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

From: Cornelius Hunter <ghunter2099@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 22:47:29 EDT

George:

Here is the previous part of the paragraph, just so the context is not lost:

"Well this gets into a longer discussion, which I was hoping to avoid, about the various Christian traditions motivating evolutionary thought. Suffice it to say that from deism and the greater god sentiment (ie, it is "infra dig" for god to act in creation) to the problem of evil and claims of dysteleology, evolutionary thinking is based on the idea that there must be a break in the link between God and creation."

Of course I am generalizing for the sake of brevity and discussion. There is certainly a lot more to say about this, and many nuances to be explored. Nonetheless, I can't see how one would find this to be too far off base. I'm interested in hearing other opinions on this. Can you explain why you think this is "wrong!". In what way am I mischaracterizing, for instance, Kant, Liebniz, Burnet, Tindal, Ray, Grew, Powell, Chambers, Brougham, Conybeare, etc., etc.?

--Cornelius

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: George Murphy
  To: Cornelius Hunter ; Terry M. Gray ; asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Friday, September 16, 2005 7:18 PM
  Subject: Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

  Cornelius -

  You seem a bit too willing to tell other people why they think what they do. E.g. (below), "evolutionary thinking is based on the idea that there must be a break in the link between God and creation." All I can say for myself is, "Wrong!"

  Shalom
  George
  http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Cornelius Hunter
    To: Terry M. Gray ; asa@calvin.edu
    Sent: Friday, September 16, 2005 7:12 PM
    Subject: Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

    Terry:

    You wrote:

    "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."

    Well this gets into a longer discussion, which I was hoping to avoid, about the various Christian traditions motivating evolutionary thought. Suffice it to say that from deism and the greater god sentiment (ie, it is "infra dig" for god to act in creation) to the problem of evil and claims of dysteleology, evolutionary thinking is based on the idea that there must be a break in the link between God and creation. It is not a matter of whether divine action is detectable or not. Undetectable divine action is allowed, but not to the extent that there is no break in the link, or that the world directly reflects divine will. It would be contradictory to, on the one hand, argue that the Vitamin C pseudogene mandates common descent because God would not have intended such a thing, while on the other hand argue that the pseudogene was God's design, albeit achieved via undetectable divine action.

    You wrote:

    "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."

    Of course the evidence can be cast into those terms, but then it loses its force. Consider the evolutionist's use of the laryngeal nerve evidence. We are told that it is "surely inefficient" and would never have been created, but that it is "easy to explain such an inefficiency if giraffes have evolved in small stages from a fish-like ancestor." Easy to explain? Sorry, but without the powerful metaphysics, this evidence falls on its face. Giraffes evolving from fish in small stages? We can't even get the beaks of finches to change much. There are all kinds of problems with this idea. And yet we are told evolution is a scientific fact. If this were so, then it why is this not spelled out somewhere without relying on the powerful theological premises?

    Isn't it interesting that science just happened to discover what philosophers, theologians and scientists were arguing must be true for centuries in advance? And isn't it interesting that every attempt to establish the fact of evolution relies on theological arguments?

    --Cornelius

    ps--As an aside, I don't understand how you find sympathy in B B Warfield, much less Charles Hodge.

    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.
Received on Fri Sep 16 22:53:26 2005

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