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Unlucky thirteen? Last year “terrible” for evolution, says Karl Giberson

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No, really. To listen to Giberson (author of Saving Darwin), this has been the worst year for “evolution” since the dinosaurs caught themselves an asteroid.

In a publication called Church and State (“challenging religious privilege in public life”), he tells us,

Evolution did not fare well in 2013. The year ended with the anti-evolution book Darwin’s Doubt as Amazon’s top seller in the “Paleontology” category. The state of Texas spent much of the year trying to keep the country’s most respected high school biology text out of its public schools. And leading anti-evolutionist and Creation Museum curator Ken Ham made his annual announcement that the “final nail” had been pounded into the coffin of poor Darwin’s beleaguered theory of evolution.

Americans entered 2013 more opposed to evolution than they have been for years, with an amazing 46 percent embracing the notion that “God created humans pretty much in their present form at one time in the last 10,000 years or so.” This number was up a full 6 percent from the prior poll taken in 2010. According to a December 2013 Pew poll, among white evangelical Protestants, a demographic that includes many Republican members of Congress and governors, almost 64 percent reject the idea that humans have evolved.

Toldjah. It’s the “13” effect again. 1913 was bad too. Alfred Russel Wallace died that year.

But seriously, readers, it’s a surprise Giberson is even using the word “evolution.” Here’s what he and Francis Collins had to say in their recent book, The Language of Science and Faith: “We avoid using the ‘E-word’”:

Theistic evolution is the belief that God created life using natural processes, working within the natural order, in harmony with its laws. So, why don’t we simply use the term evolution to describe our view? We don’t use the term, at least not at this point in our discussion, because it is associated with negative ideas, including atheism, and many readers would have a constant uncomfortable feeling while thinking about it. The word evolution carries emotional baggage that we are tossing overboard. (pp. 19–20)

Musta fished it back.

Well, it’ll be interesting to see what Giberson says about 2014.

Note: It’s kind of surprising that a well-known Christian theologian would be writing in a publication like Church and State. On the books page, get a load of the one suggesting short-lived Pope John Paul I was murdered. You know, just like Princess Di and Elvis. (Or wait, no, didn’t someone see all three of them down at the donut shop together recently? Figures.)

See also: Observant Jew Prager takes on Christian Darwinist Giberson

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Hat tip: Daniel Quinones

In conjunction with Antoine Suarez work establishing free will's tangent centrality in quantum mechanics, is this following stunning experiment:,,, in the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is falsified by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:
Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past - April 23, 2012 Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a "Gedankenexperiment" called "delayed-choice entanglement swapping", formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice's and Bob's photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice's and Bob's photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor's choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. "We found that whether Alice's and Bob's photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured", explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study. According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as "spooky action at a distance". The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. "Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events", says Anton Zeilinger. http://phys.org/news/2012-04-quantum-physics-mimics-spooky-action.html
In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past?,,, I consider the preceding experimental evidence to be a vast improvement over the traditional 'uncertainty' argument for free will, from quantum mechanics, that had been used to undermine the deterministic belief of materialists:
Why Quantum Physics (Uncertainty) Ends the Free Will Debate - Michio Kaku - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFLR5vNKiSw
Of note: since our free will choices figure so prominently in how reality is actually found to be constructed in our understanding of quantum mechanics, I think a Christian perspective on just how important our choices are in this temporal life, in regards to our eternal destiny, is very fitting:
Is God Good? (Free will and the problem of evil) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_1UAjeIA “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell." - C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
i.e. God did not create us as robots with no free will that are forced to love him (for how could that truly be love if it is coerced), but created us 'in His image' in order that He, and we, may have a truly loving relationship with him. Verse and Music:
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Your Grace Finds Me - Matt Redman http://myktis.com/songs/your-grace-finds-me/
To further differentiate to randomness that is associated with entropy from the randomness associated with Quantum Mechanics, we find the randomness of Quantum Mechanics is a completely different sort of unbounded randomness that is associated with our free will choice in quantum experiments:
Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe? Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: "In the beginning was the Word." Anton Zeilinger - a leading expert in quantum teleportation: http://www.metanexus.net/archive/ultimate_reality/zeilinger.pdf Zeilinger's principle Zeilinger's principle states that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics. Some have reasoned that this principle, in certain ways, links thermodynamics with information theory. [1] http://www.eoht.info/page/Zeilinger%27s+principle In the beginning was the bit - New Scientist Excerpt: Zeilinger's principle leads to the intrinsic randomness found in the quantum world. Consider the spin of an electron. Say it is measured along a vertical axis (call it the z axis) and found to be pointing up. Because one bit of information has been used to make that statement, no more information can be carried by the electron's spin. Consequently, no information is available to predict the amounts of spin in the two horizontal directions (x and y axes), so they are of necessity entirely random. If you then measure the spin in one of these directions, there is an equal chance of its pointing right or left, forward or back. This fundamental randomness is what we call Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2001-02/NS-Tmoq-1302101.php
So, unlike entropic randomness of space-time which is governed by Boltzmann's constant, the 'unbounded' randomness found in Quantum Mechanics is a necessary consequence of the fact that the universe is 'quantized information' at it most foundational level and we can only freely choose how to consciously observe a particle for a particular characteristic. Of note as to how free will plays out in quantum mechanics:
Can quantum theory be improved? - July 23, 2012 Excerpt: Being correct 50% of the time when calling heads or tails on a coin toss won’t impress anyone. So when quantum theory predicts that an entangled particle will reach one of two detectors with just a 50% probability, many physicists have naturally sought better predictions. The predictive power of quantum theory is, in this case, equal to a random guess. Building on nearly a century of investigative work on this topic, a team of physicists has recently performed an experiment whose results show that, despite its imperfections, quantum theory still seems to be the optimal way to predict measurement outcomes., However, in the new paper, the physicists have experimentally demonstrated that there cannot exist any alternative theory that increases the predictive probability of quantum theory by more than 0.165, with the only assumption being that measurement (*conscious observation) parameters can be chosen independently (free choice, free will, assumption) of the other parameters of the theory.,,, ,, the experimental results provide the tightest constraints yet on alternatives to quantum theory. The findings imply that quantum theory is close to optimal in terms of its predictive power, even when the predictions are completely random. http://phys.org/news/2012-07-quantum-theory.html What does the term "measurement" mean in quantum mechanics? "Measurement" or "observation" in a quantum mechanics context are really just other ways of saying that the observer is interacting with the quantum system and measuring the result in toto. http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=597846
So, it is found that a required assumption of ‘free will’ in quantum mechanics is what necessarily drives the completely random (non-deterministic) aspect of quantum mechanics. Moreover, it was shown in the paper that one cannot ever improve the predictive power of quantum mechanics by ever removing free will or conscious observation as a starting assumption in Quantum Mechanics!
How Free Will Works (In Quantum Mechanics) - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMp30Q8OGOE Free will and nonlocality at detection: Basic principles of quantum physics - Antoine Suarez - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhMrrmlTXl4 What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? - By Antoine Suarez - July 22, 2013 Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices. To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,, https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will
Lincoln Phipps, I'm sorry. After re-reading your post at 20 I find that not everything you wrote is incoherent, but that there is a nugget worth addressing. Towards the end you wrote,,,
Quantum uncertainties at small scales are quantised at larger scales and the averages are predictable. We will never know when a single atom of an element will decay to its decay products but we can sum a large number of random decay events and create predictable clocks. To us as observers the absolute foundation of our universe is not rational but utterly chaotic. The universe beyond the atomic scale becomes rational to us as the matter averages atomic scale random events. Humans are very poor at random but we are very good at identifying causal chains.
As to your very first claim Mr. Phipps,,
We will never know when a single atom of an element will decay to its decay products
Have you ever heard of the Quantum Zeno Effect Mr Phipps?
Quantum Zeno effect Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect
Why is this Mr. Phipps? Why should the random entropic events of the universe care if and when I decide to observe an unstable particle if, as Darwinists hold, I'm suppose to be the end result of the random entropic events of the universe in the first place? i.e.,,,
Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012 Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,, Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,, http://crev.info/2012/10/shining-light-on-dark-energy/
In fact, if computer programmers/engineers want to build a better random number generator for any particular computer program they are building then a better source of entropy is required to be found by them in order for them to achieve the increased randomness they desire for their program:
Cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator Excerpt: From an information theoretic point of view, the amount of randomness, the entropy that can be generated is equal to the entropy provided by the system. But sometimes, in practical situations, more random numbers are needed than there is entropy available. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptographically_secure_pseudorandom_number_generator By the way, if you need some really good random numbers, go here: http://www.random.org/bytes/ These are truly random (not pseudo-random) and are generated from atmospheric noise. per Gil Dodgen
As well, the maximum source of the entropic randomness (chaos) in the universe is found at the gravity of Black Holes:
Entropy of the Universe – Hugh Ross – May 2010 Excerpt: Egan and Lineweaver found that supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to the observable universe’s entropy. They showed that these supermassive black holes contribute about 30 times more entropy than what the previous research teams estimated. http://www.reasons.org/entropy-universe
In fact it was, in large measure, by studying the entropic considerations of black holes that Roger Penrose was able to derive the gargantuan 1 in 10^10^123 number as to the necessary initial entropic state for the universe:
How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123. (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989) The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).” http://www.pul.it/irafs/CD%20IRAFS%2702/texts/Penrose.pdf
This number. 1 in 10^10^123 for the initial entropy of the universe absolutely blows away the other constants in physics as to the fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe. In fact it cannot be written out in ordinary notation even if every sub-atomic particle were used to try to write it out, and yet, to repeat the Zeno Effect paper,,,
Quantum Zeno effect Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect
Mr. Phipps, Why in blue blazes should conscious observation put a freeze on random, i.e. chaotic, entropy, unless consciousness is more foundational to reality than the initial entropy of the universe is/was? Of related interest: It is also very interesting to note that Ludwig Boltzmann, an atheist, when he linked entropy and probability, did not, as Max Planck a Christian Theist points out in the following link, think to look for a constant for entropy:
The Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann first linked entropy and probability in 1877. However, the equation as shown, involving a specific constant, was first written down by Max Planck, the father of quantum mechanics in 1900. In his 1918 Nobel Prize lecture, Planck said: “This constant is often referred to as Boltzmann’s constant, although, to my knowledge, Boltzmann himself never introduced it – a peculiar state of affairs, which can be explained by the fact that Boltzmann, as appears from his occasional utterances, never gave thought to the possibility of carrying out an exact measurement of the constant.” http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/B/Boltzmann_equation.html
I hold that the primary reason why Boltzmann, an atheist, never thought to carry out, or even propose, a precise measurement for the constant on entropy is that he, as an atheist, had thought he had arrived at the ultimate ‘random’ explanation for how everything in the universe operates when he had link probability with entropy. i.e. In linking entropy with probability, Boltzmann, again an atheist, thought he had explained everything that happens in the universe to a ‘random’ chance basis. To him, as an atheist, I hold that it would simply be unfathomable for him to conceive that the ‘random chance’ (probabilistic) events of entropy in the universe should ever be constrained by a constant that would limit the effects of ‘random’ entropic events of the universe. Whereas on the contrary, to a Christian Theist such as Planck, it is expected that even these seemingly random entropic events of the universe should be bounded by a constant. In fact modern science was born out of such thinking:
‘Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it. Two significant developments have already appeared—the hypothesis of a lawless sub-nature, and the surrender of the claim that science is true.’ Lewis, C.S., Miracles: a preliminary study, Collins, London, p. 110, 1947.
Verse and Music:
Romans 8:18-21 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Phillips, Craig & Dean – When The Stars Burn Down – Worship Video with lyrics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuxnQ_vZqY
Every year is a worse year then the year before for Darwin's children.! When a idea is wrong and their is a strong attack against that idea then it can only last so long. We are in the beginning of the end of evolutionary biology as is. Put the light of truth and intelligence upon evolution had it shall fade away. Robert Byers
News: Thanks for your reply above. I agree with your restatement. Yes, Giberson is probably regarded as a theologian, or at least as a scholar who knows a great deal about theology, by many in the evangelical world, and maybe even some secular readers of his books (though I suspect those aren't very many) may come away with the impression that he has some theological training. I think he did some undergrad philosophy, albeit at a not-very-good college. This may explain why he seems more generally literate, more aware of secular writers, and more able to talk about broader theological issues than Falk, Venema, Applegate, Ard Louis, etc. I'm not saying that all of Giberson's ideas are entirely bad. But he has an inflated notion of himself as a religion-science expert, and he has a double standard, lecturing the world to defer to the experts on evolution, global warming, etc., while he himself offers opinions in areas well outside of his expertise. But those are merely personal objections to Giberson. More important, and more instructive for understanding the debate from a sociological and cultural point of view, is that Giberson is still fighting his small-town Canadian fundamentalist background. He can't simply transcend it and move on. And that is the story with so many TEs -- Falk, Venema, Isaac, Lamoureux -- who were at one point in their lives American or Canadian creationists of one kind or another, and rebelled against it. The TEs who come from non-fundamentalist backgrounds (Polkinghorne, for example, or Robert Russell) are much easier to stomach than those who used to be creationists. Their writing isn't focused on showing creationists and ID people why they are wrong. It is focused on finding positive connections between religious and scientific truth. It's too bad Giberson can't adopt the same attitude. If he could, he would be able to drop the chip on his shoulder regarding ID, which isn't about creationism but about information theory, engineered structures in nature, etc. Timaeus
'Theistic evolution is the belief that God created life using natural processes, ' '....working within the natural order, in harmony with its laws?' THE natural order? Whose laws? Cart before the horse, Mr Giberson. God placed man over his creation, not vice versa. Axel
'...the book has been criticised by working palaeontologists but creationists have been gushing with support for the book. Work it out !' Creationists in this benighted day and age, don't get hired by departments of palaeontology? Duh. Next hideous imponderable? Axel
Hey phoodoo- have you worked out the "generation" thing yet? ;) Joe
Or perhaps he was just making fun of Lawrence Krauss and Bill Nye? phoodoo
I mean heck, why shouldn't Giberson be given his own column to repeatedly write about evolution, on one of the biggest media sites in the world-to tell everyone about how non-biology scientists and long ago trained retired academics are not experts in the field, and thus shouldn't be taken seriously. This guy makes perfect sense. I love the fact that he is so self-effacing. phoodoo
Karl Giberson (5/20/2013) Huffpost, "The "Dissent from Darwin" list disintegrates when you look at it closely: The signers are largely non-biologists or even non-scientists. Many are retired academics, trained long ago before evolution became so established. Virtually none are experts in the sense of being evolutionary biologists active in the field..." But don't let this stop Giberson from electing himself as an expert. phoodoo
Great post Timaeus. The entire world of mainstream media is being left behind, in this idea that any opposition to Darwinism is just a bunch of religious barkings. I remember a few years back when a BBC news article did a long piece about epigenetics as it was first being understood, and the problems with squaring up this network of developmental regulatory commands with a piecemeal approach to building an organism. You suddenly had this cavernous leap of logic to go from Dawkins selfish gene, to this. Its like since that point, there isn't a single person in evolutionary science who has even tried to make sense of how that could have arisen with a Darwinian framework(just say modern synthesis, and hope no one asks any questions). I think its the most swept under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist concept in science in the past 500 years. Does Giberson understand that there is a whole new scientific problem which has to be worked out? Does he realize that ID is as close to addressing these concerns as anyone? Hell no, he is too busy making sure no one is allowed to say anything critical about him on Huffpost, and calling Dan Brown to get cover art advice for his next book. phoodoo
JGuy, the book has been criticised by working palaeontologists but creationists have been gushing with support for the book. Work it out !
For the paleontologists to criticize it, then I guess they read the book. Which means, oddly enough, they probably bought the book. But it really doesn't matter who actually buys it. They saw fit to categorize it also with paleontology. Which is, oddly enough again, a category the book immediately relates to... isn't that odd, that the professionals at Amazon, that are in the business of categorizing books in ways that are relevant for sales, would do that? Is there really any need to work that out further? JGuy
the book has been criticised by working palaeontologists
Logical fallacy of appealing to authority. TSErik
Timaeus at 21 and 22: Point taken about Giberson's background not being in theology. That said, when Giberson writes a book with Francis Collins, Giberson is assumed to be the "theologian" despite his actual background and Collins is assumed to be the "scientist" (whereas he has been for many years an administrator in science - and quite a capable one, it seems). One tries to get these things right and to correct mistakes when they are noted. That said, sometimes what the public accepts a person to be plays an important role in the story. There are people out there, I've no doubt, for whom Giberson is a better theologian than someone with a degree from a major Baptist seminary. Within academia, that wouldn't count, of course, but in popular culture it probably does. And there are no laws about who may represent themselves as a theologian apart from formal qualifications. News
LP #20: bornagain77?s rants are getting even more desperate.
Phipps, stop embarrassing yourself. Watching you "debating" Bornagain77 is like watching a toddler try to be devious. Box
Lincoln Phipps, well by golly, thanks for writing a much better self defeating refutation of your own position than I could have ever dreamed of writing against you. Or as Pauli would have stated: "Not Even Wrong!" bornagain77
Lincoln Phipps:
the book has been criticised by working palaeontologists
And most of those criticisms have been shown to be total BS- Prothero- total BS. Matzke- total BS- it's as if evos are so desperate they will say anything... Joe
Phoodoo's comments on Giberson's hypocrisy are pertinent. Giberson says we should keep our opinions to ourselves and defer to the experts, but then offers opinions on evolution when he has no training in biology at all. Giberson also pretended at one point to be open to dialogue with ID, but when this site offered him a chance for such dialogue a few years back, he chickened out. He was never heard from, even though signing up here and commenting is easy. And then he went on to write more books and articles mischaracterizing ID. As far as I can tell, Giberson wasn't even a good physicist. I once scoured the internet for publications of his, and couldn't find even one. As far as I can tell, he went straight from his Ph.D. to teaching undergraduates at a small Christian college with no research program, and never contributed anything to his field. And if he isn't keeping up with the latest developments in the field he was trained in, it's a cinch he doesn't know current evolutionary theory. Shapiro, the Altenberg group etc. are apparently unknown to him; he doesn't even seem aware of the theoretical problems with neo-Darwinism that even *atheist* scientists (never mind ID folks or creationists) have been pointing out. But let's face it; Giberson, Falk, etc. had their formative years in the 60s and 70s. They grew up as fundies and the great spiritual and intellectual crisis in their lives was their rebellion against their fellow-fundies Gish, Morris, etc. They are still reacting to that early crisis in their lives. They are still reliving those battles, in fact, have dedicated their lives to refighting those battles, reslaying those dragons, trying to justify over and over again, to themselves as much as to others, the decisions they made back then. ID folks, by contrast, have mostly moved on. They aren't talking about defending a literal Genesis, they aren't contesting the age of the earth, etc. They are talking about information theory, about engineering and computer science conceptions of systems and design, about the physics of molecular structures and Platonic forms of protein folds etc. -- all stuff which should interest any serious student of nature, but which Giberson etc. don't care about. Giberson and his friends are intellectually frozen in a past era of religion/science controversy. And because they still think in outdated terms, they force ID into the old "creation versus evolution" mold, and then write ID off as "creationism." Meanwhile, much smarter people by far, people like Nagel and Plantinga and Monton and Flew and others, are telling the world that ID isn't creationism and that the world should give it a serious hearing. Giberson, Falk, etc. are simply going to be left behind. Timaeus
The columnist refers to Giberson as a "well-known Christian theologian." I don't want to cavil, because it's not important to main point of the columnist's article, but just to set the factual record straight, Giberson is not a well-known theologian, because he isn't a theologian. He is a well-known writer -- though mainly in the evangelical world -- on "science and theology," but has no training in theology to speak of. His Ph.D. was in physics, and while he taught a course on theology and science for years at his little Nazarene College, he never had any notable academic achievement in theology and science, never had any published articles in any serious academic journals in that field. (He may have published one or two pieces in journals like Zygon, but to my knowledge you won't find him in Isis, Review of Metaphysics, Journal of the History of Ideas, Scottish Journal of Theology, etc.) He did publish several *books* on theology and science, but these books are all of a popular rather than an academic character, and slanted toward evangelicals struggling with evolution and with science generally. They therefore aren't used in graduate or even undergraduate courses in serious universities, but only in little Christian colleges and seminaries. (Serious universities aren't concerned with the angst of evangelicals who fear science.) What evangelicals who follow these issues on the internet don't realize is that Collins, Falk, Giberson, Lamoureux, Venema, etc. belong to a "shadow academic world" when it comes to theology and science. Their works are talked about only in the *evangelical* academic world. No one at Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Toronto, Melbourne, Paris, Oxford, Edinburgh, etc. reads Giberson or Collins or Falk on theology and science. They might read Polkinghorne, or Robert Russell, or Owen Gingerich, but the BioLogos crew is simply not on the intellectual radar. The knowledge of theology isn't there, the historical knowledge of Christianity isn't there, and the philosophical depth isn't there. In fact, in most cases, even the knowledge of the history and philosophy of science is virtually absent. Giberson is better than the rest of the pack in that area, but even he is no great shakes at it. Basically these guys are scientists who go to church, and somehow conceive that being a scientist who goes to church gives one special insight into "theology and science." But it doesn't, any more than the fact that scientists vote in elections makes them experts in political theory. Theology is a difficult field, as hard to master as physics or biology, and most of the TE leaders are dabblers in it. And that wouldn't be so bad, if they would label themselves as amateurs; but they represent themselves as the leaders who are forging the grand new synthesis of science and theology. How you can lead a movement to integrate science and theology, when you have virtually no knowledge of theology, is beyond me. Timaeus
bornagain77's rants are getting even more desperate. They are using dictionary definition, throw in a bit about holocaust denial, ignore the science of the evolution of morality, ignore that the majority of atheists are agnostic atheists, forgets that atheist is only about the question of god or gods. bornagain77 also uses the strawman arguments of metaphysical naturalism which is indirectly the strong atheist (or gnostic atheist) position and they are very rare. I think I know of 1 in my fired list so that's less than 1% and even I disagree with them. It's a silly tactic to not acknowledge the difference between methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism. It is like assuming that all Christians accept transubstantiation. If you know the difference to exist then why persist in presenting just the one side and ignoring the other ? I'll answer bornagain77; because they have no other argument. They think that without god you can't reason but reason and rational are methods of thinking and that is in brains. Quantum uncertainties at small scales are quantised at larger scales and the averages are predictable. We will never know when a single atom of an element will decay to its decay products but we can sum a large number of random decay events and create predictable clocks. To us as observers the absolute foundation of our universe is not rational but utterly chaotic. The universe beyond the atomic scale becomes rational to us as the matter averages atomic scale random events. Humans are very poor at random but we are very good at identifying causal chains. So good we see agency everywhere. Lincoln Phipps
JGuy, the book has been criticised by working palaeontologists but creationists have been gushing with support for the book. Work it out ! Lincoln Phipps
Moreover, this innate, 'made in the image of God', gift of 'seeing purpose in nature' is a 'presuppositional' requirement for 'doing science' in the first place, i.e. one must presuppose, whether he admits it or not, that the universe is rational, approachable, and intelligible, to the human mind in order to rationally practice science in the first place!:
Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21) Excerpt: Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics. http://www.robkoons.net/media/69b0dd04a9d2fc6dffff80b3ffffd524.pdf The very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way. ~ Paul Davies Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer - video – (Notes in description) http://vimeo.com/32145998
In fact, Atheists also live in a 'mentally compromised state of denial', (i.e. denialism), of the purpose they see in nature. And again this claim is born out empirically:
Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? - October 17, 2012 Excerpt: "Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find." The article describes a test by Boston University's psychology department, in which researchers found that "despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose" ,,, Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/design_thinking065381.html
Throw on top of all that that Atheists are generally less happy and live shorter lives than Theists/Christians,,
Are Religious People Happier Than Atheists? - 2000 Excerpt: there does indeed appear to be a link between religion and happiness. Several studies have been done, but to give an example, one study found that the more frequently people attended religious events, the happier they were; 47% of people who attended several types a week reported that they were ‘very happy’, as opposed to 28% who attended less than monthly. http://generallythinking.com/are-religious-people-happier-than-atheists/ Atheism and health Excerpt: A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[4][5] http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_health
And that, Mr Phipps, is why I think being a Darwinian Atheist, not only on this site but in life in general, is a far worse offense against sanity than being a 'Creationist' is. Verse and Music:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Brooke Fraser - Hillsong: “Lord Of Lords” Worship and Praise Song (HQ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB4Tc5zJMUc
Lincoln Phipps comments:
The clown-car response consists of, - some rant about Darwinist/Atheist by bornagain77,,,
Well since I led off the 'clown car response',,
Picture - clown car http://static.grscty.com/uploads/monthly_09_2013/post-645641-0-94240600-1379512780.jpg
,, perhaps I should give a counterpoint to Mr. Phipps? (or perhaps a pie in the face) !?! :) ,,, Mr. Phipps, contrary to how you perceived what I wrote, what I wrote in response to you was not a 'rant' against you being a Darwinian Atheist.
rant - 1: to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner 2: to scold vehemently transitive verb : to utter in a bombastic declamatory fashion
What I wrote, far from being a rant, was a calmly stated statement of fact. The fact that being a Darwinian Atheist on this site is considered a far worse offense to sanity than being a 'Creationist' is. And Mr. Phipps, unlike Darwinists who think they are above ever having to put any actual evidence on the table to prove their claims, I can tell you exactly why I think being a Darwinian Atheist, not only on this site but in life in general, is a far worse offense against sanity than being a 'Creationist' is.
Is Metaphysical Naturalism (Atheism) Viable? - William Lane Craig - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ Dr. Craig points out that Metaphysical Naturalism (i.e. Atheism) is reducto ad absurdum on (at least) these eight following points: 1.) Argument from intentionality 1. If naturalism is true, I cannot think about anything. 2. I am thinking about naturalism. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 2.) The argument from meaning 1. If naturalism is true, no sentence has any meaning. 2. Premise (1) has meaning. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 3.) The argument from truth 1. If naturalism is true, there are no true sentences. 2. Premise (1) is true. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 4.) The argument from moral blame and praise 1. If naturalism is true, I am not morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for any of my actions. 2. I am morally praiseworthy or blameworthy for some of my actions. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 5.) Argument from freedom 1. If naturalism is true, I do not do anything freely. 2. I am free to agree or disagree with premise (1). 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 6.) The argument from purpose 1. If naturalism is true, I do not plan to do anything. 2. I (Dr. Craig) planned to come to tonight's debate. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 7.) The argument from enduring 1. If naturalism is true, I do not endure for two moments of time. 2. I have been sitting here for more than a minute. 3. Therefore naturalism is not true. 8.) The argument from personal existence 1. If naturalism is true, I do not exist. 2. I do exist! 3. Therefore naturalism is not true.
In fact if an Atheist ever did live consistently within his worldview, he would be considered psychopathic:
The Heretic - Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? - March 25, 2013 Excerpt:,,, Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/heretic_707692.html?page=3
In fact, this psychopathic characteristic inherent to the atheistic philosophy is born out empirically, in that people who do not believe in a soul/mind tend to be more psychopathic than the majority of normal people in America who do believe they have a soul/mind. You can pick that psychopathic study of atheists around the 14:30 minute mark of this following video:
Anthony Jack, Why Don’t Psychopaths Believe in Dualism? – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUmmObUi8Fq9g1Zcuzqbt0_g&feature=player_detailpage&v=XRGWe-61zOk#t=862s
In fact rationality itself, which atheists supposedly pride themselves on, is among the first casualties of the naturalistic worldview:
The Atheist’s Guide to Intellectual Suicide – James N. Anderson PhD. - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDLvldINiGI “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.” —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason) (also see Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism) "But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin - Letter To William Graham - July 3, 1881
And again like the 'psychopathic study, this undermining of Rationality/Reason itself, by the Atheistic worldview, is born out empirically:
Look Who's Irrational Now Excerpt: "What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html
As well, Children are born with an innate ability/gift to see purpose in nature,,
Children are born believers in God, academic claims - Telegraph - November 2008 Excerpt: "The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children's minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose," http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html
The book was also in Creation category and I’d say that it would be Creationists that would be buying this book and not palaeontology students.
'The publisher puts the book into a category but its ranking in that category is NOT related to sales from people who are looking for books in that category but overall Amazon sales rank.' - LP JGuy
Not too long back Giberson wrote a piece for Huffington post criticizing creationism, and in particular criticizing the fact that the Dissent from Darwin, as well as other critical papers against evolution are by scientists whose field is not evolutionary biology, and thus they have no expertise to make claims about the theory. When I attempted to point out the hypocrisy of Giberson's statements about evolution, given that he is a teacher of physics and has no biology background at all, all of my posts mentioning this were of course deleted by Huffpost (I assume by his request). There is so much dishonesty in science these days (and attempts to censor the public knowledge of the theory-see Wikipedia's utter BS campaign to distort the truth at every turn) that any doubts about evolution can only be a testament to the utter lack of anything convincing about the theory at all. phoodoo
It seems to me that one reason Karl Giberson's kind of evolution has taken a hit this year is that he, like so many other modern theistic evolutionists, embraces free-process theology, ie the idea that God made the world to operate independently and create itself through evolution, resulting in all kinds of errors and evils from parasitism to wisdom teeth. In his less polemic moments he backs off from the "freedom" metaphor and admits it just means "chance", but it's still a Demiurge autonomous of God. That runs slap up against that most basic of human instincts - to look at the natural world, see both its awesome power and intrinsic wisdom and then (in the words of John Calvin) first to fear God, then to love him. That's more basic even than Christian theology, but it's also the first major tenet of Christianity: "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible." Many ID people are comfortable with evolution as a tool God uses - even Creationists are, on a limited scale. But to tell people that the whole panoply of nature is independent of, even in some cases against, the Creator will never, in the end, be persuasive. Ayala will no doubt sell the evils of nature hard in the NCSE. Jon Garvey
Francisco J. Ayala joins NCSE's board of directors, just in time for Darwin Day 2014. Who could have seen that coming? julianbre
- utter divorce from statistics by lifepsy who thinks that the highest levels of evolution support correlate with the lowest levels of “data” which is at odds with the fact that the more science education someone has then the higher the support for evolution.
lol, do you mean graduates who need to get hired at pro-evolution departments? or was this just a comment on the amount of one-sided indoctrination required for belief in Evolution? you do realize that one of the main arguments for evolution is still "Why would God have designed it like that?!?!" One of your buddy Coyne's favorite lines. If you don't understand why that is a problem, then it just goes to show why you're an evolutionist in the first place. lifepsy
Thanks for the link BA77, that is quite the discussion. “Darwin’s Doubt” Eric Metaxas with Stephen Meyer – video https://vimeo.com/81215936 I'm sure there are quite a few evolutionists who are not happy to see this subject so reasonably discussed in mainstream circles. As a consequence I think many people are really going to start to wonder what the Darwin lobbies are always crying and screaming about. They are being unmasked for the radical materialist philosophers that they are. lifepsy
Dang, missed being in the clown-car by 1 post. drc466
While it's nice to see someone recognize issues w/ Evolution, it's only too typical to see an evolutionist say the only problems that occurred during the year were PR problems. Kinda like politicians having a bad year - it must be a communications issue, it couldn't be the fact that everyone just really hates their policies. Just like evolution - must be a case that the people are uninformed, or that the other side's propaganda (Darwin's Doubt) is more effective than their "truth". How about a nod to the scientific blows to evolution this year? Mammals found way earlier in the timeline? More evidence that dino fossils still contain original organic material? Still no progress in OoL? More complexity and function in DNA found? Anyone? Hello? Is this thing on? drc466
I was pointing out the ignorance of the Amazon book ranking in a category. I also pointed out that it is trivial to find contrary statistics. The clown-car response consists of, - some rant about Darwinist/Atheist by bornagain77 (I am disappoint that Quantum wasn't mentioned once!), - utter divorce from statistics by lifepsy who thinks that the highest levels of evolution support correlate with the lowest levels of "data" which is at odds with the fact that the more science education someone has then the higher the support for evolution. - mapou, desperately re-interpreting reality given objections to evolution is mainly creationist and usually religious in some way. Plus the OP link was to a site called "Church and State - challenging religious privilege in public life" -sixthbook showing difficulty in counting past 5. Lincoln Phipps
Let's see: Most people accept evolution. Check. Evolution is a fact like gravity. Check. Intelligent Design is creationism. Check. Blame it on the religious. Check. And finish by linking to Coyne. Check. You really made sure to cover everything, didn't you LP? sixthbook
My perspective is that many avenues of human endeavor are overrun by elitist snobs who believe that perceived consensus and the public narrative determines Truth, whether it's in politics, economics, theology, history, science, or whatever. Incidentally, I read In God's Name many years ago---David Yallop presents pretty convincing evidence that Pope John Paul I was murdered. -Q Querius
The tired and gutless Darwinist tactics of associating any criticism of Darwin's pseudoscientific theory with young-earth creationists are backfiring in their faces. It smacks of elitist condescension and it insults the intelligence of the masses. People can easily see through that crap, especially when the lady protests way too much. Mapou
It's only going to get worse for the Darwinian mystics. This is probably simply the result of the internet being around long enough and people having access to arguments and evidence against Evolution, and can also conveniently fact-check a lot of their grandiose claims with a literature search. IMO, the public's positive perception of Evolution is inversely correlated with their access to data. lifepsy
Lincoln Phipps, the Darwinian atheist, thinks he has successfully refuted Darwin's Doubt on this site by labeling it 'Creationist'. Perhaps Mr. Phipps, the Darwinian atheist, does not realize that being a Darwinian atheist on this site is considered much worse offense to sanity than being a Creationist is on this site. ,,, And in case you don't know Mr. Phipps, not all 'Creationists' are backwoods, gun-toting, tobacco chewing, cousin marrying, hicks. In fact, there are actually a few 'Creationists' out there who manage to have indoor plumbing. :) Such as this crowd in New York: "Darwin's Doubt" Eric Metaxas with Stephen Meyer - video https://vimeo.com/81215936 bornagain77
"Darwin's Doubt" was not anti-evolution- it is anti- blind watchmaker/ unguided evolution being able to produce anything of note, especially given the time constraint. Joe
Another commentator that doesn't know how Amazon book listings works. The publisher puts the book into a category but its ranking in that category is NOT related to sales from people who are looking for books in that category but overall Amazon sales rank. The book was also in Creation category and I'd say that it would be Creationists that would be buying this book and not palaeontology students. The categories are changed by the publisher to bump up the apparent popularity. The UD O'leary was also clueless on this point too. So much like if everyone really believed that gravity didn't exist then we'd all float into space, a public poll on a fact of nature won't ever change nature. That aside statistically 60 % accept evolution (33% reject),
According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” The share of the general public that says that humans have evolved over time is about the same as it was in 2009, when Pew Research last asked the question.
http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/ So there are statistics and then there are statistics. In the end two groups are the problem; white evangelical protestants and black protestants. For the young black protestants then education will solve their ignorance but given a society that has the world's highest prison population and throws a significant number of young blacks into prison then this is a systemic problem of US society. For a different spin on the statistics, http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/karl-giberson-says-that-evolutions-had-a-bad-year-but-he-really-means-that-christianity-did/ Lincoln Phipps

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