This is a pretty explicit attack on EC, and a direct defense of ID. What are some ways I can think this through with my kids. I feel like they are promoting the premise that you cannot believe in a God who oversees and the processes of creation. I felt like Collins addressed this well in L of G, saying you can be comfortable with design and “random” evolution. I continue to get hung up on the fact that things are so intricately crafted. Responses?
Does a snow flake crystal qualify as intricate? I would think so - and most of us have no problem thinking that a “random assortment” of water molecules came together with geometries that caused the 6-fold symmetry to emerge. But you may also be thinking that wouldn’t be intricate at all compared to what we see going on in cells and with DNA and life. The word “crafted” carries a lot of meanings for us too - and it depends what all you wish to pack into that verb. I don’t think Dr. Collins has any trouble saying all of life was crafted … we were “knit together” in our mothers wombs according to the psalmist. And he obviously thinks that God’s crafting involved eons of evolution to bring about the intricate process by which we grow now. Yet others want to insist that God’s involvement just can’t look like that and must look more like what a human engineer would do instead. Is that where you are?
Not exactly the same but here are some articles that might help.
This is a piece about whale evolution, refuting some recent Discovery Institute videos on whales.
And here is a post Jim wrote about Common Design vs Common Descent and what is compelling about each: Common Descent vs. Common Design: 4 Examples Explained Better by Descent - Articles - BioLogos
Hope these can help a little??
For me what I do is simply focus on individual things. There is nothing biological that requires the supernatural forces as the answer.
Some of the most common things I see being brought up are things like this.
The gaudy sphinx moth caterpillar has a design that makes it look a lot like a snake. People argue that how could a caterpillar make itself look like a snake in order to protect itself. Well they can’t but they did evolve that way. But the process can be explained away following basic evolutionary biology. Over a long period of time these caterpillars begin to develop this pattern. As time went by the ones that looked more like a snake was most likely less eaten by birds resulting in them passing in their genes which makes their offspring looks more like that.
Same with passiflora egg like structures that match butterfly eggs. Mimicry has a lot of cool examples.
Another cool aspect is convergent evolution. Like with sharks and dolphins. Very similar morphology , yet completely without design. A shark is far more closely related to a eel than it is to a dolphin and a dolphin is far more closely related to a elephant than to any fish. Though they look similar on the outside, it’s very artificial considering how the teeth evolved in each species and how their bone structure looks. If I took the bones of a shark, and the bones of a dolphin and placed them before you without telling you what they are you would not think they looked alike what so ever. Probably never even envision what the dolphin accurately from their bones.
All species are intermediate species. Some species are at a place right now though that helps us to understand the gradual change of species. We can look at seals for example right now and get a frame to understand what a whales ancestor may have looked like at one point. Eventually, the descendants of seals may even look very similar to dolphins while the mudskipper fish may have frog like descendants eventually.
I believe these examples can often help us with understanding things that may appear like design but it’s really just mimicry, coevolution and convergent evolution.
Here are some podcasts from “ The Common Descent Podcast” that may be of better help concerning flight. I admittedly know next to nothing about flight. I know that all flying birds today most likely evolved from non flying birds. That flying birds are recent compared to most of the birds.
This one is about flight.
This one is about bats.
This one is about pterosaurs. ( one of the earliest flying reptiles )
They are pretty amazing. But so are bad things, like parasites. Read “Parasite Rex” by Carl Zimmer. Some parasites can change the behavior of their hosts, or even trash your immune system so it doesn’t even detect them. So what does this mean? Two intelligent designers working at cross purposes with each other?
The ID anti-evolution arguments are routinely god of the gaps, claiming that not finding God by scientific means implies no God. But Ecclesiastes tells us that the “under the sun” approach should just end up with a blank as far as telling any ultimate meaning. Likewise, Genesis 1 tells us that forces of nature are merely parts of God’s creation, not deities with their own intentions. Looking for God by scientific methods is like trying to understand this post by analyzing the electrical and structural properties of the circuits. Should we conclude that there is no intelligent agency behind my post because I cannot detect any intelligence in the electrons? It’s simply not something that science can handle. Of course, given knowledge of God, we can then appreciate His hand behind all of science, but the science itself does not tell us that.
Another common anti-EC argument is to hype examples of bad theology that invoke evolution. But then what of the ID Raelians with their silly space alien claims, their bogus claims to have cloned people, and their clothing-deficient parades, or Jonathan Wells asserting that Christianity is not about Christ but about anti-evolutionism? Of course, one can cooperate with people on a common interest while not agreeing with every point; the problem is the part to whole ad hominem double standard and triple fallacy.
Nature is not a post from God where we’re not seeing the message for the trees and the chloroplasts and the mycelium and the quantasomes and the deer browsing the bark in the shadow of the second class yellow dwarf type G. Nature - physis - lacks nothing at all at any scale from the Planck to the infinite that needs a purposeful creator.
True, but there happens to be one.
As usual, the ID scientists mischaracterize and generalize the attitudes, language, perspectives that scientists use in biology. Scientists aren’t beholden to an effort to ignore teleology, and they’re not desperately trying to avoid saying “designer.” The ID camp represented here seems unable to make observations without personifying everything, attributing purposes and a long-term design plan. Evolution isn’t the mind with the plan, it’s the observed process.
They also ignore things like population genetics and niche creation. To my knowledge, they’d claim that speciation of birds happened after the Flood, just like other animals. But even amphibians, mammals, etc have features that aren’t only common design, such as mammals with wings and birds with show feathers (whatever the term for that is!), they have a new function via exaptation.
I recently heard a science teacher counter that designing the pipe where you breathe right next to the one where you eat and drink is a bad design, no designer in their right mind would do that on purpose. As a human, I’m thankful for being a biped, but as a mother, I’m also aware that has led to a very difficult and inefficient design for childbirth. Childbirth is incredibly dangerous, plus a life with back and joint pain, because of this wonderful design of being able to walk on two feet and hold tools and children! Maybe not a perfect design, but it generally works and it’s good
I want it to be so, but those ancient and more takes don’t make it so. Even assuming it is and they both, particularly Paul, knew. From experience. It doesn’t make them rational in our terms, at all. It can’t. If God is not the ground of being, Davis and Paul were wrong.
I wonder what they would do with Doridae (Gastropoda: Nudibrachia)? From genetic diversity maps, they seem to have originated in Antarctic waters. The largest one for which it is known spends 10 years in the egg and can live ~300, with maturity at something like 100. Extrapolating from the smaller species, the largest known species spend ~50 years in the egg, reach maturity at ~500 and live ~1500 years. Even with really ramped up rates of evolution*, a 100-year generational gap is going to be difficult to accommodate.
*Which could be produced by the huge amounts of radiation caused by radiometric decay-rate changes, except those amounts are enough to kill everything on the planet within a day (~12 Gy/hr–a you-will-die-no-matter-what dose every 2.5 hrs), plasmise the planet, and make it emit as much light as a small galaxy. But those changes would destroy every composite particle, so no glowing-earth problems.
The same applies. They don’t work. There’s no reason why they should, even if God grounds being as revealed in Christ for sure. All faith testimonies are subjective bar none.
Yeahbut God lies for the TRUTH! You MUST believe. Or burn. You know it makes sense. Potter. Clay.
And there is reason why they should work, because God is not impotent to intervene in his creation, though you would have him be.
Because you have convinced yourself that is true and refuse to believe otherwise.
You are right that the metaphor of interpreting an online post by looking at the electrons cannot be pressed very far. The point is that neither the Discovery Institute nor the “new” atheists, in their attempts to use science to answer theological questions, will make it onto the Bob the Builder show - they are not using the right tools for the job.
I should note that the ID movement frequently acknowledges that god of the gaps is not a good argument. However, that does not particularly seem to decrease the frequency with which they tend to make god of the gap arguments. Claiming that evolution or “methodological naturalism” implies God’s absence is a god of the gaps claim. Saying that you were either created by God or by mindless molecular processes is a god of the gaps claim. In fact, each of us individually was created and continue to exist using countless molecular processes, and none of those molecules has a mind.
ID is dominantly not young-earth. However, ID is dominantly very aware that much of their popular market is young-earth, and they generally avoid conspicuously distinguishing themselves from it. Even if they did, it might not be noticed. The false dichotomy between evil evolutionists and good creationists (or evil creationists and good evolutionists, depending on the source) has been sufficiently promoted that a large proportion of both the fans and detractors of ID don’t notice the difference. “Intelligent Design” has been used as a mere substitute name for “Creation Science”, which is what got ID in trouble in the Dover trial. Some young-earthers who are not happy with the generally abysmal quality of popular YEC have found a home in the ID movement. But overall, the ID movement tries to avoid talking about things like the Flood - they try to appear purely scientific, except when they are marketing themselves as Christian apologetic. They claim to detect an unspecified generic designer. But this is bad theology as well as scientifically dubious. Christianity affirms that you are just as unsaved if you believe that everything was designed and made by Zeus as if you are an atheist; the Phil Johnson end of ID’s purported focus on defeating atheism is misguided, Biblical miracles are not to patch over gaps in God’s designing of the universe; they specifically point to God.
Also, actual scientific detection of design is not based on complexity. It is based on some combination of having an idea of who the designer was and what the item was designed for or having sets of known designed and undesigned items to compare with the item in question.
Of course whatever M&G subjectively experienced worked objectively for them. Objectively I have a close family member who is a flat Earther, his subjective thought processes are easy to objectify.
I’m objectively convinced of the subjectivity of all faith testimonies; personal claims of suspension of the laws of physics that can’t be reproduced, the testimonies convince me and I objectively believe them all. It is the nature of all testimony to be subjective, including this one. Which is why eye witness testimony is the least credible in law.
Well, i’d humbly observe that the “problem” of attributing all the utterly astounding engineering feats required for flight to a blind unguided process (guided only in the most vague and indirect manner under God’s “providence”) is far greater…
This video only discussed bird flight… but the same blind process of random mutation and natural selection has to explain the perfect, astoundingly intricate, and precise engineering and design involved for developing flight in mammals, dinosaurs, fish, and insects as well, all independently.
not to mention that even within these categories, there are radically different flight dynamics and science involved… like how the flight of a hummingbird is as different from other birds as a helicoptor’s flight is different than a fixed wing plane.
but i like the video myself for what it is worth. captures my own sentiment well.
What doesn’t it see?