Joe again tries to convince everyone that evolution and God's truth are incompatible

Copious evidence and reasoning has been offered to refute this claim of yours. You addressed exactly zero of it in your post. Instead, you acted as if nothing had been said to the contrary, and you could just assume your claim has to be true.

Clearly, we are not about to convince you. That you are apparently not even listening does not bode well, however.

Why do you think that Augustine and Calvin are wrong, Joe? Why do you think that you can slam biology while accepting purely natural astronomy and meteorology, even thoigh the Biblical references to God’s direct involvement with sunshine, stars and rain seem every bit as threatened by science as the creation of humanity seems threatened by biology?

Grace and peace,
Chris

I wonder if I understand Joes struggle with the biologosist’s. Looks like Joe is ahead of the biologos statement and perhaps like me translates it to:
God sustains reality by “faithfull” natural laws, but those are not good enough so in addition he uses a bit of magic.

To all those non physicists here try to see if you can substitute natural with physical and you see the problem. It is the confusion between natural implying physical and natural implying metaphysical.

Joe is in my eyes correctly at the position that the replication of life is not a natural / physical process as it is an expression of information that “speaks itself into existence”. As I said elsewhere on this thread, language is an expression of will, so there is a metaphysical process right at the foundation of life that requires a metaphysical source.

When it comes to God doing magic, e.g. doing something more supernatural than the logic that he put as a spell on our universe, explain to me why he would do miracles that would invalidate his logic. Do we feel there is a need to impress us with something better than a logic reality because it is not good enough?
If we take one of the core miracles in the bible, the birth of Jesus as a consequence of the word of God, what is the miracle here? Virgin birth e.g. becoming pregnant without sexual intercourse between a man and a woman is a process available on the NHS, also ex vivo, or even technically skilled ladies at home. I guess to some the innocence of Mary is equated with not having sex with a man, as sex makes you sinful or such stuff as the fall tells us to be ashamed of our sexuality. In fact Jesus is innocent because he has no biological father e.g. he is not biological. Jesus must not be logical is a proof for God to exist because he act illogical sounds like the definition of the God of atheists. They claim that all the time - but then only a madman would want an irrational God and not one that is the pinnacle of logic.
Could it be that the story is about the pregnancy of an innocent girl that whilst living under military occupation became pregnant against her will, (one could not imagine how that would have happened) and that two people loving each other decided to love thy neighbour like thyselves and raised this child like being one of them instead of killing the mother and child as customary then or just the child as customary now. In doing so, even not being the joint parents of that child it allowed this love as the word of God to become flesh and his will to love thy neighbour turned an act of oppression and hate into a beacon of love and hope. That to me is a miracle born out of something that has more power than any kind of magic as it would be logic and it demonstrates the power of love as a result of following the the word of God. It is a magic spell we all can apply to change reality.
Now do we want to explain a God that can do magic or a God that is pure logic? Is life a passive element if his design like the dress that is separate from its designer after the act of creation of is it part of God?

@deliberateresult

Your comment that I’m making two separate claims defies logic.

How can you make a mess out of the rain allegory?!

Everyone “gets” the rain allegory… except you. Rain can be 100% actuated by God’s use of natural laws… and so can Evolution.

But for those who think some things are beyond natural law… God is there to step in and bridge the limitations of the natural order.

Tell me what question of yours is still left to answer.

what does YEC have to do with anything that has been said here?

Here is the problem Joe. You have defined a “special Creation” which you must defend to the death. Using evolution to create humans is just as special as poofing humans into existence. No difference. What could be any more special than being created by God?

Yes to an unbeliever it is two claims because they don’t accept that God is in control. But to a Christian that already believes God is in control of everything, evolution, rain, and rolling dice, it is just one claim. The problem comes in when you want to add your claim of a “special Creation.”

Depending on ID is really not a good idea when you have the Bible that tells you we do have a Creator. Why fall back on man’s knowledge when you have God’s knowledge right in front of you? This is one of the things I have never been able to understand about the ID folks.

PS: You lose Evan when he realizes that the reality of the world around him proves you wrong. Joe and Will come to realize that evolution is compatible with Creation and live quite happy lives growing in faith.

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@Bill_II

I don’t think there is even a problem with “poof” Special “poof” Miracles. The Mission Statements for BioLogos allows for non-natural/supernatural events.

Joe’s issue is that he is trying to invalidate the allegory of Rain, so that he can lump Evolution in with Rain. This is an unprecedented piece of sophism … even for @deliberateresult !!

If God tells us he makes it rain… and we know that at least some rain is naturally produced… then it goes without any special pleading that God can use natural laws to produce His desired results!

@deliberateresult

Perhaps I was unclear. Joe believes “special Creation” means created in a different manner from other life. Correct me if I am wrong Joe. I believe God created humans for a special purpose. How he created us is mostly the same as what He used for other creatures with just the addition of whatever it took to make us in the image of God. Don’t try to pin me down on what the “whatever” is. Bible doesn’t say and so far nobody has come up with anything (notice how I side step the God of the gaps argument there).

@Bill_II

No, I think you were pretty clear. The intersection of our 3 viewpoints is a little complex.

What @deliberateresult is doing is not so much dependent on miraculous creation as it is dependent on trashing the “God & Rain” allegory. If Joe can’t come to terms with rain, then obviously he will never come to terms with Evolution.

LET’S CLEAR THE AIR (for the sake of all)

recently some of you have complained that I haven’t been listening to you or receiving correction. Welcome to my world! I have made many points that have been ignored and many others that have been badly twisted. Perhpaps there has been too much talking past one another. Therefore, in the spirit of moving forward with a better understanding of one another, I offer the following six points. I hope they give you clarity from my perspective:

  1. Believe it or not, I do understand the BioLogos position. But we have a major difference. When you say that the evolution of life can be understood in terms of physics and chemistry which are under God’s complete control, you think you are making one claim. But you are making two claims; one metaphysical and one scientific. It is one position - the BioLogos position - but the position makes two separate claims. In his recent post, Chris Falter unwittingly affirms this when he says,

"For example, Lawrence Krauss claims that physics and astronomy, which have given us a universe 13.8B years old and an earth 4.5B years old, offer proof that God is just a myth…

In the same way, Christians can believe the theory of evolution as a scientific explanation, while disagreeing with the grand philosophical claims of Dawkins."

Chris immediately recognizes that the metaphysical claims of Krauss and Dawkins have nothing to do with any of their scientific observations. And as Chris points out, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Metaphysical claims - be they the claims of Dawkins or the claims of Socratic Fanatic - are separate claims than their scientific claims. I take issue with your view of the Bible and I take issue with your postion on evolution. In theory, we could resolve one without resolving the other. I really wish you would understand that you are making two separate claims. It would help the conversation a lot.

  1. If you want to score some points against something I have said, please address what I have actually said, not some straw man version of what I said or what you think I meant to say. Not once, but twice in his post, Chris Falter takes the time to write out two logical arguments which he attributes to me and then spends a good deal of the post arguing against them. One of them is so far removed from anything I would say that it’s absurd, and the other is a disingenuous misrepresentation of a point I made in a different thread. He then takes that one into the absurd as well. Chris is not alone. Several posters have created their own “Joe is saying” logical arguments and have contended against those. This is particularly bizzarre given that I have, on multiple occasions, outlined my actual logical arguments in my own actual words. Please feel free to argue against any of those. You can find two relevant ones in post #5 of this thread.

  2. Please do not attribute any position to me that I have not claimed. It might seem to make your point stronger, but it is based on falsehood. This has also been done many times, and again we need look no further than Chris’s post to find two examples. Chris accuses me of being against science and against biology. Of course, I am neither.

If you are beginning to get the impression that Chris’s recent post is a textbook example of one I am justified to ignore, you are right. And though I would be justified ignoring it, I have even more to say about it in my next post. Anyway, please don’t attribute any position to me that I have not taken.

  1. Mine is the OP of this thread not by my choice, but by moderator fiat. All I was doing in that post was reaching out to a young man struggling with the same faith crisis that I and many others have experienced. I would be very grateful if you would keep this in mind.

  2. The functional, prescriptive information of life points in one direction and one direction only. It points to the activity of a mind (functional prescriptive information always points to the activity of a mind). It points away from any physico-chemical explanations. Therefore, it constitutes strong evidence that life requires a Creator. This is a truth that should energize every Christian. For a Christian to ignore, deny, or argue against it, strikes me as dangerously self defeating. The day that BioLogos affirms this evidence is the day that all of my complaints against BioLogos disappear. It is also the day that a beautiful bridge at long last appears, linking ID, EC and even YEC in an important union. What a great day that would be!

  3. Christy claims that nothing new is being said in this thread. I’m all for going after something new. I would really love for any one of you to let me know what it is about the properties of physics and chemistry that gives you the confidence that they can account for the information of life. Indeed, that is a conversation I have been desparately trying to have.

Thanks,
Joe

" You have made the claim literally dozens of times that:

  1. Evolution explains life entirely on the basis of natural processes, and therefore …
  2. It rules out any possibility of God having created us, or indeed any life on our planet."

As a dedicated student of my posts, you may recall that when I have spoken in this manner, I was referring specifically to the formal theory of evolution as it is taught in our schools. You may further recall that in defense of that statement, I offered exerpts from several recent popular biology textbooks, including one co-authored by a theistic evolutionist, which make exactly those claims in the context of “teaching” the theory of evolution.

You may also remember that I have said that ID and evolution need not necessarily be in conflict with one another. For example, the view that the programming of all life was inserted into the earliest organism(s) is a view that is compatible with both evolution and ID. It is in no way compatible with the TOE as the textbooks teach it.

I stand by my claim as it relates to the way the TOE is taught.

“Science is all about explaining the universe in purely natural terms.”

If you really buy into this, then you could never possibly recognize evidence of a Creator. I thought that science was all about explaining the universe. Period. When you say that the universe must be explained in purely natural terms, you are making a metaphysical claim, not a scientific one.

" If I must reject biology because it offers a purely natural, scientific explanation for the existence of life when the Bible says God did it directly, then I must also reject meteorology and astronomy on the same grounds. The reason I don’t reject meterology, astronomy, and biology, though, is that I view the passages that use language about God’s direct involvement as speaking theologically and/or figuratively, rather than scientifically."

Beautiful word play there, Chris. The rejection of the status quo view of the evolution of life is not the rejection of biology. From a theological perspective, may I gently suggest that rather than looking for the Bible to speak theology or metaphor to you, you look for it to speak truth to you? And am I to understand that you believe the Scriptures talk about rain and sun in the same manner that they speak of the special Creation of life? Really? There is no shortage of theologians willing to assert that the Bible teaches a doctrine of special Creation of all life. I’ve never come across a doctine of special creation of all rainstorms. The notion would be silly if it weren’t so sad.

And she is correct. Very correct.

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@deliberateresult

You are playing word games. Okay, I’ll use your sense of the English language, and (only for the purpose of this discussion) I will temporarily allow that I’m making two claims.

The Bible specifically allows for these two claims to be made when it discusses God as the maker and manager of rain. It is a clear example where a process that is very well understood per natural law is also harnessed by God. So - - natural and miraculous all at the same time.

Bam! Two claims. Biblically allowed. Evolutionary processes are just as natural as rain making. There is no rational way to distinguish between the two (except for the YEC position that God wouldn’t allow Evolution to occur).

Joe, quit attempting to strangle the discussion with your weird brew of metaphysics!

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Ridiculous.

@deliberateresult, are you intentionally being obtuse? Why would you couch any of your discussion in the context of the Godless Evolution taught in schools? How can any of us know when you are arguing about public schools rather than about BioLogos?

Aren’t you here to discuss what is wrong with BioLogos?

You are ducking and weaving to no purpose when you inter-weave your discussions … sometimes touching on BioLogos … and then other times claiming to be touching on what is taught in public schools.

Your explanation is found to be a terrible explanation for what you continue to do here on these boards.

“Depending on ID is really not a good idea when you have the Bible that tells you we do have a Creator. Why fall back on man’s knowledge when you have God’s knowledge right in front of you? This is one of the things I have never been able to understand about the ID folks.”

This one has been thrown at me before. The strong case that ID makes brought me out of atheism. I do not need to depend on it. I know Him now and walk with Him now. The role that ID played in my life was the same role that the TOE played in my life: it was an open door, that’s it. In the case of the former, the door opened to belief, in the case of the latter, it opened to unbelief. And please don’t kid yourself. When you buy into the TOE, you are embracing man’s knowledge whole-heartedly.

“PS: You lose Evan when he realizes that the reality of the world around him proves you wrong. Joe and Will come to realize that evolution is compatible with Creation and live quite happy lives growing in faith.”

Would you like to know the difference between your story and mine, Bill? Yours is pure fiction; the wishful product of your desire that things would be the way you wish they would be. Mine is a true story. Real people. Real consequences. Actual true events. Wil Provine did indeed die a year or two ago and he died a staunch athiest. Like myeslf, he became an atheist his freshman year of college as a direct result of embracing the TOE. In his long career teaching biological evolution to college freshmen, he publicly stated his goal to convert Christians into atheists through his teaching of evolution and he boasted a success rate over 50%. That most likely equates to thousands of souls converted to atheism by just one man through just one theory.

That’s the real world for you and those are real world results for you. Believe what you wish.

“Evolution is the greatest engine for atheism ever invented” - Wil Provine

“Geology is the greatest engine for BioLogos corroboration ever invented” - George Brooks

I would say that your rejection of Christianity was a direct result of embracing the idea that evolution disproves Christianity. That idea is as much a product of man as the theory of evolution is.

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Hi Joe,

You were interpreting those textbooks through your unswerving logical grid, Joe. And your logical grid is the fallacy of the excluded middle. Are you familiar with it?

Those who buy into the fallacy of the excluded middle in this discussion between evolution and faith believe that an affirmation of a scientific theory of origins (i.e., the statement that chemical and biological explanations exist for all the data regarding the origin of species) ipso facto excludes the possibility of an intelligent designer or supernatural forces.

Every sentence of your post relies on the fallacy of the excluded middle, Joe. Every. Sentence.

Among those who peddle the fallacy of the excluded middle are Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins. Why you insist on joining their company is quite beyond me. Personally, I would rather keep company with Augustine and John Calvin.

Your claim does not comport with the way it was taught to me by Southern Baptists who worked in the public educational system.

Your claim does not comport with the way evolution is taught in Ken Miller’s textbook, the most widely used in the US.

Your claim does not comport with the philosophy of the NCSE.

Of course, evolution is taught by humans, and humans are imperfect. So it is inevitable that a few (like Dawkins) will fall into the fallacy of the excluded middle. Wherever that occurs, it is a problem. Perhaps you were taught by an individual who erroneously peddled the fallacy–or perhaps that’s just the way you think about the relationship between evolution and faith. I have no intention of trying to sort that out. My point is this:

You are assuming that your educational experience (however you came by it) is normative. And judging by the length of the threads you have started, no amount of evidence is able to dislodge your assumption.

I am glad you were able to recover spiritually from the descent into the abyss of atheism, Joe. I regret that you had to reject most of biology to climb out; there are better ways to emerge. But here you are, and I’m glad that you made it. I do hope you will recognize, though, that there are other ways to climb out of that abyss–ways that do not entail rejecting the lion’s share of biology. I was in that abyss at one point of my life, but I did not have to reject key insights of biology to emerge.

And if they were consistent in their hermeneutics, they would also believe in a doctrine of special creation of all rainstorms. There is as much Biblical evidence for the special creation of rainstorms as there is for the special creation of humanity.

You are ignoring the Biblical evidence as you appeal to inconsistent theologians.

The texts speak for themselves.

It is true that there has been no serious theology of rainstorms in the past few hundred years. Before then, though, theologians frequently used the Bible to build theologies of weather. Here are some sources to help you become familiar with the Biblically-based* theologies of weather that were influential prior to the modern age.

A Jewish view
Patristic and medieval theologians had interesting theologies of weather

Best wishes,
Chris Falter

*By Biblically-based, I mean that ancient and medieval theologians found support for their views in the Bible. I do not necessarily agree with their hermeneutical approach.

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Hi Joe,

I am analyzing your position and its underlying assumptions. You apparently are not aware of the intermediate steps in logic that you assume when you make your statements. Analyzing a colleague’s statements in this manner is actually a very constructive way to engage in meaningful conversation. It’s precisely in this manner that two people can avoid talking past one another.

I would encourage you to work through the steps in logic rather than to complain of “straw men.” If you have a better way than mine of formulating the premises and logic that lead to the conclusion that belief in evolution ipso facto excludes belief in God, by all means please present it. So far, all I have seen you do is

(1) appeal to the fact that some individuals like Dawkins and Krauss agree with you that there is no middle ground between evolution and faith, and

(2) misinterpret statements by Ken Miller and others like him, based on your assumption that there is no middle ground.

What about hormonal signaling systems, Joe? If DNA is functional prescriptive information, then hormonal signals are, as well. I doubt you would claim that every kind of hormonal signaling system known to biology indicates that an intelligent mind is at work.

The problem you have, Joe, is that there are only two classes of functional, prescriptive information:

  1. Created by animals, e.g. humans
  2. Created by biological systems, e.g. DNA and hormonal signaling

Arguing that the existence of the first implies that the second results from intelligent design seems like an unwarranted leap of logic to me.

Grace and peace,
Chris

When it comes to living matter, would you describe the hormonal signalling as you already call it signalling a non information conveying system?
One could think that you believe that biological systems are purely physical to you, no language involved. Is the transmission of information a physical or a metaphysical function to you?

If a hormone was purely physical you should be able to deduce it’s function by analysing it’s shape and composition and that should suffice as it can entirely be explained by its energetic state and composition. You clearly could do the same with those letters you look at on your screen. They are purely physical appearances, no meaning intended and clearly no intelligence required for them to form :slight_smile:

Hi Marvin -

Are you addressing your questions to Joe, or to me?

Thanks,
Chris

“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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