Monthly Archives: November 2018
Support for the suggestion in my last post, that we are likely to be missing significant biological truths by not recognising Aristotelian formal and final causation, comes from a philosophical direction in a recent article by Thomist analytic philosopher Ed Feser .
Reader Wayne Fair kindly sent me a link to this overview article on morphogenetic fields, which has nothing (directly, at least) to do with Rupert Sheldrake or telepathy, but which does address an important and under-investigated subject. The author of this review article, Michael Levin, is particularly interested in the highly practical goal of organ regeneration after trauma or surgery, and the theoretical basis of form is closely tied into equally important medical issues such as the causes of cancer.
Molinism has come up for discussion again on Peaceful Science. Although it’s popular nowadays with significant Christian thinkers like William Lane Craig, it seems to me to be a complicated philosophical way of failing to solve the problems for which it is designed, whilst creating more.
Here’s a thought that would have gone into my book, had I thought of it earlier. One of my minor theses there is that the “curse on the ground,” usually invoked to support the “fallen creation” teaching, actually applied only to Adam’s immediate descendants, and was abrogated in Noah’s covenant. I’m pleased to find overt support for that in Brian Curry’s chapter in the book I’m helping review at Peaceful Science, Christ and the Created Order, where he writes: But even within Genesis this curse lasts only until the end of the flood and is later canceled by God (Gen 8:21). Further, it exercises no systematic relevance within the rest … Continue reading
It seems to me that to those who see the Eden narrative as “allegorical,” that is denying an historical Adam of some sort, it is mainly a kind of mythic aetiological tale about the univerality of human sin. And so, if sin arose by some evolutionary process, or by a mini-fall in each self human life, it doesn’t much matter because evil’s present existence is real.
There have been some high-profile cases recently, in American, Canadian and British universities, of allegedly controversial speakers being disinvited, heckled or even assaulted in order to prevent “hate speech“. This has fed into a debate about the whole purpose of academia, and even the wider question of freedom of speech. One commentator recently reported that to those under 35, belief in freedom of speech is equated with fascism, which even if only partly true is a big deal. Being over 35, I’ve only just realised that, in a non-academic setting, I was quietly deplatformed for hate speech a couple of years ago.
I think one of the main reasons why the existence of an historical Adam and Eve is considered unimportant (or unlikely), at least by Christians who generally take the Bible seriously, is that references to Adam are apparently so sparse throughout Scripture.
I’m always struck by the way even the best of us can easily impose on Scripture what we want it to say because of our cultural prejudices. Egregious examples are the libertarian, non-judgemental Jesus shown to be a parody of the rather more gritty biblical Christ in my last post, or the even more radical post-modern Jesus imposed only by interpretive contortions on the real person we find in history (satirized here).