Evolutionary Creationism and Materialist Evolution

I agree that it is ultimately nihilistic when it is taken to its logical conclusion. I don’t think the people who seize on this sort of thing exactly have ill intentions like that, but I don’t see how it doesn’t sink to that.

If there actually were no purpose, what would restrain some demagogue who manages to succeed in his plans to take over the world, and annihilate many people in the process. Who can even say “that it is evil” … were that so?

I can understand people not liking some things written in the Bible, especially the OT. There are some things can make me cringe. I really have to wrestle with what it says. I don’t know and don’t understand some of that (thinking at least in the framework of our modern perspective). However, the notion that we will have to give an account at some point is very important. Even if we see people doing evil and getting away with it, and many people even encouraging it, we know that a ultimate judge will be there who knows our hearts. What we have willfully done that we don’t repent of, should we think God will be silent on that day, even if God is silent now?

So it makes no sense on many levels. Those of us who suffer injustice and iniquity at the hands of the powerful would be driven to seek revenge, and those who gamble that they should not fear falling into the hands of the living God would have no restraints at all.

by Grace we proceed

Why do we need God to be ‘moral’, to have purpose? Morality is hard wired in to us by easily four hundred thousand years of human evolution as an intentional hive - eusocial - monkey, let alone when we were fish. Our purpose is derived from being the only grandpaternal species on Earth. Evil is whatever our cultures pre-wired for experience say it is. If evolution selected more for demagoguery - sacred authority - than it does then we would be extinct or a much less effective species as there is no such thing as a free lunch; the opportunity cost would be net negative, evolution isn’t a zero sum game.

Maybe because without the God of Christ - that Spirit working in and on me - I tend to be immoral and to have selfish purposes?

Just speaking for myself here. But I suspect I’m not alone.

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Yeah, it’s just you Mervin ; ) So how did humanity manage for hundreds of thousands of years without Him? How do Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians, Jews, Jains, Great Spiritualists now? Despite us? Despite the horror of Christendom’s imperialism all but demolishing those cultures for over half a millennium since Columbus Day and creating Islam in the vacuum created in war with the Persians nearly a thousand years before? Lest we claim to have sanitized them?

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That’s a great question. And I have my own answer for it - whether more or less informed. But I’ll leave that just standing here as a productive reflection.

I think I tend to vote with Mervin’s answer.

In many ways, you answer your own question by pointing out definitions of evil based on “our cultures pre-wired for experience” and the “horror of Christendom’s imperialism”. Man is a rationalizing animal who, without the constraints of Jesus reminding him that he should love his enemies and pray for those who persecute him, would be very happy to see his most bitter enemies perish by a horrible death. … and would find every manner of excuse to abuse his fellow brothers and sisters. :grin: He would not consider Jesus’ view of things, that even that stinking scoundrel was made in the image of God.

It takes a willingness to meditate on Jesus’ perspective to even see that imperialism is wrong, or that defining evil by your own culture can also at times be evil, particularly when it introduces subtle and not-so-subtle double standards.

Paul writes in Romans 2:24

24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

The “you” there is pointing at fellow Christians and Jews.

I remember some rather interesting late-night discussions with a Buddhist here in Japan at one of the places I worked. I could sense that he was searching the roads very much like I am. Obviously, the model of ultimate reality is quite different from our Judeo-Christian view, but I could appreciate that he struggled with the same things I do. It seems we are “wonderfully made” with that sense of desiring to find our way to righteous living. Yet it can only really be found through a relationship with that … whatever that is that occupies the throne out there in the great beyond.

by Grace we proceed

Can you point to it in history? What amazes me is how our non-Christian victims’ descendants are so gracious.

My somewhat unscholarly hunch is that there seem to be two different ways that people go about practicing religion: one is as an individual who is trying to understand his/her place in the cosmos (which is basically good), and the other takes on a kind of authoritarian character as a group seeking to “justify” their seizure of power or “justification” for keeping that power (which can be extremely pernicious).

It doesn’t even really have to be religion at all. We’re maybe more aware of the the dirty skullduggery of the Soviet Union and the current Putin administration. However, if we look a little more closely, we see it all of the world, including in some people who call themselves Christians.

It is all idolatry where the object of worship is power and keeping it for oneself. This is why parents will stoop to cheat their kid’s way into Stanford by buying off the admission. This is why grifters like Elizabeth Holmes invent some bogus product and mislead investors down an opium smoking path. It seems to be basically why some people refuse to get vaccinated. So the road can even lead to death and ruin yet intelligent people get snookered into it.

As to the political evils, there is nothing new under the sun. You can find this point made by the prophets too

3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ 5 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, 6 if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever. (Jeremiah 7, emphasis mine)

21 “I hate, I despise your feasts,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
I will not look upon them.
23 Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5)

12 Do horses run on rocks?
Does one plow there with oxen?
But you have turned justice into poison
and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood … (Amos 6)

There’s plenty more. Regardless of whether the “religion” is about worshiping a deity (no matter how abstract) or worshiping science (as some militant atheists seem to have fallen into) or worshiping self (as with dick-tators), the issue turns to worshiping power and how to keep it, maintain it and increase it. It is ugly and even though it may bear the name of some religion – like Myanmar and its so-called “Buddhism” – it is all about a group of people trying to justify and rationalize their place in a hierarchy.

by Grace we proceed

Religion just reflects our pre-wiring for experience, our genetic evolved morality circuits as a hive monkey. The social psychological basis of morality is what will other people think. All… we have to do is enlighten that thinking. That’s the procession of grace. Not reaching out uninvited to poke other cultures in the eye when our own are blinded with timber. The power of Christendom has been projected on others ever since we institutionalized it. That’s not of Christ. Blessed are the powerless.

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This is, however:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
 
Matthew 28:18-20

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This sounds very Eurocentric. It shows no evidence that you are aware of the many forms of religion that are practiced by people around the world.

The procession of grace or love is an active process. Mistakes are made, because Christians are human. Love is more than thinking.

Who or what is the power of Christendom? How is the power Christendom related to Islam, the next largest faith community?

I thought you said that love was not selfless.

What? What stuff are you refering to exactly? No skeptic is nervius let me tell you that. The burden of proof is in you not to him

it is they who have said that – even if they continued with their skepticism afterwards. They were challenged by their doubts, based on some inexplicable details of the development or evolution of some aspects of creation …that is what I meant.

Such as? . . .

There is plenty of that around, Klax…I not long ago watched some Netflix “thingy” as I call it, that involved a recounting of earlier trips to the moon.,…and ended with a quote from Cernan to the effect that he hoped that “everyone” could stand where he stood and see the earth from that rare vantage point…and they would know that God is Creator of all things…Now THIS is not (so far as I know) the musings of a skeptic who suddenly sees a scientific detail and says “hmmmm…rum thing, that dying-god-who-rose-again-thing could actually have happened once…” …C.S. Lewis cited a story like that from his student days, as I recall…I am just saying (at the moment) that the psalmist is right when he said “the heavens declare the glory of God…” A night sky filled with billions of stars above the Mojave Desert did it for me long ago…For more specific citations — from Hoyle etc — you are going to have to find me not so early in the morning on a day when I have other things to do …MAYBE try re-reading something done by the founder of Biologos, for pity’s sake! Did you know that the late great Isaac Newton – yeh that guy – said that if a person does not believe in the Book of Daniel, they are not a Christian?

OK…all for now…go have a banana and enjoy your day!

The Book of Daniel is fake. And all things are filtered through faith. Whereas faith should be filtered by nature. What ‘inexplicable details of the development or evolution of some aspects of creation’ are there? Any will do.

You will have to take that up with the late Sir Isaac…but no, it is not a fake, has some pretty good historical details, some of which historians and archaeologists have verified… I would say the biblical text is a commentary on history – just the “deets” that are necessary to tell the story…as for the “inexplicable stuff” … later…but seriously, read what Francis Collins has said …

So what about the second alternative, that the fine-tuning of the universe is due to chance?

The problem with this alternative is that the odds against the universe’s being life-permitting are so incomprehensibly great that they cannot be reasonably faced. Even though there will be a huge number of life-permitting universes lying within the cosmic landscape, nevertheless the number of life-permitting worlds will be unfathomably tiny compared to the entire landscape, so that the existence of a life-permitting universe is fantastically improbable.

Students or laymen who blithely assert, “It could have happened by chance!” simply have no conception of the fantastic precision of the fine-tuning requisite for life. They would never embrace such a hypothesis in any other area of their lives—for example, in order to explain how there came to be overnight a car in one’s driveway.

the above comes from another website…you could do as well by reading Collins in some of his writings, I am sure…You are on a website that he founded, after all…

Fred Hoyle apparently predicted some things about the carbon nucleus “to enable it to overcome the comparative instability of the mass-eight beryllium…” later work by another scientist bore out Hoyle’s prediction. “I am told that Fred Hoyle said nothing shook his atheism as much as this discovery” – see the book God’s Universe by Owen Gingerich, p 57

“Mathematical physicist Roger Penrose calculated that the odds of our universe starting with such low entropy purely by chance were one out of 10 [symbol] 10 [symbol] 23…” The symbol used looks like an upside down capital V…blog.magsicenter.com

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This energy level, while needed to produce carbon in large quantities, was statistically very unlikely to fall where it does in the scheme of carbon energy levels. Hoyle later wrote:

Would you not say to yourself, “Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

– Fred Hoyle[19]

The Book of Daniel. It’s a false prophecy by an unknown cabal written four hundred years after its setting. You can see the join. Where it runs out of historical road and goes off piste. If I want to know the principles of mathematics, I’ll take it up with my superbly flawed hero Newton. He was a pathologically righteous murderer by proxy you know.

And for the third time of asking, got anything inexplicable? Has Collins? Something I don’t know about?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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