Gary Chiang

Developing an Integrative Approach
to Science and Christianity

Monday, December 26, 2005

So Where Is the Proof for Evolution?


In a previous post (Is ID Dying?) one participant firmly believes that ID is not just dying - it is DEAD!
Why would they believe this? Because the courts in the Dover case have agreed that ID is based on religion, and should not be taught in the public schools.
However, the theory of evolution is also based on faith, yet it seems to avoid a similar fate. If what I say about evolution is true, then why is it still taught in the schools?
The answer to this riddle is provided in my book "Overcoming Prejudice in the Evolution/Creation Debate." If you are interested, I can provide a pdf of the chapter in which I deal with this topic.
And for all those of you who like to quote flowery rhetoric from uninspired scientists, let me make a deal with you.
Give me just one solid proof (please, no opinions - just proof) that the theory of evolution is a scientific fact, and I will give to you TWO solid proofs that God is as real as the air you breathe!!!

18 Comments:

At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Michael Galieh said...

In my opinion, it would be a good thing if Evolution and Intelligent Design and Creationism were able to be placed outside of pure naturalistic science and treated as what they really are: philosophies or religious / semi-religious disciplines. Each is really "non-science" as far as testable science is concerned. But the fundamentalists of naturalistic science will not let this happen easily. They will never let evolution be regarded as anything less than pure science.

There is so much outside of the realm of pure naturalistic science (and testable science), that calling something "non-science" should not have a stigma attached to it. It is quite a legitimate field of study. I have noticed that when people refer to someting such as ID as "non-science", they are treating it as if it is "nonsense". I even read an opinion which regarded anything that was "not scientific" as "not true"! That really is sloppy thinking.

Evolution should be able to duke it out with ID and Creationism in another assigned area of academic learning. This area of learning would incorporate technical arguments and research just like science, but would by definition be much less testable. This new field of studies could be known as "The Philosophy of Origins" perhaps?

I cannot see it happenning very soon. Evoloutionists have a strangle-hold on education that will take time to loosen.

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

1. Offspring have traits inherited from their parents. Surely you won't disagree with such an obvious fact. Not only is it obvious to anyone who studies genetics, but it is attested to by the simple observation that children resemble their parents.

2. Creatures which, by chance, happen to be better adapted to survive are more likely to survive. This is simple common sense. If the winter is particularly cold and you have a thicker fur coat than the other guy, you are more likely to survive than he is.

3. The environments in which creatures live change over time. Weather patterns, average temperatures change, and so forth.

If you take these three very basic assumptions, it becomes rather obvious that species change over time. Because of inherited characteristics, those creatures which survive better in changing conditions will be "selected" and those which are not as well adapted will be "selected against."

If you ask me, evolution is basic common sense.

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

I should have added that in the very of rational folks, the evidence for the theory evolution is just as obvious as the evidence for the theory of gravity.

The only reason certain people have a problem with evolution is because it conflicts with the narrow interpretation of ancient religious books which these people need to feel psychologically secure in their lives.

If the Bible said "Heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones" religious fundamentalists would still be denying the theory of gravity.

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

That should be "view" not "very" in the first sentence.

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Michael Galieh said...

Monk of Miletus... What you described in your three basic assumptions is all true. ID peoploe and (most) Biblical Creationists have no problem accepting them. That is Natural Selection, and it is all true. The point is, these three assumptions - Natural Selection - will result in "evolution", but not as you know it. It will be a slow downward movement in terms of complexity.

The changes in the environment will as you said, select the "fittest" out of what is available in the population. The species will change over time.

The reason we say we do not believe in evolution does not mean that we do not believe in Natural Selection and the changing of species over time. That is an observed fact. We are saying that instead of this process of change resulting in a gradual improvement, it really results in a gradual worsening of the quality of the species. A loss of genetic information.

Evolutionists claim that mutations to the genetic code lead to spontaneous new information which, if beneficial to the mutated creature, is passed along to offspring by reproduction and that the "increased fitness" causes that mutation to be not only passed along but favoured. So the "new and improved" creature dominates in the population at the expense of the "standard model" creature.

So what is our problem with evolution?

It is this... Mutations can sometimes be beneficial to an animal and the mutated animal will dominate in the population. But this is the kicked, The mutations always lead to a loss of genetic information. They never lead to an increase of genetic information. They could theoretically, but actually, it just really cannot ever happen. The probabilities are way way too low for even billions of years to allow for any chance of improvements.

Do you, do any of us, really understand just how exceedingly complex the machines are down at the cellular level, as well as all the way up to major structures such as the ear, the eye, the brain! The intelligent design people have been studying this and have come up with their concept of irreducible complexity.

If you will forgive a simple analogy. Evolution is like a selection process between the poor and the rich. Depending on how much money the members of a population have, they are selected for success, or failure. (bankruptcy?) The mutations are in this case, a sudden slight (or major) change that either causes you to spend money, or to actually make money. The problem is that the mutations are always taking your money and never giving you any. And that is a very simplistic analogy. For a cell to function, requires complex interaction of many systems that depend on each other. Trying to change these systems will never lead to an improvement in function. At best it will switch off a seldom used function resulting in a disease that may or may not be fatal. At worst it will kill the organism.

An example of a beneficial mutation that nevertheless does not add information but loses it, is certain cave dwelling animals that have a mutation which causes their eyes not to form. They do not have eyes. Now in a cave this is a beneficial thing because the sensitive eyeball will not be infected etc. In a cave there is no light so having an eye is useless anyway. BUT... this kind of a change is not in any way developing some marvellous new kind of sense which enables it to see in the dark. All it has done is foul up the complex sequence of coding to produce the eye, which now is not formed. That is your typical mutation.

Believing that it is a likely event that mutations will somehow add genetic information that if not neccessarily "used now" can be "used later" is extremely simple minded. There used to be an excuse perhaps for believing that, but not now! We know too much.

You have to ask yourself. Is peer group pressure worth being wrong about this. Science history shows that it takes a long time for a minority of researchers with a better theory to persevere against the majority, to eventually bring in a scientific paradigm change. Assuming that majority opinion in science is correct is unscientific.

Just because Intelligent Design and Creationism are not strictly Naturalistic Science does not mean that they are not true. The concept of a designer is the most obvious cause for the origin of life, but it is outside of the box that naturalists wish to keep their research confined to!

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

Michael, your point here is based on flawed assumptions.

You speak of the "loss of genetic information" and contend that this somehow means that evolution is impossible. A non sequitur.

Take your cave fish analogy. In a cave environment, fish which have eyes gradually evolve skin coverings that seal the eye up. This is because eyes in a lightless environment are a disadvantage and are selected against by nature.

Now, you say that "this kind of a change is not in any way developing some marvellous new kind of sense which enables it to see in the dark. All it has done is foul up the complex sequence of coding to produce the eye, which now is not formed."

So what? The point is not that they are "trying" to develop any new sense. They are simply the passive actors in the unfolding of natural selection. In their particular environment, having an eye is a disadvantage and hence, over long periods of time, evolution wipes away the eye.

(By the way, the eyes are formed, but they are completely covered with skin and serve no function.)

"Irreducible" is an adjective which expresses a value judgement. Irreducible according to what criteria? Tested how?

>>Assuming that majority opinion in science is correct is unscientific.<<

Of course it is. By it is also unscientific to begin a scientific theory with untested assumptions (i.e. There must be an intelligent designer). For one will invariably select evidence to suit the theory, rather than construct the theory based upon the facts.

The intelligent design movement is not scientific, but is a legal and political operation with evangelical Christianity as its base.

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

Forgot something. You use the term "loss of genetic information" in your fish analogy.

However, you seem to be using the original state of the species as the criteria for judgement. The fish had eyes, the eyes are evolved away, and hence there has been a "loss of genetic information."

But there hasn't. There has been a CHANGE in genetic information. Saying that it is a "loss" or a "gain" is making an unscientific value judgement.

 
At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Michael Galieh said...

Well, as far as the cave fish goes, natural selection favours the change which results in the eye malfunction when the fish is in the cave. So outside of a cave, the fish is at a disadvantage when it loses functioning eyes, but in the cave it is actually at an advantage when that happens. I just wanted to clear that up. We both know that I think.

But concerning loss of genetic information. There is a case for making a value judgement. If a functioning mechanism is altered so that it does not function as well, or stops functioning. That is going from higher value to lower value. On the other hand, if genetic code which does not do very much is altered and begins to carry out a complex function, then it has a higher value.

Life (on earth) currently has a whole lot of highly useful mechanisms. It is not wrong to put a high value on those mechanisms. If life formed from non-living matter, then the value of the living matter is higher than that of the non-living matter. And the value of current mechanisms is much higher than that of the supposed ancestral cells. Of course we can make a judgement call.

For instance, with the fish eye case. By the way, I had thought that the eyes did not form at all. But it doesn't alter things too much. To be able to keep the eye protected at all times from dirt and infection has some positive value. But that is at the expense of the eye's main purpose. For the eye to fully function as a visual organ has a much higher value.

"Irreducible complexity" is a concept which says that a system is constructed in such a way that if any of it's parts do not function, then the system as a whole will not function either. This makes it impossible that such a system could arrive over time by successive modifications. There would be many ways to test that. You could see how well the system responds to slight changes. As with naturalistic origins of such systems, its origin will be difficult to test. However that reflects poorly on both ID and Evolution. Both are untestable when it comes to explaining the origin of such complex mechanisms. Quite a bit of evolution is not really testable. Why is it treated so differently to ID.

The only way that such a systen could form is for it to have formed all at once. But the improbabilities are too low for that kind of thing to occur.

I know that ID isn't fully naturalistic science. But don't you see the problem with naturalistic science. By leaving out the possibility of a designer, then the researchers will be only able to chase down possible ways in which evolution can work. And how long will that take? I suppose that in the future, we certainly will know much more about how evolution does not work, which may be useful. But is the evolution of life from non-life really testable?

At least for the time being, if science was honest, it ought to say something like this: "We are seeking a purely naturalistic way in whichj life can form from non-life. We have not found that yet, and until we do you are urged to seek an explanation of the origin of life elsewhere.

Natural selection does "lose" genetic information. It loses those traits which are not well suited for the current environment. However those traits would be suited for other environments. So if you take a population and subject it to numerous environment changes, you are going to lose a lot of useful traits. Normally you would only get domination of favoured traits over non-favoured ones, but in a small population you can lose them altogether. And when enough of that happens you have the termination of a species because it is not well adapted to any of the current environments it happens to be in.

The big question is. Where did genetic structures come from in the first place?

Evolution has no answers to this at present. However it has the backing of the scientific establishment. At the moment, majority rules which is fair enough. But it is just as much a legal and political operation as ID and Creationism are, with naturalistic humanism as its base.

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

>>To be able to keep the eye protected at all times from dirt and infection has some positive value. But that is at the expense of the eye's main purpose. For the eye to fully function as a visual organ has a much higher value.<<

Not in a lightless environment. As far as evolution is concerned, the only "value" of any adapation is whether it increases or decreases an organisms ability to stay alive. Since an eye is useless in a lightless environment and is vulnerable to infection and attack, it is a disadvantage and so is "selected against" by natural selection.

So there has been "loss" of genetic information, only a change in genetic information. Losing the eye's "main purpose" doesn't mean anything, since the "main purpose" of the eye does not apply in a lightless environment.

You're trapped in teleological thinking. You start with basic assumptions that you do not question (i.e. there must be a suopernatural designer) and selectively choose evidence which you purposefully interpret to suit your beliefs.

If ID were scientific, it wouldn't start out with such a presupposition (which, in any case, is simply an attempt to squeeze the religious beliefs of evangelical Christianity into the scientific discourse).

If ID really is science, why aren't they engaged in original research of their own? The Discovery Institute's only purpose seems to be to pressure school boards to accept ID textbooks for students. Where are the peer-reviewed articles in Nature or Science or the New England Journal of Medicine?

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger gary said...

Excellent discussion, Michael and Monk.
Michael, you have certainly done your homework on this topic, and I think that a "philosophy of origins" is a great idea.
Monk, you seem a bit out of sorts with ID being considered scientific, and I think you may be missing the point of what Michael and I have been saying.
We are not arguing that ID is scientific. Instead, we are saying that evolution lacks scientific evidence. Notwithstainding, you do provide excellent reasons why ID is not scientific, but we would not argue with you on this. We would agree.
Michael has been kind enough to offer an answer to Monk's evidences for evolution, so I don't have to repeat his words. But what Monk has demonstrated is the type of thinking that continues to cloud the issue. It is for this reason that I wrote "Overcoming prejudices in the evolution/creation debate" because people who are trapped into thinking the way Monk thinks need to see how their own feelings have adversely affected their ability to think logically.
We may not be able to start a discipline on the Philosophy of Origins, but I could teach such a course here at Redeemer University College. That would be quite interesting, and helpful, to people who think like Monk.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

Gary,

>>Instead, we are saying that evolution lacks scientific evidence.<<

Yawn. Same old, same old. Just like saying there's no evidence for gravity.

Okay, Gary, I'll simply restate my earlier post on this question and wait for you to respond.

"1. Offspring have traits inherited from their parents. Surely you won't disagree with such an obvious fact. Not only is it obvious to anyone who studies genetics, but it is attested to by the simple observation that children resemble their parents.

2. Creatures which, by chance, happen to be better adapted to survive are more likely to survive. This is simple common sense. If the winter is particularly cold and you have a thicker fur coat than the other guy, you are more likely to survive than he is.

3. The environments in which creatures live change over time. Weather patterns, average temperatures change, and so forth.

If you take these three very basic assumptions, it becomes rather obvious that species change over time. Because of inherited characteristics, those creatures which survive better in changing conditions will be "selected" and those which are not as well adapted will be "selected against."

If you ask me, evolution is basic common sense."

 
At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Michael Galieh said...

Hello again to Monk and Gary. Monk, we got complimented for our discussion by Gary. Yeah!

I have no experience in publishing scientific papers. I think I am correct in saying that there are quite a few ID and Creation researchers writing papers, but by default they are not able to publish in the respectable scientific journals since their work is considered non-science and rejected when it gets to peer review. I do believe a few early papers made it in before the establishment made up it's mind on the issue. But I do think that there are Creation and ID journals which they send papers in to have them published. Gary can correct me if I am wrong.

I still think that with the eye in the cave: even though Natural Selection can take advantage of the closed up eye, it is incorrect to say that now a fully functioning eye has no higher value. Maybe not in the cave, but outside of the cave, a blind eye is going to be of less value than a seeing eye. Natural selection is more or less the application of "competition". But competition or natural selection or what we call "micro-evolution" does not generate new biological structures.

So the question remains: where did all of the biological mechanisms come from?

But you say I am trapped in teleological thinking. I will admity that is true. But I wouldn't say "trapped" is an appropriate term here. Teleological arguments are very sound. They are part of common sense and we use them all the time in other fields. But we are told they are not applicable to evolution of biological mechanisms. Why not?

I read a rebuttal of various forms of the "argument from design", and the article quoted one of the main premises: "1. It is extremely implausible that living things could have come to exist by mere chance." The article then went on to rebut that premise: "Premise 1: It is very difficult to understand how this premise is justified. What is the basis for the claim that a chance-origination of living things is implausible? More significantly, why should it be any more plausible that a supernatural being exists who is responsible for the creation/design of living things?"

I think he is wrong in saying "what is the basis for the claim?". Well there is plenty of basis for it. We are possibly far from a proper test of that claim at present, but all our experience shows that you cannot get something for nothing. Computer programs are one example which could be tested more readily than others. For example - testing random generation of code, or random "mutation" of already existing computer programs to see what effects it has. I suppose some of that kind of research is aready underway. Another basis - already existing complex systems tend to become less so over time (this includes natural selection). There are the observations of irreducible complexity which haven't been answered, despite some bluffing to claim that they have.

One analogy is to think of how a complex assembly of parts is put together in a factory. You don't assemble things in a factory by throwing all the parts in a "jumbling assembler" which would throw the parts together at random and eventually end up with assemblies that actually did things (even unknown things). That would be a low probability way to do it. The better way is to add inhibitions to the movements of the components so that they must sit still at the correct positions and angles to be assembled. If one of the components to be assembled together with others, is already capable of operating (carrying out it's own independant functions), you normally switch that functioing component off during assembly so it won't interfere with the larger assembly. Evolution cannot do these things.

Of course I know evolution doesn't have the luxury of controlled and directed assenmbly. How could it? But as it does not have this going for it, or any other type of controlled help, I wonder why scientists cut it so much slack? Claiming that it can work wonders if given enough time! On what basis do they have this optimism? Many of us suspect that they are doing what we are often accussed of - starting out with a pre-supposition - attempting to squeeze the philosophical beliefs of naturalism into the scientific discourse. It seems that this approach has been wildly successful!

Some basic (but not invalid) studies of the probability of assembling rudimentary life forms have shown that the probabilities required are too low to be able to occur even if you allow the whole universe itself to be jumbling around attempting to come up with a simple functioning life form. And the numbers obtained show that it is not even close to being a serious possibility! The raw probabilities are on the order of 10 to the 450 power against, and after allowing billions of years of reaction time of all of the universe, the probability was reduced by something on the order of 10 to the 150 which left 10 to the 300 against. Allow a trillion trillion trillion years instead of just billions of years, and you still are left with roughly 10 to the 276 against. Allow a trillion universes instead of just ours and you are down to 10 to the 258 against! And that was referring to some kind of very simple rudimentary system of life, formed by 1500 succesive events - each of which was assigned a very generous probability of 0.5 (one half). And once formed - how could this system get along very well?
Life is only so exceedingly rugged, flexible and pervasive here on earth because it has a comprehensive set of mechanisms already within in it, to overcome most things that the environment throws at it. So how did these structures form by themselves?

That is the question - where did all of these mechanisms that do not just have the superficial complexity of snowflakes, but actually do many useful things - come from? Since evolution cannot give any but the most "pie in the sky" theoretical and improbable answers to this question - the teleological arguments stand!

At present, the weight of the evidence very strongly suggests that they cannot form by themselves. Like it or not, this is true. Many honest scientists admit this even though they have not, and may never support Creationism or ID as explanations.

Evolution does not automatically win this argument by saying that it is theoretically possible that life can form naturally. It is rather biased to claim that because evolution "could" do so, that it "has" done so. The weight of what we know about the chance formation of complex and functioning structures shows that the chances of forming these things are very low, impossible actually - given the numbers.

Snowflakes (as I mentioned) are not a good counter-arument. Because even though they contain crystalline order, they do not have significant processing capability. They do not transform the environment to a high degree. They do not do anything except float and look real nice on the ground. (I do like snowflakes).

Snowflakes are possibly an example of what evolution actually does - versus what is claimed for it. Imagine that a special type of snowflake with a particular shape, actually carried out some kind of special function such as the chemical processing of the air which flowed through it, to produce a special molecular combination of oxygen and nitrogen (say). This is all made up, but if you could reproduce this special type of snowflake in large numbers and allow then to drift down through the air, they would act as a super catylst for the production of some special oxide of nitrogen, or some other chemical compound if you put it in some other atmosphere. But look at all the snowflakes. They don't do anything like that. Actually, to be fair - some may, but we can't notice them can we, but since they are all different - the unique ones are lost in the crowd. Even though the special ones have the potential to do something useful, natural selection will mostly waste them. But the probability of generating just the right shape is so low, it never happens often enough. I know I have made that up, but it is just a concept to think about. Even the generation of the working protein in a cell is wasted if it isn't in the matching machinery. A working machine code routine won't work if it was designed for a PDP-11 and is thrown into an ARM CPU. Not only must the machinery be capable of functioning, but it must be matched to the other machinery present.

Well evolution is the same when it comes to producing proteins. Without just the right shape and number and types of components, proteins will not do anything that carries out a useful function on the environment it is in. And an alien protein would likely be destroyed by the cells defence mechanisms I guess.

Also, there are many more possible proteins that can be assembled, than there are useful proteins that carry out a processing function. Going back to the cave eye. There are many more configurations of an eye that won't work, compared to the number of configurations that do work.

It isn't like a lottery game. In a lottery, someone will always be the winner, no matter how improbable it is. It is set up that way. (Unless the winner dies or fails to collect, and then the winnings are usually passed on to the next winner).

In chance generation of biological mechanisms, the probability of some generated molecule being a "winner" is not certain as it is in a lottery. Far from it. In chance generation, the number of the functioning proteins is astronomically lower than the number of actual proteins produced. You could have a google google of universes jumbling matter before anything would be produced that would be self-replicating. And then it would have a long hard road ahead of it before it could combine in ways unknown to produce a better life form. I said long hard road, more likely, a quick road to rapid extinction caused by the forces that created it is the likely result. Back to square one. How about a google google google google google google google google google google of universes of jumbling. Now by then we may have one cell formed. Oops, it got destroyed. Darn! Back to square one. etc... etc... to the googleth power!

We have to choose some kind of God. You choose the Universe as God, or you choose God as the maker of the universe. Both are religious-like choices. Both posit an agency that existed eternally. You cannot have "self creation" from nothing. Either the Universe or God existed eternally. Take your pick. But choose well. Both require a form of commitment to miracles. My miracles are so, because God did them. Your miracles are so, because of how difficult (I would say impossible) the path of evolution is.

I am going to talk about Jesus Christ and Christianity now, why not? Comes a time when we need to state our beliefs. I am not ashamed of them. They are very good.

I don't know whether Gary has the same opinions on these matters as I do? But I will give my viewpoint, and he can state his if he wishes to.

By the way Monk, I have no idea whether you are a Christian or not. You may be or may not be. I am going to state what I know of Christianity because Christ commanded us to preach the Gospel to all people. I don't want you to assume that I thought you were not a Christian. I am just saying this in case you are not.

We both need faith to believe in our chosen philosophies. But Christianity (and Judaism beore it) offers much more than Naturalism does. It was around for much longer. We guys have purpose and a hope for the future.

I realize that what one is offered by a religion does not determine whrther one should choose it or not. But as it is just as believable (I would say much more so) than evolution, why not consider what it offers?

Christianity offers (relative to eternity) justice, and eternal life for thoise humble enough to believe in God, and eternal suffering for those unwilling to submit themselves to God.

Naturalism offers a short life, which may or may not be pleasant, and limited or no justice. This is followed by a cessation of existance in which all memories are destroyed. Even people in Hell have more dignity than that. Even people in Hell are there for a reason which does give their suffering some reason. Cessation of existance is the END with no respite. Unless you want to delve into other religions, none of which hold together as logically as Christianity.

Unfortunately for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, there is only Hell. "John 3:36 - He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." I do not enjoy saying that, but it is true. This is scientific in one way - after you are dead - you can test it! But you won't be able to change your mind at that point. So the decision for you is outside of science.

But God is willing for everybody to be saved. You don't need to make yourself good enough for God! We are all pretty bad. And it isn't just what we have done, but it is what we have the potential to do. Given the appropriate upbringing, I could have been as bad as the worst of them. And I certainly am not anything great at present. You could say I have "blown many chances" in my life. It also depends on our natural tendencies of personality which can be difficult to control. And our I.Q.

But God is willing to look aside from all that and offer each of us Eternal Life - for no cost - except for one thing. We need to believe in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Anyone can come to Christ - Nazi's, "good people", socialists, lazy people, racists, the politically correct, anyone. When you do so, you obtain forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life. It only requires the removal of the pride which causes us to hate God. Instead we join God's side and He will do the rest to make us better people after that. But there is nothing we can do short of believing in Christ that can make us acceptable to God. Christians are not better people than others, they are only forgiven because they have believed in Christ. When the Bible speaks of evil here, it means all of us as sinners. Christians are sinners too but they have begun to do something about it with God's help. Even the best and honest intentioned people are evil when compared to God. But God can save us if we believe in Him.

John 3:14-21

3:14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

3:15 that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.

3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.

3:17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

3:18 Those who believe in Him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

3:19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.

3:20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.

3:21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

>>I think I am correct in saying that there are quite a few ID and Creation researchers writing papers, but by default they are not able to publish in the respectable scientific journals since their work is considered non-science and rejected when it gets to peer review.<<

And rightly so. Would you favor allowing witch doctors to publish articles in medical journals?

Most of the content in your last message is essentially the same as the 18th Century "clockmaker" argument of Paley. Since it was all refuted more than a century ago and today has about the same level of scientific credibility as astrology, I'm not going to waste my time writing about it.

If you or anyone reading would be interested in the views of evolutionary biologists on the subject, I would recommend the works of Richard Dawkins- particularly "The Blind Watchmaker."

>>I am going to talk about Jesus Christ and Christianity now,<<

What a surprise. Thanks for proving my point.

 
At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Michael Galieh said...

Yes, that book would be worthwhile reading. I have heard that "The Blind Watchmaker" is the definitive book from the viewpoint of seeking to refute the Teleological argument. I really must get it and read it. To not do so would be to ignore one of the premier writers on this matter.

But I think you are incorrect in treating the teleological argument as refuted a hundred years ago. It's arguments remain unanswered. That is the main point of the ID proponents. Please do continue to look into it at sometime in the future. It really isn't a waste of time.

I also guess you didn't really want to hear the Gospel either, but I reckon it is my Christian duty to present it, at least occasionally. And straight from the Word of God - it's purest form.

Just as it is your wish to propose naturalistic science, it's not wrong for me to tell people about the Gospel and try to persuade them about it. Just so long as I do not attempt to force people into accepting and believing in the message. That would be way out of line, and very similar to what Muslim extremists are doing.

Anyway, I think I have said everything I can think of for now, so thanks for the discussion Monk, goodbye.

 
At 10:12 AM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

Breaking news:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Michael Galieh said...

Ha, you don't fool me! Everyone knows that if you step off the edge of the earth, you fall all the way down to the bottom. So it's not intelligent to fall - it is rather - unintelligent. Magellan was just very lucky to have made it back, wasn't he. You must not stray from the coast!

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Monk of Miletus said...

If you'd paid attention in history class, you'd know that Magellan did NOT make it back. But then again, you obviously didn't pay attention in science class, either.

 
At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Michael Galieh said...

Well, you got me there! I don't know much about Magellan, but I was saying that he was lucky not to have fallen off the edge of the earth. Perhaps if his ship had gone too much further... No, it's too horrible to think of!

 

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