Re: Fw: [asa] Appeasing TE or TE Appeasement?

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Tue Dec 23 2008 - 10:07:23 EST

Yes and no, Michael. It is surely not accurate to suggest that all treatments of 'evolution' by theologians, philosophers and scientists (along with 'common men and women on the street') who accept the reality of natural history according to evolutionary theory qualify as 'theistic evolutionists.' Let's not forget that 150 years ago the concept duo 'theistic evolutionist' *did not exist*. Retro-diction seems to be a preferred style employed by TEs.
You speak about "how theologians of different perspectives dealt with evolution in a positive way." I can't help but think that one of the pillars of anything that could possibly count as a 'consensus TE position' (the elusive myth) is the rejection of 'warfare' talk regarding science and religion. This is of course a negative, rather than a positive definition of TE. TE rejects the warfare model. What is mainly at issue nowadays, since most people who visit ASA list and/or participate are not warfare advocates, is a positive meaning of TE. Where's the positive meaning - God changes? In my opinion, and in the opinion of several others on the list, such a positive definition is lacking at best or otherwise confused, convoluted or contradictory.
If your claim of not knowing 'where to start' is to hold any value, then you'll need to come up with names, titles and authorities. There is no-name (pseudo-bulk) TE in contrast to TE with a (respectable) name. Otherwise, the assumption that TE is simply a 'fall back' or default position, i.e. that TE is equivalent to 'all Christians who accept biological evolution' will require more substance.
I would challenge you to ask all of the TEs you (think you) know to distinguish what the difference to them is between a 'theistic evolutionist' (noting that 'evolutionism' differs starkly from 'evolution,' as Cardinal Shor) and a 'theist or Christian who accepts biological evolution.' This might do something to put your abstract hypothesis to the test.
I side with George Murphy on this, who rejects taking the label TE because its priorities are backwards. If you claim to be a TE, Michael, simply because you think the earth is older than YECs, then you've got a larger philosophical task in front of you in order to be convincing than I think you've yet realised (said with deference to age and experience). This is not just about natural science or age of Earth, but rather about the interaction and relationship between (natural) science, philosophy and theology.
Do you consider yourself a TE, Michael? Please excuse that I don't remember ever seeing you accept the label.

--- On Tue, 12/23/08, Michael Roberts <> wrote:

From: Michael Roberts <>
Subject: Fw: [asa] Appeasing TE?
Received: Tuesday, December 23, 2008, 10:37 AM


There have been so many books articles and treatments of the subject over the last 150 years that I don't know where to start. Theologically these vary from extreme  liberal to Fundamentalist (in the original meaning of that word). As a result there is no manifesto but rather how theologians of different perspectives dealt with evolution in a positive way.

----- Original Message -----
From: Gregory Arago
To: David Clounch
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 10:03 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Appeasing TE?

David Clounch wrote:
"What I would suggest is someone should make a rigorous definition [of TE]. A manifesto. Or something like that. Or is that too much?"
The closest you'll get to this is "Perspectives of an Evolving Creation" edited by Keith Miller. Several of the participants on this list wrote articles for this collection..

Yahoo! Canada Toolbar : Search from anywhere on the web and bookmark your favourite sites. Download it now! __________________________________________________________________ Yahoo! Canada Toolbar: Search from anywhere on the web, and bookmark your favourite sites. Download it now at

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Tue Dec 23 10:08:03 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Dec 23 2008 - 10:08:03 EST