RE: Mu (Was Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians, stonewalling the facts)

From: Glenn Morton <glennmorton@entouch.net>
Date: Mon Apr 04 2005 - 22:18:18 EDT

George wrote:
>>>
I may have said something like this in an unguarded moment in debate
with someone who claimed that Gen.1 ruled out evolution but usually I'm
more careful. What 1:11 talks about is mediated creation of life -
i.e., that God created living things by means of the matter and its
capabilities he has brought into being. That's important & I've written
about it over 20+ years since it's significance was pointed out to me by
Messenger & my theology prof Duane Priebe. It opens up the possibility
of talking theologically about evolution but this verse doesn't "teach
evolution." <<<

And there is today only one form of mediated creation---evolution and
abiogenesis. What else is there even if it isn't currently believed?

>>>>I think it's likely that the biblical writer was picturing what
happened on the 3d day as essentially a speeded up version of a
phenomenon that of course he was familiar with, plants growing out of
the ground. That's the way St. Ephrem seems to have understood this.
So if you want to count "plants grow out of the ground" as a scientific
observation, I'll grant this, & it's relevant to a theological
discussion of evolution. But
it's not an elementary description of biological evolution in anything
like the modern sense.<<<<<

Of course plants growing out of the ground is not mediated creation. It
is development.

George wrote:
>>>>
I've paid attention, while you're confusing 2 different things. OTOH
you've proposed a scenario for human evolution in which you argue that
the events of early Genesis could have taken place. I'm not debating
that version of human evolution, though it conflicts in significant ways
with what most paleoanthropologists say & I think the data on H.
floresiensis is recent enough that some caution is needed in drawing
large-scale conclusions about them. But I won't argue that & grant that
you've constructed a testable scientific scenario.<<<<

Thank you, at least that is something for the 10 years I have been here.
:-) I remember all too well the reception I got when I tried to publish
the Mediterranean Flood in PSCF and then the reception I got here when I
first came. The above is quite a difference so I thank you.

George wrote:
>>>>>But to say that the historicity of early Genesis has been verified
- or even that there's any real likelihood of it being verified in your
scenario -is quite another matter. E.g., as a critical part of your
approach on p.185 of your AAA you suggest that 5.5 x 10^6 yr ago an
ape-like creature with 48 chromosomes gave birth to a stillborn child
with 46 chromosomes. God breathed life into the corpse and "This was
Adam."<<<<

Ok, the first rule is---WE CAN'T VERIFY ANY EVENT IN THE BIBLE. Now
that that is out of the way, what we have is evidence which is
CONSISTENT with a scriptural interpretation. That is all we can do. As
in science, apologetics doesn't work with proofs. Logical consistency,
cogency, coherence and non-contradiction are the only real guides we
have to whether or not an interpretation is correct, or consistent with
being true. We know that the YEC view is false because it is
inconsistent, incoherent, logically contradictory etc.

I find the more conventional liberal view, which picks and chooses what
to believe as true in Scripture (no floating ax heads) to be logically
incoherent. If God can raise a dead man, and create a universe, what on
earth is the problem with floating an ax head? God is powerful as long
as he is very distant.

George wrote:
>>>>This is not something that has been verified by historical
investigation, paleontology or any other science. Given the slight
possibility of there being any fossil evidence from such an isolated
event at that distance in the past, what likelihood is there that it
ever will be verfified by such means?<<<<

Well, the first thing is that we KNOW that somewhere along the line some
ape was born with 46 chromosomes. That is a flat out fact. That ape or
ape-man is our ancestor. That too is fact. To say it isn't verified is
false. Now, the stillborn part of my scenario is not verified and
never will be. It is miracle, pure and simple. But if we christians
don't believe in any miracles (no talking snakes, donkeys, floating
ax-heads, resurrections of Lazarus etc), then why do we think this God
can do anything for us? Why do we think he can save us?

George wrote:
>>>>
& we should also note that this isn't the way the origin of Adam is
described in Gen.2:7 unless you're willing to read that verse rather
figuratively - even allegorically.<<<<

I don't think it has to be too allegorical. If Adam was derived from a
long lineage of forefish preceded by a similarly long line of foreworms,
and a similarly long lineage of foregerms which arose from the earth,
then God did create Adam from the earth. And that is using a purely
evolutionary viewpoint. It isn't allegorical either. The scripture in
Gen 2:7 neither says how long it took God to form the mud into the man,
nor does it say that God did it instantly on the day Adam stood. Once
again, I think you are constrained by the traditional view of those
verses. I am not. I see evolution in much of the passage.

George wrote:
>>>
Please understand that I am not saying that your suggestion is stupid &
unworthy of consideration. Given your presuppositions, it's an
ingenious & well-informed idea. Even without your presuppositions I can
imagine trying to develop a story sermon from this idea as a kind of
parabolic expression of the Genesis story. It fits nicely with Paul's
Adam-Christ typology. But it's not in any realistic sense verifiable
(let alone verified) history & it doesn't show that the writer of
Genesis knew even the most elementary thing about human evolution. <<<<

Components of the story (my interpretation) are verified as I noted
earlier. That is far more than anyone here ever expected would be
verified. I know that there were many who dismissed the entire concept
that a small brained hominid would be capable of speech and cognizence.
And given that we will never verify the details of most of the Exodus
(which some say never happened), given that we will never verify the
details of the resurrection(where is the death order? The death
certificate?), and we will never verify the story of Jericho, it seems
to me that you set such a bar that one will never have any concordance
between history and Scripture. But it doesn't follow then that one can
pick and choose the parts one wants to believe and then defend that
approach as better than concordism.

Secondly, the broader picture still shines through here. My search is
not like the YEC search. My search is to find some anchor point of
history for the religion itself. As long as we (both YEC and OE)
withdraw our interpretations from reality (the YECs from real science;
the OE from real creation), we will divorce our religion from reality
and make it appear imaginary. That is my biggest concern. I simply don't
see a way out of the forest in your direction.

George wrote:

>>>
As I said above, this is a true statement that grass grows out of the
ground. You say that the earth "evolved"grass only because of your
scientific knowledge ~3000 years later. The fact that you put
"ultimately" in parentheses is a tribute to your honesty but the
addition calls attention to the fact that there's nothing about
long-term evolution in the text.<<<

But, as I have cited earlier, Nachmanides, long prior to modern science,
didn't see it in a developmental way. He was a Rabbi in the 11th
century.

'AND G-D SAID: 'LET THE EARTH PUT FORTH GRASS.' He decreed that there be
among the products of the earth a force which grows and bears seed so
that the species should exist forever. It is possible that the name
'earth' mentioned in the first verse already contains a hint that a
force which causes things to grow should spring up from the earth, and
it was from this force that the foundations of all vegetations according
to their kinds emanated." Ramban(Nachmanides), Commentary on the Torah,
Transl. by Charles B. Chavel, (New York: Shilo Publishing Co. 1971),
p.40

Note that he knew of seeds and their propensity to grow plants but he
talks about a FORCE which grows seeds!

 George wrote:
>>>
I didn't say that it has to have all the things I listed. As you say, 1
or 2 would be nice. But they're not there.<<<

Meditated creation rather than instantaneous magician creation is there.

George wrote:
>>>>
Your ascription to me of the "It's true because it's true" argument is
unjustified, as I've pointed out before. Take a look again at my PSCF
article at http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2000/PSCF9-00Murphy.html . I
know you don't agree with it but that's another matter. As you say
above, "Please pay attention."<<<<

With due respect, I think I have. You start as you say in your article:
"The most profound understanding of life and the universe is to be found
in the suffering and death of Jesus of Nazareth. To use "God" language,
we can say: God is revealed most clearly in the cross of Christ."

But, you have to presuppose that the events described there are true
(and we already discussed that we can't verify it so this makes
assumption 1.

Then you have to assume that Judaism out of which Christianity grew, is
also a record of the interaction between the True God and man.
Assumption 2.

Within your starting assumption you have already done what I think can't
be done without ending up in the fideist position. You have assumed
that Christianity is true, and then not risked the possibility that it
all might be farce. Your apologetic, while nice for people who are
willing to say that there is no chance Christianity is wrong, won't work
for the likes of me who is willing to consider that possiblity. Indeed,
I think most people are willing to consider that. And that means that
apologetically we have to find grounding in reality. Most YECs
understand this. Most OEC's don't.

George wrote:
>>>>
It may be a silly argument but no sillier than your sentence that I
quoted. There's just as much justification for insisting that a god has
to reveal a couple of details about the structure of matter as about
cosmology or evolution. As to your last question, of course not. See
the article I referred to above.<<<<

Sorry, but I don't see it. The only reference to other religions is when
you use the term, once, nonChristians to talk about the commonalities of
the view of God. That doesn't address the issue I am raising--Is
Christianity the most laughable pseudo-theology ever published.

I will be moving to Beijing next Monday and will begin to get scarce
here. I will try to reply to anything but I will get increasingly slow.
My computer flies away next Thursday
Received on Mon Apr 4 22:20:11 2005

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