Re: Refuting Aristotle et al (was Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record)

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Tue Dec 15 2009 - 17:32:28 EST

Schwarzwald wrote:
> Not nearly enough, Murray. And I'll bluntly say that the tactic of
> refutation by referring to the date is the stuff of glaring intellectual
> weakness. It can be deployed for just about any position, even contrary
> ones.

The difference in scientific perspective between the ancient world and today makes any appeal to Aristotle and the Church Fathers problematic in the extreme - particularly when their opinion (as it is on the question of the "first" human) is so markedly a product of their particular view of the created order.

Simply citing those authorities as if they can be considered determinative in any theological debate is PRECISELY to attempt to do theology in a pre-modern intellectual context.

Let me note, further, that I purposefully used quote marks on "refutation." I am aware that simply pointing to a calendar doesn't disprove Greg's argument - but it DOES introduce a major consideration that has to be addressed.

So the fundamental point is that our conceptual world is fundamentally different from that of Aristotle and the Fathers. The only "glaring intellectual weakness" is on the part of those who pretend otherwise.

In that respect, pointing out that there's been 2000 years of intervening scientific progress since Aristotle (and 1500 years of same since the Church Fathers) is not quite irrelevant.



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Received on Tue Dec 15 17:32:55 2009

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