I do not disagree with all the principles of biology and physics either. At the same time, I do not accept everything Darwin said as the 'gospel'. Nor do I reject all of his tenets.
It appears that you are still viewing science, and by extension the theory of evolution, as a religion. It isn't. You really need to get over this. Darwin is not the equivalent of the Apostle Paul or the gospel writer Luke. We don't revere Darwin's words and assume they are inerrant. We hold Darwin in high esteem because he discovered some of the important mechanisms in the process of evolution. In fact, Alfred Russel Wallace had discovered the same mechanisms at about the same time Darwin did, and they published about the same time.
The accuracy of the theory of evolution does not hinge on "Because Darwin said so". It hinges on the EVIDENCE. That is what separates scientific theories from religious beliefs. Biologists accept the theory of evolution because the evidence has supported it, not because Darwin said so. Frankly, who cares what Darwin said (and some of it is wrong). What matters is what the EVIDENCE says. That is what you should be focusing on.
You say that you accept the principles of biology, and yet evolution is one of the principles of biology. In the words of Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". What he says is true. Why do bats have three middle ear bones while birds only have one? Why don't you find a single species with teats and feathers? The observations made in biology are tied together by the theory of evolution. There is simply no way around it.
It was not my intention to make false statements about anyone, known or unknown to me. I am making a personal bridge for me to cross, and whether others follow, well, that is their prerogative.
You are building a bridge built on untruths. If you build a bridge based on the idea that the theory of evolution is a religion then I don't see why anyone should follow you. In fact, I would hope that they do not. You also seem to be building a bridge that forces people to choose between reality and religion. For example:
"There will be no genuine agreement between me and the evolutionists unless I totally give up any belief in a Higher Being"
Really? So what happens when people are confronted with the mountains of evidence that support the theory of evolution? You are forcing people to reject reality in order to believe in a Higher Being. That seems like a no win situation. Why would you do that? It is like forcing people to reject the science of meteorology in order to accept that God creates lightning.
Further on you say:
". . . or they consider the possibility that a Higher Being may have orchestrated the creation of the universe."
If you want to build a bridge here then you need to supply evidence that would allow us to consider a Higher Being. We could consider the possibility that there is a teapot orbiting the Sun in the same orbit with Mars, but what is the use of considering possibilities? What we are interested in is how reality works, not what we can dream up.
This seems to be a common theme amongst creationists. They want us to "consider possibilities". Why? What compelling evidence is there for these possibilities? If none, then it belongs in the same pile as all other unevidenced possibilities. Once you have some evidence, then we can talk.
For a believer, their very existence makes God self evident, but this is not so for an atheist.
Self evident is just another way of saying I have no evidence. We have seen this many times around here.
Atheists can be convinced, but we require evidence. It is that simple. Surely if there were mountains of evidence for the existence of Thor you would believe in Thor. The same for atheists. However, this evidence doesn't exist, and it doesn't exist for your beliefs, either.
The existence of God does not nullify the science of meteorology IMO.
So why does it nullify evolution? How are the two any different? Both are theories backed by mountains of evidence. Why do you pit your belief in God against reality? What do you hope to get out of that?
Even more, why do you feel the need to call science and the theory of evolution a religion when they are clearly not? What do you hope to get out of that?
Perhaps science backs reality, but perhaps not. What if science is stuck in a scenario similar to Plato's cave because it deliberately ignores the supernatural? Science will remain blissfully unaware I suppose.
Can you name a single scientific result that has ever demonstrated a supernatural cause for any phenomenon? I can't.
Science doesn't ignore the supernatural. It just so happens that science keeps finding non-supernatural causes for the phenomenon we find in nature. If you want to claim that the supernatural has effects on the natural world then it is incumbent on you to evidence these effects. Simply complaining that no one takes your beliefs seriously is not what you should be doing. Don't complain. Do.
For example, I spoke of lightning before. How did you rule out the possiblity that Zeus and Thor are really producing those lightning strikes? Are you just ignoring this possibility? What tests and experiments would you run to rule Zeus and Thor out?
Again, what we can test is only the natural unless you can show me a method of testing the supernatural.
We can test what we can observe. Doesn't matter if you label it natural or supernatural. There is no step in the scientific method that says, "See if the phenomenon is natural". Instead, the scientific method requires observations. Strangely, it is only our preconceptions that require the supernatural to be unobservable.
You can test the magical Leprechauns but I can see only two possible answers; "no, what is observed is natural" or "What is observed is unexplained".
What is observed is observed and can be used as part of the scientific method. There is really no reason to go further than that.
What is meant by "methodological naturalism" is that you can not insert unobservable and unfalsifiable supernatural mechanisms into the hypothesis. My own personal opinion is that observable and testable supernatural mechanisms are entirely allowable in the method.
On the face of it, there is simply no reason why the supernatural should be unobservable (unless it doesn't exist). In fact, religions from around the world list observed supernatural events in their religious texts. Moses followed a pillar of fire and smoke while food rained down from the heavens, for one example. Surely these would be observable if they happened now. It is just strange that once the scientific method came to fruition that these supernatural events suddenly stopped occuring.
So because it doesn't (according to you) "interact" with our natural world in a way that you can't distinguish means we can (according to you) "never" know about it?
If you disagree, perhaps you can tell us how we can gain verifiable and demonstrable knowledge of something that does not interact with reality in a detectable way?
What do you mean by "it doesn't matter to us if it does"?
It means that it is irrelevant. To use another example, if I am keeping score in a basketball game does it really matter how many grains of sand there are on the Moon? One has nothing to do with the other. It is irrelevant. The same for the supernatural, as it so appears. The supernatural is irrelevant to how nature works since the supernatural has no discernable effect on nature.
According to some superstitious people this is not they're view. In fact some folks report all manner of ghost interacting with the physical world. Sure we can dismiss the claims as clap trap, but nonetheless the superstitions remain.
What we have are claims, not verified observations.
What if the supernatural operated in the realm of yet unseen dimensions and the interactions that are registered in our world are transient?
We can play what if all we want. Science focuses on what is. What we can imagine is also irrelevant to what actually is.
Beliefs do not reconcile anything. Beliefs are just a wish of how someone wants reality to be.
We have scientifically shown and explained what rain is and anything you could ever care to know about rain down to the molecular structure, down to the atomic components, but what of it? Could rain not be a manifestation of this God?
Could rain not be a manifestation of any entity we make up at the drop of a hat?
Like I said above, humans have this idea that they can make something up and then expect reality to conform to it. We are all guilty of doing this from time to time, but with religion it is endemic. For YEC's, the universe just as to be a few thousand years old, and the supernatural just has to exist. Science takes the exact opposite approach. Science molds theories to fit reality, to the best of our ability.
The clash between the two approaches is probably seen best in this discussion on how to study the supernatural. The problem starts with the belief that the supernatural must exist, or that a specific phenomenon has to be supernatural. If we travel back in time I am sure that there are many phenomenon that were described as supernatural but are not considered supernatural now.
This discussion has even taken the very wrong step of just inventing entities to discuss. At this point, it is just mental masturbation. The very fact that people have to invent supernatural entities in order to even have anything to discuss says all that needs to be said, IMHO.
What we can see are those things that are wholly natural. There is no way to know if what is seen is natural or supernatural. I gave some examples of what I see as supernatural influence and interaction above; GOD influencing the doctor to try one more test before giving up diagnosis or GOD influencing someone to pause before stepping into the road and thus avoiding being hit. In such cases the person is unaware of any influence and there is nothing to show there was influence or interaction.
Could God also be convincing people to step in front of buses, or dissuading doctors from running tests that would save a patient's life? How could you tell?
Hmmpff, Albert Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein would not be famous if experiments had not supported his theories. It was the process of finding out how reality IS that made him famous. With the supernatural we often see the opposite trend, where reality is ignored in favor of imagination.
It's actually Taq with a Q at the end, as in the shortened version of Thermos aquaticus, a thermophilic bacteria that produces the heat stabile DNA polymerase used in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). My avatar is the 3D model for the tertiary structure of Taq polymerase (at least I think it is).
But without beliefs people would be stuck with having to personally verify everything.
They wouldn't have to personally verify everything, but is it too much to expect that claims about reality be verified? Beliefs do fit well when discussing ethics and morality since these are things that we can conform to our beliefs. We wish for society to act a certain way and we aim for that goal. Nature is not like that. We can't wish that light would go faster, or that hydrogen nuclei fuses at a much lower temperature to make cold fusion possible. We don't get to choose how nature ought to be. That is why our claims about nature need to be grounded in fact, not beliefs.
Yes, GOD could be doing that and as I have been saying, you couldn't tell.
I think we can both agree that GOD breaks the rule of parsimony, while also agreeing that parsimony is just a guideline and not an edict.
With that said, you are opening the door to a very problematic worldview. Could GOD plant fingerprints at a crime scene when no one is looking in a way that is undetectable? Given the supposed omnipotence of GOD, it would appear so. Should we let criminals out of jail based on this belief? I don't think anyone would suggest that.
The whole thing seems extremely arbitrary to me. It seems to be a projection of how we wish things would be, with a kind deity looking out for us. As you say, we have no way of knowing one way or the other, so the insistence on a kind deity seems to be preference and little else.
Well, as I have said repeatedly, I can see no way that science could ever test the supernatural. That is only a limitation of science, one area where it's not useful.
If that is understood, how is that a problematic worldview?
Science is useful in determing effects on the natural world. You claim that GOD has effects on the natural world. It would seem that the only limitation here is the limitations you put on GOD. I see no reason why GOD, being omnipotent, could not produce detectable effects in the natural world. You seem to be protecting your belief in GOD from science, not the other way around.