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Thread: natural selection producing living things?

  1. #16
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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by watchinginawe View Post
    2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    How is that even possible?
    Applying to the topic, it would be like saying even if we found the scientific explanation for life, this still wouldn't prove or disprove the existence of God. All it would tell us as Christians is that this is the method God used to create life. I think this is what Teddy means by the argument being a "trap."

    But the idea of "it had to have happened at some point" is completely true. Life must have begun because here we are. But did God start it? That's not a question that science attempts to answer, or even can.
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Secondary point, Genesis shows that God "spoke" things into existence. So in order to prove "scientifically" that He created the universe, we would have to observe or prove that He spoke at that time.

    So in a nice way it really does fall on whether you believe His words or not. That's why no amount of learning can reach faith. Even the most well-thought, articulated path will end with "did God say..."
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Secondary point, Genesis shows that God "spoke" things into existence. So in order to prove "scientifically" that He created the universe, we would have to observe or prove that He spoke at that time.

    So in a nice way it really does fall on whether you believe His words or not. That's why no amount of learning can reach faith. Even the most well-thought, articulated path will end with "did God say..."
    What is argued against in our public schools (in the West) is Natural Theology, assuming there is this metaphysical barrier between God and Nature, forcing us to not assume God created the universe. Our children then have no reason to believe their Christian parents or their churches. It is a meaningless claim to say God created anything at all.

    So I do believe there's something to disproving a strictly Natural Science, with no supernatural connotations at all, with no sense that God is a legitimate contender for the science of creation. If it can be shown that randomness, as we experience it in reality, is not what put the universe together, then at least we have design being imposed upon the universe from outside of it. That opens the door for the thought that God could or even likely is the Creator.
    Last edited by randyk; Aug 15th 2019 at 02:10 AM.

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    Applying to the topic, it would be like saying even if we found the scientific explanation for life, this still wouldn't prove or disprove the existence of God. All it would tell us as Christians is that this is the method God used to create life. I think this is what Teddy means by the argument being a "trap."

    But the idea of "it had to have happened at some point" is completely true. Life must have begun because here we are. But did God start it? That's not a question that science attempts to answer, or even can.
    Stephen Meyer does a great job explaining this not just in the book I'm reading but also here in this video. Here are a series of clips, and I would recommend listening to 5 or more of them to see how he ably treats this. Unfortunately, some are calling his approach of Intelligent Design a "pseudo-science." But in the book I'm reading there are strong arguments against this, indicating that science has long used hypotheses completely unrelated to visible cause and effect in order to achieve legitimate results. View

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Stephen Meyer does a great job explaining this not just in the book I'm reading but also here in this video. Here are a series of clips, and I would recommend listening to 5 or more of them to see how he ably treats this. Unfortunately, some are calling his approach of Intelligent Design a "pseudo-science." But in the book I'm reading there are strong arguments against this, indicating that science has long used hypotheses completely unrelated to visible cause and effect in order to achieve legitimate results. View
    At what point though in the process do we say, "Well, that's it - it must be intelligently designed. Cease any additional research." ?

    ID certainly is an option (as a Christian, I would agree with that), but it's more of a philosophical or theological position rather than a scientific position.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
    Ecc 7:10

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    As one who has regularly been annoyed by evolutionists and those who advocate for Natural Selection as the full out explanation for everything on earth, I found this great:

    "Living system distinguish themselves from nonliving ones by processing energy, storing information and replicating. Although it is widely agreed that the first living system must have been much simpler than the simplest modern living system, which is bacteria, a certain base level of complexity is necessary to provide these three functions. Also, simple analogies between biological evolution based on natural selection and chemical evolution should be rejected because natural selection in biological evolution presupposes systems that replicate."

    Walter L. Bradley & Charles B. Thaxton from "The Creation Hypothesis"

    I added in the bold accent.
    Simplified, Bradley & Thaxton are asking “How could life evolve from non-life?”

    The effect would be greater than the cause.

    The unstated alternative is life came from life. That life being an intelligent designer. It’s not a Christian proof or argument. It’s a theistic argument en route to a Christian explanation.

    In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    What is argued in our public schools (in the West) is Natural Theology, assuming there is this metaphysical barrier between God and Nature, forcing us to not assume God created the universe. Our children then have no reason to believe their Christian parents or their churches. It is a meaningless claim to say God created anything at all.
    Having gone to public school myself and learned these things despite my church and parents being Christian, evolution never really affected my belief in God. To me science is just the study of God's creation and theorizing about the processes He used to make it. But I was exposed to propaganda from both sides, where the church just flat-out rejects science and knowledge whereas the world tries to misuse science in order to disprove God. I think both approaches are silly.

    Take the big-bang theory for example, which when I was in school (before multiverse theories) said that the universe exploded into existence out of nothing - or something infinitely small that it counts as nothing. Isn't this exactly how the church says God created the universe - "Ex Nihilo?" So I never took issue with this notion, and still don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    What is argued in our public schools (in the West) is Natural Theology, assuming there is this metaphysical barrier between God and Nature, forcing us to not assume God created the universe. Our children then have no reason to believe their Christian parents or their churches. It is a meaningless claim to say God created anything at all.
    Having gone to public school myself and learned these things despite my church and parents being Christian, evolution never really affected my belief in God. To me science is just the study of God's creation and theorizing about the processes He used to make it. But I was exposed to propaganda from both sides, where the church just flat-out rejects science and knowledge whereas the world tries to misuse science in order to disprove God. I think both approaches are silly.

    Take the big-bang theory for example, which when I was in school (before multiverse theories) said that the universe exploded into existence out of nothing - or something infinitely small that it counts as nothing. Isn't this exactly how the church says God created the universe - "Ex Nihilo?" So I never took issue with this notion, and still don't.
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by teddyv View Post
    At what point though in the process do we say, "Well, that's it - it must be intelligently designed. Cease any additional research." ?

    ID certainly is an option (as a Christian, I would agree with that), but it's more of a philosophical or theological position rather than a scientific position.
    Darn good question! I would have to quote you from the book I'm reading, but there are some strong arguments in favor of design being an actual part of the science. This is never a cause to abandon natural science. It just shouldn't prohibit design, and I appreciate your not doing that.

    Meyer admits:

    Design or creationist theories have been alleged to be necessarily unscientific because they a) do not explain by reference to natural law, (b) invoke unobservables, (c) are not testable, (d) do not make predictions, (e) are not falsifiable, (f) provide no mechanisms, (g) are not tentative, and (h) have no problem-solving capability.

    Meyer opposes the supposed demarcation between Natural Law and Design, arguing that...

    First, many laws are descriptive and not explanatory....

    Laws cannot be equated with explanations, not just because many laws do not explain but also because many explanations of particular events, especially in applied or historical science, may not utilize laws. ...citing past causal events often explains a particular event better than, and sometimes without reference to, a law or regularity in nature."

    I can't speak for Mr. Meyer, but Design seems for me the *only* possible explanation for the universe and for the earth with its life forms. Not just the cosmological argument, but also the argument from Design, as well as the ontological argument--all of these arguments argue for both the reality of God as Creator and for the necessity of a Designer over and above the universe.

    All things in a 4.5 billion year old earth and in a 14 billion year old universe must have a cause. The same elements exist throughout, but form or combine in a variety of ways. Randomness could never explain it, because there always has to be a cause of the initial elements in a measured universe.

    Infinity is a mathematical theory, and not anything we can appreciate. However, we know the universe is finite. What is its cause? It is something from before the universe, or God! It is the source of the design. It is Intelligent Design.

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustGzus View Post
    Simplified, Bradley & Thaxton are asking “How could life evolve from non-life?”

    The effect would be greater than the cause.

    The unstated alternative is life came from life. That life being an intelligent designer. It’s not a Christian proof or argument. It’s a theistic argument en route to a Christian explanation.
    Exactly. Same argument has always been around. Apparently both the Greek philosophers and Islamic thinkers have argued similarly. The argument for Christianity itself is different.

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Exactly. Same argument has always been around. Apparently both the Greek philosophers and Islamic thinkers have argued similarly. The argument for Christianity itself is different.
    Yeo. The argument for Christianity is further down the line. Establish a theistic creator. Now we have Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Then move on to how to prove C over J and I.

    Unless one thinks presuppositional apologetics is the proper way of doing the apologetic task. Usually that approach is favored by Reformed and/or young earth creationists. While I am Reformed, I am not YEC and I don’t find presuppositionalism compelling.

    In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

    Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

    If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrustGzus View Post
    Yeo. The argument for Christianity is further down the line. Establish a theistic creator. Now we have Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Then move on to how to prove C over J and I.

    Unless one thinks presuppositional apologetics is the proper way of doing the apologetic task. Usually that approach is favored by Reformed and/or young earth creationists. While I am Reformed, I am not YEC and I don’t find presuppositionalism compelling.
    I completely agree with you. The 3 monotheistic religions scarcely need proof as candidates for the true religion. They have lots of history, and are world-wide in scope. Only Christianity has a spiritual basis completely removed from ethnic considerations. Judaism is closely allied to the Jewish People. Islam is closely allied to Arabs and to those hostile to Christianity. Christianity, in its many denominations, reflects great ethnic diversity, and in fact universality.

    Different kind of argument, though. Most of my arguments are experiential, teleological, and prophetic. The "teleology" of Christianity is the character of Christ, which is very different from characteristic human nature. It appears to reflect a divine source, as well as a sinless source. The prophetic gets caught into the quagmire of interpretive arguments, but is still valid. Christianity is very much an "experience" religion. It is not just "intellectual." What makes Christianity so gratifying is its claim to produce a new character in us, and the personal experience of this new love in our heart.

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Islam is closely allied to Arabs and to those hostile to Christianity.
    While perhaps not as ethnically broad in scope as Christianity, Islam is quite well-flavoured. Indonesia is the largest population that is dominantly Islamic. Many African nations, particularly in the northern and Sahel have very large Islamic populations. There are those scattered through central Asia and parts of Europe as well.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    Quote Originally Posted by teddyv View Post
    While perhaps not as ethnically broad in scope as Christianity, Islam is quite well-flavoured. Indonesia is the largest population that is dominantly Islamic. Many African nations, particularly in the northern and Sahel have very large Islamic populations. There are those scattered through central Asia and parts of Europe as well.
    Yes, I'm well aware. A former sister-in-law of mine was a Moslem from Morocco. Notice how tightly knit this conquering series of invasions were, not dispersed, but a solid wave brought from country to country, imposing by force its religious ideal. A close friend of mine is Indonesian. A wonderful Christian move took place there years ago, I understand. The book "Like a Mighty Wind" was very popular.

    But this is why I associated Islam not just with Arabs but also with the coalitions Arabs tried to make with 3rd World countries in opposition to Western Christian countries. I would have to include with Arabs the "Persian" people in Iran. I'm not surprised that Iran, with its different ethnicity, stands against the more "Arab" version of Islam.

    My point, in all cases, is that these monotheistic religions did not undo the problem of ethnic separatism. Only Christianity resolves that, in cases where it is faithfully practiced. I do not see it in the other religions.

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    What's fascinating about the theory of Intelligent Design is the undeniable logic of comparing DNA organization with our regular experience with information systems, which suggest intelligent communication, as opposed to random order. A simple replication of a computer line, AD, AD, AD... could conceivably be, within nature, simply a repetative cycle, not really communicating anything resembling interactive language.

    However, DNA organization with all of its complexity suggests a kind of organized complexity that compares with language--a language suggests recognition that a receiver can interpret it. All living things, thus, have an encoded "language" to identity it to those who recognize its order in the form of a product. We don't have the repetitive AD, AD, AD..., but rather animal, reptile, amphibian, bird, fish, as well as all of the various species contained within these families. We recognize distinct capacities in relation to our own capacities, as if we are receiving instructions about them. I don't fully comprehend all this, but I'd like to put it in the words expressed ("Creation Hypothesis") by Walter L. Bradley & Charles B. Thaxton:

    For a long time biologists overlooked the distinction between these two kinds of order (simple, periodic order versus specified complexity). Only recently have they appreciated that the distinguishing feature of living systems is not order but specified complexity. The sequence of nucleotides in DNA or of amino acids in a protein is not a repetive order like a crystal. Instead it is like the letters in a written message...

    We now know there is no connection at all between the origin of order and the origin of specified complexity. There is no connection between order repeating patterns and the specified complexity in protein and DNA. We cannot draw an analogy, as many have incorrectly done, between the formation of a crystal and the originof life. We cannot aruge that since natural forces account for the crystal, they account for the structure of living things. The order we find in crystals and snowflakes is not analogous to the specified complexity we find in living things.

    Are we not back to a more sophisticated form of the argument from design? With the insights from information theory we need no longer argue from order in a general sense. Order with low information content (the first kind) does arise by natural processes. However, there is no convincing experimental evidence that order with high information content (the second kind or specified complexity) can arise by natural processes. Indeed the only evidence we have in the present is that it takes intelligence to produce the second kind of order.

    I suggest that our natural intuition recognizes in biological life a meaning, as expressed in the language of a Creator. These functions arise out of divine benevolence to meet our need and the needs of the various creatures specified. The ability to sustain itself, replicate, survive threats, and feed on the environment, are functional purposes designed by their Creator. It is hardly a random process found in Nature by anything other than a planned intention.

    But in the West this Intelligent Design has always been intuitively and logically recognized, has it not? We do not have AB, AB, AB..., but rather, words spelled out intelligently, in a way ordered to communicate to us natural attributes and a variety of abilities that meet our needs. It is, in fact, Intelligent Design, even if what they are is not interactive like interactive communication, but more like a teaching.

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    Re: natural selection producing living things?

    I don't pretend to understand this all either, but it seems instead of drawing analogues between snow crystals (or any crystal for that matter) they are drawing on an analogue between information theory and biological systems. Is that even a legitimate analogy? I don't know.

    As to the crystal analogy that is perhaps the refutation against a common creationist statement about entropy, wherein things of more complexity and orderliness are supposedly not possible, which is a different issue than here.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
    Ecc 7:10

    John777 exists to me only in quoted form.



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