Does God Guide Evolution?


I am saying that climate change did not cause those mutations to occur.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #203

Correction:That is the difference and since I consider ideas, meaning, and purpose important, I consider this difference important.

(George Brooks) #204


It’s a simple choice: Do you think climate change “causes” the right mutations?
Or do you think climate change brings the appropriate mutations into abundance within the population, while penalizing those who have inappropriate genes?

You couldn’t possibly think climate change “makes” the necessary mutations, could you?

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #205

But they did occur. Is this by magic, or chance, or some other non-scientific reason?

How about if we say climate change caused certain mutation to survive and flourish that allowed them to become birds?

(George Brooks) #206



But they didn’t occur because of the climate change, they occurred generations before … and the climate change FAVORED those who had those genes all along and that had been putting a percentage of the population through some difficulties… because until the change, the individuals with those alleles didn’t fit in very well with the climate before the change.

So … if this is what you actually believe, then all those times that I thought you were just being difficult, now I know you just have some pretty wild ideas about evolution.



Mutations can occur through many natural processes, be it chemical alteration, DNA methylation, or DNA polymerases that insert the wrong base because there is simply a chance that it will due to an imperfect fit between the active site and nucleotides. All of these processes are blind to the needs of the organism and are not informed by the environment. It’s not as if an organism senses a specific challenge and then creates a specific mutation in response to that environmental stress. To use an analogy, the process of the lottery is blind to how much money you have in your bank. The lottery can’t sense who needs the money the most.

That would be in line with the reality of biology. Mutations are always ticking away in the background, and it is the interaction of those mutations with the environment that causes some mutations to become more common than others (or less common in the case of detrimental mutations). There are also interactions between genes in the genome, where a combination of two mutations in two different genes is more beneficial than if those two mutations existed in isolation. There is also DNA recombination that can put two beneficial mutations on the same string of DNA. So we have to incorporate the idea of genes interacting with other genes and with the environment.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #208

First of all I never claimed that organisms would receive mutations needed to meet environmental stress on demand so to speak. That would mean that the organism is guiding evolution. What I said was natural selection guides evolution based on changes in the ecology. When the climate became colder, the dinosaurs had to adapt. The bird dinosaurs did and the others did not. Mammals and other fauna took the place of the extinct dinosaurs in the new ecological niches created by the changed climate.

I am glad you make a place for the ecology in your scheme of evolution. While Wilson and some other do this also, others seem to effectively ignore it, using the excuse the mutations are random in relationship to need, which not an issue.

Did you know that not long ago and may be still in some places evolutionists were forbidden to say that some birds migrated south during the winter to avoid snow and cold, that is ecological factors? They had to say that birds migrated south to receive an “evolutionary advantage” without saying what that advantage was.

(George Brooks) #209


Roger, I’m pretty sure if this statement was ever made, it was made by one surly professor. I seriously doubt that it ever became a universal prohibition or requirement.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #210


I would not report it if I had not verified it. At one time in the not so distant past, biologists did to accept any explanation for the biological facts except to gain an “evolutionary advantage.”


Then we agree. I thought you were saying that the environment caused specific mutations, so I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Even Dawkins incorporates ecology into the theory of evolution. I don’t see why you think scientists are ignoring ecology. Darwin is even known as the Father of Ecology.

You have some very strange conspiracy theories.

(George Brooks) #212


Roger, it seems very likely that you encountered this one time.

But I think it is fairly implausible that this was a pervasive requirement. Science is rarely in such lock-step that terminology is so tightly guarded on such an obscure perspective:

Let’s revisit the exact wording you offered to us:

You emphatically state that scientists could not say that birds migrated south to avoid the cold (or fore ecological reasons) … but had to use the generic and vague phrase “evolutionary advantage”.

Don’t you think that an Evolutionary scientist would unavoidably have to say both things are true, in order to actually corroborate the nature of the “evolutionary advantage”?

(Mike Ciprian Manea) #213

There is so much equivocation in these discussions.

Why not do a better job defining the terminology more precisely at the beginning.

Since the author is talking about human gestation, we can use that example to establish a baseline. To whatever degree God is involved in the ‘natural’ development of the fetus, that is one category of divine involvement we can call Category ‘A’. If say the fetus is developing abnormally and God chooses to intervene miraculously and repair the abnormality, we can call that a second category of divine involvement or Category ‘B.’ If needed, new terminology can be created to differentiate between category A & B.

It shouldn’t be necessary to write entire articles just to clarify different uses of the expression ‘God guided, intervened, or acted directly.’

(George Brooks) #214

And what if God-Guided the events by arranging circumstances 500 years before? “Intervention” is a loaded term. God can guide events by lawful natural events, and by unlawful super-natural events.

(Mike Ciprian Manea) #215

That’s fine. Create a category for that as well if you need to. All I’m saying is that this debate has been going on for way too long for us to still waste time defining exactly what nuance we hold.

You can create Category A, where all of spacio-temporal reality develops naturally, although God is ultimately behind it the way he is behind human gestation.

Category B is where God intervenes directly but does so hundreds, thousands or millions of years before the event in question occurs.

Category C, He intervenes directly at that point in time.

Imagine someone rolling a bowling ball from the top of a hill, trying to hit a target at the bottom. There are certain location where that target can be placed such that, no matter how the ball is released from the top, it will never hit the target without additional intervention, simply because the target is not positioned in one of the possible trajectories.

The way I see the debate between EC (Evolutionary Creation) and ID (Intelligent Design), is that the former claims life as it exists on earth today is one of the possible outcomes of natural processes while the later claims a Category C type of intervention is needed to get us here.

(Mike Ciprian Manea) #216

I should add that if you are arguing for a Category B-type intervention, the question to answer is whether this intervention occurs before or after abiogenesis. If before, then for all practical purposes it would qualify as EC, if after, probably still as ID.


EC is a bigger tent then you have indicated here. And I have asked several ID people exactly how God gets the design done and haven’t received an answer yet. If you happen to know how I would love to hear it.

(Mike Ciprian Manea) #219

In what way is it bigger?

  1. The natural laws created by God are sufficient to explain how were got here.
  2. God intervened in the process are various times. Think giant meteor strike.
  3. God sustains every step in the process.

There might be some that think we are only one of several possible outcomes but none that come to my mind. The one thing in common is God is always involved.

(Mike Ciprian Manea) #221

Not sure how any of that contradicts what I’ve said. Are the meteor strikes not natural?

(George Brooks) #222


I don’t want to put too fine an edge on this… but really, it can all fit in Category A or B … where Category C is just a variation in terms of time.

Behe doesn’t even like to talk about “B”. As far as I know, he has not once mentioned God creating Adam and Eve through supernatural means.