Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Christian Darwinist in Three Easy Steps

"A Venerable Orang-outang", a carica...                                    Image via Wikipedia
1. The Christian believes that God created man.

2. The Darwinist on the other hand believes that man created God.

3. The Christian Darwinist on the other other hand believes that God created man who created God.

Or, as Denyse O'Leary puts it:
So man created God, but no, God created man. Or God created man with the capacity of accidentally evolv[ing] an idea of God as an illusion. Why? Because he couldn’t reveal himself?
Or, as I try to explain it:

My meagre understanding of the Christian Darwinist (i.e., the theistic evolutionist) is that he believes

a) that life appeared entirely via the mechanism of evolution without any gaps requiring divine assistance, and

b) evolution appears to be random from a scientific point of view, but, since God is sovereign, what appears random to us is actually the unfolding of a process established by God at work.

So, he’s comfy with the darwinist who insists on random evolution, but does not himself equate randomness with directionlessness. It's like the Christian darwinist overlays the randomness of evolution with the sovereign providence of God. So, design is real, but not detectable.

What gets me is the allergic reaction of a theistic evolutionist to the ID assertion that, no, the design is in fact detectable via the inductive methods of science. Horrors!

And the beat goes on...
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9 comments:

Audrey II said...

"So, he’s comfy with the darwinist who insists on random evolution..."

I doubt very much that most informed theistic evolutionists are comfortable with the windmills of your imagination that you tilt at.

Evolution isn't random. That creationists keep swinging at that strawman instead of actually engaging the scientific theory of evolution speaks volumes about either their understanding of it or their deliberate and knowing misrepresentation of it.

The scientific theory of evolution is guided by the very non-random process of selection / the interaction between reproductive fitness and the environment.

RkBall said...

"The scientific theory of evolution is guided by the very non-random process of selection / the interaction between reproductive fitness and the environment."

Tell us something we don't know. When we refer to randomness, we are referring to the engine of evolution -- which are the genetic mutations. Sure, a Mercedes in my driveway will help my survivability, and the environment sure calls for a car these days, but you still need a mechanism that is powerful enough to produce one. And that is where undesigned, undirected evolution driven by random mutation fails.

Last time I checked, darwinists were still insisting the mutations are the result of purely random undesigned natural processes -- evidences of front-loading and algorithmic variation of DNA switches notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

RkBall is quite correct. Audrey II asserts "Evolution isn't random," and castigates "creationists" for calling evolution "random." In fact, evolution is by current definition the result of undirected material forces.

Dawkinsm, a leading evolutionist, asserts evolution is undirected and flows from undirected mutations. For example, Dawkins has faith in the continued survival of what he calls Core Darwinism: "the minimal theory that evolution is guided in adaptively non-random directions by the non-random survival of small random hereditary chances." ("Darwin Triumphant", A Devil’s Chaplin)).

Accordingly, the random / unidrected mutations that provide variations in genetic material are the engine of evolution. Therefore, evolution operates from a random / undirected premise. RkBall is correct.

Scott said...

Audrey II: That creationists keep swinging at that strawman instead of actually engaging the scientific theory of evolution speaks volumes about either their understanding of it or their deliberate and knowing misrepresentation of it.

RK: When we refer to randomness, we are referring to the engine of evolution -- which are the genetic mutations.

RK,

It appear's you're attempting to conflate non-directed processes with random outcomes.

If you put a marble on a children's slide, does it take a random path, such as rolling up the side, flying into the air or occasionally hovering in space? No, it roles down the slide every time. The marble's path is defined by a non-directed process (gravity) yet it is not random.

We can say the same in regards to evolutionary processes. They are non-directed, yet not random due to natural selection.

Furthermore, genes do not mutate into random substances, appear at random locations, etc, They mutate in rather specific ways. However, these mutations are random in respect to fitness. And, in turn, fitness is dependent on the environment.

So, it seems that you're responded with yet another strawman.

RkBall said...

Scott.

"It appear's [sic] you're attempting to conflate non-directed processes with random outcomes."

No, I am not.

"If you put a marble on a children's slide, does it take a random path, such as rolling up the side, flying into the air or occasionally hovering in space? No, it roles [sic] down the slide every time"

You are abusing the definition of random. A dictionary definition is: "Having no specific pattern, purpose, or objective". A number generator may generate numbers randomly, but it does not generate donuts. The numbers generated have no no specific pattern, purpose, or objective.

"We can say the same in regards to evolutionary processes. They are non-directed, yet not random due to natural selection."

Wrong. Darwinian evolution has no specific pattern purpose, or objective.

"Furthermore, genes do not mutate into random substances, appear at random locations, etc,"

Again, an abuse of the term random.

"So, it seems that you're responded with yet another strawman."

It would seem not.

RkBall said...

Under Darwinism, life, and therefore survival, is not an objective. It is not a purpose. It is a randomly achieved outcome -- like all the marbles that just happen to flow down the hill and land somewhere at the bottom, rather than up the hill.

Scott said...

RK: Under Darwinism, life, and therefore survival, is not an objective. It is not a purpose. It is a randomly achieved outcome -- like all the marbles that just happen to flow down the hill and land somewhere at the bottom, rather than up the hill.

I'm abusing the definition of random?

Marbles don't just happen to roll down the hill. A specific uniform force pulls them toward the earth due to the specific differences between their mass.

Once gravity is in place, the process occurs consistently. The same can be said for evolutionary processes under theistic evolution.

Theistic evolutionists think God intentionally created gravity as a secondary cause. Therefore, the outcome was not random. Of course, God can't be the direct cause of gravity. Otherwise, he'd be pulling people to their deaths.

Just as you think God doesn't micromanage gravity. Theistic evolutionists do not think God micromanaged the development of life on our planet.

RkBall said...

The passage of the marbles down the hill is influenced by bumps, depressions, and irregularities in the hill, which, unless they have been put there on purpose for a particular reason, add a variableness to the regularity of gravity you are citing. As would any gusts of wind which might occur.

Assuming the marbles were dropped by accident, the fact that there are marbles in a certain configuration lying at the bottom of the hill is entirely due to random processes.

Scott said...

RK,

Our daily lives are constantly influenced by irregularities, which can have a great impact our lives and shape our experiences. Yet, I'm guessing you do not think our lives and decisions are somehow rendered "random" because we've come in contact with these irregularities.

So, why must this be the case in regards to theistic evolution?

To use an analogy, it's as if you think lottery winners must pick up their winnings in a random currency, in random denomination at a random date, time and location, just because the winner was picked at random.

Again, it seems you've responded with yet another strawman.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"