RE: [asa] The ASA and the Soft Sciences (ASA focus for the future)

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Mon Jan 05 2009 - 12:16:29 EST

Hi Murray:

Or why not consider Genesis as history? Regarding the Genesis narrative
as "true" certainly is orthodox, however, some departure from orthodoxy
is necessary or we remain in the middle of a muddle.

Try this instead of "dreaming." Consider Moses as the author who knew
the lineage of the Israelites from literature available to him at the
time, perhaps in Egypt, or maybe in the hands of the Levites. He
compiled this history and gave it to his people to tell them where they
came from. When early Christians received Genesis, being ignorant of
geology, anthropology, etc., they misunderstood Genesis 2-11 as the
history of the beginnings of the entire human race. Unfortunately,
2,000 years later and we still haven't figured that out. Well, some of
us haven't.

I'll put that scenario up against the Australian aborigines any time.

Dick Fischer, GPA president
Genesis Proclaimed Association
"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Murray Hogg
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2009 7:40 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] The ASA and the Soft Sciences (ASA focus for the

Hi All,

I'll only offer the observation here that the only people I've ever met
who offer anything like a fully-orbed, theologically orthodox,
scientifically informed, and biblically literate resolution of the nexus
between evolution and Christian faith have been Australian Aboriginal

This is primarily because of the approach they take to Genesis -
treating it as "a Dreaming" rather than as a historical narrative. I'm
sorry that I can't easily flesh that out much more as the Dreaming is a
quite profound approach to describing reality through the use of
narrative which has no counterpart in western thought.

The problem for contemporary westerners is that we tend to have a pretty
stark dichotomy between the notions of "history" and "myth" - with the
former being "true" and the later "false." But the Dreaming is quite
another category altogether - it reads like history, but it has more
affinity with something like a Platonic plane of forms.

As such a Dreaming might read to us like a historical narrative, but
it's actually a description of present reality, of the proper order of
things, so to speak. As such to ask the question "did it happen?" is
actually a category error (and will only result in much shaking of heads
amongst Aboriginals dismayed by white-fella's ignorance). The only
proper question is "is it so?" -- which one answers by appeal to the
power of the Dreaming in question. Very powerful Dreamings have a sort
of intuitive obviousness which can't be gainsaid and in some respects an
Aboriginal might appropriate the famous words of CS Lewis to say
something like: "I know that this Dreaming is true, not because I see
it, but because by it I see everything else".

As a consequence of this sort of approach to Genesis, Australian
Aboriginals tend not to find ANY difficulty in holding together
evolution and the biblical account of creation. The key is not
critiquing the science, but in understanding the role of creation
stories in "ancient" cultures. Personally, I think westerners are by and
large clueless on this score and, as David suggests, we could learn ALOT
from our third-world brothers and sisters in regards to how creation
stories should be appropriated.


Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> David, when you say:
> "Maybe some of our brothers and sisters from parts of the world that
> aren't so influenced by rationalism will some day offer some solutions

> that /we/ will need to integrate"
> I'm wondering what you could possibly mean by that. It seems to me
> the educated western world is at the forefront of integrating science
> and religion; groups such as the ASA. How could another place come up

> with better understanding after groups like ASA have been struggling
> with it for many years- many of the brightest scientists and
> theologians? Are you thinking maybe a mystic or prophet of God will
> arise to illuminate all of this?
> .Bernie

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Received on Mon Jan 5 12:16:59 2009

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