Re: [asa] Appeasing TE?

From: <>
Date: Tue Dec 23 2008 - 22:12:57 EST

Quoting David Clounch <>:
> I haven't looked at any of the refernced materials yet. But apparently the
> proponents of TE think it is some sort of a real idea, real enough to
> deserve a label, and the idea can be distinguished from non-theistic
> evolution. Inquiring minds would want to know, of course, how does one
> differentiate the two? (TE vs NTE?).
I'll risk jumping in here with my two-cents --sorry if I'm trampling old ground
for this thread since I admittedly didn't read every preceding post.
I don't have a problem with thinking of 'TE' as a mostly negative label applied
from the outside. And as such, I feel no burden to go defending somebody else's
characterization. If it had been thought in the past by a large enough group of
people that gravity was a threat to faith, and then some people had the gall to
insist that it wasn't, then the group who thinks it a threat will call the ones
who don't 'theistic gravitationists' --or you could have 'theistic chemists' ...
or embryologists or whatever. So here is my attempt to answer your question on
whether TE = NTE. From within the world of science the two would equal
precisely. No difference. No manifesto needed or differentiation needed as the
'T' part isn't scientific. Outside of science, though, there is a world
--eternal world-- of difference. Since a number of people find this threatening
to faith, they will refer to the other group as 'those theistic evolutionists'.
 Many (most?) 'TEs' here seem to dislike the term, much less being asked to
defend it. But if you want an attempt at a definition I would simply propose
it is someone who is a theist and accepts or rejects scientific propositions
based solely on judgments of their scientific merit, seeing all of that as
within the domain of a God-directed world. But their science does not need any
distinguishing reference to this that would separate them from their NTE
colleagues in any scientific sense. Further responses below.

> Denying that there is any difference between TE and NTE would be quite a
> claim! I made no such claim. Affirming a difference would also be quite a
> claim. Again, I made no such claim. But it seems to me the proponents of TE
> do have to deal with whether TE==NTE or whether TE!=NTE. As Dick points
> out, perhaps there is disagreement on that subject. If the proponents of TE
> cannot agree on this then what do they expect the rest of humanity to think?

Proponents of 'TE' (especially Christian ones --but maybe others as well) are
probably more united in their more general belief that causal explanations
however complete they may seem or actually be, do not preclude or disprove a
Divine hand in the midst of it all. On many details, though they will probably
have as many messy disagreements as would the 'TGs' (Theists who also happen to
believe that universal gravitation is a useful explanatory tool.)

> I have never asserted that anything in the natural world is "based" on
> miracles. Do TE's make such an assertion? That's a good question. I
> don't know the answer. What if there are different types of TE views on
> this? A broad range, as George mentioned. I myself have asserted nothing
> whatsoever about miracles or of what they may consist or whether they
> affect natural processes. Others talk about that. I alluded to others
> talking about that.
Good question. I imagine Theists are all over the map on this.

> Another related aspect: What saves Christianity, and How?

Jesus Christ of Nazareth. By his redeeming work on the cross. If Christianity
is ever about anything else then it isn't Christianity any more.

> Maybe I've misunderstood something.
Sorry if I've misunderstood your questions --or mistaken what you are or are not


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Received on Tue Dec 23 22:13:45 2008

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