Re: [asa] Ditch Darwin To Advance Theory of Evolution, says Professor of Evolutionary Biology

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Wed Mar 07 2007 - 17:32:18 EST

“I see about as much need for a Theistic Evolutionist textbook as I see for a Theistic Chemist textbook or a Theistic Physicist textbook or ... name your discipline.” – Terry Gray
  But ‘evolution’ is not a scientific ‘discipline’ like chemistry, physics or biology (or economics)!! It is a scientific theory, paradigm, etc. Are you really meaning to elevate it as such into a ‘discipline?’ Why not someone write a book that clearly defines ‘theistic evolution’ and its contribution to knowledge? Or, let me repeat, is Perspectives of an Evolving Creation the best (or only) current reference work, i.e. a TE-oriented book?
  If TE’s are those who are trying to re-legitimize our Creator alongside the scientific language of the day (i.e. the theistic part of TE), then let us ask which comes first priority-wise: scientific language or theological language? In this sense, let us ask if D. Lamoureux’s ‘evolutionary creation’ (with which several persons at ASA apparently agree) is not more suitable than ‘theistic [e.g. sold out to naturalistic] evolution.’ This is written with intentional bluntness-of-tongue, though at the same time hopefully perceived with, at bottom, utmost Christian respect.
  “It seems that the only folks who treat Darwinism as an ideology are the Creationists and ID folks.” – Terry Gray
  I’m neither a creationist nor an IDist. But Darwinism simply IS an ideology – why try to avoid this or play with words? Rather just say ‘Darwin’s theory of natural selection’ or ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution’ or even ‘Darwinian theory’ if you want to avoid the charge of IDEOLOGY (-ism, -ism).
  TE’s seem to try avoiding the ideology inherent-in-Darwinism simply because they are for the most part not trained in fields which deal with the actual meaning of ideology; because they are natural or physical scientists! Some of the ID writers happen to have a strong point to make about the ideologies inherent-in-Darwinism and in-evolutionism. Please don’t try to tell a social scientist that Darwinism is not an ideology – this would be ridiculous!! It thus appears that I am here to challenge you, Terry, and others at ASA (which officially at least welcomes psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and engineers, along with traditional ‘scientists’) on the inherent-ideology of specialized natural science views, in this case Darwinism and theistic evolutionism.
  Come to think of it, that’s the first time I recall reading anywhere that contentious ideology: ‘theistic evolutionism.’ How can a person be a TE, without accepting TEism? Perhaps it is worth noting that Lamoureux is not an ‘evolutionary creationist,’ but a scientist/scholar who accepts ‘evolutionary creation.’
  “semantics and not science.” – Terry Gray
  Are you saying that those who study semantics at a scholarly level simply cannot be considered (as if on holy ground) ‘scientific,’ even if they apply scientific methods to semantics? Or does it rather appear that you have taken a perspective that privileges ‘SCIENCE’ (cf. ‘scientism’) at the cost of acknowledging other important contributions to what counts as socially-humanly important knowledge? Such a view would seem to contradict a ‘democratic’ approach to the meaning of ‘university,’ which supposedly accords respect, value and tolerance to diverse fields of study according to their claims on knowledge, wisdom and truth.
  Or perhaps TE is rather just about ‘information!?’
  Gregory A.

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Received on Wed Mar 7 17:32:50 2007

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