Category Archives: Prometheus
In the last post I suggested that “laws of nature” are better understood as the properties of the natures of entities themselves, as in Aristotelian metaphysics. Seen in this light, the concept of “freedom” in nature makes little sense, since there are no “external” laws either maintaining order or restricting freedom. Rather, everything in nature is simply created to act according to its God-ordained nature. It would be no violation of the natural order by God either to create some new type of nature in the world directly, or to act on existing forms according to their existing natures. On the other hand neither would it be a problem for … Continue reading
Michael Ruse, in his book Debating Design, quotes (as have many others) a letter from Charles Darwin to Asa Gray about why he cannot see the hand of a good creator in nature. The interesting thing is how he presents his argument. I’ll summarise it.
In my last post I alluded to the hardening in the attitude of American Fundamentalists towards evolution after the Great War. And I mentioned that some of the authors of the Fundamentals had previously been sympathetic to evolution. Here’s a quote I turned up from one of them, G F Wright:
About half a dozen times on The Hump I’ve made passing mention of the Prometheus myth in relation to modernity. Maybe I should expand that, as it truly is a foundation myth in the sense that it is a simple and potent key to understanding much of what our modern world is all about. I stumbled across its scope when researching how the original Christian teaching about the goodness of creation came to be changed into the modern Christian assumption that the natural world is fallen and spoiled – but that’s a smaller and more specialised story which may yet come into print. Prometheus himself may be understood, with little … Continue reading
When I’ve commented about divine action on this blog, I’ve usually been very careful to distinguish the pre- and non-human creation from the affairs of mankind. That’s because it’s usually been in the context of that chimaeric concept of “nature’s freedom”, and many TE’s are determined to confuse that with human free will. And even others, raised on the Promethean myth of human autonomy, are also keener to draw lines in the sand about human freedom that comment about what, if anything, “a creation free to create itself” means. But I’ve come across a biblical example of God’s role in human affairs that raises some interesting thoughts about the detectibility … Continue reading
On a BioLogos blog I recently mentioned, in passing, the increasing resistance to the herbicide Roundup in association with GM maize in the US (public protest has, so far, effectively banned GM crops over here in the UK). A respondent criticised me on the grounds that maize has been under genetic modification by selective breeding for millennia. And that’s true, but exposes an important, maybe deadly, practical division between those who buy into the Neodarwinian synthesis and those who don’t.
If there is a distinctive about the Evangelical tradition of Christianity, it is that Scripture is the highest source of authority for faith and practice. That, if you like, is the filter through which “Evangelical doctrine” has to pass, which is the simple reason Evangelicals don’t believe in papal infallibility or operating thetans. It’s always possible for any individual to hold any belief at all, but some beliefs just don’t sit easy with ones presuppositions and will prove hard to justify using them. A Marxist, for example, running a Capitalist economy is always going to appear rather ideologically compromised (though the Chinese are managing it in the short term). But … Continue reading
Metaphysical commitments have consequences, obviously. Imagine you were once taken to an evangelistic service, and to your agnostic surprise it seemed God was speaking directly through the speaker to you. Your heart, like Wesley’s, was strangely warmed and you become a Christian. Time went by. Like most Christians, you perceived a few remarkable answers to prayers. You had some numinous experiences of God’s presence, or a new conviction of sin, or a new sense of the truth of Scripture – the kind of thing most believers will report from time to time. Finally, you become firmly convinced that God wants you to enter the ministry, and you end up at … Continue reading
There’s a new piece about oxygen on BioLogos by a geobiologist called Mike Tice. He raises again that elusive TE concept, the freedom of nature, under the banner of “co-creation”. Tice, of course, doesn’t speak for BioLogos, any more than I did in my one article for them, but he does give a rather fuller version of what has remained to me, despite many enquiries in the past to Darrel Falk, etc, a ubiquitous but nebulous idea. So let’s see what it consists of.
A couple of times recently I’ve read the virtues of science being touted in terms of its “success”. Most recently, this was a post by “Mandolin” buried in an old thread on Edward Feser’s blog, when the contrast was with the inutility of philosophy: Modern society cares not a whit about philosophy because philosophy hasn’t produced a single, solitary iPhone or computer or taxi or…well, anything for that matter. But before I read that , Ian Hutchinson’s 6th December BioLogos article, though mainly directed against scientism, justified science’s place in the sun thus: Here, my second answer is that science has a well-earned prestige and authority precisely because of its … Continue reading