Talk:Theistic evolution

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Theistic evolution:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Expand : *Other religions: There is no mention of non-Abrahamic views. Even if there is little or no conflict with evolutionary theory in other religions, a section explaining why that is so might be advisable.
    • Proponents: The contemporary advocates section would probably be better as prose. Some statistics on current belief in evolution amongst scientists/biologists might also provide some context.
    • Criticisms: More criticisms from the literalism side
    • Section on intelligent design needs most expansion
    • Verify : Improve citations
Priority 1 (top)


I'm an Orthodox Christian and I accept Theistic Evolution, but there are no citations on whether Orthodox Christians believe in Theistic Evolution or not! In fact, most of them are quite the Creationists! Please, erase it for avoiding misunderstanding...or at least citate it! You people let anyone edit wikipedia!!!! Argh! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Special:Contributions/Leylaqq (talk) 00:14, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, anyone can edit wikipedia - including you. So why don't you fix it instead of just complaining? Farsight001 (talk) 13:16, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Nevermind, I found some citations. It appears that there Orthodox Christians who support both Evolution and Creationism. I'm fixing it right now. =) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Special:Contributions/Leylaqq (talk) 13:38, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I think you'll find members for and against in all major Christian denominations. HrafnTalkStalk 14:05, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Read the Eastern Orthodox section now, it's more detailed and it has some citations. I erased everything previously writen, since not only there were no citations, but I didn't found anything on prescience etc., as stated. Fixed! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Special:Contributions/Leylaqq (talk) 14:21, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
You linked Compatibilism and Incompatibilism; both redirect to our article Compatibilism and incompatibilism, so I replaced the two separate links with a link there. But looking at that article, I'm not sure it's an appropriate link since that article deals with the (in)compatibility of free will with determinism, not the (in)compatibility of scripture with the scientific explanation of evolution. —Angr 14:38, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
A better link might be to Relationship between religion and science. HrafnTalkStalk 14:43, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, though that's already linked in the lead, as is conflict thesis. —Angr 14:50, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Who came up with the idea of using the terms 'compatibilism' and 'incompatibilism' for this? These terms are already too heavily loaded with a completely different meaning, namely, for differing positions concerning free-will and determinacy. See (talk) 15:31, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I think the second term should be dualism, since essentially that is what is occurring. They (incompatiblisits) hold something to be true but acknowledge that there are two ways of interpreting that truth. I also added a link to Averroism, as it deals with the idea of having two different viewpoints be true.Don Marques (talk) 08:31, 24 March 2012 (UTC)


I deleted the first two criticisms because they are criticizing the wrong view. Most "Theistic Evolutionists" also do not posit God in evolution, that is "Intelligent Design". That God created life is a question of abiogenesis, not evolution. Theistic Evolution is simply the belief that natural evolution is not only true, but compatible with faith in God or belief in religion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sacr1fyce (talkcontribs) 17:32, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

  1. New threads belong at the bottom of talkpages.
  2. You need to provide clearer and more detailed reasoning for removal of sourced material -- hence my revert.
  3. As the Skeptic's Dictionary source was explicitly on ID not TE, I've re-removed that.
  4. Dawkins is clearly talking about theism more generally (it's outlining a chapter on 'Why there almost certainly is no God') -- so would appear to be relevant.

HrafnTalkStalk 17:53, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I am a Wikipedia newb. I will try to make a clear argument.

Theistic evolution is simply the belief that religion and evolutionary science are compatible. Intelligent design is the belief that the universe, abiogenesis (origin of life), and evolution are too complex to have occurred naturally and therefore posits an intelligent designer (i.e. God).

Most theistic evolutionists do not believe intelligent design occurs in evolution. They believe God exists, but evolution still occurs naturally. There are a few that accept both theistic evolution and intelligent design. Whatever the case, the point is that theistic evolution and intelligent design are two independent subjects.

I do not believe the criticisms to be valid because they are confusing the subjects. They criticize intelligent design, not theistic evolution. Furthermore, the quote from Paul Davies is not only about intelligent design, it also about the origin of life. Theistic Evolution is about evolution, not abiogenesis. Origin science and evolutionary science are also two different subjects that are often muddled.

The only potentially valid criticism is the very first sentence in which theistic evolutionists believe in God, which is a waste of time to someone that believes in naturalism.

Regarding Hrafn's point number 4 above; The cited chapter from Dawkins' book does criticize theism generally, but the quoted critique is specifically about "design in the living world." Critiques of design in the living world (aka Intelligent Design), would be more relevant on the Intelligent Design page. If you disagree and choose to revert my deletion of this criticism, please cite a references that explains how "design in the living world" is a claim made by Theistic evolutionists.

After deleting the Dawkins argument, I amended the Occam's razor critique so that it would be directed specifically at ET, rather than ID. To be fair, I noted the obvious response made by ET regarding Occam's razor. cheers (Isaac.holeman (talk) 09:16, 23 July 2009 (UTC))

You need a reliable source to verify the contents of material you wish to add to an article. Also see WP:NOR. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:49, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

The Dawkins quote is directed at Intelligent Design (literally "design in the living world"), so the burden lies on you to either provide a reliable source to verify it's relevance to theistic evolution, or allow the quote to be removed from this article.

To be more specific... one cannot use Occam's razor to determine whether a theory makes unnecessary assumptions. One must first decide whether a theory makes unfruitful assumptions, and then one may apply Occam's razor to argue that unfruitful assumptions make the theory less probable. Dawkins argues that it is unnecessary and unfruitful to assume a design process other than natural selection in the living world. He then applies Occam's razor to agrue that theories which make this assumption are less valid. Theistic evolution does not assume a design process other than natural selection, so unless you can quote Dawkins as using the words "theistic evolution" in his critique, you should not assume that he (mistakenly) applied Occam's razor to TE.

The only source cited in this section uses Occam's razor to critique ID, so there is no verified argument regarding Occam's razor and TE. We can either choose to delete the Occam's razor critique, or adapt it so that it makes sense in the context of TE while we wait for someone to find a reliable source. I'd prefer to adapt it as such, but I'm open to feedback.

"The major criticism of theistic evolution focuses on its essential belief in a supernatural creator. This critique argues that theistic evolution is less valid than evolution by natural selection sans a supernatural creator because, according to Occam's razor, the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the theory.

Theistic evolutionists counter that assuming the absence of a supernatural creator is equal and opposite to assuming the existence of a supernatural creator. Given that neither assumption makes a difference in the observable predictions of the theory of evolution, Occam's razor may not support either assumption."

cheers (Isaac.holeman (talk) 23:05, 23 July 2009 (UTC))

Isaac.holeman: "Theistic evolutionists counter that assuming the absence of a supernatural creator is equal and opposite to assuming the existence of a supernatural creator." Really!? Where? -- Jmc (talk)
Jmc The logic comes from conversations with professors; if I had a print source I'd cite it. Careful scientific thinking avoids assumptions, and referring to an absence of evidence as evidence of absence is a major assumption. Apparently this logic is difficult/controversial though, so I'll just leave it out of the article. Going to go ahead and delete Dawkin's critique of Intelligent Design though.
(Isaac.holeman (talk) 08:25, 26 July 2009 (UTC))
I've reverted Isaac.holeman's latest edits to an earlier version by Hrafn. Isaac.holeman's edits served to obscure the sense, added POV material ('renowned', 'militant'), and had gained no consensus here. -- Jmc (talk) 21:53, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the POV issues: That Richard Dawkins is renowned is beyond question, it is fact. His books in evolutionary biology and popular science have been read by millions. The Richard Dawkins wikipedia article documents this thoroughly (using the term "preeminence"). As for calling him a millitant atheist - I was quoting Dawkins himself in the video I cited (here, again [1] ). Does quoting someone's self description count as non-neutral POV (I'm really asking, I'm no wiki expert).

Regarding obscuring the "sense." If that term has a meaning specific to wikipedia, could someone help me find it? If you just meant that I changed the meaning, I didn't. The current version should be improved though because the following sentence reveals a misunderstanding of Occam's razor: "These proponents claim that by the application of Occam's razor, sufficient explanation of the phenomena of evolution is provided by the principle of natural selection, and the intervention or direction of a supernatural entity is not required." This sentence implies that it is Occam's razor (a principle well established in scientific thinking) which reveals the (slightly more contentious) conclusion that biological observations are explicable without a supernatural entity.

In contrast, the appropriate process for applying Occam's razor is as follows. 1. Decide that a theory makes unnecessary assumptions 2. Apply Occam's razor to argue that the theory in question is less valid.

Occam's razor cannot be used to determine whether a theory makes unnecessary assumptions. It is the principle of reasoning that can be applied after one has made such a determination. If my version of the critique was confusing, perhaps that is because Occam's razor is a complex tool. My words were more precise than poetic. For the sake of expediency, I humbly propose the following as the smallest possible change that would correct the use of Occam's razor:

"These proponents claim that sufficient explanation of the phenomena of evolution is provided by the principle of natural selection, and the intervention or direction of a supernatural entity is not required to explain biological observations. According to Occam's razor, theories should make as few assumptions as possible, thus assuming the existence of a supernatural may be less valid than not assuming the existence of any such creator. Thus Richard Dawkins argues that theistic evolution is a superfluous attempt to "smuggle God in by the back door".[2]"

I'm very open to alternatives and committed to consensus around something more articulate than the current draft. I would like to describe Dawkins as renowned and a millitant atheist, unless someone can explain how the fact and the self description raise POV issues. This still doesn't change the fact that it's a straw man argument that Dawkins inappropriately directed at theistic evolution (instead of Intelligent Design), but that's his mistake not ours, and I guess we can't comment on it until we find a published rebuttal.


--(Isaac.holeman (talk) 06:58, 29 July 2009 (UTC))

I believe Isaac.holeman has an imperfect understanding of Occam's razor. To quote WP: "When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question [my italicising]. It is in this sense that Occam's razor is usually understood." And it's in this sense that this article says that "by the application of Occam's razor, sufficient explanation of the phenomena of evolution is provided by the principle of natural selection, and the intervention or direction of a supernatural entity is not required." -- Jmc (talk) 09:56, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree Jmc's quote and explanation of Occam's razor is accurate, but the critique on the TE page is still worded inappropriately. To quote the same WP passage as Jmc with my own italicising: "When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question." In more precise terms, this means "The principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that has been determined (by someone other than Occam) to introduce the fewest assumptions." It does not say "The principle explains which hypothesis introduces the fewest assumptions, and encourages selection of that hypothesis." The first determination, that a theory introduces unnecessary assumptions must be made without the aid or authority of Occam's razor. The validity of the conclusion depends first on the validity of the claim that unnecessary assumptions were made, and secondarily on the strength of Occam's razor (which holds that the unnecessary assumptions are bad).
The current critique: "by the application of Occam's razor, sufficient explanation of the phenomena of evolution is provided by the principle of natural selection" indicates that Occam's razor has told us that natural selection sans a supernatural creator makes fewer assumptions than natural selection with a supernatural creator. In reality, the conclusion was reached by a human, by the critic Dawkins. Once Dawkins reached this conclusion regarding unnecessary assumptions, he then invoked Occam's razor. It is relevant because the current wording suggests Dawkins was arguing that theistic evolution is inimical to Occam's razor, that the principle itself disproves TE, but this is certainly not what Dawkins meant because to any scientist who actually invokes Occam's razor in the course of their work, it is obvious that you must make the determination of unnecessary assumptions yourself.
(Isaac.holeman (talk) 21:41, 29 July 2009 (UTC))
I italicised "postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question" because the criticism here relates to an additional entity postulated by TE, namely a supernatural creator, which Occam's razor peels away. -- Jmc (talk) 00:02, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Saying Occam's razor peels away the postulated entity again (inappropriately) anthropomorphizes the impartial principle, suggesting that it is the principle which takes action or makes judgment. It must be clear that the argument of whether an unnecessary entity has been postulated is not the same as the argument made by Occam's razor, (that such theories are less plausible). The two arguments must come sequentially, work in tandem, the critique should not imply that they are one and the same. Perhaps this attempt will reach consensus?:
"One criticism of theistic evolution focuses on its essential belief in a supernatural creator. These critics argue that a supernatural entity is not necessary to explain evolution, that sufficient explanation is provided by the principle of natural selection. By the application of Occam's razor, theistic evolution is less plausible than other theories insofar as it postulates entities that are not necessary to explain scientific observations. In the words of Richard Dawkins, theistic evolution is a superfluous attempt to 'smuggle God in by the back door'".
TE is not a scientific theory. It is a view that sees theism compatible with naturalistic evolution. People who believe in theism generally do so because of non-scientific reasons. TE would only be guilty "smuggl[ing] God in the back door" if it were a scientific argument. It isn't. Therefore Dawkins is wrong, and TE is not subject to Occam's Razor. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:47, 19 August 2009 (UTC).

If there is no consensus with this version, please consider making revisions or explaining specifically what you find unacceptable about this version. cheers (Isaac.holeman (talk) 18:27, 31 July 2009 (UTC))

I think it is muddling things to call "belief in a supernatural creator" an "essential belief", as the atheistic contention is precisely that this belief is inessential. "Core belief" would probably be better. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:40, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Hrafn I think the intention was that the belief is essential to the theory (not essential objectively), but I agree with you that "core belief" would be more clear here. Let's change that part.
Isaac.holeman: "Saying Occam's razor peels away the postulated entity again (inappropriately) anthropomorphizes the impartial principle". No more so than calling a heuristic principle a "razor". -- Jmc (talk) 21:18, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Jmc: Anthropomorphizing is attributing human qualities (such as agency or ability to make decisions) to inanimate objects. The razor is an inanimate tool that Occam uses (as he uses heuristic principles). Saying Occam's razor determines something is anthropomorphizing because you assign the ability to make decisions to the inanimate razor. Calling the heuristic principle a razor is not anthropomorphizing because you are comparing an inanimate entity (the heuristic principle) to another inanimate entity (a razor).
The goal is to improve the above version until we can all agree on. Can you agree with the last version I proposed, after replacing "essential" with "core"? Do you have other suggestions? (Isaac.holeman (talk) 20:23, 2 August 2009 (UTC))
"Occam's razor peels away the postulated entity" is anthropomorphic in a way that calling a heuristic principle a "razor" is not? Really?! This is mere hair-splitting, as are the rest of Isaac.holeman's criticisms of 'Criticism'. -- Jmc (talk) 22:52, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Hrafn: "I think it is muddling things to call 'belief in a supernatural creator' an 'essential belief', as the atheistic contention is precisely that this belief is inessential. 'Core belief' would probably be better." Since "essential belief" is qualified by "its" and so refers to belief in a supernatural creator as an essential belief of theistic evolution (and not an unqualified essential belief), then I think the phrase should stand. The next sentence makes it clear it's non-theistic evolutionists who regard this belief as superfluous. -- Jmc (talk) 01:43, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

User Hfran just removed the following from the criticism section, noting that Wikipedia is not a valid source.

"It is noteworthy that this criticism assumes that evolution is the primary or only phenomenon a theistic world view attempts to explain, which may be the case for some proponents of theistic evolution, but is not the case for many others, such as Francis Collins."

I have re-added the sentence, instead citing Francis Collin's book "The Language of God" directly.

"This criticism is directed specifically at theistic evolutionists who believe that evolution is the primary phenomenon a theistic world view attempts to explain. This use of Occam's razor does not apply to the theistic evolutionists who argue that theism is needed to explain other phenomena, such as the big bang, more than it is needed to explain evolution. [1]


-- (Isaac.holeman (talk) 19:15, 24 August 2009 (UTC))

  1. Please don't use <ref></ref>-tags in talk.
  2. It was a crappy citation -- the Google stuff is irrelevant as Google-books doesn't give access to the chapter in question, and a chapter-long citation is too vague to allow reasonable verification. I have therefore requested quotes verifying this material.
  3. "…phenomena that natural selection does not explain, such as the big bang" is a silly argument (at least as currently presented). Natural selection is a biological phenomenon, so of course it doesn't explain anything whatsoever in astrophysics! It would be as reasonable to expect Ohm's law to explain osmosis. It badly requires a reword. I would therefore be surprised if it is an acurate representation of Collins' writing (see #2 above).

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:22, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

  1. Sorry for using <ref></ref>-tags in talk, I was unaware that i was inappropriate.
  2. Nothing in the wikipedia guidelines suggests that a source must be freely accessible on the Internet in order for it to be a valid source. Google books is clearly just a means of finding the book itself and the proper chapter, which you may just have to purchase and read if you wish to claim that others have cited it inaccurately. The thesis of the entire chapter is directly relevant to this criticism, and it is inappropriate to quote at length a "pro" argument in the "criticism" section, so unless there is a specific wikipedia guideline stating that only specific sentences, not entire papers or chapters may be cited, the citation should stand.
  3. It is not a silly argument, but I'm afraid user Hfran will not understand it until you understand that there is a difference between intelligent design and theistic evolution. I will try to expand the "relationship with intelligent design" section before I re-add the relevant context to Dawkin's critique. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Isaac.holeman (talkcontribs) 13:12, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
  1. It's inappropriate because talkpages generally lack a {{Reflist}} template to allow their contents to be viewed without editing the page.
  2. Google books is clearly superfluous under the circumstances. As to specificity, WP:V states "that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source". This implies that the citation is given with sufficient specificity that such a check is practical. Expecting a reader to trawl through an entire chapter and guess where the material is being drwn from is unreasonable.
  3. It is a completely idiotic argument. No reasonable person would expect a theory within biology to explain a phenomenon within astrophysics. The doctrine of immaculate conception does not explain why grass grows, the Gauss-Markov theorem doesn't explain why the sky is blue, etc, etc, et cetera. No conclusion whatsoever can be drawn from these failures, or natural selection's, to explain phenomena in completely unrelated fields. If you want to demonstrate that this is Collins' completely idiotic argument, and thus a reasonable issue for discussion, not Isaac.holeman's WP:OR or misreading, then you need to quote where Collins makes it.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:50, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Hrafn has my support. This article is purely about theistic evolution, not "a theistic world view", which is the subject of Isaac.holeman's addition. Isaac.holeman is attempting to smuggle in an extraneous and irrelevant POV. -- Jmc (talk) 20:26, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Whys is this called creationism?[edit]

Why is this part of the series on creationism? Theistic Evolution is essentially normal evolution, only with God. It's unfair to call it creationism, since Creationism is a loaded word, and saying Theistic evolution is creationism gives off the wrong impression.bob bobato (talk) 22:18, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree, but to be consistent, we'd also have to remove TE from the template (template:Creationism2). I have raised the issue on that template's talk page. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 02:28, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
It used to have both the Creationism and the Evolution template. I don't really know why the latter is gone now. Farsight001 (talk) 04:08, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Was Gray a theistic evolutionist?[edit]

Both the mention of Gray in The Creationists (Expanded Ed. p35, where he and his protege George Frederick Wright are mentioned fashioning a "right evolutionary teleology") and in his article (where he is mentioned "attempt[ing] to convince Darwin in these letters that design was inherent in all forms of life"), gives the impression that Gray was closer to being a precursor to an ID-advocate than a TEer. Do we have a reliable source (not a piece of self-published creationist fluff) linking Gray to this viewpoint? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:35, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

According to Mark Noll [1], Gray's belief was in divine design manifested in providence, not intervention. ~ Serapio (talk) 06:21, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Is Flew a 'Deistic Evolutionist'? Is he prominently one?[edit]

Flew's views appear to be (i) muddled & (ii) closer to ID than to TE. Should he be included in the Deism section? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:29, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

It's unclear to me what's being asked here. Do you mean removing mention of Flew from the Intelligent Design article altogether (he already appears under "deism" in that article)? And when you suggest he's "muddled" do you mean with respect to the use of the terms "theist"" and "deist"? If so, I take objection to both suggestions on the following basis; In the review of There is a God by philosopher Gary Habermas [[2]] it is pointed out that Flew prefers "deist" to "theist" but avoids the former because of its unfamiliarity (see particularly the discussion - in the main body and footnote - associated with footnote 7 [[3]]). See also the article cited by Habermas: Antony Flew and Gary Habermas, "My Pilgrimage from Atheism to Theism: A Discussion between Antony Flew and Gary Habermas," Philosophia Christi 6 (2004): 197 - 211. It's clear that the question of design was very influential in Flew's "conversion" to deism and that positions himself somewhere in the overlap between deism and intelligent design (not mutually exclusive categories). My apologies if I have not properly understood your objection and therefore offered an irrelevant response. Muzhogg (talk) 00:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
  1. "It's unclear to me what's being asked here." I would suggest that this appears to be a result of failure to read what I wrote carefully.
  2. "Do you mean removing mention of Flew from the Intelligent Design article altogether" Am I discussing this on Talk:Intelligent Design? No. Am I suggesting that Flew's views are unrelated to ID? No (quite the opposite). Then you can reasonably be assured that I am not discussing removal on that article (where they are not mentioned in any case). Am I suggesting removing them from this article "altogether"? Yes -- see #4 below.
  3. Have I made any comment or argument about Theism vs Deism? No.
  4. My argument was that Flew's views (in the Deism section of this article) appear to place him closer to ID than Theistic/Deistic Evolution, and muddy that differentiation -- making it (i) unclear that he is in fact a T/DE & (ii) making him a poor example of the Deistic view of TE, regardless.

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:24, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Ah! Now I see what you're getting at - the original point was obvious in retrospect but thanks for your patience in working through your thinking. My response is that one should be guided by the article's own definition of Theistic Evolution (methodological naturalism is considered a defining attribute) and Deism (that the deity does not 'interfere with the world or create miracles') and categorize Flew on that basis. I think there sufficient ambiguity on both points to merit raising the question you have, but unless it can be shown that Flew (1) rejects methodological naturalism; or (2) argues for something like a "miraculous" creation of an initial cell; then I think he should remain under deism Muzhogg (talk) 16:14, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
The trouble is that the reason that Flew has given for his conversion from Atheism to some version of Deism is an argument from design-style rejection of of the efficacy of a purely naturalistic/scientific explanation of the existence of life-as-we-know it. The exact contents of his belief system, and particularly whether it meets the strict definition of 'Deism' (as his position appear to imply some interference after the creation of the universe, to ensure that life-as-we-know-it came about), or even if it is coherent, is (I think) beside the point. I disagree with your argument for continued inclusion -- given that Flew is neither an unambiguous example of a Deistic Evolutionist, nor famous for his advocacy of such a position, nor appears to self-identify with that label (it appears to be a WP:SYNTH inference, rather than an explicit avowal from Flew himself). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:32, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Nice point - it reverses my previous thinking regarding inclusion. My only objection is that I think the article's definitions are highly relevant as they surely have to be the defining criteria for how Flew is dealt with in the article itself (please note that I'm not trying to turn this into an argument over semantics, just trying to clarify criteria of assessment). Taking such criteria into account, there is clearly little or no ambiguity regarding Flews association with ID whilst his association with Deism requires clarification. I would suggest that to justify inclusion under "Deism" Flew would have to be shown, with a high degree of certainty, to (1) accept methodological naturalism; and (2) self-identify as a deist. Otherwise he would be more appropriately called an ID advocate with deistic leanings. Let me just add that if (1) and (2) were shown, the likely point of discussion would fall on the nature of "intelligence" in Flew's thought. As he seems to think that the universe itself is made up of "mind-stuff" (George Wald, cited in There is a God p.131) his view of deity would be something like Spinoza's and I would then argue that he is best classified as a "deist with ID leanings". I only mention it to make clear what I think are the concrete criteria for any other person wishing to argue for inclusion under "deism". I obviously recognize the possiblity of future disambiguation and so leave the question somewhat open but as it stands, I support Hrafn's call to relocate Flew under ID rather than Deism given the current article description of his position. Muzhogg (talk) 22:33, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Behe and Edge of Evolution[edit]

Behe is not a theistic evolutionist, and his Edge of Evolution is not, given widespread criticism of its inaccuracies (which covers material included in this article), a WP:RS. Thus according to WP:V#Questionable sources, as both it and Behe have "a poor reputation for fact-checking", it "should only be used as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves" (and criteria for WP:SELFPUB, which EoE would fail in this context, needs to apply). As it is not a RS, it should not be given any WP:WEIGHT in articles about third parties. If a comparison/contrast between TEs and the more moderate IDers is desired, then a reliable third party source should be cited for the comparison. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:13, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. Clearly citing Behe in this context is more contentious that I had thought would be the case. I will seek less contentious sources for this subject and post a rewrite of the material. Regards. Muzhogg (talk) 14:55, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Behe is a prominent IDer.Wekn reven i susej eht Talk• Follow 09:31, 15 June 2011 (UTC)


The lead currently states:

Theistic evolution and evolutionary creationism are similar concepts that assert that classical religious teachings about God are compatible with much or all of the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. [emphasis added]

However, the clearest articulation of a definition of TE I could find among the sources states:

Theistic evolutionists (TEs) accept all the results of modern science, in anthropology and biology as well as in astronomy, physics, and geology.[4]

Do we have a source stating that acceptance, that is only partial ("much … of"), of "the modern scientific understanding", still falls within TE? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:15, 25 May 2009 (UTC)


This seems a bit too American-centric overall, doesn't make mention of international views. Particularly in the assertion that "all mainline portestant support it" -- which is a bit too general a statement-- should be support is found in many mianstreeam Protestant gorups-- or something of that variety --- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Hidden comment from article[edit]

Q: this needs clarification. is it a general spiritual/religious belief separate from the usual Judeo-Christian & Islamic views? User:Rursus agrees: this needs clarification. It is in fact a creationist stance.

  1. EC (like TE) isn't a 'separate belief', but a viewpoint harmonising science with a pre-existing theistic belief.
  2. EC is not "in fact a creationist stance." (See Scott citation in article)

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:53, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

That wasn't what the hidden statement questioned. The hidden statement questioned that the formulation was in disaccord with TE (= EC), by expressing a creationist stance. By TE we mean the full acceptance of evolution as a scientific model, and its harmony with religious belief. The topic is however obsolete from the intro being reformulated. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 15:40, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Citation Confirmation?[edit]

I'm a Wikipedia newb but I thought it odd that the link for the following book in the "Books" section is not traceable online. Is this a real book? There is no ISBN and the link to John M. Page is invalid. I cannot find reference to this individual online or for his book. This seems very odd and I would not want it to be a case where a fictitious book was posted. After all, it does sound intruiging for likely a fair amount of people. Book noted below. Does it truly exist?

Page, John M.; (2009) The Genesis Code: An Inquiry Into The Possibility Of A Link Between Creation And Evolution —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:23, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

I've removed it. Worldcat was down when I checked it, but neither Google nor Google Books could find anything outside WP on it (which, given that it is purported to be a 2009 book, tends to support non-existence). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:49, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Roman Catholic Church[edit]

Please refer to this discussion over at Talk:Catholic Church and science. The question is: Why does Evolution and the Catholic Church assert that Catholic doctrine is a non-specific form of Theistic evolution while Theistic evolution asserts that Catholic schools do not teach theistic evolution? --Richard S (talk) 18:59, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Intelligent design/theistic evolution[edit]

Can someone please explain what the difference between the two are? From what I read, these are almost exactly the same; ID is open to evolution being a process created by God, and TE believes evolution is a process created by God. And please, no derogatory comments. Toa Nidhiki05 17:34, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, here's one way of characterising the difference. Intelligent design attributes the design to an intelligent cause (withour specifying the nature or identity of the designer), not to a natural process such as natural selection; theistic evolution accepts evolution by natural selection as a natural process ordained by an identified being, namely God. (Maybe we could incorporate this in the article itself?)
A careful read of the Intelligent design article should also help to clarify the difference; to quote: "Intelligent design in the late 20th and early 21st century is a development of natural theology that seeks to change the basis of science and undermine evolutionary theory" [my emphasis].
-- Jmc (talk) 19:22, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
So, the difference is basically ID wants to redefine science? That makes sense; thanks for telling me. Toa Nidhiki05 13:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Unpleasant intro[edit]

The intro provides unpleasant amateur philosophy:

In short, theistic evolutionists believe that:
1. ...then... 2. ...then... 2.a. ...then... 2.b. ...then... 2.b.1. ...then 2.b.2.
(† Note, 2a and 2b2 infer ...blablabla...)

Noo! That's not in short! That's nonsense! Please provide a source to such an unnecessarily elaborate scheme. Theistic evolutionists affirm evolution theory as scientifically valid and evolution as the means which which God creates new species. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 15:48, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Salvaging the change. The elaborate formulation is not sourced and it is not a good encyclopedic style. It's more like a programmers first Python code. I instead propose writing a plain English formulation. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:12, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
The responsible user, who I don't wish to name, cannot respond for a year from now, so I decided it was best to revert the formulation to that immediatelly before that change. If any of you dislike the version that I restored to, feel free to improve if it remains English language (not a logic table, nor Python nor C++ code!!) and clarifies. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 16:27, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
For the record, I support Rursus' cleaning up of the intro (and incidentally, elimination of a misuse of 'infer'). I've also tidied the grammar of the concluding sentence of the intro. -- Jmc (talk) 18:35, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Gary Dargan quote[edit]

I would note that Gary Dargan, the source of the quoted Book of Animals summary is a geologist, not a religious historian or similar, and therefore is not a WP:RS for such claims. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:09, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Ahmadiyya section[edit]

The source cited for the Ahmadiyya (available here on wayback) seems to describe a viewpoint closer to progressive creationism or intelligent design than TE (which fully accepts evolution by natural selection). I am therefore removing the section until a source can be found demonstrating that this view is compatible with TE. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:40, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, what it says is that the Ahmadiyya 'bring in the idea of evolution to make room for "modern minds."' Then it refutes their belief. Wekn reven i susej eht Talk• Follow 09:29, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Hi Hrafn, I disagree; the source may or may not suggest to be close to progressive creationism and intelligent design, but to be honest that is because any group that believes in TE automatically believes in intelligent design and progressive creationism. For TE see 1. --Peaceworld 09:35, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
No, TE does not entail belief in intelligent design and progressive creationism. Both of the latter viewpoints, and the apparent Ahmadiyya viewpoint, deny the Darwinian Theory of Evolution by natural selection that is the overwhelming scientific consensus. The link that you gave is chock full of creationist misunderstandings of evolution: -- quote mining Darwin on the eye, misrepresenting punctuated equilibrium as denying the continuity of transitional forms, a rather mendacious explanation of natural selection, etc. This distortion has little in common with "science of evolution" that TEs accept. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 10:33, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, not looking into the technical definition of intelligent design, TE does in someway or another adopt the idea of intelligent design, i.e. God or something being responsible for the evolutionary processes, otherwise what is theistic? And similarly TE does adhere to the progressive creationism, intro of which states the religious belief that God created new forms of life gradually, over a period of hundreds of millions of years Yes, the idea of progressive creationism may not imply a belief in TE, but TE certainly implies a partial belief in PC, if you get what i mean? Lol, I'm not an academic in evolutionary theory but I don't know why I said that. Ok back to the main discussion, which part of the following you removed does not imply TE? I quote : The Ahmadiyya Movement is perhaps the only denomination in Islam that actively promotes evolutionary theory. Ahmadis interpret scripture from the Quran to support the concept of macroevolution and give precedence to scientific theories. Furthermore, unlike more orthodox Muslims, Ahmadis believe that mankind has gradually evolved from different species. Ahmadis regard Adam as being the first Prophet of God – as opposed to him being the first man on Earth. Rather than wholly adopting the theory of natural selection, Ahmadis promote the idea of a guided evolution, viewing each stage of the evolutionary process as having been selectively woven by God. And can you be more specific why does the reference yo gave point to intelligent design and progressive creationism. Thank you.--Peaceworld 16:32, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
TE no more implies a belief in ID or PC than a theist's acceptance of gravity involves belief in intelligent falling. That evolution is undirected from the viewpoint of biology places it no more outside God's plan than the fact that the destination of a roulette ball is undirected from the viewpoint of physics places a casino outside it. TEs simply accept that random events are part of God's will, and that the lack of scientific evidence of God's involvement does not mean He was not involved. IDers/PCers insist that there must be scientifically-discernible evidence that God was involved. Many creationists, whether they admit it or not, believe in macroevolution (often at a rate far beyond what would be credible to science) -- e.g. the incredible rate that would be required to turn the number of animals that could fit on the Ark into the over one million species of animals in existence just a few thousand years later. Placing Ahmadiyya as 'Theistic Evolution' is an interpretation (and in my opinion a fairly dubious one), and as such requires a WP:SECONDARY source to avoid WP:Synthesis. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:36, 15 June 2011 (UTC) Church of the Nazarene (Needs revision)[edit]

Entry appears a bit dated. I'll leave it to someone more seasoned in neutrality to figure out how to edit but it appears the current official church stance is in opposition to theistic evolution and might justify removal of Church of the Nazarene from being included in this page.

The main page currently states:

903.8 Creation

The Church of the Nazarene believes in the biblical account of creation (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . .”—Genesis 1:1). We oppose any godless interpretation of the origin of the universe and of humankind. However, the church accepts as valid all scientifically verifiable discoveries in geology and other natural phenomena, for we firmly believe that God is the Creator. (Articles I.1., V. 5.1, VII.) (2005)

However, the second part of that declaration been omitted form the 2009-2013 Church of the Nazarene Manual (pg. 373) which now only states;

903.9. Creation

The Church of the Nazarene believes in the biblical account of creation (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . .”—Genesis 1:1). We oppose any godless interpretation of the origin of the universe and of humankind (Hebrews 11:3). (1, 5.1, 7) (2009)

The previously mentioned bit about scientific discoveries have since been removed, and Hebrews 11:3 is now mentioned. This suggests the current, official stance leans more towards a rejection of theistic evolution as opposed to previous support.

To compound this issue further, schools such as Olivet Nazarene University still quote the 2005 manual as evidence of support of Olivet’s stance on theistic evolution as congruent with that of the Church of the Nazarene, despite the official manual possibly suggesting otherwise. ( (talk) 12:21, 16 September 2011 (UTC))

Recent edit[edit]

here - the top part of the list ("Contemporary biologists") is worth keeping & should, where true, be capable of being referenced. The rest I agree we don't need. Johnbod (talk) 01:28, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

I would like to see reliable independent secondary sources on the topic of theistic evolution used, not merely mentions culled from Google searches and backed up with primary or non-scholarly sources. Also, I'm thinking of deleting the section on "Proponents", as it seems to be OR and synth. Theist + evolution does not equal "theistic evolution". Secondary sources discussing the figures mentioned in the context of theistic evolution are missing. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 01:36, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I've put the contemporary biologists & geologists back, having checked their bios & seen ample referencing - with several it is what they are mainly notable for. The term is a relatively vague one, & effectively does = Theist + evolution as far as I can see. What people without a relevant academic background think is of less interest. Johnbod (talk) 01:40, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I see you have chosen to revert me [5], and then remove another large chunk. I think you had better explain this. Johnbod (talk) 01:43, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
If the term is that vague, it's trivial and of no encyclopedic significance. Surely scholarly books and articles have been written on the topic of theistic evolution, and it is on these that these sections should be based. At a minumum, I would like to see evidence that the person in question is widely regarded in the scholarly literature on the topic of theistic evolution as being a significant contributor to the development of the philosophy, not just a scientist that just happens to be a theist, too, or merely a believer or supporter. Again, that would be OR and synth. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 01:50, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Not really. The article says (para 2): "Theistic evolution is not a scientific theory, but a particular view about how the science of evolution relates to religious belief and interpretation. Theistic evolution supporters can be seen as one of the groups who reject the conflict thesis regarding the relationship between religion and science – that is, they hold that religious teachings about creation and scientific theories of evolution need not contradict. Proponents of this view are sometimes described as Christian Darwinists." If you think it is "trivial and of no encyclopedic significance", AFD is thataway. The section you deleted lists several books written by the people you removed, which I suppose count as scholarly, though in what branch of scholarship I'm not sure. Is there a "philosophy" that "develops" - I suspect not. You seem to be applying inappropriate criteria here. Johnbod (talk) 02:11, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
"A particular view about how the science of evolution relates to religious belief and interpretation" is, by definition, a philosopical view. And the article certainly suggests that there is a lot more to "theistic evolution" than just a catch-all phrase that willy-nilly comprises by default anyone who is not a creationist or atheist. Also, proponent means a lot more than passive believer or supporter. And we should be including only notable proponents, not just anyone who has mentioned the topic. Otherwise, it's just an indiscriminate list.
Undoubtedly, there are notable proponents who contributed to the philophy, and they should be mentioned, but not without solid secondary sourcing from the scholarly literature on the topic that clearly indicates that the person in question is widely regarded as a notable proponent. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 02:23, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
And having deleted the lot, what are you going to do to see they are mentioned? Johnbod (talk)
Not stand in your way if you take it upon yourself to rewrite those sections based on reliable independent scholarly secondary sources on the topic of theistic evolution. The section was tagged for four years without anybody bothering to improve it. If you want to have a go, feel free. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 02:40, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
You take it for granted it needed improving. So far it seems ok, as far as it went. And I'm seeing little talk of "philosophy". Johnbod (talk) 03:19, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
That means you didn't look hard enough: [[6]]. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 03:23, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and I thought you didn't like random crap dredged up from google searches! Not that convincing a haul. Johnbod (talk) 01:25, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
I've also asked for additional input on NORN and FTN, and from Dave Souza, who is our resident expert on the literature on Creationism. We'll see what they have to say. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 02:55, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Correction: I am not an expert on this, and indeed have had professional training in not being an expert on anything. The first sources that come to hand are Bowler's Evolution, the History of an Idea which covers the early period including pre-Darwin theistic evolution, and Ron Numbers The Creationists which notes theological influences of theistic evolution being resisted by early creationists. Searching for "theistic evolution" at the NCSE website throws up some more recent discussion on the topic. . dave souza, talk 19:07, 16 June 2013 (UTC)


  • Original version of the article, before June 13 cuts: [7]
  • Science in Theistic Contexts: A Case Study of Alfred Russel Wallace on Human Evolution

Martin Fichman Osiris , 2nd Series, Vol. 16, Science in Theistic Contexts: Cognitive Dimensions (2001), pp. 227-250 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The History of Science Society Article Stable URL:

  • Creation and Evolution

Philip E. Devine Religious Studies , Vol. 32, No. 3 (Sep., 1996), pp. 325-337 Published by: Cambridge University Press Article Stable URL:

  • Colling, esp. p. 42: Academic Freedom and Tenure: Olivet Nazarene University (Illinois), Gregory F. Scholtz and Ruth Caldwell

Academe , Vol. 95, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 2009), pp. 41-57 Published by: American Association of University Professors Article Stable URL:

  • Collins, Seeing God's Hand in Evolution

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins Review by: Amy E. Schwartz The Wilson Quarterly (1976-) , Vol. 30, No. 3 (Summer, 2006), pp. 108-109 Published by: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Article Stable URL:

  • Conway Morris, esp last page: The Goldilocks Hypothesis

Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe by Simon Conway Morris Review by: Douglas H. Erwin Science , New Series, Vol. 302, No. 5651 (Dec. 5, 2003), pp. 1682-1683 Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science Article Stable URL:

  • Miller & Goodenough: Falling Off a Tightrope: Compromise and Accomodation in The War Between Creationism and Evolution

Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and EvolutionRocks of AgesThe Sacred Depths of Nature by Kenneth R. Miller; Stephen Jay Gould; Ursula Goodenough Review by: BARRY A. PALEVITZ BioScience , Vol. 50, No. 10 (October 2000), pp. 926-929 Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Article DOI: 10.1641/0006-3568(2000)050[0926:FOATCA]2.0.CO;2 Article Stable URL:

(added Johnbod (talk) 16:01, 17 June 2013 (UTC) )

  • "Theistic evolution, which accepts that evolution occurred as biologists describe it, but under the direction of God". p. 149, "Scientific Creationism and Evangelical Christianity", Claude E. Stipe, American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 87, No. 1 (Mar., 1985), pp. 148-150, Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association, Article Stable URL:

(added dave souza, talk 14:10, 18 June 2013 (UTC)) + 14:28, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Many Scientists See God's Hand in Evolution | NCSE reprints an article which appeared in the Washington Times on April 11, 1997, and discussed: "The belief that God creates through evolution has been called "theistic evolution" though there are different views on how much God intervenes in the process"
  • Evangelical scholar expelled over evolution | NCSE: Bruce Waltke, Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, having written on his support for theistic evolution, lost the job in 2010 over his video expressing views "acknowledging the overwhelming amount of data in support of biological evolution, which many evangelicals still reject". The campus interim president explained that "Darwinian views, and any suggestion that humans didn't arrive on earth directly from being created by God (as opposed to having evolved from other forms of life), are not allowed, .. and faculty members know this." Waltke's subsequent statement described himself as "holding the view of creation by the process of evolution as understood by mainline science, apart from its normal atheistic philosophy." . . dave souza, talk 14:28, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Is this article mostly original research?[edit]

It looks like it. I propose that to be eligible for inclusion here, material must be backed by sources which make specific mention of "theistic evolution" - it is not enough for editors here to take concepts/positions, reason for themselves that they they are within the scope of theistic evolution, and then create material on that basis. This being the case, a large proportion of this article needs to be removed until/unless solid sourcing can be found. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:01, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Actually, it's a lot worse than I thought. Whole sections are based solely on primary documents or sources that don't even metion the topic at all. It looks like a dumping ground for anything that is neither Creationism or atheism, rather haphazard and poorly sourced.
Part of the problem is definitional. The topic should be about the positive position that God uses evolution as a tool for creation, not merely a negative position that encopasses anything that does not fall under Creationism or atheism. The latter definition is so broad as to be trivial and meaningless. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 04:55, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
And your sources for that are what exactly? It is, if you want to call it that a "position that encopasses anything that does not fall under Creationism or atheism" (somewhat bizarre phrasing but there we go...). Your personal opinion that this is "so broad as to be trivial and meaningless" does not seem to be widely shared. It would be helpful if we could keep the subject out the grip of American culture wars. Johnbod (talk) 19:32, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Watch your civility. Right now, there are two well-sourced definitions in the article, in the "definitions" section. One from Nature, which is philosophically concise, but politically not very useful, and one from Scott, which is philosophically fuzzier, but politcally easier to apply. Read both sources, and you'll see that things are more subtle than you think. It's very possible to believe in God and accept evolution and not be a theistic evolutionist. Read the sources, as I have started, and you'll see this is a much messier can of worms than it seems. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 20:42, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
I've been arguing it is a broad term from the start, against your OR efforts to narrow it, but I'm not seeing that those sources, plus the better ones I've produced, support what you're saying. Johnbod (talk) 14:04, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
The edit summary here doesn't make sense. It's neither unsourced nor self-published. Craig Rusbult isn't the ASA (which is a notable scholarly organisation, if a slightly odd collective sometimes). Guettarda (talk) 05:05, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
The sentence beginning "In short ..." was unsourced; the Rusbult piece appears to be self-published (it is his own copyright with no evidence of a publisher). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:19, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree. It was not published by the ASA, jsut included on a list of "educational resources". It MAY have appeared on the ASF site, but that wouldn't be either scholarly, nor would it be independent, as Rusbult was the site's designer. In any case, for a definition of the subject, I would insist on a peer-reviewed or editorially-reviewed REAL academic SECONDARY publication dedicated primarily to the topic of theistic evolution. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 05:47, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Collins the inventor?[edit]

This article implies that "theistic evolution" was devised by Francis Collins (who has since moved on to "biologos"). Is this right? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:32, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

I think you're reading too much into the words "his own school of religious thought". I don't take it to mean that he's the inventor, just an adherent. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 05:38, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, looking now at earlier sources the term seems to have been in use for quite a while - but enjoyed a resurgence when Collins championed it. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:45, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
In fact it appears to have been popular in the decade following the publication of The Origin of Species - a historical aspect that is lacking in the current article. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 06:04, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
It's probably best to cut this to a bare bone, and rebuild it using reliable academic secondary sources on the topic of theistic evolution. I've asked Dave Souza for help with the sourcing. He is very familiar with the reliable sources for creationism, and might have some good suggestions where to start. I'm looking through scholarly sources myself, but it will take me a while to figure out what's usable and representative, and what's not. Thanks for your help. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 06:27, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Likewise! I think we have a reasonable basis now for moving forward. I've come across a footnote: "For an indication of the popularity achieved by theistic evolutionism in the decade after the Origin of Species was published, see Alvar Ellegard, Darwin and the General Reader. The Reception of Darwin's Theoryof Evolution in the British Periodical Press, 1859-1873 (Goteburg: Acta Universitatis Gothenburgensis, 1958), esp. pp. 272-273." but it appears that book content isn't online. Also, I'm coming to think this article would be better entitled "theistic evolutionism" ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 06:36, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
Have mentioned a couple of sources above, beware of changing the title as "evolutionism" is a term of the art referring to certain 19th century beliefs, best avoided in relation to modern evolutionary science. Partly because it has been much abused by creationists. The term theistic evolution is used by several sources, and of course it's easy to link the longer theistic evolutionism in the specific instances where it's appropriate. . dave souza, talk 19:15, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
That may well be the case, but in modern contexts it is used freely and with no special sense eg by Eugenie Scott in the article now cited in our article and by this historian of science:

The Evolution-Creation Struggle by Michael Ruse Review by: Peter J. Bowler Journal of the History of Biology , Vol. 39, No. 1 (Spring, 2006), pp. 226-228 Published by: Springer Article Stable URL: - I have added it to the lead - it already redirected here. Johnbod (talk) 13:47, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Good edit, I'm happy with it as an alternative name but don't think it should be the article title for the reasons above. Bowler's history of evolutionary science does use "theistic evolutionism" to describe attempts to incorporate divine intervention into science, an effort which was abandoned by around 1900. Variants on the term, most commonly theistic evolution, are used after then for theological accommodation with the findings of science. . dave souza, talk 13:53, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
JSTOR has rafts of articles called or about "theistic evolution" going back into the 19th century, with a particular burst in the 1920s. It is very different from creationism (a much more recent term I think, though of course not a recent view). Johnbod (talk) 19:28, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Roman Catholic views[edit]

Rahner (1975) appears to be rather out of date regarding the RC position on direct creation of humanity: Scott notes "In 1996, Pope John Paul II (1996) reiterated the Catholic version of theistic evolution, in which God created, evolution happened, humans may indeed be descended from more primitive forms, but the hand of God was required for the production of the human soul. The current pope, Benedict XVI, has reiterated the evolution-friendly Catholic view, stressing the importance of rejecting philosophical naturalism (Lawton, 2007)." See also more recent coverage,[8][9][10][11] suggesting some lack of clarity in papal thought on the issue. . dave souza, talk 21:54, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

I don't think there is a contradiction actually, though he was obviously writing before the later pronouncements (which he may well have had a hand in formulating before his death in 1984). Clarity is not not entirely the aim of these pronouncements (and Scott is a pretty breezy interpreter of them btw). Where do you think the contradiction lies? Note Rayner's starting point for his "Evolution" section", top of p. 478. Johnbod (talk) 01:12, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Johnbod. Ratzinger is an extremely talented wordsmith, and trying to interpret what he writes requires a great deal of experience with the intricacies and subtleties of papal pronouncements, especially those of Ratzinger, who, dollars to doughnuts, wrote or edited JPII's speech, too, as this was post-Assisi.
Like Johnbod, I agree that it looks like Scott was out way of her element here. Her conclusion that the Catholic Church even has, or ever has had, an "official position" on this matter is a rather bold and extraordinary claim. We would need heavy-duty sources for such a claim.
The lack of clarity is both intential and illusory, and there are no contradictions or changes from previous statements, as Johnbod said. Any confusion results from:
1) assuming that the RCC has an "official position", or any position whatsoever, in the first place,
2) assuming that said position could be deduced from artfully worded papal pronouncements,
3)assuming that papal pronouncements like this are somehow authoratative or binding,
4) assuming that either speech is saying anything significant or new with regards to the creation/evolution controversy in the first place, and
5) trying to fit square Catholic pegs into round Protestant holes, or confusing Catholic apples with Protestant oranges.
FWIW, my own interpretation of their speeches is that Ratzinger is rather unabiguously saying that the creationism/evolution controversy is completely irrelevant to the Catholic faith. Which is entirely consistent with previous statements going back to 1950. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 02:23, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
They are certainly not in the business of endorsing purely scientific theories, having learned the lesson of Galileo and got out of that in the 18th century. But they are concerned with whether particular theories have implications for or contradictions with Catholic faith. Encyclicals (1893 and 1950) and major speeches by the Pope (1996) or statements by Vatican bodies (1909, 2004) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994/7) can fairly be called "official" and "authoritative", though ultimately not "binding" (though they take a very cautious approach indeed, to ensure they never need reversing). Odd remarks & articles in newspapers (Christoph Schönborn 2005) are much less so.
Humani generis in 1950 was neutral on evolution but (finally) gave an official statement that it was ok, and was in practice the point at which all Catholic education that had not already been teaching it as science began to do, as it still does (hence Catholics top the Christian denominations in the US Pew survey you removed from here).
The 1996 speech was a significant nudge along in favour of evolution, which I can't see contradicts Rayhner in 1975 (itself somewhat authoritative). JPII said "Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical [1950], some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than a hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory" - compare Rahner's opening remarks I point out above. The 2004 statement by the International Theological Commission included: "Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism. Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution." As far as Catholic education in the US goes, here's Bishop DiLorenzo of Richmond, chair of the Committee on Science and Human Values in a December 2004 letter sent to all U.S. bishops: "...Catholic schools should continue teaching evolution as a scientific theory backed by convincing evidence. At the same time, Catholic parents whose children are in public schools should ensure that their children are also receiving appropriate catechesis at home and in the parish on God as Creator. Students should be able to leave their biology classes, and their courses in religious instruction, with an integrated understanding of the means God chose to make us who we are."
But that is about as far as the CC is ever likely to go in terms of formally endorsing the purely scientific theory. It is still perfectly ok with the CC to be a Catholic & believe and preach or teach (though not in Catholic schools I'd imagine) say Young-Earth Creationism, though in practice that has gained almost no support within the Church except for a very few fringe American traditionalists. Scott's restatement is short and useful for quoting but lacks all nuance, whereas the Church statements are full of it. But I don't think it is actually inaccurate. The fuller analyses by her and others put out by NCSE (Dave's links above etc) show she is pretty aware of the nuances.
What one sees in all Church statements since the first in 1860 is the dominating emphasis on the origin of humans as the key issue - even then the Church did not attempt to defend Genesis literalism as regards lower forms of life. The "natural selection is immoral" concern was more prominent in liberal Protestant and secular objections (George Bernard Shaw etc) but pretty secondary for the CC. Ratzinger's pre-Papal comments (published 2008) illustrate in fairly plain terms what the CC is interested in: "The clay became man at the moment in which a being for the first time was capable of forming, however dimly, the thought of "God". The first Thou that—however stammeringly—was said by human lips to God marks the moment in which the spirit arose in the world. Here the Rubicon of anthropogenesis was crossed. For it is not the use of weapons or fire, not new methods of cruelty or of useful activity, that constitute man, but rather his ability to be immediately in relation to God. This holds fast to the doctrine of the special creation of man ... herein ... lies the reason why the moment of anthropogenesis cannot possibly be determined by paleontology: anthropogenesis is the rise of the spirit, which cannot be excavated with a shovel. The theory of evolution does not invalidate the faith, nor does it corroborate it. But it does challenge the faith to understand itself more profoundly and thus to help man to understand himself and to become increasingly what he is: the being who is supposed to say Thou to God in eternity." (see Catholic Church and evolution for this and the other statements).
They don't really need to define or refine the process of anthropogenesis (hominization, the special creation of man) as all divine creation falls under "God moves in mysterious ways / His wonders to perform", but at some point there may be developments on the population size to which anthropogenesis happened, where Rahner, JP II in 1996, and Ratzinger in 2008 seem to show movement beyond Humani generis in 1950. Johnbod (talk) 12:37, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Johnbod (talk) 10:58, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

The problem which caught me is that special creation to creationists means miraculous intervention to abruptly create species, but to Catholics apparently means creation of souls. Thus Scott's summary stands: "humans may indeed be descended from more primitive forms, but the hand of God was required for the production of the human soul." We should clarify this point rather than leaving the impression that RC theistic evolution requires miraculous creation of the physical human body. The relevant section should have a link to Catholic Church and evolution, and probably to Humani generis, the latter covering the point that discussions on evolution only go "as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God."36 That seems to be the defining point, but there are clearly some nuances that may be worth noting. . . . dave souza, talk 17:54, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, though the "special creation of man" means as a minimum the addition to or development within an evolved creature of a soul, though the minimum seems increasingly the normal view. Johnbod (talk) 22:34, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, which is why I think that the sentence "Many versions of theistic evolution insist on a special creation just for the human species" needs refining. Does the source cover non-RC versions, and if so do any require special creation of the body as well as of the soul? dave souza, talk 14:35, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Our special creation does cover both the Creationist and Catholic senses (I recently expanded the latter). I'd imagine all the Catholic views, past and present, are or were pretty much replicated by some people in other mainline churches but don't know - the range of Anglican etc views are harder to track, as they don't pronounce as much, or get as much publicity when they do. The theological issues would seem to be the same for all of them. Here are the Methodists, & here's a page of Anglican bishops saying they don't have an official position but..... Various Catholics in the past have I think advocated what one could call "whole body plus soul special creation for man" & there would be no conflict with the recent "official" statements per above if some still do; same for other churches I presume. The mainstream top-level thinking has clearly moved beyond that though. I'm away for a few days but will revisit on my return. Johnbod (talk) 18:14, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I think that covers it. . dave souza, talk 20:15, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
p.s. the page of Anglican bishops refers to, but doesn't link, Creationists 'harm religion' | UK news | The Guardian . . . dave souza, talk 09:32, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
A related aspect of the "hominization" issue is Original sin, which should be mentioned too. some context Johnbod (talk) 18:46, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
In relation to original sin and the fall, this comes into the history aspect of various theological approaches to accepting evolution. Will aim to add something on the historical development of theistic evolution while you're away, enjoy your jaunt! . . dave souza, talk 20:15, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

"The process and means by which hominization occurs is a key problem in theistic evolutionary thought, at least for the Abrahamic religions, for which the belief that animals do not have immortal souls but humans do is a core teaching"[edit]

In retrospect, this page was the wrong venue for this discussion. We can always discuss this subtopic again on the Talk Page for a specifically afterlife-related Article. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 07:19, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Not quite accurate, the only thing which is dogma (Ex Cathedra or otherwise) on this would be that only humans can go to Hell. No, Aquinas having said something at some point does not necessarily make it a non-negotiable "core teaching" even though he is a Doctor of the Church. An alternative view, which frankly works better with an afterlife based on multiple realizability of individual identity where we are all mental kinds in God's mind (as opposed to humans having a homunculus/"disembodied mind"/"ghost in the machine," a view which fails to reconcile with neuroscience), is that while all life has an afterlife only humans can go to Hell and the ability to go to Hell makes Heaven that much more special for us if we make it there.

For sources, consider this book by Dr. Mary Buddemeyer-Porter, which incidentally is available in some Catholic book stores: (It wouldn't be sold there if it were in bad standing with the Church, but it is as it is not in bad standing.) There are other similar books, such as Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates by Gary Kurz. I'm not here to give an exhaustive list of such books, however, but rather to use the Talk Page to improve the Article.

Note that this concept of all life having an afterlife but only humans being capable of going to Hell is not what Dharmic religions teach in terms of reincarnation/transmigration and should be distinguished therefrom; other beings simply go to Heaven albeit perhaps to a lesser Heaven than that of humans. They do not transmigrate to other bodies until they become human, as Dharmic religions teach.

Therefore, I suggest that the Article clarify the matter by (A) stating that the "core teaching" is that only humans can go to Hell and (B) discussing various views on nonhuman life going to Paradise/Heaven. (Reconciling afterlife theology with neuroscience would tend to say yes since humans are just as chemically explainable as other life, but that's just a quick aside, and there are better places than Wikipedia to argue that point.) The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 19:02, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

These are round the edges of speculative theology. If you can find any statement that animals have immortal souls in a doctrinal statement (online would do) from any major church or Jewish or Islamic source, let's have it. Obviously the Dharmic regions have a completely different view. Johnbod (talk) 19:48, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
So what? Speculative theology, by definition, delves into areas where there is no infallible statement ("core teaching") one way or the other. So, at the very least, the term "core teaching" in that sentence is inaccurate. It is one thing to say "many if not most adherents of Abrahamic religions believe..." and another thing to say "it is a core teaching of Abrahamic religions that..." and to be sure this distinction would be just as important in any other subtopic.
Mildly off-topic: I will point out that even if all life has an afterlife, the issue of hominization remains theologically important. Namely, the question remains of when moral awareness gave us the ability to go to Hell.
Anyway, back to the Article: As I explained in the first paragraph of this reply, I am talking about the aforementioned phrasing issue as much as anything. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 02:18, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
"infallible statement" does not = "core teaching"! To mention the effectively fringe view that animals have immortal sould would be WP:UNDUE here I think. Johnbod (talk) 02:28, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
So, a "core" teaching means something less than a teaching which is infallible and non-negotiable. (?) Either way, the Article should clarify further. (Incidentally, there are relatively very few infallible statements/non-negotiable teachings; they are largely things that seemingly go without saying as non-negotiable such as the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the Trinity, and the Real Presence in the consecrated bread and wine. Well, those are Christian examples, so I guess the only infallible statement common to Judaism and Islam also would be "There is just 1 God.") The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 02:39, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
The concept of "infallible statement" only applies to Roman Catholicism, which is certainly not to say that everything else is "negotiable" for them or other groups. "Inerrant" is the word Evangelicals prefer for what the Bible says (& would cover Islamic attitudes to the Quran), but first you have to decide what that is. The creeds are not regarded as "negotiable" for a start. Johnbod (talk) 10:06, 11 October 2013 (UTC)
The Creeds (Nicene and Apostles') are examples of infallible statements, albeit from consular infallibility. (Incidentally, the Nicene Creed covers things I already mentioned above such as the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.) While the books I mentioned earlier may be "speculative" (or at the very least arguably so), they don't run afoul of anything infallible (the Creeds, an Ex Cathedra, etc.).
The term "infallible statement" is perhaps only in Catholicism (Roman or otherwise), but I've read that it is a term used by Eastern Orthodox and other Catholics non-Roman as it were. I apologize for any semantic confusion I may have caused.
Regardless, after giving this more thought, I have concluded that the original thread topic would be more appropriate at the Soul Talk Page (or that of Afterlife) than it is here. If there is any place for Wikipedia to cover relatively new metaphysical arguments, some of which are theological responses to some very recent scientific discoveries (the science being that no matter how superior we as humans are, we are still just as chemically explainable as other species), surely that place is a specific soul/afterlife Article and not an evolution Article, Theistic or otherwise. Do we agree on this much? We can always add links in the not-too-near future if need be. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 19:47, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Don't Theistic Evolutionists Object to Being Labeled Creationists?[edit]

I recently made a small edit at Creationism requesting a citation in the section asserting that there are three types of creationists. . . though the table in the section [ Types of Creationism} lists four types, including theistic evolutionists. My tag for a source was immediately reverted by Dominus Vobisdu without explanation. I guess some people think requesting sources on this subject is verboten . . .

In any case, I have raised this question on the talk page and would invite those active on theistic evolution to chime in and help to improve the page on creationism. It appears to me that this article, theistic evolution, is much more balanced than the page on creationism which I believe unfairly seeks to rigidly define theistic evolution and intelligent design as forms of "creationism" despite the fact that I have seen adherents to both frequently insist that they are not creationists. Words are important, and labeling people and their beliefs with a word [creationism] which is so strongly associated with Genesis literalists seems inappropriate for an encyclopedia article. Though I recognize that Richard Dawkins and others do try to conflate creationism with any belief in the supernatural, these encyclopedia articles should not resort to labeling conventions which the holders of a belief do not embrace.–GodBlessYou2 (talk) 19:12, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't matter what labels the subjects of articles embrace. It only matters what labels reliable sources on the subject embrace. Capeo (talk) 20:40, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
Unless the group labeled also uses that label to describe themselves, a label assigned in a reliable source by a person, or even another group, is a characterization that should be clearly attributed as the label used by the person or group promulgating that label. This would certainly be done with racial labels, for example, and should also be done with ideological labels. Democrats, for example, don't object to being called Democrats. But just because some reliable sources labels Democrats as "leftists" does not mean Wikipedia should take sides and use that label without any attribution, such as "So and so describes Democrats as leftists..."--GodBlessYou2 (talk) 02:38, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
No. We describe groups as they are described in reliable independent secondary sources, and it does not matter whether they agree with that are not. Please read our policies already. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 02:46, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually we label racist groups as racist, in Wikipedia's voice, if RS's do as well. We don't label the Democratic party as leftists because no reliable sources do though we do label their platform as center-left because that's how reliable sources label them. Capeo (talk) 13:42, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

GOD-guided Evolution Theory[edit]

I added GOD-guided evolution to the beginning of this article since this term is commonly used; perhaps most commonly used. Omnireligious (talk) 14:14, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

I've reverted this addition. A Google search produces no RS for its use. -- Jmc (talk) 18:43, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
'Twas a sock anyway. Dougweller (talk) 14:36, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Supporters of TE?[edit]

I did a quick reading over the names cited as "people supporting theistic evolution" and I found out that probably some of that people are not supporters of TE, that is, at least Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig are not - I'm atesting this as a reader of their work. Of course I may have missed some updates, but that is what I know for the time being. So I would recommend a revision of those names - and inclusion of references. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Momergil (talkcontribs) 23:04, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Although Wikipedia articles are not references, the articles you linked to do contain references that appear to support the claim that they both at least feel that TE is compatible with Christianity, but I'm currently juggling my laptop and a bowl of Sesame chicken and so cannot check to confirm this. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:18, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Would Deistic evolution be a distinct concept?[edit]

Theistic evolution would seem to stand in contrast to a concept of Deistic evolution wherein all is set forth from a designed initial state, and flows therefrom without need of further intervention from its Creator. Pandeist (talk) 19:39, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

If there's WP:RSs for it. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:41, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
ok, I've googled around a bit and there are definitely sources discussing Deistic evolution as a variation distinct from Theistic evolution. Pandeist (talk) 19:58, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Would we be starting this as a part of this page, or as a new one all its own? Either way....

Christian Theology, by Millard J. Erickson, 2013:

Deistic Evolution: Although the term is rarely heard, deistic evolution is perhaps the best way to describe one variety of what is generally called theistic evolution. This is the view that God began the process of evolution, producing the first matter and implanting within the creation the laws its development has followed. Thus, he programmed the process and then withdrew from active involvement with the world, becoming, so to speak, Creator Emeritus. God is the Creator, the ultimate cause, but evolution is the means, the proximate cause. Thus, except for its view of the very beginning of matter, deistic evolution is identical to naturalistic evolution, for it denies that there is any direct activity by a personal God during the ongoing creative process.

Deistic evolution has little difficulty with the scientific data. There is a definite conflict, however, between deism's view of an absentee God and the biblical picture of a God who has been involved in a whole series of creative acts. In particular, both Genesis accounts of the origin of human beings indicate that God definitely and distinctly willed and acted to bring them into existence. In addition, deistic evolution conflicts with the scriptural doctrine of providence, according to which God is personally and intimately concerned with and involved in what is going on in the specific events within his entire creation.

There's actually another book with a much longer treatment of Deistic Evolution here.... but I fear if I copied all that here, the copyright police would have my ass. Pandeist (talk) 06:49, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Since they're discussing it in relation to Theistic evolution, and more as a theorhetical position than an existing and independent position, I'd say it's not enough for a distinct article, but certainly WP:DUE for its own section in the "Relationship to other positions" section. Ian.thomson (talk) 06:52, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
I did some more research on this and found a few things -- firstly that there used to be a "Deistic evolution" page ten years ago but this was very short and so got merged up here along the lines of your discussion. But secondly there's a much more thoroughly cited page on the topic over at Rationalwiki, which shares our CC-BY-SA licensing. And thirdly worldwide sources show use of this specific formulation as a specific contrast to Theistic varieties going back on about 120 years. Putting all that together I found more than enough material to sustain a solo page, so I've gone ahead and made it at Deistic evolution. Blessings, brother!! Pandeist (talk) 19:51, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Not pseudoscientific[edit]

I've had to once again revert the addition of the word "pseudoscientific" from the intro.

The standard evolutionary model is not pseudoscientific. Theistic evolution is just a word for religious people interpreting their religious text in ways to accommodate and wholly accept the standard evolutionary model without any scientific modifications. They may find different philosophical meaning, but the science remains the same. As such, it is no more science or pseudoscience than pantheism or agnosticism -- it is a philosophical position (more specifically a theological one).

To add "pseudoscientific" to the intro indicates that one either does not know what theistic evolution is or else they are pushing a New Atheist POV. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:58, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

I agree that evolutionary creationism should not be labeled as pseudoscience, insofar as its supporters understand that it's a religious, extra-scientific worldview, not science. That seems to be the case; the current intro does a good job saying exactly that. However, on what basis can you claim that New Atheism is pushing an agenda here? The term "New Atheism" was in fact fabricated by a single journalist with an anti-atheist agenda, so by simply imputing blame on a quasi-conspiracy theory you are displaying great ignorance and prejudice on the topic. Please assume good faith and stick to the facts, even in the comments section.--Sisgeo (talk) 20:59, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
Your claim of a conspiracy theory on my part reads into my post what was not there. I said "one." As in, whichever one editor added "pseudoscientific" may have done so the grounds of "it's a religious idea so it's anti-science" -- the sort of thinking advocated writers and followers associated with the New Atheist movement (a label which has spread beyond a single journalist to describe atheists who evangelically reject the idea of Non-overlapping magisteria). Also, the term was coined by Tom Flynn, who is an atheist, writing why he didn't agree with the evangelical Atheism that Hitchens and Dawkins were popularizing. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:20, 14 November 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't think guessing at motivations is helpful. Nobody here is objecting to removing "pseudoscience" so we can all move on; the content issue appears settled. Jytdog (talk) 00:27, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

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new section "Evolution and purpose"[edit]

The following was added in these diffs:

Evolution and purpose

Some theists have said that the existence of a god can only explain the purposive quality of evolution. Theologian Frederick Robert Tennant is the first theist widely known to put forward such an argument. In volume 2 of his Philosophical Theology he says.

the multitude of interwoven adaptations by which the world is constituted a theatre of life, intelligence, and morality, cannot reasonably be regarded as an outcome of mechanism, or of blind formative power, or aught but purposive intelligence[1]


That is an OK source, but the content here begs the question, in the statement that evolution has a purpose. Also, this bit, as the source cited makes clear, is an intelligent design argument, and if it belongs anywhere in this article, it belongs in that section. ID is not synonymous with theistic evolution. Jytdog (talk) 01:00, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

I disagree that its begging the question. Can you give me a biologist that questions the purposivness of evolution? It should be in both articles. It is clearly relevant to both. Apollo The Logician (talk) 09:19, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
In the perspective of science alone, evolution is a blind process that affects members of species involved in competition that is very local in place and time. What happens happens and whatever gives a survival advantage in that local place and time, gets propagated. There are some religious or philosophical views, like the one this article describes or intelligent design, that sees some "purpose" or goal to these processes, but that is not science. See Teleology#Teleology_and_science. Jytdog (talk) 10:25, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough. Either way it's still relevant to theistic evolution and should be in the article. Apollo The Logician (talk) 12:47, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Considering you haven't responded Ill take that as a silent fine. Apollo The Logician (talk) 21:40, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

that takes care of one thing. it isn't clear where this should go in the article, and i don't know that the quote needs that much weight. maybe others watching this page have feedback on those issues. Jytdog (talk) 21:49, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with it having its own section. What do you mean "that much weight"? Apollo The Logician (talk) 22:05, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
read WP:WEIGHT - giving a block quote to Tennant is giving Tennant's exact words a lot of WEIGHT. The source makes it clear that Tennant's is one of several design arguments. Not all kinds of evolutionary theism include design. Jytdog (talk) 22:39, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough, the block quotes can be removed. Apollo The Logician (talk) 09:05, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Jytdog that the section inserted by Apollo The Logician does not belong in this article but in the article on Intelligent Design, which is explicitly referenced by the quoted source:
... the purposive quality of natural selection is best explained by intelligent design.
The first theist widely known to have made such an argument is Frederick Robert Tennant.
Theistic evolution is quite distinct from intelligent design.
-- Jmc (talk) 06:56, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
"Theistic evolution, theistic evolutionism, or evolutionary creationism are views that regard religious teachings about God as compatible with modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. Theistic evolution is not a scientific theory, but a range of views about how the science of general evolution relates to religious beliefs in contrast to special creation views." How is this not theistic evolution?Apollo The Logician (talk) 09:03, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
"Theistic evolution is not a scientific theory". Contrast this with Tennant's statement that "the multitude of interwoven adaptations ... cannot reasonably be regarded as an outcome of mechanism, or of blind formative power, or aught but purposive intelligence". That is in effect, along with other formulations of intelligent design, a scientific theory to explain "the multitude of interwoven adaptations". Evolution posits a categorically different explanation, which is, in Tennant's terms "an outcome of mechanism" and which he explicitly rejects. -- Jmc (talk) 18:30, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
It's a philosophiical/theological theory. Teleology isn't science. Apollo The Logician (talk) 19:12, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

The 'flood'[edit]

This article seems to be missing any content relating to the requirement for the subset of Christians who believe in the 'Flood' as a literal event that a limited number of undefined 'kinds' have 'since' (supposedly) rapidly developed into more than a million individual species. The concept would seem to be within the scope of this article.--Jeffro77 (talk) 02:59, 20 May 2017 (UTC)

Apes are not quadrupeds[edit]

Chiswick Chap restored an incorrect claim that Darwin's statement about humans being "descended from a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears" referred to 'an ape'. Darwin referred to an arboreal quadruped that he postulated as a common ancestor of humans and apes. Apes are not quadrupeds, they don't have pointed years, and they don't have tails. Humans are a type of ape, they are not descended from them. Don't restore the erroneous equivocation.--Jeffro77 (talk) 11:39, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

But CD referred to both apes and monkeys with the term Quadrumana, now resolved! . . dave souza, talk 12:25, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Yes. Perhaps a Venn diagram may have assisted with the oversimplification asserted by the other editor(s). Thanks.--Jeffro77 (talk) 12:48, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Some sources[edit]

While seeking out hairy quadrupeds, I found these sources which may be useful, though some may already have been used. .. dave souza, talk 12:25, 13 November 2017 (UTC)