Saturday, April 03, 2004

On clarifications...

To get a glimpse of how people can dance around an issue take a look at the comments on the previous post, Naturally speaking. Does "nearly all" = "most"? Are you implying endorsement or simply making a "true" statement? Etc., etc. All I really wanted to know was, if the empirical data for evolution is so convincing and if MN is not a worldview, then why do the NCSE and the Understanding Evolution websites even bother to address the religious aspect? Why do they imply religious endorsement? Why do they state that an evolutionary understanding of the natural realm can enrich one's faith? Unless, of course, that the tenets of MN actually do have consequences within the PN realm?... Ed takes issue with some of my comments and re-hashes a debate we recently had. With respect to just who considers Theistic Evolutionists cowardly, let's take another look at Bill Dembski's quote from Intelligent Design, this time taking the full paragraph:
It's for failing to take Occam's razor seriously that the Darwinian establishment despises theistic evolution. Not to put too fine a point on it, the Darwinian establishment views theistic evolution as a weak-kneed sycophant that desperately wants the respectability that comes with being a full-blooded Darwinist but refuses to follow the logic of Darwinism through to the end. It takes courage to give up the comforting belief that life on earth has a purpose. It takes courage to live without the consolation of afterlife. Theistic evolutionists lack the stomach to face the ultimate meaninglessness of life, and it is this failure of courage that makes them contemptible in the eyes of full-blooded Darwinists. (Richard Dawkins is a case in point.) - emphasis added
It's obvious that Dembski is stating that full-blooded Darwinists, such as Richard Dawkins, are the ones that view theistic evolutionists with contempt. If Ed still disagrees he can take it up with Dembski. With respect to my conjecture that evolutionists smirk at theistic evolutionists, let's take look at the point I was making by reading more than one sentence:
Ed is being a bit disingenuous here, whether intentional or not though I do not know, for theistic evolutionists do not believe that God interacts with the natural order in regards to evolution. Miracles in that manner are considered out of bounds. To be sure, someone like Ken Miller may state, “This does not mean that miracles do not occur. A key doctrine to my own faith is that Jesus was born of a virgin, even though it makes no scientific sense – there is the matter of Jesus’s Y-chromosome to account for. But that is the point. Miracles, by definition, do not have to make scientific sense.” Yet, one wonders what thoughts the likes of Eugenie Scott, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, et. al., are having as they smirk behind Miller’s back. For true evolutionists understand the implications of their naturalistic worldview with regards to religious belief. Phillip Johnson has said, "When God's existence is no longer a fact but a subjective belief (and a highly controversial belief at that), God's moral authority disappears." (emphasis in original)
Do I know for a fact that Scott, Dennett, Dawkins, or et. al., smirk behind Miller's back? Of course not. That wasn't the point of the passage. I was illustrating the point of my series of posts, which dealt with the logical inconsistency between MN and morality. Indeed, read the first line from my post that Ed references. Ed clearly took offense at that post because he personally knows Ken Miller and Eugenie Scott. I've re-read the post several times and can find no reason for the type of reaction that Ed came back with. However, since it is clear that Ed is still offended by my post I offer my apology for insulting his friends. As for Miller and Scott, I doubt that they care about what I have written. On the chance that I am wrong, though, I will offer Ed this: Show Ken Miller and Eugenie Scott my series of posts (one, two, three, and this one) and ask them if they took personal offense with regards to what I wrote. If they are truly offended then please ask them to e-mail me informing me as such. If that happens then I will reply with apologies to them as well.

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