Re: [asa] observational vs. theoretical differences in scenarios; a direct question

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Tue Jun 30 2009 - 15:50:17 EDT

> I don't know where David Campbell sits.

At the moment, back in the mollusk collection room in front of a laptop.

> He seems to think that guidance or steering (as I mean the term) is probably not necessary, and that God probably made no special interventions (using my sense of the word "special", not David's).  So it seems that he should be choosing either #1 or #2.  <

4 is rather closer to the mark. 1 as phrased was basically deistic or
atheistic. Within the physical course of biological evolution, I
don't see a need for special (in your sense) intervention, as I do not
think of the determining of quantum events or other events that are
indeterminate under natural laws as an intervention.

> But if chooses #1, how does God control the process?<

Not that I do choose it, but one could hold to something like that
while assuming that God either set things up so that a suitable
outcome (evolution of intelligent life) would happen or hoped it
would. It would probably not have a very orthodox concept of God's
sovereignty, however.

> And if he chooses #2, that's fine with me, but then he would be the first TE I've known to explicitly embrace #2.<

There are points of similarity, but the wording of 2 tends to downplay
God's role in bringing about everything that happens via natural law.
I would also be fairly agnostic on the relative roles of front-loading
versus undetectable but not pre-programmable action (e.g., determining
inherently indeterminate quantum events, assuming that our current
models are correct in holding that certain quantum events are
inherently indeterminate).

>  Part of the problem is that David and I are using "steering" and "guidance" differently; by steering or guidance I am talking about willed, specific, local interventions which divert the course of nature; his asteroid example appears to me to be an example not of steering or guidance but of front-loading.  The asteroid is just following the path which the laws of nature, operative since the Big Bang, dictate.<

I would instead define steering and guidance as willed, specific
action that determines the course of nature; saying that it diverts
the course of nature assumes that nature has an inherent course.

Another problem in interpreting my position is that I often try to
note a range of viable possibilities, rather than specifically my

> I mention this to indicate that it is not only on the TE front that I am working; I'm also trying to get ID people not to introduce unnecessary areas of conflict by employing language that implies that ID is "against evolution".  <

Hooray!!! Regrettably, however, that's exactly how ID is marketed to
the average person in the pew -as the Christian alternative to
evolution. Never mind that not all prominent ID advocates are
Christian, nor that folks like Behe and Denton accept quite a lot of
evolution. This is especially the line taken by what may be
characterized as the secondary line of advocates-people who have heard
something they like from the Discovery Institute or the like and
market it as part of their own apologetics, though some with the DI
are quite willing to assert that ID is against evolution.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Tue Jun 30 15:51:12 2009

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