Scientists Are Not Anti-Creation


(Kenneth Turner) #41

Thanks @Eddie for the full explanation. I only know Falk from a distance, though I’ve appreciated–at times–his statements that ran against the grain (such as his relatively favorable response to Meyer, which you’ve noted elsewhere). I am closer to others in BioLogos. I guess I’m both an insider and outsider, which makes me “friendly” with them as well as The Hump and Peaceful Science. I have no agenda but the pursuit of truth, no matter the cost…though I am biased toward Christian orthodoxy (via the creeds, not American “evangelicalism”) and a desire, from pastoral concerns, for unity around the gospel. All this to say: I think I track with you on most things, though I haven’t felt/experienced some of the “hurt” you and others (like @swamidass) have from the broader EC/TE crowd. My “hurt” has come from the more conservative direction.


I think it will hold up. As long as @swamidass claims that GAE is just a hypothetical explanation that allows him to reconcile his personal faith with the realities of science, he will be okay. @swamidass has a faith that actually improves him as a person, MD, and scientist. He is a champion of human rights and a champion of science and reasoning. I see nothing wrong with that his uses his faith as the basis for his view of human rights.

(John Harshman) #43

You should invite him here and see what he says.

That seems like a weird thing to say. Assuming that there is such a person, he ought to be able to make anything happen. That’s what “omnipotent” means. Even locally breaking any natural law he likes. So if you’re getting Lou’s position right, I can’t agree.

I’d say me, but that’s just me.

Now I do rule out miracles, but I do it by seeing that there is good evidence that no miracle-makers exist. No miracle-makers, no miracles. Also, if there’s no evidence of or need for miracles to explain what we see, it’s good scientific practice not to assume them. “I had no need of that hypothesis,” as LaPlace told Napoleon.

(Curtis Henderson) #44

How long would you guess the “temporary favor” might last? @swamidass has been vocal about his Christianity for years now and was recently granted tenure at WUSTL. It might be time to consider that you could be wrong, Eddie.

(Edward Robinson) #45

Your reply takes me out of context. I never said or implied that secular scientists are so prejudiced that they will not hire Christians or give them tenure. My concern was nothing to do with that. Go back and get the context.

The context (please read the details of my posts) concerned BioLogos scientists or ASA scientists, who personally believe that God supernaturally steered the evolutionary process, but would not say so publicly. I said that the most likely reason for this was fear of the judgment of secular scientists. I was not talking about hiring or tenure, since all the evangelical scientists I was referring to either are retired and don’t have to worry, or already have tenure at various Christian or secular schools and therefore don’t have to worry. I was not saying that they feared for their jobs or their careers. I was suggesting that they feared the ridicule that would come their way from their secular colleagues if they asserted that evolution required more than natural causes.

It is well-known that many TE/EC leaders are ex-YECs and that they are very embarrassed about the “bad science” they used to hold as YECs and very eager to show their secular colleagues that they are now fully onside with good science and evolutionary theory in particular. And they know that evolutionary biologists do not regard proposals that God helps the evolutionary process along as good science. So if they believe that God does this, they have a strong motive for shutting up about it. Not for the sake of job or career, but for the sake of professional pride and self-esteem derived from the esteem of secular colleagues.

That’s the first point. The second point is that the atheists are not objecting to Genealogical Adam very strongly (even though, as some of them have admitted here, they aren’t persuaded by it) because it does not challenge anything they do in their special sciences, but if some other science/theology issue comes up where there is a conflict between historical Christian orthodoxy and what science says, and there is no solution of “tolerance” such as Genealogical Adam offers, but only a stark opposition, they will become much more hostile to what Christian scientists affirm. That is my prediction. I could be wrong, as you say. But I wouldn’t bet on it. I’ve been studying atheism and atheist scientists for something like 50 years now, and I have a pretty good idea of what motivates them and when they are likely to draw lines in the sand.

(T J Runyon) #46

I believe god helps along the evolutionary processes. But I’m not claiming this based on science. There are other ways of knowing things besides science. Though I do think God acted and guided the process in a way that is consistent with the laws of nature. God’s normal way of doing things. His general providence. No need to posit an instance of special providence. I’d have absolutely no problem admitting this. It isn’t based on science. So I can’t be doing bad science.

(Curtis Henderson) #47

Sorry, I assumed starting a thought with “my point is” would lead to a summary conclusion. Clearly, I was wrong.

(Neil Rickert) #48

What makes you so sure about what these scientists believe?

Maybe they are hesitant to speak out because they are themselves unsure.

(Edward Robinson) #49

Thanks, Kenneth. I agree with you that “conservative” Christians can be hurtful to others, in some contexts. I don’t exonerate them from any damage they have done. Certainly I am glad I was not raised any kind of fundamentalist.

As for any “hurt” I’ve experience from BioLogos and TE/ECs, it’s more exasperation that anything else. But in the end, it sprang from the fact that the whole plane of discourse (the arena of ex-YECs trying to convert their less enlightened brethren to evolution) was odious to me. I had no use for either YEC or the pendulum swing away from it which characterized the leaders of BioLogos (most of whom had YEC or nearly YEC upbringings). I grew up in mainstream church Christianity, and the Biblical evangelical culture, with all its paranoia and deep inner conflicts, made no sense to me. But now that I have vented, I think I will leave this topic alone for a time.

(Edward Robinson) #50

I explained that in my post. I was told it, by a person who knows virtually every TE of any significance in the USA, and has known many of them for decades, and is on intimate enough terms with many of them that they say to him things they won’t say in print or in public forums. I know this person not to be a liar, and I also know him to a scrupulous academic who is very careful not to misrepresent the words of another. If says such people exist, then they exist. It’s as simple as that.

That is true in some cases. I have not denied that. My claim was not about all TE/EC scientists. I said that I was talking about some. It was their behavior that I was discussing, not that of the others you mention.

(John Harshman) #51

Based on my experience, you don’t.

(Edward Robinson) #52

Maybe I don’t understand you. But since I’ve dealt with hundreds of atheists in my lifetime, one outrider isn’t going to alter my general perception too much.

(John Mercer) #54

Don’t forget that they also are ignoring most of the evidence.


@Eddie You are right on the mark here. The secular science community will keep to MN and will come down hard on any scientist (Christian or otherwise) who moves too far from it.


I think you are comparing apples and oranges. There are two different situations:

  1. Miracles in the past that would have left scientific evidence we could see today.

  2. Miracles in the past that would NOT have left scientific evidence we could see today.

A bottleneck of 2 humans in the very recent past is type 1. A young Earth and a recent global flood are type 1.

Genealogic Adam and Eve are type 2. The miracles in the New Testament are type 2. The Resurrection is type 2.

Do you see the difference between them?

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #57

ID is failing right now because they are making scientifically absurd arguments that ignore most of the relevant evidence, not because scientists are intrinsically opposed to religion.