Re: [asa] Dowd, Miracles, and ID-TE/ASA-List Relations

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Wed Apr 22 2009 - 11:32:07 EDT


Yes, please do call me "Ted." That's how we do things here. I'm glad you
take my point about backbone, but you then immediately say this:

<Also, we must bear in mind that from the perspective of many conservative
Christians (not just ID people but YECs, etc.) the motivation is less
important than the result. So, for example, Christian scientist A may
suppress his belief in miracles to get along with his colleagues in a
biology department, whereas Christian scientist B may genuinely not believe
in them, because he shares the view of biological nature held by Dawkins.>

Christian scientist A seems to be compromising a witness, which sounds to
me like an absence of backbone; and Christian scientist B sounds like a
theological naturalist, and I do not believe that a theological naturalist
can consistently affirm the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, which are part of
the ASA statement of faith. So, it is not clear to me that you are speaking
to any ASA members--or at least not to those who in good conscience sign our
faith statement (IMO). Furthermore, as I pointed out a little while ago on
another thread, the reference to "contingent order" in our faith statement
is also implicitly a reference to a God who can act apart from, or outside
of, what we regard as natural laws: to a God who determines the nature of
nature, and not just any God can do that--as you know from your excellent
work on M B Foster and his ideas, which are closely related historically to
the whole idea of "contingent order." Perhaps we have some members who do
not realize all of this, but I have encountered many who do realize some or
all of this, and the members I know believe that God does sometimes act
"miraculously." You don't really seem to be convinced by what I am saying,
and what others are saying, on this topic, simply b/c many ASA members would
not say that every single Bible story traditionally believed to be about a
genuine miracle is actually about a genuine miracle (although some of them
clearly are). The part of the previous sentence after the second comma is
not news, Cameron; as my earlier response pointed out, this has always been
a topic of discussion in the ASA. And, I am convinced, it would also be a
topic of discussion for many ID proponents, though certainly not all. The
fact that Bill Craig (apparently) hesitated to express a traditional view of
that passage I pointed to (about the mass resurrection in Jerusalem) is a
good piece of evidence for this. ID proponents have the luxury of ducking
your question, officially, since ID is officially about science and science
alone, and not about the designer and miracles. But as you know I regard
that as a convenient piece of political and theological spin, not a genuine
truth. Why not convince some ID proponents, including some big names, to
join us here at least long enough to answer the same questions? Then, and
only then, would you have a valid basis for comparison on this issue, IMO.
Otherwise you can infer whatever you wish to infer, or say whatever you want
to about a general consensus gathered from private conversations.

As I say, I agree with you generally, that ID proponents tend to be more
conservative theologically and biblically than TEs, including TEs in the ASA
(who are generally more conservative than those not in the ASA). However, I
would be pretty surprised if many ID proponents did not also view some
traditional miracle stories as not genuine miracles. You seem to be
implying that they would not do this, and I am challenging you to find out
and to make the evidence as public as we are doing here.

Such a conversation, IMO, is needed before any conversation about
"intervention" (a term that some in ASA would reject for various reasons,
while others would endorse it). Yes, theological views do relate to that,
and here there might be some disagreement involving TEs and IDs, I think
that other conversation is more fundamental. In the absence of that
first-person conversation, in which specific ID thinkers answer those
questions directly, as we are doing here, then I don't think you have enough
data to draw a valid conclusion. Let's see, in practice, what people think,
before we jump to conclusions, and before we even talk about
"interventions." (A term I do not reject myself, incidentally.)


To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Apr 22 11:33:04 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Apr 22 2009 - 11:33:05 EDT