Re: Ohio and Anti-Evolution in Non-Natural Sciences

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Sun Feb 19 2006 - 13:36:12 EST

  “[T]he evidence for cosmic & biological evolution is now so strong that Christians can deny evolution only by (a) ignoring the issue, (b) fooling themselves or allowing themselves to be fooled by others, or (c) for a very small minority, being dishonest.” – George Murphy
   
  Do you mean that (a), (b) and (c) apply only to cosmic and biological evolution? Or are there other forms of evolution that are undeniable as well, for example, anthropological evolution, psychological evolution, chemical evolution, etc.? The universalism of evolution can be challenged, without questioning one (or two) particular specialized science(s).
   
  I am fully willing to accept biological and cosmological evolution if evolutionary theory is what biologists and cosmologists choose to use to explain/describe what they observe, examine and make experiments about – after all, I’m not a biologist or a cosmologist. What I’m asking for instead is a distinction between those types or varieties of evolution which you say are undeniable from those which can be denied or honestly called into question.
   
  Hopefully this is not viewed as being overly picky, and it does probably require a multi-disciplinary effort. For example, it is doubtful that engineers observe metal or mechanical structures ‘evolving’ in the same or a similar way to which biologists or chemists observe mutations or adaptations. Technological evolution, linguistic evolution and biological evolution are not (anywhere near) the same thing. Consequently, wouldn’t reducing ‘evolution,’ one of the most interdisciplinary concepts in the academy today, to a single discipline or field of study be considered hierarchical and thus (in a non-theological sense) dogmatic?
   
  “Christians don't have to accept evolution is anything like the modern sense…” – George
   
  This part I didn’t quite understand. Is the ‘modern sense’ of evolution somehow biased towards physicalism or materialism (even in the case of evolutionary philosophy)? Is a philosophical or metaphysical rule somehow enacted that restricts cosmic and/or biological evolution from inevitably being tied to physicalist or materialist interpretations of ultimate reality?
   
  These questions may help to identify some of the boundaries and limitations to evolutionary theory, that is, unless one considers evolution as universal law. And they have nothing to do with politics.
   
  Gregory
   
  
~~
  George Murphy wrote:
   
  Well, Christian theology has generally understood history to be part of God's intention in creating the world - in spite of the fact that that doesn't fit too comfortably with the idea of God creating a perfect world in the beginning. But no, Christians don't have to accept evolution is anything like the modern sense, and for ~1800 years had no compelling reason to do so. But the evidence for cosmic & biological evolution is now so strong that Christians can deny evolution only by (a) ignoring the issue, (b) fooling themselves or allowing themselves to be fooled by others, or (c) for a very small minority, being dishonest.
   
  Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
    ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  To: George Murphy ; Pim van Meurs ; asa@calvin.edu
  Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2006 2:51 PM
  Subject: Re: Ohio
  

  "All Christians - all theists - believe in "intelligent design" in some sense."

  Yes, there seems an inevitability for Christians to believe in 'intelligent design' in some sense. But I wonder if you could answer to the alternative question. Is it inevitable for Christians - all theists - to believe in 'evolution' in some sense? If so, then in what sense do you mean?
   
  This question is not meant in any political sense whatsoever. I am not in America. But I wonder in what sense Americans (or Ohio-ans) *must* accept evolution.
   
  Gregory
   
  
George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com> wrote:
        There is also the fact that "critical analysis" is the latest anti-evolution euphemism in the line of "creation science" - "origins science" - "intelligent design." They get increasingly subtle. "Creation science" was pretty obviously YEC stuff. But investigating origins scientifically seemed OK. All Christians - all theists - believe in "intelligent design" in some sense. & what scientist could object to "critical analysis" of a theory? But when we realize that it's only evolutionary theory (& related areas of science like the age of the earth) that are to be "critically analyzed" ...
   
  Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
   
  
Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca> wrote:
      
“That division of Biology which concerns itself with the origin of species, I hold to be the supreme division, to which all others are subsidiary. For on the verdict of Biology on this matter, must wholly depend our conception of human nature, past, present, and future; our theory of the mind; and our theory of society.” - Herbert Spencer (Reasons for Dissenting from the Philosophy of M. Comte,” 1864)

                
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Received on Sun Feb 19 13:36:40 2006

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