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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sun Sep 18 2005 - 20:13:24 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cornelius Hunter" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2005 11:12 AM
Subject: Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

>>> 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.
> Unbroken linkage does not require unmediated divine action, but it does
> require efficacious divine action. So, it is not a matter of mediated vs
> unmediated, but rather of efficacy. Again, the sculptor analogy may be
> helpful. The sculptor may use a chisel, but assuming the process is error
> free, then there is no break in the link between creator and creation.
> Again, what I mean by "break in the link between God and creation," then,
> is the idea that the result does not reflect divine will. There is some
> sort of intermediate process (be it random mutations, quantum
> indeterminacy, chaos effects, whatever) that is truly random or otherwise
> unknown to God. This is a common thread in evolutionary thinking, and you
> have clearly stated this is your approach as well.

In the approach that I suggest God's action is efficacious because things
wouldn't happen if God isn't cooperate with created agents. God wills to
limit divine action to what is within the capacity of such agents, & if
there is indeterminancy in natural processes then God wills that & the
consequent uncertainty in the outcome as well. This does not mean that
God's purpose for creation will not be accomplished but that that
accompishment is eschatological: "In the end the house always wins."

& again I point out that there is the possibility of God acting as the
"determiner of indeterminancies" at the quantum level to direct the course
of evolution. So you might be more comfortable with Bob Russell's approach
set out in his chapter in _Perspectives on an Evolving Creation_ .

>> Is that how you think God always works in creation?
> No, I'm not the one here who is restricting divine action.

Of course to be precise I'm not limiting God but argue that God limits his
own action. & whatever one may think of that idea theologically, & however
one may describe divine action, the regularities of natural phenomena which
science has discerned make clear that God does limit divine action in the
vast majority of situations.

>> Are you limiting "creation" to origination?
> No, but I have no reason to mandate a continual creation.

Unless you're a deist you believe in continual divine action in the world.
Whether or not that is to be called "continual creation" is a secondary

>> 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.
> Agreed, that would be a bad idea. I think it would also be a bad idea to
> not at least consider the possibility of theological influence in the
> historical sciences. I realise that influence would likely be agreeable to
> you, but good to recognize and acknowledge it, to avoid blowback.

I cheerfully acknowledge the influence of theological - & anti-theological -
views in all sciences. But I also know that the validity of scientific
theories has little to do with the theological views that may have
influenced their framers.

>> & it would be interesting to know what arguments you bring against the
>> theology of the cross - besides the fact that it undercuts arguments
>> against evolution.

I really would like to know what objections you have to the theology of the

Received on Sun Sep 18 20:16:35 2005

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