Creating Information Naturally, Part 1: Snowflakes, Chess, and DNA

(Lynn Munter) #105

The literal definition of the word ‘evolution’ is merely something like ‘change over time.’ In biology it more specifically means ‘change in population genepools over time.’ Nowhere in either definition does it specify that the changes have to be random, and indeed they are not random even from a purely naturalistic point of view. Natural selection is the opposite of random, and even mutations are biased in various ways.

Furthermore, I believe many people here subscribe to a view of God that incorporates God’s dominion over what we mere humans see as all the ‘random’ aspects of life. Is there truly such a thing as randomness? And if so, does it belong to God? These questions might help you to parse some of the positions under the Biologos tent.

On another note, I’m pretty sure my toenails are vestigial.

(Ashwin S) #106


I also see the tendency towards pantheism. However, I think this is more a result of how the materialistic world view is becoming increasingly shown to be wrong by recent discoveries.
If at any point, materialism becomes unfeasible as a worldview, I expect the world to shift to pantheism… and perhaps a few people to deism.
Seeing the ID movement as a “Christian movement” would be an error. Though there are many Christians in it, it’s a bigger tent including people of other religions and even agnostics. And so, it has tendencies to all kinds of philosophies.
I think It’s not yet mature enough to take on any predominant philosophical foundation.

(Lynn Munter) #107

Hey, you’re sounding like that’s a bad thing! As the resident pantheist, seems reasonable to me …

Now we’re talking!

(Ashwin S) #109

Your ideas of randomness are interesting.
In classical physics, very few things are really random. Everything has a chase and effect controlled by natural laws.
In quantum physics, there seems to be no matter (some thing with mass/ a position) without consciousness.
And both are rules that govern the universe.
If evolution works in the realm of classical physics. There is no real randomness. Everything is determined by cause and effect and we end up with a deistic God at best.
As of now, most scientists treat evolution in a purely classical sense.

I would expect some quantum effects to be involved in life sciences for God to be involved with creation from beginning to end as taught in the Bible.
I seriously doubt any evolutionary model can coherently support a theistic God.

Glad to know… I will ask @jpm to remove them and confirm if they are indeed vestigial :slight_smile:

(Ashwin S) #111

The reason I said that was not positive… it’s because, I believe human beings are basically sinful/averse to acknowledging God… And so it’s a natural progression…

No offence intended.

(George Brooks) #112


Since Ashwin has declared that Evolution can only refer to the Neo-Darwinist formulation of Evolution…

if a replacement for Neo-Darwinist Evolution were developed that was more adequate, what would we be able to call it, if Ashwin won’t allow us to append qualifiers to the word Evolution?


That’s not what is really happening in science. No one is excluding any scientific hypotheses that are based on a creator. The problem is that no one is putting forward hypotheses based on a creator, and that includes the ID crowd. It is the ID crowd that is excluding themselves from the scientific arena because they refuse to do the science to support their ideas. You can hardly blame the scientific community for suppressing science that doesn’t exist.

Intuitions are not scientific hypotheses. That would be the first problem. For science, what matters is the methodology.

(GJDS) #115

I cannot imagine how any scientist could practice his/her discipline without relying on intuition. :worried:

(Ashwin S) #117

Actually, we have court judgements that say, any theory that posits a creator is not science by definition.
This happened in a case with respect to ID. As you said, even though they don’t mention a creator directly, and stick tot he idea of a designer, it was concluded that it was not science as the idea was too close to creationism.
So yes, Science suppresses all hypothesis connected to a creator/the possibility of the supernatural within its field of influence by its very nature.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #120

A post was merged into an existing topic: The Appendix is (NOT) vestigial

(Ashwin S) #121

150 years ago when Darwin postulated his theory, he made the following claims:


  1. Individuals within species are variable; 2) Some of these variations are passed on to offspring; 3) In every generation, more offspring are produced than can survive; and 4) The survival and reproduction of individuals are not random; the individuals who survive and go on to reproduce the most are those with the most favorable variation, and they are naturally selected. It follows logically from these that the characteristics of the population will change with each subsequent generation until the population becomes distinctly different from the original; this process is known as evolution.


The modern “theory” of evolution is often explained as below-.

Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene — or more precisely and technically, allele — frequency in a population from one generation to the next

The above modern understanding is unfalsifiable because no methods/mechanisms/models etc are involved.
Even in my discussion in this forum, a couple of people have reverted to this definition. This doesn’t look like an advance over 150 years… it’s a retreat to a very basic statement which cannot be falsified because it doesn’t make any solid claims on methods/mechanism/models(family trees etc) which would lead to falsification of the overall theory.

(T J Runyon) #122

That’s the definition of evolution not evolutionary theory. You can understand evolution as:

  1. These thesis of common ancestry
  2. Evolutionary theory. The mechanisms and processes that explain 1.
    Both can be disproven.

(T J Runyon) #123

I tend to like these definitions

  1. Evolution - the process by which new species emerge as the modified descendants of pre-existing ones.
  2. Evolutionary theory- the scientific theory that explains how evolution has and is taking place on earth, with reference to particular, old and current, aspects of life on earth and to particular episodes of its history.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #124

116 posts were split to a new topic: Common Descent Cladograms are all Fake, Convergent Evolution Explains Everything

(Ashwin S) #125

It’s a good definition… However, this broad definition would include theories suggested by some creationists/ID proponents under evolutionary theory.
Is that an unintended consequence?

(T J Runyon) #126

I’d have no problem accepting intelligent causation as an additional mechanism within evolutionary theory.

(George Brooks) #130

Only mad men walk through a nudist camp convinced that EVERYONE is wearing clothes.

You cannot insult BioLogos with “godless evolution” when we do not support Godless Evolution.

(Ashwin S) #133

I am not sure this is particularly true. Another way to look at it is if you flip a coin enough no: of times, you get n results in a row… and that particular sequence would be equal to getting a mammal.
If the starting point is same… And you start flipping again… once again getting the required sequence will have similar probability to the first sequence and thus it should happen given time.
unless something has happened which changed the rules of the game.


Intuition should lead to a testable hypothesis. You can’t do science without a hypothesis.

(GJDS) #147

I’ll take you comment as humour (but seriously, intuition can cover almost all areas of scientific research, including developing a hypothesis - most R&D is done within the context of a theory, so hypothesising at every turn may be unnecessary).