Re: Evolution's Imperative

Jonathan Clarke (
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 07:59:39 +1100

Greetings Vernon

Buzz, Buzz.....

Vernon Jenkins 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. 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,
> unfalsifiable.

Is this all you have learned? We have presented( to us) cogent argument and
you say that we "accept by faith rather than by sight'? How sad. I would
have hoped at least you would have learned that we believe we have good
reason to think the way we do, even if we are (in your understanding) wrong.

> 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. It is clear to me
> that what the TE understands by 'the gospel' is a matter of 'pick 'n'
> mix'. 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. In such
> circumstances what remains can hardly be seriously claimed to be the
> inspired, inerrant, word of God!

Once again, we have tried to give you good reason to believe that this is
not the case. Two possibilities raise themselves: we are not communicating
(sad but conceivable), or you think we are lying. What evidence do you have
we are lying?

> 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: (snipped)
> 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?

So you would agree with Stear's analysis then? Personally I try and avoid
simplistic "children of lights vs children of darkness" comparisons on
either side. I think it was Francis Schaffer who introduced the concept of
"co-combatants" on issues. Vernon, I believe that you and I would jointly
oppose reductionism, scientism, materialism etc. By the same token, Stear
and I would oppose ill-informed criticism of organic evolution. I stand
against the united front presented by Stear and yourself in saying that
evolution and Christianity are opposed.

Incidentally, I believe that John Stear presents more strawpersons (I am
feeling political correct this morning) than a haystack. Unless someone
gives me a convincing reason to deal with them I won't bother.

I am glad you share the sensation of going round in circles. However to
advance both sides need to learn. I have learned something of your position
and where you have been coming from. This has helped me understand a bit
better your concerns, I think this advances things. What have you learned
that advances the discussion?

> Vernon
> "When I show a man he is inconsistent, I make him decide whether of the
> two he loves better, the portion of truth he already holds, or the
> portion of error." (J.H.Newman, Tract 85)

God Bless