Re: [asa] Wilson's "The Creation"

From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Thu Sep 21 2006 - 22:01:21 EDT

Thank you very much, Dave. This mirrors my initial concern when I
first =
read Wilson's letter but I don't want to jump to conclusions. I'll
read =
Barr's review more carefully.=20

   ----- Original Message -----=20
   From: David Opderbeck=20
   To: Randy Isaac=20
   Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 12:58 PM
   Subject: Re: [asa] Wilson's "The Creation"

   There's a trenchant review of Wilson's book in this month's First =
Things by Stephen M. Barr (author of "Modern Physics and Ancient =
Faith"). Barr suggests that Wilson is not extending a hand of =
cooperation here. Rather, Wilson continues to promote a warfare model =
of Christianity and science, based on some the same historical canards =
we've recently discussed here, while at the same time seeking to =
appropriate the resources of traditional religion (including its =
language and political clout) for his own agenda. Says Barr, Wilson=20
     "is up to something else, and what takes shape in the pages of =
[Wilson's new book], though never avowed explicitly as such, is a new =
religion, or a new form of a very old religion. It is naturalism
write =
large. Here are the tenets of this Naturalist creed: Nature is all
in =
   Barr contrasts Wilson's Naturalistic faith with a view of creation =
that many of us here would be comfortable with:
     "[Wilson's] theological ignorance runs deeper [than a few
misplaced =
references]. He plays with the word creation, even choosing it as the =
title of his book, while evincing no grasp of what it means. In its =
traditional and profounder meaning, creation is that timeless act =
whereby God holds all things in existence. It is not an alternative
to =
natural theories of origin or natural explanations of change.... For =
Wilson, nature is a play that somehow wrote itself, and, since he
cannot =
find the author among its dramatis personae, he concludes that [the =
author] must not exist."=20
   I haven't read Wilson's book but I don't doubt that Barr's summary
is =
on point. If Barr's reading is right, I'd have to say that we can't =
accept Wilson's invitation. Wilson is not merely identifying a common =
cause, he's calling us to conversion to a different faith.=20

   On 9/5/06, Randy Isaac <> wrote:
     Wilson's latest book is due out today. The summary extraction
of it =
is at

     I wondered what those of you on this list thought about his
approach =
and his appeal to the Christian community to join forces in this =


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Received on Sat Sep 23 11:02:23 2006

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