Re: Evolution's Imperative

Brian D Harper (
Wed, 24 Mar 1999 09:57:39 -0800

At 08:51 PM 3/23/99 +0000, Vernon wrote:
>To the Forum:
>I appear to have stirred up a hornets' nest with my assertion that
>theistic evolutionists are both complacent and ill-informed in believing
>they can have both evolution and Christ.

Are you saying that I am not a Christian?

>It is clear from the exchanges
>I have had with a number of members that evolution is being accepted 'by
>faith' rather than 'by sight'; the doctrine is based on the
>interpretation of historica data, is untestable, and - as I have
>attempted to demonstrate - because of its peculiar nature,

This claim has been met with specific examples to which you have not
responded. Instead you speak in vague generalities and introduce
strawmen such as SETI.

>While the atheist and agnostic recognize well enough that the theory
>must be true, it is hard to understand - at least, on the human level -
>why those claiming allegiance to Christ are prepared to allow it to
>dictate the terms of their acceptance of God's word.

How many times do I have to tell you this Vernon? This is simply
a false charaterization.

>It is clear to me
>that what the TE understands by 'the gospel' is a matter of 'pick 'n'

Remarkable. I have been very clear in my posts to state the Gospel
message as presented in the scriptures. For some reason you seem
to want to add to that Gospel. You have mentioned "risk" several
times. Have read the first chapter of Galatians recently?

>Let me explain: any biblical passage (including even the words of
>Christ) that appears to endanger their committment to evolution is
>questioned, and thereafter excluded from further consideration.

Absolutely false. I have not excluded any passage from consideration.
Can you please dispense with false accusations? Thanks.

>In such
>circumstances what remains can hardly be seriously claimed to be the
>inspired, inerrant, word of God!
>A few years ago, John Stear, an atheist skeptic, wrote to the editor of
>'The Skeptic' (the journal of the Australian Skeptics). The following
>are excerpts from his letter:

[... excerpts trimmed]

>Jonathan has suggested that our discussions of late have been somewhat
>circular and has suggested that the time has come to move forward. I
>agree. May I therefore hear how TEs respond to John Stear's thinly-
>veiled suggestion that their views are intellectually bankrupt?

An interesting quote Vernon. I could write pages on this but I'll
try to be brief.

First let me try to correct a common misconception, namely that
TE's adopt their position as a compromise in order to gain
favor and acceptance from their atheist/agnostic peers. This is
simply not the case as nearly as I can tell. The quote you gave
is not unique, one can find many others like it. I imagine that
most TE's realize that their position will likely just earn the
scorn of people like Stear. If John Stear does view my position
as "intellectually bankrupt", so what? In fact, its entirely
expected. TE's hold an interesting position in which they are
scorned both by their fellow believers (not all, of course) and
unbelievers (again, not all). Its hard to believe therefore that
they hold this position to curry favor with men.

Now I would like to remind you of something that I wrote to
you some time ago"

'What I would like you to consider is the possibility that your
"Mt.Carmel challenge" either/or confrontation just plays into
the hands of someone like Richard Dawkins.' -- BH

Your quote from Stear is a perfect example of the "mechanics"
of how an atheist can take advantage of your "Mt.Carmel challenge".

Brian Harper
Associate Professor
Applied Mechanics
The Ohio State University