From the Dust: Conversations on Creation – a Review

Last night Kay and I attended the world premiere of a new film. I could wax eloquent and say this was the first time I’ve ever attended a movie premiere, and it was, but when we use that language it conjures up the idea of limousines, red carpets, stars in formal attire, paparazzi and other media hype. This world premiere was in a small old theater just off University Avenue in Palo Alto. The film, From the Dust: conversations in creation, is a documentary looking at the state of the conversation concerning science and evolution in the fundamentalist and evangelical communities.

The film asks questions such as, “Does the Bible provide a narrative of mankind’s material origins?” “What is the real source of the controversy surrounding evolution vs. creation?” And how do we reconcile scientific discovery with a loving, universal, creator-God?”

The importance of opening a true discussion as opposed to and name-calling those who do not agree with us cannot be overstated. The construction of the film allows representatives of the two sides of the discussion, i.e. those evangelicals and fundamentalists who insist on a recent six-day creation and those evangelicals who see the physical evidence in the world as pointing to the reality of evolution, to present their positions in their own words. This format is effective in avoiding such caricaturization.

The list of those appearing in the film is impressive. Among those interviewed are: Dr. Alister McGrath (Ph.D. in molecular biophysics & D.D. both from Oxford University), Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne (mathematician, theoretical physics,  Anglican priest); Dr. John Walton (Old Testament scholar, Wheaton University, author of The Lost World of Genesis One), Bishop Dr. N.T. Wright (New Testament Scholar, Anglican Bishop of Durham); Dr. Peter Enns (Old Testament scholar and author of The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins), Dr. Richard Colling (Olivet Nazarene University, author Random Designer), Dr. April Masckiewicz (Assoc. Professor of Biology, Point Loma Nazarene University).  Dr. Clay Brinson (D.V.M. University Georgia, Canopy Ministries) Dr. James Denton (M.D.  University of Virginia), Dr. Daryl Falk (Ph.D., President of Biologos Foundation and Professor of Biology, Point Loma Nazarene University), Dr. Jason Lisle (Ph.D.  Astrophysicist), Dr. Jeff Schloss (Ph.D. Professor of Biology, Westmont College) to name just some of the interviewees.

The tone of the film is balanced and positive and representatives of each position articulate their answers to the questions under discussion in their own words and with their own rationale.

Production values are acceptable to good. The digital projection at the theatre was somewhat problematic—projecting a DVD onto the big screen caused occasional pixelization of the image.   However, when viewed on the small screen these problems  disappear.

The questions of worldview and paradigm change are addressed head-on but not in these terms.  There is an explicit recognition that for those who have been raised in the fundamentalist and evangelical camps and taught to distrust science and see all truth as being grounded more or less directly in scripture, the exposure to the scientific method and how science really works is a “gut-wrenching” experience.  A number of years ago the son of one of my colleagues, who graduated from one of the best Christian high schools in Northern California, matriculated at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he majored in one of the scientific disciplines.  Shaking his head he complained that virtually everything he learned about science and the scientific method in High School needed to be unlearned.  I am not talking about evolution here. I am talking about the nature and practice of the scientific method itself.  Unfortunately, as the film reveals things have not changed over the past two decades.  Many conservative Christians still remain ignorant of and hostile to science itself.

The film pivots between science, its nature and limits and biblical interpretation. It raises the issue of the nature of the biblical text and what questions was it trying to answer: to whom is Genesis written, how would its first readers have understood it?  What are the questions they were asking? Were they asking of the text the same questions we ask? Likewise with reference to the scientific method: what are its strengths as well as its limits. Specifically, the interviewees assert the limits of the scientific method.  It is strictly materialistic. As a method of knowledge it can only address the and how of material processes as opposed to questions of meaning and purpose.

The other topic that was introduced but not (unfortunately) more fully developed was that of intellectual certainty.  Specifically what is the nature of the certainty we can have in this world. The fundamentalism of the atheists as well that of the creationists seeks certainty without ambiguity; simplicity with the discomfort of complexity. There is an inherent fear that to let go of certainty is to slip into irrationality. I have observed elsewhere it is as if the rigid belief system literally holds reality together and to question anything is to see reality itself crumble.  I first became painfully aware of this phenomenon over twenty-five years ago, with reference to attitudes toward quantum physics (not evolution)…

. . .in a series of articles in Christianity Today during the mid-1980s on how quantum physics was revolutionizing the concept of the nature of reality. To those with no previous exposure, the subject of the discussion was in some cases quite unnerving. The telling point here is not primarily in the articles themselves, but in the reactions that appeared in the letters to the editor in the following issues. One pastor wrote: “Mass that exists, then becomes non-existent in transit, then exists again according to our will? I don’t have to listen to this! Beam me up, Lord!”. . . Perhaps most disturbing was the example the author of the original article cited in his opening paragraph: “A few weeks ago an acquaintance of ours, a theologian, remarked in the course of a stimulating dinner conversation that he considered quantum mechanics the greatest contemporary threat to Christianity. In fact, he said if some of the results of this theory were really true, his own personal faith in God would be shattered.”  Those responding to the new ideas reacted strongly to having their view of creation challenged with the new paradigm because, I suspect, their own faith and understanding of God himself were tied in an almost absolute way to their view of the nature of the created order, the physical world. To assent to the truth of quantum physics would be to destroy God himself. These reactions did not just come from lay people. They came from pastors and theologians as well. [1]

I find it ironic how deeply we as contemporary conservative Christians had bought into what Daniel Taylor has called The Myth of Certainty[2]. In an era that has been more safe and stable than most any era in history, security/certainty whether it be financial, political or intellectual has been set up as a virtual idol. Doubt or uncertainty is not to be tolerated. Underlying this quest for or belief that, one has achieved absolute certainty is I believe an irrational fear that without our certainty reality itself will come unraveled. While common, it is in fact idolatrous! Our certainty, our trust and stability is not to be found in our mental constructs, or our bank account, our political system or anything besides our Creator and Savior. Certainty is where we end up when we lose faith. The stance of faith is exploring questions rather than absolute scientific answers.

The film doesn’t break new ground but is a call for understanding between the two camps.  As I watched I recognized several unspoken assumptions that were not explicitly addressed in the film in other than a single comment by one interviewee.  First, what is the source of authority?  From the second century, Christians have formally recognized two “books of revelation,” the scriptures and the created order.  This is true of Catholics, Orthodox and the Reformers as well as later Protestants. These two must be in harmony since God is the author of both—one cannot be legitimately pitted against the other and each has its own sphere to which it is speaking.  Galileo was not the first one to say it, but he did make the quip famous. “Scripture was not given to teach us how the heavens go, but how to go to heaven.”

I believe the film achieves its goal of opening up conversation about the “elephant in the living room,” the E-word (evolution).  It will be valuable conversation starter for  campus and church study groups.

The From the Dust DVD can be ordered from BioLogos Foundation for $20 or $25 for the Blu-ray:

[1] M. James Sawyer, The Survivor’s Guide to Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 53.

[2] Daniel Taylor, The Myth of Certainty (Downers Grove: IVP, 1999).

76 Responses to “From the Dust: Conversations on Creation – a Review”

  1. Sounds like a good resource. Thanks for mentioning it. I’ll have to try to get my hands on a copy.

  2. Did any of them deal with trying to make a theological argument for the macro-evolutionary creation of humanity V. a “hard scientific” one? This seems to be a nut that these “scientist-theologians” simply cannot crack. And I write as a theologian. Knowing, at least, how the discussion goes from the Biologos side; there is a certain type of certainty (rationalism) amongst their tribe that I find as stultifying as that coming from the Fundy creationist tribe. To me, this film sounds more like a rhetorical marketing campaign for Biologos—which makes it look like they’re interested in having an open discussion. From what I’ve read from them, they’ve already decided … which comes back to your point on certainty (which should just be called what it is, “rationalism”).

  3. “The Myth of Certainty?”


    Are you certain that certainty is a myth?

    The authority of Scripture is sacrificed on the altar of post-modern epistemology.

  4. This issue is not addressed.

  5. david carlson June 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    mmm, perhaps you might want to actually read the book before you belittle and besmirch.

    On the other hand, part of me thinks your comment is actually ironic and you have read the book

  6. Being produced by BioLogos and featuring the personalities you list, it would be shocking indeed if this film truly is “balanced” as you characterize it.

    This would represent a new departure for BioLogos. However, given your own characterization of some who “[u]insist[/u] on a recent six-day creation” as opposed to those who “see physical evidence,” I get an idea what kind of “balance” this might be.

    Referencing one side as being “taught to distrust science” is another red flag in your review which tips us off that BioLogos probably lives down to our expectations in this film.

    Not adhering society’s Magisterium is very different from mistrusting the scientific method, though the former also goes by the name Science.

    Furthermore, advocating eisegesis, a la Walton et al, is not going to be a solution for balance either. BioLogos can promote evolution to their hearts’ content, but their blatant attempt at Scripture-twising is scandalous.

  7. Possibly Marv, but note they interviewed Lisle. Because this is seeking dialogue I think viewing the film would be worthwhile. Though I little expensive for those outside the US.

    Sawyer, I find the your comments about scientific method in highschool unusual. I don’t know the school and I don’t know what he learnt, what he rejected, or what he came to believe; but I think details are needed with an anecdote like this. It makes the highschool out to be clueless, but in my discussions with some scientists there is disagreement about what the scientific method is. This is a question of philosophy and many scientists fail te appreciate this and are not overly good at it. Further, definitions of the scientific method that have existed (and been modified) since Bacon are abandoned in favour of convoluted definitions that are more polemical and less usable.

  8. Wish I could have been there to see it, simply because Palo Alto is a such a great town (and Stanford a beautiful campus).

    I don’t know if evolution is the elephant in the room, or if the issue of The Fall/sin/historic Adam is.

    Was that addressed?

  9. @M Sawyer, I share your intrepid desire to seek the truth. I also think there is a certain amount of fear for science from the Christian community for various reasons. I also agree with you that some Christians erroneously hang their faith on certain issues that are not essential to our belief in God. I think your example of the pastor and the friend illustrates our lack of understanding in quantum mechanics and adds fuels to our critics. But you can’t blame Christians when these scientists hide behind the façade of objectivity and claim they only deal with the how and not the why of science. When many of them like Stephen Hawking who said based on the “how” of science God is not necessary for our existence. This is when their how tramples all over our why. Science as you said is not based on absolute certainty but when it comes to metaphysical claims like the existence of God these uncertainties become evidence for the certainty of a-theism. Continue with BioLogos in my next comment.

  10. At one end you have YEC who hang Christianity entire on one word, not a verse or chapter but just a single word “yom” against well respected OT scholars. At the other extreme you have BioLogos who is ready to make the Bible fit whatever atheist Darwinian evolution tell them as fact. Dr. Wright was keen to point out that in the 18th century the Church colluded with evolutionists to write God out of the mix and do our experiments. Sadly this is what BioLogos is essentially doing again. They have bought into the whole Darwinian evolution narrative as fact. Their sole purpose now is to win converts to their mindset not by open discussion about the science and methodology of Darwinian evolution but by using the same atheist argument that those who do not accept Darwinian evolution as anti-science and closed-minded fundamentalists. to be cont….

  11. If BioLogos is genuinely interested in an honest and open discussion about this topic then let’s have the discussion about the evidence and science of evolution with the intelligent design and OEC community, instead of trying to convince Christians why we need to morph the Genesis account to fit Darwinian evolution.

  12. R. David (#8), the film does not address the fall / sin / historic Adam. In the question-answer session following the film, I brought this question up, and in response John Walton recommended Collins’s _Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?: Who They Were and Why You Should Care_. In a 60-minute film, you can only fit in so much, but I really felt they ought to have touched on that.

  13. I think the Galileo quote provides useful guidance in this situation:

    “Scripture was not given to teach us how the heavens go, but how to go to heaven.”

    It’s important to keep in mind the goal of Scripture is to point us to Jesus, not to provide a manual of how all things work and a complete history of humankind.

  14. I think that people that oppose BioLogos’ conclusions find their *approach* to be contrary and full of conflict as well. But I’ve read several of their blogs where they let scholars of opposing beliefs post multi-part blogs and enter into dialogue with them on it. If that isn’t fostering communication on the topic in a unique way, then I’d love for someone to point out where someone like AIG or ICR or CMI let their opponents come into THEIR site and post multi-part blogs laying out their positions in their own words…

  15. @SRQTom, yes and no. The Bible is not a science cookbook, but it must be correct when it describes reality. e.g. If the Bible said the earth is a flat plate that sits on the backs of 4 giant elephants, that would be a problem.

  16. @teleologist But the fact that it describes a three-tiered universe concept shared by the cultures around them DOES’T present a problem?

  17. @Eaton this proves my point that BioLogos is not interested in serious dialogue to resolve our differences. Letting critics to post random opinions is not the same as a systematic scholarly debate on the merits of Darwinian evolution. I have never heard anything from BioLogos that said they are willing to debate and scientifically prove the case for Darwinian evolution. As far as I know they are still insisting that Darwinian evolution is settled science and have not indicated any willingness to engage in a scholarly debate on the details of evolution from LUCA to human. Even this documentary is advertised as a dialogue between science and faith. This is pointless since I think they are wrong on science and faith. Let’s just deal with the science part first before we try to combine anything else.

  18. @Eaton No. Can you explain to me what the Bible means by this 3 tiered heaven?

  19. @teleologist: First, it isn’t random opinions. In a recent example, the invited some Southern Baptist scholars in to do a blog series where they invited them to present their issues with BioLogos and interact with BioLogos on those. It was true dialogue with an intent to clear the air of any misconceptions. You just don’t see that kind of attempt on other creation-related sites.

    As far as the three-tiered universe, that is different from three tiered “heavens”. All through the OT, it speaks of an ancient cosmology that isn’t literally accurate. And it can’t all be chalked up to phenomenological language as a lot of that can’t really be seen. Check this out.

  20. A popular focus now is on information as evidence of sovereignty in creation. Quantum physics teaches increase of entropy in an irreversible timeline. In this universe, information cannot arise spontaneously, or evolve in time. Our DNA is a good example of this. A book doesn’t write itself.
    I trust science when applied proerly, without bias, and kept within the scope of knowledge for which intended.
    I also can trust the Bible to reveal accurately those things only God can elucidate.
    Faith is knowing those things exist, even if science fails to discover them.

  21. Why do Christians who believe Jesus rose from the dead, believe a donkey talked, Moses parted the red sea and believe God created the universe out of nothing have a hard time with the idea that God could create what we see in 6 literal days. Which of the above is the more easy to swallow?

  22. @Eaton, if you mean the recent essay between Dembski and Falk where the two sides basically gave definition of what they mean by certain terms and where they stand, I guess that could be consider as dialogue. However, what I am talking about is that if BioLogos are going to make the same claim as atheists that Darwinian evolution is settled science they should at least have a thorough scientific debate about the evidence and merits of this settled science with the intelligent design and OEC community.

  23. It seems to me that BioLogos not only adopted the atheist’s view of evolution but also their view of the Bible.

    location of heaven being above us may be figurative to our modern cosmology only because we now know it is not literally above us, but it was not figurative to the Biblical writers

    So the Bible is purely the writing of ancient pre-scientific men who doesn’t know any better. From what I can glean from that long article the argument that the errors in the Bible is predicated on one thing, that It is making a literal description of the physical universe in all those passages that BioLogos cited. And it has to be literal because that is how everyone understood the universe is like at that time.

    But what if the Bible was written by God who created this universe and knew better? Although being the Creator He obvious knows better than anyone what the universe is actually like. to be cont…

  24. And instead of laying Einstein’s field equation of relativity (or some other reality we have yet to discover) on the ancient Hebrews, He decided to just speak to them using phenomenal languages. In this phenomenal language He might say things like don’t make any idol in the form of anything, anything meaning in your knowledge of everything in existence, in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. Or instead a technical description of how as the earth spin around on its precession axis as it moves along the ecliptic, this giant hydrogen fusion furnace will appear on the eastern horizon, never mind let’s just say sunrise and sunset. All the examples BioLogos cited are phenomenal languages. And if you think that only the ignorant pre-scientific ancients would use that kind of language think again, look at the newspaper, search the science journals, sunrise and sunset are replete in our enlighten age. This by no means we believe in heliocentricity.

  25. I meant geocentricity. :D

  26. @teleologist

    If the Bible said that the Earth was a flat disk resting on the back of four giant elephants it would only be a problem if the point of that passage was to describe that literal, physical reality as being true. The main point of the biblical passages that seem to describe a cosmology of some sort is to point to an attribute of God, e.g. that God created the Earth and is sovereign over it, NOT to teach the cosmology as a true physical reality.

    Also, what the author is arguing in the paper that Eaton linked is that it would be possible relegate one or two passages in scripture to phenomenal language, but since there are so many that reflect the same picture of the universe that Israel’s neighbors shared that included many elements that were not observable (e.g. Sheol, pillars of the Earth) it is difficult to argue that this is simply phenomenal language. So they likely understood the universe the same way their neighbors did.

    His complete conclusion begins on p. 17

  27. You’re right, Tom. It isn’t about not trusting what God tells us. It is about looking at what He tells is via His creative acts and using it to help interpret what He tells us via Scripture. And, when we do that, it see that Scripture is more interested in a focus on God than on material things. When you contrast the Genesis account with the other creation beliefs at the time, it shows that the difference that is being communicated is that God alone is responsible for all these things that are ordained to provide a function and purpose for man. They serve man and are NOT separate gods to be served BY man. It points to God’s provision and sovereignty. When we make it about material stuff and dates, we completely miss the point and cause real issues with infallibility with regard to the order of events, existence of some items, and orientation that is described. If it is about HIM, all that goes away.

  28. @SRQT Why would the repeated use of phenomenal language cause it to become a scientific description of phenomena?

    His conclusion is a strawman because he created a false assumption of the Bible and goes on to show how that assumption contradicts reality then the Bible must be wrong or those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible must be wrong.

    What BioLogos wants is that I must interpret those passages as literal and therefore the Bible cannot say anything about science. I say BioLogos is misinterpreting those phenomenal passages of the Bible as science and when the Bible is describing historical events it is accurate and does not conflict science or reality.

  29. @Eaton You missed the point. What BioLogos is saying is that the Bible is not written by God. It was written by a bunch of pre-scientific dudes that have a messed up understanding of the real world. BioLogos can’t have it both ways, if they are saying that these ignorant dudes were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when they wrote the Bible then under their strawman interpretation God must be lying to us about reality.

    So in a sense you are right, it is not about not trusting God for BioLogos. It is about creating a Bible that is filled with scientific errors so BioLogos can believe in the Bible and Darwinian evolution at the same time.

  30. @Eaton It is about looking at what He tells is via His creative acts and using it to help interpret what He tells us via Scripture.

    And this brings me back to where I began. There is no communication with BioLogos until we get pass their erroneous understanding of science. Unless we can correct their erroneous understanding of Darwinian evolution, BioLogos will never be able to interpret the Bible correctly.

  31. If you think that BioLogos denies the inspiration of Scripture, you’re working off of more incorrect assumptions than I originally thought. The point is not that God DIDN’T inspire it. The point is that God’s message was explained within a fallible and incomplete cosmological understanding. It wasn’t that phenomenological language became THOUGHT to be scientific. It was that, absent any evidence to the contrary (it hadn’t been discovered yet), what was SEEN was believed to be how they WERE. And when giving God credit for them, it was expressed in the knowledge and worldview of the time. They were not teaching bad cosmology because they were using cosmology to teach about GOD. It is only when you make this about material things that infallibility becomes a problem.

  32. As far as their “erroneous” view of Darwinsim, I’m not sure how they are in error about what evolution says. If you intended to say that they were in error for SUPPORTING evolution, you can’t disprove evolution with the Bible because it doesn’t address the issue. It doesn’t tell us HOW the earth and seas “brought forth” living things and plant life. We’re just told that God ordained that it happen. Since He doesn’t explain the methodology, I’m open to ANY methodology that has evidence to support it.

    And the dirty little secret is that the young-earth flood-geology creationists BELIEVE in evolution (since the flood) as long as you don’t CALL it that. So the process is accepted. The only real question is how LONG to as accept it as having happened and how “directed” it is.

  33. Thank you for addressing this very serious problem in evangelical Christianity. As I see it, there are two fundamental problems with Creationism. First, it’s bad theology to insist that the words of Genesis must be read completely literally and in no other way and to belittle God’s Word by allowing it no depth of meaning beyond the letter. It applies to Genesis the same logic the Judaizers applied to circumcision in the early Church and it places feeble and fallible human judgment upon God’s infinite being as revealed in His Word.

    Second, it demands that we dismiss the rational observations of science as misleading and even the delusions of evil, despite the fact that both reason and the creative curiosity of discovery are God’s gift in creating us in His image and likeness. Denying the good work of science is denying the goodness of that gift.

    (I’ve written more extensively on this at my blog:

  34. @teleologist… hm…
    So what if God wanted to present the creation of the universe and life in phenomonological language so that the people of the time, who thought it had all been brought at once out of nothing, could get the gist of what He was saying about Himself without getting hung up on descriptions of tectonic plate movement or evolutionary processes…

    If you use that argument on some of the passages, you’ve gotta accept that it can be used on others too (and by the way, that is what I would take Biologos as saying, not “all the passages are literal therefore God is wrong, or God did not write the bible.”)


  35. @Eaton, I wish I am wrong about BioLogos but when they make statements like the one I pointed out and this.

    Even though “pre-scientific” cultures like the Hebrews did not have the same notions of science that we moderns have, they still observed the world around them and made interpretations as to the structure and operations of the universe. The Bible also contains a cosmography or picture of the universe that its stories inhabit.

    So they are either saying God is lying in the Bible or God had no role in writing the Bible, all this because BioLogos is forcing a scientific interpretation into the Text when it was not meant to be a scientific description.

  36. @Eaton, I have never even suggested that the Bible should be used to disprove evolution. As I’ve said the Bible is not a science cookbook that gives a formula to how the natural world works scientifically. No, Darwinian evolution is wrong because it is not supported by scientific evidences. Darwinian evolution is driven mainly by the anti-theistic presuppositions of atheists.

  37. You are reading things into their comments that more reflect your own bias than their actual beliefs. Go read their actual articles where that issue of inerrancy and infallibility are addressed.
    As far as evolution goes, go spend some time reading about the actual evidences for it from places that are not knocking down strawman caricatures of it. ALL young-earth flood geologists actually believe it happens. The number of species we have now (about a million) compared to what would have been on the ark require that. So, on the one hand you claim that it can’t happen at all, and on the other you support a model that requires that it happen exponentially faster than the evolutionist would say. And THEY are the ones with the problem? LOL

  38. @Eaton, it doesn’t matter what BioLogos claim they believe, it is more significant on how they practice their belief. When they make erroneous interpretations of the Bible as they’ve done and make statements that I cited then it would be contrary to any claim they have for inspiration.

    With all due respect you have no idea where and what I spend my time reading. And as far as evidences goes you exemplify what I’ve been saying about BioLogos, they are not interested in a systematic scholarly communication about the evidences of Darwinian evolution because as far as they are concern that is settled science and all they are interested in is to convert Christians to their secular conformist view of Scripture.

    BTW, for the sake of so you don’t keep pushing out YEC attacks, I am an OEC so a lot of that stuff doesn’t apply to me.

  39. I doesn’t take huge leaps of logic to figure out what you do and do not read. You’re claims about what BioLogos believes SHOWS what are are and are not reading. You infer meaning to some comments that are not directly to point and totally ignore where they specifically address the topic of inspiration and infallibility. And your ignoring what they specifically say they believe in favor of your own assumptions about what they believe is based on further assumptions that you are right and they are wrong about other conclusions. It is not irenic. It’s not objective. And, with all due respect, it isn’t honest to the facts to to other Christian brothers with whom you disagree. And it shows where you truly disagree with them. “We believe that conversations among Christians about controversial issues of science and faith can and must be conducted with humility, grace, honesty, and compassion as a visible sign of the Spirit’s presence in Christ’s body, the Church.”

  40. Your continued referral to their support for Darwinian Evolution shows that you have no clue what they believe. Their statement of beliefs is quite clear. “We REJECT ideologies such as Darwinism and Evolutionism that claim that evolution is a purposeless process or that evolution replaces God.” Face it. You are fighting straw men of your own making.

  41. @Eaton, it is good that you are not biased and know what and where I read better than I do.

    “We REJECT ideologies such as Darwinism and Evolutionism that claim that evolution is a purposeless process or that evolution replaces God.”

    Excellent. Can you show me where BioLogos offer any scientific evidence outside of the Darwinian process for LUCA? The problem is they say one thing and do something else. They claim to deny the “ideologically-charged term”(Falk’s words) Darwinism but adopts everything in evolution that term provides. Sorry, redefining and avoiding terms does not change the reality of what they actually believe. If they have scientific evidence that shows common descent outside of natural selection and Darwinian processes, I would like to know.

  42. Pre-modern Understanding of the Cosmos

    Teleologist’s argument overlooks significant flaws in his/her analysis.

    First, T ignores the fact that, as pointed out in other comments, the description of the world in the Bible is not phenomenological. Nothing in the Biblical description of the world can be observed as a phenomenom, except the flatness of the earth.

    The Bible describes the earth as (1) flat, (2) resting on pillars, (3) covered by a semi-spherical hard dome that (4) kept out the water that was on the other side of the dome, and (5) had closeable openings in it through which that water came and fell as rain, and (6) the sun, moon, and stars either were hung on the dome itself–you need something hard and stable to hang stuff–or traversed it, and (7) water also lay underneath the flat earth, which is why the pillars were needed, and (8) water also surrounded the earth. That is the Biblical description of the world.

  43. @teleologist: Do you understand the difference between abiogensis and biologic evolution? Do you understand the difference between Darwin’s pre-DNA proposals and what biologists now believe (and see)? If not, nothing that I point to on the BioLogos web site is going to be met with anything other than more erroneous assumptions. If you DO “get” these things, then I seriously don’t understand your question. Either way, it isn’t up to me to go read and report back to you. If you had a true interest in what they believe and how it differs from “Darwinsim” and what those evil atheists believe, me regurgitating it for you in small chunks isn’t the best way to get it. I’d be doing you no favors by trying to digest it down into spoonfuls which you are likely not to accept anyway.

  44. @John, what do you call phenomena like sunrise and sunset if these are not phenominal language?

  45. The point is that just because there IS phenomenological languge doesn’t mean that we can chalk up all kinds of unseen things to that – particularly in a chapter that we are told is literal and about creation of literal/material things. You can’t have it both ways.

  46. @Eaton, thank you for concluding that I am either ignorant or uninterested in truth, just like you so accurately concluded that I am a YEC. You represent BioLogos well in their desire to have open communication to defend their views on evolution.

  47. More assumptions – from YOU. I never said you are a YEC flood-geologist. All I said is that EVEN they accept biologic change over time from a common ancestor. They’ll call it a “kind” and ignore the fact that whatever “kind” of canine it was, it was ALSO a species, but a rose by any other name….

    As far as your compliment goes, thanks. I don’t agree with everything I read on their site either. But I’m not going to make assumptions about them that are directly contrary to their stated beliefs. Representing the other side well is what ALL Christians should do, so I appreciate the compliment that I’m trying to honestly and accurately reflect their views. It was my intention. :)

  48. @Eaton #46: More assumptions – from YOU. I never said you are a YEC flood-geologist. All I said is that EVEN they accept biologic change over time from a common ancestor.

    @Eaton #36: ALL young-earth flood geologists actually believe it happens. The number of species we have now (about a million) compared to what would have been on the ark require that. So, on the one hand you claim that it can’t happen at all, and on the other you support a model that requires that it happen exponentially faster than the evolutionist would say.

    So I guess when you said “you claim” and “you support” YEC ideas that is not accusing me of being a YEC, makes sense. Thanks.

  49. The point, T, is that whether you are OEC or YEC, you embrace a model that allows for biologic change over time. Your blog admits to “testable genetic biochange (microevolution)”. The only difference is how long it has been happening. As an OEC, there really isn’t that much difference between your view and that of BioLogos. Even if you don’t believe in a global flood, all that does is push back a belief of a process that, on the one hand you admit happens, and on the other say is impossible. It isn’t a scope of change issue. It’s a matter of how long it has happened.

  50. Just for fun here is an excerpt from Collins’ book who is the founder of BioLogos which according to Eaton denies Darwinian evolution.

    the kind of molecular support for the theory of evolution that has convinced virtually all working biologists that Darwin’s framework of variation and natural selection is unquestionably correct. In fact, for those like myself working in genetics, it is almost impossible to imagine correlating the vast amounts of data coming forth from the studies of genomes without the foundations of Darwin’s theory. As Theodosius Dobzhansky … said “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”

    BioLogos appears to have 2 faces one for the secular atheists and one for the Christians. But there is no doubt that BioLogos fully support Darwinian evolution.


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