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Question re High Ross speaking in Toronto …

In the comments box to my post of yesterday, someone wrote re Hugh Ross speaking at the ID conference in Toronto:

I also find folks like Hugh Ross who’s speaking there in Toronto somewhat unsavory (if I may use such a word). He should be a big supporter of Intelligent Design, yet his article in the first issue of Salvo (http://www.salvomag.com/subscribe.html) was just terrible. Y’all should have a look in preparation for the conference—or is there still hope to win him over and so even we had better be nice?

From Denyse: Well, Hugh Ross is currently our guest in Toronto, so we will give him a polite hearing no matter what he says.

My own view is that Ross clings to an older model of the “top down vs. bottom up” universe debate that focuses on defending congruence between science and the Bible.

In that, I think Ross is mistaken. The Darwinists’ war is against meaning and purpose in general, not against meaning and purpose as demonstrated in the Bible. My quotations from Darwinist E.O. Wilson in the linked post clearly demonstrate that, and it would be very easy to multiply examples. (Hence the perfidy of clergy who would take Wilson’s “Dear Pastor” invitation seriously.)

Now, if you can demonstrate that the universe is top down – rather than bottom up - it is a separate question whether the matter is best explained by the Bible, the Bhagavad-Gita, traditional tribal lore, the perennial philosophy, Islam, Wicca, the self-organizing universe, or some system I of thought that I have never heard of.

As a Christian, I am comfortable defending traditional Christian positions, but also think that we must put First Things first.

(And yes, I do recommend First Things as an ecumenical Christian publication.)

 

 

 

 

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10 Responses to Question re High Ross speaking in Toronto …

  1. The Darwinists’ war is against meaning and purpose in general, not against meaning and purpose as demonstrated in the Bible.

    I confess I soon lose my way when I try to follow those who walk delicately among “types” and allegories. A certain passion for clearness forces me to ask , bluntly, whether the writer means to say that Jesus did not believe the stories in question, or that he did? When Jesus spoke, as of a matter of fact, that “the Flood came and destroyed them all,” did he believe that the Deluge really took place, or not? It seems to me that, as the narrative mentions Noah’s wife, and his son’s wives, that is good scriptural warranty for the statement that the antediluvians married and were given in marriage; and I would have thought that their eating and drinking might be assumed by the firmest believer in the literal truth of the story. Moreover, I venture to ask what sort of value, as an illustration of God’s methods of dealing with sin has an account of an event that never happened? If no Flood swept the careless people away, how is the warning of more worth than the cry of “Wolf” when there is no wolf? If Jonah’s there days’ residence in the whale is not an “admitted reality,” how could it “warrant belief” in the ”coming resurrection?” If lots wife was not turned into a pillar of salt, the bidding those who turn back from the narrow path to “remember” it is, morally, about on a level with telling a naughty child that a bogy is coming to fetch it away. Suppose that a Conservative orator warns his hearers to beware of great political and social changes, lest they end, as in France, in the dominations of a Robespierre; what becomes, not only of his argument, but of his veracity, if he, personally, does not believe that Robespierre existed and did the deeds attributed to him? ~ Thomas Huxley

    It was obvious that both the general theory of evolution and its extension to man in particular must meet from the first with the most determined resistance on the part of the Churches. Both were in flagrant contradiction to the Mosaic story of creation, and other Biblical dogmas that were involved in it, and are still taught in our elementary schools. It is creditable to the shrewdness of the theologians and their associates, the metaphysicians, that they at once rejected Darwinism, and made a particularly energetic resistance in their writings to its chief consequence, the descent of man from ape. ~ Ernst Haeckel

  2. I am surprised that the article in question was described as “just terrible”. The gist of the article was that a testable ID based creation model is a necessity to remove one of the primary objections to ID in the mainstream view. Presumably, different worldviews (sets of philosophical assumptions) will result in different models. Of course, we are supposed to accept that the smoke and mirrors of Darwinism does not represent a worldview because it demonstrates only the scientific “fact” of evolution. ID, of course, takes scrupulous pains to look only at these same data as Darwinism in order to lead us to the precipice of considering the implications of the intelligence found in nature.

    Personally, I am very supportive of both the Rossian (names the intelligent agent) and the no-name Dembskian approach to the subject and I am glad that they are together in the same U of T forum. After all, encountering all this intelligence in nature does beg the question of its source, which cannot be accounted for in nature itself. To play dialectical games, will the top-down (thesis) and bottom-up (antithesis) result in a synthesis? Are both in fact necessary? I look forward to hearing the results.

  3. truthseeker you wrote

    The gist of the article was that a testable ID based creation model is a necessity to remove one of the primary objections to ID in the mainstream view.

    I think that view is incorrect and a very naive one as well. First off objection to ID in the evolution community is based on a philosophical premise not a scientific one. They object to the very idea of ID. Secondly there is no testable based evolutionary model and there never has been. All data that supposedly proves evolution is really nothing more then subjective extrapolations from data, not actual objective proofs of evolution from data.

    Evolution is easily disproven if we take into account all of the data on the probability of evolution, but evolutionists are not able to disprove ID. They claim that because ID cannot be proven or disproven that is it not a scientific theory. In reality they have tried to disprove ID. Failing at that they then claim that ID cannot be disproven and is therefore not science. In that is the case then anything that is absolutely true is not supportable by science. If something is absolutely true then it cannot be disproven, does that make it less true? Such are the feverish claims of the rabid evolutionist. In reality (a place other then the febrile minds of ardent evolutionists ) ID is scientifically preferred over evolution whether some people accept that or not.

  4. I like Hugh Ross. He brings to the debate a valuable feature — the old-earth creationist view. The attractiveness of this view is that it contrasts with the mainstream ID view, clarifying to all honest people that I

  5. clarifying to all honest people that ID is not a model that is attempting to fit science into a particular interpretation of the Bible.

  6. mentok: I suppose the only thing worse than getting a response that disagrees with you is not getting one at all. I am not sure what Ross expects by developing a testable model, but I would not characterize it as naive. I will ask him the next time I see him. I doubt if he expects those with a pre-commitment to naturalism to be swayed; perhaps a few. I rather think he is playing to the uncommitted (and unreflective) middle of the scientific community who would respond to a predictive model on its own merits. I do not believe such an approach, done with any degree of integrity, will be kind to Darwinism.

    The naturalists have asked a reasonable question, but they are disingenuous in asking it. I agree with your assertions that the evolution community has based its belief on a philosophical premise (that the natural world is all there is), and that the mechanism of RM&NS does not result in a testable evolutionary model. Bluntly, they never intended to engage in a serious dialogue or to play fair in the first place with their requirement for a falsifiable ID model.

    I also wonder, given the ID movement restricting itself to studying patterns in nature best explained by intelligence, will result in its own testable model anytime soon. I would like to see it, but haven’t so far. In this way Ross challenges the bottom-up approach also.

    Like most elements of ID, the naturalists will ignore it (the testable creation model). If it starts to gain traction, they will ridicule it. If it does not go away they will attack it. Ghandi told us what happens next.

  7. This sentence was poorly formed: [I also wonder, given the ID movement restricting itself to studying patterns in nature best explained by intelligence, will result in its own testable model anytime soon.]

    It should read:

    I also wonder, given the ID movement restricting itself to studying patterns in nature best explained by intelligence, whether this approach will result in its own testable model anytime soon.

  8. Site developer, check it out, two “correction” posts in 4 posts. It sure would be nice if an author could edit a post — at least until other posts follow it.

  9. Well, guess I’m the culprit here. Nevertheless I believe (though belief and practice ain’t always equal) that we should never bad-mouth the person (hopefully I didn’t do this) and never be too timid to dispute ideas—it’s all too easy to impugn the image of God and all to difficult to argue the word—a distinction (the one between Person and Idea) which secularism seems incapable of grasping. The Big Tent concept is perfect (it’s the only way I’d ever get in), but what is so frustrating in the “Salvo” article is that Ross doesn’t want in the ID tent—“The need to accommodate all beliefs represents a huge scientific problem”—so it seems it’s his tent or else. Well, OK, but if we can still be partners in dispute then it’s all the same in the end.

    Ross says, “For their part, creation advocates (and ID is about creation) have effectively undermined their own cause—which is my cause, too.” He thinks ID is too much into “evolution bashing”: “This tendency implies that our arguments for creation consist primarily of arguments against evolution.” One can disagree with Ross at almost every point—I’m not even impressed by his “model”—but Ross is forthright and not a squishy “theistic evolutionist” and he’s under the Big Tent whether he likes it or not.

  10. You have to keep in mind that Ross is not interested in answering the same question that ID is. So his strategy will be different. ID is interested in these questions:

    1) “Should intelligent design be allowed within science?”
    2) “Should intelligent design be taught in public schools?”

    Reasons-to-Believe is first and foremost a ministry. Ross is interested in showing that the God of the Bible exists for the purpose of making Christian converts. So ID will occasionally be at cross-purposes with him.

    For example: ID should and does seek the support of religious believers of all types and, in fact, anyone who does not philosophically a-priori reject a designer as a causative agent.

    But this is clearly in opposition to RTB’s goals.

    Another way to look at it is that RTB is interested in supplying an indentity to the creator as its main activity; while ID, as a matter of its operating philosophy, needs to remain agnostic on that point.

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