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Re: 1. Phillip Johnson on young earth creationism; 2. PE 4.3.2. "Evolution's historical roots ... Lamarck",

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Group On Mon, 4 Oct 2004 12:33:43 +1000 (EST), Paul Martin wrote: [...] Reversing the order of my comments. ... PM I think Johnson sees the OEC s as being more
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2004

      On Mon, 4 Oct 2004 12:33:43 +1000 (EST), Paul Martin wrote:


      Reversing the order of my comments.

      >SJ>I have an early tape of Johnson's where he tells an interviewer (or it might
      >>have been a talk-back caller) that (from memory), "I find a universe of vast
      >>ages to be more appealing". So why does not Johnson simply tell what
      >>*must* be the truth, that he is in fact an Old-Earth Creationist, who
      >>interprets the days of Genesis 1 as long periods of time, but wants to be
      >>"allies" with YECs in the struggle against Materialistic-Naturalistic
      >>Evolution? Because that is what I (and I am sure that the other OECs who
      >>left the ID movement because of Johnson's lack of even-handedness towards
      >>OEC) would *agreed* with him on.

      PM>I think Johnson sees the OEC's as being more tolerant and scientific,
      >so he feels he does not need to agree with them, but views the YEC's as more
      >fundamental and dogmatic, so he wants their support.

      Agreed. The problem is that Johnson has set the ID movement two
      mutually exclusive goals: 1) to "follow the evidence wherever it leads"; and
      2) be "a `big tent' drawing together Christians across a wide range of
      disciplines and positions, from strict young-earth creationists to theistic

      "In a similar way, Johnson cut through the conflicting claims of a
      vast variety of positions on origins by showing the crucial role
      played by initial philosophical commitments: Either nature is all
      that exists, and science is permitted to consider only naturalistic
      theories-in which case science is little more than applied naturalism
      - or there is something that transcends nature, and we must define
      science in terms that allow it to follow the evidence wherever it
      leads....One of the beauties of Johnsons approach is that it has the
      potential to unite Christians across a broad spectrum. They might
      disagree over such details as the age of the universe, but all
      orthodox Christians can concur in rejecting a blind, mindless,
      materialistic mechanism for the origin and development of life.
      Johnsons approach is sometimes described as a middle ground or
      compromise position, but thats a misunderstanding. In fact, what
      he has proposed is not one more competing position at all; he has
      offered a logical analysis of the foundational ideas that unite all
      Christians, regardless of the details of their positions. Having united
      on these defining principles, Christians may well discover a new
      spirit of unity and charity for taking up the old contentious issues
      once again. They can now treat the questions that once divided them
      as the subjects of friendly in-house debates. They can engage in
      amicable discussions over the interpretation of Genesis, the age of
      the universe, the range and limits of microevolution and common
      descent, and so on. Such lively debate is what science is all about.
      Indeed, its not too much to say that the Intelligent Design
      Movement has largely achieved this unity. It has become a "big
      tent" drawing together Christians across a wide range of disciplines
      and positions, from strict young-earth creationists to theistic
      evolutionists (at least those among the latter who acknowledge a
      role for divine direction)." (Pearcey N.R., "Foreword," in "The
      Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate," InterVarsity
      Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.10-11)

      But the problem is that YEC's within the ID movement made it quite clear
      that they were *not* prepared to "follow the evidence *wherever* it leads",
      but were only prepared to "follow the evidence wherever it leads", as long
      as it did not contradict their 6 x 24 hour day fiat creation, ~10,000 year-old
      Earth, no animal death before the sin of man, global flood, dogmas.

      Personally I found that hypocritical for Christians to demand that non-
      Christians be held to a higher standard of truth than Christians. The crunch
      point was common ancestry. I myself back in 1995, long before Johnson
      announced his "follow the evidence wherever it leads" wedge strategy, had
      made a conscious decidsion that I was going to "follow the evidence
      *wherever* it leads" in the C/E debate, but `unfortunately' that eventually
      led me, *reluctantly*, to accept common ancestry
      (http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199505-10/0391.html)! Now there
      is no reason why generic ID should be against common ancestry, unless it
      is, after all, under the controlling philosophy of Biblical literalism. See my
      posts announcing I had been asked to leave the ID movement
      and responding to member's questions about it:
      (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/9125 ,
      and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/9138).



      PS: Here is an updated part of subsection PE 4.3.2. "Evolution's historical
      roots ... Pre-Darwinians ... Lamarck", of my book outline, "Problems of
      Evolution" (http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/pe00cont.html):

      3. Pre-Darwinians [...]
      2. Lamarck
      "Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck, (1744-
      1829), was a French natural historian" (Martin & Hine, 2000, p.338).
      "In 1778 he published a flora of France, and later worked on the
      classification of invertebrates, published in a seven-volume natural
      history (1815-1822)" (Martin & Hine, 2000, p.338). Lamarck coined
      the word "biology" and was the founder of modern invertebrate zoology
      (Hale & Margham, 1988 p.312). "In 1809 he put forward a theory of
      evolution that has become known as Lamarckism (later rejected in
      favour of Darwinism)" (Martin & Hine, 2000, p.338). Lamarck was one
      of the first true scientists to give real consideration to the evolutionary
      development of life (Hale & Margham, 1988 p.312).

      Lamarck is best known for his theory of the inheritance of acquired
      characters (Hale & Margham, 1988 p.312). This "Lamarckism" was
      "one of the earliest superficially plausible theories of inheritance" and
      was "proposed by Lamarck in 1809" (Martin & Hine, 2000, p.338).
      Lamarckism, was the theory of inheritance of acquired characters,
      which suggests that the structures developed during the lifetime of all
      organism, through use, are passed on as inherited characters to the next
      generation (Hale & Margham, 1988 p.312).

      Lamarck suggested that changes in an individual are acquired during its
      lifetime, chiefly by increased use or disuse of organs in response to "a
      need that continues to make itself felt", and that these changes are
      inherited by its offspring" (Martin & Hine, 2000, pp.338-339). "Thus
      the long neck and limbs of a giraffe are explained as having evolved by
      the animal stretching its neck to browse on the foliage of trees" (Martin
      & Hine, 2000, p.339). "Evolutionary change might thus be achieved
      through the transmission of these acquired characters" (Hale &
      Margham, 1988 p.312). "This so-called inheritance of acquired
      characteristics has never unquestionably been demonstrated to occur
      and is now generally discredited, (Hale & Margham, 1988 p.312),
      being largely displaced by the genetic theories of Mendel and his
      successors" (Martin & Hine, 2000, p.339). "This theory ... is now
      generally discounted in favour of Darwinism, where favoured
      characters of use to a particular organism are maintained by selection,
      whereas unfavourable characters are selected against (Hale &
      Margham, 1988 p.312). "Thus, Lamarck might have claimed that
      blacksmith's sons were brawny because of their father's profession,
      whereas Darwin would say that the reason the father was a blacksmith
      was because he was brawny and brawny men tend to have brawny
      offspring (Hale & Margham, 1988 p.312).

      It is part of evolutionist propaganda that the Russian agronomist T.D.
      Lysenko (1898-1976) derived his disastrous agricultural policies based
      on environmentally-induced inheritable changes in wheat from
      Lamarck (Dawkins, 1986, p.292; Martin & Hine, 2000, p.339). That
      "Lysenko attempted unsuccessfully to apply Lamarckian theory to the
      development of crop plants in the USSR in the 1930s (Hale &
      Margham, 1988 p.312). But in fact Lysenko himself claimed he derived
      them from <I>Darwin</I> (Jukes, 1995, p.554)! As biologist and
      historian Zhores Medvedev, in his biography of Lysenko, pointed out,
      "Lysenko claimed to be a Darwinist" and the charge of his allies in the
      "purging of Bukharin," a leading Soviet economist and agricultural
      policy-maker, was that Bukharin held "erroneous and anti-Darwinian
      theories" and "had annihilated instruction of students in Darwinism in
      the Leningrad State University," and had "fought Darwinism" (Jukes,
      1995, p.554; Medvedev, 1969). "Lysenko wrote a polemic `Of the
      distorting mirror and some anti-Darwinians'" and said that "Darwinism
      was part of [his] Marxism," and that "the roots of the work I am doing
      lie in Darwin" (Jukes, 1995, p.554) [...]

      Again please note that this is just a rough first draft (if even that!),
      and because of time constraints I am mainly just stringing quotes together
      to help jog my memory for when I start writing my book proper, later
      this year.


      PPS: Here is the first of a number of quotes from science historian W.J.
      Dempster's book on Patrick Matthew, a Scottish fruit breeder, who in 1831
      was the first to mention the term "natural process of selection". As
      Dempster points out, there is little doubt that Darwin was aware of
      Matthew's work, and dishonestly plagiarised the term "natural ... selection"
      from Matthew, without giving him credit. However, that will be under
      "Darwin", in my section "Darwin's dishonesty"
      This quote below about Darwin's treatment of Lamarck, I will probably
      add, with a number of other referenced quotes, to near the end of this
      Lamarck section, when I get to it.

      "Patrick Matthew was not the only individual to be treated by Darwin to
      this double standard of deference in public statements and denigration in
      his private letters. Lamarck, as one might perhaps expect, also received this
      treatment. In the Origin, Lamarck is referred to as a justly-celebrated
      naturalist' but in his private letters, as for instance in the letter to Hooker
      (LLD Vol 2, 23, 1844), we can read about 'Lamarck nonsense' and several
      misinterpretations. Through the medium of the widely-read Collected
      Letters, succeeding generations were to meet the 'obscure writer on forest
      trees' and 'Lamarck nonsense' more frequently than Darwin's public
      statements. In the Origin, wherever possible, Darwin would omit names
      such as Lamarck. In the course of reading the proofs of the Origin, Lyell
      was astonished to read, '... the most eminent naturalists have rejected Se
      view of mutability.' He wrote to Darwin, 'You do not mean to ignore G. St
      Hilaire and Lamarck?' But this was certainly Darwin's intention since the
      above sentence was altered to '... eminent living naturalists'! Even this was
      wrong because the distinguished Robert Grant and associated radicals had
      canvassed Lamarckian ideas since 1828." (Dempster W.J., "Natural
      Selection and Patrick Matthew: Evolutionary Concepts in the Nineteenth
      Century," Pentland Press: Edinburgh, 1996, pp.34-35)
      Stephen E. Jones http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
      Moderator: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
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