Posted in BioLogos, Intelligent Design, Michael Behe, Philosophy of Science, Theistic Evolution, tagged Alvin Plantinga, and Naturalism, Christianity Today, Darrel Falk, Michael Behe, Religion, Theistic Evolution, Todd Wodd, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science on July 11, 2012|
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It seems the last two big cover stories in Christianity Today covering evolution issues have completely ignored the many scientists and others who accept evolution as the best explanation for some things, but have serious doubts about it as the best explanation for all of biological history. These articles ignore those Christians who doubt evolution based primarily on the scientific evidence, not theology.
The latest cover story deals with the biography of a theistic evolutionist and a young earth creationist. No biography of Michael Behe who was taught theistic evolution growing up, but who came to doubt Darwinism as he delved deeper into the science. Sigh. Christianity Today is dumbing down the church and missing the most interesting questions.
Christianity Today also never reviewed Alvin Plantinga’s book Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism, in which Plantinga devoted a whole section to Michael Behe’s design arguments, and had very positive things to say about them. CT published an interview with Plantinga, but avoided all discussion of ID.
In the recent article, the author, Tim Stafford, asserts that Darrel Falk “has held to his plea for Christians to love and respect each other while advocating different points of view.” Well, that is not quite right. Falk has claimed elsewhere that he has a kind of “mission from God” to attack other believers:
With all respect for [Michael] Behe as a person, his science has turned out to be highly incompetent in the field in which he writes—biology. Since he chose to take his science to non-professionals many of whom have not had more than one college course in biology (if that), you are correct: BioLogos needs to show that he, bless his heart, is professionally incompetent; one of our God-given tasks (to be frank this is the way we see it) is to demonstrate this to a public which (unlucky as they are) doesn’t have the biology background to know better.
When I asked Darrel Falk to explain how Behe was incompetent, he failed to do so.
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Although he does not mention the Christianity Today article on the historical Adam and Eve specifically, this seems to be Casey Luskin’s reply to it. Too bad this evidence was not included in the Christianity Today article. Its readers would have benefited from being able to evaluate all the pertinent evidence and arguments themselves.
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I just read the Christianity Today article on Adam and Eve. My short initial reaction: It is very one-sided. It functions as a promotional piece for Biologos, which is too bad. We need an alternative that actually helps Evangelicals to think and gives them the tools to do so.
The article largely uses the tired old method of pitting scientists against theologians. Unless it is scientist against scientist, it is a poor debate.
Fazale Rana, who is quoted in the article, commented on the article:
Honesty, it is poorly researched . . . They completely have ignored the fact that there is a strong scientific response . . . to the genomic evidence . . .
I do not think the article quotes a single scientist who is formally trained in the methodology of the historical sciences. When Darrel Falk and Dennis Venema state dogmatically that the human population “was definitely never as small as two,” their ignorance of the limitations of the historical sciences becomes clear. Stephen Jay Gould understood the limitations, as I discuss here: “We must be able to determine whether our hypotheses are definitely wrong or probably correct (we leave assertions of certainty to preachers and politicians) .”
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Here are some comments that were deleted from this post at the Jesus Creed blog. I am not sure what rule I broke. It rather seems to confirm that certain theological circles are getting more narrow-minded:
No mention of Mark Galli’s? Denny Burk’s [review of Love Wins]?
What continues to strike me is Bell’s hostility to traditional views. He does not just set forth an alternative viewpoint. He denounces (as “misguided and toxic”) what mainstream evangelicals believe. And what he denounces is a straw man, as Mark Galli well notes.
The evangelical left seems to be getting more narrow-minded.
Strongly agree. I see Lewis’s “position” as dramatically different than Bell’s. Lewis defends “narrow” orthodoxy in chapter 5. And the liberal theologian in that chapter bears a lot of similarities to Rob Bell– including being successful in selling lots of books.
“I took every risk.”
“What risk? What was at all likely to come of it except what actually came? Popularity, sales for your books, invitations . . .”
“We didn’t want the other to be true. We were afraid of crude salvationism, afraid of a breach within the spirit of the age . . .”
Update: These comments have now been posted.
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