RE: [asa] How theistic evolution was explained to kids in 1964

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Wed Jul 30 2008 - 18:10:26 EDT

I think the sentence, "The theory of evolution says certain things happened,"
has it backward, it should read, in fact, "certain things happen and we ascribe them to evolution." Is evolution a theory or a method of characterizing occurrences?

 

One can believe two things that have nothing to do with each other. One can both believe that God the Creator is and believe that evolution is true. The important question is what does the former has to do with the latter or vice-versa.

 

Moorad

________________________________

From: Iain Strachan [mailto:igd.strachan@gmail.com]
Sent: Wed 7/30/2008 1:36 PM
To: Alexanian, Moorad
Cc: Stephen Matheson; ASA List
Subject: Re: [asa] How theistic evolution was explained to kids in 1964

Once again, you are plucking a sentence out of the middle of the quote and nit-picking with it instead of considering what it says in the context of the whole of it. Please READ WHAT IT SAYS. A couple of sentences back it says "The theory of evolution says certain things happened".

So in the context OF COURSE the sentence is going to presuppose the truth of the theory. The whole purpose of the paragraph is to answer religious peoples' objections to the theory of evolution. It is trying to say there is nothing inconsistent in believing God to be creator, and that evolution is true.

Please stop the cherry-picking and use your English comprehension skills on the WHOLE PASSAGE.

Iain

On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 6:08 PM, Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu> wrote:

        Stephen,
        
        
        
        The answer to both questions is certainly no.
        
        
        
        However, the statement, "If God made the world and runs the world, then evolution _is_ God's plan," presupposes the truthfulness or correctness of evolution, whatever the word evolution means.
        
        
        
        The one-way implication, "if A, then B" presupposes that both A and B are true otherwise the statement is meaningless, which is what I have been saying.
        
        
        
        Moorad
        
        
        
        
        ________________________________
        
        From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of Stephen Matheson
        Sent: Wed 7/30/2008 12:50 PM
        To: ASA List
        Subject: RE: [asa] How theistic evolution was explained to kids in 1964
        

        Moorad:
        
        
        Like Iain, I can't make any sense out of your responses. I might be able to understand your position better if you would consider answering the questions I asked yesterday, re-posted here.
        
        
        Do you believe that a natural process that "runs smoothly" (like, say, human embryonic development or the beating of a human heart) is outside of God's influence? Do you assert a fundamental difference between natural processes that "run smoothly" and those that require "intervention" by God?
        
>>> "Alexanian, Moorad" <alexanian@uncw.edu> 07/30/08 11:42 AM >>>
        Suppose I believe God is indeed the Creator of all. Does that mean that evolution, whatever that means, is right? The knowledge of God as Creator says nothing of what He created. Linking a "why" with a "how" in one sentence is puzzling. It is neither a theological nor a scientific proposition; it is, instead, a synthetic proposition. That is all I have been saying.
        
        
        Moorad
        
        ________________________________
        
        From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of Iain Strachan
        Sent: Wed 7/30/2008 4:58 AM
        To: Jim Armstrong
        Cc: ASA
        Subject: Re: [asa] How theistic evolution was explained to kids in 1964
        
        
        
        
        
        Alexanian, Moorad wrote:
        
        
        My post was in reference to what Iain Strachan wrote, "If God made the world and runs the world, then evolution _is_ God's plan." Supposedly, evolution is a scientific theory that explains the world and how it runs; therefore why drag God into it. Unbelievers would indicate that that is unnecessary and indeed contrived.
        
        
        
        I think this whole line of argument from Moorad is a complete red-herring, and a mis-representation of the text. People should read carefully what it says.
        
        The author of the quote I gave isn't "dragging God into it" and I am baffled as to why Moorad should think so, and my only explanation is that he hasn't read the text properly and thought about what it means.
        
        The author neither confirms nor denies the existence of God. It's a hypothetical statement.
        
        IF God made the world and runs the world
        THEN evolution is God's plan.
        
        In response to Moorad's question:
        
        "evolution is a scientific theory that explains the world and how it runs; therefore why drag God into it", (emphasis mine) I would suggest he reads the previous two sentences in the quote:
        
        "The theory of evolution says certain things happened. It does not say, and it could not say, why those things happened."
        
        The author is saying God is concerned with the "why" question, and the science is concerned with the "how" question.
        
        I must admit I really didn't think I'd have to be explaining the meaning of a passage that was so clear, and intended for children to understand, in a forum of intelligent adults. It is quite vexing that so often in this forum people don't read the whole passage and reflect on its line of argument, but instead cherry-pick phrases and use them out of context to pursue their own agendas.
        
        It is by sheer coincidence that during the turn-out of the loft and garage yesterday, I also ran across some of my old exam papers. One was the "General Paper" for the Cambridge entrance examination. One of the questions was:
        
        "Why" is not a scientific question. The scientific question is "how". Discuss.
        
        Iain
        
        
        
        
        
        ----
        
        
        
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Received on Wed Jul 30 18:11:34 2008

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