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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Wed Apr 06 2005 - 12:24:51 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn Morton" <>
To: "'George Murphy'" <>; "'asa'" <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 9:29 PM
Subject: RE: Mu (Was Re: CT article: Darwinists, not Christians,
stonewalling the facts)

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: George Murphy []
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 6:35 PM
>> Sure, today. But Gen.1 was written ~2600 years ago &
>> it's just wrong to
>> insist on shoehorning it into modern categories.
> But of course, George, you are ruling out the entire point. Unless life
> got here by some other means than evolution, one would hope that the
> Deity knew he evolved things and could somehow have indicated that to
> the poor slob who was being inspired to write the account.
> If it doesn't fit what accually happened, which by DEFINITION MUST be a
> modern category because scientific understanding is MODERN and decidedly
> so, then it won't fit the task I am trying to see accomplished. Of
> course it must be a modern category.. That is the entire point!!!!!

I never said that you couldn't shoehorn evolution into the text but that
proves nothing. Surely you can see that to say:

    In order to be a true communication from God, it must say something
about modern scientific understanding.
    I can read some element of modern science into the text.
    Therefore the text is a communication from God,

just doesn't work.


>> Of course we can't prove that any historical event - in the Bible or
>> elsewhere - happened in the same way we prove a math theorem.
>> But there are
>> different degrees of conviction that intelligent & honest
>> people can have
>> about putative historical events. We "know" that Lincoln was
>> shot in Ford's
>> Theater & we're quite sure that the tale of Washington & the
>> cherry tree
>> didn't happen. It's simply perverse to suggest, e.g., that
>> claims that
>> Jesus was crucified under Pilate have no more historical
>> support than the
>> your speculative story of a 5.5 Myr Adam.
> Sorry, George, sometimes I don't think you do pay attention. It isn't
> the crucifiction which is important. Who cares if the guy was
> crucified.

Thanks for trying to tell me what I think but I prefer my own way of putting
it. In the article to which I referred a couple of posts ago I said that my
most basic claim was, "The most profound understanding of life and the
universe is to be found in the suffering and death of Jesus of Nazareth."
In fact I've said that over & over here & have written a book titled _The
Cosmos in the Light of the CROSS_ so it's hard to see why you've missed the
point so badly. And then at the end of the short paper I explained why I
had waited to say anything about the resurrection. You have failed to
understand my whole theological approach.

Of course the resurrection is important: I have certainly never denied
that. Inter alia, it shows precisely that the one who was crucified is
Lord. & it's only because the disciples believed that the crucified one was
risen that we know about the crucifixion of Jesus. But as I said quite
clearly, it's the cross which is where a theology of the cross begins.
(Surprise!) Until you get the priorities straight you will never understand
what I'm talking about - if you want to. There's a reason why it's called a
theology of the CROSS.

Who cares if "the guy" was crucified? Perhaps nobody if he's just a generic
"guy." The fact that it's _Jesus_ who was crucified makes some difference
I can go into much more detail but until your willing to admit that I know
what my own theological psoition is there's little point.

> It is the resurrection which has much less evidence for it
> than even the crucificition. We know that Spartacus and others were
> crucified. None of them resurrected. I would say the actual historical
> support for the resurrection is less than for my speculative story about
> Adam.

This is ridiculous. The claim of the resurrection is something that
putatively happened in an identifiable place to an identifiable person at an
identifiable time.
We have documents written with a few decades of the supposed event that
claim to give immediate reports of the empty tomb & appearances of the risen
Christ, & we know something about the effect that belief in the resurrection
had on the development of a Christian community. Of course all those things
don't prove it happened but there's real material that real historians can
make use of in evaluating the claim. None of those things exists in the
slightest degree for your speculative Adam story (except perhaps that it can
be "pinned down" to within a few hundred thousand years). In fact it
doesn't even exist as an historical claim except in the mind & writings of
Glenn Morton.

> I have all sorts of geological data telling me that the
> Mediterranean was dry. What do you have for the resurrection? A video?
> Come on!

Again you are confusing a geological scenario with your claim that anything
like the story of Noah was associated with it.

> If you wish you
>> can go down at
>> midnight to the coal cellar & claim that all cats are black
>> but include me
>> out.
> Why don't you deal with the real issues rather than talking about cats.
> The fact is you start with the resurrection. There is no extrabiblical
> evidence for the resurrection. All of those accounts were written by
> people who had axes to grind and were written many years after the
> event. While I believe the resurrection, I have no real evidence for it
> and neither do you. So when you start with your apologetic at the
> resurrection, you start from a fideist position. One that is more
> fideist than my position.

You're not very good with metaphors, are you? Even with unoriginal ones.
The point of the cat metaphor is that you try to make all historical
events - or at least all that might be connected with the Bible - equally
unverifiable so that you can make silly claims like the one above. I don't
buy it & I don't think anyone else will either.

> At least I know:
> The mediterranean was dry and re-filled.
> Hominids appeared on earth just around the time of this event.
> They were small brained but small brained hominids were capable of
> higher cognitive processes.
> I know that there was a 48->46 chromosome fusion event
> I know that these events are common in mammalian evolution but are often
> debilitating. But it occurs in rat evolution, equine evolution, canine
> evolution etc.
> I know that human behavior including things which look like religion go
> back at least 800 kyr meaning that humanity was capable of spirituality
> at least that far back and maybe further given that few things are
> preserved from those early ages--especially wood and fiber.
> What do you KNOW about the resurrection upon which you start your
> apologetic?

There's no point in answering this because the resurrection _didn't_ start
my apologetic, as I explained above.

>> This is intriguingly close to the standard ID argument: Somehow our
>> ancestral line went from 48 to 46 chromosomes & we don't
>> understand how that
>> happened so it was a miracle.
> Oh that is so ridiculous, George. You should be ashamed of this one. I
> have never said such an idiotic thing. I know some things that you
> seem not to care to know. Note the asterisked part.
> Now, these things occur quite naturally. The only reason I hold to the
> miraculous during the fusion is to match the Biblical record. So,
> George, it is NOT a case of 'we don't understand it thus it must be a
> miracle.' How stupid, how ill-informed of you! And it disappoints me in
> you.

I accept your gentle rebuke, something made easier by the fact that, as I
noted, I claim no expertise in this area. & I'm sorry to have
misinterpreted your argument. I now see that it's WORSE than the ID
argument. They at least can point to things that science hasn't yet
explained (or that they think it hasn't). You can't, so there's no reason
to say that this event didn't happen by natural processes.

Oh, except that we want to "match the Biblical record." Except that the
biblical record says nothing at all about God resuscitating a mutant
stillborn apelike infant. That exists only in your fanciful figurative
interpretation of Genesis.

So I will stand revealed as stupid & ill-informed. It's not the first time.
& you can stand revealed as purveying a completely empty and baseless
argument for the historicity of Genesis 2.


>> That isn't science, it's theology. But I'm glad to see you
>> accepting my
>> description of it.
> No, I don't. You seem to be reading things that aren't written. If God
> uses mediate creation, almost by necessity, he must use physical
> objects, which then places one in the position of having the physical
> universe create life. That, my friend, is NOT theology, but
> abiogenesis!

I called it mediated creation, you said it wasn't & then used the term. Now
you say you don't accept it. Let me know one way or another.

Theology is the logos about theos - about God. To say that God creates
mediately is to make a theological, not a scientific, statement. To say
that the sun shines because of fusion reactions is natural science. To say
that the sun shines because God makes it do so via whatever natural
processes science leads us to think are going on is theology. (That's an
anaology BTW.)

>> > And that means that apologetically we have to find grounding in
>> > reality. Most YECs understand this. Most OEC's don't.
>> Yes, that where my theological argument begins. But it is based on
>> historical claims about Jesus, claims that can be evaluated
>> by historical &
>> literary means without making that theological assumption.
> I sincerely doubt you have no theological assumption. You assume there
> is a god, you assume theism rather than animism etc etc etc. Those are
> theological assumptions. They certainly aren't scientific assumptions.

>> But how much better is your argument?
> It doesn't hide the assumptions I make and then I don't claim I am not
> making theological assumptions.
> You claim to find
>> support for the
>> claim that that the God that Genesis talks about is the true
>> God because in
>> the Bible he revealed some things about how the world came
>> into being. But
>> where did you get the idea that a "God" is communicating
>> anything in the
>> Bible?
> Well, George, if he isn't communicating anything, then the whole thing
> is farce. That is what I am trying to determine with my approach. Did
> God communicate anything. If not, then all your basis in your
> non-theological, theological assumptions is worthless.

I thought I made the point clear but apparently not. The question isn't
just whether God is COMMUNICATING something but whether there is a GOD who
is doing anything at all, communicating or not. You think you're showing
both by your claims of supposed historicity but the way you set up the
question and what you're willing to accept as historicity show that the
result was foreordained. I think you're the one who's hiding assumptions.
>> You've
>> just started with
>> the traditional idea that the God of Israel inspired the
>> Bible & then come
>> up with a couple of things that you think support that idea.
>> But others -
>> atheists, those of other religions - can explain those things
>> without your
>> assumption.
> NO, I didn't start there. I actually was into eastern religions before
> I became a Christian, but then I was also into demonology. I have moved
> from YEC to OEC. I hope that the Bible can be interpreted in a way that
> makes it real. But, george, I have always said, over and over, that if
> the Bible can't have any reality in it, I will reject it. Why would I
> believe something that I believe to be false or fideistic? That is the
> importance of my program.

When I referred to your "starting" I meant what your program actually begins
with, not where your religious journey took you.

>> Yeah, it was a short communication (originally a paper I gave
>> at an ASA
>> meeting). But I should have thought that the extension was
>> fairly obvious.
> Not if you epistemologically start at the resurrection. Historically
> there isn't the support for it that you seem to assume.

But I don't. Much of what you've written here (& previously) is rendered
pointless by this misunderstanding.

> Good luck with your upcoming grandchild. Being a grandfather is
> wonderful. I am now one twice over.

This will be our 2d, plus 3 step-grandkids.

Received on Wed Apr 6 12:27:37 2005

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