Fazale Rana: Thinking About Evolution

Creationists ask in one chapter of the book, “What if Big ‘E’ Evolution is True?” The answer moves the conversation forward.

Perhaps the most interesting chapter of the book is the last one, written by AJ Roberts. She asks the question, " What if Big ‘E’ Evolution is True? " Her answer is thoughtful, surprising, and moves the conversation forward. RTB generously made this chapter available to us, and I hope you take a moment to read it.

See the transcript here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/46620201

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Going on air soon. Drop in and ask a question.

Could you suggest where in the video that chapter is discussed, if it is?

It is interesting that science played a role in his conversion. He seems like a super friendly guy, and generally agreeable. I also thought it was interesting RTB is basically interested in providing a scientific alternative to unguided, random evolution for apologetic purposes.

Kind of throughout but at 22 minutes I think.

Allow me to doubt.

No, it’s an alternative to evolution, period. They reject guided evolution, and the alternative is not in the least scientific.

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I’m not sure they reject guided evolution. That part of the conversation was intriguing…

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I implore you to curtail your tendency to make cryptic one-line replies. What part (what time, i.e.) and what was intriguing and relevant about it?

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He talks about it at 2:55 if you want to hear it straight from his mouth. I also think it’s interesting that he like Sanford was fine with evolution as a Christian and questioned it later, he says for scientific reasons.

…he says.

Josh, thank you for engaging people with different points of view than yours: Jim Tour, John Lennox, Fuz Rana etc.
q: what is your view of Scripture? is it inerrant & Gob-breathed or generally reliable, but contains errors or contradictions?
do you think Scripture must be used to interpret science or the other way around?

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@ambassadorINtraining I affirm the Lausanne Covenant, which states:

We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God’s word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God’s revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God’s people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.

The Lausanne Covenant | Lausanne Movement

This document is a foundational document in present day Evangelicalism (of the religious, not political, sort). If you have not had a chance to read it yet.

I think that both Scripture and science give us a limited point of view, and our interpretations of either can be wrong. Neither one tells us the whole story, or answers every question we want to learn. You can’t learn calculus from reading Scripture, nor can you demonstrate that genocide is wrong using science.

Most of the time, the two are just talking about different things in different ways. Where what they say does interact, I think it is theology where we make sense of everything together.

When Scripture and science seem to say different things, I would ultimately trust Scripture more. However, I cannot currently see any places where they are saying different things, so this is a hypothetical for me.

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I think it was from about 23:00. He agrees that there is legitimate reason to think we all arose by common descent, and that special creation does not currently explain the evidence as well as common descent, even if is compatible with the evidence.

He explains at length the version of evolution that could work for him, including the versions of abiogenesis. At the end of the interview, @Zachary_Ardern’s name comes up too, and he appeals to structuralism as a helpful framework. He explicitly states the the issue, for him, is the random/godless narrative overlaid on top of the science, which we both agree is not actually what the science demands.

@Rumraket , you listened in and made some comments. What did you make of it?

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That is a point we should probably stress more when conversing with non-scientists. In the vast majority of cases, science deals with randomness on a surface level and really doesn’t dig into the philosophical implications. In biology, randomness is simply a statistical model and not a philosophical worldview. Quantum mechanics may butt up against philosophy in this realm, but biology simply doesn’t (IMHO). There is ample room for Christians to accept evolution and also believe in divine guidance in all of nature, including evolution.

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That is true, except when it is taken to the public. In that context, there are good number of examples of scientists opinining on philosophy/theology as if the science really demands things that it does not demand.

That is what Fazale is reacting against, it seems.

And the more we make that clear, the better.

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That seems to contradict @thoughtful’s point that he became convinced of creationism because of science.

You can’t demonstrate it using scripture either; quite the contrary.

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Well, to @swamidass point, I’m not sure that he actually said special creation did not explain the evidence as well as common descent (at least I don’t remember that). He do remember him saying the evidence was compelling.

@John_Harshman you misunderstood me - maybe just watch the few minutes of the video I mentioned? Rana said he became convinced that there was a God because of what he saw in science or the lack of explanation for the origin of life by science. But he said he was a theistic evolutionist or evolutionary creationist for a while after he converted. As I mentioned, he explained he questioned it later (probably when he decided there was a scientific alternative that would be intellectually satisfying from what I’m inferring). Sanford did the same thing.

I understood what you said. Maybe you misspoke?:

Would you like to retract that claim?

Incidentally, special creation is not compatible with the evidence except in the trivial sense that special creation could be arranged, like Last Thursdayism, to be compatible with any evidence.

I’ll give you the direct quotes, so you can see that you were inferring something I did not write.