Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

From: Schwarzwald <schwarzwald@gmail.com>
Date: Mon May 18 2009 - 09:49:49 EDT

Mike,

Maybe what Biologos is suggesting here is different than what you're taking
it to mean. Just off the cuff, let me explain how I'd view it.

Mind you, I have not read his book - I am going by this quote and some past
discussions on here and elsewhere. But Conway Morris seems to be arguing
that if you examine the evolution of life on earth, we can discern a
direction - various convergences, similar 'solutions' being found over and
over again, which implies direction with evolution. And intelligent,
rational creatures would be one of those 'solutions' that simply had to
appear.

Right there and with that observation, Dawkins, Gould, Coyne and the rest
are suggested to be fundamentally wrong about evolution, or at least how
they claim to see it. If evolution has a direction, if it inevitably moves
towards certain goals, it's game over for them - teleology is alive and
kicking in the one area of science they most want to be an atheist
stronghold.

Still, I see your point. If humans are merely what chanced to come up, and
an intelligent and rational (anything) would have sufficed.. then, what.
We're not the products of God's love and intention? Did God gamble us up?

Here's where I'd provisionally differ. It's not at all clear that Biologos
or Conway Morris is arguing 'We are, while part of the intention of God to
create intelligent and rational creatures, still chance results of that
set'. I'd see it as a limitation of the evidence the way they're considering
it. Yes, if the past didn't happen the way it did, "we" would not be here -
but I think that's something all of us can agree to. But that isn't to say
the past *could* have happened any other way, or that God did not choose
*us* - we humans - to come into existence particularly. It just means that
we don't have evidence for that, at least not scientific. Just as I don't
have scientific evidence that God intended for -me specifically- to come
into existence. Should I expect to find that? And if I don't find that,
should I therefore conclude no such intention was had?

Again, keep in mind what Biologis and Conway Morris are saying here. It
reminds me of one common atheist objection I hear about various arguments
for God. "Okay, fine, perhaps there's evidence or a good reason to believe
in *A* God. But that still doesn't mean *YOUR* Christian God is that God!"
My response is: That may be so. These arguments and this evidence only gets
me as far as deism or theism. Maybe the christians are right. Maybe the
muslims are, or the jews, or the platonists, or the deists, or the hindus,
or many others. But it doesn't matter - because if any of them are right,
then atheism is false. And that's more than enough for me in this
conversation.

So I would (again, provisionally - Biologos is new, and I'm still not clear
on their direction) say that Conway Morris and Biologos are taking the same
tact. Again, if they are right - if there is actual, identifiable direction
evident in evolutionary history, such that intelligent and rational agents
are an inevitability (indeed, even if this is a live option) - then that
alone is enough to clear Dawkins, Coyne, Gould, and the rest right off the
board. Why get sidelined with stronger and more deeply theological claims,
especially when it seems a principal goal of Biologos is communicating the
compatibility (or more) of science with faith?

On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 9:05 AM, Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com> wrote:

> Over at the BioLogos page, we read:
>
>
>
> “Simon Conway Morris presents a different perspective, arguing humans, or a
> human-like species, are actually an inevitable part of evolution. Morris is
> not proposing a different mechanism for human evolution, merely a different
> observation of its possible outcomes. Morris would agree that any slight
> difference in the history of human DNA would result in a different
> evolutionary path. Unlike Gould, however, Morris argues each of those
> possible pathways would inevitably lead to something like the human
> species.”
>
>
>
> http://biologos.org/questions/inevitable-humans/
>
>
>
>
>
> I submit this is bad theology. Why? Entailed in this perspective is the
> notion that humans and human-like species are interchangeable. Your
> existence, the existence of your wife and children, is not important to God.
> God is only interested in some being that shares some of your general
> attributes – your intelligence, sentience, emotions, whatever. A planet
> full of talking dolphins would have sufficed for God’s purposes. You just
> happened to stumble into the role that could have been played by a variety
> of other beings.
>
>
>
> What BioLogos is advocating is a form of Christian nihilism. It’s almost
> more nihilistic than atheism. Actually, maybe more so.
>
>
>
> -Mike
>

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Received on Mon May 18 09:50:01 2009

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