Category Archives: Science

Calvin, Copernicus and Christian doctrine

A distraction on the recent BioLogos thread about Kathryn Applegate’s views on Adam was the old chestnut about theology needing to be dragged kicking and screaming to accept new discoveries in science, a case made mainly by a moderator there, who is a physicist, rather than either a theologian or historian.

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Rejecting Adam

My maternal great-grandmother was Emma Tyler, who came from a non-conformist family (Brethren, Primitive Methodists or Independents to a woman) that I can trace right back to the sixteenth century in Braintree, Essex. There it was, coincidentally, that I ran a back pain clinic for the last two years of my medical career. Many of the Tylers were bakers and confectioners in the nineteenth century, and any older readers who knew Cambridge “back in the day” may remember that the best bread came from Tylers bakery opposite St Johns College. That was started by my 3X great-grandfather’s brother English Tyler in around 1840.  

Posted in Adam, Genealogical Adam, Science | 4 Comments

Evolution on form

I was reminded to return to the subject of “universals” by a comment on an old post by a new subscriber, Mark Chenoweth. It seems worth raising again, given the new degree of rapprochement between some TEs, IDists and OECs, characterised by the forthcoming Dabar Conference in Illinois. And also by the fact that I recently cut my hand by falling out of our field into the lane whilst chasing a squirrel… don’t ask.

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Does it follow?

Does Genesis 2 follow from Genesis 1, that is? One of the objections made to the Genealogical Adam hypothesis is that the idea that the story of the Garden follows sequentially from the Genesis 1 Creation account is wrong, and that they are actually different accounts of the same events.

Posted in Adam, Creation, Genealogical Adam, Science, Theology | 3 Comments

Heavily overlapping magisteria

When I wrote a recent piece on the limitations of science, compared to the sum total of truth (and even of knowledge), I was building on discussions with Joshua Swamidass, who liked the article, I’m pleased to say. He might be less in agreement, perhaps, with another thought about science, and that is the dependence on all kinds of “soft” human qualities that make science impossible to define, except by rather ad hoc conventions which, in any case, are full of exceptions.

Posted in Philosophy, Science, Theology | 1 Comment

The sum total of truth

The Renaissance humanists saw the human being as a microcosm, because the mind of man can reach out to encompass the farthest reaches of the universe, or the smallest particles of matter. It can even raise itself to contemplate the things of heaven, and God himself. The last shows why the microcosm view, which gives man such a central importance in the creation, is both a glorious truth and a misleading half-truth at the same time.

Posted in Creation, Philosophy, Science, Theology | 4 Comments

The scientific consensus on the Resurrection

Here’s a thought experiment about how the socially-constituted rules of scientific methodology can easily be misconstrued as the real constraints of the world.

Posted in Philosophy, Science | 9 Comments

Convergent evolution of origins discourse

On Thursday I drove two hundred miles across England to attend a meeting on Christian approaches to origins – only to find the meeting had been cancelled and the organisers forgot to tell me.

Posted in Creation, Politics and sociology, Science, Theology | 12 Comments

The impossibility of ontological chance

I want, again, to critique the notion that “God uses chance” in evolution, off the back of my last piece, whose main burden was that admitting such chance into the picture utterly destroys the already dubious ability of the laws of nature to achieve divine aims, such as the evolution of mankind. Now I want to consider “randomness” from the viewpoint of divine being. Consider, for a moment, what it means for us to exist, given the truth of Christianity – as far as we can consider what is a rather deeper matter than we are used to assuming it to be.

Posted in Creation, Philosophy, Science, Theology | 52 Comments

Critiquing bits of BioLogos

How Hegelian! The pained responses to the unfairness of the large ID book critiquing Theistic Evolution has led to the clearer exposition of the various views within BioLogos that some of us have been calling for for years. This piece was drafted before Eddie’s recent post, which nevertheless arises from the same observation of self-examination within the organisation. I particularly recommend reading the discussion on this thread, and the clear theological and metaphysical water between, say, Ted Davis and Jim Stump there. In this piece, though, I want to examine one particular view presented by BioLogos president Deb Haarsma, not so much in her own recent “defence” piece, as more … Continue reading

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