- Science’s mediaeval assumption 14/12/2017
- Habit-forming methodological naturalism 11/12/2017
- Mightily Hands On 07/12/2017
- Distinguishing the sources of teleology 04/12/2017
- A Little Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing: A Philological Note to a BioLogos Discussion 01/12/2017
Monthly Archives: June 2014
Commenting on the last post, Merv has raised a truly excellent analogy – which is actually a direct comparison – to the diffence between our own way of seeing the world (whether Christian or secular) and that of the Bible and other ancient sources.
Since we’ve been talking about worldviews, let me refresh a theme I’ve covered a little before, and that is how difficult it is for us moderns – whether Christians or not – to escape from our materialist worldview at its broadest. By this I don’t mean the idea that the material is all that exists (snare though that is), but the fact that, for all of us civilized folks, material explanations for things remain the default “reality.”
Dr Arthur Jones’ brief visit to The Hump’s comments reminded me that it may have been he, back in the 1980s, who first introduced me to the concept of worldviews. Amongst other useful stuff on his website there is a pithy description of “worldview” as the spectacles behind our eyes with which we view the world. Because we look through them, we generally don’t look at them, and more often we’re not even aware that we have such a pair of specs. It’s like vocal accents – I speak ordinary English, you have a strange American drawl/ plummy British dialect. This has obvious implications in the matter of education, but it goes wider.
Writing my piece on Bede reminded me that if he can be decribed as a “scientist”, he’s an outlier – though a legitimate one – in the process by which modern science came to be established. There’s beginning to be a good body of literature supporting the even greater body of evidence that natural philosophy developed in the wake of the Christian doctrine of creation, and entails it. This can be found both in older books like that of Stanley Jaki and newer ones like James Hannam’s. In fact an essay of Hannam’s on his website includes my starting point here.
I’ve added Ross Douthat’s book Bad Religion – How We Became a Nation of Heretics to the Books We Like page. A very important book, in my view, and essential reading for all American Christians, if you’ll accept that from a Brit. It’s salutory reading for us, too, since many of the detrimental trends seen in America have either sprung up independently here or crossed the Atlantic in the holds of ships.
If it weren’t such low-hanging fruit, I’d write a riposte to that oft-repeated Gnu boast about science getting us to the Moon, whilst religion does nothing useful. In truth, I did a similar thing obliquely here, way back. But it would be easy, were New Atheists not immune to reason, to point out how most of the key names in the science that led to space travel either came to science because of their Christian faith, or came to Christ through their science, or both. The names would, as anyone with the slightest knowledge of science history knows, include Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, and Isaac Newton, not … Continue reading
The news that “creationism” has been banned in science lessons in British Academy Schools by HM Government almost passed our national press by, whereas there are a multitude of Google hits from the US. In fact, on the main “secondary” source, a UK site, nearly all the comments are from US culture warriors of one persuasion or another. My conclusion from this is that (a) Americans are too obsessed with it and (b) the British are too complacent.
As of yesterday, I’m no longer quite so sure what BioLogos means when it affirms that “God intended humanity.” There are some signs that wriggle-room may have been left for “humanity” to mean something like “some species with self awareness and complex civilisations.” The relevant BL thread has now, characteristically, long since been deserted by the BioLogos staff to be picked over by scavengers, so clarification is unlikely to be forthcoming. Whatever their own position, though, Ken Miller thinks a roll of the evolutionary dice would have produced “human” dinosaurs or squid, Stuart Conway Morris seems to figure only on A. N. Intelligent-Species filling the “God’s image” niche, and his 2011 … Continue reading
The particular variant of theistic evolution put forward by Deborah Haarsma in her recent post on BioLogos is, as I’ve suggested before, a considerable advance on other forms that, rightly or wrongly, have been attributed to BioLogos as an organisation before, not least by me. She has firmly stated that God intended mankind. Within the meaning of the English language, that is a belief in design. Because the Creator God had an intention (specifically the existence of mankind rather than some other intelligent form, or even no intelligent form at all) and because as a result it came to be, it is a fulfilled design, just as surely as if God … Continue reading
Like most guitarists of a certain age in Britain, including Dave Gilmour, Brian May, Mark Knopfler and a host of others, my ambition to play came from hearing a certain instrumental band, The Shadows, and their lead guitarist Hank Marvin. That was back in 1961, when I was nine, and one of my immediate responses then was to compose (mentally) some tunes that I would play and record if I were he.