Ken Wilber, Involution, and Evolution as a Function of the Divine: Frank Visser and Perry Marshall in Conversation

Frank Visser discovered Ken Wilber’s work in 1982 and contacted him in 1995 by fax, after which they became friends. Frank has written the first popular academic book on Wilber: “Ken Wilber: Thought as Passion” (SUNY 2003).In this conversation, we discuss Frank’s departure from Ken Wilber’s insistence that life itself and evolution are manifestations of the divine. We explore the question of how theology informs specific evolutionary theories. Does invoking God further science? Frank and Perry take a look at the nuances of Darwinism versus Design.

  1. CREATIONISM: Sun corresponds to God. Earth corresponds to nature. Car represents man’s exploration of scientific explanations for origins. The only direction you can go to explore in creationism origins is up.
  • DARWINISM: There is only earth, there is no sun (designer). Clouds obscure any knowledge of what may be outside. All light comes from earth because all explanations are naturalistic.
  • INTELLIGENT DESIGN: Sun (designer / God) is at the far right of picture, somewhere in the distance. We can drive towards the sun and discover more about nature on earth. However, it is presumed nature can only teach us so much because there is an unspecified degree of divine intervention.
  • EVOLUTION 2.0: Sun is at the far right of the picture, indicating the existence of an ultimate source of order. Evolution 2.0 presumes intelligence as a far-off endpoint (perhaps infinitely far) and the earth (nature) as being very, very large. We don’t know how deep nature is. There is no presumed limit to naturalistic discoveries. Instead of presenting God as a source of intervention, God is ultimate source of order and structure. Theology and science are never in competition.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks Perry,
    for an honest and inspiring interview with my friend Frank Visser from the Netherlands. Have you ever come across the impressive Prof. James M. Tour, an American synthetic organic chemist, specializing in nanotechnology – and a Messianic Jew – with his scientific criticism of Evolution. Here at ‘Discovery Science’ on Youtube: ‘The Mystery of the Origin of Life’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU7Lww-sBPg&t=8s
    And he is not a Creationist, and not an ID proponent. So, what ís he ?
    His answer on his website: blogpost: ‘Origin of Life, Intelligent Design, Evolution, Creation and Faith (Updated June 2018)’ https://www.jmtour.com/personal-topics/evolution-creation/

    Keep up the good work and keep tickling Frank, who prefers to believe in nothing – so not to embarrass himself – instead of an incomprehensible intelligence beyond all our laughably insufficient words.

    • Hans,

      James Tour’s statements are bold and no doubt empowered by his considerable achievements in science. He’s one of the good guys. I also salute his reluctance to make pronouncements about things he is uncertain about.

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