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

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Thu Oct 29 2009 - 11:29:34 EDT

George wrote: "I agree that evolution as a totalizing metanarrative should be challenged." Yes, Amen! O.k. and so now what? Especially repeated for the 'anti-creationists': almost nobody wants to be called the 20th century - 'creationist' - term in the 21st century. But, as ASA says, "We believe in Creation!" And let me add, "in creativity". This view supports my question about "how TE limits evolution." I don't think many people have been very successful thus far in their task (all of Ted's 'heroes' included). Perhaps this is one reason why you resist the label of 'theistic evolutionist' George? Perhaps there is something better waiting in the wings??? - G. Arago   ________________________________ From: George Murphy <> To: Ted Davis <>; asa <>; Gregory Arago <> Sent: Thu, October 29, 2009 5:57:19 PM Subject: Re: [asa] ID question? - TE does or doesn't 'limit evolution'? Gregory - To Ted's comments let me add a bit.  1st, of course, a question about what TEs are doing assumes that TEs are a well-defined group, which is highly debateable.  But let that pass for now. Saying "biological evolution" instead of just evolution & distinguishing that as a science from "evolutionism" as a philosophy - & especially as a "totalizing meta-narrative" - is one way TEs "limit evolution."  I often try to do that at least at the beginning of a presentation for non-specialists. Perhaps TEs could do that more consistently.  But I have to return to a point I've tried to make to you before.  Especially in brief comments & informal discourse among people who know what the subject is, it becomes very tiresome to repeat qualifications that everyone in the community of discourse understands.  If one doesn't realize that & puts in all the qualifications every time one uses a word then every conversation takes on the character of a legal brief & it becomes very tedious. I agree that evolution as a totalizing metanarrative should be challenged. But that's something different from what I think you may want (correct me if I'm wrong) - i.e., limiting the use of the word entirely to biological evolution.  The term "stellar evolution," e.g., is generally accepted terminology in astronomy & astrophysics. It isn't the same kind of thing as biological evolution.  (If you tried to talk about a "struggle for survival" among stars you'd be faced with the fact that the stars that get the most resources - i.e., material - in an interstellar cloud survive for the shortest time!)  In practice you're not going to get rid of the term - astrophysicists just won't pay any attention if you try. I suspect your concern, though, is more with "cultural evolution."  Whether or not that's an accepted term among cultural anthropologists you might know better than I.  In any case I can't see that it should be problematic as long as one doesn't view it as just a sub-category of biological evolution. (In particular, cultural evolution - if you allow the term - has a strongly Lamarckian character lacking in biological evolution.) Shalom George __________________________________________________________________ The new Internet Explorer® 8 - Faster, safer, easier. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at

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Received on Thu Oct 29 11:29:53 2009

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