Re: [asa] Cosmological Evolution?

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Fri Dec 29 2006 - 16:44:35 EST

Thanks to the replies so far to this thread. I didn’t mean for it to turn into an ecological discussion, as it appears Janice is mainly concerned with. As I have no previous knowledge of her views on environmental issues, I take no sides regarding them, nor would I label them as ‘preposterous,’ though they indeed may or may not be. However, it was interesting to read conversation about T. de Chardin, as a significant religious-scientist figure who was concerned with our ‘cosmos’ – i.e. the initial idea behind this thread (three wise Kings following a star, etc.). Could we then please return to the question of ‘cosmological evolution’ or ‘evolutionary cosmology’?
  At first I expected in response thoughts about higher cosmological rationalizations for evolution, about advanced astrophysical speculations, involving issues of transcendence, perhaps even delving into science fiction. But instead the conversation became more earthly, speaking about the biosphere and the ecosphere. Was this playing into the hands of non-theists in the realm of evo-devo? Or is the cosmos, like human beings, also made in the image of God? Perhaps Paul Davies would be referenced on this topic by those who know him. Or are there others who more helpfully define the idea of 'cosmological evolution'?
  Previously I was aware of the concept of cosmo-genesis, as well as the cosmosphere, the biosphere, and the noosphere, which incidentally it seems were not coined by de Chardin. But I was simply seeking a definition of ‘cosmological evolution’ and still seek it now.
  Even asking about how to define ‘cosmological evolution’ could include the Christian legal philosopher H. Dooyeweerd’s ‘cosmonomic idea.’ Or it could cite “The Book of the Cosmos” by D. Danielson, who spoke recently at ASA’s annual general meeting. But Danielson does not systematically define ‘cosmological evolution’ (though Darwin's nephew speaks about it there) in his book, a text which doesn’t take a concrete stance on whether evolution is the best concept, or simply one of many concepts, to describe the change-over-time that is happening in our universe, the cosmos in which we live.
  The cosmos is certainly ‘changing,’ but I wonder why people (esp. cosmologists) would use the concept of ‘evolution’ to describe that/those change(s).
  Let me then return to the initial question that drew thoughtful feedback: “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?“
  Kind thanks,
  G. Arago
  p.s. thanks especially for the juicy answer from Wayne:
  "It depends. If you examine the world and see that evolution is a process that appears to occur, and then try to reconcile that with what is revealed in scripture, then you are accepting it as a fact that you must grapple with in your theology. / If evolution becomes your "theology", then this charge could possibly stick."
  What could it mean - 'if evolution becomes your theology'? Intruiged. Please elaborate.

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Received on Fri Dec 29 16:44:57 2006

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