Thursday, February 08, 2007

Old Testament, New Testament, and Evolution

The Corner on National Review Online has an interesting post about a Catholic cardinal archbishop who is working to find "middle ground" on the whole evolution vs. creationism debate.

That's fine. The proposed middle ground may actually be the truth. But it is still one contender in the marketplace of ideas that has to compete with all the others. More about my thoughts here in my last post from Evolution Week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You misstate. The Cardinal simply endorses evolution as scientists posit it. Period. That's clear even in the Corner comment. He observes the caveat that evolution does not contradict the existence of a God - merely some of the Bible - and this is in fact the mainstream scientific view. This is not a "middle ground" at all. Nor is one needed.

February 09, 2007 2:05 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

You and I have a different interpretation. Saying that E and C are not in conflict is the middle ground between those who say that they are in conflict and either E or C is the winner.

Your statement, "Nor is one needed," implies that there is no opposing view either than evolution trumps creationism or vice versa. But there are people who advance both of those views. Of course you disagree with them, but your position is not entitled to any special exemption from the marketplace of ideas.

February 09, 2007 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not "interpretation." This is fact. The liberal humanist position is generally, evolution, and in fact science, has little bearing on religiosity. It is only a middle ground to a fringe. Or more to the point, if everyone adopted the Cardinal's position the evolutionists would declare victory and the creationists would scream. What the Cardinal is endorsing is exactly what liberals want taught in schools: evolution is right, but you can continue in your faith as long as you do not take its scripture literally. You have a wrong "interpretation."

My statement "nor is one needed" is correct actually. Science is empirical. If a theory explains all the available data, and can be used predictively and in design, no other theory is needed until an obvious flaw is found. There's no such thing as "right" for a scientist. The "evolution" position is entitled to a special position: because it and only it, at the moment, explains the available data and can be (and has been) used to successfully design and experiment. Perhaps someday another theory will come along that can do that: when that happens, neither one is entitled to a special place. At the moment there is none and none is needed because nobody has come up with a problem evolution seems unable to explain.

To illustrate: in 1750 no theory was needed for physical mechanics beyond those of Newton and Lagrange. After people discovered that those systems failed to describe certain phenomena, other theories were needed. Evolution has no phenomenological challenge as yet.

February 09, 2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger Mayor of Tommyville said...

"The middle ground" that like being sort of pregnant?

February 11, 2007 3:01 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Dear Anonymous,

Your position is that anyone who disagrees with you has "fringe" beliefs. Therefore the evolution-does-not-conflict-with-creationism position is not the middle ground, but the ONLY ground. How convenient for you. It certainly prevents you from having to defend your views.

I go back to my statement that there are some who believe them to be in conflict, and of those, some think that evolution is the winner, others think that creationism is the winner. I do not purport to say what the majority view is, assigning a numeric value to how many there are in each camp. Whatever the merits or popularity of each position, it is reasonable to say that those who think both E and C can coexist are claiming some sort of middle ground.

February 12, 2007 5:46 AM  

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