RE: It's the Bible or evolution

From: Denyse O'Leary <>
Date: Fri Sep 30 2005 - 09:50:09 EDT

Actually, Ted, special creation is quite testable.

Scientists could try making a life form from scratch.

If they succeed, that's special creation.

I expect some day it will happen.

(Whether it's a good thing is another matter. Commercialized, it could be a
ruddy disaster.

The problem then becomes, did God do it that way?

Who knows?

What's not testable is whether God did it that way, rather than whether it
can happen.

Cheers, Denyse

(Note: The scientists who created the life form would be acting as
intelligent designers, so no matter what they did, the process would likely
be irrelevant to Dawkinsian claims for Darwinian evolution.)

Read brief excerpts from my book, By Design or by Chance?: The Growing
Controversy On the Origins of Life in the Universe (Augsburg Fortress, 2004)
Study Guide:
My blog: 
(go to other blogs from here)
Denyse O'Leary
Tel: 416 485-2392
Fax: 416 485-2392
-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Ted Davis
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2005 8:49 AM
Subject: Re: It's the Bible or evolution
>>> "Randy Isaac" <> 09/29/05 9:04 PM >>>writes:
I always cringe when I hear an argument about what a designer or creator 
would have or would not have done.  We can hardly presume to know what 
reasons a creator might have or whether something was done without any 
reason at all.
Ted replies:
Cornelius makes the same point--indeed, it's a central point to his whole
Darwin on the other hand, when he compared evolution with special creation
in the final chapter of the Origin of Species (it's worth rereading, if
anyone hasn't read it recently), has to make some assumptions about what
sorts of things would favor creation over evolution, and vice versa--in
order actually to do a comparison of the two views.  
I'm sympathetic with Randy and Cornelius, but then the only recourse is to
say this.
(1) We can't make any assumptions about what a creator would/would not have
done relative to making creatures.
(2) Thus, anything we find is consistent with special creation.
(3) Thus, special creation is wholly untestable.
(4) Thus, we can *never* put special creation on the same level with
evolution--that is, we can *never* consider it as an alternative scientific
explanation of the same data.
Special creation then becomes entirely and only a faith position, emptied of
content for purposes of comparing it with an alternative view to account for
Is something wrong with the reasoning above?  Is it perhaps (2) or (3) or
(4)?  Or the links between them?  If so, I don't see it.
My own voluntarist theology leads me to like (1).  I don't like to put
rational restrictions on God, I think God is higher than us and does what
God wants to do.  I've often argued for this, and I think that view of God
was crucially important for the formation of the modern scientific
enterprise in the first place.  But I am unwilling to push it this far, so
that it becomes impossible to draw observable consequences from the claim
that special creation is true/false vis-a-vis evolution.
Received on Fri Sep 30 09:50:17 2005

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