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Author Archives: Edward Robinson
I am second to none as an admirer of Jon’s recent columns on COVID, European and world politics, and the role of the Christians in challenging the direction in which the world is heading. And I hope to eventually write some columns on these grave topics myself. But I think that every now and then, to balance out such gravity, we need some levity, and I’m offering this mainly in that spirit — though there will be a serious point as well.
I generally enjoy the comments of moderator Christy Hemphill on BioLogos. Aside from the fact that she has the greatest sense of humor of anyone at BioLogos, and aside from the fact that she is not a biologist and therefore isn’t constantly ruffled with professional indignation merely because someone criticizes neo-Darwinian mechanisms of evolution, and aside from the fact that she is a philologist and therefore dear to my heart, she usually talks good common sense.
Joshua Swamidass has recently reviewed the massive book, Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, and Philosophical Critique (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2017). I want to respond to his review, and hopefully will do so in the same peaceful tone that he employs. As just stated, this is a response to Joshua’s review, not an independent review of my own, so I won’t be summarizing the chapters of the book. Those who want to properly assess the book will need read the book for themselves.
After nearly 10 years of reading the writings of American TE/EC leaders, especially those at BioLogos, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is an unwritten code of conduct (probably the product of unconscious consensus rather than conscious collusion) which governs the public behavior of ECs. This code of conduct is rarely breached, at least on BioLogos (though Joshua Swamidass’s challenge to BioLogos regarding Adam and Eve provides a refreshing counterexample, and Darrel Falk’s principled dispute with Robert Bishop over Stephen Meyer’s second book constitutes another), and it could be stated in the form of a rule: “No EC leader shall directly contradict another EC leader in public, or at … Continue reading
Over on BioLogos, George Murphy has responded to my previous post here on the Hump. As I have no posting privileges at BioLogos, I will have to engage Dr. Murphy from my position here. This is an awkward arrangement, but it will serve for the moment. I add, however, that Dr. Murphy is free to sign up here on the Hump as a commenter and respond directly, free of charge, to this post or to any others in the future; I’m sure that his interests sufficiently overlap with the Hump’s that he would be a valuable addition to not just this but other conversations here.
Over at BioLogos, Joshua Swamidass has started a new discussion, entitled “The Lutheran Option”. In it, Joshua makes the point that the Lutheran voice has rarely been heard in origins debates in the USA, and calls for a more balanced discussion in which characteristically Lutheran theological emphases are heard, alongside the more commonly heard Calvinist/Reformed and “Wesleyan” points of view.
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.
In a current BioLogos discussion, Dennis Venema writes this: “I see evolution as God’s design for creating life, plate tectonics as his design for making continents, gravity as his design for making solar systems, and so on. I just don’t think the place to look for design is where “natural” explanations have not yet been worked out. I think it’s all designed.” This is most interesting. It is nearly exactly the view set forth in Michael Denton’s Nature’s Destiny (1998). This book has been known to Dennis, and to all BioLogos columnists and management, for nearly two decades, yet not one of them has had a good thing to say … Continue reading
The commenter “Bilbo” recently stirred up a very constructive hornet’s nest at BioLogos with his thread on the origin of life (OOL). I appreciated the way he held the feet of the materialists (and of those ECs who lean to a materialist portrait of nature) to the fire on this question. However, he doesn’t always achieve constructive results, as can be seen from his new thread on the alleged sneaky machinations of people associated with Discovery.
Many times on BioLogos, columnists or commenters have deplored the use of the term “supernatural” to describe God’s activity. The usual criticism of this term is that it seems to imply a universe which normally works by itself, with God jumping in every now and then to do “miracles” — understood as violations of the normal causal nexus of “nature”. This would suggest that where nature is acting, God is not acting, and vice versa. Various BioLogos writers and readers have suggested that this would be a “deistic” notion of God rather than a Christian one (the Christian notion affirming that God acts in all things), and many have accused … Continue reading