Thinking Anglicans

Saturday reading

In The Times Geoffrey Rowell discusses The dangers of unbalancing the ‘broad church’ of Anglicanism.

Paul Oestreicher writes in the Guardian about how both sides committed atrocities in WW2: Face to Faith. Related to this is the piece in The Times by Rabbi William Wolff on Nazi sites in Germany, Germany must not neglect its terrible past. Rowan Williams issued this statement on Holocaust Day.

This week also saw a major Lambeth initiative:Inaugural meeting of the Christian-Muslim Forum.

Returning to Saturday newspapers, we have a few surprising items. The Telegraph has an article arguing that Intelligent design is not creationism and Christopher Howse discusses a new book about Rome in Pagan Rome’s son of God.
Addition for another article on Intelligent Design, see How to probe the science of creation by Keith Ward from last week’s Church Times.

The Guardian has this rather odd piece by John Crace Who’d be a vicar?

For those who want to read comment on this week’s papal encyclical, there is an editorial and another article in The Tablet and beliefnet has a useful overview here.

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Chip Chillington
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Chip Chillington

Simon,

You might have identified the author of ID piece Stephen C Meyer as a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, as the Telegraph did.

This is the same group that greased the way for the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna’s oped piece in the NYTimes last year.

Thomas Renz
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Thomas Renz

I had been unaware of the NYT piece Chip mentions or indeed of the Discovery Institute in Seattle and know next to nothing about pertinent US court battles so maybe I am missing something but Stephen C Meyer’s basic thesis (“Intelligent design is not creationism”) makes sense to me, especially as elucidated by Keith Ward.

Peter Bergman
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Peter Bergman

Thanks for the heads-up, Chip – I’ve looked up the Discovery Institute and there’s terrific stuff there. Along with Behe’s essays on irreducible complexity and the discernment of design, I see that William Dembski has produced a lot of work on probability theory and the algorithms relating to chance, while Phillip Johnson has subjected Neo-Darwinism to a large number of questions. I am struck by the way the last years of the 20th century have treated the three great ‘masters of suspicion’ of the 19th century and architects of modernist thought: Marx, Freud and Darwin. Marx and Freud are well… Read more »

Chris Baker
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Chris Baker

Depending on your point of view,the Discovery Institute is either the centre of the creationist conspiracy or a beacon of light in a dark scientific environment. What amazes me however in the current debate is the lack of clarity coming from the scientific establishment – in many of the articles on the subject there is little by way of rational argument being put forward against ID and often the discussion turns into an anti-religious diatribe. Where arguments are made against ID, usually on biological issues, I, as a physical scientist, simply don’t find them very convincing. That being said, I… Read more »

Peter Bergman
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Peter Bergman

Chris, I am not sure you are fair to proponents of ID with your reference to ‘fine tuning’ and the anthropic argument. Mathematicians like Dembski do in fact invoke this, aware that it is a probabilistic argument in which the likelihood of this world existing by chance is asymptotically zero. Mainly, however, Dembski applies his algorithms to the assumption that purely chance combinations of molecules could, within the time frame available, come together to produce even the simplest cell. The fact remains that life has never been synthesized from non-living materials, and neither has Polkinghorne (a physicist, not a biologist)… Read more »

Chris Baker
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Chris Baker

Peter – point taken – it’s just that I find Polkinghorne’s approach more accessible than the biological approach, which seems to me which is the focus of most of the discussion. I agree with your comments concerning the ID proponents approach to evolution – many of them would regard it as a proven agent of change. There has been much misrepresentation of them in the ongoing arguments – even down to which church they belong to. Evangelical bogeymen are so much more attractive to the press than Roman Catholic bogeymen!

IT
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IT

I’m simply astonished. ID is NOT science, and it is clearly creationism by another name. It proposes no testable hypotheses and is simply a statement of belief. It misrepresents evolutionary science to propose a deity as the only explanation for the world as we know it. It does NOT support evolution. Yet evolutionary theory is not incompatible with a deity. Many many scientists of all faiths and denominations are perfectly comfortable with evolution (and almost none of them support the lunatics at the DI). ID is not simply about stating a belief in God as a creator. You are misled… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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I must warn you that this creationist nonsense is practically unknown in Sweden. Some calvinist free churches do it. Most others have never heard of it.

Kurt
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Kurt

“I must warn you that this creationist nonsense is practically unknown in Sweden. Some calvinist free churches do it. Most others have never heard of it.” Göran Koch-Swahne

It’s raining Calvinists over at SydneyAnglicans. These people are actually seriously studying Jonathan Edwards

Peter Bergman
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Peter Bergman

I wonder if ‘IT’ has ever read Dembski, Behe and Johnson or knows anything about molecular biochemistry, algorithms of probability with regard to ‘design inference’ or the concept of ‘irreducible complexity’. It was the ‘lunatic’ Dembski who convinced the atheist Anthony Flew to believe in God. I haven’t read the court ruling ‘IT’ linked. But courts are about the law, not necessarily the truth. I recall that the US Supreme Court in ‘Dredd Scott’ ruled that Negroes were not persons but the property of their masters. Goran Koch-Swahne: perhaps modern Sweden is a monocultural ghetto. Some Swedes need to get… Read more »