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Author Topic:   How Do Scientists Believe in God and Evolution?
Wumpini
Member (Idle past 5881 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 1 of 145 (465279)
05-04-2008 6:26 PM


In a 1991 poll which has been discussed at length in another thread, 40% of scientists made a statement that they believed in God and also in evolution.
As a result of this statement, I became confused as to what some scientists believed about evolution. I have been told by others on this forum that the scientists that believe in God and evolution completely accept the same theory of evolution as those who do not believe in God. This did not agree with the models of Theistic Evolution that I have heard in the past. That makes me wonder what these scientists consider God’s role to be in the formation of the physical universe, and the origin of life on earth.
As I consider the evidence that is presented on this forum, I believe it would be of significant help to understand how these scientists have reconciled their scientific objectiveness to their beliefs regarding the existence of a supernatural deity. I would like to put together a model of the present beliefs of scientists who believe in God in relation to origins and evolution. I think that this would help me and others in our attempt to reconcile the existence of God with science. As a result, I would like to begin by determining how these scientists that believe in God would answer the following questions ("their" always refers to the 40% of scientists who believe in evolution and also believe in God):
_____________________________________________________________________
Is it their belief that God existed before the origin of the universe?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of the universe?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of our solar system, and the planet earth?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of life on the planet earth?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of man on the planet earth?
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the evolutionary process at any time (dramatic changes, complex organs, etc.)?
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the development of man to introduce an eternal spiritual presence that does not exist in other organisms?
Is it their belief that the miracles recorded in the Bible that contradict the physical laws of nature are true including the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
_____________________________________________________________________
I think if we could find answers to these questions then it would give us a better idea of how those people who have been educated in the scientific field have reconciled their religious beliefs to science.
The question is how to proceed with this thread. Obviously the best evidence would be the personal beliefs of those scientists who fall in this category of believing in God and evolution. I think it would be impossible for someone who does not believe in God to answer these questions for those scientists.
Therefore, I think the starting point would be for someone who believes in evolution and God to come forward and answer the questions. Then we can move on from there and see if other scientists who believe in God agree or disagree with the model that is formed from those answers. Hopefully, we can form a model that the majority of these scientists agree upon.
Please be patient with my responses. My internet connection is on and off at its own discretion.

"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

Replies to this message:
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 Message 6 by Wounded King, posted 05-05-2008 5:47 PM Wumpini has replied
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 Message 76 by obvious Child, posted 06-02-2008 6:36 PM Wumpini has replied

  
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Message 2 of 145 (465342)
05-05-2008 9:39 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 3761 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 3 of 145 (465347)
05-05-2008 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Wumpini
05-04-2008 6:26 PM


Speaking generally for the theistic evolutionist (evangelical) scientists I know (a fair few)...
Is it their belief that God existed before the origin of the universe?
God exists outside time, so God exists before, after, and to the side of the Universe.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of the universe?
The Universe exists because God wills it so. The act of creation brings the entirety of the Universe into being - past and future included.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of our solar system, and the planet earth?
Both are part of the entire Universe and are thus part of that creation. No direct 'tinkering' is required.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of life on the planet earth?
As above.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of man on the planet earth?
As above.
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the evolutionary process at any time (dramatic changes, complex organs, etc.)?
No, as it is unnecessary.
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the development of man to introduce an eternal spiritual presence that does not exist in other organisms?
Mixed - some yes, some as above. Those that say yes would typically consider a God, Adam, and Eve scenario similar to Moon-Watcher and the Monolith
Is it their belief that the miracles recorded in the Bible that contradict the physical laws of nature are true including the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Most, yes - miracles being direct interventions by God that do contradict physical laws.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Wumpini, posted 05-04-2008 6:26 PM Wumpini has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Wumpini, posted 05-07-2008 9:44 PM cavediver has not replied
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 145 (465350)
05-05-2008 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Wumpini
05-04-2008 6:26 PM


Is it their belief that God existed before the origin of the universe?
Yes.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of the universe?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of our solar system, and the planet earth?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of life on the planet earth?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of man on the planet earth?
I don't know.
I don't think that there as to be any distinction betweeen the origin of the universe and the origin of man. God could have set the whole thing up from the beginning so that the universe evolves in a way to bring about mankind. Or he could have started it up and then later jumped in and fudged some things so that man would become.
I don't know how we'd tell one way or the other.
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the evolutionary process at any time (dramatic changes, complex organs, etc.)?
I don't know. It is possible but not necessary. Again, he could have initiated it when he created the universe or he could have stepped in after life began, but I have know way to tell.
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the development of man to introduce an eternal spiritual presence that does not exist in other organisms?
I don't know. I believe that I have a soul but I don't know and have no way of telling if a dog does.
The soul could be like intellegence, where some species seem to have more intellegence than others and humans are off the chart. Or the soul could be reserved for humans only.
If its the former, then the soul could have evolved like intellegence did. If it is the latter, then it seems like God must have 'put it in' at some point. Maybe he watched man evolve from the other apes until we got to a point where we were able to withstand having a soul and then he 'injected' it into us like the jelly in a doughnut.
Is it their belief that the miracles recorded in the Bible that contradict the physical laws of nature are true including the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Yes.

Science fails to recognize the single most potent element of human existence.
Letting the reigns go to the unfolding is faith, faith, faith, faith.
Science has failed our world.
Science has failed our Mother Earth.
-System of a Down, "Science"
He who makes a beast out of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man.
-Avenged Sevenfold, "Bat Country"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Wumpini, posted 05-04-2008 6:26 PM Wumpini has not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 161 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 5 of 145 (465359)
05-05-2008 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Wumpini
05-04-2008 6:26 PM


I believe in the real God
Wumpini writes:
Is it their belief that God existed before the origin of the universe?
No. This may or may not be, I have no belief either way. It also doesn't matter to any aspect of my faith.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of the universe?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of our solar system, and the planet earth?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of life on the planet earth?
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of man on the planet earth?
None. It seems very unlikely that God is required to play any part in any of these origins. But either way, the answer to any of these questions is irrelevent to any aspect of my faith.
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the evolutionary process at any time (dramatic changes, complex organs, etc.)?
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the development of man to introduce an eternal spiritual presence that does not exist in other organisms?
No. It seems unlikely that God's intervention is required in any way. But either way, the answer to these questions is irrelevent to any aspect of my faith.
Is it their belief that the miracles recorded in the Bible that contradict the physical laws of nature are true including the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
No. It seems unlikely that any of the miracles as reported in the Bible are actually a part of this reality. But either way, the answer to this question doesn't matter to any aspect of my faith.
I think it would be impossible for someone who does not believe in God to answer these questions for those scientists.
Be careful not to assume that the real God is actually the specific God you believe in.
The question is how to proceed with this thread. Obviously the best evidence would be the personal beliefs of those scientists who fall in this category of believing in God and evolution.
I believe that if God exists, God is too great and 'beyond' for mere humans to have any recognition of what God is like, what God does, and what God's motives are. It is extremely unlikely that any particular religious specification (especially organized religious specifications) of God have any connection whatsoever to the real God(s?), if they even exist.
Your questions do not affect any aspect of my faith, because my faith does not depend upon anything people have discovered/shared. My faith is reserved for those things that cannot be discovered or evidenced or shown. I have faith that love is stronger than hatred. I have faith that love is infinitely powerful. I have faith that hope can never be destroyed. I have faith that it is right to do good things, and that this righteousness is it's own reward. My faith does not even require a God, but if God exists, God certainly is not anything like the supposed beings invented, used and abused by the world's organized religions.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Wumpini, posted 05-04-2008 6:26 PM Wumpini has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Wumpini, posted 05-07-2008 9:56 PM Stile has replied

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 150 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 6 of 145 (465362)
05-05-2008 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Wumpini
05-04-2008 6:26 PM


Have you read Francis Collins' book, 'The language of God'. He is one of the most prominent proponents of 'theistic evolution', although he apparently prefers his own alternate term 'Biologos'.
The wikipedia page on Collins lists these as the key points of 'Biologos' ...
(1) The universe came into being out of nothingness, approximately 14 billion years ago.
(2) Despite massive improbabilities, the properties of the universe appear to have been precisely tuned for life.
(3) While the precise mechanism of the origin of life on earth remains unknown, once life arose, the process of evolution and natural selection permitted the development of biological diversity and complexity over very long periods of time.
(4) Once evolution got under way no special supernatural intervention was required.
(5) Humans are part of this process, sharing a common ancestor with the great apes.
(6) But humans are also unique in ways that defy evolutionary explanation and point to our spiritual nature. This includes the existence of the Moral Law (the knowledge of right and wrong) and the search for God that characterizes all human cultures throughout history.
TTFN,
WK

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Wumpini, posted 05-04-2008 6:26 PM Wumpini has replied

Replies to this message:
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Wumpini
Member (Idle past 5881 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 7 of 145 (465523)
05-07-2008 9:44 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by cavediver
05-05-2008 10:01 AM


Theistic Evolution
Double post. Sorry.
Edited by Wumpini, : Double Post

"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
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Wumpini
Member (Idle past 5881 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 8 of 145 (465524)
05-07-2008 9:44 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by cavediver
05-05-2008 10:01 AM


Theistic Evolution
cavediver writes:
The Universe exists because God wills it so. The act of creation brings the entirety of the Universe into being - past and future included.
I don't know that I have ever thought of creation in this manner. God wills everything into existence both past, present, and future. Would this mean that they think we really do not have free will? Our destiny has already been previously determined. In other words, this conversation that we are having right now was willed into existence some time in the past? Maybe, I am not unerstanding what you mean by willing the future into existence.
cavediver writes:
Both are part of the entire Universe and are thus part of that creation. No direct 'tinkering' is required.
If I am understanding this correctly, then no direct tinkering is needed with any origins or evolution because God did all of the tinkering in the beginning. In other words, all of nature appearing random is actually an illusion. God previously determined the exact course that everything would take, including the evolution of man, and we are only observing that course.
I appreciate your input. However, I am not sure that I am understanding the theory correctly.

"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by cavediver, posted 05-05-2008 10:01 AM cavediver has not replied

  
Wumpini
Member (Idle past 5881 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 9 of 145 (465526)
05-07-2008 9:51 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Wounded King
05-05-2008 5:47 PM


"The Language of God"
Wounded King writes:
Have you read Francis Collins' book, 'The language of God'. He is one of the most prominent proponents of 'theistic evolution', although he apparently prefers his own alternate term 'Biologos'.
No, I have not heard of the book. It sounds as though it would be a good book for me to read though.
Thanks for you input.

"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Wounded King, posted 05-05-2008 5:47 PM Wounded King has not replied

  
Wumpini
Member (Idle past 5881 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 10 of 145 (465528)
05-07-2008 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Stile
05-05-2008 1:12 PM


Re: I believe in the real God
Stile writes:
My faith does not even require a God, but if God exists, God certainly is not anything like the supposed beings invented, used and abused by the world's organized religions.
I am curious how you would have answered the survey. Which of the following statements would you have selected?
Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, including man's creation.
Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process.
Thanks

"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Stile, posted 05-05-2008 1:12 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 22703
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 11 of 145 (465577)
05-08-2008 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Wumpini
05-07-2008 9:56 PM


Re: I believe in the real God
Wumpini writes:
I am curious how you would have answered the survey. Which of the following statements would you have selected?
Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, including man's creation.
Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process.
None of the above.
Scientifically one would say that like all other species on earth, man evolved over millions of years through a process of descent with modification and natural selection from earlier species.
No correct scientific statement can include extraneous, unrelated and unsupported claims, such as value judgements that prior species were less advanced, or such as whether or not supernatural beings played a role.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Stile
Member (Idle past 161 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 12 of 145 (465581)
05-08-2008 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Wumpini
05-07-2008 9:56 PM


Re: I believe in the real God
Wumpini writes:
Which of the following statements would you have selected?
Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, including man's creation.
Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process.
From the options provided, I would have selected the second one. If I was personally giving a statement, I wouldn't word it quite so adamantly, but my sentiments definitely follow along that line (currently).
There is no evidence in reality (so far, anyway) that God had any input whatsoever in our (or anything elses) development. This doesn't mean that this is absolute truth, it simply means that it's the best answer with our knowledge-gathered-so-far about this reality. Future knowledge could possibly show otherwise. Then again, it may not. What this does mean, is that my current belief is that God has had no input whatsoever in our (or anything elses) development. I will change this belief as soon as we find evidence to the contrary.
It could easily be wrong, but it's the honest truth gathered from the honest facts provided by the most-up-to-date honest observations of reality. It certainly well may be incomplete, incorrect, or even completely invalid. But what else are we to do? Make a blind guess without any evidence backing it whatsoever and proclaim that to be the "absolute truth"? I am incapable of such a position. I'd rather follow honest investigation, wherever it may lead. At the very least, I know positively that I've tried my very best, and protected myself from being fooled as best I know how.
Regardless of where it came from, I am capable of judging right from wrong.
Regardless of where it came from, I am capable of testing proposed 'truths' against reality to verify those truths.
Regardless of where it came from, I am capable of being fooled.
If I am to proceed with an honest investigation of what reality is like, I must protect myself as best I know how from being fooled. I must verify every proposed 'truth' I come across before I accept it. My ability to judge right from wrong forces me to understand that anything less would be dishonest and therefore morally wrong.
Out of the options provided, this approach leads me to:
"Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process."
...each and every step that I take to reach this conclusion can be objectively verified with our knowledge-gained-so-far as long as it is agreed that being honest and 'doing the right thing' are priorities.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Wumpini, posted 05-07-2008 9:56 PM Wumpini has not replied

  
Stile
Member (Idle past 161 days)
Posts: 4295
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 13 of 145 (465582)
05-08-2008 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Percy
05-08-2008 8:45 AM


Re: I believe in the real God
If you're wondering:
Percy writes:
None of the above.
Technically, I agree with Percy.
Practically, I go with the answer I provided with my previous post.

This message is a reply to:
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Agobot
Member (Idle past 5648 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 14 of 145 (467591)
05-22-2008 5:35 PM


I would think science and religeon are completely incompatible.

  
brendatucker
Member (Idle past 5220 days)
Posts: 168
From: West Hills, CA
Joined: 05-22-2008


Message 15 of 145 (467606)
05-22-2008 8:00 PM


A new theory of evolution, scientifically tested, studied, and analyzed
Is it their belief that God existed before the origin of the universe?
God is a word that we define in different ways. So is existence. If we look beyond typical uses for these words, we might come to an understanding about what happens, but generally - with the claim that I am a scientist or that humans are scientists when they use science - a scientist would insist on testing the assumption.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of the universe?
God, as an existence, was created too. However, we don't know what part God as a non-existence plays. It is beyond our ability to comprehend.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of our solar system, and the planet earth?
The forms such as stars and planets have ensouling life as do all forms. In one sense a planet and a sun are alive and conscious, give birth and die. God, in some uses of the word, is a conglomerate of intelligent potencies and laws. Many parts of this conglomerate are distinguised by different activites, including responsibilities in caring for and making use of planet earth. When it is the right time (or the proper step in a progression), a different entity or part of the mass of things we still don't understand would be looked to as God. Jehovah, Elohim, even Helios have different functions and most are relative in function to the human population of earth. We may not even have relevant words for use in describing the creation of the solar system.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of life on the planet earth?
God is positioned above (and yet pervades "through") the activities on earth. What happens to earth also happens to God, as the earth is only part of a more Supreme Being. The energy states in God come into play on the earth in a cycle shown by the advancement of one kingdom after another descending to the earth and then consequently ascending off the earth. The cycles could be thought of as similar to a process of maturation in a human being.
What part does God play in their theory regarding the origin of man on the planet earth?
The human lives are a kingdom that once was an animal kingdom and prior to that a vegetable kingdom and prior to that a mineral kingdom. God participates with each kingdom of nature as if the kingdom is part of God's body or makeup (not confining the thought to physical, but including any body, including mental or emotional states or fields.)
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the evolutionary process at any time (dramatic changes, complex organs, etc.)?
Whenever a higher kingdom or energy "intervenes," it is a common practice to include that intervention as belonging to the sumtotal of all higher existences. So we use the term God to refer largely to things that are unknown by us, but superior. A miracle can be shown to occur when we consider life only in the human sense of ability, whereas a higher kingdom or consciousness would "naturally" have abilities that we cannot reproduce or explain. In that sense, there are interventions, especially during the ascension process of the human kingdom.
Is it their belief that God has intervened in the development of man to introduce an eternal spiritual presence that does not exist in other organisms?
Just as the animals are ascended by humans (see my webpage), the humans are ascended by a kingdom which still remains unnamed in the scientific world. Due to my personal need to discuss and refer to this kingdom, I have named it a "girasas." Searching on this word will lead to other work I have done in the debate. Since a girasas kingdom may appear as God to some, we could answer that "yes, the girasas has an eternal presence with humans only they would not always be girasas. When we are animal, the presence that ascends us would be human. They change and evolve just as we do, through cycles." Eternity refers to a "turning point" and due to the scheme including descent as well as ascent, when the human is descending into form, the girasas are not present, but we (the humans) act as the eternal presence upon the animals who grow and evolve by our influence upon them. During the first 3 races, the formula is strictly one of human-animal, during the 4th race the formula is human-God (without animal, without girasas) and for want of a second to interact with, God has direct place in our hearts until the girasas arrive during the 5th-7th races.
Is it their belief that the miracles recorded in the Bible that contradict the physical laws of nature are true including the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Miracles begin to happen in relation to "end-times" for human life due to this natural cycle of descent-ascent after the 4th root race. While God (or in this case girasas kingdom) intend to make themselves known to us, they slowly penetrate our consciousness by speaking to us and demonstrating that they are with us in varying ways. What is slated to occur is that the girasas kingdom will become more and more prominent due to efforts of the human to absorb them into our nature. We will willingly enjoy their presence because of the many additional benefits, advantages, and resources that they possess that we do not. The process of holding or "tieing" ourselves to the girasas kingdom is so slow - as evolution is - because of differences so great that there would be considerable discomfort if each step or progression is not fully committed to. They are as uncomfortable to inhabit a human form as we are to host their reception. They must produce structures in our bodies over time so that they can act as they enjoy acting, pushing aside the human ways and thinking that can inhibit them. Humans strive to participate in as many ways as they can, hoping to obtain features for our future use and possession, without losing consciousness and without allowing the girasas to cause a completely non-active and non-responsive condition in our lives. The trick of giving the girasas life while preserving and enhancing our own is the responsibility of both kingdoms. We LOVE them with our very bodies and thoughts, completely immersing, yet eventually being transcended due to the weight of the interaction causing us to reach beyond our current capable state. When we ascend, we take a chunk of them with us so that when the next descent into form through animals occurs, we can progress into a new physical existence (and environment) and the animals can take away a chunk of us that we are willing to part with.

  
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