Re: [asa] RE: Public questions for Denyse O'Leary

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Fri Dec 22 2006 - 18:02:40 EST

Denyse is not an intellectual heavyweight. Most at ASA know this and it needs not repeating - she is a journalist and not a scientist or scholar. She admits this herself, noting however, that her words in the pop press reach further than many at ASA combined. Such is the situation in an internet press world - how many ASAers have their own blog?
  My issue here is not about Denyse, but with PvM's knowledge of Darwinism. Does he really think that Darwinism is not 'opposed' to Christian faith *in any way*? This is debatable simply given that many Darwinists are themselves opposed to Christian faith. But the fact that not all Darwinists are opposed to Christian faith gives PvM a platform to argue.
  My question is simple: why defend Darwinism rather than evolutionism or natural selectionism? The first option presents a single person's views, which were indeed based on an agnostic and even sometimes atheist perspective. This is not in question - I've got his autobiography beside me if someone wants to discuss his 'science' with his beliefs. Charles Robert Darwin is not an archetypal theologian for Christians to follow; he did not become a theologian indeed! Why Christians feel obligated to defend the non-scientific parts of his contribution to knowlege is difficult to fathom.
  The foundational viewpoint worth arguing about is evolutionism, which seems to have won the lot (i.e. is predominantly uncontested) at ASA, even William Dembski! (Check out the 'technological evolution' contest offered by Dembski at UD.)

  PvM's defense of Darwinism seems to echo ignorant defenses of IDism. 'If only you first understood our views *then* you could criticize them.' Yet the fact remains there is much of Darwin's theology that has been criticized, and much of Malthus' too for that matter. Darwin is not immune to theological criticism and thus there are aspects of Darwinism that should not be celebrated but put in their place.
  Denyse writes: "Darwinism is the creation story." Yet we know here from Ted Davis, following Mary Midgley, that it is not Darwinism but 'evolution(ism)' that is actually considered as 'the modern day creation story.' Getting stuck on Darwin seems to be both a tendency of IDists and also those who would defend evolutionism to the depths, even when it runs against their Christian faith.
PvM <> wrote:
  Denyse O'Leary, has written a poorly reasoned posting on UcD. While it is mostly based on her flawed understanding of Darwinism, it does have something of interest to ASA.

Let's just correct Denyse's obvious misconception that there is a
conflict between Darwinism and traditional religions.
Denyse, science and religion are traditionally not in conflict with
eachother, unless one goes beyond the concept of science.
Until Denyse familiarize herself with Darwinism, I can see why she may perceive that there is a conflict between science and her faith. An
intellectual lightweight indeed.... Blame others but fail to take
responsibility for her own ignorance about Darwinism.
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Received on Fri Dec 22 18:03:07 2006

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