Re: [asa] Where does TE differ from NOMA? (was: Re: Schools and NOMA)

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Thu Oct 22 2009 - 08:06:14 EDT

The question in the subject line is very badly posed. NOMA is a fairly carefully stated view of the relationship between religion and science belonging to Barbour's "Independence" type. TE, OTOH, (waiving for now all the questions about the appropriateness of the term) covers a broad spectrum of views about evolution & religion. Those views have in common belief in a God and acceptance of biological evolution but they are all over the map in the extent to which they see God as being involved in the evolutionary process and the manner of any involvement. Some may indeed hold a position that amounts to NOMA - Ken Miller seems to be pretty close to that - but others are far from it. Obviously Teilhard de Chardin's position was not "independence" - he was well into Barbour's "Integration" category. I certainly don't see myself as a NOMAist - I wouldn't teach a seminary course that I titled "The Science-Theology Dialogue" & lead workshops for clergy on how to deal with scientific issues (including evolution) if I did.

I suspect that the confusion here is due in large part to the idea that if God is somehow involved in the evolutionary process then that involvement ought to be accessible to scientific investigation. That is not the case if God's involvement is by way of cooperating with creatures in accord with regular patterns. Science studies the instruments God uses, not the One who uses them. Thus if a scientist chooses, he/she can study the world etsi deus non daretur. But for a TE, God is in fact "given."


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Received on Thu Oct 22 08:06:47 2009

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