Return of the God Hypothesis: A Biologist’s Reflections

@DarrelFalk responds to the biology in Stephen Meyer’s new book, Return of the God Hypothesis. Have you read it? What conclusions did you come to? Did you find the same common ground and divergences?


The theme of the meeting was that classic gene-based studies of how evolution works were giving a far-too-narrow picture of how the process of evolution has taken place. There is simply much more to the story than that—which emerges when the focus is on genes; a more holistic approach is required. Darrell Falk from review of the book

Thank you Dr. Falk for a helpful review, but I think that you have missed a very important point, which is at this important meeting there was to be an unspoken criticism, not of evolution in general, but of Dawkins’ concept of the Selfish Gene.

Dawkins is the one claiming that evolution is all about genes and linear rather than holistic. Also Dawkins claims without basis that the universe is hostile to life, so logically it cannot be the source of life.

Therefore I would conclude that while there is no crisis in evolutionary theory as a whole, there is a crisis, or should be a crisis among these biologists who insist that Dawkins gene centric view is right. It is a not.

BioLogos needs to get with the new scientific holistic thinking that goes beyond the old materialistic thought. Our conflict is not with “design” but old thinking that defines design too narrowly.

This saddens me deeply because I share his view that natural laws describe the ongoing sustaining activity of God. From the review.

Did God use natural laws to guide evolution to create humanity? If not, why not?

New scientific thinking is more holistic and thus must include ecology as the way that God guides evolution. It is not blind or without purpose, which makes Dawkins wrong scientifically and philosophically. Dawkins is the problem, not evolution. Sadly too many people think that Dawkins is evolution.


@HRankin Thanks for sharing this. :slightly_smiling_face:


Guess I’ll have to provide some dissent here I read it and quite liked it I have enjoyed his work I think it’s good that they are talking about God I found the Science and Faith part to be very interesting.


New podcast episode with Stephen Meyer out now!

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Soooo, what is the common ground?

We both think there are limits to science. We both think that the origin of the universe and fine tuning cry out for a non-scientific explanation (and both of us think these don’t “prove” there is a god). We both think there is a personal God who loves us.
That’s not nothing!

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Indeed Sir! I, as you’d expect, push back that neither the natural eternal originator of universes nor the prevenient self tuning of energy eternally being grounded in to being that precedes that, cries out beyond nature. I believe in an omnipathic God too, the warrant being Jesus, our Earth local Incarnation of God. I push back because of the single greatest fact: the steady state from eternity. The eternal harmony is built on the measured notes of c, G, h and a few others and God could be omming them if they don’t just damp down, crystallize out at the vertices of existence, which include the prevenient, derivable laws of physics. We’ll know when we stand again. Or may be we will come up with laws that fix c, G, h etc.

I am responding to an older thread to make a more substantive connection with @hamblingreg52 who recently commented on a couple of my creation photos. So not picking on your comments, Jim, so much as I’m picking up on them to see what Mr Hamblin thinks.

As do I think there are limits to science. Science is incredibly useful but not comprehensive regarding matters of human concern.

I agree that at the deepest levels it is likely not possible using science alone to account for questions of why there is something instead of nothing or why so many circumstances have worked to provide life a sufficiently long and stable enough opportunity to allow the cognitive functioning of some life forms to evolve the capacity to take note of this and wonder why. Indeed it doesn’t prove any god. Perhaps God is just the best place holder we’ve come up with to represent whatever that may be, leastwise it is the one which has been around the longest.

I’m inclined to think that what we experience intra-personally that could be described as a personal God is one face of that which seems to be guiding all things toward their best state. I do question whether the ‘liege lord’ concept is let too dated and that much, much more is required from us than bending the knee in subservience. The title of Iain McGilchrist’s book suggests a model I like better. An emissary to something greater to whom much has been entrusted with very little direct oversight fits better I think.

Intuition(?) can be deceptive. What about objective evidence.

Fatherhood is not.

:+1: Yep. Thankfulness and joyfulness and the desire for more. (Reciprocated love is in there too, and loving obedience.)

Why would anyone settle for a wobbly model when the solid underivative is available.

Such as? . . . .

Aesthetics, ethics, literature, music, friendship, affection, purpose were the first to spring to mind. What did I leave out?

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But nasty old materialist, physicalist, naturalist, whateverist that I am, psychology being science, nothing but science, phenomenology, ontology, whateverology is the only toolset we have for those aspects of being human.

We have objective evidence* of the Christian God’s providential interventions into the lives of his children. That has definite implications about the existence of the supernatural and truth in the Bible.

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Useful tools for the right jobs. But for these all they can do is nibble around the margins on tangential matters.

Haven’t heard “whateverist” in a while, a monicker I coined for some atheist forums back when. It strikes some as flippant but was always meant as assent to whatever truth may come in the spirit of agnosticism.

And then there is the irrational denial of factual evidence coming from hearts that lack epistemic humility.

Shouldn’t that be odious?

Why does this article claim Joyce’s group’s ribozyme 100% replicated itself? If you read the papers her team put out, you would realize it does nothing of the sort, and you would realize that the paper title carefully avoids this claim. The team ordered up material that contained about 95% of the sequence on both sides of the recognition site that the ribozyme ligated. That is absolutely NOT 100% replication, at best it is 5%. In fact, if you read the paper, they are careful to mention that it does not replicate monomer by monomer which is obviously the prebiotic target!?? Yes, they are speaking out of both sides of their mouths, yes this is supposed to trick lay people into believing they found self replicating RNA, but no, they did not make that claim, and they in fact did no such thing. You need to be careful with your terms. Claiming that an RNA sequence is self replicating when you supply both halves and do 95% of the replication yourself is the worst kind of equivocation. It’s obvious that what is required in that context is not some endless magical supply of 95% of the solution. So why pretend that the fact that can be accomplished with modern day researchers has anything to do with OOL? This article is lazy and smacks of deadline appeasement. Please fix it.