- Secularism, autonomy and the loss of self 21/03/2017
- How I became a societal misfit 18/03/2017
- The distinguishing marks of the impossible 15/03/2017
- Minor Theological Footnote to a Good Series on BioLogos from Snobelen and Davis 12/03/2017
- Why robot? 11/03/2017
Author Archives: Jon Garvey
Avid Hump readers (if there are any!) may have noticed in my piece on C S Lewis my passing mention of Lewis’s own philological error, or at least oversimplification, in his book The Four Loves.
I’ve been interested to see discussions from time to time about what it is that causes the Intelligent Design pioneer Michael Behe to be excluded from the “broad church” of theistic evolution by those within the “Guild”. It’s not just that he happens to be in a different denomination, but that he attracts regular opprobium, even scorn, for his ideas, and particularly for irreducible complexity.
The excellent Preston Garrison, apart from alerting me to the review of a new book on Babylonian science that led me to a whole series of posts on the ANE and Hebrew pictures of the world, recommended an old and little-read book by C S Lewis. Studies in Words, published in 1960 just three years before his death, is a philology text for students, so not the most obviously relevant book for thinking about either “biblical science” or modern science. But it actually has some useful light to cast on both.
Little time to blog this week, as I was doing marathon production sessions of the material recorded by my band The Rock Section last week. It’s a covers band, so nothing original to hear, but I was quite please with the results. A sample here, and if any one’s still interested after that, full tracks here. Back to biology in the near future.
2016 was a good year for British archaeology, as it became clear that a Neolithic settlement at Ness of Brodgar on the far-flung Orkney Islands (dating to c.3500BC) had been a major “capital” and, in all likelihood, the fountainhead of the “stone circle ” culture that spread south through Britain over a thousand years and culminated in the mighty monuments at Stonehenge, Avebury and elsewhere.
Larry Moran is a prolific blogger on evolution, and is respected enough to have big scientific names commenting in his threads. He’s also militantly anti-creationist and anti-ID, though he’s gained some respect from the latter group for being willing to engage in discussion with them, despite persisting in contemptuously labelling them “ID-creationists”.
Herbert McCabe, and other philosophers for whom I have a lot of respect overall, suggest from time to time that according to classical theology à la Thomas Aquinas we shouldn’t expect to see any signs of God’s handiwork in creation, even though it is all utterly dependent on him ontologically. This is because he creates secondary causes to be sufficient explanations in themselves – there are no gaps for God to fill. This argument is used by them and, derivatively, by Evolutionary Creationists to dismiss not only ID but all natural theology (and, strictly speaking, an active theology of nature too) on principle.
In the early days of Internet for the masses I wrote a website for my church at the time, including transcripts of sermon series. One day I discovered Google Translate, and thought what fun it would be to see my sermon on Job in French. The algorithm, bless its heart, translated “Job” as “métier” throughout. That’s irrelevant to this continuation of the series on the Bible’s treatment of Genesis 1, but a bit of humour helps get the Job done.
The first chapters of the Book of Proverbs include a paean to the supremacy of wisdom. I’ve already commented, in my recent piece on “the deep”, on the brief passage in Prov. 3:
Given the modern interpretations of “which cosmology Genesis 1 teaches” (which I’ve argued is “no cosmology at all”), it can be quite instructive to see how other writers of the Hebrew Bible interpret the creation story when they use it themselves.