10 Misconceptions about Evolution (cont)


#1

> BioLogos takes a cheap shot at biblical creation … and misses… says Paul Price of creation.com

I think the problem (one problem among several) is that when bad arguments are cited, even when not used or held to by significant players in the debate, unless clearly indicated that main players do not use these arguments, is that it is a misleading type of strawman which diverts and misleads.

But the article above by Paul Price on creation.com, which does not seem to have been mentioned, is worth reading to better understand the objections to what Jim Stump has written. …creation.com/response-jim-stump-theistic-evolution* is the link to this article.

Paul Price indicates that Jim Stump has used bad hermeneutics in citing his examples of non-literal texts, that he ignores the evidence of “Expelled” and “Slaughter of the Dissidents”, that rather than genetics demonstrating evolution, it actually disproves evolution, and points out that Jim Stumps position on unguided added genetic information is actually contrary to Biologos stated position of evolution being God’s method of creating the creation God wanted to exist. If it is unguided, then it does not appear to be a method at all. At least not a method for God to use. Like saying, I want to get to New York so I will put a mouse on the road, and maybe it will eventually change to a horse which will pick me up accidentally by its tail and in its wandering eventually get me to New York… Quite the method.

Anyway, Paul Price has made some good comments in his retort to Jim Stump.


(Brad Kramer) #2

For those interested: http://creation.com/response-jim-stump-theistic-evolution


(George Brooks) #3

Paul Price writes this:

"Something else is deeply troubling about Stump’s (false) claim that information can be added by unguided natural processes: I thought Biologos was supporting so-called ‘evolutionary creation’ or theistic evolution (God guided and directed evolution’s course); but by saying life can evolve on its own with no input from God at all, doesn’t that leave God completely out of a job when it comes to the creation of life? "

I can see Price’s intended meaning.

But the issue of “added information” is not the same as “God-Guided”. Through elimination of unsuccessful genetic combinations, we are left with the successful ones - - and thus correct INFORMATION about the real world survives and is passed on. This can be a random process. . . . but not random from God’s viewpoint.

BioLogos teaches that the creation of Humanity is God-Guided.

This is a very subtle distinction … and one that can be easily confused.

George


#4

If creation (even thru evolution mechanisms) is God-guided, then it is meaningless and inappropriate to use statistical randomness as a predictor of geo-historical events. Rather, it should be explained that God directed the evolutionary events, that they were not random accidents, and that therefore species development does not follow apparent random sequential mutation rates or development scenarios. Since we know that the development does not follow random accidental patterns, but has been and is guided by God, we should be scientifically looking for a sequential pattern development that makes sense, not one that we can make no sense of.


(George Brooks) #5

I can’t agree. What is randomness to us could very well be PRECISELY God’s key step. God can work WITH randomness, or around randomness. We will never know which applies when.

George


#6

God has obviously created what appear to us to be random processes. If we flip a coin with two possibilities, we assume whatever turns up is random, although the two possibilities are equal in probability over time. But this is obviously not applicable to evolutionary processes. When mutations occur, they occur at a somewhat measured rate, but when conditions change, mutations change. Thus, mutations are not random, but are controlled and guided by changing processes, both in type and rate. We know conditions have changed over time… whale and shell fossils on the tops of mountains tells us that. It is sheer foolishness to think that things and processes have always remained the same, when clearly the fossils tell us that things have not always remained the same. We cannot use continuity of events and processes as an argument for deduction in paleo and geo-historic conclusions. That is the very first law that should be applied.

We know that continuity is invalid and fallacious from the outset. We have numerous examples of this, whether it is sea-fossils on mountain tops, rate of recession of the moon, rate of expansion or reduction of the sun-size, the amount of salt accumulating in the ocean, the rate of active volcanism on the earth, the previous warm climates on earth, the global glacier age, etc. This makes paleo or geo historical science very difficult, but making it more simple by using incorrect assumptions does not make it better, just more wrong.

This is wrong, of course. We do know that Jesus Christ’s appearance on earth was not random, that the creation of man was not random, and that the global flood was not random, but had a purpose at a particular time. When God chooses a casting of the lots to select a man, for example, we know that God has inserted his will into what to us seems random. But random in this case is not random; it is just that man cannot control it. Our lack of control, and our lack of knowledge does not mean the event is random. It just means that we cannot control it. We cannot even know it. Which is a much different thing.


(George Brooks) #7

@johnZ What I wrote and what you wrote have nothing to do with each other.

I am talking about the randomness that YOU might not select or identify. I didn’t say EVERYTHING has to be random.

George


(Patrick ) #8

Did God cause Hurricane Sandy?


(George Brooks) #9

@Patrick

I don’t have the answer to that Patrick. Is it part of the “randomness” that God needed? Or is it part of the “randomness” that God works around?

We cannot resolve issues of Theodicy in BioLogos.

George


(Patrick ) #10

Well if you can’t resolve this very simple weather event, how are you going to resolve any other event that has occurred? Just pick the good ones and attribute those events to God? And the bad ones attribute them to random chance?


(George Brooks) #11

@Patrick

I feel no compelling need to “resolve” any of these events. There are many philosophies within Christianity that seek answers to those questions. Thinking that BioLogos is geared to answer those questions is unreasonable in my view.

George


(Patrick ) #12

Biologos is not going to answer those questions. No one is.


(George Brooks) #13

I have read good answers to Theodicy questions. But I find what is a good answer to one person may not be considered a good question by someone else. It’s a very personal matter.

George


(Patrick ) #14

I have read good answers also. Dawkins, Coyne, Hitchens and others. :grinning:


(George Brooks) #15

yes… I’m sure. And personally, I wouldn’t like those answers.

George


God’s interventions?
#16

You said the above. That we will never know. Evolution would postulate that Jesus randomly occurred by chance, like we all do, although within the naturalistic boundaries of physical context (needing a father and mother, etc.) I am saying that we know that God worked around randomness when he sent Jesus to the world. His appearance was not random, and does not fit within the evolutionary paradigm. Thus your statement that we will never know is entirely false.

This appears to be miswritten? I have no idea what you mean by that. Why would you talk about randomness that I don’t select? or identify? You originally simply were talking about randomness in general, not some personal randomness that I owned or possessed.


(George Brooks) #17

@johnZ

I don’t know what you are talking about. God sending Jesus has virtually NOTHING to do with evolution.

God’s formative decisions for human evolution happened multiple thousands of years ago.

I do not consider the appearance of Jesus as a random event.

George


#18

This is good. It is a start to recognize that we can truly know that some things are not random.

Well, if God did decide to use evolution, and in particular, human evolution, or non-evolution, then God’s decisions certainly happened much longer than only a few thousand years ago. We can safely assume that God’s decisions for this happened well before the beginning of the universe.

Well, that’s one way of putting it. But in fact, Jesus has much to do with evolution, both with forgiveness for the errors in the theory, and if it is in someway a true theory, then Jesus has much to do with redeeming the world from the grasp of evolution in all its sin, death, disease, sickness, extinctions, etc. If Jesus is who he said he was, he was in fact the one who according to evolutionists was the one who designed and programmed the evolution. If evolution is not true, then it is only through Christ that we can be redeemed from the errors of placing our trust in random and purposeless evolution as our source of life, rather than in the magnificent and beautiful plans of God to create a beautiful world in which we could have communion with God, and see all his handiwork.


(James Stump) #19

I suppose I should be flattered at some level that creation.com wrote about me. Evidently they thought what I said merited a response. I’m afraid I don’t feel the same way about what they have written (besides this one comment). When they claim to put the “last nails in the coffin” of the contemporary understanding of genetics, they have removed themselves so far from the realm of relevance that there is no point in responding. They have constructed an alternate universe where facts can be waived away with a sneer. I have no doubt of their earnestness, but when the quest for truth leads to vilification that is justified by Scripture, something has gotten off the rails. The amount of hate mail the post generated for our BioLogos account set a new record–including one person who creatively added up the ascii character values of the letters in my name to suggest that I might be the anti-Christ. You can’t expect me to take these people seriously. It is a sad commentary on our society and the church that anyone does.

When AiG wrote a response to my article, I reached out to the author, asking if she would be interested in some conversation about the points at which we disagree; she didn’t respond. That makes me think these articles are intended to score rhetorical points with their audiences rather than engaging and understanding. I’ve got many better things to do than to respond to creation.com calling me asinine, infantile, and dishonest.

I think I said before that I was not intending to write an expose of AiG or any other creationist organization. I was simply reporting on claims I had encountered from real people who said these things about evolution. The fact that creation.com doesn’t hold to them all does not turn them into straw man arguments. They are still misconceptions that people have about evolution. That’s all I claimed. Perhaps a line-by-line analysis of creation.com’s arguments would be interesting to some. But I won’t be spending any more time on that article.


#22

Well Jim, I wonder what the point of your original article was then? was that also to score rhetorical points? How would you distinguish your intent with theirs? Anyway, I re-read the article, and indeed they were hard on you, no doubt about it. But they did not call you infantile or assinine; they said one of your argumentation using other scripture passages as a way of indicating that Genesis 1-11 was metaphorical, was infantile. They also said you made an honest admission, in another point. Does that mean they said you were honest? They said you made an assinine appeasement of politically correct feminism (which is their opinion) which I assume they said, because it is an irrelevant and unscholarly approach to the passage you mentioned. I can see their point… it is an unnecessary diversion. But of course, they too could have ignored it. I did not see them call you dishonest, although they did say you made false claims, on which they did not judge your honesty at all, just that you were/are mistaken on those points. Disagreement on anything usually implies that people disagree about facts or about interpretation, and this does not require an assumption of basic dishonesty.

It is certainly true that quite a number of people carry their disagreements too far. They are too vitriolic, too pedantic, and sometimes too simplistic. This is true on both sides of this issue.

When you report on misconceptions that people have about evolution, without setting the parameters, ie. 10% of those who disagree with evolution think this, or 40% of those who accept evolution have this misconception about it… then you set yourself up for people to take offence at what you have said. Because it seems you are mentioning the misconceptions merely to attempt to discount or devalue the critique of evolution in general.

Many people who accept evolution also have misconceptions about evolution. And many people who accept evolution also have misconceptions about the YEC approach, which your ten points did not help. The YEC response clearly feels that your ten points were part of the misconception about the YEC understanding of creation and evolution.