Creation or Evolution versus ??? and ???. A study in False Dichotomy What is “Evolution” anyway? NOT “where everything came from” Cores 5 & 6 will address this… (hopefully!) Cosmic, Chemical, Biological, Cultural – clarify ! “Deep Time” with unity and diversity of Cosmos, Earth, & life
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A study in False Dichotomy
What is “Evolution” anyway?
NOT “where everything came from”
Cores 5 & 6 will address this… (hopefully!)
Cosmic, Chemical, Biological, Cultural – clarify!
“Deep Time” with unity and diversity of Cosmos, Earth, & life
But tonight we’ll focus a bit and look at…
What is the distinction between:
Creation & Creationism?
Philosophy/Theology & Natural Science?
Raffiniert ist der Herrgott, aber boshaft ist er nicht (Einstein, 1921)
“God is complicated, but He’s not evil.”
Idea: Nature is creation and God’s not going to trick us into thinking reality is different than it appears.
Nature is the “second book of Creation” and we have the privilege of trying to read it!
“When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.” – I Corinthians 13:11,12 (NAB)
There are several (John 1:1-14 is my favorite!), but the two stories in Genesis (Ge 1:1-2:4a and Ge 2:4b-3:24) are given the most attention – by far!...
Note: The issue of whether there are two stories or one is controversial!
Six 24 hour days circa 4004 BC
This is the point of view of many conservative Protestants and a handful of Catholics
What does “literal” mean? (better terminology is “plain historical narrative”) – is this possible? Adherents of this view often assert that the Bible is “inerrant in the original manuscripts”
Look at Ge 1:6-8 and the Hebrew word ra’qia
“expanse”, “firmament”, “dome”
Also look at what “evening”, “morning” and “day” mean before the Sun is created on Day 4
Concord – “agreement”: Scriptural narrative agrees with physical reality at various points
This may include, e.g.,
Ge 1:1 (maybe 1:3) concords with the Big Bang
Ge 1:11-12, 1:24 concords with a mediated creation, perhaps via evolution
The upshot is that Genesis is historically and scientifically accurate when “properly interpreted”
Allegory = ”True myth” = Theological truth
This the view of most modern Catholic theologians
Can parts of the Bible be myth and still be “TRUE”???
A “literal” account that has no relationship to the observed universe (recall the Einstein quote)?
Naturalism --- Supernaturalism
Evolution --- Anti-evolution
Young Earth Creationists – “mainstream”
John and Henry III Morris – Institute for Creation Research – www.icr.org
Ken Ham – Answers in Genesis – www.answersingenesis.org
Young Earth Creationists – (YEC)Omphalos
Philip Henry Gosse (1857)
Old Earth Creationists(OEC) – Gap
Jimmy Swaggart, C.I. Scofield (1909) – Read commentary
Old Earth Creationists – Day-Age
Jehovah Witnesses - Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York
Old Earth Creationists – Progressive
Hugh Ross – Reasons to Believe, Pasadena, CA – www.reasons.org
Old Earth Creationists – The Intelligent Design Movement (“ID 2”)
Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Paul Nelson, Jonathan Wells, Stephen C. Meyer - Discovery Institute - www.discovery.org/csc
Evolutionary Creationists - a Jewish perspective
Schneider, Susan, 1984. Evolutionary creationism: Torah solves the problem of missing links – www.orot.com/ec.html
Theistic Evolutionists(Divine Design or “ID 1”)
Teilhard de Chardin, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Francis Collins
Methodological Materialistic Evolutionists(MME)
Stephen J. Gould – “NOMA”
Is compatible with ID 1 and evolutionary creationism
Philosophical Materialistic Evolutionists
Richard Dawkins – Atheists are the “Brights”, wrote The God Delusion (2006)
11/20/06 New Scientist article - Beyond Belief: In Place of God
Is incompatible with ID 1 and is compatible only with MME
D6. “No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. “
“The ELCA doesn't have an official position on creation vs. evolution, but we subscribe to the historical-critical method of biblical interpretation, so we believe God created the universe and all that is therein, only not necessarily in six 24-hour days, and that he may actually have used evolution in the process of creation.
Historical criticism is an understanding that the Bible must be understood in the cultural context of the times in which it was written.”
"I think creationism is, in a sense, a kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories. Whatever the biblical account of creation is, it's not a theory alongside theories. It's not as if the writer of Genesis or whatever sat down and said, 'Well, how am I going to explain all this?'. . . For most of the history of Christianity, there's been an awareness that a belief that everything depends on the creative act of God is quite compatible with a degree of uncertainty or latitude about how precisely that unfolds in creative time."
In the absence of modern science, one would assume they would all be YEC for Biblical reasons, right?
Some of them were (maybe), like Irenaeus and Lactantius
And some of them definitely weren’t, like Origen and Augustine…
His next to last work, De Genesi ad litteram duodecim libri (415 A.D.), has this:
“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world,… Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. … For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. “St. Augustine tried five times to come up with a “literal” reading of Genesis
John Cardinal Newman
The Idea of a University(1852, 1858-73)
“The object of all science is truth ;”
Humani Generis – Pius XII (1950)
“The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, insofar as it inquiries into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter.”
“Truth Cannot Contradict Truth” - JPII (1996)
Appears to support ID 1 rather than ID 2 ???
“Must faithful Catholics accept evolution as true? No, but they may accept it, with the proper theological qualifications in place, without contradicting their faith. Whether man's body actually evolved from a subhuman species isn't, as such, a theological issue even if, indirectly, it may have some theological implications; it is mainly a question of scientific evidence. Perhaps John Paul agrees with those who think the scientific evidence supports evolution. But Catholics, as Catholics, are not obliged to hold that scientific assessment.”
- From the website Evolution and the Pope
Biblical Universe (Enuma Elish)
Big BangSteady State
Inflation, Multiverse and Quantum Cosmology?
Yet the Next Model (and so on)?
Before 1543 AD
After about 1850
Theology of the Cross
Theology of Glory
Links here and here