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

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 15:52:55 EDT

Cornelius,

See comments interspersed:

On Sep 16, 2005, at 12:06 PM, Cornelius Hunter wrote:

> Terry:
>
>
>> Cornelius,
>>
>> Some may argue that pre-determined designs are not possible, but
>> it is certainly not a necessary view of evolution. This is why
>> your arguments are so confusing to some of us.
>>
>
> I don't understand why my arguments are confusing for this reason.
> I hope I did not leave the impression that I think evolution
> entails the assumption that pre-determined designs are not
> possible. Evolutionary thinking arose from the claim that divine
> action *ought not* occur very often, not that it *cannot* occur, or
> that divine action necessarily has limited efficacy.

This is not my view (or Asa Gray's or Charles Hodge's or B.B.
Warfield's). Divine action occurs continually in my opinion. However,
as my post to Al earlier today pointed, such divine action is not
necessarily scientifically detectable. Those who claim that evolution
implies no or little divine action are simply mistaken. They are
asserting a theological claim that can't be supported theologically
or scientifically.

>
>
>
>> Now I happen to agree with you that to make such a claim even
>> about "special creationism" entails knowledge of God's plan and
>> purposes and is fundamentally a theological argument. I don't
>> believe, however, that the case for evolution rests on such theology.
>>
>> TG
>>
>
> Well let's review the relevant facts.
>
> 1. Modern evolutionary thinking arose in the 17th and 18th
> centuries within Christian thought as a conclusion of theological
> arguments.
> 2. Evolutionary theories (cosmological as well as biological) were
> claimed early on to be facts, as a conclusion of theological
> arguments.
> 3. Today, evolutionary theories are routinely claimed to be facts,
> though this is not established by scientific evidence. And such
> claims, when elucidated, employ theological arguments to make their
> case.

This may indeed be the case, but that doesn't mean they are correct.
Personally, I think that Darwin's theology is disastrous and, as you
trace in Darwin's God, is the result of sentimental, liberal,
Victorian theology. I do disagree with you that evolutionary theories
are not established by scientific evidence. All the evidence can be
cast in terms that avoids the theological arguments that you aptly
point out.

TG

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Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
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Received on Fri Sep 16 15:55:42 2005

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