God Nudging in Evolution

I have never posted here - so forgive me if I sound like a dunce.

I believe I read where people were supporting the idea of evolution - but that God “nudged” it along… As opposed to “poofing” everything into existence.

As a sort of complete innocent, that sounds like a very silly, self-serving idea - one entirely speculative and more than desperate.

How about a big dose of humility and recognize that we are floating around in an infinite abyss - which I cannot remotely comprehend - on a rock - in front of a nuclear holocaust…

I just thank God He has chosen to intervene in my life - but I don’t try to make up tales about Him that don’t make sense - we are called to be “intelligent” (something in Proverbs about that I think…).

Ok, if I completely misunderstood - I will be happier - and will delete my post.

Hi, Greg. Can you say more or clarify how it is that you find it [evolution?] to be a “self-serving” or “more than desperate” idea?

I think you’ll find a whole lot of agreement here that we are indeed supposed to be as intelligent as we can, and to have humility also before God. God’s presence in our lives as Christ is certainly a cause to celebrate together. Much agreement there!

-Merv

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Good to hear your voice, Greg.
I understand where you are coming from. I myself have thought perhaps God nudged things along perhaps where otherwise life could not of made it over the hill, perhaps in the area of first life, or along one path instead of another, but truthfully that is just speculation and not something I believe, but rather just wonder. I do believe God intervenes in the course of things when it serves his purpose, so is not that far removed. I suppose that would technically be a form of lower ease intelligent design. However, I would not expect to ever see evidence of those nudges, and like you seem to indicate, am uncomfortable with having the thought that God could not of made creation with the capacity to develop and evolve as he wished it to do.
You state God has intervened in your life, so what would preclude his intervention in the universe? If he dId not, how does that differ from Deism?

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I think when people finally come to terms with the overwhelming evidence for evolution, they need to reconcile it with their beliefs to be at peace. For someone who has spent their whole life believing in miraculous special creation and who has a related concept of what a Creator does, it can be a conceptual leap too far to imagine God creating entirely through natural processes. Their concept of God as Creator entails something more “hands-on.” Since we all reason through metaphorical thinking, and our human experience with creating always involves an artist or designer actively engaged in the making of what is created, it’s not surprising to me that for many people affirming God is Creator entails (at the conceptual level) some sort of active supernatural participation in the creation work. I don’t think it is self-serving and speculative so much as an example of the typical ways humans link things they don’t understand to experiences they do understand in order to think about highly abstract concepts that are well beyond embodied human experience. Is that self-serving? Sure, but so are all our attempts to understand reality on our own human terms.

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Christy

I appreciate what you are saying.

Frankly, to be truly honoring to God - which I expect is their ultimate goal - and certainly mine especially in the sense of accurately reflecting Him - it seems they are dishonoring God when they go through every gyration to slide Him in to the process just because they “need” to.

The reality of course is that God can just poof all this into existence - at least as far as I know - and likely based on my experience. I am happy to rise to the call of humility of just saying - I believe there is more than us little people - and there are also dinosaurs and a Cambrian age WITHOUT humanistically integrating the two.

BTW - I am only in the midst of my own return to cosmology at all and simply this interaction pushes me further in my own thinking.

Greg

Mervin

Thanks for your question! To be clear - I was not saying that evolution in itself was self-serving - BUT that the notion of God “nudging” it as an essential part of the process as the desperate effort - of having to insert God into a process simply because of the pre-formed theology.

If you read my response to Christy that seems to be where I have gotten to at this point that actually makes sense of the data including my own experience.

I will add - I am a retired CPA and have long come to grips with the fact that I am unable to speak to the validity or non-validity of naturalistic processes - except to say that the glimpses I have I always find to be utterly amazing and humbling.

Greg

JPM

You bring up a great point - God intervening in my life - why not in the natural world. Fair enough… :grinning:

Perhaps I would then simply say “I am not totally opposed” but without desperately requiring for a model without evidential basis especially when there are apparently other explanations. I am very comfortable with “I don’t know” - it is all too amazing for me the more I think about - just infinity alone.

Greg

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There is an argument that God did not need to intervene at all. With all the potential stars (suns) and their planets on which life could arise and later give rise to intelligent life, it would occur somewhere in the galaxy, it just happened here and we are the that intelligent life.

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I understood you Greg and yeah, it’s desperate. cosmicscotus is right. Furthermore it’s the only rational argument. Further furthermore, rationally the galaxy swarms with life. And subjective divine intervention.

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This forum was started by a scientists and there is a lot of scientists here. So one thing we are pretty clear about is that we don’t support is the idea that evolution needed God to make it work.

But we are also Christians and that means theists rather than Deists. We believe in a God who is a participant in our lives rather than simply watching. To be sure I think we need to discard the whole watchmaker idea because that wasn’t in the Bible anyway and it really doesn’t fit since we are not machines. But God has always been portrayed as the good shepherd watching over the sheep and taking action when something threatens to lead them astray.

So it makes sense to see God in the same role with evolution. Taking action when it isn’t going in a productive direction. Like maybe He had a hand in wiping out the dinosaurs. I am reminded of the whole flood story. God wasn’t micromanaging things so people went in a rather nasty direction so He sent a flood to give us the new beginning we needed at that time.

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There we are. Mere rationality with no evidence does not imply that something is true. It only suggests that it might be possible… in a real stretch, in many cases.

Evidence is irrelevant. So what do you propose? Mere irrationality?

I propose not pretending.

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Thank-you - and to CosmicScotus -

I can find this to be more meaningful - though always open minded - but not about evolutionary “divine nudging”…

AMEN!

Nor about the contents and mss of the Bible…

Mitchell

Or, rather, the flood myth is the result of historic events that have been picked up and passed on by cultures - including the Hebrew culture…??? That seems to make the most sense with the available data.

I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful input - this is all helpful for me to move ahead in my own thinking other than parroting Duane Gish et al as I did in my 20s (62 now…).

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My position is a variation on that. To be sure it is most reasonable to believe this is a local flood. But I don’t equate humanity with the biological species. So this could very well have been local flood wiping out the first human civilization. This way I go with the best of both world, taking both science and the Bible as seriously as I can. It is what I do with most of the Bible. I have no reason to look for excuses to be dismissive of the stories of the Bible – I would rather extract as much meaning and value from them as I can. There is no reason, for example, not believe that Adam and Eve were real people, just not the only ones of their species on the planet (and we even see hints of this in the Bible anyway), and no talking snakes or magical fruit, of course.

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Mitchell

I really liked this statement - “I would rather extract as much meaning and value from them as I can”

The Bible has a lot of fabulous material - that “magical” fruit - is fundamentally a discussion of ETHICS (knowledge of good and evil)! WOW! Talk about dealing with a fundamental…

And how do we relate to God? Covering up and running away into the bushes (which, oddly, I did once at the very beginning of my awareness…)? Or opening towards…

But what of the most objective assessment of what probably happened? I will leave that to the historians. Just because something is the most probable event doesn’t mean it is the truth. And sticking to only what you have objective evidence for is going to leave huge gaps. Besides, as valuable as objective observation is in science, it is a complete failure when it comes to life. Life requires subjective participation, where what we want and believe is important. So go ahead and believe in love or believe that you are going to win a football game.

There is a number of reasons our memory of the past is selective. The subjective coloring of events is what makes them worth remembering. And you cannot expect an objective account of events based on evidence thousands of years later to capture any of that. So history for the historians is one thing, memory another, and in this natural spectrum our stories of the past have a place too.

And thus it shouts symbolism louder than anything else in the Bible!

Nice! That is a connection with the evidence for evolution I never made. The connection I usually make is with the parable of the talents. Whether we take God’s word and make it fruitful for truth or simply hand it back word for word without any investment of thought.

“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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