Title: Theistic Evolution and Emergent Personhood: Challenges from Moreland’s Thomistic-Like Dualism

Dr Miller will be presenting his latest research into personhood at the upcoming meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society far west region on Friday, March 29, 2019, at Cal Baptist University, Riverside, CA. Use the link below to register for EPS meeting (which runs concurrently with the ETS regional meeting) and come listen to the presentation.

Abstract

Advocates of Theistic Evolution (TE) regard personhood (a term often used to entail the mind and soul) as an emergent property tied fully to material biological systems. In 2018, William Hasker argued—based on what he considers the incontrovertible ‘fact’ of evolution—that the soul is not a creation of God, but an emergent property dependent on the development of the brain and “generated naturally as a result of the structure and functioning of the biological organism” (Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism, 130). Theistic evolutionists, like Hasker, approach metaphysics with a teleological worldview, yet accept teleonomic neo-Darwinian (ND) naturalism as the epistemological litmus test, and essential hermeneutic, for Christian theology and ontology. Building on this foundation, Hasker concludes that all iterations of Thomistic Dualism (TD) fail to explain personhood because they conflict with chemical and biological evolution. This paper will argue, contra Hasker, J.P. Moreland’s Thomistic-like Dualism (TLD) provides a coherent ontological basis for understanding personhood which is consistent in its teleology and consequently a more cogent hermeneutic for understanding both Christian theology and human biology

About the Meeting

The far west regional meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society will take place Friday, March 29, 2019, at Cal Baptist University in Riverside, CA, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the far west region of the Evangelical Theological Society. In conjunction with the ETS, the theme is focused on “A Conversation on Reading the Old Testament: Hermeneutics and Implications.”

Conference Speakers: Dr. Daniel I. Block, Wheaton College and Dr. Craig Bartholomew, Tyndale House, Cambridge