This will be my last post in this thread. No time for this right now.
I’m thankful to have been allowed to post here about Sabrina Smith articulating the “matching problem” with eVopsych, as I believe it is a devastating critique of the subfield, which most people haven’t caught up with yet. Afaik, Justin Barrett has not yet addressed it in any of his work. Only one person opened that link to Smith’s article, so it doesn’t seem there’s much of an appetite for exploring this topic here.
“Now, you must have come across similar claims made by non believers about Christian scientists, I won’t believe you if you say you didn’t.”
Sure, of course. E.g. Intelligent Design movement or Answers in Genesis, Creation Ministries International, the Hovind family, etc. Don’t forget, though, that “Christian Scientist” is a protestant sect / denomination too (Church of Christ, Scientist - Wikipedia).
It’s a basic sociological question: Do you believe, as I do, that 99+% of people promoting evolutionary psychology are atheists or agnostics? Or do you simply not have enough information to personally draw that conclusion?
“It’s important to note here however, that I do not attach any ideology, nor do I think evolution “explains everything”. To me “it’s just biology”. Since seeing your posts on other threads, regarding “evolutionism”, I assume your views must be very similar.”
Yes, respected at BioLogos, Sy Garte is on our “it’s just biology” (& other natural sciences, like ecology, geology, etc.) side here too. I believe Kathryn Applegate agrees with us too. This goes in contrast with people like Barrett who promote “evolutionary” (or “evolutionist”) thinking “outside of biology”. Unless I’ve missed it, BioLogos does not seem to have anywhere a clear statement about “what evolves?”, but more importantly, “what doesn’t evolve?”, though that would provide much-needed balance and help with semantics.
“I have never seen problems between religion and ToE.”
Good for you. I wonder though if you’ve found anything (at all) problematic in the field called “evolutionary religious studies” (ERS)? Personally, I don’t see how a self-identifying Christian, or for that matter, any devout and sincere Abrahamic monotheist, could accept ERS with any sense of coherency or consistency in their worldview.
If you see how it is possible to believe that both 1) religion “evolved” (read: arose, emerged, etc.) “strictly naturally” through humanity “inventing” gods, and 2) God created the heavens and the earth, beyond “strictly naturally”, then please do your best in a follow-up post to untangle that, if you believe you can. I believe it’s a lost cause from the start, which is why Barrett’s work is so peculiarly problematic. But I won’t press the issue here now.
“it’s basically “impossible” for a Christian to work in this particular field (in your opinion). Can you elaborate? Don’t you think it’s a bit extreme? It reminds me of YECs claiming it’s impossible to be evolutionary biologist AND a Christian.”
Apples and oranges with that example. Biology & psychology are quite different fields, and “positive psychology” is not the only type available. My position is surely far from “extreme”. People like Jung, Rogers, and more recently Marsha Linehan, Kenneth Pargament, or Eric L. Johnson, do not easily fall into the “biologistic” (ideologically biased favouring biology above other fields that likewise impinge on psychology, like the humanities) camp, trying to insist psychology is meant to be primarily “scientific” rather than “therapeutic”. Much “modern western psychology” deals with the “self”, instead of the “soul” or “spirit” of humanity, as you may be aware. Barrett’s eVopsych seems to be feeding out of that.
“My guess is that you consider religion to not be “strictly natural” because miracles were involved in order to make humanity believe. I suppose that as a Christian I agree with this by default…”
If you agree, then it should be possible for you to reject all attempts at “naturalising” faith in God.
“Can you name one or two?”
Well, I could name a LOT more than that. [content removed] It wouldn’t be polite to go further here at this location, as it is not my intention to harm BioLogos, just to tell the truth about the sociology of eVopsych involved, as much as it is available to the public.
Notice that my question above went unanswered, other than the co-author of Barrett’s book:
Other than Justin Barrett, can you please point to another (perhaps evangelical) Christian psychologist who is currently “working in” and promoting “evolutionary psychology”?
“If sociobiology is that which was being used to justify things like racism, misogyny etc. then obviously I’m not a big fan of it.”
In addition, it might behoove you to consider that both sociobiology and eVopsych were initiated in the first place, and then constructed thereafter, on faulty premises. That’s what I meant by saying, “Barrett & King’s entire premise for trying to marry eVopsych with evangelical Christianity is flawed.” Going that route eliminates the “I like it or I don’t” category, when it’s instead, I’m trying to understand what it’s saying and if it’s compatible or not with my worldview. Most of what is printed and called “eVopsych” is misleading and irrelevant outside of a naturalistic worldview.
“I wouldn’t be so sure it’s completely gone though, I have come across ‘evolutionary’ justifications for…”
Yes, that’s fair to say, unfortunately. Nowadays, we see so many “evolutionary justifications” for things, even when it makes little sense! The term “evolution” is one of the most misused and abused concepts in “science, philosophy, theology” (SPT) discourse nowadays.
“So are you actually a sociologist? Is my conclusion from it correct?”
Well, I was trained in 3 fields: sociology, philosophy, and economics. The PhD is in “sociological science” (translated from another language than English). And yes, I’ve studied the subfield of eVopsych as a sociologist, though I’m not a “practising sociologist” currently, lol.
In short, I believe trying to “Christianize eVopsych” using Protestant theology is destined for the trash heap of history. Simply saying “views can vary” and “can be understood differently”, forgive me for saying, doesn’t really help the conversation much. It’s rather obvious that semantics plays a HUGE role in communications here and at all “science & faith” sites like BIoLogos, and that relativism is quite a slippery slope. You are of course nevertheless welcome to hold a “views can vary” view about eVopsych, however your faith and vocation requires. Just please don’t cross the line and find yourself trying to “evangelically Christianize eVopsych”, as I’ll be there to lovingly and graciously grapple with if you do.
Peaceful and good wishes,