Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

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Date: Fri May 29 2009 - 15:15:03 EDT

Just a quick note that part of the apparent disconnect between Terry and Cameron on this thread comes from using the word "Darwinian" in completely different ways.

Terry is using "Darwinian" as it is used within science, to simply?mean something like "genetic variation without apparent direction, acted upon by natural selection"

Cameron is using "Darwinian" as it is used within the ID movement, as a descriptor that entails metaphysical lack of purpose.? Of course this is not totally?novel to the ID movement; it is the same usage as in the famous quote by Charles Hodge equating "Darwinism" with "atheism" (which as I recall [Terry can correct me] is accompanied by praise for the theistic evolution views of Asa Gray).

This double meaning causes so much misunderstanding that I agree with those who have said that "Darwinian" and "Darwinism" should simply be avoided in these sorts of discussions.? Everybody needs to be careful about being clear about whether they are talking about science, metaphysics, or some mix of the two.

I would also observe that?a main?distinctive of the ID movement (it shares a basic perspective with Dawkins in this regard) is an insistence that the metaphysics of "Darwinism" (Cameron's usage)?is inextricably bound with the science of "Darwinism" (Terry's usage).? Whether?or not Darwin himself?tied ateleological metaphysics to his science in this way may be an interesting question (and impacts whether or not?the way the ID movement uses the word "Darwinism" is specious), but it does not determine whether?this "package deal" where the science entails certain metaphysics is correct.? Many of us see the science and the metaphysics as two different issues, not without intermingling but able to be separated for the most part -- so that natural explanations for the?evolution of life do not entail God-less metaphysics any more than do natural explanations for the evolution of stars.

Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, CO (ASA Member)
"Usual disclaimers here"

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Received on Fri May 29 15:16:10 2009

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