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Author Topic:   Evolution: Natural selection vs. Godly guidance
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 106 of 154 (589171)
10-31-2010 3:23 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by Stephen Push
10-30-2010 8:44 PM


Re: Did a Benevolent God Design Evolution?
Stephen Push writes:

How do you reconcile the suffering caused by the evolutionary process with your belief in an omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent God who designed this process?

I reconcile it the same way I accept that God could allow children to be mauled by bears for mocking a prophet's beard . Just as being made in God's image does not make us incapable of sin, neither does it make us able to predict every process God uses simply by asking what we mortals might have done.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Stephen Push, posted 10-30-2010 8:44 PM Stephen Push has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16094
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.2


Message 107 of 154 (589172)
10-31-2010 3:51 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by Stephen Push
10-30-2010 8:44 PM


Re: Did a Benevolent God Design Evolution?
Evolution causes a lot of pain and suffering in humans and other animals. Often far more offspring are generated than can survive to reproduce. Many, especially the youngest and oldest, succumb to starvation, disease, and predation. Many of these deaths appear to be slow and excruciating. This was the case for most of human evolution and is still the case to some extent today, especially in developing countries.

But of course that would all be true even if starvation, disease, and predation were not agencies of natural selection. There'd still be the same amount of suffering, it would just be completely pointless. It doesn't offer more of a challenge to a theist to suppose that it results in evolution as well, because that's not the morally problematic aspect of it.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Stephen Push, posted 10-30-2010 8:44 PM Stephen Push has responded

Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 108 of 154 (589173)
10-31-2010 4:01 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by ringo
10-30-2010 9:23 PM


Blinded with science
ringo writes:

Yes, theoretical physicists are real scientists because even if they don't do hands-on experiments themselves, their work is tested by experimental physicists.

Some of their work is so tested, but perhaps not all.

Einstein's theory of general relativity was eventually tested, but his work involved little more than thought experiments and math for most of a decade. Was Einstein doing science then? I'd say yes. But he was really in the early stages, i.e. formulating a hypothesis and working out the falsifiable predictions of his hypothesis.

Eventually Einstein did make some quantitative, testable predictions regarding the bending of light in a Newtonian gravitational field, but his initial predictions were off by a factor of two. Fortunately Einstein was able to revise his theory and predictions before Eddington was able to verify them experimentally.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by ringo, posted 10-30-2010 9:23 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by Blue Jay, posted 11-03-2010 12:54 PM NoNukes has responded

  
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2970 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 109 of 154 (589175)
10-31-2010 4:48 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Dr Adequate
10-31-2010 3:51 AM


Re: Did a Benevolent God Design Evolution?
But of course that would all be true even if starvation, disease, and predation were not agencies of natural selection. There'd still be the same amount of suffering, it would just be completely pointless. It doesn't offer more of a challenge to a theist to suppose that it results in evolution as well, because that's not the morally problematic aspect of it.

In the Biblical creation story, God's original creation was good and evil was introduced through a human failing. Attributing the design of evolution to God gives God a direct role in the infliction of suffering and situates the start of the suffering before human sin could have played any part in initiating it.

Personally, I don't think there is a convincing answer to either challenge. But I would be interested in hearing Shadow 71's response, given his particular beliefs about God and evolution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-31-2010 3:51 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14819
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 110 of 154 (589177)
10-31-2010 5:12 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by shadow71
10-30-2010 7:40 PM


quote:

Davies states, inter alia, "through my scientific work I have come to believe...
This leads me to belive that his scientific work has formed the opinions he expressed.
If you read his book you will see that he does provide references to his opinons.

That does not change the fact that it is only a controversial opinion - or the fact that it does not directly address the issue. That you should choose to start with such a weak point - and you have produced nothing more - simply demonstrates that you lack a sound basis for your accusation in the OP.

quote:

In re evolution and God and his opinions, It is impossible to genuinely study and express opinions on evolution unless you address the Origin of Life, . It has been my experience in my readings that biological scientists refuse to address the origin of life as if it is immaterial.

As others have pointed out the scientists are correct. We do not try to work out the processes occurring today by speculating on origins - instead we rely on present-day observations.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by shadow71, posted 10-30-2010 7:40 PM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by shadow71, posted 10-31-2010 3:16 PM PaulK has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 111 of 154 (589185)
10-31-2010 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 109 by Stephen Push
10-31-2010 4:48 AM


Re: Did a Benevolent God Design Evolution?
In the Biblical creation story, God's original creation was good and evil was introduced through a human failing. Attributing the design of evolution to God gives God a direct role in the infliction of suffering and situates the start of the suffering before human sin could have played any part in initiating it.

I don't believe that is correct. However it is also off topic but if you would like to start yet another thread on the subject it might prove to be a somewhat different point of biew.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Stephen Push, posted 10-31-2010 4:48 AM Stephen Push has not yet responded

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 1 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 112 of 154 (589187)
10-31-2010 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 81 by shadow71
10-30-2010 11:07 AM


Ground Rules
Okay, I've been busy, so the conversation has progressed some since I last posted, but nonetheless...

shadow71 writes:

I have to establish groundrules to determine if design advocates meet the standards of scientists.

Firstly; yay! Quote boxes! Thanks shadow!

However, I disagree with you here. We already have the ground rules for scientific inquiry. They are well known and easy to find.

1: Observation/Question
2: Hypothesis/Prediction
3: Experiment
4: Conclusion (tentative)
5: Publication/Peer Review
6: Repetition
and if that repetition continually provides the same conclusion,
7: Consensus (still tentative, but less so as evidence accumulates).

Now one could spend a lifetime finessing that definition of the scientific method (and indeed, philosophers of science do just that) but those are, more or less, the ground rules. ID fails to meet just about every one of them. Here is how ID functions;

1: Conclusion; Jesus loves you (not tentative).
2: Observation; Gee, lots of stuff is really complex!
3: Conclusion; See 1.
4: Publication; Popular press only. Peer review is such a pest!
5; Conclusion; Still the same as 1.

For ID to be taken seriously, it must adhere to the scientific method. It doesn't so it isn't. It really is that simple. Anyone who disagrees should provide details of those ID experiments and peer reviewed publications that directly address design.

Mutate and Survive


"A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it." - Jacques Monod
This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by shadow71, posted 10-30-2010 11:07 AM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
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shadow71
Member (Idle past 1044 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 113 of 154 (589204)
10-31-2010 3:16 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by PaulK
10-31-2010 5:12 AM


Paulk writes,

quote:
As others have pointed out the scientists are correct. We do not try to work out the processes occurring today by speculating on origins - instead we rely on present-day observations.

That is why I have trouble understanding why biological science refuses to entertain the thought that a supernatural being began all that we know of nature and the universe, ie. that it was designed.

Scientists presume that natural selection is the prime moving cause of evolution. How can you prove that if you do not prove how life originated. And if you cannot prove a natural cause for life, then what is left is a designed cause by a supernatural being. God.

Instead science, according to Eugenia Scott, precludes involving any nonnaturalistic or non material causes to explain the features of the natural world.

So science eliminates anything but natural causes, and cannot provide a realistic theory for the origin of life.

ID, in my reading, states that when you try to prove the orgin of life, ie. for ex. information in the cell and how it could have evolved by natural slection, you have reached an impasse.
Then ID uses probabilities to reach the conclusion that design is the only valid answer. That being a supernatural being.

I just read a debate by Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins. I am wondering if any of you hold the opinion that Collins is a Creationist?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by PaulK, posted 10-31-2010 5:12 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by jar, posted 10-31-2010 3:37 PM shadow71 has responded
 Message 116 by PaulK, posted 10-31-2010 3:49 PM shadow71 has responded
 Message 117 by ringo, posted 10-31-2010 4:02 PM shadow71 has not yet responded
 Message 118 by Larni, posted 10-31-2010 4:08 PM shadow71 has not yet responded
 Message 121 by subbie, posted 10-31-2010 4:47 PM shadow71 has not yet responded
 Message 122 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-31-2010 5:22 PM shadow71 has not yet responded
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shadow71
Member (Idle past 1044 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 114 of 154 (589205)
10-31-2010 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Granny Magda
10-31-2010 11:23 AM


Re: Ground Rules
granny magda
quote:
Firstly; yay! Quote boxes! Thanks shadow!

Thank you for you instruction and help in quoting. I am exhausted now and will try to answer you post later. My post 113 is a start.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by Granny Magda, posted 10-31-2010 11:23 AM Granny Magda has not yet responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 115 of 154 (589206)
10-31-2010 3:37 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by shadow71
10-31-2010 3:16 PM


On Francis Collins and Intelliget Design.
I just read a debate by Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins. I am wondering if any of you hold the opinion that Collins is a Creationist?

Are you under the impression that Francis Collins supports Intelligent Design?

BBC Interview with Francis Collins


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by shadow71, posted 10-31-2010 3:16 PM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by shadow71, posted 10-31-2010 4:12 PM jar has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14819
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 116 of 154 (589207)
10-31-2010 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by shadow71
10-31-2010 3:16 PM


quote:

That is why I have trouble understanding why biological science refuses to entertain the thought that a supernatural being began all that we know of nature and the universe, ie. that it was designed.

THe reason seems obvious - it's a piece of completely unnecessary speculation with no use for biological science at all. BUt let me remind you that the origin f the universe is not the topic - it is your claim that scientists are engaging in a double standard in preferring natural selection to your idea of divine guidance.

quote:

Scientists presume that natural selection is the prime moving cause of evolution. How can you prove that if you do not prove how life originated

Why would we need to know the origin of life ? What we need to know is how life developed over time, and as with any other scientific investigation of history we look at the processes occurring now and compare them with the data we have relating to the past. If we discover no incompatibilities we conclude that the known processes are responsible for past events. Where is the need for us to know the origins to do that ?

quote:

Instead science, according to Eugenia Scott, precludes involving any nonnaturalistic or non material causes to explain the features of the natural world.

And let us note that she does not propose that as specific to biological science but to all science. And it cannot be denied that science has been successful. (And I must also point out that there is nothing that rules out saying that there is no scientific explanation).

quote:

ID, in my reading, states that when you try to prove the orgin of life, ie. for ex. information in the cell and how it could have evolved by natural slection, you have reached an impasse.

I may say that but there is no doubt that a good deal of information ha appeared since the beginning of life and no reason to doubt that naturalistic processes are responsible for much of it. We have yet to discover an insuperable barrier that would force us to accept ID as a default - and so while ID has no valid theory to propose as an alternative (and I mean a theory in the full scientific sense of the word, not a mere hypothesis) ID must still lose, even if the supernatural were admitted into science. That is the nature of science - we do not abandon a working theory for mere unknowns - it will only be abandoned if it becomes hopelessly unworkable or if a better theory is proposed.

quote:

Then ID uses probabilities to reach the conclusion that design is the only valid answer. That being a supernatural being.

No, it does not. ID does not deal with real, relevant probabilities.

quote:

I just read a debate by Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins. I am wondering if any of you hold the opinion that Collins is a Creationist?

No, I think he's some form of theistic evolutionist. Probably even further from creationism than the former creationist Michael Behe's current position.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by shadow71, posted 10-31-2010 3:16 PM shadow71 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by shadow71, posted 11-04-2010 3:26 PM PaulK has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 16362
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 117 of 154 (589208)
10-31-2010 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by shadow71
10-31-2010 3:16 PM


shadow71 writes:

Scientists presume that natural selection is the prime moving cause of evolution. How can you prove that if you do not prove how life originated.


Even if "divine selection" was the prime moving cause of evolution, that tells us nothing about the origin of life. A tinkerer-god is not necessarily a creator-god.


"It appears that many of you turn to Hebrew to escape the English...." -- Joseppi
This message is a reply to:
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Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 118 of 154 (589209)
10-31-2010 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by shadow71
10-31-2010 3:16 PM


Scientists presume that natural selection is the prime moving cause of evolution. How can you prove that if you do not prove how life originated. And if you cannot prove a natural cause for life, then what is left is a designed cause by a supernatural being. God.

Biologists don't presume NS they conclude it; based on evidence.

What does not knowing about the start conditions of life have to do with observing the change in allele frequency over time in a population?

As has been pointed out many time scientist don't 'prove things'.

There could be a supernatural cause for life but there is no more evidence for a supernatural cause than there is for life (and the universe) being a fantastically intricate computer simulation and we are but sentient AIs existing in a virtual reality.

If you are going to say that not being able to 'prove' that life is natural means that one must entertain a supernatural origin then you must give equal weight to a technological origin.

Edited by Larni, : spellink


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shadow71
Member (Idle past 1044 days)
Posts: 706
From: Joliet, il, USA
Joined: 08-31-2010


Message 119 of 154 (589210)
10-31-2010 4:12 PM
Reply to: Message 115 by jar
10-31-2010 3:37 PM


Re: On Francis Collins and Intelliget Design.
jar writes,

quote:
Are you under the impression that Francis Collins supports Intelligent Design?

Here is a quote from the debate, you tell me.

..."Because I do believe in God's creative power in having brought it all into being in the first place, I find that studying the natural world is an opportunity to observe the majesty, the elegance, the intricacy of God's creation."

From Dawkins-Collins debate by Time in Nov. 2006

Those are my beliefs, and why I am of the opinion that Id is judged by a different standard.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by jar, posted 10-31-2010 3:37 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30936
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 120 of 154 (589211)
10-31-2010 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by shadow71
10-31-2010 4:12 PM


Re: On Francis Collins and Intelliget Design.
Then I suggest that you read the link I provided.

From the link I provided:

quote:
Carlson: What do you think of this statement read to the Dover, Pennsylvania public school children that the theory is just a theory and explaining briefly intelligent design? Is that that be read to kids?

Collins: It sounds as if it's a good idea to suggest anybody listening to a discussion about science to keep your mind open and to be sure that facts are actually backed up by data. But, of course, that statement is full of a lot more than scientific facts and data and concerns about them. It is a statement that reflects a battle that's going on right now. And in my view, an unnecessary battle. So let me explain why I say that. As somebody who has watched our own D.N.A. sequence emerge, our own instruction book over the course of the last few years, all three billion letters of our code, and watched how it compares with that of other species, the evidence that comes out of that kind of analysis is overwhelmingly in favor of a single origin of life from which various forms were then derived by a process which seems entirely consistent with Darwin's view of natural selection. By saying that, some people listening to my words will immediately conclude that I must therefore be opposed to any role for god in the process that's not true. But I'm not an advocate of intelligent design, either.

Carlson: Why?

Collins: Intelligent design is a fairly recent arrival on the scene. Been around 15 years or so. It argues that there are certain constructs in biology, certain particular features that can't be explained by evolution because they have irreducible complexity. Take the eye, for instance. How do you develop something as complicated as the eye by a process of natural selection. It doesn't seem like that would fit with the slow gradual process where small changes get selected for. You'd never get there. The problem with that argument is biology actually is identifying multiple intermediate steps from the simplest single light-sensitive cell to something as complicated as the eye which clearly could have evolution acting upon them and result in a complicated structure. I worry about intelligent design, though I admire its advocates for wishing to put forward something in the way of a rebuttal to the idea that evolution says there's no god. And we'll come back to why I think that's an unfortunate argument. I think intelligent design sets up a god of the gaps kind of scenario. Well, you know, we haven't yet explained this particular feature of evolution, so god must be right there. If science ultimately proves that those gaps aren't gaps, after all, then where is god? We really ought not to ask people to do that.

Carlson: Does evolution even imply that there's no god?

Collins: Of course not. Evolution, although it's called a theory, in science a theory is a collection of observations that are pulled together into a consistent view of things. Electromagnetic theory, for instance. It doesn't mean it's still hypothetical and people don't think it's right. Biology makes almost no sense without evolution to undergird it. Saying as the opening statement did evolution is a theory, not a fact, that's not really quite an adequate explanation of the solidity of information we have that --



Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!
This message is a reply to:
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