Re: [asa] Conversation with Timaeus, part one

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Wed Sep 24 2008 - 05:50:50 EDT

My "hesitations" about TE had - & have - to do with the terminology, not the substance.

"I do not rule out some small number of miraculous interventions in the evolutionary process" simply because I do not rule out miracles in general. I see no reason why the origin or development of life must involve miracles. (I use "miracles" there in a traditional sense, phenomena beyond the capacities of creaturely agency. Not everything commonly called a miracle is one in that sense.) Just because a person believes that miracles have occurred doesn't mean he/she thinks they have been part of the process of biological evolution. Conflation of the question of miracles with that of visible/invisible TE (which I think is not terribly helpful terminology) confuses matters.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  To: ASA list ; George Murphy
  Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 2:42 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Conversation with Timaeus, part one

        Also a quick reply -

        George wrote: "I hesitate to simply identify myself as an 'invisible TE' in your terms since I do not rule out some small number of miraculous interventions in the evolutionary process. OTOH I see no good theological reason to insist that these were necessary."

        We should not forget, George, that not long ago you also hesistated to defend TE, i.e. to call yourself a TE on this list. Now are are tied right back into the heart of Timaeus' message and the ID and/vs. TE question. A 'small number of miraculous interventions in the evolutionary process' is exactly why many Americans are skeptical of TE; they believe in a LARGE number of miracles in history! And I would say that George is the odd man out on the ASA list in suggesting 'small number of miracles,' though this is easily open to be shown as being wrong. Thus, the label 'invisible TE' or 'invisible EC' (nobody has raised the issue of 'evolutionary creationism' here and it might be fruitful to invite Denis Lamoureux back, one of it's leading voices) is apt because most TEists are 'visible TEists' thus challenging the claim that 'guided, planned and teleological' is unscientific or outside of the realm of scientific inquiry. Burgy's question about water-into-wine is thus a good example; Catholic Christians who accept sainthood and its miracle requirement are obviously not 'invisible TEists.'

        Some people are calling Michael Behe the 'odd man out.' Let's see who says this is so. Mike Gene isn't as close to knowing the 'inner circle' as he might lead on (e.g. Charles Thaxton is much more important than Gene lets on and may be called the 'father of ID' more than Johnson, who was the 'initial ringleader of the IDM' [though he is ringleader no longer]. Only quite recently has MGene called himself a 'theist' in on-line conversation) and I actually doubt his characterization of them is true on the topic of CD. I suspect that more than half of the 'inner circle' either have no problem with CD or (and here's the great BIG rub), don't have an opinion on it or don't pronounce on it either way (i.e. they leave the question OPEN). To the ID-science they are working on (i.e. pattern recognition, 'detecting/discovering/finding/etc.' 'specified complexity,' sinking their teeth into the information revolution in biology, etc.), the age of the earth and whether or not human beings 'descended' or ascended' from a common ancestor with some or with all living beings is (hush geologists and paleontologists!) IRRELEVANT.


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Received on Wed Sep 24 05:51:35 2008

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