Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Book from Cambridge defends ID. So readers write to say…

Blind Evolution?: The Nature of Humanity and the Origin of Life by [David Frost]

The book is Blind Evolution?: The Nature of Humanity and the Origin of Life (2020) by emeritus Cambridge prof David Frost: “A challenging critique of contemporary Neo-Darwinism, advocating a new balance between science and spirituality in understanding creation.”

Editorial review at Amazon:

“Devotees of Darwin and Dawkins will have to close their eyes to the evidence David Frost brilliantly amasses if they wish to hold on to their faith in blind evolution. With head and heart he makes a powerful case for the incomprehensible Creator who shares in the world’s beauty, suffering and transformation.”Rev Dr John A Jillions, author of Divine Guidance: Lessons for Today from the World of Early Christianity”Blind Evolution? is an elegant and informed apology for Christianity in the face of contemporary neo-Darwinian atheism and its best-selling prophet, Richard Dawkins. David Frost is clearly familiar with issues of the philosophy of science and with the findings of the biological sciences, and the number of famous and influential colleagues and celebrities who walk the pages of his work is impressive, including Fred Hoyle, Michael Behe, David Attenborough, and C.S. Lewis. Frost’s argument, at times forensic in character, is very personal but always well-crafted and greatly readable.” – Rev A.A. Macintosh DD, Fellow and Emeritus Dean, St John’s College, Cambridge

Of course Darwinism is nonsense. But it is profitable nonsense and easy to spout in an uncritical environment. The question of the day is, how do we get probing critiques to travel from the ivied walls to the pop science mag rack — where, it is fair to say, most writers and readers are unaware of any of the problems identified. So far as they know, Darwin brilliantly explained why men golf and women cheat and some people go to church…

ChuckDarwin, can I ask what it is (evidence or otherwise) which led you to deism? Seekers
the constant bashing of everything Darwin gets old.
Darwin made some fantastic insights. They just have nothing to do with Evolution. jerry
In my admittedly facetious post about the book du jour being hawked in this article, my only point is DI seems obsessed with getting endorsements from celebs and non-science scholars hoping to bolster its credibility. It seems childish and amateurish to me, as does a lot of the stuff published at Evolution News and Mind Matter. I have to admit that I follow these sites primarily out of a morbid sense of curiosity, but the constant bashing of everything Darwin gets old. Its kind of like watching dark comedy on Netflix... chuckdarwin
I not only do not see any conflict between deism and “Darwinism,” it appears that evolution, from physics to biology, from stars to star fish, is the way “Nature’s God” chose to roll it out. Nature’s God does not need to “oversee” his creation, or tweak it, or “fine tune” it, because it was designed to be self-sustaining. and autonomous.
You used the term there. You observe the universe and conclude that Nature's God designed it to be self-sustaining. The fact that God set the initial conditions is a design proposal. What we see in nature is the result of an intelligent plan. That's the ID proposal. Paul Davies gives a lot of support to ID - as any deist should. I wouldn't call him a mainstream voice in evolutionary biology though. Silver Asiatic
Fabulous, yet another scathing critique of evolution (and Darwin) from an English and theology professor.
If we don't know anything about Anglo-literary works of the Enlightenment through the 1900s, then we won't be able to understand Darwin. Erasmus Darwin, Charles' grandfather was a ... poet. His most influential work on evolution was a poem - one that influenced his grandson. Tracing back all the way to ancient times, one of the eartliest atomist, materialist evolutionary theologians - again, influencing Darwin - was Lucretius. His poem De rerum natura is the foundation of evolutionary theory. So, Neil Thomas' background in literature offers important expertise. He explains one of the most significant evolutionary works of the 18th century, Versuch die Metamorphose der Franzen zu erklären was written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a ... poet, playwright, novelist. Novelist Samuel Butler was an early supporter of Darwin (and then later turned against him). Wordsworth and Coleridge were significant contributors to the science of the day. At that time, what Darwin was doing was not considered science - but rather, natural philosophy. Silver Asiatic
I think I made my thoughts about intelligent design clear on post #23 on the Egnor-Dillahunty 5th installment. As to the compatibility of "Darwinism" and deism a couple observations. There actually is no such thing as "Darwinism." Evolutionary biologists don't talk that way. Just like physicists don't use the terms "Newtonsim" or "Einsteinism." Biology has advanced light years from publication of The Origin of Species. Contrary to inaccurate descriptions (perpetrated in good part by DI), natural selection is neither blind nor random, at least not in the colloquial sense. Physicist and deist Paul Davies perhaps explains it best in Cosmic Jackpot:
Notice that although variations may be random, [natural] selection is far from random, so that it is not true to say, as is sometimes quipped, that Darwinism attributes the organized complexity of the biosphere to nothing more than random chance.
I not only do not see any conflict between deism and "Darwinism," it appears that evolution, from physics to biology, from stars to star fish, is the way "Nature's God" chose to roll it out. Nature's God does not need to "oversee" his creation, or tweak it, or "fine tune" it, because it was designed to be self-sustaining. and autonomous. What we chose to do with it is our decision alone. That is the true gift of creation.... chuckdarwin
ChuckD is on record affirming the existence of "Nature's God". The Deistic supreme being is nature's God due to the creative power and being the First Cause of all created things. That idea in itself conflicts with Darwinism which proposes blind, unguided events. If there's a creator God, then nature is not governed by blind forces - they're forces created by God, and thus purposeful and directed towards ends. Trying to reconcile Darwinism and Deism is not that simple. Plus, trying to explain why God cannot and does not have any influence in the world He created is another big problem for CD to solve. Is the Omnipotent deist God lacking the power to have oversight in the world He created? Silver Asiatic
I use the term “coherent “ above. Everyone should read the last chapter of Meyer’s recent book about the God hypothesis. In it he provides the best argument against atheism I ever saw. It is by Stephen Hawkins who said after years of investigation that there is no God. What was his proof? It was his opinion but not one based on any facts. Hawkins just declared it. One of the most brilliant persons in the world could not justify his beliefs with anything. jerry
What I mean by darwinism
Darwinism is (1) variation by numerous natural processes. (2) inheritance of these variations (3) natural selection based on the suitability of the entire range of characteristics including these variations to the current environment. That is what they adhere too. And so do I. It’s just that I follow science and look at what has been discovered/observed. It’s the science of genetics. No findings have ever been made that affect the Evolution debate. Let’s Hear it for the Boy - Charles D. jerry
yet another scathing critique of evolution (and Darwin) from an English and theology professor
What’s missing is a coherent defense from a trained biologist of any expertise. (I believe ChuckDarwin has said he is a trained biologist) The dog barking in the night deduction. I am beginning to believe ChuckDarwin is an ardent defender of ID. Welcome aboard Chuck. jerry
Fabulous, yet another scathing critique of evolution (and Darwin) from an English and theology professor. Just in the last few weeks we've had Dean Koontz (who-done-it writer) endorsing Meyer's new book, Neil Thomas (German scholar) on evolution and Darwin, Norm MacDonald (stand up comedian) on evolution, Tom Wolfe (back bench novelist) on evolution and I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple other eminent celebs who've chimed in on this robust scientific debate. I'm still waiting for the Kardashians to throw in their two cents..... chuckdarwin
What I mean by darwinism is macroevolution... explains the diversity of life, universal common ancestor, etc. - Or maybe better is the mechanism of natural selection by random mutation as the vehicle to bring those things about zweston
Seversky states, "the Bible takes precedence in any conflict between science and the faith." Directly contrary to what Darwinian Atheists, such as Seversky, continually try to portray, there is no, and never has been, a conflict, and/or war, between science and Christianity. In fact modern empirical science finds its origins in Christianity. And there is in fact a strong concordance between the findings of modern science and what we would a-priorily expect from Judeo-Christian presuppositions. Whereas on the other hand, it is Darwinian Materialism, and/or Methodological Naturalism, itself that is found to be in conflict, and/or at war, with science, and which finds itself to be, time and time again, to be directly contradicted by the findings of modern science. For instance,
1. Naturalism/Materialism predicted space-time energy-matter always existed. Theism predicted space-time energy-matter were created. Big Bang cosmology now strongly indicates that time-space energy-matter had a sudden creation event approximately 14 billion years ago. 2. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the universe is a self sustaining system that is not dependent on anything else for its continued existence. Theism predicted that God upholds this universe in its continued existence. Breakthroughs in quantum mechanics reveal that this universe is dependent on a ‘non-local’, beyond space and time, cause for its continued existence. 3. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that consciousness is an ‘emergent property’ of material reality and thus should have no particularly special position within material reality. Theism predicts consciousness precedes material reality and therefore, on that presupposition, consciousness should have a ‘special’ position within material reality. Quantum Mechanics reveals that consciousness has a special, even a central, position within material reality. - 4. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe. Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time. – Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 – 2 Timothy 1:9) - 5. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and that life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind. Scientists find the universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Moreover it is found, when scrutinizing the details of physics and chemistry, that not only is the universe fine-tuned for carbon based life, but is specifically fine-tuned for intelligent life like human life (R. Collins, M. Denton).- 6. Naturalism/Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe. Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex organic life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe (G. Gonzalez; Hugh Ross). - 7. Naturalism/Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11). Geochemical evidence from the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth indicates that complex photosynthetic life has existed on earth as long as water has been on the face of earth. - 8. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the first life to be relatively simple. Theism predicted that God is the source for all life on earth. The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) - 9. Naturalism/Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse animal life to appear abruptly in the seas in God’s fifth day of creation. The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short “geologic resolution time” in the Cambrian seas. - 10. Naturalism/Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record. Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record(disparity), then rapid diversity within that group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. - 11. Naturalism/Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth – Man (our genus ‘modern homo’ as distinct from the highly controversial ‘early homo’) is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. (Tattersall; Luskin, Sanford)– 12. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that the separation of human intelligence from animal intelligence ‘is one of degree and not of kind’ (C. Darwin). Theism predicted that we are made in the ‘image of God’- Despite an ‘explosion of research’ in this area over the last four decades, human beings alone are found to ‘mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities.’ (Tattersall; Schwartz). Moreover, both biological life and the universe itself are found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis. 13. Naturalism/Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made – ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a “biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.”. - 14. Naturalism/Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth – The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) - 15. Naturalism/Materialism predicted morality is subjective and illusory. Theism predicted morality is objective and real. Morality is found to be deeply embedded in the genetic responses of humans. As well, morality is found to be deeply embedded in the structure of the universe. Embedded to the point of eliciting physiological responses in humans before humans become aware of the morally troubling situation and even prior to the event even happening. 16. Naturalism/Materialism predicted that we are merely our material bodies with no transcendent component to our being, and that we die when our material bodies die. Theism predicted that we have minds/souls that are transcendent of our bodies that live past the death of our material bodies. Transcendent, and ‘conserved’, (cannot be created or destroyed), ‘non-local’, (beyond space-time matter-energy), quantum entanglement/information, which is not reducible to matter-energy space-time, is now found in our material bodies on a massive scale (in every DNA and protein molecule). Theism compared to Naturalism - Detailed defense of all 16 predictions https://docs.google.com/document/d/15i87oT7IkCI0W0Hxg5mZ_8FP23MG_GTFrR0zvgKH9zU/edit
As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy (methodological naturalism), from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the true explanation. - In fact modern science is even very good at pointing us to Christianity as the solution to the much sought after 'theory of everything' Specifically, allowing the Agent causality of God (and of humans) ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.
Jesus Christ as the correct "Theory of Everything" - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpn2Vu8--eE
In fact, besides being at war with science, Darwinian Materialism, and/or Methodological Naturalism is also found to be at war with reality itself,
Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin). Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,, April 18, 2021 - Detailed Defense of each claim https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/philosophy/philosopher-mary-midgeley-1919-2018-on-scientism/#comment-728595
Thus, directly contrary to atheists, such as Seversky, continually trying to falsely portray Christianity as being in conflict, and/or at war, with science, the fact of the matter is that it would be hard to fathom a worldview that is more antagonistic to modern science, indeed that is more antagonistic to reality itself, than Seversky's own worldview of Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
have you ever doubted darwinism?
I have never doubted Darwinism. It was amazing insight. By Darwin. It just has nothing to do with Evolution. jerry
At least we know you read it, Bob. Tell us why we are wrong to doubt darwinism, please! And have you ever doubted darwinism? zweston
Sev @ 3... well, when the Bible continues to be proven correct archaeologically, scientifically, morally, experientially, and science keeps conforming to what the Bible says over time, don't you think that it might be a shortcut? And if it is the work of the creator, then shouldn't it hold precedent? And please don't say that faith hinders science... it isn't true. It inspires discovery and was a cause of the rise of the sciences Demons exist, miracles happen, there is no great secular explanation for the evidence of the resurrection, science keeps trying to kill God, but the philosophers start to sound the alarm when they see what happens when "God is dead" https://virtueonline.org/turning-tide-intellectual-atheism-0 Sev, I will tell you, you are always welcome back to Jesus. I know you aren't about it right now, but Luke 15 applies to you as well as all of us. The father runs to greet those who turn and seek Him! zweston
@3 That’s a pretty ignorant and biased statement The opposite can be said about science versus the Bible “ science always first not matter what” which is scientist. I mean Richard Dawkins literally proves that I’m right about that I’ve never seen him write or even attempt to try to find a happy medium he just says the Bible is bullshit He’s literally the opposite of what you were claiming in three And as a Catholic, which have a myriad of scientist in almost every field, we try to find a balance between the two all the time Now to some extent that’s not always true but that’s just how it is with every walk of human life AaronS1978
Evolutionism lost. Its adherents are just desperate and pathetic. It has been known for decades that differential accumulations of genetic changes cannot account for the diversity of life. DNA is not a miracle molecule that controls everything. DNA is just a template to make RNAs and copies of itself. That is it. That is the extent of the reach of DNA. It doesn't determine biological form. It doesn't even determine how proteins fold nor where the proteins go. Macroevolution lacks a mechanism. Universal common descent lacks credibility. ET
"...a new balance between science and spirituality in understanding creation.” usually means something approximating Christian Lysenkoism - the Bible takes precedence in any conflict between science and the faith. Seversky
I was wondering about the publisher (Jame Clarke & Co. Ltd), and was amused to see that they were founded in 1859. Bob O'H
The question of the day is, how do we get probing critiques to travel from the ivied walls to the pop science mag rack — where, it is fair to say, most writers and readers are unaware of any of the problems identified.
That is the question of the day. It requires a strategic approach, marketing, making the world safe for ID ... but then again, if people are getting fired and cancelled for using the wrong pronouns, something considerable is needed to crack through the walls of pop culture. Actually, I don't think we've yet got enough headway within the ivied walls. The reason for that is given:
Devotees of Darwin and Dawkins will have to close their eyes to the evidence David Frost brilliantly amasses if they wish to hold on to their faith in blind evolution.
They close their eyes in order to preserve their blind faith. Silver Asiatic

Leave a Reply