The missing piece of leadership in the controversies over science and faith and a straw man question

Emotional maturity. I am not finding it as Christians fight over Darwin with each other and with nonbelievers like happened in Dover.

And it tore neighbor from neighbor. At Baylor and in Dover.

Your thoughts about people who are emotionally mature in this mess? Have any good books? I have too many bad ones written by PhDs

Also, natural selection is a nonrandom selection process that acts upon a pool of organisms generated by random variation, with the overall effect of explaining the apparent design of living things. This is what the atheist Richard Dawkins admits in The Blind Watchmaker.

Creationists say “evolution is pure chance” and is therefore unbelievable. How to counter this setting up of a straw man?

Short answer.

The generation of variation is random. Natural Selection is not random. The best trait is the one that is selected and that is not random.

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Too me I guess i view it as random and as not random based on the system.

Take the egg mimicry that seems to occur on some species of the Passion flowers. The leaves have a pattern on them that looks like butterfly eggs and so despite butterflies feeding on the nectar and carrying pollen off it makes it to where the plant gets the rewards of pollination without the disadvantage of having a butterfly lay it’s eggs that turns into caterpillars that eats the plant.

So it comes down to why did that develop?

  1. The plant purposely decided to develop in that way which we know is false since plants are not thinking beings in that way. For one plants don’t have eyes to copy the shape and color of butterfly eggs.

  2. At some point a random mutation occurred and a plant just happened to have genes that expressed that shape. Butterflies saw it and thought it was eggs and pollinated it but ever laid eggs on it. So the other plants as the same species without the mutation was fed on by the caterpillars. It reduced them from having energy to grow flowers. The ones that survived may have been pollinated with the mutated one. The mutated one kept being pollinated without eggs laid on it to a better degree than any other way. So over thousands of years the mutated gene pool took over because they had the most pollen spread because the mutation just happened to look like eggs.

Take monarchs and milkweeds. At some point a ancestor of the monarchs was born with a mutation that allowed it to metabolize the toxins in milkweeds. Those caterpillars kept being born and had plenty of food because others could not consume the milkweed. Over thousands and thousands of years the mutation kept being passed until a new species was developed. The monarch.

But the monarch did not decide to overcome the toxin. It was chance. The Passion flower did not decide to mimic the eggs of butterflies. It was just random.

So on the individual level they were all random. Each one could be explained away with science without God.

However I believe there is another level. The sheer incidences of consequences is so high that I must imagine that the systems that created it, ecological evolution, was a system made up of laws that define our universe. I don’t think this system arose by chance. I believe that system was intentional.

Then I find even more reason to believe that when I look at the universe itself. It seems fine tuned to me. At least the things we understand. There just seems to be billions of these random connections that are super rare. Until science can explain that away I must lean on what I can see and make a choice based on the evidence.

To add to what Bill_II said, even the generation of variation is not purely random.

Organisms intentionally evolve means of introducing variation into their own genome in more limited and constructive ways. Even bacteria which does acquire variation from radiation damage has found a way to limit this damage so that it is more productive. They do this by selectively protecting damage from UV radiation from their own DNA repair mechanism which is usually too efficient to allow variation caused by radiation. More advanced organism don’t use radiation for this. Instead they introduce variation into the genome by sexual reproduction – recombining parent DNA into unique combinations. This is far more likely to produce non-harmful alterations than radiation damage.

This is most often overlooked because it is not that a purely random source of variation doesn’t work. It does – as can be demonstrated in evolutionary computer algorithms. It is just that by introducing their own more controlled variation, the process of evolution can work a little bit faster and more efficiently and is thus itself an evolutionary advantage.

Yes**, Darwin’s Myth: Malthus, Ecology, and the Meaning of Life** by yours Truly. I guarantee you it is not written by a Ph D

The real question is not whether evolution is random or not, but how the non-random selection process works, and how God is able to guide evolution through this process.

“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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