Re: [asa] A Message from the RTB Scholar Team (fwd)

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri Apr 18 2008 - 09:23:27 EDT

On Apr 18, 2008, at 5:43 AM, George Murphy wrote:

> OK, let's take a poll here. Does anyone on the list besides Gregory
> have any doubt about what I meant by "human evolution" in the
> statement "Hugh's position would be strengthened in at least one way
> if he would accept human evolution"?
> Shalom
> George
Clear as a bell, George, both in the thread context and out of it.
Everyone will recall (except apparently Gregory) the specific question
raised by Steve Matheson was the explanatory power of common descent.
Nowhere was there any discussion of Gregory's, err, peculiar
definition of human evolution.

Let me refresh Gregory's memory, first Steve:

> My challenge to RTB is not that they "adopt" common descent, but
> that they acknowledge (as other creationists have) that it exhibits
> strong explanatory power. One can doubt an explanation, for any
> number of reasons, without claiming or even insinuating that the
> explanation is inferior.
> This is what all creationists must do, in my opinion, to be worthy
> of any intellectual/professional respect: simply note that common
> descent works extremely well as an explanation, THEN set about
> constructing an alternative. To assert that common ancestry is
> poorly supported by evidence, or is unworthy as a scientific
> explanation, is to publicly confess to being either ignorant or
> duplicitous. In my opinion, of course.

and David O.

> But what I'd really love to see, at least, are some credible
> evangelical voices do what Steve suggests and then say, you know
> what, it's ok if we don't have this particular thing figured out
> yet. This would require a shift in apologetics -- a willingness to
> say to the skeptic, "you got me, I have no idea how to put that one
> together -- but I think I can put enough other things together that
> faith in Christ is warranted even while I leave this thing on the
> shelf for now."

In that context George said:

> I would even argue (in fact have argued) that Hugh's position would
> be strengthened in at least one way if he would accept human
> evolution. The main thrust of anthropic principle arguments has to
> do with the possibility of a universe suited for the evolution of
> intelligent life. To put together all the physical anthropic
> "coincidences" to show the very low probability of a universe just
> like ours and then to say that intelligent life didn't evolve
> reduces the anthropic principle stuff to numerology.

Now I happen to hold that very synthesis George is talking about and
from my personal experience I have found that:

1. Holding a synthesis of what I call "cosmological ID" and EC is the
most sure fire way of getting booted off Uncommon Descent.
2. It does have more apologetic "power" than RTB because:
3. It is a more humble apologetic than what RTB espouses. This is
inline with the goals David outlined above.

I would like to note that in addition to acceding to the explanatory
power evolutionary theory this synthesis also notes that the so-called
"many worlds" interpretation of quantum physics is possible along with
other "multiverse" theories. What the primary appeal is to is not to
any scientific theory which do change over time but to the underlying
order in the Universe. This marks my other departure from RTB in that
I believe that the apologetic role concerning science is a defensive
one. I don't think you can use science to "prove" Christianity but you
can remove the negative where it doesn't "disprove" it. By giving
science the ultimate arbiter power both the DI and RTB give the New
Atheism a giant wackum stick to smash our heads with.

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Fri Apr 18 09:31:16 2008

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