Re: Terminology (was Re: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists)

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sat Feb 24 2007 - 16:49:20 EST

On Sat, 24 Feb 2007 12:30:47 -0800 (PST) Bill Hamilton
<> writes:
> Bill responds: Your point about discussing scientific ideas in a
> theological context is a good one. Still, something vaguely grates
> when I hear "evolutionary creation". One thing that grates is that
> from the creationist viewpoint "evolutionary creation" is a
> contradiction. While I don't have to adopt creationist
> sensibilities, I (optimist that I am) would like to be in a position
> to reach out to creationists. Another objection, and this one is
> more significant from my POV, is that I don't see evolution as a
> means of creation. I regard creation as being the process of making
> something new. Evolution is development, not creation. Just call me
> an evolution-accepting Christian. (but I'm still searching for
> something that is descriptive and less awkward)

Please, Bill, don't equate YEC and OEC with creationism, unless it is
Creationism. Let me get some more mileage from Denis. He noted
conflation, the joining of two different elements to give what is claimed
to be one view. Thus scientism conflates science and a secular world
view. Fundamentalism conflates Christianity and creation in 6 days. Deism
conflates a creator with a clockwork universe. It is not wrong to join
different views, but we need to recognize that they can exist
independently and in other combinations.

Denis also noted that in the general view of Dawson and his ilk and the
majority of American Christians, there is an absolute split between
evolution and faith. They are held to be incompatible. But, Denis noted,
Genesis 1 was polemical not historical or descriptive. After the lecture
there was a question: Why didn't an omniscient God reveal what we
understand instead of working within the "science" of the time of
writing? My response is to ask which view God should have used?
Aristotles'? Eratosthenes'? Copernicus'? Tycho's? Kepler's? Newton's?
Hubble's? Einstein's with lambda? Hoyle's? Gamow's? the current
expansionary theory with 2.7 K remanent radiation? the future view taking
dark matter and dark energy fully into account? the view current in the
next century? the view expressing God's perfect knowledge? And, which
view could the original recipients have understood? which can we

I understand your problem with "evolution" and "creation." But note that
we are not always insisting on /creatio ex nihilo/. /Bara'/ is used of
things coming into being through natural processes. If new entities can
come into existence through evolutionary change, that may be considered
creation. Words usually have a greater spread than a single restricted
sense. I recall a colleague depreciating a student who thought he could
end a philosophical discussion by quoting the definition in Webster.
Indeed, to note George's PC definition of /pons asinorum/ as "bridge of
fools," the second word is the genitive plural of /asinus/, defined in
Cassell's as "A. an ass, Cic. B. Transf., a dolt, blockhead, ..." "Plus
ultra" can be applied more widely than to Spain's change of attitude with
the discovery of the New World. So I have encountered various studies in
which the author specifies that a term shall here mean something more

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Received on Sat Feb 24 16:55:16 2007

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