for the faith-life of a young student denying
> evolution as taught by biologists, is more dangerous than learning it
> at the feet of your parents and other Christian teachers at Christian
> colleges and universities, if they know what they are talking about in
> biology.
>
> As a matter of fact, those denying evolution as taught at universities
> do more harm to Christian students than those Christian teachers who
> carefully show God's hand busy in nature, using evolution. Or, those
> historians digging in the past showing how history was developing
> before the bible was in its present form, are often more to be
> trusted than those who assume that there was no evolution, and/or
> those who "teach" that people 6000 - 8000 years ago had the same way
> of thinking as modern people have. God spoke to them in their
> language, using their thought processes.

One (and only one) issue with creationists is the idea that evolution
is driven by chance. This they see as opposed to God explicitly
creating. The next time I hear a creationist denouncing chance I'm
going to ask him whether he believes that God is not sovereign over
random processes.
>
Bill Hamilton Rochester, MI 248 652 4148
Received on Wed May 19 19:49:54 2004

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