Intelligent Design

Here’s What’s Going on With BioLogos

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Deborah Haarsma was professor and chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College and is currently the President of BioLogos. Both of these Christian organizations promote evolutionary theory (Calvin statement, BioLogos statement). That is not surprising since evolution derives, at least in modern times, from theologians and philosophers in the church. To be sure, evolutionary thinking is obvious in ancient Epicureanism, but its resurgence in the seventeenth century was almost exclusively the work of Christian thinkers. Descartes, Malebranche, Cudworth, Ray, Burnett, Leibniz and Wolfe are good examples of how widespread was the movement within Christian thought, and of how varied were the arguments for a strictly naturalistic origins narrative. These Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans agreed that the world must have arisen by natural causes. The common theme was that the arguments were theological and philosophical (i.e., metaphysical rather than scientific). These mandates for naturalism increased and by the nineteenth century were the received truths for progressives. This was the culture Charles Darwin was born into and his book applied these arguments for naturalism to the problem of the origins of the species. Darwin’s thought—from his early notebooks, to Origins, to his later works and autobiography—was thoroughly metaphysical. God must have created via law not miracle and, ever since Darwin, Christians have embraced this belief just as strongly as the pre Darwin Christians had promoted it. Deborah Haarsma is, therefore, a contemporary representative of a long and distinguished intellectual history. But there is one major difference between today’s evolutionists and their forerunners from centuries past.  Read more

25 Replies to “Here’s What’s Going on With BioLogos

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    To be Captain Obvious for a moment, to say the universe arose without any rhyme or reason as atheists do is to preclude finding any rhyme or reason for why the universe exists. And is to thus therefore preclude ever ‘scientifically’ finding the rhyme or reason for why the universe exists.

    Or as a teenage girl may say , “DUH!”

    In other words, insisting that the universe ultimately exists for no reason at all, as atheists constantly insist on doing, defeats doing science.

    It is hard to imagine a more anti-scientific metaphysical mandate than the ‘spontaneous’ one that atheist have:

    Jerry Coyne Challenges Francis Collins on Metaphysics – Michael Egnor – April 5, 2015
    Excerpt: This (atheistic/materialisrtic) answer — that the universe is the fundamental existent and needs no cause — has been around for a long time. It dates to antiquity, and Hume is its most prominent modern exponent. It was also decisively refuted in antiquity.
    Aristotle demonstrated that an essential series of causes in a causal chain have need of an unmoved mover (pure Act) in order to exist. It is a detailed metaphysical argument (restated in “Aquinas’ First Way”), not a scientific argument. It has never been successfully refuted.
    One gambit that has been used by those who doubt Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ unmoved mover argument is the argument (popularized by Kant) that reasoning in the natural world of human perception cannot be applied across the divide that separates nature from transcendence. We can’t, in other words, reason our way to God, because if God exists, He is beyond reason.
    The fatal flaw of the Kantian argument is the Principle of Sufficient Reason. The PSR (expressed in its modern form by Leibniz) states that everything in nature has a sufficient reason for its existence and for its properties. Nothing in the universe has no reason for being what it is. Of course, we may not know the reason, and we may never know the reason, but things don’t happen for no reason, or exist for no reason.
    It would seem, of course, that atheists who wish to refute the PSR could simply assert “Everything has a reason — says who?” Atheists could simply deny the PSR. They could insist that perhaps some things don’t have sufficient reasons for their existence. Perhaps the whole universe doesn’t have a sufficient reason for its existence. It just exists without a reason. No need for God.
    The difficulty with this argument against PSR is obvious: science depends critically on the truth of the PSR. If anything, let alone the whole universe, can exist without reason, then why invoke scientific explanations for anything? For example, if polar bears can exist without reason, why invoke evolution from whales? Polar bears just exist, like the whole universe just exists. No reason, evolutionary or otherwise. If the whole panoply of nature exists without reason, why invoke a scientific explanation for any part of it? Surely Occam’s Razor favors “just happened” over “happened because random heritable mutation and natural selection…”
    Atheists who deny the PSR deny science. And atheists who embrace PSR embrace transcendent causation of the universe via Aquinas’ First Way.
    Atheists like Coyne, of course, take recourse in the excluded middle. The most common gambit to get around this problem — Jerry Coyne’s gambit here — is to ignore the contradiction, and hope no one notices.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94991.html

  2. 2
    anthropic says:

    BA 1

    “One gambit that has been used by those who doubt Aristotle’s and Aquinas’ unmoved mover argument is the argument (popularized by Kant) that reasoning in the natural world of human perception cannot be applied across the divide that separates nature from transcendence. We can’t, in other words, reason our way to God, because if God exists, He is beyond reason.”

    This is exactly where Islam ends up. God is utterly unknowable and irrational, and so is the universe He created and sustains. Cause and effect do not exist, all appearances to the contrary.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    anthropic, I think Jaki did an excellent job of figuring out exactly why Christianity successfully provided the proper catalyst for modern science whereas other cultures, including Islam, failed.

    The War against the War Between Science and Faith Revisited – July 2010
    Excerpt: …as Whitehead pointed out, it is no coincidence that science sprang, not from Ionian metaphysics, not from the Brahmin-Buddhist-Taoist East, not from the Egyptian-Mayan astrological South, but from the heart of the Christian West, that although Galileo fell out with the Church, he would hardly have taken so much trouble studying Jupiter and dropping objects from towers if the reality and value and order of things had not first been conferred by belief in the Incarnation. (Walker Percy, Lost in the Cosmos),,,
    Jaki notes that before Christ the Jews never formed a very large community (priv. comm.). In later times, the Jews lacked the Christian notion that Jesus was the monogenes or unigenitus, the only-begotten of God. Pantheists like the Greeks tended to identify the monogenes or unigenitus with the universe itself, or with the heavens. Jaki writes: Herein lies the tremendous difference between Christian monotheism on the one hand and Jewish and Muslim monotheism on the other. This explains also the fact that it is almost natural for a Jewish or Muslim intellectual to become a pantheist. About the former Spinoza and Einstein are well-known examples. As to the Muslims, it should be enough to think of the Averroists. With this in mind one can also hope to understand why the Muslims, who for five hundred years had studied Aristotle’s works and produced many commentaries on them failed to make a breakthrough. The latter came in medieval Christian context and just about within a hundred years from the availability of Aristotle’s works in Latin,,
    If science suffered only stillbirths in ancient cultures, how did it come to its unique viable birth? The beginning of science as a fully fledged enterprise took place in relation to two important definitions of the Magisterium of the Church. The first was the definition at the Fourth Lateran Council in the year 1215, that the universe was created out of nothing at the beginning of time. The second magisterial statement was at the local level, enunciated by Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris who, on March 7, 1277, condemned 219 Aristotelian propositions, so outlawing the deterministic and necessitarian views of creation.
    These statements of the teaching authority of the Church expressed an atmosphere in which faith in God had penetrated the medieval culture and given rise to philosophical consequences. The cosmos was seen as contingent in its existence and thus dependent on a divine choice which called it into being; the universe is also contingent in its nature and so God was free to create this particular form of world among an infinity of other possibilities. Thus the cosmos cannot be a necessary form of existence; and so it has to be approached by a posteriori investigation. The universe is also rational and so a coherent discourse can be made about it. Indeed the contingency and rationality of the cosmos are like two pillars supporting the Christian vision of the cosmos.
    http://www.scifiwright.com/201.....revisited/

    Here are a few more gems from Jaki:

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf

    Einstein was once asked (by a philosopher):

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video or can be read in full context in the article following the video:

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, July 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    http://www.saintcd.com/science.....imitstart=

    The statement, ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement’, was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, undermined the space-time of Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality. For instance:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.
    Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide?
    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.
    Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which,, has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.
    The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler’s original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light.
    “Quantum physics’ predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-q.....dness.html

    Of related note to the warfare myth:

    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/

  4. 4
    anthropic says:

    Thanks, BA. I always learn from your expositions, though sometimes it feels like taking a drink from a fire hydrant! 🙂

    Interesting that God identified Himself as the uncreated NOW in both the Old and New Testaments: I AM.

    (God the Father in Exodus 3:14; Jesus in John 8:58)

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    “Interesting that God identified Himself as the uncreated NOW in both the Old and New Testaments: I AM.”

    Yes interesting indeed. Thanks for bringing that out.

    Of related note to the ‘uncreated NOW’ is the correspondence found in special relativity and Near Death Experience (NDE) testimonies.

    In special relativity, time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ – video (6:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/jHnRqhnkyGs?t=364

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    And this ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ is also found in Near Death Experience testimonies:

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    ‘When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like you were always there, and you will always be there. You realize that existence on Earth is only just a brief instant.’
    Dr. Ken Ring – has extensively studied Near Death Experiences

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson

    As well, please note at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.).

    Seeing Relativity – Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4

    And as with NDE testimony correspondence to the ‘eternal’, time stopping, aspect of special relativity, we also have NDE correspondence to the ‘tunnel to a higher dimension’ aspect of special relativity:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv2jLeoAcMI

    Life After Life – Raymond Moody – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56u4wMxNlg

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is the original Larsen article that was quoted from earlier. Interesting read.

    “‘War Is Over, If You Want It’: Beyond the Conflict between Faith and Science” – Timothy Larsen 2008
    Excerpt: the story of religion and the Victorians has usually been told as one of “the loss of faith.” The Victorian crisis of faith or loss of faith has been a reigning theme for over fifty years now in the scholarship,,,
    Despite this being presented as the main story, it does not, however, measure up against the reconversions of secularists. In these collections of deconverts by Willey, Wilson, and others, there is not a single prominent Christian leader who lost his or her faith–no celebrated preacher, no bishop, no key functionary in a Christian denomination or organization–whereas, as has been said, at least 20% of the prominent secularist leadership came to faith.
    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2.....Larsen.pdf

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    More to the point, however, was the fact that clergymen were undertaking this work for the sheer love of science and thus hindering the expectation that it would be done for money by paid full-time scientists. Clergymen were branded amateurs in order to facilitate the creation of a new category of professionals.

    Doing it for the love of science takes away some of the bias and corruption that comes from doing it for a financial motive.

  8. 8
    Ray Martinez says:

    All blockquote quotations from the OP—Cornelius Hunter:

    Both of these Christian organizations promote evolutionary theory (Calvin statement, BioLogos statement). That is not surprising since evolution derives, at least in modern times, from theologians and philosophers in the church.

    Where did you obtain this idea?

    Charles Darwin:

    “I can entertain no doubt, after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgment of which I am capable, that the view which most naturalists entertain, and which I formerly entertained—namely, that each species has been independently created—is erroneous. I am fully convinced that species are not immutable” (On The Origin 1859:6; London: John Murray).

    “We see this in the plainest manner by the fact that all the most eminent palæontologists, namely Cuvier, Owen, Agassiz, Barrande, Falconer, E. Forbes, &c., and all our greatest geologists, as Lyell, Murchison, Sedgwick, &c., have unanimously, often vehemently, maintained the immutability of species….I feel how rash it is to differ from these great authorities, to whom, with others, we owe all our knowledge.” (On The Origin 1859: 310; London: John Murray).

    Prior to 1859 science held “each species” immutable (= non-evolvable); created independently.

    “To be sure, evolutionary thinking is obvious in ancient Epicureanism, but its resurgence in the seventeenth century was almost exclusively the work of Christian thinkers. Descartes, Malebranche, Cudworth, Ray, Burnett, Leibniz and Wolfe are good examples of how widespread was the movement within Christian thought, and of how varied were the arguments for a strictly naturalistic origins narrative.”

    NONE of the persons mentioned advocated evolution as understood since the rise of Darwinism. NONE of the persons mentioned advocated naturalistic origins as understood since the rise of Darwinism. Prior to 1859 the term “natural” presupposed design and supernatural or Intelligent causation. For example, Natural Theology.

    Moreover, I challenge you to produce any evidence showing any of the persons mentioned as advocating the concept of evolution (species producing species) and non-supernatural causation. Waiting.

    “These mandates for naturalism increased and by the nineteenth century were the received truths for progressives.”

    To say the Church or Christians advocated Naturalism as understood since the rise of Darwinism is preposterous! Again, the word “natural,” prior to 1859, in philosophy and science, presupposed by design (Intelligent causation). You’ve completely misunderstood. To say Christians conceived of the idea to get rid of God (unintelligent causation) is loony. The idea falsifies a claim of following Christ.

    “This was the culture Charles Darwin was born into and his book applied these arguments for naturalism to the problem of the origins of the species. Darwin’s thought—from his early notebooks, to Origins, to his later works and autobiography—was thoroughly metaphysical. God must have created via law not miracle and, ever since Darwin, Christians have embraced this belief just as strongly as the pre Darwin Christians had promoted it.”

    You’re completely ignorant of the history of evolution 101. Darwin wasn’t attempting to show how God really created; rather, he was attempting to show that God didn’t create anything—material nature itself, without any supernatural assistance, does all the “creating” (Naturalism/Materialism).

    Darwin ended his book “crediting” the Creator because it was illegal in Victorian times to advocate matter and laws uncaused. Darwin, since 1837-1838, was a closet Atheist.

    How is it that every Atheist in Victorian times, including Marx and Engels, instantly accepted Darwin’s theory and instantly understood the ending of the Origin as disingenuous, having an ulterior motive, but people like you cannot? Darwin REMOVED the Creator from nature. Science, before he published, accepted independent creation of each species (see quotations).

    Private letter: Darwin to Hooker [March 1863]

    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/entry-4065

    “But I have long regretted that I truckled to public opinion & used Pentateuchal term of creation, by which I really meant “appeared” by some wholly unknown process.—It is mere rubbish thinking, at present, of origin of life; one might as well think of origin of matter”

    Where did you obtain the idea that Darwin was working for God?

    Since all Atheists accept, defend and promote evolutionary theory/Darwinism with fanatical zeal, what does that tell you?

  9. 9
    Ray Martinez says:

    Why does Uncommon Descent/William Dembski allow people like Cornelius Hunter to propagate the utter lies and nonsense seen in the OP?

    Cornelius Hunter: Evolution a Christian idea and concept!

    The fact of the matter is that only Atheists advocated evolution in Victorian times. Evolution (species producing species) is an Atheist concept. In fact pro-evolution tracts were first produced in printing shops that also produced some of the first pornographic images, run by infidels/Atheists (reference available upon request).

    In Victorian times, up until the rise of Darwinism (1859-1872) science accepted “each species” created independently thus “each species” was considered immutable (Darwin 1859:6, 310; London: John Murray). Moreover, in Victorian times, up until the rise of Darwinism (1859-1872) science accepted Paley’s case for design and Intelligent causation. So where was evolution Mr. Hunter?

    So Cornelius Hunter is exposed as a propaganda artist working in behalf of the Atheist Agenda to erase the facts of the history of Creationism in science.

    Shame on Uncommon Descent and William Dembski for letting a corruption artist like Cornelius Hunter ply his trade.

  10. 10
    Upright BiPed says:

    Have a Tagamet RayRay.

    Maybe getcha a Calgon bath.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Ray Martinez, whilst I can certainly appreciate the shock invoked in you that associating Darwinian evolution, as it currently stands, with Christianity in any way, shape, or form, none-the-less Dr Hunter is right in pointing out that Darwin’s theory is built primarily upon a theological foundation that finds its roots in the liberal Christian theology of the Victorian era.

    Pastor Joe Boot has done an excellent lecture on the subject, based in large measure on Dr. Hunter’s book “Darwin’s God”, on the theological climate of that time, that shows just how deep theological roots tie into Darwinian thought:

    The Descent of Darwin (The Theodicy of Darwinism) – Pastor Joe Boot – video – 16:30 minute mark
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKzUSWU7c2s&feature=player_detailpage#t=996

    In fact, Darwin’s book, “Origin”, instead of any math to support his theory, is riddled with bad theology to support his theory:

    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

    Charles Darwin’s use of theology in the Origin of Species – STEPHEN DILLEY
    Abstract
    This essay examines Darwin’s positiva (or positive) use of theology in the first edition of the Origin of Species in three steps. First, the essay analyses the Origin’s theological language about God’s accessibility, honesty, methods of creating, relationship to natural laws and lack of responsibility for natural suffering; the essay contends that Darwin utilized positiva theology in order to help justify (and inform) descent with modification and to attack special creation. Second, the essay offers critical analysis of this theology, drawing in part on Darwin’s mature ruminations to suggest that, from an epistemic point of view, the Origin’s positiva theology manifests several internal tensions. Finally, the essay reflects on the relative epistemic importance of positiva theology in the Origin’s overall case for evolution. The essay concludes that this theology served as a handmaiden and accomplice to Darwin’s science.
    http://journals.cambridge.org/.....741100032X

    To this day, Darwinists continue to rely on bad theology as a main support for Darwin’s theory:

    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

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of theology? – Dilley S. – 2013
    Abstract
    This essay analyzes Theodosius Dobzhansky’s famous article, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution,” in which he presents some of his best arguments for evolution. I contend that all of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon sectarian claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. Moreover, Dobzhansky’s theology manifests several tensions, both in the epistemic justification of his theological claims and in their collective coherence. I note that other prominent biologists–such as Mayr, Dawkins, Eldredge, Ayala, de Beer, Futuyma, and Gould–also use theology-laden arguments. I recommend increased analysis of the justification, complexity, and coherence of this theology.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23890740

    In this following video Dr. William Lane Craig is surprised to find that evolutionary biologist Dr. Ayala uses the theological argument of ‘bad design’ to support Darwinian evolution and invites him to present empirical evidence, any positive evidence at all, that Darwinian evolution can do what he claims it can:

    Refuting The Myth Of ‘Bad Design’ vs. Intelligent Design – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIzdieauxZg

    Here, at about the 55:00 minute mark in the following video, Phillip Johnson sums up his, in my opinion, excellent lecture by noting that the refutation of his book, ‘Darwin On Trial’, in the Journal Nature, the most prestigious science journal in the world, was a theological argument about what God would and would not do and therefore Darwinism must be true, and the critique from Nature was not a refutation based on any substantiating scientific evidence for Darwinism that one would expect to be brought forth in such a prestigious venue:

    Darwinism On Trial (Phillip E. Johnson) – lecture video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwj9h9Zx6Mw

    In fact, in the twisted world of Darwinian reasoning, Dr. John Avise used the fact that mutations are overwhelmingly detrimental, which is actually a powerful scientific argument against Darwinism, as a theological argument for Darwinism since, according to Darwinian theology, God would never allow such things as detrimental mutations:

    It Is Unfathomable That a Loving Higher Intelligence Created the Species – Cornelius Hunter – June 2012
    Excerpt: “Approximately 0.1% of humans who survive to birth carry a duplicon-related disability, meaning that several million people worldwide currently are afflicted by this particular subcategory of inborn metabolic errors. Many more afflicted individuals probably die in utero before their conditions are diagnosed. Clearly, humanity bears a substantial health burden from duplicon-mediated genomic malfunctions. This inescapable empirical truth is as understandable in the light of mechanistic genetic operations as it is unfathomable as the act of a loving higher intelligence. [112]”
    – Dr. John Avise – “Inside The Human Genome: A Case For Non-Intelligent Design”
    (Dr. Cornelius Hunter goes on to comment)
    “There you have it. Evil exists and a loving higher intelligence wouldn’t have done it that way.” –
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....it-is.html

    Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design – Pg. 57 By John C. Avise
    Excerpt: “Another compilation of gene lesions responsible for inherited diseases is the web-based Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD). Recent versions of HGMD describe more than 75,000 different disease causing mutations identified to date in Homo-sapiens.”

    I went to the mutation database website cited by John Avise and found:

    Mutation total (as of June 27, 2015) – 166,768
    http://www.hgmd.cf.ac.uk/ac/

    Contrary to what Dr. Avise may believe, such an overwhelming rate of detrimental mutations is NOT a point of evidence in favor of Darwinism! In fact, it is a very powerful scientific argument against Darwinian claims,,, That this fact would even have to be pointed out to Darwinists is a sad testimony to how warped Darwinian theology truly is in regards to the science at hand.

    Thus Ray, the fact of the matter, as shocking as it may seem to present day Christians, is that Darwinism is absolutely dependent on its bad theological reasoning that was born of the liberal Christian theology of Victorian England.
    In fact, without Darwin’s liberal theological roots it would have died an early death since it had, and still has, no real time empirical support nor did it even have a rigid mathematical basis to test its claims against.
    Nor does it even have a mathematical proof to test against to this day:

    “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.”
    – Gregory Chaitin

  12. 12
    Ray Martinez says:

    “Ray Martinez, whilst I can certainly appreciate the shock invoked in you that associating Darwinian evolution, as it currently stands, with Christianity in any way, shape, or form, none-the-less Dr Hunter is right in pointing out that Darwin’s theory is built primarily upon a theological foundation that finds its roots in the liberal Christian theology of the Victorian era.

    Here our pro-Darwin “IDist” simply repeats the claims of C. Hunter while adding the fact that Hunter has a doctorate—which is known as an invalid argument-from-authority. The implication is that Hunter is correct based only on the fact of his advanced degree. To be continued….

  13. 13
    JimFit says:

    Hey bornagain77 i have some questions but i don’t know how to express them…anyway, let me try…
    How evolution really works according to the latest discoveries?
    Is evolution real or we must search for another theory? Species change over time but is this evolution or we should call it differently? Is there another theory that explains without evolution how species arise? If we live in a hologram can we say that God creates animals spontaneously? Like a programmer? Can we prove that?
    What if we explain naturally everything about evolution? Doesn’t that destroy atheism which uses evolution as a random process to remove intention? If you didn’t understand some of my questions please let me know!

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Ray Martinez, I am hardly pro-Darwin and it is hardly an ‘argument from authority’ to say that Darwin’s theory is reliant on bad theological premises when I in fact listed a peer reviewed paper outlining the theological core of Darwin’s own book.

    Charles Darwin’s use of theology in the Origin of Species – STEPHEN DILLEY – 2011
    Abstract
    This essay examines Darwin’s positiva (or positive) use of theology in the first edition of the Origin of Species in three steps. First, the essay analyses the Origin’s theological language about God’s accessibility, honesty, methods of creating, relationship to natural laws and lack of responsibility for natural suffering; the essay contends that Darwin utilized positiva theology in order to help justify (and inform) descent with modification and to attack special creation. Second, the essay offers critical analysis of this theology, drawing in part on Darwin’s mature ruminations to suggest that, from an epistemic point of view, the Origin’s positiva theology manifests several internal tensions. Finally, the essay reflects on the relative epistemic importance of positiva theology in the Origin’s overall case for evolution. The essay concludes that this theology served as a handmaiden and accomplice to Darwin’s science.
    http://journals.cambridge.org/.....741100032X

  15. 15
    Ray Martinez says:

    “Ray Martinez, I am hardly pro-Darwin and it is hardly an ‘argument from authority’ to say that Darwin’s theory is reliant on bad theological premises when I in fact listed a peer reviewed paper outlining the theological core of Darwin’s own book.

    You’re a bad listener/reader. I said:

    “Here our pro-Darwin “IDist” simply repeats the claims of C. Hunter while adding the fact that Hunter has a doctorate—which is known as an invalid argument-from-authority. The implication is that Hunter is correct based only on the fact of his advanced degree.’

  16. 16
    Ray Martinez says:

    Concerning msg #11 by “bornagain77”

    The first thing that needs to be said is that I answered OP author C. Hunter directly in blockquotes followed by my replies (msg #9). Bornagain77 completely ignored these replies and repeated the claims of Hunter using his own words. This indicates an inability to refute.

    The second thing that needs to be said is the fact that bornagain77 uses secondary sources, unlike myself. I used primary sources. The rule is that if a primary source is contradicted by a secondary source then the burden of proof falls on the secondary source to produce primary sources to support his or her claims.

    Bornagain77 simply parrots a secondary source and declares victory.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Ray, I suggest you take it up with Dr Hunter on his own blog.

    Though you may be correct on some minor point, (I am not going to waste my time figuring your minor point out), as to the major point, I am not persuaded in the least that you have established that Darwin’s theory is not reliant on (bad) theology. It clearly is reliant on bad theology. (In fact all science presupposes teleology on some level. It is impossible to do science otherwise!)

    Of note, seeing as I have much better things to do than be insulted by you, this is my last reply to you.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    JimFit:

    How (does) evolution really work according to the latest discoveries?

    A. L. Hughes’s New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – December 2011
    Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species’ particular environment….By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became “heritable”. — As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The “remainder” has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) — in the formation of secondary species.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53881.html

    Is evolution real or must we search for another theory?

    Micro-evolution is real and we observe it all the time. Yet Micro-evolutionary events are merely ‘variations within kind’ and they do not generate new functional information and/or complexity. Macro-evolution, i.e. the grand claim that unguided material processes can generate new species has never been observed and is, as far as empirical science is concerned, patently false.

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.
    – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    Species change over time but is this evolution or we should call it differently?

    Since the vast majority of micro-evolutionary events are occuring by non-Darwinian means, i.e. ‘non-random’ means, I think it would be more proper to call it something other than micto-evolution to avoid the confusion. Of course, Darwinists thrive on confusion and will never change the word since it serves their agenda to have confusion.
    IMHO, the word ‘adaptation’, or something along that line, would be more appropriate to use:

    Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century – James A. Shapiro – 2009
    Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed.....0Dogma.pdf

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

    Is there another theory that explains without evolution how species arise?

    Well there is James Shapiro’s group, “The Third Way”, that is ‘seeking’ another theory to replace neo-Darwinism

    A Group of Darwin-Skeptical Scientists Seeking a “Third Way” in Biology – May 2014
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....86231.html

    The Third Way
    “J.A. Shapiro a professor at the University of Chicago, , and other top researchers, is searching for a “third way,” a scientific, non-Darwinian way.”
    http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/people

    as well there was this recent paper:

    (Kevin Laland, Tobias Uller, Marc Feldman, Kim Sterelny, Gerd B. Müller, Armin Moczek, Eva Jablonka, and John Odling-Smee, “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink? Yes, urgently,” Nature, Vol. 514:161-164 (October 9, 2014) )

    Moreover, Dr. Meyer critiqued 6 alternative models to neo-Darwinism. These were naturalistic models which sought to bypass, not only neo-Darwinism, but Intelligent Design also.
    Dr. Meyer found all 6 alternative naturalistic models to fall short:

    Darwin’s Doubt (Part 9) by Paul Giem – video – The Post Darwinian World and Self Organization
    Chapter 15 and 16 of Darwin’s Doubt in which 6 alternative models to neo-Darwinism, that have been proposed by evolutionists (such as those of the Altenberg 16) to ‘make up’ for the inadequacy in neo-Darwinism, are discussed and the failings of each model is exposed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....Ow3u0_mK8t

    If we live in a hologram can we say that God creates animals spontaneously? Like a programmer?

    Well, I don’t think I would go so far as to classify this present world that we live as a ‘hologram’, but the evidence that we live in a ‘information theoretic’ universe is indeed overwhelming.

    Can we prove that?

    Yes it can, and has, been ‘proved’ that both matter and energy can be reduced to quantum information.
    This ‘proof’ was done through what is called ‘quantum teleportation’.
    In fact an entire human can, theoretically, be reduced to quantum information and teleported to another location in the universe:

    Quantum Teleportation Of A Human? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfePpMTbFYY

    Your last two questions are a bit fuzzy.

    As to ‘destroying atheism’ though, I would hold that atheism destroys itself in its denial of the primacy of ‘free will and mind’ and the forsaking of rationality that that denial entails.

    “I have argued patiently against the prevailing form of naturalism, a reductive materialism that purports to capture life and mind through its neo-Darwinian extension.” “…, I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense”.
    Thomas Nagel – “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” – pg.128

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant:,,) Read more here:
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

  19. 19
    Ray Martinez says:

    bornagain77 msg #17: “I am not persuaded in the least that you have established that Darwin’s theory is not reliant on (bad) theology.”

    I didn’t address Darwin’s bad theology because Hunter said Darwin obtained and extended evolution from preceding Christian thought. I addressed the latter from the OP (msg #9). You ignored everything and went off on a tangent.

    Your inability to comprehend is the on-going problem here.

    “Of note, seeing as I have much better things to do than be insulted by you, this is my last reply to you.

    Blaming the messenger; pointing out your errors is misrepresented as insults.

    As it sits presently: Bornagain77 failed to respond to anything I said in any message. He ignored everything while attributing to me things I did not say. Again, this indicates much.

  20. 20
    Ray Martinez says:

    Bornagain77 msg #11

    “Pastor Joe Boot has done an excellent lecture on the subject, based in large measure on Dr. Hunter’s book “Darwin’s God”, on the theological climate of that time, that shows just how deep theological roots tie into Darwinian thought…”

    This says, in part, that OP author C. Hunter sought to establish Darwinian evolution as having a history in preceding Christian thought. Then Bornagain77 goes on to list, via his source, Darwin’s theological claims—claims that he describes as “bad theology,” which I agree. Darwin’s theology is made up, subjective.

    The problem: Hunter was arguing that Darwinian evolution originated in preceding Christian thought; and the source Bornagain77 used was arguing the same: “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…”(capitalization added).

    So Bornagain77 has misunderstood his sources. While we agree that Darwin’s theology, in the Origin, is bad, his sources are saying the exact opposite. Both sources are pro-Darwin and pro-evolution. This is why in an earlier message I described Bornagain77 as pro-Darwin.

  21. 21
    JimFit says:

    bornagain77 thanks again, i already knew some of the articles you cited but i needed this summary because i take your articles and translate them to Greek.

    As for the holographic theory, i was talking about the Fermilab experiment, i know that the word hologram is a coarsely term to describe the Universe but you get the point..!

  22. 22
    Ted Davis says:

    Dr Hunter’s claim that BioLogos promotes the Warfare Thesis is simply ridiculous. He calls for BioLogos to answer his concern. OK, he’ll have his answer next week, after I return from vacation. In the meantime, I recommend the opening section of this article to anyone who wants more reliable information about the origins of the Warfare Thesis: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1.....dberg.html

  23. 23
    Barb says:

    Darwin mentions a paleontologist (and engineer) named Joachim Barrande. He bestowed a gift to the Czech people in the form of a collection of more than 1,200 crates full of fossils, which he had spent decades collecting, studying, and classifying.

    When Charles Darwin’s book The Origin of Species was published in 1859, evolution replaced the theory of species immutability. However, Barrande, did not agree with this new theory. He rejected the evolution theory because he saw nothing in the fossil record to convince him that the theory was true. Barrande said that the purpose of his work was to “find out reality and not to construct ephemeral theories.”

    Indeed, on the title page of each volume of the Silurian System of Central Bohemia, [a 22-volume work still used as a reference today] he inscribed the motto: “C’est ce que j’ai vu”(This is what I have seen).

    Barrande did notice that the bodies of many animals were in different stages of development. However, he correctly concluded that they were of the same species but of different age. He saw no evidence that one kind of animal had evolved into another.

    Summing up Barrande’s philosophy, the book A Petrified World says: “Barrande’s whole work is . . . built on facts, and that is its most precious feature. At this stage of basic research, there is no room for speculation or guessing or for general theories either.”

  24. 24
    Ted Davis says:

    My reply to Dr Hunter is now live: http://biologos.org/blog/heres.....h-biologos

    I invite comments and questions there, not here.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    podcast – Debating Darwin’s Doubt: Casey Luskin on BioLogos’ Responses – August 3, 2015
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....responses/

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