Re: TE/EC marginalised? #4

Jonathan Clarke (
Wed, 04 Aug 1999 08:29:15 +1000

Hi Steve

Before I write anything else, thanks for that dreadful pun about flies. I was
grinning about it all day.

Stephen E. Jones wrote:

> Reflectorites
> On Sun, 18 Jul 1999 16:36:25 +1000, Jonathan Clarke wrote:
> [continued]


> My "point" is that if "`evolution'" meant something different in the early
> 19th" century from what it does in the "20th century" then it is
> *misleading* for 20th century TE/ECs to "claim support (without
> qualification), from 19th century theologians and Christian scientist who
> accepted evolution." The "evolution" that " theologians and Christian
> scientist" accepted in the 19th century is not the same "evolution" that
> goes by that same name in the 20th century.

I am afraid you have lost me on this one. We are talking about the continuation
of a tradition of reflection in theology. This will develop over time as new
ideas are tested and old ones winnowed. It will especially change if the subject
matter changes, as is the case in science faith interaction. Modern solar system
astronomy may be "Copernican", but our model of the solar system is very different
from that of Copernicus. This does not mean to say that there is no continuity in
either the scientific tradition or the theological tradition that seeks to
integrate cosmology and theology, or that there is no value in revisiting how
previous centuries reflected on the astronomy of their day. Why should theolgy not
be allowed to work the same way?

> Many, if not most of those claimed "theistic evolutionists" would be what
> is known as "progressive creationists" today. The very term "progressive
> creation" appears to have been coined by Charles Hodge in 1897 to
> distinguish those creationists like him who accepted that God could work
> through natural processes over a long period of time. For TEs to claim that
> a 19th century theologian or Christian scientists who accepted "evolution"
> is today what is known as a "theistic evolution" is misleading, to say the
> least.

Thanks for the historical note on terminology, I was not aware of that. Do you
have a documentary source? Of course the idea that God worked through natural
processes over a long period of time originated long before Hodge. I still can't
understand why you feel we can't refer to 19th century theologians who saw organic
evolution as compatible with theism as theistic evolution (provided we are also
aware of the differences), even if we believe that the term is anachronistic, in a
sense. After all, Hugh Miller could be considered a progressive creationist, even
though he published long before Hodge coined the term. Similarly, we can call
18th century students of earth history "geologists", even though the discipline,
as we know it, had not been clearly defined

> JC>What TEs are merely trying to say that there were serious
> >and generally successful attempts to explore and perhaps integrate
> >theology and evolutionary biology.
> The difference was that then they were arguing a *distinctively* Christian
> theistic scientific position on "evolution" over against the non-theistic
> evolutionists of their day. The modern day TE/ECs don't do that. Only the
> YECs, PCs and ID movement) have a distinctive Christian theistic
> scientific position on "evolution" today.

To what extent did Asa Gray or James Dana practice a distinctly Christian
"theistic science"? I refer to Dana's work frequently (he is still one probably
of the most widely used 19th century scientist) and his undoubted theism is not
overt. In what sense could Warfield or Orr, both theologians, be considered to
argue for a theistic science? My reading of them is that they argued for a
theistic understanding of a general scientific evolutionary perspective, not a
scientific method, as such.

> JC>There were as many different angles on this as people who tried.
> >People who continue to do so today are their intellectual descendants
> >and inheritors, even if they way they go about it and even the issues are
> >changed since then.
> Disagree. Most modern day TE/ECs do not carry on their intellectual
> inheritance of trying to make a *distinctive* Christian theistic scientific
> position on "evolution" over against the non-theistic evolutionists of their
> day. Their *real* "intellectual descendants and inheritors" are the YECs,
> PCs and Iders of today.

We have said this repeatedly, but I am still none the wiser as to what you
actually want TE/EC people to do. They have specifically tried to make a
distinctive TE/EC theology - whether they are successful in that is a different
issue. One of the things that makes science valuable is that the metaphysical
perspective should not effect the presentation or evaluation of the theory. When
I reviewed a colleague's PhD dissertation some time ago I did not think "He is a
muslim, this will effect his interpretation of the XYZ succession" nor would I
expect him to assess my science on the basis of my Christian faith.

I also have to disagree with your implication (if I have read you correctly) that
ID and YEC people do construct a science that is distinctive with their world
view. I have read every open publication by YEC geologists such as Steve Austin,
Kurt Wise, and Andrew Snelling. Their YEC perspective is not in evidence in
these. They generally only let their metaphysics become evident in their "in
house" literature, as it were, or when specifically addressing broiader issues.
Are you saying that Behe's views on ID are evident in his scientific
publications? I know he writes on ID in more general publications, but that is
different to his research articles. Incidentally the same is true of the research
publications that I have read of Weinberg or Dawkins. Their metaphysics are
discussed in articles on the broader issues or popular books. I have no problem
with any of this, providing people's science is consistent with their metaphysics
and so they are not guilty of intellectual dishonesty (YEC publishing papers that
use the geologlic time scale I find difficult to cope with). I don't see that the
work of TE/EC people such as Berry, van Till, or Prance, just to name a few,
should not be the same. They publish their science as science, and in broad
reaching papers on specialised articles on theology, discuss their understanding
of theism.

> Having said that, I would probably concede there may be a few TEs (and
> even DEs) who may be trying to make a *distinctive* Christian theistic
> scientific position on "evolution" over against the non- theistic
> evolutionists of today, but they are the rare exception.s Most TE/ECs that
> I am aware of have thoroughly sold out to Naturalism, contribute little or
> nothing to theistic to evolution and spend most of their time attacking
> their more overtly creationist Christian brothers!

Do you really think that this is true, helpful or necessary? What evidence do you
have that TE/EC have "thoroughly sold out to Naturalism"? Not that you can speak
for anyone's spiritual state to that degree of certainty. As for their
contribution to theistic evolution, I point to my previously posted list of
publications by just a few TE/EC scientists. With respect to theology, I refer to
the theological publications also posted. It is in such endeavours that TE/EC
scientists and theologians spent their most of their time. I remind you that all
of us Christians, YEC, OEC, progressive and mediate creationists, and TE/EC, are
all theologically creationist. I agree whole heartedly that must be careful we do
not attack our Christian brothers (and sisters), even though we can graciously
disagree with them. However we have all to often fallen short of the mark.

> >SJ>"At the turn of the century it was relatively easy to be a Darwinist
> >>and also a theist, because "evolution" allowed room for God to act in
> >>nature, for example by providing the needed variation. Provine reckons
> >>that the majority of evolutionists at that time were theists who thought
> >>of evolution as divinely guided or inherently progressive. With the
> >>coming of the synthesis, biological evolution became wedded to
> >>physicalist theories of nature which absolutely barred consideration of
> >>purposeful forces in evolution. NeoDarwinists found no need or place
> >>for purposeful forces in their theory and hence concluded that
> >>evolution is unguided and purposeless." (Johnson P.E., "Reason in the
> >>Balance", 1995, p235).
> JC>Since when has Provine become such an authority on the history and
> >philosophy of science-theology interaction
> Provine is a leading Neo-Darwinist and a historian of the movement as
> the following titles of his books show:
> * Provine W.B., "Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology", University of
> Chicago Press, 1986.
> * Mayr E. & Provine W.B., eds, "The Evolutionary Synthesis : Perspectives
> on the Unification of Biology", Harvard University Press, 1982.
> * Provine W.B., "The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics", 1971.

I am sorry, but this does not answer my question. I am not doubting Provine's
expertise as a neo-darwinian, or even a historian of neo-darwinian theory. I am
questioning his "authority on the history and philosophy of science-theology
interaction", a very different subject.

> JC>that Johnson relies on him and ignores people such as Moore (who
> >wrote "The post-darwinian controversies") or Livingstone who paint a
> >very different picture?
> Johnson does not "ignore...people such as Moore...or Livingstone". He
> mentions Livingtone in "Darwin on Trial" (p205).
> But Provine is a *leading* Neo-Darwinist* as well as a *historian of
> NeoDarwinism*, so he is in a unique position to say what modern day
> NeoDarwinism believes about the "need or place for purposeful forces in
> their theory."
> Moreover, Johnson is a *personal friend* of Provine and they have debated
> publicly (see Johnson has debated
> leading modern day Darwinists like Gould, Futuyma, Ruse, and Eldredge,
> so he is in a far better position than armchair historians to know first-hand
> what modern day Darwinists *really* think about the relationship between
> Christianity and evolution.

It is good that Johnson and Provine have a personal friendship. It is very
important that folk can discuss issues and learn from the discussion, even when
they come from very different perspectives. I note that Michael Poole and Richard
Dawkins also had a very civilized exchange of views in the journal Science and
Christian Belief in 1985. So it is possible!

Doubtless Johnson has learned much from contact with scientists like Gould,
Futuyma, Ruse, and Eldredge. Christians who are professional theologians and
scientists (even those who are TE/EC) in the relevant disciplines are also well
placed to understand the relationship between Christianity and evolution and
should be respectfully listened to.

Who are these arm chair historians you are referring to? I hope not Livingston or
Moore (the only historians to have cropped up on this discussion), who have done
bench mark research on the relationship between theology and evolution in the 19th
and early 20th century. If you mean me, I must protest. The arm chair is taken
for my thoughts on matters military. I save my historical reading to the evening,
so I am at best a bedtime historian

> If TE/ECs ignore that unpleasant reality, they are deceiving themselves and
> the wider Christian world they are trying to convince that there is no
> problem reconciling Christianity and modern day Neo-Darwinism.

What unpleasant reality is that?

> >SJ>Also, most, if not all of the above had important reservations about
> >>Darwin's theory, and some allowed for supernatural intervention.
> >>IMHO some (if not most), of the above would be Mediate of
> >>Progressive Creationists today.
> >>JC>such as Asa Gray
> >SJ>Gray never fully accepted Darwin's theory and in particular did not
> >>accept that variation (ie. mutation) was undirected:
> >>
> >>"Darwin's chief American supporter, Asa Gray, was deeply concerned
> >>with the problem of reconciling selection and design and eventually
> >>qualified his support by accepting supernatural control of variation."
> (Bowler P.J., "The Eclipse of Darwinism", 1983, p28).
> >>
> >>If Gray was alive today, IMHO he would be a Mediate or
> >>Progressive Creationist, not a TE/EC.

Speaking for the dead again? Bowler's reference is presumably due to the problems
that Darwinian evolution faced in the late 19th and early 20th century, issues
that were dealt with by the neo-darwinian synthesis. Gray did not live to see
this, so how can you be so certain that he would not have been excited by the
discoveries and rejoiced to see a clearer understanding of God's work in creation?

> JC>Spoken to him recently have you (grin)? Seriously, we must be very
> >careful in saying that deceased people, were they alive to day, would
> >have opinions congruent with what we would like them to have.
> Agreed. That's why I put an "IMHO" before what I said.
> But, having said that, what is Jonathan doing citing 19th century
> scientists and theologians who are all "deceased people" as TE/ECs in the
> 20th century sense, if he is not claiming they "have opinions congruent
> with what" *he* "would like them to have"?

I hope I am not doing this! What I am trying to do is point out that the 19th
century theogians and science worked to integrate the best science and the
theology of their day. Their efforts laid the foundations for some modern
Christians on scientists and theologians who have developed and explored their
ideas. I try not to read into them anachronistic attitudes.

> It is not a question of them having "opinions congruent with what we
> would like them to have" but rather a question of the *best fit* of their
> 19th century views with modern-day positions on the Creation -
> Evolution spectrum. No modern day TE/ECs AFAIK accept "supernatural
> control of variation" like Asa Gray did, but MC would, and possibly PC
> would also.
> On that basis Gray would be a MC or PC today. If Jonathan claims that
> TE/EC could accept " supernatural control of variation" I would be glad
> to hear it!

What do you mean by "supernatural control of variation"? I believe that God is
sovereign over His creation in its origin, unfolding, continuance, and goal. So,
to the best of my knowledge, do other TE/EC folk, although there is divergence to
what extent God allows His creation autonomy. Is this supernatural control, or do
you want something else?

> >>JC>and James Dana
> >SJ>Dana had reservations about the power of natural selection and
> >>believed in saltations. IMHO today he would be called a Progressive
> >>Creationist:
> >>
> >>"... Dana held to a catastrophist position in biology, arguing that in
> >>the years from the initial creation of life, various species had been
> >>destroyed by catastrophes and replaced by divine creation. His model
> >>of the history of life was progressivist not in the sense that it presumed
> >>one species progressing into another but rather perceived each new
> >>creation being higher than its predecessor in the chain of life.... By
> >>1883, Dana had clearly accepted the Darwinian cornerstone of
> >>evolution-namely, natural selection...though he stopped short of
> >>accepting the contention that it was the sole mover of evolutionary
> >>history...Dana also remained disconcerted by the imperfect state of the
> >>geological record. The signal absence of paleontological support led
> >>him, like many others, to the idea of saltatory evolution-that is,
> >>evolution that occurred discontinuously, involving sudden
> >>transformations of species rather than gradual incremental changes. On
> >>the question of human evolution, Dana sided with Wallace: he was
> >>prepared to concede the derivation of the human race from an inferior
> >>species, but he insisted that it originated in a special introduction of
> >>divine creative energy." (Livingstone D.N., "Darwin's Forgotten
> >>Defenders, 1987, pp73-75).
> No response from Jonathan regarding "James Dana" as a TE/EC?

Darwin also had reservations about natural selection and also posited sexual
selection, among other mechanisms. So Gray's doubts about NS don't really effect
the issue.

> >>JC>and theologians like James Orr,
> >SJ>While Orr accepted `evolution', he did not necessarily accept it in the
> >>sense that the word means today, ie. Darwinism:
> >>
> >>"Orr was repeatedly at pains to point out that the theory of evolution
> >>ought not to be equated with its specifically Darwinian
> >>formulation...writing during a period when Darwinism was in eclipse,
> >>Orr exploited to the full the rival evolutionary alternatives arising in
> >>many quarters." (Livingstone D.N., 1987, pp140-141)

So perhaps if Orr had lived a bit longer and seen how evolution emerged from its
eclipse he might have been an even stronger supporter of Darwin. We don't know,
because he died before this happened. We must work on what he said, not what we
would like him to have said or become, had be lived to the present.

> >SJ>Orr postulated "an entirely supernatural origin" for Adam's body
> >>as well as his mind and soul:

This is quite consistent with a number of different TE/EC positions, though not
all. So what does this prove?

> >>"... Orr devoted quite a lot of space to establishing the discontinuity
> >>between human and animal life in both physical and mental terms...he
> >>demonstrated to his own satisfaction the "enormous distance that
> >>separates man from the highest animals, alike in a bodily and in a
> >>mental state...For him, the ideas of mind, soul, and the image of God
> >>were so closely bound together as to be almost conflated. He obviously
> >>felt the need to postulate an entirely supernatural origin for them...And
> >>since the mind and brain were so intimately related, he had to push on
> >>toward an entirely supernatural creation of the first human being in
> >>toto." (Livingstone D.N., 1987, p142).
> >>
> >>In fact Orr regarded the "opposition to the supernatural" and the
> >>"refusal to recognise anything in nature, life, or history, outside the
> >>lines of natural development" as having "no kindredship" with
> "Christianity":
> >>
> >>"It need not further be denied that between this view of the world
> >>involved in Christianity, and what is sometimes termed " the modern
> >>view of the world," there exists a deep and radical antagonism... This
> >>common feature is their thoroughgoing opposition to the supernatural,-
> >>at least of the specifically miraculous,-their refusal to recognise
> >>anything in nature, life, or history, outside the lines of natural
> >>development. Between such a view of the world and Christianity, it is
> >>perfectly correct to say that there can be no kindredship." (Orr J., "The
> >>Christian View of God and the World", 1989, reprint, p9)
> >>
> >>Therefore, I believe that today Orr would be regarded as either a
> >>Progressive or Mediate Creationist.
> Again, no response from Jonathan regarding "James Orr" as a TE/EC?
> These are *his* chosen examples of 19th century TE/EC scientists and
> theologians and I would expect him either to accept that they weren't
> TE/ECs or quote some counter-evidence to support his position that they
> were.

No, I do not accept that there were not TE/EC people. Their ideas provided some
of the intellectual roots of modern theology in this matter. They are the
intellectual antecedents of modern TE/EC. That is beyond doubt. If you do not
wish to accept this, that is your right.

As for evidence, if you can read Moore or Livingstone, and still maintain your
position, then there is little I can do to add. They know their subjects far
better than I. What I have read independently of the various authors we have
discussed leads me to believe that the Moore and Livingstone analyses is
substantially correct.

> >>JC>B.B. Warfield
> >SJ>Warfield likewise, while he did believe in `evolution' did not believe
> >>that Darwinism, and maintained that supernatural intervention could
> >>not be ruled out:
> >>
> >>"Warfield's endorsement of Darwin was not unqualified, however. He
> >>held that any scientific theory that in principle subverted providence or
> >>occasional supernatural interference must ultimately prove
> >>unacceptable...Warfield ...expressed his annoyance at Darwin's
> >>absolutist claims for his natural selection mechanism." (Livingstone
> >>D.N., 1987, pp115-116).
> >>
> >>Warfield, in his later years, did not believe that evolution was adequate
> to >>account for all the facts:
> >>
> >>"Evolution, he [Warfield] said, had helped unravel some exceptionally
> >>difficult problems, but that surely did not mean that it could account
> >>for all facts...." (Livingstone D.N., 1987, pp146- 147).
> >>
> >>Warfield's friend and biographer, Samuel Craig, said that he "`outgrew'
> >>Darwinism":
> >>
> >>"That Dr. McCosh did not succeed in making him a Darwinian...he
> >>was already a "Darwinian of the purest water" before coming under
> >>McCosh's influence-a position which he later repudiated...Though
> >>Warfield early "outgrew" Darwinism, as he put it...He never denied
> >>that evolution is a method that God has employed in bringing the world
> >>to its present stage of development, but he did deny with emphasis that
> >>it is the only method He has employed. Its fatal weakness as an all-
> >>sufficient explanation, he maintained, is its inability to account not
> >>only for the origin of things but for the appearance of anything
> >>specifically new ... To account for the specifically new we need, he
> >>ever alleged, an act of God analogous to what we know as
> >>miracle...He did not ignore the basic difference between creation and
> >>evolution. Since creation is origination and evolution modification it
> >>will remain forever true, he insisted, that what is created is not evolved
> >>and what is evolved is not created." (Craig S.G. (ed.), "Benjamin B.
> >>Warfield," in Warfield B.B., "Biblical and Theological Studies," 1968,
> >>p.xii)
> And again, no response from Jonathan regarding another one of his chosen
> examples of a 19 th century TE/EC, namely " B.B. Warfield "?

Again, Warfield felt, as Livingstone shows if you read him carefully, that strict
Darwinism might be scientifically untenable, a not unreasonable opinion at the
time. However his commitment to organic evolution remained unchanged until late
in life. In 1915 Warfield wrote (only 6 years before his death) on Calvin's
doctrine of creation that it was "a very pure evolutionary scheme" (Princeton
Theological Review 13: 196). What evidence does Craig muster for Warfield's
change of mind?

> >>JC>and James McCosh
> >SJ>While McCosh was undoubtedly the most pro-evolutionary
> >>theologian of those listed, even he did not fully accept Darwinism:
> >>
> >>"McCosh cited the anthropological evidence ... to establish a wide
> >>gulf between animal and human intellectual capacity. At the same
> >>time, he left the matter of the formation of the human body-as
> >>opposed to the soul-an open question. And he dismissed the monistic
> >>claims of some natural selectionists on the grounds that there were
> >>unbridgeable gaps in the natural order, notably between the organic
> >>and inorganic, the conscious and unconscious, plant life and animal
> >>life." (Livingstone D.N., 1987, p108).
> And here too no response from Jonathan regarding "James McCosh "?

Again, this is compatible with some forms to TE/EC. If you want to exclude that
from being TE/EC, I regard that as a rather narrow definition. This is especially
the case as McCosh, like all the others, was the first generation of theolgians
working on the problem. You can't expect him to neccessarily work out every
detail, or do anticipate everything that later people propose.

> >>JC>as well as activists like Charles Kingsley
> >SJ>Kingsley is probably the only *real* TE in the list. But he was also
> >>the least scientific and theological, being a clergyman writer of
> >>historical novels:
> >>
> >>"Kingsley, Charles (b. June 12, 1819, Holne Vicarage, Devon-d. Jan.
> >>23, 1875, Eversley, Hampshire), Anglican clergyman, teacher and
> >>writer ... He was one of the first churchmen to support Charles
> >>Darwin's theories and to seek a reconciliation between modern
> >>science and Christian doctrine." ("Kingsley, Charles", Encyclopaedia
> >>Britannica, 1984, Vol. v, p821)
> Even here no response by Jonathan!

Why should I comment? I agree!

> >>JC>who would today would be called TE/EC.
> >SJ>Disagree, except for Kingsley. And maybe if Kingsley was alive
> >>today and saw the results of Darwinism, he wouldn't be a TE/EC either!
> JC>Again, you are speaking for the dead.
> I have quoted *evidence* to support my "speaking for the dead"", ie. that
> they were no TE/ECs. Jonathan has to date produced *no* evidence to
> support *his* "speaking for the dead", ie. that they were TE/ECs!
> JC>However I note that you have quoted extensively from Livingstone's
> >book. In doing so you should note what the book actually says overall.
> >Livingstone writes on page xii of his preface that his aim is " show
> >that a substantial number of the most distinguished members of
> >evangelical orthodoxy found the theological resources to adsorb the
> >latest scientific findings". He think he demonstrates this quite well. You
> >are of course welcome to disagree.
> Why should I want to "disagree"? I don't equate "theological resources to
> adsorb the latest scientific findings" with TE/EC. But it is interesting that
> Jonathan apparently does, even though he produces no evidence that these
> men were TE/ECs and fails to respond to my evidence that these men
> were not what today would be called TE/ECs.
> Indeed, my quotes from Livingstone about Jonathan's chosen examples of
> alleged 19th century TE/ECs, such as: "Asa Gray", " James Dana",
> "James Orr", " B.B. Warfield", and " James McCosh" show that it was
> *not* TE/EC that enabled these "most distinguished members of
> evangelical orthodoxy" to find "the theological resources to adsorb the
> latest scientific findings" but rather what we would today call Mediate or
> Progressive Creationism.

We may have to agree to disagree on this one! I have read all these authors, and
various discussions of their work, and the impression I have, and those of
researchers such as Livingstone, is quite different. If you want to read things
differently, that is your privilege.

However, whether you agree with me or not, I repeat (at the risk of being tedious)
my earlier point that it is unreasonable to expect theologians and scientists of
the 19th century to address these issues in quite the same way as we would.
Theology is a process, it changes and develops over time. It is like any other
academic discipline in this regard In particular, theology builds on the past work
of antecedents. This it is not surprising that modern TE/EC theologians and
scientists have taken the ideas of Orr, McCosh et al further than they did.

> >>JC>We may disagree with the people if we wish, but we can hardly
> >>>dismiss them as marginalised in science or theology, either now or in
> >>>the past. If these folk are marginalised, then we need more
> >>>marginalised people like them.
> >SJ>I did not say that "these folk are marginalised". Even if it be granted
> >>that they were all TE/ECs (which IMHO they weren't), they all lived in
> >>the *19th century*. I said that "TE/EC *is* marginalised", ie. *today*.
> JC>I agree that TE/EC is a minority view among both scientists and
> >Christians, probably because a minority of scientists are Christians and a
> >minority of Christians are scientists. This is not the same thing as saying
> >that it is marginalised. You have shown no evidence for that I fear.
> "Marginalised" does not necessarily mean "a minority view". The opinion
> polls consistently show that those who believe that evolution was
> undirected are less than 10% of the population, yet theirs is the dominant
> view in science, law and government. To be marginalised means to be
> "relegate(d) to a marginal position within a society or group" (Merriam-
> Webster Dictionary.
> And "marginal" is defined by the same dictionary as: "2 a : of, relating to,
> or situated at a margin or border b : not of central importance <regards
> violence as a marginal rather than a central problem> c (1) : occupying
> the borderland of a relatively stable territorial or cultural area <marginal
> tribes> (2) : characterized by the incorporation of habits and values from
> two divergent cultures and by incomplete assimilation in either <the
> marginal cultural habits of new immigrant groups> (3) : excluded from or
> existing outside the mainstream of society, a group, or a school of thought
> <marginal voters>.
> TE/EC is marginalised, not so much because it is "a minority view", but
> more because it is "not of central importance" and "existing outside the
> mainstream of...a school of thought". TE/EC marginalised in both science
> and Christianity because it "not of central importance" , and exists
> "outside the mainstream of" both science and Christianity.

Once again, with feeling.... this thread was prompted by saying that it was
marginalised in science and theology, not whether it was marginalised in
Christianity as a whole. Christians in science who are TE/EC are in the
mainstream of evolutionary biology, some even write the textbooks. The same with

> >SJ>And with the rise of the ID movement, as an alternative to YEC,
> >>IMHO TE/EC is going to be even more marginalised than it already is!
> JC>What basis do you have for such triumphalism?
> It is not "triumphalism". It is a sober *prediction* based on current
> trends. ID books like Johnson's "Darwin on Trial" and "Darwin's Black
> Box" are selling like hotcakes. "Darwin on Trial" has even been
> translated into several languages, including French and Chinese.
> The book by Ashton, "In Six Days" is supposed to be a book about why
> 50 scientists believe in a young Earth, when in fact it is full of arguments
> from ID literature, particularly "Darwin's Black Box". This shows that ID
> has already penetrated deeply into the YEC movement.

I hope this is not seriously meant as a recommendation!

> TE/EC is going nowhere. Its books are not making any impact on either
> science or Christianity. At least the ID movement is being attacked by
> leading scientific materialists (witness savage reviews by Gould of
> "Darwin on Trial" and also by many others, and also of "Darwin's Black
> Box". The latest is Pennock's book Tower of Babel which is reviewed by
> Eugenie Scott in Scientific American (which I plan to comment on shortly).

I fail to see how you can justify saying that the scientific contributions made by
TE/EC folk are not having an impact. There publications are profilifc and widely
cited. Also the majority of theological publications on evolution amongst
professional theologians take evolution seriously. This is a matter of fact.
After all, if TE/EC were so marginalised in mainstream science and theology, why
are you so expending so much energy in critiquing their approach?

With respect to "attacks" on ID, Being attacked by people is more often a sign
that something is flawed than it is right (just as you believe that EC/TE is
incorrect). They laughed at Galileo, they laughed at the Wright brothers, they
laugh at me (but they also laugh at Bozo the clown). This is not a criticism of
ID, only that particular defence of it.

> JC>While the ID movement has some good ideas I suspect that they
> >looking for design at the wrong level. So far they have come up with
> >little more than Paley.
> So what does Jonathan think Dembski's "explanatory filter" ground-
> breaking arguments in "The Design Inference", that were even published
> by Cambridge University Press, are - chopped liver?

I think we are discussing enough tangents already! Shall we leave ID for a rainy

> And has TE/EC anything better to offer?

I refer to the almost 300 publications by the five TE/EC biologists and
palaeontologists of my own acquaintance.

> [continued]
> Steve

Until then, and as always,

God Bless