Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

From: Cornelius Hunter <ghunter2099@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 11:09:36 EDT

Bob:

Dobzhansky writes:

"The evidence of fossils shows clearly that the eventual end of most evolutionary lines is extinction. Organisms now living are successful descendants of only a minority of the species that lived in the past and of smaller and smaller minorities the farther back you look. Nevertheless, the number of living species has not dwindled; indeed, it has probably grown with time. All this is understandable in the light of evolution theory; but what a senseless operation it would have been, on God's part, to fabricate a multitude of species ex nihilo and then let most of them die out!"

Dobzhansky is saying that it would be senseless for God to create species and then let them die out. The claim entails knowledge of God's plan for creation. That is a theological claim. Make sense? You wrote:

"Dobzhansky says that the two "are not mutually exclusive," and that he can be "both a creationist and and evolutionist." What do you think he means?"

He means pretty much the same thing that Kant, Leibniz, Burnet, Ray, Grew, E Darwin, Chambers, Wallace, C Darwin, Powell, Chardin, and many other hundreds of millions Christians mean. It is improper to believe that God would create this world in a sort of direct sense. At the very least God must operate via secondary causes, and usually included is the idea that those secondary causes do not achieve predetermined designs. That is, secondary causes or intermediate agents themselves contribute to, or constrain, the resulting designs in some way. There are actually several Christian traditions at work here, so it is kind of a long story.

--Cornelius

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Robert Schneider
  To: Cornelius Hunter ; asa@calvin.edu ; Don Nield
  Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2005 5:24 AM
  Subject: Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

  And just exactly what is your point? You haven't made it clear what you mean when you say that Dobzhansky's statement "entails theological claims." Surely, you're not saying that if one accepts evolution one must also hold a theology of creation, are you? Dobzhansky says that the two "are not mutually exclusive," and that he can be "both a creationist and and evolutionist." What do you think he means?

  Bob
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Cornelius Hunter
    To: Robert Schneider ; Terry M. Gray ; asa@calvin.edu
    Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 9:37 PM
    Subject: Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

    Exactly my point guys. --Cornelius

    Don Nield <d.nield@auckland.ac.nz> wrote:
      Dobzhansky writes " It is wrong to hold creation and evolution as
      mutually exclusive alternatives. I am a creationist *and* an
      evolutionist." Later he writes "I submit that all these remarkable
      findings make sense in the light of evolution: they are nonsense
      otherwise." He also writes "Seen in the light of evolution, biology is,
      perhaps, intellectually the most satisfying and inspiring science.
      Without that light it becomes a pile of sundry facts some of them
      interesting or curious but making no meaninglful picture as a whole". He
      also writes "Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith ?
      It does not", and he goes on to explain that statement.
      Dobzhansky presents evidence that falsifies YEC but it does not falsify
      creation.
      Don

      Robert Schneider <rjschn39@bellsouth.net> wrote:
       They reflect Dobzhansky's own Christian theology of creation, shared by many ...

      Bob Schneider
Received on Fri Sep 16 11:13:29 2005

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