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

From: Don Nield <>
Date: Fri Jun 29 2007 - 19:24:34 EDT

My comments are interpolated below.

Gregory Arago wrote:
> "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.)

DN: In response to Gregory, I say that I am a TE and I do not concede
that my position is fragile or precarious. I am a critical realist. I
would not use the phrase "Literal Truth" because the word "literal " is
ambiguous (and it seems to me that Gregory is exploiting that fact) but
I would say that there is a real world and the models employed by
scientists are successive approximations generally converging to truths
about that real world. The current evidence for evolutionary theory is
so strong that it is not reasonable to suppose that it will ever be
overthrown completely. It will certainly be modified, just at 19th C
geological theory has been modified by plate tectonics. -- that is the
sort of paradigm shift that occurs in science. The arbitrary paradigm
shifts that some post modernists talk about are irrelevant to science.
> '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
> question!
Sorry, but must I must gently inform Gregory that the MN/PN distinction
is not a fig leaf. It is the proper uniform for the job
> 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)

Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine should have been more careful in what
they wrote in that 1994 edition. I understand that they now accept this.

Don N

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Received on Fri Jun 29 19:25:47 2007

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