"CASE": Let the C.hristians A.ffirm the S.cience of E.volution


“Let confessing scientists rise…”

The above quote comes from @swamidass 's final thought of his 2017 thread publishing his interview that introduced many to his book, GAE!

In the interview, Joshua describes 3 audiences he hoped to reach.

[ I will return to this thread with the details! ]

I don’t know the religious views of most scientists I have known, collaborated with, talked to, or read. And why should I?


I’m not really sure what Joshua is referring to there. I doubt there are many scientists who don’t already know about Jesus, and those who are not Christians are not likely to convert just because some of their colleagues “make Jesus known” to them.

As to whether this forum has been “hijacked” by atheists, I guess that would be up to Joshua to decide. I am probably one of the more vociferous atheists here and have never felt unwelcome. So that’s probably your answer right there. If the admins of this group thought it would be better off with fewer people like me and more like you, that could be easily accomplished.


George continues to feel that atheists are of a lesser moral, humanistic, intellectual, or scientific value compared to humans with theistic beliefs. With over 33% of US population being atheists, agnostics, or nothing in particular, his feelings of the moral superiority of theism is not longer justified.

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Why should percentages matter? Were his feelings justified when the percentage of atheists, etc., was low? Does the increase in percentages have some kind of moral force?

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Atheists used to be such a hidden minority in America that they could easily be blamed by Christian Nationalists for America’s moral decline. Now in America where one in three persons don’t have believe in the White Christian god, it is the None’s who are the largest voting block in America. Secular Humanism has largely replaced Christian values and morality in America.

@Faizal_Ali ,

I didnt say Atheists felt unwelcome here. My point was that Atheists make “CASEs” feel unwelcone!

Couple of questions:

  1. Why do you consistently capitalize “atheist”?

  2. What makes you think atheists make CASEs feel unwelcome? (Best response would be to provide several examples.)

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I know you didn’t.

That point is that, for the most part, we don’t feel unwelcome . If Joshua wanted us to, we probably would.

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It should also be noted that Joshua also wrote this:

Science does not search for all sorts of Truth. Rather, science is limited effort to explain the world on its own terms, without invoking God. – Why Methodological Naturalism

Methodological Naturalism would seem to be a point of agreement by the overwhelming majority of scientists on this forum, be they theist, agnostic or atheist. Joshua in fact goes onto describe it as being a “ceasefire” between those parties:

MN enforces a “cease fire” between the atheists and theists in science that respect it, by excluding scientific claims of creation, ID, and atheism. Of course individual scientists can still believe any of these things in their personal lives, and explore them academically in science-engaged philosophy, but they cannot make these claims within science itself.

Rather, Joshua sees the conflict as being between those (theist, agnostic and atheist) who subscribe to MN and ID:

On the other hand, disagreement about MN opens a schism between the ID movement and those that choose to live under this ceasefire (including myself) by accepting MN as the rule of science. Those that do not like MN feel unfairly excluded from science, and the rest of us feel efforts to end MN threaten the peace.

I’m not a scientist, but I for one do not accept this version of MN. If it achieves a peace between atheists and theists, it does so at the expense of erecting arbitrary limits to the purview of science.

As a simple example, suppose someone claims to have the supernatural ability to make himself invisible, walk through walls and float in midair. Rigorously controlled scientific experiments are devised and these demonstrate that, indeed, he has all these abilities.

But would we be able to conclude this according to the understanding of MN defended in that article? Apparently not. After all, science has nothing to say about the supernatural. And since this person’s abilities would certainly fall into that category as it is usually understood, rigorously controlled scientific experiments cannot be used to justify the belief in this person’s abilities. It would be against the rules of science. But that makes no sense, does it? If experiments have shown this person has these abilities, then we should believe that he has them, philosophy of science be damned.

It also just struck me that this understanding of MN has some unforeseen theological implications, as well: It defines God, a priori, as a being whose existence cannot be demonstrated by science. Doesn’t that put some pretty stringent restrictions on God?. As Bohr said to Einstein, “Stop telling God what to do.”

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I think the problem may be that of poor, or ambiguous, wording, rather than intent. This is probably not helped by the fact that “supernatural” is a fairly difficult concept to define rigorously.

I think science should claim jurisdiction over any empirical question – whether or not a supernatural cause has been hypothesised. To do otherwise would mean that any matter can arbitrarily be removed from its jurisdiction simply by equally arbitrarily adding a supernatural cause to a claim – science cannot disprove my claim that the moon is made of green cheese because I claim that it is supernaturally made of green cheese.

Acceptance of this viewpoint (or something close to it) can be seen from the fact that no supporter of MN that I know of, including Joshua, seems to dispute that science can adjudicate claims of supernatural creation, a supernatural global flood, etc.

This should also deal with your second problem – as if we have empirical evidence of God and/or other supernatural phenomena, it would then become part of science (though it might raise the question, ‘if empirical evidence of it exists, should it still be considered supernatural?’).

@John_Harshman ,

I don’t think I have the time to provide “several examples.” And why would you expect Christians Evolutionists, more or less tourists and passers-by in the the realm of the Peaceful Science, to feel like they had a right to complain about how PS.org was defending Evolution?

I may the one bell weather poster just cranky enough to stick his chin out. 2+ years ago I left these boards because I objected to the lack of support Joshua provided to those who actually embraced the GAE book. I was under the impression that this was a temporary problem.

I eventually came back because it became clear idea that the Atheists were never going to spontaneously give Christian Evolutionists a hero’s welcome!

It is time that the standard response to I.D. and Creationist arguments should no longer be limited to “Evolution does not require a designer”; this is NOT the foundation of the GAE book.

Creationists need to be confronted by men and women of faith who confidently join together to say God DOES design evolution … through the natural operation of evolution (just as God uses natural condensation to create the rain). And that I.D. is beyond the reach of science - - especially when it is like the pseudo-science used to mock Old Earth geology and geo-physics!

I think you misunderstand the situation. For most of us in our professional setting it would be inappropriate and insulting to call out people for doing correct science because (or in spite) of their religious beliefs. That has nothing to do with being atheist and everything to do with being professional. All of us working in research are surrounded by people from different cultures and religions, and we appreciate them as friends, colleagues, and peers. PS may not a processional professional setting but this ethic is very much on display here.


I don’t think you could, given infinite time. Your sole example is yourself, and you can’t even show that. I don’t in fact think that atheists make you feel unwelcome. You make you feel unwelcome, and it’s all inside your head.

Why should anyone do such a thing? What makes a “Christian Evolutionist” a hero deserving of such a welcome?

That’s theology, not science. We could talk about that if you wanted. But that does seem irrelevant to affirming the science of evolution. Nor does it seem clear. What does “beyond the reach of science” mean, exactly? Is it a good thing? And how does saying it help in an argument with creationists?


@Faizal_Ali ,

I appreciate Joshua’s dilemma. So I’ve decided that I need to start wearing the black hat!!

A barber called for you. He said to tell you he wants his hat back. :wink:


If you’re going to do the black-hat thing, you’ve got to do it properly, and with style: :stuck_out_tongue:


@Faizal_Ali ,

In the archives of PS.org there is at least one thread (and probably closer to three) presenting the reader with something like a TWO PART experiment: each box contains both live fruit flies and colonies of bacteria. But one box is labeled “Without God’s Design” and the other is labeled “With God’s Design”.

This is a classic approach to controlling for the independent variable: God’s Design!

Wait for 1000 generations and what do we find? We will probably find differences in the live populations. Sometimes one box has signicant changes, sometimes the other. And sometimes one box has a population that went extinct, sometimes the other box.

How do we know that God only ignored one box? Did he ignore bith of them?

Is a whale an amazing evolutionary leap from a land based tetrapod to a creature that can dive more deeply in the sea than any other land mammal? Or is the whale a degenerated tetrapod that has lost the ability to gallop the hills of Mongolia?

Generally speaking, academic philosophers have rejected the idea that there is any way to prove the existence of God unwilling to show himself. But give a creationist a bible, and suddenly they maul science with their right hand to disprove Old Earth geology - - and use tgeir left hand to argue science is powerful it can prove God.

Is that a passive-aggressive way to say that you want atheists to feel unwelcome here?