The Lost World of N T Wright

I’ve already suggested that we ought to do a full review of John Walton’s important new book, Lost World of Adam and Eve here. But since it consists of 21 propositions, it’s maybe less daunting to make a cautious start by mentioning the “excursus” in Proposition 19 by celebrated New Testament scholar N T Wright. Continue reading

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The mystery of artificial selection

Things have been quiet on The Hump for the last week because I was on holiday in one of the most beautiful places on earth (not counting here), close by the second biggest natural harbour in the world. You guess.

I caught the end of a piece on TV there that led me to further reading, about Robert Bakewell, the father of selective breeding of livestock. Continue reading

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Infinite libraries without books

My attention was caught by a piece about a New York guy, Jonathan Basile, who has tried to “create” an online instantiation of the fictional Library of Babel imagined by author Jorge Luis Borges in a fantasy tale of 1941. I’ve mentioned Borges before in a reference from Michel Foucault’s book, or else I confess I’d never have heard of him, still less read him. Continue reading

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Order, unorder and the boundary between

In my last post  I explored the theological concepts of order, unorder and disorder in creation, as outlined in John Walton’s book The Lost World of Adam and Eve. The concept is a useful one in making sense of much biblical teaching, as well as in the general sense of showing how it is not biblically necessary for everything in the universe to be perfectly optimal in order to be part of God’s “good” creation. Indeed, the Bible itself suggests that such perfection was always a future intention. Continue reading

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Order, unorder, disorder

Edward Robinson’s recent piece on The Hump about John H Walton reminds me that we ought to do a proper review of his excellent and important new book, The Lost World Of Adam and Eve at some stage. This does for the Adam and Eve story what his earlier books did for the Genesis 1 creation narrative, whilst updating and expanding his previous ideas in the light of further study and both scholarly and popular feedback. Continue reading

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My Problem with John Walton’s Apologia for TE/EC

I have mixed feelings about the work of John Walton. While I don’t object to much of what he writes about how to interpret Genesis, I don’t like the way he applies his knowledge to defend the project of TE/EC.

Take his latest column on BioLogos, “Natural” and “Supernatural” are Modern Categories, Not Biblical Ones. I would ask the reader here to read that column first, before reading what I write below. Continue reading

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On the hearing the first cuckoo in twenty springs…

…I was inspired to explore their natural history a little more. The European cuckoo, famed in fable, has been declining in Britain for several decades. We heard them sometimes in the first few years we lived in Essex, but then they disappeared. And we actually saw a pair whilst holidaying in South Wales a number of years since. But this was the first one I’ve heard since we moved to Devon seven years ago, which immediately casts doubt on one theory that they find nests to predate by familiarity with their infant environment. Continue reading

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Old Moore’s Almanack

The discussion on my recent divine action piece has gone in a direction that is quite detailed. That’s all to the good, as there are not many blogs where serious work along these lines gets discussed. I’m aware, though, that for myself and probably many regular readers we’re operating beyond the limits of our knowledge of Aristotle, Aquinas and so on. Stick with it, though – the more we all get even slightly familiar with these metaphysical issues , which are central to the science-faith debate, the richer the result will be for all. Today, though, I want to revisit a more basic point that is probably still a difficulty for some of us. Continue reading

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According to Matthew

King’s College statistical geneticist Michael E Weale has just published a new article  on Patrick Matthew, the discoverer of evolution by natural selection, in the Journal of the Linnaean Society. You may recall that this was the journal in which Darwin and Wallace’s theory was first announced, some three decades after Matthew’s publication. Continue reading

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Can God use ateleological processes to meet his aims? – 2

If God is the universal author of natural events in the way described in the previous post (following the position of classical thinkers like Aquinas in denying the univocity of God and affirming his concurrent acton in the world) we would expect that, in their own domain, natural processes should give a complete explanation of events. God is evidenced by such explanations, not by their absence. God acts from within nature. And so they are right who say that it is a wrong approach to look for gaps in knowledge to demonstrate God, for that is to limit God’s activity to the miraculous. Continue reading

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