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Observant Jew Prager takes on Christian Darwinist Giberson

Dennis Prager

Here, observant Jew Dennis Prager responds to Giberson and Stephens’ “evangelicals are “anti-science” schtick:

With regard to those evangelicals — and for that matter, those ultra-orthodox Jews — who believe that Earth is less than 10,000 years old and that there either were no dinosaurs or that they lived alongside human beings, my reaction has always been: So what? I believe that Earth is many millions of years old, that “six days” is meant as six periods of time (the sun wasn’t even created until the third day, so how could there have been any days before then?) and that dinosaurs preexisted man by millions of years.

But what real-life problem is caused by people who believe otherwise? Does it affect any of their important behaviors in life? Do they not take their children to doctors? Do they oppose medical research? Do they reject scientific discoveries that affect our lives? No. Not at all. Are there no evangelical or ultra-orthodox Jewish doctors? Of course there are, and apparently they are very comfortable learning and practicing science.

Compared to the many irrational beliefs of secular, leftist intellectuals — good and evil exist even though there is no God; male and female are interchangeable; international institutions are the hope of mankind – evangelical irrational beliefs are utterly benign.

– “Are Evangelicals or University Professors More Irrational?”, (Townhall , October 25, 2011)

Some political analysts diagnose the problem thus: There are very dangerous religious crackpots in the world, but no overhyped celeb, academic or otherwise, goes after them. They’re too dangerous. It’s easier to thump the tub about people with lots of kids and unpopular ideas.

Airhead TV eats it up with no hard questions, like “Prof, have you tried saying it in Tehran yet?”. Being “for peace,” Airhead TV accepts the prof’s value system, which is: Only attack safe targets, choose helpless ones.

Prager adds,

If these professors typify the views of Eastern Nazarene, which is officially listed as a Christian university, it is reason for despair.

Well, so far as we know, Giberson parted ways with Eastern Nazarene recently. We think that in allowing the world to know that he finds it hard to recognize his religious tradition “in the mainstream evangelical conversation,” he is signalling that he will be another reliable anti-evangelical voice in the MSM commentariat. Not that they were short-handed there.

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rhampton7: I can't speak for uncommondescent.com, or for News above, or for anyone but myself, but here is my view: No Darwinist, Christian or otherwise, can support intelligent design arguments, since the entire purpose of Darwinian theory (from the time of Darwin on) has been to show that "we have no need of that hypothesis" -- i.e., design. Darwinists believe that complex organic forms, with radically new body plans, with organs of exquisite precision, with complex multi-level feedback systems far beyond what the brightest human engineers can devise, etc., can arise by the blind gropings of random mutations, without any forethought or assistance. On the other hand, an "evolutionist" can be an intelligent design theorist. Michael Behe, Michael Denton, and (at least at the time of his last public statements) Richard Sternberg are examples of this combination. Among columnists and contributors here, it seems that O'Leary, Torley, StephenB and Jon Garvey are all onside with evolution (where evolution is understood as planned or shaped or guided in accord with a design). But note that these evolutionists are not Darwinists, or at best give Darwinian explanation a very subsidiary role in the overall evolutionary process (e.g., Behe). I suspect that many of the veteran commenters here (gpuccio, jerry, etc.) will agree with my analysis here, but they can speak up if they don't. It is an interesting question why anyone would want to be a "Christian Darwinist" (as opposed to "Christian evolutionist"). Even more interesting is why so many so-called Thomists are big on Darwin these days, given that Thomas himself explicitly stated (as has been demonstrated with direct quotations here by Vincent Torley) that both man and the higher animals were created directly, not by evolution, and given that the metaphysics of nature underlying Darwin (which can be shown to be derived from Hobbes, Descartes, Bacon, etc.) is in direct conflict with the metaphysics of nature held by Aquinas. But I guess that some Catholics are so desperate these days to show that they support science that they (presuming that Darwinian theory is good science, which actually it isn't, but that's another matter) will willingly rewrite their own tradition to make it Darwin-friendly; the esteem of the secular scientific world matters more to them than the philosophical and theological integrity of the Catholic intellectual tradition. The same obsequious grovelling before modernity that is happening in the Catholic tradition is happening in the evangelical tradition, as people like Van Till, Giberson, and many others illustrate. Prager's column is therefore very welcome to all true religious conservatives, i.e., those Catholics and Protestants who would fight to retain the traditions they have received from 500 and more years ago, as opposed to caving in to the trends of the intelligentsia. News, thanks for the link to the Prager column. That man talks good sense. Timaeus
Is it the opinion of uncommondescent.com that Christian Darwinists do not belong in the big tent of Intelligent Design? rhampton7

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