Putting Things Into Perspective
From: Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 44 (December 1992): 219.
This issue offers a variety of themes, old and new, which frame current discussion of Christianity and science. The reader is invited to participate by composing a letter or through submitting a formal paper or shorter communication.
Scientist-philosopher Michael Polanyi has been a rich source of ideas for those who explore the frontiers of science and faith. J. W. Stines tackles the question of how chaos theory can challenge our thinking about time. His paper offers a dialogical biblical approach which he identifies in the thought of Polanyi.
David Siemens concludes his two part series on flood geology with a point-by-point case showing the folly of the "classical" deluvian view. The challenge to each member of the ASA is to communicate this message to that large segment of Christendom which continues to value such "Mosaic Geology" as religious and scientific orthodoxy.
Pseudogenes lurk in human cytochrome c proteins. These apparently nonfunctional anomalies pose questions for evolutionary mechanisms. Gordon C. Mills examines various interpretations of pseudogenes and the role of chance and intelligent design in the origin of genetic information.
In our first Communication, veterinarian Kenneth E. Kinnamon offers a Christian perspective on one aspect of the "animal rights" question. He argues for the continuing need to use animals in research and teaching as essential to "alleviating human injury, disease and grief."
Recent critical comments on evolution by law professor Philip Johnson and Philosopher Alvin Plantinga continue to stimulate discussion by our readers. Our second communication deals with several issues related to Owen Gingerich's review of Darwin on Trial (PSCF, 44:2). John Wiester argues that author Johnson and reviewer Gingerich in fact hold similar views on the way that science functions, especially when observing and valuing anomalies. Next, Owen Gingerich offers further comment on Darwin on Trial and suggests that evangelicals should attack the atheists who use evolution to advance materialism, rather than seeking to disprove evolution.
Many theologians have sought answers to the "problem of evil." Karl Krienke applies A. E. Wilder-Smith's approach in evaluating the status of (so-called) "godless evolution." He argues that "God allows a system such as evolution to exist, free of the requirements of God's existence, as necessary in order to preserve the purpose of creation, free choice and true love."
Dialogue features Alvin Plantinga's response to William Hasker's "Evolution and Alvin Plantinga," which appeared in the September 1992 issue. In the course of reaffirming his position Plantinga challenges Christian biologists to examine evolution "unbuffaloed by all those whose claims of certainty trumpeted by the scientific establishment, and undaunted by the opprobrium visited upon those who dare to dissent." William Hasker will reply in our next issue.
We note the death of evangelical scholar Bernard Ramm, a long-time ASA member and active participant in science-Christianity discussions. His enduring interest is evidenced in Alton Everest's report that the day before Ramm's death in mid August, Everest received from Ramm in the mail a copy of John R. Albright's "God and the Pattern of Nature: A Physicist Considers Cosmology" (July 29, 1992 The Christian Century).
J. W. Haas, Jr.
Wenham MA 01984