[asa] RE: [asa] Timaeus’ challenge to TE

From: James Patterson <james000777@bellsouth.net>
Date: Mon Sep 29 2008 - 07:09:44 EDT

As a newcomer here, I certainly haven’t seen a single clear unified TE position. But that is to be expected, this is a diverse group.

 

I was not aware of Miller’s book – thanks for that – just ordered from Amazon. However, it’s about 5 to 10 books back in the reading stack, depending.

 

In terms of “science”, I think most would agree we are not working with the USA’s NAS definition here: strictly methodological naturalism as a minimum.

 

James

 

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Gregory Arago
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2008 5:37 PM
To: asa@lists.calvin.edu
Subject: [asa] Timaeus’ challenge to TE

 

Timaeus wrote: “I do not understand the notion of God held by theistic evolutionists. It seems to me that there is no single, clear notion…Is there a unified “TE” theology, which I am just not understanding? Or is my problem that there is a radical breadth of opinion within TE about the nature of God, about miracles, etc., so that there is no such unified theology?”

Two things I’d like to add: first, the usual disclaimer that speaking about ‘the nature of’ something will give only a one-sided or less than comprehensive picture. Since ‘God’ in the Christian tradition is one of three ‘persons’ it makes sense to speak about ‘the character of’ God too. Second, though I’m sure Timaeus is curious about the link between science, philosophy and theology according to a TE perspective, his question about ‘a unified ‘TE’ theology’ can be supplemented by asking if there is a “unified ‘TE’ philosophy” or a “unified ‘TE’ science” as well. That’s what I’m asking in addition to Timaeus’ question.

Why? Because Keith Miller, one of the contributors to “Perspectives of an Evolving Creation” (surely Timaeus knows that this is the main TE/EC text - even if it is not known if IDists accept the language of an 'evolving creation'), recently called TE a ‘philosophy’ (i.e. not a science) here at ASA. Thus, it is questionable whether TE is even ‘scientific’ in one sense or how much it draws on legitimate science (which Darwinism apparently according to Timaeus, via Denton and others, isn’t or is no longer) to 'explain itself.' So Timaeus’ charge of whether or not TE is ‘simple accommodation to neo-Darwinism,’ using the helpful field of philosophy (e.g. specifically understanding ideology and the -ism in Darwinism) can be addressed.

I notice now two responses to what TE is, both of which side heavily on the ‘theism’ side of the concept duo. This might lead some to admit an obvious imbalance between the ‘science of evolution’ and a 'theology of evolution' which is mere accommodation to 'science.' After all, it has been argued even by theologians that we live in a ‘scientific age’ (e.g. John Polkinghorne).

Nevertheless, the voices urging us to accept Darwin’s theory of evolution (e.g. those TEists who support Darwin Day in America at ASA), as part of their 'theistic evolution' perspective, still have not been represented in this discussion. Do TEists inevitably support Darwin or do they also 'dissent from Darwin' in significant ways? TE may be mainly philosophy and it may be mainly theology, but it has yet to be shown that it is mainly science.

 

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Received on Mon Sep 29 07:10:19 2008

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