Re: [asa] Behe's Math... was Arrogance

From: Michael Roberts <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
Date: Fri Aug 31 2007 - 18:03:29 EDT

Gregory

This is a remarkable statement and is not valid in respect of George for a start. I find that you set up strawmen of so-called TEs.

How far are you willing to push the provisionality of science? Could the earth be flat? Is the formula of water not H2O? Are all classical physics formulas under question? Is g not 981cm/sec/sec?

I could go on.

There are certain scientific things which are not provisional though theoretically they might be. Much of science comes into that eg most of physics and chemistry as well as geology when it speaks of vast ages and the gradual development of life (however that happened) with the order of invertebrates before vertebrates, then fish, amphibia, reptiles, mammals and most recently humans. Theoretically the age of the earth could be wrong, shall I suggest a factor of 10 either way. I could cope with that but think it very unlikely, rather like the possibility that geocentrism is right.

If you had noticed I usually stress the vast age of the earth and the universe rather than evolution, as it is as stupid to question it as the Periodic table in chemistry etc.

Rather than tilt at the windmills of your supposed TEs why don't you consider those aspects of science which are beyond question rather than pose about provisionality? These which include the vast age of the earth and the fossil succession have been known and understood for about 2 centuries so why should we now question them? Those who do are not clever but simply make Christ a mockery

Michael

----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  To: Janice Matchett ; George Murphy ; Alexanian, Moorad
  Cc: AmericanScientificAffiliation
  Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 9:57 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Behe's Math... was Arrogance

  The point is taken, Janice, if I understand what you are pointing to, that George Murphy, as well as many other TE's on this list, 'appear' to defend theistic evolution almost as strongly as they defend their Christian faiths.
   
  'As long as it carries an evolution label' is a type of ideological rhetoric that I confronted a few months ago (perhaps several) at ASA with threads asking for examples of 'things that don't evolve (into being or having become).' The only answer given by the strong TEists was the Deity, G-D, whereas weak TEists came up with additional answers. It was like pulling teeth with Ted Davis to reach the minimal One thing that doesn't evolve (into being or having become).

  It really only takes a simple thought experiment to expel the notion of 'universalistic evolutionism' (who could defend this?) from the mind of any person who accepts the provisionality of science; all scientific theories, even the 'theory' of evolution, are someday to be eclipsed. What will TE's do with their theology when the 'concept' they have anchored their theology to has been over-written?
   
  'Rubbish,' is what they will say, what they do say. But is it really so much more rubbish than efforts to clarify effects of pattern recognition and specificationalism (ism...ism, Dembskiism)? Theological evolutionism (and we should note carefully the 'ism' here) is not that much different on a practical level of science from atheologial evolutionism. Its theorists may hide behind methodological (MN) imperative, but for learned observers this TE tic/strategy/perspective is fooling no one.

  Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net> wrote:

      "It would be great if all disagreements among Christians could be dealt with as in-house matters. But when some Christians present arguments in the public square which reflect badly on the Christian faith & make it a target for legitimate criticism and even understandable ridicule, what are we to do? To take an example much more egregious than Behe, are we to let Ken Ham's creation museum be the public face of a Christian view of science? Should we let unbelievers think that we're willing to tolerate every kind of rubbish as long as it carries a Christian label?" ~ George Murphy 10:15 AM 8/30/2007

    @ Or put another way:

    "...when atheist evolutionists present arguments in the public square which reflect badly on the TEs & make it a target for legitimate criticism and even understandable ridicule, what are we to do? To take an example much more egregious than evolutionist Richard Dawkins, are we to let Ken Ham's creation museum be the public face of a Christian view of science? Should we let unbelievers think that we're willing to tolerate every kind of rubbish as long as it carries a evolution label?"

    ~ Janice ... http://www.calvin.edu/archive/asa/200705/0824.html

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Received on Fri Aug 31 18:31:11 2007

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