If the first talking snake had kept shtum, we wouldn't be here. Eve wouldn't have eaten the forbidden fruit. But she listened and was curious. So she fell into humanity, thank God. Good old snake, say I. I celebrate its independence of mind. Satan? Neh, that's a later interpretation. The snake was part of the divine purpose. God allowed it into the garden, aware of its linguistic abilities. He knew what would happen. Jesus commended dove-like innocence. AND the wisdom ... of the snake.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Creationism? Not among the academics in Philadelphia either

June 4, evening: I attended a lecture in Philadelphia, presented by a guy called John Haught, who was a star witness for the prosecution in the Dover trial, which a little while back ruled against Intelligent Design as authentic science. He was a Roman Catholic, raised on Thomism, immersed in Teilhard and process theology. The event was hosted by an interesting, seriously high-powered, academically reputable, organization called Metanexus of whose on-line work I have been aware for some time. Follow the link if you’re interested.

The lecture was critical of aspects of evolutionary theory and proposed an intellectually reputable attempt to do what ID failed to do: make a place for theism within a naturalistic approach to science. Not all were convinced, but we saw the value in what was attempted. The audience were academics with an interest in issues around science and religion; the consensus, as reflected in the plenary session would be theistic, old-earth, evolutionist. But creationism? yawn, so last century. An event such as this quickly nails the creationist lie/delusion that theistic evolutionists are uncritical of Darwin and bent on undermining the Gospel.

I was quite surprised how robust an apologia the speaker offered for a God of providence and design; it had echoes of that old time natural theology – but obviously, in this arena, took a relativistic view of sacred texts: it would have been inappropriate to prioritise the Christian scriptures, and indeed we spent some time in plenary looking at creation from a Buddhist perspective. Fascinating stuff. That’s an example of where the science and religion debate is in the US. It’s not looking at the creationists’ agenda, it’s moved on, which is why evolutionists get so annoyed at them.


Blogger Sam said...

John Haught has written a book called "God after Darwin: a theology of Evolution" and he gave a lecture (probably similar to the one you heard) which was published in Vol 17(1) of the journal "Science and Christian Belief" along with several responses. See for more details and reprints of articles.

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