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

Considering that the top line indicates that this was a reply to you and I was citing your comment should signal the intended target of mymessage :slight_smile:
Don’t take it personal. Your comments to Joe just made me question my own assumptions of how I look at communication. Exchange of information is clearly a metaphysical function and we seem to somehow be daft to look at evolution as a “physical process”.

So tell me why you would claim that the communication between plants is more daft than the communication between us? Is the flower signaling the bee or the strawberry signalling the human unintelligent communication because it comes from a stupid plant? What is it that prevents us from seeing the intelligence in biology wherever we look?

I took no offense, Marvin, and you ask good questions. My take is this:

Flowers and bees communicate using information, and humans communicate with each other using information. Some of that communication is the result of cognition, and some of it is not.

Not all of that information exchange contains prescriptive information. However, the ratio of cytokinins to auxins in plants signals whether roots or shoots form. If DNA is functional prescriptive information, then cytokinins and auxins must be as well.

Now the communication between the flower and the bee is cognitive as it is learned. We just do not tend to get it as we do stumble over the slow time constant of this communication and the learning manifests itself in the genetic memory of the plant. Whilst this is all far of my field of expertise, searching what you meant with prescriptive information I stumbled over a paper Dichotomy in the definition of prescriptive information suggests both prescribed data and prescribed algorithms: biosemiotics applications in genomic systems that might hopefully give the linguistically inclined ones more pleasure to read. It only gave me a headache but looks like to look at biology with a materialistic worldview sounds a bit delusional but as Jo quite rightly states, if evolution is presented as a result of physical and not metaphysical reality God and evolution remain incompatible and will lead to the false conclusion I subscribed to myself when going through puberty
"it’s all physics".
Having grown out of that I now know it isn’t.

Hi Marvin -

Really interesting paper you found. I haven’t had time to read it carefully, but the authors feel that the information in DNA/RNA can be classified as either prescriptive (algorithmic) or descriptive (data). Sounds reasonable to me. The paper seems more oriented toward computer science than linguistics, although it certainly intersects with linguistics.

I’m not sure we should go off on a tangent with respect to cognition. I would simply point out that neurological activity is normally a threshold marker for cognition, and it is absent in many hormonal communications. You assert that the communication is learned, but your terminology seems more figurative than scientific/neurological. But “learning” is a lovely metaphor, isn’t it? I love your poetic view of nature; it is quite beautiful.

When we say that rain is the result of water condensation or nuclear energy is the result of radioactive fission, we do not set up a system of thought that opposes God. We can ascribe the order in nature to the God who created it and upholds it every femtosecond of its existence. Thus religious scientists can describe evolution entirely in physical terms when they write papers for scientific journals, but then describe it as God’s handiwork when they talk with fellow believers or when they visit the Biologos forum. I’m not a paper-writing scientist, but I do describe all of nature as God’s handiwork!

Thanks for the interesting thoughts, Marvin.

Grace and peace,
Chris Falter

Hi SF…

You have said a mouthful in two posts and requested my clarification on multiple points. I hope you don’t mind that rather than attempting to eat the whole elephant at once, I will clear up one point (which I hope may shed light on several other questions you have) and then I will ask you one question.

“I was taught Darwinian evolution and methodologial naturalism, resulting in the logical conclusion that God does not exist.
How in the world is that “the logical conclusion”?”

It is the logical conclusion for anyone who sees that special Creation is a foundational doctrine of the Bible. Pleasse refer to my negative logical argument in post #5 of this thread. You do not fit into the first premise. I do. So do many others. The Bible is either true or it is not, and if it is not true, the God it describes does not exist. Many people are not willing to simply drop what they see as a foundational doctrine of Scriptures to accomodate a naturalistic view of the origin and evolution of life. Rather, they have to decide which is true. For decades, I thought that the latter was true. My salvation out of that doctrine of man started me on a journey that ended up at the foot of the cross. Amen!

This is a very crucial point and one that no one here seems to consider. I am talking about a certain group of people. It happens to be a rather large group of people. This group of people does not encompass BioLogos people. But the overwhelming response from the BioLogos rank and file has been denial, condescension, and/or ridicule. Thus my frustration.

Now my question for you is this: “I believe God created the universe in such a way that biological life was inevitable because God intended the “very good” natural processes he created to produce such a biosphere,” and this: “If “purely materialistic explanations” were not sufficient, it would imply that God failed in creating them to function well and fulfill their purposes!”

Surely you have good reason to believe that the four fundamental forces of nature alone provide a sufficient causal explanation for the emergence of life in an inanimate universe. I would love it if you could tell me what it is about the properties of physics and chemistry that give you the confidence that the information and molecular machinery of life can emerge through those processes alone.

In all the hundreds of posts you did not read, as well as all of the posts you have read, you will search in vain for a single defense of this position you are so confident in. So thank you in advance for at last clearing this up for me.

p.s. since you asked (in a roundabout way): Wheeling Jesuit College

Why is 24-hour creation of mankind a foundational doctrine? Since we agree that God has specially created mankind, does the timing of that creation seem like a “make or break” foundational issue? Would you not agree that mankind’s sinfulness and need for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His resurrection are more “foundational”?

Consulting the all knowing Wikipedia I find:
“In Creationism, special creation is a theological doctrine which states that the universe and all life in it originated in its present form by unconditional fiat or divine decree.”

I think this is what Joe is arguing for. The implication is evolution doesn’t fit into the “God spoke” narration of Genesis.

It would be interesting to know what group of people you are referring to Joe.

Also, am I correct in my understanding of your position that you want to use ID as a tool to witness to people that would be receptive to the idea?


Joe, that doesn’t make much sense. In fact, it is demonstrably false.

If I read a biography on George Washington which includes the story about chopping down a cherry tree… does that mean George Washington never existed? No.

It means that the book must be read with some critical intelligence and insight!

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Since we are not atheists we do not have to prove any natural process alone is sufficient. All we have to show is that the YEC position is not how God chose to create Earth and all its life!

And because of the brittle nature of YEC interpretations, it is all too easy to show that Young Earth Creationism provides no explanatory power regarding what we find in the records of natural history.

For example, an uninterrupted core from the polar regions conclusively shows more than 100,000 uninterrupted years of snow accumulation… with indications of climate fluctuations that are in-sync with other climate indicators around the world.

YECs don’t have anything to compare with these findings… and we haven’t gone past the million year mark!

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“Everyone “gets” the rain allegory… except you.”

I think you mean “rain analogy,” not rain allegory.

Once again, George, its not that I dont get it but that I dont buy it. There’s a difference. An analogy is only as strong as the two things being compared are alike. To infer that rain is anything at all like life is just plain silly. I cannot imagine a weaker analogy. That is one reason I dont buy it.

To go a step further, the gulf between the inanimate universe and life is the biggest ontological gulf imaginable. To use your analogy is to say that the processes which produce natural events are the exact same processes that produce life in an inanimate world. This begs the question, why do you believe they can?

So for the hundredth time, I am asking you or anyone else who believes it: what is it about the properties of physics and chemistry that give you the confidence to believe that they constitute sufficient causal explanation for the information and technology of life?

George? Someone? Anyone?

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If you really want vibrant discussion in response to this question, this probably isn’t the right venue - maybe Pharyngula or something similar. It’s a bit of an odd question to pose to a forum full of evolutionary creationists.

To me, this is one of the biggest problems with the concept of naturalistic abiogenesis. Getting all of those complex molecules together to form the first cell seems much less likely than the development of complexity from the first cells. But again, arguing from improbability is not a good argument because a counter-argument can easily be made “It is not only possible, but obvious that it happened, because we are here.”

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No one here believes they are “sufficient”. Necessary yes, sufficient no. But you don’t accept that answer.

But a supernatural deity forming life through supernatural means is more likely?

There is reasonable evidence for the supernatural deity, in my opinion, but maybe not pertinent to this thread. However, you are right, it is difficult to argue that “living things are complex, so God must exist”, even if that isn’t a completely unfair description of my own position :slight_smile: .

The fair position is “I don’t know how life started”.

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And again, for the hundredth time, It is the consistency of natural processes plus the miraculous power of God that gives us the confidence to believe they, collectively and in the aggregate, constitute sufficient causal explanation.

You write:

And so it goes … why do you think God cannot do this?

You defiantly throw your opposition into the Face of God regarding these obvious matters - - over and over and over again.

I don’t think there is much any mortal can do for you at this point. Your whole spiel is geared towards refuting Atheists. Maybe you are more comfortable with them?

I can help with that. Every abiogenesis hypothesis suggests that there was a whole lot of evolution long before anything you’d call a cell came along.

I suggest this book for a flavor:

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Ben, I appreciate your pointing to a helpful resource. Not having read it, I have no idea whether I would agree with it or disagree…but I hope to read it in the not too distant future.



I wonder if @deliberateresult also rejects the idea that natural processes can perform wonders of healing human disease and prevent - dare we say it?! - - prevent even death!

But just maybe … just maybe … God also uses natural processes to accomplish his end?

Gosh, the Bible does talk about God making rain, and wind, and snow & hail … So what kind of rain do we have now? Is it the kind that God makes by the spoken decree? Or is it the kind that God makes via natural processes?

So many decisions…

Thanks for the suggestion, it looks very exciting and something I’d like to bring into my classes. Only problem is they don’t let me teach any of the Biology ones! If only I could get my hands on our Origins of Life class :smile:

You mean like stopping the water upstream so they could cross the Jordan River? That was extra nice and they later learned that it was piling up at Adam, a city next to Zarethan (Joshua 3:13,16).

These are easy questions George. God used to make the rain, wind, snow and hail but turned it over to the laws of Physics in the mid 1900s as we began to investigate them. Therefore, the Bible is still accurate in its claims and modern science is accurate. Same with making children in the womb. God used to do that by Himself, and the ultrasound invention was a particularly tricky replacement as we could now see inside. So, inspired by the telegraph and sending messages invisibly, He decided to whip up some DNA and stick that in every living thing while we were sleeping one day.

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“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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