Start Using Terminology that Avoids an Argument ... or

I have a proposal for the least controversial terms!

After a year or two on some Atheist blogs - - disputing the pro’s and con’s of religion vs. no religion - - I landed on this list and suddenly found out that long before we can ever get to the topic of God or No-God, people were willing to fall on their sword over such terms even as basic of Theist!

After spending so much time on “Theist” or “No Theist” discussions … all of a sudden discussions were being hijacked over whether Theism meant ANY scenario with God … or if it could only mean scenarios of Monotheism or non-Deism, and so forth.

What a huge time sink! And lately, we are even disputing whether “God Intervenes (ongoing)” vs. “God Intervened (once at creation)”. UGH!!! We argue about what ID means… what TE means… and even what Darwinism means!

Terribly toxic time wasters.


  1. Avoid like the plague, catch-all labels like “Intelligent Design”, “Theistic Evolution”, and even Darwinism & Neo-Darwinism.

  1. DO use terms like:

a) Young Earth Creationism;

b) God-Guided Evolution; and

c) Evolution Without God.

If you use these three terms, you’ll spend most of your time arguing and disputing over what you WANT to dispute … not over terminology. And by using these terms, it will no longer be necessary to criticize Collins or Giberson over how they define Intelligent Design of Theistic Evolution.

They are both discussing God-Guided Evolution vs. Evolution without God. No arguing over that will be necessary!

[NOTE: I almost named the topic “What Eddie taught me …” but I think the topic name I ended up using is less likely to trigger another round of disputation.]


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I like it, but good luck, its really hard to change terms. We cant even decide between TE and EC. Maybe GGE is is much better. (but many wont like the inclusion of ID there, Just sayin).


Or how about Evolution, God Guided. Then we have EGG.


The cleverness of using the letters E.G.G. makes it awfully tempting!
I wouldn’t argue over it !!! LoL



I can assure you that I will no longer use the terms TE or ID. Too many people pounce on the technicalities … instead of what you really mean. I’m not even going to use Darwinism - - with or without “Neo-”.


Also, imagine the fun. For people get it wrong we could say “He is a scrambled EGG”. For people who wont listen to reason or are too doctrinaire, we could say “Dont be a hard boiled EGG”. And so on.

And then someone will propose the metaphorical chicken in the debate and we will have to argue about which came first, the chicken or the EGG.


@Eddie… “Evolutionary Creationism” is not very helpful – since Intelligent Design people could possibly claim that term as well.

All I can guarantee is that > I < won’t be the one using a term as generic as EC, or ID, or TE.

As for your fixation on “foreknowledge” being the key to Collins belief, let’s return to the Collins quote:

  • The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
    By Francis Collins

    Page 205

    "But how could God take such changes? If evolution is
    random, how could He really be in charge, and how could
    He be certain of an outcome that included intelligent beings at all?

    “The solution is actually readily at hand, once one ceases to
    apply human limitations to God. If God is outside of nature, then He is
    outside of space and time. In that context, God could in the moment
    of creation of the universe also know every detail of the future.
    That could include the formation of the stars, planets, and
    galaxies, all of the chemistry, physics, geology, and biology that
    led to the formation of life on earth, and the evolution of humans,
    right to the moment of your reading this book - - and beyond.”

    “In that context, evolution could appear to us to be driven by chance,
    but from God’s perspective the outcome would be entirely
    specified Thus God could be completely and intimately involved in the
    creation of all species, while from our perspective, limited as it is
    by the tyranny of linear time, this would appear a random and
    undirected process.”

In his sentence “If God is outside of nature, then He is outside of space and time. In that context, God could in the moment of creation of the universe also know every detail of the future.”, the point is not that God’s foreknowledge is the same as intervention. The point is that by using foreknowledge, God created the Universe EXACTLY THE WAY HE NEEDED TO !

… To get the Earth he wanted… To get the Humanity he wanted … And to create whatever specific pockets of Randomness that God either worked within or around.

Eddie, why are you so determined to try to paint Collins as someone who disavows God’s role?

George Brooks

And yet almost all of us knows what Collins means… and most of us are content with how Collins says it.

Why don’t YOU offer a replacement sentence or paragraph. And we’ll all learn a little something (I’m sure).


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I will go out on a limb with my descriptions and stand by them … and if an officer of BioLogos corrects my description, I will happiy accept the correction.

You, however, seem quite toxically contentious … ranting and complaining… without offering any alternatives. You are very fortunate that the moderators haven’t turned your profile off long ago…

You write: “In essence you are completing Collins’s non-explanation by imagining logical steps that he does not provide, and imputing those logical steps to him without warrant.”

And yet I cannot imagine any other way to interpret his comments. Of course, perhaps YOU have a different interpretation that you refuse to discuss?


The egg came first hundreds of millions of years before chickens who are a rather recent species of bird. :wink:

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True. The literal chicken. But we are talking about the metaphorical chicken, which as you well, know is an entirely different matter. But we are not going to come right out and tell you exactly what the metaphorical chicken is, because here at BioLogos we deal in non-explanations and the hiding of real opinions, and you will not be able to pin anyone down. So don’t even try.


What makes me feel this way is your passive aggressive posture during this process.

Just state your version of what you think Collins should say … and we can discuss it. Setting myself up to be your personal punching bag is not very comfortable… but I thought it would be necessary to move the discussion along.


What is a metaphorical chicken? Is it invisible? Does it lay invisible eggs? How can I know it exists? :smile:

You can’t know. You have to take it on faith. Science does not speak to the metaphorical chicken.

(I am done now. I apologize for all this silliness.)

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Some of the problems are our words like “foreknowledge” and “intervention” seem like inadequate terms to describe God. In Peter’s epistle it says, “A thousand years are like a day to The Lord, and a day is like a thousands years” … And Psalm 90 says “From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.”

Many speak of God’s omnipresence (existing everywhere simultaneously) … But Peter is, in essence, saying that long times are like short times to God, and long times are like short times. If God lives outside of time, and He is not constrained by time… What if, perhaps, time to God is not like a river that keeps on flowing, on which God has the capability to intervene now and then. What if instead all of time is like a location that God dwells and he doesn’t experience it in a linear sense, but rather He exists in every point of time SIMULTANEOUSLY.

That would make every intervention by God seem to us like a changing of the course of history. If he lives outside of time, then perhaps we need to come up with different words other than “foreknowledge” and “intervention”, because it seems like there isn’t a lot of difference between them.

I would argue that God guides and intervenes in the course of history and nature. But I admit that I’m only expressing it the best way I know how too in human terms … So even that description isn’t accurate. I don’t think that Christianity teaches about outside influences that are separate from God, so randomness is only from our perspective, and not actually the reality from God’s perspective.


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