Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

From: Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com>
Date: Mon May 18 2009 - 20:19:53 EDT

Hi Cameron,

"You assert that God creates individuals, e.g., Ted Davis."

Isn't that what Christianity teaches?

"And I gather that you wholeheartedly accept biological evolution and other
natural processes (geology, stellar evolution, and so on)."

Yes, that is what my fallible brain perceives.

"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."

Exactly. For then he would not be Ted Davis. His genetic identity, his
experiences, his memories, his choices, would be all be different.

"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.)"

It fits together just as my original posting explained. Again, since it is
buried, I reposted it here:

http://designmatrix.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/it-doesnt-matter/

How would you, as a Christian, explain the existence of Ted Davis or
yourself? Denying biological evolution or neo-Darwinism won't help erase
the problem you just laid out. Even if Adam and Eve were brought into
existence 6000 years ago, and just as Genesis literally describes, the
problem you lay out remains.

-Mike

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
To: <asa@lists.calvin.edu>
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

> 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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.5.287 / Virus Database: 270.12.33/2120 - Release Date: 05/18/09
06:28:00

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 20:20:42 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon May 18 2009 - 20:20:42 EDT