New book explaining why EC is wrong


#1

I received a TOC and the first couple of chapters of a new book that promises to explain exactly why BioLogos has gotten everything wrong. It isn’t available yet but you can see some information about Theistic Evolution, A Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Critique Edited by J. P. Moreland. A total of 31 chapters covering all of our faults.

It is obvious that even though they are aware of the website, “As mentioned in note 6, above, the BioLogos Foundation hosts the primary website for thoughtful material relating to theistic evolution.”, they didn’t bother to read the What We Believe page as they define theistic evolution as, “God created matter and after that did not guide or intervene or act directly to cause any empirically detectable change in the natural behavior of matter until all living things had evolved by purely natural processes. (there is a footnote on this quote but it isn’t in the pdf)” Anybody else think they are sitting up a straw man?

If anyone would like a copy of the pdf just message me.


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(George Brooks) #2

Thank you for the heads-up, @Bill_II !

Here are the Editors, including our recent visitor, Ann Gauger.

Bill, in your opinion, which criciticm of the book draws the most blood… or comes closest to breaking the skin?


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(Christy Hemphill) #3

It’s not saying they claim God didn’t intervene, it’s saying they claim that any interventions aren’t empirically detectable. That sounds fair to me.

But it does kind of get confusing when you tag on “by purely natural processes” at the end.

Also when is this point in time when all things “had evolved” and God could intervene. Isn’t evolution ongoing? I don’t understand the use of “until” there.


#4

Not the way I read it. To me they are describing deism pure and simple.

To be honest I haven’t read the entire 84 page pdf yet. What is included in the parts that I have read are nothing new and in fact in some cases is the same old same old. Wayne Grudem’s contribution is you must take Genesis 1-3 as historical narration. End of discussion.

I did notice this tidbit, “This book is not about the age of the earth. We are aware that many sincere Christians hold a “young earth” position (the earth is perhaps ten thousand years old), and many others hold an “old earth” position (the earth is 4.5 billion years old).” Interestingly they want to go “big tent” for ID but then imply that EC is a “little tent” where everyone believes the same things.


(Matthew Pevarnik) #5

Wow a thousand pages written against EC. Impressive almost. I suppose with so much Bible stuff the Discovery Institute has given up hiding that is really is a Christian creationist organization?

Lots of big names endorsing the book. All of whom I no longer cared to listen anyways to because of some really bad thinking.

And my brain exploded just reading the table of contents. Don’t think I’m gonna make it too far into the 1000 pages or even the 70 page sample. Good luck to the rest of you.


(Jon) #6

That’s exactly the point here. For all their claims that ID isn’t anti-evolution and isn’t creationist,all they ever do is argue that evolution is false, using the same strategies as the YECs, and for all their claims to be science based, they still can’t take a position on the age of the earth.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #7

It’s good to know that Biologos has been deemed worthy of being the target of so much powder and shot. Imitation may be one sincere form of flattery, but categorized attack can’t be too far behind.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #8

[added edit … I was mistaken below about this being in the foreward – it’s actually in the Introductory chapter (where Meyer begins his contribution). The foreword is by Steve Fuller who also says some interesting things … more on that in another post.]

In the foreword [1st chapter, actually] written by Stephen Meyer (accessible in the excerpt found by following the links above) … we find this just after he has given three different definitions for evolution:

If by “evolution” the theistic evolutionist means to affirm evolution
in the first sense—change over time—and if, further, the theistic
evolutionist affirms that God has caused that “change over time,” then
certainly no theist would contest the theological orthodoxy or logical
coherence of such a statement. If a personal God of the kind affirmed
by biblical Judaism or Christianity exists, then there is nothing logically
contradictory in such a statement, nor does it contradict any specific
theological tenets. The Jewish and Christian scriptures clearly affirm
that God has caused change over time, not only in human history but
also in the process of creating the world and different forms of life.
Given the extensive scientific evidence showing that the representation
of life forms on Earth has changed over time, there does not seem
to be any significant theological or scientific basis for questioning evolution,
or theistic evolution, where evolution is defined in this minimal
sense. Similarly, since God could create different organisms with a
built-in capacity to change or “evolve” within limits without denying
his design of different living systems as distinct forms of life, and since
there is extensive scientific evidence for change of this kind occurring,
there does not seem to be any significant scientific or theological basis
for questioning evolution in this sense either. Understanding theistic
evolution this way seems unobjectionable, perhaps even trivial.

Trivial … and perhaps … right! Some of us don’t mind being trivial if, while being so, we can be on the side of the preponderance of evidence.


(David Heddle) #9

I’d be interested in section 3 on theology. It’s been several weeks since someone labelled my views as heresy and I’m feeling a little unloved.


(George Brooks) #10

@Mervin_Bitikofer

Maybe we should always have this paragraph stored somewhere, so that we can ask a newly arrived YEC,
“My good man, can you explain to me what I.D. proponent Stephen Meyer is trying to say?”

If they can’t, we could probably save a lot of time by just saying, “I have a plane to catch!, Waiter!?”

As an aside, this sentence does trouble me some:
". . . since God could create different organisms with a built-in capacity to change or “evolve” within limits without denying
his design of different living systems as distinct forms of life…"

Do you see the trick part?: "… a built-in capacity to change or “evolve” within limits…" How about with “no limits” ?
Or how about how “virtually no limits”?

God is pretty clever. I think he is quite able to “create different organisms with a built-in capacity to change or “evolve” without denying his design of different living systems…”


(Mervin Bitikofer) #11

I am mainly intrigued by this snippet from the Meyer quote:

[quote=“Mervin_Bitikofer, post:8, topic:37121”][quoting Meyer]
and if, further, the theistic evolutionist affirms that God has caused that “change over time,” then certainly no theist would contest the theological orthodoxy or logical coherence of such a statement.
[/quote]

I wonder if all of the other co-authors of the text must have missed this statement in Meyer’s foreword, or what they think of it if they didn’t. Because it sure sounds to me like a lot of theists in the following pages of that book will set themselves busy doing just that: contesting the theological orthodoxy and logical coherence of saying that God could or did use evolutionary means.

On another note, I am disappointed to see Moreland’s participation in this work as I have enjoyed at least one of his past works: “Love Your God With All Your Mind” and recall thinking of him as a good example of robust intellectual integrity cultivated within a Christian context. I don’t want to prejudge him without reading this new work, but I’m finding that difficult even just seeing the table of contents. It may turn out that his earlier title would now be circumscribed to: “Love the Lord with All Your Mind — until it gets you too close to the e-word. Then it’s time to shut things down.”


(Mervin Bitikofer) #12

If the forum provided us with a ‘heretic’ button beside the like button, I would click it just for you!


(David Heddle) #13

That would be awesome, a “Like” button and a “Heretic” button. Great idea!


#14

What can one say except that this volume is timely. When the Holy Spirit taps his apologists to go public and in-force, you know the time has become critical. God is after his sheep. Always his sheep. They will hear his voice. The remainder will either ignore the warning or will mock and ridicule and belittle to their own destruction. In the end, God’s will will have been done. And always by this one abiding constant: his sheep will hear his voice.


(Christy Hemphill) #15

We do provide a heretic emoji. :heresy:


(Matthew Pevarnik) #16

The time is critical? What do you mean by that?

Okay… so you are saying this is basically God speaking in the book critiquing theistic evolution. Gotcha.

Wow, that is certainly an interesting charge-- in other words anyone who disagrees with the book, which is a warning will be destroyed.

So those that don’t hear the voice of God warning against EC… are not his sheep. Nice one Speir.


(Steve Schaffner) #17

As long as we’re allowed to click both of them.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #18

[1 typo edited… because God doesn’t speak in typos]

Amen, brother!

And I dare not speak for God for fear of violating the fourth commandment, but if I had to guess what his voice might be saying to his sheep, it would be something like this:

“My people: Leave lies behind. Stop slandering scientists and your brothers in Christ. Stop fearing things. I have not given you a spirit of fear, even fear of evolution or fear of your children leaving me at college or fear of liberals overrunning your country or fear of doubt or any other fear. I created science and I am the Truth. So enjoy pursuing Truth everywhere you look! I said my creation was good for a reason — so study it in all its glorious beauty, and don’t be afraid of what you find, because it will always bring you back to me.”


#19

ENV has a snippet today of an interview of J.P. Moreland:

“The quality of Christian literature is getting better and better when it comes to showing that the Bible gets it right. Both theistic and naturalistic evolution are rationally inferior to Intelligent Design theory theologically, philosophically and scientifically.”

So Moreland thinks ID confirms the Bible? The Bible teaches that Adam and Eve were members of homo Erectus and lived at least 450.000 years ago? Or does Dr. Gauger forget to mention that in her chapter contributions?


(Mervin Bitikofer) #20

Steve Fuller (and this really is in the foreword!) has this observation:

Moreover, public opinion surveys consistently show that people are pro-science as a mode of inquiry but anti-science as a mode of authority. And so, while it has become part of secular folklore to say that the Catholic Church “repressed” the advancement of science, if “repression” implies the thwarting of an already evident desire and capacity to seek knowledge, then today’s scientific establishment seriously outperforms the early modern Church—and perhaps with the consent of theistic evolutionists.

There is a lot laid on the backs of TEs, which is understandable given the book’s agenda. The above was in reference to the suppression (on these authors’ views) of ID science by the establishment. [I realize that this last statement sets off ID warning klaxons that will bring in the forum brigade with the inexhaustible supply of ID-retardant argumentation – so before we divert said brigade from the many other diligently attended fires, I’ll hasten to add that this was only a half-hearted charge with the obligatory TE culpability only thrown in as a tentative after-thought. So … nothing to see here; all clear … somebody can switch that alarm off now.] What I really found interesting for possible discussion fodder was the conjecture about the public being pro-science on inquiry, but anti-science on authority. That interests me and sounds plausible. Thoughts?