Am I paranoid or am I right?


(Randy) #21

I wonder, too, if they are afraid that positing a “guiding force” would lead to impairment of asking questions about the “how” and “why” things happen. Lamoureux felt, with the above, that it was a step over the line; but I’m not sure.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #22

Before I let all the facts be admitted that may ruin my rant, I’ll at least put up this resistance. It should go without saying that there will always be surrounding circumstances in place to help “drive” the whole process, selecting which mutations may get preserved and so forth, not to mention other significant causal factors of adaptation and changing environment. Hence the rebuttal that no scientists insist that evolution is really wildly random as so many of its detractors want to label it.

But they [evolutionary scientists] do preserve the word “random” in speaking of some small subset of all this (initial mutation mechanisms like a particle of ionizing radiation perhaps?). I was thinking they were using “unguided” as a replacement word for where statisticians and scientists might see stochastic randomness.

If the term is there to head off notions of an inherent pre-planned convergence built into the whole process, I guess that would make sense and I may have to repent of my hackles. But I’m willing to wait and see.


(Jay Johnson) #23

Do I get the chance to repent of any “likes” I may have given you? haha


(Steve Schaffner) #24

I dare say “unguided” does double duty; Darwinian evolution can be seen as replacing metaphysical notions of teleology with mechanistic explanations.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #25

You can always click the heart button again and retract your ‘like’. (It was a long time before I learned that could be done – not that I use that a lot --have only done so once.)

In any case I’ll have to take my screen snapshot of your ‘like’ while it’s still there so that I can hold you to it in a court of law some day! :sunglasses:


(Randy) #26

Your rants are very educational and compassionate :slight_smile:
I hope you don’t give up on them.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #27

Well … thank you! I probably won’t if human habit is any indicator. I don’t want to embarrass myself too frequently though. But when I do I’m happy if it can lead to further education – especially of myself!


(Steve Schaffner) #28

I strive to embarrass myself just frequently enough – wouldn’t want to overdo it.


(Jay Johnson) #29

A complementarian would say that is the wife’s role. Overdoing it, I mean.


#30

I think you’re wrong. I use to see a similar problem, too, before I accepted evolution, but it now appears to me that people as illiterate in theology and religious history as Dawkins and Coyne are just trying to hijack science to suit their opposition to religion.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #31

It isn’t readily apparent who you are talking to from all the comments above, Korvexius. If you use the quotation feature, it will help your comment be especially directed to whomever you are directing it at. To do that just highlight the portion of text you are responding to, and then click the grey ‘quote’ box that pops up. It will even open and start the new post for you if you haven’t already started it.


#32

Thanks guy, I know how to quote people. My response was to the entire comment of the OP.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #33

Steve, what you say is undoubtedly true, that was Darwin’s intention as is the intention of Dawkins & Co. The question is: Did he and science succeed? In my opinion the answer is No and I find no evidence to contradict this fact.

The first aspect of this is: Is Survival of the Fittest a mechanistic explanation for Natural Selection? In my opinion it is not because a mechanistic process can be falsified and Darwinian survival of the fittest cannot.

The second aspect of this is: In what sense of any is Survival of the Fittest metaphysical? Philosophy and science as well as theology are based on the promise that the universe is rationally structured or that it can be understood by the human mind. Not perfectly or absolutely to be sure, but well enough for life to make sense. Metaphysics says that the universe is rational.

Darwinian evolution is based on the premise that evolution, the basic science of life, is not rational, but is based on random chance. It says in effect that Natural Selection is not a mechanism that has predictable results, but a magical box.

Fortunately now we are very much aware of how Natural Selection works and we know that it is not by random chance, but be a mechanism powered by ecology. Life is shaped and formed by its environment. Evolution equals Variation and Natural Selection. Natural Selection powered by the ecology which is God’s Creation.


(Dr. Ted Davis) #34

Yes, Steve, before the modern synthesis (ca. 1930) various types of directed evolution were advocated by some of the leading naturalists. The guidance was usually seen as immanent, not transcendently given by a genuine Creator. But, evolution was not “random” and undirected.

They simply couldn’t accept the idea that an undirected process could produce all living things in their complexity and subtlety.

I am with them on this, incidentally. IMO evolution is “random” only in a formal mathematical sense, not metaphysically.


(Paul Allen) #35

For a science person “Unguided” is a logical term.
For a theologian “Unguided” implied God is not sovereign over creation as stated in scripture


#36

Yes, so I guess it depends what’s being discussed. That can make it extra difficult (as we’ve seen) to have a conversation that involves both science and theology, because the same term can mean such totally different things.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #37

_

But evolution is, as far as we can tell, purposeless and unguided. There seems to be no direction, mutations are random, and we haven’t detected a teleological force or agent that pushes it in one direction. And it’s important to realize this: the great importance of Darwin’s theory of natural selection is that an unguided, purposeless process can nevertheless produce animals and plants that are exquisitely adapted to their environment. That’s why it’s called natural selection, not supernatural selection or simply selection. Richard Dawkins

_

I wish people would get their act together. Above is a quote by Richard Dawkins easily found on the web using Google. What he says is true clearly contradicts what others are saying about the science of evolution. Dome body is wrong here, and I have not heard anyone saying that it is Dawkins, except me.

Either Dawkins is wrong about saying that natural selection is an unguided, purposeless process that produces the biosphere as we know it or he is not. If he is right about how natural selection works, then life is without purpose and for practical purposes there is no God.

Dawkins speaks from a scientific perspective, so he needs to be refuted from a scientific perspective. This is why I wrote Darwin’s Myth; Malthus, Ecology, and the Meaning of Life. I do not think that we can dance around this. Again there is an answer, but we need to make a valid criticism of Dawkins’ science to make it work.

Notice: I will be on vacation starting Fri, 7/6.


#38

First I will just note he says, “as far as we can tell”, which just means based on current knowledge it is unguided.

I say it is guided because I have a source of information that Dawkins will not consult.

I would never assume Dawkins is the final arbiter when it comes to exactly what evolution means.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #39

if you say what I think you are saying than you believe that how evolution works is not a scientific question, but a theological one. I am sure that he is delighted with that conclusion, but I am not and I do not think BioLogos says that how evolution works is a theological question.

I mean that is the problem with YEC and ID. They say that evolution is a theological question.

On the other hand I am suggesting that there is a clear God friendly answer to this problem, unless you want to say that it diminishes God to say that God does not need to directly guide evolution.

Dawkins says that the science may be wrong. It seems strange that Christians don’t seem to agree.


#40

Evolution is just like rain fall. There is a scientific explanation of how rain is formed which I believe is true, God or no God. But don’t you believe that it rains when and where God wills it? After all that is what the Bible says. How this happens is unexplained to us (on this side of the Pearly Gates) and I take it on faith that it is true.