Monthly Archives: March 2014
One of the biggest, and least addressed, issues I have with purveyors of “Evolutionary Creation” such as BioLogos is their total refusal to examine the profound difference between theistic evolution as mere Deistic naturalism and as a truly creative tool of the God of love, despite the charges of “semi-deism” and “statistical deism” being made repeatedly by serious TE thinkers like R J Russell. No amount of “evolutionary basics” or testimonies of Creationists who have seen the scientific light are going to address that.
A year or so ago I watched a UK-produced TV series about the history of archaeology. Prominent in the first episode was a quite mythological claim that early antiquarians were courageous scientists battling against the opposition of a Church monolithically defending biblical literalism and the Flood. It entirely bypassed the fact that most of these guys were churchmen, even though it named some of them, apparently oblivious to the self-contradiction. I thought I’d beefed about it here, but I can’t find anything so no doubt I bottled it up and attributed it to local ignorance … though you’d expect that a series about the “History of…” would do some homework … Continue reading
How the human mind develops concepts is a wonderful thing. My mental schema for that most iconic of British birds, the robin, is built upon the foundation a song I learned from Miss Jerome (a wonderful teacher) for my first Christmas at school. Apart from an even more juvenile nursery rhyme involving cold north winds and what Robin does when they blow (poor thing), it was possibly my earliest exposure to the bird, maybe even pre-dating my seeing it in the feather.
Michael Polanyi was one of the great polymaths of the twentieth century, contributing significantly to chemistry, philosophy, sociology and economics. He was also a devout Christian. His work included a thorough critique of the scientistic positivism of his age (raising its tattered standard again in the populist New Atheism in ours), arguing cogently for a far deeper and broader understanding of epistemology. A friend of Einstein and other great scientists, he wrote usefully on academic freedom too – again apparently foreseeing and warning against the political and ideological restrictions now seen in the research sciences.
The second part of TOF’s series on the dangers of (scientific) models is now up. It goes into more technicalities than the first part, but is pretty instructive. I’m not sure yet where he mainly wants to take the series, but some applications should be obvious – except for those whose models of knowledge won’t let them see it.
I can’t have been more than eight when a Sunday School teacher told me that God lights the stars in the sky at night to show the way. Mr Sutton, his name was. Even now I think he was being simplistic given the age-group – but then not all my fellows watched the Brains Trust on Sunday afternoons. I, however, had the Boys Book of Astronomy, and a mother with a strong skeptical streak, so with all the scientistic priggishness of my advanced years I told him he was wrong, and that the start were giant, distant balls of gas like the sun, and shone all the time rather than only at … Continue reading