Re: New Pope on Darwinism - NO!

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Wed Apr 27 2005 - 09:02:55 EDT

Bob's comments on (and quotations from) Theodosius Dobzhansky are
interesting. I've never looked at that article, though I knew that D was an
Orthodox believer. I like that tradition in many ways, having just finished
a fairly lengthy article on the spiritual life and intellectual life of
Michael Idvorsky Pupin, probably the leading American scientist in the
Orthodox tradition before Dobzhansky.

As for YECs playing fair with Dob, frankly most YECs don't play fair with
much of anything, at least in my experience. Nor do quite a few IDs, when
it comes to sorting out very important (if sometimes subtle) differences
among types of TE. They lump everyone in together as "mushy
accommodationists" or some such label. Of course they also paper over
canyons in their own landscape, esp regarding the earth's great age (which
nearly all IDs accept along with death before the fall).

However, and this is a very important "however," you need to recall Bob
that theistic evolution (in any form one wishes to offer) is the worst case
scenario for a genuine creationist. Bryan saved his heaviest condemnations
for theistic evolution in his own day, and Morris and company do likewise.
Bryan called theistic evolution "the anesthetic that dulls the pain while
the faith is removed," (quoting from memory, but this is darn close if not
dead on) and to some extent I feel his pain, as it were. Let's be frank.
The acceptance of TE in any form raises very important theological questions
about soteriology, theodicy, biblical hermeneutics, and (above all) divine
sovereignty and providence. Many Christians I know are unable to accept
evolution and keep their faith in God at the same time--in which case my
advice is always, invariably, not to accept evolution. Someone like
Dobzhansky, with his deep sympathy for process theism (Peacocke would be
similar), is simply evidence that proves the argument for creationists--and
also for many IDs. I myself am unable to accept process theism and if I
felt that evolution demanded it I would not accept evolution, for my faith
in God also means more to me than my faith in science.

In fact the acceptance of evolution does not entail, logically or
historically or theologically, the acceptance of process theism. IDs are
having a very hard time seeing this, let alone accepting it or even
admitting it publicly. Judging from private conversations I've had, a
number of theologians also have a hard time seeing this--which doesn't help
the public converastion, IMO.

Received on Wed Apr 27 09:04:27 2005

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