Re: Destructive criticism - last post

Stephen Jones (
Tue, 23 Jun 1998 22:36:34 +0800


On Thu, 18 Jun 1998 14:24:17 -0700, Mike Hardie wrote:

>SJ>...Where exactly do you stand on the Creation - Evolution spectrum?

MH>...'d say I accept the theory of evolution, as I understand it. Science
>certainly is not my strong point, however, so I'm hoping to learn more
>about the issue on this list. I certainly couldn't tell you at this point
>whether I accepted one particular subset of the theory of evolution over
>another, for example.

What then does it mean when you say "I accept the theory of evolution", if
you don't know which "theory of evolution" it is?

MH>I've decided not to respond to the rest of this post piece by piece. It
>seems to largely have to do with ideas about Glenn's motivations, what
>advances the "cause of Christ", etc. Let me just say this much in general:
>I think the best thing that everyone involved can do, at this point, is
>switch the debate entirely to the issues. Theology and character, while
>perhaps important, are not *logically* related and consequently can only
>serve to obscure the scientific questions examined on this listserve.
>Further discussion of personal qualities and religious conviction, then,
>are only likely to be a catalyst for conflict.

Normally I would agree. But Glenn's destructive criticism of Christian
apologists raises for me the question of his Christian standing. My
justification for same rests in Christ's warnings to the Church to be
on its guard and test those who attack it.

MH>Moreover, I think it should be recognized that Ross and Johnson's status as
>Christian apologists are not in any way relevant here. *All* that should
>be relevant here is the veracity of their positions regarding evolution.
>Their being Christian apologists certainly does not guarantee them
>infallibility, nor should it ensure them immunity from criticism.

Again I repeat that no one has ever said that "Christian apologists" have
"infallibility", or "immunity from criticism." But what Glenn is doing is much
worse that ordinary criticism. What he is doing is *destructive* criticism.
That is, he is trying to *destroy* them (in the sense of their credibility)
because they oppose evolution. This is seen in his scraping the bottom
of the barrel in attacking Johnson over his use of the word "rodent"
rather than the more precise "rodent-like" (while failing to mention that
Johnson also uses "rodent-like").

I still think you don't really understand the gravity of what Glenn is doing
Mike. But then if you "accept the theory of evolution," then maybe to you
it doesn't matter if Glenn destructively attacks Christian apologists who
oppose evolution?

Perhaps we should end it there, for the moment at least.


"Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented."
--- Dr. William Provine, Professor of History and Biology, Cornell University.

Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \
Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
Perth, West Australia v "Test everything." (1Thess 5:21)