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One of the frustrations of web discussions about theology and science is that so many of the participants in the discussions choose to argue with a vigor all out of proportion to their knowledge of the subject at hand. It is easy enough to summon examples of individuals from all camps (YEC, OEC, atheist/materialist, TE/EC, and ID) and from all sites (such as Uncommon Descent, The Skeptical Zone, BioLogos, and Panda’s Thumb) who are guilty of forming opinions about authors they have not read, of taking strong positions in advance of learning the subject-matter, of affecting to more knowledge than they have, etc.
There’s something of a clash of the titans going on over at BioLogos, where Dennis Venema is defending his claim in the book Adam and the Genome that science makes belief in a single original human couple untenable. In the blue corner is Richard Buggs, of Kew Gardens and Queen Mary College, London and, ruining the boxing metaphor somewhat, Steve Schaffner (“Glipsnort”) is doing expert computer simulations on the side within his sphere of undoubted expertise.
When I recently posted a YouTube clip of the band Devo, it was based on a vague recollection of a hypnotically quirky song attached to a supposedly subversive philosophy not of revolution, but of devolution. Checking out the back-story, though, I discover that the whole idea was rather ironically purloined from a controversial anti-evolutionist pamphlet-writer of the 1920s, B H Shadduck. The Devo track was, in fact, named for Shadduck’s 1924 pamphlet Jocko-Homo Heavenbound.
In a recent post I argued for the case that Genesis 2 intends us to take the garden of Eden as a real place set in geography and history. I want to take that idea a bit further, and draw some conclusions on what we are intended to understand about the “very good” nature of the Creation before the Fall.
A frequent theme in BioLogos writing is that Intelligent Design (ID) theory has contaminated the notion of divine design in nature, so much so that some Christians have shied away from even using the word “design.” One can find this notion expressed in remarks of Jim Stump, who wrote a whole column on “reclaiming” the language of design from the alleged damage it had received at the hands of ID people, and in comments by people like Brad Kramer and Casper Hesp. Casper’s latest remark along this line (in a reply to a new poster, Allison) is: “… the cultural baggage that is linked to the term “design” could be … Continue reading
Some Not Truly Random Observations on a Current BioLogos Discussion: Stuff They Get Away With When Eddie’s Not There
An interesting new BioLogos discussion is based upon a post by one “Dpiiius” who sports the alternate name of “Darius Beckham”. The assertion is: “I’m starting to think intelligent design theories are more plausible than the ones advocated by BioLogos researchers. The science is more sound, philosophically honest, and makes more sense of Scripture.” It’s quite enjoyable for me, as an exile from BioLogos, to observe the ensuing discussion.
At the back of our house we have a one and a half acre meadow on a steep slope. I went out this week to rake out some mole hills before they harden – it makes the mowing easier in the spring. I was surprised to find that one of the pretty roe deer that frequently emerge from the woods to browse there had decided to die – and only a short time before, too, as it was still warm.
With the number of posts on The Hump now exceeding 900 I’ve added a “random post” facility in the sidebar to keep you amused for hours. I must note, given one of our perennial subjects, that “random” here means “epistemologically random”, not “ontologically random”. The widget is in fact governed by some kind of clever algorithm that simulates randomness: the posts actually appear according to deterministic criteria. That doesn’t preclude them, of course, being providentially tailored to your particular interest and needs. Isn’t theology wonderful?
Sy Garte has replied to a post of mine on BioLogos. Because I am temporarily suspended from BioLogos, I’m replying to him here. I’ll write in the form of a column, but with some references to his own statements.
In this essay, I argue that our orientation should be a more important focus than the precise locations of boundary lines with regard to where our eternal hope resides. And since boundaries come up at all for discussion, it should go nearly without saying, that I’ll have my philosophical and theological hat on as I examine a landscape that subsumes science (its modern form) as one of the included territories. My route meanders a bit to include discussion of the contrast between the materialist agenda and the Christian one.