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Is Richard Dawkins leading people away from The Blind Watchmaker …

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… to Jesus?

The Holy Smoke blogger discusses two publicized cases:

… He explained that he was, and is, a huge admirer of Dawkins the biologist. (I’m with him there: I read The Blind Watchmaker when it first came out and was blown away.) “But then I read The God Delusion and it was… total crap. So bad that I started questioning my own atheism. Then he started tweeting.”

Like a loony on top of the bus, no?

“Exactly!”

Funnily enough, this is the second time in a week that I’ve heard of Richard Dawkins leading someone to Christ. Let me refer you to an article in The Catholic Herald by Francis Phillips:

But it takes three to make a trend. Anyone?

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

49 Replies to “Is Richard Dawkins leading people away from The Blind Watchmaker …

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Ricard Dawkins, instrument of God, ambassador for Christ.

    Does have a nice ring to it 🙂

  2. 2
    jw777 says:

    I was only 5 when the Blind Watchmaker came out. I read it when I was about 10. I was wholly unaware of openly anti-evolutionary scientific thinking prior to reading his work. I remember thinking, “why does evolution, naturalism and atheism need apologetics?” He opened my eyes, because before coming across Dawkins I believed anything Darwinian was incontestable fact. I was a fastidious index of paleontology at the time.

    As a result of Dawkins’ references to William Paley, I became educated on the truth that very smart people had some insurmountable difficulties with evolutionary theory, timetables, mechanisms and the like. Dawkins himself in trying to overcome Mt. Improbable and the imaginative undirected formation of the eye painted a clearer picture of just how disconnected from reality people are who tend to have anti-Christian worldviews. How could this fact not draw me closer to the object of Dawkins’ and his likeminded ilk’s ire? Just that alone made the previously silly unimaginable following of Jesus all the more intriguing.

    Years later, in a collegiate communications course I chose to do an informative speech on the gaps, glaring faults and falsified predictions within Darwinian evolutionary theory. At this time, my aim and even my beliefs were not Pro-ID or Evangelical at all. I hadn’t read Michael Behe’s work. I didn’t know who Stephen Meyer was. I was just pointing out that a reasonable person cannot believe in abiogenesis and macroevolution in any scientific way. They are merely faith articles for people with a previous philosophical commitment that requires their truth.

    My professor had cut me off at exactly the 8 minute mark. Later in the same semester a disillusioned engineering student decided to make his persuasive speech on how anyone who opposes Darwinian evolutionary theory is a religious idiot (I was in a state of shock as I had never made any reference to God, faith, religion, revelation, creationism, etc.). The professor allowed him to speak for 27 minutes without interruption. At the end of the speech, everyone in the class turned around to me to see what questions I would have for him. I said, “this whole talk’s premise is antiquated and irrelevant, so it doesn’t even rise to the level of something I can ask a question about.”

    The student’s girlfriend chimed in to defend his honor, saying, “we even asked our priest, and he said that it was okay to believe this.” The speaker then made some reference to Dawkins. That moment marked a categorical logical enmity between me and Dawkins and basically anyone who ever agrees with anything he ever stands for. Much later I would find that that speech was more or less a pirated parroting of various TalkOrigins articles.

    I have many, many other reasons for my Christian faith, most importantly a personal religious experience. But if I had nothing else, just the fact that Richard Dawkins thinks Christians are fools and the story of the risen Christ “is parochial” makes it a foregone conclusion that some strain of Christian Orthodoxy is the true religion.

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    I’ve never quite understood why God cannot be “the blind watchmaker.”

    Is it because God is the God of the Deists?

    He had to know what his a priori intent was and set up a mechanistic universe to bring it about, just like clockwork?

    StephenB, why is your God, the God of a priori intent any different from the God of the Deist? Is God the Watchmaker (blind or not) or is the watchmaker analogy completely misguided?

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead – April 20, 2014 – Pastor Vern Streeter
    http://www.harvestchurch.tv/se.....-room/#682

    Final sermon in the “Elephant In The Room’ series from Harvest Church

  5. 5
    Blue_Savannah says:

    For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

    1 Corinthians 1:19

    It doesn’t surprise me that Dawkins, in his irrational and illogical hatred for Christianity, has helped turn people towards it. 😀

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Thanks for the fascinating account, jw777!

    The “after billions of years” has a similar ring to me now as “once upon a time.”

    Chronos was the Greek god of Time, a winged serpent. He and his consort, the serpentine Ananke (Inevitability), circled the primal world egg in their coils and split it apart to form the ordered universe of earth, sea and sky. The daughters of Ananke are the three fates. — compiled from several sources

    So you can see that the ancient Greeks anticipated the modern proposition that time and inevitability are the prime cause for existence and the origin of life! And the Three Fates anticipated B.F. Skinner’s “Beyond Freedom and Dignity.”

    You can now see how Dawkins and company are relentlessly being drawn into the coils of Greek mythology! They want to be Olympian, so to Olympus they must bow.

    Incidentally, it seems that Greek mythology is simply a personification of philosophical arguments, and might have originally been a clever mnemonic device.

    -Q

  7. 7
    wallstreeter43 says:

    I absolutely love Dawkins. I know that every time he is making a presentation an honest atheist is coming to God.
    I hope he keeps lecturing worldwide for a long time.

  8. 8
    StephenB says:

    Mung @3

    StephenB, why is your God, the God of a priori intent any different from the God of the Deist?

    I guess I don’t understand the question. I believe in the God of Genesis who creates the universe and its inhabitants with intent and purpose; sustains and watches over them with care; and intervenes at various times and places when it pleases Him. What does any of that have to do with deism?

  9. 9
    CuriousCat says:

    I was an undergraduate chemical engineering student when I read The Blind Watchmaker around 1995-96. At that age, though I cannot say that I was an atheist, I was pretty much “secular” (for lack of better term). So I very much liked the book, and actually made a presentation of that book in one of the lectures (especially, monkeys typing randomly example)…

    Years later, I am on the opposite side of views advocated in The Blind Watchmaker. I cannot exactly say that solely that book is responsible from the paradigm shift in my views from naturalism to theism, but at least it helped me (or initiated) question many Darwinian explanations, which, maybe otherwise, I would have taken for granted.. So thanks to Dawkins 🙂

  10. 10
    gpuccio says:

    I have always thought that Dawkins is our best ally. Long live old dear neo darwinism, so honest in its wrong beliefs that it is really easy to prove them false!

  11. 11
    Barb says:

    What jw777 stated was terrific and should be repeated: “I was just pointing out that a reasonable person cannot believe in abiogenesis and macroevolution in any scientific way. They are merely faith articles for people with a previous philosophical commitment that requires their truth.

    I have never read any of Richard Dawkins’s books, mostly because I never saw the point in doing so. For people who claim that god(s) are irrelevant and religion is a poison, they seem to have adopted evolution as their creation myth and they refer to Darwin’s work with the same reverance a Christian refers to the words of Jesus in the New Testament.

  12. 12
    phoodoo says:

    This hadn’t really occured to me, but I guess in fact it was Dawkins who made me realize that evolution was nonsense.

    Before I started reading his books, I just assumed there must be knowledge about the mechanisms at work that I was simply uniformed of. Then I read Dawkins, and thought, what?? Sloppy copying errors which occasionally add up to something in just the right sequences of mistakes? This is what they are banking on?

    Ten minutes of pondering that and I knew full well this wasn’t the true story. I began eagerly quizzing any biologists I could find, in hopes that they could tell me that what Dawkins has in mind is nothing like what biologists believe. And yet they kept saying, no no, that’s pretty much correct. I had to laugh.

    After an extended quest for knowledge, I now know that there isn’t an evolutionary biologist alive who I would be intimated to question the validity of their evolutionist faith. No biologist could ever outwit me in a debate, just for the simple fact that they are playing with such a ludicrously bad hand to begin with. All one has to do is call their bluff every time, and they flouder like a marionette underwater.

    I used to think they just had knowledge I didn’t. Thank you so much for pointing out that I was wrong, Richard.

  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    gpuccio @ 10

    I have always thought that Dawkins is our best ally. Long live old dear neo darwinism, so honest in its wrong beliefs that it is really easy to prove them false!

    That’s really funny!

    Thanks. 🙂

  14. 14
    Dionisio says:

    This thread has so many funny follow-up comments, I’ve been laughing for several minutes after reading your comments. Thank you all for this healthy sense of humor you have brought up to this discussion.
    May God bless you all honest science lovers.

    P.S. did you read the news report in The Independent this morning about the MIT researchers tinkering with DNA that has cured some diseases? I did not notice any reference to Darwinism in that report. Apparently those researchers don’t need Darwinian ideas in order to get their work done, do they? Or is it that I missed that part of the report? Or maybe they didn’t read the memo from Reverend Dawkins?

  15. 15
    Dionisio says:

    jw777 @ 2

    Thank you for your message.

    God bless you.

  16. 16
    Dionisio says:

    Querius @ 6

    The “after billions of years” has a similar ring to me now as “once upon a time.”

    🙂

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    Mung @ 1

    Ricard Dawkins, instrument of God, ambassador for Christ.

    Does have a nice ring to it 🙂

    Interesting suggestions… hmm…

    Is it possible that the universe we were in has quietly turned into another universe, part of the infinite multiverse, where some personalities have changed drastically? Thus the spiritual leader of the world atheism has turned into a devoted servant of God? Would that fall into the ‘miracle’ category? Nope, it’s simply a natural part of the multiverse. We just don’t understand evolution 😉

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    wallstreeter43 @ 7

    …every time he is making a presentation an honest atheist is coming to God.

    That doesn’t seem like the guy’s original intention, does it?

    😉

  19. 19
    Dionisio says:

    StephenB @ 8

    I believe in the God of Genesis who creates the universe and its inhabitants with intent and purpose; sustains and watches over them with care; and intervenes at various times and places when it pleases Him.

    That’s the only God I know. The God of Genesis through Revelation.

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5

  20. 20
    melvinvines says:

    Here is a interesting review of “The Blind Watchmaker”

    http://evillusion.wordpress.co.....atchmaker/

  21. 21
    Dionisio says:

    Blue_Savannah @ 5

    1 Corinthians 1:19

    Thank you for posting this truthful reminder. Amen!

    Yes, we have seen this biblical passage confirmed over and over again, specially these days, when God is allowing the seriously dedicated scientific researchers to discover the wonders of highly sophisticated mechanisms and elaborate choreographies and orchestrations that operate at the cellular and molecular levels in the biological systems.
    Today children can ask simple questions to any scientists and get “don’t know” as the only valid answers.

    I’ve been asking some of those questions lately, but still have not gotten any valid answer:

    How did we get the mechanisms behind the cell fate determination (both functional and 3D-spatial) that operate during the first few weeks of human embryonic development, when they differentiate from their initial zygote telomeres state? How did we get the mechanisms behind the genotype-phenotype association?

    From the engineering software development point of view, in order to build in-silico modeling and simulation apps, one just wants to know how those mechanisms work, with as many details as one can get. The origin of those mechanisms don’t seem necessary in order to develop those computer programs.

    But as thinking persons, we are interested in knowing the origin of those mechanisms.
    Children’s questions demand simple, clear answers, which are consistent, coherent, comprehensible, logical, so they can hold water.
    Most of the OOL explanations we read out there these days don’t seem to satisfy those requirements. Oh, well, what else is new?

    Rev. 22:21

  22. 22
    Moose Dr says:

    This has been a most enjoyable thread. Its nice to see that Dawkins’ work is producing fruit.

    From the holy smoke link at the top: “How can I best win souls? By straightforward argument, or by turning myself from a respected academic into a comic figure fulminating against religion like a fruitcake at Speakers’ Corner, thereby discrediting atheism?”

    Love it!

  23. 23
    Dionisio says:

    Barb @ 11

    Thank you for your comments.

    …they seem to have adopted evolution as their creation myth and they refer to Darwin’s work with the same reverence a Christian refers to the words of Jesus in the New Testament.

    But you and I know very well that only the latter (bold text) deserve our complete reverence and attention.

    God bless you.

  24. 24
    jw777 says:

    I’m glad my story resonated with some of you. Thank you for the comments.

    I would like to add three simple points:

    1.) Never forget, in debate or just your own peace of mind, that abiogenesis and macroevolution are our two biggest bones of contention. They do not occur. They are not empirical. And even if we somehow make the philosophical leap to inductively decide we like believing in them (for example, if we get them to occur in a lab under the directed guidance of intelligent agents), they are inarguably so rare as to be miraculous. Their mechanisms of action, no matter how imagined, are more disconnected from our present experience of physics than any man rising from the dead, especially if you concede there MIGHT be a God.

    2.) Just recently I came across an interview with Dr. Ed Feser (Cross Examined, podcast, feb. 4, 2011) wherein he quite deftly demonstrated that Richard Dawkins is our premier example of someone who doesn’t even understand Aristotelian logic or the actual impetus of any theological arguments. It was an angle I hadn’t explicitly considered before, but I had “felt” or intuited whenever reading Dawkins’ writing or any similarly-minded argumentation.

    3.) I hope that my story gives hope. Thanks to the information revolution, my acquaintance and indoctrination with Neo-Darwinism and New Atheism at ten years of age was precocious for my generation but will not be for any subsequent ones. And still, my early brainwashing still didn’t stick. If anything, it set up an unexpected counter culture enticement with conservatism and Christianity. As such, I’ve always found it so curious that seemingly intelligent people like Michael Shermer or John Loftus had adult “enlightenment” moments that stumbling blocked them out of the faith. For me, having been unflappably committed to methodological naturalism since I could read (around 3) , as an adult I always reacted to the BIG QUEsTIONS (I.e. – how can a good God allow suffering, etc.) like this:
    “Oh boy, this old chestnut? I already dealt with this when I was like 9. Didn’t Augustine, Anselm and Descartes put this garbage to rest a million years ago?”

    So, perhaps it’s a bit Pollyanna. But I feel like part of the allure of contemporary militant anti-theism is that people see it during their intellectual maturation and thus confuse it with being causally inciting of their educational awakening. Hopefully, as kids become aware of “sophisticated” anti-theistic arguments at younger and younger ages, those sad, old, pathetic talking points will lose their luster the same way they had for me. They just kinda become old fuzzy noise. I really believe that if Christopher Hitchens had made it to a ripe old age he would’ve done an about face for the same reason. Spinoza and Bertrand Russell were still exciting news to him. To me, even someone like Victor Stenger is a boring fossil whose next “interesting insight” I can anticipatedly quote before it comes out of his mouth.

    It’s not even that I can’t any longer seem to see a Dennett or Gould or even Hawking as sophisticated… It’s like B.B. King said, “the thrill is gone, baby.”

  25. 25
    Dionisio says:

    Moose Dr @ 22

    nice to see that Dawkins’ work is producing fruit.

    Yes, that’s nice and ironically funny 😉

    I remember your supportive comments after someone else suggested that I better get out of this blog, because apparently he did not like my questions and comments, which revealed my lack of solid scientific knowledge. Perhaps that commenter was a loyal fan of Reverend Dawkins’? That could explain such aggressive attitude 😉

    Since apparently there are many more visitors to these threads than actual commentary (500:15 ratio so far in this thread), one wonders if some readers, who followed Reverend Dawkins, were unpleasantly shocked by those nasty comments made by one of their fellow colleagues? In such case, perhaps even Reverend Dawkins’ most passionate followers’ work could produce fruits too?

    Blessings to you.

  26. 26
    Dionisio says:

    Moose Dr @ 22

    This has been a most enjoyable thread

    Agree.

    Who would have thought that an OP title with a reference to Dawkins, would have caused so much fun in a blog frequented by ‘IDiots’, as I noticed some folks out there ‘respectfully’ refer to those who don’t agree with their theories.

    That wasn’t the logical result expected from Dawkins’ successful writing career, was it?

  27. 27
    Dionisio says:

    jw777 @ 24

    Wow! That’s quite an insightful commentary. Thank you!

  28. 28
    Barb says:

    Jw777 writes, “As such, I’ve always found it so curious that seemingly intelligent people like Michael Shermer or John Loftus had adult “enlightenment” moments that stumbling blocked them out of the faith.”

    What amazes me is that they turn around and state that religion and faith is for children, but adults should grow out of them, yet they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the number of adults who (like the posters in this thread) develop a love for Christ and become religious in adulthood. They liken religious belief to belief in Santa Claus, yet they offer no real explanation as to why adults convert from atheism to religion.

    The last atheist-penned book I read was The End of Faith by Sam Harris. I noted that while Harris declares all-out war on religious belief, he fails to realize that his entire thesis is based on a logical fallacy.

  29. 29
    Axel says:

    ‘They liken religious belief to belief in Santa Claus,..’

    What a savage irony that their infantile and vacuous jibes are not at all the mirror image of what we say about them, because what appear to be jibes against their beliefs on our part, while factual, can never even get close to expressing the fathomless amplitude of their folly (unsurprisingly, compounded by a pitiful, seemingly congenital, knavery).

    They are not even primary-school children. Just infant-school children – BUT minus the infants’ common sense and thirst for knowledge and understanding.

  30. 30
    ppolish says:

    Most humans can distinguish between imaginary (Santa) and Divine (God) by the age of 10 years old or so. Not being able to distinguish the difference by adulthood is a bit of a “disorder”.

  31. 31
    jw777 says:

    Tangential to point #3 in my last comment:

    I have been developing a theory in hopes to unify presuppositional and evidential apologetics, at least in part, and perhaps we can start a new thread at UD where other contributors can help me refine it with title, “Materialism as Pornography.”

    As I had pointed out, I’ve found that anti-theists often (perhaps always) confuse their intellectual maturation with some cult-like indebtedness and worship of evolution, naturalism and the like. The underlying implication is that the commitment to Neo-Darwinism or New Atheism has nothing to do with a weighing of logic, argumentation, evidence or science.

    Some presuppositional apologists have already posited this, saying that atheism is a sort of spiritual brokenness or hard-heartedness and so no amount of reasoning or convincing can sway them.

    What I am hypothesizing is that what others are calling “spiritual brokenness” we should be able to at least partially quantify with a faulty neurological wiring in fMRI or EEG that seems to me will look like the dopamine resistance we see in excitement addictions like pornography and meth addicts.

    More simply, we might predict that any perversion of the First Cause’s intended optimal way for its creation to act (including a pathological denial of the First Cause) will be exciting, tantalizing and addicting. That is to say, a Dawkins is forever seeking the initial high he received when setting himself against God; and he is addicted to that excitement, always finding new justifications for his “drinking.” We should see deep channels being carved in the brains of these people that makes it physiologically difficult to even fire neurons that can understand Aristotelian logic or how to synthesize theistic belief.

    For a better understanding of what I’m getting at, please view the Ted Talk, The Demise of Guys (and there are great related videos), but substitute “enmity with God” in place of “porn.” See here: http://www.ted.com/talks/zimchallenge

    The toughest part of assessing my principle prediction will be finding a control group, given that some form of this neurological defect will be present in all people. Maybe the brains of Amish children?

  32. 32
    jw777 says:

    Post script:

    A later-mythologized person whose real history we know, like Nikolaos of Myra, and whose pop-cultural legend development into SinterKlauss we know, shares no parallel with a perfectly basic First Cause sustainer of reality.

    My parents never mentioned Santa Claus to me; and I was harshly critical of the idea at 5, strangely the same year that Dawkins published his Blind Watchmaker.

    In my Kindergarten class one day in late Fall, my teacher mentioned that Santa Claus would be coming to visit us. Very matter-of-fact I said to my buddy, “you know, there’s no such thing as Santa Claus.” My buddy, whose parents also never bothered teaching him the fairy tale, just kinda shrugged. But soon the room erupted into a cacophony of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    The teacher, desperately fighting to calm the chaotic room, shouted, “Children, children! Listen, I still believe in Santa Claus and I’m thirty years old.”

    Without missing a beat, I said, “Lady, there’s no way you’re thirty years old.”

    The next day I got moved to the afternoon Kindergarten, with another teacher.

  33. 33
    Dionisio says:

    jw777 @ 32

    “Lady, there’s no way you’re thirty years old.”

    Did that mean that she looked older or younger?

  34. 34
    Dionisio says:

    jw777 @ 31

    Maybe the brains of Amish children?

    Does your question have to do with the fact that allegedly they have been less exposed to pervert images and ideas that may trigger wrong dynamic rewiring of their brains? Is that the idea you wanted to present?

    Would this apply to the case of children being exposed to violent images too?

    What about children being exposed to different types of music at different audio volumes?

  35. 35
    Dionisio says:

    jw777 @ 31

    perhaps we can start a new thread at UD

    Are you starting a separate thread to discuss the issues you’ve brought up here?

  36. 36
    Mung says:

    StephenB:

    I guess I don’t understand the question. I believe in the God of Genesis who creates the universe and its inhabitants with intent and purpose; sustains and watches over them with care; and intervenes at various times and places when it pleases Him. What does any of that have to do with deism?

    You wrote:

    Actually, I would say that the ID and theistic evolution camps are separated both in terms of [a] whether evolution was guided at all and [b] whether it is scientifically detectable. With respect to [a], no one I know in the TE camp admits that God guided evolution in such a way that it would produce a finished product that reflects His apriori intent, which would be the requirement for guided evolution.

    What’s the difference between a God who determines in advance what he wants and brings it about by mechanistic means and a God who determines in advance what he wants and brings it about by His own direct control?

    How would we tell the difference?

    If the outcome is predetermined, how could it be that the process was undetectable?

    Perhaps you are using apriori an an ambiguous or equivocal way. Not saying you are, just asking.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ri-intent/

    lmgtfy

  37. 37
    jw777 says:

    D @ 33:

    Older.

    D @ 34:

    I would presuppose they just have lower overall hyper excited opiate receptors, dopamine receptors, etc., because, in general they don’t live a life of persistent “on to the next high” and/or “on to the next abomination.” But again, this would have to mapped with MRS/fMRI and various EEG.

    D @ 35:

    I’d like to formalize my own thoughts on this a little more first; as well as gather what interest might there be on the topic.

  38. 38
    Dionisio says:

    CuriousCat @ 9

    Yours is an interesting transformation story too. Hallelujah!

    However, I have some questions, which in some ways may also relate to other stories posted here.

    You wrote:

    I cannot exactly say that solely that book is responsible from the paradigm shift in my views from naturalism to theism, but at least it helped me (or initiated) question many Darwinian explanations, which, maybe otherwise, I would have taken for granted.. So thanks to Dawkins

    If reading a particular book provoked certain reaction from you, or at least helped, was that the case with all the undergraduate chemical engineering students, who also read that same book? If not, why? What other factors are required? Material factors, like genetic composition, brain wiring, brain size, etc.? Immaterial (non-material) factors? I believe it’s more of the latter. In any case, it’s a mystery, but some of us believe that God controls everything.

  39. 39
    Dionisio says:

    jw777 @ 37

    OK, thanks.

  40. 40
    Dionisio says:

    phoodoo @ 12

    Interesting comments. Thank you.

    You wrote:

    I guess in fact it was Dawkins who made me realize that evolution was nonsense.

    Why hasn’t the same happened to many others who have read the same books?

    Could it be another factor?

  41. 41
    StephenB says:

    Mung

    What’s the difference between a God who determines in advance what he wants and brings it about by mechanistic means and a God who determines in advance what he wants and brings it about by His own direct control?

    There would be a difference in the means, but no difference in the outcome. My complaint against TEs, however, is that they hold that God did not, in fact, determine in advance what he wanted. For most of them, the outcome was indeterminate—a surprise—even to the causal agent that is responsible for it. In my judgment, this makes no sense from a Scriptural point of view, or even from a logical point of view.

    How would we tell the difference?

    I would say that it depends on what the effects look like. However, I don’t think that this really pertains to my most severe criticism of Theistic Evolution, which is theological/logical not scientific. My scientific objection to TE would be simply that its proponents don’t care about the evidence for design and that they mindlessly follow the doctrine of the Darwinists, who are, themselves, without any evidence to support their claims. That is a different kind of complaint.

    If the outcome is predetermined, how could it be that the process was undetectable?

    Who is saying that the process is undetectable? What does that have to do with the argument that the Creator knows what He wants and arranges for it to happen?

    Perhaps you are using apriori an an ambiguous or equivocal way. Not saying you are, just asking.

    I am just using it to mean according to God’s original intentions prior to the realization of those intentions. (As opposed to the TE idea that God “settles” for whatever happens to come out of the process. For most of them, God empowered the universe to “create itself,” — to decide for itself, as it were, what the finished product would become. That is about as whacked out as a doctrine can get.
    We could sum it up this way: The two ways of looking at it are [a] God decides the outcome before He acts (apriori intent) vs. [b] nature decides the outcome after God acts (aposteriori intent).

  42. 42
    CuriousCat says:

    Dionisio @39:

    If reading a particular book provoked certain reaction from you, or at least helped, was that the case with all the undergraduate chemical engineering students, who also read that same book? If not, why?

    I think everyone has a different story of his/her own. I cannot answer the why question clearly, but the way I choose to believe is that we are offered different choices during our lifetimes, and we accept some and refuse others. We like to assign causes to all events, maybe because we feel safe by thinking that we understand and control what’s happening around us. Overall, I do not know how this mechanism (if it can be called a mechanism, at all) works, but I am happy for myself that Blind Watchmaker was one of the “causes” of how I see the universe around me now, though Dawkins quite possibly wrote the book with the exact opposite intention.

  43. 43
    StephenB says:

    Nung

    <blockquote?If the outcome is predetermined, how could it be that the process was undetectable?

    Let’s assume that the process is, in principle, undetectable. That fact would have no bearing on whether or not the outcome of the process is predetermined. We don’t know that God intended the specific outcome of His creative process through scientific or empirical methods. We know it because it is not theologically or logically possible for an omniscient, omnipotent being to purposefully design something through a process and not know what the outcome of that process would be.

  44. 44
    StephenB says:

    Sorry, let’s try again.

    Mung

    If the outcome is predetermined, how could it be that the process was undetectable?

    Let’s assume that the process is, in principle, undetectable. That fact would have no bearing on whether or not the outcome of the process is predetermined. We don’t know that God intended the specific outcome of His creative process through scientific or empirical methods. We know it because it is not theologically or logically possible for an omniscient, omnipotent being to purposefully design something through a process and not know what the outcome of that process would be.

  45. 45
    vh says:

    Consciousness = the real blind watchmaker

  46. 46
    gpuccio says:

    vh:

    Absolutely! And not so blind, I would say. 🙂

  47. 47
    vh says:

    Yea..good point…I shoulda left the “blind” part out

  48. 48
    Dionisio says:

    CuriousCat @ 42

    I see your point. Thanks.

  49. 49
    Mung says:

    StephenB:

    There would be a difference in the means, but no difference in the outcome. My complaint against TEs, however, is that they hold that God did not, in fact, determine in advance what he wanted.

    My question is, I hope, simple.

    How does God determine things “in advance”? In advance of what? The last time he determined something?

    That’s the basic question.

    Does God wait to see what happens before making another determination in advance? Doesn’t He already know what will happen?

    Do we live in a clockwork universe in which all is predetermined, in advance, by God? What’s the difference between that and Deism? Why do we need God’s involvement if He’s already determined in advance what shall happen?

    I am just using it to mean according to God’s original intentions prior to the realization of those intentions.

    I just don’t know what “prior to” means to a God who is outside of time. I wasn’t clear on whether you meant “apriori” in a logical sense or a temporal sense.

    We could sum it up this way: The two ways of looking at it are [a] God decides the outcome before He acts (apriori intent) vs. [b] nature decides the outcome after God acts (aposteriori intent).

    I am just seeking to understand if this is just metaphorical language or if God really thinks things over, takes his time about it, maybe debates it between his various persons, and then comes to a decision, and then comes to another decision about when to act upon the prior decision, perhaps debates the decision about when to act, and then finally acts.

    Does God reason along the lines of if…then…else?

    So God: If I do a, then I will be forced to do b, but if I choose instead to do c, then I will be forced to do d. Unless some condition x obtains over which I have no control, or have decided that I will not exercise control, but no condition x can ever obtain because…

    If I create Adam, he might be lonely, so I can create Eve so Adam will not be lonely. But if I create Eve, she could lead Adam to sin, and then I wold have to curse everything, etc.

    So is your view of God one in which everything is mechanistic up to the appearance of Adam?

    What about Satan and the fallen angels?

    So two issues:

    1. God and Time

    2. Determinism

    … my most severe criticism of Theistic Evolution, is theological/logical not scientific.

    I concur that those are where your objections lie. I just question their basis.

    Does God think before God acts? Does that question even make sense? If so, how so?

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