Re: [asa] Response to Baylor meeting

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Sun Aug 30 2009 - 20:27:56 EDT

I'm not a member of the ASA proper - just this list - but I'd disagree. One
reason slander is used is because it has the ability to convince other
people of it's truth. Someone who thinks that Christians accept evolution
purely to "gain respectability" may not be engaging in some kind of
duplicitous tact, but may honestly feel that this is the case - and that
leads to an opportunity to address their concern and show them this is not
the case. If someone tells me "evolution means humanity is an accident" or
"evolution means God isn't involved in nature", I won't automatically assume
they're purposefully twisting understanding of evolution. They could just be

As for the question he has about stewardship and evolution, I think his
question may go deeper. If extinction is just a part of evolution, then why
is it a concern? I don't think this problem goes away just by increasing the
scope of the extinction to 'wiping out ecosystems' and 'no daughter
lineages'. I think this is divorced from the question of 'human specialness'
- even if we're 100% certain that humanity has a unique purpose, that alone
doesn't tell us what we should do about the rest of creation. After all,
extinctions happen, niches disappear, new species appear, new niches open
up. If it were within our power, would our goal be to preserve each and
every species in every ecology on the face of the planet, and what's more
keep them in a state of evolutionary stasis? Is that stewardship?

I agree that creation has a value, even if evolution is the means by which
it came about. But an evolutionary creation is different from one where all
the species (or even 'basic forms') "started off" more-or-less as they are
now. And I suspect that in such a view, the idea that some species are going
to go extinct - even ones with no daughter species or very close relatives -
may, believe it or not, be part of that stewardship.

On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 8:02 PM, Allan Harvey <> wrote:

> Randy cites his correspondent implying that the reason Christian
> scientists "want so much" to believe that evolution is a correct scientific
> description of God's creative activity is to gain "respectabliity". Sadly,
> this sort of slander against the integrity of fellow Christians is not
> uncommon. Phil Johnson has done it more than once, basically saying that
> Christians in academia only express belief in evolution for career
> advancement purposes. It has happened on this ASA list a few times.
> I realize this person is not a part of our list, but this attitude is
> outside the "Guidelines" Randy posted just a day or two ago. While I hate
> to "write off" anybody, I think the ASA response to a person like this may
> need to be shaking the dust off our feet. If this person disputes the
> evidence for evolution, we can talk about that. If he thinks evolution is
> incompatible with his Christian theology, we can talk. But if the tactic he
> leads with is to impugn the motives and integrity of Christians who believe
> common descent to be true, I don't know that edifying conversation is
> possible.
> Allan Harvey (ASA member)
> P.S. Glad to see Pete Enns on the list -- if more Evangelicals took to
> heart the wisdom in his excellent book "Inspiration and Incarnation" many of
> the church's problems in the science/faith area would be greatly diminished
> (along with the damage done to the witness of the Gospel among the
> scientifically literate).

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Received on Sun Aug 30 20:28:32 2009

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