Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

From: Nucacids <>
Date: Sat May 30 2009 - 12:55:19 EDT

"But isn't the bottom line argument for design the fact that
that evolutionary mechanisms cannot account for a given feature. Isn't
that in the end how you detect intelligent design?"

No, this is not the bottom line argument for design. In fact, it isn't even
an argument FOR design. In what way would finding a feature that cannot be
accounted for by evolutionary mechanisms be an argument FOR design?
Instead, it is only an argument that would indicate our current
understanding of evolutionary mechanisms is incomplete.

An argument FOR design would attempt to isolate hallmarks OF design and then
see if these hallmarks exist in the feature in question.

I should also point out that ID and TE are indeed compatible if our focus is
on how design might interface with evolution rather than veiw design as
something that is mutually exclusive with evolution. Another way they would
be compatible is by restricting the design inference to the origin of life.
Since there is no Theory of Abiogenesis, and the origin of life and
evolution of life are separate topics, an "ID, then Evolution" approach is
perfectly legitimate.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry M. Gray" <>
To: "ASA" <>
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 1:27 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

> Cameron,
> Perhaps we're coming to some understanding--unfortunately, not
> necessarily agreement:
> 1. You seem to say that ID and TE are compatible, but then you go on
> to say that the proper response to Dawkins and company is to point out
> the flaws in their science. But this is the problem. TE's don't
> usually see the science as fundamentally flawed. Let me make it clear
> that evolutionary science broadly construed includes non-Darwinian
> mechanisms. Technically, exaptation and even neutral drift are non-
> Darwinian. If you throw in the stuff that Gould liked to talk about--
> morphological constraint, developmental constraint, historical
> contingency and the Stuart Kauffmann self-organization and emergence
> type stuff. Then you've got a much expanded repertoire. Most of these,
> except perhaps the Kauffmann stuff, can be woven fairly cleanly into a
> Darwinian/neo-Darwinian approach. The E part of TE or EC says that we
> think that the explanations are basically right, certainly on the
> right track, and subject to the normal process of science will get
> better and better. If ID has a fundamental critique with E then we
> have a problem.
> 2. I don't quite understand how ID and E are compatible and maybe Ted
> can chime in here. Sure, Behe accepts common ancestry, and I'm glad
> for that. But isn't the bottom line argument for design the fact that
> that evolutionary mechanisms cannot account for a given feature. Isn't
> that in the end how you detect intelligent design? (And, by the way,
> everyone, including Dawkins, recognizes design--he speaks of things
> that have the appearance of being designed--and when we teach
> structure/function in biology/biochemistry we talk design. The real
> question is where did the design come from, did it evolve via
> Darwinian or other mechanisms, or did it come from somewhere else.)
> Behe accepts common ancestry but rejects that evolutionary mechanisms
> could have produced various molecular machines. How is this compatible
> with E or TE or EC?
> 3. I think you miss the force of the Type III Secretory System. There
> is a "joke" that for a creationist every time you find one missing
> link, you create two new ones. Your assessment of the Type III
> Secretory System seems to be much like that. If we're honest, and when
> I've heard Miller speak, I think he is, we don't know if the system is
> a predecessor or a subsequent development of the flagellar system. It
> doesn't matter. What it shows is that there is a functional system,
> with a completely different function, that is a subset of the
> "irreducibly complex" system. Pieces of the mousetrap are missing yet
> it still functions.
> 4. Your story about the flat tire is imaginable (did it really
> happen?), but then so is finding the English text of John 1:1 in some
> protein sequence using the one letter codes for an amino acid or for
> finding instructions in the digits of pi for a time/space travel
> machine. I need to think more about it, but it seems to me that your
> sequential probability calculation has the same problem as any
> historically contingent probability calculation. The probability of
> any particular historical event is fantastically small, however, when
> an event occurs, the probability of it happening is "1" and so the
> probability of some event being built upon it is "1 x p" where p is
> the probability of the individual event happening. In other words, we
> always have to think "given the present state of affairs what is the
> chance of something happening on top of that?" This is how evolution
> works and how evolutionary probabilities have to be calculated. No
> matter how improbable a pair of events might be, once the first of the
> pair has occurred, the probability of the second event happening is
> just the probability of the second event.
> TG
> On May 29, 2009, at 3:19 AM, Cameron Wybrow wrote:
>> Terry:
>> Thanks very much for your reply, which is overwhelming in the number
>> of concerns it addresses, and goes beyond the limited discussion
>> that I was trying to engage you in. But I understand that passions
>> run high in these matters, and one topic quickly gets attached to
>> another. :-)
>> 1. On the probability thing: I don't believe that you are
>> interpreting Behe's *Edge* argument correctly, but I want to do some
>> more research before I insist on that, so let me leave that aside
>> for now and come back to it in a future post. However, whatever
>> Behe may have said or meant, note that *my* argument said nothing
>> about mutations having to be simultaneous. In fact, I was explicit
>> that they were sequential, and I was assuming that the mutations in
>> question occurred hundreds, thousands, millions, tens of millions of
>> years apart. The point is that a probability theorist has the right
>> to inquire into the probability of the sequence, just as he has the
>> right to inquire into the probability of the sequence HTTHHTTHTHTH.
>> You seem to be denying that it is ever legitimate even to wish to
>> calculate that probability, and I think that probability theorists
>> simply would not agree with you.
>> I can imagine a sequence of events in my life which would raise all
>> kinds of alarm bells even though the individual events occurred
>> years apart. Suppose that every time I drove into New York State, I
>> got a flat tire within a mile of crossing the border. Suppose that
>> it happened once in 1979, twice in 1981, three times in 1983, twice
>> in 1985, and once each in 1990, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2005.
>> Further, suppose that I never got a flat tire anywhere else during
>> the same period. And further, suppose that the cars which crossed
>> the border both ahead of me and behind me, including many that used
>> the same brand of tire, never got flat tires on any of those
>> occasions. The probability theorist, if asked what the probability
>> was of my getting a flat tire on exactly that sequence of occasions,
>> would calculate it as the product of the probabilities of the
>> individual events. And when the very low probability number
>> emerged, let's say (1/100)^14, I would be rationally justified in
>> inferring that someone (human, alien, divine, demonic, a leprechaun,
>> a gremlin) had "intelligently designed" my sequence of flat tires.
>> So, analogously, it doesn't matter whether the mutations occurred
>> simultaneously or over time; there is still the question why
>> evolution has the apparent directionality that it does. There is no
>> reason why the mutations should so conveniently build one upon the
>> other, if the process as a whole is directed as Dawkins says it is
>> (i.e., not directed at all).
>> Yes, I know there is the possibility of exaptation and so on. But
>> such explanations are usually ad hoc and very limited in power. Ken
>> Miller has provided one -- exactly one -- possible useful
>> intermediate for the bacterial flagellum. Where are all the other
>> intermediates, and what functions did *they* serve? Ken Miller has
>> nothing to say. They may have existed; but we have no way of
>> knowing that they did. And even if we could dream up some imaginary
>> organelles in a graduated sequence, running from plain bacteria
>> through the Type III secretory system through to the flagellum, and
>> could fantasize environmental conditions in which each of these
>> organelles would provide a selective advantage, there would still be
>> a requirement on the evolutionary theorists' part to show what
>> alterations in the bacterial DNA/protein machinery would be required
>> to produce all of these intermediate, functioning organelles. A
>> tall order indeed -- with nothing to show for it yet. Yet both
>> atheist Darwinists and TE Darwinists shout loudly that Ken Miller
>> has "refuted" Behe's argument by citing the Type III secretory
>> system. Miller has done nothing of the sort. He has provided the
>> equivalent of one island, thirty miles from shore and twenty miles
>> from the next mainland; he has not provided a chain of islands
>> capable of being crossed by a swimmer who can do only a mile at a
>> time. His argument is just plain weak. And this is an example of
>> what I mean by evolutionary biologists resting satisfied with very
>> sketchy and inadequate accounts of the nitty-gritty details.
>> Darwinian "explanations" rarely get further than Ken Miller's does.
>> Or if they do, I haven't seen it.
>> As for your example of your own particular genetic makeup, I think
>> you will find that such arguments are dealt with in Dembski's
>> various writings, including *No Free Lunch*. He doesn't use your
>> particular example, but I think his remarks about drawing the
>> bullseye around the arrow after it has hit the tree are probably
>> relevant to it.
>> Please bear in mind that I am not arguing that design has been
>> proved in any particular case. Nor am I even arguing that design
>> inferences are "scientific", though I am suspicious of the view of
>> many that they must automatically be excluded from the realm of
>> science. I am arguing only that it is entirely reasonable for a
>> scientifically-trained person to look at a sequence of mutations
>> which just happens to produce a series of wholly functional
>> intermediates en route to completely transforming a wolf into a
>> whale, and to be *very* suspicious that Darwinian mechanisms alone
>> can account for that sequence. Even if one does not make the move
>> to "design" based on that suspicion, the suspicion itself is wholly
>> in keeping with the spirit of the skeptical scientific mind, and I
>> do not know why so many people here are lacking in such suspicion.
>> 2. On theology: I have no clear conception of how God guides,
>> steers, or plans evolutionary change. However, I have no objection
>> to "continuous meddling", as you put it. The Bible depicts God and
>> nature as being mutually responsive (as my doctoral dissertation and
>> first book purported to show), and "continuous meddling" would fit
>> that picture better than a "stop and start" model which is Deistic
>> most of the time, with dramatic miracles thrown in a few times for
>> special purposes. Of course, Ted and George would want that
>> "continuous meddling" to be invisible rather than of the parting-of-
>> the-Red-Sea sort, and that would be fine with me, too. But I would
>> also insist that there is no conflict in principle between
>> "continuous meddling" and a design inference. A God who
>> continuously meddles might well leave a "design trail", and that,
>> for me, is a question best addressed by the empirical evidence found
>> in Creation, not pronounced upon on a priori theological grounds.
>> 3. On your comments about the internal problems you and others have
>> with ID people, I cannot easily comment. As I stated when I joined,
>> I come from a land and an environment where the whole YEC-OEC-ID-TE
>> tango strikes most people as bizarre. Canadians just don't wrangle
>> about the Bible, creationism, etc. the way Americans do. They
>> *never* did, even back when Canada was a much more religious country
>> than it is now. (At one point, in the 1950s, Church attendance in
>> Canada was higher than in the United States, and there was hardly a
>> Genesis literalist to be seen). I find a lot of the historical
>> background that is animating many of the players to be culturally
>> alien, and irrational. It looks very much like a bitter intra-
>> family Protestant evangelical feud, and I have a hard time to know
>> what to say about it.
>> I will say this: I have seen a leading TE proponent siding with an
>> atheist Darwinist, angrily attacking Behe, on national television.
>> Your claim that the TEs are willing, but the ID people won't have
>> them, is hard to square with that fact. If Behe is being tag-teamed
>> by an atheist and a TE, it is hard to put the blame on the ID people
>> for not trying to build a "common front" against atheism. And when
>> Ken Miller, in his first book, scorns ID more visibly than he scorns
>> atheist Darwinism (he criticizes both, but his criticism of Dawkins
>> is notably more polite than his criticism of ID), and when Collins
>> makes sure to include a chapter against ID in his first book, and
>> writes an endorsement for Ken Miller's second book (which repeats
>> Miller's ID-bashing), and when TE Denis Alexander in Britain takes
>> definite swipes at ID, the notion that TE is quite willing to build
>> a "common front" with ID against atheism is quite unsustainable. I
>> believe that desire for a common front exists in Ted Davis; it may
>> exist also in Polkinghorne and/or Gingerich (I don't know the
>> thought of either of them very well); it is not true of the big-name
>> popular-writer TEs, and it does not appear to be true of most of the
>> contributors to the PEC book or of many of the TEs who post here.
>> TE seems to be characterized by a dislike of ID almost as strong as
>> its dislike of YEC, and almost as strong as its dislike of atheist
>> Darwinism. With this kind of attitude being projected by TEs, a
>> common front is unlikely. (And yes, you can go on about real or
>> alleged past offenses of Bill Dembski or Phil Johnson, but the point
>> is that people must learn to rise above the past. If they can do it
>> in Northern Ireland, they should be able to do it in the American
>> evangelical world. But sometimes I think that the internal
>> bitterness of the American evangelical world makes Northern Ireland
>> look like a Sunday School picnic.)
>> 4. ID proper does not pit design against evolution. That may have
>> been the case in 1994, but it certainly isn't the case now, at
>> least, not among the leading ID theorists. (And it was never the
>> case for Behe.) Dembski, in an important passage in *No Free
>> Lunch*, acknowledges the compatibility of fully naturalistic
>> evolution with design theory. And ID more and more attracts
>> engineers, computer scientists, life scientists, etc. who are not
>> from the fundamentalist Christian world, and who have no anti-
>> evolutionary baggage. The emphasis within ID now, among those who
>> are going to be its future leading theorists, is not "design instead
>> of evolution", but rather "design in addition to chance and natural
>> laws as the explanation for evolution". One can see this in the
>> work of Michael Denton, who has distanced himself entirely from the
>> evangelical Christian context, and aims his arguments not at
>> conservative church people but at a broader religious and secular
>> audience which accepts macroevolution as a fact.
>> (P.S. I am not stating in an unqualified way that macroevolution is
>> a fact; I am merely saying that, if it is a fact, ID as such is not
>> threatened by that, in the way that YEC is. This is why new fossil
>> discoveries such as Tiktaalik are non-threatening to many ID
>> proponents, who have no objection to evolution as such. Their
>> attitude is mine: if macroevolution is true, of course we can
>> expect discoveries such as Tiktaalik; now tell me exactly how
>> Tiktaalik was produced via Darwinian mechanisms, and how it was
>> subsequently transformed by Darwinian mechanisms.)
>> Finally, in answer to your question:
>>> So, Cameron, a question for you is this: what is the proper
>>> response to Dawkins? Should we be trying to defeat his science? Or
>>> should we be pointing out the illegitimate use of science in the
>>> defense of atheism?
>> The proper response to Dawkins and to all Darwinists (neo-
>> Darwinists, etc.), is to point out to the world how sketchy and
>> lacking in detail the "science" is, and how much the "scientific
>> argument" usually boils down to "actually, we have almost no clue
>> how this happened, but one thing we are sure about is that it must
>> have happened naturalistically".
>> In my view, there is no point whatsoever in adjusting Christian
>> theology to a "science" which is theoretically unclear, sketchy on
>> detailed mechanisms, and based on our woefully incomplete
>> understanding of biology. On the last point, we don't even know how
>> a mammalian body is formed in the womb, in anywhere near adequate
>> detail, and we don't know what 90% of the DNA is for; yet
>> evolutionary biologists feel no hesitation in offering uncontrolled
>> speculations about hypothetical evolutionary pathways in the pre-
>> Cambrian, involving hypothetical ancestors whose character is not
>> known, a pre-Cambrian ocean whose ecology is not understood, and
>> scraps of fossils from which no DNA can be retrieved. If ID has
>> done nothing else of value in the world, it has been of value in
>> drawing public attention to the loose and irresponsible character of
>> many of the speculations of Darwinists. For the defects of
>> Darwinian theory are not mere "gaps" in explanation; the defects are
>> more glaring than that. Darwinism is great at cranking out books on
>> "big concepts" -- drift, neutral theory, selfish genes,
>> sociobiology, random mutation, selection, etc. -- but is very weak
>> on the mechanical details of the alleged transformations, and has
>> been very weak on such details since the days of Darwin. The
>> secular public, which worships Darwinism as its creation narrative,
>> needs to hear that; and the Christian public, many of whom think
>> that Darwinism must somehow be synthesized with Genesis, needs to
>> hear that.
>> You know, Dinesh d'Souza, in his latest book, reports that two-
>> thirds of the physicists in the world supported the Steady State
>> theory as late as 1959. So was it the obligation of thoughtful
>> scientific Christians in the 1950s to adjust the Christian doctrine
>> of creation to the Steady State Theory? If not, then why is it the
>> obligation of Christians to adjust Christian theology to neo-
>> Darwinism, especially when, if certain current indications presage
>> the future -- e.g., Denton, Sternberg, Kaufmann -- Darwinism may be
>> in deep trouble very soon, just as the Steady State theory was in
>> deep trouble when the cosmic background radiation of the Big Bang
>> was detected?
>> Of course, nothing I have said is aimed at "evolution". It is all
>> aimed at "Darwinism". The theoretical barrier between ID and TE is
>> not "evolution". It is Darwinism. From ID's perspective, TE says to
>> Dawkins and Coyne: "You are 100% right about the Darwinian
>> mechanisms of evolution, but you are wrong to infer from that the
>> non-existence of God." ID says that this is too generous a stance.
>> ID says that Dawkins and Coyne are not 100% right about the
>> Darwinian mechanisms of evolution. It says that they are
>> substantially wrong about those mechanisms, or at least, that their
>> case for the power of those mechanisms is much, much weaker than
>> they are letting on to the general public.
>> So ID is not asking TE to surrender "evolution". ID is only asking
>> TE to refrain from making the complete correctness of Darwinian
>> mechanisms -- and more generally, the complete adequacy of chance
>> plus natural laws -- an essential component of evolutionary theory.
>> Behe is an example of an ID person who fully embraces the TE idea
>> that God guides or plans evolution, while rejecting or severely
>> qualifying the explanatory ability of the Darwinian mechanisms. I
>> think that if Behe and Ted Davis sat down together, they would agree
>> on pretty nearly everything except whether design detection is
>> "science" or merely "science-informed philosophy". But if Behe and
>> Ken Miller sat down together, they would disagree on very many
>> central issues. What I am saying is that if TE follows the path of
>> Ted Davis, there can be a partial overlap between ID and TE
>> (excluding some ID people and some TE people at the extremes), and a
>> common front can be built. But if TE follows the path of Miller and
>> Ayala, there is no hope for a common front, and ID and TE will
>> continue to shoot each other in the foot while Dawkins and Coyne
>> look on in a combination of bewilderment and delight.
>> Cameron.
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Terry M. Gray"
>> <
>> >
>> To: "Cameron Wybrow" <>
>> Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 1:44 AM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?
>>> Cameron,
>>> A+ for you answer. And, I found no fault in your other
>>> calculations with respect to 5 (or 64) successive heads ;-)
>>> You may ask what is the probability of flipping five heads in a
>>> row, but that question is irrelevant to an evolutionary account.
>>> This in fact is the fundamental flaw in Behe's "Edge" argument. He
>>> demands that all the mutations happen at once to create the
>>> binding site and ends up without question with virtual
>>> impossibility. This is irreducible complexity gone awry. This is
>>> the same case that Dembski makes in his grocery shelf model of the
>>> chance origin of the bacterial flagellum. But no evolutionist that
>>> I know thinks that evolution occurs like this. The current
>>> functional biological form may well be irreducibly complex. But
>>> that fact tell us little about its history or origin. As the coin
>>> flip has the same probability in each of three successive steps,
>>> so does the building of a binding site. If producing the first
>>> mutation is within the realm of plausibility as Behe admits, then
>>> the next mutation required has close to the same probability. If
>>> natural selection is present (and genetic drift might actually be
>>> enough here), as is the case with pre-adaptation, co-option,
>>> exaptation, or whatever people are calling it these days, then
>>> calculating the probability of the combination as the product of
>>> individual probabilities is completely off target.
>>> I have never heard anyone seriously advocate for the production of
>>> the original cell or of any molecular machine via chance alone that
>>> would allow you to calculate probabilities the way you are
>>> suggesting. Many of the steps would involve physical-chemical
>>> process that would be in the category of "necessity"--for example,
>>> compartmentalization due to spontaneous membrane formation due to
>>> the presence of amphipathic (having a water soluble end and a
>>> water insoluble end). I will be the first to admit that we don't
>>> know how the first cell arose. Some of the recent genetic evidence
>>> suggests that there might have been genetic systems prior to
>>> cells. I have no idea how to calculate the probability of the
>>> first cell forming and I don't think anyone else does either. For
>>> all I know it may be very easy and we're just not seeing it. If we
>>> figure it out, we will think it's easy and we'll wonder what took
>>> so long.
>>> Any historically contingent event would be most likely be near
>>> impossible via similar probabilistic arguments. What is the
>>> probability of my particular genetic composition predicted from
>>> even a couple of generations ago? A particular sperm and egg. A
>>> particular group of independently assorted chromosomes. A
>>> particular set of recombination events. A particular set of
>>> parents and grandparents. The particular me is infinitely
>>> improbable. Yet here I am (knitted in my mother's womb and
>>> fearfully and wonderfully made--continuing the argument for God's
>>> involvement in all the steps).
>>> As for your other questions:
>>> I think I agree with Ted on the broad definition of TE. I do prefer
>>> EC (for reasons everyone gives) and have used that label long
>>> before it became popular. I think I gave some definition/
>>> description in my earlier post, but here's another way to put it.
>>> Evolution (even Darwinism) describes in terms of secondary causes
>>> (detectable via scientific methods) the way God created the
>>> various forms of life on earth. I offered my "continuous meddling"
>>> view to describe how that works but that's not essential to the
>>> simple definition (although I can't live without it myself).
>>> The only issue I have with ID is its insistence that design is
>>> proven to the exclusion of an evolutionary explanation. I don't
>>> see it and I don't see any reason to fight with atheistic
>>> evolutionists on the basis of scientific claims. Of course, we
>>> don't know the whole story and, of course, what we think today
>>> will be different tomorrow--that's the way science works. I'm open
>>> to design in principle; although the way I see it actually working
>>> is that we simply stop in trying to explain the origin of
>>> something. We take it as a given, as "the way the world is" (much
>>> the way Dawkins thinks about "why the laws of nature are what they
>>> are"). Theologically, I would understand "the way the world is" to
>>> be a claim about how God created the world. Dawkins thinks it's a
>>> stupid question. I'm not sure that design would function
>>> scientifically for me other than to suggest that further
>>> investigation is unwarranted and fruitless (especially if the
>>> designer is God; if the designers are LGM then perhaps we can
>>> eventually learn what they did and how). This is how ID has always
>>> appeared to me, to be a premature science-stopper. Now the fact of
>>> the matter is, if God created some parts of the universe in such a
>>> way as to prevent a further explanation of their components or
>>> origin, then we will be banging our head against the wall if we
>>> try to find them. Perhaps that's where we are today in some areas
>>> (mind/brain, life/non-life, human/non-human, pre-cambrian life/post-
>>> cambrian life). I don't think so and I think there is lots of
>>> interesting ideas to try out and develop given the broad strokes
>>> that we have in place as of now. And, for what it's worth, to me
>>> the fact of macroevolution (common ancestry, for which I think
>>> there is nearly indisputable evidence-- although clearly, smart
>>> people disagree with me) does tell us something about whether we
>>> should expect to discover the mechanism.
>>> But, you see, for the most part ID does insist on the exclusion of
>>> the evolutionary explanation. I have pleaded for years--it's now
>>> turning into decades--for a united front against the atheists on
>>> the basis of philosophical, religious, and worldview issues. I can
>>> join arms with Phil Johnson and Mike Behe and Bill Dembski. I can
>>> even join arms with Henry Morris and Duane Gish and Ken Ham to
>>> resist philosophical naturalism and atheistic materialism. BUT
>>> THEY WON'T HAVE US. ID (and YEC) insists on being anti-
>>> evolutionistic. The only way to critique the worldview seems to be
>>> to critique the science. But most of us find nothing wrong with
>>> the science. When he's on track and keeps to the biology, Richard
>>> Dawkins is brilliant. Stephen Jay Gould was extraordinary in his
>>> discussions of evolution. Of course, they didn't always agree with
>>> each other, but they are both great writers and spokespersons for
>>> evolutionary science.
>>> And why? That's the part I don't get. Why not do the science and
>>> let the chips fall where they will? Do we really think that
>>> science can challenge our faith? Actually, I do get it. What IDers
>>> want is the same thing I want. They want science not to be used as
>>> the instrument of Atheistic Naturalism. But that's philosphy,
>>> religion, and worldview. And that's what we must resist in the
>>> classroom. Why resist evolutionary science? Why even "teach the
>>> controversy" (we don't do it anywhere else--elementary and
>>> secondary science education teaches the current consensus, perhaps
>>> a decade behind--it always has--my professors in graduate school
>>> once explained that the difference between undergraduate courses
>>> and graduate course was that "we lie to you less"). It has little
>>> or even nothing to do with evolutionary science. What it betrays
>>> to me is that they believe like the atheists that if science
>>> explains then God is not involved. All the IDers I know would deny
>>> that, and I'm glad for that. Perhaps I should be more generous,
>>> that if they can show that science doesn't explain everything then
>>> atheism loses its claims and so via this wedge, religion can be
>>> restored to its rightful place in the public square. It's a
>>> misguided project, personally, I think it has set the discussion
>>> back 50 years or more. To give them the full benefit of the doubt,
>>> perhaps they actually believe that the current theory is flawed.
>>> Well, bring it on. They can't even convince most Christian
>>> scientists who are fully sympathetic with their philosophical,
>>> religious, and worldview disposition, let alone the broader
>>> scientific community.
>>> And this does get personal. Most evolution-friendly ASAers have had
>>> to deal with an evangelical laity that is largely informed today by
>>> ID and YEC perspectives. Church leaders don't have to take
>>> evolution seriously because Mike Behe said in Darwin's Black Box
>>> and Phil Johnson said in Darwin on Trial and Michael Denton said
>>> in Darwin: A Theory in Crisis that it's all hooey. So you guys who
>>> do take evolution seriously are suspect in our church--you don't
>>> believe the Bible, you've been hoodwinked by the prevailing views
>>> among scientists, you've been kowtowed into towing the line lest
>>> you get expelled from your ivory tower, you take your science more
>>> seriously than your faith, etc. Believe me, I've been there. You
>>> see, we're hopelessly trapped in the middle. Black and white is
>>> always easier. To see Jerry Coyne rant about Francis Collins and
>>> Denis Lamoureux borders on the hilarious. These guys are dyed in
>>> the wool evolutionists. Give them a biology classroom and they're
>>> going to teach exactly what Jerry Coyne does. But to hear Phil
>>> Johnson call these same people accommodationists, deceived by the
>>> academic community, that our view is vacuous (yes, I'm still
>>> stinging from that one from 1994, although it was clear to me even
>>> then that it said more about him than about me), is equally
>>> hilarious. I'm extremely conservative in my theology-- you'd never
>>> guess it from my critics.
>>> So, Cameron, a question for you is this: what is the proper
>>> response to Dawkins? Should we be trying to defeat his science? Or
>>> should we be pointing out the illegitimate use of science in the
>>> defense of atheism?
>>> Perhaps we should say "what do you expect from an atheist?" Perhaps
>>> we need to be as bold with our religious views as he is. But that
>>> doesn't mean we have to change the science. Mentioning these
>>> religious options in the public school science classroom has the
>>> advantage of clearing the air with respect to science as science
>>> rather than science as a propaganda tool in the hand of one or the
>>> other religious perspective. Whether that's possible in today's
>>> litigious and heated climate remains to be seen.
>>> TG
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> ________________
> Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
> Computer Support Scientist
> Chemistry Department
> Colorado State University
> Fort Collins, CO 80523
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> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.


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Checked by AVG -
Version: 8.5.339 / Virus Database: 270.12.45/2141 - Release Date: 05/29/09

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Received on Sat May 30 12:55:39 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat May 30 2009 - 12:55:39 EDT