Saturday, October 27, 2007

CED news: Main index A-Z

In my ongoing struggle to to cope with the daily overwhelming flood of science news articles, I have decided to trial here on my

[Left: Bacterial flagellar motor and drive train, Physics Today.]

CED blog an online index to webbed articles about Creation, Evolution and Design.

"Creation" will include relevant articles on Christianity, but not Shroud of Turin-related articles, which will be covered on my other blog, TheShroudofTurin. This Main Index A-Z will in turn point only to pages, CED Index A, CED Index B, CED Index C, ... and so on, which in turn will list CED news topics in alphabetic order under that first letter of the alphabet.

Indexes: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.

Each topic will have a page to itself, which I will post only once and then add to over time, with links to news articles about it, plus my brief commentary.

PS: The following `tagline' quotes aptly sum up my approach to Bible and science, and creation, evolution and design.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blog: TheShroudofTurin

"Nature is as truly a revelation of God as the Bible, and we interpret the Word of God by the Word of God when we interpret the Bible by science. As this principle is undeniably true, it is admitted and acted on by those who, through inattention to the meaning of terms, in words deny it. When the Bible speaks of the foundations, or of the pillars of the earth, or of the solid heavens, or of the motion of the sun, do not you and every other sane man, interpret this language by the facts of science? For five thousand years the Church understood the Bible to teach that the earth stood still in space, and that the sun and stars revolved around it. Science has demonstrated that this is not true. Shall we go on to interpret the Bible so as to make it teach the falsehood that the sun moves around the earth, or shall we interpret it by science, and make the two harmonize? Of course, this rule works both ways. If the Bible cannot contradict science, neither can science contradict the Bible. ... There is a two-fold evil on this subject against which it would be well for Christians to guard. There are some good men who are much too ready to adopt the opinions and theories of scientific men, and to adopt forced and unnatural interpretations of the Bible, to bring it to accord with those opinions. There are others, who not only refuse to admit the opinions of men, but science itself, to have any voice in the interpretation of Scripture. Both of these errors should be avoided." (Hodge, Charles, "The Bible in Science," New York Observer, Mar, 26, 1863, pp.98-99; in Noll, M.A., "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind," [1994], Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1995, reprint, pp.183-184. Ellipses Noll's)

"If we believe that the God of creation is the God of redemption, and that the God of redemption is the God of creation, then we are committed to some very positive theory of harmonization between science and evangelicalism. God cannot contradict His speech in Nature by His speech in Scripture. If the Author of Nature and Scripture are the same God, then the two books of God must eventually recite the same story." (Ramm, Bernard L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," [1954], Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960, p.25).

"I am a philosophical theist and a Christian. I believe that a God exists who could create out of nothing if He wanted to do so, but who might have chosen to work through a natural evolutionary process instead. I am not a defender of creation-science ...." (Johnson, Phillip E., "Darwin on Trial," [1991], InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.14).

"I have no metaphysical necessity driving me to propose the miraculous action of the evident finger of God as a scientific hypothesis. In my world view, all natural forces and events are fully contingent on the free choice of the sovereign God. Thus, neither an adequate nor an inadequate `neo-Darwinism' (as mechanism) holds any terrors. But that is not what the data looks like. And I feel no metaphysical necessity to exclude the evident finger of God." (Wilcox, David L., "Tamed Tornadoes," in Buell, J. & Hearn, V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.215. Emphasis original).

"Suppose contemporary evolutionary theory had blind chance built into it so firmly that there was simply no way of reconciling it with any sort of divine guidance. It would still be perfectly possible for theists to reject that theory of evolution and accept instead a theory according to which natural processes and laws drove most of evolution, but God on occasion abridged those laws and inserted some crucial mutation into the course of events. Even were God to intervene directly to suspend natural law and inject essential new genetic material at various points in order to facilitate the emergence of new traits and, eventually, new species, that miraculous and deliberate divine intervention would by itself leave unchallenged such key theses of evolutionary theory as that all species derive ultimately from some common ancestor. Descent with genetic intervention is still descent-it is just descent with nonnatural elements in the process." (Ratzsch, Del. L., "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation- Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, pp.187-188)


Mark said...

"For five thousand years the Church understood the Bible to teach that the earth stood still in space, and that the sun and stars revolved around it."

A typo for correction I think.

Stephen E. Jones said...


>"For five thousand years the Church ...
>A typo for correction I think.

Thanks for your comment. But if you are referring to Hodge's observation that the "the Church" had existed for "For five thousand years," I checked and that is what Noll quotes Hodge as having written.

I assume therefore that by "the Church" Hodge means the whole people of God, both in the Old and New Testament eras (i.e. roughly 3,500 BC - 1,500 AD), up to the time when Copernicus propounded his heliocentric theory in the 1500s.

One can quibble about the time-frame, i.e. the verses that mentions the "the foundations of the earth" (1Sam 2:8; 22:16; Job 38:4; Ps 18:15; 82:5; 102:25; 104:5; Pr 3:19; 8:29; Isa 24:18; 48:13; 51:13,16; Jer 31:37; Am 9:6; Mic 6:2; Zec 12:1; Heb 1:10), "the pillars of the earth" (Job 9:6; Ps 75:3), etc, don't go back 5,000 years.

But Hodge's basic point is that historically the Church has always eventually changed its interpretation of Scripture in the light of well established scientific evidence (i.e. God's General Revelation in nature helps interpret His Special Revelation in Scripture, and that this is how God always intended it to be.

Ramm made a similar point that, modern-day extreme Biblical literalists hold many views about nature that were once considered heretical, but have been modified in the light of advancing scientific knowledge:

"Many theories of science, once declared anti-Christian, are now held by millions of Christians with no evil effects on Christianity. It would be a very enlightening experience for many a hyper-fundamentalist to read White's history of the conflict of theology with science, and note how many heretical beliefs of the past he now holds! Copernican astronomy was assailed with all the venom the Church theologians had. It was declared that if this astronomy is true, all the Bible is false and all its glorious doctrines! Today, the author has yet to meet an evangelical believer who crosses Copernicus. All the dire predictions about what would happen if Christianity admitted the truthfulness of Copernican astronomy failed to materialize!" (Ramm, B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," [1954] Paternoster: Exeter UK, Reprinted, 1960, p.203. Emphasis original).

Stephen E. Jones