To accept evolution you must adopt an atheistic worldview


#1

Tell him the following points:

  1. God doesn’t do “magic”, he does miracles e.g. turning water into wine, instantly, raising the dead, instantly, curing the lame, halt, blind etc, instantly,…

  2. Idiots make lots of mistakes and take their time when they undertake a complex task. Evolution is a project which involves lots of errors (mutations) and must use eons of time to bring about what it eventually brings about.

  3. Incompetent beings never get the job done, like mechanics who keep your car for months and return it as it was when you handed it to them. Just like God using evolution; he’s never finished creating.

  4. Charlatans and liars say they have done something when in fact it was something else. Just like God using evolution: you can’t really distinguish between God really doing it and Nature doing it. (In fact, if you look at it objectively, you just don’t need God because Nature can do it all by itself, eventually.)

  5. Tell him a God of love couldn’t and wouldn’t by necessity include death as a necessary creative element in his project. But a Godless Nature using evolution can and must.

Oops! Sorry, I’ve just argued your bother’s case.

Now, let me see, is there really any worthwhile argument explicitly saying just how Jesus, the God of miracles, could use evolution, an explanation in which his hand seems completely absent? Is there?


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(Christy Hemphill) #2

The OP didn’t ask for an argument to convince an atheist that God used evolution, so what are you going on about? The brother’s contention was that a theist cannot affirm evolution. The challenge is to show that “God or evolution” is a false dilemma, not to prove God exists or explain how evolutionary theory needs God.


#3

Christy,

I suggest you reread my argument. You obviously neither understood mine nor the original question. His brother’s argument was not a false dilemma for the theist but an actual one. To say God or evolution implies that God cannot use evolution for (good) reasons all atheists well appreciate, as does this theist!


#4

How do you explain rain? The explanation for rain is totally without any mention of God’s hand and yet the Bible says God is in control of the rain.


#5

“Like the argument that it is evolution or creation this is also a false choice”???

You mean that chance + time + mutation (the vast majority of which are deadly) is indistinguishable from and ontologically the equivalent of “The Lord by Wisdom founded the earth, by Understanding he established the heavens, by his Knowledge the depths were broken up, and clouds drop down the dew” + “For by Christ all things were created…and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” + “without Christ, God’s Logos, nothing was made that was made”?

It’s awfully difficult to see that chance, accidents and eons of time, the very opposites of wisdom, knowledge and understanding, can be equivalent. But, please, have “faith” that they are because I can’t see a single shred of evidence that God did or, indeed, could have used evolution. People have said elsewhere that God creating, as opposed to his using evolution, is magic. Co-joining God and evolution, on the contrary, is the true (word) magic.


#6

Bill,

I asked a specific question. You didn’t answer it, preferring instead to throw up a mixture of several fallacies, namely ignoratio elenchi, petitio principii, faulty analogy and red herring. It’s also an enthymematic syllogism.

Your argument seems to say this: Look, Ron, we know that the Bible says that the rain cycle is controlled by God, yet we explain (scientifically) rain without God. Similarly, the Bible says God created everything but we explain life without mention of God. QED, God created by evolution.

Bill, I just can’t understand your argument, that is if I am relaying it accurately.

You confuse two works of God, the two which the Bible clearly distinguishes: the upholding of the creation with the actual novel creating. There are 2 works (three, if you include the occasional miraculous, things like healings and water to wine) God is involved in: the work which was finished, as the Bible says, at the end of Day 6 (i.e. “the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, WERE finishED…God endED his work which he HAD DONE…from all his work which he HAD DONE…he ceasED from all his work which God HAD creatED and MADE” and “For by him all things WERE creatED…All thing WERE creatED” Col 1) Vs “Jesus the upholdING power of all that IS” (Hebrews 1:3) and “Jesus IS the upholdING principle of the whole scheme of creation” (Col 1:17).)

Evolution involves novelty, new life, new genetic information, new genera, new phyla, just about new everything. The Bible says that God had done all that by the end of Day 6. Evolution runs clearly contrary to what God said personally to Moses i.e “for IN 6 days the LORD MADE the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he restED” (Exodus 31:17) and “For IN six days the LORD MADE the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them”. (Exodus 20:11)

Now, Bill, would ya like to explain how Jesus used evolution and that the heathen can still see God’s hand at work? Mutation, death, chance, time, the weak dying off for the strong…and this was God’s preferred method of “creating”? (And please, no more mention of rain cycles, photosynthesis and the like.)


(Mervin Bitikofer) #7

Happy new year, Ron. And what a way to top 2017 out – reasoning together over God’s word. To that end, I have one question for you:

Do you thank God for the food on your table?

Well … okay … and then one more follow up question so you can see where this goes: Do you believe that farmers, gardeners, delivery people, grocers, shoppers, cooks, and such are also part of the explanation for how food gets to your table?

Hopefully this can help you see why many Bible-reading Christians today are puzzled at the insistence that either A>God did this or B>this process can be explained … is really a false choice.


#8

I didn’t mention creation. I asked you to explain how God can control rain when the explanation for rain doesn’t include God.


#9

Bill,

I truly don’t understand the (ultimate) point you’re making. Care to unpack?


#10

Mervin,

I guess what your real point is that God required intermediaries to create everything, sort of how the Gnostics talk about their intermediaries and what JWs say about the archangel Michael, except in your case it’s about zillions of deleterious mutations, humongous amounts of time and googleplexes of chance? Do you really believe that the most intelligent and the wisest Being would choose to create by those methods? Would you? As I have just asked, how could a pagan, looking at a creation “created” by chance, deleterious mutations etc, see the hand of God, the same God that we read about in His Word, the Bible?

Let me be frank for a moment. You said we are reasoning together over God’s Word. How is bringing in a completely biblical-free problem of how food gets to your table in any way analogous to how God created, according to how the Bible actually states he created?

I draw your attention to the following passage: “But you are those who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who prepare a table for Chance, and who furnish a drink offering for Determinism.” (Isaiah 65:11)


#11

Can’t really get my head around your point here.

The Law of the Excluded Middle and the Law of Non-Contradiction state that, in their own particular way, either something is or it isn’t. Wise and Intelligent beings just don’t use chance; they use their wisdom and their intelligence. Dumb beings roll the dice. The Bible says that God used his intellect. Evolution says it’s only about chance. To say that God used chance to intelligently create belongs to the world of married bachelors and square circles. If you, or anyone else, can explain (without using the words ‘mystery’, “God has not given us that information”, quantum effects, et al) how God could actually use evolution, then I’m all ears. Until then, I’d rather follow what the Bible actually says i.e. I, the LORD, completed everything in 6 days, where a day is defined as one evening and one morning.

Let me apply your point to another miracle. Many Bible-reading Christians today are puzzled at the insistence that either Jesus did instantly turn water into wine or he took 5 years and this is really a false choice.

Yet another: Many Bible-reading Christians today are puzzled at the insistence that either Jesus did instantly cure the blind or he took 5 years and this is really a false choice.


#12

Actually Christy, I see my error. I’ve taken for granted that you are apprised of the background knowledge behind the atheist argument. The reason you don’t is that you have forgotten that evolution is, and always was, an atheist argument that excluded God. Theistic evolutionists have usurped the atheist worldview, even at times telling atheists they don’t even understand their own worldview.

Paul argued against the atheist Epicureans in Athens. They were evolutionists. Read Lucretius, for example.


#13

I will get to the point when you answer the simple question. Is that so hard?


(Mervin Bitikofer) #14

So … did God provide you with your daily bread or didn’t He? Is it God or is it the farmer? You are caught in the grip of your own imposed iron vice. And a man-made vice it is.

I don’t believe those are the words of Isaiah 65:11. I base my views on the Bible and other cultural and community discernment that is [hopefully] informed by God’s word and his work. I can see from your need to change scriptural passages to critique that you consider Scripture as it is to be inadequate to support your view. In that I concur … I want to follow scriptures in this. I think you do too in your own way.

I wish you a happy new year, and may Christ lead us both closer to truth and to himself in this new year.

[Added edit: I know you don’t at all see Scriptures as inadequate either generally or in support of your own view – sorry for that sarcastic jab. I should be using better tones here, and rejoice that Scriptures are in use even if we disagree about what things can be established.]


(Christy Hemphill) #15

Excluding God is not the same things as denying God’s existence. Plenty of things I have studied in life have excluded God. Phonology and formal semantics for example. That doesn’t mean my study of those topics insists I adopt an atheistic worldview.


#16

I think that the original question this time is wether evolution itself is a sufficient explanation for the origin of life or whether there is the possibility of God guiding it in some way. Its the choice between athiesm and divinely directed evolution, which is what Biologos is all about. Can God be responsible in some way for the course that evolution has taken? To which I would of course say “yes”, there has been in interplay between God and the free causes within the cosmos.

In the words of a title of a book “Nature is not enough” (by John Haught).
Teilhard de Chardin envisaged something of the Pre-incarnate Word going before all the events if evolution and leading it. I think that Wolfhart Pannengberg may have a similar point in his view that the Spirit of God acts like a field of force (analagous to gravity) on matter drawing it onwards.


#17

Christy

Your counter-argument is a red herring, a false reductio, and runs something like this:

  1. Making a cake does not require including God.

  2. If I don’t include God in my cake-making, then this does not mean or demand I don’t believe in God.

Now, anyone with any sense can see that that syllogism has no application to the matter at hand. Consider this.

  1. The origin of reality, of life, of the universe, maths, photosynthesis, biochemical optical activity requires some sort of ultimate explanation.

  2. If I exclude God in my ultimate explanation of these phenomena, this does not necessarily mean I have adopted an atheist worldview.

Well, Christy, I am afraid you have adopted that materialist worldview and I cannot see how your explanation could be distinguished from an atheist’s.

Evolution by definition excludes God. Christians throwing in God at the last moment are plainly just muddle-headed because they don’t understand that evolution is a materialist worldview that seeks to explain reality without God. Consider the following quotes:

  1. ‘Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.’ (G. Richard Bozarth, ‘The Meaning of Evolution’, American Atheist, p. 30, February 1978)

  2. ‘Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr [sic] Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today…Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.’ (Michael Ruse was professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada)

  3. Sir Julian Huxley gloated, ‘Darwinism removed the whole idea of God as the creator of organisms from the sphere of rational discussion.’

  4. In 1880, in reply to a correspondent, the man himself wrote, ‘I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God’. (Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, D. Appleton and Co., New York, 1911, Vol. 1, pp.634-5)

However, let Paul have the last say: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within” (Romans 12;2) & “Now Christ is the visible expression of the invisible God. He existed before creation began, for it was through him that every thing was made, whether spiritual or material, seen or unseen. Through him, and for him, also, were created power and dominion, ownership and authority. In fact, every single thing was created through, and for him. He is both the first principle and the upholding principle of the whole scheme of creation. And now he is the head of the body which is composed of all Christian people. Life from nothing began through him… Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or high-sounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on men’s ideas of the nature of the world and disregards Christ!” (Colossians 1-2)


#18

How so? Saying something doesn’t mean it’s true. You do understand that, don’t you?


#20

By responding to Christy, I believe I’ve killed 2 birds with one stone i.e. rain, phonology and cake making.


(Christy Hemphill) #21

We aren’t talking about the origin of these things. We are talking about the evolutionary model of the diversity of life. The model presupposes that the universe, life, math, time, biochemical processes, etc. already exist and does not attempt to provide an explanation for their existence.