Let's be clear when we talk about evolution and science

I couldn’t find any place in this thread where I have spoken about history.

Oh… I get it.

No. History is based upon writings and is only small difference from getting things from the Bible. Of course it is subject to interpretation – not just those who read what was written but those who wrote it. But science is based upon written procedures which anyone can follow to get the same results no matter what they believe. I have claimed that the interpretation of those facts is a part of how science is used not science itself. But even if you argue that interpretation is part of science, it doesn’t change the fact that the ground upon which science is based is completely independent of interpretation by anyone.

Race is a social construct, not a genetic reality. BioLogos has published the following articles.


Can anything in nature operate independently of God? Your questions along this line make it sound like if it’s natural, it’s not God. That doesn’t make any sense to me, coming from a Christian.

I don’t think God made a natural process and then has to supernaturally give it a kick now and then. If God already knows He wants man, why not build that into the process to begin with?

Now how much involvement God has with natural processes, I can’t say. God makes sure the birds are fed and the plants are watered. The Divine Rain analogy was a good one, but it seems you didn’t understand it, maybe because you have a false dichotomy going on.

So when you were an evolutionist for 40 years, were you also an atheist that whole time? Your other comments sound like that’s the case. I wonder if you’re still thinking under the atheist ideas that natural = not God? I went through an atheism stint last year, but I never saw natural as necessitating no God, perhaps because I’d come from Christianity in the first place.

I read The Language of Science and Faith recently, and one line I remember in there was suggesting that we not let atheists do our theology for us. The atheist thinks that if it can happen naturally, God can’t be involved. The Christian should think that God is involved in all things natural. My point about evolution is that it requires no supernatural help any more than rain requires supernatural help. God created nature to work well, and work well it does! How much God is specifically involved day to day is a mystery we cannot know. Science can’t detect God’s involvement. Science just explains the process God created.

I hope that explains my position a bit better. If not, I can try again. :slight_smile:


Yes. That is in fact the whole point. It is the basic concept of automation, where something works on its own like a machine, and the mathematical character of the laws of nature describes this exactly. The most you can say is that machines exist because of those who created them and I suppose you can also say that in order for them to accomplish the intended tasks, machines have human operators. So by analogy we can suppose that God also watches over the operation of the laws of nature to make sure they accomplish what He intends. And the quantum physics suggest that there is plenty of room for Him to manipulate events when needed.

But on this point you are quite right. It is like saying that something machine made is not man made, which is of course clearly wrong.

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I can agree with this. The natural processes are created by God, and we don’t know how much He’s involved in the process. Machines can have varying levels of automation. I had surgery this year via a robot, but a human was necessary to guide it most of the time (afaik… I was happily unconscious!). My robot vacuum only requires me to press a button. Both are machines, but one can’t work without a human constantly guiding it.

Would there be a way to determine if God is constantly guiding a process like the surgical robot or just getting it started and relaxing like the robot vacuum? I don’t think we can.

I agree with you on quantum physics. Very easy for God to manipulate if He needs to. We can’t know if He is or not.

There’s just nothing about evolution that tells me that God isn’t involved in microevolution but is directly involved in macroevolution, outside of the natural process He created. I don’t really understand why that would even be necessary.


Many of the laws describe the results probabilistically. If your definition of exactly includes a probability distribution function, the statement holds.

At the same time, any functioning Turing machine I am aware of requires some external input to function. It takes energy to turn the wheel that feeds the tape into it (or stream the electrons). In this way, even a Turing machine cannot operate in a truly independent fashion. If nature is a Turing machine, its dependence on God’s providential support is not ruled out.


I should have included this. I was riffing on what you wrote, but I think we are in agreement.

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I’ll question Climate Change and the freaking out that many people do on that issue all day. There are so many conflicting viewpoints and evidence presented on all sides on that one issue alone. I especially question anyone who says “we have X amount of years left”, since there have been wild claims like that for the past 40 years.

It is one of the major propaganda victories of the climate change deniers that they have convinced a significant number of people that there is a legitimate “debate.” The overwhelming scientific consensus is that human caused climate change is a real and urgent threat to life on the planet as we know it.


I do not deny that climate change exists, or even that it may be human caused. What I do deny and where I disagree are the many climate change people who do freak out and say we have 10 years left or what have you, based on almost nothing at all, and who are routinely doing damage to their own case. There is a large consensus that climate change is real yes, there is not a large consensus on what that consequence, if any, may be. Furthermore, we see lots of evidence to the contrary, many people saying polar bears would be wiped out, when their numbers are higher than ever etc. Also, I’m wondering how bible believing Christians espouse a belief that says that “humanity will be wiped out” in 10 years, when that’s pretty much the same as some Revelation believers predicting the day that Jesus comes back.

Welcome, @Slick_Willy, perhaps this post should be in another thread if it goes toward environmental issues more, but is relevant to clarity in science. We have to be careful to guard against hidden agendas and secondary gain when looking at science reported in the media, be it from pharmaceutical companies, global warming, or age of earth issues. In the case of global warming, of course, most of the secondary gain is on the fossil fuel side of the equation, though doubtless many have profited from the alternative energy side as well, just not to the same extent. We need to pay attention to how we weigh those studies in that light, which is hard as most of us do not have the training or the time to do a good job of that critical examination. So, we have to rely on expert opinions to some extent, and it is a little easier at times to evaluate who is capable, qualified, and relatively unbiased. If you look at experts who fit that mold, I think you will find that they agree for the most part that the problem is real with climate change.

I’ll be the goat. I agree with your statement, but I am still a denier.

I deny that we can stop it, or to any substantial degree slow it down or mitigate it. The fundamental reason is population.

Climate justice warriors have appropriated the science of climate change to advance the agenda of a post capitalist world where everyone’s needs are supplied by renewable energy and kumbaya. This is also a denial. The world’s population is what it is because we have been eating millions of years of concentrated sunshine in fossil fuels, and now we are at a carrying capacity. We use fuel to till the fields, fertilize the crops, process and package, transport around the world, and drive to the supermarket. Affluent consumers rely on fossil fuel for their varied and nutritional diet, the poor no less for their subsistence diet. For the past century, to eat food has been to eat fossil fuel.

We cannot maintain the global population without pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Can we fix this? Electric tractors and local production? Maybe, but population growth will way outstrip the pace of transition. Am I overstating the problem? It is the UN telling us to modify our eating habits to lower the carbon footprint. Will this get worse? Oh yes, much worse. The developed nations, low in birthrate, will increase immigration to counter the graying of their populations. Developing nations have high birthrates and mean ages in the teenage range. Is population being discussed? Of course, but due to political sensitivities, nowhere near commensurate to the problem it is. Do I have any idea to fix this? No, I do not possess some realistic plan which has eluded everyone else. On the other hand, I do not think anyone else has a workable plan either. Do I think we should just give up then and do nothing? Of course not. But I find the framing of the policy conversation to be heavily skewed.

What makes me a denier is that I believe the goals of feeding the world’s population, lifting people out of poverty, maintaining a passable quality of life in developed nations, are individually and together incompatible with materially reducing emissions. The cure is as bad as the disease. To the extent that climate change is happening driven by the world’s billions, Malthus will release the horsemen of the apocalypse.

Check out the information in this book: Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Also, here is UN prediction of world population:

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I placed the Factfulness book on hold at the library.

I realize I painted a bleak picture in my above post. What I find untenable in the climate justice messaging is that
… our world is under existential threat from climate change (we’re gonna all die miserable deaths)
… this is due to bad attitudes and bad habits in developed countries (guilt, guilt)
… but it can all be fixed with some adjustments, but no real pain (sunny Pollyanna optimism)
… the population issue is just a distracting diversion (only people with bad attitudes create CO2)

Human population and lifespan has been increasing. This is generally attributed to improved nutrition and healthcare. I would argue that the nutrition part of the equation has been essential to the increase of the carrying capacity of the planet, and that fossil fuels has facilitated the rise in agricultural production as much as new cultivars and farming practice. We have been borrowing from the future to pay the present for some time, and the environmental strains are showing. Net 2.5 ppm CO2 is being added to the atmosphere annually, and land is progressively being claimed for agriculture from natural vegetation.

When Gretta Thunberg was lauded for her scold over fairy tales of eternal economic growth, I found myself asking, what does an increasing population beset by economic shrinkage look like? For those already at the level of subsistence, that looks like not sustaining.

I agree population growth is a huge issue. And as someone invested in development work, I would say that education matters, as does access to women’s health services that include female controlled birth control. In many developing countries, hospitals and health clinics are run by religious organizations who are prevented in various ways (either by their own religious ideologies or by their donors) from providing birth control. Government run clinics are often not trusted by minority populations because of unfortunate histories of sterilizing poor and indigenous women without consent.

There is also a clear correlation between keeping girls in school and delayed marriage and smaller family sizes. None of this is news to development organizations, and you will notice that influential organizations like UNESCO put a lot of emphasis on education of girls and women. All these issues are on their radar, even if they aren’t being discussed in popular media in developed countries. I suspect it is because people are focusing on what the intended audience can do practically, and in the developed world, what they can do is be more conscientious consumers. “La familia pequeña vive mejor” campaigns (The small family is better off) are all over rural Mexico though.


That stuff is eschatological in nature you know? I don’t see any EC going forth killing YEC Christians. Stop putting Scripture out of context! I was formerly YEC myself and can see where you are coming from. No, you are not under attack for your faith, no we are not against you, we just disagree with your understanding of how God made the universe.

I’m at the same point with yea, don’t deny climate change but detest the political agenda’s behind the movement.

Hi Slick,

Good to have you here!

I think you have misunderstood the timeline argument. The claim is not that the apocalypse happens in 10 years; rather, that we have a limited number of years to make a significant transition away from a carbon economy if we want to avoid the meltdown of Greenland glaciers in 2100 AD. And if that glacial field transitions to ocean water, Miami and Rio and Hong Kong will be ocean floor, which is not a good thing if you happen to care about the people who would live in those places.

There are other nasty effects of climate change to consider, too. Humanity will doubtless carry on, but the huge dislocations and tribulation will make our grandchildren wonder why we collectively didn’t care enough about them to make some hard choices.

Personally, I am doing my best to cut back on carbon consumption. I stopped eating beef, I drive a gas-sipping Prius, I take public transit whenever I can, etc.



And I won’t vote for politicians who deny there’s a problem.


Well,I am not giving up beef (but do try to eat more fish) but will try to follow Luther’s attributed words, even if he really did not say them, " If I knew the world was to end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today."
I actually have a few acorns planted this fall, as a little step of faith.


I hear you on the beef. I do try to make it an infrequent treat.