Does Evolution Need God?

Evolutionary creationism is in no way dependent on the word yom meaning a long period of time. Lots of ink spilled on this one. It’s not a deal breaker. Primary sense words (a normal day in this case) can be used in figurative passages. This happens with language all the time.

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Amen to this. When I said “criticism of sort”, it was a bit inaccurate… It’s more like a snipe or condescension that I have sensed. But that attitude of condescension stands in the way of the pursuit of truth. Fear, as you say so accurately, is probably the cause.

I appreciate this Jay… As with above, my technical term was not really clear or accurate, and definitely changes (for me) as I learn more. What I mostly mean is to try to ensure that the rules and descriptions that we articulate do not artificially limit God. So, however that ends up looking, we are not at liberty to state when and how God intervenes or guides. Maybe it is at the front, maybe in the middle, maybe naturally (secondarily) and maybe miraculously.

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You are one lucky man. I’ve been there a couple times and loved seeing the Hawaii Tropical Botanical garden back in 2013. Took these pics while I was there: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjLCtR9y More recently we went to Oahu where we visited many botanical gardens and the Honolulu art museum. You truly live in Paradise.

Indeed, so I’ve heard. I’m to the point of conceding God exists but the one I have in mind probably wouldn’t show up on your Richter scale of divinity. My itty bitty God only does personal guidance but took no part in cosmic origins and so far as I know does not maintain any kind of afterlife amusement park, darn it. (Well, it is actually a relief to know the subterranean park is not in use.)

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@King Cesar, greetings.

It is very perceptive to argue that Darwinian evolution could not be true because “survival of the fittest” is the result of sin, which sis not enter into the world until after the creation of humanity.

However the best science we have today in the form of ecology indicates that God did not create humans and other species by means of survival of the fittest, but by symbiosis.

Oh Mark, I’m so glad that you got to go there. We are members and it is one of the best places in Hawaii. If you insta, see thehonestskeptic, as I post a lot of pics from there, too. Yours are beautiful!!

Very cool. This explains the Atheist Lite (or Atheist Light?? :slight_smile: )

This is what I was wondering about before (from our earlier conversation, this thread). You seem (and I don’t want to misquote) to believe that a consciousness arose through an evolutionary process. It seemed to not be individual human consciousness, but rather some sort of separate aspect. When you discussed it, I likened it to “the force” in Star Wars. Is that sort of what you are perceiving?

Hi King.Cesar, and welcome.

I disagree, at least in a pedantic sense. Satan had already fallen. There was plenty of sin on earth before the fall.

That is correct. Throughout church history many have held the position that the death that entered the world as a result of the fall was spiritual death, not physical death. For anyone holding to that view, there is no issue with physical death prior to the fall.

That is, in my opinion, both a non-sequitur and an inaccuracy. (Although I am not a day-ager, they are correct that yom, even as it is used in Genesis One, can mean an indeterminate period of time.)

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I don’t use Instagram though I have younger gardening friends who encourage me to start. Since I need to spend considerable time offline in order to make and take care of my own garden, I’m reluctant to spend more time online than I already do. (I’ll ask my wife’s help to find your photos.)

Thank you. I’m not used to getting very much interest in such a scaled down, natural God from my Christian friends. Does this mean you’re a little bit off the reservation in your own beliefs? But yes, that is what I meant when I referred to atheism lite.

Basically I think whatever else God may be He is first and foremost mysterious. Many seem to assume that once there was a time when people figured God out (describing that as having been entrusted with the word of God). I find that idea unlikely, leastwise it feels that way to me. Given what I think God is, it only makes sense to concentrate on ones own relationship with God. To that end I avoid accepting anything -including the Bible- as authoritative, as I don’t want to force anything on that relationship.

Well “the Force” of Star Wars and Eywah from Avatar both envision a unified, external God. But I think God is entirely onboard, what I like to call a co-product of consciousness (what we take to be our conscious selves being another such product). I don’t have any reason likely to convince anyone else to agree with me about this. But my objective is to understand what is going on, not to sell anyone else on it.

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Good morning Mark. First, I rather enjoy the conversation with you, and second, what you say is interesting to me. First, I was noting that evolution was a process that the secularists, the theists, and next you, the atheist lite, could all embrace in a way that fit neatly into their own world view. So evolution is an interesting connection point between three otherwise incompatible views.

But with your philosophy of god, which is quite foreign to me, I was comprehending something that seemed to be more of a product of evolution. I would not say that I’m off the rez at all in terms of my theology. Others may disagree. But I really have just been trying to get my mind wrapped around what it is that you are positing. That’s all.

The secular materialist (gross generalization here) would view everything as having evolved on its own. Things just happened. There is no god, and no outside influence.

The theist (who accepts evolution) will say that evolution was a designed process, set into motion, and maybe (or maybe not) intervened along the way. There is a god and he transcends the creation because he must. He cannot be a part of the creation and also have created it.

The atheist lite is a new category, from my still unclear view. He would believe like the secular materialist that all life evolved on its own. But he seems to sense a presence that is akin to a consciousness, although (if I understand correctly) neither pre-existing or transcendent. Rather, quite possibly, evolved.

So, there are three concentric circles, with some significant overlap. And the overlap seems to occur in areas where one would not expect there to be points of agreement. Over evolution among atheists, theists, and the atheist lite, and over the existence of God or a god among two of the three.

In a polarized society, something like this catches my eye. How could one not be interested? It reminds me of this:

It’s a fairly profound situation.

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Didn’t mean to suggest anything insulting if I did. But I appreciate your ability to graciously consider other viewpoints without feeling threatened, a trait I admire in most posters at this site. I too have enjoyed the exchange.

I’d prefer to say things have happened as they have for reasons which are mostly beyond my pay grade to say. But intuitively it does not seem likely that there was ever a time in which there existed a true, all inclusive nothing. In asking about cosmic origins I expect nothing more than an account of how current conditions have changed from some preexisting conditions, as far back as scientists can peer (and only so far as I can ride their coattails). Regionally a true ‘nothing’ might occur, but I cannot imagine that the nothing would extend forever in all directions … and I for one would not count dark energy or matter as compatible with a true ‘nothing’.

In short I neither know nor do I ever expect to learn the entire history of the cosmos through every iteration of bangs, universes or unanticipated alternative states. I strongly doubt that anyone’s coattails will ever bring me so far. I accept that as limitation for my species and I don’t acknowledge the validity of any theological considerations to provide me with a short cut to such knowledge. Not having a ready answer to every big question does not strike me as a knock against my worldview. Rather, I think it shows that I’m not over reaching my actual epistemic position.

I guess the similarity is the ability to acknowledge points of difference as well as similarities without having to revile the other for lacking the bare necessities to count as a human being and therefore deserving of the same consideration as those more like myself? I certainly feel that way. On the one hand there definitely is, or so it seems to me, something more than just me and the world that includes others like me. But I recognize that it is also possible to doubt the existence of any other product of consciousness and to carry on assuming our conscious rumination is all there is. I also recognize that it is possible to embrace the existence of a significant Other and to assume it is something out there which wants to communicate with me, and to assume that it has in the past made an attempt to communicate with mankind and to know what that Other wants one only need study the account of that time when God became man and that story was recorded for all future generations to follow. Let each proceed by their best lights and good luck to all.

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There is nothing that you said that was insulting, and even if there was, I would account it to misunderstanding, not intent. But there was not. I was really more chuckling to myself because we all think we’re middle-of-the-road, but someone else always thinks we’re to some extreme. :slight_smile:

You always say things that make me think. An all-inclusive nothing. It’s the nothing that is everything! Surely not what I’m asking for this Christmas. :slight_smile: I know what you mean, though. It is counterintuitive to imagine everything that is coming from nothing… truly nothing.

Ironically, nothing would have no forever to which it could extend. There would be nothing in which it could… even empty space is something. And, as you say, all of those dark things of cosmology are not nothing either.

Do you presume iterartions of bangs? Just curious…

This is where Christianity might hold an edge. We believe in a new heaven and a new earth. A new creation that transcends this one. Therefore, we do believe that there will come a day when we won’t have to ride the coattails of others in terms of knowledge, but will be able to see for ourselves. I agree, though, that much is beyond comprehension for now.

Hahaha… it is the ones with all the answers that are suspect, for sure!!

Absolutely… that is precisely what I mean… not specifically as to you or those like you, but to all. With this polarization in mind, it is nice to celebrate some points of agreement now and again!

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Does evolution need God?

I think the question should be, “Does a universe that evolves man need God?”. That answer to that is yes.

My position is that interventions are not necessary since God is more than capable of creating a universe that can create man on its own.

This made the geometry teacher in me sit up. First of all … here is what three “concentric” circles look like. To say there is “overlap” among them is an understatement given that the inner ones are completely subsumed.

image
You probably meant something more like a Venn Diagram like this:

image

Of course how to populate those circles would be up to you. Under classical conceptions things like “theists” and “atheists” would have to be two disjoint sets (non-overlapping circles) unless one wants to blur those classical distinctions and put people like “agnostics” in the overlap. One thing is for sure … if one of those circles included evolutionary thinkers, then that circle would have populated overlap with both the theist and atheist circles even if the latter two refused to touch each other.

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@Mervin_Bitikofer Hahaha… Thanks, yes, that’s what I meant! If you had only seen what I had pictured, you’d have known… well, maybe you did. : ) My two weeks in Geometry did not serve me well, before I avoided an “F” by transferring to Spanish III instead. So, all I can say is “lo siento”…

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Many thanks for your comments.

I do that a bit in the Introduction, although I think I need to make it more clear how much John 1 is pointing back to Genesis 1.

As the Firstborn of Creation, the Logos/Christ precedes spacetime. The Logos is the beginning of time, but this type of beginning is a hierarchy of order because as you say, “we normally think of observing it from a platform outside the Beginning, but that cannot be.”

I point it out this way because I’m hesitant to go all-in on the Big Bang. I did a paper for college on the Hubble Constant back when there were two camps of answers.
While the Big Bang is compelling, I also think it is ripe for a paradigm shift, much like how the field of epigenetics shifted our understanding of genetics.

Otherwise, yeah, I could imagine day one as a vision of the Big Bang.

However, I’m having trouble imagining how the vision then sequences into Day 2.

Dear Lee,
I like your quote of Azimov: “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” I suggest critiquing the assumption that John 1 and Genesis 1 are pointing to the same beginning. In addition, the assumption that either of these “beginnings” are correlated to the beginning of the material world.

I prefer the timeline of the Early Christian scientists, as it explains the contradictions in the book of Genesis and exposes the meaning of the Big Bang.
Best Wishes, Shawn

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Glancing at some of your posts in other threads and reading your article Creation or Evolution?, by “Early Christian” are you saying Plato and Origen?

I’ve only read Origen in brief quotes, but agree the seven divine days represent the total existence of the Earth. I would put us at or near the beginning of the seventh day.

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Origen had reconciled platonism with Christianity in his work, the Stromata. The timeline comes from the theory of the Apocatastasis - the restoration of all things, and it fits with the concept that the seventh day has yet to have been completed.
Best Wishes, Shawn

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When John1 begins exactly the same was as Gen 1 does, “In the Beginning” this is the message that they are talking about the very same event, the Beginning of the universe. This is not a conjecture but a fact that all Christians must take seriously.

Lee, this is a serious mistake, because Jesus is not the first born of Creation, which would make Him a part of Creation, not a Creator.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, 16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him - all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers - all things were created through him and for him.
Col 1:15-16 (NET)

This extended quote clarifies the real situation. Arians and people like Shawn confuse the Logos with Wisdom, who was created and thus confuse philosophy with theology.

No way.

Not a problem. Day 1. God creates the universe through the Big Bang.
Day 2. God creates the earth as a planet covered with water.

Hey, sorry I dropped the ball there. Probably thought I’d come back to it and then dropped it right out my old memory banks.

Well presume would be putting it more strongly than I actually feel about it. Who knows? Maybe.

Well it isn’t as if the goal were to think up the most advantageous beliefs, right? I mean the point of believing a thing is having good reason to think it is true. Still, it must be mighty handy for you. :wink:

I’ll bet if we met in person none of this would even come up. We’d just go enjoy that botanical garden and I’d show you where I bought the best fruit smoothie ever. I suspect in most cases people will have more in common than not, we just take most of that for granted.

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Yesterday morning I read this (along with the rest of this fascinating and well-spoken thread) and I wanted to respond from my own (pantheist, not-really-Christian) position, which is not quite the atheist-lite one discussed here. But I couldn’t quite figure out what to say, until as I was falling asleep, a few lines of poetry came to me. Poetry and I normally have as little to do with each other as possible, but this morning I wrote the second half and I hope this forum will not mind me sharing.

What is a Word?
A small piece of meaning
formed from Consciousness
An exchange
An effort of empathy

We use hundreds of them, thousands
trying to find the perfect One
that will let us feel connected with each other,
connected with that which Is.

All words, across time
form a tapestry
connecting us to one another
living and dead, but death
does not matter
It’s all part of the fabric
We cry out for each other
We feel for stories a thousand years carried
heart to heart
like it was yesterday

What is a word? Who spoke the first one?
Lost to time, was it even a human?
Hark, the Universe itself
keeps Speaking
one little piece of meaning at a time.
~

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