Monthly Archives: October 2013
Kicking off the series proper, here is the first suggested “model” for understanding Adam named by David L Wilcox. Generic Head – Sin originated with Adam, and has been passed along to all his descendents (which is everybody) like a genetic inheritance. (? Does this mean Adam was the only ancestor for the race –or just a particular man who is in all our genealogies? – AKA, Y chromosome Adam).
As a preliminary to this series about the possible scenarios to explain the Genesis account, which I listed in my previous post, I want to remind us of the biblical data to be accommodated, and its significance to theology. It’s easy to follow a hunch to a theory without considering this adequately.
I’ve expressed my appreciation before (here, here and here for example) of population geneticist David L Wilcox in his thoroughly orthodox integration of standard evolutionary theory with historic faith. Most recently I noted that James Stump at BioLogos flatly contradicted his statement that theistic evolution, by definition, meant guidance by God. Well, now I’ve stumbled upon the notes he made for a talk for ASA this year called Updating our Genetic Prehistory which has given me some ideas for a useful new series on Adam.
“Chance” is in some ways a slippery concept – in nature there are many different flavours of chance, and one really ought to consider them case-by-case. Many involve the unusual intersection of quite predictable events – like the kid in my street when I was at school, who always ran across the main road behind the bus when he got home, and always got away with it because there were a lot more spaces than cars. Until one day he and a car occupied the same space, and he died. We all knew it would happen, but it was a chance event.
I never met or knew Oliver Barclay, but his life had a great influence on mine as one of the spiritual giants – not too strong a term – who served the Evangelical movement in Britain after the Second War. Barclay was a Cambridge trained zoologist, but was persuaded to became involved in the Inter Varsity Fellowship of Evangelical students in 1945. IVF was an example of a necessary and ultimately successful splinter movement. Evangelicals had started the Student Christian Movement in 1889 as a missonary organisation, but by the late nineteenth century, like so much of the Church, it had lurched into liberalism, and IVF was a secessionist group.
I’ve commented here on the decreasing number of those contributing to discussions at BioLogos – majoring, of course, on the unwillingness of most of their own people to get involved. Well, now it seems the problem is to be solved by closing comments on most of their articles, following the controversial lead of Popular Science. People are to reply by e-mail, and the “best” will be put in a “Letters to the editor” section.
You know that feeling you have when something niggles away at the back of your mind and won’t go away? Well, for the last 45 years… It’s not quite that bad. But I was reading a little while ago about Haeckel’s forged drawings of embryos, purportedly showing their recapitulation of evolution. And the writer mentioned the interesting phenomenon that vertebrates which differ markedly in life do indeed go through a stage in which they are, at least to some extent, fairly similar. However, it is found that they differ greatly in the earlier stages of development – a fact which is not only hard to square with Haeckel’s recapitulation theory, … Continue reading
This concept came to my attention today because BioLogos has printed a response to Ken Ham’s response to a testimony piece by a chap called Daniel Hamlin. Daniel used the word to describe the Scylla and Charybdis of “bibliolatry” and atheist dismissal of all biblical truth between which he was trying to steer. I don’t want to comment either on his article, or on whether I agree that his theological ship is on course, but on that word itself. “Bibliolatry”. You can find definitions for it, of course, but it is significant that it is not a synonym for any historically accepted theological term, or even for a standard English … Continue reading
Lacking any replies from the organisation itself, the discusson I started on the BioLogos thread I referred to here, now with 79 posts, has lurched through one on “Expanding the Paradigm” (68 posts) on to Ted Davis’s latest on Robert Boyle (31 posts). A new contributor is Sy Garte, who although he has contributed articles to the site before (as have I) is similarly unaffiliated. His contribution is to suggest that many will choose not to answer the question of God’s involvement in evolution because the issue isn’t settled definitively, though I can’t see how it ever will be if Christians won’t discuss it… if indeed it can be said … Continue reading
There’s a long, excellent and thought-provoking piece by V J Torley on Uncommon Descent today, replying to David Bentley-Hart’s critique of ID as theology. For me it’s very timely, since only yesterday I was wondering about how Thomas Aquinas would see God’s role in the imposition of form on matter, especially in relation to natural causation. VJT has delivered all the references, which is great. A major plank of Hart’s critique is the oft-repeated idea that a God who needs to tinker with creation is a lesser God than he who gets it right first time. Such thinking is prominent in TE thinking, but is also applied to Thomistic thought, … Continue reading