Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Theistic evolution really is dumb

Ran across a blog called "The Creation of an Evolutionist" recently. Clever name. Given what I've read of him so far, fairly clever author, but of course his wit is misdirected. Recently he's been going over Focus on the Family's "The Truth Project", and given how he clearly isn't a huge fan of the consistency and coherence of the Bible, he's predictably not a big fan of TTP.
Anyway, I decided to leave this comment on Part 5 of his review, on "Science - What is True?"

Hi there!
I have to take issue with a few things, hope you don't mind.


What Tackett does not mention is that our primordial ancestors didn’t require a complex blood clotting system since their circulatory systems didn’t require the high-pressure system that we do.

How does that solve the problem? Seems like that makes TWO problems to figger for the adherent of Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection (TENS).


Evolutionary biologists are quick to point out that the various structures of the flagellum likely performed different functions

Have you ever stopped to think about how "talk is cheap" applies to this kind of 'rebuttal' from the TENS side? How is "this likely performed diff functions" not a just-so story? Why should we believe what the TENS ppl say? How DID it happen? Precisely?


Tackett asks whether Darwin’s theory “stacks up against reality.” Tackett’s answer is that it does not.

Has you ever stopped to think about the massive edifice of assumption that has created a "storyline" of fossils out of thin air? Read Henry Gee's "In Search of Deep Time" in which he explores this question - not as an authority, but b/c the argument is good.
In short, I'd like to see some evidence that any one fossil in our possession was definitely the descendant of any other.
For that matter, I'd like some evidence that any one fossil definitely had any offspring at all.
And if you can't evidence that, why would any reasonable person buy into the storyline?
And, for whale evolution, you point to a wikipedia article? Oooh, I wanna play!


The mechanisms of evolution, as random as they might seem because of our limited perception and knowledge, are still subject to the laws of nature that govern the universe;

What laws, precisely? How have scientists known they are laws?



Even Tackett should recognize that even the results of a “random” roll of the dice are known by an omniscient God (cf. Proverbs 16:33).

This is a pitiful failure to expose an internal inconsistency in Tackett's position. HE is not an evolutionist, my friend. Remember?


Why should the natural laws God designed be insufficient to create life from non-life?

1) B/c He told us how it went down - in Genesis. That's one good reason.
2) But let's say I concede #1 - just give me some evidence that life just suddenly banged into existence from non-life and let's talk. Evidence. Please.


In the end, it is Intelligent Design, not evolution, that actually limits God’s power and creativity.

This is just stupidity. Explaining how God did something doesn't "limit" His power or creativity. Neither of them do. But TENS leaves no room for God to TELL US HOW HE DID IT, b/c He already did tell us and you don't accept it. That's not His fault.



if I had known beforehand that accepting the evidence for evolution would automatically make me a functional atheist

In what way does it NOT make you a functional atheist with respect to THIS QUESTION?


Science shouldn’t have a philosophical side, Mr. Tackett! As much as you want there to be, there shouldn’t.

Are you even listening to yourself at this point, sir? How can you define science...scientifically? Show me the experiments that created "science". What volume of which elements were used? At what pressures? What molarity? What temperatures? What did science smell like? Is it toxic? If not, how did you test it?
Then make sure to refrain from any metaphysical or philosophical speech when you interpret the experiments. Thanks!


As a counterpoint to Tackett’s logic, I could highlight the use of the Bible to justify slavery

If you don't think there's an obvious argument for a logical progression of thought from Darwin to racism and racial superiority, as opposed to a MISuse of the Bible to support a system of slavery in which slaves have virtually no rights and can be abused at will, you're very ignorant, and that's sad.


As an evolutionary creationist, I still believe that humanity possesses a sinful nature and that we are still in need of a Savior.

Oh, OK. So, when was the first sin? Any idea? How developed was the animal that did sin?
Tell you what - let's examine how some Bible psgs SHOULD have been written.
Matthew 19: 3Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?"
4And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created the human race out of lower animals from the beginning CAUSED THEM TO DEVELOP INTO MALE AND FEMALE, 5and said, 'FOR THE REASON THAT GOD MADE HUMANS TO EVOLVE TO SUBSIST IN TWO GENDERS RATHER THAN JUST ONE, OR FIVE OR SOMETHING, A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one metaphorical man, sin metaphorically entered into the world, and only spiritual death through sin (since physical death is the way all life had evolved since the first time that life coalesced out of rocks), and so spiritual death spread to all men, because all sinned (once they had evolved enough to arrive at moral awareness, of course)— 13 for from the time of evolution of moral awareness until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless spiritual death metaphorically reigned from Adam until Moses (of course, what really happened was that once humans had evolved enough, they brought some instincts over from their animal origins even though they totally shoulda known better), even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of the metaphorical Adam (even though they had no idea that Adam was a metaphor, since he never really existed - 'Adam' is a historical construct created by Old Testament Jews who needed a way to explain the origin of sin. Or something), who is a type of Him who was to come (and I mean "come" in real, physical truth, honest. Not like the way "Adam" "came", see?).
15 But the free gift is not like the metaphorical transgression. For if by the metaphorical transgression of the one the many spiritually died, much more did the metaphorical grace of God and the metaphorical gift by the grace of the one metaphorical Man, Jesus Christ, metaphorically abound to the metaphorical many.

Here's hoping you can see the errors you've propounded here. I can think of a LOT better ways to spend your time than dissecting the very well-meaning Truth Project. Maybe reflect on how utterly ridiculous Richard Dawkins' last three books have been? Hitchens? Sam Harris?

Peace,
Rhology

29 comments:

PChem said...

Science shouldn’t have a philosophical side, Mr. Tackett! As much as you want there to be, there shouldn’t.

HAHAHA...science shouldn't have a philosophical side. That is great. Best joke of the day! Oh wait...he's serious.

Joel said...

I actually agree with him, in a certain sense. There is a heresy characteristic of our time that makes "science" (the usual definition of which appears to be "evidentialism based on sense-perception") primary, and philosophy derivative. Thus, having got our Scientific facts in order, we marshall them to undergird some philosophical point or other; which is to say, we assume that the facts speak for themselves, then use them as a basis to talk about interesting things in the world.

This is foolish: science does not have a philosophical side, in the manner that a University has a Philosophy Department. Rather, Philosophy has a sub-unit called "Natural Science", and is in turn subservient to the theological questions which alone can settle the ends of dialectic reason.

Well put sir; if only he grasped his own cleverness.

PChem said...

Right on Joel. You nailed the part about the evidentialism inherent in modern science, and you are correct that scientific facts do not "speak for themselves." However, I do not see how ANYONE can practice science without some type of philosophical presupposition. The very act of interpreting data requires a world view. In this sense, science cannot be divorced from philosophy, and I think it is a mistake to say that science does not have a philosophical side. Instead, scientific "evidence" is ultimately bound by the philosophical presuppositions that are used to develop the interpreted data.

I see this issue as the core problem in the lay person's view of science, and it contributes much to the problem of people using science as a truth test against Christianity.

Cheers

justfinethanks said...

How is "this likely performed diff functions" not a just-so story? Why should we believe what the TENS ppl say? How DID it happen? Precisely?

It's not necessary in order to refute IC, because IC argues that some structures cannot possibly be formed via random mutations and natural selection. If one presents a possible pathway, even if that isn't actually what happened, then the argument is refuted.

It's kind of like rebutting the logical argument from evil against the existence of God. The theist, in order to refute it, doesn't even have to present the real, actual reason why God allows evil and suffering. He just needs to present a possible reason.

(Of course, once one grasps the concept of the Mullerian Two Step, it's easy to see why IC actually isn't even a challenge to Darwinian evolution in principle.)

Are you even listening to yourself at this point, sir? How can you define science...scientifically?

I think it's pretty clear that he isn't arguing that there is no such thing as the philosophy of science. In context, he is arguing against the idea that evolution, or any scientific idea, can have metaphysical implications. He's siding with Stephen Jay Gould's Non Overlapping Magesteria idea of the relationship between science and religion.

Of course, I know you disagree with this and more side with Dawkins/Harris/Dennett in thinking that evolution has actually profound metaphysical implications if true.

zilch said...

I actually agree with you: theistic evolution is incoherent. Halfway positions are an attempt to have your cake and eat it too. The only defensible positions to the informed mind, at least in my humble opinion, are to ignore what religions say and embrace naturalism, or to ignore what the natural world says and embrace religion.

Rhology said...

if only he grasped his own cleverness.

Haha, after reading some more of him yestuhday afternoon, I don't think he does...

Rhology said...

If one presents a possible pathway, even if that isn't actually what happened, then the argument is refuted.

And even though you can't prove it DID happen that way, you KNOW it's possible? How? With all the myriad tradeoffs and connections that exist for any given part of an organism and bio structure?
Just-so story, again. Maybe you should change your name to justsothanks.



Mullerian Two Step

Now all you have to do is show that that happened.



I think it's pretty clear that he isn't arguing that there is no such thing as the philosophy of science.

I'm not inclined to go that far, actually.
He said:
“Don’t let the philosophical side of science affect the scientific evidence,” you warn. Hello! Science shouldn’t have a philosophical side, Mr. Tackett! As much as you want there to be, there shouldn’t.

That's pretty clear.




zilch,
I agree somewhat. I'm sure you can figure out where I stop agreeing, haha.

justfinethanks said...

Maybe you should change your name to justsothanks.

OH SNAP!

Now all you have to do is show that that happened.

No, I don't. Again, IC is arguing for the impossiblity of a stepwise path to certain structures. If a possible stepwise path is provided, then IC is false. In other words, your protest that it's a just a "just so" story is irrelevant, because given the conditions of the argument as it is presented, a "just so" story actually refutes it.

Now, you might then object to evolution on the basis that its just telling "just so" stories (and I of course don't think that is a valid objection for a few reasons), but as soon as you make that objection you have completely abandoned Behe's IC for a brand new and unrelated argument.

Rhology said...

If a possible stepwise path is provided, then IC is false

What if I posit that invisible pink unicorns stepped in and used their magical horns to make a different little part of what would become part of the flagellum, part of the flagellum? Would that disprove IC?
Why is a bare "possibility" a good refutation?


abandoned Behe's IC for a brand new and unrelated argument.

That remains to be seen. However, I actually do think you may well be sorta right on this one. I wouldn't call it unrelated, but it might be new-ish.
One thing that disconcerts me a bit about ID is that it seems to take 'em a while to incorporate new and better arguments into their repertoire. Don't get me wrong - evolutionists seem NEVER to do so, but ID could do it a lot better.

justfinethanks said...

Why is a bare "possibility" a good refutation?

Because the IC argument is for the IMPOSSIBILITY of evolution doing something. If you say that something is impossible, then you are wrong if it is in fact possible, even if I have zero evidence that it is the case in reality. So even a false stepwise scenario that is nonetheless possible refutes IC. The moment you say "Ok, but how you know that this is what ACTUALLY happened," you have just left the old argument and stepped into a new one.

However, I actually do think you may well be sorta right on this one.

Wow. I think this might be the first time you have even halfway conceded an argument to me. Don't let it be said that you aren't at least somewhat open to argumentation.

One thing that disconcerts me a bit about ID is that it seems to take 'em a while to incorporate new and better arguments into their repertoire.

Well, that might be do the fact that ID is an extremely small population within science and philosophy. But Dembski recently reassured his followers that victory is inevitable:

We don’t have to play nice with Darwin because our livelihoods are at stake. Moreover, it will make the ultimate victory of ID all that much sweeter.

So, maybe we will hear more arguments whenever THAT happens.

Rhology said...

One caveat to that is that I would argue that the charge of just-so story applies to these Darwinian possible path scenarios. Just how do you know your alternative is possible? Are we just to take your word for it?

bossmanham said...

Because the IC argument is for the IMPOSSIBILITY of evolution doing something

Stating something happens and showing that it actually CAN happen are two different things. Just because you can envision some wild explanation doesn't meant that explanation would be possible.

Rhology said...

Like unicorns.

justfinethanks said...

Stating something happens and showing that it actually CAN happen are two different things.

Of course, and this is actually the point I was making. A possible stepwise scenario is not necessarily what happened. But it does refute any argument that says that stepwise pathways are impossible.

Just because you can envision some wild explanation doesn't meant that explanation would be possible.

I totally agree, and that's why I reject creationist's claims when they say give silly, unsupported arguments like "Disease exists because of sin" or "God brought the light from the stars to earth instantly." To me, these are REALLY wild just so stories.

Remember, after all, that Genesis is really a collection of just so stories:
"How the Woman Got Her Labor Pains"
"How the People Got Their Clothes"
"How the Serpent Lost Its Legs"
"How the Animals Became Meat Eating"

But it doesn't really apply in this context, because you have one side who is giving one, very specific reason why evolution is impossible: IC structures exist, which cannot be brought about in a stepwise fashion, and evolution allegedly operates in one small step at a time. Once a stepwise methodology is given it is the ID advocate's job to reason why it isn't actually stepwise somehow in order to preserve the IC argument.

Rhology said...

But it does refute any argument that says that stepwise pathways are impossible.

B/c "Unicorns did it" is a very possible solution, one to which we should give serious credence.



To me, these are REALLY wild just so stories.

Wow, to YOU, huh? And I should care...why? Even if atheism is true. Why?
The diff here is in the presuppositional framework. If atheism is true, there's no reason to believe evidence is a useful avenue to truth. Even if it were, and if I grant a zillion other things which there is no reason to grant, the just-so-ness is not comparable to the Bible's just-so-ness on Christian presupps. You say with one side of your mouth that evidence is what matters, then you compose just-so stories that are very possibly nonsense. In fact, given the extreme limits of your abilities, that's probably NOT how it went down. But you call it 'evidence' against the IC view, just b/c you imagined sthg. Wow! And we should be impressed, right? Um, not really.
On Christian presupps, when GOD says sthg, it's totally diff than if a few ppl say sthg on atheist presupps. You're comparing apples to oranges. I know you think the Bible is nonsense - tell me sthg I don't know. Better yet - give me a reason to accept atheism.


It's the ID's job

I agree with that, though. I just don't think it's particularly hard.
Also, the job is quite easy - I can posit a just-so story too, and I have. Unicorns did it. Now prove me wrong.

justfinethanks said...

B/c "Unicorns did it" is a very possible solution, one to which we should give serious credence.

No, because "Unicorns did it" does not provide a stepwise path in any way.

(Wait... "unicorns did it"???? Did you steal that line from some skateboard atheists?)

You say with one side of your mouth that evidence is what matters, then you compose just-so stories that are very possibly nonsense.

Not true, I am not asserting a just so story. You're right in that we don't really know precisely how some of these bacterial structures evolved, and there's a lot of research to be done on how it came about, so we should remain agnostic on how it came about. What the possible scenario refutes is that it's IMPOSSIBLE under evolution.

You see, these are two different things:

Is it impossible for structure X to have evolved? Answer: No.

How did structure X evolve? Answer: Remains to be seen.

No one argues that common descent via Darwinian evolution has a perfect and perfectly evidenced explanation for every single particle in biology. If we did, all the major evolution journals would shut down, because there would be nothing left to study. Scientists believe it because there has yet to be discovered a fact that falsifies the theory and it explains what we see in biology better than competing theories.

In fact, though I'm just a layman, what I find really stimulating about science is our attempts to reach into the things that we don't know.

Like astronomer David Dearborn said: "Scientists love mysteries. When you solve something, then it becomes a lot less interesting, and you go find another question to ask."

bossmanham said...
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bossmanham said...

A possible stepwise scenario is not necessarily what happened. But it does refute any argument that says that stepwise pathways are impossible.

No, you clearly missed my point. Your offering of the stepwise scenario doesn't refute anything, because that scenario could be impossible, and most likely is. It must be shown possible for it to refute the argument.

I totally agree, and that's why I reject creationist's claims when they say give silly, unsupported arguments like "Disease exists because of sin" or "God brought the light from the stars to earth instantly." To me, these are REALLY wild just so stories.

This isn't even the same thing. Certainly, if the Bible is true, then its claims would be possible. You need to show they are impossible (ie that there is no God) just as the IDers have shown that these silly unguided atheistic evolutionary processes couldn't happen for this argument to work. All you're doing now is relying on personal incredulity.

justfinethanks said...

Your offering of the stepwise scenario doesn't refute anything, because that scenario could be impossible, and most likely is.

If it is stepwise, then it IS possible under evolution. You have the remember the basis upon which IDers claim that IC challenges evolution: these structures can't be acheived slowly, one piece at a time. The rebuttels show how they CAN be built up one step at a time. Simply turning around and saying "Well, it's possible it's still impossible" doesn't really get you anywhere.

Let's pretend we walk outside of your house to discover the cat on your roof. Suppose I argue that it is impossible for the cat to get on top of your roof without help from a human, and you argue that though you don't know how it happened, it's possible the cat got there by walking up a 2 x 4 that happened to be leaning on the opposite side of your house. If said "Well, it's possible that's impossible," would you really think that worked and accept that someone MUST have thrown the cat on your roof?

Interestingly, some IDers have attempted to argue that the flagellum evolution is still not possible, by saying that the flagellum evolution scenario doesn't work because the type three secretory system from which the flagellum might originate needs motility in order to work, and therefore you actually need the flagellum in order for the flagellum to evolve. What this ignores is that the flagellum is just one of three known methods of bacterial motility, so it doesn't work as a challenge.

If it can be reduced and still have function, then it is no longer irreducible, and therefore is necessarily not irreducibly complex.

Certainly, if the Bible is true, then its claims would be possible.

Uh, ok. If evolution is true then it's claims would be possible. Where the hell does that get us?

As a side note, I actually agree with the blogger who is the subject of this post, and disagree with Rho, Zlich, and Dawkins in thinking that evolution and Christianity are compatible. Anyone who is an atheist because of evolution, or anyone who rejects evolution because of what is written in Genesis, is a wee bit intellectually lazy I think.

Believe me, I kind of WISH I could just say "Evolution is true, therefore theism is false," but I see no reason why that is necessarily the case.

bossmanham said...

If it is stepwise, then it IS possible under evolution.

Okay, fine, but it doesn't refute the ID argument because it hasn't been shown to be possible.

You have the remember the basis upon which IDers claim that IC challenges evolution: these structures can't be acheived slowly, one piece at a time

It has pretty much been demonstrated to be so.

The rebuttels show how they CAN be built up one step at a time

I'd love to see that evidence.

Simply turning around and saying "Well, it's possible it's still impossible" doesn't really get you anywhere.

I could've sworn no one said that. You claimed that the simple possibility of a stepwise process defeats the IDers argument. I refuted that by showing that it hasn't been demonstrated that a stepwise process is possible to produce the complexity observed today.

dumb cat analogy

The problem with this stupid analogy is that it's patently obvious and observable that a cat can do both. It isn't obvious and hasn't been observed that a stepwise naturalistic evolutionary process is possible.

irrelevant tangent on flagellum

Whatever, we're not even talking about the flagellum. That being said, the particular cell that uses the flagellum moves by using the flagellum, so...if it didn't have it at one point, was the cell immobile?

Furthermore, Behe talked about more than just the flagellum. Not sure why you guys obsess over that. Furthermore, you all mischaracterize the argument. It's not "can there be a structure without the flagellum?" it's "can there be a flagellum if there are any missing proteins?" The answer is no, the flagellum stops working if any proteins are absent.

If it can be reduced and still have function, then it is no longer irreducible, and therefore is necessarily not irreducibly complex.

Is the type three secretory system irreducibly complex?

If evolution is true then it's claims would be possible.

Then you need to show it's possible. We already know it's possible for God to do whatever He wants, if He exists. You need to show that unguided random mutation and natural selection as the sole means of evolutionary development is sufficient to produce the biological complexity we see. I haven't seen any good arguments or evidence to support that. All I hear is the evolution of the gaps argument.

I actually agree with the blogger who is the subject of this post, and disagree with Rho, Zlich, and Dawkins in thinking that evolution and Christianity are compatible

Certainly they are, but are Biblical inerrancy and neo-Darwinian evolution compatible? I'm not convinced.

Anyone who is an atheist because of evolution, or anyone who rejects evolution because of what is written in Genesis, is a wee bit intellectually lazy I think

Agreed, but I think the issue is Biblical inerrancy, not atheism.

Lucian said...

With knowledge comes temptation: that's the idea of the story of Adam and Eve.


I said this before, so I'm going to say it again: maybe it will be helpful if you understand the Genesis-narrative [about the distant past] in the same way as you understand the Revelations-narrative [about the distant future]: prophetically. Moses was a prophet, after all, not a scientist or poet.

Rhology said...

No, because "Unicorns did it" does not provide a stepwise path in any way.

I could easily make one. Someone who knew much of anything about the BacFlag could do so even easier.
So, if I made a stepwise path, what then?


(Wait... "unicorns did it"???? Did you steal that line from some skateboard atheists?)

Guilty as charged. :-D



Not true, I am not asserting a just so story. You're right in that we don't really know precisely how some of these bacterial structures evolved

But you're assuring me that it COULD'VE gone this way you propose. How do we know that? Prove it. Otherwise, it's a just-so story.


we should remain agnostic on how it came about

That's rich coming from an evolutionist, who likes to crow about "mountains of evidence".


No one argues that common descent via Darwinian evolution has a perfect and perfectly evidenced explanation for every single particle in biology.

Actually, ppl say exactly that until they're pressed. It's part of the extreme disingenousness of the evolution-as-answer-to-dang-near-everything movement.


Believe me, I kind of WISH I could just say "Evolution is true, therefore theism is false," but I see no reason why that is necessarily the case.

But what about Christianity? I agree that THEISM isn't ruled out by evolution, but I don't see how Xtianity isn't.

bossmanham said...
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bossmanham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bossmanham said...

Sorry for the deleted posts. I was responding to Lucian thinking he was justfinethanks, so it would have sounded all messed up. My bad.

justfinethanks said...

Bossman:

Okay, fine, but it doesn't refute the ID argument because it hasn't been shown to be possible.

Except I have, because it's stepwise.

I suppose I agree that it might be impossible for a completely different reason besides that a stepwise path is impossible, but once you go that route, you stop arguing for IC and start a brand new argument.

I'd love to see that evidence.

Well, there's this paper: Evolution in Brownian Space: A Model for the Origin of the Bacterial Flagellum.

It's pretty technical and hard to understand, but this video breaks it down nicely.

You claimed that the simple possibility of a stepwise process defeats the IDers argument. I refuted that by showing that it hasn't been demonstrated that a stepwise process is possible

A possible stepwise path is simply one in which a structure is built one small piece at a time while retraining beneficial function at every stage. This has very much been demonstrated for many IC structures.

And even if it didn't, it wouldn't matter, because IC doesn't challenge Darwinian evolution in principle. In fact, the early 20th century evolutionary scientists predicted they would find IC structures (except at the time they called it "interlocking complexity"). How does something go from being a predicted outcome of evolution to something that allegedly refutes evolution? Simple: by misunderstanding the evolutionary process as something that builds up structures over time, rather than something that modifies structures over time.

It isn't obvious and hasn't been observed that a stepwise naturalistic evolutionary process is possible.

What? Are you saying that we have never observed populations of organisms evolving via Darwinian mechanisms? I thought creationists accepted "microevolution."

Furthermore, Behe talked about more than just the flagellum. Not sure why you guys obsess over that.

Why we guys obsess? IDers brought it up like 20 times during the Kitzmiller v Dover trial, to the point that Judge Jones stopped a witness who started talking about the BacFlag yet again by saying "We've heard this before." Plus, it's the background image for Bill Dembski's blog. I don't think it's the evos who are obsessed with it.

it's "can there be a flagellum if there are any missing proteins?" The answer is no, the flagellum stops working if any proteins are absent.

Yes, but there is also another crucial question you should ask, which is "Can it be something functional BESIDES a flagellum." If the answer is yes, then it's not IC in the way that IDers mean.

Is the type three secretory system irreducibly complex?

I suppose I don't know. I certainly have yet to hear an IDer argue as much.

You need to show that unguided random mutation and natural selection as the sole means of evolutionary development is sufficient to produce the biological complexity we see.

Well, considering that

1. RM and NS has been observed.
2. RM and NS can produce IC structures.
3. RM and NS has been observed to produce new genetic material to a genome.

I don't understand where the incredulity comes from.

All I hear is the evolution of the gaps argument.

"Gaps" arguments try to argue that since we are ignorant about something, we should come to some sort of conclusion. I have never argued in the favor of any kind of positive conclusion based on ignorance.

justfinethanks said...

So, if I made a stepwise path, what then?

Then you've taken Darwinian evolution and renamed it "unicorns" for some reason. If the Unicorn theory requires a gradual stepwise path, then it is functionally indistinguishable from how how evolution is supposed to generate biological complexity (unless of course the Unicorn theory generates biological diversity by some other means than random mutations.)

But you're assuring me that it COULD'VE gone this way you propose. How do we know that?

Because it's stepwise. Again, if you are asserting that it's impossible for reasons unrelated to the fact that stepwise path is necessary that's fine, but we aren't talking about IC any more.

That's rich coming from an evolutionist, who likes to crow about "mountains of evidence".

Well, spots of ignorance don't change the "mountains of evidence." I think there's mountains of evidence that my kid exists, and the fact that I'm totally ignorant as to why she won't pick up her room when asked doesn't invalidate that evidence.

Actually, ppl say exactly that until they're pressed. It's part of the extreme disingenousness of the evolution-as-answer-to-dang-near-everything movement.

Meh, it's probably people who don't understand it too well who argue that we have somehow achieved biological omniscience with evolution. Most people who accept evolution simply don't understand it too well, sadly enough. That's just the nature of scientific literacy.

Of course, most people just don't know too much about the views they hold. Like for example, most Christians don't know much about the bible.

I agree that THEISM isn't ruled out by evolution, but I don't see how Xtianity isn't.

Well, I don't want to spend too much energy arguing this point, but I suppose there are a couple points that sold me.
1) There is actually a long tradition of treating Genesis as metaphorical. For example, Aquinas in his "The literal interpretation of Genesis" argued that the creation story just offered a logical framework for what happened, and it wasn't necessarily six literal days. So theistic evolution isn't some sort of tacked on reaction to secular science necessarily. (WL Craig argues this point in debates when evolution is brought up)
2) The Christian God frequently uses allegory and metaphor as instructional tools in both the old and new testaments, so I guess I don't see a reason to rule out the possibility that Genesis is just God's way of metaphorically communcating that humans are sinful, and it's humans own darn fault.

But I'm not married to the idea.

If you missed it, here's an interesting documentary about theistic evolution.

justfinethanks said...

treating Genesis as metaphorical. For example, Aquinas in his "The literal interpretation of Genesis"

Bleh, I meant Augustine. Or "Famous Christian Theologian Whose Name Starts with 'A' Guy."

Rhology said...

justsothanks,

No, I didn't rename anything. I've identified the cause - unicorns. They don't use stepwise mutations and all that, and you can't prove that that's how it went. You ASSUME that's how it went down, but in point of fact the unicorns made changes using their magical horns. Prove me wrong.


Again, if you are asserting that it's impossible for reasons unrelated to the fact that stepwise path is necessary that's fine, but we aren't talking about IC any more.

I do believe I granted that point in principle. Now, could we please discuss the unicorns and how you know they weren't the cause?


spots of ignorance don't change the "mountains of evidence."

And those mountains of evidence are...where? I keep asking and all I get are answers like "the fossil record" and "the patterns in ERVs just couldn't'a been the result of design! Because, because, because, that'd be STUPID!" I thought there was evidence.


I think there's mountains of evidence that my kid exists

Prove that you properly observe the data you assume relates to your child's existence. Prove that the data properly reaches your brain. Prove that your brain properly interprets it. Prove that you correctly typed what your brain wanted your fingers to type. Don't assume. Prove.


most Christians don't know much about the bible.

Gasp! I had no idea!


it's probably people who don't understand it too well who argue that we have somehow achieved biological omniscience with evolution.

Like Dick Dawk? Peter Atkins? My guess is they understand it a TAD better than an anonymous poster on a third-rate blog.


1) There is actually a long tradition of treating Genesis as metaphorical.

Just as there's a long tradition in science of geocentrism. So much for tradition, right?
Anyway, if Genesis is metaphorical...well, just see my "rewrites" of the Bible psgs in the post. I don't expect an atheist to understand, so this is for the other readers. If you reduce all that to metaphor, look at the other things that have to be reduced to metaphor as well. It touches so many areas of theology.


I don't see a reason to rule out the possibility that Genesis is just God's way of metaphorically communcating that humans are sinful

Maybe the fact that there are no textual indicators to lead us to that conclusion? That it's written alot like a historical account?