Re: [asa] ID question? - TE does or doesn't 'limit evolution'?

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Thu Oct 29 2009 - 10:02:18 EDT

>>> Gregory Arago <> 10/29/2009 5:56 AM >>> writes:

Again, let me follow up on this in order to be crystal clear.

Ted wrote:
"So, Gregory, what exactly do you mean? Or, have I answered your vacuous claim satisfactorily at this point?"

What is at stake here is whether or not 'evolution' has *any* limits, according to 'TE.' I did not ask simply 'what are TE's doing?' but rather 'what are TE's limit evolution?'

If you can't 'limit evolution,' then 'evolution' is effectively 'unlimited,' i.e. a totalizing ideology.

This is not a vacuous claim (i.e. that TEs are doing nothing or very, very little to limit evolution) and it is not a vacuous question to ask, though it is certainly one that asks people to check their grammar carefully and to consider changing the way they communicate about something if there is a better alternative.


Ted replies briefly. Gregory, when someone like Francisco Ayala or Arthur Peacocke or John Polkinghorne says that evolution cannot explain morality, mathematics, religion, or culture -- or evolutionary biology itself, for that matter -- then IMO that counts as doing plenty to limit evolution. The reason (perhaps) why you fail to see this, Gregory, is that TEs such as these folks don't challenge the *biology* of evolution. Rather, they challenge what it means to "explain" something. I'll close with this pithy little sentence from Polkinghorne, "Belief in God in an Age of Science," p. 18: "Did Oskar Schindler take great risks to rescue more than a thousand Jews from extermination because of some implicit calculation of genetic advantage?"

I see no indication here, Gregory, that evolution is effectively unlimited in Polkinghorne's understanding of it. None.


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Received on Thu Oct 29 10:02:52 2009

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