Tuesday, October 09, 2012
And I don't care what the National Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Center for Science Education says—theistic evolutionists are not our allies. They are foes of pure, undiluted science, and enablers of superstition.
~ Jerry Coyne, at his not-blog, Why Evolution Is True
MOHLER: What is new - and I appreciate the fact that Barbara has focused on this - is the fact that we're now down to what I think is the key issue of our understanding. And that is, even given all the controversies that had been taking place amongst evangelicals over Genesis in times past, are we now at a place where it's going to be legitimate to say that there was no fall, that there was no Adam, there was no Eve?
That is where the implications of this thought have taken us, and this is where the dividing line is going to happen. There is a serious and deep, perhaps irresolvable, divide between the scholars who would stand with Professor Harlow and those who would stand with me.
~ Talk of the Nation, National Public Radio, "Christians Divided Over Science Of Human Origins"
"This stuff is unavoidable," says Dan Harlow at Calvin College. "Evangelicals have to either face up to it or they have to stick their head in the sand. And if they do that, they will lose whatever intellectual currency or respectability they have."Some people just can't recognize who their allies are.
"If so, that's simply the price we'll have to pay," says Southern Baptist seminary's Albert Mohler. "The moment you say 'We have to abandon this theology in order to have the respect of the world,' you end up with neither biblical orthodoxy nor the respect of the world."
Mohler and others say if other Protestants want to accommodate science, fine. But they shouldn't be surprised if their faith unravels.
~ Barbara Bradley Hagerty, National Public Radio, "Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve"
I'm not entirely sure of the point you are making here; but in trying to figure that out, I'll assume you are intending some criticism of Jerry Coyne's comment. Is that right?
I think Jerry's first quote is fair enough in the context of his particular fight; which is underlined by the qualifiers "pure" and "undiluted". He's talking about a lot more than science standards in schools.
I expect theistic evolutionists to be my allies in fights over science standards in schools. Coyne, I think, is making his major fight at a deeper level.
I expect theist evolutionists to be in a continual tension the with application of science, to the detriment of their understanding the natural world and an obstacle to their use of science as a tool for understanding the natural world.
That is, when it comes to academic philosophical debate over science and the nature of knowledge and discovery; I think theistic evolutionists and I are on opposing sides; they are not my allies in that context.
I also think Barbara Hagerty is right; the faith that accomodates what we know of the world tends to unravel. Individual theologians may find personally satisfactory accomodation; but such a faith doesn't carry on well; the tendency to unravel works out in successive generations.
Cheers -- Chris
I think Jerry would be very happy if faith unraveled. My point (such as it is) is that science probably erodes faith but that won't happen unless the faithful are exposed to and will at least consider the science. The National Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Center for Science Education are not seeking to "accomodate" religion but to spread the knowledge of science and, ultimately, make it acceptable even to the faithful. Mohler knows that is fatal to his brand of faith.
Back when I was a theist (basically, while a teenager), my pastor would say "Don't say random, say God." And that's pretty much what theistic evolutionists say. However, it was a throw away line. It did not affect, in the least, how I looked at science. It was just what I might say to those in the church.
Coyne says that the theistic evolutionist is accomodating his science to religion. Mohler says that he is accomodating his religion to the science. I'd say this is one of the few times that Mohler is correct.
I meant to say "I hope I'm not the only one who thinks the validity of faith should not depend on a particular scientific theory being wrong."