Home » Books of interest, Darwinism, Evolution, theistic evolution » Throwing down the gauntlet to Dr. Denis Alexander

Throwing down the gauntlet to Dr. Denis Alexander

I had a chapter in the recently published (IVP UK) “Should Christians Embrace Evolution?”, a negative response to those – in particular Dr. Denis Alexander – who say that we must.

Well, Dr. Alexander has now read that response. The question going forward  is whether he wants to interact with it. My own personal opinion is that his books and writings show more interest in a propaganda effort to win a PR battle amongst the masses than they do in serious and responsible interaction with “the other side”. Dr. Alexander and I both whole-heartedly profess our own love to Jesus Christ and belief that an evangelical position is the only one that does justice to reality. That shared basis gives a position to debate from, honestly representing and interacting with the other’s position. I think I’ve done that in my own book responding to Dr. Alexander as well as in this IVP book. I want to persuade Dr. Alexander to respond in the same way.

Over at my own blog you can read the verbal gauntlet I’ve thrown down. After I did so, another one of the IVP authors e-mailed both myself and Dr. Alexander to add their amen. We’ll see what happens!

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15 Responses to Throwing down the gauntlet to Dr. Denis Alexander

  1. If what is meant by “evolution” is the claim that random genomic changes fixed by natural selection can account for all biodiversity, then nobody should embrace it, Christian or otherwise.

  2. You’re right, it is pretty egregious when one side “show[s] more interest in a propaganda effort to win a PR battle amongst the masses than they do in serious and responsible interaction with ‘the other side’.”

  3. If what is meant by “evolution” is the claim that random genomic changes fixed by natural selection can account for all biodiversity, then nobody should embrace it,…

    As far as I know, that claim is not made by science either. For all that I know it may have been in the past. But afaik, there’s been some advances made showing that there’s more than simply RM&NS at play – but still no signs of supernatural involvement.

  4. Cabal,

    And still no signs that magical mystery mutations can account for the transformations required.

  5. But afaik, there’s been some advances made showing that there’s more than simply RM&NS at play

    Cabal, can you be more specific? To avoid a semantic dispute, remember I’m saying any random genomic change and not limiting it to mutations.

  6. Something that I think is not brought up enough: Design is not supernatural. The designer might be but the phenomenon is not.

  7. Off topic: I hope Jerry is still with us.

  8. You said

    random genomic changes fixed by natural selection

    I am not an expert and cannot reference source(s) offhand but will try to check recent reading. As far as I can remember, there seems to be a growing realization that the concept of natural selection is not as one-dimensional as we are accustomed to think.

    I try to read as much about evolutionary research as I can and I seem to learn something new every day, but the images fade just like faces you pass on the street.

  9. Mr. Anderson,

    I would say that both you and Dr. Alexander suffer from not reading C.S. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain, especially the chapters on “The Fall of Man,” and “Animal Pain.” Lewis makes it clear that one can be a Darwinist and still have an orthodox theology. So the question of how God chose to create should just be a scientific debate, not a theological one.

  10. Bilboe,

    I would say that both you and Dr. Alexander suffer from not reading C.S. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain, especially the chapters on “The Fall of Man,” and “Animal Pain.” Lewis makes it clear that one can be a Darwinist and still have an orthodox theology. So the question of how God chose to create should just be a scientific debate, not a theological one.

    Lewis changed his mind on this, read the Bernard Acworth letters. Lewis initially thought the question of how God created unimportant, but changed his mind later in life, and denied biological evolution.

  11. Clive, I wouldn’t know where to look for that reference. Could you direct me or just quote Lewis?

  12. I think I found it. Lewis is not rejecting evolution for theological reasons, but for scientific ones. So my point still holds. The debate should be a scientific one, not a theological one.

  13. tribune7:

    Cabal, can you be more specific? To avoid a semantic dispute, remember I’m saying any random genomic change and not limiting it to mutations.

    The problem is that there is more to the theory that simply ‘any random genetic change’.

    *I’ve done my best to try and learn something about genetics, in particular about HOX genes and embryology. I can only refer to the literature, There is no aspect of genetics and evolution not being extensively covered in literature.

    I just don’t buy arguments like “it is not possible because I don’t believe it.”

  14. I just don’t buy arguments like “it is not possible because I don’t believe it.”

    But that’s not the argument. The argument is “I don’t believe it because it is not possible”.

  15. 15

    I am unashamedly an evangelical bible believing Christian.
    Definition:
    I believe that God created the universe
    That He created man in His own image, not through evolution.
    I think the Genesis seven day account is “of its time”, so whilst probably not seven literal days, the point is that God did it.
    (Maybe it was seven months or a little longer :)

    Apologetics is a part of Christianity, it is not its ‘raison d’etre’. Salvation is through faith of which intellectual enquiry plays its part, but faith does not require you to be a card carrying member of MENSA.

    It is about our separation from God and how a Holy God found a way to reconcile us to Himself whilst dealing with the problem of sin. He did that by sending Jesus +Christ into the world to live a life pleasing to God and allow Himself to be crucified as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
    So I think true Christians need to get things in perspective.
    Either we hang our scientific questions on “faith hooks” and get on with living for Jesus, or we torment ourselves by worrying about questions and theories which quite frankly are ongoing. Else there would be no need for faith.

    It all boils down to whether we are going to accept that life is an accident in a meaningless universe and evolution can explain how that accidental life developed.
    or,
    An uncaused Creator God outside of time and space brought it into being. He created the earth and all the families of life forms including plants and animals and man. To each He “programmed” or gave them the ability to adapt to the prevailing conditions in a cause and effect world, on a planet wherein natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts and various kinds of storms are not uncommon.
    Now HOW He did it I humbly submit is up to Him, but it seems to me that science and faith (as in God’s version of events) cannot ultimately disagree.

    I have lots of questions about all kinds of things both scientific and theological, but so far in my life (I am 67) I have found that God’s analysis of me is spot on, that the world and human beings seems to function pretty much as He says they do; and that Jesus is a most wonderful Saviour and Inspiration.
    Therefore my faith rests on His faithfulness, so that I can concentrate on enjoying my relationship with God and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me and change me from within..

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