What is "Theistic Evolution", and is this forum hostile to it?

The suggestion has been made that “hostile comments” have frequently been directed at Theistic Evolutionists on this forum. In evaluating the validity of this suggestion, the question must first be answered: What is “Theistic Evolution”?

In The Language of God, Francis Collins gives this definition:

There are many subtle variants of theistic evolution, but a typical version rests upon the following premises:

  1. The universe came into being out of nothingness, approximately 14 billion years ago.

  2. Despite massive improbabilities, the properties of the universe appear to have been precisely tuned for life.

  3. While the precise mechanism of the origin of life on earth remains unknown, once life arose, the process of evolution and natural selection permitted the development of biological diversity and complexity over very long periods of time.

  4. Once evolution got under way, no special supernatural intervention was required.

  5. Humans are part of this process, sharing a common ancestor with the great apes.

  6. But humans are also unique in ways that defy evolutionary explanation and point to our spiritual nature. This includes the existence of the Moral Law (the knowledge of right and wrong) and the search for God that characterizes all human cultures throughout history.

Wikipedia suggests a wider range of definitions:

The executive director of the National Center for Science Education in the United States of America, Eugenie Scott, has used the term to refer to the part of the overall spectrum of beliefs about creation and evolution holding the theological view that God creates through evolution. It covers a wide range of beliefs about the extent of any intervention by God, with some approaching deism in rejecting the concepts of continued intervention or special creation, while others believe that God has directly intervened at crucial points such as the origin of humans. In the Catholic version of theistic evolution, human evolution may have occurred, but God must create the human soul,[1] and the creation story in the book of Genesis should be read metaphorically.[7][8][9]

Given these definitions, do people consider that:

  1. “hostile comments” have been directed at the views, as defined above, by members of this forum? (If so, can you please give specific examples.)

  2. these views conflict with science (and thus with “keeping the science honest, which includes keeping it science”)? (I must admit, that I myself have qualms about Collins #6 above, on this front, at the very least.)

Alternately, can anybody present evidence of a (widely held) definition of “Theistic Evolution” that is inconsistent with those above?


Yes, but only from one poster.

George Brooks finds point 4 offensive and seems to be demanding that it be banned from this forum. I would count that as extreme hostility.

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  1. I never said anything like that …

  2. Nor have I asked for ANY topic to be banned.

  3. the GAE specifically allows for de novo (miraculous) creation of Adam/Eve (about 6k years ago), and about 2k years ago: the immaculate conception, divine birth, and the resurrection of Jesus.

It should be noted that Joshua’s book, The Genealogical Adam and Eve, makes no mention of the Immaculate Conception. The book does allow for the other miracles, but explicitly disavows them being part of science:

As I understand the rules, mainstream science does not consider whether or not God exists or acts in the world. The hypothesis that Adam and Eve were de novo created arises from theology, not science, and is not a proper scientific claim or conclusion. The same is true of the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Jesus. In my view, none of these miracles can be proper conclusions of science.

It does however immediately thereafter place the latter two miracles outside of science’s ability to disprove them:

We can, nonetheless, agree that there is no scientific evidence against the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. Science cannot come to theological conclusions.


Theistic Evolution still owes me $10! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::grin:


In short, when you take a big book of science and mix it with a little bit of theology - - you end up with a big book of theology!

  1. Those words are not mine. It would have been more accurate to quote it as either:


  1. I would not chartacterise Joshua’s book as merely “a little bit of theology” – the theology is fairly pervasive.

  2. Yes, even a little bit of supernatural stops it being science. This is never science:


… no matter how many other steps are involved.

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My point was to save you some trouble. Even a little bit of theology makes it ALL theology.

So what purpose do all you big, beautiful, hunky, atheist men of science serve here at PS.org?

Some of us have recently re-discovered a thread some 5 years old featuring the inscrutable acronym “KJA”! That’s “Knee Jerk Atheist” (or was it KJE for Knee Jerk Evolutionist?).

I had visited 2 pro-Evolution sites to introduce the GAE to them. They had a couple of KJA/KJE’s as bouncers - right out of the movie, Road House!
They thought I was an ID double agent, or out of my mind.

So we sent in one of our heavy hitter Atheists to clear the air. I think he got a knuckle noogy and an underwear wedgy and we all called it a day.

After a few months of this, one by one, it seems all you big, beautiful, hunky, atheist men of science decided the next most important thing left to do was to constantly remind everyone that if GAE wasn’t science (correct, it isn’t) … then it was out of bounds for discussion.


Oh, so that must be why all of us big, beautiful, hunky, atheist men of science keep inviting and encouraging you to discuss GAE if you so crave it: Because unbeknownst even to ourselves we secretly consider it a taboo topic. And this consideration of ours is so strong, apparently, that it is actively preventing you from pursuing this craving of yours to actually discuss GAE. The might of our appeal is so overwhelming, that your only option in light of it is to mention GAE all over the place as though it had some relevancy to half-decade old threads you resurrect and more recent ones you hijack to whine about some problem you can scarcely articulate, let alone demonstrate.

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@Gisteron (& new idea for @admins),

I seek at least ONE (1) of two thresholds of success; the 2nd marker would be almost impossible to achieve.

The 1st is for a minimum of 10 Christian Evolutionists to be active posters in any given month.

Perhaps the Christian Evolutionists could be given their own Room/Category to occupy … to defend even. They would be they would be the LAST to complain about having their own space!

Maybe Christian Evolutionists are the least talkative of our Christian brothers and sisters?!

Your message, despite quoting mine and pinging me explicitly, is in no way a response to any part of mine. You called my attention only to waste it. I’m beginning to spot a pattern here…

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The pattern is simple… when you respond with irrelevant hyperbole so do I. The difference is I dont whine about it.

That’s just a lie. But best of luck with that, too.

Here’s a possible reason George is reluctant to discuss GAE: every time he mentions it he demonstrates that he doesn’t understand it.


Don George Quixote

I will attempt to respond to your muddled, incoherent, vainglosious, paranoid fantasy, to the extent that I can actually see anything solid enough to respond to.

  1. Yes, GAE is apologetics, and thus theology.

  2. No, that does not mean that you cannot discuss it. Theology and Religion are a fairly common subject of discussion. This forum even has a tag for “Theology” (as well as “Adam” and “Church”).

  3. The only thing that people are objecting to is your apparent demands that we classify GAE, and other miracles, as “science”.

  4. I would also point out, again, that promotion of GAE is NOT part of this forum’s official mission. Nor does this mission mention theology.

  5. Many atheists discuss theology, some even do it professionally – and have advanced degrees in the subject.

  6. Let me introduce you to some new acronyms: KJBoA – Knee Jerk Basher of Atheists, KJDtPDGAE – Knee Jerk Demander that People Discuss GAE, and one that summarises the foregoing: KJJ – Knee Jerk Jerk.

  7. It is unsurprising to me that a KJJ would fail to find a warm welcome in “pro-Evolution sites”, particularly if he came as a vainglorious crusader to " introduce the GAE to them".

  8. Your distaste for Methodological Naturalism can easily lead to you being mistaken for an ID supporter.

  1. 8 You are a legend in your own mind George.

:point_up_2: :laughing:

  1. 9 George, you are delusional. Can you point to even a single post that has declared GAE out of bounds? Beyond that, who do you think it is who has been discussing ‘GAE & Tasmania’ in recent days? Nobody thinks that GAE is out of bounds. It is just neither the “mission” of this forum nor its sole focus.

Yes George, go slay that ‘Dragon’ :laughing:



I was waiting for this bit of tom-foolery to erupt from your forehead.

Find ANY post of mine where i described miracles or theology as “science”!

Let me correct that quote for you George:

That was the third of ten points I made (I apologise for having two "8"s). That you were “waiting” for this comment specifically, rather than addressing my post generally, means that you were seeking a “gotcha” moment, rather than attempting to converse in good faith.

Please note that I only said “apparently”. Your posts so frequently lack any conciseness or coherence that it is generally difficult to understand what you are demanding.

Here is an example:

When you talked about “blending” miracles “with evolutionary science”, without any acknowledgement that the resultant blend is no longer science, you gave every impression that you want to blend miracles into science.

This implication is further increased because NOBODY is objecting to blending science into theology. We all do it all the time, e.g. whenever we argue the scientific implications of YEC claims. So if you were not objecting to refusal to blend miracles into science, you were objecting to something that did not exist.

This implication is further increased by the shear number of times you have juxtaposed “miracles” with “science”.

Your near total inability to express yourself with clarity makes communication with you nearly impossible George.

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Your apparent hatred for atheists, as a class, is not only insulting but a barrier to any communication or understanding.