[asa] Cosmological Evolution?

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Wed Dec 27 2006 - 08:24:26 EST

Happy after-Christmas greetings!
  Could someone at this ASA list please provide a definition or link to a definition of ‘cosmological evolution’?
  My curiosity connects with a comment I made earlier this year: “Frivolously applying ‘evolution,’ for example, to societies, runs the danger of reductionism, just as raising biological ideas to cosmological explanations suffers from idealistically inappropriate transferability.” It would seem that the way a theist speaks about ‘cosmological evolution’ would be dramatically different from the way a non-theist speaks about it. Or is this not so?
  Let me just show you where a web search might take a person who types in ‘cosmological evolution.’
  I’d never heard of the concept ‘grand overall design’ or G.O.D. before looking here:
  Just a note of interest for those who turn to the Wikipedia for information about various topics - there is no topic called ‘evolutionary cosmology’ or ‘cosmological evolution.’ But there is a category called ‘evolutionary natural selection,’ which highlights the work of Lee Smolin; no George Murphy and no John Polkinghorne on this page.
  Most surprising was the link to a site that showcases the work of Robert Charles Stewart. His site calls itself the “Academy of Evolutionary Metaphysics,” and presents an entire book (minus the final chapter, which the author writes “presents a vision which might be considered too radical for some people's poli-tik[c]al sensitivities”) on the web site. Here is the link: http://evolutionary-metaphysics.blogspot.com/2006/01/cosmological-evolution.html. Click on ‘Home’ to reach the book's table of contents.
  In the book called Shattering the Sacred Myths, the author describes his intention to promote “a new scientific philosophy called 'Evolutionary Metaphysics' whose purpose is to investigate all of the possibilities, to develop a reliable scientific alternative to traditional religion, and to establish a dependable theoretical foundation for a forward-looking community-focused political agenda.”
  In connection with ASA-linked reviews of R. Dawkins’ most recent book, R.C. Stewart writes this: “Without a shred of evidence to support it, the only difference between cosmological evolution and any other kind of creation myth is that it is cleverly shrouded in scientific words. Dawkins does this a lot throughout his book. He takes questionable concepts and shrouds them in scientific words in order to give them the look of scientific legitimacy. Intelligent design theorists use the same tactic.”
  See here for reviews of R.C. Stewart’s 2005 book, Principles of Existence: God, Democracy and Evolution.
  Would it be inaccurate to say that theistic theories of cosmological evolution are likewise “shrouding in scientific words” their own particular interpretations of God’s creation?

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Received on Wed Dec 27 08:24:51 2006

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