Evolutionary Creationists should distance themselves more clearly from deism

Inquiring minds wish to know.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Yep, very clear to me.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

And here is the original challenge:

I have subsequently explained why I phrased my request the way I did. I don’t want to be talking about evolution in isolation from other aspects of God’s creation, His interaction with them, and His interaction with us. How many angels can fit on the head of a pin does not capture my interest.

For some reason, you felt like you didn’t need to answer the question I asked. You chose to answer a question of your own choosing. You seem to feel that you don’t need to answer my question, but you insist that nevertheless I need to answer yours. I’m not going to play that game any more, Eddie.

If you cannot provide a definition of providence that goes beyond evolution, then I can’t hold a meaningful conversation with you. Seriously.

But I still wish you warm Advent blessings,
Chris Falter

2 Likes

I made a promise, and I will keep it. You chose not to answer my question. Instead, you chose to answer a question you prefer to deal with.

The fact that you don’t even recognize what happened–and you even have the temerity to protest about it–says a lot about the conversations you’ve been having on the forum, in my opinion.

But I do mean this sincerely: warm Advent wishes to you and yours.

Chris Falter

4 Likes

Hi Prode,

I’d suggest you make sure you actually understand what science actually is before you start declaring that something is or isn’t science.

Science is defined by the scientific method. Nothing more, nothing less. You make a hypothesis, formulate predictions from that hypothesis, devise tests for these predictions, and either accept, refine or discard your hypothesis depending on the outcome of these tests.

Since you are adamant that Darwinian evolution is not science, perhaps you could enlighten us – with evidence – as to how exactly it fails to adhere to the scientific method?

3 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

1 Like

Your posing these three events as probes for the extent of God’s providence intrigues me, and so I hope you won’t mind my responding as well as Eddie.

  1. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake was perhaps the biggest disaster up to that time, the news of which became so widespread. And it caused much soul searching, especially in Catholic ranks (why could He not have directed it toward Lutherans?) Here’s my take on it: Without plate tectonics to provide a variety of niches, even 4 billions of years might not have been sufficient to create the variety of life we see on earth. If so, God certainly was aware of it. So that was just one instance where the ‘collateral damage’ of 170,000 souls gaining ‘premature’ access to Heaven was seen as worth it, since it did not threaten extinction for humankind. The massive extinctions at the close of the Permian and the Cretaceous could be seen in the same light, especially since no life form made ‘in the image of its Creator’ was involved.

  2. I don’t know if the doctors who treated Malala’s head wound thought it should have been fatal. At any rate, it would have been just an informed guess. In Jan. 1945 I received a shrapnel wound in my right temple that should have knocked me unconscious, and had it done so, I would have died. The doctors who treated me said there was no way that I could have remained conscious. But that was just an informed guess–not a proof of a miracle; i.e. God’s intervention. A few days later a suture in my brain broke and soaked my brain with blood. Again the doctors said my survival was unlikely and permanent damage a certainty. And again that prognosis was just a good guess. So if anyone has a stake in believing that “yes, God can and does intervene in our lives”, I guess I do. But I can’t be sure. Why were so many of my fellow soldiers’ lives lost while mine was saved? I can see why God might have wanted to save Malala’s. Even the Nobel committee could see that.

  3. My lungs fill with air with each breath I take because Nature abhors a vacuum. Good enough reason for me.

I believe God is pleased that we try to understand His ways, even tho that is an impossible task for the minds we now possess. But, perhaps if we keep on trying, we will have made some progress in the next 1,000 years.
Al Leo

1 Like

Hi Eddie,

I will take the other half. I should have made it clearer that I was probing (to use Al’s words) your understanding of God’s control of outcomes, which (to me) seems tied to one’s definition of providence.

So restricting the question to outcomes: do you think that God guaranteed that a devastating earthquake and tsunami would strike Lisbon in 1755? Do you think that God guaranteed that Malala would survive an almost certainly fatal gunshot wound to her head? (And why would He have not done the same thing for Martin Luther King, Jr., if you care to answer that.) Do you think that God guaranteed the position and velocity of every molecule of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, etc. that entered your lungs just a moment ago?

Thanks,
Chris

1 Like

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Hi Eddie,

I greatly appreciate the detailed response. I plan on responding early next week (tonight and this weekend are extremely busy for me). Thanks in advance for your patience.

In the meanwhile, I just want to confirm that I am understanding your position. You’re saying that God has predetermined, decreed, and determined every possible event in the universe prior to the arrival of man on the scene. Nothing is excluded from this: the position and velocity of every sub-atomic particle, the exact femtosecond of the alpha-decay of every U-238 atom, the exact nucleotide sequence of every organism that has ever existed, etc. (btw, I don’t think that’s an audacious claim, if I’m understanding you; we are talking about God, after all!) Please correct me or add any nuance you think necessary while I tend to this other business that is delaying my response.

Warm Advent wishes,
Chris

2 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

3 Likes

Hi Eddie -

What an extraordinarily helpful and lucid essay! I will definitely ruminate on your thoughts over the next few days.

Thanks, and warm Advent wishes,
Chris

1 Like

Whoever it was who idea was to ask @eddie to articulate his position…brilliant. That was a good thing to do.

Also, I can see now that @eddie thinks I have a reasonable position and am (essentially) answering his question. Of course, he might disagree on the details, but what I did earlier in the thread: Evolutionary Creationists should distance themselves more clearly from deism

In @eddies recent essays, I see an effort to avoid ambiguous talking of “biologos.” I also see an effort to acknowledge that some EC/TE leaders (including Lameroax and mysefl) actually are giving our proposals. This is all good progress in this conversation that I am a bit surprised to see.

Still, I do have one request. There still is this thing that comes up, this notion of “EC/TE leaders”. Why not specifically identify which ones you are talking about? One at a time, based on their public statements and published work, we very may well be able to identify their understanding of providence. In the cases we can’t figure it out, perhaps we could go ask them. I think narrowing this down to specific people ,rather than continually talking about a class, would be helpful. sure, also, we do not expect everyone to specify there thoughts here, but that a good number of them would.

5 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Hi Chris,

I am impressed by the clarity shown in the discussion between you and @Eddie. I think it may be helpful if an additional “angle” is introduced in such a discussion. The basis for providence and pre-determination is ontological in that it is derived from creation from nothing. One helpful comment is that unless God sustain the creation at every moment in time/space, it would simply revert to nothingness. This is theologically argued from Patristic times and to the present, and deals with being and not-being. Thus with sin, all would be separate from God and logically would return to nothingness. The doctrine also shows how all exists by the Grace of God, and whatever is past, present and future are directly derived from God’s will. The doctrine also can expound transcendence and immanence, so you can understand that it is a coherent theologically comprehensible view that would be developed by theologians (such as for example Aquinas), to deal with existence, essence, causation, and the simplicity of God, theologically.

Hopefully this brief comment may encourage further discussion related to the general debate on EC/ID and deism.

5 Likes

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

3 Likes

As I mentioned in another post, I am somewhat bewildered by the general thrust of the EC/ID argument. To my way of thinking, there are two broad categories: (1) theists who believe God created the heavens and earth from nothing, and (b) atheists who do not believe God exists and simply stop there. For (1) science enables us to obtain a deeper understanding of the Creation and we also see the grandeur, which testifies to the Glory of its Creator. For (2), they too obtain a deeper understanding of Nature, but without belief, they obviously respond to the material that makes up the Universe.

For those who profess to be (1), arguments on Orthodox Theism as opposed to Deism are theologically based (or should be) and thus would have little relevance to our understanding of science. My impression is (and to varying degrees, you, Jon and others of similar outlook) that much of the angst between EC and ID may stem from an erroneous attempt to produce an odd synthesis of theology and evolution. This may be understood from such phrases as God directed a meteor to make room for mammals, God aims uv rays to cause mutations, God uses chance/random stuff, we somehow know the mind of God through some science, and so on. We cannot make such theological statements.

My comment is intended to show that a coherent theology exists for (1) and that it would serve Christians well to try and use it as a framework for these debates - however until some of us accept that ToE is just that, a theory for biologists, and our framework requires a rigorous treatment of all science (provided by PoS), I do not think this debate would go far. We need to acknowledge that ToE is autonomous (stand apart) from the theoretical framework of the Natural Science, and this is as much a problem as the theory itself.

Hi Al,

I just got around to reading your post. I’m glad you like my response to Eddie.

Just for the record, I don’t see God as being aloof in cosmological evolution. The universe progressed as He intended exactly how he had intended - through the forces He initiated. He was as involved in that as it he were deliberately acting on every sub-atomic particle in the universe. He doesn’t have to, since God has unlimited power and intelligence and that was packed into the singularity.

I don’t see any need of intervention for The Great Leap Forward. From my understanding, the ice age had forced brains to evolve more quickly thus giving us the ability to leave Africa and thrive around the world.

Thanks for your reponse, it’s nice to know that posters other than the intended ones read my posts. :slight_smile: