Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Stones Thrown at the Phrase "Theistic Evolution"

Forbes has a post by John Farrell, the science and technical writer, about the inadequacy and inappropriateness of the term “Theistic Evolution.”  He points out that those who label themselves as such are often pariahs not just to modern young-earth creationists but to atheists as well.  Both sides regard them as “compromisers.” But, beyond that, he notes that there are problems with the appropriateness of the term, as well.  He quotes Stacy Tracanos, who writes
“Think about it. If you are a believer, it is already implied that you see all biological and physical processes as created and held in existence by God. You do not need “theistic” in front of biological terms. Who speaks of theistic reproduction? Or theistic gestation, theistic meiosis, or theistic menstruation? Plus, to qualify a biological process as ‘theistic’ implies that the opposite is possible, that God may not be involved in creating certain laws of nature.”
She is correct about this. This is why I tend to favor the term “evolutionary creationist.” It takes the emphasis off the “evolutionist” and puts it on the “creationist.”  This differentiates it from “progressive creationist” or “young earth creationist.” Farrell finishes with this:
The main point is Christian scientists who accept evolution have a much broader understanding of God than—chief engineer. And ‘theistic evolution’, as its summarized for example at Wikipedia, simply misrepresents their position.

Atheists have voiced many arguments for wondering how Christians can maintain belief in a benevolent deity in a world that features so much apparent waste and suffering ‘built in’ to the program, as science has revealed.

But ‘theistic evolution’ isn’t one of their answers, at least not among the serious scientists I know who are theists. And it’s well past its sell-by date.
Probably true.

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