Re: [asa] Appeasing TE?

From: Nucacids <>
Date: Fri Dec 19 2008 - 15:25:51 EST

Moran's main conclusion appears to be that theistic evolution is not science. So what? This is hardly a point of any great significance. For example, he writes, "Scientists, on the other hand, argue that an interventionist God who guides evolution violates the rules of science." Thus, if someone proposes an interventionist God who guides evolution, it simply means that the proposal is not science. That's all.*

Things might be different if Moran could successfully demonstrate scientism - showing us that science, and only science, can deliver valid knowledge and beliefs. But Moran does not even try to make this argument. And if he succeeded, he would have to come up with a way to turn the philosophical argument into science to keep from refuting himself.

What's worse is that throughout his essay, Moran uses the term science no less than 82 times. He uses the term scientific 19 times. Yet despite making science the fulcrum of his essay, he never actually defines it beyond "a way of knowing" that includes "methodological naturalism." That's too vague, allowing readers to project their own favorite definition of science into his essay.

What's more, the whole essay seems to assume you can take all of human inquiry/knowledge and put it into one of two tidy little boxes called Science and Religion. Yet that is a deeply flawed perspective of our reality. Moran writes, "The natural world is the domain of science." But how do we make sense of this claim? Are we to believe that if a natural event occurs, science, and only science, can discover and explain it?

In the end, Moran's essay fails the "so what?" test and certainly doesn't establish TE as some form of "fallacy."

- Mike Gene

*In fact, this also means that science cannot process the truth of such a proposal. So why set up science as an authority on issues it cannot address without violating its own rules? Once people realize the corner this position paints them into, they tend to back peddle and start claiming science *could* accept an interventionist God who guides evolution if only there were "evidence." That then changes the whole argument and ends up in another pit of sand.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  Sent: Friday, December 19, 2008 5:24 AM
  Subject: [asa] Appeasing TE?

        Here's a link to a blogpost with interesting commentary (from a variety of positions) related to an issue that George and I discussed here recently. I suggested that TEs are treated more softly than YECs or IDists, while George pointed out that TEs are also opposed by atheists such as Dawkins, Dennett and Harris. This blogpost in a way seems to agree with both of our positions. The link to Larry Moran's article on "TE: The Fallacy of the Middle Ground" may also provide some interesting responses.

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Received on Fri Dec 19 15:26:41 2008

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