Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

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

#16

Post by RickD » Wed May 04, 2016 4:49 pm

HugeFairy wrote:
Theistic Evolutionists have the support of entire religions.

Argumentum ad populum
?
John 5:24
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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#17

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Wed May 04, 2016 5:14 pm

Why would God provide an allegory instead of going into detail... One needs to understand that the more systematic scientific way of thinking people possess now is a recent phenomenon. The state of the human psyche back then was more likely to assign meaning to coincidences, more prone to superstition, unable to fathom the regularities in nature, and incapable of abstract thought. In fact the idea that nature has a set of laws governing it was not at all obvious. Sure we knew things fell to the ground but it was believed heavier items fell faster than lighter things for millennia even though it would be so easy to test!!! So the question really should be how is it that you fail to appreciate that the way people experienced the world has not always been the way you experience it now?
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#18

Post by Philip » Wed May 04, 2016 6:15 pm

Hugh: Well, all are entitled to their own opinions as to how far from literal truth one can validly interpret the book of Genesis, but Philip has no authority to pass on his opinions except himself. Theistic Evolutionists have the support of entire religions.

Uh, Hugh, there are many views amongst Christians concerning the origins discussed in Genesis. Just because some guy in a big hat weighs in with his view - does that influence you, or do you do your own thinking and research. It matters not one bit what the head of some church believes about evolution, as he is but one man with an opinion. Do you even understand what we were speaking of, with the two Genesis Creation accounts, when it comes to the creation of mankind, and then of Adam and Eve, that they may well be speaking of entirely separate mortal creations?

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#19

Post by RickD » Wed May 04, 2016 6:21 pm

Did you just call the pope, "some guy in a big hat"?

Oooh, you're going to that fiery furnace below!! Straight to hell. Do not pass purgatory. Do not collect $200.

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Philip (Wed May 04, 2016 6:50 pm)
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#20

Post by abelcainsbrother » Wed May 04, 2016 6:41 pm

BGoodForGoodSake wrote:Why would God provide an allegory instead of going into detail... One needs to understand that the more systematic scientific way of thinking people possess now is a recent phenomenon. The state of the human psyche back then was more likely to assign meaning to coincidences, more prone to superstition, unable to fathom the regularities in nature, and incapable of abstract thought. In fact the idea that nature has a set of laws governing it was not at all obvious. Sure we knew things fell to the ground but it was believed heavier items fell faster than lighter things for millennia even though it would be so easy to test!!! So the question really should be how is it that you fail to appreciate that the way people experienced the world has not always been the way you experience it now?
You can thank Christians for the age of enlightenment and the birth of science.Christians were burned at the stake but their lives were not in vain because it eventually gave rise to modern day science. Non-believers have been blessed by all of the knowledge we have acquired since back then,yet they never think to thank God for blessing us with the knowledge we have acquired. There are other nations that are not Christian that have to steal technology from the west.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#21

Post by Philip » Wed May 04, 2016 6:50 pm

Rick: Do not collect $200.

Hey, the Big C has deep pockets - that's chump change!

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#22

Post by RickD » Wed May 04, 2016 6:53 pm

Philip wrote:Rick: Do not collect $200.

Hey, the Big C has deep pockets - that's chump change!
Do they have more money than Joel Osteen?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#23

Post by bippy123 » Wed May 04, 2016 10:46 pm

Byblos wrote:I'm not going to address your post point by point or the chock full of non sequiturs and false dichotomies.

Suffice it to say that as a bible-believing Christian (being Catholic is just a bonus :mrgreen: ) and a non-committed theistic evolutionist, I believe the following are compatible and reconcilable:

1) Biblical inerrancy
2) Literal Adam and Eve (in fact that's de fide)
3) Evolution
Byblos , how do you reconcile a literal Adam and Eve with evolution ?
Do you When man evolved from his ancestors then God infused his human soul into hm ?

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#24

Post by bippy123 » Wed May 04, 2016 10:50 pm

BGoodForGoodSake wrote:Why would God provide an allegory instead of going into detail... One needs to understand that the more systematic scientific way of thinking people possess now is a recent phenomenon. The state of the human psyche back then was more likely to assign meaning to coincidences, more prone to superstition, unable to fathom the regularities in nature, and incapable of abstract thought. In fact the idea that nature has a set of laws governing it was not at all obvious. Sure we knew things fell to the ground but it was believed heavier items fell faster than lighter things for millennia even though it would be so easy to test!!! So the question really should be how is it that you fail to appreciate that the way people experienced the world has not always been the way you experience it now?
Can you imagine God trying to explain it all to a simple goat herder ?
The herder just wouldn't understand and under think God would expect him to get it.

He tried explaining a little of it to job and job was humble enough to understand that he understood squat about the creation of the universe and everything in it.

I think God gave them as much as they could understand , and plus their salvation wasn't dependent on understanding it.
Everything lead to our lord and savior coming :)
That's what matters :)

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#25

Post by bippy123 » Wed May 04, 2016 10:51 pm

RickD wrote:
Philip wrote:Rick: Do not collect $200.

Hey, the Big C has deep pockets - that's chump change!
Do they have more money than Joel Osteen?
I'll take his garage any day Rick ;)

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#26

Post by bippy123 » Wed May 04, 2016 11:00 pm

hughfarey wrote:I'm a Theistic Evolutionist, just like the Pope. The Catholic Church is a conservative organisation, and takes a very long time to make up its mind about new scientific discoveries. This is not because it doesn't want them to be true, but because it wants to be sure that they are real discoveries, and confirming the evidence to the point of incontestability takes time. It also wants to fit the new discoveries into the entire framework of theology, so that they are a coherent part of its understanding of the ways of God. It took a while, but finally Pope John-Paul II admitted, in Fides et Ratio, that evolution was "more than a theory". Both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have continued this acceptance of scientific ideas, even to the point of Pope Francis being able to say: "When we read the account of Creation in Genesis we risk imagining that God was a magician, complete with an all powerful magic wand. But that was not so. He created beings and he let them develop according to the internal laws with which He endowed each one, that they might develop, and reach their fullness. He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the same time in which He assured them of his continual presence, giving life to every reality. And thus Creation has been progressing for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until becoming as we know it today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the Creator who gives life to all beings. The beginning of the world was not a work of chaos that owes its origin to another, but derives directly from a supreme Principle who creates out of love. The Big Bang theory, which is proposed today as the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of a divine creator but depends on it. Evolution in nature does not conflict with the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings who evolve." Incidentally, this is also the thinking of the Anglican and Methodist sects.

Theistic Evolution, then, is mainstream Christian thinking, not a fringe denial of biblical truth, nor a sign of atheist infiltration. Creationism, in all is forms, is the odd one out. Creationist interpretations of the bible rely on individual personal conviction, and are as liable to error as any other individual personal conviction. Philip's query above suggests that he has not really worked out for himself how literal the truth of the bible actually is. He dislikes "people dismissing the Genesis accounts as unfactual", but allows for "disagreements upon the meanings" - as long as they don't include evolution because "evolution is completely irreconcilable with the Genesis Creation accounts."

Well, all are entitled to their own opinions as to how far from literal truth one can validly interpret the book of Genesis, but Philip has no authority to pass on his opinions except himself. Theistic Evolutionists have the support of entire religions.
Remember Hugh that the pope only spoke his opinion and didn't say we must believe in evolution .
I was a theistic evolutionist for 41 years
I'm now an iDist/old earth creationist
As I said before I can come back to theistic evolution , I just don't see the evidence for some of the main parts of the theory .

And I'm sorry many micros don't equal a Macro, even though I still geek out like crazy when someone takes me to the la brea tar pits ;)
The many studies on macro like the fruit fly studies and lenskis bacteria show that each kind almost had inherent limits built into it .

Plus I have never seen one person show me how specified complexity info can be created through chemical interaction and blind chance .

I'm
Curious do you believe that God created life to evolve and then stands back and keys it do its thing on its own with his inherent program built into life or do you believe he did it in another way .

As an iDist or as I was (theistic evolution )
I never thought of God as a magician bit as the ultimate scientist

By the way I'm Catholic also

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#27

Post by hughfarey » Wed May 04, 2016 11:18 pm

"Some guy in a big hat"? "Huge Fairy"? Ho ho ho. Attempting to ridicule one's opponents is rarely a successful method of defending one's position. The charge of argumentum ad populum carries a little more weight, but as it was raised by someone who classed himself and defended his position as one of a 'popolus', it doesn't amount to much. Philip began the OP with "if one is a Christian" before implying that belief in evolution was somehow un-Christian. My point was to demonstrate that "if one is a Christian" one is far more likely to believe in evolution than not, and that such a belief is entirely orthodox. The charge of not being Christian is often levelled against evolutionists, but it is demonstrably evident that if being a Christian were ever to depend on belief in evolution or not, then it is the Creationists who are not Christian, not the Evolutionists.

Fortunately, Philip backtracks slightly by admitting that "there are many views amongst Christians concerning the origins discussed in Genesis", although it is clear what he means is that his view is correct and mine is wrong.

The "guy in the big hat" thing is a bit silly, but I expect you knew that. The Pope's personal opinions carry no more weight than mine or yours, but as a spokesman for an organisation, he represents a great deal more. The remark: "It matters not one bit what the head of some church believes about evolution, as he is but one man with an opinion" is contradictory. The "head of some church", like the "president of some country" is certainly not just "one man with an opinion".

Philip's little whimsy about the two Genesis creation stories both being literally true is entertaining, but as he is no more than 'a guy in a little hat', 'but one man with an opinion', why should anyone pay him heed, unless he has some other justification for his views?

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#28

Post by hughfarey » Thu May 05, 2016 2:43 am

Bippy, it is certainly true that the speech I quoted from Pope Francis was not an ex cathedra statement, nor a declaration on faith or morals, but it was rather more than an off the cuff remark, being a carefully worded, penned, and published address. My point was not that Catholics must believe in evolution, but that most of them do, and that is not, therefore, 'unChristian' to do so. (Unless one thinks Catholics aren't Christians, of course...)

You ask: "I'm curious. Do you believe that God created life to evolve and then stands back and [lets?] it do its thing on its own with his inherent program built into life or do you believe he did it in another way?" I believe it happens another way. I believe that God is the continual and essential sustainer of all that is, from moment to moment. Kurieou expressed it very well in another post, which I don't know how to link to, but here is a snatch of it:

"God isn't just letting even time itself run on its own. Every new moment in time, the present moment of now-ness that you are experiencing, is being created by God. Time isn't just left running, but as we experience the present moment that is here and now, God is creating it fiat ex nihilo (out of nothing). God is the clock upon which time itself exists and runs. God is the sustainer of all, and by that God is creating everything that exists, holding it all in existence, always and in every moment. His faithfulness in holding it all together for us to experience in an orderly and stable fashion, is what we call God's sustaining of our world.

So, the question can't really be how God can create through evolution. Rather given God's existence and pervasiveness in everything that exists, the question is more whether God uniformly sustains all natural laws and processes to purposefully shape and bring new life into existence that didn't exist in a previous instance God sustained? If the answer to that is "yes", then the moment God does bring about new life such is actually being created along with everything else previously in existence fiat ex nihilo (out of nothing)."

My own little metaphor might be that the universe is God's telling of a story which was written before he started telling it. The moment he stopped telling it, it would just stop being, however beautifully planned and worked out it might have been beforehand.

Finally, although it is a tiny illustration, I am always amazed by the symmetry and beauty of crystals as they emerge from a completely disordered solution or melt. Look up images of bismuth on Google, for example. Chemical interaction and blind chance. Fantastic!

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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#29

Post by RickD » Thu May 05, 2016 2:53 am

Hugh,

Don't take it personally when I called you HugeFairy. No offense meant. Just a little fun on my part. I like to tease people. I even use self-deprecating humor.

It's all meant in good fun.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Questions for Theistic Evolutionists

#30

Post by hughfarey » Thu May 05, 2016 4:22 am

That's OK, Rick, I know you were joking. Philip, however, I think, was attempting to discredit the Pope's speech by equating the opinions of the leader of a billion Christians to the opinions of, at the very least, an 'average bloke', which is absurd, quite apart from the circumstances of the speech. If I wanted to know why my stomach hurt, I would consider the opinions of 'a guy in a white coat' in a hospital as a little more worthwhile than somebody I sat next to in the waiting room. Philip, as far as I know, is indeed, an 'average bloke', as I am myself. For that reason, it would be good to know if he has any justification at all for considering the first two chapters of Genesis as both literally true, and why he thinks his own personal opinion should carry any authority at all.

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