How Not to Argue Against Evolution

(Thomas J Zwemer) #121

Hybred is not a model for evolution. peas always remained peas. Cross bill birds were an anoloy that found a nich to survive. Adaptation is a gift.

(George Tichy) #123

Does anyone really belief in such a thing? :thinking: :thinking:

(George Tichy) #124

Science is not bunch of “arguments FORMULATED BY MANKIND.” It is mostly about recording what is observable in nature, the processes that vary from very simple to very comp-lex.

I said “mostly” because science often uses prediction (hypotheses) in experiments, to find out if they occur or not, and if so, how.

(Tim Teichman) #125

No, and no. It’s because there isn’t any evidence for the creation stories or the flood stories in Genesis. Because they’re stories, not natural history.


That is where you are incorrect. We don’t find peas in the Cambrian. Or any plants at all. The fossil record is a record of change over time, not stasis. That is the whole point. If the fossil record showed peas all the way back, then scientist would not have developed the theory of evolution, because the evidence would not point in that direction.

All the arguments against evolution are arguments against the lack of complete knowledge about how evolution works and the details of what happened. But none of that changes the fact that the evidence shows MACROSCOPIC evolution across time. If the evidence didn’t show that, we wouldn’t be talking about evolution.

The genius that Darwin displayed in developing his theory of Origins was in many ways like what Eddington did when he took a stab at how stars worked, simply noting that E=mc2 and that there was a known slight mass difference between four hydrogen atoms and one helium atom. He didn’t have proof, but it was a very good educated guess. Darwin simply noted that characteristics are inherited, that there seems to be possibility for variation in those inherited characteristics (while being completely ignorant of that mechanism) and that there was a struggle for survival that might be impacted by changes. That was brilliant insight.


Plenty of SDA pastors and HS teachers say such things.


If you perceive criticism as an “attack”, then it’s unlikely that you are aware of your own limitations, hence I pointed out the irony of charge of perceived lack of humility in certain conversations where ideas and ideals can face scrutiny and exposure. Yes, it’s u comfortable. And yes, it may feel like certain concepts require revision, but it’s much better than chasing and acting out stories and programs that have no meaning in reality.

And that’s where this alleged lack of humility is rendered meaningless when it comes to understand in what humility is as a virtue. It’s certainly not an idea that you can’t know or understand reality with certain degree of accuracy. And it’s not a virtue of claiming that any idea should be infallible or that any idea should be considered as viable.

As such, science isn’t necessarily an Enterprise of finding the truth, but it is certainly an Enterprise of cutting down on demonstrable falsehoods. It doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist, or that Biblical narrative should be discarded. But it does mean that reality may be much more complex than a packaged oversimplification that you get as a weekly assurance from the pulpit or your Sabbath school quarterly.

People who wrote the Bible lived in a cture of comparable scientific illiteracy, and that’s ok. Humanity went through progressive understanding of reality that expanded due to shift from agricultural focus to technology, which demanded research, which arrived in better means of communication, and better and more reliable methodolgies of testing various claims.

There are valuable archtypal wisdom packaged in Biblical narrative that got us where we are today, but we can’t insist on maintain in the same ctural stasis of certain ideology when that ideology revolves around d and solves the problems of the 1st century world.

If you transported any first century Christian to the present day American suburbia, they may have confused it with heaven… Which is rather ironic, given the present-day focus on eventual doom of our society that most devout Adventist expect “anytime now”.

Hence all of the talk about comparative perception is severely misplaced in light of the culture that we we have today … And both religion and science got us here. Hence we should appreciate both.

(Allen Shepherd) #129

I confess faith. You should too.

There is NO evidence for abiogenesis NONE. If you say, well, there is life, so there must have been, then you are merely taking your assumption as fact.
There is evidence for evolution, but not as sure as you aver. The whale series above is not compatible with natural selection acting on random mutations. The best call is either theistic evolution or ID. Not undirected evolution.

Well, if you say so. I am not so sure you can call the shots on this. I would not do it as you do, for I do not have the knowledge. So, your assertion is a type of speculation based on how you would see it. It has some credibility because you are knowlegable, but could be way off.

This is the fixity of the species idea that no one holds to now. I would argue the fixit of the kinds, cats, dogs etc. But not the species. There is quite a bit of controversy about what a species is right now.

So, I guess that is the way God has done it.

But you do not see that you require faith as well. if you think abiogenesis does not require fatih, you don’t know the data. NO evidence at all.

You have well stated my problem.

But you have ignored your problem. There is no way that the Whale series could be done by undirected evolution. None. Not enough time, and no mechanism that could do it. It takes 48 million yrs just to fix two genes. And the whales need a myriad of changes. Great faith required.

I can’t do it, but since Tours asked first, you have to see him and then see me. You won’t be able to answer him either.

Why hasn’t it converged on a way to explain the Whale sequence, or any big changes in creatures, macroevolution?


Is God a biological entity?


I was thinking more about what if science supported Usher?

(Tim Teichman) #132

The people who wrote the bible didn’t even have the concept of science/nature. They had two explanations for causation: Human activity and God.

For example, when it rained, that was caused by God. Not a weather system. When it didn’t rain, that was caused by God, too. When the ground shook, that was caused by God, not tectonic plate movements. Every morning when the sun appeared, God did that.

There is nothing like science in the bible, and nothing like natural history. That is not what the bible is for, and we should not try to use it as a science textbook.


I think you agree 100% that the fossil record is complete proof of macroscopic species change over time? Do you agree that the “body plans” that appear in the Cambrian are not in fact the “body plans” of say an Elephant vs a Giraffe, but rather something completely different?

(Tim Teichman) #134

The evidence is that there is life. At one point there was no life, and now there is.

When the universe was born, at the point of the Big Bang, there was no life. The building blocks for life didn’t yet exist. The stuff we’re made of, the elements of the periodic table, largely didn’t exist. They were later formed within stars, now long-since gone as they went super-nova, widely spreading their contents - which would later form into planets around new stars.

At some point life began: Abiogenesis

The creation stories in Genesis are attempts to explain how it happened - how life began. God made life where there was no life, either by speaking life into existence (Gen 1) or by making it from non-living matter (Gen 2).

Those attempts don’t appear to be accurate, based on the evidence. But, they did get one thing right: Once there was no life, and then there was: Abiogenesis


Mutations are not random in a sense that these are constrained to a range of possible outcomes that’s limited to certain array.

If you flipped a coin, there’s nothing random about the outcome. As such, there’s inherent intelligence built into matter that’s very difficult to explain without assuming axiomatic starting points. For any scientifically-oriented mind, God hypothesis is a great and fitting scenario, and for many scientitic minds there’s a long road of very arduous thought that goes into reconciling the facts of reality with that hypothesis, especially as to what it means in Christian context of that hypothesis.

What ends up happening in the church is that these guys sit in the pews of modern Adventism and wonder as to whether this is the best what religion can produce. There isn’t technocratic approach to leadership. The more entrenched the ideals are in oversimplification of reality, the more likely someone will be perceived as a “spiritual leader who resists the world”.

And as the people in the world get to understand and examine mechanisms of reality first-hand, the neglect and unapologetic ignorance if these issues becomes less tolorable over time, and people leave to find intellectual and spiritual fulfillment by means of self-education, and we are living in the world where people are able to do so very well.

So, if the church is over to experience revival again, it can’t be by means of peddinling a view of reality at the level of understanding of a modern 8 year old. Yes, many people need it, but we can’t grow if we cater the church experience to the lowest common denominator.

(reliquum) #136

I’ve pondered often that we who are trapped by space and time have no real tools to understand space with no limits and limitless kronos, hence the deep time vs short earth battles leave me a little baffled. Neither side has the high ground; both are constrained by their (lack of) bona fides as much by their prior presumptives (and their willingness to modify said when needful). Both astro and quantum physics attempt to explain some of these things-but both come short. Note the Abrahamic covenant-seems an allusion to something. “Take the smallest particle (grain of sand) you can, and count them. My promise to you is beyond the numbering of quantum physics. Take the largest- (a star), count them. Astrophysics cannot fathom my promise to you.”

A God who loves to create and loves what he creates, who has infinity to fill with creation and infinite time to fill it knows he will never succeed filling it?
Can you imagine such a God rolling the dice and risking all creation on the gamble of sin?
If so, would he continue to create, knowing it all was on the table?
If there is a moratorium on new creation until the problem is resolved, what of his pent-up desire to continue creation?
What if such a God created a plan that creation would be self-creating, pro-creating, re-creating? If all creation groans (meaning more than just this forsaken orb) and yearns for the end of mortality, what if what we haplessly laud (and almost simultaneously decry) as evolution is but a facet of the unstoppable, inexorable (but now thwarted by temporary “mortality”) force of creation unleashed? What if the concept of 14 billion, or six billion, years (or a mere 6000) have no real merit? If God were eternal, then his time (and vastness) is unconstrained.

Only if we remove God from kairos is kronos even remotely important-meaning, then, it is unimportant. What if the question where did we come from had less utility and validity than where are we going?

All i know is that i far prefer asking questions without answers rather than have answers which cannot be questioned.

I would love to hear the conversation between Planck and God and Einstein, wouldn’t you?
I suspect we will hear laughter for a long time!

(George Tichy) #137

This does not make it true. The idea is, in my opinion, just absurd.


Don’t you have the least curiosity that we can tease apart this story, including dating it:

But can’t seem to find any evidence or a date for Noah’s flood?


Oh I agree, but I think the little red books and the pen of inspiration held that view…

(Tim Teichman) #142

I have studied the bible for a long time and have never seen such a teaching. Please let me know what biblical teaching you’re citing.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. The way you phrase it is confusing to me. Trust in arguments? Arguments that are formulated by mankind? This could mean many things.

I think that, if anything, God expects us to use the intellect we have to determine what is right and good in context, and that while principles can be found in the bible, the specifics encountered in our modern life cannot be.

For example, you can’t find guidelines in the bible regarding the amount of time that is OK to spend staring at your phone. Or for your kids playing on their phones. When does it become harmful? To find the answer to that question, you’d have to find an an authority on the subject and perhaps read the results of scientific studies.
Taking these sorts of results into account when making decisions is wise, and not a slippery slope at all and has nothing to do with the devil or atheism. And you will not find anything useful in your bible on the subject. There will be no advise there on the harm that can be caused to young minds by spending too much time starting at a phone. All such knowledge has been created by humans - trusting their own data and testing their own ideas.

(Tim Teichman) #143

Can be. But usually isn’t, especially when it has been peer reviewed and duplicated by multiple researchers.

Do you mean that we can detect sin, that we have the knowledge to tell the difference between good an evil? If so, that sounds like a good thing.

Perhaps by using the intellect God gave you to discern such things.

How are these things related - part of the same sentence? I don’t see it. Intellectualism, originality of thought, and Satan’s supposed influence on culture seem like three different things that do not intersect.

No, I don’t think that happens at all. Such actions would infringe on free will - you can only have free will if you are not interfered with by a supernatural power.

I don’t think that is accurate. Much of what we know about the universe is observable reality. Another big chunk of data is based on math and is supported by observable reality. My impression of modern Cosmology is that most new information we learn through research adds to the body of knowledge we have as opposed to debunking recently held concepts.