Can you prove common descent, or disprove God created "kinds" (spin-off)


(Greg Rogers) #1

So I am curious Mr. Farey-what was the scientific smoking gun[s] for you that ultimately convinced you that God created via evolution from common decent? And with all due respect share with me the most scientific unbiased proofs you can come up with…remembering that creationists believe that God created kinds who are able to have small scale evolution within the environment to which they were placed. I desire from someone a scientific smoking gun that says that this idea is bad and evolution from common decent is the only logical option.

I have asked others this same question and what they come up with is very poor science backed claims…the one gentlemen who gave me his “go to” for bolstering evolution about the case of the rabbits A B and C I just shared, one outside any bias on the topic would necessarily conclude from this picture that these seem to support de- evolution of created kinds about a thousand percent more likely than evolution from common decent. So I would consider this to be a really poor example of a smoking gun for supporting macro evolution.

I would love to learn some of the other theories. Would you be willing to help me by sharing yours?

Thanks


Intelligent Design makes more sense than BioLogos
(Christy Hemphill) #2

@grog Greg, I moved this post because it had nothing to do with the topic on which it was posted. You need to get better about this because I know I have mentioned it before. Refraining from introducing totally new topics on other people’s threads is one of the gracious dialogue expectations. You can always start a new thread yourself. Or if you want to incorporate a quote from or reply to a post in a thread that already exists, click on the time stamp in the upper right corner of a post on the existing thread and select +new topic. Then the new thread will be linked to the old one.


(George Brooks) #3

@grog

I don’t think you even read what Creationists write about speciation! Check this out:

"When the birds were released from the Ark, they faced a new environment with quickly developing habitats. Birds could migrate quickly from the location of the Ark in all directions. . . . The populations would continue to grow and the variations inherent in their populations would allow them to quickly adapt to the new and developing habitats around the world. New species would form as geographic barriers isolated different populations."

“Eventually one of the populations of the thrush kind that migrated to what is now North America has diversified into at least three species of bluebirds.”

“One species is thriving in eastern North America, and the other two species are thriving in western North America. However, these three species can hybridize where their populations overlap, which indicates that the speciation process is not complete. However, if I ever see a mountain bluebird or a western bluebird, you can guarantee that I will put them on my life list as different species.”

This is a virtual copy of the discussion about 3 populations of rabbits… with the exception that there are 2 rabbit populations that can no longer hybridize.

So, @Grog, can we move the discussion along now?

Can speciation occur? Yes, for 3 reasons:

  1. Because God is involved.
  2. Because it is a logical results of variation where variation involves the genes that facilitate reproductive compatibility.
  3. Because lots of Creationists accept speciation occurred once the animals left the Ark.

(Phil) #4

In reflection, I do not think there was a smoking gun, but the aggregate of many pieces of evidence, beginning with the realization through observation that the earth is extremely old, primarily through just observing geologic processes. That realization then had to be reconciled with my knowledge of God, knowing he is truth and thus what we observe in nature must be true also, because God is not the author of lies. We know this because we know God, and the Bible tells us so.
My early impressions that started with my rudimentary understanding of geology were reinforced with university classes in embryology, genetics, and comparative anatomy, but coming to my present understanding was not a conversion experience, and is a process that continues to this time.

That is really not the answer you seek, but ultimately my acceptance of evolution has more to do with my understanding and knowledge of God than any “smoking gun” of overwhelming evidence.


(Peaceful Science) #5

We observe that mice and rats are 10x more different than chimps and humans. There is a mathematical formula in evolution (tested with experimental data) that computes this. No other quantitative theory has been put forward that explains this data, and other examples like it. This is clear evidence for common descent, that we are the same “kind” as chimpanzees.


(Hugh Farey) #6

Thank you, Greg. I’m sorry that I won’t be able to answer your question in the way you would no doubt like. For a start, I was born into a family which was both Christian and evolutionist, so I never in a position to reject spontaneous creation, YEC or any other variant of a semi-literal interpretation of Genesis, as I had never been convinced of it in the first place. My secondary school was staffed predominantly by Benedictine monks whose training in Christian views from Jesus, through all the early Church fathers up to the latest theologies never assumed that Genesis was to be taken literally. I think it comes as quite a surprise to modern ‘creationists’ to discover that their view - that every word of Genesis is to be understood as more or less a scientific statement - actually post-dates the theory of evolution. Scientifically speaking, Darwin’s publication of the Origin of Species did not overthrow any entrenched views about the literalness of the bible, it actually clarified the confusion which had developed over the previous half-century or so, which is why it was immediately widely accepted as entirely sensible by Church and secular alike. Subsequent controversy has been theological, not scientific.

Your second request demands ‘proofs’, and again, I will have to disappoint you. ‘Proof’ is not a scientific concept. It is a mathematical concept, and to a certain extent a judicial concept, but Science does not prove things. It is a model which demonstrates things to the general satisfaction of the community, whereupon they become generally accepted until somebody demonstrates that another explanation fits the data better, whereupon the model is modified or replaced. Your desire for a ‘smoking gun’ is very understandable, but wholly unscientific.

This and many other websites which cover the borders of empirical and philosophical ideas often discuss the meaning of separately created ‘kinds’, but to my mind rarely achieve consensus among themselves. As George shows, most creationists reject an identification of ‘kinds’ with ‘species’ and allow quite a wide diversification of original ‘kinds’ into hundreds of modern species in an evolutionary way. The crunch-point, that single ancestor of a number of modern species which must have been spontaneously created, is never well enough defined to be convincing to me. If a ‘dog’ can diversify into ‘wolf’ and ‘poodle’, then I cannot distinguish why a ‘carnivoran’ cannot diversify into ‘dog’ and ‘cat’ or some earlier mammal into ‘carnivoran’ and ‘ungulate’ and so on. Various semiscientific attempts to show that this or that evolutionary process could not have occurred are unconvincing to me.

To conclude then, your asking me for the ‘smoking gun’ which convinced me that evolution was a better way of understanding creation than ‘Creationism’ means nothing to me. I suspect that if I asked you for the ‘smoking gun’ which persuaded you to reject evolution you would find it equally incomprehensible, in that you never accepted it in the first place. Blessings.


(Greg Rogers) #7

If there are no smoking guns, then why developing websites like this that undeniably declare that we all evolved from some common decent and anyone who thinks differently is unscientific? And now that there is a website with employees, it will as difficult to alter the site towards Biblical reason as it will be to dismantle failing social security. Also without smoking guns, why do secular scientists around the world declare with language that insinuates absolute certainty that evolution from common decent is true and all those Christians out there who believe that God created plants and animals according to their kinds idiotic fools?

Sometimes I wonder if Christian evolution believers have really taken a step back and really thought about what their naturalistic counterparts have suggested in naturalistic evolution. These naturalists have suggested that out of some small simple celled seed came life with all of its complexities by naturalistic processes only. Most theistic evolutionists I have encountered on this website and elsewhere agree with this and just label this naturalistic process with “God’s sovereign handiwork” or the like. They might give God a shout out or two as One who had to interject a tid bit or two miraculously in the process but that is it.

I build things. Houses, additions, and many different high quality products. I hire an exemplary architect to discuss with the customer their desires then design. I hire structural engineers to decipher if the project is physically possible then they design. I hire interior designers to determine the beauty aspect of the project. And the entire plan is used to construct it where it never necessitates vast periods of time to construct but relatively short. And God needed ages energy from the sun and mutation?

Naturalistic evolutionists have suggested that there was no planning, no design, no creating, no construction…just time, chance and energy. For a Christian to take this model and plaster a God semantic upon it is, in my mind, bordering blasphemous.


(Christy Hemphill) #8

How many times have people pointed out the difference between atheistic materialism and evolutionary creationism, Greg? Seriously, how many times? You are a broken record.


(Greg Rogers) #9

I agree with them! I have read many of these articles…marsupials in Australia, penguins etc. So I still have to ask you: how does this conclude with such certainty that an entire website it built around the concept that we evolved from a common decent? That is my point! The disconnect is huge and this illogical conclusion either smells of buying the beliefs of naturalism over the Judeo Christian worldview that God is Creator who did indeed create instantaneously kinds of plants and animals which is riddled throughout the Bible. You are a minority. There are old earth creationists who declare accurately out there that old ages do not logically conclude naturalistic processes via long ages for life.


Intelligent Design makes more sense than BioLogos
(Greg Rogers) #10

I equate this to how the book of James handles the idea of faith without works. He says faith without works is dead. Remembering that Biblical faith is not a fuzzy subjective thing but is based on objective things from prophets and apostles assigned by God who wrote those down for us…works that are the fleshing out of what one really believes as from God’s Word should have indicators that suggest abidance in these Biblical truths. If I say I am a believer in God and know that God hates sexual sin found in, for example the viewing of porn, and I choose to unrepentantly view the crap on a daily basis even as I know God disapproves, am I a Christian? This person could be a convert and in a backslidden state but then again maybe not either. The Bible would contend that this is an example of someone who may be less likely than more likely a true believer in God by His grace! (the verse “the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God” for example) One who says they are a Christian but who’s actions, attitudes and words depict a much different person than one who delights to obey God because they love Him may not really love God.

Likewise, if I say I am a Christian and my “works” are more in line with a secular naturalistic model that depends on man’s perspective driven observational skills for how we got here and less based on Biblical faith that declares God as Maker of kinds, then although one cannot conclude that they are not a Christian, their deeds are falling more in line with naturalists and less with the Bible are curious.

Giving these folks the benefit of the doubt, I have been in process of asking these who seem like they are Christians but who choose to go very far with trusting in science for life determinations and less far with biblical creationism as stated in the bible to offer some of their best scientific evidence for common decent evolution and all that I get back is seeming bad science to bolster their claims! If the world is old this does not mandate common decent evolution. If speciation occurs this doesn’t either. I am beginning to conclude that since such bad science is used to bolster a claim for common decent evolution that this is more evidence that these types of folks have become such strong believers in the religion of naturalism as they were indoctrinated by their secular educations or upbringing that they have become defenders of it.

Hey-regardless of what you think about my suggestions, I still point 3 fingers back at me. I have so many areas in my life that are unbecoming of the Word of God. God help me and may your Spirit enliven me to bask in your grace and to to abide in your Son for the development of a perspective that wants to honor you by my deeds and attitudes which conform to your Word.


#11

If you are going to take on BioLogos, you could at least make the effort to state its position correctly. And you should learn to spell “common descent.” That would be the “common decent” thing to do, so to speak.


(Stephen Matheson) #12

One of many reasons to reject Christianity is the fact that it provides religious cover and pious-sounding rhetoric for the appalling dismissal of whole groups of fellow humans.


#13

True, but remember that we aren’t all like that!


(Stephen Matheson) #14

No doubt, and in fact many of the people here at BL are the opposite. But my point isn’t about people, but about a system that provides tools for behavior that degrades both the believer and their targets. If there are decent, honest, thoughtful Christians, alongside confused xenophobic hatemongering Christians, and everything in between, then gee, that’s just a picture of humanity, and the gloss of “Christianity” is unimportant. Did Christianity make Grog unable to reason about evolution or to accept fellow Christians? Did Christianity make you a generous and well-read person? I don’t see a common thread there.

But anyway, I was about to ask you all why you think it’s a good idea to try to talk over the sound of a broken record, but instead I think I’ll butt out and only come back if someone mentions epistasis or genetic drift or population genetics.


(Hugh Farey) #15

[quote=“grog, post:7, topic:35535”]
If there are no smoking guns, then why developing websites like this that undeniably declare that we all evolved from some common decent and anyone who thinks differently is unscientific?[/quote]Does it? I do hope not. Its masthead says it “invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.” This does not sound like an undeniable declaration to me.[quote]… it will as difficult to alter the site towards Biblical reason as it will be to dismantle failing social security.[/quote]Why would you want to? This site is about dialogue and discussion, not an extremist takeover by creationists or evolutionists.

[quote]Also without smoking guns, why do secular scientists around the world declare with language that insinuates absolute certainty that evolution from common decent is true and all those Christians out there who believe that God created plants and animals according to their kinds idiotic fools?[/quote]If you could find such a declaration, I would assist you in complaining about its intemperance. However, the almost complete lack of agreement about, or evidence for, a defined ‘kind’ does make scientists of all kinds, secular and clerical, look slightly askance at such beliefs.[quote]Sometimes I wonder if Christian evolution believers have really taken a step back and really thought about what their naturalistic counterparts have suggested in naturalistic evolution.[/quote]Indeed they have, and continue to do so.[quote]These naturalists have suggested that out of some small simple celled seed came life with all of its complexities by naturalistic processes only.[/quote]If God works only by naturalistic processes, then there is nothing wrong in understanding his creation naturalistically. If there was persuasive evidence that he doesn’t, then I’m sure all we evolutionists would consider it carefully.[quote]Most theistic evolutionists I have encountered on this website and elsewhere agree with this and just label this naturalistic process with “God’s sovereign handiwork” or the like.[/quote]Is there something wrong with that?[quote] They might give God a shout out or two as One who had to interject a tid bit or two miraculously in the process but that is it.[/quote]I think that’s a serious misrepresentation. We ‘naturalists’ think that God is intimately, directly and immediately involved in every moment of every atom. It is the ‘spontaneous creationists’ who think that God only pops in from time to time to create a particular ‘kind’ of animal, and then drifts off back to heaven until his world mucks itself up again and needs correcting.[quote]I build things. Houses, additions, and many different high quality products. I hire an exemplary architect to discuss with the customer their desires then design. I hire structural engineers to decipher if the project is physically possible then they design. I hire interior designers to determine the beauty aspect of the project. And the entire plan is used to construct it where it never necessitates vast periods of time to construct but relatively short.[/quote]I’ve no idea what this means. You can build a house in less time than than it takes to build a universe? Terrific. Well done.[quote]And God needed ages energy from the sun and mutation?[/quote]No, of course he didn’t. He didn’t do evolution because he needed to, but because he wanted to.[quote]Naturalistic evolutionists have suggested that there was no planning, no design, no creating, no construction…just time, chance and energy.[/quote]You may be right. I’m glad I’m not one of them.[quote]For a Christian to take this model and plaster a God semantic upon it is, in my mind, bordering blasphemous.
[/quote]And I agree with you. As I say, I’m glad I’m not one of them.


(Benjamin Kirk) #16

Because all of the evidence is consistent with it, and everyone who thinks differently is ignoring most of that evidence.


(Phil) #17

As to why, Greg, from the mission statement:
BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation. - See more at: http://biologos.org/about-us/our-mission/#sthash.kEM4Gyar.dpuf

As stated, the goal is to seek harmony, not to make everyone think the same way about creation, though Biologos presents their position. If you are comfortable in your faith and your ideas, carry on. By the questions you ask, I get the feeling, however, that you are at least searching for common ground.


(Peaceful Science) #18

The silence is deafening. Anyone else hear it?


(George Brooks) #19

@grog

I don’t understand your question. Your colleagues at that site confirm speciation and common descent is a reality. And they think it can happen in just 6000 years! And yet you have spent much of your time on this site denying speciation and common descent.

Can you bring yourself to agree with your Evangelical brothers and sisters … that speciation can happen and that common descent is not a bizarre notion? If they say it can happen in just the short amount of time since the animals were released from the Ark, why would anyone doubt that it could happen, even more inevitably, if there was more than 6000 years ?


#20

When you express your interest in finding a “smoking gun” for evolution, I am reminded of Stephen Jay Gould’s famous1994 essay on Whale Evolution, Hooking Leviathan by Its Past. It’s somewhat dated by now, but he indeed uses the phrase “smoking gun.” Enjoy!