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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Thu Oct 29 2009 - 19:29:11 EDT

Dave -

Gregory is properly concerned about the "smooshing" you describe at the end. But he hasn't (at least in this thread) made clear whether or not he's willing to accept "stellar" or "cultural" evolution if the adjectives are used.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Clounch
  To: Michael Roberts
  Cc: Ted Davis ; asa ; Gregory Arago
  Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 6:51 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] ID question? - TE does or doesn't 'limit evolution'?


  Please be patient.


  If you can conscientiously sign the statement of faith, join the ASA and get the journal. You don't have to agree with everybody. ASA members range the entire gamut from YEC's to TE and maybe even to deist. The ASA itself is neutral.

  If you cannot sign the statement of faith I'd like to know why, although you are under no obligation to tell me.

  On terminology:

  Let me be simple minded. Can the question be settled by everybody using an adjective
  in front of the word evolution?

                       stellar evolution
                       biological evolution
                       cosmological evolution


  Obviously biological evolution is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT in meaning than cosmological evolution. What irritates me is scientists and technical people using the term evolution without the prefix adjective.

  1. Do they do this because they are lazy?
  2. Or is it because feel they can tell the prefix from context?
  3. Or is it because they want obfuscation?
  4. Or is it because they believe all types of evolution are part of a grand philosophy?

  Scientists are into accuracy and precision. If you do chemistry and you don't pay attention to significant digits in your calculation you will be and should be marked down on your papers. So why do we relax this discipline for evolution? Shame!!! (my two cents worth).

  The E-word is meaningless without an adjective.

  I have seen state science standards committees use 3 to produce 4 above. (or was it 4 to produce 3). They try to produce a GUP (Grand Unifying Principle) that smooshes all meanings of the word into one big meaning. This is what Gregory is concerned about. I would hope the entire ASA membership would oppose the big smoosh because it is an offense to science.

  Dave C

  On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 2:32 PM, Michael Roberts <> wrote:

    I will simply second what Ted and George said . I haven't posted because I get fed up with the repeat comments when it is clear that no one is listened to and the activities of "TEs" over the last 150 years are simply not acknowledged.

    Or just within my own family nearly 80 years

    It gets tedious and frustrating like a snadstorm in a desert

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ted Davis" <>

    To: "asa" <>; "Gregory Arago" <>

    Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 5:43 PM

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

    The only short response that occurs to me, Gregory, is to say that the term "Theistic evolution" means quite different things to different people. In many ways it's not a satisfactory term. Denis Lamoureux, e.g., refuses to describe his own position as TE. Instead, he calls it "evolutionary creation." I still use the term often, perhaps b/c I'm an historian, and historically a lot of people have used the term to mean the belief that God created humans and other organisms through evolution (i.e., through descent with modification).

    As you may know, Gregory, the term "creationist" or even "creation" has been co-opted quite forcefully by the YECs, such that the rest of us who believe the universe is a divine creation have to take time to explain what we mean by "creation," in order not to be misunderstood when we talk about it. No one likes to be misunderstood, and we're no exceptions.

    To echo George, however: the kind of thinking you are calling on ASA members to do, if I correctly understand what you are calling for, is what we've been doing for a long time--probably longer than you've been alive. This is one of those cases, Gregory, in which a visitor to the ASA list has almost no idea who the ASA is, in reality; no idea of what sorts of ideas our members have affirmed, debated, and discussed. It is people like us, not Michael Ruse (who used the term in a recent book), who have routinely used the term "evolutionism" to separate legitimate biological theory from unwarranted extrapolations of it into other realms. If you don't realize this, Gregory, it's only b/c you haven't been reading our journal for decades as many here have been doing.

    It's high time, Gregory, for you to join the ASA and learn a lot more about who we are. Then, you won't be dropping in here calling for us to do what we have already been doing for decades. A lot of us have been puzzled by some of your "requests," if I can put it that way.


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Received on Thu Oct 29 19:29:28 2009

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