RE: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Sun Mar 18 2007 - 22:50:59 EDT

This is for Bill H., Jack, Gregory A.,

Bill Hamilton wrote:
> Suppose I accept as fact your and Glenn's claim that there is
> no rational basis for laiming that such beings do not have
> the image of God. That does not justify claiming that they
> ddo have the image of God, only that the proposition is undecided.

Bill, aren't you the one who agreed that if the IOG does nothing, it isn't
worth much? The word translated Image, means literally image, or likeness
or resemblance. OK, we know God has reason. Isaiah 1:18, Come let us reason
together. So, if we are like God and God can reason, then reason is part of
the image/resemblance/likeness.

Deut 4:31, God is merciful. We are, but chimps aren't (documentation upon

Deut 6:15 God is jealous. So is man.

Job 36:5 God is might in strength and wisdom. Man is as well. We can
philosophize and lift several thousand tons with our tools.

Ps 47:7 God is the king of all the earth--and with man's dominion, so is

Can't help this one
Luke 3:8 God is able to make children of Abraham of these stones, but of
course that might be miraculous and we can't allow it.

John 4:24 God is spirit--so our spiritual side is a big part of the
image--Bilzingsleben altar.

1 Cor 1:9 God is faithful--man can be, but animals are rarely faithful.

2nd Cor 1:18 God is true. This requires propositional logic. Man has that.

1 Tim 4:4 God is good--only man worries about ethics Animals don't.

1 John 4:8 God is love. A question, do animals love? I don't know. Burgy
would say yes and he might be correct.

I would add that God can communicate so language must be part of the mix.

Interesting that no one else tried this.


Jack wrote:
>It doesnt make "everything" untrue. In a sense accomodation doesnt make
anything "untrue" it just makes the
>scriptures say something different than you say it says. And the ahistoric
interpretation does not apply to all of
>scripture, and not even all of Genesis, just the first 11 chapters, and
some other passages. But the non-verifiable facts
>in the ahistoric passages, does not mean that it is untrue, it is just not
historic, or verfiable with scientific methods.

Well, you forget about the untrue floating ax head, the untrue Balam's
donkey and the panoply of untrue miracles erroneously claimed to have
happened in the OT. See, I don't see this accommodation limited to Genesis.
What about manna? What about the column of fire? What about Moses staff
turning into a snake? What about the plagues? Accommodation seems to rip
everything miraculous out of the Bible. If I am wrong on this, maybe some
accommodationalists can clarify what in the above list they actually believe
actually happened.

>You are the one demanding this of the text. Why does an ahistoric passage
have to be verifiable for it to be

Don't beg the question. The issue is whether or not the passage is
ahistorical. Your question seems to already have assumed the answer.

This is my problem with TE's. If everything is unhistorical, what on earth
do we have with which to challenge the secularization of society? Our
secular colleagues believe the entire bible is untrue and ahistorical. We
agree that large chunks are ahistorical but believe that God is real. I
can't for the life of me figure out why? Our secular colleagues conclude
from a false/ahistorical bible that God is not real. Same data two
conclusions. Somebody is wrong.

>But all of the scriptures point to truth of the risen Christ. That is what
you have to hang your hat on. If that is proven
>incorrect, then everything else is meaningless.

So, the fairy tale of early Genesis points to Christ? The early parts of
The Lord of the Rings points to Strider as the King. But that doesn't make
Strider the REAL king.

>Who asked the question about how far accomodation is willing to go? Was
that on this list or somewhere else? I am
>honestly interested in that answer

I looked it up--David Wallace asked that. This thread.

Gregory Arago wrote:
>It seems to be the ideology of accomodationism and not just the
accomodating itself that Jack is questioning here and
>that Glenn is taunting.

I only taunt every other week.

George M. wrote:
>Why, I'm shocked that you think I'd ever mock anyone who likes to begin
responses with "I want to laugh"!

I was telling the truth.

>>>>Obviously you have not read (or paid attention to) my recent PSCF paper
in which I easily demolished - if it needed further demolition - this
standard piece of drivel that we hear so often from both anti-Christian
evolutionists & anti-evolution Christians. There is need for a savior
because all people are sinners. I.e., salvation is necessary because of the
universality of sin, whether or not we understand how that condition came
about. That isn't to say that the latter question is of no importance but
an answer to it isn't a necessary condition for belief that Jesus is the
savior. Again you display your ignorance of theology, ignorance which is no
less glaring because you share it with the likes of Wells.<<<

First off, you are conflating evolution with the fact of no Fall. It was
really the No Fall which caused Wells to reject christianity. Evolution was
merely the means by which he deduced that there was no Fall. You on the
other hand seem to say there is no Fall at all, that it is congental without
any human responsibility.

Secondly, George, you constantly underestimate me. Since I didn't find your
article convincing, maybe you have an over inflated view of it having
demolished all opposition.

You wrote in that article.
"But when we reflect on the way in which humanity evolved, we will see that
it is hard to imagine how it could have happened without sin coming into the
picture. If this is so, if some alienation of creatin from God was an
inevitable (though not 'necessary') aspect of the evolution ary process, we
can see why, even before creation, God could have intended the cross as a
way to reconcile to himself 'all things' (Co. 1:20)" George L. Murphy,
"Roads to Paradise and Perdition," PSCF 58(2006):110

Sin is not the moral choice of a free being in your view. It is imposed
upon us by evolution. I find that nowhere in Scripture, and think the entire
concept made up out of whole cloth.

You further say:
"And if humanity has been sinful from the time that it came into being,
without doing anything to become sindful, sin would be part of a human
nature itself. This would mean that in an important sense God was the
creator of sin." George L. Murphy, "Roads to Paradise and Perdition," PSCF

You don't like this conclusion and then try to avoid it by

I infer from the above that you don't believe that the Bible tells us a true
story about how sin arose. Is that correct? From your article it is clear
that you don't think the Bible is correct that a man and a woman were
involved in the Fall. You 'correct' the Bible and make it a village.

"Let us imagine the first group of hominids--it is not necessary here to
decide how large that group may have been, or where or when they lived--who
had evolved to the point of self-awareness and linguistic ability....These
humans have developed abilities to reasona nd communicate, and are able in
some way to receive and, at least faintly, understand God's Word, to trust
in that Word and to know and obey God's will for them."


"History indicates that this is what happened." George L. Murphy, "Roads to
Paradise and Perdition," PSCF 58(2006):115

Well, first off history doesn't indicate that this is what happened any more
than history indicates that my ape scenario happened. And you dare demand
confirmation from me of my scenario when you have an equally unprovable

Secondly, your 'correction' of the Biblical narrative, clearly shows that
you don't take it very seriously because, none of the Biblical events appear
in your scenario--no talking snake, a village rather than a man and a woman,
no coats of fur. But you do say something interesting, "Primitive
religions may well be a sign of estrangement from the true God." p. 115

So, George, I didn't pay attention to your article because it does not have
the immense intellectual impact you seem to feel that it does. Why should I
believe your scenario rather than that of the Bible is a question I can't

>>>>The rest of what you say above badly misses the point. If you're going
to talk about evidence for God, you have to know what God you're talking
about. Your God seems to be just like Johnson's, one who leaves his
fingerprints all over the evidence - though you look for different types of
evidence. The God who is revealed under the form of what is opposite from
our common sense ideas of God is very different. <<<<

Well, having fingerprints seems better than having the
invisible/undetectable man lurking around unobserved and unobservable. If
God is unobservable entirely, how do we know he isn't an invisible pink

>>>"Good lawyer"? Childish would be my word.

1 of many differences between us is that I read Genesis in its canonical
context. You don't.<<<<<

But I was correct, you don't believe that there is any history in that part
of scripture.

>>>>>& you still don't get it.

& look at the incredible sloppiness of your language! You say
"non-historical account of sin" when you mean "non-historical account of the
origin of sin." (Unless you actually mean that we're supposed to prove
scientifically that certain things are "sins," but I can't imagine that even
you would do that.) Then you appear to be completely unaware that there has
ever been any view of the origin of sin in the Christian tradition other
than the western fundamentalist one. & you also imagine that the account I
give is "non-historical" when in fact it's quite consistent with what we
know of evolution & history & in fact takes evolution far more seriously
that your ideas do.<<<<<

I see, you want me to use words as you do. If that were to be the case, I
would be you and we would be one. Group hug now.

As to knowing that there are other views, I do know that. I find them
useless. Are you seriously suggesting that the mere knowing of the existence
of other views means I must accept said views? How unphilosophical of you,
George. Surely you don't mean it that way. I argue what I believe. I
accept the positions I do because I believe them to be best. Sure there are
other views, but don't ask me to act as if they are true when I don't think
they are.

>The worst feature of your ignorance is your appalling tunnel vision: Only
verifiable historical or scientific accounts can
>be true.

Because without observation, we have no platform upon which to judge which
is true. Is a Banshee (beinn sithe) white or red? Please tell me which it
is. After all, you think that non-scientific accounts or unverifiable
things can be true. So, which is it, red or white? Observation is all we
have to know things with. So, yes, I get tunnel vision unless people can
tell me whether a beinn sithe is white or red, and explain how they know it.

>>>>Again you have paid no attention to what I've said. I never claimed
that Wells was saying - or that I believed - that modern humanity can be
traced exclusively to a single couple 60,000 years ago. In my post of the
16th, after quoting a program note about Wells' views I said, "Does that
mean that all humans descended from _only_ that tribe? No."

You will see then, if can read, that I explicitly said that Wells' result
does not mean that the people he was speaking of were our only ancestors.

When I quoted that program note you asked if Wells had written it himself,
implying that it might not represent his views. When I quote an interview
with him showing that it did, you try to claim that I misunderstood it. Now
I've shown that I didn't. Either admit that you're wrong or at least just
drop it. <<<<

You keep changing what you say in regards to Wells and I respond to the
latest flip-flop. The problem is that you raised Wells and said he said
things he didn't say. And you keep doing it. Like a YEC you only cite parts
of Wells which fits your view and ignore statements that don't. And in any
event Wells' view isn't analogous to the Biblical Adam and Eve, but then,
neither is your view of original sin.

>>>>And I said I'm "unwilling to allow any miracles" - where? Tell me
where. No shucking and jiving, just tell me where I said that - not where
someone else said I said that. (& lest you haul up the same
misrepresentation Janice did, I also haven't said that the resurrection is
the only miracle I'd "allow.") & if you can't, stop saying or implying that
I have said that.<<<<

You haven't said it explicitly, but everytime I ask about a miracle, you
deny that it happened--case in point floating ax heads. You say that the
real question is whether or not God actually did it. That conveys doubt
about the reality of that miracle to me. Do you believe in the miracle of
the talking snake? Do you believe in the miracle of Elijah raising the
widows son? Do you believe in the miracle of the column of fire? Do you
believe in the miralce of the staff turning into a snake? I can say yes to
these. You never answer these questions, and then act as if I am jack the
ripper in doubting if you believe in miracles.

>>>>If a serious discussion about these matters was a possibility then we'd
talk about what we mean by "miracle." That's unlikely, but if you're
interested you can look at the last section of Chapter 6 of The Cosmos in
the Light of the Cross.<<<<

I would prefer to look at the Bible, which should be the source of how we
understand miracles. By miracle, I mean a violation of the normal course of
nature, by God to accomplish his purpose.

>>>Can someone please tell this poor soul why the resurrection of Jesus
Christ is more important than the floating ax head? Really. <<<

The question isn't about the relative importance of axheads vs. the
resurrection, we both know that the resurrection is more important. But you
always fail to answer whether or not you think this actually happened and is
a miracle. You divert like the statement above rather than directly
answering a question. I think I know why.

>>>Very interesting. However -

1) There are differing levels of believability of unobserved phenomena & my
only point was that there are solider reasons to believe in gravitons than
in your ape story.<<<

I wasn't comparing gravitons to my views. But, what evidence can you put
forth to verify your village of original sinners? You fail to identify them
in any fasion, yet you say they exist.

>>>2) We don't have to have gravitons register on some instrument in order
to detect them. We haven't yet detected classical gravitational waves in
that way but have good evidence for them from the orbital decay of the H-T
pulsar. Of course (& this returns to point 1) we'd still like to pick them
up with an antenna. <<<

Sorry George, but this is pathetic. Gravitational waves are not necessarily
gravitons. Gravitons come out of quantum and gravitational waves come out
of relativity. They may or may not match up in the middle.

>>>3) D & P suggested a way of detecting the loss of energy due to
gravitational radiation of a laboratory source over a long period of time.
I showed (& in fact it's an easy calculation though I don't know of anyone
who had ever done it before) that gravitational radiation from any realistic
lab source would have to be understood as a quantum phenomena - i.e.,
emission of individual gravitons - because the number of gravitons emitted
per period would be less than one. Thus it might be possible to use D & P's
technique and look for statistical fluctuations which would show that the
emission was quantized<<<

But once again, this isn't detection of gravitons and my point still
stands--no observation of them.
In an addendum George wrote:
>>>>To return to that original argument (which Glenn sidetracked), I judge
his claims (stillborn mutant ape &c) by the criteria he wants to use -
essentially trying to discuss theology as if it were natural science - and
find them wanting. There is no inconsistency between doing that & saying
that I want my theological arguments to be judged not in that way but by
real theological standards, which include coherence between scientific
knowledge of the world but cannot be limited to that. The creeds play an
important role in theological judgments because, if nothing else, they keep
us in touch with the wisdom of the Christian tradition & its reflection on
issues - including creation but hardly restricted to that - with which it's
had to wrestle. & they are hardly the property of George Murphy.<<<<

And your village of hominids is not doing the same--discussing theology in a
natural science perspective? Come on.
To Rich Blinne, the problem with accommodation is that it allows us to have
an ad hoc picker/chooser and basically make up a theology to our own liking
which is nice if one is starting ones own new religion, but less useful if
one is trying to defend an already extant religion.

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

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Received on Sun Mar 18 22:51:40 2007

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