Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

From: Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com>
Date: Wed May 20 2009 - 00:11:41 EDT

Hi Cameron,

I thank you for taking the time to understand my views and recognizing that
I am not proposing the way things ARE. I'm simply pointing out why the
Gould/Dawkins view of reality would, if shown to be valid, not cause me to
abandon my faith.

You wrote,

"It seems to me that the neo-Darwinian possibility you are propounding here
(and again, I recognize that you aren't affirming it dogmatically, but
merely allowing it as a possibility) is profoundly schizophrenic. With the
"reason" or "science" side of our minds and souls, we acknowledge the
universe, including life and mind, as the product entirely of chance and
necessity. With the "faith" side of our minds or souls, we look at the same
universe and see its accidents and necessities as meaningful and purposive.
It is almost as if by some strange act of will we can make the purposeless
purposeful, the meaningless meaningful, the undirected directed. It is this
schizophrenic side of TE -- *not* the quantum-direction notion put forward
by Ted, George and Robert Russell -- that ID people, YEC people, OEC people,
and many other Christians find repugnant."

That may be, but then such Christians need to contemplate two facts of their
life.

First, how did they come into existence? Most Christians (that I have
known, at least) believe that God brought them into existence. And when
they have children, they view the birth as a precious gift from God. Even
secularists, shaped by the memories of our Christian culture, often speak of
the "miracle of birth." Yet the "reason" or "science" side of our minds and
souls tells us it is chance. "God gave us a beautiful little girl!" is also
"The sperm that impregnated the egg happened to have an X chromosome in it."

Second, many Christians will speak openly, at least among themselves, about
answered prayer. I myself have experienced some of the most remarkable
examples of answered prayer, to the point that it has given me goose bumps.
I store them in my heart, just as Mary stored stories about her son Jesus in
her heart. But the "reason" or "science" side of my mind and soul knows it
"could have been" weird coincidence, and if I shared my stories with
atheists, they would certainly view it as such and there is nothing in
reason/science that would help me convince them otherwise.

The way I see it, we have all been deeply shaped by a culture that places
great value on reason and science. What we claim to "know" we should be
able to prove or support with evidence. And I understand the value of that
approach. But as I have aged, I have come to know that you can take that
approach too far. Y'see, I am the type of person who pays attention to the
little things, the subtle things. I collect such knowledge. And I know many
things, about myself, others, my surroundings, that I cannot prove or
support with strong evidence. In other words, I know things and I know I
can not get others to see what I know. I know that you can know without
proof or evidence. And I know it would be folly to jettison that knowledge
because I could not prove it to another person.

But what I don't know is if I am making any sense here.

Perhaps I should put it this way. They often say, "It's not what you know;
it's what you can prove." But a world that is based solely on what can be
proven is an illusionary world. Illusionary because it is incomplete and
where incompleteness is often mistaken for completeness. After all, one
example of such a world is our multi-media world of politics.

So it may seem absurd to embrace God as our Creator while agreeing with
Gould about evolution. But I find it absurd to deny God as our Creator
because of Gould's views on evolution. Why? Because I find it absurd to
think that human reason can sit in such judgment.

And

I know God exists.

-Mike

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
To: <asa@lists.calvin.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 4:03 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

> Hello again, Mike:
>
> I see what you are saying now, though I couldn't have seen it from your
> original remarks, which stressed that God created "Ted Davis", not "human
> beings" in the abstract, as if those two were very different propositions,
> and as if you found the latter spiritually repugnant. But now you are
> acknowledging that God's creating "human beings" in a generic sense,
> rather
> than individuals, is not offensive to you, and you understand this as
> compatible with the uniqueness of "Ted Davis". As you write to Iain in
> another post:
>
> "What this means is if God wanted to bring you into existence, He had to
> bring this past into existence. That's why I call it the 'Package Deal.'
> Among all the possible, infinite Universes to create, God freely chose to
> create the one in which Iain (and Mike, Ted, Cameron, Gregory) exist. He
> chose this precisely because it was the one in which Iain, Mike, Ted,
> Cameron, and Gregory exist. To bring us into existence means our
> particular
> contingent pasts come with it, because without it, we, as who we are,
> could
> not be brought into existence."
>
> So that part of your reply is clarified. However, your reply also returns
> to the point you expressed several days ago, about which I disagreed with
> you:
>
>> I would simply add that the natural processes that brought Ted into
>> existence were the will of God. That is, Ted came into existence as an
>> expression of God's will and Ted was foreknown by God. Ted has a role
>> to
>> play in God's plan.
>>
>> Yet these natural processes that brought Ted into existence are permeated
>> with chance. The genetic processes that made the gametes needed to make
>> Ted, and the fertilization event itself, was all about chance. Once we
>> recognize the central role chance plays, in accord with the divine will
>> of
>> God, in the origin of each and every human being born, I don't see why
>> suddenly the role of chance, in accord with the divine will of God, is a
>> problem when it comes to the origin of the first humans.
>
> I would still disagree with this. God-as-creator (as distinct from
> God-as-foreknower) still had to *do* something different, if the universe
> was to turn out as neo-Darwinism pictures it, than he would have to do if
> the universe was to turn out as Denton pictures it, or if the universe was
> to turn out as Duane Gish pictures it. Why? Because God's foreknowledge
> can't be out of whack with reality. What God foreknows must be what
> actually happens; and what actually happens depends *entirely* on the
> chosen
> beginning. So God can't *guarantee* that Ted will ever emerge to play
> that
> role in his plan, unless God arranges antecedent conditions so that Ted
> does
> in fact appear. But if God arranges antecedent conditions, then what
> happens can't really be "chance", can it? Not from an ultimate
> perspective,
> anyway, though it may appear so to us.
>
> It seems to me that the way you reconcile the Darwinian route with God's
> foreknowledge is this: there is, so to speak, a gigantic cosmic corner
> store, with an infinite number of possible Darwinian worlds on the shelf,
> in
> which chance takes all the Gouldian twists and turns, some of which
> produce
> Ted Davis, but in the wrong context, others which don't produce Ted Davis
> at
> all, and only one which produces Ted Davis (and everyone and everything
> else) in exactly the right context. God, as it were, walks into this
> corner
> store, inspects all of these infinite number of universes (which being
> infinite, he can do), and takes "Chance Universe #2,889,356,112" off the
> shelf, and actualizes that one. Thus, from our perspective, within the
> universe, it looks as if everything occurs by accident (working in
> conjunction with natural laws), but from the cosmic perspective, God has
> actually selected exactly this particular set of accidents. Is that your
> thought?
>
> If so, I still think it smells fishy. Granted, you don't insist that man
> and the various species did arise via Darwinian means; you grant that on
> the
> shelves in the cosmic corner store there are also non-Darwinian schemes
> involving front-loading, special intervention, etc. You aren't dogmatic
> on
> that point, for which I am grateful. However, Christian Darwinians who
> adopt your "solution" can put themselves in a suspiciously impregnable
> position.
>
> They can say that not only methodological, but in a sense even
> metaphysical
> naturalism is the truth, because the universe operates in reality entirely
> as if God did not exist. God made a choice of universes, but the universe
> he chose operates by chance and necessity. Man is exactly what Bertrand
> Russell said he was: the reasoning, thinking outcome of blind causes
> which
> had no prevision of what they were doing, a kind of irony of nature.
> There
> is no design, not even front-loaded design, in the universe. The habits
> of
> the honeybee and the bacterial flagellum and the human brain reveal or
> imply
> no design at all. The totality of the universe perhaps contains a
> "design",
> in the sense of God's plan, but that is not "design" as either ID or many
> traditional Christians have understood the notion. It is more like the
> inscrutable will of Allah (which is invisible) than what has traditionally
> been meant by "design". And, with all due respect to Muslims, whose
> traditions (I believe) have much to offer to modern, secularized
> Christians,
> I am not comfortable with this notion of the Deity. As I said in another
> post or two, I incline towards the notion of reason and order in God and
> nature set forth by the current Pope in his Regensburg speech of two or
> three years ago.
>
> It seems to me that the neo-Darwinian possibility you are propounding here
> (and again, I recognize that you aren't affirming it dogmatically, but
> merely allowing it as a possibility) is profoundly schizophrenic. With
> the
> "reason" or "science" side of our minds and souls, we acknowledge the
> universe, including life and mind, as the product entirely of chance and
> necessity. With the "faith" side of our minds or souls, we look at the
> same
> universe and see its accidents and necessities as meaningful and
> purposive.
> It is almost as if by some strange act of will we can make the purposeless
> purposeful, the meaningless meaningful, the undirected directed. It is
> this
> schizophrenic side of TE -- *not* the quantum-direction notion put forward
> by Ted, George and Robert Russell -- that ID people, YEC people, OEC
> people,
> and many other Christians find repugnant. On such a view, faith becomes
> an
> a-cosmic, irrational, idiosyncratic personal quirk, a way of looking at
> reality which some people adopt, and others do not, while reality itself
> provides no basis for faith's way of looking at it. Faith and reason are
> radically disjoined, not connected at all, even by the slenderest of
> threads. What we "know" through faith is entirely distinct from, and
> opposed to, what our senses and reason tell us. Existence is not a
> coherent
> whole, in which the knower and the reality known are integrally connected,
> and in which the truths of the head ("science") and the truths of the
> heart
> ("faith") are connected. A TE-Darwinist and a Dawkins-Darwinist can walk
> out of the same lab after a hard day's work, both agreeing, "Yep, the
> marvels of the human brain are the result of a cosmic accident -- that's
> been proved by science, except for a few details of the evolutionary
> pathways", and then the TE-Darwinist can wander off to Church and pray to
> the providential Biblical Creator-God, while the Dawkins-Darwinist goes
> off
> to give a talk to the Rationalist Club about the stupidity of religious
> belief. It's a scene straight out of the theatre of the absurd.
>
> I cannot prove that this schizophrenic view of reality is wrong. But at a
> fundamental, existential level, I simply reject it. It strikes me as a
> modern, science-dressed-up, secularized version of ancient Marcionitism.
> For the evil God who created the world in Marcionitism, we have the
> uncaring
> secular god of chance and necessity. For Marcion's higher, good God, we
> have the unknowable-by-reason-or-nature God who selected our world out of
> the cosmic corner store, but handed its governance entirely over to the
> evil
> (or at least uncaring) god of chance and necessity, so that the world
> which
> the good God secretly ordained looks and feels (to us human beings) like a
> world ruled by an evil or heartless one. And for the escape route from
> the
> world of the evil or heartless god to the realm of the higher God, we have
> faith -- faith in the good God, for whose existence the world provides not
> a
> shred of evidence.
>
> It may be that this is the truth that Christianity teaches, and that I
> simply lack spiritual understanding. It may be that I have failed to
> grasp
> the sheer irrational otherness of God, and perhaps my sunny, optimistic
> disposition is blind to the horrible truth of the oppressive, alienating
> darkness of the world. But irrationality, darkness and alienation is not
> the teaching about nature that I find in Genesis 1. I don't take Genesis
> 1
> literally as a series of events, but I think that we are meant to adopt
> the
> "feel" of the world described in Genesis. And I don't think that any
> version of "Christian Darwinism" has this feel. When I read Genesis, I
> understand the world to be objectively (not just subjectively, to the eye
> of
> faith only) "very good". When I read the Psalms I understand the world to
> be "very good". And I understand the world to be orderly and rational,
> reflecting, in a way partly accessible to our understanding, the mind of
> its
> maker. I believe that all of this is the traditional Jewish position, and
> I
> believe that it was also the position of Jesus as a Jewish teacher. This
> position is also compatible with much that is found in Greek philosophy,
> and
> with much of Patristic, Medieval, Renaissance, Protestant and neo-Thomist
> theology, and with the Pope's Regensburg address.
>
> Therefore, I maintain my position. I agree with you that God might have
> produced this word in a number of ways -- front-loading, miracles, some
> form
> of evolution punctuated by miracles, immanent intelligence of some kind,
> etc. I also agree with you that it is not necessary to settle the exact
> means of creation in order to have a sound Christian theology. So we
> agree
> on much. But I still must exclude what I call "Christian Darwinism". I
> think that the attempt to bring full-fledged Darwinism under the wing of
> Christian theology is profoundly mistaken. I think that undiluted,
> full-fledged Darwinism implies a metaphysics which is incompatible with
> Christianity, and that if Dawkins, Coyne, Sagan, etc. are right about the
> way that nature is, then Christianity is false and must be surrendered.
> And
> I think that some (not all) TEs confuse the world by suggesting otherwise.
>
> Cameron.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
> To: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>; <asa@lists.calvin.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 8:29 AM
> Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?
>
>
>> Hi Cameron,
>>
>>
>>
>> "So if Genesis 1 (or more broadly, 1-11) is all that we had to guide us,
>> I
>> would say, no, God does not create individuals. God creates man, i.e.,
>> human beings, male and female, in the image and likeness of Himself, and
>> then human beings reproduce naturally, but in such a way as to retain, at
>> least partly, the divine likeness. If all we had to go on was Genesis, I
>> would say that God did not directly create Ted Davis, but that God
>> created
>> the common humanity that Ted Davis shares with all the rest of us, and
>> that
>> Ted Davis, like the "Adam" of Genesis 1, partakes in the image and
>> likeness
>> of God."
>>
>>
>>
>> I would agree with this. I would simply add that the natural processes
>> that brought Ted into existence were the will of God. That is, Ted came
>> into existence as an expression of God's will and Ted was foreknown by
>> God. Ted has a role to play in God's plan.
>>
>>
>>
>> Yet these natural processes that brought Ted into existence are permeated
>> with chance. The genetic processes that made the gametes needed to make
>> Ted, and the fertilization event itself, was all about chance. Once we
>> recognize the central role chance plays, in accord with the divine will
>> of
>> God, in the origin of each and every human being born, I don't see why
>> suddenly the role of chance, in accord with the divine will of God, is a
>> problem when it comes to the origin of the first humans.
>>
>>
>>
>> Gould's replaying the tape argument does not only apply to evolutionary
>> history, it applies to human history, and it applies to the personal
>> history of each one of us. When it comes to the role of chance in our
>> origin, and in our identity, SCM's views, Denton's views, Behe's views,
>> Dembski's views, the ICR views, none of them escape the central role of
>> chance in our origins. While all these views focus on what happened
>> millions of years ago, they don't really grapple with what happened on
>> everyone's birthday.
>>
>>
>>
>> -Mike
>>
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>
>> To: <asa@lists.calvin.edu>
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 12:50 AM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?
>>
>>
>>> Mike:
>>>
>>> Thanks for your comments.
>>>
>>> You asked:
>>>
>>> "Isn't that [the creation of specific individuals] what Christianity
>>> teaches?"
>>>
>>> I would answer that hesitantly, because, as I've said to George,
>>> "Christianity" can mean hundreds of different things. If you would
>>> state
>>> what you take to be the basis of Christian doctrine -- say, the Gospels,
>>> or
>>> the New Testament alone, or the Bible in its entirety, or the Apostle's
>>> Creed, or a particular historical confession, or the writing of a
>>> particular
>>> theologian, e.g., Augustine, it would be much easier for someone to
>>> answer.
>>> But "Christianity" in the abstract does not speak with one voice
>>> throughout
>>> all times and places -- or if it does so, it does so only on a very few
>>> issues, and I'm not sure that this is one of them. However, I will give
>>> you
>>> a tentative opinion, which you should by no means take as authoritative
>>> or
>>> as a final statement of the orthodox Christian view -- if there is an
>>> orthodox view -- on the subject.
>>>
>>> I always like to at least start from Genesis (though George and others
>>> might
>>> reasonably argue that Genesis by itself is not a complete account of
>>> Christian doctrine). The conception in Genesis is precisely the one
>>> that
>>> you don't like, i.e, that God created "man", i.e., the species, divided
>>> into
>>> male and female, in his image and likeness. "Adam" ("man" in the sense
>>> of
>>> "human being", anthropos, homo) is a generic concept in Genesis 1.
>>> There
>>> is
>>> no discussion of individuals. Even in Genesis 2, Adam and Eve are
>>> clearly a
>>> generic man and woman, in the sense that their individual personalities
>>> are
>>> not relevant to the point of the story. And in Genesis 3, their "fall"
>>> (a
>>> word not used in the text) is something that all of us as human beings
>>> would
>>> replicate under the same circumstances; it is not, as in Greek tragedy,
>>> an
>>> action connected with a particular "flaw" of either one of them as an
>>> individual.
>>>
>>> Further, the production of children is not described, as the story
>>> proceeds,
>>> as an action of God. (Eve's unique statement about Cain is difficult in
>>> the
>>> Hebrew, and doesn't unambiguously indicate a divine role in Cain's
>>> birth --
>>> outside of Eve's interpretation.) Generally births are represented as
>>> "natural"; the father "begets", the woman "bears", etc. The children in
>>> some cases are said to be in God's image (Genesis 5), but they are not
>>> said
>>> to be created -- as individuals -- by God. I am not arguing that
>>> individuals are not important to God, or that God does not care for them
>>> (note God's special care for Cain, and for Noah); I am merely pointing
>>> out
>>> that the story does not speak of them as being created directly by God.
>>> They are, rather, "natural" productions, following from the acquisition
>>> of
>>> human "knowledge" (Genesis 4:1).
>>>
>>> So if Genesis 1 (or more broadly, 1-11) is all that we had to guide us,
>>> I
>>> would say, no, God does not create individuals. God creates man, i.e.,
>>> human beings, male and female, in the image and likeness of Himself, and
>>> then human beings reproduce naturally, but in such a way as to retain,
>>> at
>>> least partly, the divine likeness. If all we had to go on was Genesis,
>>> I
>>> would say that God did not directly create Ted Davis, but that God
>>> created
>>> the common humanity that Ted Davis shares with all the rest of us, and
>>> that
>>> Ted Davis, like the "Adam" of Genesis 1, partakes in the image and
>>> likeness
>>> of God; but I would add that God cares for Ted Davis as he cares for the
>>> whole human race (which he spared from the deluge, in the person of
>>> Noah,
>>> who is in a way a second Adam). And I would say (again speaking only
>>> for
>>> Genesis), that the infinite value of Ted Davis comes not from his direct
>>> creation by God, but from his partaking, through his human form, in the
>>> image of God (see Genesis 9 regarding the explanation of the "death
>>> penalty"). Whether that is a full statement of even the Old Testament
>>> view,
>>> let alone the Christian view, is a question that would require the
>>> consideration of other texts. But such an account does teach the
>>> "infinite
>>> value" of each human individual, without requiring the awesome
>>> front-loaded
>>> necessitarianism that I described in my previous post.
>>>
>>> Cameron.
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
>>> To: "Cameron Wybrow" <wybrowc@sympatico.ca>; <asa@lists.calvin.edu>
>>> Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 8:19 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?
>>>
>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
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>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
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>>
>>
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>>
>>
>>
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>
>
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Received on Wed May 20 00:13:40 2009

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