Evolution and God does work

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.

Do you believe evolution and the Christian/Jewish God can work together?

Yes
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69%
No
5
31%
I don't know
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No votes
 
Total votes: 16

Smartie of the Soul
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Evolution and God does work

#1

Post by Smartie of the Soul » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:45 am

Although I don't have a faith or believe in a God, I think that evolution can work with the existence of God. I read something recently that said that evolution is against Christianity. (an article on Pokemon being immoral :lol: )

However, in my opinion, evolution does not go against Christianity unless you take Genesis literally.

Evolution is a theory, but I think that it is indisputible that the range of life we have today evolved from a few single-celled organisms. However, who says that God didn't create the earth, and then start off the evolutionary process? God could have just started the whole thing off.

Do you think that Christianity and evolution work?

(I'm 16, and I'm taking Philosophy of religion in school. I'm still atheist, but it's making me more open-minded and logical)

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Re: Evolution and God does work

#2

Post by sandy_mcd » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:30 am

Smartie of the Soul wrote:However, who says that God didn't create the earth, and then start off the evolutionary process?
That's a position usually referred to as theistic evolution. Some Christians believe that evolution violates some tenets of their religion; others don't. The Catholic Church has in the past accepted the idea of physical evolution, although some influential people now seem to be leaning towards some form of ID. It is not an essential tenet.

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#3

Post by zoegirl » Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:37 pm

The word evolution has become so hard to pin down. I have no problem with sayin that God directed evolution. However, believing that God is sovereign, I do have a problem if the original question means that God simply started everything. Genesis clearly states that God was intimately involved with the creation of the universe.

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#4

Post by Smartie of the Soul » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:17 am

@Zoe-

How does starting the process not mean he was intimately involved? Surely he would have planned evolution, and what creatures would evolve.

He would have 'intimately' planned all the directions evolution would take. It's not simple...
... I'm Humanist.

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#5

Post by zoegirl » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:10 am

Please understand, I don't doubt that God could have done it that way.

Form scripture, however, I know God was involved from start to finish

For instance, when some use the arguement that God and evolution work together, what they mean is that God simply put all the ingredients together in the proverbial mixing bowl and then watched what happened.

I simply wanted to make sure everybody is clear in what they mean by God and evolution.

However, I think scripture is clear that God planned it and conducted it.

I agree it's not simple...to us...

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#6

Post by godslanguage » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:58 pm

Actually, evolution is disputable. If it was indisputable, we wouldn't be having the debate about evolution in the first place. The term evolution can have many meanings, more often, one meaning is associated with complete random, chaos and the unconsciousness all based on natural selection. This associates itself with change over time, others belief this must include intelligent, guided processes that cannot come about primarily by randomness, chaos and natural selection, for that reason it can only be explained by an Intelligent and guided one which is what Intelligent Design proponents strongly believe and propose.

Reasons for this include that the modern theory of evolution is incapable of explaining the specified and/or irreducibly complex mechanisms (likewise incapable of simulating anything using hard scientific and predictive analysis showing a mutation that is beneficial or that produces anything functional, such as a wing or an eye, and why) of structures in organisms. Darwin's theory of evolution in this case is technically expired, because if he knew that the cell was this complex and powerful mechanism, he would have probably have come to different conclusions, more often, not so much the random ones. Darwin's theory of evolution would also say that things will change gradually over time by successive modifications; the Cambrian explosion is an example that does not agree with this gradual successive rate of evolving species. I believe Darwin's theory is not all wrong scientifically, but there is a significant barrier it has currently in explaining too many things. Perhaps it needs more time to explain, but any reasonable person would acknowledge it has not explained what is seen under the microscope by those current standards.
"Is it possible that God is not just an Engineer, but also a divine Artist who creates at times solely for His enjoyment? Maybe the Creator really does like beetles." RTB

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#7

Post by Smartie of the Soul » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:04 pm

Yes, cells are incredibly complex structures... but they've had hundreds of millions of years to develop. In the beginning, there was just these single cells. This was then 'built on' to gradually form complex life- the first worms, fish etc. (worms were first after the cells/bacteria)
... I'm Humanist.

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#8

Post by godslanguage » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:28 pm

Smartie of the Soul wrote:Yes, cells are incredibly complex structures... but they've had hundreds of millions of years to develop. In the beginning, there was just these single cells. This was then 'built on' to gradually form complex life- the first worms, fish etc. (worms were first after the cells/bacteria)
How did it form complex life? Why? What were the variables involved in the function of x to produce y to produce z etc...

More importantly, these single cells, how did they evolve, because they had to as well right and since all organisms evolved including the prior or starting point cellular structures, then why does God need to have any hand in this? You might as well take one approach and say the whole universe evolves and A.I is inevitable.
"Is it possible that God is not just an Engineer, but also a divine Artist who creates at times solely for His enjoyment? Maybe the Creator really does like beetles." RTB

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#9

Post by godslanguage » Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:42 pm

Depending on how you define evolution, this determines whether God fits into the equation. For example, many believe that the cell is a self replicating, pre-programmed molecular machine that the results are pre-determined and inevtiable set of outputs and that God had set this up to do the work on its own in accordance to the laws of physics and nature, this is very possible that this is the case.

However, then you can question what kind of God would do it this way and why does God have so much time on His hands. The problem here is, we humans think of God as within our own limits or within our own physical dimension of constraints, for God there are no constraints, time is not a factor that we can apply to God as we do to ourselves and the way we see nature and reality.

Another way God can play a role is that God started the process but also intervened throughout the whole process, as it does not specifically say how God did it in the Bible, the Bible does indicate that God intervened in the process of creation, and that all of creation is the result of God.

In intelligent design theory, they don't directly refer to "God dun it" argument, but they do believe it be necessary for a causal agent or a source of intelligence to have a variable or primary role to describe the features of biological structures and of the universe itself.
Last edited by godslanguage on Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Is it possible that God is not just an Engineer, but also a divine Artist who creates at times solely for His enjoyment? Maybe the Creator really does like beetles." RTB

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meaning of evolution

#10

Post by zoegirl » Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:15 pm

This has probably been covered in depth elsewhere...

I tell my students that every converstaion concerning evolution must first define evolution (even my graduate classes understood that this is a slippery word, with multiple layers)

1) evolution as a philosophy? (NO God, chance alone)
2) chemical evolution? (abiogenesis)
3) cellular evolution?
4) population genetics? (microevolution)
5) natural selection? (aka microevolution)
6) historical evolution( aka macroevolution)

Most evolution textbooks make a clear disctinction between evolution and natural selection. Natural selection by itself does not necessarily lead to evolution, there must be an introduction new changes in the gene pool that allow novel phenotypes to be selcted for or against. Without these novel phenotypes, you simply have natural selection (that was from two of my evoltuion textbooks as well as my profs).

Mostly, people are really disagreeing with the philosophy and historical account of evolution.

One of my professors bragged that he could take a freshmen college student in his introductory bio course that stood up when asked if there were Christians i nthe class and mess with his understanding of evolution in order to get him to admit he believed in evolution. (yes, he bragged about it, lovely man). He then told us how...predominantly it dealt with the students ignorance of microevolution and macroevolution. Getting to admit that populations change due to changes in their gene frquencies. He used the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium statements to twist the student's understanding and lead him to think he now supports evolution and his Christian beliefs are archaic and unscientific.

If anybody ever claims that this is not a spiritual battle, then there it is.

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#11

Post by Gman » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:19 pm

We've been down this road so many times before... If we are talking about Darwinian evolution everyone knows that it is trying to explain the origins of life through naturalistic means...

All these evolutionists agree that Darwinian evolution is a naturalistic process when it comes to the explanation of origins... A process that does NOT involve any divine creator.. A process that goes against God and against scripture...

Scott Todd C., a professor in the Department of Biology at Kansas State University says: "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic." "A View from Kansas on the Evolution Debates," Nature (vol. 401), p. 423.

Lewontin, Richard: "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism. . . . we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." Review of the Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan. In New York Review of Books.

Theodosius Dobzhansky: "Evolution comprises all the stages of the development of the universe: the cosmic, the biological, and human or cultural development. Attempts to restrict the concept of evolution to biology are gratuitous. Life is a product of the evolution of inorganic nature, and man is a product of the evolution of life."

Julian Huxley: "The concept of evolution was soon [after its appearance] extended into other than biological fields. Inorganic subjects such as the life-histories of the stars and the formation of the chemical elements on the one hand, and on the other hand subjects like linguistics, social athropology, and comparative law and religion, began to be studied from an evolutionary angle, until today we are enabled to see evolution as a universal and all pervading process. Furthermore, with the adoption of the evolutionary approach in non-biological fields, from cosmology to human affairs, we are beginning to realize that biological evolution is only one aspect to evolution in general."

Robert Jastrow: "Basic building blocks of life--amino acids and nucleotides--were made in earth's atmosphere by the passage of lightening bolts through primitive gases. Then they drained out of the atmosphere into the oceans and made a kind of "chicken soup" in which collisions occurred. Eventually, the first self-replicating molecule was formed by accident, and as soon as a molecule could divide and reproduce itself, you had a magic law broken for the first time."

Wynn & Wiggins: "Aristotle believed that decaying material could be transformed by the “spontaneous action of Nature” into living animals. His hypothesis was ultimately rejected, but... Aristotle's hypothesis has been replaced by another spontaneous generation hypothesis, one that requires billions of years to go from the molecules of the universe to cells, and then, via random mutation/natural selection, from cells to the variety of organisms living today. This version, which postulates chance happenings eventually leading to the phenomenon of life, is biology's Theory of Evolution."

Maybe someone could talk to them and convince them otherwise... Good luck...
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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#12

Post by godslanguage » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:19 pm

Yes Gman, you are absolutely correct, there is no sense in going in between the middle here and jumping bridges, simple, its either A or B, nothing in between.

Choose wisely :wink:
"Is it possible that God is not just an Engineer, but also a divine Artist who creates at times solely for His enjoyment? Maybe the Creator really does like beetles." RTB

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#13

Post by archaeologist » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:00 pm

"Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic."
thus they make their fatal mistake. science needs to be re-defined and not limited to what the secularists want to see involved.

after all, they do not own the field of science (any of them) thus their rules are usurpers of the true owner, God. in my discussions with secularists, it has become apparant to me that they will do anything to eliminate the truth from their studies, their research, their conclusions.

their purpose is not in finding God but finding alternatives to HIm which is wrong and the believer should not participate on that level as demonstrated by this comment:
Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door
such an attitude undermines and destroys their claims to being objective or even scientific which disqualifies their conclusions based upon their own rules.

too many times i have seen researchers find evidence which supports the biblical record, only to see them make a sharp right turn to some alternative theory.

for the believer there must be a new strategy implemented to meet this closed-minded way of thought and we must take science in a new and truthful direction.

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#14

Post by zoegirl » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:05 pm

You know, I feel that I should defend some of my fellow scientists, some of whom simply define science as that material that can be tested, controlled, observed, and repeated. Not all are evil.

I know the God in scripture cannot be controlled (favorite quoteof CS Lewis :He is not a tame lion 8) ) He cannot be measured, He cannot be dictated to, He cannot be put under a microscope.

Saying that. I know that philosophy can be used within science. Unfortunately, society has equated science with God lately or at least put science a the same level and purpose of God. But by its very nature science is limited, observational reseacrch can only tackle natural phenomenon. I think sometimes we forget this and somehow lend credence to the notion that somehow science can disprove God. Science is powerful, science is cool, but ultimately a person rejects God because they want to. Two people can look at the Hubble sapce telescope, both using science to observe and measure stars and one believes in God and one doesn't. Sure observation may have been the stepping stones, but God did the calling.

I am wary whenever someone says to take back science. Vague enough to be scary. What does this mean? Scrap the scientific method? Simply cahnge the philosophy?

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#15

Post by zoegirl » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:15 pm

To add, I think scientists will be the most...surprised (for lack of a better word). I imagine God saying, "Look how much evidence I gave you, you more than others had the chance to glimpse into my magnificence, my order, my beauty...you studied it, manipulated it, examined my laws I put into place...You had a passion for studying my creation and you still rejected me"

How sad...and how blind

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