[asa] Re: [asa] Rejoinder 6D From Timaeus – for Iain Strachan, Jon Tandy and Others...but not Gregory

From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
Date: Tue Oct 21 2008 - 10:46:34 EDT

Gregory -

On 1, do you know what "positive" means? Again all you've done here is to berate us for our supposed ignorance. & just listing a bunch of famous names doesn't contribute a lot. I've suggested before that you submit an article to PSCF dealing with what you see as insights of the social & human sciences on issues relating to creation, evolution & design. I think Ted & I (at least) have functioned as "emissaries" who (a) recognize that it would be good to have more participation in ASA by human & social scientists & (b) invite you to join &/or write something positive about these matters for the organization's journal. If you're really interested in making a worthwhile contribution, shut up & do it. Otherwise you'll continue to be seen as nothing more than a pretentious carper.

On 2, I was not criticizing the human-made/nonhuman-made distinction (though if & when we encounter ETs it'll have to be rephrased, & in fact already should be since SETI has been used in the ID debate). I was pointing out that there is another distinction that's at least as important, one which I deliberately described in language echoing yours (which accounts for any oddness of the language). & in fact I, & a number of other theologians, have talked & written about divine action & its relationships with natural & human phenomena quite extensively. The problem, as I noted, is that IDers generally haven't wanted to get involved in those discussions & have even denied their relevance.

I have not used the natura naturans/natura naturata distinction here but, as I have pointed out more than once, to do so does not make a Spinozan pantheist. The distinction is a scholastic one. If I may quote Bob Dole, "Stop lying about my record."

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  To: asa@lists.calvin.edu ; Ted Davis ; john_walley@yahoo.com ; George Murphy
  Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:15 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Rejoinder 6D From Timaeus – for Iain Strachan, Jon Tandy and Others...but not Gregory

        George, Indeed, I am glad for both of your suggestions. 1) "[W]hy don't you, as social scientist, make what you see as a positive contribution?" Is it a rhetorical question or a genuine challenge? I have made available in the past mis-uses of 'evolution' in human-social sciences, only to hear either a silence or a view that human-social sciences are not 'real' or 'pure' sciences. It is as if some natural scientists at ASA have missed the entire 20th century of discourse of human-social thought, including the influence of Marxism, which they predominantly fault as 'flawed' without realising the vast numbers of human-social scientists who count themselves as neo-Marxists today (though perhaps not in America).

        Who would there be to dialogue with on this ASA list who has read Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Boas, Mead, Derrida, Wittgenstein, Habermas, Husserl, Jung, Bulgakov, Lyotard, DuBois, Heidegger, Sorokin, Midgley, Castells, McLuhan, Luhmann, Rorty, Baskhar, Taylor, and others? David O. and I agree on many things and I'd rather not just try to put on a show with him to help get ASA up to speed on what truly 'holistic' dialogue is all about. I don't have the time or inclination to do this, George! Continental thinkers, for example, are far ahead of 'analytic philosophers' on 'getting it' - this is another part of America's deficit, this time not economically but in the trade of ideas.

        2) I distinguish 'human-made' and 'non-human-made' as proposed, positive categories. From my memory, no one at ASA has yet taken up this challenge, including Timaeus, ASA's recent respected guest. You now, George, make the distinction 'creature-made' and 'God-made things,' though this is the first time I've seen it phrased this way from your fingers (perhaps I'm quite glad to see it like this!). Why don't you then indicate what you see the difference between them to be? If you return to "natura naturans," we'll be ready to speak of Spinoza and panentheism immediately. I'm looking to the future, George, as a voice of the new generation that plainly sees what 'design' means in the human-social realm, e.g. in computer programming, engineering, etc.

        As it is, I admit that human beings are creatures. Also, that 'God-made' (as you call it) is distinct from 'creature-made' (as you call it) in significant ways. It would be helpful then if you would indicate why you reject (if you do) my distinction of human-made and non-human-made, that is, if on theological grounds only or on other grounds too. As it is, I don't find the point very helpful and rather a piggy-backing (though perhaps without knowing it) on the distinction that was long ago made between natural sciences and human-social sciences, by W. Dilthey, H. Rickert, M. Weber, H.-G. Gadamer, et. al. The point is in trying to encourage inclusion rather than exclusion based on differing scientific and humanitarian backgrounds.

        Why not instead send an emissary of ASA to prove me wrong: why not show that to ASA 'science' is not mainly 'natural science'?

        This would serve both of our positions better, George.

        En route to Moscow, Gregory

        --- On Tue, 10/21/08, George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com> wrote:

          From: George Murphy <GMURPHY10@neo.rr.com>
          Subject: Re: [asa] Re: [asa] Re: [asa] Rejoinder 6D From Timaeus – for Iain Strachan, Jon Tandy and Others
          To: gregoryarago@yahoo.ca, asa@lists.calvin.edu, "Ted Davis" <TDavis@messiah.edu>, john_walley@yahoo.com
          Received: Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 4:34 PM

          Gregory -

          May I make 2 suggestions?

          1st, instead of just complaining that those in the "natural sciences" don't know how to deal with the matters in question, why don't you, as social scientist, make what you see as a positive contribution?

          2d, what's to the point isn't so much "the gap between human-made and non-human-made things." It's the distinction between, & also the relationship between, creature-made things and God-made things. So in addition to input from the natural & social sciences, theology should play a major role in the discussion - something that IDers have persistently downplayed or denied.



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Received on Tue Oct 21 10:47:32 2008

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