Wayne Rossiter on theistic evolution shell game
|January 29, 2017||Posted by News under Design inference, Intelligent Design, theistic evolution|
From Wayne Rossiter, at Shadow of Oz blog:
Today, I would like to deal with a couple of classic stances espoused by most theistic evolutionists, and then detail some very specific views and opinions that have come up recently.
Perhaps most important among these items is the apparent shell-game at play when a theistic evolutionist excuses God’s direct intervention by pointing to His immanence as the sustainer of all things. For example, in a recent discussion with Doug Axe, Keith Fox offered an oft-used reason for rejecting the idea that God might directly act in the world:
Fox rejects “a God who finds that things aren’t just the way they should be and has to invent the miraculous, because it couldn’t happen by natural processes.”
First, I want to point out that there is a very subtle trick being pulled in all of these conversations. Fox begins by attempting to claim the theologically normative position (the “standard Christian view”) in the hopes of marginalizing all views that hold God as directly active in creation (presumably, “nonstandard” Christian views). I’ll show this in action again shortly.
Second, this argument is a blatant straw man argument each and every time it’s used. The assumption here is that people like Axe (and those in the ID and creationist camps) hold some non-standard view in which God isn’t immanent and doesn’t sustain all things. To my knowledge, none have ever argued this. So, where does it come from? As Axe immediately responded, “I think it’s a strained view of scripture that would say that, in creating the elements and the basic laws of physics, that God created everything [and] everything else followed from that.”More.
Theistic evolution always sounds better at elite confabs than it does when spelled out plainly. In the confabs, the strength of the argument comes from intimating that one sits far above the rubes who doubt Darwin. Straw men are more than welcome there.
Also: Podcast: Should Christians embrace or reject Theistic Evolution? Wayne Rossiter & Denis Alexander (28 January):
Wayne Rossiter was an atheist biologist who experienced an adult conversion to Christianity. He also changed his mind about evolution and his recent book ‘Shadow of Oz: Theistic Evolution and the Absent God’ argues that those who claim Darwinian evolution is compatible with Christianity are being misleading.
Denis Alexander, emeritus director of The Faraday institute in Cambridge and one of the leading proponents of Theistic Evolution, interacts with Rossiter. More.
See also: Wayne Rossiter on the essentially arbitrary nature of TE distinctions
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