I lived through the textbook wars in Texas. I worked for a publisher in Dallas that employed several former Probe Ministries employees. Let’s not go down that road. It gets ugly fast. As I just said to a friend of Discovery in an email:
My only point to Discovery is that they would still have the same mission and goals if they dropped their political agenda. They could still promote ID. They could still produce educational materials and curricula for Christian and other private schools. They could still fund research and books. I think they would even receive a warmer welcome from most quarters, even if they never win over the atheist intelligentsia.
I am not being partisan when I say that the data shows that the Culture War has done more damage than good. That is an objective statement. In short, I think it’s time for the organization to rethink its strategy, if nothing else. They could drop the controversial political aspects and come out ahead in the long run, in my judgment. But, I don’t get a vote …
This is another long conversation, but as for my personal view it goes something like this:
The biblical picture of reality is a division between the seen and the unseen, or the physical and the spiritual, if you will. As far as causation, the biblical authors had no problem attributing effects to both a spiritual and a physical cause, simultaneously. They certainly understood clouds and weather patterns and rain, being an agricultural society, yet Jesus could say that God causes his rain to fall on the good and evil alike. (I’ll forego other examples for the sake of brevity.) Thus, viewed through a biblical lens, all events may be considered to have simultaneous causes — spiritual and physical, two sides of the same coin that we call “reality”. (Of course, such a view requires one to agree that God controls and governs and sustains all things, which many Arminians and Christians of a philosophical bent are unwilling to do, but that’s another question….)
Now, I don’t think many folks have actually thought through the implications of such a view, because it renders most of the discussion moot. The evolutionary process was entirely under God’s control, so I can say without reservation or equivocation that God created all life, even (and especially) mankind. Simultaneously, I can explain the evolutionary process purely in terms of physical causes, just as I can explain the hurricane in Houston by a purely physical description. Both the spiritual and the physical explanation are true.
This is also why methodological naturalism is perfectly legitimate, in my opinion. I see no reason to insist that every investigation and explanation of a physical process must somehow take into account a spiritual cause. Again, if we believe that all events have God as a cause, then we may simply assume his involvement at every step in the process and concentrate our efforts on understanding the purely physical causes.
You have been very gracious and patient. I hope you stick around.