Re: [asa] Interview with Denis Lamoureux

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Wed Jun 10 2009 - 05:56:21 EDT

Heya all,

Seconding some of what Murray is saying here, I also think it's important to
remember (I doubt anyone is unaware of this, but it's worth repeating)
sometimes "misunderstandings" about these subjects (evolution mandating
naturalism, some ID views being very far from YEC/creationism, etc) aren't
always misunderstandings. Like it or not, there are calculated political
maneuvers involved. When Dawkins and company say explicitly that their goal
is to make Christians look bad however they can rather than engage them
intellectually, it gives away that part of the game - and that isn't exactly
a new attitude. One difference I'd have with Murray is that I'm not sure how
much of the attitude he's encountered (evolution entails
naturalism/non-guidance by definition!) is naivete/misunderstanding, rather
than conscious political posturing. If evolution can be guided or part of
God's work even in principle, quite a lot of intellectual, emotional and
political investment in "science" goes right out the window for a (small,
perhaps, but aggressive) number of people.

Also, I used to be extremely hostile to YECs, and I have never stopped
regretting letting myself behave like that. Even if I have deep
disagreements with them (and believe me, I do and then some) I consider it
of vital importance to approach the issue thoughtfully and respectfully.
I'll even go so far as biting my tongue in the face of some hostility,
though thankfully that's pretty rare. The upside has been tremendous
opportunities to engage people personally on a subject and hear out the TE
(or quasi-ID) case that they'd typically reject out of hand.

On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 5:32 AM, Murray Hogg <>wrote:

> Hi Merv,
> Glad we cleared that up!
> I think you're right about the role that TE's can play, but I'll offer this
> observation: many of the TE's I know personally are really quite hostile to
> YEC's and others in the purportedly "pseudo-scientific" camp. They would
> welcome the opportunity to engage with even strong anti-theistic
> evolutionists, but don't really seem to appreciate that they have a ministry
> to fellow Christians.
> Please realize that I'm certainly not ascribing such attitudes to all TE's
> - just some who I know in person (nobody on the ASA list, in other words!).
> It's a bit sad, but something I think we should work to rectify.
> I've noticed in my brief Wikipedia experience, by the way, that there seems
> to be a tendency on the part of non-theistic evolutionists to want to drive
> a wedge between TE and any other form of "creationism" - they simply won't
> accept that some ID theorists AREN'T all that far from the evolutionary
> mainstream. My read of this is that it's a deliberate attempt to isolate all
> forms of evolution from criticism. I hope the Christian community doesn't
> fall for it as I think there might be somethings that TE's can learn from
> other "sides" in the debate.
> Blessings,
> Murray
> Merv Bitikofer wrote:
>> Thanks for the extra explanation ... I see your points now --and my
>> misunderstanding of your previous post is rectified.
>> I don't think the realization of how strong the naturalistic assumptions
>> can be shows naiveté. It's good to be reminded of how arguments can sound
>> to the ears of those who have long been immersed in "the other side" (which
>> includes more than just atheists but many Christian anti-evolutionists as
>> well). The given predisposition for both is that evolution = "no God" by
>> definition! I think TEs can offer a valuable service here (if done right)
>> that comes from a significant advantage many TEs have here: many have
>> actually been on BOTH sides of that fence and hence have some empathy and
>> understanding for where people are coming from, which they can hopefully use
>> to gently challenge those predispositions and build bridges expanding
>> others' intellectual and theological horizons. (I'm assuming here that a
>> significant number of Christians who are now TE migrated there from the
>> warfare model --probably gradually and with bumps and bruises along the way.
>> But those (Christians) still caught in the warfare model have probably
>> never been on both sides of this fence to see / understand clearly from the
>> non-warfare point of view. They are at a disadvantage in trying to
>> understand TE. And the self-labeled "anti-religious" are at an even larger
>> intellectual disadvantage yet, as they have locked themselves into an even
>> smaller box; although many of them may have migrated there from early
>> zealous religious upbringing. But that will (I'll wager) almost always have
>> been a warfare model view of religion that they turned their backs on. To
>> them, all religion & Christianity is painted with the same brush.
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Received on Wed Jun 10 05:56:32 2009

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