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Theistic Evolution & Cosmology ?  

post #1 of 151
Thread Starter 
NOW BEFORE WE GET INTO THIS THREAD, THESE ARE FROM THE POSTED RULES FROM THE MODS:

"Ad-hominem attacks of forum members will not be tolerated. We understand that things get heated, but it helps to maintain a modicum of respect for the membership. Attack ideas, not people. Be open-minded and try to help foster meaningful discussion. Yes, meaningful discussion is possible if everyone respects each other."

My intent is to avoid two things that have troubled us:

1) Personal Attacks.
2) Vapid cartoons and ridicule.

If it starts, I will ask the message to BE DELETED, let's not get this thread locked.

Here is my question: Is there anyone here that is BOTH a person that believes in God, prays, and practices his/her religon AND accepts the standard scientific accounts of the universe's creation and evolution? Is it possible?
post #2 of 151
To answer your question very simply No, not with myself that is.

I believe there is intelligent design evident within creation which random mutations fail to impress upon me a basis for creation and the balance, harmony and order thereof.

No childish remarks needed to answer your question.

Respectfully,

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
post #3 of 151
To answer your specific question. Yes. There is someone here. Me.
To answer your implied (or second) question. Yes, it is possible.
(and after great thought and unanswered prayer on this....it was also the only acceptable answer)
Was that all?

Respectfully,

NUM
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
post #4 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
Is there anyone here that is BOTH a person that believes in God, prays, and practices his/her religon AND accepts the standard scientific accounts of the universe's creation and evolution? Is it possible?

No on #1.
There is no "standard scientific account" -- there are many differing accounts on the universe's origins, and many of those are misunderstood. Since Evolution doesn't work in the realm of experimental science, and any attempts to make it work on any known observational scientific level have remained elusive ....No.

No on #2.
As something of a literalist, I can't cram an untestable, self-contradictory hypothesis into the first several chapters of Genesis.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

post #5 of 151
Essentially all Americans believe in God, according to polls like this one. Not all of them go to church regularly, but almost all are religious at a basic level. It's about as close to a universal belief as there is, in the US anyway, and probably over most of the world.

On the other hand, about half of Americans believe in evolution, and half are true creationists, according to polls like this.

My point is that there must be a lot of religious people who accept biological evolution.

I've talked to my church's pastor - a liberal Presbyterian - about this, and he most definitely does accept biological evolution fully. All the churches that have official positions on evolution/creationism have stated that biological evolution is not incompatible with their religion, including Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Catholics.

I'd like to see an official church position that makes the claim that biological evolution is inconsistent with their religious beliefs. I've never seen one. Creationism seems to be a "grassroots" belief rather than official church doctrine.
post #6 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself
To answer your specific question. Yes. There is someone here. Me.
To answer your implied (or second) question. Yes, it is possible.
(and after great thought and unanswered prayer on this....it was also the only acceptable answer)
Was that all?

Respectfully,

NUM

Well, I wanted to ask this question because it seems that the conflict between evolution and anti-evolution often leaves the impression it is believer vs non-believer.

I'm not a believer (yet), but I do accept the standard scientific accounts as the most likely answers to the scientific questions.

Moreover, it is often stated that one cannot be a real christian without taking the Genesis account literally.
post #7 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
Moreover, it is often stated that one cannot be a real christian without taking the Genesis account literally.

My parents taught me not to associate with these type of people. Bad role models.
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
post #8 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
No on #1.
There is no "standard scientific account" -- there are many differing accounts on the universe's origins, and many of those are misunderstood. Since Evolution doesn't work in the realm of experimental science, and any attempts to make it work on any known observational scientific level have remained elusive ....No.

No on #2.
As something of a literalist, I can't cram an untestable, self-contradictory hypothesis into the first several chapters of Genesis.

When I said accounts (plural) I was trying to allow for sub theories of the standard models. To be more direct:

1) The standard Cosmological Model is 'The Big Bang'.
2) The standard Biological Model is "The Modern Synthesis"

Some Christians seem to believe in both.
Some believe 1 but not 2
Some don't believe either 1 or 2.
post #9 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
To answer your question very simply No, not with myself that is.

I believe there is intelligent design evident within creation which random mutations fail to impress upon me a basis for creation and the balance, harmony and order thereof.

No childish remarks needed to answer your question.

Respectfully,

Fellows

Perhaps you could clarify (see my reply to DMZ)...do you believe in the Big Bang, Do you belive in evolution guided by I.D. ?
post #10 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Essentially all Americans believe in God, according to polls like this one. Not all of them go to church regularly, but almost all are religious at a basic level. It's about as close to a universal belief as there is, in the US anyway, and probably over most of the world.

On the other hand, about half of Americans believe in evolution, and half are true creationists, according to polls like this.

My point is that there must be a lot of religious people who accept biological evolution.

I've talked to my church's pastor - a liberal Presbyterian - about this, and he most definitely does accept biological evolution fully. All the churches that have official positions on evolution/creationism have stated that biological evolution is not incompatible with their religion, including Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Catholics.

I'd like to see an official church position that makes the claim that biological evolution is inconsistent with their religious beliefs. I've never seen one. Creationism seems to be a "grassroots" belief rather than official church doctrine.

I wonder what the Baptist doctrine(s) is/are on this issue?
post #11 of 151
Do I believe in (a) god/gods? No. There is no god. There are only causes that produce good, bad or harmless effects. We're born into a sea of them and all we can do is learn to swim and help others. Or, others can choose to kill and be killed.

Do I pray? I meditate/contemplate on the illusions of phenomena in life. But there is nothing to pray to. I think "appreciate" and "experience" is as close to I come to praying.

Do I practice my religion? I have no religion, although I am learning my mind, the nature of reality and try to increase my compassion for others - natural human curiosity and states of mind that have been co-opted by religions. Buddhism at it's core is not a religion, if you step back from the localizations it's gone through.

Do I accept the standard scientific accounts of the universe's creation and evolution? Do scientists? Science is ever changing. But yes, given science's open nature and willingness to admit it's errors, I far prefer it over dogmatic religions like the big three destructive, coercive and divisive Abrahamic ones. Science is mostly going in the right directions, whereas religions are in stasis or even regressing. Science's biggest problem is it being susceptible to getting co-opted for violent, selfish or political/religious uses. I cannot swallow an Abrahamic religion's explanation for reality when they are clearly political power structures only interested in controlling masses of people, serving as supra-nations.

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, Gödel's Incompleteness Theorum and Planck Time/Length are just three insurmountable limits (forever possibly? or maybe solved next year) I can think of, and I'm sure many more exist. So science isn't even close to being a religion or a god, in that it is not perfect, nor does it presume itself to be. But good scientists will be the first to tell you that. But you don't stop questioning just because you can't figure something out right away. The Abrahamic religions would have you sit silently in ignorance and fear while those in the various hierarchies (in power) would rule over you.

I far prefer Punctuated Equilibrium over YAWEH...thanks.
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
post #12 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
NOW BEFORE WE GET INTO THIS THREAD, THESE ARE FROM THE POSTED RULES FROM THE MODS:

"Ad-hominem attacks of forum members will not be tolerated. We understand that things get heated, but it helps to maintain a modicum of respect for the membership. Attack ideas, not people. Be open-minded and try to help foster meaningful discussion. Yes, meaningful discussion is possible if everyone respects each other."

My intent is to avoid two things that have troubled us:

1) Personal Attacks.
2) Vapid cartoons and ridicule.

If it starts, I will ask the message to BE DELETED, let's not get this thread locked.

Here is my question: Is there anyone here that is BOTH a person that believes in God, prays, and practices his/her religon AND accepts the standard scientific accounts of the universe's creation and evolution? Is it possible?

You missed one.
Quote:
Do not start any more threads regarding this topic
post #13 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by OBJRA10
You missed one.

Sorry, thought there has been enough time.
post #14 of 151
Since the actual quote is...
Quote:
Do not start any more threads regarding this topic since it doesn't appear to be possible to do so in a civil manner.

...I will give you the courtesy of demonstrating that it is in fact possible to do in a civil manner.
post #15 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself
To answer your specific question. Yes. There is someone here. Me.
To answer your implied (or second) question. Yes, it is possible.
(and after great thought and unanswered prayer on this....it was also the only acceptable answer)
Was that all?

Respectfully,

NUM

I ran across this statement, seems like you are not alone:


An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science

Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as one theory among others is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among Gods good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that Gods loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.

Check this link to see all of the people that have signed the letter:

http://www.uwosh.edu/colleges/cols/...llaboration.htm

Note that many of them are "Rev."
post #16 of 151
Yes, I'm a liberal Catholic and scientist. Any respectiful questions are welcome.
Why do so many Sys Admins hate the Mac? . A q u a M a c .
Why do so many Sys Admins hate the Mac? . A q u a M a c .
post #17 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by AquaMac
Yes, I'm a liberal Catholic and scientist. Any respectiful questions are welcome.

What area of science ? Ever met a creationist in your area ?
post #18 of 151
I'm an atheist (one of the few in the US?). I believe that Humans created god(s).

I don't pray, but I think and at times hope luck finds its way to me.

I beleive science hasn't answered everything regarding the beginnings of life and the origin of the universe, but I think what research has discovered is pointing us in the right direction.

edit: i beleive i cant spel,
post #19 of 151
In regards to the topics main question:

My zoology professor was a Christian. I always found that to be somewhat of an oxymoron, but I think his beleifs represented the feelings of many people. The way he put it was that he believed in evolution (good since that was what he was teaching-quite well I may add), but the whole beginning of life part gave him trouble, as it does for many.

He would bring out this box with all the parts of a watch and would ask how long we would have to shake the box before the watch would assemble itself. It is an interesting example of the complexity of life and how some many parts have to work together to make it work.. The problem is that we really don't know that much about the steps that led to life, and it is quite possible that the watch in a box metaphor is just not very accurate.

Observation and experiments have shown that many of the basic molecules of life are quite readily available. How the first life looked we have no idea, so whether it was an incredable unlikely occurance or something that was bound to happen we just don't know. The first life was most certainly not as soffisticated as what lives around us today. Thus, even teh ancient primitive life of today, is still teh product of billions of years of adaptation. Best we can do is go check out Mars, Europa etc, maybe there will be some answers there.

My point is that science can draw a pretty detailed picture of many aspects of the history of life on this planet, but the very beginnings are a harder nut to crack. That mystery provides enough doubt for many to see the hand of god at work seeding the beginings of life and then letting nature take its course. As for me, I find believeing in god harder than believeing that life developed on its own.
post #20 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
In regards to the topics main question:

My zoology professor was a Christian. I always found that to be somewhat of an oxymoron, but I think his beleifs represented the feelings of many people. The way he put it was that he believed in evolution (good since that was what he was teaching-quite well I may add), but the whole beginning of life part gave him trouble, as it does for many.

He would bring out this box with all the parts of a watch and would ask how long we would have to shake the box before the watch would assemble itself. It is an interesting example of the complexity of life and how some many parts have to work together to make it work.. The problem is that we really don't know that much about the steps that led to life, and it is quite possible that the watch in a box metaphor is just not very accurate....

My point is that science can draw a pretty detailed picture of many aspects of the history of life on this planet, but the very beginnings are a harder nut to crack. That mystery provides enough doubt for many to see the hand of god at work seeding the beginings of life and then letting nature take its course. As for me, I find believeing in god harder than believeing that life developed on its own.

The origin of life is the least understood, far less than the process and history of evolution. The origin, abiogensis, has 5 or 6 hypothesis (with one of them currently favored) regarding a natural origin on earth, and their are a few (e.g. Hoyle) who thought life came from an extra terristeral (non creationist) source.

My gut feeling after reading Drake's equation is that life in the galaxy might be more common than I thought, perhaps a planet every 5 to 20 light years. However, 'intelligent' life is probably rare...no more than a dozen in a galaxy...maybe only one planet in the Milky Way.

Still, there are 100,000,000,000 galaxys...so chances are good there are others.
post #21 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
He would bring out this box with all the parts of a watch and would ask how long we would have to shake the box before the watch would assemble itself. It is an interesting example of the complexity of life and how some many parts have to work together to make it work.. The problem is that we really don't know that much about the steps that led to life, and it is quite possible that the watch in a box metaphor is just not very accurate.

The watch in a box metaphor is in fact, quite horrendous. It isn't at all close to an accurate metaphor for evolution.

Since it is inherently silly no one will believe it. But since it is offered as a pseudo-argument for evolution (a mockery of it, really) the typical result is to flee to it's opposite, which is creation or ID.

That is, rather than explain evolution properly (even if in some mostly-accurate form of metaphor), this overtly silly metaphor is used instead.
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
"The Roots of Violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics...
post #22 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
Here is my question: Is there anyone here that is BOTH a person that believes in God, prays, and practices his/her religon AND accepts the standard scientific accounts of the universe's creation and evolution? Is it possible?

In fact, as far as I know I've never personally met a creationist and I know a whole, whole, whole lot of christians. After all, I'm american. I even know a whole lot of missionaries and my family is almost entirely a long line of people who devote their entire lives to christianity. I just haven't spent enough time in subdivisionland, israel or afghanistan to get intimate with the radical fundamentalists who dominate the public discourse about religions of the book and religion overall.
post #23 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science

Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as one theory among others is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among Gods good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that Gods loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.

Check this link to see all of the people that have signed the letter:

http://www.uwosh.edu/colleges/cols/...llaboration.htm

Note that many of them are "Rev."

Everything here is exactly what christianity has always been to me and every christian I know personally, including those in third world countries with their christian organizations helping to make life better for people.
post #24 of 151
MaxParrish:

Quote:
Well, I wanted to ask this question because it seems that the conflict between evolution and anti-evolution often leaves the impression it is believer vs non-believer.

You've got it right.
It's not about science, of course, because how many people honestly know anything at all about the extremely complicated subject that is biological evolution? Honestly? Hardly any. Certainly none who have not purposely researched the subject on their own and/or taken many good college-level courses on the subject.
So it's not about science. It's about faith.

It's good enough for most Christians for you to simply say you believe in Jesus Christ. Anything past that is secondary. Just say you're on the team and you're good. You can even believe in the Big Bang if you want so long as you say "Well Jesus could have started the Big Bang."

What you're seeing and apparently involving yourself in is religious evolution. It is all nice and fun to pretend that religion and evolutionary science can be good buddies, but do not forget the overwhelming oppression of free thought by Christian authorities back when Christianity ruled on a political as well as spiritual level. This was not arbitrary, because scientists (truth) transformed the Bible forever; from a sacrosanct work of absolute truth to a bedtime story tome.

And that evolution of the Bible did not occur within religion; popes and religious leaders did not, on their own, discover that it was all merely parables, that was their survival reaction based on it being proved wrong by disinterested parties (scientists simply studying the earth).

So while you might accept the belief that the two co-exist, remember that one (religion) is always looking at the other (evolutionary science) with a wary and aggressive eye while the other is simply minding its own business. And, of course, there's the not-so-small matter of the entire anti-evolution movement being Christian... big coincidence there, eh?

Religious leaders might embrace Darwinism, but do not delude yourself into thinking that the motivation is anything but the desire to simply stay alive. You cannot fight the truth for too long, even by hanging the spectre of hell and Satan over someone's head.
This is not to say that there is a Christian Illuminati holed up in some dark room making policy. It's simply the natural evolution of popular thought. Societies are reticent to change (putting it lightly here) and if romantic ideals of ages past can be provided they will happily indulge their own desire to romanticize their collective past, the "good old days" when men didn't come from ancestral primates and women stayed in their place.


That's the perspective of a Christian-gone-atheist who knows a ton of Christians (including his entire family).
proud resident of a failed state
proud resident of a failed state
post #25 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by Fellowship
To answer your question very simply No, not with myself that is.

I believe there is intelligent design evident within creation which random mutations fail to impress upon me a basis for creation and the balance, harmony and order thereof.

No childish remarks needed to answer your question.

Respectfully,

Fellows

This is where I am too.

I look at the order, complexity and balance in matter and life (atomic, molecular, proteins, DNA, etc.) and see design.

I am unwilling to be pinned down to a literal reading of the "6 days" account...because I do think there are different ways to read that particular account. But in its essence, I believe it to be correct.
post #26 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
This is where I am too.

I look at the order, complexity and balance in matter and life (atomic, molecular, proteins, DNA, etc.) and see design.

I am unwilling to be pinned down to a literal reading of the "6 days" account...because I do think there are different ways to read that particular account. But in its essence, I believe it to be correct.

Well said Chris,

As to what Grove said,, Bible a bedtime story is a little rude. I respect his right to believe it however so I can look over his statement. I realize that not all consider the Bible the word of God so to some it is "bedtime story" but to declare it a bedtime story as compared to saying: "I view it as bedtime story" is a bit intellectually dishonest and presumptuous.

Also Grove said he was a Christian etc. I thought you were Mormon?

Mormons and Christians I would beg to say are not one in the same belief system.

Not to distract from the thrust of this thread. I just found some things said by the good mod to be a bit "off".

None of my points above are pointed out in any disrespect of any kind rather to correctly sort out a few statments of grove which seem suspect.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
post #27 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
What area of science ? Ever met a creationist in your area ?

Not scientists, but here is a recent poll of doctors. http://www.hcdi.net/polls/J5776/Slide1.htm -- interesting, there are more -- http://www.hcdi.net/polls/J5776/

From The Times (of London) here is a May, 25 response to Richard Dawkins on eye evolution, by a Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...625988,00.html

here is the letter:

Quote:
From Professor Andy McIntosh

Sir, By building a straw man of creationists (supposedly) misquoting Darwin and Lewontin, Professor Dawkins labels the lot as ignorant and skirts the big issue there is no hard evidence for molecules-to-man evolution.

Dawkins has long touted stories on how the eye and other organs came into being by supposed slow evolutionary processes, but there is no experimental evidence, even if one did accept the fossils as a record of such changes. Any serious thinker knows that the fossils of the Cambrian Explosion period, near the base of the geological column, include some of the most sophisticated eyes ever known to have existed the compound eyes of trilobites have double calcite lenses, which defeat any slow evolutionary explanation, and, what is more, they have no precursor in the rocks.

The non-evolutionist side of the argument is growing not because of ignorance, but because of the rise of knowledge about the real facts of science without the fairytale additions of evolutionism. A growing number of academics on both sides of the Atlantic are attracted to the straightforward logic of scientific reasoning.

The logical, coded machinery of DNA and the information system it carries shout design to an unprejudiced mind. Dawkinss defence is based not on scientific facts, but on ideology. Evolutionary thinking is teetering as a way of looking at the evidence, not because of some isolated problems here and there, but because the whole structure is scientifically wrong.

Yours faithfully,
ANDY C. McINTOSH,
(Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory),
Energy and Resources Research Institute,
Houldsworth Building,
University of Leeds,
Clarendon Road, Leeds LS2 9JT.
May 23.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

post #28 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
When I said accounts (plural) I was trying to allow for sub theories of the standard models. To be more direct:

1) The standard Cosmological Model is 'The Big Bang'.
2) The standard Biological Model is "The Modern Synthesis"

Some Christians seem to believe in both.
Some believe 1 but not 2
Some don't believe either 1 or 2.

I still can't go there, there are really many fundamentally different takes on "the big bang" and there is even some rumblings of white hole cosmology from the standard scientific sources. Steven Hawking -- 'the guy' for many big bang adherents in general, states that the Universe has no edge and no center -- something that I don't believe is understood generally by Christians/Religious and non-Christians/Religious. So in that respect, the theory becomes an ideological placeholder. It also begins with a - 'scientifically' - mind you, demand that all the pysical laws be suspended for a very brief moment. So in the end, you end up not REALLY talking about a specific theory, you're talking about an abstraction -- and Faith in that absraction.

On the 'The Modern Sythesis' that is elusive at best, and has Darwinists, NeoDarwinists, the Puncutated Equilibrium Darwinists, the Alien DNA seeding, etc. so, agian, you aren't really talking about a specific theory, but an abstraction of the various theories, and Faith in that absraction in any event.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

post #29 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
-here is the letter-

So a lack of evidence is itself evidence? (meaning, just because we don't have a perfect explination, then NO explination (even partial) will do?)

I'm not sure I buy that letter's ideas. Sounds too much like 'OUR theory is correct by default because we can find error in yours'.

I'd like him to use some more 'science' in his 'scientific' ideas. That isn't how 'theory' works.

You come up with an idea and test it. You don't fail a test and then say you have created a law.

The absences of a complete scientific explination for the universe is not the *proof* of creation. Using their own test against them... to 'PROVE' creation, God would need to show up and tell us he was there, and that he did it. Since he has *not* shown up in modern times to prove it... wouldn't their logic say that evolution is FACT?

My point: Bad science doesn't ONLY keep friends on the evolution side of things. Creationists have thier own troubles. (and far fewer answers)
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
I never get tired of being right all the time... but I do get tired of having to prove it to you again and again.
post #30 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself
So a lack of evidence is itself evidence? (meaning, just because we don't have a perfect explination, then NO explination (even partial) will do?)

I'm not sure I buy that letter's ideas. Sounds too much like 'OUR theory is correct by default because we can find error in yours'.

I'd like him to use some more 'science' in his 'scientific' ideas. That isn't how 'theory' works.

You come up with an idea and test it. You don't fail a test and then say you have created a law.

The absences of a complete scientific explination for the universe is not the *proof* of creation. Using their own test against them... to 'PROVE' creation, God would need to show up and tell us he was there, and that he did it. Since he has *not* shown up in modern times to prove it... wouldn't their logic say that evolution is FACT?

This is one of the areas where this "discussion" starts to head for a "train wreck".

You are correct that...

1. absense of evidence is not evidence of absense.

2. lack of evidence does not disprove some thing or another.

3. one thing being wrong does not (automatically) prove another competing thing to be right.

The train wreck part starts to happen when everyone assumes that any challenge to evolution must have the following things:

1. a basis in a creationist belief

2. a counter theory to offer

#1 is really a diversionary tactic...it (typically) takes the form of an ad hominem argument..."Oh you must be a 'Creationist' so I don't have to answer your questions, challenges, etc. because you aren't really qualified to be even asking the question, so your questions are not valid to begin with...what with believing the world is only 6000 years old and all that."

#2 is really an unecessary burden. One can question the assumptions about a theory without (currently) having a counter theory. Nothing wrong with that.

I have, in the past, tried to question the assumptions that are being offered on the subject...and then things go all whacky.
post #31 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself
So a lack of evidence is itself evidence? (meaning, just because we don't have a perfect explination, then NO explination (even partial) will do?)

I'm not sure I buy that letter's ideas. Sounds too much like 'OUR theory is correct by default because we can find error in yours'.

I'd like him to use some more 'science' in his 'scientific' ideas. That isn't how 'theory' works.

You come up with an idea and test it. You don't fail a test and then say you have created a law.

The absences of a complete scientific explination for the universe is not the *proof* of creation. Using their own test against them... to 'PROVE' creation, God would need to show up and tell us he was there, and that he did it. Since he has *not* shown up in modern times to prove it... wouldn't their logic say that evolution is FACT?

My point: Bad science doesn't ONLY keep friends on the evolution side of things. Creationists have thier own troubles. (and far fewer answers)

Well, there's some truth there, but in this case I'd rather keep this confined to the rebuttal of Dawkins' peice in The Times. It ran with the head....

"Creationism: God's gift to the ignorant"

.......which, when you contrast the piece with the rebuttal, the context is fitting -- especially in the light of, let's face it, the seriously bigoted and flamboyant remarks that Dawkins is famous for. That piece was no expection, either.

The bit with the trilobites is right, not becuase it is trying to point to negation as proof, but because there is this relentless arrogance that Dawkins personifies -- that tries to be scientific when it needs to admit that it is only theoretical, and the trilobite eye at the very near the bottom of the geologic column really drives that point home. The chauvinism needs to be set aside.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

post #32 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
I wonder what the Baptist doctrine(s) is/are on this issue?

Apparently there's a Statement of Faith that has been adopted by many individual churches, including many Baptist churches. It includes this statement:
Quote:
Creation was not a matter of evolution nor evolutionary change of species nor development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms, but rather by the direct act of God (Gen. 1:1, 2:1-4; John 1:3; Heb. 3:4). We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).

I'm not sure where it comes from; it appears in many different evangelical churches, rather than in an official denomination's statement. It would be interesting to see its origin, as it's the only "official" statement rejecting evolution that I've ever seen, and many churches have official statements rejecting creationism or accepting biological evolution. And what's interesting about it is that it has been adopted by individual churches rather than denominations, whereas the statements accepting evolution come from the "elites" at the churches.

It's consistent with my impression that the rejection of evolution is a grassroots phenomenon rather than an official position of any religion.
post #33 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
MaxParrish:

You've got it right.
It's not about science, of course, because how many people honestly know anything at all about the extremely complicated subject that is biological evolution? Honestly? Hardly any. Certainly none who have not purposely researched the subject on their own and/or taken many good college-level courses on the subject.
So it's not about science. It's about faith.

It's good enough for most Christians for you to simply say you believe in Jesus Christ. Anything past that is secondary. Just say you're on the team and you're good. You can even believe in the Big Bang if you want so long as you say "Well Jesus could have started the Big Bang."

What you're seeing and apparently involving yourself in is religious evolution. It is all nice and fun to pretend that religion and evolutionary science can be good buddies, but do not forget the overwhelming oppression of free thought by Christian authorities back when Christianity ruled on a political as well as spiritual level. This was not arbitrary, because scientists (truth) transformed the Bible forever; from a sacrosanct work of absolute truth to a bedtime story tome.

This is not to say that there is a Christian Illuminati holed up in some dark room making policy. It's simply the natural evolution of popular thought. Societies are reticent to change (putting it lightly here) and if romantic ideals of ages past can be provided they will happily indulge their own desire to romanticize their collective past, the "good old days" when men didn't come from ancestral primates and women stayed in their place.

That's the perspective of a Christian-gone-atheist who knows a ton of Christians (including his entire family).

One day I will have to investigate the role of the Church in preserving and/or destorying knowledge. At one time I thought it all dark, but I have also read on monks copying rare greek texts, early dissenters starting university learning, etc.

Still, Christiantiy has had a long and bloody history and, until the last few centuries, the major reason for European war (for at least 700years). It, unlike much of Islam, has finally accepted tolerance, seperation of church and state, and spheres of knowledge outside of the spiritual.

I don't resent or personalize Church/Christian history; it came from a time and era in which atheisim was unheard of...if not the Church, then other pagen religons or Islam, with much the same result.

By the way, as a former believer you might appreciate a little quip I inverted (I'm sure others have also done so):

"There's no sinner like a reformed saint".
post #34 of 151
fellowship:

You find my characterization of the Bible as a collection of bedtime stories rude. I can accept that. I also find the ease with which you dismiss obvious scientific principles a profound affront to my own sensibilities. I dont think my characterization is unfair or unjust, so its not a problem with what I actually said.
I dont think my duties as a good mod incorporate not having controversial things to say. I didnt attack anyone. I simply made a statement and gave good backing evidence for it. The church didnt reform itself into the Bible story of creation being a mere story, that was sciences doing when scientists showed it to be absurd. The only thing that makes it different than a bedtime story is the fact that its incorporated with other stories that people have chosen to hold to some arbitrary level of idolatry.

In context, what MaxParrish said was right; creation/ID v. evolution is not science v. science it is faith v. science.

As far as Mormons are not Christian. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is their savior. They might not have coffee shops in their churches or rocking guitar solos for Jesus, but as far as I know worshipping Jesus Christ as the savior is kind of a central theme in being Christian.
And if you want to argue with me on that, Ill ask you how you think you might know more than me about Mormons considering I spent 18 years of my life in their church and you have spent around 0 seconds in their church. Talk about rude.


Cuilla:

Quote:
One can question the assumptions about a theory without (currently) having a counter theory. Nothing wrong with that.

Sure, but you do have a counter theory. You just have no evidence to support it.

That is what causes the trainwreck; the youre wrong and the only evidence I have of that is my faith that you are wrong logic.
proud resident of a failed state
proud resident of a failed state
post #35 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
One day I will have to investigate the role of the Church in preserving and/or destorying knowledge. At one time I thought it all dark, but I have also read on monks copying rare greek texts, early dissenters starting university learning, etc.

I think you're more correct than groverat. The church has a mixed history on supporting science, with many periods of support for science and rationalism mixed with periods of anti-modernism and anti-science.

I think what has happened is that today's (largely American) literalist religiosity leaves the impression with folks like groverat that the church has always been like that, when in reality there is a rich tradition of intellectualism. I'd go so far as to say that none of the great theologians of history were literalists who rejected rationalism and science.
post #36 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Apparently there's a Statement of Faith that has been adopted by many individual churches, including many Baptist churches. It includes this statement: I'm not sure where it comes from; it appears in many different evangelical churches, rather than in an official denomination's statement. It would be interesting to see its origin, as it's the only "official" statement rejecting evolution that I've ever seen, and many churches have official statements rejecting creationism or accepting biological evolution. And what's interesting about it is that it has been adopted by individual churches rather than denominations, whereas the statements accepting evolution come from the "elites" at the churches.

It's consistent with my impression that the rejection of evolution is a grassroots phenomenon rather than an official position of any religion.

Yes, I attended Oklahoma Baptist University for a short time (it was nearby), but I never took a life sciences course - so I don't know how they handled it.

BUT, its shrewd how such higher learning environments survive with conservative membership. For example, dances are banned...so they have "social functions".
post #37 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I think you're more correct than groverat. The church has a mixed history on supporting science, with many periods of support for science and rationalism mixed with periods of anti-modernism and anti-science.

In terms of scientific oppression I meant very specifically the discoveries that had adverse affects on church dogmas, not all science, of course.

Hell, Gregor Mendel was a monk.

Past that, everyone was Christian "back in the day". Hard to have non-Christian scientists when there were no non-Christians.

It's not as if I didn't know what you're saying there, I just thought that knowledge would be assumed when reading my initial post.
proud resident of a failed state
proud resident of a failed state
post #38 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
Well, there's some truth there, but in this case I'd rather keep this confined to the rebuttal of Dawkins' peice in The Times. It ran with the head....

"Creationism: God's gift to the ignorant"

.......which, when you contrast the piece with the rebuttal, the context is fitting -- especially in the light of, let's face it, the seriously bigoted and flamboyant remarks that Dawkins is famous for. That piece was no expection, either.

The bit with the trilobites is right, not becuase it is trying to point to negation as proof, but because there is this relentless arrogance that Dawkins personifies -- that tries to be scientific when it needs to admit that it is only theoretical, and the trilobite eye at the very near the bottom of the geologic column really drives that point home. The chauvinism needs to be set aside.

This also seems to be an interesting socialogical dynamic, people who set up a 'movement' engaging another who is anti-movement; i.e., there're a cottage industry firing at each other, while most of society and science goes on, blissfully unaware.

Being a very politically oriented person, the fight is, in itself, thrilling and its necessary to have an oppenent who will respond...
post #39 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by MaxParrish
This also seems to be an interesting socialogical dynamic, people who set up a 'movement' engaging another who is anti-movement; i.e., there're a cottage industry firing at each other, while most of society and science goes on, blissfully unaware.

Being a very politically oriented person, the fight is, in itself, thrilling and its necessary to have an oppenent who will respond...

I'm not certain, with 8 or so books to his credit, that science is "blissfully unaware" of Richard Dawkins; he's is the preeminent evolutionary scholar, holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.

Or did you mean something else??

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

post #40 of 151
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
Sure, but you do have a counter theory. You just have no evidence to support it.

Whatever someone's counter theory is (and whether they have evidence to support it or not), is not relevant in questions that directly challenge the assumptions and conclusions offered by the challenged theory.

Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
That is what causes the trainwreck; the youre wrong and the only evidence I have of that is my faith that you are wrong logic.

If that was the argument, you'd be right. But it isn't and therefore you're not.
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