Intelligent Design theistic evolution

Asks Wintery Knight: Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution?

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WINTERY KNIGHT At his blog:

Here is the PR / spin definition of theistic evolution:

Evolutionary creation is “the view that all life on earth came about by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Evolution is a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes in creation.” This view, also called theistic evolution, has been around since the late nineteenth century, and BioLogos promotes it today in a variety of religious and educational settings.

And here is the no-spin definition of theistic evolution:

As Dr. Stephen Meyer explains it, the central issue dividing Bio-Logos writers from intelligent design theorists is BioLogos’s commitment to methodological naturalism (MN), which is not a scientific theory or empirical finding, but an arbitrary rule excluding non-material causation from the outset. “Unfortunately,” Meyer writes, methodological naturalism is a demanding doctrine. The rule does not say “try finding a materialistic cause but keep intelligent design in the mix of live possibilities, in light of what the evidence might show.” Rather, MN tells you that you simply must posit a material or physical cause, whatever the evidence.

What this means, according to BioLogos’s own epistemology, is that God is objectively undiscoverable and unknowable—a tenet that sits squarely at odds with Christian orthodoxy, which has for centuries held that God is clearly discernible in the natural world (e.g., Romans 1:20).

And for the record, I am an enthusiastic supporter of the standard Big Bang cosmology, and a 4.5 billion year Earth. My problem with evolution is not Bible-based, it’s science-based. If the science shows the need for intelligent causes, and I think it does, then I think that the naturalists need to adjust their assumptions and pre-suppositions to match the evidence. We have blog posts and computer science code, that’s evidence for a programmer. We have DNA and proteins and sudden origin of body plans, that’s evidence for a programmer, too. More.

We hope no one deludes himself that, in a contest of this type, orthodoxy is going to prevail.

File under: Church closers.

See also: Tyler O’Neil: Three views on origins supported by the text of the Bible

and

Faith and Science — the Confused View of the United Methodist Church

131 Replies to “Asks Wintery Knight: Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution?

  1. 1
    Allan Keith says:

    “Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution?”

    Thousands do.

  2. 2
    Nonlin.org says:

    Allan Keith,

    Just because they can’t see how illogical Darwinism is. And they fight tooth and nail when someone wants to open their eyes.

  3. 3
    Allan Keith says:

    Nonlin,

    And they fight tooth and nail when someone wants to open their eyes.

    Who’s to say that it is their eyes that need opening? After all, TE is within the ID tent.

    Can we both agree that all sides of an argument have some individuals who make the arguments emotional as opposed to rational?

  4. 4
    DonaldM says:

    WK cites Stephen Meyer’s comments that TE of the Biologos variety requires strict adherence to methodological naturalism (MN). There is nothing about science or scientific discovery that requires MN. MN is little more than full blown philosophical naturalism (PN) in disguise. I’ve said many times over the years that MN=PN and there is no getting around it. The enforcement of MN in science is arbitrary and not itself based on any actual discoveries in the natural world. It is by definition a philosophical presupposition born from PN. It presupposes that all observations in nature are explainable by natural cause and effect. This is completely arbitrary. If the evidence of nature points in the direction of actual design, then scientists ought to be free to explore that and offer intelligent cause as a viable option. MN arbitrarily tosses that out before investigation even begins. That is NOT science, but philosophy masquerading as science.

  5. 5
    ScuzzaMan says:

    I have a very jaundiced view of TE so sensitive readers should not read any further.

    I am convinced that:

    1. There is no possible reconciliation between the Christian God and Evolution.

    2. People who try to reconcile them merely demonstrate that they understand neither. Evolution requires aeons of death, disease and dismemberment. The TE-ers Christian God calls this “very good” and then goes on to lie about how and why death came into the world.

    I will go further and say that the craving for the intellectual respect of one’s enemies is a fatal flaw. Proponents of Theistic Evolution are viewed with suspicion (at best, more usually as heretics) by their Christian fellows, and with derision by their evolutionist fellows.

    And rightly so, because they’ve subjugated their intellect and principles to their desire for in-group acceptance, a flaw that renders them fundamentally unreliable as allies or worshippers.

  6. 6
    jdk says:

    scuzzaman, you write,

    Evolution requires aeons of death, disease and dismemberment. The TE-ers Christian God calls this “very good” and then goes on to lie about how and why death came into the world.

    This is usually a young-earth position. Do you feel the same way about old earth creationists or old earth ID supporters?

  7. 7
    ET says:

    “Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution?”

    Only if you deny the obvious:

    In other words, religion is compatible with modern evolutionary biology (and indeed all of modern science) if the religion is effectively indistinguishable from atheism.1


    The frequently made assertion that modern biology and the assumptions of the Judaeo-Christian tradition are fully compatible is false.2


    Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent.3

    As the creationists claim, belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.4

    ‘Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.’ 5

    Thank you for your honesty Will Provine.

    1- Academe January 1987 pp.51-52 †

    2-Evolutionary Progress (1988) p. 65 †

    3- “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life” 1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address 1 2 †

    4- No Free Will (1999) p.123

    5- Provine, W.B., Origins Research 16(1), p.9, 1994.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Allan:

    After all, TE is within the ID tent.

    You would think so, however TE’s deny that we can detect intelligent design so that puts them on the outside.

  9. 9
    johnnyb says:

    Allan –

    Regarding TE, the question as posed was whether someone can believe in God and *Darwinism*. The answer that TEs are within ID is true but misleading. If by TE you mean Darwinists, then no, TE is not within ID. If by TE you mean people who accept common descent but reject RM+NS as the operative agent for change, then yes, but that has nothing to do with this post, which is about whether it is compatible with Darwinism.

    For the record, I do believe that Darwinism is compatible in general with theism (though it fits more comfortably with deism), but, while many Christians accept it, I don’t think it logically mixes well with Christianity specifically.

  10. 10
    StephenB says:

    Johnnyb

    For the record, I do believe that Darwinism is compatible in general with theism (though it fits more comfortably with deism), but, while many Christians accept it, I don’t think it logically mixes well with Christianity specifically.

    Granting evolution for the sake of argument, how do you reconcile undirected Darwinian evolution with a theistic model that requires direction?

  11. 11
    jdk says:

    The question is “Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution?”

    This question is ambiguous because of the different meanings people attach to the adjective “Darwinian”. Among IDists and others, Darwinian has come to mean a metaphysical interpretation of evolution that is atheistic and materialistic. Of course, they can find quotes from notable advocates for evolution that do see evolution from an atheistic and materialistic perspective.

    But others see evolution from a different metaphysical perspective, so just quoting the materialists is in itself not an argument.

    Christians who accept the scientific theory of evolution are commonly called theistic evolutionists (TEs), although that term is also misleading and open to different interpretations. Most importantly, I think that various descriptions of what TE means, especially among people who object to it, are not accurate, or at least don’t accurately express the meaning of TE held by knowledgeable TEs that I know.

    Drawing on a recent post in a previous thread, let me explain.

    ===========
    TE is not just about evolution: that is why the term is misleading. TE is a much broader position about God’s presence in the world. It is the theological belief that everything, from the daily events and overall course of our personals lives to the largest-scale history of the universe, is caused and upheld by God’s presence in all the natural events that we see around us.

    Many a Christian has invoked this belief when they have avoided a catastrophic event (perhaps missed a plane that later crashed), and stated that it was God’s will, and part of God’s plan for them, that they miss that plane and live rather than catch the plane and die.

    And yet, if we examine the course of events leading up to missing the plane (perhaps an alarm clock broke, or a wreck disrupted traffic), we as human beings would see nothing but naturally-caused events.

    We do not, and cannot, see the world as God sees it. We are embedded in time and space, with abilities to see the world limited by our five senses and their extensions via various instruments. The ways in which an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God manifests his will comprehensively and simultaneously on all events at each moments is vastly beyond our comprehension, which is limited to experiencing causally connected events in time and space.

    Furthermore, what appears as chance to us is not chance to God. Again, because of the limitations of our human experience, we see contingency in which events that have no discernable causal connection to us nevertheless have major consequences in the world, such as the missed plane mentioned above.

    This is a theological perspective that applies to all og our understanding of the natural world. It is not a special consideration about evolution, but rather a perspective about evolution flowing from a broader understanding about all events in the natural world.

    To the TE, what happens via natural causes, every single moment, is a manifestation of God’s presence. Just because something has a natural cause, and perhaps includes elements that appear as chance to us, doesn’t mean that God is not involved.

    It’s not that the world isn’t designed: it’s that there is no distinction separating the design of some special things from the rest of the world’s events.

    This is my understanding of TE.

    =========

    And at the same thread, I wrote,

    He [Plantinga]does discuss the possibility that an event might appear unguided to us but still be guided by God. There’s no contradiction in that case because the event isn’t really unguided. Looking unguided and being unguided are two different properties…

    Yes, this is the TE position I am describing. Everything is guided, because the presence of God’s will is omnipresent. We, however, see with human eyes, and so we see the world flowing from one moment to another according to natural processes, which necessarily includes contingent events that we see as “chance” in respect to their consequences. We can’t see the continual and pervasive guidance of God in an empirical way, although the TE accepts that that guidance is there as a matter of faith.

    Yes, there are prominent people like Mayr who are materialists. They think they are right when they describe evolution from a materialistic perspective, but the TE perspective I am describing would say they are confusing their metaphysical position, which can’t be proven, with our more limited human perspective.

    Unfortunately, people on both sides of TE’s have come to use “Darwinism” to mean a materialistic view, which leaves TE’s in the middle: they don’t accept the materialistic metaphysics, but they don’t accept the various positions that state or imply that God has had to act in special ways in order to bring about the long history of life as we see it.

    So IDists reject TE and throw them in with the materialists, which misunderstands TE, as explained above.

    The issues are really theological: different (and unprovable) ideas about the nature of God and how his presence is manifested in the world.

    ==========

    Some additional thoughts.

    I think people can be, and TEs are, adherents to methodological naturalism (MN) without being adherents of philosophical natural (PN). MN does not equal PN. Obviously all PNs endorse MN, but not all MN’s must be, either directly or indirectly, PNs.

    MN is a considered decision to have one field of knowledge, science, limited in the types of questions it can investigate and the kind of explanations it will consider. It is not mandated by any particular metaphysics, but is recognized as a practically successful limitation that helps separate science from other types of knowledge and belief. It recognizes that many topics are outside the reach of science, including metaphysical interpretations about natural causation.

    So TEs can endorse and work within the limits of MN while doing science, or taking a naturalistic view of the world in more informal settings, and at the same time embrace their religious views about the presence of God and the pervasive manifestation of his will. Things have happened as they have because that is how God willed them to happen, manifesting that will through the continual flow of what appear to us as natural events following natural laws and processes.

    Please note: I know many of you reject many of the statements have made here. My main interest is in perhaps more accurately trying to describe what the TE position is. TEs hold a valid Christian perspective: they are not sell-outs to materialism. The arguments between TEs and Christian IDists are theological, within Christianity, not a matter of arguing who is or is not a CHristian.

    My 2 cents.

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Jack’s 2 cents isn’t worth anything. I say he owes me money for slogging through that crap.

    There isn’t a scientific theory of evolution, Jack. That is the whole problem.

    There isn’t any room for God if evolutionism is true. There isn’t any need.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Methodological Naturalism is self refuting.

    Many scientists, including many scientists who personally believe in God, erroneously believe that methodological naturalism is the required assumption for doing science:

    Methodological naturalism
    Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism

    In fact, the judge in the Dover case, who ruled against Intelligent Design being taught in schools, concluded that “Methodological naturalism is a ‘ground rule’ of science today”

    Methodological naturalism
    Excerpt: Pennock’s testimony as an expert witness[21] at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial was cited by the Judge in his Memorandum Opinion concluding that “Methodological naturalism is a ‘ground rule’ of science today”:[22]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)#Methodological_naturalism

    Yet, contrary to what many people believe, “Methodological naturalism is certainly NOT a ‘ground rule’ of science today”.

    As Karl Popper clearly illustrated, the one overriding ground rule in science. that clearly demarcates whether a theory is scientific or not. is whether the theory is falsifiable or not. In fact Popper said, “I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical.,,, is liable to turn into a dogma”

    Karl Popper
    Karl Popper equated naturalism with inductive theory of science. He rejected it based on his general critique of induction (see problem of induction), yet acknowledged its utility as means for inventing conjectures.
    “A naturalistic methodology (sometimes called an “inductive theory of science”) has its value, no doubt…. I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical. Its upholders fail to notice that whenever they believe to have discovered a fact, they have only proposed a convention. Hence the convention is liable to turn into a dogma. This criticism of the naturalistic view applies not only to its criterion of meaning, but also to its idea of science, and consequently to its idea of empirical method.”
    —?Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, (Routledge, 2002), pp. 52–53, ISBN 0-415-27844-9.
    Popper instead proposed that science should adopt a methodology based on falsifiability for demarcation, because no number of experiments can ever prove a theory, but a single experiment can contradict one. Popper holds that scientific theories are characterized by falsifiability.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)#Views

    Besides methodological naturalism ignoring falsifiability as the primary criteria, i.e. ‘ground rule’, for doing science, the main flaw with presupposing methodological naturalism as the supposed ‘ground rule’ for all of science is that agent causality is ruled out of bounds as a legitimate scientific explanation right off the bat. As Dr. Paul Nelson noted, methodological naturalism entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor.

    Do You Like SETI? Fine, Then Let’s Dump Methodological Naturalism – Paul Nelson – September 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “Epistemology — how we know — and ontology — what exists — are both affected by methodological naturalism (MN). If we say, “We cannot know that a mind caused x,” laying down an epistemological boundary defined by MN, then our ontology comprising real causes for x won’t include minds.
    MN entails an ontology in which minds are the consequence of physics, and thus, can only be placeholders for a more detailed causal account in which physics is the only (ultimate) actor. You didn’t write your email to me. Physics did, and informed (the illusion of) you of that event after the fact.
    “That’s crazy,” you reply, “I certainly did write my email.” Okay, then — to what does the pronoun “I” in that sentence refer?
    Your personal agency; your mind. Are you supernatural?,,,
    You are certainly an intelligent cause, however, and your intelligence does not collapse into physics. (If it does collapse — i.e., can be reduced without explanatory loss — we haven’t the faintest idea how, which amounts to the same thing.) To explain the effects you bring about in the world — such as your email, a real pattern — we must refer to you as a unique agent.,,,
    some feature of “intelligence” must be irreducible to physics, because otherwise we’re back to physics versus physics, and there’s nothing for SETI to look for.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90071.html

    Yet, ruling agent causality out of bounds as a legitimate explanation in science leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ
    Excerpt: Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), 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. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God.
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.

    Although the Darwinist may firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science with methodological naturalism, the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor of reality to grab on to:

    In short, Darwinists have, in their rejection of agent causality in favor of naturalism, lost any coherent basis for reality itself.

    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;

    Moreover, if anything, we understand Agent causality far better than we understand mechanical causality:

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

  14. 14

    It seems clear to me that Darwinian evolution is atheistic at its core. Thus I find it difficult to think that a person can believe in both God and Darwinian evolution.

  15. 15
    jdk says:

    re 14: did you happen to read my post (I know it’s long) at 11 explaining how TEs understand this issue. If so, are there any points that you think are incorrect about the TE position?

  16. 16
    ET says:

    TE’s say that no one can detect God’s handiwork yet they insist this is all God’s handiwork.

    They are a bunch of very confused people.

    TE’s waffle more than politicians.

  17. 17
    jdk says:

    TEs detect God’s handiwork everywhere, through faith.

    Romans 1:20 New International Version (NIV)

    20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    I don’t believe that this quote has anything to do with the flagellum, or “design detection” in science. To the believer, every moment and every aspect of the universe proclaims the handiwork of God.

    This is not confused: it is thorough, consistent Christian theology.

  18. 18
    ScuzzaMan says:

    jdk

    it depends a great deal on the particular old earther. Like TEers, not all old earthers are identical.

    I have some sympathy for the style of TEer you describe later but only a little. That sympathy doesn’t extend to agreeing with them that the two things are, in fact, compatible.

    They’re not – they’re diametrically opposed.

  19. 19
    LocalMinimum says:

    jdk @ 18:

    If they’re pushing a framework that makes the Creator superfluous, they are, in effect, denying such.

    Plenty of Christian ID folks here at UD who believe in common descent, etc. but would never identify as TEs, though they technically are. A great number of the folks publicly self-identifying as TEs will take an ignorant Darwinian assumption over a good design argument, then eat a pretzel of a theological justification rather than offer doubt against Darwin. They put YHWH in the pantheon; but, intellectually, they serve Charlie first.

    Any TE that quotes Dawkins without reserve or criticism, I’d suspect. Actually, he’s a pretty reliable flag for pseudo-intellectuals, too.

  20. 20
    jdk says:

    I would agree about Dawkins, FWIW.

    But TEs aren’t making the Creator superfluous: that is exactly the error I’m trying to describe. First, the TE’s position is about events in the material world, not in the spiritual world of the person. In fact, trust that God’s will will be done, and that God will guide people to follow and accept his inner presence, is, I am sure, as much a part of the lives of TEs as other Christians. He is certainly not being considered superfluous in that regards.

    Neither is the TE considering God superfluous in the material world: God is considered as present in all moments, upholding and guiding the world as it flows from moment to moment.

    The place where the TE disagrees with ID is that he doesn’t think we can scientifically discern events in which God’s pervasive presence in the flow of natural events (including what we see as chance events but He doesn’t) was inadequate.

    The TE accepts that our explanations that are based on our limited human experience can only go so far, but that is far different than believing the Creator is superfluous.

  21. 21
    StephenB says:

    TEs detect God’s handiwork everywhere, through faith.

    Romans 1:20 New International Version (NIV)

    No, they don’t. Romans 2:10 refers to the work of the intellect, not the work of faith. Detection is is an intellectual exercise. Acceptance is a faith exercise.

    This is not confused: it is thorough, consistent Christian theology.

    It is totally confused. The whole point of Romans 1:20 is to show that faith is not necessary to know God in his natural revelation. Faith is necessary to know God is his supernatural revelation.

  22. 22
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    The question is “Can a person believe in both God and Darwinian evolution?

    You are not addressing the issue. Johnnyb offered his opinion and I followed up with the following question:

    How does he reconcile undirected Darwinian evolution with the theistic modal that requires direction. He didn’t answer, and neither did you.

    This question (Is Darwinian evolution consistent with theism) is ambiguous because of the different meanings people attach to the adjective “Darwinian”

    There is only one meaning for Darwin’s general theory of evolution. (There is also a special theory, but we are not discussing that idea). Would you care to explain why you think there are different variations?

    Among IDists and others, Darwinian has come to mean a metaphysical interpretation of evolution that is atheistic and materialistic. Of course, they can find quotes from notable advocates for evolution that do see evolution from an atheistic and materialistic perspective.

    The only definition is the one that matters, which is the one proposed by the academy and the one found in biology textbooks, which is a random, natural mechanism, acting alone–no guidance or direction from God.

    Christians who accept the scientific theory of evolution are commonly called theistic evolutionists (TEs), although that term is also misleading and open to different interpretations.

    Very true. That is why Thestic Darwinists use both meanings at the same time to confuse the public. Yes, they say, Darwin’s mechanism, which operates without God’s help, is the “scientific theory,” and should be accepted, except that contradict themselves by saying that God directed it after all. They are totally irrational

    Most importantly, I think that various descriptions of what TE means, especially among people who object to it, are not accurate, or at least don’t accurately express the meaning of TE held by knowledgeable TEs that I know.

    Michael Behe is an example of an old-style TE who agrees that the process was designed. Ken Miller is an example of a contemporary TE who says that the process is random, and without direction. It is the latter style that is irrational and the one that ID objects to.

  23. 23
    jdk says:

    That’s a good distinction, Stephen. But Romans say that you can recognize God through all of your experience of the world. It doesn’t take knowing about the flagellum and protein folding to be convinced of God’s creative presence. Romans does not support (nor could it, given when it was written) the need to scientifically discern design.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    There is a need to scientifically discern design, Jack. It makes all the difference in the world to the investigation if something arose by necessity, chance or design.

    Do you think we would study Stonehenge the same way we currently do if it was determined to be a natural formation?

  25. 25
    ET says:

    jdk:

    TEs detect God’s handiwork everywhere, through faith.

    And Newton detected it through science. Newton, Kepler, et al., all saw science as the way to understand God’s handiwork. TE’s deny that this can be done. TEs are a confused bunch

  26. 26
    ET says:

    BTW, Jack, ID doesn’t say that we can discern God’s involvement. ID makes the claim that we can detect the presence of Intelligent Design- period

  27. 27
    StephenB says:

    He [Plantinga]does discuss the possibility that an event might appear unguided to us but still be guided by God. There’s no contradiction in that case because the event isn’t really unguided. Looking unguided and being unguided are two different properties.

    Darwin’s theory of evolution does not say that the evolutionary mechanism “appears” unguided, it says that it “is” unguided, period. That is why they call it the “science” of evolution. If it only appears unguided, then it is really guided and Darwin has left the building. This is another example of irrationality courtesy of the TE community. Plantinga is confused because he doesn’t understand the theory of evolution as it is presented by its proponents. Or, maybe he was just having a bad day.

  28. 28
    jdk says:

    Newton did not. Newton specifically, and famously said,

    I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction./

    (from Wikipedia) Newton was very religious, but he did not invoke God in any of his science.

    Likewise, Kepler considered that the laws that he discovered were there because God had made an orderly universe. That is a TE position, not an ID position.

  29. 29
    StephenB says:

    At #21, I wrote, “Romans 2:10 refers to the work of the *intellect,* not the work of faith. Detection is is an intellectual exercise. Acceptance is a faith exercise.”

    I should have written that Roman’s 2:10 applies to the exercise of *reason,* not the work of faith. Detection is an exercise in reason. Faith and reason are both intellectual exercises.

  30. 30
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    That’s a good distinction, Stephen. But Romans say that you can recognize God through all of your experience of the world. It doesn’t take knowing about the flagellum and protein folding to be convinced of God’s creative presence. Romans does not support (nor could it, given when it was written) the need to scientifically discern design.

    Let’s break it down:

    *For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:*

    It means that the Creator’s existence is made evident through his handiwork, that is, the invisible Creator is made evident by his visible creation. It is an even stronger claim than ID’s hypothesis, so the stronger claim obviously supports the weaker claim, that is, if we can detect the eternal God by observing temporal nature, then if follows that the science of ID is correct. Obviously, the observable evidence of God’s natural revelation completely nullifies the TE claim that we must take it on faith. It does not refer to “all our experience of the world.” It refers only to our experience of inferring the cause (God) from the observable effect (nature).

  31. 31
    jdk says:

    Thanks again for more clarification. I think you have explained the distinction here about Romans being about reason, not faith to me before, so maybe this time I’ll get it. 🙂

    However, I don’t agree with the rest of what you write. The TE rests his belief on the pervasive presence of God on both what his reason tells him about the observable world and what his faith tells him about the omni-everything God that is the Creator of the world. The TE would agree with Romans.

    But Romans does not support nor disavow, ID, as the idea that scientific evidence could show that some things were specifically designed, and were in a separate category, so to speak, from the whole of the rest of the world, was not even an option at the time Romans was written.

    The TE accepts that God’s creative power and will are responsible for the rainbow as well as the flagellum, but doesn’t see a reason to consider one “designed” and the other not.

  32. 32
    ET says:

    Jack- Read Newton’s Principia:

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” – Sir Isaac Newton

    “Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being, necessarily existing.”

    “This most beautiful system [The Universe] could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

    You lose, Jack

  33. 33
    ET says:

    Likewise, Kepler considered that the laws that he discovered were there because God had made an orderly universe. That is a TE position, not an ID position.

    Pure nonsense. ID’s position is that the universe displays evidence of being Intelligently Designed starting with the laws that govern it- all evidence for an Intelligent Designer.

    Read “The Privileged Planet”

  34. 34
    jdk says:

    Yes, Newton was a theist. But his science did not include God as part of any explanation. He was a TE, not an IDist.

    Sorry, Joe.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    Yes, you are sorry, Jack. Read the quotes and stop being such a slacker.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk is either ignorant or just plain lying.

    A short Schem of the true Religion – Isaac Newton
    Of Atheism
    Opposite to the first is Atheism in profession & Idolatry in practise. Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowells) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two fore leggs or two wings or two arms on the sholders & two leggs on the hipps one on either side & no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel & contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eys of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to beleive that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.
    http://www.newtonproject.ox.ac...../THEM00007

  37. 37
    jdk says:

    Again, ba, Newton is a theist, but he specifically says he does not make hypotheses about ultimate causes, including God, in his science. Newton would be classified as a TE, not an IDist.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    So just plain lying is the answer!

  39. 39
    jdk says:

    You may think I’m wrong, ba, but that’s different than lying.

    In fact, you offer this quote,

    These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to beleive that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.

    That’s the TE position.

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    A few notes:

    NEWTON’S REJECTION OF THE “NEWTONIAN WORLD VIEW”: THE ROLE OF DIVINE WILL IN NEWTON’S NATURAL PHILOSOPHY
    Abstract: The significance of Isaac Newton for the history of Christianity and science is undeniable: his professional work culminated the Scientific Revolution that saw the birth of modern science, while his private writings evidence a lifelong interest in the relationship between God and the world. Yet the typical picture of Newton as a paragon of Enlightenment deism, endorsing the idea of a remote divine clockmaker and the separation of science from religion, is badly mistaken. In fact Newton rejected both the clockwork metaphor itself and the cold mechanical universe upon which it is based. His conception of the world reflects rather a deep commitment to the constant activity of the divine will, unencumbered by the “rational” restrictions that Descartes and Leibniz placed on God, the very sorts of restrictions that later appealed to the deists of the 18th century.
    http://home.messiah.edu/~tdavis/newton.htm

    And if jdk would have remembered his history right, he would have remembered that Newton, Leibniz (and Laplace) had a disagreement about God’s role in creation. Newton was supposedly chastised by Leibniz (and Laplace) for invoking “God of the gaps”:

    Newton, Leibniz, and the Role of God in Planetary Orbits – December 2014
    Excerpt:
    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being”
    — Sir Isaac Newton. “Principia Mathematica” (1687)
    Perhaps the most spectacular early success of Isaac Newton’s theory of gravitation was its natural explanation for Johannes Kepler’s observation that the planets orbit the sun in elliptical orbits. But upon further reflection, some nagging problems emerge. The perfect elliptical orbits are only valid for an isolated planet orbiting around the sun. Gravity works on all objects, and so the other planets perturb the motion of the Earth, potentially leading to its ejection from the solar system. This problem vexed Sir Isaac, who postulated that God occasionally “reformed” the planets, perhaps by sending through a comet with just the right trajectory.
    In a famous exchange of letters, cut short only by his death in 1716, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, took Sir Isaac to task for his view. He objected that:
    “if God had to remedy the defects of His creation, this was surely to demean his craftsmanship.”1
    And moreover that:
    “..when God works miracles, he does it not to meet the needs of nature but the needs of grace. Anyone who thinks differently must have a very mean notion of the wisdom and power of God.”2
    In other words, the regular sustaining activity of God, as evidenced by natural laws, should be sufficient to explain the regular behavior of the solar system, without the need for additional ad-hoc interventions. Making it right the first time is more glorious than having to fix it later. Moreover, when God deviates from his regular sustaining activity to perform miracles, he does so for soteriological reasons, not to repair nature.,,,
    1. 1. John Hedley Brooke, Science and Religion, CUP, Cambridge (1991), p147.
    2. From letter 1 point 4 (Nov 1715). The full correspondence can be found online.
    https://biologos.org/blogs/archive/addressing-christian-concerns-about-the-implications-of-biologos-science-part-1

    Yet, although Newton held God to be active in creation and not a distant clock-maker, the preceding account of Newton is a bit of Whig history:

    Here is an interesting article about the Newton-Leibniz-Laplace controversy that shows Newton’s ‘God of the gaps’ controversy is not nearly as cut and dried as some atheists and/or Theistic Evolutionists have tried to make it out to be:

    a) Newton did develop perturbation theory for the orbits (and actually applied it to the moon), so it is false that God belief prevented him from attempting to solve the problem.
    b) the math was not “crumbs” for Newton, since Laplace had worked on foundations laid by some of the most brilliant mathematicians of the century (Euler, Lagrange, Clairaut), some of whom also failed to solve the very same problem Newton was working on, and one of these, Euler is regarded as the greatest mathematician of all time!
    c) Laplace did not really solve the problem in the end, but only for first degree approximations, but Haret showed that orbits are not absolutely stable using third degree approximations.
    d) Finally, and most ironically perhaps, it is not clear that Laplace was motivated by atheism to solve this problem, Laplace cites with approval Leibniz’s criticism of Newton’s invocation of divine intervention to restore order to the Solar System: “This is to have very narrow ideas about the wisdom and the power of God.”, to them, it would count as evidence against intelligent design if God had to intervene to prevent the solar system from collapsing. So intelligent design could just as easily be a motivation to prove the stability of the solar system.
    (of note: original article modified since originally accessed)
    https://letterstonature.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/neil-degrasse-tyson-on-newton-part-1/
    Laplace quoting Leibniz favorably
    https://books.google.com/books?id=oLtHAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73

    As to “Making it right the first time”, I hold that both Newton and Leibniz (and even Laplace) would be very pleased by what modern science has now revealed about the wisdom and power of God in “Making it right the first time”:

    “You might also think that these disparate bodies are scattered across the solar system without rhyme or reason. But move any piece of the solar system today, or try to add anything more, and the whole construction would be thrown fatally out of kilter. So how exactly did this delicate architecture come to be?”
    R. Webb – Unknown solar system 1: How was the solar system built? – New Scientist – 2009

    Is the Solar System Stable? By Scott Tremaine – 2011
    Excerpt: So what are the results? Most of the calculations agree that eight billion years from now, just before the Sun swallows the inner planets and incinerates the outer ones, all of the planets will still be in orbits very similar to their present ones. In this limited sense, the solar system is stable. However, a closer look at the orbit histories reveals that the story is more nuanced. After a few tens of millions of years, calculations using slightly different parameters (e.g., different planetary masses or initial positions within the small ranges allowed by current observations) or different numerical algorithms begin to diverge at an alarming rate. More precisely, the growth of small differences changes from linear to exponential:,,,
    As an example, shifting your pencil from one side of your desk to the other today could change the gravitational forces on Jupiter enough to shift its position from one side of the Sun to the other a billion years from now. The unpredictability of the solar system over very long times is of course ironic since this was the prototypical system that inspired Laplacian determinism.
    Fortunately, most of this unpredictability is in the orbital phases of the planets, not the shapes and sizes of their orbits, so the chaotic nature of the solar system does not normally lead to collisions between planets. However, the presence of chaos implies that we can only study the long-term fate of the solar system in a statistical sense, by launching in our computers an armada of solar systems with slightly different parameters at the present time—typically, each planet is shifted by a random amount of about a millimeter—and following their evolution. When this is done, it turns out that in about 1 percent of these systems, Mercury’s orbit becomes sufficiently eccentric so that it collides with Venus before the death of the Sun. Thus, the answer to the question of the stability of the solar system—more precisely, will all the planets survive until the death of the Sun—is neither “yes” nor “no” but “yes, with 99 percent probability.”
    https://www.ias.edu/about/publications/ias-letter/articles/2011-summer/solar-system-tremaine

    Research now establishes that every planet in our solar system must possess exactly the masses and orbits that they do for advanced life to be possible on Earth. No other known planetary system comes anywhere close to having the features to make advanced life possible. We live not only on a miraculously “rare” Earth but also a miraculously “rare” planetary system. For details and documentation, see my latest blog post. – Hugh Ross – June 2017
    http://www.reasons.org/blogs/t.....ary-system

    And that jdk is what you call making it right the first time!

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, advances in quantum mechanics further proves that God is not a distant watchmaker

    For anybody that wants to ‘get into the weeds’ of “occasionalist idealism”, I recommend Dr. Gordon’s video and article on the subject:

    The Incompatibility of Physicalism with Physics: A Conversation with Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk-UO81HmO4

    Divine Action and the World of Science: What Cosmology and Quantum Physics Teach Us about the Role of Providence in Nature – Bruce L. Gordon – 2017
    Excerpt page 295:,, our experience can be seen to be best explained by an occasionalist idealism of the sort advocated by George Berkeley (1685-1753) or Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). In the metaphysical context of this kind of theistic immaterialism, the vera causa that brings coherent closure to the phenomenological reality we inhabit is always and only agent causation. The necessity of causal sufficiency is met by divine action, for as Plantinga emphasizes:
    [T]he connection between God’s willing that there be light and there being light is necessary in the broadly logical sense: it is necessary in that sense that if God wills that p, p occurs. Insofar as we have a grasp of necessity (and we do have a grasp of necessity), we also have a grasp of causality when it is divine causality that is at issue. I take it this is a point in favor of occasionalism, and in fact it constitutes a very powerful advantage of occasionalism. 118
    http://jbtsonline.org/wp-conte.....ressed.pdf

    George Berkeley’s (18th-century Anglo-Irish bishop and philosopher) primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called “immaterialism” (later referred to as “subjective idealism” by others). This theory denies the existence of material substance and instead contends that familiar objects like tables and chairs are only ideas in the minds of perceivers and, as a result, cannot exist without being perceived.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Berkeley
    George Berkeley,,,, A convinced adherent of Christianity, Berkeley believed God to be present as an immediate cause of all our experiences.,,,
    Berkeley believed that God is not the distant engineer of Newtonian machinery,,,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Berkeley#Theology

    Ironically, Berkeley University itself is named after this 18th-century Anglo-Irish bishop and philosopher

    Moreover, the Copernican principle, i.e. the principle of mediocrity, has now been overturned by both quantum mechanics and general relativity (as is shown starting at the 13:30 minute mark of the following video):

    Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” – 13:30 minute mark – video
    https://youtu.be/NziDraiPiOw?t=805
    Excerpt: Even individual people, as the following article makes clear, can be considered to be central in the universe according to the four-dimensional space-time of General Relativity,,,

    You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016
    Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere.
    The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe.
    Here’s another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We’re looking at the light from stars that’s traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we’re seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened.
    But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It’s sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates.
    But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes.
    https://mic.com/articles/144214/you-technically-are-the-center-of-the-universe-thanks-to-a-wacky-physics-quirk

    Whereas, on the other hand, in Quantum Mechanics it is the measurement itself that gives each observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe. As the following article states, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”,,,

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    Richard Conn Henry, who is Professor of Physics at John Hopkins University, states “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.”

    “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial, and have fears and agonies that are very similar to the fears and agonies that Copernicus and Galileo went through with their perturbations of society.”
    Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/quantum.enigma.html

    Thus, contrary to popular belief, humans are not nearly as insignificant in this universe as many people, including many Christians, have been falsely led to believe by the Copernican principle.

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Verses:

    Hebrews 4:13
    “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.”

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

  42. 42
    jdk says:

    ba, you accused me of lying.

    I pointed out that I disagree with you, which is very different than lying, and in fact used a quote that you posted to support my argument.

    Can you explain why you think I am lying, as opposed to thinking I am wrong?

    I f not, would you retract your accusation?

  43. 43
    Origenes says:

    jdk @39

    jdk: That’s the TE position.

    What is? That “there is a being who made all things”?

    You do know that TE holds that life forms came about by a random process — instead of intelligent design — don’t you? You do know that TE argues against intelligent design, right?

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    I proved that you were lying about Newton in post 40. I’ll let Mr. Arrington arbitrate the matter if you disagree and will stand by his judgement of who to ban.

  45. 45
    jdk says:

    re 44: No ba, you didn’t “prove that I was lying”. You just provided what you considered evidence for your position.

    It appears your attitude seems to be you are right, and when you state things everyone else should know that you are right, so if someone disagrees with you, they are lying (because you know that they really know that you are right.)

    That’s obviously untenable.

    I don’t know whether banning is in order, but I stand by my statement that I disagree with you, but am not lying, and I ask you to retract your accusation.

    If you want Barry to step in and offer his thoughts, that’s fine with me.

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    Okie Dokie, especially after being corrected about Newton in post 40, I stand by my observation that you are lying about Newton. Arbitration requested.

  47. 47
    Origenes says:

    jdk: Newton is a theist, but he specifically says he does not make hypotheses about ultimate causes, including God, in his science.

    Where does Newton say this? I cannot find it. Reference please.

    How do you explain that, in the first edition of the ‘Principia’, Book III, Newton concludes, when he observes that the smallest and densest planets are nearest to the sun, that …

    …“God placed the planets at different distances from the sun so that each one might, according to the degree of its density, enjoy a greater or smaller amount of heat from the sun”.

  48. 48
    jdk says:

    from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypotheses_non_fingo

    Hypotheses non fingo (Latin for “I feign no hypotheses”, “I frame no hypotheses”, or “I contrive no hypotheses”) is a famous phrase used by Isaac Newton in an essay, “General Scholium”, which was appended to the second (1713) edition of the Principia.

    Here is a modern translation (published 1999) of the passage containing this famous remark:

    I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction.[1]

    [1] Isaac Newton (1726). Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, General Scholium. Third edition, page 943 of I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman’s 1999 translation, University of California Press ISBN 0-520-08817-4, 974 pages.

  49. 49
    ET says:

    JDK:

    Again, ba, Newton is a theist, but he specifically says he does not make hypotheses about ultimate causes, including God, in his science.

    You have issues, jack. the point was that Newton used science as a way to understand God’s handiwork

    Newton would be classified as a TE, not an IDist.

    Wrong again. Read the quotes- Newton was definitely an IDist

  50. 50
    jdk says:

    Also, re 47:

    From “The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century
    edited by James A. Harris”

    The only hint of such an argument in the first edition of the Principia is to be found in Book 3, proposition 8, corallary 5: ‘God placed the planets at different distances from the sun so that each one might, according to the degree of its density, enjoy a greater or smaller amount of heat from the sun’. (Newton, 1999: 814ff) This is the only mention of God in the first edition of the Principia. The passage was reworded in the second edition and the mention of God was dropped.[my emphasis]

  51. 51
    Origenes says:

    The General Scholium Newton’s agendas in natural philosophyand theology come together in the General Scholium, which he added to the second edition of the Principia in 1713. This tightly-written … From there he moves on to discuss the structure of the solar system and the movement of bodies in the solar system without resistance according to the law of gravity. He then returns to one of the arguments from design he raised in his letters to Bentley, …, Newton proclaims that “this most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could not have arisen without the design and dominion of an intelligent and powerful being”. For Newton both the initial design of an intelligent God and the dominion of a powerful Being are required for the universe he observed. …His very next statement makes an additional point: “And if the fixed stars are the centers of similar systems, they will all be constructed according to a similar design and subject to the dominion of One, especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature as the light of the sun, and all the systems send light into all the others”. For Newton there is a direct relationship between the unity of God and the unity of creation. …
    At this point Newton launches into a majestic description of the God he found in Nature and Scripture. This Being, Newton begins, “rules all things, not as the world soul but as the lord of all. And because of his dominion he is called Lord God Pantokrator”. Then follows an account of God’s eternity and omnipresence that is shot through with biblical language. Newton’s God is sovereign over time and space. This twofold sovereignty, Newton suggests, ultimately underpins all things in time and space: “All the diversity of created things, each in its place and time, could only have arisen from the ideas and will of a necessarily existing being”. … At the end of the explicitly theological section of the General Scholium Newton writes: “This concludes the discussion of God, and to treat of God from phenomena is certainly a part of experimental philosophy” (changed to “natural philosophy” in the 1726 third edition of the Principia). Thus for Newton discussions about God and design are not to be kept separate from natural philosophy, but rather are integral to it.

    [Snobelen, source – pdf]

  52. 52
    ET says:

    Sir Isaac Newton used science as a way of understanding God’s handiwork.

    TE’s do not.

    The quotes provided in 32 are exactly what we would expect to see from an IDist and not a TE.

  53. 53
    LocalMinimum says:

    jdk @ 20:

    I get your point. I find myself largely incompatible with popular notions of “spirituality”, so I’ll just let those implications rest.

    ID, of course, cannot point directly to YHWH; the Bible has to be both sufficiently anomalous and consistent to point to Him independently; and, as I expect it does, such a concession wouldn’t be entirely illogical if Darwin were ultimately vindicated.

    However, I find it unnecessary, and StephenB and ET’s positions far more parsimonious and consistent with the text.

  54. 54
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    But Romans does not support nor disavow, ID, as the idea that scientific evidence could show that some things were specifically designed, and were in a separate category, so to speak, from the whole of the rest of the world, was not even an option at the time Romans was written.

    Romans does not confirm ID’s scientific hypothesis, but it does confirm the classical philosophical arguments for God’s existence, which are consistent with the ID hypothesis, though not identical with it.

    Romans doesn’t negate the ID position as it does the TE position. Thus, the ID position is more in keeping with Romans 1:20 than the TE position, which literally denies that God speaks through nature. ID agrees that nature speaks of a designer, but not necessarily the Creator God. Thus, it is close, though not identical, to the arguments in Romans 1:20.

    The TE accepts that God’s creative power and will are responsible for the rainbow as well as the flagellum, but doesn’t see a reason to consider one “designed” and the other not.

    Here is the problem: TEs say that God’s creative power is responsible for the flagellum, but they also say that Darwion’s naturalistic mechanism, acting alone and without God’s creative power, is responsible for the flagellum. They cannot have it both ways.

    If God used an evolutionary process to bring the flagellum into existence, it follows that the evolutionary process that was used is designed (or programmed, or directed, or guided, or whatever) If God’s creative power is responsible for the flagellum, (granting for the sake of argument that evolution is true), then evolution is being directed. If evolution is not directed (Darwin), then God’s creative power is not in play.

  55. 55
    jdk says:

    Stephen, you continue to make the conflation between evolution as understood by a materialist and evolution as understood by a TE.

    You write,

    but they also say that Darwion’s naturalistic mechanism, acting alone and without God’s creative power

    No, that’s exactly what TEs don’t believe. They believe that God’s creative power is present in every moment. As to evolution, I’ll say again, what appears as chance to us is not chance to God. The TE recognizes this distinction.

    FWIW, my vacation is over, and real life starts up again, so I’m signing off these discussions, which have been interesting and, with one exception, civil, so thanks.

    One last quote, from a TE friend, which makes my point:

    One commonly held perspective that tends to reinforce a conflict view of science and faith is that God’s action or involvement is confined to those events which lack a scientific explanation. Meaningful divine action is equated with breaks in chains of cause-and-effect processes. This view has been called a “God-of-the-gaps” theology. God’s creative action is seen only, or primarily, in the gaps of human knowledge where scientific description fails. With this perspective, each advance of scientific description results in a corresponding reduction in the realm of divine action. Conflict between science and faith is thus assured. However, this is a totally unnecessary state of affairs. God’s creative activity is clearly identified in the Bible as including natural processes, including what we call chance or random events. According to scripture, God is providentially active in all natural processes, and all of creation declares the glory of God. The evidence for God’s presence in creation, for the existence of a creator God, is declared to be precisely those everyday “natural events” experienced by us all. Thus Christians should not fear causal explanations. Complete scientific descriptions of events or processes should pose no threat to Christian theism. Rather, each new advance in our scientific understanding can be met with excitement and praise at the revelation of God’s creative hand. [my emphasis]

  56. 56
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    The TE rests his belief on the pervasive presence of God on both what his reason tells him about the observable world and what his faith tells him about the omni-everything God that is the Creator of the world. The TE would agree with Romans.

    How can a TE, who relies solely on faith, agree that God’s existence can be discovered through the use of reason?

  57. 57
    ET says:

    One commonly held perspective that tends to reinforce a conflict view of science and faith is that God’s action or involvement is confined to those events which lack a scientific explanation.

    There is quite a bit of that to go around but that doesn’t make it so. For example there is a scientific explanation for how cells divide but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t intelligently designed.

  58. 58
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Stephen, you continue to make the conflation between evolution as understood by a materialist and evolution as understood by a TE.

    No, I am not conflating anything. The TE’s understanding of evolution’s *mechanism* is exactly the same as the materialist’s.

    No, that’s exactly what TEs don’t believe. They believe that God’s creative power is present in every moment.

    As I explained, they believe in two contradictory positions. God guided evolution and God didn’t guide evolution. They are not rational

    <blockquoAs to evolution, I’ll say again, what appears as chance to us is not chance to God. The TE recognizes this distinction.

    As I said above, either evolution's MECHANISM is driven by chance (Darwin) or is it driven by God's creative power (design). It cannot be both at the same time. Darwin's mechanism allows only for accidental outcomes. Guided evolution allows for intended outcomes. Evolution's outcome cannot be both intended and accidental. I don't understand why this point is so hard to grasp.

    One last quote, from a TE friend, which makes my point:

    One commonly held perspective that tends to reinforce a conflict view of science and faith is that God’s action or involvement is confined to those events which lack a scientific explanation. Meaningful divine action is equated with breaks in chains of cause-and-effect processes. This view has been called a “God-of-the-gaps” theology. God’s creative action is seen only, or primarily, in the gaps of human knowledge where scientific description fails. With this perspective, each advance of scientific description results in a corresponding reduction in the realm of divine action. Conflict between science and faith is thus assured. However, this is a totally unnecessary state of affairs. God’s creative activity is clearly identified in the Bible as including natural processes, including what we call chance or random events. According to scripture, God is providentially active in all natural processes, and all of creation declares the glory of God. The evidence for God’s presence in creation, for the existence of a creator God, is declared to be precisely those everyday “natural events” experienced by us all. Thus Christians should not fear causal explanations. Complete scientific descriptions of events or processes should pose no threat to Christian theism. Rather, each new advance in our scientific understanding can be met with excitement and praise at the revelation of God’s creative hand. [my emphasis]

    All this is irrelevant to the so-called “science” of evolution, which TEs claim to accept. This issue is the mechanism. Does it work to achieve the outcome intended by the creator (guided evolution) or does it produce an accidental outcome that was not necessarily expected (unguided Darwinian evolution). It can’t be both at the same time, yet the TEs try to make it so. Again, I don’t know why this point is so hard to grasp.

  59. 59
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    As to evolution, I’ll say again, what appears as chance to us is not chance to God. The TE recognizes this distinction.

    Darwinian evolution, which TEs accept, says that Evolution IS, not SEEMS, random. Again, TEs try to have it both ways. When they call on Darwin, they say that the process is random; when they call on God, they say it only seems that way.

  60. 60
    hnorman5 says:

    The question in the title asks whether a person can believe in God and Darwinian evolution. A more appropriate question would be “should a person believe in God and Darwinian evolution” or “is it necessary for the person who believes in God to believe in Darwinian evolution?” The only appropriate motivation for a theist to accept Darwinian evolution would be if it has been established as true whether or not there is a God. And Darwinian evolution’s only support is that it’s the only atheistical option on the table.

    The question as stated would encourage us to ask whether God can do something that would appear paradoxical to our understanding if He particularly wanted to. Maybe – but why should we take refuge in such an ideology when the evidence for design is right before us?

  61. 61
    Barry Arrington says:

    I have been asked to arbitrate between jdk and BA77. jdk asserts that Newton was a sort of TE who never invoked God’s active continual causal influence in the universe and instead insisted that secondary causes accounted for all natural phenomena. Jdk is obviously wrong, and BA77 has attempted to set him straight. But jdk continues to insist on his position even after BA77 and others have provided overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The issue is this: BA77 says that when jdk clings to his hopelessly untenable position, he must be lying. Jdk says he is merely disagreeing, not lying, and insists that BA77 withdraw his claim.

    As for the underlying issue, no reasonable person can claim that Newton did not believe in God’s active and continual intervention in the world. Indeed, Newton’s suggestion that God from time to time tuned up the planets’ orbits in order to balance out all of the perturbations is probably the most famous example in the history of the world of god-of-the-gaps thinking. In light of that, jdk’s assertion and insistence on maintaining it are astonishing.

    When someone such as jdk continues to insist on a position after being corrected by overwhelming evidence to the contrary, what are we to do? Can we entertain the position that they are merely mistaken, or are we compelled to conclude they are lying? I have pondered this question from time to time. On the one hand, it is certainly possible that instead of lying jdk is just really really stupid and therefore incapable of grasping the implications of the evidence. I suppose it is possible that after being shown that he is spectacularly wrong about Newton, he is incapable of understanding. On the other hand, it is difficult to credit the argument that anyone is really that stupid. No reasonable person can continue to maintain jdk’s views on the matter in light of the evidence; therefore, the only viable conclusion is that he is rejecting the evidence in bad faith, i.e., lying.

    So which is it? Is jdk really really stupid or a liar? I cannot delve into jdk’s heart of hearts and know the answer definitively. But my best guess is no one is that stupid. He is denying a conclusion absolutely compelled by the evidence in bad faith, which is the moral equivalent of lying.

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Mr. Arrington. That was a nuanced and fair arbitration that I, which should be no surprise since it went in my favor, hold to be extremely judicious.

    But to go further into exactly why I feel this is so important. Atheists have been, through deception, trying to literally steal science from Christianity since at least the second half of the nineteenth century.

    James K. A. Smith on The Territories of Science and Religion – July 2015
    Excerpt: There is no perennial conflict between “science” and “religion” because the phenomena didn’t exist to war with one another before the 17th century. But they do exist now, and if there is a conflict between them (now) it’s because “science” — the myth-making “science” invoked by “ideological atheists” — isn’t content to describe the territory; it’s after your heart. Thus Harrison closes by suggesting these “skirmishes” are less conflicts between science and religion and more like “theological controversies waged by means of science.”
    https://lareviewofbooks.org/review/a-therapeutic-cartography

    The Two Guys to Blame for the Myth of Constant Warfare between Religion and Science – February 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Timothy Larsen, a Christian historian who specializes in the nineteenth century, notes:
    The so-called “war” between faith and learning, specifically between orthodox Christian theology and science, was manufactured during the second half of the nineteenth century. It is a construct that was created for polemical purposes.
    No one deserves more blame for this stubborn myth than these two men:
    Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918), the founding president of Cornell University, and
    John William Draper (1811-1882), professor of chemistry at the University of New York.
    http://www.thegospelcoalition......d-science/

    In the following article, ‘Why religion is not going away and science will not destroy it’, Peter Harrison notes that the warfare thesis between science and religion is wrong. Specifically he stated, “The conflict model of science and religion offered a mistaken view of the past and, when combined with expectations of secularisation, led to a flawed vision of the future.”

    Why religion is not going away and science will not destroy it – Peter Harrison – 2017
    Excerpt: The 19th century also witnessed the inception of the ‘conflict model’ of science and religion. This was the view that history can be understood in terms of a ‘conflict between two epochs in the evolution of human thought – the theological and the scientific’. This description comes from Andrew Dickson White’s influential A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896), the title of which nicely encapsulates its author’s general theory. White’s work, as well as John William Draper’s earlier History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (1874), firmly established the conflict thesis as the default way of thinking about the historical relations between science and religion. Both works were translated into multiple languages. Draper’s History went through more than 50 printings in the US alone, was translated into 20 languages and, notably, became a bestseller in the late Ottoman empire, where it informed Atatürk’s understanding that progress meant science superseding religion.,,,
    Nor, despite its popular persistence, do most historians of science support the idea of an enduring conflict between science and religion. Renowned collisions, such as the Galileo affair, turned on politics and personalities, not just science and religion. Darwin had significant religious supporters and scientific detractors, as well as vice versa. Many other alleged instances of science-religion conflict have now been exposed as pure inventions. In fact, contrary to conflict, the historical norm has more often been one of mutual support between science and religion. In its formative years in the 17th century, modern science relied on religious legitimation. During the 18th and 19th centuries, natural theology helped to popularise science.
    The conflict model of science and religion offered a mistaken view of the past and, when combined with expectations of secularisation, led to a flawed vision of the future. Secularisation theory failed at both description and prediction. The real question is why we continue to encounter proponents of science-religion conflict. Many are prominent scientists. It would be superfluous to rehearse Richard Dawkins’s musings on this topic, but he is by no means a solitary voice. Stephen Hawking thinks that ‘science will win because it works’; Sam Harris has declared that ‘science must destroy religion’; Stephen Weinberg thinks that science has weakened religious certitude; Colin Blakemore predicts that science will eventually make religion unnecessary. Historical evidence simply does not support such contentions. Indeed, it suggests that they are misguided.
    https://aeon.co/ideas/why-religion-is-not-going-away-and-science-will-not-destroy-it

    And in the following articles, another atheist scholar of medieval history (Tim O’Neill), reveals that secular humanists have tried for several centuries now, because of their bias against Christianity, to rewrite history by characterizing the middle ages, where Christianity had come to dominate Europe, as ‘dark’ and backward. Where “the Renaissance” and specifically the enlightenment supposedly saved us from the dark ages of Christianity

    Why Are the Middle Ages Often Characterized as Dark or Less Civilized? – Tim O’Neill, M.A. in medieval literature and has studied most aspects of the medieval period for many years:
    Excerpt: The idea of the whole Middle Ages as a “dark age” therefore actually comes from the early modern Renaissance and humanist movements and their denigration of their immediate forebears and idolization and idealization of the Greeks and Romans. Thus, the period between the Romans and this idealization in the early modern era became called the medium aevum—the “ages in the middle,” or the Middle Ages. They became traditionally characterized as a backward step, where art became “primitive” (because only realistic art could be “good” art), architecture was “barbaric” or “gothic,” and innovation was stagnant.
    These false ideas are still current partly because historians have only begun to revise our understanding of the Middle Ages quite recently and this is taking some time to seep into popular consciousness. But the prejudice against the Middle Ages is also driven by some strong cultural currents in our own time. Those with an animus against Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular like to cling to the old idea of the Middle Ages as a “dark age” because it suits their preconceptions about religion and forms a neat little fable where modernity is “good” and the medieval period is “bad.” Historians avoid these simplistic value judgments and reject the assumptions on which they are made, but simple pseudo historical fairy tales are hard to budge.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/quo....._less.html

    “THE DARK AGES” – POPERY, PERIODISATION AND PEJORATIVES – Tim O’Neill – 2016
    Excerpt: The concept of “the Dark Ages” is central to several key elements in New Atheist Bad History. One of the primary myths most beloved by many New Atheists is the one whereby Christianity violently suppressed ancient Greco-Roman learning, destroyed an ancient intellectual culture based on pure reason and retarded a nascent scientific and technological revolution, thus plunging Europe into a one thousand year “dark age” which was only relieved by the glorious dawn of “the Renaissance”. Like most New Atheist Bad History, it’s a commonly held and popularly believed set of ideas that has its origin in polemicists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but which has been rejected by more recent historians. But its New Atheist adherents don’t like to hear that last part and get very agitated when they do.,,,,,
    Concluding paragraph
    It should be clear by now that value-laden terms like “dark ages” and “Renaissance” belong to a period of dusty historiography that modern scholarship has long since outgrown. The very early medieval centuries certainly did see fragmentation, technology loss and the break down of long distance trade and an acceleration of the ongoing collapse of learning in western Europe. But to characterise the entire medieval period as a “dark age” because of this is clearly absurd. And while the nineteenth century idolisation of Classical art meant that they were inevitably going to see the art and architecture movement we call “the Renaissance” as “superior” to more stylised and native medieval forms, for anyone post-Picasso or Le Corbusier to do so is fairly philistinic. Anyone with even a passing grasp of history now understands that the Medieval Period was a long and diverse one thousand year span of remarkable change and development, in which Europe went from being a backwater that suffered most from the collapse of the Western Empire, to an economic, technical and military powerhouse that was on the brink of a global expansion.
    https://historyforatheists.com/2016/11/the-dark-ages-popery-periodisation-and-pejoratives/

    In fact, the false revisionist history of “the Renaissance” and the enlightenment saving us from the dark ages of Christianity is apparently so entrenched in left wing academia that President Obama, in his farewell address, falsely claimed that enlightenment thinking guided the American founders instead of Christian and Biblical principles guiding them as they actually did.

    In His Farewell Address, President Obama Misrepresented the American Founding – January 11, 2017
    Excerpt: “One thing he said about the American founding was especially troubling. Mr. Obama traced “the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem-solving that guided our Founders” to the Enlightenment. It was that movement, which he defined as “a faith in reason, and enterprise, and the primacy of right over might, that allowed us to resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the Great Depression” and build a world order based on “the rule of law, human rights, freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, and an independent press.”
    This spin is common in the leftist canon, but it is historical revisionism of the highest rank.,,,
    The wisdom of the Bible and the clarity of natural law gave the founding generation the guidance they needed to frame a government suitable for an imperfectible but dignified humanity characterized by moral self-restraint and “a firm reliance on Divine Providence.”
    The shout of defiance in the President’s farewell address, that man can be made perfect through human cooperation with the “arc of history,” runs counter to the philosophy of the founding of our country and the text of the Constitution.”
    https://stream.org/in-his-farewell-address-president-obama/

    A more realistic historical account of what ‘enlightenment’ thinking actually led to can be found in, not in America’s founding, but in the The French Revolution and it’s Reign of Terror which launched the first modern genocide aimed at Christians and where 40,000 people were beheaded and 300,000 were butchered.

    Solzhenitsyn Mourned Bastille Day. So Should All Christians.
    The French Revolution invented radical nationalism and socialism, and launched the first modern genocide, aimed at Christians.
    https://stream.org/solzhenitsyn-mourned-bastille-day/

    How atheism led to horrors of French Revolution 01/10/2016
    Bill Federer remembers words of wisdom from 19th century Yale president Timothy Dwight IV
    Excerpt: On July 4, 1798, Timothy Dwight gave an address in New Haven titled “The Duty of Americans at the Present Crisis.” In this address, he explained how Voltaire’s atheism inspired the French Revolution and it’s Reign of Terror, 1793-1794, where 40,000 people were beheaded and 300,000 were butchered in the Vendée:
    “About the year 1728, Voltaire, so celebrated for his wit and brilliancy and not less distinguished for his hatred of Christianity and his abandonment of principle, formed a systematical design to destroy Christianity and to introduce in its stead a general diffusion of irreligion and atheism.”
    http://www.wnd.com/2016/01/how.....KBO9Ttb.99

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    Besides the rampant “enlightenment” deception from atheists in academia, the claim that ‘methodological naturalism’ should be the ‘ground rule’ for science is another major attempted deception on the part of atheists in their effort to steal science away from its Christian moorings.

    Many scientists, including many scientists who personally believe in God, erroneously believe that methodological naturalism is the required assumption for doing science:

    Methodological naturalism
    Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Methodological_naturalism

    In fact, the judge in the Dover case, who ruled against Intelligent Design being taught in schools, concluded that “Methodological naturalism is a ‘ground rule’ of science today”

    Methodological naturalism
    Excerpt: Pennock’s testimony as an expert witness[21] at the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial was cited by the Judge in his Memorandum Opinion concluding that “Methodological naturalism is a ‘ground rule’ of science today”:[22]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)#Methodological_naturalism

    Yet, contrary to what many people believe, “Methodological naturalism is certainly NOT a ‘ground rule’ of science today”.
    As Karl Popper clearly illustrated, the one ground rule in science that clearly demarcates whether a theory is scientific or not is whether the theory is falsifiable or not. In fact Popper said, “I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical.,,, is liable to turn into a dogma”

    Karl Popper
    Karl Popper equated naturalism with inductive theory of science. He rejected it based on his general critique of induction (see problem of induction), yet acknowledged its utility as means for inventing conjectures.
    “A naturalistic methodology (sometimes called an “inductive theory of science”) has its value, no doubt…. I reject the naturalistic view: It is uncritical. Its upholders fail to notice that whenever they believe to have discovered a fact, they have only proposed a convention. Hence the convention is liable to turn into a dogma. This criticism of the naturalistic view applies not only to its criterion of meaning, but also to its idea of science, and consequently to its idea of empirical method.”
    —?Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, (Routledge, 2002), pp. 52–53, ISBN 0-415-27844-9.
    Popper instead proposed that science should adopt a methodology based on falsifiability for demarcation, because no number of experiments can ever prove a theory, but a single experiment can contradict one. Popper holds that scientific theories are characterized by falsifiability.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)#Views

    And on the issue of being falsifiable, Darwinian Evolution certainly does not qualify as being a valid scientific theory, since it has no clear criteria for falsification (based on a mathematical law).

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich stated that the Theory of Evolution ‘cannot be refuted by any possible observations’ and is thus “outside empirical science.”

    “Our theory of evolution has become, as Popper described, one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus “outside empirical science” but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas, either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training. The cure seems to us not to be a discarding of the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, but more skepticism about many of its tenets.”
    Ehrlich, Paul and L.C. Birch (1967), “Evolutionary History and Population Biology,” Nature, 214:349-352, April 22, p. 352
    https://afdave.wordpress.com/more-useful-quotes-for-creationists/

    For anyone who has debated Darwinists, the fact that Darwinian evolution is not falsifiable should not be all that surprising. Any evidence presented to a Darwinist against Darwinian evolution being true is, for the most part, simply ignored or rationalized away by the Darwinist.

    As Dr. Cornelius Hunter notes

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.” ~ Cornelius Hunter
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....rning.html

    Moreover, assuming methodological naturalism as the supposed ground rule for science, instead of protecting science from misleading lines of inquiry, actually leads to the catastrophic epistemological failure of science:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387
    Excerpt: Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), 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. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God.
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,

    Thus, although the Darwinist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor of reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    Science, and Scientists, should definitely stick with the Theistic worldview that brought them to the dance, i.e. Christianity:

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.
    http://www.robkoons.net/media/.....ffd524.pdf

    The Threat to the Scientific Method that Explains the Spate of Fraudulent Science Publications – Calvin Beisner | Jul 23, 2014
    Excerpt: It is precisely because modern science has abandoned its foundations in the Biblical worldview (which holds, among other things, that a personal, rational God designed a rational universe to be understood and controlled by rational persons made in His image) and the Biblical ethic (which holds, among other things, that we are obligated to tell the truth even when it inconveniences us) that science is collapsing.
    As such diverse historians and philosophers of science as Alfred North Whitehead, Pierre Duhem, Loren Eiseley, Rodney Stark, and many others have observed,, science—not an occasional flash of insight here and there, but a systematic, programmatic, ongoing way of studying and controlling the world—arose only once in history, and only in one place: medieval Europe, once known as “Christendom,” where that Biblical worldview reigned supreme. That is no accident. Science could not have arisen without that worldview.
    http://townhall.com/columnists...../page/full
    Several other resources backing up this claim are available, such as Thomas Woods, Stanley Jaki, David Linberg, Edward Grant, J.L. Heilbron, and Christopher Dawson.

  64. 64
    jdk says:

    Barry, you don’t even accurately represent my view about TE’s or my point about the difference between Newton’s position on science vs his theistic beliefs.

    And then you conclude I’m lying.

    You’re wrong, and your inability to talk my points into consideration is inexcusable.

    Neither you or ba are worth my time, and that’s the kindest thing I can say in public.

  65. 65
    ET says:

    Devastating refutation of the facts, Jack- not.

    You are not even wrong. Good luck with that

  66. 66
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk at 64,

    Now, Now, Now jdk. Don’t let your feelings get hurt. Remember, the Eastern Mysticism you champion from time to time says that ‘self is an illusion’. So the ‘truth’ is there is no “you” to have your feelings hurt in the first place. Your sadness is just an illusion from you believing that there really is a you to be sad in the first place. ,,, Get over ‘yourself’ already. 🙂

    Moreover, atheistic materialism is even more antagonistic to your claim that you are telling the truth and that you are not lying than your Eastern Mysticism is. Truth is, by its very nature, immaterial and therefore can have no material explanation. Moreover, as if that was not already bad enough, if Darwinian evolution were actually true then (the neuronal illusion of) you would have no reason to believe that any of your (illusory) beliefs might be true:

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Thus jdk, you can (in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary) stamp your feet, pout and insist that you are not lying, but, if Darwinian evolution were actually true, you have no way of knowing which of you beliefs might be true in the first place. i.e. You have no way of knowing if you are lying or not!

    Not a good position to be in for someone trying to protest that he is being truthful. 🙂

    Moreover, since truth cannot possibly be based in the Atheist’s naturalistic worldview, then it necessarily follows that “The Truth” must be based in the person of God.

    Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziDraiPiOw

    Verse:

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  67. 67
    Allan Keith says:

    BA,

    So which is it? Is jdk really really stupid or a liar?

    BA77,

    Thanks Mr. Arrington. That was a nuanced and fair arbitration…

    We must not have been reading the same comment.

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    AK, but when Dawkins stated this in his ‘refined’ English accent:,,,

    “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”
    – Richard Dawkins (The Blind Watchmaker)

    That was nuanced and fair???

    I guess it is just the English accent that makes it sound so smart when he says it.

    Small difference between Dawkins and Arrington too. Arrington is a lawyer who is trained, much like Phillip Johnson was (i.e. author of Darwin on Trial), to spot fallacies in arguments. Which actually is a very useful skill set to have when debating Darwinists. (And is one of the primary reasons Johnson was so successful in exposing the fraudulent tactics of debate, that Darwinists constantly use, to the general public)

    Whereas Dawkins is basically a teacher in the art of evolutionary propaganda.

    Why a Law Professor Took Up Evolution – Phillip E. Johnson – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo0JXURn1Mo&index=14&list=PL3nZoKKpj8RKT_cOAsrYAwtTl6Izg0wyY&t=0s

  69. 69
    ET says:

    Allan:

    We must not have been reading the same comment.

    Your reading skills are very, very suspect. 😛

  70. 70
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    That was nuanced and fair???

    No. But, as my mother used to tell me, ‘two wrongs don’t make a wrong’.

    But if you think that BA’s “arbitration” was fair and nuanced, you have different definitions for fair and nuanced than I and the rest of the world do.

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith,

    But if you think that BA’s “arbitration” was fair and nuanced, you have different definitions for fair and nuanced than I and the rest of the world do.

    Really???

    As Stein asked Dawkins, “there are 7 billion people in the world, how many have you spoken to?”

    Moreover, if you think that Newton was a TE you are as deluded and dishonest as jdk was.

    Newton is literally, as pointed out in post 40, the poster boy for Biologos, the leading TE organization in the world, and for Neil deGrasse Tyson for invoking “God of the Gaps”.

    Moreover, as if that was not more than enough, and as ET pointed out in post 32, Newton added this to the third and final edition of Principia

    “Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and every where, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being, necessarily existing.”
    -Isaac Newton “General Scholium (3rd edition of Principia)

    Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Latin for Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy),[1] often referred to as simply the Principia, is a work in three books by Isaac Newton, in Latin, first published 5 July 1687.[2][3] After annotating and correcting his personal copy of the first edition,[4] Newton published two further editions, in 1713 and 1726.[5]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophi%C3%A6_Naturalis_Principia_Mathematica

    Thus, it is not a question of whether jdk was dishonest about Newton, it is now a question of why jdk, and now also you, would be so dishonest towards the facts now in hand?

    That is just plain strange.

    But please do continue. It is quite humorous actually in that it exposes Darwinists as frauds with hardly any effort on our part. 🙂

    Kind of like watching Hitler self destruct in his final days:

    Hitler reacts to the collapse of atheism and macro-evolution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8XeIXyh-zw

  72. 72
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77, maybe we should go right to the definition of nuance.

    Nuance: a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound.

    Barry claimed that the only options to explain jdk were that he was very, very, very stupid, or that he is a liar.

    There is nothing nuanced about Barry’s argument.

    I am not trying to defend jdk’s point with respect to Newton. Frankly, I don’t care. What Newton believed or how Dawkins behaves is completely irrelevant. Newton couldn’t have an informed opinion about the modern theory of evolution because he died centuries before it was presented. If you are trying to argue that evolution is cast into doubt because of the behaviour of one or two individuals, then you have to accept the same link with regards to how a hand full of christians behave. For example, by all accounts, Newton was a completely reprehensible and vindictive man. On top of that, he did not believe that Christ was god. Not exactly a good role model for Christianity.

  73. 73
    StephenB says:

    Meanwhile, no one has addressed my points about why God and Darwin cannot logically co-exist, which is the subject of this thread.

  74. 74
    Allan Keith says:

    SB, sure they can coexist. But that depends on your definition of god. If he is a being responsible for designing and creating all major species,or kinds, then they are not compatible. If god was responsible for creating life and the mechanisms necessary to allow for the evolution of life, then it is compatible.

  75. 75
    ET says:

    Allan Keith is just confused. Evolutionism does NOT allow for “god was responsible for creating life and the mechanisms necessary to allow for the evolution of life”.

    An evolutionism that is OK with telic processes isn’t evolutionism, which is all about non-telic processes.

  76. 76
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Barry claimed that the only options to explain jdk were that he was very, very, very stupid, or that he is a liar.

    And then an explanation ensued.

    As I said Allan has reading comprehension issues.

  77. 77
    bornagain77 says:

    StephenB, since all of science is dependent on basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our minds to comprehend that intelligibility (i.e. presuppositional apologetics), then is necessarily follows that God does not need Darwin’s theory, but that Darwin’s theory, in order to be considered remotely scientific, is absolutely dependent of God.

    This fact is born out by the fact that Darwin’s book, Origin, and all major books on evolution since Darwin’s book, are heavily infused with liberal Theistic presuppositions about what God would and would not do in this universe.

    The theory, since it has no empirical basis, nor law of nature, to appeal to, would literally implode without that false theological basis:

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith states.

    “I am not trying to defend jdk’s point with respect to Newton”

    Then your objection collapses in on itself. That was exactly the point you were claiming lacked nuance.

    As ET pointed out, you read the first line then apparently did not read any further to the rationale behind Barry’s reasoning for calling jdk a liar about Newton’s position.

    It seems to me you just want to make some kind of moral argument about Barry and Newton. But even that is ludicrous since, as an atheist, you lack any objective basis for morality.

    Thus, you fail on two counts in your objection.

  79. 79
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Then your objection collapses in on itself. That was exactly the point you were claiming lacked nuance.

    So, you think that describing someone as either very, very, very stupid, or a liar is nuanced? If that is your stand, there is no point in continuing this discussion. Have a nice weekend.

  80. 80
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    Allan Keith is just confused. Evolutionism does NOT allow for “god was responsible for creating life and the mechanisms necessary to allow for the evolution of life”.

    Nobody is talking about evolutionism. We were talking about evolution, which says nothing about origin of life.

  81. 81
    jdk says:

    Thanks for the support, Allan.

    And re 73, Stephen: FTR, I did address the OP, at 11. I know my response isn’t accepted here (or even properly understood), but I think I presented a view that many TE’s would find lots to agree with.

  82. 82
    bornagain77 says:

    So Allan, why are you yourself an atheist?

    Can you pinpoint an exact logical reason for your atheism other than your emotional bias?

    Before you answer that question, please note that a logical choice demands that you have the free will necessary to make that logical choice, i.e. to ‘logically’ reject God you must presuppose the Theistic presupposition of free will.,,, An Atheist is, in reality, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.

    “Hawking’s entire argument is built upon theism. He is, as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.
    Take that part about the “human mind” for example. Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth. All Hawking is left with is a box, called a skull, which contains a bunch of molecules. Hawking needs God In order to deny Him.”
    – Cornelius Hunter

    Photo – an atheist contemplating his ‘mind’
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-H-kj.....0/rob4.jpg

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

  83. 83
    ET says:

    Allan Keith is totally confused:

    Nobody is talking about evolutionism.

    Wrong again. That is the subject of the OP. Darwinian evolution is evolutionism.

    You have absolutely no clue, do you?

  84. 84
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    So Allan, why are you yourself an atheist?

    Thank you for asking. I will answer, although I suspect that you will resort to calling me insane because of some paper you quote mine that suggests that there is a higher incidence of mental illness amongst atheists.

    In short, I have seen no compelling evidence to suggest the existence of an all loving, all knowing god. And with regard to the bible, even if god exists, I refuse to worship any being who would do, instruct to be done, and allow to be done, some of the things that are written in the bible. Those things would make Hitler look like an altar boy (which he was).

  85. 85
    ET says:

    Allan is even more confused:

    So, you think that describing someone as either very, very, very stupid, or a liar is nuanced?

    You either didn’t read what Barry wrote or you didn’t understand it. Either way you have proven that there is no sense continuing the discussion.

  86. 86
    ET says:

    Allan:

    In short, I have seen no compelling evidence to suggest the existence of an all loving, all knowing god.

    There isn’t any evidence for materialism, either. And ID doesn’t require the existence of an all loving, all knowing god.

  87. 87
    ScuzzaMan says:

    They believe that God’s creative power is present in every moment.

    jdk:

    God says he stopped creating after six days.

    Now who should a Christian believe?

    Hostile atheists who openly proclaim their intention to destroy Christianity, or God?

    This is not a trick question … if you don’t believe God, you’re not a Christian.

    Psalm 118:9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

    Psalm 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

  88. 88
    bornagain77 says:

    AK, you listed emotional reasons, not a logical reason. Please reread the question and try again.

  89. 89
    ET says:

    Scuzzaman @ 87

    Nice reply and nicely done.

  90. 90
    StephenB says:

    Allan Keith

    SB, sure they can coexist. But that depends on your definition of god. If he is a being responsible for designing and creating all major species,or kinds, then they are not compatible. If god was responsible for creating life and the mechanisms necessary to allow for the evolution of life, then it is compatible.

    Let’s break it down. If God is responsible for Creating life *as he intended it to be,* (through an evolutionary process), then if follows that the process us must unfold in a way that reflects those intentions. In other words, the process, to produce the Creator’s apriori intent, must close off all other outcomes, inasmuch as it is designed to produce on and only one outcome. Darwinian evolution cannot exclude outcomes because it random nature allows it to produce any outcome that chance will produce. Thus, any evolutionary process that guarantees God’s specific intentions cannot be a Darwinian process, which cannot guarantee any outcome at all.

  91. 91
    StephenB says:

    Bornagain

    StephenB, since all of science is dependent on basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our minds to comprehend that intelligibility (i.e. presuppositional apologetics), then is necessarily follows that God does not need Darwin’s theory, but that Darwin’s theory, in order to be considered remotely scientific, is absolutely dependent of God.

    Bornagain, I agree that the legitimacy of the scientific enterprise is based on principles of rational intelligibility and the human capacity to to comprehend it.

    However, when I say that God cannot be reconciled with Darwin, I am referring not to Darwin’s attempt to do science but rather with the claims made by his theory and their possible relationship with God’s creative intent.

    According to Darwin, naturalistic forces, acting alone, can produce life as we know it, but the outcome of that process is an *accident.* By virtue of its randomness, the NeoDarwinian mechanism cannot guarantee a desired outcome. Hence, it is inconsistent with any evolutionary process that God might use to guarantee the one and only outcome He wants.

    It is not logically possible for a purposeful mindful God to use a purposeless, mindless process to achieve his *specified* ends. The Darwinian mechanism cannot specify. To put it simply, you can’t guarantee the specified (desired) outcome of an evolutionary process if that same process is open to producing many other outcomes. This is basic logic. For more details, please read my comment to Allan @90.

  92. 92
    bornagain77 says:

    StephenB, I know all that. It’s just the way you worded the question. I mistook your intent behind the question. I thought you might be trying to defend the TE position, not take it apart as you subsequently, in fact, did.

  93. 93
    jdk says:

    To StephenB:

    I throw a die and it comes up 6.

    This is obviously a chance event from our human perspective.

    How is God involved in this event, if at all?

    1. Did he cause it to come up 6? Was it according to his will that it be 6? Are these different questions?

    2. In respect to 1, if he did cause it to come up 6, in what way do we understand how he did that? Is he actively choosing the outcome of every chance event, or is he usually, or sometimes, or his he present in all natural events?

    2. If he wasn’t involved, was it just a chance event that happened through natural processes in which God was not involved? That is, do truly chance events happen regularly outside of the scope of God’s will or activity in the world?

    3. If God had desired it to come up 5, could he have changed the course of events which led to it coming up 6?

    4. In the case of 3, would it be correct that it looked like a chance event to us, but was not because God actively chose to have it be a 5?

    More broadly, how do you understand God’s role in the world, everyday, in respect to chance events? Is his will manifested in all, some or none of them.

    And if some or none, does not that imply that God is present in the world only some of the time, and otherwise lets the world go, in a deistic fashion, the rest of the time?

    What do you think?

  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith,

    When I ask for a logical reason for why you are an atheist, I was not looking for you to list your emotional and moral grievances against God. I was looking for you to list something more akin to one of these ‘logical’ arguments on this following site:

    Different reasons for being an atheist
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/.....ns_1.shtml

    Those arguments all fail for one reason or the other, but at least they are attempts to logically defend, not emotionally defend, what is logically indefensible, namely atheism.

    On the other side of the coin, here are some fairly solid arguments for God that are, unlike arguments for atheism, not so easily refuted:

    20 Arguments For God’s Existence – Dr. Peter Kreeft
    1. The Argument from Change
    2. The Argument from Efficient Causality
    3. The Argument from Time and Contingency
    4. The Argument from Degrees of Perfection
    5. The Design Argument
    6. The Kalam Argument
    7. The Argument from Contingency
    8. The Argument from the World as an Interacting Whole
    9. The Argument from Miracles
    10. The Argument from Consciousness
    11. The Argument from Truth
    12. The Argument from the Origin of the Idea of God
    13. The Ontological Argument
    14. The Moral Argument
    15. The Argument from Conscience
    16. The Argument from Desire
    17. The Argument from Aesthetic Experience
    18. The Argument from Religious Experience
    19. The Common Consent Argument
    20. Pascal’s Wager
    http://www.strangenotions.com/god-exists/

    And here is Plantinga’s list:

    Table Of Contents for TWO DOZEN (OR SO) ARGUMENTS FOR GOD: THE PLANTINGA PROJECT (the book is due out Summer 2017)
    I. Half a Dozen (or so) ontological (or metaphysical) arguments
    (A) The Argument from Intentionality (or Aboutness)
    • Lorraine Keller, Niagara University
    • “Propositions Supernaturalized”
    (B) The Argument from Collections
    • Chris Menzel, Texas A&M
    • “The Argument from Collections”
    (C) The Argument from (Natural) Numbers
    • Tyron Goldshmidt, Wake Forest
    • “The Argument from (Natural) Numbers”
    (D) The Argument From Counterfactuals
    • Alex Pruss, Baylor University
    • “Counterfactuals, Vagueness and God”
    (E) The Argument from Physical Constants
    • Robin Collins, Messiah College
    • “The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability”
    (F) The Naive Teleological Argument
    • C. Stephen Evans, Baylor University
    • “An Argument from Design for Ordinary People”
    (H) The Ontological Argument
    • Elizabeth Burns, Heythrop College
    • “Patching Planting’s Ontological Argument by Making the Murdoch Move”
    (I) Why is there anything at all?
    • Josh Rasmussen, Azusa Pacific; and Christopher Gregory Weaver, Rutgers University
    • “Why is There Anything?”

    II. Half a dozen Epistemological Arguments
    (J) The argument from positive epistemic status
    • Justin Barrett, Fuller Seminary
    • “Evolutionary Psychology and the Argument from Positive Epistemic Status”
    (K) The Argument from the confluence of proper function and reliability
    • Alex Arnold, The John Templeton Foundation
    • “Is God the Designer of our Cognitive Faculties? Evaluating Plantinga’s Argument”
    (L) The Argument from Simplicity and (M) The Argument from Induction
    • Bradly Monton, Independent Scholar
    • “Atheistic Induction by Boltzmann Brains”

    (N) The Putnamian Argument (the Argument from the Rejection of Global Skepticism)[also, (O) The Argument from Reference and (K) The Argument from the Confluence of Proper Function and Reliability]
    • Even Fales, University of Iowa
    • “Putnam’s Semantic Skepticism and the Epistemic Melt-Down of Naturalism: How Defeat of Putnam’s Puzzle Provides a Defeater for Plantinga’s Self-Defeat Argument Against Naturalism”

    (N) The Putnamian Argument, (O) The Argument from Reference, and (P) The Kripke-Wittgenstein Argument from Plus and Quus
    • Dan Bonevac, University of Texas
    • “Arguments from Knowledge, Reference, and Content”

    (Q) The General Argument from Intuition.
    • Rob Koons, University of Texas at Austin
    • “The General Argument from Intuition”

    III. Moral arguments
    (R) Moral Arguments (actually R1 to Rn)
    • David Baggett, Liberty University
    • “An Abductive Moral Argument for God”

    (R*) The argument from evil.
    • Hud Hudson, Western Washington University
    • “Felix Culpa!”

    IV. Other Arguments
    (S) The Argument from Colors and Flavors
    • Richard Swinburne, Oxford University
    • “The Argument from Consciousness”
    (T) The Argument from Love and (Y) The Argument from the Meaning of Life
    • Jerry Walls, Houston Baptist University
    • “The God of Love and the Meaning of Life”
    (U) The Mozart Argument and (V) The Argument from Play and Enjoyment
    • Philip Tallon, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Theistic Argument from Beauty and Play”
    (W) Arguments from providence and from miracles
    • Tim McGrew, Western Michigan University
    • “Of Miracles: The State of the Art and the Uses of History”
    (X) C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Nostalgia
    • Todd Buras, Baylor University and Mike Cantrell
    • “A New Argument from Desire”
    (Z) The Argument from (A) to (Y)
    • Ted Poston, University of South Alabama
    • “The Argument from So Many Arguments”

    V. “Or so”: Three More Arguments
    The Kalam Cosmological Argument
    • William Lane Craig, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Kalam Cosmological Argument”
    The Argument from Possibility
    • Brian Leftow, Oxford University
    • “The Argument from Possibility”
    The Argument from the Incompleteness of Nature
    • Bruce Gordon, Houston Baptist University
    • “The Necessity of Sufficiency: The Argument from the Incompleteness of Nature”

    Of related interest. Don’t feel bad AK, even many elite scientists haven’t really thought through the exact reasons for why they are an atheist and/or agnostic in the first place.

    Elite Scientists Don’t Have Elite Reasons for Being Atheists – November 8, 2016
    Excerpt: Dr. Jonathan Pararejasingham has compiled video of elite scientists and scholars to make the connection between atheism and science. Unfortunately for Pararejasingham, once you get past the self-identification of these scholars as non-believers, there is simply very little there to justify the belief in atheism.,,,
    What I found was 50 elite scientists expressing their personal opinions, but none had some powerful argument or evidence to justify their opinions. In fact, most did not even cite a reason for thinking atheism was true.,,,
    The few that did try to justify their atheism commonly appealed to God of the Gaps arguments (there is no need for God, therefore God does not exist) and the Argument from Evil (our bad world could not have come from an All Loving, All Powerful God). In other words, it is just as I thought it would be. Yes, most elite scientists and scholars are atheists. But their reasons for being atheists and agnostics are varied and often personal. And their typical arguments are rather common and shallow – god of the gaps and the existence of evil. It would seem clear that their expertise and elite status is simply not a causal factor behind their atheism.
    Finally, it is also clear the militant atheism of Dawkins is a distinct minority view among these scholars.
    https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/elite-scientists-dont-have-elite-reasons-for-being-atheists/

  95. 95
    ET says:

    Jack- Read comment 87 and buy a vowel.

  96. 96
    Allan Keith says:

    ET,

    And ID doesn’t require the existence of an all loving, all knowing god.

    Since the question from BA77 wasn’t about ID, I fail to see the relevance of your comment. Again.

  97. 97
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    AK, you listed emotional reasons, not a logical reason. Please reread the question and try again.

    Read again pal. My first sententence said that I am an atheist because I have seen no compelling evidence to suggest a god. My subsequent comment was directed towards the Christian god described in the bible and why I would refuse to worship that sadistic being if he actually existed. Resolve that first comment and we can talk about the rest. Until then, the rest of my comment is based on an astronomically improbable hypothetical (that god exists).

  98. 98
    Allan Keith says:

    SB,

    Let’s break it down. If God is responsible for Creating life *as he intended it to be,* (through an evolutionary process), then if follows that the process us must unfold in a way that reflects those intentions.

    That’s not quite what I said. If god set things in motion, including the mechanisms necessary for evolution, and didn’t intervene after that, then there is no conflict with the modern understanding of evolution. If he set it in motion with a single immutable direction, purpose, outcome, then there is a conflict.

  99. 99
    Origenes says:

    BA77: So Allan, why are you yourself an atheist?

    Allan Keith: In short, I have seen no compelling evidence to suggest the existence of an all loving, all knowing god. And with regard to the bible, even if god exists, I refuse to worship any being who would do, instruct to be done, and allow to be done, some of the things that are written in the bible.

    So Allan, for you it is the Christian God or no God at all? Put another way, for you to reject Christian claims about God’s character implies that there is no God at all. I find that puzzling. Why is that?

  100. 100
    ET says:

    Allan:

    If god set things in motion, including the mechanisms necessary for evolution, and didn’t intervene after that, then there is no conflict with the modern understanding of evolution.

    Nonsense. If God set the mechanisms necessary for evolution in motion then they are telic processes. Evolutionism only deals with non-telic processes.

  101. 101
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Since the question from BA77 wasn’t about ID, I fail to see the relevance of your comment.

    Of course you don’t. You also ignored the first part of my comment because it exposes you as a hypocrite.

  102. 102
    ET says:

    Allan:

    My first sententence said that I am an atheist because I have seen no compelling evidence to suggest a god.

    You don’t seem to understand evidence.

  103. 103
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    What do you think?

    I appreciate your questions, but I don’t think we can get at the problem in exactly that way. We must find an example in which God, not a human, is the sole cause of the outcome. So, let’s go back to your example using a pair of dice. Assume that God wants to get a 7 through an evolutionary process that generates numbers with values between 2 and 12.

    God Guided Evolution. [a] In this case, God throws a pair of loaded dice so that 7 is the guaranteed outcome. Obviously, he has left nothing to chance because He has closed off all other outcomes (numbers between 2 and 12). By virtue of using the loaded dice (non random), he is guaranteed to get the outcome he wants.

    Unguided Darwinian Evolution. [b] In this case, God uses a pair of fair dice (random) so that any number between 2 and 12 has an equal chance of coming up. He will probably not get a 7, although he may. In any case, he cannot guarantee a 7 by using this random process.

    Thus, he can only use a pair of loaded dice (guided evolution) to achieve that end. It would be impossible to guarantee that outcome using fair dice (random evolution)

  104. 104
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith, you state that

    “I have seen no compelling evidence to suggest a god.”

    And yet the fact of the matter, contrary to what you may believe, is not that you have not seen any compelling evidence. It is that you live in constant denial of the evidence for design and purpose that you see all around you.

    Don’t believe me? Well, as usual, I have evidence to, unlike atheists, back my position up.

    Studies now establish that the design inference is ‘knee jerk’ inference that is built into everyone, especially including atheists, and that atheists have to mentally work suppressing their very own design inference!

    Is Atheism a Delusion?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o

    Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study – Mary Papenfuss – June 12, 2015
    Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the “knee jerk” reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they’re purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the “Divided Mind of a disbeliever.”
    The findings “suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed,” writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers’ words, “religious non-belief is cognitively effortful.”
    Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or “default” human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether “any being purposefully made the thing in the picture,” notes Pacific-Standard.
    “Religious participants’ baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher” than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants “increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made” when “they did not have time to censor their thinking,” wrote the researchers.
    The results suggest that “the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs,” the report concluded.
    The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US.
    “Design-based intuitions run deep,” the researchers conclude, “persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them.”
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richa.....dy-1505712

    “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.”

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    Simply put, ‘design intuition’ is, because we are ‘made in the image of God’ hardwired into each of us from the beginning of our lives.

    Children are born believers in God, academic claims – 24 Nov 2008
    Excerpt: “Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, claims that young people have a predisposition to believe in a supreme being because they assume that everything in the world was created with a purpose.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....laims.html

    i.e. It is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves are seeing in nature.

    I hold the preceding studies to be confirming evidence for Romans1:19-20

    Romans 1:19-20
    For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    Now AK, I can already anticipate that you are feverishly trying to think of a way you can ‘suppress’ these studies that say you have a ‘knee jerk’ reaction to see things as designed,,,,

    But before you do that, I want you to honestly answer the following question,,, Is the apparent design of the human brain best explained by Intelligent Design or by unguided materialistic processes?

    I ask this since, #1, Darwinists have no clue where even a single neuron came from,,,

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    And, #2, the human brain is constructed on a level of complexity that defies human comprehension

    The Human Brain Is ‘Beyond Belief’ by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * – 2017
    Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,,
    Perfect Optimization
    The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,,
    Vast Computational Power
    Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,,
    Phenomenal Processing Speed
    the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,,
    The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,,
    Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity
    Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,,
    Optimal Energy Efficiency
    Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,,
    Multidimensional Processing
    It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13
    He also said:
    We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,,
    Biophoton Brain Communication
    Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,,
    https://www.icr.org/article/10186

    So Allan, what is your answer? Do you rightly say that the human brain is obviously the product of very, very, advanced Intelligent Design or do you, against all reason and common sense, (and your very own “knee jerk” reaction), say, for all the readers on UD to see, that the awe inspiring complexity of the human brain is merely the result of purely accidental materialistic processes cobbling things together?

    Basically Allan, the question boils down to, do you choose sanity or insanity?

  105. 105
    jdk says:

    Let’s leave evolution out of it: I am trying to investigate how you, and others, see the presence of God on a daily moment-by-moment basis.

    I also don’t see why a human throwing the dice makes a difference, but suppose a gust of wind blows the dice on the floor, and it comes up six.

    What are your answers to my questions?

  106. 106
    StephenB says:

    Allan Keith

    If god set things in motion, including the mechanisms necessary for evolution, and didn’t intervene after that, then there is no conflict with the modern understanding of evolution.

    There is a conflict if the mechanism is random, and Darwin’s mechanism is clearly random.

    If he set it in motion with a single immutable direction, purpose, outcome, then there is a conflict.

    Correct. That is my point.

  107. 107
    ET says:

    jdk:

    Let’s leave evolution out of it: I am trying to investigate how you, and others, see the presence of God on a daily moment-by-moment basis.

    Take your straw man and go home, Jack.

  108. 108
    bornagain77 says:

    jdk:

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor (Quantum Computation)
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism- video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK9kGpIxMRM

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKggH8jO0pk

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    Supplemental note:

    ‘Many modern philosophers believe that metaphysics is impossible. Most classical philosophers disagree. They hold, commonsensically, that the basic “laws of thought” are laws of being., of reality; they tell us not only how we all have to think but how all being has to be. The universe and everything in it, and also the self, (1) can’t ever be what it isn’t (the Law of Non-contradiction), (2) always must be what it is (the Law of Identity), and (3) always either is or isn’t (the Law of Excluded Middle). Also, (4) all that comes into being – i.e., all changing being – has a cause (the Principle of Causality), and (5) everything that is has a sufficient reason why it is and what it is (the Principle of Sufficient Reason).’
    Peter Kreeft. Socratic Logic. p. 359

  109. 109
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Let’s leave evolution out of it: I am trying to investigate how you, and others, see the presence of God on a daily moment-by-moment basis.

    We are discussing the incompatibility of Darwinian evolution with a purposeful, mindful God, so I can hardly leave evolution “out of it.”

    I also don’t see why a human throwing the dice makes a difference, but suppose a gust of wind blows the dice on the floor, and it comes up six.

    From the point of view of physics, the outcome is not random at all. If a pair of dice is thrown at a certain angle, with a certain force, and under certain conditions, the number that comes up has been determined solely by the physical conditions. It is only the variety of human ways of throwing the dice that makes it a random event.

    I am trying to investigate how you, and others, see the presence of God on a daily moment-by-moment basis.

    You will have to be more precise about what you are asking since that question can be answered in a hundred ways. Example: Even when humans are the only causal agents involved (throwing dice) God is involved not only as the one who sustains the physical laws that determine the outcome, but also the one who sustains the existence of the causal agents themselves.

  110. 110
    jdk says:

    I am using “random” in the probabilistic sense of one of 6 equally probable events.

    If we assume the wind blows the dice off the table, you have described a completely deterministic outcome (unless you want to back up and say all the exact forces of that particular gust of wind were determined.)

    But I think that is missing the point. These are all natural processes working themselves out, from our point of view, in a deterministic fashion to produce, from our point of view, one of six equally probable, random outcomes.

    My question is how was God involved? Was he only involved deistically in that he has set all these natural forces in motion? Is he actively involved in the upholding and manifestation of those laws in every event? Could he cause a particular outcome, or is he just watching a six come up?

    What is your theological understanding of God’s presence in the unfolding of this event? Can you explain some about what you believe?

  111. 111
    StephenB says:

    jdk

    Did he cause it to come up 6? Was it according to his will that it be 6? Are these different questions?

    No, God’s laws and human agency caused it to come up 6, unless, of course, you include God’s role as the one who sustains the laws and the human agents.

    If God had desired it to come up 5, could he have changed the course of events which led to it coming up 6?

    It would depend on God’s willingness to interfere will human free agency. As a general rule, God prompts, but doesn’t intrude.

    In the case of 3, would it be correct that it looked like a chance event to us, but was not because God actively chose to have it be a 5?

    Yes, I think so. God could always fool us if he wanted to. However, I don’t think you can build a “science” of Darwinian evolution on the assumption that God is really doing the mutating, even though it seems to us that nature, acting alone, is doing the mutating. If so, what would be the point of studying science since it would be providing exactly the wrong answers about the observable world? Besides, if God is really doing the mutating (and the selecting) then Darwin has left the building.

  112. 112
    jdk says:

    Thanks for the short discussion, Stephen. I think I’ll just let my post at 11 stand as my explanation of TE, and not try to dig deeper here about these issues.

  113. 113
    ET says:

    Jack, your comment in 11 stands as a joke. So yes it would be wise for you to just leave it alone.

  114. 114
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77@104, you provide articles that suggest that we have a knee-jerk feeling that there is purpose to life. I don’t think that anyone would disagree with this. How is that compelling evidence that life was designed? We also have a knee-jerk feeling that our opinions are correct, that the sky is actually blue. We have a knee-jerk feeling that others perceive colour the same way that we do. We perceive movement but our eyes do not record movement. Our knee-jerk reaction to magnetism is that it is supernatural. Our knee-jerk reaction to homosexual acts is usually revulsion.

    Science is about looking beyond these knee-jerk beliefs. Acknowledging bias and examining them objectively. Just because I feel that my life has a higher purpose doesn’t mean that it does.

  115. 115
    Allan Keith says:

    SB,

    There is a conflict if the mechanism is random, and Darwin’s mechanism is clearly random.

    That’s why I said that it depended on your flavour of god. Surely god could simply have created the first bacteria over thee billion years ago and allowed evolution to proceed without any further intervention. No goal, no predetermined plan. Just let the universe he created act on his new life form according to the physical laws that he created. This god would not conflict with evolution as we currently understand it.

  116. 116
    ET says:

    The evidence says there is a purpose, a higher purpose, to our lives.

    The evidence is in all it took to get us here, including the planet and solar system. But to you it was all just an accident. But unfortunately that isn’t scientific as it is untestable.

    BTW homosexuality is unnatural and demonstrates the effects of genetic entropy.

  117. 117
    ET says:

    Allan:

    Surely god could simply have created the first bacteria over thee billion years ago and allowed evolution to proceed without any further intervention.

    Your equivocation is duly noted and there isn’t any non-telic process that can produce eukaryotes from populations of prokaryotes. So in your scenario we wouldn’t exist

  118. 118
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith, #1, you failed to even touch upon the question I asked you about the human brain.

    # 2, all your counter examples, when examined in detail, support Theism.

    For instance, you mentioned magnetism. I think that both Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell, who were both committed Christians, would be very surprised that you thought that magnetism was anything other than the work of a divine lawgiver. i.e. God

    The Genius and Faith of Faraday and Maxwell – Ian H. Hutchinson
    Excerpt: What Faraday and Maxwell, in their study of nature, were committed to most fundamentally was the discovery of lawfulness and coherence: the conceptual unification of apparently distinct phenomena, such as electricity and magnetism and light. Lawfulness was not, in their thinking, inert, abstract, logical necessity, or complete reducibility to Cartesian mechanism; rather, it was an expectation they attributed to the existence of a divine lawgiver. These men’s insights into physics were made possible by their religious commitments. For them, the coherence of nature resulted from its origin in the mind of its Creator.
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-genius-and-faith-of-faraday-and-maxwell

  119. 119
    StephenB says:

    Allan Keith

    That’s why I said that it depended on your flavour of god.

    We are discussing God, as creator, and the one responsible for the origin and development of life. That is the God the TEs claim to believe in, and that is the God which they fail to reconcile with their model.

    Surely god could simply have created the first bacteria over thee billion years ago and allowed evolution to proceed without any further intervention. No goal, no predetermined plan. Just let the universe he created act on his new life form according to the physical laws that he created. This god would not conflict with evolution as we currently understand it.

    If there is no predetermined plan, or no goal, then the outcome of the process is obviously an accident. Yet the TEs claim that the outcome of this same process was God’s original intent.. That is a clear contradiction.

  120. 120
    Allan Keith says:

    SB,

    If there is no predetermined plan, or no goal, then the outcome of the process is obviously an accident. Yet the TEs claim that the outcome of this same process was God’s original intent.. That is a clear contradiction.

    If god is the all powerful, all knowing being that he is portrayed to be, then he would know all of the outcomes of all random mutations, reproductive fitness, natural disasters, chemical reactions and orbit of every electron in the universe. Any being with this much power and knowledge could surely create the first life form and sit back for four billion years until the species he knows will be the inevitable outcome, crawls out of Africa. None of this would be in conflict with evolution as we know it. At least, no more so than his knowing everything you will do violates your free will.

  121. 121
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith, I consider it very disingenuous of you to try to explain away the ‘knee jerk’ studies when I specifically asked you this in post 104:

    “Now AK, I can already anticipate that you are feverishly trying to think of a way you can ‘suppress’ these studies that say you have a ‘knee jerk’ reaction to see things as designed,,,,

    But before you do that, I want you to honestly answer the following question,,, Is the apparent design of the human brain best explained by Intelligent Design or by unguided materialistic processes?”

    and then this question at the end of post 104,,,

    “So Allan, what is your answer? Do you rightly say that the human brain is obviously the product of very, very, advanced Intelligent Design or do you, against all reason and common sense, (and your very own “knee jerk” reaction), say, for all the readers on UD to see, that the awe inspiring complexity of the human brain is merely the result of purely accidental materialistic processes cobbling things together?

    Basically Allan, the question boils down to, do you choose sanity or insanity?”

    Please quit disingenuously dodging the question AK!

  122. 122
    ET says:

    Allan:

    If god is the all powerful, all knowing being that he is portrayed to be, then he would know all of the outcomes of all random mutations, reproductive fitness, natural disasters, chemical reactions and orbit of every electron in the universe.

    Nice straw man

  123. 123
    StephenB says:

    Allan Keith

    If god is the all powerful, all knowing being that he is portrayed to be, then he would know all of the outcomes of all random mutations, reproductive fitness, natural disasters, chemical reactions and orbit of every electron in the universe.

    God’s knowledge has nothing to do with it. It is solely a question of what God causes to happen. God knows that it is logically impossible to achieve a specified result using a random evolutionary process. The only way God can guarantee a specific outcome is to use a non-random process. God’s knowledge of the outcome is not the reason for the outcome. It is God’s actions that are the cause of the outcome. The point can be better understood using the example of fair dice vs loaded dice.

    ____________________________________________________________

    God Guided Evolution. [a] In this case, God throws a pair of loaded dice so that 7 is the guaranteed outcome. Obviously, he has left nothing to chance because He has closed off all other outcomes (numbers between 2 and 12). By virtue of using the loaded dice (non random), he is guaranteed to get the outcome he wants.

    Unguided Darwinian Evolution. [b] In this case, God uses a pair of fair dice (random) so that any number between 2 and 12 has an equal chance of coming up. He will probably not get a 7, although he may. In any case, he cannot guarantee a 7 by using this random process.

    Thus, he can only use a pair of loaded dice (guided evolution) to achieve that end. It would be impossible to guarantee that outcome using fair dice (random evolution)

  124. 124
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Allan Keith, I consider it very disingenuous of you to try to explain away the ‘knee jerk’ studies when I specifically asked you this in post 104:

    What is disingenuous about directly responding to what you consider to be compelling evidence of a higher purpose in life?

    You want me to answer your pointless question? I think that evolution, at present, is the best explanation for the human brain. And I think that the brain is the best explanation for consciousness. I have seen no compelling evidence that our mind/consciousness exists without the brain. Nobody has presented and tested a hypothesis as to how this designer managed to design biological life and realize this design. Nobody has proposed and tested a hypothesis as to how the designer designed and created the billions of disembodied consciousnesses and subsequently fixed them to individual designed bodies. All we have been provided with is that because we don’t yet know how something happened, it must require god.

    Maybe, at the end of the day, we may discover that god exists and that he is responsible for the design of all life. But, given the magnitude and speed with which our increased knowledge narrows the gaps where god may fit, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  125. 125
    ET says:

    Allan:

    I think that evolution, at present, is the best explanation for the human brain

    There isn’t any evidence for that claim. You brand of evolution can’t even produce eukaryotes.

    We don’t need to know how a designer did something before we can determine something was designed. You clearly don’t understand how science works.

    Yours is the position that says it can explain the how, not ID. Yet your position can’t explain the how.

    There isn’t anything that supports materialism and never will be.

  126. 126
    Allan Keith says:

    SB,

    God knows that it is logically impossible to achieve a specified result using a random evolutionary process.

    I would disagree. What would seem random to us would surely not be random to an all knowing god. If he had humans in mind as the ultimate goal (which I doubt) surely he could create the initial conditions under which this will happen, even with no intervention along this long process. I am not saying this is what happened, because I don’t. But if it were true, the actual evolution of life for three plus billion years would follow a process that is not incompatible with modern evolutionary theory. Mutations would still appear to be random. Disasters would still occur. Drift would still occur. Selection would still occur. The fact that god would know the ultimate outcome doesn’t really matter.

  127. 127
    ET says:

    Allan,

    Your position has nothing but the hope of the biased. You can’t even muster testable hypotheses of how something evolved and your position is supposed to be all about the how.

    Can you link to this alleged “modern evolutionary theory”? I ask because I know that there isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. How can there be without those testable hypotheses which are supposed come first?

  128. 128
    StephenB says:

    Allan

    I would disagree. What would seem random to us would surely not be random to an all knowing god. If he had humans in mind as the ultimate goal (which I doubt) surely he could create the initial conditions under which this will happen, even with no intervention along this long process.

    If God had humans in mind, he could create the initial conditions to serve that purpose, in which case it is a planned process and not a random process.

    I am not saying this is what happened, because I don’t.

    I understand. We are discussing only what is possible and what is not possible.

    But if it were true, the actual evolution of life for three plus billion years would follow a process that is not incompatible with modern evolutionary theory.

    It would be incompatible. Modern evolutionary theory says that the end result of evolution was unplanned. Only a planned process can produce a specified result. An unplanned process can produce only indeterminate results. That is why I presented the example of using fair dice (unplanned outcome) and loaded dice (planned outcome).

    Mutations would still appear to be random. Disasters would still occur. Drift would still occur. Selection would still occur. The fact that god would know the ultimate outcome doesn’t really matter.

    What God *knows* is irrelevant because it is not the reason for the outcome. The outcome is produced by what God *does.* TEs are terribly confused about that point.

  129. 129
    Origenes says:

    StephenB: … it is logically impossible to achieve a specified result using a random evolutionary process.

    I agree. What is logically impossible to us is also logically impossible to God.
    God cannot make a square triangle & he cannot use a random process to achieve a specified result.

  130. 130
    StephenB says:

    Origenes

    God cannot make a square triangle & he cannot use a random process to achieve a specified result.

    That is correct.

  131. 131
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith after being shown this evidence,,,

    Darwinists have no clue where even a single neuron came from,,,

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    ,,, Moreover, the human brain is constructed on a level of complexity that defies human comprehension

    The Human Brain Is ‘Beyond Belief’ by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * – 2017
    Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,,
    Perfect Optimization
    The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,,
    Vast Computational Power
    Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,,
    Phenomenal Processing Speed
    the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,,
    The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,,
    Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity
    Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,,
    Optimal Energy Efficiency
    Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,,
    Multidimensional Processing
    It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13
    He also said:
    We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,,
    Biophoton Brain Communication
    Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,,
    https://www.icr.org/article/10186

    After being shown that evidence, Allen Keith has the audacity to state:

    “I think that evolution, at present, is the best explanation for the human brain.”

    No Allen. The human brain most certainly did not evolve by the random accumulation of serendipitous accidents. Not even close. That answer is not even in the ballpark of sanity.

    It is not even “maybe if you look at it the right way the human brain could appear to maybe have been intelligently designed”. Again, not even close. The human brain is ‘beyond belief’ designed… ‘beyond anything we imagined’ designed!!!

    The apparent design of the human brain is so overwhelming that it is literally screaming in our face “I AM INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED!!!”. ,,,

    The conclusion that the human brain is designed is so overwhelming that I hold it to be a conclusion that is even more sure, and rock solid, to us than our intuitive grasp of the fact that 2+2=4

    Moreover, I hold that the only reason anyone in their right mind would even try to deny such an obvious conclusion for design is because, as you yourself have given abundant evidence for, they are apparently leading lifestyles in which they do not want to be personally accountable to God.

    As John stated:

    John 3:19
    This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

    And here is the full context of Romans 1:20 which I often cite

    Romans 1:18-28
    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

    Allan Keith, In your irrational denial of God, because of whatever imagined reason you may try to conjure up, you have apparently, in the ‘bargain’ of denying God, lost your mind in the deal.

    That ‘bargain’ of losing your mind for the supposed ‘privilege’ of forsaking God makes all the other worst trade deals in history pale in comparison:

    What are some of the worst deals in history?
    https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-worst-deals-in-history

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    If I were you AK, since it was such a horrendously bad trade deal for you, I would try to get my soul and/or mind back by any means possible.

    1 Corinthians 6:20
    For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

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