In this post, I will try to address my friend Mike’s comments and questions that he posed in comments here. First, it seems to me that you’re trying to make me say things that I’m not saying. I’m actually less dogmatic about some things than you think I am.
(Some of) What I believe about God is this:
- God is Spirit, therefore non-material (except for the incarnation of Jesus, where God became man.
- God is outside of the material universe, which includes time.
- God can and is involved with the material world (i.e. incarnational).
- God can operate within His created system (that is, naturally) as well as outside of the system (supernaturally).
- As God does not have to conform to the laws of the universe that we are subject to (specifically “cause and effect”), He cannot be “tested” according to the Scientific Method.
- God is personal and can be known, but on His terms; that is, through revelation.
- The existence of God probably cannot be proved in a deductive sense, or according to the scientific method.
- The existence of God can be assumed inductively based upon what we see in the physical world (Romans 1:20).
ID is a counter to a science which is controlled by a philosophical materialism, which claims that God cannot exist because only the material world exists. If science (especially that as taught in our school system) was not controlled by materialism, I don’t think ID would be an issue. I don’t know how many of those claiming to be proponents of ID believe that God can be proved. Most that I know of believe that design is supported. Even Dawkins agrees that design is apparent; he, however, tries to show why that is illogical, but he failed miserably. As far as I can tell, ID is not about proving there is a God; it’s simply trying to pull science back from it’s current philosophical prison.
I don’t know that I would disagree much with Thomas Robey; again, I have never “demanded that it be proven.”
Concerning evolution, I don’t believe that the evidence supports common descent. It certainly doesn’t support neo-Darwinism. It does appear that there was some “front-loading.” From what I understand of Behe’s latest book (I’ve read both sides), there does appear to be an “edge” to evolution, and there does, in fact, seem to be a point where it becomes de-evolution. As I’ve said before, I am not dogmatic about my thoughts on evolution; there’s nothing in my theology that says God couldn’t have used evolution, and to some extent, it appears that He has utilized it. Certainly there are adaptive functions at work- in fact, the whole system appears marvelously designed. You have accused me of “creating a roadblock because of the way you want your faith to be demonstrated materially.” I don’t believe this reflects what I believe or what I’ve said.
Bottom line, I’m not trying to use science to prove God; I don’t believe that God needs to be proved, and I certainly don’t need to try to do it. As C.S. Lewis was pointing out in The Great Divorce, you could put some people in the middle of Heaven and they’d deny it existed; belief (or unbelief) is often not a matter of “proof.” I’ll re-quote from Jesus: “I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” However, where science (or a materialism or naturalism masquerading as science) attempts to “prove” that there is no God, I merely point out the rather obvious errors in their thinking. And, so far, the errors have been obvious.
“The theory of evolution contradicts itself in that the survival of the fittest ideal precludes the survival and propogation of transitional species because they are inherently less ‘fit’ than their progenitors or their ‘evolved’ offspring.”
Silly, silly strawman. Find a book on evolution and read it until you understand it.
“My point being that there are thousands of random mutations that would have to simultaneously occur in one individual in order to get a new species that is more ‘fit’ than the old one.”
“consider the evolution of a mouse to a bat”
You have no understanding of evolution and thus appear to be quite “batty”.
“If common descent is the case, we should see a dearth of transitional species in the fossil record”
Quite possibly. If the “transitions” occur in only a few tens of thousands of years, there could be very few fossils discovered. Actual fossils represent 0.0000001% of the actual individuals who were alive. (Plus or minus a few factors of a thousand.)
“and we simply do not.”
“he, however, tries to show why that is illogical, but he failed miserably”
My opinion is the opposite. My opinion is that “I know design when I see it and I see it” is not supported by any evidence.
“there does appear to be an “edge” to evolution”
It appears that you are not qualified to judge.
“God can and is involved with the material world (i.e. incarnational). God can operate within His created system (that is, naturally) as well as outside of the system (supernaturally).”
Show me the evidence that something “outside the material universe” is actually “intervening” in the material world.
“However, where science attempts to “prove” that there is no God”
Strawman # 1 on the all time hit list. The LaPlace quote is “I have no need for that hypothesis”.
I came across this blog when doing a search for DA – the alarma chronicles (one of my favorite bands).
I thought I would put in my two cents worth by asking Mike to comment on this statement that I wrote on another blog a few months ago: The theory of evolution contradicts itself in that the survival of the fittest ideal precludes the survival and propogation of transitional species because they are inherently less ‘fit’ than their progenitors or their ‘evolved’ offspring. My point being that there are thousands of random mutations that would have to simultaneously occur in one individual in order to get a new species that is more ‘fit’ than the old one. In my opinion, this could never happen in millions or even billions of years. What you have to have for trans-species evolution to work are several generations of transitional individuals (call them distinct species if you want), all of which will be ‘unfit’ and would likely never survive and reproduce. To put it in layman’s terms, consider the evolution of a mouse to a bat (or vice-versa). An individual that is in between these two species would be an ‘unfit’ mouse and an ‘unfit’ bat, and would not survive. If common descent is the case, we should see a dearth of transitional species in the fossil record, and we simply do not.
I am no great authority on this, but I do have a science degree and am finishing my after degree B.Ed. this year in order to teach high school biology.
What are your thoughts?
p.s. but I’m far more reasonable than Hannity…
Every Hannity needs a Colmes… 😉
Our disagreements on some issues may be large, I guess. I just hope that they serve to keep your visitors interested and return.
Mike, you’ve got to get over this idea that people’s disbelief in neo-Darwinism is about the need to “prove God.” And, as I keep saying, I’m not being dogmatic about anything scientific; however, I do have opinions based on the user-friendly stuff I read. And, as I’ve said before, to me it doesn’t really matter whether there is common descent or whatever. In my opinion, Genesis doesn’t take a scientific stand on the issue, and my faith isn’t dependent upon science.
I’m just an innocent (but interested) bystander, as it were, when it comes to all things science. But, even innocent bystanders have opinions.
In evolution, I don’t really think you have studied it enough to be able to logically make that determination that the evidence doesn’t support common descent, nor to make the flat statement that it certainly doesn’t support neo-Darwinism. I think you are being influenced in this by the people who want to “prove” God “scientifically” by dishonestly trying to disprove what you see as the only other alternative. That is the sole philosophical background of ID.
Divorce yourself from that, and you will appreciate the wonder of common descent. It’s beautiful and amazing once you study it, no matter what your beliefs are regarding religion.