Re: Evolution's Imperative (was Def'n of Science)

Brian D Harper (
Sat, 20 Mar 1999 16:09:51 -0800

At 12:11 AM 3/20/99 +0000, Vernon wrote:
>Hello again Brian. Thanks for your comments.

My pleasure. Here we go again ... :)


>> Maybe I missed it, but I cannot recall your giving any specific
>> reasons, only vague generalities.
>> Why don't you take the Kelvin example above and explain specifically
>> why this would not falsify evolution?

>I believe I have already addressed this matter in my statement:
>> > The ultimate scenario is a universe teeming with life - a logical
>> > consequence of Darwinian thinking. This expectation (clearly
>> > unfalsifiable) is the atheist's last resort.

I cannot see what this has to do with the Kelvin example.

>> I'm curious where you got this idea. Can you show the intermediate
>> steps in the logic? While your at it, here's a humorous quote
>> from George Gaylord Simpson which may cast some shadow of doubt
>> on your claim:
>> ...There is even increasing recognition of a new science of
>> extraterrestrial life, sometimes called exobiology--a curious
>> development in view of the fact that this "science" has yet
>> to demonstrate that its subject matter exists.
>> -- G.G. Simpson
>The efforts currently being made to detect the existence of such life
>forms are based, I suggest, on the expectations of the majority of
>evolutionists. Would you really disagree?

Yes I really disagree. But even if it were so you would still
have to show the logical connection (that you claimed) with the
theory of evolution. Evolutionists may expect all manner of things.
It doesn't follow that these expectations are a logical consequence
of evolution.

I have given the example of Simpson above. Here's a quote from
Richard Dawkins:

"It is _entirely_ possible that our backwater of a planet is
literally the only one that has ever borne life." <The Blind
Watchmaker> p. 143.

Please Vernon, present the logical connection you claimed
or stop whipping this strawman :).

>You later wrote in response to my comment:
>I am therefore perplexed that you should baulk at the three criteria I
>listed as reasonable requirements of one who had received salvation
>through faith.
>> ...I am perplexed that you should consider my answer a baulk..."Saving >
faith is faith in a person, not ascribing to a list of beliefs.
>But, let's be quite clear here: we are speaking of Jesus, God Incarnate,
>are we not? One who has the power to save; One who created all things;
>the King of Love. Is it really possible to claim salvation by faith in
>Him and not believe all He said?, not believe what He believed?, and
>ignore His warnings? Brian, there is a serious flaw in your logic here!

We seem to be going in circles on this. First I caution you. Your
summary above makes it seem that I do not believe all that He said,
all that He believed and that I ignore His warnings. This is not
the case as I've said twice before.

Even though I am well aware that I leave myself wide open for
such confusion, I will never ever compromise on the Gospel.
Even if an angel from heaven were to present some other
gospel (see Galatians 1) I would reject it.

I am really troubled by your response to this Vernon. I raised
the possibility earlier that I may perhaps have misunderstood
you. Will you let your anti-evolutionary zeal get the better of
you to the extent that you will add to the Gospel of Christ?

>You further responded to:
>In the light of our discussion so far, perhaps you could
>tell me how you view each of the following three passages:
>> I'll try.
>> One of my favorite parables, but I'm afraid you'll have to
>> help me out some since I can't understand what you're getting
>> at.
>> Are you saying that if Abraham had allowed Lazarus to go and
>> warn the rich man's brothers then the warning would be to
>> interpret Genesis literally? Or are you suggesting that when
>> Abraham said that they should listen to Moses and the Prophets
>> that the key items they should listen for is the order in which
>> animals were created?
>Yes. I think a literal interpretation is proper because of the One who
>delivered the parable. Any other course leaves the door wide open to all
>kinds of distortion, wouldn't you agree? For myself, I prefer to 'play
>it safe' and follow Peter's sound advice (2Pet.14-18).

Remarkable Vernon. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is a
proof text for the doctrine of literal interpretation of
Genesis? You violate your doctrine in order to support it.

>> Or perhaps you're just saying that Jesus took Moses and the
>> Prophets to be the inspired word of God? So do I.

>But, if inspired, why 'bend it' in order to meet the requirements of a
>doctrine for which no solid evidence exists?

I'm not bending anything.

>> Mt.24:35-39,
>> You'll have to help me again at understanding your point.
>> It seems the key verse in the above is Matt. 24:35
>> "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never
>> pass away." (NIV)
>> Amen to this.

>Yes, indeed! But you skate over another significant statement concerning
>Noah: "...the flood came and took them all away;" - an act of divine
>punishment that extended to all flesh (Gn.6:5-8). The flood was global.
>Would you agree?

Ah, I see. But I thought we were talking about evolution.

Anyway, I would say universal rather than global. I'm not a Biblical
scholar but it is my understanding that that is what is meant.
But I really don't want to get sidetracked on the flood just now.

>> and 2Th.2.
>> Again, I am at a loss as to your point. But, you asked for my
>> view on these verses. My view is that they are part of the
>> inspired word of God which I fully accept.
>The chapter involves a prophecy concerning the 'end times'. Verses 11
>and 12 are rather powerful. What do you suppose the 'lie' referred to
>might be?

The "Man of Lawlessness" will, of course, be full of lies and
deceit. Verse 11 is apparently singling out a single lie which
which is the worst of all and perhaps a spawn to all the others.
In context, I would have to say that this lie would be that
identified in verse 4 where the "Man of Lawlessness" claims to be
God. <<disclaimer, I'm not a Bible scholar but this one seems
fairly clear to me>>

Now I'm curious. What do you think the lie is?

>Finally, concerning the order: 'birds, then land animals' in the
>creation narrative, you say:
>> ...I do not endorse a literal "at face value" interpretation of > Genesis.
>You are again bowing to the god Evolution here. Why should we believe
>that the God who inspired the writing of this Book; the One having the
>power to give eternal life to those who believe on him; should err in
>the matter of the order in which things were done? How can you possibly
>question this?

It is only an error if a particular mode of interpretation is
insisted upon.

>Always a pleasure hearing your views!


Brian Harper
Associate Professor
Applied Mechanics
The Ohio State University