What A Scientist Learns From A Southern Baptist Seminary

Race, origins, and abuse. A scientist learns a great deal about courage and peacemaking from a week at a Southern Baptist seminary.

In time, perhaps they will learn something from me. What is clear already, however, is that I have learned quite a bit from them. Every where we look, from origins to abuse and also race, it is clear we live in a fallen world. Our response matters greatly.

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Wow, what an incredible time to be at an SBC campus. While I was very critical of the SBC Presidents earlier in the year and their susceptibility to the CRT bogeyman, I am glad to see them defy the SBC Exec Committee and call for transparency in the investigation of sexual abuse. Yes, this response from the seminary presidents is a good one. I spent about 40 years in the SBC and although I suspect I will never affiliate myself with them again, I am glad to see this push from the presidents, as well as a more “grass roots” push, for transparency in this process. I’m sure that you didn’t want to have to address this in your observations of your first week as “scientist-in-residence”, but I’m glad you did.

Moving on to the actual reason you are a “scientist-in-residence”, talking about the what is means to be human. I’m very glad that you have this opportunity and it is exciting to hear about your conversations with seminary faculty, I hope this continues to be productive. I suspect there will be very little mind-changing about evolution and the origins of Adam and Eve, but I also suspect that there can be significant headway made toward the acceptance of fellow Christ-followers that read Genesis in a different way from the SBC establishment. It will be interesting to see what fallout Dr. Craig will receive here at HBU. The current Provost is my former Dean, and although he never tried to tell us how to teach Biology, he is very much a young earth creationist.

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No kidding.

It got more and more interesting (dare I say “historic”?) as the week progressed.

That’s not my goal. I’m not there for the purpose of changing minds on evolution. At the same time, I’m certain your assessment is wrong. Minds are changing, as they should.

The issue for many has never been evolution itself, but what it entails. The GAE changes that calculation entirely. We should expect people to change their assessment.

Same time I was at the SBC, a review of my book came out in the SEBTS journal. It was by a person who seems to be a YEC. It was extremely positive.

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I am quite glad it came up. I saw something good in a dark situation.

I also couldn’t help noting the contrast between the SBC’s response and the far more typical apathy and cover ups we usually see.

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I honestly hope I’m completely wrong about this.

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My prediction is that most the SBC, including HBC, is going to reject Bill Craig’s argument. Where do they go from there? Quite a few will find a safe haven in the GAE, if they hear about it.

You are at HBC. Put the idea to the test. There is going to be a conversation started by WLC. See how they respond to the GAE. All their reasons for rejecting his position do not apply to the GAE. A lot of them will be intellectually honest enough to adjust.

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I’m very much looking forward to it, but this has been remarkably quiet. I figured there would at least be some acknowledgement of the work, but I haven’t heard a thing about it other than here at PS.

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How about going to stir up some trouble :slight_smile: ?

My observation is that the unreasonable and irresponsible are remarkably diligent in mobilizing. They ensure their voice is heard.

What of the wise ones? What of the responsible? Could they be diligent too?

Perhaps send a few emails to hear what people are thinking, and see how to encourage a more public and responsible conversation at HBU. You might get resistance. You might get support. You might get both!

Paleoanthropology has provided a fascinating solution to the racist problem, especially the one resulting from the enslavement of Africans in the U.S. Africa is the cradle of humanity. Homo sapiens evolved there, and we are defined by our cognitive/technological abilities. Fair skin in an evolutionary context is very recent and an adaptation to cooler, less sunny climates. Africans are the progenitors of humanity, we are all descended from them. They should be highly respected! In an evolutionary context, their enslavement was ironic as well as unjust.

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Thanks for both your faithfulness and your bravery. Every “denomination” has a history. (I am a professional historian as well as a Chemistry Professor. ) The SBC is choosing to “play politics” rather than “follow Jesus.” The Biblical way is: 1) Confess, 2)Repent, 3) Ask forgiveness, 4) restore.
Thanks also for promoting Bill’s book. Ever since Henri Blocher encouraged Christians to accurately read Genesis 1-11, I have been waiting for a Book like this. Once the science is pretty well settled, Christians need to think about both how to incorporate the truth into their truth, and how to understand the actual message of the Bible. This is the beginning of a long and hopefully profitable conversation about how to understand Adam and Eve. I read Bill’s overall theme as "God chose Abraham, God chose Noah, and God chose Adam. And by the way, God can choose us. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Praise God for Jesus.

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Craig is wrong. Homo Erectus was fully human. Humanity goes back millions of years.

What does “fully human” mean? Is there a single, objective definition? It sounds entirely arbitrary to me. When in our lineage does the change from partially human to fully human occur?

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That is THE question. And as relevant to philosophy and politics as to religion. Why evolutionary science in all it’s forms, including archaeology and paleoanthropology, is IMO the most important contemporary discipline

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Also, as a Christian I do of course believe that the impact of evolutionary science on Christianity has the potential to propel it into a new more harmonious and spiritual phase

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I, on the other hand, would say that question is about as useful as the one about angels and pinheads.

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Secular philosophers and psychologists would disagree with you, not just Christian theologians! Think of Freud and Nietzsche, both atheists. Freud, as well as a psychoanalyst was a brilliant moral philosopher. His psychology and moral philosophy deeply influenced by Darwinism. Nietzsche, son of a Lutheran pastor, became an atheist after reading Darwin’s works. His moral philosophy is genius and so witty. He got a lot of antagonism from Christianity. Freud the founder of psychoanalysis, Nietzsche the father of postmodern moral relativism. I find them both highly relevant to theological anthropology, even though of course I don’t accept that morality is totally relative. There are moral absolutes applicable to everyone. But both men have shed so much light on the reasons and causes of our behaviour. However, that is despite the fact that they didn’t have the ultimate definition of what it means to be human when it’s analysed from a religious perspective. IMO only Christianity can provide that. But needs evolutionary science to do so

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Agree to disagree. What was the first chicken?

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Not sure what you mean by ‘what was the first chicken’?

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It’s an equivalent question. You could as well ask what was the first member of any species. And species at least have definitions, unlike “fully human”.

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