Re: [asa] Rejoinder 2 from Timaeus: to David Opderbeck, with a Question for All

From: Dennis Venema <Dennis.Venema@twu.ca>
Date: Fri Sep 26 2008 - 13:26:41 EDT

My reply to this section might be best shown by a little thought experiment:

Timaeus: Thus, "Darwinism", or "Darwinian evolution", as its authoritative practitioners understand it, is the doctrine that random mutations plus natural selection are exhaustively competent to produce all the species that we see. It is the doctrine that God was not involved in the creation of species, not even a tiny bit, unless by "involvement" you mean establishing the general laws of nature within which evolution takes place. It is the doctrine that God (if he exists) may have created nature, but nature created the species completely out of its own resources. Darwinism, in this strict, proper sense, is not by definition atheistic, but it is compatible only with forms of theism that tend towards Deism, and perhaps also with pantheism. It is almost certainly incompatible with any recognizably orthodox form of historical Christianity.

My thought experiment: Thus, "developmental biology", as its authoritative practitioners understand it, is the doctrine that natural processes of gene regulation and cell division are exhaustively competent to produce all the humans that we see. It is the doctrine that God is not involved in human embryogenesis, not even a tiny bit, unless by "involvement" you mean establishing the general laws of nature within which development takes place. It is the doctrine that God (if he exists) may have created humans, but nature accounts for the development of humans completely out of its own resources. Developmental biology, in this strict, proper sense, is not by definition atheistic, but it is compatible only with forms of theism that tend towards Deism, and perhaps also with pantheism. It is almost certainly incompatible with any recognizably orthodox form of historical Christianity.

For even more fun, try "planetary motion" or "atomic bond formation" or other processes that come to mind.

Timaeus, I'd be interested in your thoughts on this rewording.

Perhaps this is a good place to confess to being a TE (Theistic Embryologist)?

dennis

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Received on Fri Sep 26 13:27:44 2008

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