Monday, December 2, 2013

Denis Lamoureux's 2013 ASA Lecture

Denis Lamoureux gave a lecture series this past July at the annual conference of the American Scientific Affiliation.. Denis opposes concordism and accepts the general principles of evolution. In the series he explores ancient science in order to show that the truths of Scripture are not ultimately in conflict with the findings of evolutionary biology  His series is available for any interested.

1. Introductory PrinciplesLecture28 minsHandout
2. Ancient Geography/GeologyLecture24 minsHandout
3. Ancient AstronomyLecture27 minsHandout
4. Ancient BiologyLecture35 minsHandout
5. Conclusions & ImplicationsLecture29 minsHandout

An introduction to the ancient science in Scripture also appears in Denis' book I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution (2009). Click Here

I enjoyed Dr. Lamoureux's lecture and agree with a great deal that he says. Placing the material in its proper Nilo-Saharan context would have helped the series. Without this context there is a significant oversight of Horus, to son of the Creator, as the fixer of cosmic boundaries, a widespread idea in the ancient world. Regardless of modern astronomical understanding of the cosmos, we must take the biblical text as our primary resource when seeking to understand the beliefs and practices of biblical peoples. It hardly matters that they perceived the sun a making a circuit around the earth. What matters is that they viewed this as revealing something about the universal sovereignty of the Creator.

Among Abraham's ancestors the sun was the emblem or symbol of the Creator and his son, Horus. The Horite Hebrew were devotees of this God, as were their kinsmen who served the rulers of Mesopotamia. That is why the solar imagery of the Nilotes, the Mesopotamians and the early rulers of Turkey (Anatolia) is so similar.

Denis also missed the binary framework of the Nilo-Saharans reflected in Genesis 1-4, their understanding of primal substance and cause, the motivation behind the development of sidereal astronomy, and the Nilotic understanding of Biblical "kinds" as essences. Nevertheless, I recommend the series and encourage readers of Just Genesis to listen to the lectures.

Related reading:  Levi-Strauss and Derrida on Binary Oppositions; Theories of Change and Constancy; Questioning the Common Ancestry Hypothesis: Does the Binary Feature Signal Greater Complexity?; Objections to Denis Lamoureux's Phenomenological Argument

No comments: