Re: "WANT" to believe? (was Re: [asa] Response to Baylor meeting)

From: Nucacids <>
Date: Sun Aug 30 2009 - 19:40:01 EDT


Well said. And it's not just that WANT to believe accusation that is a
dialog stopper, but the added "so much" (want so much) makes it even worse.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Murray Hogg" <>
To: "ASA" <>
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2009 7:04 PM
Subject: "WANT" to believe? (was Re: [asa] Response to Baylor meeting)

> Hi Randy,
> From my perspective the first question is an absolute dialogue stopper.
> The idea that people's positions - and I include everyone from YEC's, to
> ID theorists, to Atheistic Evolutionist in this - are driven by what they
> WANT to believe is a clear insinuation that people have some psychological
> motive over and above simply wanting to offer what it, to them, the best
> available interpretation of the data.
> Personally, I can't see how one can start by impugning another person's
> intellectual credibility in this way and THEN allow that the defence
> offered by that person could itself be a matter of honest and open
> reflection.
> In this particular instance, if your anonymous correspondent really
> believes that those who disagree with him are really engaging in "just
> another convoluted twist of a way to justify believing in the faith of
> evolution" then I don't see what his "opponents" are to do.
> It is, in my opinion, high time people stopped throwing about accusations
> of incompetence, dishonesty, bias, etc, in favour of a more gracious
> interpretation of other people's motives and actions.
> As it stands, the various accusations which do get thrown about -
> including those such as implied in you correspondent's first question and
> at other places in his post - merely invite an unduly hostile response.
> You may, from my perspective, inform your correspondent that the reason I
> consider neo-Darwinism to be the best explanatory framework in respects of
> the available data is because, in my opinion, it's the best explanatory
> framework in respects of the available data. "Want" has nothing to do with
> it. He is under no obligation to concur that neo-Darwinism IS the best
> explanatory framework in respects of the available data. His only
> obligation, in my view, is to allow others the same liberty I dare say he
> would want for himself: that is, to to make a free and honest assessment
> of the data according to one's own lights.
> Blessings,
> Murray Hogg
> Randy Isaac wrote:
>> In a recent note to faculty at Christian Colleges and Universities, I
>> provided the link to the talks at the Baylor meeting. One professor
>> responded with a note to say he found the talks very sad and was
>> disappointed. I started a dialog with him and have had some interesting
>> exchanges. I'd like to share part of his note and perhaps gather some
>> feedback from several of you that I can collect and forward to him. I
>> had asked him what kind of discussion he would have found
>> interesting. Here's part of his feedback:
>> "When I saw the conference, I was impressed at the availability of the
>> slides and audio and dug into slides of presentations that looked
>> interesting.
>> The first one I looked at carefully was on "Worldview" - and was
>> dismayed to find it was just another convoluted twist of a way to
>> justify believing in the faith of evolution while still maintaining some
>> faith in Christ. This seemed to follow the lines of the complex
>> machinations in the Christian Scholar's Review. Seeing the first slides,
>> I thought this one would be a breath of fresh air vs. those approaches,
>> but, alas, just another twist on the same story.
>> Along these lines, discussions of science and faith which would be
>> interesting, even from a group of committed evolutionists, might be:
>> -Philosophically, why do I want so much to believe in evolution?
>> -Discussion of dealing with evolution as a constructive mechanism vs.our
>> observation of environmental degradation with time(even without man),
>> species extinction etc.
>> -An answer to the question of why evolutionists are concerned with
>> extinction when this is a vital part of the process. How does a
>> Christian reconcile this necessity of species destruction with the
>> stewardship mandate of man?
>> -As a scientist, how has a belief in evolution guided my understanding
>> and research in profitable ways? For example, how using the theory has
>> lead to examination of fruitful lines of research, or predicted results
>> that were confirmed by experimentation, results that one who did not
>> believe in evolution would never have thought to pursue. The only answer
>> I have heard to this question, never stated, but implied, is that
>> believing in evolution gains "respectability"."
>> I may share some of the other comments later.
>> I'd particularly like to solicit your comments on the last one.
>> Randy
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.


Internal Virus Database is out of date.
Checked by AVG -
Version: 8.5.408 / Virus Database: 270.13.65/2322 - Release Date: 08/23/09

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Sun Aug 30 19:41:00 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Aug 30 2009 - 19:41:01 EDT