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At Evolution News: Behe Debates the Limits of Darwinian Evolution

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Connecting with an earlier post at UD, Michael Behe speaks to the limits of naturalism and when a “designing intelligence” is needed.

A new ID the Future episode wraps up a debate over evolution and intelligent design between Lehigh University biologist Michael Behe and Benedictine College theologian Michael Ramage. Both Behe and Ramage are Catholic, and they carry on their conversation in the context of Catholic thinking about nature and creation, in particular the work of Thomas Aquinas and contemporary Thomist philosophers. Ramage seeks to integrate his Thomistic/personalist framework with modern evolutionary theory’s commitment to macroevolution and common descent. Behe doesn’t discount the possibility of common descent but he lays out a case that any evolution beyond the level of genus — for instance, the separate families containing cats and dogs — cannot be achieved through mindless Darwinian mechanisms and, instead, would require the contributions of a designing intelligence. Behe summarizes both the negative evidence against the Darwinian mechanism of change and the positive evidence in nature for intelligent design. This debate was hosted by Pat Flynn on his Philosophy for the People podcast. Download the episode or listen to it here.

Evolution News

135 Replies to “At Evolution News: Behe Debates the Limits of Darwinian Evolution

  1. 1
    jerry says:

    Guaranteed it will be ignored except for supercilious comments.

    For one thing it can’t be argued that it’s atheists against Christianity here. Both are Catholic and both accept Darwinian processes. So the normal insanity that goes on here may not operate.

    It’s roughly 30 minutes long but the link is to part 3 only.

    Part 1 is here

    https://idthefuture.com/1641/

    Part 2 is here

    https://idthefuture.com/1643/

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Okay, he has narrowed to roughly the genus level, I guess origin of family is a key threshold, e/g/ dogs vs cats.

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:

    Behe doesn’t discount the possibility of common descent but he lays out a case that any evolution beyond the level of genus — for instance, the separate families containing cats and dogs — cannot be achieved through mindless Darwinian mechanisms…

    Behe says two things here that should cause concern among ID proponents. First, he acknowledges “the possibility” of common descent. At the time of the Kitzmiller trial he unequivocally testified that he accepted common descent. Behe is apparently smart enough to hedge his bet on common descent.
    Second, and this is more important, Behe claims that evolution “beyond the level of genus” cannot be achieved by Darwinian mechanisms, which I interpret to mean natural selection.
    With this statement, Behe has pretty much conceded the game. Natural selection always operates at the level of the individual organism; thus, it makes no sense to say that “Darwinian mechanisms” do not operate above the level of genus.
    The more I read this blog and the associated DI articles, the more convinced I become that there is a fundamental misunderstanding of basic evolutionary biology in the ID world. I think this is a big reason that the academic world in evolutionary biology chooses not to engage with ID proponents……

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    the possibility” of common descent

    Yes, common descent, whatever the definition, is compatible with ID and always has been.

    It is just how the various species appeared. Common descent does not imply natural. If someone takes it that way, they have a basic misunderstanding.

    Behe has pretty much conceded the game

    No, just the opposite.

    He is explaining that a remarkable design feature can change species in extremely small amounts so as to adapt some species to changing environments. And nothing more.

    All ID accepts this and accepts Darwinian processes. But they work down from the family level to possibly form genus or species only and how much there is in question. The technology to answer these questions exists but evolutionary biology is not investigating them. Behe is saying the forming of family level entities are beyond natural processes.

    Eventually you will understand the issues. You are at the dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s” objection level and believe that is meaningful. Keep it up though and you may get beyond the supercilious.

  5. 5
    relatd says:

    CD at 3,

    “Behe has pretty much conceded the game”

    The Game.

    How careful certain commentators are to twist words. To find some chink in the armor to exploit. How careful. But whatever happened in the past, blind, unguided chance cannot be the answer. The codes living things use to carry out life processes are denied. Denial will not make them go away.

  6. 6
    Alan Fox says:

    But whatever happened in the past, blind, unguided chance cannot be the answer.

    Thank goodness then that there is selection that produces the bias that results in adaptive change. Remember the niche, Duke, remember the niche.

  7. 7
    relatd says:

    AF at 6,

    Ha, ha, ha, The Niche. Ha, ha, ha. There is no fictional bias. Evolution has no brain and no goals.

  8. 8
    Alan Fox says:

    Yes, common descent, whatever the definition, is compatible with ID and always has been.

    Is there anything ID is incompatible with? Proposing something that could be tested would be the first step to a testable hypothesis.

  9. 9
    Alan Fox says:

    There is no fictional bias.

    Of course not. Bias is real.

  10. 10
    jerry says:

    Proposing something that could be tested would be the first step to a testable hypothesis.

    Has been done several times.

    You fail to understand the difference between ID and naturalized processes. ID indicates a one time event or a series of one time events. Naturalized processes indicate an ongoing process that would be working 3.5 billion years ago as well as today. So to support the ID hypothesis, one would have to show the lack of an alternative especially a natural alternative. Which Behe has done.

    Given that, the answer is as I said above testable. Would require a lot of time and resources.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/do-nylon-eating-bacteria-show-that-new-functional-information-is-easy-to-evolve/#comment-631468

    Aside: the concept of a niche driving Evolution is a non-starter. It is self refuting. It would destroy the ecology in which the niche exists. Besides that there are no examples of it actually changing anything except trivial things and certainly not creating new proteins or complex systems.

  11. 11
    Alan Fox says:

    Has been done several times.

    Tell me about the best time.

  12. 12
    Alan Fox says:

    Besides that there are no examples of it actually changing anything except trivial things and certainly not creating new proteins.

    Nobody who understands and promotes evolutionary theory suggests that adaptation proceeds by leaps and bounds. It is a slow accumulation of small steps due to selection by the niche. New proteins do not drop out of the sky.

  13. 13
    relatd says:

    AF at 9,

    At this point, I should tell people about the comic book you star in. It’s called The Evader. No great fight scenes. The character just evades, evades, evades, evades

    and evades.

    Really boring.

  14. 14
    relatd says:

    AF at 12,

    Evolution is slow except when it’s fast.

    For all intents and purposes, proteins appear out of nowhere and “Know” exactly what to do.

    Do you expect anyone to buy that?

  15. 15
    chuckdarwin says:

    Jerry states: “He [Behe] is explaining that a remarkable design feature can change species in extremely small amounts so as to adapt some species to changing environments…
    All ID accepts this and accepts Darwinian processes. But they work down from the family level to possibly form genus or species.” (emphasis added)

    Let’s pare down the passage to show how Jerry, likely unwittingly, has also conceded the game: “Darwinian processes (i.e., natual selection) work to form species.” Thus, the title of Darwin’s masterpiece: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.
    Once you concede that Darwinian processes “work” to form species, you have conceded the thesis of The Origin. Game over……

  16. 16
    Alan Fox says:

    For all intents and purposes, proteins appear out of nowhere and “Know” exactly what to do.

    This is nonsense. Where do you get this stuff?

  17. 17
    jerry says:

    show how Jerry, likely unwittingly, has also conceded the game

    Jerry admits to micro evolution.

    Wow! I didn’t know that ChuckDarwin and Darwin were only in the micro evolution game. Both are definitely not in the Evolution debate. Learn something new every day.

    I said supercilious in #1. Prediction has come true.

  18. 18
    Alan Fox says:

    Macroevolution is nothing more than accumulation of successive microevulotions. There are no additional factors involved, just more time

  19. 19
    jerry says:

    There are no additional factors involved, just more time

    Time to change words.

    From supercilious to specious. Of course all is nonsense whichever it is. Ironic thing – they all know it’s nonsense.

  20. 20
    asauber says:

    “Macroevolution is nothing more than accumulation of successive microevulotions.”

    Wrong,

    I asked for a specific evidentiary path where this is the case, and none could be provided. And I predict won’t be provided. Again.

    Andrew

  21. 21
    Alan Fox says:

    I asked for a specific evidentiary path where this is the case, and none could be provided. And I predict won’t be provided.

    All of them. The relatedness of all extant and extinct species form an overarching hierarchy from the last universal common ancestor. Of course, I can’t provide a blow-by-blow account of every descent to every individual, though the related biochemistry and morphology shines through it all like a beacon.

    Where are Behe’s limits? Why are ID proponents failing to demonstrate them. Why are Behe’s examples (polar bears, hydroquinone resistance etc) rotinely exposed as wrong?

  22. 22
    asauber says:

    “Of course, I can’t provide a blow-by-blow account of every descent to every individual”

    How about just one individual?

    I’m right again. Sigh. How do I do it? 😉

    Andrew

  23. 23
    Alan Fox says:

    How about just one individual?

    What about an E. coli bacterium?

  24. 24
    Alan Fox says:

    And what about contrasting it with an ID explanation for something biological?

  25. 25
    asauber says:

    “What about an E. coli bacterium?”

    AF,

    What about it?

    Andrew

  26. 26
    asauber says:

    “And what about contrasting it with an ID explanation for something biological?”

    AF is channeling JVL.

    Andrew

  27. 27
    Alan Fox says:

    So, as I thought, there is no ID explanation for the diversity of life on Earth. Right, Andy?

    Do you want to hear anything about my bacterium?

  28. 28
    asauber says:

    “Do you want to hear anything about my bacterium?”

    AF,

    Your personal bacterium? No. 😉

    Something related to what I’ve been asking for and not getting? Yes.

    Andrew

  29. 29
    relatd says:

    AF at 18,

    Pffft! More time. Tonight on Alan Fox, the Magician, Alan will show viewers how new features form over a million years. Of course, you will have to wait a million years to (allegedly) see this happen.

  30. 30
    relatd says:

    AF at 21,

    Tonight on The Niche with Alan Fox, Alan will explain how it’s IMPOSSIBLE to fit a camshaft from the 1963 Alfa Romeo into the 1962 model. He will then explain how it’s perfectly reasonable that a new protein can appear out of thin air in a complex biological organism like a human being.

  31. 31
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 26,

    I think you’ll be seeing more of that in the future. 🙂

  32. 32
    Alan Fox says:

    Your personal bacterium? No. ?

    And I have plenty of E. coli to offer. I was thinking of a bacterium in one of Lenski”s flasks and its history.

    Something related to what I’ve been asking for and not getting? Yes.

    I don’t pay much attention to your comments, nor am I a mindreader. What is it you’ve been asking for and not getting?

  33. 33
    asauber says:

    AF,

    Comment #20 that you didn’t respond to but reacted to…

    And round and round and round and round we go… again…

    Andrew

  34. 34
    Alan Fox says:

    I asked for a specific evidentiary path where this is the case

    Specific evidence that macroevolution is not more than cumulative microevolution over time? Is that what you want from me? From someone who h

  35. 35
    Alan Fox says:

    I asked for a specific evidentiary path where this is the case

    Specific evidence that macroevolution is not more than cumulative microevolution over time? Is that what you want from me? From someone who h

  36. 36
    Alan Fox says:

    I asked for a specific evidentiary path where this is the case

    Specific evidence that macroevolution is not more than cumulative microevolution over time? Is that what you want from me? From someone who doesn’t consider macroevolution a thing in itself but a summary of microevolutionary processes?

  37. 37
    asauber says:

    “Specific evidence that macroevolution is not more than cumulative microevolution over time? Is that what you want from me? From someone who doesn’t consider macroevolution a thing in itself but a summary of microevolutionary processes?”

    OK AF,

    How about an evidentiary path of successive microevolutions that resulted in something cumulative?

    Andrew

    P.S. ooooh the wheel in the sky…

  38. 38
    Alan Fox says:

    How about an evidentiary path of successive microevolutions that resulted something cumulative?

    So you don’t suggest anything specific? What about the vertebrate eye? No macroevolution involved there.

  39. 39
    asauber says:

    “What about the vertebrate eye?”

    AF,

    Sure. Do you have an evidentiary path to provide to us?

    Andrew

  40. 40
    Alan Fox says:

    We could start with what is already published. So I get a better idea of what you consider evidence. I suspect it is going to be an insurmountably high bar but let’s see. Prof. Trevor Lamb covered this in some detail in 2008

    The Origin of the Vertebrate Eye

  41. 41
    Alan Fox says:

    Perhaps we can whet appetites with the abstract!

    In his considerations of “organs of extreme perfection,” Charles Darwin described the evidence that would be necessary to support the evolutionary origin of the eye, namely, demonstration of the existence of “numerous gradations” from the most primitive eye to the most perfect one, where each such tiny change had provided a survival advantage (however slight) to the organism possessing the subtly altered form. In this paper, we discuss evidence indicating that the vertebrate eye did indeed evolve through numerous subtle changes. The great majority of the gradual transitions that did occur have not been preserved to the present time, either in the fossil record or in extant species; yet clear evidence of their occurrence remains. We discuss the remarkable “eye” of the hagfish, which has features intermediate between a simple light detector and an image-forming camera-like eye and which may represent a step in the evolution of our eye that can now be studied by modern methods. We also describe the important clues to the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate eye that can be found by studying the embryological development of our own eye, by examining the molecular genetic record preserved in our own genes and in the genes of other vertebrates, and through consideration of the imperfections (or evolutionary “scars”) in the construction of our eye. Taking these findings together, it is possible to discuss in some detail how the vertebrate eye evolved.

  42. 42
    asauber says:

    AF,

    Firstly, most all of the important evidence doesn’t exist:

    “Firstly, the most important advances in the organization of what would eventually become the vertebrate eye occurred over 500 million years ago (Mya), prior to the evolution of hard body parts (like a bony skeleton), and as a result, many such advances in the arrangement of the vertebrate eye occurred in animals that are either not preserved, or else are very poorly represented in the fossil record.”

    Andrew

  43. 43
    Alan Fox says:

    Well, of course, direct evidence from fossil organisms is sparse. But modern descendants of ancient groups exist, molecular and genetic evidence exists. Embryological evidence exists. Are you dismissing all that?

  44. 44
    asauber says:

    AF,

    “modern descendants of ancient groups exist”

    “genetic evidence exists”

    “Embryological evidence exists”

    I’m sure it does, but these are just generic claims. So, please point me to something that speaks as directly (as possible) to something I can sink my teeth into. Because I really don’t want to waste my time if you really don’t have any solid evidence to present and you are just relying on mental exercises.

    Andrew

  45. 45
    Alan Fox says:

    I’m sure it does, but these are just generic claims. So, please point me to something that speaks as directly (as possible) to something I can sink my teeth into.

    Hmm. It’s the consilience between what fossil evidence exists and what sorts of animals existed and how some modern animals are very similar in form to those ancient fossil animals. We can look at molecular evidence, the nested hierarchy of visual pigments, the embryology of eye development across species and molecular phylogenetics to confirm the homologies in genetic sequences. If you dismiss all that, then I can’t see I can help you.

  46. 46
    Alan Fox says:

    Mind you, I can sympathize a little. The evidence or ID as an explanation for biological reality that I’ve asked for has not been very convincing to me. Though, to be fair, it has so far been non-existent.

  47. 47
    asauber says:

    “If you dismiss all that, then I can’t see I can help you.”

    AF,

    I’m not dismissing it as much as just waiting for you to put some specific info in front of me, rather than me having to slog through a paper that admits up front that the important evidence for the claims of the paper doesn’t exist.

    Andrew

  48. 48
    Alan Fox says:

    Oh, I just noticed your quote-mine:

    You left off the phrase after the semicolon:

    …yet clear evidence of their occurrence remains.

    Which is the substance of the paper.

    ETA and changed the semicolon to a full stop, tut tut.

  49. 49
    asauber says:

    “yet clear evidence of their occurrence remains.”

    AF,

    Another generic claim. How about some specifics?

    Andrew

  50. 50
    jerry says:

    Meanwhile zero about Behe and what he found and the debate.

    The debate is over 90 minutes and no one has listened to it. Work is pressing; introducing a new product next week. Maybe listen to part of it tonight.

    One of the rules of Dale Carnegie’s book,

    The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

    State your point. Share logic and evidence. Answer any sincere question (they’re rare.) Ignore nonsense.

  51. 51
    Alan Fox says:

    Another generic claim. How about some specifics?

    As I said, the paper is about the existing consilient evidence. It’s not a lot to read. But if you aren’t prepared to read the primary papers see my link to Wikipedia.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye

  52. 52
    jerry says:

    In the first section of the discussion between Michael Behe and Michael Ramage most of the discussion was by Behe.

    It’s a good presentation of what ID is and what it is opposing. ID does not oppose Evolution but opposes that there is a mechanism that can explain it. So far none have appeared.

    He explains what he understands by Darwinian processes and that ID states there is no evidence to suppor these processes as having the explanatory power for complex changes.

    At the end of the first part, Michael Ramage has not spoken very much. Part 2 later tonight.

  53. 53
    bill cole says:

    Mind you, I can sympathize a little. The evidence or ID as an explanation for biological reality that I’ve asked for has not been very convincing to me. Though, to be fair, it has so far been non-existent.

    The role of ID is a method to infer design in nature.

    The problem with evolutionary theory is it can no longer defend the evolutionary claim of a single origin of life or a universal common ancestor.

  54. 54
    jerry says:

    I am through 2/3 of the Michael Behe/Matthew Ramage discussion and there is more interesting stuff there than in the last 500 OPs on UD.

    As I said earlier no one here will listen. Pro ID don’t care and anti ID don’t want to be shown how shallow their thinking is.

    It’s between three Catholics so that’s an obstacle for many. But there is nothing in the presentation justifying Catholic theology. Ramage constantly refers to it but does not attempt to justify it. It’s not a discussion justifying Catholicism.

    Behe does an excellent job of showing how objectors make things up to discredit ID. Including the false objections by Matthew Ramage.

    Part 3 tomorrow and then when there’s time a transcript for myself to read.

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    Finished the Behe/Ramage discussion on ID. There is a YouTube of this discussion which is here

    https://chroniclesofstrength.substack.com/p/intelligent-design-debate-dr-behe

    This means there is a transcript but like most YouTube transcripts will be off by a few words here and there as the transcriber gets things wrong. But if one wants to watch the whole thing, then the above is the best way to do it. The downside for some is that it is on a Catholic site. Both Behe and Ramage are Catholics but Catholicism rarely comes up.

    So many topics covered and Ramage who is closed to a theistic evolutionists feels uncomfortable with the implications of ID. Namely, God had to intervene thousands maybe millions of time in life. He seems to not want a God who has done this.

    This is the basis for a lot of theistic evolutionists objections to ID. They don’t want a tinkering God.

    As I go through this discussion and understand just what each are saying, I will use this OP to post the content and if possible the timing in the YouTube video.

  56. 56
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 55,

    This shows the obvious flaw in so-called theistic evolution. When did God act? They can’t say, making this idea worthless. A useless distraction. Here is what the Catholic Church has to say:

    Part 69) “But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation. According to St. Thomas Aquinas: “The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency” (Summa theologiae, I, 22,4 ad 1). In the Catholic perspective, neo-Darwinians who adduce random genetic variation and natural selection as evidence that the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science. Divine causality can be active in a process that is both contingent and guided. Any evolutionary mechanism that is contingent can only be contingent because God made it so. An unguided evolutionary process – one that falls outside the bounds of divine providence – simply cannot exist because “the causality of God, Who is the first agent, extends to all being, not only as to constituent principles of species, but also as to the individualizing principles….It necessarily follows that all things, inasmuch as they participate in existence, must likewise be subject to divine providence” (Summa theologiae I, 22, 2).’

  57. 57
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd, I remember when you posted this before. It seems to me that the statement you posted reflects well the position of theistic evolution: that everything that happens is because of the providence of God, despite the fact that from our human perspective some things appear to happen by necessity and some by contingency (actually, usually by some continuous interplay between the two).

    The TE would agree that those who believe “the process of evolution is absolutely unguided are straying beyond what can be demonstrated by science.” I think likewise the TE would believe that stating that any aspect of the world, including evolution, is specifically guided is also beyond what can be demonstrated by science.

    So, I think the Catholic position you state is supportive of the TE perspective, and clearly contradicts the materialistic perspective. Both are metaphysical beliefs that go beyond what science can demonstrate.

  58. 58
    jerry says:

    So, I think the Catholic position you state is supportive of the TE perspective, and clearly contradicts the materialistic perspective. Both are metaphysical beliefs that go beyond what science can demonstrate

    Amen!

    Matthew Ramage is a Catholic theologian.

    Since I try to keep theology out of discussions of ID, I will only say that he has recently written a book on evolution.

    From the Dust of the Earth: Benedict XVI the Bible, and the Theory of Evolution – published June 2022

    I recently made the point that ID does not discuss how often the creator has to have intervened in our universe especially in our little corner of it. Millions?

    Behe continually makes the point about the impossibility of species creation above the genera level. For example, the Galapagos finches. In some places they represent more than one genus but all can inner breed.

    So what do all these classifications mean and just what is a species?

    As I said this particular interview is full of ideas rarely discussed on UD. I am in the process of making a transcript using YouTube’s transcript process.

    Aside: from the discussion – there really is no clear Catholic position on Evolution. You can believe in ID, be a young earth creationist or a TE and be Catholic. You have to believe God is the creator.

  59. 59
    jerry says:

    So, I think the Catholic position you state is supportive of the TE perspective, and clearly contradicts the materialistic perspective. Both are metaphysical beliefs that go beyond what science can demonstrate

    There are really three positions here – Catholic, TE and materialistic

    All three are metaphysical and go beyond what science can demonstrate.

    The Darwinian position works in genetics but does not work in Evolution. ID accepts this. There is discussion of this in the conversation by Behe and Ramage and Flynn.

  60. 60
    jerry says:

    From the Dust of the Earth: Benedict XVI the Bible, and the Theory of Evolution – published June 2022

    https://matthewramage.com/my-book-from-the-dust-of-the-earth-is-now-out/

    My guess 98% theology/metaphysics and 2% science. I have no plans to read it and find out. From the page

    Anyone who reads the book will also appreciate the irony that this book debuted as the #1 new release on Creationism on Amazon (apparently they lump anything to do with creation into that category)!

    One of the topics discussed mainly by Behe is that ID is constantly dismissed with false information/accusations. In other words the anti ID people who dominate the media use fake news/ narratives/ and other nonsense to refute ID.

             One has to be dishonest to be anti ID

  61. 61
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry writes, “There are really three positions here – Catholic, TE, and materialistic.”

    How would you distinguish the Catholic view from TE? As the quote from relatd seemed to state, the Catholic view is a TE view.

  62. 62
    jerry says:

    How would you distinguish the Catholic view from TE

    I’m not going to try and answer this since I am certainly not qualified.

    There seems to be no real Catholic view other than God created the universe and man. The three people in the Behe/Ramage discussion are all Catholics. In the past there was a discussion of Catholic young earth advocates here. This is also mentioned in the discussion.

    So TE’s can be Christian, YECs can be Christian and ID people can be Christian. Since there are multiple parts of ID, all three could be the same or different depending on the science being discussed.

  63. 63
    Viola Lee says:

    I understand your view, but then saying that “there are really three positions here – Catholic, TE, and materialistic” isn’t really supported. I think in this context we can contrast three metaphysical views (although there are others): TE (of which the Catholic view represented in 56 is an example), ID, and philosophical naturalism (or materialism).

  64. 64
    jerry says:

    there are really three positions here – Catholic, TE, and materialistic” isn’t really supported

    Just change it to “one Catholic, TE and materialistic” and it is supported.

    They are all metaphysical claims not supported by science.

    Aside: the Christian claim and thus also a Catholic claim that God created the universe and man is supported by science. But they are based on metaphysics

  65. 65
    Viola Lee says:

    I apologize for nit-picking, because I appreciate that we agree on your last sentence.

    But the “one Catholic” you mention is a TE position, so contrasting the “one Catholic” with the other two is not correct unless there is something which distinguishes the “one Catholic” from TE.

    It seems to me that your statement would be better as “There are two contrasting positions, TE (of which one particular Catholic view is a member) and materialistic.

  66. 66
    jerry says:

    nit-picking

    Sometimes nit-picking helps.

    unless there is something which distinguishes the “one Catholic” from TE

    Probably most TEs are different from each other on specifics as is apparently many Catholic positions.

    This says to me there often isn’t a hard core difference. But there are Catholic positions that support ID and as I said some Catholic young earth creationists.

    Aside: It was interesting to see Ramage fold sometimes based on what Behe was saying. For some people, evidence and logic are hard to argue with. For others, it’s no problem. They create some other nonsense or just assert they are right. But mostly just ignore.

  67. 67
    Viola Lee says:

    Another point. There may be many variations of positions held by Catholics, but that doesn’t mean they are orthodox: Catholicism, more than any other position, has an orthodox position because of the belief in the special authority of the Pope and the papal hierarchy. From that point of view, a Catholic YEC would be an unorthodox position.

  68. 68
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 62,

    What is wrong with you?

    “There seems to be no real Catholic view other than God created the universe and man.”

    There is a HIGHLY DETAILED Catholic view, You read it. Now you’re being vague?

    The Church does not use terms like THEISTIC EVOLUTION – got that? It does not. Atheists watch the Church like a hawk. When Pope John Paul II in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences said something positive about the theory of evolution, atheists all over the internet declared “The Church accepts evolution! The Church accepts evolution!” Wrong. If you read the address the Pope references “Theories” of evolution – got that? The Church breaks down the theory into multiple versions and some are not compatible with Church teaching. You should read the entire document titled Communion and Stewardship – Human Persons Created in the Image of God.

  69. 69
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 64,

    Quit posting crap, OK? The Catholic Church can do something science cannot. It can combine science and theology. The following is part of an Op-Ed published by the New York Times and written by a Catholic Cardinal.

    • The Church “proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world, including the world of living things.”

    • “Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”

    —————————-

    I hope that’s clear enough for you.

  70. 70
    relatd says:

    VL at 67,

    I don’t know why you think this. A Catholic can be a Young Earth Creationist.

    “In fact, the Catholic Church does not have a position on a particular age of the Earth or the physical universe. This is a matter about which Catholics can legitimately disagree.”

    Source: Catholic Answers

  71. 71
    Viola Lee says:

    I agree, and stand corrected, about the Catholic position on YEC.

    I understand that the Catholic position does not use the term theistic evolution. That doesn’t mean that the phrase doesn’t apply to the Catholic position, as I mentioned in 57.

    Also, I think I know that one of the important documents (I forget which one) makes a distinction between the development of the body, which can be accepted as having evolved (in the Providential sense) and the creation and nature of the soul in man, the latter being outside the domain of science.

  72. 72
    relatd says:

    VL at 71,

    Everything modern related to evolution began with the document Humani Generis, issued by Pope Pius XII in 1950. The document Communion and Stewardship was prepared by the International Theological Commission at a number of plenary sessions held between 2000 and 2002.

    “64. Pope John Paul II stated some years ago that “new knowledge leads to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge”(“Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution”1996). In continuity with previous twentieth century papal teaching on evolution (especially Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Humani Generis ), the Holy Father’s message acknowledges that there are “several theories of evolution” that are “materialist, reductionist and spiritualist” and thus incompatible with the Catholic faith. It follows that the message of Pope John Paul II cannot be read as a blanket approbation of all theories of evolution, including those of a neo-Darwinian provenance which explicitly deny to divine providence any truly causal role in the development of life in the universe. Mainly concerned with evolution as it “involves the question of man,” however, Pope John Paul’s message is specifically critical of materialistic theories of human origins and insists on the relevance of philosophy and theology for an adequate understanding of the “ontological leap” to the human which cannot be explained in purely scientific terms. The Church’s interest in evolution thus focuses particularly on “the conception of man” who, as created in the image of God, “cannot be subordinated as a pure means or instrument either to the species or to society.” As a person created in the image of God, he is capable of forming relationships of communion with other persons and with the triune God, as well as of exercising sovereignty and stewardship in the created universe. The implication of these remarks is that theories of evolution and of the origin of the universe possess particular theological interest when they touch on the doctrines of the creation ex nihilo and the creation of man in the image of God.”

  73. 73
    jerry says:

    the Catholic position on YEC

    There is probably no official position on evolution by the Catholic Church.

    This is beginning to be a red herron. Of no particular value.

    The above OP is just one third of the discussion by three Catholics and I doubt any of them think they are not orthodox Catholics. ID is compatible with Christianity, Young Earth is compatible with Catholicism/many Christian faiths and so are many of the TE positions compatible with Christain/Catholic theology. Which means that evolution except for some basics is not part of Christian/Catholic Theology.

    For nearly 1800 years of Christianity, most Christians believed the young earth scenario. When the science questioned this, few thought that this affected the theology of Christianity. So I would not expect to find too many Christians including Catholics upset with naturalized evolution as either true or false. Either way it does not matter.

    For example, I believe in Darwinian evolution prior to finding out some were questioning it. I then attended a conference on ID and my views on Evolution changed dramatically. My religious views did not change one iota. As I said above ID is much more than Evolution.

    Again whatever one’s religious beliefs, they should watch the video of the discussion. It is much more than religion. Religion is a side show. It is here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRfLladHO9U

    Aside: Behe has a real problem with Thomist theologians (theology of Thomas Aquinas), not because of their theology but because they are generally unread on ID and its findings but pronounce on it anyway usually negatively.

  74. 74
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 73,

    Wha… what? “So I would not expect to find too many Christians including Catholics upset with naturalized evolution as true or false.”

    Sorry Jerry. Catholics only get to pick one. I’ll let you guess which one.

  75. 75
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, Related, I had just re-read that section in 72 before you posted it, and am familiar with it. When it mentions ““several theories of evolution” that are “materialist, reductionist and spiritualist” and thus incompatible with the Catholic faith”, it seems to me it is referring to metaphysical perspectives, and so of course the Catholic perspective would reject a materialist metaphysical perspective about the nature of human beings, including the evolution of our physical being.

    But, to go back to your post at 56, the TE perspective, which I think is represented in the quote you offered, fully accepts that “divine providence [plays] a causal role in the development of life in the universe,” and in fact Providence does so continuously and exhaustively in everything that happens.

    However, in 56 you say that “so-called Theistic Evolution” is flawed, and contrast it with the Catholic position that you quote. Can you explain how you think TE differs from the Catholic position, and what the flaw is?

  76. 76
    relatd says:

    VL at 75,

    Jerry points it out in post 55: “Namely, God had to intervene thousands maybe millions of time in life. He seems to not want a God who has done this.”

    That is the problem. God did not set a wind-up toy on the floor called evolution to go wherever it wanted but had to intervene whenever it took a wrong turn. God acted constantly from the first day of creation. Thomas Aquinas makes it quite clear. Things don’t just happen somehow. God works infallibly in Creation. He does not “tinker” – another wrong word and idea.

    The following appears in Communion and Stewardship: “… the “ontological leap” to the human which cannot be explained in purely scientific terms.” So “evolution” as defined in biology textbooks is an insufficient explanation. The Church combines science and theology to provide the full, complete answer. And it is critical of materialist theories.

    The Church does not use the term Intelligent Design but it does recognize the actual design in all living things.

  77. 77
    Viola Lee says:

    But TE doesn’t posit any “tinkering: at all: that is in fact the objection TE lodges against ID. This is what Jerry wrote:

    So many topics covered and Ramage who is closed [sic: probably meant just “close” or “closet”] to a theistic evolutionists feels uncomfortable with the implications of ID. Namely, God had to intervene thousands maybe millions of time in life. He seems to not want a God who has done this.

    This is the basis for a lot of theistic evolutionists objections to ID. They don’t want a tinkering God.

    I don’t think “tinkering” is part of the TE perspective.

  78. 78
    relatd says:

    VL at 77,

    Then explain TE to me. Can someone, anyone, point to an exact event or series of events that qualify as theistic during evolution then please point them out.

  79. 79
    Viola Lee says:

    Everything, not just about evolution but about all causal chains of natural events. From your quote at 55 (I bolded key sentences):

    But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation. According to St. Thomas Aquinas: “The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency”.

    This is the TE position. All that happens happens as God wills. Our limited human perspective may see some aspects of events as necessary and some as contingent, but as the bolded sentences above point out, both the necessary and the contingent events are part of God’s providence.

  80. 80
    relatd says:

    VL at 79,

    So where does evolution as described in Biology textbooks fit in? No, science cannot detect anything that God wills. That is the issue. Science is inadequate to completely explain human persons created in the image of God. Students who think nothing – literally – made them and that nothing happens after you die are being taught a purely materialist perspective.

  81. 81
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd, you write, “Science is inadequate to completely explain human persons created in the image of God” and previously you wrote, “the “ontological leap” to the human … cannot be explained in purely scientific terms.”

    Yes, the TE perspective would agree with both these statements. TE is a theistic viewpoint, and believes in a God who is present in both the material and the spiritual aspects of the world. Science deals only in the material aspects, so of course from the TE perspective, science cannot account for critical spiritual aspects of human nature: those are outside the domain of science.

    You write, “ Students who think nothing – literally – made them and that nothing happens after you die are being taught a purely materialist perspective.”

    I have been around a lot of science teachers, and a lot of biology teachers, and I don’t think those ideas are taught. I know there are famous statements made by certain materialistic biologists, but materialism is a metaphysical perspective and is not a part of science per se. I have known religious biology teachers who have mentioned that they have a religious perspective as they taught evolution, but made clear the distinction between the science and their metaphysics, and I have know materialist science teachers who have mentioned their perspective and likewise separated the science from the metaphysics as they taught.

    I have also known a few teachers with enough skill and background to briefly bring up some of these philosophical points with older students, such as in honors biology classes, but given that biology is usually taught in the 8th or 9th grade, this aspect of the situation is seldom taught.

    It is wrong for a teacher to insert their metaphysics into their teaching irrespective of whether it is religious or materialistic, and I think the vast majority of science teachers handle this well. That has been my experience.

  82. 82
    relatd says:

    [QUOTE=reggieM;5374741]I did a little research and I think we can prove quite easily that mainstream evolution does not support the evidence of intelligent design in nature at all. Evolution is defined as a blind, undirected process built mainly on randomness. There is no plan or purpose for evolution — this contradicts the claim that “everything is designed” and that there is design to be found in nature.

    We can see this in current biology [B]textbooks[/B]:

    [B]“[E]volution works without either plan or purpose — Evolution is random and undirected.”[/B]
    ([I]Biology[/I], by Kenneth R. Miller & Joseph S. Levine (1st ed., Prentice Hall, 1991), pg. 658; (3rd ed., Prentice Hall, 1995), pg. 658; (4th ed., Prentice Hall, 1998), pg. 658; emphasis in original.)

    “[B]Humans represent just one tiny, largely fortuitous, and late-arising twig[/B] on the enormously arborescent bush of life.”
    (Stephen J Gould quoted in Biology, by Peter H Raven & George B Johnson (5th ed., McGraw Hill, 1999), pg 15; (6th ed., McGraw Hill, 2000), pg. 16.)

    “By coupling [B]undirected, purposeless [/B]variation to the [B]blind, uncaring [/B]process of natural selection, [B]Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous[/B].”
    ([I]Evolutionary Biology[/I], by Douglas J. Futuyma (3rd ed., Sinauer Associates Inc., 1998), p. 5.)

    “Darwin knew that [B]accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism[/B], the conviction that [B]matter is the stuff of all existence [/B]and that all mental and spiritual phenomena are its by-products. Darwinian evolution was [B]not only purposeless but also heartless[/B]–a process in which the rigors of nature ruthlessly eliminate the unfit. Suddenly, [B]humanity was reduced to just one more species in a world that cared nothing for us[/B]. The great human mind was no more than a mass of evolving neurons. Worst of all, [B]there was no divine plan to guide us[/B].”
    ([I]Biology[/I]: Discovering Life by Joseph S. Levine & Kenneth R. Miller (1st ed., D.C. Heath and Co., 1992), pg. 152; (2nd ed.. D.C. Heath and Co., 1994), p. 161; emphases in original.)

    “Adopting this view of the world means accepting not only the processes of evolution, but also the view that the living world is constantly evolving, and that [B]evolutionary change occurs without any goals[/B].’ The idea that [B]evolution is not directed [/B]towards a final goal state has been more difficult for many people to accept than the process of evolution itself.”
    (Life: The Science of Biology by William K. Purves, David Sadava, Gordon H. Orians, & H. Craig Keller, (6th ed., Sinauer; W.H. Freeman and Co., 2001), pg. 3.)

    “The ‘blind’ watchmaker is natural selection. [B]Natural selection is totally blind [/B]to the future. “[B]Humans are fundamentally not exceptional [/B]because we came from the same evolutionary source as every other species. It is natural selection of selfish genes that has given us our bodies and brains “Natural selection is a bewilderingly simple idea. And yet what [B]it explains is the whole of life[/B], the diversity of life, the apparent design of life.”
    (Richard Dawkins quoted in [I]Biology [/I]by Neil A. Campbell, Jane B. Reese. & Lawrence G. Mitchell (5th ed., Addison Wesley Longman, 1999), pgs. 412-413.)

    “Of course, no species has ‘chosen’ a strategy. Rather, its ancestors ‘little by little, generation after generation’ merely wandered into a successful way of life through the action of random evolutionary forces. Once pointed in a certain direction, a line of evolution survives only if the cosmic dice continues to roll in its favor. [B]“[J]ust by chance[/B], a wonderful diversity of life has developed during the billions of years in which organisms have been evolving on earth.
    (Biology by Burton S. Guttman (1st ed., McGraw Hill, 1999), pgs. 36-37.)

    “It is difficult to avoid the speculation that Darwin, as has been the case with others, found the implications of his theory difficult to confront. “The real difficulty in accepting Darwins theory has always been that it seems to diminish our significance. Earlier, astronomy had made it clear that the earth is not the center of the solar universe, or even of our own solar system. Now the new biology asked us to accept the proposition that, like all other organisms, [B]we too are the products of a random process that, as far as science can show, we are not created for any special purpose or as part of any universal design[/B].”
    (Invitation to Biology, by Helena Curtis & N. Sue Barnes(3rd ed., Worth, 1981), pgs. 474-475.)[/QUOTE]

  83. 83
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, there are some famous statements like that in some biology books. Two points:

    1. All of those are at least twenty years old. I think people became aware of that bias in the last twenty years and textbooks have changed some, although I don’t have examples. As I mentioned above, a short section on the metaphysical issues could be inserted in the textbooks to help clarify this issue, although I doubt that it has been for the reasons I mentioned

    (For what it’s worth, when I taught high school sociology my textbook book had a short section of the history of human beings, including our evolutionary background. I had many religious students in my class, so I wrote a one page handout and we spent some class time discussing the issue. But not many teachers probably had the background to do so that I did.)

    2. Despite a few sentences in the textbooks, I am sure that most teachers do not emphasize the metaphysics, and that the religious ones (who are in the majority among high school teachers, I am sure, based on the percent of Christians in our society) point out, with greater or lesser skill, the religious perspective.

    I think this is an example (there are many) where notable and infamous statements distort what actually happens in public education.

    But we have wandered away from what I am interested in: TE is consistent with the Catholic point of view concerning Providence, as expressed in your quote at 55.

  84. 84
    relatd says:

    I don’t know what TE is.

    I think you’re wrong about those textbooks. Students who trust their teachers and the textbooks they work with, would see those quotes – 20 years is not the point – and see them as a threat to their beliefs. I don’t care what teachers may or may not have said in class. If I saw any of those quotes in my Biology textbook, I would be alarmed. Things have not gotten better regarding science. It is atheist in nature and there are too many Marxists in higher education.

  85. 85
    Viola Lee says:

    I’ll stay out of the political and sociological issues.

    I have explained TE: it is very much like what you quoted in 55 and that I highlighted in 79. Perhaps you think I am incorrect, and if so I’d be interested in what you think is true about TE. But that may not be anything you want to pursue any further. I’ve appreciated the discussion.

  86. 86
    relatd says:

    VL at 85,

    I literally do not know what you’re talking about. Thank you for your time and effort.

  87. 87
    Viola Lee says:

    I’m confused: You posted a good statement at 56 that I say expresses the TE position well. Isn’t that a clear statement?

    As I said, its fine if you think I’m wrong about what TE is and/or don’t want to discuss it any more. But I don’t understand when you say “I literally do not know what you’re talking about.” I’m talking about exactly the same thing your quote in 56 is saying.

  88. 88
    relatd says:

    VL at 87,

    You are? Then why do you mention TE? Where does “natural evolution” fit in? Where does nature act on its own and when does God act? That is the issue. I don’t want to confuse readers by saying Theistic Evolution allows “nature” to do whatever it wants. That’s atheist evolution. Do you understand?

  89. 89
    Viola Lee says:

    You ask, “Where does nature act on its own and when does God act? That is the issue.”

    TE does not make that distinction. God’s action is throughout all of existence, both in those things that happen by necessity and those that happen through contingency. Nature never “acts on its own”. TE doesn’t claim that “nature can do whatever it wants. God’s providences is always active.That’s what your quote in 56 says, and it is what TE’s believe.

    Why do you think TE makes a distinction between the “nature acting on its own” and “God acting”. Perhaps you could describe your understanding on what TE claims.

  90. 90
    jerry says:

    From the first comment

    Guaranteed it will be ignored except for supercilious comments

    This discussion has so much to offer but as advertised, nonsense has been the result.

    Aside: relevant to theistic evolutionist – From an article written by John West on theistic religion.

    Defining “Theistic Evolution”
    Theistic evolution can mean many things, including a form of guided evolution, but many contemporary proponents of theistic evolution are more accurately described as theistic Darwinists. That is, they do not merely advocate a guided form of common descent, but they are attempting to combine evolution as an undirected Darwinian process with Christian theism. Although they believe in God, they strenuously want to avoid stating that God actually guided biological development.

    For example, Anglican John Polkinghorne wrote that “an evolutionary universe is theologically understood as a creation allowed to make itself.” Former Vatican astronomer George Coyne (a Catholic) claimed that because evolution is unguided “not even God could know… with certainty” that “human life would come to be.”

    And Christian biologist Kenneth Miller (who I believe claims to be a Catholic) of Brown University, author of the popular book Finding Darwin’s God (which is used in many Christian colleges), insists that evolution is an undirected process, flatly denying that God guided the evolutionary process to achieve any particular result — including the development of us. Indeed, Miller insists that “mankind’s appearance on this planet was not preordained, that we are here… as an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out.”

    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/10/c-s-lewis-and-theistic-evolution/

    This discussion in OP by three Catholics has much to offer for understanding ID but theistic evolutionist or a so called Catholic position is at best a side show. Catholics are a major part of ID. For example Denyse is a Catholic. But Catholics are a major force against ID.

    Also by a Catholic – Jay Richards if one is interested

    Is Theistic Evolution a Viable Option for Christians?”

    In

    Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith

    https://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Guide-Science-Faith-Exploring/dp/0736977147

    Again not what the discussion in OP is mainly about. The science supporting ID

  91. 91
    JVL says:

    Jerry:

    Not sure where to put this comment really . . .

    You are frequently critical of arguments and statements made by everyone at UD; in fact you seem to be pretty objective that way. And perhaps you’ve already addressed my question but . . .

    Is there one particular argument of unguided evolutionary theory you consider at least worthy of consideration? One you think actually needs to be addressed rather than just dismissed?

    I’m not asking in order to berate you or make fun of your view; I’m just really curious as to how you view the current state of the general debate.

    Thanks. I hope.

  92. 92
    chuckdarwin says:

    Those bloody Papists, always screwing with the stew. It gets really convoluted when the Papists are also IDers. That’s like mixing water and oil. The paradox is amusing. Catholics are required to believe in the trinitarian version of the God of Abraham, then they can believe whatever they want about evolution. IDers, on the other hand are required to reject the theory of evolution but can believe in any God they want, or no God at all, as long as that no-God is an immaterial “intelligent designer.” How this second alternative works is beyond me.
    The point in this OP (and reinforced by Jerry), however, is that Behe, irrespective of his personal religious beliefs, concedes that natural selection can form species. And that’s all that Darwin said….

  93. 93
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    natural selection can form species.

    😆 Without species there is no natural selection so species come first then natural selection happens. To have a horse race(natural selection) you need horses first but somehow you think that horse races create horses .

  94. 94
    JVL says:

    LtComData: Without species there is no natural selection so species come first then natural selection happens

    So presumably you think species just pop into existence at various times? (Not saying how that happens but to an observer they just appear.) Enough of them to form a viable population . . . when the climate is okay and there’s stuff for them to eat . . . yeah?

  95. 95
    jerry says:

    I’m not asking in order to berate you or make fun of your view

    I have no problem with defending my views.

    I continually ask questions and put forth ideas that I believe are logical and supported by the evidence. So I am looking for criticism that is honest and stands up. But I usually don’t answer inane or disingenuous remarks unless they can be used to make a point or ask a question.

    Is there one particular argument of unguided evolutionary theory you consider at least worthy of consideration? One you think actually needs to be addressed rather than just dismissed?

    Yes and no.

    The issue is two fold. By far the most important issue for those who believe in naturalized Evolution is the origin of proteins. How did they arise? I have never seen how adaptation leads to new proteins.

    That is why Gould introduced the concept of exaptation into Evolution. Exaptation can theoretically work but so far no one is making a big case for it. There are too many probabilistic hurdles to surmount.

    The second is that for any meaningful change to happen several (sometimes hundreds or thousands) proteins are necessary. How did these proteins get together once they have been formed? Where were they in the meantime?

    ———————-
    Behe has shown that micro evolution happens using Darwinian processes but only at the genetic level. Or most new species are just the rearranging of allele distribution or the devolving or elimination of alleles. This can form new genera which as indicated above may be an illusion that something new has formed.

    Easiest example are the Galapagos finches which all can inter breed and questions just what does it mean to be a different species. But again this is trivial in the Evolution debate.

    If anything has developed beyond the genus level it is checkable by DNA analysis at the family level and above. See my link (#10) above which I continually make. I suggest using bovidae but there are plenty of other families that could be used. For example, canid and felidae would be interesting.

    Then there is the final hurdle of how doesn’t gestation happen. No one knows. It is here that something new would have to happen. It is unlikely to be in the genome and if there not in coding DNA. Yet all the theories for naturalized Evolution is coding DNA based. So are they non-sequiturs from the start?

  96. 96
    JVL says:

    Jerry: The issue is two fold. By far the most important issue for those who believe in naturalized Evolution is the origin of proteins. How did they arise? I have never seen how adaptation leads to new proteins.

    An important step for sure.

    The second is that for any meaningful change to happen several (sometimes hundreds or thousands) proteins are necessary. How did these proteins get together once they have been formed? Where were they in the meantime?

    I think there is a partial/possible answer to that . . . let me have a think.

    Behe has shown that micro evolution happens using Darwinian processes but only at the genetic level.

    Isn’t it all ‘at the genetic level’?

    Actually, I was hoping you might give an example of an unguided explanation or argument that was particularly good and couldn’t just be dismissed but I can see I didn’t really phrase the question well.

  97. 97
    jerry says:

    I was hoping you might give an example of an unguided explanation or argument that was particularly good and couldn’t just be dismissed but I can see I didn’t really phrase the question well.

    There aren’t any.

    The best there is so far is exaptation. But that falls far short. And then there is the body plan dilemma.

    Isn’t it all ‘at the genetic level’?

    Yes.

    Darwinian processes only work on a genome or the modern day science of genetics. But no one has shown how it can go past genetics which it must to build anything really new.

  98. 98
    JVL says:

    Jerry: There aren’t any.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    Darwinian processes only work on a genome or the modern day science of genetics. But no one has shown how it can go past genetics which it must to build anything really new.

    When a lifeforms is growing/maturing (in most forms from a collection of few or even one cell) as the cells replicate control genes turn on and off different functional sections which produce different proteins. So, changing the control genes can change when certain proteins are synthesised which can lead to changes in morphology. Roughly.

  99. 99
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    So presumably you think species just pop into existence at various times?

    😆 What various times? All strata have the same age Children can do this experiment and draw the corect conclusion but “smart” people are not able .

  100. 100
    JVL says:

    LtComData: What various times? All strata have the same age Children can do this experiment and draw the corect conclusion but “smart” people are not able .

    Um . . . you think all of the existing and extinct species just popped into existence at that same time? If I’ve got that wrong then please elucidate.

  101. 101
    relatd says:

    Cd at 92,

    Put another sock in it.

  102. 102
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    You think all of the existing and extinct species just popped into existence at that same time?

    Same time. Except life was engineered not “popped” from under a rock.

  103. 103
    relatd says:

    OK. Here we go. There is no such thing as atheist evolution where God pops in on occasion to make a few adjustments.

    There is God Guided Creation where God works infallibly in a process that is little defined. What I can say for certain is this: I saw two birds on a TV program. They lived in the same area. They both had highly specialized beaks. One beak was used to get nectar out of flowers, the other was used to dig grubs out of wood. It was OBVIOUS that they were both given infused knowledge. Atheist evolution would have you believe that these beaks developed in small steps over time. They would have starved to death if that was true. So atheist evolution is right out.

  104. 104
    Viola Lee says:

    Relatd writes, “There is no such thing as atheist evolution where God pops in on occasion to make a few adjustments.”

    That makes no sense. Atheists don’t believe in a God, so obviously they don’t think a God “pops in” ever. But, if you are continuing our conversation from last night, we aren’t talking about “atheist evolution”, but rather about TE.

    Question 1: do you think the Catholic theology described in the quote you posted at 56 is a defensible and reasonable theological understanding about God’s presence in the world?

    Question 2. if so, do you think it can be a foundation for understanding how God “guides evolution”: that is, how God has directed the development of life on earth since the beginning?

  105. 105
    relatd says:

    VL at 104,

    Please make up your mind. On Question 1. The words theology and theological do not apply – at all. The Catholic Church provides an accurate and true description of how God works in the development of life on earth.

    On Question 2. What I just stated is not a starting point but the whole point.

    Richard Dawkins, whose words are worshiped by some, stated that given enough time, anything is possible. That is Dawkins kicking God out of the picture and replacing the ACTUAL work of God with time and chance events, which, according to him and Biology textbooks, is all that is needed to create human beings and all living things.

  106. 106
    JVL says:

    LtComData: Same time. Except life was engineered not “popped” from under a rock.

    But if you were there at the time they would have just appeared?

  107. 107
    Viola Lee says:

    I am not interested in Dawkins at all, nor am I interested in “atheist evolution”.

    But the quote in 56 is a theological statement. Theology is “the study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions”. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.)

    And you clearly state that the quote “provides an accurate and true description of how God works in the development of life on earth.”

    Good.

    What I am saying is that the Catholic position states well what “theistic evolutionists” that I know believe. The quote is a good description of a TE perspective.

    You have said that you think TE is flawed, but the things you have said don’t accurately describe TE. Perhaps you would like to reply to my post 89?

  108. 108
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Atheist evolution would have you believe that these beaks developed in small steps over time. They would have starved to death if that was true. So atheist evolution is right out.

    They would have slowly changed their diet along with their beaks. But I’m glad to hear your perspective.

  109. 109
    relatd says:

    JVL at 108,

    Really? How do you know this? They both had infused knowledge. They did not go to bird school to learn how to use their beaks. Or to learn the difference between a tree branch containing grubs that could not be seen and a flower with nectar.

  110. 110
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    But if you were there at the time they would have just appeared?

    “Just appeared” (under the rock, from a pond,etc) happens in darwinism in reality is “just engineered” you know with body plans, functions, functional information, codes,etc…

  111. 111
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Really? How do you know this?

    I’m just saying that is the unguided evolution interpretation.

  112. 112
    JVL says:

    LtComData: “Just appeared” (under the rock, from a pond,etc) happens in darwinism in reality is “just engineered” you know with body plans, functions, functional information, codes,etc…

    Well, according to your view, if you had been around at the time when all the species were created what would you have seen happening?

  113. 113
    relatd says:

    JVL at 111,

    I just unguide my way to a new food source. Not credible.

  114. 114
    JVL says:

    Relatd: I just unguide my way to a new food source. Not credible.

    I didn’t expect you to agree, I was just mentioning it.

  115. 115
    relatd says:

    JVL at 114,

    Why bother? Unless you’re here to not saying anything of substance.

  116. 116
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Why bother? Unless you’re here to not saying anything of substance.

    Well, I asked you a question, which you answered. Then you made a statement which I thought I’d respond to just to offer my view but I had no intention of getting into an argument about it.

    You don’t have to be so confrontational; at least not all the time. Can’t we just have a conversation?

  117. 117
    jerry says:

    The changes in the Galapagos finches beak sizes over time were due to epigenetic changes caused by environmental pressures and happened rapidly.

    There were no significant changes to the genome and no permanent evolution as the beak sizes would change back. All would fluctuate back and forth for millions of years essentially leaving the same species today that migrated to the islands 2 1/2 million years ago. Source: The Grants and Michael Behe.

  118. 118
    JVL says:

    Jerry: The changes in the Galapagos finches beak sizes over time were due to epigenetic changes caused by environmental pressures and happened rapidly. There were no significant changes to the genome and no permanent evolution as the beak sizes would change back. All would fluctuate back and forth for millions of years essentially leaving the same species today that migrated to the islands 2 1/2 million years ago.

    Same with the tortoises?

  119. 119
    jerry says:

    Same with the tortoises

    Have no idea.

  120. 120
    JVL says:

    Jerry: essentially leaving the same species today that migrated to the islands 2 1/2 million years ago.

    Oh, also: so you would disagree with the modern taxonomic classifications of the Galapagos finches which includes different species and genus’s?

    Have no idea.

    About the tortoises, okay.

  121. 121
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Well, according to your view, if you had been around at the time when all the species were created what would you have seen happening?

    😆 What’s your point? If I don’t know how an advanced technology works that means that technology emerged by chance ? That’s why you don’t want to admit that life is directed by real code , real functional information?

  122. 122
    JVL says:

    LtComData: What’s your point?

    I’m just wondering . . .if there was an observer around at the time would they have seen all the known animal and plant species, now around and the extinct ones, just appear out of thin air or would they have come out of some spaceship or lab or . . . I mean we’re talking about a lot of creatures and plants all appearing at about the same time. And each species would have to have enough members to form a viable population. That’s millions if not billions of individual plants or animals. And bacteria I suppose . . . Sounds like a ginormous lab! And I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to release the lions really close to the cows. Not sure about the trilobites . . . or those really big dinosaurs!!

  123. 123
    jerry says:

    Oh, also: so you would disagree with the modern taxonomic classifications of the Galapagos finches which includes different species and genus’s?

    If they all can inner breed, what do these classifications really mean?

    I would think it would require that the concept of a species be examined closely. People should be using the same definition. For example, does anyone really think Darwin was thinking of different variants of his famous finches when he used the term species in his even more famous book?

  124. 124
    jerry says:

    For those interested, a thorough but not very long discussion of theistic evolution took place 12 years ago on UD.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/olive-branch-from-karl-giberson/

    I’m surprised it was so short. Today there would be several hundred comments all over the lot.

  125. 125
    Viola Lee says:

    That was a good article, and discussion. I don’t think we would see that level of discourse at UD these days.

  126. 126
    jerry says:

    don’t think we would see that level of discourse at UD these days

    Agree.

    Today it is more technical but vague by the ID adherents(interesting combination that produces shallowness). It drifts to whatever comes up. Mostly religion.

    Of course getting to the point produces less comments.

    Aside: one of the best most insightful commenters here was Timaeus. If not the best. He was a professor of philosophy at some university and hid his identity to protect his academic good standing. They were canceling over 10-15 years ago as Caspian well knows.

    Hope this isn’t an incentive to go off on useless repetive mini rants by some to comment. Maybe we can get back to what Behe is saying in response to Ramage and Flynn.

  127. 127
    JVL says:

    Jerry: If they all can inner breed, what do these classifications really mean?

    I tried to check on that . . . there is clear evidence that some of the ‘species’ can and are interbreeding but I’m not sure about ALL of the ‘Galapagos finches’. I guess they’re not really finches by modern taxonomic categories.

    I would think it would require that the concept of a species be examined closely. People should be using the same definition. For example, does anyone really think Darwin was thinking of different variants of his famous finches when he used the term species in his even more famous book?

    Species is a human created designation and nature is notoriously bad at abiding by human labels.

    If it could be shown that at least some of the ‘Galapagos finches’ could no longer interbreed would that change your view that they are still essential the same as when they first migrated to the islands?

  128. 128
    zweston says:

    JVL… butting in to the last comment… for the non-interbreeding finches… couldn’t it be said that they had deteriorated in ability to reproduce with a broader population instead of developed a distinct group by addition of material?

    Isn’t everything we observe just genetically breaking down? (contrary to what darwinists say of the past).

  129. 129
    JVL says:

    Zweston: butting in to the last comment… for the non-interbreeding finches… couldn’t it be said that they had deteriorated in ability to reproduce with a broader population instead of developed a distinct group by addition of material?

    It’s a distinct group either way wouldn’t you say?

    Isn’t everything we observe just genetically breaking down? (contrary to what darwinists say of the past).

    I think you’ll find that it’s accepted that sometimes ‘change’ means loss of some trait or function.

  130. 130
    jerry says:

    From what the Grants said all can inner breed.

    They won’t do it naturally because of environment factors but there is no physical/biological obstacle. The Grants claimed it would take over 30 million years before inner breeding could not occur.

  131. 131
    Viola Lee says:

    Just FYI: interbreed, not inner breed.

  132. 132
    zweston says:

    @ JVL… Every organism has distinctions… just like wolves and dogs, but is that a deletion or corruption of information or addition of information… can you name any examples where there was indisputed data that information and complexity was added to a genome via natural selection and random genetic mutations?

  133. 133
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    😆
    A Darwinist sell a turtle on ebay:
    This is the photo of the my turtle , but the price is 1 mil $ because even if looks and move like a normal turtle if given enough time that turtle can reach the speed of light.

  134. 134
    jerry says:

    interbreed, not inner breed

    Thank you.

    For those who question Evolution or support it, I suggest they all read/listen to Darwin Devolves by Michael Behe. Actually, one can start with chapter 6-9 where he gets into a lot of details of what has happened with birds and fish and bacteria.

    The book’s title is not deceiving but it is also not inviting. I actually am finding the data very interesting but was not persuaded to buy it till recently because I thought it would be a dull read. I skipped the early part of the book and plan to read it later. Might be a mistake but am enjoying the data.

    Behe claims that variation and natural selection while definitely operating are big yawns and are self limiting. Reading why now.

  135. 135
    jerry says:

    For those who want to learn about ID whether for or against, here is one of the masters explaining it.

    It’s not reading but listening which can be done in the car or while walking.

    https://chroniclesofstrength.substack.com/p/the-michael-behe-collection-conversations

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