Atheistic Meteorology or Divine Rain?

(Charles Alexandre Roy) #61

@Eddie, @johnZ, @Relates, @Jonathan_Burke, @gbrooks9, @Chris_Falter, @benkirk

To any of you who enjoyed this posting a while ago, the authors are now releasing the book as a blog series here:

I know that some of you were annoyed that they weren’t available for questions when Biologos shared this article but they are taking questions on the blog if interested. It’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read on the creation/evolution/origins discussion and well worth checking out.

(Ashwin S) #62

The bible directly attributes to God many things that happen through natural processes. Rain, death, birth, the decisions of kings, fruitfulness of a harvest, the occurrence of diseases etc.
The Bible clearly teaches that God is in control of these phenomenon. One possibility is that God has arranged events from the beginning of creation in such a way, that these events occur in the manner desired by him. It could also be that God has ways unknown to us to control the rain,the wind etc in real time while the laws of nature are not broken. I am ok with either option. However, both have an element of mystery involved in them.
There are also events that are clearly miraculous in nature such as turning the shadow of the sun dial backwards for Hezekiah, Jesus healing the sick, his resurrection, Moses parting the red sea etc.
The question is. In which category does life reside. This depends on how we view the book of Genesis and how we view life itself.Could God have created life and caused diversity through evolution? Sure he could have…
However God is not restricted to confine himself to the natural.
I believe God directly intervened in creation , perhaps at the level of clades. And provided the genetic information required to achieve his purposes. For all we know, God could have used viruses as his tools for genetic engineering.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #63

You mean like this?

(Ashwin S) #64

Ya it’s a possibility.

Only in a much larger scale.

Like the earth going through phases that increased mutations or even directed mutations for that matter in viruses and then they cause changes.

I read a paper that shows the no: of new de Novo genes in organism increased drastically before events such as the Cambrian explosion.

I also don’t discount miracles…

(George Brooks) #65


And yet you seem to be unable to offer terms to describe a rain storm that is made purely by God arranging for evaporation and condensation … vs. a rain storm that he “poofs” into being by miraculous invocation.

The latter is a miraculous rain storm. And the former is “naturally formed” rain storm (even if God originally planned that rain storm since creation!).

The natural nature of the rain storm is not changed just because God designed it, or planned for it.

That is why pro-Evolution Christians call the arrival of the Dinosaur-killing asteroid a “natural process” … even if God planned it …

You seem unable to differentiate these kinds of realities…

(Ashwin S) #66

Hi Brooks,

It looks like I hurt your sentiments. I am sorry for having done that. I just shared my opinion.

As to rain storms, I am not particularly sure the physics of miraculous rainfall are different perse. Perhaps a gust of wind or low pressure in the right place at the right time?
I have no idea how the miraculous works.

(George Brooks) #67


Surely you are toying with your audience? Nobody knows how a miracle works.
But you only have two choices: God arranged for natural laws to make rain storms (most people believe this is where most rain comes from )… AND that every once in a while God has to make a rain storm even where nature would not have done so. That would be miraculous, right?

You make it sound like God only has one choice: he either makes all rain by natural means, or he makes all rain by miraculous means. Wouldn’t you agree that this is the stark choice your viewpoint would leave with those who are reading your discussions on rain?

(Ashwin S) #68

I am not purposely being vague. I am not sure at what level miracles work.
It could be that God causes rain to fall by actively creating a wind or a pressure difference. It is also possible it happens in a totally different way. Perhaps reality is tuned to God’s consciousness in such a way that it reflects his will in a seemingly natural way. There is a role for consciousness to influence matter. So how God exerts his influence on the world could be the same for natural as well as miraculous events though it looks different to us. End of the day, all we can say with certainty is that creation is subject to God and he actively reigns over it.

(George Brooks) #69


Which, my dear sir, is enough to conclude there are at least 2 ways for God to make a rain storm:

  1. By his “word” (whatever that means), or
  2. By arranging natural law to accomplish his goals.

This is a standard typology that has existed for centuries.

Do you reject this binary approach?

(Ashwin S) #70

I don’t see a binary approach in the Bible. All I see is option 1… he speaks and things come into being. He speaks and nature obeys.
So i see natural laws as an expression of God’s will/logos.

(George Brooks) #71


So then if God uses evaporation and condensation to make rain (scientists everywhere know this to be true, whether they believe in God or not)… then how do you handle categories of events where natural law seems to be in suspension?

Do you reject the idea of suspension of natural laws?
Or do you reject the idea that there needs to be another way to categorize events that occur without the operation of natural law?

Hint: If you say the latter, then you are philosophically adrift… and that would explain why you aren’t getting anywhere with your discussions here.

@pevaquark, this you gotta see…

(Ashwin S) #72

The same way I handle events when natural laws are not in “suspension”.
It’s an expression of God’s will. Human beings categorise these events as “natural”; “miraculous” etc… it’s probably one and the same to God. He is not subject to natural laws… He transcends them… so he doesn’t have to suspend anything.His will reigns supreme in all scenarios. And what he wills… happens.

We don’t know more than that.

(George Brooks) #73

Implicit in this position, @Ashwin_s, is that God only exercises his will through natural law.

Why? Because Newton has already documented huge swaths of natural law. Then Einstein documented another huge swath.

So we know there are things that happen by natural law.

And so … if everything enjoys the same status vis a vis God… then this is the unitary interpretation of God’s engagement in the Universe… and God doesn’t have to do anything that contravenes natural law, because that’s all he uses.

Do you agree with this conclusion?

(Ashwin S) #74

No. Like I said, God engages with the universe through his logos. The laws of nature are God’s creation. Not vice versa.See them as tools he may use or put down. In the end, His will is preeminent.
Natural or miraculous events are both ultimately the expression of God’s will through his logos.