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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frame Frames it Fittingly

Well, not quite, it’s a bit of an each way bet!

Tom Frame, previously bishop of bullets and guns and now bishop of books and writing has run an article in the Sydney Morning Herald on the limits of Darwinism.

One of my favourite review lines applies: “there’s a lot to like about this article” but, and there’s always a ‘but’ after ‘there’s a lot to like’, he runs an each way bet by standing up the variety of Christian views of origins, irrespective of the degree to which they strain their connection with Genesis 1.

He has a slam at Dawkins, which is always fitting, because Dawkins’ usually acts like a bit of a loon; others however, have slammed him more effectively in the past. But I expect Frame was running against the word ration the SMH gave him.

Tom has a number of quite amusing things to say:

“Evolutionary theory does not explain everything we want to know about the natural world or human life, and some of what evolutionary theory purports to explain it hardly elucidates at all. While we might know how some things occurred we still want to know why. Most importantly, why is there something rather than nothing?”

Well, the truth be known, evolutionary theory explains nothing at all. From Darwin on its been smoke screening, equivocation, and argument by personal credulity (Darwin’s Origin is full of it, as Dissenter continuously shows. In thrall to idealism (the dominant philosophy underpinning contemporary theology, in my view, but in vigorous rejection of any biblical realism, the philosophy that should underpin theology), Tom thinks that the basic existiential question can be answered apart from the question of origins, which leads directly to the answer to the basic existential question. I raised my eyebrows too!

In the very next paragraph, Tom asks, as though the question is decided: “So how does a Christian account for the origin of life and the emergence of religious faith in the light of evolutionary theory?”

Well, this Christian is relieved of the conundrum. How does a Darwinist account for the origin of life and the emergence of rationality in the light of there being no evidence, no mechanism and no theoretical means (no, I mean a real one, not the string of empty words that Dawkins and his ilk string us along with) in a materialistic paradigm?

Tom lets us in on the trade secret of modern theologians:
“Evolutionary theory requires creation to be understood as a continuous process rather than an isolated act in the distant past. In this view, God creates in and through natural processes.”

Sure, it’s a view, and its an interesting theological point as to whether God creates in and through natural processes, or by speaking, as Gen 1, 2, John 1:1-3 and Hebrews 11:3 tell us. Here’s the choice: Tom or the Holy Spirt. Any thoughts Tom? And what about continuous (in this 'view') vs Genesis 1: '...and it was so'. Continuous process seems to be at odds with the kinds of actions described in the in the six days and the way the creatures made are described. But then, facts, no matter how perspicuous, have never been successfully able to obstruct the vain speculations of much modern theology.

I could go on and on, but will spare reader and self that detail.

So, the best one for the last:

“I share the conviction of Simon Conway Morris, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeontology at the University of Cambridge: nature controls the course of evolution but convergence, implying a higher purpose, controls nature.
Conway has argued evolution is not arbitrary and if life were to evolve again, it would look very much as it does now.”

Good, Tom. Now, what experimental evidence do you, or Simon have for this? I could ask much the same question of Barth, who decided that nothing in the real world, could affect the faith world. Did Karl do any experiements...ah, theology is so easy!

15 comments:

Critias said...

I read the article too, also read in the same edition of the Herald about the Victoria bush fires; yikes!

Frame's article was about knocking Darwin (off his perch one day, I hope, the greatest scientific misleader ever) so he didn't quite get to discussing the variety of Christian views. Pity, because he might have then been able to link the rise of modern science with the philosophy that come from 6-day creationism. The philosophy of evolution has been with us for thousands of years. Darwin did not bring any news, just a pretend mechanism and lots of hand waving. But the phil. of evolution didn't produce modern science, it was the phil. of 'God meant what he said in Genesis 1' and 'we will now be able to think as though the creation will repay rational enquiry'.

Modern science stands on the shoulders of 6-day creationism!

SADs think that this question of origins it not an issue. But my, how it keeps popping up all over the place: connect09, connect with the world you wish was there, not the one that is there!

What they've missed is that the question of origins is the most pervasively interesting question there is, and the answer to that question is profoundly determinative of our view of the world, how we think about it and the decisions we make about self, relationships and destiny.

Our origin sets the bounds and constraints as to who we are with absolute finality, and sets the complete frame of our experience rigidly: it is comprehensive and circumscribes our existential lot.

People like the Jensen boys seem to think that somehow the idea of God being immediately the author of the real into which we are placed is compatible with God being at great distance from the accidents of material just throwing us up, but fails to see that one cannot coherently maintain a first philosophy that relies on the former when one claims that reality is dominated and indeed, explained comprehensively by the latter. There seems to be no appreciation that basic theoretical frames of reference are just not that maleable. Its crazy talk to think they are and leads us nowhere. In fact, it cuts of evangelism because the gospel just ends up as another choice within the materialist frame, rather than being that which overturns the materialist frame and replaces it with the Godly frame, which is the 'frame' given by God himself.

This is consistently insisted on through scripture and no reference to creation from elsewhere in the Bible allows any alternative explanation. (Your refs. Eric are the starting point for that particular exploration).

The big news of Genesis 1 (and 2 and 3) is that it defines everything. It is not just a story of what we wish happened, and did not, but in that account we see how the world we are in is circumscribed by God's word and its *this* world, not some other world of the theological imagination, because the word is given in the terms of our (only possible) spatio-temporal reference. It has got to make sense here, because we have no other frame in which it could possibly make sense.

If it is meant to make sense in some other frame, then that is not hinted at at all, because it is set very firmly in this frame: God's covenant is here and now, not elsewhere and otherwise, as the reductio of Barth's view of the Bible would have to have it, finally.

(I must make a T shirt with a pic. of Barth in a circle with a slash through it...hmm, would there be a market?)

sam drucker said...

Critias wrote: (I must make a T shirt with a pic. of Barth in a circle with a slash through it...hmm, would there be a market?)

Not in the Sydney Episcopalian Diocese!

Warwick said...

As regards microbe-to-man-evolution being a 'fact'I have found any argument with anyone of the evolution faith usually runs to a formula.

1) He says evolution is a fact.
2) I challenge this, saying it's a belief, which it is.
3) He gives a speciation or survival of the fittest example as his proof.
4) I point out that both of these actually decrease the ampont of genetic information in any individual/species, while evolution needs totally new, unique and specific informnation to turn one kind into another. For example reptile into bird.
5)He insults me-youse is a moron, or similar.
6)I ask; how can your belief be tested by the testable, repeatable, observable scientific method?
7) He has never heard of this and comes up with;
a) You are scientifically ignorant/hillbilly/fool/moron/fundamentalist etc.
OR
b)You don't know anything, as most scientists say evolution is a fact.
8) I then revert to no.7- how can microbe-to-man evolution be tested?

It goes nowhere either because he hasn't a clue, or thinks he(like Dawkins on the Frog To Prince DVD,)thinks he has a clue and offers ( a la Dawkin's) an answer, an answer which makes no sense and is not related to the question.

It gets boring after a while.

Gordon Cheng said...

I'd forgotten all about you kids until John dropped into my blog and said hello.

Hello back at ya!

neil moore said...

Hi Gordon. How have the conversations with cab drivers been going?

I see Craig has been given editorial space in Southern Cross. Can't be much happening there?

Connect 09 fulfilling your aspirations?

Neil

Eric said...

Gordon, nice to see your smiling face. Smile easy, engagement difficult...is that it Gordon?

John said...

Let me guess: Your daughter hasn't been skipping "unnecessarily" in the corridor after you told her off for doing so, and now your life can't offer up any genuine opportunities to evangelise, felt bored, hence your appearance here. Man, I can see '09 is an enthralling success. Go Peter! Go Gordie! Go Mikey! Go the Gamma Rays from Planet Zygon! Go the whole lot of you!

neil moore said...

Now, now, come on fellas, let's try to be mature about this. I for one get hurt when Gordon call me a kid. I want to improve relations.

Gordon, how can I help you?

Neil

sam drucker said...

Sounds like Neil is going soft!!!

neil moore said...

No Sam, just wondering if there is a door open for dialogue.

Neil

neil moore said...

Gordon, are you there?

Neil

Ktisophilos said...

The Melbourne Anglos are even celebrating Darwin. Not surprising, since some of the MAD feminists demanded that antenatal baby butchery be decriminalized.

John said...

I like this comment from the pro-abortion Anglicans: "The seven-woman committee — including an obstetrician, a medical ethicist and a theologian — was appointed by Archbishop Philip Freier, "who felt men had said enough", one member said."

Didn't the apostle Paul say the opposite i.e. that Eve had said way too much?

I can never understand these gender-restricted discussions. Imagine if men pulled that one out every time they wanted to silence half the population. I don't quite get how having a penis or a vagina intelligently decides a moral question. Maybe these non-Christian Anglicans don't see deliberately murdering children as a moral issue and it really is akin to the amoral extraction of a tooth.

Well, I'm sure the Jensen clan even over their dead bodies would never allow the SAD to so sharply turn in the direction that the MAD has turned. After all, SADs have such a high view of the Bible. I mean, they actually teach the Bible is truth....beginning at Genesis ch12....sorry that's possibly from ch 50....wait, wait, wait, I've read on the SAD Forum that quite possibly real truth begins after Exodus....well, too quick for my own good....it's changed again...OH well, truth is so fluid and all depends on the literary devices, or science or, or, or....

neil moore said...

G-O-R-D-O-N!, are you there?

Neil

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