frankr: Yes that is quite open minded.
Ted: You know how hard it is for me to see whether you have your tongue in your cheek yet again. Call me naive, but I think you meant what you said there just as you said it.
frankr: There seems to be a problem with the sterile warrior ants. Although there seems to be a problem, evolution still answers the problem because the genes are just passed down from the queen.
Ted: I agree with this on a literal reading, but I would change “seems” to “seemed”. Darwin’s resolution of the seeming problem is adequate.
Frankr: I don’t see this as open mindedness it just seems to be addressing a problem with the theory.
Ted: What is open-minded is mentioning a potentially serious objection to the theory, rather than just ignoring it. A further manifestation of open-mindedness is Darwin’s constant reference to observation of living things and willingness to learn from that.
frankr: Let’s see if you consider the fundamentalist argument as “open-minded”. There seems to be a problem with the many and seemingly contradictory accounts of creation that are found in the Bible. Yet they are not contradictory at all they just explain a complex event (creation) from different points of view. The first story is a story of God’s power and the second of His personal realtionship with us. If I were to say such a thing Ted would you praise me as open minded for acknowledging a problem that exists even though I answered the objection while acknowledging it? I’d venture a guess you wouldn’t.
Ted: Your analysis of scriptual passages proceeds from your faith that the texts are divinely inspired. Your church forbids you to be open-minded about the possibility of errors in the Bible.* I grant, as I have before, that within that context you may legitimately apply formal reasoning and consideration of alternatives. The conclusions you reach that way are nevertheless vitiated by the root premise—the infallibility of scripture. This faith is the antithesis of open-mindedness. Biologists, on the other hand, proceed on the strong working hypothesis that the way to learn about the history of life on Earth is to study living things and the traces of themselves they have left in the rocks. As scientists, their minds remain open to new data and better interpretations of old data.
* I reject the following quotation entirely, but it serves to verify my opinion of what it is that the church teaches. Frankr has asked us to evaluate the church teachings by looking at what the church actually teaches rather than some distortion of that that has its basis in ignorance or malice. In this, he and I are in agreement. (My rejection of Catholic teaching is informed and benign.) http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08045a.htm
Those who first recognized in the Bible a superhuman work had as foundation of their opinion the testimony of the Prophets, of Christ, and of the Apostles, whose Divine mission was sufficiently established by immediate experience or by history. To this purely rational argument can be added the authentic teaching of the Church. A Catholic may claim this additional certitude without falling into a vicious circle, because the infallibility of the Church in its teaching is proved independently of the inspiration of Scripture; the historical value, belonging to Scripture in common with every other authentic and truthful writing, is enough to prove this.