RE: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Tue Mar 20 2007 - 07:30:32 EDT

This will be my last post before unsubscribing.
This thread started when I posted Collins observation that TE's don't
confront the secular society out of fear of what their colleagues would say.
The thread then devolved into the usual dispute about whether or not the
Bible tells us anything real about history/ miracles or theology and how do
we determine that. If we TE's hold that the miracles aren't real, that the
history isn't real, that all is kabbalistic symbolism and theology, then no
wonder we are reticent to confront secular scientists--we have nothing to
offer them that they would want--and we know it.
One of the interesting things I noticed was that there is a difference
between interpretation of the Bible and re-writing of the Bible. I will pick
on George, who offered his village as the site of the original sin. It
requires re-writing the Bible, not interpreting it. The difference between
interpreting and re-writing is an extremely important distinction. One
must change the words from singular to plural. But there is a huge problem
going this direction. In science, when we make up the data, we face a huge
penalty for doing so. In deed, we get fired.
Consider the Jan Hendrik Schon case. This young physicist was the author on
a paper every 8 days in 2001, and claimed to have created a molecular scale
transistor. But when someone noted that two different experiments,
conducted at different temperatures had the identical noise, suspicions were
The committee investigating him said found him guilty on 16 of 24
allegations of scientific fraud
"They found that whole data sets were reused in a number of different
experiments. They also found that some of his graphs, which purportedly had
been plotted from experimental data, had instead been produced using
mathematical functions."
What about Cyril Burt? He apparently made up two of his collaborators and
the error bars on multiple tests are identical to the 3rd decimal place.
Now, if we denigrate making up the data when it comes to one half of the
science/theology issue and rightfully would call for the heads of our
scientific colleagues who manufacture or falsify the data, do we have an
ethical right to ignore it when we do it on the theology side?
We say we want to change society, but won't our scientific colleagues, with
whom we work closely see through the fact that we are changing what the
Bible says in order to make it say what we want it to say? Will they find
that any more ethical? How can we tell them that they should believe the
Bible is true based upon making the Bible say what it clearly doesn't say?
Schon couldn't get away with saying that his conclusions are correct even
though the data doesn't say what he says it does. So, why do we get to do
this in theology? Yeah, I am just an ignorant scientist who doesn't really
know theology, but doesn't theology teach us that we should be truthful
about the data? And doesn't the data of the Bible have ONE man and ONE
woman, not a village of sinners? Doesn't the Bible say miracles happened?
What right do we have to re-write it to say the miracles didn't happen?
One other thing we TE's can't offer to our atheistic colleagues and get away
with it. This is the claim that what is false is to be deeply revered.
Science is about rooting out falsehoods, matching the observational data.
When we claim the Bible is historically/factually false in large portions of
it, and then offer it as THE way to heaven, we all know in our hearts that
our colleagues would laugh at us. So, my view of why TE's don't confront
atheism and the secularization of society once again agrees with Collins
reason--we fear their reaction to the lunatic conflation of illogic and
falisty we offer.
If a scientist were to suddenly start talking about phlogiston, admitting
that it wasn't true, but that it was deeply meaningful and contained the
meaning of life, our scientific colleagues would bundle us off the the
padded cell where we could get in touch with our inner phlogiston. Yet this
is precisely what we do and may at the root be why we are fearful of telling
our colleagues how wrong they are to be atheists. We have nothing REAL to
offer them.
Here is Collins' quote again
"While many scientists ascribe to TE, they are in general reluctant to speak
out for fear of negative reaction from their scientific peers, or perhaps
for fear of criticism from the theological community." Francis Collins, The
Language of God, (New York: Free Press, 2006), p. 202

In this thread, one has seen the criticism of the theological community for
anyone who wants reality in their cup of tea. If I didn't want reality in my
explanations of reality, I would be chewing peyote buttons somewhere in
Northern Mexico. If we didn't want to know reality, why did we become
scientists? And once scientists, why on earth do we settle for data
falsification and illogic where it comes to theology? Are we like the
school boy who, seeing that there are no teachers around to catch us, settle
for reading Cliff Notes rather than the book--a cheap immitation of reality?

I have to go to work now, but I will end this with my second favorite
quotation from Tipler.

      "This advance of atheism can be documented in the history of
twentieth-century biology. The Cornell historian of biology William B.
Provine has pointed out that in the 1920s many, probably most,
evolutionists were religious. At that time Darwinian evolution theory was
in eclipse, having been temporarily replaced by the hypothesis of a
purposive force which was evolving life toward more complexity. The dean
of the American evolutionists, Henry Osborn, head of the American Museum of
Natural History, called this force 'aristogenesis'; the French philosopher
Henri Bergson called it elan vital; the French evolutionist Pierre Teilhard
de Chardin called it 'radial energy.' The terms were different but the
evolutionary mechanism was the same: there was a nonphysical cosmic force
guiding evolution. The existence of such a force was the consensus belief
of evolutionists in the 1920s, and it was a small step to identify the
force with God.

      "The consensus opinion returned to Darwinism in the 1930s and 1940s
with the development of the Modern Synthesis, which invokes nonpurposive
mechanisms-natural selection, random genetic drift, mutation, migration,
and geographic isolation--to account for evolution. Organisms are created
by blind deterministic mechanisms combined with others that are effectively
random. (Here, I might add, is another example of science returning to a
previously rejected theory. A return for which I am glad, since the Omega
Point Theory presupposes the truth of the Modern Synthesis; indeed its
truth is essential for the free will model developed in Chapter V.) By the
end of the 1940s, all trace of God had been eliminated from evolutionary

      "Provine remarks, 'My observation is that the great majority of
modern evolutionary biologists are atheists or something very close to
that. Yet prominent atheistic or agnostic scientists publically deny that
there is any conflict between science and religion. Rather than simple
intellectual dishonesty, this position is pragmatic. In the United States,
elected members of Congress al proclaim to be religious; many scientists
believe that funding for science might suffer if the atheistic implications
of modern science were widely understood.' Provine's opinion is confirmed
by Steven Weinberg's 1987 congressional testimony asking for money to build
the SSC, a $10 billion device to be constructed in Texas. (Funding has
since been cut off.) A congressman asked Weinberg if the SSC would enable
us to find God, and Weinberg declined to answer. But eventually the
atheistic implications of modern science will be understood by the general
public, who will themselves become atheists. The majority of Western
Europeans and a large minority of Americans have already become effective
atheists: they rarely if ever go to any church, and a belief in God plays
no role in their daily lives. The evidence is clear and unequivocal: if
scientists have no need of the God hypothesis, neither will anyone else.
Were theologians to succeed in their attempt to strictly separate science
and religion, they would kill religion. Theology simply must become a
branch of physics if it is to survive. That even theologians are slowly
becoming effective atheists has been documented by the American philosopher
Thomas Sheehan." ~ Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Immortality, (New York:
Doubleday, 1994), p. 9-10


For those who wonder why I do this, truth is precious and too easily
tarnished. If I can't live my life with the same rules at work as I have on
Sunday, then I will change to one set or the other. What I see, is that we
TE's have two sets of rules for what is truth, and we use our ad hoc picker
and chooser to maintain two inconsistent views of truth. And because of
that, we won't confront secular society and we become an irrelevant group of
people as far as the culture is concerned.

Let's drink to our irrelevancy!

Carib, I will tell you when I start my debating with the atheists. My
radiation ends Tomorrow, I want a week to get to feeling better (indeed, I
shouldn't have done this debate feeling the way I do).


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

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Received on Tue Mar 20 08:14:49 2007

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