How Would You Respond To This?

(James Hiddle) #1

For those who might not know Dr White is a YEC Calvinist and has even mentioned his disdain for BioLogos on his show a while back. Now he’s responding to some atheists during a debate and happens to get into the discussion of evolution. Question how would you respond to Dr White if you’re a TE/EC and what is your opinion on what his opinion on evolution is?

(Mazrocon) #2

Hey James.

I only watched 15-20 minutes of the video (White seemed to ramble quite a bit and get off topic). Also for some reason the video started halfway through? I assumed that the spot I started in was relevant and was planned … I’m not sure.

In any case… Couple points.

He says that Natural Selection isn’t a big enough engine to provide all the huge changes that are necessary. I think for this, I tend to think “Natural Selection only” is too simplistic of a format for evolution on a grand scale. I think other things need to be considered like ecology, and splitting off of breeding grounds, that deviates species. There’s other work going on out there that has different theories of evolution (I made a topic on here called Multiple Theories of Evolution if you’re interested).

At one point one of the other speakers says, “It’s fascinating to look up this stuff and understand how it works” — Dr. White paused and said, “What’s fascinating about it? It’s all random. It has no purpose.”

Perhaps from an atheistic prospective it has no purpose … But from a theistic perspective I don’t think so. Isn’t there a Bible passage that says, “He made all things for his pleasure.”…? Maybe in one sense, Darwin and God were in agreement, when he said, “creating endless forms most beautiful.” It’s a shame that Darwin was an agnostic, later became atheist. I’ve never read any of his books, but some of the passages I read by him, give me the impression that he was totally in awe by nature. It seems to me that God wanted us to be in awe of His creation, just as much God seems to enjoy what He made.

My third point would be (what I consider to be) a false dichotomy. One group says, “It appears to be designed” and the other group says, “It appears to have evolved.” … What so astronomically different with the two concepts? It sounds like the story of the three blind man touching an elephant … One feels the tail and says, “I think the elephant is similar to a rope.” The second one touches the ear and says, “No I think an elephant is more like a big leaf.” And the third one touches the leg and says, “Look guys, you’re both wrong! The elephant is obviously like a tree!”

Can’t God have designed life to adapt (as Mr. White seems to have stated around the one hour mark?)

That’s all I have to say at the moment. I haven’t heard of White’s critiques of BioLogos … But I didn’t watch the whole video.


(James Hiddle) #3

He talked about BL in another video and I linked it to the part where he started talking about evolution and natural selection hence the start time.

(Mazrocon) #4

Ahhh okay… That makes sense.

This isn’t a critique at all, James – I’m just asking for curiosity sake. When you ask questions and post topics you seem much more more of an observer-type. In that other topic you posted about the Young Earth article, I’m happy that you might have gained understanding (or even just different perspectives) about what other Christian groups believe about science, faith, and origins. But at the same time I was curious what your reply would be. What is Your opinion of Mr, White’s opinion? or what is Your opinion of the Young Earth article?

Again … Not a critique. I just enjoy discussion.


(Christy Hemphill) #5

I don’t really care what his opinion on evolution is. He probably hasn’t objectively studied it since high school in the late 70s. I might read his book on why KJV Onlyism is stupid, because it would seem that there he would be teaching out of his area of expertise and I might learn something.

To be honest, it seems to me that Calvinists of the Reformed Baptist-type get a lot of blog mileage out of “mentioning their disdain” for pretty much everyone who isn’t part of their little club.

(Mazrocon) #6

Some of the issues it seems is that people are being very critical about evolutionary theory without themselves being a biologist. Or being critical of the fossil record and yet not actually being a hands on geologist (George McCready Price?). The only astrophysicist I know of that thinks the universe is young is Jason Lisle … But to my knowledge he’s never published a peer-reviewed scientific paper about why there’s good reason to think the speed of light changed in the past or fluctuated to a great degree.

Either it shows evidence of young-earth theories not demonstrating very good science or there’s a major conspiracy going on in the scientific community at large (and I have watched seminars that use that same line of reasoning).


(Patrick ) #7

No conspiracy going on. I am guarding the Horn Antenna in my backyard in Holmdel NJ. The CMB radiation is still streaming in at a red shift of 1089. So the universe is 13.8 billion years old and expanding really fast. :grinning: I want to make a personal comment to you. You are certainly growing in your scientific knowledge. I encourage you to continue deeper and broader. You have a great intellect and a great future in any scientific or critical reasoning pursuit that you chose.

(George Brooks) #8

From a BioLogos viewpoint, the view that God is necessary to accomplish
the creation should come as no surprise.

The DIFFERENTIATION is in how long it takes to do it. Geologists were the
first to convincingly explain the extreme age of the Earth. The participation of
Intelligence in human creation is not a deal breaker.

Young Earth Creationism IS the deal breaker.

George Brooks

(Dcscccc) #9

hi tim. i actually think that we can identified an object that was designed. do you agree that a watch is a proof of designer? if so- what is the main reason do you think so?

after that we can check if also nature share this trait with the watch.

(Patrick ) #10

Oh no, we moved from designed vehicles to watches. What kind of watches are you referring to - the ones with gears and levers or the electronic ones with quantum mechanical devices in them?

Yes nature at its core is a quantum mechanical system sharing the same uncertainties of spacetime as both a mechanical and electronic watch.

(Mazrocon) #11

Hey Guy.

I think it’s helpful to respond this from a lengthy quote on Francis Collins’ book, The Langauge of God, pages 86-88:

"The “Arguement from Design” dates back at least to Cicero. It was put forward with particular effectiveness by William Pael in 1802 in a highly influential book, Natural Theology. Paley, a moral philosopher and Anglican priest, posed the famous watchmaker analogy:

In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer that, for anything I new to the contrary, it had lain there forever. Nor would if be very easy to show the aburdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer, which I had before given, that for anything I knew, the watch might always have been there … the watch must have had a maker: that there must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended it’s construction, and designed its use … Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater or more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation.

The evidence of design in nature has been compelling to humanity through out much of our existence. Darwin himself, before his voyage on the HMS Beagle, was an admirer of Paley’s writings, and professed to be convinced by this view. However, even simply as a matter of logic, there is a flaw in Paley’s argument. The point he is making can be summarized as follows:

  1. A watch is complex.
  2. A watch has an intelligent designer.
  3. Life is complex.
  4. Therefore, life also has an intelligent designer.

But the fact that two objects share one characteristic (complexity) does not imply they will share all characteristics. Consider, for example, the following parallel argument:

  1. Electric current in my house consists of a flow of electrons.
  2. Electric current comes from the power company.
  3. Lightning consists of a flow of electrons.
  4. Therefore, lightning comes from the power company.

As appealing as it seems, Paley’s argument can’t be the whole story. To examine the complexity of life and our own origins on this planet, we must dig deep into the fascinating revelations about the nature of living things wrought by the current revolution in paleontology, molecular biology, and genomics. A believer need not fear that this investigation will dethrone the divine; if God is truly Almighty, He will hardly be threatened by our puny efforts to understand the workings of His natural world."

End quote.

The point I was trying to make that saying, “It appears to be designed.” And “It appears to have evolved” are not polar opposites. They can be looked at as different angles of the same gem. You look it one way and it shines a particular way: and you look at it a different way, another part shines. But it’s still the same gem.

You compare God’s creation to that of a watch … And I personally find that a bit demeaning to God and his power. God’s creation is much more incredible than a watch. Does a watch adapt to it’s environment? No it does not … Major difference there. Does a watch serve multiple purposes and functions, contain free will, experience emotion, like that of an animal? No to all of those.

I look for God in the whole picture of nature, and in the hearts of those that would echo his love and compassion. I look for God in the finely tuned constants that make life possible in the first place. If God is Almighty, to make things instantaneously, he is certainly powerful enough to create in a stepwise process (similar to that of forming babies in the womb). You seem eager to put God in a box, and make Him have to snap his metaphorical fingers for something to appear fully formed … Why? This is not how God creates on a daily basis … Why does he have to create that way in the past? I’m more interested in studying and understanding God by his Words (the Bible) and by his Works (Nature) together. I’m not interested in trying to prove how God performed a certain action … If the evidence shows He did it in a snap then wonderful. If the evidence shows he took His time, then that’s also great. But these details are peripheral and not central.


(Dcscccc) #12

hi tim. first- i will response to you second coment later(about the tail discussion).

now’ lets talk about the design argument. true there is some differents between watch and cat for example. but what about if we will talk about a self replicating watch that made from organic material? is this kind of speciel watch need a designer or not in this case?

“But the fact that two objects share one characteristic (complexity) does not imply they will share all characteristics”-

true. but if the same trait that because of it we identified design is share between 2 object- then we can identified that they both designed. see above.

(Mazrocon) #13

Guy — I’m not really sure how to go beyond this point. I’ve tried my best and yet you continue to use the same analogies and the same metaphors. I think it odd how you say their are “some” differences between a watch and a cat as if to imply that the differences were superficial. I would argue that the SIMILARITIES are superficial.

The problems with all the watch, bridge, and vehicle analogies that one can think of is that they all required TIME to construct. And yet you use these same metaphors to imply that God pulled a universe out of a hat. Even terminology used in the Bible, “You created the moon, the work of your fingers.” Does not at all imply instantaneous activity. If we compare it to that of a cabinet then it implies TIME was used to create.

In not sure why you view the entire created universe in such a mechanized-materialistic fashion.


(Mazrocon) #14

Thanks for the compliments, Patrick, and the encouraging words. I enjoy studying and learning (always have been) … Even more so that I’ve overcome my cognitive dissonance (the feeling of discomfort when faced with things that are contrary to certain beliefs). As B. B. Warfield once stated, “One should follow the evidence wherever it leads.” And a proverb that goes, “The simple believeth every word; but the prudent looketh well to his going.”


(Dcscccc) #15

tim. i actually explain why those analogies are hold water. again- if you will find a watch with a living traits (self replication and organic material) the analogy is very good. actually, here is it from the original paley book:

“Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch should after some time discover that, in addition to all the properties which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself — the thing is conceivable; that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts — a mold, for instance, or a complex adjustment of lathes, baffles, and other tools — evidently and separately calculated for this purpose .The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism by which it was carried on, he would perceive in this new observation nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done — for referring the construction of the watch to design and to supreme art . . . . He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which, was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair — the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use”

or like prof dawkins said: "“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose”

(Patrick ) #16

You certainly have talents in critical thinking and open minded research. These will serve you well in life and can lead to a good career in a wide range of fields.

(Mazrocon) #17

It’s much more straightforward to say, “Do you believe complex organisms can change, evolve, adapt, over time?” I don’t see any added benefit in bringing watches into the mix.

I’m not terribly interested in what Dawkins’ philosophical materialist worldview is. His metaphysical reality demands that things like design and purpose in nature are delusional … My metaphysical reality doesn’t demand this. I believe there is design and purpose. The problem is that your definition of “design and purpose” is very different than my definition. Saying something is designed and purposeful does not in anyway equal instantaneous creation. When people say, “This beautiful painting was by created by Michael Angelo.” I don’t assume it poofed into existence. Neither do I assume my dad’s handmade cabinets just “poof” into existence … I don’t see how the argument of design vs. non-design is relevant to my discussion of “process creation” and “poof creation”. William Paley’s parable of the watch was very compelling back then and it’s still compelling to many people today. Some of the problem is that many people don’t think (much less comprehend) such things as aeons of time. We are all of us just living in the present, in our average 70 year old lifespans. So saying things like millions of years is beyond our comprehension.


(George Brooks) #18

Ideally speaking … BioLogos should be a dispute between two factions:

the group of God-believers who think God worked SO FAST
Evolution was irrelevant to his means…


the group of God-believers who think God worked SO SLOWLY,
he used Evolution to accomplish his ends.

Nobody else should really be talking.


(Dcscccc) #19

tim. my main claim is that we can identified an object that was designed. and the same trait that tell us why it was designed also appear in nature systems.

" Saying something is designed and purposeful does not in anyway equal instantaneous creation"-

true. even a designed object can design in a slow process. like car in factory. we now talking about the question about design ot not. also- we need to find what is the best explanation.


Maybe God makes cars, or designs and chips stone tools.