That's where Miller and I part ways. I admire the way he takes great pains to distance himself from 'theistic evolutionists,' since he won't ascribe intention to the admittedly hit-or-miss history of life on earth. I also respect his forthright denial that he could believe in a God who destroyed 99% of all the species He supposedly created, which is far superior to the cynical He-must-have-had-His-reasons attitude typical of creationists.
However, he does believe that God revealed Himself to the faithful when they had sufficiently evolved for the knowledge. I suppose Miller has to rationalize his beliefs in the most consistent manner, and I don't think there's a God scenario out there to which I'd be likely to subscribe wholeheartedly. All said, though, I've still never run across a better attempt to reconcile scientific expertise with honest religious faith.
I wanted to bump this topic because Kenneth Miller's work addresses a few hot issues being debated right now.
Message 16 of this thread quotes the passage in Miller's book concerning his meeting with Henry Morris.
Miller's Christian faith has not prevented him from understanding biology, accepting the reality of common ancestry, and affirming the mechanistic basis of evolution. Although I doubt any of our creationist members have read Miller's work, I wonder what they would make of his thoughts. Certainly Miller shines a harsh light on creationism's scientific shortcomings, but he also addresses the metaphysical concerns raised by creationists here at EvC.
Kenneth R. Miller writes:
convictions that allow science to be bent beyond recognition are not merely unjustified - they are dangerous in the intellectual and even in the moral sense, because they corrupt and compromise the integrity of human reason.
My impromptu breakfast with Henry Morris taught me an important lesson-the appeal of creationism is emotional, not scientific. I might be able to lay out graphs and charts and diagrams, to cite laboratory experiments and field observations, to describe the details of one evolutionary sequence after another; but to the true believers of creationism, these would all be sound and fury, signifying nothing. The truth would always be somewhere else.
------------------ The dark nursery of evolution is very dark indeed. Brad McFall
[This message has been edited by MrHambre, 12-18-2003]
Yes, there is an "emotional" part but for me it had to do with human sexual reproduction so this is not as clear when one attempts to "abstract" the issue that is but mitosis vs meiosis to the unlearned undergraduate or high school student after all. That there are non conversional experiences is however fairly easy to imagine. watchword was "sequence".
I feel Kenneth Miller is viewed by creationists as the 'token believer' in the evolutionist camp. Nothing could be further from the truth.
He's an accomplished cell biologist who's also a fine writer, and in this typically excellent article he asserts that "In many respects, evolution is the key to understanding our relationship with God." In short, he's not trying to draw a line between religion and science, he's trying to make sure we understand that these are two sides of the same coin. We have to be honest in the way we deal with both matters, or else we're not seeing the full picture.
I challenge the creationists here to read the essay on the link posted in the previous paragraph. It distills many of the points made in Miller's book Finding Darwin's God, which I have already read and recommended. These points are crucial to the debate here at EvC and I want to know why creationists continue to ignore them.
The dark nursery of evolution is very dark indeed. Brad McFall
I doubt that God would frown upon Ghandi, just because he didn't partake in the Judo/Christian/Islam axis of religious beliefs.
Off topic, but since you took the time to adjust your signature:
This depends on your definition of partake. He partook of Christianity more than most Christians I know and said that if Christians lived the Sermon on the Mount, he might be one. He compared the Sermon on the Mount to his beloved Bhagavad Gita.
I doubt God would frown upon him, either. Would that Christians gave themselves to Jesus' teachings the way Ghandi did!
Christianity: The only religion in the world where believing in the founder of the religion is all that's required; you can ignore his teachings.
Miller doesn't think evolution is God's way of creating
Help me here. What are you saying? Miller believes in evolution, and he believes God created everything. So what does he believe is God's way of creating? I can't think of any interpretation oy this statement that makes sense to me.
The Darwinian mechanism is simply the only way we have freedom, exactly what we'd expect to see in a universe where we were not expected.
Huh? Help. I'm not understanding this at all. "The only way we have freedom"? What does that mean?
Therefore, evolution does not support the position of the materialists.
But isn't this exactly what Miller was arguing against?
I don't think this is what Miller was arguing against. Miller was arguing against evolution supporting the position of the materialists or the creationists. It doesn't support any philosophical position at all.
I suggest that, if God is real, we should be able to find him somewhere else - in the bright light of human knowledge, spiritual and scientific.
It seems that again a limit is being placed on what we "can" know. We've only been around as a species for roughly 50k yrs. We are still young.
Again, I don't think he's saying this at all. I think he's saying that God ought to be found in what we know, not in what we don't know. He specifically says science keeps explaining all sorts of things that creationists said were unexplainable. He thinks if God created us with reason, then reason ought to help us find God, not eliminate God's hiding places (God hiding in the gaps of our knowledge).
So, there is no limit on what we can know. He's just saying that what we learn ought to help us understand God better.
Here's a zany idea. Why don't you read Miller's essay?
Sheesh, sorry. What you wrote didn't look like something that would be explained by his essay. It looked like something very short and thus hard to follow. I figured a couple extra sentences would explain what you were saying.
I just finished Miller's essay before I found your reply to me, and you're correct, of course, that it explained what you were saying.
These points are crucial to the debate here at EvC and I want to know why creationists continue to ignore them.
Could be because it's science and not the Bible, or some theory derived from the Bible? It looks to me like most creationist just grab some quotes off a website and think that will vanquish scientific argument. As to actually reading and studying science? I've not seen an interest on their part.
quote:leaving it, in Gould's words, forever "the unchallenged domain of insects and flowers."
M was not leaving a church of this opened door to Gould's USE of Goethe's plant that Croizat ALREADY dismissed to any plant part one would wish to sound out?
Yes, this "If that were true, evolution would long since have passed, in the public mind, from controversy into common sense, which is exactly what has happened within the scientific community "HAS happened to some extent and HAS spread at least to the 'spouces' so involved BUT WITH IT CAME the *acceptance* of a superfludity of sufficiency"" (to quote my Agnostic Grandmother) but this CAN BE DIMISSED rather easily philosophically and so what has become of this common sense on reflection?
I can challenge M'sG of flowers and insects one degree at a time but you see if c/e were a matter of ANY temperature flucutation we can not expect any resolution any time soon. I really found that I do not think in the same economy as this representation in fact and so it is hard to for me not understand
Could such Darwinian ruthlessness be part of the plan of a loving God?
Yes, it could. To survive on this planet, the genes of our ancestors, like those of any other organism, had to produce behaviors that protected, nurtured, defended, and ensured the reproductive successes of the individuals that bore them. It should be no surprise that we carry such passions within us,
as anything other than the child rearing classes said Grandmother took while biologist husband was teaching the evolution to future high school teachers all the while not adapting to the email world around us.
quote:I admire the way he takes great pains to distance himself from 'theistic evolutionists,' since he won't ascribe intention to the admittedly hit-or-miss history of life on earth. I also respect his forthright denial that he could believe in a God who destroyed 99% of all the species He supposedly created,...