RE: [asa] Is Science an enemy of faith?

From: Jon Tandy <>
Date: Mon Jan 05 2009 - 09:04:33 EST


I don't think I actually capitalized Science in the presentation, except in
headings or beginnings of sentences. In the title of this thread, it had no
significance whatsoever unless you want to give it some.

I have expressed before that I am not fully on the "theistic evolution"
bandwagon. I understand the basis and have some sympathy for it, and I have
defended it as a reasonable conclusion drawn by Christians. I'm just not
yet comfortable with some of the theological apologetics and conclusions
that are required by TE, although I can accept some of them and see how
others might be necessary.

To deconstruct your questioning on evolutionary philosophy, I'm probably not
saying quite what you're suggesting. My statement was meant to say simply
that "evolutionism" is a philosophy contrary to Christianity, and needs to
be opposed, especially when it's taught as if it's simply "science". To
re-write one of your statements, I think that (generally) evolutionary
science follows the *practice* of methodological naturalism, certainly with
philosophical assumptions of the individual scientists playing a role in how
they interpret the data. To what extent MN is a philosophy, and what impact
does that philosophy have on scientific practice, and whether that
philosophy is right or wrong, and whether any competing philosophy would
positively impact our practice of scientific method, I'll leave for future
discussions. I don't believe that MN is the most fruitful assumption for
sociological sciences, which is what you're getting at I think.

Jon Tandy

From: [] On
Behalf Of Gregory Arago
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2009 6:50 AM
To:; Jon Tandy
Subject: RE: [asa] Is Science an enemy of faith?

Hi Jon,

Just curious to ask what you meant by capitalising 'Science' rather than
capitalising 'faith' in the title of this thread? Is it an attempt to raise
consciousness about the irony of our 'secular age'?

You wrote:
"'Evolution as science' is a theory of explaining the facts of biology.
'Evolution as anti-theistic philosophy' is something completely different,
and is not science. The latter is definitely something to combat from a
Christian point of view..."

Two things: First, science is not philosophy just as philosophy is not
science. Yet you wrote 'is not science,' and left out 'is not philosophy.'
It is a subtle point, but may suggest that you are privileging science above your linguistic expression. It's a communicative issue.

Second, you have been rallying the idea of TE recently Jon. Is it true that
TE avoids the relevance of 'evolution as anti-theistic philosophy' using the
concept of 'methodological naturalism'? In other words, you seem to be
suggesting (i.e. if I'm reading you as you intend to be read) that
evolutionary philosophy is anti-theistic, *but* that evolutionary science
follows the philosophy of methodological naturalism and therefore need not
be anti-theistic. Or are you saying that evolutionary philosophy is neutral
about things such as soul, eternity, transcendence, faith, heaven and

As Mike Gene suggests, evolution is clearly not 'the root of all moral
evils.' But those who would contest 'there is nothing evil in evolutionary
theories' (i.e. the neutralists) would be advised to check out
anthropology's relationship with evolution. There you will find many things
to make your hair stand on end when making arguments about ethics, morality,
relativism and dehumanisation.


To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Mon Jan 5 09:05:29 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Jan 05 2009 - 09:05:29 EST