Re: [asa] Because of us - Steve Fuller's anthropic principle - Darwin's original sin

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Wed May 13 2009 - 14:11:55 EDT

Cameron Wybrow wrote:
> You give what appears to me a more modest version of TE than I have
> seen here and elsewhere. If all that TE claimed were that Darwinian
> and other stochastic mechanisms explain *some* of what happens in
> macroevolution, there would be no fight between ID and TE people. It
> is TE's firm insistence on a stochastic form of "naturalism" from
> start to finish that implies that Darwinian and other stochastic
> mechanisms must be exhaustively competent to explain what we see. And
> yes, I know that the odd person here has suggested that maybe life
> needed a miraculous kick-start, and maybe in the case of man there was
> some non-naturalistic "twigging", but that isn't the general "party
> line" on this site or among TEs; the party line is that *any*
> violation of "naturalism" in science will undermine the whole
> structure of modern knowledge, and is fundamentalist "miracle-mongering".

I think that what you have written above re the development of the
universe and especially life since the big bang is too strong. Now
there may be a lot of TEs who hold the position you describe, maybe Ted
can comment on that.

In that regard I copied the following to my personal data base from a
note that George wrote some time last year.
> apropos your question below, it depends of course on just what you
> mean by "providence" and "TE." My own approach is set out in my book
> The Trademark of God, especially chapters 6 and 8. To use traditional
> language, the overall process of evolution can be understood in terms
> of God's cooperation with natural processes. I.e., God is active
> throughout the evolutionary process, acting with the chemical,
> environmental &c interactions that are involved. Moreover, God limits
> divine action to what can be accomplished through those processes.
> Even with that limitation, the freedom that is inherent in natural
> processes because of quantum & chaos theories provides scope for God's
> "special providence" and divine governance.
Not everybody of this list is a member of ASA and I can think of one
person (PVM) who possibly held a view like you are describing but he no
longer seems to be with us and I can recall someone asking him if he was
a Christian. Oh yes, Howard VanTil might have had a view such as you
describe. I expect that not everyone on the list necessarily agrees
with George that God's actions are limited to what can be done through
"quantum and chaos".

See also David Campbell's email to the list below.

Dave W
> I would agree that nature operates primarily via secondary causes, and
> that there are good theological reasons to expect it to.
> Incidentally, ID advocates also believe that nature operates primarily
> via secondary causes; they just tend to think that the exceptions are
> more common and varied than I do. (There may be potential for
> semantic confusion in that one might debate whether one should say
> that nature operates via secondary causes as opposed to identifying
> nature with things that work by secondary causes and direct
> intervention as non-nature.)
> However, I reject the claim that God is not intimately involved in the
> care and creation of the world. If you recognize that God is
> intimately involved in things that happen via secondary causes, then
> faith is not threatened by explanations that invoke secondary causes.
> "God did it, but how?" is the correct question, not "Did God do it or
> did natural causes do it?" An appallingly large chunk of atheistic
> and of antievolutionary nonsense is rooted in not understanding that.
> --
> Dr. David Campbell

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Received on Wed May 13 14:13:48 2009

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