Tuesday, January 08, 2008

PoE: Bibliography "Q-R"

This is the Bibliography "Q-R" page

[Left: The late Bernard Ramm's "The Christian View of Science and Scripture" (1954), which, apart from the Bible, has, influenced me more than any other book. See PS below.]

for authors' surnames beginning with "Q" and "R"which I may refer to in my book outline, "Problems of Evolution."

© Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology)



Quastler, H., 1964, "The Emergence of Biological Organization," Yale University Press: New Haven CT.

Raby, P., 1996, "Bright Paradise: Victorian Scientific Travellers," Pimlico: London, Reprinted, 1997.
Rachels, J., 1990, "Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism," Oxford University Press: New York NY, Reprinted, 1999.
Raeburn, P., 2001, "An Evolving Idea." Review of "What Evolution Is," by Ernst Mayr, Basic Books. New York, 2001. The New York Times, December 16.
Ramm, B.L., 1954, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960.
Rana, F.R. & Ross, H.N., 2004, "Origins of Life: Biblical And Evolutionary Models Face Off," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO.
Rana, F. & Ross, H.N., 2005, "Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO.
Randal, D.J., Burggren, W.W. & French, K., 2001, "Eckert Animal Physiology: Mechanisms and Adaptations," [1978], W. H. Freeman and Company: New York NY, Fifth edition, Second printing, 2002.
Randles, J. & Fuller, P., 1990, "Crop Circles: A Mystery Solved," Robert Hale: London.
Ratzsch, D.L., 1996., "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Ratzsch, D.L., 2000, "Science & Its Limits: The Natural Sciences in Christian Perspective," [1986], Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second edition.
Ratzsch, D.L., 2001, "Nature, Design and Science: The Status of Design in Natural Science," State University of New York Press: Albany NY.
Ratzinger J., 1995, "In the Beginning...: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI.
Raup, D.M., 1991, "Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck?" Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Reprinted, 1993.
Raup, D.M. & Stanley, S.M., 1978, "Principles of Paleontology," [1971], W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA, Second edition..
Raven, C.E., 1955, "Christianity and Science," World Christian Books, Lutterworth: London, Third impression, 1956.
Raven, P.H., Evert, R.F. & Eichhorn, S.E., 1999, "Biology of Plants," [1971], W.H. Freeman & Co/Worth Publishers: New York NY, Sixth edition.
Raven, P.H. & Johnson, G.B., 1995, "Biology," [1986], Wm. C. Brown: Dubuque IA, Third edition, Updated Version.
Reader, J., 1981, "Missing Links: The Hunt For Earliest Man," Collins: London.
Reader, J., 1986, "The Rise of Life: The First 3.5 Billion Years," Collins: London.
Rees, M.J., 1997, "Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others," Simon and Schuster: London.
Rees, M.J., 1999, "Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe," Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 2000.
Rees, M.J., 2000, "New Perspectives in Astrophysical Cosmology," [1995], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Second edition, Reprinted, 2002.
Rees, M.J., 2001, "Our Cosmic Habitat,"Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 2003.
Relethford, J., 1990, "The Human Species: An Introduction to Biological Anthropology," Mayfield Publishing Co: Mountain View CA.
ReMine, W.J., 1993, "The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory," St. Paul Science: Saint Paul MN.
Rendle-Short, J., 1984, "Man: Ape or Image: The Christian's Dilemma," [1981], Master Book Publishers: San Diego CA, Second edition.
Reno, C.A., 1953, "Evolution: Fact or Theory?," Moody Press: Chicago IL.
Reno, C.A., 1970, "Evolution on Trial," Moody Press: Chicago IL.
Rensberger, B., 1986, How the World Works: A Guide to Science's Greatest Discoveries," William Morrow & Co:, New York NY.
Rensch, B., 1966, "Evolution Above the Species Level," [1959 ], John Wiley & Sons: New York NY.
Reppert, V.E., 2003, "C.S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: A Philosophical Defense of Lewis's Argument from Reason," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Rhodes, F.H.T., 1962, "The Evolution of Life," Penguin: Baltimore MD, Reprinted, 1963.
Richards, W.G., 1986, "The Problems of Chemistry," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK.
Richardson, A., 1953, "Genesis I-XI: Introduction and Commentary," SCM: London, Reprinted, 1956.
Richardson, A., 1961, "The Bible in the Age Of Science," The Cadbury Lectures in the University of Birmingham 1961, SCM Press: London.
Richardson, B.J., 2001, "Christianity, Evolution and the Environment: Fitting it Together," UNSW Press: Sydney NSW, Australia.
Richardson, K., 1999, "The Making of Intelligence," Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 2000.
Ridderbos, N.H., 1957, "Is There a Conflict Between Genesis 1 and Natural Science?," Vriend, J. transl., Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI.
Ridley, M., 1985, "The Problems of Evolution," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK.
Ridley, M., ed., 1987, "The Essential Darwin," Unwin Hyman: London.
Ridley, M., 1993, "The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 2000.
Ridley, M., 1996a, "Evolution," [1993], Blackwell: Cambridge MA, Second edition, Third printing, 1999.
Ridley, M., 1996b, "The Origins of Virtue," Viking: London UK.
Ridley, M., ed., 1997, "Evolution," Oxford Readers, Oxford University Press: Oxford UK.
Rifkin, J., 1983, "Algeny," Viking Press: New York NY.
Riedman, M., 1990, "The Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses," University of California Press: Berkeley CA.
Robinson, M., 1994, "The Faith of the Unbeliever," Monarch: Crowborough UK.
Robinson, M.H. & Tiger, L., eds, 1991, "Man & Beast Revisited," Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington DC.
Robson, G.C. & Richards, O.W., 1936, "The Variation of Animals in Nature," Longmans, Green & Co: London.
Roede, M., Wind, J., Patrick, J.M. & Reynolds, V., eds, 1991, "The Aquatic Ape: Fact or Fiction?: The First Scientific Evaluation of a Controversial Theory of Human Evolution," Souvenir Press: London.
Romer, A.S., 1933, "Man and the Vertebrates," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, 2 Vols, Reprinted, 1960.
Romer, A.S., 1945, "Vertebrate Paleontology," [1933], University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second edition, Fifth impression, 1953.
Romer, A.S., 1968, "The Procession of Life," The World Publishing Co: Cleveland OH.
Rood, R.T. & Trefil, J.S., 1981, "Are We Alone?: The Possibility of Extraterrestrial Civilizations," Charles Scribner's Sons: New York NY.
Rook, A., 1958, "The Origins and Growth of Biology," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Reprinted, 1964.
Rose, H. & Rose, S., eds, 1976, "The Political Economy of Science: Ideology of/in the Natural Sciences," Macmillan: London.
Rose, H. & Rose, S., eds, 2000, "Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology," Vintage: New York NY, Reprinted, 2001.
Rose, M.R., 1998, "Darwin's Spectre: Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, Third printing, 2000.
Rose, S., 1997, "Lifelines: Biology, Freedom, Determinism," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1998.
Ross, H.N., 1991, "The Fingerprint of God: Recent Scientific Discoveries Reveal the Unmistakable Identity of the Creator," [1989], Promise Publishing Co., Orange CA, Second edition.
Ross, H.N., 1993, "The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO, Third printing, 1994.
Ross, H.N., 1994, "Creation and Time: A Biblical and Scientific Perspective on the Creation-Date Controversy," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO.
Ross, H.N., 1998, "The Genesis Question: Scientific Advances and the Accuracy of Genesis," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO.
Ross, H.N., 2004, "A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy," NavPress: Colorado Springs CO.
Ross, W.D., 1949, "Aristotle," [1923], Methuen: London, Fifth edition, Reprinted, 1974.
Rostand, J. & Tetry, A., 1971, "Larousse Science of Life: A Study of Biology Sex, Genetics, Heredity and Evolution," [1962], Hamlyn: London.
Rothwell, N.V., 1988, "Understanding Genetics," [1976], Oxford University Press: New York NY, Fourth edition.
Ruppert, E.E. & Barnes, R.D., 1994, "Invertebrate Zoology," [1968], Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Orlando FL, Sixth edition.
Ruse, M.E., 1979, "The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Reprinted, 1981.
Ruse, M.E., 1982, "Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies," Addison-Wesley: Reading MA, Third printing, 1983.
Ruse, M.E., 1986, "Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, Reprinted, 1998.
Ruse, M.E., 1988, "Homosexuality: A Philosophical Inquiry," Basil Blackwell: Oxford UK.
Ruse, M.E., 2001, "Can a Darwinian be a Christian?: The Relationship Between Science and Religion," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK.
Ruse, M.E., 2003, "Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose?,: Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA.
Ruse, M.E., ed., 1996, "But is it Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY.
Russell, B., 1957, "Why I Am Not a Christian: And Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects," Edwards, P., ed., George Allen & Unwin: London, Fourth impression, 1961.
Russell, B., 1910, "Mysticism and Logic: And Other Essays," George Allen & Unwin: London, Reprinted, 1949.
Russell, B., 1912, "The Problems of Philosophy," Oxford University Press: London, Eighth impression, 1978.
Russell, B., 1960, "An Outline of Philosophy," Meridian: New York NY.
Russell, B., 1991, "History of Western Philosophy," [1946], George Allen & Unwin: London, Second edition, Reprinted, 1993.

PS: See `tagline' quotes below (original emphasis italics and CAPITALS, my emphasis bold), all from Ramm's book, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture." Why Ramm's book was so influential with me, is because: 1) I read it in 1968, very early in my Christian life, having been converted to Christianity from atheism via deism in 1967; 2) I was (and still am) very interested in science, and Ramm's "two books" (see second quote below) approach, i.e. "the Author of Nature and Scripture are the same God" and therefore "the two books of God must eventually recite the same story," became my bedrock assumption in interpreting the Bible; and 3) Ramm in his book argued for an Old-Earth Progressive Creation position (see below), which I adopted as my own and still hold (albeit with some modifications).

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
My other blogs: TheShroudofTurin & Jesus is Jehovah!

"Orthodoxy did not have a well-developed philosophy of science or philosophy of biology. The big problems of science and biology must be argued in terms of a broad philosophy of science. The evangelical always fought the battle on too narrow a strip. He argued over the authenticity of this or that bone; this or that phenomenon in a plant or animal; this or that detail in geology. The empirical data is just there, and the scientists can run the evangelical to death in constantly turning up new material. The evangelicals by fighting on such a narrow strip simply could not compete with the scientists who were spending their lifetime routing out matters of fact. ... By a Christian philosophy of Nature we mean a broad, comprehensive method and system of the interpretation of Nature, receiving its orientation from Christian theology. It would correspond to a philosophy of science as adopted by a naturalist or a materialist. We prefer a larger concept than philosophy of biology or philosophy of science, and that is why we call it a philosophy of Nature. A Christian philosophy of Nature will involve three things: (i) It will involve the Biblical data about God and Nature or creation. .... (ii) It will involve elements from the philosophy of science. ... (iii) It will concern itself with the reliable data of the sciences. It will willingly face the data of the sciences as the data which must be worked into a Christian philosophy of science. It is not only a matter of facing facts, but it is absolutely necessary to be acquainted with facts to be able to form any sort of intelligent Christian philosophy of Nature. Fosdick cannot be gainsaid when he wrote: A religion that is afraid of the facts is doomed. [Fosdick, H.E., "The Modern Use of the Bible," MacMillan: New York NY, 1924, p.178]" (Ramm, B.L., "The Christian View of Science and Scripture," [1954], Paternoster: London, Reprinted, 1960, pp.18, 69-70).

"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, 1954, p.25).

"Mistakes peculiar to scientists. Just as there are certain mistakes that a theologian is susceptible to there are ones that the scientist is just as susceptible to in the relationship of theology to science. The first of these mistakes is to have an anti-religious attitude. No system of knowledge can be learned without some sympathy or kindly feeling toward the system- something pointed out long ago by Augustine but never fully appreciated by educators or epistemologists. Dogmatists study science as well as theology. The evangelical indicates that man is a spiritual rebel and his spirit of rebellion is reflected in all his activities. Unregenerate man opposes the doctrines of creation, sin, redemption, and eschatology. A man may be religious and yet anti-Christian. Opposition to Christianity at the level of science is in many instances simply localized or vocalized opposition to Christianity in general. Therefore anti-Christian man takes pleasure in making the gap between science and Christianity as wide as he can make it, and will heartlessly ridicule any efforts at reconciliation. In this instance, the gap between science and Christianity is in reality the gap between faith and unbelief." (Ramm, 1954, p.38).

"In discussing the Biblical cosmology we must return to our general position defended earlier in this chapter: the references of the writers of the Bible to natural things are popular, non-postulational, and in terms of the culture in which the writers wrote. This principle applies directly to Biblical cosmology. The language of the Bible with reference to cosmological matters is in terms of the prevailing culture. Biblical cosmology is in the language of antiquity and not of modern science, nor is it filled with anticipations which the future microscope and telescope will reveal. We do not agree with over-zealous expositors who try to find Einsteinian and modern astro-physical concepts buried in Hebrew words and expressions. We also disagree with the religious liberals who object to Biblical cosmology because it is not scientific. We object to the over zealous because it was not the intention of inspiration to anticipate modern science, and we object to the modernist because he sees too much in what is to us a truism. We concur with Calvin, who taught that Gen. 1 is a record of the creation of the world in the language of the common man and from the viewpoint of common sense. His actual words are: `For to my mind this is a certain principle, that nothing is here treated of but the visible form of the world. He who would learn astronomy and the other recondite arts, let him go elsewhere ... It must be remembered, that Moses does not speak with philosophical acuteness on occult mysteries, but states those things which are everywhere observed, even by the uncultivated, and which are in common use.' [Calvin J., "Genesis," I, pp.79 & 84]" (Ramm, 1954, pp.65-66).

"The present author sternly resists any effort to dogmatize about the time involved in creation, and any effort of fiat creationism to reduce progressive creationism to evolution or to impiety, as if progressive creationism questioned the omnipotence of God. `For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast' (Psa. 33:9) has been one of the verses repeatedly used in the history of Bible-and-science to refute science, and yet the fiat-heliocentric interpretation of this verse has been continually put to rout. The verse asserts nothing about time in creation, but it does assert the certainty with which Nature obeys the divine will. The command of a great and powerful general is faithfully and obediently carried out. The amount of time consumed in carrying out the will of the general is dependent on the task, and a task which takes a long time is no depreciation of the general's authority, as a task which takes a short time is no necessary tribute to his authority." (Ramm, 1954, p.77).

"A vast literature has grown up around the word yom (Hebrew for day). The flood geologists and the gap theorists vigorously defend the literal-day view and strongly attack the metaphorical interpretation. ... In view of the fact that such a great array of geologists and theologians accept the metaphorical interpretation of the word day, the case for the literal day cannot be conclusive nor the objections to the metaphorical interpretation too serious. In the first two chapters of Genesis the word day is used as follows: (i) in verse 5 it means daylight and (ii) a day marked out by an evening and morning; (iii) in verse 14 it means daylight in contrast to night, and (iv) in the expression `and for days' it means a twenty-four hour day; (v) in Gen. 2:4 it refers to the entire period of creation." (Ramm, 1954, p.145).

"The expression `evening and morning' is capable of several interpretations. Some take it to mean a period of rest and a period of creation. Others take it as a graphic means of describing a cosmic day. If one takes a metaphorical interpretation of the word yom, then mutatis mutandis the expression evening and morning, must be metaphorical. They do not mean that there is a day of a million years of light followed by a million years of darkness. The expression refers to something in the process of creation. No objection to the [day-age] theory can be made on the basis of forcing a literal meaning into the expression `evening and morning.'" (Ramm, 1954, p.146).

"Putting together our [Progressive Creation] picture we have something like this: Almighty God is Creator, World-Ground, and Omnipotent Sustainer. In His mind the entire plan of creation was formed with man as the climax. Over the millions of years of geological history the earth is prepared for man's dwelling, or as it has been put by others, the cosmos was pregnant with man. The vast forests grew and decayed for his coal, that coal might appear a natural product and not an artificial insertion in Nature. The millions of sea life were born and perished for his oil. The surface of the earth was weathered for his forests and valleys. From time to time the great creative acts, de novo, took place. The complexity of animal forms increased. Finally, when every river had cut its intended course, when every mountain was in its purposed place, when every animal was on the earth according to blueprint, then he whom all creation anticipated is made, MAN, in whom alone is the breath of God." (Ramm, 1954, p.155).

"The very obvious mistake of the extreme hyper-orthodox is that he equates divine causation with sudden creation and his thinking is brittle right at this point. He makes his entire theological system-the Deity of Christ, original sin, atonement, resurrection-hang on sudden creation, and one bone from a fossil pit can potentially bring-the whole edifice down. Surely, Christianity cannot live in constant dread as to what some palaeontologist or archaeologist is going to bring to light so that one fossil can spell the doom of orthodoxy. There is only one sure approach to evolution and biology and that is through a well-defined Christian philosophy of biology." (Ramm, 1954, p.180).

"In the earlier part of this volume we developed our own effort to set forth a philosophy of Nature, and that our philosophy of Nature is directly related to our philosophy of biology. In summary, we accept progressive creationism, which teaches that over the millions of years of geological history God has been directly creating higher and higher forms of life. Progressive creation tries to free itself from loaded a priori assumptions, and tries seriously to be inductive and empirical. It accepts the a priori of Divine Creation and the inspired account, but it turns over the million odd empirical details to science and does not try to pre-empt too much for theology. Further, we believe that creation is the realization of certain forms or ideas, and it is this realization in Nature which admits a teleological ordering and understanding of Nature. As we previously wrote, we believe that the Divine Entelechy in Nature, realizing the forms and ideas of God, is the Holy Spirit. This basic pattern of thought we apply directly to a Christian philosophy of biology, and by so doing we endeavour to escape so much of the brittle thinking of extreme fundamentalism on biological matters." (Ramm, 1954, pp.180-181).

"Harris has surveyed all the contemporary theories of the origin of life from non-living materials and finds them all defective. [Harris, R.J.C., "The Origin of Life," JTVI, 81, 1949, pp.58-84] The six theories examined and rejected are that life originated by (i) spontaneous generation; (ii) from cosmic panspermia; (iii) from cell models; (iv) from colloids; (v) from enzymes; and (vi) from viruses. Approaching the problem from a different perspective Clark arrives at a similar negative judgment to Harris. [Clark, R.E.D., "Modern Science and the Nature of Life," JTVI, 77, 1943, pp.60-69] He asserts that no definition of life or scientific explanation of its origin can stand up to criticism. The usual procedure is to explain one mystery by means of another. The fundamental criticism is that modern science works on the basis of a scientific monism by which he means that all there is is matter or substance or Nature. But, Clark continues, in that Nature operates on the grounds of random activity and the human intelligence on the principle of organization and control, we have a final dualism. A theistic explanation of the origin of life is the only possible explanation." (Ramm, 1954, p.182).

"It is du Nouy's contention that chance cannot account for life. The simplest protein molecules are so complex that there is no possibility that they could have their atoms lined up in the correct order and number. Taking a protein molecule of two thousand atoms and presuming that there are only two elements necessary, the calculus of probability is such that the possibility of such a molecule forming by chance is for all practical purposes impossible. Even if 500 trillion shakings per second were employed the possibility of a chance variation occurring which would be a protein molecule is one in 10^243 billion years. [du Nouy, L., "Human Destiny," 1947, p.34] Since du Nouy is such a controversial figure we refer also to Butler, who says much the same thing: In fact, we can hardly imagine how these complex structures came to exist on the earth. We find it difficult to conceive of any natural process by which any structure even as comparatively simple as a protein molecule could be formed. It is hardly conceivable that the atoms of a protein molecule spontaneously could come together in the right order to form a protein. Calculations have been made of the probability or chance of this happening fortuitously. The result is a chance which is so small as to have no real meaning.' [Butler, J.A.V., "Man is a Microcosm," Macmillan: New York, 1951, p.112] Butler gives the figures as one chance in 100^180 or once in 10^243 billion years. The identical figures are given by McCrady, who attributes them to Professor Charles-Eugene Guye. [McCrady, E., "Religious Perspectives in Biology," Theology Today, 9, October, 1952, pp.319-332, p.322]" (Ramm, 1954, p.182).

"But supposing that life could originate in the laboratory already hinted in the Miller-Urey experiment? What should our judgment if some day a scientist actually makes a living cell or something akin to an amoeba? Men used to believe that man could change or duplicate only the inorganic, for only God could make living creatures and their products. But since the synthesis of urea a good number of organic compounds have been created and the entire debate ceased. Even the staunchest hyper-orthodox would hardly reopen this debate. If man can think God's thoughts after Him, why is it incredible that man can do some of God's works after Him? Further, because man with a vast chemical equipment and an equally vast body of chemical data at his disposal can synthesize complex chemicals, it does not mean that Nature with only chance as its guide and creator can make life and foster it into complex creatures over the millions of years." (Ramm, 1954, pp.182-183).

"At our present state of knowledge two things may be stated. (i) Man has not produced life chemically. That he may produce protoplasmic specks is a possibility, but the production of even the smallest organism is as yet a long time away. In view of our inability to produce life with our vast chemical knowledge and our ability to reproduce almost any condition we wish of pressure, temperature or motion, we must still view a chance origin of life as a faith and not as a verified hypothesis. (ii) Unless a person is very anti-Christian it cannot be denied that the most satisfactory explanation to date is that life is the creation of the Living God. There is certainly nothing scientifically disrespectable in this connection, even though a person is not a believer. Those who do believe it, may do without fear of contravening scientific fact and without prejudicing the character of their judgment. Or, in the words of Short: `We conclude, then, that science is still unable to put forward any satisfactory explanation as to how life arose in the first place. We must either accept the Bible doctrine that God created life, or go on making improbable speculations.' [Short, A.R., "Modern Discovery and the Bible," IVF: London, 1942, p.33]" (Ramm, 1954, p.183).

"There is without question an anti-Christian version of the theory of evolution. Evolution has been used by atheists and naturalists and materialists to bolster their metaphysics and to club the orthodox. Dialectical materialism, the official philosophy of Russia, glories in evolution as the scientific doctrine of creation which frees man from faith in God. Evolution has been used to support atheism, ethical nihilism, and much anti-God, anti-Bible, and anti-Christian thought. ...With this form of the theory of evolution, or with this sense of the theory of evolution, evangelical Christianity will always be at war." (Ramm, 1954, pp.184-185).

"Evolution as a scientific theory Both the dogmatic evolutionist who calls evolution a theory proved beyond any doubt, and the dogmatic fundamentalist who brands it as a mere theory, are wrong. Scientific epistemology knows no absolutes in scientific theory. ... We cannot speak of the theory of evolution as possessing a certainty which belongs only to formal logic. " (Ramm, 1954, p.187).

"Applying these principles of the nature of scientific law to evolution, the first observation is that evolution is not a perfectly nor infallibly verified law. No theory of science enjoys such status. Scientists who might speak as if evolution were established beyond all possibility of doubt, or beyond all possibility of supplantation, are speaking from ignorance of the nature of scientific generalizations. If we are to thank the logical positivists for nothing else, we can at least thank them for the hard work they have put into showing the probability status of scientific law, and for working effectively on the notion of degree of confirmation. Although it would be rather difficult to put down the degree of confirmation of the theory of evolution, we at least know its limits, and in view of the shifting around in evolutionary theory since its proposal by Darwin, we know that the confirmation is not as high as it is usually made out to be." (Ramm, 1954, p.188).

"The theory of evolution in terms of the philosophy of science is a probability statement. It is based on a great number of observations-geological, biological, embryological, psychological. From these observations certain limited generalizations are made about individual species or families. Increasingly larger generalizations are made as to the broader laws of heredity, embryology, tissue structure, or reproduction. Finally, the great bulk of the data of life is summarized by the most universal generalization possible, which is some form of the theory of evolution. This generalization is substantiated with a variety of arguments which are usually collected in some text on evolutionary theory. No one has seen evolution at work over the hundreds of thousands of years of geological time. What we have is a vast collection of data of almost every conceivable sort. All this data is organized by the theory of evolution, a generalization of the broadest possible type. It is, therefore, a probability statement and not anything like absolute or eternal truth. Such a generalization is not as yet capable of clear, univocal verification." (Ramm, 1954, pp.188-189).

"As a hypothesis it [the theory of evolution] can survive only if no serious logical inconsistencies develop within it. At the present time it is working with two contradictory assertions: (i) life comes only from life, and (ii) life originally arose from the inorganic. Perhaps a hundred years of biological experimentation will prove this to be a fatal contradiction. Or we may assert that (i) offspring keep within a well-defined range of variability, and (ii) offspring occasionally jump well outside the usual range of variability. Perhaps in years to come this too will prove to be fatal to evolution." (Ramm, 1954, p.189).

"If evolution runs into serious material trouble it will have to be modified or discarded. Perhaps it will be shown that genes and chromosomes are too complex ever to have evolved but had to be created. Perhaps after two hundred years of intensive experimentation all proposed mechanisms of evolution will have to be discarded. Typical of many evolutionists is Howells, who admits that there is no known mechanism for evolution yet accepts the theory without facing the implications of a theory without a mechanism. He writes: `And there is also the mystery of how and why evolution takes place at all ... Evolution is a fact, like digestion ... Nor is it known just why evolution occurs, or exactly what guides its steps.' [Howells, W., "Mankind So Far," Doubleday: New York, 1944, p.5)" (Ramm, 1954, p.189).

"The geological record might be troublesome to evolution. One hundred more years of palaeontology might show the invalidity of many present assumptions." (Ramm, 1954, p.189).

"Although Standen writes popularly he nonetheless has put his finger on two of the sorest points of evolutionary theory, showing its possible ultimate embarrassment with facts. (i) He correctly observes that there is the vague theory and the precise theory. The vague theory is the belief of scientists that evolution has occurred. The precise theory is the hypothesis as to how evolution actually works. There is no known satisfactory and clearly demonstrated precise theory of evolution. If evolution is to `stick' as a scientific theory it must establish precise theory. In spite of the fact that as yet no precise theory is forthcoming, the evolutionists have unbounded faith in the vague theory [Standen, A., "Science is a Sacred Cow," E.P. Dutton & Co: New York NY, 1950, pp.101-102]. This is not science at its best. (ii) He correctly observes that the so-called evolutionary trees are all leaves or twigs with no branches or trunk. Theoretically we should be able to trace an entire series of forms from some primeval creatures to a present day creature. It is not a matter of a missing link, but of countless missing links. The wood which should support all these branches and twigs is, as Standen says, `hypothetical wood.' [Ibid, pp.104-105] The geologist or evolutionist might claim that the geological record is imperfect. Even so, the careful scientist is expected to keep his theories close to the evidence. Creating vast genealogical trees out of hypothetical wood is not keeping close to the actual data of palaeontology." (Ramm, 1954, pp.189-190).

"All we are trying to assert at this point is a call for a clear recognition that the theory of evolution is a probability statement. Its life must not depend on dogmatism of biologists, but on the actually forthcoming evidence and data. This data may increase the status of the theory, or weaken it or even destroy it. It is not true to scientific epistemology to give it the benediction of finality or even to treat it as a scientific sacred cow." (Ramm, 1954, p.190).

"The broad generalizations are usually the most difficult statements to verify, because they are at the end of a long series of probability statements and because the verification of such statements is fraught with so many problems-the possible bias of the scientist; the welter of the data; the number of possibilities of interpretation at several points of the evidence; trying to weigh the significance of certain phenomena or experiments." (Ramm, 1954, p.190).

"The history of science is the history of ruined and wrecked generalizations. This is a sign of health, exhibiting the power of science to correct itself. It is also a sign of the tentativeness of all scientific theory, evolution included. Two great generalizations have been accepted by western culture only to be subsequently discredited by later developments. The first was Ptolemaic astronomy, which seemed so obvious to the medieval astronomers. Today it is outmoded, though once universally believed in the western world. The second is Newtonian physics, which had acquired more prestige than the Ptolemaic system. Scientists boasted that Newton had discovered the very laws of God, and for over two hundred years his system reigned supreme. Newton's system is now a special condition within the more comprehensive system of Albert Einstein, and the atomic physicists have told us that Newtonian physics has little applicability to the microcosm. Hundreds of other generalizations in all the sciences have suffered the same fate. Evolutionists must seriously face the significance of the history of science before evolutionary theory becomes knighted as the everlasting law of biology." (Ramm, 1954, p.190).

"If the theory of evolution be a generalization of a host of lesser and greater generalizations, then it is not possible to show with our present state of knowledge that all possibilities are exhausted. Evolutionary theory in theory could suffer the same fate as the Ptolemaic and Newtonian theories. It is an effort to reconstruct the past history of biology, and understand the present phenomena. It is the best guess the biologists have made at the present to harmonize all the biological phenomena."(Ramm, 1954, pp.190-191).

"...the theory of progressive creationism is that interpretation of life which the author advocates and which he thinks is a more comprehensive theory than the theory of evolution. Progressive creationism endeavours to explain much that the theory of evolution tries to explain, and many of the things that the theory of evolution leaves unexplained. Gen. 1 records the broad outline of the successive creative acts of God in bringing the universe through the various stages from chaos to man. Being a very general sketch it leaves considerable room for the empirical determination of various facts. A multitude of biological facts now generally accepted by the biologists would remain unchanged. In progressive creationism there may be much horizontal radiation. The amount is to be determined by the geological record and biological experimentation. But there is no vertical radiation. Vertical radiation is only by fiat creation. A root-species may give rise to several species by horizontal radiation, through the process of the unraveling of gene potentialities or recombination. Horizontal radiation could account for much which now passes as evidence for the theory of evolution. The gaps in the geological record are gaps because vertical progress takes place only by creation." (Ramm, 1954, p.191).

"Creation and development are both indispensable categories in the understanding of geology and biology. ... Progression cannot be denied geology and biology. The chasms in the order of life can only be bridged by creation. Biology cannot be rendered totally meaningful solely in terms of progression. Both Genesis and biology start with the null and void, both proceed from the simple to the complex, and both climax with man." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.191).

"A series of guerrilla fights with evolution showing its weaknesses and inconsistencies will not win the day. Convictions are surrendered only when a more unifying, a more integrating hypothesis is suggested and demonstrated. The Christian approach to evolution cannot consist of snipings at the theory; but it must supply an interpretative theory of biology which will do all the evolutionary theory does for modern biologists, and something more besides. Until then we may sting the theory of evolution with some factual embarrassments here and there but we will never force a retreat. It is our hope that a theory like progressive creationism will form the basis of a new biological synthesis which will be to biology like relativity theory was to physical theory." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.191).

"Necessary restrictions on the theory of evolution. The author does not have the necessary learning in biology to attempt a refutation of the evidence of evolution However, there appear to be problems in the evolutionary theory which are obvious to those who are not trained biologists. There as yet remains the proof of the inorganic origin of life. It may be assumed but it is not yet verified. There is the problem of the rugged species which have endured without change for millions of years. There is the problem of the sudden appearance of new forms in the geological record. There are as yet multitudes of missing links among the species. As yet biologists are not agreed as to the mechanism of evolution, and those mechanisms advocated do not as yet possess a high degree of verification. " (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.192).

"Our particular problem is this: what are the necessary limitations of evolutionary theory? There are limits beyond which the theory of evolution may not be pushed, and we wish to examine those limits. ... Evolution can never become the self-creation of Nature. By an actual cause we mean that which is the ultimate and final cause of a thing. By a mediate cause we mean that which is the tool of the actual cause. The carpenter is the actual cause of a house; the hammer, nails, etc., are the mediate causes, or secondary causes. It is the firm teaching of Sacred Scripture, Christian theology, and Christian theism that the sole actual cause of the universe is Almighty God. God is the First Cause, the Actual Cause, and the world-ground of all things. Without God matter could not be, laws could not be, processes could not be. The universe in every dimension and at every point depends upon God. Therefore, evolution cannot be conceived as actual cause. Nature cannot create itself. To give evolution the status of actual causation is the terrible mistake -from the perspective of theism--of naturalism, pragmatism, materialism, and positivism. The only possible status which evolution could have is that of any other scientific law, viz. that of mediate or secondary causation." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.192).

"Evolution can never be the rationale of the universe. Evolution has been taken (e.g. Spencer) as the key interpretative concept of the universe. The universal law of evolution has been invoked to explain the development of the cosmos, the solar system, the elements, the crust of the earth, the flora and fauna of the earth, man, and all social institutions--marriage, family, agriculture, legal systems, political systems, economic systems and religion. This is .hardly a defensible use of the word evolution. It could only be so applied if it were to mean simply change, but if that is all it means it becomes a rather empty term, a truism of not too great sophistication. Evolution applied to inorganic things can mean only a series of states, or a succession of processes, but always with a balanced equation. There are other serious problems when the term is applied to social institutions. Evolution in biology must fear the significance of epigenesis. By epigenesis we mean the constant increase of the complexity of forms over a period of time. We mean that something new is constantly added; that there is something additive to evolution, something quasi-creative. It must be something more than mere change or rearrangement." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, pp.192-193).

"Evolution, if it be true, is a law of biology. It is not a law of the elements, nor of social institutions, nor of man's higher powers. It may be a powerful interpretative principle in biology, but it cannot serve as the rationale of the universe any more than Newton's concept of gravitation could. Nature, man, and society are richer in content than can be accounted for by the biological concept of epigenesis or transformation. Evolution as a biological theory cannot be artlessly transmuted into metaphysics, epistemology, and religion. No matter how thoroughly a man of biology may believe in evolution, he must not be an idolator and worship his theory. He must have the humility to realize that there are other windows on reality." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.193).

"Evolution must reckon with energy and design in Nature. The second law of thermodynamics cannot be ignored in the construction of evolutionary theory. [Clark, R.E.D., "Evolution and Entropy," JTVI 75, 1943, pp.49-71]. Evolution and entropy are headed in opposite directions. Clark's fundamental thesis is that entropy represents a random and degenerative process, whereas life represents an ordered and generative process. Entropy is the gradual equalization of molecular velocities through random collisions, and it is degenerative in the sense that the physical state of energy levels is decreased. Life is possible only if miraculously these two features of entropy are reversed, and certainly entropy is the more basic and universal law than evolution. Betts agrees with Clark that entropy is a downhill process, and although while not an outright refutation of evolution, it poses serious problems to evolution. The fundamental energy process of Nature is disintegrative, not integrative. In radioactivity the process is from the complex to the simple. As Betts writes: `Indeed, modern astronomical evidence is showing that there is unidirectional "evolution" of matter from the state of high atomic complexity to one of atomic simplicity and a breakdown of matter farther into radiation. [Betts, E.H., "Evolution and Entropy," JTVI, 76, 1944, pp.1-18] It is at this point that clear metaphysical positions come forth. Even the most positivistic scientist must say something. We are faced clearly with the two theories of (i) the recoverability of energy and (ii) the irrecoverability of energy. If energy is irrecoverable we are faced with the doctrine of creation. If energy is recoverable we are not forced into creationism. If we believe in irrecoverability we believe in an omnipotent God; if not we believe in the Epicurean god of Chance. Energy confronts us with the problem of choosing between Epicurean Chance and the Eternal Deity. To this hour no known process of recoverability is proven. The Christian is convinced that of the two possibilities creation is more intellectually respectable." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, pp.193-194).

"Modern scientific thought has been insistently against an interpretation of Nature by design or final causes. Evolutionary thought must take account of at least two matters in this regard. ... There are a large number of cosmic and inorganic features necessary for life on this planet. The earth must fulfil certain cosmic relations or life would be frozen out or burnt out, or there would be wrong proportions of gases or incorrect proportions of land to water. Such a list becomes encyclopedic in length and I am sure we have not begun to determine all the necessary cosmic and chemical features of the earth absolutely necessary for life. The facts of the case are that these facts do exist so as to make life Possible. Life is a cosmic function, not just a mould on the crust of this earth. Not a bit of protoplasm could appear on this earth unless the entire cosmic structure gave its assent. NOT ONE CELL OF LIFE COULD EMERGE IN SOME PRIMEVAL POOL OF WATER UNLESS THE ENTIRE STAGE OF THE COSMOS WERE SET FOR IT. On what grounds can such facts be ignored? To assume all is chance, with not even the flutter of the eyelash, is not becoming the genuine openmindedness that characterizes science at its best. Which is the greater strain on our credulity: (i) that these countless of thousands of facts of cosmic, chemical, and physical properties-all of which are absolutely necessary to life-occurred by chance on this one planet; or (ii) that God of omnipotence raised his Son from the dead?" (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.194. Capitals original).

"Evolution must reckon with the multitude of facts now known about sensory perception. It takes considerable experimental work and scientific erudition to discover how the eye, ear and nose function. Psychophysicists have discovered that these organs are highly engineered products. There must be sensitivity to the right ranges of energy in sound and light. There must be energy transformations and even, as in the case of the ears, reduction of gears! The eye must have a reasonably clear, workable lens, a photographic plate, and a chemical reagent to develop the picture. When we consider how much technical construction goes into the construction of a television set, and what a big mechanism it is, and then contrast it with the human eye which receives pictures in colour with automatic adjustment features built in, yet all contained in about one cubic inch, we cannot but marvel at the intelligence of the man who still insists upon chance factors alone in Nature." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, pp.194-195).

"Only in the twentieth century has science begun to unravel in detail the intricate engineering technicalities of human sensory organs. And this is but a token of the evidence available, for there is the inexhaustible study of the sensory powers and `instincts' of animals. It is further conceivable that when the biochemists tell us the fairly complete story of the chemistry of the human body we will bow our heads in holy reverence and admit the only feasible accounting of this is the work of an Omnipotent Wisdom. If evolution is the law of biology, it cannot be developed in independence of these matters we have here presented, and therefore evolution cannot expect to account for all biological phenomena by chance or random." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.195).

"Evolution must face the transcendental nature of man. In the nineteenth and twentieth century man had ganged up against himself. Taxonomically he put himself with the brutes. Biologically and physically he made himself only a physical object-with no mind or soul. The central nervous system is now his soul or mind. Everything in traditional philosophy and religion based on the presupposition of a soul, and thus yielding a normative discipline must now be rejected, e.g. a true religion, normative ethics, eternal laws of the true, the beautiful, and the good, and in their places has been put a positivistic, anti-metaphysical, and relativistic scientism. It is our contention that this is a gross misconstruction of the facts. Man has four types of experiences which prove that although he is part of Nature in that he possesses a physical body, he yet transcends his own physical nature, proving that he also has a mental or spiritual nature which must come from above and not from below." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.195).

"Man has the power of rational thought. Anti-metaphysical positivism can only be propounded and defended by a man with the powers of rational thought. All science is based on man's power of conceptualization. Rational thought is only possible because man can step out of the circle of necessity. Correct answers are not discovered by following through a series of physical states, but by following through a series of steps dictated by logic and inference. To convert ice to steam is to subject the ice to a series of states. The same is true of the conversion of crude oil to gasoline. But an entirely different sequence is followed in finding the cube root of 27. These thought processes have to step out of the circle of determined physical states of the brain itself-and they therefore testify that there is something in man that is more than body, nerves, and chemicals." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, pp.195-196).

"Man has the ability to have moral experience. In moral experience there is a definite structure. There are always two or more possibilities of moral choice, and these possibilities create a tension. The most ardent convert to materialism must decide many times a day which alternative he shall choose in a moral situation. Annually he must self-test his honesty with his income tax return. This moral structure is in all of us, and even if we get so hardened as to ignore it, we greatly resent those who ignore it in their injustices upon us. After all the psychologists have had their say about social conditioning, and after all the anthropologists have had their say about cultural conditioning, the moral structure is still part of the fundamental psychic equipment of all normal people. Such a structure escapes physical determinism. There is no way of accounting for moral experience from below; it is a part of man which comes from above." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.196).

"Man has an aesthetic structure within him. The sense of the beautiful is not in the sense organ but through the sense organ. Dogs may hear better than humans but they hardly enjoy a concert as a trained musician does. Birds have magnificent eyes, but they are hardly the world's great art critics. We believe that animals have the incipient structures of personality and so experience certain things which humans do, but only at a greatly reduced level. Animals exhibit certain emotions and certain powers of thought, and perhaps even have rude aesthetic experiences. Such powers are necessary for their survival and existence. But the full range of these powers is found only in man. The power to detach an object of sense from all else but its aesthetic quality is a power that is from above, not from below. Only by taking a stand outside the state of physical determination can man enjoy the beautiful." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.196).

"Man's belief in God, his sense of the transcendental as seen in worship, and his experience of the spiritual order, are all matters of daily experience of Christians and are not accountable on naturalistic premises. As far as can be determined nothing corresponding to religious experience or worship or adoration is detectable among animals. Erratic as metaphysical beliefs of some thinkers may be, they at least testify to man's power to think above transitory experience, and to try to peer over his narrow cell of space and time and try to catch a vision of an eternal order. Even though a man may reject the proofs for the existence of God, there is something to weigh and measure in these proofs in that man has (i) the power to construct such elaborate chains of argumentation, and that (ii) he has a sense of something eternal, transcendent, the ground of all being. Man's power to create a world other than the sensory world, and his power to worship and venerate that world, is a testimony to the fact that there is more in man than physical states, and this power is from above and not from below." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, pp.196-197).

"The conclusion at this point is this: evolution may be entertained as a possible secondary cause or mediate cause in biological science. But to raise it to a metaphysical principle or as the all-embracing key or category or scheme of Reality and to cancel out the metaphysical worth of all other possible clues is improper science and doggerel philosophy. If evolution be used so as to relativize all ethics, logic, beauty, and religion, and completely to animalize man, we can judge only that it must be severely condemned by evangelical Christianity, and by all philosophies and world views which seek genuine significance for human personality, worth, and value, and which believe in purpose in human history. Evolutionary theory must be developed within the confines of what we have here endeavoured to set forth." (Ramm, 1954, 1960, p.197).

"F. E. Zeuner (Dating the Past, third edition, 1952) has an interesting chapter on `Biological Evolution and Time' (Chapter XII). The conclusion he comes to is that evolution works too slowly to be experimentally verified in the lifetime of an experimenter or even of humanity. It is almost an admission that evolution can never be strictly demonstrated for its mechanism works too slowly to be a matter of experimentation. If this is the case then the probability status of the theory of evolution is greatly lowered, and biologists must accordingly moderate their spirit of certainty in speaking of its confirmation." (Ramm, 1954, pp.209-210).

"Christianity is a religion and not a science. In science the principle of inter-subjectivity or objectivity prevails. What is true for one scientist must be true for all. But this is not true in religion, for if the pure in heart see God [Mt 5:8], then the impure do not, and what is true for the pure is not true for the impure. God draws near to those who draw near to Him [Jas 4:8], and He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him [Heb 11:6]. He is not known to those who do not draw close to Him or to those who refuse to seek Him. What is true for some is emphatically not true for all. In the Gospels a very wealthy young man refused to make the motions of faith. He was intrigued by Jesus Christ, but when the issue became sharply one of Christ or his possessions, the tug of his possessions was the stronger, and sorrowfully he left Jesus Christ [Lk 18:18-25]. He wanted religion without the motions of faith. It is not a rash presumption to believe that many scientists and educated men wish for peace of mind, relief from a guilty conscience, hope for the life to come, and the blessedness of faith in God. But they find themselves caught between their science and their religious hopes, unable to move. Being possessed of great intellectual riches which manage to come first in their sentiments, they leave Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus refused to pursue the rich young man and make other terms, so today we cannot lessen or cheapen or alter the terms of the gospel for our men of science. There is no other Saviour than Jesus Christ [Jn 14:6; Acts 4:12], and there is no other means of having Him than by the motions of repentance and faith. Therefore, if a scientist comes to God he must come in the same way as any other person comes to God. He must make the appropriate spiritual motions. He must repent; he must confess his sin to God; he must believe in Jesus Christ with all his heart." (Ramm, 1954, p.245).


"the Dude" said...

I'm a naturalist.
I accept evolution gratefully.
I accept miracles gratefully.
Religion requires miracles.
Science does not.
If God exists, it's a miracle.

Unicorns, talking donkeys, flying horses, flying reindeer, 8 legged elephants and other supernatural entities are not biologically based, but do exist in fine traditional moralistic storytelling. A good story often requires suspension or extension of belief, and magic and miracles are a wonderful part of growing up.

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Dude

Thanks for your comment.

>I'm a naturalist.

Presumably that means your fundamental *assumption* is that nature is all that there is, i.e. there is no supernatural.

>I accept evolution gratefully.

If you rule out in advance the supernatural, then "evolution" is your *only* option. You don't even *need* any evidence for it.

>Religion requires miracles.
Science does not.

"Science" is about following the evidence *wherever* it leads. If you use "science" to *rule out in advance what you can accept as evidence, including evidence for "God" and "miracles", then "science" has become *your* "religion" and the worst type of dogmatic, blinkered, bigotted "religion" at that!

>Unicorns, talking donkeys, flying horses, flying reindeer, 8 legged elephants and other supernatural entities are not biologically based, but do exist in fine traditional moralistic storytelling.

Your fallacy is that because *some* claimed "supernatural entities" do not exist, then *all* "supernatural entities," including God, do not exist.

>A good story often requires suspension or extension of belief, and magic and miracles are a wonderful part of growing up.

This is another naturalistic confusion. That "supernatural entities" like God are the same as childhood "magic and miracles" like Santa Claus, that everyone discards as part of "growing up".

But in fact most people do not discard God as part of "growing up". The overwhelming majority of adults are theists and only a small minority are atheists.

In my case I was an atheist in my early teenage years, and it was "growing up" that made me realise that there was good evidence for a Creator.

A few years ago, one of the world's leading atheists, Antony Flew, in his 80's renounced his life-long atheism and accepted *on the basis of the "biologically based " evidence* that God was necessary to create life from non-life.

So it is *you* and your fellow "naturalists" who are guilty of "suspension" *and* "extension of belief." You have suspended belief in a Creator God, *irrespective of the evidence for Him*, and extended belief in nature being able to create itself, *irrespective of the evidence for that*!

The bottom line between us is a form of Pascal's Wager. If you are right and Naturalism is true, when we die, neither of us will know that Naturalism was true. Then you would have *gained nothing* and I would have *lost nothing*.

But if I am right and Christianity is true, when we die (or Christ return before that), we will both know that Christianity was true. But then you would have *lost everything* and I would have *gained everything*.

So best of luck with your life's wager-you will need it!

Stephen E. Jones

"the Dude" said...

You are welcome. I consider the supernatural to be miraculous, but certainly not natural. Since I am not a supernaturalist, I accept and define it as a miracle, the same way I would accept and define a purple polka-dotted flying dragon from the planet neptune as a miracle, a supernatural event.

You apparently thought I am an atheist? I don't know where that came from. I repeat: I accept miracles, if God exists, it's a miracle.
If that is atheism to you, then I guess our definitions differ, since AFAIK, Atheists don't accept miracles or God.
Good luck on your wager, I don't gamble.
~ Peace ~ Salam ~ Shalom ~ Pax ~
Wings, Prayers and Teddy Bears :)
David/Daud/Dude Deden @ nor calif US