Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Tue Dec 01 2009 - 18:05:37 EST

Terry, Well, not so dramatic, but still nevertheless significant. And there is no mockery at all of your position on my part, which I'm sure you know. I am seeking to understand and from your words interpret the evidence gathered by a variety of scientific and academic fields. 'Common descent' is not such a problem in my view. When you wrote "I believe a special creative act is required for our full humanity in the image of God," I interpret this to be 'anti-evolutionary' or 'non-evolutionary.' Please correct me if I'm wrong. Dawkins is not the issue here; it is a matter of what you 'believe' and how you 'speak' about it (i.e. using Grammar). You ask: "impossible for a Christian to be a Naturalist"? This is indeed a hot question, which I'm glad that you raise. I have asked several times previously on this list if a natural scientist can be a non-naturalist. Nobody has *ever* answered this question. In my view it is the *language* of the Anglo-Saxon tradition that disallows for natural-physical scientists to consider themselves as 'non-naturalists.' My on-going yet cordial feud with Moorad is exemplary of this. However, at the same time, as Schwarzwald has repeatedly drawn peoples' attention to, the idea of 'Naturalist' is oftentimes placed in opposition to 'Theist' (mono- or poly- or otherwise). So, in one sense then Yes, Terry, it is impossible to be a Christian and a Naturalist! Do you deny this definition of 'Naturalist' exists entirely or do you enter a nuanced view? I would welcome your words in the latter case. The former positon of denial is just folly.   On the other hand, I find it entirely consistent to be a Christian who studies nature and/or who holds a career in the natural-physical sciences. In fact, it is much *easier* nowadays to be a relgious believer in the natural-physical sciences than in the other 50+% of the Academy, which is the human-social sciences. I am not against the meaning of 'naturalism' or 'naturalist' as someone who studies 'nature,' Terry. But as you know, I am thinking more spherically than most others on this list. Many here can't imagine *any* of the non-natural categories that are commonplace in the realms in which I live and work and study. They deny me and the language that I use simply because they have no operative connection with it. Bear with me here Terry, but it may be that what you call the 'strangest places,' i.e. where I am drawing lines and circles and spheres are *exactly* the best places for dialogue (science, philosophy, religion/theology) in the 21st century. At least allow me that possibility since the cards have not yet fully been played. Can you *possibly* call yourself an anti-evolutionist or a non-evolutionist, *in any realm* Terry? Gregory ________________________________ From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu> To: AmericanScientificAffiliation <asa@calvin.edu> Sent: Wed, December 2, 2009 1:19:38 AM Subject: Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record Gregory, It's interesting that you find this so dramatic. But thank you for the commendation of bravery. This is what I have always said even in my most fervent defenses of biological evolution. That being said, I'm not sure that such a view is even inconsistent with polygenism (ala Derek Kidner). But I find it odd that you're so universally critical of other believers on this point--the mere belief in a transcendent God or in the Incarnation or in the Holy Spirit or in innumerable other things that are at the core of the Christian faith make it impossible for a Christian to be a Naturalist in the sense that Richard Dawkins is a Naturalist. Hardly any of us here are in that camp at all--otherwise we wouldn't even be interested in the ASA.  Of course Dawkins would call me names (although as he says in the preface of the book, "been there done that")--we disagree on the most fundamental issue. You draw the lines in the strangest of places. TG On Dec 1, 2009, at 1:43 PM, Gregory Arago wrote: > Terry Gray wrote: > "For example, my own view of human origins allows for common descent of our biological form, but I believe a special creative act is required for our full humanity in the image of God (say, in the creation of the human soul)." >  > So, in this *moment* you ARE an anti-evolutionist or a non-evolutionist. You "believe a special creative act." Period. >  > Dennis Venema does not accept this. (Or if he does, he hides it under his polygenist naturalism-scientism.) >  > Naturalists who plead for continuity at *all* costs do not accept this. >  > It is a brave thing for you as a scientist to say this Terry! >  > Richard Dawkins would call you names for saying so. >  > But then again, really, who is Richard Dawkins?! >  > Gregory > > The new Internet Explorer® 8 - Faster, safer, easier. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! ________________ Terry M. Gray, Ph.D. Computer Support Scientist Chemistry Department Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 80523 (o) 970-491-7003  (f) 970-491-1801 To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message. __________________________________________________________________ The new Internet Explorer® 8 - Faster, safer, easier. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at http://downloads.yahoo.com/ca/internetexplorer/

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Received on Tue Dec 1 20:16:21 2009

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