Re: [asa] TE The Future

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Thu May 21 2009 - 06:00:24 EDT

Hi Ted,
You wrote:
"(...Gregory Arago describes TEs generically as "process oriented."  That terminology as a generalization is misleading at best, if made out of ignorance--an example of the kind of ignorance of modern theology on the part of ID proponents that I've talked about.  If not said
out of ignorance, than it's either sloppy or at worst it's deliberate distortion.)"

This message will not address the OP in any way, but rather only your swipe at my statement about TE being 'process-oriented.' You'll be pleased to know that George Murphy himself admitted this several days ago in another thread. TEs are generally process-oriented thinkers. So to call this claim "sloppy or at worst it's deliberate distortion" is to implicate George as well.
(Note please: the text did not read 'process-theology-oriented' - that would have been to claim something different.)
Just tell me, to refresh your position, Ted, which TE you know who wouldn't accept defining evolution as 'a process of change.' (adding 'over-time' is redundant)
Evolution is only a 'theory of origins' when it is elevated into a 'worldview.' Biological evolutionary theories require precursor material that can undergo 'processes of change.' In this sense, evolution is not a theory of 'origins.' Unfortunately, what TEists (and ECists) have done by 'integrating' (this word was chosen carefully) their theology with a 'scientific worldview,' is to suggest that 'evolution' can be about 'origins' too (e.g. front-loading).
So they say, "In the beginning God (creatively) evolved the heavens and the earth." In doing so, they confuse or mix-up a 'process' with an 'origin.' The duo 'evolutionary origin' is indeed an oxymoron. It's like a gradual explosion!
This position does not deny that God can continuously 'create' or that we can 'co-create'; God's creation can still be on-going. The origin of the creation is not the same thing as the process of the creation. This is the distinction that TE has muddied.

Secondly, Ted, your view of naturalism in contrast with natural science seems fuzzy. You say, "If Johnson is right, that accepting MN really commits one to accepting atheism, then very smart and very honest Christians like those identified here should not exist." This is suspect for a good detective.
If MN really equates with 'methodological atheism' (which some people have contended here, even those not entirely in agreement with Johnson's 'wedge strategy') or 'methodological agnosticism', which you yourself have agreed with as a suitable definition, Ted, then the honest Christians you mention simply wouldn't be 'natural scientists.' The problem is not that they can't be Christians, it is that they must divorce their beliefs when they operate in natural sciences due to this restrictive methodology. And this is why your enemies love it when you embrace the philosophical assumption called MN!
“I very much like Schwarzwald's suggestion, namely that 'methodological agnosticism' is a better term for the particular attitude previously called 'methodological naturalism.' ... But I'll stick with MN.” - Ted Davis
(Btw, I await your response to my response to your view here:
I've yet to hear a good distinction on the ASA list between 'natural science' and 'naturalism,' though I've asked for it or pointed out its importance several times. Is it possible for a 'natural scientist' to *not* be a 'naturalist'? Natural scientists have 'methods,' to be sure. But are those 'methods' necessarily based on a worldview that says 'nature is all there is,' even if only according to 'natural science'?
What I find missing in your approach Ted, is any attempt to balance the Academy by admitting 1) that 'natural science' is not the only type of 'science,' and 2) that 'other' sciences have a legitimate contribution to make in deciding what 'naturalism' actually means, and 3) if 'scientific' methods are only those that are allowed to deal with 'natural things.'

Must 'science' be 'naturalistic'?
By opening yourself up to a broader view of the academy, you'll live up to the Mission of ASA that invites historians, anthropologists, psychologists and other non-naturalistic scholars, without 'requiring' them to adopt MN as if that were what 'doing science' is or ever could be *all* about.
Correcting claims of distortion,
Gregory __________________________________________________________________ Yahoo! Canada Toolbar: Search from anywhere on the web, and bookmark your favourite sites. Download it now

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Received on Thu May 21 06:00:53 2009

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