Is Progressive Creationism the same as Progressive Evolution?


(Henry Stoddard) #1

Is Progressive Creation the same as Progressive Evolution? Dr. Robertson of Regent University in Virginia Beach used the term Progressive Evolution. That sounds like Progressive Creationism with Common Ancestry. Perhaps Christy would like to respond to this. I will also be happy to accept answers from my fellow scholars. Thanks!


(Christy Hemphill) #2

@Henry You can use google too, you know.

I had never heard of “progressive evolution” as a thing.

Evidently, it is the same in some people’s minds as orthogenesis, which is the discredited idea that evolution is driven by internal factors and not subject to natural selection.

Dr. Robertson, as in Pat Robertson? He studied history and law and has an MDiv. I wouldn’t consider him a go-to-guy for technical science terms.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #3

Hello, Mr. Wynns. I’m not Christy, but hope I can qualify informally, at least, as one of your invited fellow scholars.

“Progressive evolution” has often been used to refer to the (at one time more common) misconception that evolution is linear and proceeding with incremental improvement towards some sort of a goal. I.e. It might be considered to be progress towards some sort of perfection that could eventually be reached if some species could just be evolved enough; (still seen as a cultural artifact in our language; e.g. an insult of calling something or someone “less evolved”). As a modernist assumption this idea is now discredited among those who know well what biological evolution is. It is now considered to be merely adaptive change to what the environment is at the geological moment and place – not some goal-directed process (certainly not from any inherent purpose from within the process itself --which couldn’t be considered to have any sentient “will” of its own in any case). Note that this cannot be used to rule out an outside agency making use of all such processes, imposing teleology on anything/everything it will, just as I may make use of gravity to walk down the stairs or indeed walk anywhere at all, but could hardly say that my successful locomotion is a purpose to be found in the process of gravity of itself.

“Progressive creation” as a phrase enlists that adjective for an entirely different purpose. Here it is to describe creation as happening incrementally or as a drawn out process as opposed to special or sudden creation as recent fundamentalist traditions have imagined it. At least that is my take on this phrase. So I suppose it would typically be considered synonymous with “evolutionary creation” as that seems to be the only descriptive proposal at the table for what this might look like. There may be other old earth varieties in which special creations (perhaps reserved just for humans, or other special creative initiatives) are still sprinkled through an otherwise long history of biological or “normal” development. Whether holders of such views would own the phrase “progressive” to describe this, I don’t know.

But in both uses, it does seem to be quite the philosophically loaded word, doesn’t it!


(Mervin Bitikofer) #4

…and I see, as usual, that @Christy, has beat me to the punch, using far fewer words to say most everything I felt a need to say! “Orthogenesis” indeed, would probably be the word to search.


(Christy Hemphill) #5

Some people like more words, though, so good job!


#6

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


(Christy Hemphill) #7

Merry Christmas, Eddie!


(Henry Stoddard) #8

@Christy
Dr. Robertson (Pat) may have made a mistake in terms. He was just saying that Theistic Evolution did not bother his faith. He called it progressive evolution guided by God. I feel that it was just a misuse of terms. I know Dr. Robertson’s education. I also know the gentleman quite well even though I am not a Neo-Pentecostal Southern Baptist. As you said, he has a BA in History, a Juris Doctor, and an MDiv. I have a BA in German and Linguistics and MA in Religion. I am a theologian; however, that does not keep me from the concept of Theistic Evolution. It is also a theological concept and is taught in seminaries. This does not mean that all seminaries accept it. Dr. Benjamin Warfield, great-granduncle to Wallis Warfield Simpson who was wife to King Edward VIII of Great Britain who abdicated his throne for her, was a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary who accepted Theistic Evolution. He and others in theology used the term to distinguish it from Darwinian Evolution. Pat just made a mistake; however, as a theologian, he is capable of discussing theistic evolution and its relationship to the Bible. It is theology. We use it to relate science to the Bible in a positive way. I believe that Genesis 1, The Priestly Account of creation, reflects theistic evolution fairly well. Many theologians would agree with me. :evergreen_tree:


(Henry Stoddard) #9

Merry Christmas, Eddie.

As you already know, I am a Southern Baptist; however, my church is not having a Christmas Eve Service. We had a Christmas party there a week ago. Father O’Brien of St. Terese Catholic Church has invited Nancy and me to mass; therefore, we will be the Protestants in the Catholic Church tonight.

Edward Miller


(Henry Stoddard) #10

Ich bin dessen gewahr. Ich weiss, dass ich Google ebenfalls benutzen kann. Ich weiss viel von Computerwissenschaft. :smiley:


(Christy Hemphill) #11

Wunderbar. :water_buffalo:


(Henry Stoddard) #12

Ich werde es noch einmal schreiben. Theistische Evolution ist ein Teil der Theologie, deshalb haben wir Theologen das Recht, diese Lehre zu besprechen, nicht wahr? Geben Sie mir eine ehrliche Antwort auf meine Frage. Was ist die Antwort? Oh, ich wuensche Ihnen trotzdem ein frohes Weihnachtsfest! Warum habe ich Google nicht verwendet? Ich war einsam und wollte mit jemandem reden. Ist das auch ein Zweck dieses Blogs? :laughing: Wir koennen hier Gespraeche haben, nicht? Ebenfalls hatte ich Ihre Antwort “Wunderbar” gerne! :laughing:


(Henry Stoddard) #13

I wish to thank you for your kind answer. You don’t have to call me Mr. Wynns.


(Christy Hemphill) #14

I don’t really read German, but I can use Google translator.

Of course theologians have the right to discuss theistic evolution. One of the goals of this very website is to provide a forum for discussing such theologians, as you may have noticed. I wouldn’t call Pat Robertson a theologian. He talks on TV for a living.


(Patrick ) #15

For Christmas midnight mass the place to be tonight is at a Catholic Church. We have some large cathedrals in NJ/NY that will be really spectacular tonight. Some even do Handel’s Messiah during mass which sounds magnificent in the large full cathedrals. Because of my Italian-American heritage we still do the “seven fishes” dinner on Christmas Eve prior to midnight mass.


(Henry Stoddard) #16

I have to agree about Pat. You are a nice person, Christy. Take care. I do hope you will get off early enough to spend Christmas Eve with your family.


(Henry Stoddard) #17

That sounds grand, Patrick.

Edward Miller/Henry Wynns

Post Scriptum: I haven’t decided which person I am today. :laughing: I envy your dinner. That sounds great.


#18

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


(George Brooks) #19

And eventually most of the Evangelical denominations will agree with you, Henry!


(Patrick ) #20

Last night I observed 26 family members ranging in age from 14 to 94 together for the Christmas eve -seven fishes dinner. This year nobody said grace, and the subject of midnight mass never came up. In the past, oh 30 years ago, at least so of the family would venture out to midnight mass. This year nobody even mentioned traditions of the past. It seems like everyone has become “nones”.
But it was still a very enjoyable time with family. :grinning: