Re: [asa] YEC--What can we offer them?

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Fri Jun 29 2007 - 18:25:49 EDT

Hello Christine,

Given that in the discourse of evolution(ism), ID(ism)
and creation(ism), where one can be an atheistic
evolutionist, theistic evolutionist or agnostic
evolutionist, an atheistic IDist, theistic IDist or
agnostic IDist, an evolutionary creationist, agnostic
creationist or theistic creationist (though these last
two pairs are rarely named), constant debate,
disagreement, bickering and even name calling exists,
your question seems well-placed. Unfortunately, I
doubt that you will find much in response at ASA
(please proove me wrong!) other than offering YEC's
scientific counseling (read: knowledge sharing) and
the invitation of common faith under the banner of
non-science. There is almost no space for
collaboration between YECs and OECs, by
acronym-defintion on the question of the age of the
earth. "The earth is not young - deal with it!"
Patronizing speech is the currency of such
self-community righteous multiloguing, from all sides.

"what positive alternatives/perspectives can we offer
them?" - Christine

The views of many at ASA are apparently represented in
the text "Perspectives of an Evolving Creation." This
book openly admits that 'creation,' as if in the
beginning God created creation, is a 'fact' of Literal
Truth. Thus TE's are also literalists - the Christian
God IS a creator God. Therefore most, if not all
persons at ASA are 'creationists' of one kind or
another. Please allow me a -broad- definition of
'creationist' in saying this, while acknowledging that
I say it from outside of the American context.

Unfortunately, I don't see much +positive+ to offer in
'evolving creation' that does not ultimately
contradict itself at one point or another. TE's, in
uplifting '(natural) science' in the name of
(neo-Darwinian) evolution, get things backwards. It
seems that TEs and ECs are seeking a balance between
science and religion that will inevitably be
imbalanced with the 'progress' of scientific
knowledge. They are tightrope walkers. What I mean is
simply that evolutionary theory will not, nay, CANNOT,
last forever! Provisionality of science dictates this
inevitability. What will theistic evolutionists do
when the paradigm of evolution is
overtaken/overthrown? (Silence is heard, while YECs
sing psalms.)

'Old' earth, common descent, descent with
modification...these are one thing. Materialism,
naturalism (the meaning of which natural scientists
understand quite differently than 'others'), and
physicalism are something else. What can YOU (meant as
plural form, i.e. ASAers) offer to someone who accepts
the science of old earth and common descent, yet who
doesn't accept the naturalistic assumptions of
universalistic evolutionism? Please don't revert to
the fig leaf of MN/PN ideology in answering such a

Christine, are you really asking how 'we' can
cooperate or collaborate rather than be in conflict or
competition? Otherwise, all I see is condescenion,
name-calling, bitterness and awkward misunderstanding
when it comes to dialogue between TEs/OEC and
Creationist/YECs. ID is actually complicating

For example, as a geologist, Christine, is there ANY
possibility you would consider either a 'young'
earth,' a 'young' birth of Adam and Eve (within the
last 10,000 years) or a view of 'science' that
accomodates (or at least doesn't disqualify)
'interventions' by (a) creator God in 'natural
processes'? In other words, are you 'closed' on the
viewpoint of an 'old' earth? Further, what are you
willing to do to either avoid or appease conflict?

Please see the quotes below from TE perspectives.

G. Arago

"Darwin knew that acceptin his theory required
believing in philosophical materialism, the conviction
that matter is the stuff of all existence and that all
mental and spiritual phenomena are its by-products.
Darwinian evolution was not only purposeless but also
heartless - a process in which the rigors of nature
ruthlessly eliminate the unfit." - Kenneth Miller and
Joseph Levine ("Scientific and Philosophical
Significance," in "BIOLOGY: Discovering Life."
Toronto:D.C. Heath and Company, 1994, p. 161)

"The common prevailing view of conflict between
evolutionary theory and Christian faith is a false
caricature. In reality, many evangelical Christian
scientists and theologians have responded positively
to evolutionary ideas since the time of Darwin. This
volume brings this Christian reflection up to date and
takes a relatively comprehensive look at the current
science of evolutionary theory from a clearly
articulated orthodox Christian perspective. It
includes scientific evidence as well as informed
theological discussion. Contributors represent a wide
variety of disciplines - biology, genetics, geology,
paleontology, astronomy, cosmology, philosophy,
theology, and the history of science."

--- Christine Smith <>

> Hi all,
> All the critiquing of the YEC folks got me
> thinking...while our criticisms are very important
> to
> maintain the integrity of the science and the faith,
> what positive alternatives/perspectives can we offer
> them? More specifically, one of the questions I
> think
> they often ask, and I think is a geniunely valid
> one,
> is, if you don't take the Bible literally, HOW in
> general (thinking mental framework, not specific
> passages) do we discern what is to be taken
> literally
> and what isn't? Particularly from the vantage point
> of
> a lay person who isn't a scientist or a Biblical
> historian?
> I know we all have our viewpoints on this, which
> have
> been expressed in variety of different places, but
> thinking of those readers who happen upon our
> website
> and maybe aren't familiar with us or our
> perspectives,
> it might be nice to consolidate such views,
> resources,
> etc. into a single thread?
> Have at it! :D

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Received on Fri Jun 29 18:26:17 2007

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