Is the Darwinian theory of evolution contrary to religious belief.  

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Parakletos
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04/11/2017 9:11 pm  
The Darwinian scientific theory of evolution can be roughly summarized as follows:
1. The earth is ancient.
2. All Species have a common ancestor or at most a few of them.
3. All Species today are the result of a descent processes from a small set of original species (mentioned on point 2), by way of modification.
4. The main mechanism for the process of descent with modification is random mutation.
5. The main mechanism for selection of surviving species is natural selection.
 
Aside from 4 and 3 , these thesis or premises are logically independent.
 
Nevertheless, the NEO-Darwinian view , held today by most atheists, many scientists, and biologists (especially, those holding to scientism – the mistaken view that Science is knowledge and all knowledge is scientific) , adds to premises 1,2,3,4 and 5, above:
 
6. The processes mentioned in premises 4 and 5 (specially 4) are completely unguided.
 
To clarify premise 4: Elliot Sober, well known philosopher of biological sciences, explains (paraphrasing) that random mutation means that there is no biological, or physical process that determines which mutations will probably be beneficial and then brings them about in the individual, or species.
 
Yet, Neo-Darwinians assume that random mutation implies un-guidedness, so, where does this leave Neo-Darwinism?
 
The thesis that T: someone (i.e. God) is guiding mutations, selectively and conveniently at key points through out all of the planet history is not an empirically falsifiable one, prima facie then, there is no experimental observation that can show the thesis is false.
 
Thus, it turns out, the key Neo-Darwinian premise (#6) is not a empirically verifiable thesis, but a metaphysical one, one that must be argued for, in a whole different playing field, outside the scope of Science.
 
If one is part of main stream Christianity, say ...some sort of Agustinian Christianism (i.e. Catholic, Orthodox, Non-YEC protestant, etc...), main stream Christianity (contrary to what it might seem to many americans), which is open to an ancient earth, and a nuanced reading of the scriptures based in an integral hermeneutic approach .., the prior considerations imply that Christianism is in no real conflict with the Darwinian scientific paradigm, as described by premises 1,2,3,4, and, 5.
For YECers and Biblical literalists the situation is somewhat more complex.
 
The suggestion is that what these group of believers can is to hypothetically concede to the skeptic, that, premises 1,2,3,4,5 in the very worst case scenario would only require them to abandon Biblical literalism or YEC’s core views (if this will end up being the case will depend in the case being made for each position, which is left open, for the time being, here), nevertheless, as already concluded: Darwinian science (described by premises 1,2,3,4, and, 5) will not require abandoning Christianity, as a whole, and rather there is concord between the former and the later.
 
* YEC: Young Earth Creationism.
---A summary from Plantinga´s Where the conflict really lies 1st chapter.
 
Edited: 1 month  ago

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Philip Rand
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07/11/2017 9:31 am  

Actually Parakletos

This statement of yours:

"The thesis that no one is guiding mutations, at all, selectively and conveniently at key points through out all of the planet history is not a falsifiable one, prima facie then, there is no experiment that can evidence such a thesis."

Can be shown to be falsifiable; macroscopically "selectively and conveniently at key points" simply means that what is guiding selective and convenient mutations is "coincidence".... this can be shown to be scientifically unjustifiable.

 


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Parakletos
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07/11/2017 6:44 pm  

I changed the statement as follows.
"The thesis that T: someone (i.e. God) is guiding mutations, selectively and conveniently at key points through out all of the planet history is not an empirically falsifiable one, prima facie then, there is no experimental observation that can show the thesis is false."

Do you agree?  if no, why? please, expand.

Thanks!

Edited: 1 month  ago

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Philip Rand
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08/11/2017 12:58 am  

I've adjusted your wording slightly:

"The thesis that T: God is guiding “human history”, selectively and conveniently at key points through out all of the planet history is not an empirically falsifiable one, prima facie then, there is no experimental observation that can show the thesis is false." 

1/ Experimental observation: Israel as a single nation exists.

2/ Theoretical prediction: Ezekiel 37:21-22

3/ Concatenation of theory and observation: Deuteronomy 30:3 

Numerically, beginning with the opening verse of the Bible, Deuteronomy 30:3 tells of the return of the Jewish people to Israel, gathering them from all the lands of the earth and is the sentence number 5,708; if we consider this number to be the year according to the Jewish Hebrew calendar; 5,708 corresponds to the year 1948. 

Now, would you consider that points 1-3 conform to how evolution theory operates?

 


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Parakletos
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08/11/2017 1:38 am  

 I´m at a lost, here. 

I don´t know why you changed my previous statement to "human history".  I´m sure, as a Chrisitan, that God guides human history, and that is compatible wit evolutionary theory, but, as interesting and deserving of attention that subject is,that is a completely different subject, to my mind, than the one I started with.

The subject I´m writting about is the compatibility of Darwinian random mutation processes and God choosing selectively to effect certain mutations (here or there) on certain animals and genome (on this or that one), through out earthly  history. 

You actually didn´t answer my questions, could we, please, go back to those, if you don´t mind? thanks

"The thesis that T: someone (i.e. God) is guiding mutations, selectively and conveniently at key points through out all of the planet history is not an empirically falsifiable one, prima facie then, there is no experimental observation that can show the thesis is false."

Do you agree? (I suspect you don´t, by your last answer)   if no, why? please, expand.

Thanks!


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Philip Rand
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08/11/2017 5:32 am  

Parakletos

The fact that a persisting genetic difference in DNA between Cohanim and all other Jews exists demonstrates a common descent from a single individual, Aaron.  To be a priest requires one be of the tribe of Levi. (Nature, Vol. 385, No. 6611, January 1997)

This would suggest "random mutation" does not occur.


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Parakletos
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08/11/2017 9:08 am  

I think we are just talking past each other, at this point: maybe, random mutation does not occur (as you say --and I´m sympathetic to what you are saying, here), maybe it does, nevertheless, that´s not the point of the post.

The point of the post assumes, let´s say that for the sake of argument, that random mutation does occur, while it being compatible with God choosing selectively to effect certain mutations (here or there) on certain animals and genome (on this or that one), throughout earthly history.

Anyways, I appreciate your commenting on the post, I´m more satisfied with the post, after the modification, so thanks for that.


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Philip Rand
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09/11/2017 12:20 am  

Parakletos

Read this statement of yours:

"The point of the post assumes, let´s say that for the sake of argument, that random mutation does occur, while it being compatible with God choosing selectively to effect certain mutations (here or there) on certain animals and genome (on this or that one), throughout earthly history."

Now, note the bold italic underlined portions:

A/random mutation does occur

B/choosing selectively to effect certain mutations

It is obvious that what A & B describe is a pseudo-random process NOT a random process at all!!!!!

So, you are agreeing with my post "randomness does not occur".... so, why continue with "for arguments the sake of argument random mutation does occur "? 

I have given you evidence that random mutation does not occur... on account the Levi gene is a vital component of the future history of the world.


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Parakletos
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09/11/2017 1:58 am  

I don´t think I am agreeing with you, though. 

And, perhaps, you have given "evidence that random mutation does not occur" , but, in all honesty, the way you have puported to do so is obscure to me. The problem might just be my own limitations, and lack of understanding, but, I suggest a more clear and delineated argument for your conclusion might be helpful, here. If you decide to create a post with a more formal and clearer argument for your conclusion, I will be the 1st to be interested in reading it.

"A/random mutation does occur

B/choosing selectively to effect certain mutations

It is obvious that what A & B describe is a pseudo-random process NOT a random process at all"

To my mind, prima facie, your argument  from A & B equivocates: what is described in B is not the process described in A, thus, A and B do not describe a unique process, that then can be characterized as a pseudo-random process. Rather, what A describes (in this context) is a given mechanism (for the sake of argument, the exact process described by Darwin, as explained), and, B is referring to a set of very unique and specific acts of volition of a God, that are independent from the Darwinian mechanism and follow their own structure and inner logic. 

Let´s say that, nevertheless, we can purport to take the conjunct of what is described in B and in A, call it a God-Darwinian process, and characterize that  as a pseudo-random process, that still wouldn´t make the Darwinian mechanism a non random mechanism on its own, and, that is all the post is assuming, namely, that the Darwinian mechanism is random, in the relevant sense.

On a side not, I do not think the God-Darwinian process exists, at all, it appears to be a rather gerrymandered concept. But, I´m willing not to pursue that line of thought, not to derail the thread. 

If you think, I´m mistaken and do not understand your point, that is always a possibility, and, I´m willing to concede that is in fact a possibility, and, and I´m happy to agree in disagreeing. 

Thanks.

 

Edited: 1 month  ago

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Philip Rand
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09/11/2017 4:20 am  

OK Parakletos....

Let's try a different tack... let us approach your direct question:

Q. Is the Darwinian theory of evolution contrary to religious belief?

Choices:

1/ Man was made in the image of an ape.

2/ Man was made in the image of God.

Should you choose only 1/ you agree with Darwin.

Should you choose both 1/ and 2/ you equivocate (as you pointed out to me in my A&B)

Should you only choose 2/ you agree with the Bible.


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Parakletos
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09/11/2017 5:42 am  

Can you expand on what you mean by "... made in the image of..."?

 

Thanks


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Philip Rand
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10/11/2017 1:28 am  

Good question...

An image is frequency dependent NOT space-time dependent.

Biblical support: 1 Cor 15:39

"All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds."


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Parakletos
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10/11/2017 8:32 am  

I don´t know what is meant by being frequency dependent and not space-time dependent.

 

 On 1 Cor 15:39  St. Paul is arguing that  "...The resurrection of the dead does not mean the resuscitation of mortal human bodies. The argument proceeds, using illustrations from agriculture (15: 36– 38), with the example of the  seed that dies and is transformed and comes to life" ( One could not imagine from merely looking at the seed of a watermelon what a watermelon will look like) " In 15: 39– 41, Paul appeals to biology and cosmology, with the example of the many different kinds of bodies in animal life ... to prove that the resurrection body can be a different kind of body from anything experienced on earth. Since God has provided earthly creatures and celestial bodies with flesh ... suitable for their environment and purpose, God can provide a glorious body for the dead in the resurrection." (Garland, David E.. 1 Corinthians (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)).

So, I´m just going to bow out, because, i have no clue what you are saying, and, I´m seeing that this pattern repeats over and over, I just can´t understand your arguments. I´m happy to take the fault for this, but, I´m just going to stop our conversation, here. 

 

I apologize, and, thanks for your comments. 

 

Edited: 1 month  ago

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Philip Rand
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11/11/2017 4:59 am  

Parakletos

It would be remiss of me not to answer your further query.  I can do it quite simply by highlighting the difference between the Biblical view of reality and the Darwinian view of reality at its most fundamental level.

We can do this quite easily by simply considering E=mc^2

1/ Man was made in the image of an ape; this means considering fundamental reality as expressed by letting:

E=mc^2; this equation is dependent on space-time, i.e. extension length and time, the material.

The Bible on the other hand considers reality to be image based, expressed as:

2/ Man was made in the image of God.

m=E/c^2; this equation is dependent on frequencies of energy

An image after all is not a material thing, now is it?

The Biblical verse I used reflects the different frequencies (say of DNA) of life forms;  DNA is information, nothing material about it all, the DNA is simply hardwire BUT the information contained is not material.

There exist some very interesting experiments that confirm that one can create DNA using Fourier transforms, i.e. Fourier transforms are what make up an image!


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