I want to thank each of you for your kind words. May our Lord bless each of you. It is always a pleasure to take part here.
I am following your description. And while I might not agree with it, I understood it fairly well - except for this phrase!:
“…creation- directly through
What on Earth is this supposed to be?
Evolutionary Creation is not the mindless creation or development of philosophy. It is not the theistic/deistic evolution of Charles Darwin. In evolutionary creation, God can take full control starting with microevolution in small steps of adaptation within a species and branching out into macroevolution. Non-Theistic Darwinism has nothing to do with it. God is there working directly and through his creation. Remember George, I accept this as possible. Perhaps you do not. Good to hear from you, George.
Frankly, I prefer Progressive Creation or Intelligent Design Theory- Trinitarian Christian Version. Most Southern Baptists accept OCE with their IDT.
@Charles_Miller I like how you connect intelligent design to both of the other categories, because those three are not even mutually exclusive. I think you are going down a similar road as I have. It turns out there is more overlap in these kinds of terms than one might think…
I wish to thank you for your comments. God bless.
I also like your blog, Brother Mark.
So are you confirming that the phrase
“Evolution Non-Darwinism” was unintentional? I can’t tell if you were Explaining the two word phrase (which you havent)… or explaining what you WANTED to say.
Please advise on this: “Evolution Non-Darwinism”.
Mark and Charles @Charles_Miller: I completely agree with your assertions regarding the overlap and similarity. I agree, too, that understanding over the definition of the terms is the most important aspect to bringing the minds together.
That said, I was initially uncomfortable with the “non-overlapping magisteria or NOMA” (and still find it difficult to embrace), however it seems to be the mode in which those on the cutting edge of the sciences compartmentalize their thoughts. Once I stopped kicking at the goad, I began to see a benefit in this mode of discussion that will / can help to allay fear among the community of believers. If we are respectful of the NOMA, then pure science is precluded from entering into a theological discussion. On the other hand, pure science should not be engaged in having any opinions regarding the existence of God, either.
A huge fear among believers is that those in the scientific realm will attempt to dismiss God using concepts that are simply not accessible to them. They may be able to hold their own in a theological discussion, but not so in this realm. I, for one, struggle to comprehend so much of what is posted here, and am thankful for those who have been generous to take the time to explain. NOMA seems to silo the conversations so that one can evaluate what evolution can or cannot do in one conversation, and what God can or cannot do in another. Do you agree?
Finally, I have struggled to find out why there is so much contention between the EC and ID camps. As Mark points out, the overlap is palpable, at least to those of us who are standing outside, looking in. This disdain does not seem to exist between the EC and OEC camps, even though the overlap between ID and OEC is often very strong. So, I’m now wondering if the biggest issue isn’t the mode of conversation, because the ID folks’ conversations literally occur in a way that is anathema to those in the evolutionary science community.
I don’t know if there is an answer, because of the conversation silos mentioned above. The ID folks have no silos, and the more traditional scientists insist upon them. I think that this is why George and others get so frustrated here… because the conversation rules are so counterintuitive to how they think (it is so for me, too.) Some will say, “Let’s discuss this together…” and others will say, “We cannot discuss them together.”
This is certainly not a complete thought, but maybe more of a question or a suggestion. How does one cross the chasm from science to theology in order to bring about understanding?
I, too, enjoyed your blog post, Mark.
The more I listen to the conversations here, the more it seems to me that we can’t state theological positions on creation in terms of ID or evolution. The focus of both terms is nature and not God whereas the focus of theology is God. I would differentiate the various stands in terms of God’s agency. Creation where God directly intervenes in creation, (such as de novo creation or directed mutations) can be called creation where God is the primary agency. In cases where God uses natural processes as a tool (for example random mutations and other stochastic processes) can be classified as creation through secondary means. I would classify positions as below
- Where all life and all types (species) of life is created directly by God… i.e 100% primary creation.
- Creation of life through primary and secondary means.
- Creation of life only through secondary means.
I think all people here are ok with versions of type 2 irrespective of whether it is called evolution, common descent or ID.
This is my understanding based upon many conversations here. It is not intuitive to me that we would have limits placed upon our discussions such that the pursuit of truth could be restricted to certain domains, but, time and again, I see this insistence that this NOMA exists. See for instance:
Emphasis mine. So, in my discussions, I’m trying to abide by the rules (as I understand them.) In doing so, I am seeing some benefits, as discussed above. It is not easy or intuitive at all. But it does explain some of the antagonism that occurs for no apparent reason.
Anyone, please correct me if I’m wrong about how these conversations take place (or are supposed to take place) in this realm.
I think using scientific terms to define theological positions lead to confusion precisely because of the nature of science. Scientific terms are defined apart from God…
Then we end up talking across each other and are forced to maintain distinctions between science and theology… While using an unweildy language whose purpose is not to talk about God…
Better speak in a language directly linked with God… and then show how scientific positions such as evolution or ID relate to theology…
For example, confessing scientists can fall under both category 2 as well as category 3 which I defined above even as they agree completely on evolution as a science. This approach will avoid confusion.
Ashwin: I agree with you and think that your comment makes good sense. The problem is that those in the scientific community (who silo these conversations) may not agree. So, we are left to see what the others think.
It feels similar to the separation of church and state issue. Certain symbols or discussions are not allowed in certain realms. If those are the rules, so be it. We have to figure out another way around them.
To me, the issue there (and here) is that to proffer an opinion that God does not exist is a theological point and, also, cannot be expressed in this environment. If we are told that a scientific conversation cannot incorporate a reference to a higher intelligence then that same conversation cannot disprove a higher intelligence. No party can have it both ways. If the scientific conversation cannot prove God’s existence, then it cannot disprove it either. So, we have not solved the issue, but we have made it fair, because all camps are operating under the same rules.
I do not agree with the rules, but I follow them. I would rather pursue truth with no boundaries whatsoever, and let the chips fall where they may. I think that your suggestions make for a good compromise, but wonder if they would be accepted or rejected outright? I think that your use of “primary means” and “secondary means” as you have defined them will be met with disapproval, because there is an unwillingness to include your “primary means” (God) in any scientific conversation at all. @swamidass Your thoughts sir?
It was evolution that somewhat deistic as Charles Darwin was. He did not believe at the end of his life in a conservative philosophy of God. A God that is conservative theistic would participate actively in his creation.
Is that obvious to everyone else? George Brooks does no understand that. I would like to hear other opinions from other friends. God does not use Darwinian Evolution; on the contrary, he uses creative evolution. Creative Evolution is not mindless because it is directed by Adonay Elohim himself, i.e., that is the God of the Exodus, the God of Abraham, and the Father of Jesus. What do I have to do to make this clear to you, George? You are an educated man and surely understand what non Darwinian evolution is and also what Darwinian evolution is. Professor Alf Mapp, was an instructor at Old Dominion University. He was my father’s cousin. Just give my time to explain why I am mentioning this. On the book cover of his book on King Alfred of England it says the following:
Alf Mapp, Jr. was a professor of history, literature, and Western civilization at Old Dominion University. His writings, including The Virginia Experiment and Frock Coats and Epaulet, have been published in nine languages and ave earned him a Freedoms Foundation Honor Medal, a Pulitzer nomination and numerous American and British citations. As a journalist he cover Truman, Eisenhower and Churchill. He and (I) were direct descendants of King Alfred the Great of England. Alf is gone from this world now. What is the purpose of mentioning my cousin. The reason is simple: Charles Darwin was our cousin too from the Royal House of Wessex. I do not hate cousin Charles; however, he was really no true Christian. Let me find the page in Alf’s book. The page is 170 along George Washington and William Shakespeare. Why I am I mentioning this: I am showing that I do not hate Darwin; on the contrary, I believe his philosophy and science were wrong. You really do put me to work, George. It doesn’t matter, George. It has been a pleasure to talk with you.
I was correcting grammar just now.
Hi Charles: I not sure about George’s opinions, but I think that he was merely asking what you meant when you said “evolution non-Darwinism”… Not to challenge what you said or to disagree, but simply to learn what it was that you meant by that phrase.
I agree with you friend Michael. I like George Brooks actually. George, if I sounded rude, I wish to apologize to you, and I hope you accept it. I guess I went overboard. I really did not mean to. Please accept my apology. They are right; I went a bit overboard.
So, Charles, just to be clear, when you were mentioning “evolution non-Darwinism” you were referring to “non-Darwinian evolution” as per the quote above?
Again, I think that was the crux of George’s repeated questioning.
Not being educated, I would love to know your definition of non-Darwinian evolution because our definitions are so important in this arena. I do not ask this sarcastically, but rather sincerely. I’m guessing that you are referring to what others may call “God-directed evolution” as compared to “materialistic evolution?”
That’s quite a pedigree you have! I’m afraid to look at mine!
Yes, you are right, Michael. George did not deserve my tone of speech. We are all related in some way. I do respect everyone here. George, I hope after a while that we can be friends again. I am never too proud to admit I was wrong in my tone of speech.
Charles: You are so soft-handed and warm-hearted in your conversations that I can’t imagine that anyone would be upset with you! Thanks so much for your explanations!
I wish to thank you, my friend