Podcast: Stephen C. Meyer | Is God a Hypothesis?

the linguistic problem you face is that for a lud of people the meaning of natural goes well beyond the material, which is why it is better to use the word physical and metaphysical or material and nonmaterial. If you study nature you study far more than physics which is why the choice of words is important. I demonstrated this with the use of the word superglue but it looks like you did not get that joke.

that is what I was trying to communicate. It is when you realise that the control mechanism of evolution is the word of God, e.g. to love thy neighbour like thyself that the perceived conflict with evolution disappears and questions like extinction of 99% of the previously existing life forms seize to be a problem, as death, e.g. to lay down your life for the benefit of others becomes something that is an ultimate act of love as it allows others to live. This is why Jesus died for us so we can live and understand that our life does not end with the physical death.

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@jstump, @marvin

Of course BioLogos (and ID) say that God created evolution, but we also share the Western dualistic worldview with science, which says that God and the universe (Nature) are very much separate. This allows for the God of the Gaps.

Until relatively recently, within the last 100 years or so, science assumed that the universe was eternal and static. There was no Big Bang. There was no Beginning. Now we know that this was false, but it has still strongly colored our thinking. God did not inherit the universe, but shaped it from nothing, and made it rational and good. That is not boasting, That is a true fact.

Now Meyer was clear that his thinks that evolution as understood by science is a mechanistic, random, and unguided process. BioLogos seems to agree. I do not because, while evolutionary change is real and true, scientific knowledge is historically imperfect.

Also it must be noted that evolution is a primarily a biological process, which would make it organic, rather than mechanistic, process. This is a very important difference.

Looking at the the evolutionary process as it has functioned at different times and situations, it is clear that it is not random in the ordinary sense, as opposed to the specialized, arbitrary statistical sense often used by science.

Random in the ordinary sense means without logic or purpose. Evolution is not random or haphazard. That does not mean that there are no random aspects of evolution, but it is a rational process designed to fulfill a rational purpose," to be fruitful, increase in number" (and diversity) “and fill the earth, the seas,” and the air.

In the same sense evolution, like all historical processes is guided by a purpose. While this purpose may not be obvious, we have science, philosophy, and theology to answer this type of question.

The point is that evolution is either random in the sense that it has no rational purpose, or it is designed and it has rational structure. Even if it is mechanistic, machines are designed, guided by rational purpose, and are not random, but rational.

Monod’s book is based on the assumption that God does not exist, and therefore the universe is not rational and not designed. The problem is that the evidence demonstrates that the universe is rational and thus rationally designed. Therefore we can logically assert that the assumption of the nonexistence of God is false also. Those who live by logic, can also die by logic.

So the issue is the character of the universe, which is the reason why it is so hotly disputed. Is the universe rationally structured or not? Is it designed or not? Is it good or not?

Kindly - all that Stephen C. Meyer has are ideas in his head… simply his own fantastical thinking…

I need to meet God - not just live all kinds of Stephen C. Meyer’s speculations, opinions, assumptions, mental gamesmanship - etc., etc.

My comment is not to suggest the discussion should not have happened - but to make certain it - and Stephen - are placed in proper context. Simply human ideational constructs - without any theological essence.

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@GregLogan,
Thank you for your comment and welcome back.
@jstump, @jpm, @Dale, @Mervin_Bitikofer

I can sympathize with what you say. I certainly do not agree with the theology of Stephen C. Meyer, but then I do not agree with the theology of Richard Dawkins, but I do not see that is the issue.

The issue is What is the nature of evolution? Is it mechanistic, random, and unguided, as Dawkins says, or not?

The problem is that many people, perhaps including myself, think that mechanistic, random, unguided evolution directly contradicts the Christian doctrine of Creation, so something would have to give if this is true.

BioLogos has yet to reconcile mechanistic, random, unguided evolution with Creation, and until it does the ideas of ID and YEC will still find many adherents.

I see you are still misrepresenting Dawkins’ position on evolution.

“Darwinism is not a theory of random chance. It is a theory of random mutation plus non-random cumulative natural selection. . . . Natural selection . . . is a non-random force, pushing towards improvement. . . . Every generation has its Darwinian failures but every individual is descended only from previous generations’ successful minorities. . . . [T]here can be no going downhill - species can’t get worse as a prelude to getting better. . . . There may be more than one peak.” --Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mt. Improbable.

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It’s only the millionth time.

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Hmmm. I know I replied to this, but no trace again, even of censorship.

I have no problem with a ‘lud’ - load? - of people getting their definitions confused to the point of meaninglessness. Natural means material. Nothing in nature isn’t material. Including metaphysics. So it isn’t better to wrongly use the latter branch of philosophy as a synonym for the nonmaterial, whatever that could be.

If you study nature you study that which emerges within the physical, all contingent on and subject to the laws of physics.

Your joke fell completely flat.

First of all I was not talking about Dawkins’s view of natural selection, but his understanding of evolution.

Second, I was not talking about what he thinks, but what others believe he thinks, although they well may be the same.

The questions remain. What kind of force is natural selection? Is it a physical non-random ‘force,’ in which case it should be readily discernable. Survival of the fittest does not qualify.

Is “improvement” a scientific term? How is it measured? Is there an equation?

Why couldn’t it be true that God used natural selection to improve life and create humanity?

“Darwinism is not a theory of random chance.”–Richard Dawkins

Jesus wept.

Natural selection is the unavoidable consequence of imperfect replicators competing for limited resources.

There is an equation for fitness which is one of many equations found in population genetics.

It could be true. I would also think that God would want people to honestly represent the views of others.

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“It is a theory of random mutation plus non-random cumulative natural selection.”.-Richard Dawkins.

Are you saying that evolution is not about “random mutation,” or are you in san alternative reality?

Interesting article about random mutation. Where is nonrandom natural selection?

Having been abused in this area, including by you and @beaglelady today, I know that this is true.

If you click on your icon you will find your conversation that ended up in private mail.

substitution for lud would be lot ir you look at your keyboard and key proximity.

That you study mathemathics, logic, epistomology or love as physical subjects is entertaining. surely you may fancy the physical act of love involving frictional forces and sensory perception, but then if your love is based on the laws of physics your love is falling flat :slight_smile:

I love the rationalwiki entry on unguided evolution, particularly the alternatives to the unguided evolution

Alternatives from Discworld[edit]

In Science of Discworld III , an alternative reality develops in which Charles Darwin writes a book entitled Theology of Species , where “survival of the fittest” is translated to “survival of the worthiest” and that evolution has a goal: to be closer to perfection for God when the world eventually ends (for “when the medals are given out” as one of the wizards puts it). Later in this alternate reality, the Rev. Richard Dawkins writes The Origin of Species to put forward an unguided evolutionary premise.

The odd thing is that it is the selection criteria of survival of those fit enough to love thy neighbour like thy own is goal oriented, but the question is if the materialists can ever understand this, as I do not know how materialists define the “self”, considering that we are in a genetic minority as a human body with regards to our human DNA

Why thank you, that explains everything. Not that I can see it. So you’ve already been the private beneficiary of my cold steel.

What about the full gamut of human behaviour including the most sacrificial, inclusive altruism, is not repeatedly emergent on emergent of the laws of physics? What music isn’t from the sea in the womb?

What has human goal orientation got to do with guided evolution? Why does the former need the latter?

How are the “laws of nature” physical? Are they made up of mass/energy?

How is language material? How does it obey the non-physical laws of physics?

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I always find it entertaining when materialists try to weigh the strength of their argument on a physical balance :slight_smile: It is like Lennox asking his colleague to give a physical explanation of the menue on offer

I thought I better help you out before you start believing in some conspiracy theory :slight_smile:

:slight_smile: the secret censors?! You sayin’ they’re just in my HEAD?!? … NOW?!?!?

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Dawkins said that evolution is not a theory of random chance. Can you agree that this is Dawkins’ position?

In the section on fitness.

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