Statesboro, GA, USA
Yes genetic mutation has a randomness and the modification that comes from that randomness isn't guided by any towards a particular goal but evolution is a theory backed up by evidence and not a supposition.
Well normally my argument would be that evolution (as theory to explain all the diversity we see) does not have sufficient evidence (the macro-claims are inferred beyond scientific propriety- being a system whereby all aberrance is relegated into the "will fit one day" category). But, for the purpose of this thread, my argument is that even if it were true, the obvious telos still requires God. For the purpose of this thread, I am not refuting evolution per se.
Of course I can't disprove that your god doesn't tinker with the evolutionary process any more than I can disprove that fairies exist, that's not to say that the belief in fairies without evidence is valid or true. Any and every crackpot claim could be put forward as the truth if that were the case but without evidence they remain just, well fairy tales.
Knowing that dropping scrabble pieces billions and billions of times will never result in a sentence from Shakespeare's Hamlet ... And therefore inferring that the information rich molecule of DNA wasn't produced without intelligence ... isn't in the same category as believing in fairies. Of course it makes you look more intelligent to suggest that. It's called ad hominem.
The DNA molecule itself IS evidence for intelligent design. If the inference is too large for you, then I suggest it's not as large as the inference that a light sensitive spot and a seeing eye have a step by step connection through random mutation and natural selection. No hard and fast evidence either way ... only inference.
Stephen: does the result of evolution and your accepted idea of no telos match? Are they congruent or reasonable?
Grinch: Is survival and reproduction not an intrinsic finality?
When I say "The result of evolution" I am speaking of living sentient beings which have some objective knowledge of nature, even though they are part of nature ... lives containing pathos and poetry, beauty, love, and dignity. To reduce all that to mere survival is to miss the mark. If you were to seriously do that, you'd have to doubt whether your knowledge were really true, as opposed to a phenomenon merely geared toward better survival. If you insist that truth and survival are relational, you have the problem of larger telos all over again.
But I digress... To answer your question: Is survival and reproduction not an intrinsic finality? My answer is that nothing is instrisic and final. But as for you ... How would you know scientifically whether it is intrinsic, or final?
My original question, you failed to answer was whether the apparant telos we see (even the staunchest evolutionists have admitted that it is apparant), fits your directionless and random foundation? And why?
Only if god did in fact create all animals, if all animals were created solely by evolution he'd be wrong
No, he'd be right either way. If it were soley by evolution, I think Chesterton would be something like a Pantheist, and give some kind of religious reverence to nature ... seeing that to nature alone would be attributed god-like feats of design. Of course, I don't think that it is cogent to believe that impersonal nature could bring about such results.
It is interesting to me, however, that atheistic evolutionists do the same thing, albeit in a different way. Saying that their own powers of reason, arose slowly and soley through random mutation and natural-selection, is either to doubt true knowledge altogether, or to laud impersonal nature with the ability of a real qualitative transfiguration ... as is fitting for gods. Often altars aren't destroyed, but only moved.
Thanks for telling me - now how about proving it to me.
Philosophy forums aren't about final proof, but persuasion. That goes for the both of us.
I think I understand your logic here - god created the diversity of life so evolution must be attributed divine powers to do the same - I think I see a flaw in your logic.
The overwhelming scientific conclusion is that evolution brought about the diversity of life on this planet there is no need to for divine intervention or involvement.
"No divine intervention or involvement" is not a scientifically derived conclusion, and is an addendum to evolutionary theory. Though I don't doubt that atheism (or wished-for-atheism) has often motivated the development of naturalistic explanations for life or the cosmos. It does, however, little harm to a belief in a God who transcends nature, and who is implicitly taught in scripture to work in and through natural processes.
The scientific certainty about evolution itself is overstated. However the scientific certainty about how it would even relate (if true) to the question of divine creation is nil. Thankfully all knowledge and validity is not strictly scientific in nature.
I thought the bible was the word of god, didn't he know about evolution either? If he did you'd have thought he'd have mentioned it.
Who would have "thought he'd have mentioned it"? My whole premise is that Evolution is not intrinsically atheistic, nor is it positively incompatible with the creation literature of the Bible ... Why should he have mentioned it?
So how do you sort the symbolic from the actual and if a specific measurement such as time can't be taken as being the literal truth why take any of it as being true?
You are asking a question of exegesis. And it is a matter of recognizing what kind of literature you are reading in each instance. For example one does not expect the book of "1 Kings" to read like the highly figurative book of Daniel, or the apocolyptic book of Revelation. But it's not terribly hard to discern the type of writing it is, nor what the intent of the author was. I am no expert, but I've given a good deal of time in "lay study" to the various books of the Bible, and what they mean.
Grinch: Stephen's god who created life and tinkered with evolution until he got the right results
Stephen: When did I say that? I never posed that (if evolution were true) speciation would be a movement from wrong to right. Rather, all gradients of species along the way have their place in creation. And like Chesterton, I believe that evolution would require the utmost involvement on the part of God, not "tinkering".
Grinch: Didn't you?
(quoting me previously): 'The idea of God working through natural processes, providentially, is grander than the idea of his working only prior to that process. You make it sound as if theistic evolution had to involve a kind of abandonment. I would say that it demands a demure, yet continual involvement on God's part, at the very least.'
In this last quote of mine, given by you, where do I suggest that God "tinkered with evolution until he got the right results"? You're not misquoting me. But you're either forgetting the original question, or not reading what you've quoted. As I've already clarified, I will try once more. My statement is that if evolution were true, then God would need be involved the whole time to keep it from going awry and leading to nothing, and none of the speciation would be moving from "wrong" to "right". The process of evolution would not in any way rule out God's intentionality for individuals ... whether mollusks or men.
Stephen: Abiogenesis is still a mystery.
Grinch: I agree 100%, absolutely
So how come you still maintain it was created by the hand of a supernatural entity surely if it were created at all that entity need not be that super or non-natural.
I meant that abiogenesis is still a mystery scientifically speaking. It's no mystery that the complexity and wonder of life as we know it, requires intelligence far surpassing our own. We are unable to create a single cell. If I can't get you to "supernatural" just yet, I'll try to convince you that it requires a mind much greater than your own, and that to posit impersonal dumb processes as the source is akin, not to religion, but to religious fanaticism.
The interesting thing is that some of the most honest scientists who refuse to think about a supernatural creator, have gone the route of aliens for creation. I have to admit it's more plausible than saying nature up and did it by herself. Of course, you'd have to wonder who created the aliens, and you'd be back to square one.
The bottom line, is that the appearance of design is a reality. It is acknowledged by the staunchest of atheistic evolutionists, such as Richard Dawkins who tells us in his book The Blind Watchmaker, that "biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.". But the assertion that things developed naturalistically without a guide or designer, is an untestable inference. Only it is one which is counter-intuitive ... one that requires us to ignore any "appearance of having been designed". In that sense, it is plainly a religious precommitment, which is apt to stand not in the lack of evidence of the alternative, but in the presence of evidence to the contrary. That's what religions are expected to do ... to stand strong in dogma. But to claim that such a non-religious religious belief is scientific, is misleading.
(Macro-evolution is also untestable, taking it out of the realm of bonafide science ... but that's for another thread. For this thread, I'm granting that that might not be the case.)
All of this about biological life. And we haven't even gone into cosmology and the sublimity of time and space.
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (05-29-2007 08:50 PM).]