Science and the Sacred

Science and the Sacred


Saving Anthony

posted by Darrel Falk

job lamenting.jpg

Every Monday, “Science and the Sacred” features an essay from one of The BioLogos Foundation’s co-presidents: Karl Giberson and Darrel Falk. Today’s entry was written by Darrel Falk.

Some time ago, I spoke with a theologian who has accepted the findings of the physical sciences–the earth is 4.5 billion years old–but not the biological sciences. Macro-evolution, he believes, is an illusion. Instead life arose through a series of sudden creation events. Near the end of our discussion he summarized his advice to me: “You folk who take a gradual creation point of view have much work to do on your theology,” he said. What he meant is that if life arose by a gradual process, none of the old theology works anymore. I am convinced he is wrong about that. Today, though, I want to focus on the great deal of harm created by propagating the view that evangelical theology falls apart if God created through natural selection and macro-evolution. It is statements like that which cause huge faith crises when believers discover that not only are the physical sciences correct, but the biological sciences have it right too.

Consider, for example, the story of Anthony outlined in his autobiographical essay which is posted at a blog-site for former Christians. Anthony had little room for mystery in his theology. Everything had to be nailed down tightly and he built his life around being-in-the-know about everything related to God. When he found that his tight theology didn’t mesh with the facts, he thought he had no choice but to give it all up. So steeped was he in a theology where all the pieces had to fit together, that when he found some which didn’t, there was nothing left for him except atheism itself. So Anthony, a former believer who wanted nothing more than to know God, has now decided that there is no God; he has rejected all faith, and he is a regular contributor in the comments section of atheistic blog-sites. There are likely thousands like Anthony, people who no longer think they can have a relationship with their Creator because they find pieces that don’t fit into their once-neat theology. It is we evangelicals who ought to share the blame for their fate. Like my friend the theologian, we have left the impression that there is no choice: accept a theology where all the pieces are in place or live life in total alienation from that which matters most of all–the life lived in relationship with one’s Creator.

The biblical account of Job is a fascinating story about theology. Job is shown to be a righteous man, but some things happen which don’t fit with his theology and he gets very frustrated. His three friends come along and, through the lens of their own inadequate theologies, they try to explain Job’s current circumstances to him. They fail miserably. Having received no consolation, Job feels even more betrayed and even more alone. Finally, God comes alongside of Job and speaks to him. God helps Job recognize the level of his ignorance about theology. The story ends on a magnificent note with Job joyfully celebrating his life in God. The fact is, however, that God had not answered Job’s theological question. God never put the missing puzzle-piece in place for Job. So what set Job’s mind at ease and drew him into worship? Job, recognizing for the first time that God is “wholly other,” became humble about his own theological skill in addressing the matter at hand. He sums this up in one of the most profound statements in all of Scripture: “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know…my ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:3,5). What did he see for the first time? Job, for the first time, had come to see that the ways of God are infinitely greater than his own puny mind can comprehend. Job came to see that theology–to be meaningful–needs to be shrouded in mystery. With that, Job experienced peace, and for the first time, really came to know God.

Theology is at its best when it does not try too hard to nail down every loose end. It really thrives when it acknowledges mystery. Theology is at its best when it pushes as hard as it can push within the context of scripture, tradition, experience (including data from the world around us), and reason. But good theology must always leave room for the fact that we see “through a glass darkly.” Theology is at its finest when it realizes, like Job, that to really see God is to see mystery.

Anthony left his faith not because he discovered that evolution was a fact, but because he saw that the theology on which he based his life, a theology which required that every single piece be in place, didn’t work. Anthony was like Job. He had pieces that didn’t fit into his puzzle. Unlike Job, however, when those pieces didn’t fit, he reached the conclusion that the puzzle had to be thrown out. Unlike Job, he was unable to humbly admit that we humans don’t know enough to construct picture-perfect puzzles.

We must be content to work on puzzles with missing pieces or pieces that have crooked edges that prevent snug fits. Once we humbly recognize the incompleteness of our picture, it opens up a whole new world and it frees theology to build a picture that not only “hears of God”, but actually “sees” that our understanding of God must always be steeped in a deep sense of the mysterious.

So is it our task to lay out a theology that neatly shows why evangelical Christianity still makes sense in the face of the reality of macro-evolution as my friend insisted? I think the days of nice, neat theologies that answer all the questions and hold together with perfect cohesiveness disappeared with the end of the enlightenment period. The humility of Job needs to rule the day now. If, through our very human eyes, we have really seen God, then like Moses, we’ll recognize that all we’ve actually been able to see is a glimpse of the back of God while remaining protected in a rock-cleft while God passes by. If through our very human comprehension, we have really seen God, then like Elijah at the mouth of his cave we’ll recognize that all that we’ve really experienced is a “gentle whisper” that gives us little hints of what God is truly like. If, through our very human understanding, we really have seen God, we’ll realize that we’re actually like little children sitting at the feet of a great God who tells us that there is no other way to enter the kingdom but to become children, especially when we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking we’re adults. Finally, if we really seek the wisdom and understanding that comes from God, we’ll find like the apostle Paul that it rests in love, and not in a puzzle where all the pieces fit together.

There is much at stake. Young people, countless numbers of young people (and older people too) are coming to understand that the data is much stronger than they were led to believe. Our task is to help them see that a theology that lays out every detail is not a theology grounded in the Bible. The Bible teaches us to wrestle hard with the great theological questions of the day, but at the end of that day our greatest calling is “to walk humbly with our God.”

Darrel Falk is a biology professor at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and co- president of The BioLogos Foundation.

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Albert the Abstainer

posted September 7, 2009 at 9:28 am


Experience trumps belief, and so it should since beliefs are secondary and contingent forms, not the thing itself.
We interpret experience and like to create narratives to create cohesion and to relate those experiences in a cultural or religious context. The narratives have a role and value, but that role and value is not to frame mystery within the adamantine bars of a dogmatic prison. When a person inhabits such a place they are truly bound, as they are bound by themselves, by their unwillingness to examine anything which may reveal that the bars of the cage are nothing without their efforts to maintain them. Freedom from the cage is a heady space: To live without the frame to explore and experience mystery without being compelled to create and sustain new cages lacks the illusion of certainty. It enables movement into the mystery without the same fear. Is there fear? Sometimes, but it is often that particular fear we call awe, as it blends an immense sense of wonder with awareness of one’s contingency. I remember being overwhelmed by natural beauty, standing transfixed as light danced through clouds in a tapestry of textures, swirls, and hues. My spirit danced in naked apprehension, and then words formed in response: This would all be meaningless were you not here to experience it.



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Daniel Mann

posted September 7, 2009 at 11:35 am


Darrell,
You wrote, “So is it our task to lay out a theology that neatly shows why evangelical Christianity still makes sense in the face of the reality of macro-evolution as my friend insisted? I think the days of nice, neat theologies that answer all the questions and hold together with perfect cohesiveness disappeared with the end of the enlightenment period.”
You are right about a number of things. We have to approach our Lord and His Word humbly knowing how limited and errant we truly are, and how subject the Church has been to misinterpretations. However, we should approach theology as we do life itself. There are some things that we are so certain about that we are willing to die for these things, perhaps like protecting our spouses and children, or championing justice. But then there are other things that are more uncertain. And then there are the arrogant and mistaken notions of Job and his friends.
All revelation is not the same. We are called to defend what is certain (Jude 3; 1 Peter 3:15), and other things, we are to step carefully around. These are critical distinctions that we need to make.
Commitments to certain truths need to be solid and others more tentative. Job wasn’t wrong about everything he believed. The lesson he had learned wasn’t that he had to be tentative about EVERYTHING. However, he had violated a central truth that he should have known, one that he should have been dogmatic about—he was a mere human and God is God, and therefore, he wrongly made too much of his own unwarranted judgments and brought indictments against God.
If the lesson that Job learned was that he shouldn’t have been so dogmatic, Job could easily and wrongly have answered, “Well God, how can you blame me for being humble about my theology and allowing my feelings and experiences to speak! There was no dogmatic theological reason to restrain them! Perhaps if I had been more dogmatic—against Your will—about the absolute distinction between humanity and Deity, I wouldn’t have railed against You. But I know You didn’t want me to be theologically dogmatic. You wanted me to be post-enlightenment in my theology”
If only you were as humble about macro-evolution as you apparently are about the Bible! But theistic-evolutionists aren’t. Because they believe that macro-evolution is more certain than the Bible—which they warn we should approach very humbly—they seek to re-configure the theology of the Bible in accordance with this new gospel. This is tragic. While your story about Anthony is truly heart-breaking, the new and updated Jesus being vigorously promoted within our churches is even more heart-breaking.



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Thom Hunter

posted September 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm


We do need to have more perspective on the unchangeable Word of God. Attempts are made more and more often to shape the Word and Christ in our image so we can be comfortable with who we are rather than seeking to be who He created us to be as part of His overall creation. Thus, we remain disatisfied because we are not co-creators. We’re left with unanswerable questions about why things don’t work as we believe they should, in our lives or in our world. Naturally it is because our lives and our world belong to Him. We can’t revise and make everything fit our dreams and hopes unless we make our dreams and hopes fit His plan. That’s why so many people struggle.
Thom
http://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/



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Jie-Xuan Yong

posted September 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm


Why should taking the Bible more rigidly mean disaster for our faith? IF the Bible is the Word of God, it should be trusted more than Science. The dangers of misunderstanding the Bible seems to made more pronounced when we misunderstand evolutionary science.
And aren’t YOU the guy who suggested to Anthony the validity of and ancient earth, etc.? What you wrote in the book is one factor which caused him to doubt.
Anyway he is not lost. Pray.



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Ted Davis

posted September 7, 2009 at 8:17 pm


In this connection, I want to stress the importance of organizations such as the American Scientific Affiliation, of which I am presently the president. My comments in a you-tube video about the organization, and some of the other comments, relate directly to Darrel’s point about the spiritual danger of not seeing how genuine science and genuine Christianity go hand in hand, for many Christians in science.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkmiJqJt0jA
Darrel, Karl Giberson, and Francis Collins are all ASA members, incidentally. Our web site (www.asa3.org) has lots of very helpful information.



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Arni Zachariassen

posted September 8, 2009 at 11:33 am


Reading Anthony’s post, I find it fascinating that two people can go through very similar journeys, even read some of the same books (Enns and Falk), and end up one with his faith strengthened, the other with it in ruins. Now, we both abandoned one kind of faith – the fundamentalist sort – but unlike him, I found that there’s a lot more to Christianity than fundamentalism and what fundamentalism claims there is.



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Art

posted September 8, 2009 at 11:44 am


Dear Darrel Falk.
I am baffled by your enormous faith in evolution.
Here is a few examples of what science does say about evolution.
1. Science does have the ability to say ‘No!’, and it has said ‘No!’ in no uncertain terms to abiogenesis, life arising from lifeless matter.
2. Science has demonstrated that it is impossible for the different known classes of Proteins required for life as we see it to have evolved into existence. Scientists Hubert Yockey, and the Sauer, Reid team at MIT, have scientifically demonstrated that for a short protein less than a 100 amino acids long, only 1 of of every 10^65 combinations of the known proteinous amino acids will be be capable of folding even assuming the existence of the known very complex folding mechanism. The gaps between the different classes of proteins is astronomically huge, and the odds of any of them ever coming into existance without the aid of a very intelligent being is zilch.
3. The fossil record is one of the abrupt appearance of each body type followed by stasis (i.e. no change) for the duration of each type creature body plan in the fossil record. Thus the fossil record looks more like special creation than Darwin’s theory of evolution. Darwin knew nothing about genetics, he adopted the ancient Theory of pangenesis, which goes beck to before Hippocrates, and which we know is wrong.
4. Mendel was the first geneticist and his theory explains how each members of the same species have the ability to express a tremendously enormous nuber of different traits, so much so that Nobel Laureate Peter Medaware stated that no two humans will ever have the exact same physical traits.
Mendel’s ideas on heredity and evolution were diametrically opposed to those of Darwin and his followers. As Mendellian Genetics became known to be the true mechanism for genetic variation, it quickly became clear that Darwin was wrong about pangenesis and plasticity of the species. Mendellian Genetics re-established the fixity of the species.
Alfed Walace Russel, co-founder of the Theory of evolution with Darwin, found Mendellian Genetics to be devasting to his and Darwin’s theory of Evolution, and therefore he opposed Mendellian Genetics:
From Monroe W. Strickberger, Genetics, 2nd edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1976), p. 812.
Alfred Russel Wallace, who independently proposed the theory of organic evolution slightly before Charles Darwin, was opposed to Mendel’s laws of genetics. Wallace knew Mendel’s experiments showed that the general characteristics of an organism remained within distinct boundaries. In a letter to Dr. Archdall Reid on 28 December 1909, Wallace wrote:
“But on the general relation of Mendelism to Evolution I have come to a very definite conclusion. This is, that it has no relation whatever to the evolution of species or higher groups, but is really antagonistic to such evolution! The essential basis of evolution, involving as it does the most minute and all-pervading adaptation to the whole environment, is extreme and ever-present plasticity, as a condition of survival and adaptation. But the essence of Mendelian characters is their rigidity. They are transmitted without variation, and therefore, except by the rarest of accidents, can never become adapted to ever varying conditions.” James Marchant, Letters and Reminiscences (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1916), p. 340.
Once discovered and popularized, Mendellian Genetics became a cause of concern for the Darwiian evolutionists, and a few tried to discredit Mendel throughout the 20th century, others ignored the negative implications it had for Darwin’s Theory of evolution. To this day, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is poor science fiction masquerading as Science.
5. from Evolutionist Cell Biologist Dr. E.J. Ambrose
“The frequency with which a single non-harmful mutation is known to occur is 1 in 1000.The probability that two favorable mutations will occur is 1x10e3 x 10e3 = 1x10e6, 1 in a million. Studies of Drosophila have revealed that large numbers of genes are involved in the formation of separate structural elements. There are as many as 30 – 40 genes involved in a single wing structure.It is most unlikely that fewer than five genes could ever be involved in the formation of even the simplest new structure, previously unknown to the organism. The probability now becomes one in one thousand million million. We already know that mutations in living cells appear once in ten million to once in one hundred thousand million. It is evident that the probability of five favorable mutations occurring within the a single life cycle of an organism is effectively zero.
Let us consider the alternative possibility that five mutations occur spontaneously within a large population of interbreeding organisms. They will have to be brought together eventually in a single organism, if they are to generate the structure of a new level of complexity, favorable for natural selection.
According to our definition, each of the genes we are considering is due to a mutation which will give rise to hitherto unknown structure of additional complexity once it meets the other four genes in the fertilized egg cell. It would be indeed be surprising of any [one alone] of these mutations could, at the same time, modulate an existing structure in the manner that it would be selected favorably by natural selection. It is only when the five genes find themselves together that a selective advantage will emerge. They are more likely to be present independently, within the population, as so called neutral genes. … In the absence of selective advantage, the probability of the five genes coming together simultaneously within a single organism is extremely small.” [about 1 in 1x10e15].
“Improbability increases at an enormous rate as the number of genes Increases.”
Evolutionist and cell biologist E.J. Ambrose, “The Nature and Origin of the Biological World”, Ellis Horwood, 1982, pp 120-121, 123.
Mr. Falk, please review these things, you are a biologist, at least check them out to your satisfaction as to whether or not they have scientific merit in your own mind. If you find fault with any of this, I’d love your reproof and setting the record straight.
As Shakespeare wrote:
“To thine own self be true,
And it must follow as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”



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Unapologetic Catholic

posted September 8, 2009 at 5:22 pm


“IF the Bible is the Word of God, it should be trusted more than Science.”
Science is also the word of God:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork”
IF we find there is a conflict between the truth of God’s Words, then the fault lies with our understanding, not with the truth.



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Ray Ingles

posted September 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm


I’m tempted to address Art’s response, but all he needs to do is read David Sloan Wilson’s “Evolution For Everyone” and he’ll be much the wiser. No, I’d like to actually address Falk’s essay. He writes: “Job, for the first time, had come to see that the ways of God are infinitely greater than his own puny mind can comprehend.”
Actually, that seems to be the operational definition of “supernatural”. To be “supernatural” means to be fundamentally incomprehensible, unknowable, beyond human ken.
But epistemologically, the ‘unknowable’ is a troublesome concept. How can we, in practice, distinguish between something ‘currently unknown but comprehensible’ and something ‘forever unknowable’? From a practical perspective, the only way to tell which category something falls into is to try to understand it; if you succeed, then it was knowable. The problem is, if you fail, you can’t conclude that it’s unknowable. It might be… but it also might be the case that you just didn’t happen to figure out something knowable, and you or someone else might have better luck on a subsequent attempt.
Think about all the things that have been confidently declared to be supernatural that have turned out to be perfectly explainable and comprehensible. Early in human history, practically everything was considered to be the direct result of supernatural forces, but over time more and more things have moved to the ‘explainable’ column. (BTW, it’s worth pointing out that so far as I can see, nothing has ever moved the other way, from the ‘explainable’ to the ‘supernatural’ column…)
The ‘unknowable’ – the idea of things ‘greater than [our] own puny mind[s] can comprehend’ – is a useless concept. Even if there are such things, we could never know. All we can ever say is, “we don’t understand this… yet“. My main problem is that if you decide that something is fundamentally incomprehensible, you will stop trying to understand it. Look up Neil deGrasse Tyson’s essay “The Perimeter of Ignorance” for plenty of examples of the idea of ‘the unknowable’ harming the progress of science.



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Daniel Mann

posted September 9, 2009 at 2:59 pm


Art,
I appreciate your input. You have placed the wings of science on the body of truth that the Bible has enunciated for centuries.



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Daniel Mann

posted September 9, 2009 at 3:14 pm


Ray,
I too share your hesitancy about declaring things “unknowable.” But allow me to take issue with something else you wrote: “Early in human history, practically everything was considered to be the direct result of supernatural forces, but over time more and more things have moved to the ‘explainable’ column. (BTW, it’s worth pointing out that so far as I can see, nothing has ever moved the other way, from the ‘explainable’ to the ‘supernatural’ column…)”
The Bible often refers to God working through intermediate causation or “laws” (Jeremiah 33:25; Job 33:38). Consequently, many devout scientists had applied themselves to learn these laws. Hence, there is nothing unbiblical about things moving into the “explainable column.”
Also, I think it an erroneous assertion made by naturalists that the comprehension of phenomena has moved away from the “supernatural column.” Although we all agree that there are laws and that phenomena respond predictably to these laws, we can’t directly observe whether these laws are unintelligent and independent or they find their origin and existence in the mind of God. But philosophically and Biblically, I’ll place my bet on the singular Cause.



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John W. Loftus

posted September 10, 2009 at 8:04 am


The question is whether my friend Anthony left the fold because of the presence of some mystery or whether he left the fold because of the presence of too much mystery. As one who has left the fold myself, I can assure you we did not do so because there was a little mystery. That is to be expected. There is just way too much that we cannot understand if the God you believe in exists and if the Bible is about this God.
Cheers.



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Darrel Falk

posted September 10, 2009 at 9:37 am


John,
Having been where you are myself, I’ll bet I know and have experienced all the disillusionment that you have experienced. Sometime, John, you might re-read the book of Romans, especially the first 8 chapters, and ask yourself, could the writer of that letter have been a fake? That does not make sense to me.
Could someone who wrote so passionately about his experience of Christ have made this up? In some of his letters, Paul writes about the personal acquaintances that knew Christ and can verify his resurrection. I just don’t see anything dishonest or illusionist here.
Could it have been written by someone else who imagined himself as Paul? Some of these letters have been reliably dated by scholars (Christian and non-Christian) to a very short period of time after Christ’s death—probably within 30 years. I really doubt that works either.
I recommend Tim Keller’s book “Reasons for God.” I also highly recommend the book by University of Edinburgh scholar, Larry Hurtado, “The Lord Jesus Christ.” This book examines in a truly scholarly fashion the likelihood of a group of people coming to venerate Christ in the way they did, in the short time in which it would have happened. His thesis is that there are very logical reasons to reach the conclusion that the resurrection of Christ really did occur. (I’ve just summarized a 650 page opus in two sentences! Given the importance of the question, it is worth every hour of the time it takes to read the whole book.)
As for myself, I ultimately concluded that the mysteries associated with “not-believing” by far outweigh the mysteries associated with believing. So I choose to believe. Life lived in the daily presence of the Spirit of God, is full of hope, joy, peace and meaning. In all sincerity, I hope you have been able to find that in your life of non-belief.
Best Regards,
Darrel



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Ray Ingles

posted September 10, 2009 at 10:41 am


Daniel, you write, I think it an erroneous assertion made by naturalists that the comprehension of phenomena has moved away from the “supernatural column.”.
It may have been apocryphal, but Laplace is supposed to have said, when asked where God was in his work on ‘Celestial Mechanics’, “I had no need of that hypothesis.” That’s one of the points of the Tyson essay I mentioned before – that ‘spiritual’ ‘explanations’ are only reached for in areas where we don’t have a solid understanding – yet.
Forgive the extended quote, but I’d like to make a point about this. A very prominent physician, J. S. Haldane, writing about a century ago, dismissed the idea that there could be a “mechanistic theory of heredity”:

On the mechanistic theory this [cell] nucleus must carry within its substance a mechanism which by reaction with the environment not only produces the millions of complex and delicately balanced mechanisms which constitute the adult organism, but provides for their orderly arrangement into tissues and organs, and for their orderly development in a certain perfectly specific manner.
The mind recoils from such a stupendous conception; but let us follow the argument further… This nuclear structure or mechanism must, according to the mechanistic theory, have been formed within a very short period by the union of two others – a male and a female one. How two such mechanisms could combine to form one is entirely unintelligible, and the observed details of the process tend only to make it, if possible, more unintelligible. When we trace each nuclear mechanism backwards we find ourselves obliged to admit that it has been formed by division from a pre-existing nuclear mechanism, and this from pre-existing nuclear mechanisms through millions of cell-generations. We are thus forced to the admission that the germ-plasm is not only a structure or mechanism of inconceivable complexity, but that this structure is capable of dividing itself to an absolutely indefinite extent and yet retaining its original structure…
There is no need to push the analysis further. The mechanistic theory of heredity is not merely unproven, it is impossible. It involves such absurdities that no intelligent person who has thoroughly realised its meaning and implications can continue to hold it.

It is striking how clearly he recognized the functional requirements that a mechanism for inheritance would have to meet. But he could imagine no physical arrangement that could satisfy those conditions… and concluded that therefore such a mechanism was impossible. Indeed, he insisted that a spiritual explanation was the only remaining option.
But what if he had decided to actually “push the analysis further”? Might we have discovered the structure of DNA decades earlier than we did?



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Ray Ingles

posted September 10, 2009 at 10:49 am


Daniel, to continue, you write, Although we all agree that there are laws and that phenomena respond predictably to these laws, we can’t directly observe whether these laws are unintelligent and independent or they find their origin and existence in the mind of God.
As the Tyson essay notes,

As long as the celestial sphere was generally regarded as the domain of the divine, the fact that mere mortals could not explain its workings could safely be cited as proof of the higher wisdom and power of God. But beginning in the sixteenth century, the work of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton—not to mention Maxwell, Heisenberg, Einstein, and everybody else who discovered fundamental laws of physics—provided rational explanations for an increasing range of phenomena. Little by little, the universe was subjected to the methods and tools of science, and became a demonstrably knowable place.
Then, in what amounts to a stunning yet unheralded philosophical inversion, throngs of ecclesiastics and scholars began to declare that it was the laws of physics themselves that served as proof of the wisdom and power of God.

But that seems like just the kind of chin Occam’s Razor was built to shave. For example, it was once considered a physical constant that water freezes at a particular temperature (32 degrees Fahrenheit, 0 Celsius, 273.15 Kelvin) at normal Earth atmospheric pressure. Of course, we now know a lot more about how water is put together and how it interacts with itself and other molecules, and we can see why it freezes at that particular temperature, and why it couldn’t be anything but that temperature, given what water’s composed of.
I rather suspect that, with time, we may well find out why other ‘constants’ are the values they are, and may well discover that they couldn’t logically be otherwise. (Even Einstein posed the same question: “Did God have any choice in creating the universe?”)



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Anthony

posted September 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm


I want to introduce myself to those reading the comments section here. I am the Anthony that Dr. Falk is talking about in his blog. One major thing that needs to be clarified is that evolution itself was not what led me to reject Christianity. It was ultimately the shear amount of historical and critical problems with the Bible and biblical history (see Kenton Sparks “God’s Word in Human Words”), combined with the evidence of evolution and natural history (and some other factors mentioned below) that brought me to that point.
For at least a year before my deconversion I considered myself an evangelical and an evolutionist. This allowed me to think more openly about a lot of things including theology. Having been a high Calvinist emphasizing imputed righteousness for quite a few years I began considering seriously what N.T. Wright and James D.G. Dunn had to say about justification and Pauline theology. I found the writings of Paul Seely on Genesis cosmology very interesting and spot on. So it is not correct to say that the reason why I rejected Christianity was because I couldn’t get the Bible and the findings of science to fit a tight-knit theology.
Darrel brings up the idea of mystery and that my theology didn’t allow for it. Originally yes. I was a follower of Gordon Clark who rejected mystery and didn’t allow for paradox. But as I read and contemplated my theology I began to have doubts about the foundation that my theology was based on: the Bible and biblical history. This is where Kenton Sparks’ book was an eye opener. This is how one negative reviewer on Amazon summarized the book: “he [Sparks] argues for a Bible whose accounts of David’s life are fabricated propaganda, whose prophecies are after-the-fact deceptions, and whose teachings must be weighed to sift through contradictory theologies and outmoded ways of thinking and yet in some way still represents the Word of God for the church.” I’m sure some here would think that this is not the most positive way to express Sparks’ view but to me this is exactly how I saw the Bible after reading his book.
After contemplating the evidence of evolution, natural history, and historical and biblical criticism in conjunction with the existence of so many religions throughout the world and the evidence of evolutionary views of religion I found nothing to base my belief on. Experience wasn’t enough. Science and reason where the only real options that I had left. This left me initially as an agnostic, not sure what to believe. But after much study and thinking I was brought to a position of what some call an “agnostic atheist.”
Ultimately we all are responsible for what we believe and why. I am not closed to Christianity but thus far I haven’t found anything of substance to bring me back to faith.



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Sam Winslett

posted September 10, 2009 at 9:58 pm


Darrel, I absolutely and unequivocally agree with you on this matter. In fact, I have been growing in my own awareness of how little humanity knows, and have only recently gotten past tackling with some matters of my own. For those others reading this, I part with this advice, and hope that it helps those who are going through tough times of their own: You will have questions for your entire lives, and you will STILL have questions even on the day you die, but you can’t let the fact that you have questions push you away from God; If we knew it all, life would simply become dull and meaningless



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Anthony

posted September 10, 2009 at 10:00 pm


Daniel Mann wrote: “If only you were as humble about macro-evolution as you apparently are about the Bible! But theistic-evolutionists aren’t. Because they believe that macro-evolution is more certain than the Bible”
I am an evolutionist and no longer of the theistic variety, but I can say that “macro-evolution” is indeed more certain than the Bible. How do I know? Well first, I don’t assume that the Bible is true and the word of god. This prejudices you against any evidence. Second, evidence is abundant for evolution. The evidence of the Bible is questionable at best and the question of humility is irrelevant.



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Darrel Falk

posted September 10, 2009 at 11:12 pm


I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much I appreciate the sincerity of Anthony’s response. Although I have never met Anthony, I found his email address and asked him if he would be willing to comment on my essay. So, thank you, Anthony.
He knows that I am praying for him and that I would be overjoyed if some day he feels he can take the leap back into faith again. I’ve been where he is (at least to the point of being agnostic for a short time), and fully expected to spend my life that way. The great joy of my life, is that I came back and have been privileged to spend my life living in the very presence of God—in no small part through the fellow believers that have contributed to my life.
Thank you again, Anthony, for sharing your journey with us. We sense that it has a “to be continued” element.
Darrel



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Art

posted September 11, 2009 at 2:19 am


Anthony writes:
“I am an evolutionist and no longer of the theistic variety, but I can say that “macro-evolution” is indeed more certain than the Bible. How do I know?”
My experience Antony is the opposite of yours. I earned degrees in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Math, and History, and I was an evolutionist when I was taking these courses. I abandon my belief in evolution when I studied the alleged scientific evidences for evolution, finding them to be no evidence at all.
So I ask you, Anthony, what is the strongest scientific evidence for macro-evolution that you are aware of?



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Your Name

posted September 11, 2009 at 7:37 am


Art,
You may have degrees in all of those fields, but it is important that you see that this has nothing to do with the point at hand. Evolution is at the very core of biology, not physics, electrical engineering, math or history. Have you read Dr. Collins’ book, Neil Shubin’s book, Jerry Coynes’s book, Sean Carroll’s book, or my book? If you had read all of these books, you wouldn’t have had to ask that question. They all answer it.
Anthony started out as a Christian seeking to understand. It is your attitude, resting secure in a bunch of degrees that have virtually nothing to do with evolutionary biology, that is the one of the biggest barrier to people like Anthony coming back to faith. Jesus said except we become like little children, we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. It is with that level of humility that we approach someone like Anthony. You sounded like a Pharisee, Art, not a little child. Go out, if you wish, and read the original biology literature, then come back as a child and tell Anthony and others like him, how much you love and are deeply concerned for him. Then, and only then, will you have something meaningful to offer to conversation with the Anthony’s of this world. Until then, to be very frank, you are a great barrier to their return.
Darrel



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Your Name

posted September 11, 2009 at 8:29 am


Darrel said: “As for myself, I ultimately concluded that the mysteries associated with “not-believing” by far outweigh the mysteries associated with believing. So I choose to believe.”
Darrel, this is not an either/or choice. There are degrees to belief and many positions in between you and I. Surely you would not say there is more mystery in the deist view when compared to a triune God (don’t you have trouble explaining how just one divine person can exist forever much less three of them?) who became incarnate in his son (100% God and 100% man), somehow atoned for our sins (can you explain the relationship between the need to punish someone before that person can be forgiven) and who will forever exist in heaven incarnated in a man Jesus (that’s a triune God including the human part of the Logos).



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John W. Loftus

posted September 11, 2009 at 8:33 am


That last comment was from me.



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Darrel Falk

posted September 11, 2009 at 9:41 am


John,
I think your view puts too much trust in reality being defined by that which our senses can discern. You are a positivist. You trust that all can be explained by forces and objects of the sort that we discern in the here and now. Why should that be the case? In light of what I believe is evidence to the contrary, evidence that in my opinion points to something more, I feel a little mystified that so many people think there is nothing beyond the material—that which we can see and touch, that which we can study with our formulas and scientific hypotheses.
There is plenty of data to suggest that there is a non-material aspect to this world. There is data that points to the reality of the Christ of Scripture. To ignore this data, to trust that reality consists of nothing fundamentally different than what we see, touch, smell and can calculate is too simplistic in my opinion. So you are right, there is much mystery in accepting the doctrine of the trinity. But there is also mystery in accepting that evolution has produced minds that can detect all the fundamental aspects of reality. Why would you trust natural selection to produce something like that? There is great faith in such an assumption. We both subscribe to faith and we both live lives enshrouded in mystery.
Darrel



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Ray Ingles

posted September 11, 2009 at 10:42 am


Art, here’s some evidence that should be right up your alley, since it involves math. It’s called the “twin nested hierarchies”.
Books used to be copied by scribes, and (despite a lot of care) sometimes typos would be introduced. Later scribes, making copies of copies, would introduce other typos. It’s possible to look at the existing copies and put them into a ‘family tree’. “These copies have this typo, but not that one; this other group has yet another typo, though three of them have a newer typo as well, not seen elsewhere…” This is not controversial at all when dealing with books, including the Bible.
Now, this process of copy-with-modification naturally produces ‘family trees’, nested groups. When we look at life, we find such nested groups. No lizards with fur or nipples, no mammals with feathers, etc. Living things (at least, multicellular ones, see below) fit into a grouped hierarchy. This has been solidly recognized for over a thousand years, and systematized for centuries. It was one of the clues that led Darwin to propose evolution.
Today, more than a century later, we find another tree, one Darwin never suspected – that of DNA. This really is a ‘text’ being copied with rare typos. And, as expected, it also forms a family tree, a nested hierarchy. And, with very very few surprises, it’s the same tree that was derived from looking at physical traits.
It didn’t have to be that way. Even very critical genes for life – like that of cytochrome C – have a few neutral variations, minor mutations that don’t affect its function. (Genetic sequences for cytochrome C differ by up to 60% across species.) Wheat engineered to use the mouse form of cytochrome C grows just fine. But we find a tree of mutations that fits evolution precisely, instead of some other tree. (Imagine if a tree derived from bookbinding technology – “this guy used this kind of glue, but this other bookbinder used a different glue…” – conflicted with a tree that was derived from typos in the text of the books. We’d know at least one tree and maybe both were wrong.)
The details of these trees are very specific and very, very numerous. There are billions of quadrillions of possible trees… and yet the two that we see (DNA and morphology) happen to very precisely match. This is either a staggering coincidence, or a Creator deliberately arranged it in a misleading manner, or… common ancestry is actually true.
(Single-celled organisms are much more ‘promiscuous’ in their reproduction and spread genes willy-nilly without respect for straightforward inheritance. With single-celled creatures, it looks more like a ‘web’ of life than a ‘tree’. But even if the tree of life has tangled roots, it’s still very definitely a tree when it comes to multicellular life.)



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Ray Ingles

posted September 11, 2009 at 11:53 am


Darrel – Sorry, but a la Laplace, I’ve had no need of “non-material” hypotheses.
That’s not to say there’s no such thing as ontological levels. For example, there’s air, but there’s also wind. Wind doesn’t exist ‘as such’, it’s something air does – and yet, a tornado is real enough to flee from. Then there are more abstract notions like mathematics – certainly the Mandelbrot Set exists in some sense… but a very abstract one.
I would argue that many things that are regarded as “non-material” actually exist at different ontological levels. Take consciousness, or the soul. I’d argue not that it’s non-material, spiritual stuff, but rather that consciousness exists in much the same way a tornado does – as something brains do rather than something they have.



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Wyatt Roberts

posted September 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm


What a great article! Thank you!



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Al Moritz

posted September 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm


Ray,
that was a great description of the convergence of evidence from paleontology, comparative biology and genetics. It is exactly this stunning convergence of data from such different fields of science that make evolution one of the best supported theories in all of science.
I also think that there is now enough data (even though details are still sketchy) to conclude that abiogenesis, life arising from lifeless matter, finally has achieved a high degree of plausibility on the level of experimental evidence. I have written an overview posted on the evolution website talkorigins.org:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html
It is in urgent need of an update (it is from 2006), which, I hope, will be posted by talkorigins.org within days/weeks (they have the text). To see the direction where it is going, look for the following overview in Scientific American by Ricardo and Szostak:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=origin-of-life-on-earth
I am saddened by the resistance of so many Christians to accept the strong data from science, only because they appear to contradict their particular interpretations of the Bible. As a Catholic I have never found any problems in reconciling science and religion, and it is an exciting fusion for sure.
Al



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Al Moritz

posted September 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm


Ray,
Darrel alluded to the argument from reason: “But there is also mystery in accepting that evolution has produced minds that can detect all the fundamental aspects of reality. Why would you trust natural selection to produce something like that? There is great faith in such an assumption.”
I have read your attempt at rebuttal of the argument from reason,
http://ingles.homeunix.net/rants/atheism/rational.html
and I find it decidedly unconvincing. I suggest you read the brilliant chapters in Stephen Barr’s book “Modern Physics and Ancient Faith” that deal with the human mind and with this issue:
http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Physics-Ancient-Faith-Stephen/dp/0268021988
You will see that your arguments do not suffice.
Al



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Ray Ingles

posted September 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm


Al – I might get a chance to read that, but a few pointers (by email, if more appropriate) wouldn’t go amiss. They’d need to address the issues raised in the above link, though.



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Anthony

posted September 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm


Art wrote: “I abandon my belief in evolution when I studied the alleged scientific evidences for evolution, finding them to be no evidence at all.”
I wonder what your understanding of evolution was when you did this study and what kind of evidence you were looking for. What led you to study the evidence in the first place, was it challenges from creationists?
Art: “So I ask you, Anthony, what is the strongest scientific evidence for macro-evolution that you are aware of?”
Darrel Falk’s book “Coming to Peace with Science” had sufficient evidence that convinced me. To be honest with you Art when I come across someone who rejects evolution I find that they typically do not understand it and/or they haven’t objectively examined the evidence for it. Ray and Al have given a few things in the comments section here that should give food for thought and Dr. Falk listed several excellent resources.
By the way, hi Al!



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Al Moritz

posted September 11, 2009 at 8:19 pm


Hi Anthony!
Ray,
it would take me some time to collect my thoughts in writing, even though I immediately realized the issues in the argumentation. Currently I am anyway writing an essay “Why I am a Theist”, and this will be a part of it. I will keep you posted. It may take a while though, I first need to check more of the relevant sources as well — at the moment I am reading Lee Smolin’s “The Life of the Cosmos” on cosmic natural selection (CNS). Even though I may not agree, his writing is excellent, I must say, and I have learned a lot from him about cosmology and physics. His 2007 book “The Trouble with Physics” about the failure of string theory is excellent too, and he convinced me in sufficient technical detail of something that I had already suspected as well (10 years earlier, in the book on CNS, he was still positive about string theory, even though it is clear that he knew then too that there were problems).
Al



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John W. Loftus

posted September 11, 2009 at 9:45 pm


Darrel, I have not read your work yet but I’m inclined to do so. Have you read Kenton Sparks, Peter Enns and John Walton’s recent books? From what Anthony has told me they were also influential in his loss of faith.
That being said I think it’s possible my point was somehow missed by you or ignored. Stop equating a denial of a claim to an affirmation of a claim. I, along with a great many people–billions in fact–reject all brands of Christianity. But even though billions of us agree together in denying your religious views we disagree with each other on what to affirm. So the options here are most emphatically NOT between your particular version of Christianity and my version of atheism.
This is where you are wrong to suggest we both live lives enshrouded in mystery. There are viewpoints that lie between us, many of them. In Hindu countires an atheist is known as a non-Hindu while an atheist in Muslim countries would be known as a non-Muslim. But this does not mean those positions in those cultures are the only options, just like in America the only options are either some Christian sect or atheism. There are thousands of other options.
Deism, as I hinted at is far less mysterious than any trinitarian incarnational penal substitutionary atonement view of God. In fact, as I argue agnostisicm is actually the default religious position. Anyone moving off the default position who affirms any metaphysical viewpoint at all (including metaphysical naturalism) has the burden of proof. This seems most reasonable to me when it comes to affirming something about these issues.
Check out my forthcoming edited book called The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails.
Cheers.



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Gordon J. Glover

posted September 15, 2009 at 11:24 am


If anybody is interested I have a few videos that explain the convergence of molecular and morphological phylogenies and why, given the near infinite genetic possibilities for even a simple enzyme like cytochrome c (due to the genetic code being redundant), there is no other explanation for this convergence apart from common descent.
Go to: http://www.youtube.com/glovergh
And watch Lessons 10-12.



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Gordon J. Glover

posted September 15, 2009 at 11:25 am


arrgh! I messed up the link.
It’s: http://www.youtube.com/glovergj
Gordon



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Art

posted September 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm


Anthony wrote: “I wonder what your understanding of evolution was when you did this study and what kind of evidence you were looking for. What led you to study the evidence in the first place, was it challenges from creationists?”
My best friend in High School was a Jehovah Witness. He gave me a JW booklet on Evolution that they had published in 1967. i was disappointed in him for believing such nonsense, after all, every knowledgeable person knows that evolution is a scientific fact, science programs on television and science textbooks, science magazines and science classes repeatedly told us so as we were growing up. I simply threw the book aside for some period of time. Upon stumbling upon it again, I read it. It seemed to be quite convincing that the Theory of Evolution contains elemetns of fraudulent scientific evidences. However, I had been a bookworm since I was 5 y.o. both fiction and non-fiction, and I know how writers can be quite convincing in what they want the reader to believe by carefully choosing words that lead the reader down a narrow path of thought.
So I set out to prove my JW friend how utterly wrong this JW booklet is with respect to the true science of evolution. I checked out the quote in their book, and read other science articles by the same evolutionists. I had both the CUNY’s rather amazing and extensive library at my finger tips as well as the NYC Public Library on 42nd street. It soon became clear that these scientists were not all taken out of context.
And I learned an important lesson from this. What scientists say to the public about ‘evolution the fact’ can be very contrary than to what they say when they are talking to their fellow scientists concerning the very real and serious problems with evolutionary theory.
Fro the science info I amassed, I ended up writing a science paper for one of my courses that did circles around the JW book in presenting the major problems with Darwinian evolution in both the Plant Kingdom as well as the Animal Kingdom. I received an an ‘A’ from my Prof. Next term, my philosophy Prof gave a lecture one day on ‘materialism and evolution’, he was an atheist. I gave him a copy of my science paper on evolution. Upon reading, he was flustered, and asked if he could keep it and show it around the Philosophy Department. I said yes. In another encounter, one Paleontologist who recently earned his Ph.D. and who specialized in Dinosaurs was in denial when I pointed out that the fossil record of Dinosaurs is that of sudden appearance of type of Dinosaur, followed by no evolutionary change over the many millions of years they appear in the fossil record until their extinction. This Professor went back with my information to a Prof that taught him about dinosaurs, and His Prof confirmed that what I wrote happens to be true.
Even so, I still felt I must be missing something, that evolution must be true because it is taught as fact in science classes and in the science periodicals as well as popular media. It was universially accepted as fact by Academia and the Liberal Mass Media. So when the internet matured during the 1990’s, I began debating evolution on the internet. From site to site I expected to blown be away by the scientific evidence for evolution. It never happened. I kept bringing forth the actual science relating to whatever science field they were mis-representing as being supportive of Evolution. The ultimate argument many evolutionary proponents resorted to was Ridiculem Browbeating, and Insults. I use to count and publish the number of RBI’s their posts contained.
Then I came to Talk.Origins. My 1st debate was on abiogenesis with a young Professor. It drew a lot of attention because A Creatonists (which I fully was by this time, though I still expected these well educated Evolutionists on T.O would tell me science that I did not know and blow me away).
Upon seeing that he was losing the debate on abiogenesis, This Prof launched an Ad Hominem attack on several of my quotes that I made in another thread of evolutionary scientists abandoning evolution. I promply demonstrated that the 3 quotes he zeroed in on were very much in context to precisely what they meant.
Then I demonstrated why The necessary processes for Macro-evolution to occur can not occur because they would be in violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. And this I debated with a Prof who taught the 2nd Law.
I then took on their FAQ alleging the transitional series of fossils establishing phylogenies have been found in the fossil record. With actual science facts, I demolished all their claims that fossil record was recording the phylogenies that Darwin’s Theory states must exist if his theory of evolution be true. I did the same their the Horse Faq also. The fossil record looks like special creation, and not at all like evolutionary Theory predicts.
I then went on to demonstrate that the mathematics of Population Genetics fails and that, as suggested by several scientific papers submitted by evolutionary scientists, Population Genetics ought not be taught in schools or Academia as it contributes nothing to Evolutionary Theory.
The author of the Horse FAQ and of the Transitionals Faq rewrote them due to my presentation, and no longer claims these FAQ’s demonstrate the establishment of any major evolutionary transformation.And after all, major transformations starting with some assumed genesis progenote (that the science facts relating to abiogenesis says can never happen by chance and the laws of Physics) that is ancestor to every type of creature extant or extinct since then.
This last fact alone is why Famed apologists of Atheism, Anthony Flew abandoned belief in evolution and became a man who believes in the existence of God. Even a few of my atheistic evolutionary friends admit that if God existed, He would be the best explanation for life as we know it. But they still hold that they are unaware that God exist, He has not revealed Himself to them, thus in the absence of a Creator God, Evolution must to be a fact.
And during these debates, on a few occasions, a few well known evolutionary scientists came to my defense when some on Talk Origins tried to snow and ridicule me. I have been on other forums since then. But my time for posting these arguments is almost up.



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Art

posted September 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm


Gordon J Glover, Thanks for the reference, I’ll watch your videoes, they are interesting and perhaps give me insight why Darrel Falk believes common ancestry is a fact. I’ll also try to get a copy of Falk’s book from the Library to better understand his point of view.
Perhaps I’ll talk with you on You-Tube afer I review your evidences for evolution.
The 2 or 3 I just watched have strong elements of speculation. Science does not really answer why, but rather, What is and How it works. My refutations of Common Descent are based upon hard science, not speculations. Science clearly says NO! to abiogenesis. Will I find that in your series? What about the 2nd Law problems Physics presents to evolution. How do new classes of proteins evolve into existence when for a short protein like cytochrome C only 1 out of every 10^65 arrngements of the amino acids will not function, mostly from their inability to fold (Sauer, Reid et. al. 1989-191 MIT) and Hubert Yockey (1978-1980). And please note that the phylogenetic tree has leaves (i.e. Species) only at its’ nodes, the alledged transtional forms have never been found, no phylogenies have been established. The Fossil record remains one of sudden appearance of body planes followed by stasis lasting unto extinction. In light of these facts, your programs I watched seem like special pleading.
As for why can relatedness can be found between genetics and some closely related species, I do not think science can answer that question. Science requires actual observance of events, yours is an historical search and conclusions; maybe yes, maybe no, there is no way to really know why things are the way they are.
I’d like to discuss these things with you and become acquainted with your science arguments and ideas, but in another forum, but not You-Tube, for You Tube makes sharing ideas difficult when done in writing. Let me know if you are interested



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Unapologetic Catholic

posted September 15, 2009 at 7:13 pm


Art says: “I earned degrees in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Math, and History”
Then you should have no problem providing us here a brief summary of the second law of thermodynamics. Can you do that in your next post? Thanks.
“And this I debated with a Prof who taught the 2nd Law.”
What was the name of that course?
Can I assume you have either a Ph.D or M.S. in physics? If so, can you please provide the title of your dissertation/thesis?



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Art

posted September 15, 2009 at 7:17 pm


Correction:
In my above post I wrote: “How do new classes of proteins evolve into existence when for a short protein like cytochrome C only 1 out of every 10^65 arrngements of the amino acids will not function, mostly from their inability to fold (Sauer, Reid et. al. 1989-191 MIT) and Hubert Yockey (1978-1980).”
That should have read:
“How do new classes of proteins evolve into existence when for a short protein like cytochrome C only 1 out of every 10^65 arrangements of the amino acids are capable of functioning, mostly from their inability to be folded (Sauer, Reid et. al. 1989-1991 MIT) and (Hubert Yockey (1978-1980)).
Thus the gap leading to any chance of new classes of proteins being added to a genome to make new body parts not existing in the original species is unbridgeable by evolutionary theory.



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Gordon J. Glover

posted September 15, 2009 at 8:13 pm


Hi Art, thanks for checking out the vids. Allow me answer a few of your questions:
“Science does not really answer why, but rather, What is and How it works.” — If we are talking about ultimate “why” – then we are in strong agreement there, brother. See #3 for my take on this.
“My refutations of Common Descent are based upon hard science, not speculations.” — Interesting. Can you tell me what predictions made by evolutionary theory were falsified by hard science? Have you considered publishing these refutations or at least submitting them for peer-review?
“Science clearly says NO! to abiogenesis. Will I find that in your series?” — Since abiogenesis is not part of evolutionary theory, I don’t deal with it. I personally don’t care if God created the first self-replicating organic matter by fiat or by ordinary providence. Either way, He alone is the creator.
“What about the 2nd Law problems Physics presents to evolution. How do new classes of proteins evolve into existence when for a short protein like cytochrome C only 1 out of every 10^65 arrngements of the amino acids will not function, mostly from their inability to fold (Sauer, Reid et. al. 1989-191 MIT) and Hubert Yockey (1978-1980).” — those articles are pretty old. I’m sure there has been some new researth in the last 30 years.
“And please note that the phylogenetic tree has leaves (i.e. Species) only at its’ nodes, the alledged transtional forms have never been found…” — That’s absolutely false. Most of what is found in the fossil record are of extinct species that represent “old nodes” on the tree, or of terminal nodes. That you would make such a blanket statement makes me question where you get your information.
“The Fossil record remains one of sudden appearance of body planes followed by stasis lasting unto extinction. In light of these facts, your programs I watched seem like special pleading.” — That is exactly what evolution predicts. Appearence, change, exstinction. Like I said in Lesson #8, oil and gas exploration companies exploit the uniformity of this basic pattern to locate fossil fuel deposits. You’ll have to be more specific with your charge because I don’t see the problem.
“As for why can relatedness can be found between genetics and some closely related species, I do not think science can answer that question.” — If you mean “why” in a teological sense, then I agree that science can’t touch it. But if you mean “why” in terms of material causality, then that’s what science does. Common descent explains the convergence of morphological and molecular phylogenies. With special creation, the convergence would be superflous. And given the extreme improbability of convergence, it would be maliciously superflous if God then required us to disbelieve it.
“Science requires actual observance of events, yours is an historical search and conclusions; maybe yes, maybe no, there is no way to really know why things are the way they are.” — You sound like OJ’s Defense lawyer. If nobody saw it, then I guess you can’t prove it, right?
“I’d like to discuss these things with you and become acquainted with your science arguments and ideas, but in another forum, but not You-Tube, for You Tube makes sharing ideas difficult when done in writing. Let me know if you are interested. I agree that YouTube is bad for substantive discussion. You can contact me through my website: http://www.beyondthefirmament.com
Cheers!



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Art

posted September 17, 2009 at 10:22 pm


Thanks for your reply Mr. Glover. I will contact you at your website.



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Your Name

posted October 1, 2009 at 8:57 pm


I am a Christian, believe in the first four words of Genesis One, and believe that evolution is one of the possible ways that God works. I saw on the news this evening something that sparked a question that I have had for decades. It concerned the discovery of a fossil in Ethiopia of a human/ape that pre-dates “Lucy”. How they determine age is a mystery to me because carbon dating is limited to 50,000 years. Any way, here is my question: IF man evolved from some lower animal (which is possible), and IF man has a soul (which I believe he does) then how did the soul become introduced? If man evolved from some non-human then either the non-human had to have a soul (that’s pantheism), or the first human had to have been given a soul at some point fairly late in the evolutionary process.
If you (or anybody) has some sincere thoughts on this I would much like to read them.
Thanks and God bless.



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creatinine

posted October 2, 2009 at 5:52 am


I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.



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