To accept evolution you must adopt an atheistic worldview


#22

But you haven’t.

You, like all other YEC’s that come by here, seem to think we exclude God from our explanations. But the reality is we don’t. The reason I asked about rain, a question that YEC’s all seem to avoid like the plague, is simple. No one has ever argued that there is atheistic meteorology and yet the standard explanation for rain excludes God. So how does a Christian explain rain? The answer is the Bible tells us that God is in control of rain. In fact in terms of what we consider to be natural processes, rain, wind, sunlight, plant growth, child birth, everything is in the control of God. We are not told HOW he does this just that he DOES. I believe you can extend this to any natural process which was unknown at the time the OT was written. Why is such a stretch to say and believe that therefore God controls evolution?


(Stephen Matheson) #23

Others have tried to explain why this is wrong, but let me try a different tack, because I’m an atheist and I have the day off and I’m silly that way.

If by “excludes God” you mean that evolution does its explanatory work without (in general) referring to gods or to supernatural occurrences, then you are right that evolution “excludes God.” It also excludes Thor, his mischievous brother Loki, his awesome sister (I don’t remember her name but she was played by Cate Blanchett in a recent historical set piece), the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and indeed the entirety of all of humanity’s collective pantheon. These characters are all excluded because science in general is defined by the effort to understand natural phenomena. (So-called methodological naturalism there.) This means that all of science excludes all of the gods anytime science is seeking to provide a natural explanation for something. You are right, then, that evolution “excludes God,” but wrong to single out evolution when in fact embryology, molecular biology, astrophysics, plumbing, and knitting also all “exclude God” from their explanations.

But if you mean to imply that evolution makes any claim about whether those gods exist, then you are wrong. Evolution doesn’t do that, and evolution can’t do that. Neither can embryology, molecular biology, astrophysics, plumbing, or knitting. What any science can do is strike a death blow against any god whose existence is contingent on some fact of natural history or of material existence that can be falsified. But this almost never happens, because gods are usually defined in ways that make them impervious to falsification, and because they are adept at evolving around falsification when it happens.

Now, I’m an atheist and former Christian, so I know that there are some atheists who think that evolution “disproves God.” I don’t know any of these people, but my responses to them would be the same. Either they’re just ignorant (lots of that going around these days) about what the god-claims actually are, or they are killing off little derivative gods that are in fact falsified by science but are therefore only peripherally related to the gods of Abrahamic religion. The majestic god of standard Christian theology (or at least the strands thereof that I know well) isn’t even touched by the effectiveness of natural explanation. This god is different from the God of the Gaps: that guy is an enfeebled, shrinking proto-corpse about whom I once heard John Polkinghorne say, “The God of the Gaps is dead, and we should not mourn his passing.”


(Stephen Matheson) #24

I think this thread is about an “atheistic worldview” behind science and whether that should influence how Christians view science. Correct me if I’m wrong.

If I’m right, I would be curious about how Christians should approach molecular biology, and specifically how they should think about the double helix, base pairing, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA replication, and so on. I ask because this stuff all seems to be based on some seriously atheistic science.

The paper that launched the molecular biology revolution is probably the most famous scientific publication in human history, rivaled only (just a hypothesis here) by Darwin’s Origin. Its two authors are notorious atheists, and their paper excludes God entirely. (To be fair, essentially all papers in Nature have always excluded God, maybe because Nature was founded in part by early defenders of the champion God-killer Charles Darwin.) Francis Crick, in particular, chose his scientific questions based on his atheism (he entered molecular biology with the goal of undermining vitalism.)

Watson-Crick base pairing, therefore, is God-excluding “science” that emanated from avowed atheists, one of whom seems to have been motivated to a large extent by his desire to get rid of God.

How should this inform a Christian view of the double helix?


(Steve Schaffner) #25

I think I have some sense, and to me your response has nothing to do with the subject of the thread. The subject of the thread is evolution. “The origin of reality, of life, of the universe, maths, photosynthesis, biochemical optical activity” is not evolution. The truth or falsity of evolution is independent of all of those origins. So why are you introducing statements that have nothing to do with the matter at hand?


#26

We say the Incarnation happened without knowing precisely how the union of God and human nature took place.

If we ask how God creates from nothing we state it without explaining how it took place.
There are many miracles in the bible that we affirm without explaining
Likewise God’s involvement with evolution may not need to be precisely known.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #27

@Ron

  1. God does not do magic, God does miracles, whereby God manipulates things because God created and controls them.

  2. Wise people, unlike idiots, take their time and construct things methodically step by step, particularly if they are doing it to show others how it is done.

  3. Wise. competent persons know that life is not over until it is over and then it is over. Silly folk complain about the problems of Life that give it character.

  4. Silly people claim that Nature does things, when they know that Nature cannot think and therefore act. Wise people know that only God can and did create the universe which includes flora and fauna which God shaped through evolution and ecology. [@Ron did you write you comments, or did your computer write them?]

  5. Physical beings are mortal. The God of Love could and did create mortal human beings so that we might have existence. If you really think that life is evil and without meaning and purpose, say so.

YES! It is not His hand, but His Mind (Logos) which is involved.

John 1:1-3 (KJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The Same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.


(Lynn Munter) #28

It is totally false that the vast majority of mutations are deadly. Each new human has dozens if not over a hundred new mutations that their parents did not have. This should make it clear that the vast majority of mutations are neutral. If more than a few were deadly, we would have an extremely difficult time reproducing.

I suggest that you be very skeptical of anything else your source for this information told you.


#29

Wow, I like this. Someone finally making sense here? Where is the LIKE button?


#30

My comment was directed at Ron alone, just so there is no misunderstanding.


(Lynn Munter) #31

Thanks, I was confused as to what you meant.


#32

No problem. You know that I certainly could not LIKE your comment. Again, no problem.


(Lynn Munter) #33

You don’t think it makes sense, @r_speir? Or you wouldn’t like it no matter how much sense it made?


(GJDS) #34

The arguments centered on ToE are mistaken; for atheists it is an ideology that is argued with some intellectual honesty only by eliminaist materialists (and the contradictions therein). Their belief is bolstered by a naïve belief in scientific figures who propose themselves as apostles of anti-theism, but I sense a desperation when they affirm ToE as the truth or such non-sense. For Christians who seem to be trapped into an ideology that says : science = atheism, I suggest we become familiar with philosophy of science to understand that science can only deal with matter/energy and cannot support nor negate belief.

Thus the amusing proposal by some atheists - they believe science because it negates various beliefs.


#35

Well, some scientists would disagree. For example:

  1. “The overall impact of the mutation process must be deleterious…the typical mutation is very mild. It usually has no overt effect, but shows up as a small decrease in viability or fertility…each mutation leads ultimately to one ‘genetic death’…so we have a problem…It seems clear that for the past few centuries harmful mutations have been accumulating…The decrease in viability from mutation accumulation is some 1-2% per generation…I do regard mutation accumulation as a problem. It is something like the population bomb, but with a much longer fuse.” (Crow, J.F., The high spontaneous mutation rate: is it a health risk?, PNAS 1997, 94:8380-8386)

  2. “It is difficult to explain how human populations could have survived…a high rate of deleterious mutation (U>>1) is paradoxical in a species with a low reproductive rate…deleterious mutations rate appears to be so high in humans and our close relatives that it is doubtful that such species could survive.” (Eyre-Walker, A., & Keightley, P., ‘High genomic deleterious mutation rates in Hominids’, Nature, 1999, 397:344-347.)

  3. “The total number of new mutations per diploid human genome per generation is about 100…at least 10% of these are deleterious…analysis of human variability suggests that a normal person carries thousands of deleterious alleles”. (Kondrashov, S., ‘Direct estimates of human nucleotide mutation rates at 20 loci causing mendelian diseases’, Human Mutation, 2002, 21:12-27.) (Since he wrote this, Kondrashov has revised his calculation to 30%.)

  4. “Mildly deleterious mutations may create considerably larger mutational load…because individually they are nearly invisible to natural selection, although causing appreciable cumulative reduction in population viability…the mild mutational effects are the most damaging, causing minimal time to extinction.” (Higgins, K., & Lynch, M., ‘Metapopulation extinction caused by mutation accumulation’, PNAS, 2001, 98:2928-2933.)

  5. “We should increase our attention to the broader question of how (or whether) organisms can tolerate, in the sense of evolution, a genetic system with such a high mutational burden.” (Howell et al, ‘Evolution of human mtDNA: How rapid does the human mitochondrial genome evolve?’, 1996, A.J. Hum. Genet., 59:501-509.)

  6. “Neutral mutations have a much larger [substitution] cost. They increase and decrease, randomly back and forth, incurring costs in both directions. Moreover, they may randomly move toward fixation, only to be ultimately eliminated. It takes many such attempts to achieve one successful neutral substitution. The process is extremely inefficient, slow, and incurs a high reproductive cost. The cost of a neutral substitution is much larger than a selective substitution…Kimura estimates that amino-acid altering mutations are roughly ten times more likely to be definitely harmful than neutral. That would indicate that expressed neutral mutations cannot be more common than about 0.05 per gamete per generation. The neutral theory predicts that the neutral substitution rate is equal to the neutral mutation rate per gamete. Therefore, expressed neutral mutations are substituted no faster than 0.05 per generation. In ten million years, a human-like population could substitute no more than 25,000 expressed neutral mutations. That amounts to 0.0007 percent of the genome. That is not enough to explain human evolution. Moreover, those substitutions have a neutral effect on survival, so they do nothing to explain new improvements in biological design.” (ReMine, W., ‘The Biotic Message: Evolution versus Message Theory’, St Paul Science, St Paul, 1993, pp. 241, 246-7)

  7. “[S]ome geneticists have been eager to minimise the functional genome, and have wanted to relegate the vast bulk of the genome to “junk DNA”. Mutations in such DNA would be assumed to be entirely neutral. However, actual research findings relentlessly keep expanding the size of the functional genome, while the presumed “junk DNA” keeps shrinking. In just a few years, many geneticists have shifted from believing that less than 3% of the total genome is functional, to believing that more than 30% is functional, and that fraction is still growing. As the functional genome expands, the likelihood of neutral mutations shrinks. Moreover, there are strong theoretical reasons for believing that there is no truly neutral nucleotide position. By its very existence, a nucleotide position takes up space, affects spacing between other sites, and affects such things as regional nucleotide composition, DNA folding, and nucleosome binding. If a nucleotide carries absolutely zero information, it is, by definition, slightly deleterious, as it slows cell replication and wastes energy.” (Sanford, J.C., ‘Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome’, FMS Publications, Waterloo, NY, 2008, p. 21. Sanford was a co-inventor of the gene gun, a Cornell Genetics Professor and a Creationist.)

And you guys are still able to see the evolutionary hand of God in this???

Yes, Lynn, I am very skeptical of my sources. That is why it is so uplifting to read evolutionists backing up the creationist argument. Biologos’ faith that life is still evolving upwards and onwards is totally belied by the scientific data, in addition to the biblical evidence.


(Christy Hemphill) #36

1997, huh? Because it’s not like anything has happened to advance the field of genetics in the last TWENTY YEARS. You guys really need some more up-to-date quote mines.


(Steve Schaffner) #37

Okay, let’s see.[quote=“Ron, post:35, topic:37567”]
“The overall impact of the mutation process must be deleterious…the typical mutation is very mild. It usually has no overt effect, but shows up as a small decrease in viability or fertility…each mutation leads ultimately to one ‘genetic death’…so we have a problem…It seems clear that for the past few centuries harmful mutations have been accumulating…The decrease in viability from mutation accumulation is some 1-2% per generation…I do regard mutation accumulation as a problem. It is something like the population bomb, but with a much longer fuse.” (Crow, J.F., The high spontaneous mutation rate: is it a health risk?, PNAS 1997, 94:8380-8386)
[/quote]
Says nothing about the vast majority of mutations being deadly.

Says nothing about the vast majority of mutations being deadly. In fact, in their calculation, only a small minority of mutations are deleterious at all, much less deadly. (They were also wrong about the implications of U>1, but that’s beside the point.)

Directly contradicts your claim. (Also, could you provide a citation for Kondrashov’s higher estimate? By most estimates, 10% is probably a little high but in the right ballpark, while 30% seems much too high.)[quote=“Ron, post:35, topic:37567”]
“Mildly deleterious mutations may create considerably larger mutational load…because individually they are nearly invisible to natural selection, although causing appreciable cumulative reduction in population viability…the mild mutational effects are the most damaging, causing minimal time to extinction.” (Higgins, K., & Lynch, M., ‘Metapopulation extinction caused by mutation accumulation’, PNAS, 2001, 98:2928-2933.)
[/quote]
Says nothing about the … you know the drill by now.

Ditto.[quote=“Ron, post:35, topic:37567”]
“Neutral mutations have a much larger [substitution] cost. They increase and decrease, randomly back and forth, incurring costs in both directions. Moreover, they may randomly move toward fixation, only to be ultimately eliminated. It takes many such attempts to achieve one successful neutral substitution. The process is extremely inefficient, slow, and incurs a high reproductive cost. The cost of a neutral substitution is much larger than a selective substitution…Kimura estimates that amino-acid altering mutations are roughly ten times more likely to be definitely harmful than neutral. That would indicate that expressed neutral mutations cannot be more common than about 0.05 per gamete per generation. The neutral theory predicts that the neutral substitution rate is equal to the neutral mutation rate per gamete. Therefore, expressed neutral mutations are substituted no faster than 0.05 per generation. In ten million years, a human-like population could substitute no more than 25,000 expressed neutral mutations. That amounts to 0.0007 percent of the genome. That is not enough to explain human evolution. Moreover, those substitutions have a neutral effect on survival, so they do nothing to explain new improvements in biological design.” (ReMine, W., ‘The Biotic Message: Evolution versus Message Theory’, St Paul Science, St Paul, 1993, pp. 241, 246-7)
[/quote]
Not a scientist (and confused about population genetics).[quote=“Ron, post:35, topic:37567”]
“[S]ome geneticists have been eager to minimise the functional genome, and have wanted to relegate the vast bulk of the genome to “junk DNA”. Mutations in such DNA would be assumed to be entirely neutral. However, actual research findings relentlessly keep expanding the size of the functional genome, while the presumed “junk DNA” keeps shrinking. In just a few years, many geneticists have shifted from believing that less than 3% of the total genome is functional, to believing that more than 30% is functional, and that fraction is still growing. As the functional genome expands, the likelihood of neutral mutations shrinks. Moreover, there are strong theoretical reasons for believing that there is no truly neutral nucleotide position. By its very existence, a nucleotide position takes up space, affects spacing between other sites, and affects such things as regional nucleotide composition, DNA folding, and nucleosome binding. If a nucleotide carries absolutely zero information, it is, by definition, slightly deleterious, as it slows cell replication and wastes energy.” (Sanford, J.C., ‘Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome’, FMS Publications, Waterloo, NY, 2008, p. 21. Sanford was a co-inventor of the gene gun, a Cornell Genetics Professor and a Creationist.)
[/quote]
Not a scientific publication and really, when it comes to this issue, not acting as a scientist.[quote=“Ron, post:35, topic:37567”]

Your statement about mutations was simply wrong.

And you guys are still able to see the evolutionary hand of God in this???
[/quote]
Yes.


(Stephen Matheson) #38

Can someone—anyone—explain this to me?

Who are “they” in this?

I feel sorry for them, but I wonder… who are “they”?


(Phil) #39

Late to the party, but did not see where anyone suggested looking at this:

Obviously, Christ is talking of a spiritual process, not physical, but one no less real, and arguably more relevant than mere species development.


(GJDS) #40

This is priceless - will someone please explain them to him …:laughing:


(Stephen Matheson) #41

Who are “they”? You wrote all those comments, so maybe you could explain who you are writing about.