Re: The Fall

From: Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Thu Sep 15 2005 - 09:10:52 EDT

Since Robin Collins' excellent work has come up, let me comment briefly on
him.

Robin is a friend for many years. He was briefly a YEC in his youth, but
gave it up when he saw just how shoddy the arguments were about stuff like
moon dust and thermodynamics. Robin studied physics, working on a doctorate
in the foundations of quantum mechanics at Texas (John Wheeler and others
were there) before getting a PhD in phil of science and phil of religion at
Notre Dame. He's one of the brightest people I know. We teach together
(with env scientist David Foster) a course "Issues in Science and Religion,"
in which Robin discusses evolution, reductionism, and the soul/mind/body
problem. Fascinating stuff. IMO this last (soul/mind/body) is the most
important issue in the whole origins package. Until philosophers (like
Robin) convince others that we know how to "solve" it, a tall order, then
IMO the origins issues themselves will remain without satisfactory solutions
for many, incl me.

The Fall itself is, as Polkinghorne realizes, the toughest theological nut
to crack related to an evolutionary view of origins. IMO, the Fall itself
is a fact--a fact of everyday observation, not necessarily an historical
fact (though it might be). I'm with Chesterton and Neibuhr on this one:
it's the most empirically confirmed doctrine we have. But it's also a plain
fact that animal death preceded human existence by zillions of years, so the
old YEC answer (as much as some might want to believe it) doesn't work. And
I think that once that is understood, the questions about theodicy come up
immediately, regardless of whether or not the fall was historical.

ted
Received on Thu Sep 15 09:13:02 2005

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