Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

From: Cameron Wybrow <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
Date: Mon May 18 2009 - 18:40:32 EDT

Hi, Mike!

I can't comment on Simon Conway Morris or the BioLogos site, but I find your
line of argument here puzzling, in light of other things you've written
here.

You assert that God creates individuals, e.g., Ted Davis. And I gather that
you wholeheartedly accept biological evolution and other natural processes
(geology, stellar evolution, and so on). Now how would God create Ted
Davis, working through such natural processes? Let's say that Ted Davis is
white (I don't know, because I've never met him, but it's just an example,
so it doesn't matter), and let's say that God wanted Ted Davis to be white;
God then can't have Ted's parents being Chinese or Watusi. So God has to
arrange for Caucasian ancestry for Ted. And it means more than this. In
addition to general Caucasian features, Ted inherits unique traits from both
parents. God therefore has to arrange for Ted's parents to marry. He also
has to arrange for the marriages of *their* parents, to make sure that they
have the right genes to pass on to Ted. In order for everything to work
out, he has to arrange for genetic ancestries still further back, and for
that to work out, he has to arrange for economic and social conditions which
cause certain people to emigrate from certain countries to America at
certain times, to meet exactly the right people in America, to fall in love,
etc. So he has to have complete control over personal romantic tastes and
over the social and economic history of Europe and America as well as over
genetic makeup. And so on. When you work that out, God has to set up a
chain of necessity all the way from the Big Bang forward, which will make it
inevitable that exactly Ted Davis and not someone else will be produced.
That's a degree of necessity beyond Conway Morris and even beyond Michael
Denton. It's a necessitarianism that would do Calvin or Spinoza proud. Is
this what you are saying is required by Christian theology? And if so, how
does it fit in with your message of a few days ago, where you said that it
didn't really matter how God created us (through Darwinian processes or
front-loading or miraculous interventions or any other way)? It seems to me
that, given your current concern, only the most stringent front-loading
model could fit in with the claim that God created us all as individuals.
And it's a model which appears to do away with human free will, since even
one fickle moment in a young English immigrant lass's life might well spell
the end of Ted Davis. (And none of us would wish to be without Ted Davis.)

I'm not denying that God creates individuals, but it's unclear to me how you
can insist that he creates very specific individuals on one hand, and on the
other hand say that it really doesn't matter how God interacts with the
evolutionary process. If he interacts with the evolutionary process in a
purely Darwinian way (i.e., in plain language, does not interact at all, but
keeps his hands off and watches the cosmic dice rolling), he not only can't
guarantee Ted Davis, he cannot even guarantee the existence of any human
being at all. Are you backtracking on your earlier position, and demanding
a rigorous determinism?

Cameron.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
To: "Ted Davis" <TDavis@messiah.edu>; <asa@lists.calvin.edu>
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 12:43 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

> Hi Ted,
>
> The page reads:
>
> "Simon Conway Morris presents a different perspective, arguing humans, OR
> A HUMAN-LIKE SPECIES, are actually an inevitable part of evolution."
> (emphasis added)
>
> "Or a human-like species means" that humans were NOT an inevitable part of
> evolution. If God's intent was to create a human-like species through
> evolution, and we humans exist simply because we happened to be among the
> larger class known as human-like species, the existence of Ted Davis was
> not intended by God (let alone any other member of our species). As far
> as God is concerned, a talking dolphin could have filled your shoes.
>
>
>
>
> -Mike

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Mon May 18 18:41:42 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon May 18 2009 - 18:41:42 EDT