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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Sep 17 2005 - 22:40:58 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cornelius Hunter" <>
To: "George Murphy" <>; <>
Cc: "Terry M. Gray" <>
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2005 5:15 PM
Subject: Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

> George:
> I don't understand why you think I am imposing evolutionary views on your
> position. I'm simply taking your statements at face value, which are:

Of course I hold "evolutionary views" - i.e., I think biological evolution
has occurred. What I object to is your continued assertion that I can be
pigeonholed in your preconceived category of what evolutionists think & why
they think it. I'm sure many others could make similar objections but I
know my own ideas best.
> ------------------------
> It's true that God does not do all the things that take place directly -
> i.e., without creatures - but this doesn't mean that God is absent or
> distant from what takes places. "God concurs, he does nor precur" is a
> classic formula. Thus I don't see this at all as a "break in the link
> between God and creation" anymore than I would say that the link between a
> carpenter & a nail being put through a board is broken because the
> carpenter uses a hammer instead of pushing the nail though with his hand.
> and,
>> Ah, but then doesn't God's activity have to be deterministic? No. If
>> there is a basic indeterminancy at the quantum level which is involved in
>> changes in DNA & if there is some flexibility even in larger scale
>> processes because of sensitivity to initial conditions, & if God limits
>> divine activity to what can be accomplished through natural processes,
>> then God may leave some element of chance in what happens in the world.
>> If you want a very crude analogy, the carpenter closes his eyes before
>> putting the nail in place.
> and,
>> In any case I don't think it's necessary to equate the divine governance
>> with micro-management of all events. I think that God intended for
>> intelligent life to evolve so that the Incarnation could take place but
>> that needn't mean, e.g., that bipedalism - which seems to have been a
>> significant step in the development of _our_ intelligence - was a
>> requirement that God built in in the beginning.
> ------------------------
> What you are saying easily fits into my phrase "break in the link between
> God and creation." It sounds like you are pouring more meaning into my
> phrase than is there. Part of the problem may be that I am addressing
> evolutionary thinking, and you, I think, are not primarily focusing on
> evolution but rather developing a theology that happens to accommodate
> evolution nicely.

Then you'd better explain what you mean by "break in the link between
 God and creation" because if my view represents such a break then unbroken
linkage would require unmediated divine action. Is that how you think God
always works in creation? Are you limiting "creation" to origination? If
so, origination of what? You say that I'm "pouring more meaning into my
 phrase than is there." OK, what meaning is there? You seem to be more
interested in criticizing the views of others than in stating any positive
views of your own.

& yes, I want to develop (or rather, am in the ongoing process of
developing) a theology that can address issues raised by modern science &
evolution in particular. Your contrast of that with "focusing on evolution"
suggests that you think you can do that without serious theological
reflection - a bad idea.
> It is interesting that biologists tend to use random mutations and
> physicists tend to use quantum indeterminacy, chaos theory, or some such.
> In any case, the effect is the same. You write:
>> I realize that this idea may be intolerable to those with some views of
>> divine sovereignty. It's legitimate to criticize what I say from such a
>> standpoint but don't try to force my views into some Procrustean bed of
>> "evolutionary thinking."
> I certainly do not want to be forcing your views anywhere you don't want
> to go. I do not think, however, that the issue is over divine sovereignty.
> One need not hold to a high view of divine sovereignty to take exception
> to evolution's theological premises or the theology of the cross.

For "evolution's theological premises" read "what Cornelius Hunter thinks
evolution's theological premises are."
& it would be interesting to know what arguments you bring against the
theology of the cross - besides the fact that it undercuts arguments against

Received on Sat Sep 17 22:42:37 2005

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