RE: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Mon Feb 26 2007 - 20:22:17 EST

I want to thank people for the answers. Sadly, they were about what I
expected would be said. I want to correct a misunderstanding.

Keith Miller wrote, but several others expressed the same idea:

>Firstly, I do not see the e-mail medium as an effective context in
>which to engage in substantive debates. In fact, public debates in
>any context are rarely useful. The depth of issues and positions are
>rarely explored, and participants are more interested in making
>points than in listening and forthrightly addressing the issues at
>stake. So, I avoid engaging in such debates.

And Bill Hamilton wrote:

>Keith has made some great points. Our human impulse is to engage people in

>arguments and try to win them over by our logic. (And I am as guilty of
this as anyone)
>Think back, though, to when you first made a commitment to Jesus Christ.
Did He
>argue you into submission? In my case He simply presented Himself to me --
>contacts with Christians primarily, not insisting that I immediately
surrender, but simply
>making Himself known to me. As if He were saying, "I'm not forcing you,
but I'm not
>going away." A former pastor of our church said that the best thing you can
do for an
>unbeliever is to pray for him. And after you've done that, you present
Christ in a loving
>way -- both by what you say and what you do for him/her. I've had
>discussions with both Will Provine and Phil Johnson. Both have gotten my
goat on
>occasion, but reacting in anger would not have solved anything -- would
have damaged
>a relationship.

Without wanting to give offence, the above actually represents a bit of
linear thinking-one input; one output. Taking on atheism may not merely
have one purpose-to convert the atheist-there might be other
purposes-indeed, that is what I had in mind One of the things I have been
very slow to notice is that YECs think of us TE's as toothless lapdogs who
would rather bark at the YECs than attack our masters, the atheists.
Because of this view, they don't really want to listen to us on things
concerning evolution. We are seen as part of the problem rather than a
fighter alongside them against the increasing secularization of the society.

By standing with our YEC brothers against the atheists, we can do several
things. If our arguments against atheism are better than the ones they have,
we earn their respect and the right to be heard on other issues. We also
will occasionally make the atheist think-not the primary goal of the debate,
but an occasional nice piece of lagniappe (Go look it up. This is a word I
picked up in a foreign country I lived in called Louisiana).

We also can make it intellectually valid for people to resist the
secularization of society which is eroding church attendance, traditional
morality, and marriage. This is a phenomenon, I feel is largely due to the
perceived lack of reality to our world view. All we offer are myths,
poetry, allegory or false science. Hard to see why someone would reject
that offering!

When Burgy visited Houston in January, we had lunch and he told me his
story. (Burgy, you can correct this if it needs correction) One of the
things he said was that he took a class on christianity at a church and at
the end, they had a test. Burgy was the top student.(Burgy is smart) The
pastor asked him if he wanted to join the church. Burgy said "no" The
surprised pastor wanted to know why. Burgy explained that he had mastered
the material, but that it didn't have any 'reality' to it.

I used this as a launching point to try to counter the main criticism of my
approach to the scripture. I am often accused of being a literalist. I am
not, but, if the account has no 'reality' to it, I am in the same boat as
Burgy was that day. Indeed, society is currently in that boat. The YECs
tell a bunch of falsehoods about science and expect everyone to become a
Christian. But the rest of us tell them that the Bible is really not real
history, and then we expect everyone to become christians in spite of that

Atheism and secularism are spreading. Fewer go to church because they feel
that there is nothing there except myths, poetry, allegory and/or false
science. I can't fight the myth issue, but if I can get the YECs to see me
as a brother, they might listen to my arguments about the falsity of their

Thus, there are more reasons to argue with atheists than the linear thought
process would illuminate. We might get the YECs to pay attention to us; we
might win an occasional atheist over and we might slow or reverse the
secularization of society. From the responses I have seen, few are willing
to do much against the atheists directly. Kudoes to those who are willing to

The question of what do we stand for is one of immense importance. Last
year two Fox News journalists were kidnapped in Gaza. They were told to
convert or die. (unfortunately the video has been removed) They converted to
Islam and it was big news in the Islamic world because it was proof that the
westerners stood for nothing and were willing to give up their culture so
easily. Now, I don't know what I would do, and don't want to find out, but
if one doesn't stand for something, someone else will.

One thing I have learned in my life is that those who don't fight usually
lose. This is one of the things which began to bother me about the ASA and
why I have said it is a dying organization. We are insular and talking to
ourselves. Usually people who talk to themselves are called mad. I don't
want to spend my time talking to the converted anymore-time is too short;
too short indeed. (No doubt this will tick people off again, but not to

With this, I am off the list again. Thanks for the fish, and thanks for the

They're Here: The Pathway Papers
Foundation, Fall, and Flood
Adam, Apes and Anthropology

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Received on Mon Feb 26 20:23:40 2007

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