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Getting Over Our Love for Darwin

Getting Over Our Love for Darwin
By William A. Dembski
Posted Tuesday, November 03, 2009

http://www.texanonline.net/default.asp?action=article&aid=6474&issue

Charles Darwin published his “Origin of Species” in 1859. There he presented the classic formulation of his theory of evolution. Lady Ashley, reacting to the theory at the time, remarked, “Let’s hope that it’s not true; but if it is true, let’s hope that it doesn’t become widely known.” Lady Ashley’s second hope has failed: Darwin’s theory is everywhere and has now become textbook orthodoxy. This year, universities around the globe are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “Origin of Species” as well as the 200th anniversary of his birth.

But what about Lady Ashley’s hope that Darwin’s theory is false? Darwin presented a bleak picture of ourselves: we are mere modified apes; we are the “winners” in a brutal competitive evolutionary process, most of whose players are “losers,” wiped off the evolutionary scene before they could leave a legacy; the traditional Christian view that we are made in God’s image is simply a story we tell to convince ourselves that we’re special. 

Intelligent design supporters like me view Darwin’s theory as untrue and even as laughable: The theory purports to give a materialistic account of life’s development once life is already here, but it has a gaping hole at the start since matter gives no evidence of being able to organize itself from non-life into life. The fossil record, especially the sudden emergence of most animal body plans in the Cambrian explosion, sharply violates Darwinian expectations about the historical pattern of evolutionary change. The nano-engineering found in the DNA, RNA, and proteins of the cell far exceeds human engineering and remains completely unexplained in Darwinian terms.

Darwin lovers are quick to reject such complaints.  After all, as novelist Barbara Kingsolver declares, Darwin’s idea of natural selection is “the greatest, simplest, most elegant logical construct ever to dawn across our curiosity about the workings of natural life. It is inarguable, and it explains everything.” Kingsolver is no fan of Christianity. Yet many Darwin lovers are Christian. Francis Collins, who directs the National Institutes of Health, is a Christian Darwinist. Leaving aside a healthy skepticism that regards every scientific theory as refutable in light of new evidence, Collins exempts Darwinian evolution from such skepticism: “evolution, as a mechanism, can be and must be true.”

Any theory that explains everything and that can and must be true is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or the greatest swindle ever foisted on gullible intellectuals. The intelligent design community takes the latter view, siding here with Malcolm Muggeridge, who wrote: “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.”

Still, it’s easy to understand why so flimsily a supported theory garners such vast support. It provides the creation story for an atheistic worldview. If atheism is true, then something like Darwinian evolution must follow. Hence, any attack on Darwin becomes an attack on the atheistic secularism that pervades our culture. Nonetheless, even though atheism implies Darwinism, the reverse is not true: Darwinism does not imply atheism. Indeed, Christian theists who embrace Darwin abound.

The wedding between Darwinism and Christianity, however, is an uneasy one. To be sure, plenty of marriages are uneasy, and uneasy marriages are often endured because divorce can entail more difficulties than endurance. Thus, when I got involved with the evolution controversy 20 years ago, I naively thought that any Christian, given sufficient evidence against Darwinism, would immediately jump ship. Darwinian evolution, according to Cornell historian of biology Will Provine, is “the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.” Why should Christians stick with such an engine when it’s no longer needed?

Little did I realize how infatuated many Christians are with Darwin. Having convinced themselves that design is an outdated religious dogma, they embraced Darwinism as a form of enlightenment. And having accommodated their faith to Darwin, they became loath to reexamine whether Darwinism is true at all. Unlike Lady Ashley, Christian Darwinists hope that Darwinism is true. But is it really? In this year of Darwinian bacchanalias, let us soberly reassess whether Darwin’s theory is indeed true. And if the evidence goes against it, as the intelligent design community is successfully demonstrating, then let’s be done with it. In that case, reconciling Christianity with Darwinism becomes a vain exercise, solving a problem that no longer exists.
 
­William A. Dembski is research professor in philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of prominent books in the field of intelligent design, including The Design of Life: Discovering Signs of Intelligence in Biological Systems, written with biologist Jonathan Wells.

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122 Responses to Getting Over Our Love for Darwin

  1. Great article!!

    “evolution, as a mechanism, can be and must be true.”

    And it is of course. Genomic changes occur that are fixed by natural selection.

    What is overlooked, however, by the die-hard true believers in Darwinism is that it is impossible for this fact of nature to explain all biodiversity.

  2. Dear Dr. Dembski,

    when will your article “The search for a search” be widely known? I can’t find the draft anymore at R. Marks’s site. Has this something to do with the ongoing peer-review? Shouldn’t this be completed by now? Or do you share my concerns?

  3. “Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has” (Muggeridge).

    This reminded me of a scene from a BBC Horizon study of science (entitled Science Fiction?) in which a historian imagined a study group, a century or so from now, standing in the ruins of a radio telescope, seeking to explain how people could have gained certain degrees of confidence in the findings of such a device…

    I started ‘The End of Christianity’ yesterday, and it certainly is making me think, which is always a good thing.

  4. One reason I believe why Darwinism, a theory with never any credible scientific support to sustain it, has been able to become the dominant paradigm of origins in our universities, is that I believe, much like a “vice” that starts out seemingly innocent and then eventually starts to destroy the life of the person trapped by it, Darwinism was not seen as a threat by our culture in the beginning, but as Weikart has clearly pointed out in “From Darwin to Hitler”, the threat was not innocent and has been traceable to the the base of the atrocities of the 20th century. It is time for Christians of America to wake up from their sleep and realize the clear and present danger that unchecked Darwinism presents to our society. Darwinism IS NOT compatible with our traditional Judeo-Christian ethics and is in fact in direct opposition to the highest standards of those Ethics, namely the dignity of human life.

    Rejection of Judeo-Christian values

    Weikart explains how accepting Darwinist dogma shifted society’s thinking on human life: “Before Darwinism burst onto the scene in the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of the sanctity of human life was dominant in European thought and law (though, as with all ethical principles, not always followed in practice). Judeo-Christian ethics proscribed the killing of innocent human life, and the Christian churches explicitly forbade murder, infanticide, abortion, and even suicide.

    “The sanctity of human life became enshrined in classical liberal human rights ideology as ‘the right to life,’ which according to John Locke and the United States Declaration of Independence, was one of the supreme rights of every individual” (p. 75).
    Only in the late nineteenth and especially the early twentieth century did significant debate erupt over issues relating to the sanctity of human life, especially infanticide, euthanasia, abortion, and suicide. It was no mere coincidence that these contentious issues emerged at the same time that Darwinism was gaining in influence. Darwinism played an important role in this debate, for it altered many people’s conceptions of the importance and value of human life, as well as the significance of death” (ibid.).
    http://www.gnmagazine.org/issu.....-world.htm

  5. Latest David Berlinski interview with Gordon Liddy is here:

    http://feeds.radioamerica.org/.....014438.mp3

  6. One of the ways Darwinists obscure the real issues is by mis-characterizing Darwinism as the proposition that random variation culled by natural selection produces change in species. This, by itself, is incontestable and has been observed in nature and even in the laboratory. There is a third part to the theory (after random variation and natural selection), which is the sticking point, namely the proposition that novel biological structures, body plans, and processes (such as blood clotting and insect metamorphosis) can be and are the result of many small changes, each increasing the organism’s fitness, occurring over long periods of time.

    It is this claim, contradicted by so much evidence and supported by so little (if any at all), that is the crux of the matter. And it is this that not surprisingly is usually conspicuously absent from Darwinists’ descriptions of the Darwinian paradigm.

  7. And if the evidence goes against it, as the intelligent design community is successfully demonstrating, then let’s be done with it. In that case, reconciling Christianity with Darwinism becomes a vain exercise, solving a problem that no longer exists.

    Darwinism serves in place of a theodicy for the Darwinist Christians, and Bill has rightly recognised that if Darwnism is false, then the need for a Christian Theodicy re-emerges.

  8. Mr. Dembski wrote, “[E]ven though atheism implies Darwinism, the reverse is not true: Darwinism does not imply atheism.” If I understand him, Dembski’s point was that the process of evolution does not logically entail atheism. I agree, but I don’t think the same can be said of “Darwinism” strictly speaking. Darwinism does imply atheism.

    Darwinism is usually defined as the blind watchmaker thesis, not merely macro-evolution and/or common descent. While the blind watchmaker thesis does not logically exclude the possibility of God’s existence, it definitely implies that God does not exist. After all, the thesis that God exists but is not involved with creation requires us to think of God as sitting idly by, thoroughly surprised to find time, space, and matter popping into existence from nothing. In the words of David Berlinski: “If God did not create the world, then what is His use? … A God too indisposed to do the work of creation is fated to drift into irrelevance, if only because His demand for adoration would be considerably out of line with His record of accomplishment.”

  9. Malcolm Muggeridge? Wow. He was the person who rescued me from the breaking pack ice, so to speak, nearly four decades ago.

    I remember interrupting a CBC screening in an apartment where he was staying, and being told to SHUT UP.

    (I had arrived late, due to problems sorting laundry, and I just wanted people to know I was there.)

    But Muggeridge wasn’t the one who told me to shut up.

    Quite the opposite. At the time, we both had other things on our mind. He was on his way to becoming a Catholic, as I did later. We were mainly interested in the value of human life.

    I was fronting that cause, along with many courageous doctors, journalists, publishers, printers, etc. who have since paid for the crime with their careers. Americans will soon have this problem, if they don’t now.

    Muggeridge is no longer alive to speak for himself, but I am quite sure he would say, just blow Darwinism out of the water, as the British warships did the Bismarck.

    After the taping ended, Muggeridge insisted on seeing me, and we got along great.

    After I got home, I got Hull due to complaints about how I had sorted the laundry.

    Well, that would have happened even if I had been at a bible study or a beer parlour, right?

  10. Bill I want to disagree with you vehemently. You wrote…

    “Nonetheless, even though atheism implies Darwinism, the reverse is not true: Darwinism does not imply atheism. Indeed, Christian theists who embrace Darwin abound.”

    This is nonsense. For one to accept Darwinism one must accept the non-teleic view of reality- and hence they are not a theist let a lone a true Christian by definition. Now I am aware that you may try to argue that one can be a Christian by faith alone and yet not think that design is evident or scientifically detectable in the world- but here I also disagree. The Bible makes it clear that God’s existence is inexorably manifest in his design- and if a sinner like myself can find design irrevocable than so should any self declared Christian. Thus,just saying so are a Christian does not make you so.

    So Darwinism implies atheism- and all of those people wo claim to be Christin Darinwists are liars. Either they are not Christains but just like to say they are- or maybe they are Christins and pretend to belive in Darinwinism – for the sake of protecting their jobs and so forth. Either way their Christinity is in question.

    As far atheism implying Darwinism- I am not sure this is true either. While I totally agree that the vast majority of atheists are Darwinists I think one can be an atheist and not a Darwinist. I know such a person who believes in no God whatsoever but thinks there is an intelligent force that organizes material reality. This person sees that Darwinism is hopelessly incomplete and pathetically simple- and does not explain anything- but this same person does not think there exists a benevolent God of any sort because of the evil and “non-ideal” design in the world. This is the God with no identity- or one step less than diesm.

    and you should know better than to use divorce as an analogical defense of the realtionship between Christainaity and Darwinism.

    In Luke-

    “”Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” Luke 16:18″

    Christ makes it clear that divorce is adultery under almost any circumstance and so much so that no man should even marry a divorced woman. So while honoring marriage is a tenant of Christianity, honoring Darwinism is not. Honoring scientific consensus is not either. And if a person finds the difficulty to be in “being Christian” because of their “belief in Darwinism”- then they are a Darwinist first and hence not a real Christian at all. Because Christ made it clear that one must fully committed to the narrow path to be of the true faith and to be saved.

  11. and for example People like Francis Collins are not real Christains in Truth. His book the “Language of God” was just a lazy attempt to cash in on the popular ID and apologetics movement. It was like John Wells said in his review of the book- he was baffled because on the won hand it seemed Collins was saying DNA was the language of God- but thoughou tthe book he makes it clear that Neo Darinism is true- and it is people’s blind fiath that prevent them from accepting the truth of this evolution.

    So his only goal was one to cash in- and two perhaps more insidiously to get people interested in ID to come over to his side- which is anti-ID- by writing a book that appears at the onset to be in favor of ID- and ends up being against it. I mean the book is called the “Language of God” but he is saying there is no reason to think it is. I think, to a certain extent that his goal was to confuse and corrupt people innocently interested in ID and related subjects.

    And yes I have read the book.

  12. Frost,

    I appreciate your comments. I understand the depth of weirdness of the issues you are talking about. But things like:

    “People like Francis Collins are not real Christains in Truth”

    …are more than a little over the top. Argue against his position with all that you have to argue, but this is not for you to say.

    (just my $.02)

  13. Upright that is fine. But I think if one argues against the notion that the world is obviously the result of something more than chance purposeless material processes then they are not a Christian by definition. And as far as I can tell Collins thinks this is the case. So that is my reasoning to calling him not a True Christian. He might have some Christian sympathies- but Christianity if you study what Christ said in scripture- is a very NARROW position- that is, it is not a liberal faith at all. And that is not my personal view any more than it is my personal view that Israel is in the middle east. It is pretty evident.

    But I agree that facts are better than inferences- while my inference is almost deductive- without reading his mind there is still the possibility that he is a Christian but is just trying to maintain his political and social status. However in which case I think his faith is weak because to a strong Christian their social status would not matter more (nor should matter more) than sharing the depth their faith- if there is real depth there.

  14. Christian Darwinists believe that Darwinian evolution is the process by which God brought about living forms. Such a process gives no evidence of design and thus does, in my view, crash into Romans 1:20. But Christian Darwinists can argue that even though design is not scientifically detectable in the evolutionary process and even though chance plays a dominant role in it, nevertheless God is behind it all. Thus, even though the process appears undesigned, at some level it actually is designed; and even though chance might seem to preclude divine involvement, in fact it allows it (compare Proverbs 16:33).

  15. But Bill you and I both no this does clash with Romans. And so their position is not rational- and neither is their faith. I think the question then becomes can one have an irrational Christian faith? I say no. The True path is narrow. Christ’s words, not mine.

  16. I think it is a sign of their lack of spirituality that they cannot see how manifestly evident intelligent design is in the world. And you can say “intelligibility” too if you like- but that gets at the same point. Darwinism says it is not designed. SO I think you can possibly hold the position out of ignorance that ID is not science and still be a Christian- but you cannot hold that Darwinism is true- because Darwin was himself showing that God was not necessary to understand the worlds intelligibility. So it is evident that Darwinism is always atheistic. In fact one could argue that Darwinism is nothing but a scientific codification of atheism. I would say that.

  17. Frost122585:

    I think it is a sign of their lack of spirituality that they cannot see how manifestly evident intelligent design is in the world.

    Frost,

    That’s a bit “holier than thou”, don’t you think?

    In fact one could argue that Darwinism is nothing but a scientific codification of atheism.

    That’s simply not true. Denying God a role in the diversification of life is not the same as denying his existence.

    I think Dawkins got it right when he wrote:

    An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: “I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn’t a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one.” I can’t help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

    While Darwinism doesn’t demand atheism, it certainly does remove one of the main obstacles to atheism, as Dawkins points out.

  18. Scro, being a “Christian” is much more than just thinking there migth be a God. And if one doe snot know of God’s existence through his creation or design then how does one come ot know of him?

    Obviously there is no way because even the human mind which thinks of him was either part of his design or was not.

    And as far as your “holier than thou” accusation- please, that is not an argument. I am basing my objection to this nonsense of theistic Darwinism on facts of scripture because it is not a view that can be based in scripture at all and to be a Christian you need to accept the scripture because that is how Christians of today know of Christ and what being a Christian is all about.

    Just saying your a Chrsitain does not make you one- and there is no reason why I should have to take people at there word when there is no rationality to back it up. Lets put romans aside and look at the absurdity of the claim of thesitic Darwinism

    Theistic Darwinists believe that God created the heavens and the Earth- heavens and earth that “did not need a creator”, and which have no empirical evidence nor any explanatory requirement of his guidance or designing of it. A world where human beings arose by chance and a brutal survival of the fittest narrative highlighted by some random mutations.

    Does that sound like a Christian world view to you? No. Theistic Darwinist are basically the same as classical bandwagon football fans. They say the love the team and it’s players and they too think that the team will win the Superbowl- but they know nothing about the team and don’t care anyways. And as soon as everyone around them stops liking the team they do too. Really they don’t even like the team- in fact they hate football- they just use it as a way to better themselves socially and make themselves feel good when it is going well.

    Now there is a crowed that I think is just confused- ad they break down into two different categories on opposing sides of the line. First there is the side which believes Darwinism to be true but they were raised Christian. They are not Christains. They might feel guilty and still beleive a little because of the ingraining of their upbrinning but they know better that Darwinism does not square with Christainity. I think Collins falls into this category- and Miller to a lesser extent is the same. They sympathize with Christainity but deep down think it is myth. Then there is the other group which is confused which really beleive in Christainity but have been mislead by the schools and everyone around them. They don’t really believe in Darwinis. These people are much more likely to be real Christians who might just “say” they believe in Darwinism but if you talk with them for a while in privet you see they do not. They are not the type to be open vehement critics of ID. They don’t hate ID- but fail to understand it. These are the silent majority for ID who show up in polls that say most Americans think DE is incomplete without some kind of designer.

    Now notice I say Theistic Darwinists because Theistic “Evolution” CAN be squared with Christianity. It is perfectly understandable how one could think the tree of life evidence is strong and yet God guided it. That is not Darwinism.

  19. Frost:

    Scro, being a “Christian” is much more than just thinking there migth be a God.

    Of course, but look at your claim:

    In fact one could argue that Darwinism is nothing but a scientific codification of atheism.

    Darwinism does not preclude theism. Your statement is incorrect.

    Theistic Darwinists believe that God created the heavens and the Earth- heavens and earth that “did not need a creator”…

    Many if not most of them do think that the universe needed a creator. NDE is not cosmology, Frost.

    Bill is correct when he writes:

    But Christian Darwinists can argue that even though design is not scientifically detectable in the evolutionary process and even though chance plays a dominant role in it, nevertheless God is behind it all.

    That is not an atheistic view.

  20. —-William Dembski: “But Christian Darwinists can argue that even though design is not scientifically detectable in the evolutionary process and even though chance plays a dominant role in it, nevertheless God is behind it all. Thus, even though the process appears undesigned, at some level it actually is designed; and even though chance might seem to preclude divine involvement, in fact it allows it (compare Proverbs 16:33).”

    I think you are being just a little too open-minded here. Romans 1:20 emphasizes the point that we can discern the existence of God by observing his handiwork. So much so, that those who would deny his existence are without excuse.” Psalm 19 makes the same point, though in a less demanding way.

    By contrast, Christian Darwinists insist that we cannot draw that conclusion. They are not simply saying that design is scientifically undetectable; they are saying that it cannot be perceived by the senses at all, and, more still, that any such apprehension is an illusion. According to them, we can only “believe” that God designed the world, and, even then, only after they have told us so. In other words, we must believe that, if God revealed himself in nature, it could only have been in a language that can be comprehended by naturalistic scientists, and that we should, therefore, believe these scientists when they tell us that design is “inherent in the evolutionary process.”

    But the whole point of Romans 1:20 is that no faith is required, not in the TEs—not even in God —that scoffers and non-believers are without excuse because they are literally denying the testimony of their own senses. How else can one interpret the passage, “The fool has said in his heart that there is no God.” Surely, that means that God revealed himself in nature in the language that we can all understand. What kind of a revelation would it be if it needed TE for a middle man?

  21. The True path is narrow. Christ’s words, not mine.

    The words are his (broadly speaking, since that’s not what he actually said, if the Gospel account is to be believed). But the application of these words in the current context is entirely yours.

    Nothing can quite be compared to taking Scripture out of it’s original context, placing it in a context foreign to that from which it was taken, and then declaring, “thus says the LORD.”

    This sort of stuff, coming from purported Christians, sickens me, especially when used as ammunition against other Christians.”

  22. but Christianity if you study what Christ said in scripture- is a very NARROW position- that is, it is not a liberal faith at all. And that is not my personal view any more than it is my personal view that Israel is in the middle east. It is pretty evident.

    But Jesus never said that Christianity is a very narrow position. I greatly doubt that Jesus ever used the term “Christianity’ at all.

    Christianity if you study what Christ said in scripture- is a very NARROW position- that is, it is not a liberal faith at all.

    I object. Christianity is a very liberal faith. Whosoever will, may come.

    And that is not my personal view any more than it is my personal view that Israel is in the middle east. It is pretty evident.

    But it is your personal view, as you have made quite apparent through your statements in this thread. To claim otherwise is to be dishonest. Now, you might claim that your personal view is shared by others, but this in no way makes it not your personal view, as you assert.

    You could convince us that it is not your personal view by denying it, but I am not holding my breath.

    And that is not my personal view any more than it is my personal view that

    Do you hold the view that “Israel” is in the middle east? If so, how can you deny that this is your personal view?

    Seriously, I don’t blame Bill for not responding to posts such as yours. He probably has any number of more productive ways to spend his time.

    Israel is in the middle east. It is pretty evident.

    Really? Who, or what, is “Israel”?

  23. By contrast, Christian Darwinists insist that we cannot draw that conclusion.

    This is just not true. At most, they claim that we cannot draw this conclusion from biology.

  24. People have believed in God for a host of reasons across time. Some would have said you need nothing more than an act of grace or the presence of rain in order to detect Him. It’s obviously reasonable to think that the higher order of proof we have today shares less of the history in belief.

    People have disbelieved in God for lots of reasons as well. I would be more apt to think this failure has more to do with the actions of believers than with God himself.

    I personally think that Theistic Evolutionists have lost their marbles, and I’ll argue the empirical facts with them as hard as anyone, but I think it’s inappropriate to attack their faith. I can’t imagine myself calling out a Christian; saying he or she is not the right kind of believer.

    I refuse.

  25. But what about Lady Ashley’s hope that Darwin’s theory is false? Darwin presented a bleak picture of ourselves: we are mere modified apes; we are the “winners” in a brutal competitive evolutionary process, most of whose players are “losers,” wiped off the evolutionary scene before they could leave a legacy; the traditional Christian view that we are made in God’s image is simply a story we tell to convince ourselves that we’re special.

    A wish I could write the comprehensive essay the subject deserves but I can’t.

    I fail to see the ‘bleak picture’. When I see us I see a species related to all life on this planet, we are all of the same miraculous stock. I find ‘mere modified apes’ rather demeaning words to use about those fabulous relatives of ours. All creatures on this planet come from the same source, share the same origins. What right do we have to assign less dignity to other animals than ourselves? How is it possible to look at animals and not see the kinship? Don’t animals express love and care for their young ones? Don’t animals live straight, decent lives; just the way life should be lived? Perversion is a human invention.

    Stories about dogs or dolphins saving human lives are many, but also other animals are known to have shown respect for life.

    Judging by the way we live, man is the lowest animal on the planet. I hope I don’t have to remind anyone about the history of man on this planet; he is in the news every day and it is a very sad story.

    That is man’s predicament, he took it upon himself to define good and evil according to his own ideas in contrast with the law of life written in the heart of all animals – man included. Animals live their lives the only way life can and shall be lived, with no moral issues about how>/I> they should live.

    Man is a special case, no doubt about that. But he is first and foremost an animal. We cannot understand man if we ignore that. What sets us apart are of course our unique brains, that’s all. Our brains have by and by made us what we are. Our brains have made it possible for us to stray from a natural way of living. And we have used it to create morals, the concept of good and bad, and applying those terms to life itself.

    The duality good/bad is not seen in nature!

    We are not “the “winners” in a brutal competitive evolutionary process”, I find that idea quite alien to my way of thinking. Nor are “most of whose players are “losers,” wiped off the evolutionary scene before they could leave a legacy” words that I find meaningful at all. Such thinking is alien to me.

    Confusing evolution – the principle that all living things descend from other living things, with the simple fact that no individual of any species have any guarantee that it/he/she will leave descendants. That’s a game of chance, not about being a ‘loser’ or not. Species are not entities, they have no identity, they are only manmade concepts convenient for classification according to how we view life. Some families propagate over long periods of time, others don’t. So what?

    Why look at life from a species perspective? Life is an individual affair! We are not actors on an “evolutionary scene.” I guess one must have a grudge against the concept of evolution to think in those terms. Evolution is just a word, a term used to describe a certain philosophical view of the history of life on this planet!

    I am not an actor, contestant or whatever in a game of evolution. All I am doing, all I can do is to live my own personal life, that’s all. But at the same time I, like everybody else, is a link in the game of evolution.

    I can’t help it; I am afraid I disagree wholeheartedly with the writer.

  26. From 2001:

    First off, let’s be clear that design can accommodate all the results of Darwinism. Intelligent design does not repudiate the Darwinian mechanism. It merely assigns it a lower status than Darwinism does. The Darwinian mechanism does operate in nature and insofar as it does, design can live with its deliverances.

    But now:

    Intelligent design supporters like me view Darwin’s theory as untrue and even as laughable.

    I have been a supporter of many ID-friendly concepts for a long time (since before I heard the term ID). But this sort of (apparent) contradiction just confuses me.

    So, to be clear, does ID accept or reject the Darwinian mechanism as something that truly operates in nature?

    I’m very curious.

    Thanks
    C.

  27. Cabal states:

    we are all of the same miraculous stock. I find ‘mere modified apes’ rather demeaning words to use about those fabulous relatives of ours.

    ,Cabal, if you want to stay logically consistent, don’t use the word miraculous in describing evolution,, Because clearly, miraculous, is what evolution tries to explain away by sole avenue of material processes.

  28. Dr. Dembski has gone on record repeatedly as asserting that the design that he and other ID supporters infer in nature is not necessarily the result of divine activity. Indeed, he has asserted (and others have agreed) that the question of design in nature is a completely separate question from the existence (or non-existence) of God. To be specific, if there is design in nature, then that proposition can be answered through the use of standard scientific methods alone, without resort to the “God hypothesis”. Indeed, since the standard methods of science preclude any resort to supernatural causation, this is the only way the existence (or non-existence) of design in nature can be verified or falsified.

    I completely agree, and also point out that most of the comments in this thread seem to be in the opposite direction: that the proposition that there is indeed design in nature necessarily both requires the intervention of God in nature, and somehow proves the existence of God. Neither of these propositions necessarily follows from the design proposition listed at the end of the previous paragraph, and are in fact completely separate inferences, based on completely separate (and logically incommensurate) evidence.

    As for Romans 1:20, what part of that verse either requires or denies the direct intervention of God in natural processes?

  29. Furthermore, it seems to me that to assert that the idea that God must necessarily directly intervene in natural processes implies that God (whom a theist asserts is necessarily the creator of all such processes) must somehow be incapable of creating natural processes that cannot operate without His continuous intervention (i.e. “you can’t get here from there”).

    One might argue that He would create an imperfect natural universe (with necessarily imperfect natural laws) so that He would necessarily have to directly intervene in nature, and by so doing necessarily reveal His existence. But this seems to me to contradict several foundational components of the Abrahamic traditions, including (but not necessarily limited to) the doctrine of free will. If God must intervene in the operation of nature (because He is necessarily incapable of creating a natural universe which can operate without His direct intervention), then God’s own free will is necessarily suspect. And, if we cannot believe in His existence without direct proof based on His direct intervention in nature, does that not necessarily limit our free will?

    Let me give you an analogy: My friend and mentor, Will Provine, often says that he would immediate become a devout theist of God would simply part the waters of Cayuga Lake so that he could walk straight across the lake bottom to Cayuga Medical Center instead of having to schlep all the way around. My response to this is that, were God to do something like this, it would completely eliminate all possibility of free will, as such incontrovertible evidence of God’s existence would no longer allow one to freely chose to believe in His existence (unless, of course, one were deluded or insane).

    To me, belief in the existence of God must necessarily be the result of an act of free will, rather than a necessary conclusion based on observation of the operation of nature. Indeed, I agree with both Darwin and Huxley in asserting that if one grounds one’s belief in the existence of God in the operation of nature, one is forced to agree with the proposition that a benevolent and compassionate God would (of His own free will) create such things as parasitoids and Ewings sarcoma:

    “I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.”

    - Charles Darwin; letter to Asa Gray, dated 22 May 1860 [http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-2814.html]

    “The struggle for existence, which has done such admirable work in cosmic nature, must, it appears, be equally beneficent in the ethical sphere. Yet if that which I have insisted upon is true; if the cosmic process has no sort of relation to moral ends; if the imitation of it by man is inconsistent with the first principles of ethics; what becomes of this surprising theory?

    Let us understand, once for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it.”
    - Thomas Henry Huxley (1893) Evolution and Ethics [http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE9/E-E.html]

  30. Finally, it seems somewhat paradoxical to me that Dr. Dembski, who has asserted on multiple occasions (as have many commentators at the website) that ID is not incompatible with the theory of evolution, but rather only with the idea that evolution is unguided, should post an essay in which the thrust of his argument is that Darwin’s theory of evolution is wrong. I was under the impression that IDers assert that evolution has happened, but that some intelligent entity or force (identity unspecified) has directly intervened in evolution to bring about the structure and function of life on Earth. This is very different from asserting that Darwin was wrong and that life on Earth has not evolved.

    As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, my discussions with ID supporters (including my good friend, Hannah Maxson) has led me to the conclusion that the most likely venue for the intervention of an intelligent guiding agent/force in the process of biological evolution is in the production of the variations upon which Darwinian natural selection operates. This was Asa Gray’s response to Darwin’s theory in his favorable review of Darwin’s Origin of Species, a response which Darwin though of so highly that he financed the publication of a pamphlet promoting Gray’s views.

    So, which is it: is Darwin’s theory of evolution wrong — has evolution not occurred, or is Darwin’s theory of evolution incomplete — has evolution occurred via the production of variations that have “guided” the pattern of macroevolution?

  31. As for the “miraculous” origin of humans from “primate” stock, it seems quite “miraculous” to me that the process of natural selection has produced animals that are so unlike each other in so many ways. Which is the greater miracle: to “poof” humans into existence in direct violation of what we observe to be the laws of nature and natural processes or to use those very same processes to create “the paragon of animals” out of a primate ancestor that would be somewhat difficult to distinguish from a modern bonobo?

  32. Allen_Macneill,

    As for the “miraculous” origin of humans from “primate” stock, it seems quite “miraculous” to me that the process of natural selection has produced animals that are so unlike each other in so many ways. Which is the greater miracle: to “poof” humans into existence in direct violation of what we observe to be the laws of nature and natural processes or to use those very same processes to create “the paragon of animals” out of a primate ancestor that would be somewhat difficult to distinguish from a modern bonobo?

    No comparison can be made when talking about God’s miracles. There is no direct violation of the “laws of nature” in your “poof” mental image except one that you’ve invented. If you do not understand why the laws of nature are as they are, then you cannot say why they couldn’t be otherwise, which means that you’ve only witnessed some their effects by repetition, but that’s as far as it goes. Whether there is an ability to control the laws strictly in the purview of God, you cannot say. You’re question is a false dilemma.

  33. Sco wrote,

    “Many if not most of them do think that the universe needed a creator. NDE is not cosmology, Frost.”

    This is nonsense. If they think that God created the universe at the first cause (front loading) or cosmological level then they think that God essentially “designed” everything. There is no reason to think that God created or designed at the cosmological level and not at the biological level. Obviously. The universe could have turned out a multitude of different ways with no life in in- why did it turn out this way? By chance or design? What would a true Christian answer?

    There is no reason to choose between the two positions of cosmological and biological design. With Christianity it is all or nothing. God created the heavens and earth- and man and all the animals. Period. It was not chance and natural laws but God’s word.

    It would make no sense to think God created a universe that through random and law like processes produced all that we see. Obviously whatever happened at the biological level IS the result of God’s design at the cosmological level. There is NO distinction in physics between the cosmological level and biological level. It Is all pert of one universe- that is “universal” reality.

    Are we to think that God created a universe that did not have to turn out this way?? Of course not. As a Christian, one of the most simple beliefs is that God created the heavens and the Earth FOR man. This is guiding design. To say it is just chance and laws that God used is a false use of the word “chance.” Chance means there are other possibilities. If God’s goal was to create a world for man then there was no other possibility- because God is perfect and would not allow for anything other than what he decides to do. This simple Christianity. A non-Christian would have trouble with this for sure- but not a true Christian. Which is my point.

    That is, God did not leave it up to chance to see what would happen but specifically “created” (or designed) man in his own image. This is intelligent design- from image to reality.

    You cannot hold the position that life arose by purely “undirected and natural( that is impersonal) processes” (which is Darwinism) and be a Christian at the same time. Why would Christ have been able to perform Miracles if there was no physical interaction between God and his deign? He would not have- there is no logical way he could have in a Darwinian world. This is not a question for science but it is one for theology which is what one must face to be a Christian. Why would the “random” mutations align to produce human beings anyway if God was guiding them? The Bible says God was guiding them- in his creation of man. This is the total opposite of Darwinism.

    It is as simple as that. Anyone who claims to maintain the position of Theistic Darwinism is either simply confused and therefore does not possess a clear and true Christian faith- or is a liar. And most are liars because if they read their Bibles with real faith they would see the two do not square at all.

    Now as for “Mung”- you have no IDEA what Christianity is about if you think it is a liberal faith. I will repeat for the effect. You have NO IDEA what Christianity is about if you think it is a liberal faith.

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” – Jesus Matthew 7:13-16

    Peter 4:18— And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

    Luke 17:26-27 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.”

    Christianity is not liberal at all. This is the Truth. I am sorry you the Truth of Christianity “sickens” you- but that is not an argument against it. There is no Salvation outside of a strict belief in Christ and the word of God. And if you do not think this then you are purposefully ignoring his commandments- that is the word and the Bible. In fact you aren’t even paying them any mind whatsoever. People like you who think Christianity is liberal have never even read a Bible- and if you have you have not paid it any mind. The message is as clear as it can be.

    Do these sound like liberal minded tenants?

    John 14:6: “Jesus saith to them: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.”

    “He that believeth in the Son hath life everlasting: but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36:

    and i will quote Romans-

    20-”For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

    No, the position of Darwinism is not at all rational in a Christian world view and Christianity is not liberal at all compared to virtually any other Faith or doctrine. Anyone who would discount what the Bible says doesn ot believe it to be the absolute Truth and living word of God.

    Rememeber this is not to say they need to know about or understand ID- you CAN be a Christain not be in favor of ID as good science- but you cannot belive in Darwinism because it goes directly against scripture. And that is just reality.

  34. —Mung: “This is just not true. At most, they claim that we cannot draw this conclusion from biology. [Believing the testimony of our senses about design]”

    Biology is what I am referring to. I understand that theistic evolutionists tend to accept the anthropic principle of design in cosmology. But Romans 1:20 and Psalm 19 applies to all of nature, cosmology and biology–the heavens and the earth, so to speak.

  35. —Allen MacNeil: “I completely agree, and also point out that most of the comments in this thread seem to be in the opposite direction: that the proposition that there is indeed design in nature necessarily both requires the intervention of God in nature, and somehow proves the existence of God. Neither of these propositions necessarily follows from the design proposition listed at the end of the previous paragraph, and are in fact completely separate inferences, based on completely separate (and logically incommensurate) evidence.”

    Context, context, context. The comments about which you speak are mainly about Christian Darwinists and their insistence that they can reconcile a purposeful creator with a purposeless, mindless process–that both the Bible and neo-Darwinism are compatible. That is a separate question from the more limited task of drawing conclusions solely from the methods of ID science, which need no references to God at all.

    Here we go again with another special version of your favorite anti-ID talking point: ID = religion.

  36. So, which is it: is Darwin’s theory of evolution wrong — has evolution not occurred, or is Darwin’s theory of evolution incomplete — has evolution occurred via the production of variations that have “guided” the pattern of macroevolution?

    How about: our understanding of what causes biodiversity is incomplete and any theory that claims to adequately explain the causes of biodiversity is wrong.

  37. No the deal is that Darwinism says that there is no teleology in nature. You have design without the designer. But Romans says man is left without excuse by the obviousness of God’s hand in the design of nature.

    So you cannot be a Darwinist and a Christian. It is so clear cut. It is that simple. You believe involution but it must obviously by by the handwork of God. Even though the hand itself is invisible the inference to the hand is not.

  38. —Allen: “As for Romans 1:20, what part of that verse either requires or denies the direct intervention of God in natural processes?”

    Nothing. It indicates only that God played a role and made it happen in some way. The point is to ask theistic evolutionists to make up their mind about whether God did or did not play a role, rather than to say, as they do, that he played a role by not playing a role.

  39. —Mung: “The words are his [the path is narrow] (broadly speaking, since that’s not what he actually said, if the Gospel account is to be believed).

    What account is that? Surely, you are not saying that Frost’s allusion to a “path” deviates significantly from Christ’s use of the word “road.”

  40. Allen,

    Some day you will stick around long enough to learn what ID is about. ID would have no problem with any aspect of Darwin’s theory or as it has been modified over time and now let’s just call it the evolutionary synthesis if there was evidence to support the various propositions.

    To take something simple, ID find no evidence that gradual processes led to macro evolution. There may be the odd exception and it will also depend upon what one defines as macro evolution. But to cut to chase, there are vast areas of changes in life that are unexplained by any naturalistic let alone gradual processes.

    So gradualism is suspect even if the intelligence acted to produce the variation for natural selection to work on. Once the variation appeared there would be a trail of the changes as the variation was increasingly selected for leading to the new characteristics.

    This then leads one to question the relevancy of natural selection as a driving force. It can not tease out of a gene pool what is not there even if the right environmental circumstances appear. Thus it is not the vaunted force in evolution but only a minor process that operates once the variation appears. And the variation seems to appear en masse and the only explanation for that is intelligent intervention.

    So gradualism and natural selection are at best minor participants in evolution. A side show.

    The next pillar of Darwin is Malthusian competition for resources. Is there any evidence of this when there are tens of millions of ecologies on the earth today all subject to limited resources and no evidence of Darwinian processes producing anything of consequence relevant to the theory of evolution. So let’s just dismiss Malthus even though it was supposedly the eye opener for Darwin.

    The final pillar of Darwin is common descent and the Cambrian destroys that. Even if life could work its way back naturally it would hit a wall at the Cambrian.

    So anyway you want to define evolutionary theory as a naturalistic theory it has major problems. All of which could be explained by the occasional intervention of an intelligence.

  41. Surely, you are not saying that Frost’s allusion to a “path” deviates significantly from Christ’s use of the word “road.”

    No, I’m not talking about his use of the word path.

  42. Frost122585, 11/11/2009, 12:50 pm:

    Why would the “random” mutations align to produce human beings anyway if God was guiding them? The Bible says God was guiding them- in his creation of man. This is the total opposite of Darwinism.

    Maybe — depends if you define Darwinism to mean ateleology. But God’s guidance is not the total opposite of Darwinian mechanisms such as variation, selection, common descent etc. Surely God can act through such processes.

    In like manner, we understand the processes of conception, embryonic development and birth very well. Does this mean the birth of a child is not a miracle, or is not guided by God?

    Same goes for the weather, or any other natural process. Romans 1:20 tells us the unfolding of natural processes is equivalent to the unfolding of God’s plan. And 1 Corinthians 1:25 leads me to question just why I must accept your prescription of exactly how God is allowed to act on nature.

    In my view, Darwinian mechanisms play a major role in the history of life, but nevertheless life reeks of teleology.

    Thanks
    C.

  43. tribune7, 11/11/2009, 1:40 pm:

    So, which is it: is Darwin’s theory of evolution wrong — has evolution not occurred, or is Darwin’s theory of evolution incomplete — has evolution occurred via the production of variations that have “guided” the pattern of macroevolution?

    How about: our understanding of what causes biodiversity is incomplete and any theory that claims to adequately explain the causes of biodiversity is wrong.

    I have little problem with what you said, but its terribly vague.

    Of course our understanding of biology is incomplete. Of course any claim to a 100% complete explanation should be opposed. Does this mean that Darwinian mechanisms are false and don’t occur in nature, as suggested in the OP? I don’t see the connection at all.

    Why can’t Darwinian mechanisms be the raw material of divine providence?

    Thanks
    C.

  44. Clavis, you make no point except to say “maybe.” That is not a good answer. In fact Darwinism is the argument from Dis-teleology in biology and origins of life forms. The idea from Darwin is that the two mechanism are random change and natural selection. This is obviously not enough to account for all of the complexity and specified complexity. That is why the Bible says that God’s existence is manifestly obvious- so much so that “no man”- much any man claiming to be a Christian- will be excused. I mean it is just so clear that it is unbelievable how anyone could hold the idea that you could be a Darwinist and a true Christian. What i mean by “True” Christian is that you believe in the tenants of the Bible and what Christ taught- and that you don’t throw out the things you don’t like. Just saying that you are a Christian does not make you one- and I have no reason whatsoever to accept one entirely on the basis their word when they hold such contradictory positions.

  45. It is not a hard position at all to hold that maybe life is more than just random mutations and natural selection especially if you are a Christian. I mean if you cant even bring yourself to question this debasing view of life then how much of a Christian can you really be? I have said before that I know atheists that don’t buy the Darwinian explanation. They don’t have a problem with evolution but they can see that obviously there is more- some kind of higher organizing entity that beings forth the symmetry, homology, mathematical pattern, harmony, beauty, and over all structure of the universe- not to mention of the mystery of the soul and consciousness and it’s connection to meaning, ideals, significance, love and so forth. All of these things can be broken down to a just so story of evolution- but no where in that story do we find an answer to how this is all universally derived. That is natural selection and chance fail to explain what brings forth chance and nature. Chance and nature are taken as fundamental constants – but when time began there was no form- or nature on which nature can rely on. In other words you have to say that either a greater non material force brings this all about- or just simply Sh!t happens. The first answer is scientific because it is grounded in investigation of the question- and the second is not science because it is only concerned with empiricism. We know there is the potential for there to be more to the world than what we can only simply see- and while it is a synthetic inference to design or God- outside of scriptural deduction- it is at least an inference which makes rational sense. And as a Christian the rationality that points to a God who designs and creates a world should appear manifestly apparent. I am not the best Christian in the world by a long shot- but I can see totally abundantly how one can easily infer God’s role in the origin of the world and all of the complex novel things within it. How any Christian could not understand this is completely beyond my ability to reconcile with the faith.

  46. CLAVDIVS

    Does this mean that Darwinian mechanisms are false and don’t occur in nature, as suggested in the OP?

    Absolutely not! — and I said as much in the first response :-)

    The problem is the claim that Darwinian mechanism — undirected genomic changes fixed by natural selection — are adequate to explain biodiversity. They are not. In fact, it is impossible for these mechanism all biodiversity. Some biodiversity, yes. All, no.

  47. —-Mung: “No, I’m not talking about his use of the word path.”

    May I be bold enough to ask for the second time what you do mean?

  48. tribune7

    Does this mean that Darwinian mechanisms are false and don’t occur in nature, as suggested in the OP?

    Absolutely not! — and I said as much in the first response.

    The problem is the claim that Darwinian mechanism — undirected genomic changes fixed by natural selection — are adequate to explain biodiversity. They are not. In fact, it is impossible for these mechanism [to explain] all biodiversity. Some biodiversity, yes. All, no.

    So do you see the source of confusion for me and, I presume, the average layperson?

    You say the Darwinian mechanisms are true and real, but incomplete and inadequate to explain biodiversity. But the OP says they are “untrue” and “laughable”.

    Bruce David said (above) that “random variation culled by natural selection produces change in species … by itself, is incontestable and has been observed in nature and even in the laboratory.” But bornagain77 said “Darwinism [is] a theory with never any credible scientific support to sustain it”.

    Am I the only one that is puzzled by this? Just what is ID’s position on the reality of Darwinian mechanisms?

    Thanks
    C.

  49. CLAVDIVS, well I can’t speak for others but I find no reason to believe in evolution from empirical evidence:

    The oldest bacterium fossils, found on earth demonstrate an extreme conservation of morphology which, very contrary to evolutionary thought, simply means they look very similar to Stromatolites and bacteria of today.

    AMBER: THE LOOKING GLASS INTO THE PAST:
    Excerpt: These (fossilized bacteria) cells are actually very similar to present day cyanobacteria. This is not only true for an isolated case but many living genera of cyanobacteria can be linked to fossil cyanobacteria. The detail noted in the fossils of this group gives indication of extreme conservation of morphology, more extreme than in other organisms.
    http://bcb705.blogspot.com/200.....st_23.html

    Though it is impossible to reconstruct the DNA of these earliest bacteria fossils, scientists find in the fossil record, and compare them to their descendants of today, there are many ancient bacteria spores recovered and “revived” from salt crystals and amber crystals which have been compared to their living descendants of today. Some bacterium spores, in salt crystals, dating back as far as 250 million years have been revived, had their DNA sequenced, and compared to their offspring of today (Vreeland RH, 2000 Nature). To the disbelieving shock of many scientists, both ancient and modern bacteria were found to have the almost same exact DNA sequence.

    The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes:
    “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ;
    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/...../19/9/1637

    and this:

    Revival and identification of bacterial spores in 25- to 40-million-year-old Dominican amber
    Dr. Cano and his former graduate student Dr. Monica K. Borucki said that they had found slight but significant differences between the DNA of the ancient, 25-40 million year old amber-sealed Bacillus sphaericus and that of its modern counterpart, (thus ruling out that it is a modern contaminant, yet at the same time confounding materialists, since the change is not nearly as great as evolution’s “genetic drift” theory requires.)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/...../5213/1060

    30-Million-Year Sleep: Germ Is Declared Alive
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....gewanted=2

    In reply to a personal e-mail from myself, Dr. Cano commented on the “Fitness Test” I had asked him about:
    Dr. Cano stated: “We performed such a test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative “ancient” B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the amber isolate.”:
    Fitness test which compared the 30 million year old ancient bacteria to its modern day descendants, RJ Cano and MK Borucki

    Thus, the most solid evidence available for the most ancient DNA scientists are able to find does not support evolution happening on the molecular level of bacteria. In fact, according to the fitness test of Dr. Cano, the change witnessed in bacteria conforms to the exact opposite, Genetic Entropy; a loss of functional information/complexity, since fewer substrates and fatty acids are utilized by the modern strains. Considering the intricate level of protein machinery it takes to utilize individual molecules within a substrate, we are talking an impressive loss of protein complexity, and thus loss of functional information, from the ancient amber sealed bacteria.

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – “Fitness Test” – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BwWpRSYgOE

    According to prevailing evolutionary dogma, there “HAS” to be “significant genetic/mutational drift” to the DNA of bacteria within 250 million years, even though the morphology (shape) of the bacteria can be expected to remain the same. In spite of their preconceived materialistic bias, scientists find there is no significant genetic drift from the ancient DNA. I find it interesting that the materialistic theory of evolution expects there to be a significant amount of mutational drift from the DNA of ancient bacteria to its modern descendants, while the morphology can be allowed to remain exactly the same with its descendants. Alas for the materialist once again, the hard evidence of ancient DNA has fell in line with the anthropic hypothesis.

    Revisiting The Central Dogma (Of Evolution) In The 21st Century – James Shapiro – 2008
    Excerpt: Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome (not replication errors). (of interest – 12 methods of information transfer in the cell are noted in the paper)

  50. A few more points to consider:

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155). http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    Dr. Behe states in The Edge of Evolution on page 135:

    “Generating a single new cellular protein-protein binding site (in other words, generating a truly beneficial mutational event that would actually explain the generation of the complex molecular machinery we see in life) is of the same order of difficulty or worse than the development of chloroquine resistance in the malarial parasite.”

    That order of difficulty is put at 10^20 replications of the malarial parasite by Dr. Behe. This number comes from direct empirical observation.

    Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth Shies Away from Intelligent Design but Unwittingly Vindicates Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The rarity of chloroquine resistance is not in question. In fact, Behe’s statistic that it occurs only once in every 10^20 cases was derived from public health statistical data, published by an authority in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The extreme rareness of chloroquine resistance is not a negotiable data point; it is an observed fact.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....est_s.html

    An Atheist Interviews Michael Behe About “The Edge Of Evolution” – video
    http://www.in.com/videos/watch.....34623.html

    etc..etc…etc…

  51. Frost122585′s argument in comment #33 is what is known as the “No True Scotsman” argument and is entirely fallacious. To be specific, Frost122585 asserts without supporting evidence of any kind that his definition of a “true Christian” is the only valid definition.

    Why should anyone who is interested in rational debate pay any attention to Frost122585′s utterly fallacious and profoundly counterproductive (not to mention divisive) argument?

  52. In #35 stephenB wrote:

    “Here we go again with another special version of your favorite anti-ID talking point: ID = religion.”

    Actually, I was trying to make the opposite point: that according to Dr. Dembski and some other commentators here, ID is not necessarily religious, yet most of the comments in this thread (see, for example, all of Frost122585’s comments) appear to me to be making precisely the opposite point.

    You need to resend the memo that ID does not equal religion to your own troops, stephenB; they apparently haven’t gotten the official talking points from headquarters.

  53. stephenB in #38:

    First of all, you may refer to the causitive force in ID as God if that is your preference. It is not mine, and so I will henceforth refer to this hypothetical entity as the IDer.

    With that said, is it your position that the IDer only plays a role in nature by directly intervening in nature at various historical times and places, but cannot be considered to have done so by establishing and maintaining the laws of nature that a theistic evolutionist asserts are all that is necessary to “get here from there”?

  54. I didn’t write the OP, CLAVDIVS.

    But then words are sometimes used or taken differently by different people.

    If you define Darwinism as the claim that genomic changes can be fixed by natural selection, I agree with it and think it indisputable, in fact.

    If you define Darwinism as the claim that all life descended from a single ancestor solely via natural and undirected means, well, I think that’s silly.

  55. jerry in #40:

    And someday you will learn how to frame a comment without beginning it with an ad hominem attack. However, you will have to do so without expecting any response from me.

    I do not attack your credibility nor your person, yet you seem to be unable to address me without doing so. I will therefore not respond to any comment of yours that refers to anything I have posted except the content of my arguments.

  56. In #46 tribune7 asserted:

    “…it is impossible for these mechanism all biodiversity. Some biodiversity, yes. All, no.”

    So, exactly what aspects of biodiversity are the various mechanisms of micro- and macroevolution unable to produce, and what empirical evidence can you provide for this assertion?

  57. In comment #50, bornagain77 cites Dr. Behe’s The Edge of Evolution in support of the assertion that there is “…no reason to believe in evolution from empirical evidence”. Yet Dr. Behe himself has declared on multiple occasions (including in the very book bornagain77 cites in support of his denial of evolution) that he fully accepts the mainstream evolutionary account of descent with common ancestry.

    And, as I pointed out earlier in this thread, the same is also the case for Dr. Dembski, who has clearly stated that, although he feels a great deal of sympathy for creationists, he (like Dr. Behe) also accepts the empirical evidence for common descent.

    So, bornagain77 disagrees with both Dr. Behe and Dr. Dembski as to the reality of evolution (at least that part of evolution defined as common descent with modification), and furthermore uses standard creationist arguments in support of his/her denial of the position taken by Dr. Behe and Dr. Dembski.

    Ergo, bornagain77 is in complete and basic disagreement with both of the principle scientific supporters of ID.

  58. In #54 tribune7 wrote:

    “If you define Darwinism as the claim that all life descended from a single ancestor solely via natural and undirected means, well, I think that’s silly.”

    As an evolutionary biologist I think it’s silly, too. As the detailed empirical work of Ford Doolittle and his colleagues has shown, it is extremely likely that the “tree of life” does not have a single root. Indeed, there is increasing evidence that just the opposite may be the case. Life may have originated multiple times, and there is abundant evidence that the history of virtually all phylogenetic lines have been marked by multiple episodes of fusion (i.e. anastomosis) of lines of descent, in addition to splitting (i.e. cladogenesis).

    Furthermore, evolution is certainly not undirected. If it were, the patterns we observe in the empirical record of fossils and genomes would reflect a purely “random walk” over deep evolutionary time. But the patterns we observe show just the opposite: that the directions of both microevolutionary and macroevolutionary change have been continuously “guided”/modified as the result of a combination of intrinsic “natural” processes (such as the constraints imposed by developmental processes, physical laws, etc.) and extrinsic “natural” processes (such as ecological changes and long-term biogeochemical changes).

    However, I do agree with the use of the term “natural” here, but would not use it as necessarily meaning either “random” or “unguided”. A falling object’s path is neither random nor “unguided” (i.e. by the force of gravity), yet it is clearly “natural”, is it not?

  59. StephenB said: It indicates only that God played a role and made it happen in some way. The point is to ask theistic evolutionists to make up their mind about whether God did or did not play a role, rather than to say, as they do, that he played a role by not playing a role.

    - If I win the lottery, was that purely the result of a random process? Or was it the result of God willing me to win as the result of a random process? Does God have anything to do with people winning the lottery or not? Does God have anything to do with people surviving tsunamis? Surviving battles? Healing from from cancer?

    One man’s random event is another man’s Act of God. It merely depends on one’s presuppositions how to interpret such events, not on the actual data.

    fG

  60. tribune7

    I didn’t write the OP, CLAVDIVS.

    But then words are sometimes used or taken differently by different people.

    If you define Darwinism as the claim that genomic changes can be fixed by natural selection, I agree with it and think it indisputable, in fact.

    If you define Darwinism as the claim that all life descended from a single ancestor solely via natural and undirected means, well, I think that’s silly

    I would say that claiming life — or any other natural thing — developed solely via undirected means should be called atheism or materialism, not Darwinism. Darwinism surely refers to the theory of Charles Darwin.

    Also, please note that whilst you accept the fixing effect of natural selection, bornagain77 apparently does not, so an undecided party (about whether to support ID, like me) can’t tell what it is, in fact, I would be supporting. Is ID pro-modern science, or anti?

    Thanks
    C.

  61. bornagain77

    I am surprised at the empirical evidence that you cited, because it appears to support evolution rather than refuting it.

    The bacteria research states that the bacteria had in fact evolved over 250 million years. There was no reason for surprise that the modern bacteria are more specific in their ecological preferences than their ancestors: Darwin explained quite clearly why this should be so in Origin — it is because evolution is a branching process.

    You also cite Professor Behe who has clearly stated that he accepts common descent, variation and selection, and does not argue against such in Edge of Evolution.

    Is is perhaps true that what you’re objecting to is not the Darwinian mechanism, but just atheism generally?

    Thanks and regards
    C.

  62. But of course CLAVDIVS, no significant evolutionary change occurring over 250 million years supports evolution. How could I have been so blind to the evidence.

    Matthew 13-14-15
    14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
    “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
    15For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

  63. CLAVDIVS –I would say that claiming life — or any other natural thing — developed solely via undirected means should be called atheism or materialism, not Darwinism. Darwinism surely refers to the theory of Charles Darwin.

    Darwin was an atheist and materialist and held that life developed via undirected means. In fact a recent thread is dedicated to the subject.

    so an undecided party (about whether to support ID, like me) can’t tell what it is,

    If you believe that the development of life was directed whether via special creation or evolution from a common ancestor you would support ID.

    Just curious, but what do you think ID is?

    Is ID pro-modern science, or anti?

    It’s pro. How about Darwinism? :-)

  64. Allen_MacNeill

    To answer your question about whether or not evolution is incomplete or wrong, in Dempski’s mind:

    I think that Dempski would tell you that the 3 principles of 1. random mutation to beneficial traits 2 Natural Selection and 3 common descent, are not laughable ideas, merely incomplete. But it is laughable to say that the bacterial flagellum is a result of these three principles or that they can account for the information content of DNA.

  65. bornagain77:

    Some bacterium spores, in salt crystals, dating back as far as 250 million years have been revived, had their DNA sequenced, and compared to their offspring of today (Vreeland RH, 2000 Nature). To the disbelieving shock of many scientists, both ancient and modern bacteria were found to have the almost same exact DNA sequence.

    First of all, we’re talking about the sequencing of a single highly conserved gene here: 16S rRNA.

    Second, from a more recent study by the same group (Vreeland et al. 2006, Extremophiles 10, 71-78):

    In the months since their initial publication, the data and claims about Permian microbes (Vreeland et al.2000) have been intensely questioned and scrutinized as has been described above. The data presented here show unequivocal differences between four Permian strains and microbes isolated from present day environments.

    My bold. You gotta keep up with the scientific literature, bornagain!

  66. jitsak, and if you kept up, you would understand the differences were not nearly great enough to cover the “genetic drift” predicted by evolution!!! Yet the MINOR differences would fall within the deterioration predicted by Genetic Entropy, and in fact the minor differences do fall within genetic entropy when tested for fitness as illustrated by my letter from Dr. Cano,,, this is all old news jitsak. In fact I believe Dr. John Sanford is working on providing test for ancient salt spores scince Vreeland appears to be a hard-core Darwinist who refused my request for the results of any fitness tests he may have performed.

  67. The phrase “unequivocal differences” sounds like it is more than it is. Unequivocal is undeniable. Even minor differences can be totally unequivocal. This is another example of being strictly honest while trying to deceive. (not jitsak, but vreeland, the study’s author).

  68. Hi jitsak,

    What bornagain fails to realize is, ancient bacterial spores are not found only in underground salt deposits. Many ancient salt deposits have been exposed (and any bacterial spores there released) for millions of years via erosion. Such steady injections of ancient bacterial gene sequences into extant populations will reduce the differences between them that would otherwise have arisen due to isolation and time.

  69. So Dave, though your point is highly debatable and in fact Vreeland successfully defended the validity of the 250 million year old time frame, Why do you not accept the results of the amber sealed bacteria spores? Is no evidence ever good enough for you? Will you just forever cling to Darwinian just so stories? WHY? What has Darwin ever done for you or promised you?

  70. Dave, instead of feeding us blatant excuses time after time as to why we never see change in the lab (and only see it in Darwinists Imagination), why don’t you just end the debate once and for all by falsifying Abel’s Null Hypothesis for Information Generation:

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    Do that and I will buy you a beer!!!

  71. born,

    So Dave, though your point is highly debatable and in fact Vreeland successfully defended the validity of the 250 million year old time frame, Why do you not accept the results of the amber sealed bacteria spores? Is no evidence ever good enough for you?

    Born, verification of the ancient age of the bacterial samples isn’t the issue. The issue is millons of years of erosion steadily injecting those sequences into surface populations. You must control for contamination of modern populations by ancient genes in bacterial spores released due to the steady erosion of those ancient salt deposits. If you don’t– and it’s clear you don’t even seem to comprehend why that is a problem, given your irrelevant fixation on the ancient bacterial samples– the results from comparing ancient sequences with “modern’ sequences can be very misleading.

  72. —faded glory: “One man’s random event is another man’s Act of God.
    —faded glory: “If I win the lottery, was that purely the result of a random process? Or was it the result of God willing me to win as the result of a random process? Does God have anything to do with people winning the lottery or not? Does God have anything to do with people surviving tsunamis? Surviving battles? Healing from from cancer?”

    —-”It merely depends on one’s presuppositions how to interpret such events, not on the actual data.”

    The issue is not about how we perceive randomness, but whether or not randomness has been constrained to know where it is going and if, through “prior intent,” the creator designed it that way.

    1. Darwinism holds that [a] there was no prior intent and therefore [b] natural laws and randomness launched evolution on an unpredictable journey to an unknown end, which, by definition, could not have had man in mind.

    2. Christianity holds that [a] God intended to create man, and did, therefore, have a specific end in mind. Front loaded evolution, which knows where it is going, could pull it off; Darwinian evolution, which doesn’t know where it is going, could not.

    Christian Darwinists want to have it both ways, but there is no logical way to do it. If God, through prior intent, created life by means of front loaded macro evolution, that rules out Darwinism, which rules out both front loading and prior intent Thus, Christian Darwinists, who posit both prior intent and no prior intent, contradict themselves. To say, then, as they do, that God played a role by not playing a role, is to lapse into irrationality.

  73. Dave, I understand the issue exactly, you are trying to make up a “just so” story/excuse as for why we do not see evolution happening in bacteria,,, yet you will turn right around, in spite of this crushing evidence for stasis, which is positive evidence for ID by the way, and say oh yeah bacteria can turn into Redwood trees, daffodils fish and humans. It is lame to its core for you to do this! For you to try to then turn around and say that, just because I don’t but into lame excuse, I don’t know what is “really going on” is pathetic. Why don’t you just cite the falsification for information generation I requested instead of playing word games of imagination?

    Why don’t you address this issue Dave?

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity
    David L. Abel

    To stem the growing swell of Intelligent Design intrusions, it is imperative that we provide stand-alone natural process evidence of non trivial self-organization at the edge of chaos.
    We must demonstrate on sound scientific grounds the formal capabilities of naturally-occurring
    physicodynamic complexity. Evolutionary algorithms, for example, must be stripped of all artificial selection and the purposeful steering of iterations toward desired products. The latter intrusions into natural process clearly violate sound evolution theory [172, 173].
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf

  74. born,

    Dave, I understand the issue exactly, you are trying to make up a “just so” story/excuse as for why we do not see evolution happening in bacteria,,, yet you will turn right around, in spite of this crushing evidence for stasis

    Born, the stasis in the case of bacteria case may have a very mundane explanation, in which case your pet idea falls flat on its face. Stasis seen in other organisms most likely has different explanations. Gould and Elderedge had a few explanations for it (none of them earthshakingly different from ideas that Mayr and I Michael Lerner proposed, all nicely compatible with evolutionary threory and none of those support your favorite hunch either. Keep trying, though.

    As for Abel and Trevior, you make the uncritical assumption that their “null hypothesis” is a valid one to present. I’ve been slogging through their paper, and frankly, find themselves making grand prounouncements as fact when I know them to be false. For example, on page 260, they state:

    Physicality cannot compute or make arbitrary symbol selections according to arbitrarily written rules

    That is nonsense. Michael Yarus’s work with certain amino acids and their specific stereochemical affinity for transfer RNAs whose binding sequences contain the codons “assigned” by the genetic code. That is, the arbitrary symbol (codon) is associated with the amino acid purely by chemical rules.

    Abel and Trevors’s paper is riddled with those kinds of ill-informed statements. Here’s another similar one on page 264:

    In symbolic dynamics and genetic cybernetic programming, we assign an arbitrary symbol to represent discrete each discrete physicodynamic state. But inanimate nature cannot represent anything using symbols.

    Yarus’s work completely falsifies this statement, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of their argument.

  75. bornagain77

    But of course CLAVDIVS, no significant evolutionary change occurring over 250 million years supports evolution. How could I have been so blind to the evidence.

    Since you have resorted to substanceless sarcasm, I suppose that means you don’t wish to discuss this any more. Why don’t you just say so, instead of quoting scripture for rhetorical effect; don’t you see that scripture could apply to you and me both? We are both fallible humans.

    Thanks
    C.

  76. CLAVDIVS: In keeping with the topic of this thread – Getting Over Our Love Of Darwin I give you this song:

    Nazareth – Love Hurts
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2BjJbKQkgc

    WOW Dave, chemistry (specific stereochemical affinity) explains information,,,I guess I can drop a note to Stephen Meyer and have him make a full public apology for deceiving the public with Signature In The Cell since you have it all figured out? Then again methinks you may have a few kinks in your postulation.

    the DNA code is not even reducible to the laws of physics or chemistry:

    Life’s Irreducible Structure
    Excerpt: “Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of inanimate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry.” Michael Polanyi – Hungarian polymath – 1968 – Science (Vol. 160. no. 3834, pp. 1308 – 1312)

    “an attempt to explain the formation of the genetic code from the chemical components of DNA… is comparable to the assumption that the text of a book originates from the paper molecules on which the sentences appear, and not from any external source of information.”
    Dr. Wilder-Smith

    i.e. There are no physical or chemical forces between the nucleotides along the linear axis of DNA (where the information is) that causes the sequence of nucleotides to exist as they do. In fact as far as the laws of the universe are concerned DNA doesn’t even have to exist at all.

    Stephen Meyer is interviewed about the “information problem” in DNA, Signature in the Cell – video
    http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnne.....f?aid=8497

    Stephen C. Meyer – Signature In The Cell:
    “DNA functions like a software program,” “We know from experience that software comes from programmers. Information–whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book or encoded in a radio signal–always arises from an intelligent source. So the discovery of digital code in DNA provides evidence that the information in DNA also had an intelligent source.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ligen.html

    Higher Levels Of Information In Life – Stephen Meyer – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HavmzWVt8IU

  77. Since you are so close to solving this huge problem Dave,,, could you also give us the just so story, oh I mean explanation, for where the information for body plans is coming from:

    This inability of body plans to be reduced directly to the DNA code is clearly shown by Cortical Inheritance.

    Cortical Inheritance: The Crushing Critique Against Genetic Reductionism – Arthur Jones – video
    Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JzQ8ingdNY
    Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1bAX93zQ5o

    This inability for the DNA code to account for body plans is also clearly shown by extensive mutation studies to the DNA of different organisms which show “exceedingly rare” major morphological effects from mutations to the DNA code.

    Hopeful monsters,’ transposons, and the Metazoan radiation:
    Excerpt: Viable mutations with major morphological or physiological effects are exceedingly rare and usually infertile; the chance of two identical rare mutant individuals arising in sufficient propinquity to produce offspring seems too small to consider as a significant evolutionary event. These problems of viable “hopeful monsters” render these explanations untenable.
    Paleobiologists Douglas Erwin and James Valentine

    This includes the highly touted four-winged fruit fly mutations.

    …Advantageous anatomical mutations are never observed. The four-winged fruit fly is a case in point: The second set of wings lacks flight muscles, so the useless appendages interfere with flying and mating, and the mutant fly cannot survive long outside the laboratory. Similar mutations in other genes also produce various anatomical deformations, but they are harmful, too. In 1963, Harvard evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr wrote that the resulting mutants “are such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as ‘hopeless.’ They are so utterly unbalanced that they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination through natural selection.” – Jonathan Wells
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....footnote19

    Darwin’s Theory – Fruit Flies and Morphology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZJTIwRY0bs

    If that wasn’t enough, the Human Genome Project really put the last nail in the coffin for “Genetic Reductionism”:

    DNA: The Alphabet of Life – David Klinghoffer
    Excerpt: But all this is trivial compared to the largely unheralded insight gained from the Human Genome Project, completed in 2003. The insight is disturbing. It is that while DNA codes for the cell’s building blocks, the information needed to build the rest of the creature is seemingly, in large measure, absent. ,,,The physically encoded information to form that mouse, as opposed to that fly, isn’t there. Instead, “It is as if the ‘idea’ of the fly (or any other organism) must somehow permeate the genome that gives rise to it.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2....._life.html

    Thanks Dave for your time of taking care of these, what I am sure are to you, mere trivialities, that perplexes most of the rest of us mere mortals.

  78. tribune7

    Thanks for the response.

    CLAVDIVS –I would say that claiming life — or any other natural thing — developed solely via undirected means should be called atheism or materialism, not Darwinism. Darwinism surely refers to the theory of Charles Darwin.

    Darwin was an atheist and materialist and held that life developed via undirected means. In fact a recent thread is dedicated to the subject.

    *sigh* And the leading proponents of ID are Christian. Does that make ID a Christian, religious enterprise? Of course not.

    Many theists, including Christians, accept and acknowledge the fact that the mechanisms Darwin described actually occur in nature, so clearly “Darwin’s theory” is not a synonym for “atheism” — unless you stretch the term “Darwin’s theory” to encompass the personal philosophical preferences of its proponent. We don’t do this for ID. We don’t do this for any scientific theory I am aware of.

    If you believe that the development of life was directed whether via special creation or evolution from a common ancestor you would support ID.

    So you say. bornagain77 and the OP say otherwise. For myself, I could not with honesty agree that the Darwinian mechanisms are “laughable” or not based on any evidence. Yet this is a viewpoint pressed by many proponents of ID (including on this very thread). I believe ID is damaging its own cause with this sort of confusion.

    Just curious, but what do you think ID is?

    Since about 1990, I have been interested in the subjects of philosophy of mind, consciousness, and self-organising complexity — features of biology that are not explained by purely material processes. Since before I ever heard of ID I was of the opinion that one plausible explanation for such features was a pre-existing mind. The “core” of ID thinking seems to me to agree with this.

    Is ID pro-modern science, or anti?

    It’s pro. How about Darwinism?

    If by “Darwinism” you mean “atheism” I would say it is anti-science.

    If by “Darwinism” you mean the mechanisms of variation and selection, and the concept of common ancestry, I would say it is very properly part of science.

    If ID opposes the idea that variation, selection and common ancestry are real features of the world, then ID is anti-science, in my view, because these concepts are well-established in science.

    Regards
    C.

  79. WOW Allen McNeill, a professor of the evolutionary propaganda ministry, addresses my post, lowly me a nobody,,, Dang I’m honored but unimpressed as to his lack of substance. (which I have observed is primary deficit of his as far as evidence)

    He states:
    So, bornagain77 disagrees with both Dr. Behe and Dr. Dembski as to the reality of evolution (at least that part of evolution defined as common descent with modification), and furthermore uses standard creationist arguments in support of his/her denial of the position taken by Dr. Behe and Dr. Dembski.

    And Dr. Mcneill, Since you are in agreement with the evidence I cite from Dr. Behe’s book “The Edge Of Evolution”, Does that mean that you also agree with the conclusion of Dr. Behe that intelligence is required? Or are you going to forget, for obvious propaganda purposes, that that is the primary conclusion of his book. You obviously want to falsely convey the impression that Dr. Behe and Dr. Dembski are somehow “OK with purely materialistic processes generating us?” So I ask you point blank Allen McNeil, Do you accept Dr. Behe’s and Dr. Dembski’s primary conclusion that intelligence is required to explain the complexity we find in life?” A simple Yes or No answer will suffice as to expose your true motives.

  80. CLAVDIVS –Just curious, but what do you think ID is? . . .Since before I ever heard of ID I was of the opinion that one plausible explanation for such features was a pre-existing mind. The “core” of ID thinking seems to me to agree with this.

    Then I think you misunderstand ID since it does not address a pre-existing mind. Nor does it address variation, selection or common ancestry.

    It simply says that design has unique traits and that these traits are found in life.

    Now it could turn out that design doesn’t have the unique traits ID says it has such as complex specified information or irreducible complexity.

    Or maybe it might turn out that life doesn’t have the traits of design.

    Regardless, ID as a science addresses neither descent with modification nor God.

    Where ID is incompatible with Darwinism (not evolution) is over Darwinism’s claim that everything could have come about without design (or planning or direction or however you wish to phrase it.)

    Now you may disagree with my saying Darwinism does not allow for directed evolution. So here’s an exercise — rather than argue with us, go to a site that explicitly defends Darwinism and make the case that all this couldn’t have come about without direction.

    Then let us know what kind of response you get.

  81. tribune7

    Since before I ever heard of ID I was of the opinion that one plausible explanation for such features was a pre-existing mind. The “core” of ID thinking seems to me to agree with this.

    Then I think you misunderstand ID since it does not address a pre-existing mind. Nor does it address variation, selection or common ancestry.

    It simply says that design has unique traits and that these traits are found in life.

    Intelligent design necessarily implies an intelligent designer, with a mind, doesn’t it? Design without a designer seems like a plain contradiction to me.

    Now it could turn out that design doesn’t have the unique traits ID says it has such as complex specified information or irreducible complexity.

    Which wouldn’t falsify ID, only the hypotheses that certain specific methods proposed to detect ID don’t work.

    Regardless, ID as a science addresses neither descent with modification nor God.

    Where ID is incompatible with Darwinism (not evolution) is over Darwinism’s claim that everything could have come about without design (or planning or direction or however you wish to phrase it.)

    I repeat what I said before: The claim that everything could have come about without design is a claim of atheism, not Darwin’s theory. So I think you are thoroughly confusing the issue by using the word “Darwinism” to refer to philosophical atheism or materialism. Darwin was notable for his theory of evolution, not atheism (on the contrary, I believe he called himself agnostic in later life).

    Why not just call a spade a spade and refer to the belief that only material processes exist as “atheism”? And why not just call Darwin’s theory “evolution”, and people who accept it “evolutionists”? Wouldn’t this be clearer and simpler?

    Now you may disagree with my saying Darwinism does not allow for directed evolution. So here’s an exercise — rather than argue with us, go to a site that explicitly defends Darwinism and make the case that all this couldn’t have come about without direction.

    Then let us know what kind of response you get.

    Been there, done that, lots of times. Only atheists object to the concept directed evolution. Most Christians and other theists in my experience accept it.

    Cheers
    C.

  82. CLAVDIVS

    Intelligent design necessarily implies an intelligent designer, with a mind, doesn’t it?

    Sure, but not one that pre-existed before, or outside of, time. When the designer existed is not addressed by ID.

    Which wouldn’t falsify ID, only the hypotheses that certain specific methods proposed to detect ID don’t work.

    It wouldn’t falsify God but it would falsify the hypotheses put forth by Dembski and Behe and this board and that is what we mean by ID. ID is not a proof of God.

    And why not just call Darwin’s theory “evolution”, and people who accept it “evolutionists”?

    Because the fight ID has isn’t with evolution but with undirected evolution.

    ID can easily co-exist peacefully with evolution. Michael Behe is an evolutionist in the way you advocate, as was Dave Scott, the board’s former moderator.

    But the reason why ID is censored and attacked via non-scientific means by those who control academia is its insistence that design can be inferred and is evident in life.

    Those who control how things are defined insist that everything is possible without design. To say that this is not possible — as Dembski, Behe and others do in a measurable, testable and objective fashion — is an enormous threat to them.

  83. Re #79:

    I have clearly and repeatedly stated that I will not respond to comments or questions that contain ad hominem attacks (i.e. attacks against my person, rather than against the logic of my arguments or evidence with which I support them). Ergo, anyone who includes ad hominem attacks, insults, or ridicule of me (or anyone else) in the posts or comments is not only not worth responding to, such a person is deliberately undermining the very basis for rational argument. I strongly recommend that everyone who values rational argument (regardless of which side of the issues being debated here you support) not respond to posts or comments (from either side of the debate) that contain ad hominem attacks, insults, or ridicule.

  84. Allen,

    Your posts are crazy. Look what you wrote here…

    “Finally, it seems somewhat paradoxical to me that Dr. Dembski, who has asserted on multiple occasions (as have many commentators at the website) that ID is not incompatible with the theory of evolution, but rather only with the idea that evolution is unguided, should post an essay in which the thrust of his argument is that Darwin’s theory of evolution is wrong.”

    This is totally backwards. ID IS totally compatible with evolution- but it is not compatible with Darwinian Evolution- or what is known as the Neo-Darwinian synthesis- which is the UNGUIDED theory of evolution. Darwin’s whole deal was to remove the need for teleology.

    I am not saying at all that one must believe in God to agree with ID. I have said the total opposite that in fact I know an atheist who thinks ID is a theory- though he does not think he designer is any kind of personal God- and he does not think it is a God of any sort but more like a kind of “intelligent force”- more a platonic reality from which all things come- but not benevolent or interested in people or it’s creation.

    I have made a negative claim though that if one is a Darwinist- that is, if you claim to think that life came from random processes of chance and redundent laws- then you are not a theist. Yu might be some kind of a Diest- but even if you are you have to explain how you know of God or why you believe- and just pointing to the laws is not an answer because Darwinian Evolution pays no tribute to the selection mechanism as being teleological. That is Darwin called it “natural selection” so as to distinguish it from “teleological, or divine selection.”

    So to say that all Darwinists are atheists is not the same s to say all IDists are Theists.

    And this is just the Truth.

  85. Allen, I missed this, sorry: A falling object’s path is neither random nor “unguided” (i.e. by the force of gravity), yet it is clearly “natural”, is it not?

    Yes, the path is natural, but if you have a wish to demolish a shed and wait for undirected falling object to do it for you, your shed is very likely not going to be demolished.

    If your wish is to have a shelter and you wait for a series of undirected falling objects do it for you, you are never going to get it.

    Genomic change is a natural force.

    Natural selection which fixes genomic change is also a natural force.

    These forces by themselves do not have the power to account for all biodiversity.

  86. Allen McNeil states:

    “I strongly recommend that everyone who values rational argument (regardless of which side of the issues being debated here you support) not respond to posts or comments (from either side of the debate) that contain ad hominem attacks, insults, or ridicule.”

    But McNeill that is the whole point your side is completely irrational, the Evolution/Darwinism boat has been blown out of the water so many times that Idists are now just blowing up floating debris, and there ain’t much debris left to blow up!!! That you would pretend under an air of authority that this matters not in the least is an insult to me as a human being,,,because I AM A HUMAN and your insanity reflects directly on me and makes me ashamed in a deep sense, that I have to actually consider that you would actually take the 43 variations of deception seriously. If you find it offensive that I hold you accountable to scientific integrity and get upset with you, and call you directly on it, when you so flagrantly abuse the miracle of science, to further your philosophical agenda, then stop practicing science in such a horrid way!

  87. tribune7

    Intelligent design necessarily implies an intelligent designer, with a mind, doesn’t it?

    Sure, but not one that pre-existed before, or outside of, time. When the designer existed is not addressed by ID.

    Oh, I agree. I only meant a mind that pre-existed the phenomenon exhibiting design, not pre-existing the universe in a theological sense.

    It wouldn’t falsify God but it would falsify the hypotheses put forth by Dembski and Behe and this board and that is what we mean by ID. ID is not a proof of God.

    And why not just call Darwin’s theory “evolution”, and people who accept it “evolutionists”?

    Because the fight ID has isn’t with evolution but with undirected evolution.

    That’s exactly my point. I understand that you are using the word “Darwinism” to mean “the atheist interpretation of Darwin’s theory”. But the common (and original) meaning of the word “Darwinism” is just the mechanism of Darwin’s theory, independent of any particular philosophical or theological interpretation of it.

    Now, in order to avoid confusion, ID proponents insist that the mechanisms of ID theory should be viewed separately from any particular philosophical or theological interpretations of it. This is why it is wrong to use the term “intelligent design creationists”. What I am saying is, ID proponents should show equal care to avoid the word “Darwinism”, unless it is carefully qualified.

    The only people who think evolution is undirected are atheists. Atheists think everything is undirected. But I have never met a theist, much less a Christian, who thought evolution was undirected. So I think ID’s true opponent is atheism, not Darwin’s theory.

    ID can easily co-exist peacefully with evolution. Michael Behe is an evolutionist in the way you advocate, as was Dave Scott, the board’s former moderator.

    Does Dr Dembski accept common descent including humans, like Prof Behe? I don’t know, I can’t tell from his writings. This may be due to the confusing use of the word “Darwinism”.

    But the reason why ID is censored and attacked via non-scientific means by those who control academia is its insistence that design can be inferred and is evident in life.

    Well, I really can’t agree that academia has the sort of total global intellectual control that you imply. In any case, my understanding is that academia has rejected certain specific methods for detecting design because they can’t be properly tested to an academic standard.

    Cheers
    C.

  88. CLAVDIVS But the common (and original) meaning of the word “Darwinism” is just the mechanism of Darwin’s theory, independent of any particular philosophical or theological interpretation of it.

    No :-)

    Well, I really can’t agree that academia has the sort of total global intellectual control that you imply.

    It doesn’t have global control, but in the areas in which it does control, it uses its power in unscientific fashion to make life miserable for dissenters.

  89. The “comments” in #86 so clearly demonstrate precisely the point I have been making about not responding to ad hominem attacks that I hardly need mention it, except to point out that this kind of “argument” is why I do not respond to personal attacks and why I strongly recommend that all others (on both sides of the issue) who value reasoned argument adopt the same policy.

    In brief: DFTT

  90. Allen, I ain’t attacking you personally as a man (being full of faults myself how can I?), but I am fully calling your abilities to practice science to account and holding you personally responsible for such shoddy workmanship. If your feelings are hurt I’m sorry. But If you want to avoid IDists exposing you as a fraud scientifically, practically every time you dare post your 43 variations of deception or whatever, then for goodness sake tighten your science up to standards worthy to be respected and quit posting stuff under such false pretense of being the truth.

  91. Born, thank you for being smart enough to see through Allen’s strategy which is to censor the substance of the debate so that only his side can use ad hominems like conflating ID to scripture or creationism. It is the anti- ID side that are the True ones using ad hominems. For example almost every article you read about ID conflates it with creationism. Do you know why? Because the strategy is to disregard ID – that is silence its advocates by calling them creationists. In fact that is EXACTLY what Richard Dawkins did to Stephen Meyer when Meyer recently challanged him to a debate. Anyone who has read both Dawkins and Meyer and seen them speak publicly can tell Meyer is way above Dawkins intellectually- but Dawkin’s lack of intellectual superioity does not excuse him from calling Steve a creationist.

    So it is just another case of what their side likes to call Freudian projection- to say IDists are the ones using ad hominems attacks merely because we exercise our freedom of speech to say what we think their motivations and intentions are from time to time.

    I relality people like Allen just know they are wong and cannot win unless the debate is rigged- sp instead of argueing poltely against assertios and arguments of the IDists they just try to lableing us as people who only use ad hominems.

    BTW, if you read the wiki article on ad hominems- while they use a modernist definition of what ad hominem means (that is they extend it to everything instead of what it is really meant to mean which is a fallacy of name calling)- they are forced by this general definition to admit that ad hominems “are not” fallacies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

    But once again this article is poor- and it fails to clearly distinguish the difference between ad hominems and red herrings.

    A true ad hominem is a name calling or lableing fallacy. That is if you said

    “you cant believe him because he is a liar”

    or a creationist
    or a democrat
    or a homosexual
    or a minority,
    or Darwinist
    or a rock star
    or stupid

    Etc.

  92. Besides Born, what else is Allen even doing at his post in 89 except personally attacking you? It is not like he used actual quotes from your post at 86 which clearly demonstrate his concern over the “procedure” or style which with you argued. When allen dismisses our arguments as ad hominems all he has done is used the term ad hominem as an adhominem.

    Allen just wants to respond to posts that he thinks he win the arguments of. All others are ad hominems to him.

    And Allen proves he is a fraud when he delivers the king od ad hominems against me here…

    “Frost122585’s argument in comment #33 is what is known as the “No True Scotsman” argument and is entirely fallacious. To be specific, Frost122585 asserts without supporting evidence of any kind that his definition of a “true Christian” is the only valid definition.

    Why should anyone who is interested in rational debate pay any attention to Frost122585’s utterly fallacious and profoundly counterproductive (not to mention divisive) argument?”

    Here is is personally slandering me. This is not the language of man deeply concerned with ad hominems.All Allen is doing is argueing for a realtivistic view of Christainity where all definiiton’s of Christnaiity are equal. THis is total nonsense. It is a theological discussion that would require quite a bit of detail for me to define what I caonsider to be a Christain. It would certainly include Romans which wipes the floor clean of so called Christain Darwinists.

    Let me be cleat that i am stating an opinion here an not trying to make an argument of any kind.

    Allen is nothing but a psud-intellectual who next to nothing about logic and for most of his recent posts has done nothing but personally attack people while hypocrtically calling them the ones who only resort to Ad hominems.

    Wow. Almost none of his postgs have any substance whatsoever yet he has the audacity to criticize the long and developed posts of both Born and myself.

    What a fraud.

  93. Frost:

    It is a theological discussion that would require quite a bit of detail for me to define what I caonsider to be a Christain.

    Is being faithful to Matthew 7:1 part of that definition?

  94. Yes, hummus. Interesting how I have not seen you post here before. Mathew 7:1 is abused by relativists as an example of Christ supposedly telling all of man not to judge anybody. This is total nonsense.

    He is speaking to the multitudes and telling them not to be “HYPOCRITES” and making the point that hypocrisy is wrong and if you want to hold others to the standards of God you better worry about your own behavior first and foremost because you will be judged as well.

    It does not in any way mean that we can just “not judge” prostitutes and murderers and therefore can ourselves become prostitutes and murderers without fear or concern of being judged by God. That is the absurd reality if we universalize that quotation by Christ totally taken out of context.

    This is why in Matthew 6 Christ says

    “(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
    2
    When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

    6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    9″This, then, is how you should pray:
    ” ‘Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    10your kingdom come,
    your will be done
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    11Give us today our daily bread.
    12Forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    13And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.[a]‘ 14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    All he is saying is to make sure that you yourself uphold the commmandments beofre you begin preaching and so forth to others.

    And yes personally I do sin- as everyone does- and I do not excuse myself from it at all. But I still spread the word not for my own glory but for the benefit of theirs. I this day and age there is so little truth that i cannot help by openly express what I know to be True. Speaking the Truth to those diluted in lies is true charity.

    Christ is saying to “forgive their sins” against you- not because you “cannot judge them” but because you obviously already HAVE. You know they have sinned. Period. Once you forgive them you have not judged them. The Lord judges ultimately judges them but of course we judge not people but their ACTIONS.

    Of course we as men have to judge one another’s actions. Christ judged the actions of the money changers at the temple. He judged many people in the Bible including the faith of those he chose to heal. But this is a verse that is ALWAYS taken out of context- so that it can be used to justify “the actions” of whatever people want to do without someone else calling them out on it.

    It is the job of the Church to “teach” people right from wrong and “tell them” what they should and should not do. And personally it saddens and angers me that people who claim to be Christians and stand for the Truth and salvation of man kind would think that we don’t have “the right” (or something) to tell our brothers when they are doing evil or doing wrong. This kind of liberal theology leads to a society that is lawless, decadent and evil.

    The problem is that most Christians have NO IDEA what the Bible is about at all because they don’t study it. They just pick out any parts they like- like the quote to not judge people- and run around and use it as an excuse to do whatever evil they want or defend the actions of their friends and families as not wrong or evil etc. And quotes like that one are all they even know. The think that Christ died so they can do whatever they want now. ANd these same people don’t read the Bible though because too much of it obviously makes no sens to them in light of their liberal understanding which is based on the deep study of one quote taken out of context that they heard about from a friend at lunch.

    They are so ignorant of scripture that think this is what the Bible is all about- freedom and love and peace and moral relativism etc. Which is totally absurd, wrong and the opposite of what Christ taught when you actually read the Bible through.

    So of course God wants us to judge each others actions- and try to help each other to do and see right. That is True charity- preaching and correcting each other in hopes of helping one another to achieve salvation. That is why we even have a Church. Even though most people are of bad will and will totally reject your help. The Lord just does not want us to be hypocrites when we do it.

    So WHY is it so important to God that we ourselves not be Hypocrites?

    “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” ( Matthew 5:20)

    “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” ( Matthew 12:36-37)

    and matthew

    “41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

    42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear”

    John 28: “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 30By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”

    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”

    Because you are going to hell unless you yourself, though your faith and works, obey all of the commandments, regardless of how much you “preach the word” to others.

  95. He is saying don’t preach to “impress other men of your own morality” by blowing a trumpet or doing good deed so that others see you do them. You have to keep the commandments ALL of the time- especially in private when you are all alone with the Lord. because it does not matter what en think of you but it is only God who ultimately judges people. No where does it say not to correct or judge “the actions” of others. Of course the Lord has the only say on who is righteous- but is not to say that would should condemn the evil actions of men.

  96. Frost:

    Of course the Lord has the only say on who is righteous- but is not to say that would should condemn the evil actions of men.

    I would certainly agree that only Christ can judge someone’s life as a Christian. And I would certainly not suggest that you shouldn’t speak out against evil. The problem, though, is you are going well beyond just condemning evil. You have moved into condemning anyone that doesn’t believe exactly as you do. Over on the school shooting thread (Comment 14) you have passed judgement that anyone who believes in the theory of evolution is not a Christian. Perhaps you should spend less time condemning others and ponder what scripture says about pride. I believe there is something in there about motes and beams that might interest you too.

  97. No I said if one believes in “Darwinism” (not evolution guided by God or something) they cannot be Christians in light of Romans- which says God;s existence in his creation is made so manifest that no man is left without excuse and because of Christ’s quote in Matthew 13

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to hell, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to heaven, and only a few find it.”

    I see no reason to try and find speculative reasons to liberalize the size of the gate. Especially when I see Christianity and Darwinism as naturally contradictory.

    I also do not think that is is a coincidence that staunch atheists like Karl Marx (whose works lead to 10s of millions of deaths) do things like dedicating their books to Charles Darwin.

    Nor do I think it arbitrary that Charles Darwin confessed to being “hopelessly muddled in light of his theory and how it squared with creation and design. He knew that the chance driving his theory was not enough- and yet he allowed the flaws in the world to corrupt his faith. He obviously did not die a professing Christian. And of course people like Dawkins claim Darwinism can make you a fulfilled atheist. I don’t see how Christians can cling to a doctrine that is also view by many atheists as the foundation for their faith. Especially in light of Romans.

  98. And I think I do Christian charity in telling people not to believe in Darwinism because of it’s view of nature but not just for the scriptural reasons but also because the theory of Intelligent Design really refutes it and it at the very least poses as a legitimate alternative to it on the secular level. And ID should appeal to Christians because it aligns with scripture as well.

  99. I don’t see how Christians can cling to a doctrine that is also view by many atheists as the foundation for their faith. Especially in light of Romans.

    If you can’t see how other professed Christians reconcile then perhaps you might consider removing that beam from your eye and stop standing in judgement of other people’s relationship with God.

  100. No see that is the moral relativism that causes people to fall into sin and out of faith. Because if you just ignore scripture like Romans then you can do the same things with divorce- and you opinions on abortion, and theft etc.

    So no, Hummus, you are the exact example of why you cannot be a Christian and a Darwinist. You twist and bend scripture to mean things it does not so that you do not have to believe what the word of God actually says.

    Sorry the reason why I cannot see how the two can go together is the same reason why I cannot see why someone can be both a theist and an atheist.

    If I told you I was both a theist and an atheist and you said you could not see how this is reasonable- taking a log out of your would not help either.

  101. So no, Hummus, you are the exact example of why you cannot be a Christian and a Darwinist. You twist and bend scripture to mean things it does not so that you do not have to believe what the word of God actually says.

    Actually, I have not made any statements regarding either my relationship with God or what I believe about evolution.

    But, I suppose it is no big deal for you to decide what I am all about. After all, you are completely confident in your ability to determine the nature of complete strangers relationship with God. After passing judgement on hundreds of millions of people, including the entirety of the Catholic Church, reading my mind ain’t no thang, right?

    Motes and beams, Frosty, motes and beams.

  102. Yeah what you tried to do is use scripture to support relativism which I explained is wrong. While I cannot judge anyone’s soul I can say what scripture says is required to be of the faith and I can say how contrary positions like Darwinism cannot be reconciled with it.

    But, maybe you should practice your own poison and pretend like “you don’t know what I believe” either – when I say

    a Christian cannot be a Darwinist.

  103. But while we are on it let’s clear up what Matthew 7 :3 is really saying

    3

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

    Ok, so right here he is saying why would you preach to and criticize others when you are still sinning yourself? He is not saying not to ever criticize and preach to others- but that one needs to REMOVE the spec in their own eye first. as we will see…

    4

    “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

    So it is clear.

    But then he says…

    6 “Don’t give what is holy to unholy people.* Don’t give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”

    So I guess we are done here.

  104. Yeah what you tried to do is use scripture to support relativism which I explained is wrong.

    Actually, I haven’t made any statement regarding relativism. So, maybe you should stop flailing away at that star man.

    While I cannot judge anyone’s soul

    … you will go right on and do so before the comment is over.

    I can say what scripture says is required to be of the faith

    Sure, but you do more than that. You go well beyond. You decide who is a real Christian or not. That is God’s job, not yours.

    Ok, so right here he is saying why would you preach to and criticize others when you are still sinning yourself? He is not saying not to ever criticize and preach to others- but that one needs to REMOVE the spec in their own eye first.

    Plank, Frosty, plank in one’s own eye. Interesting typo, though.

    So it is clear.

    Yes, it is very clear. You are guilty of putting yourself in God’s place, deciding who and who isn’t a real Christian. For some reason the words “sin of pride” comes to mind.

    6 “Don’t give what is holy to unholy people.* Don’t give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”

    So I guess we are done here.

    Ah, I see what you have done here. You have passed judgement on me, deciding I am not a Christian . So, you are dismissing me with an insult. Very good. Congratulate yourself on how clever you are. Your work here is done.

    And yes, I agree we are done here. I cannot imagine a better ending. I’ll give you this, Frosty, at least you are consistent. There is a whole world of Christians out there that you have yet to examine and find unworthy. None of that pesky self-examination for you. Onward!

  105. tribune7

    You have made some good points overall — I accept the original meaning of “Darwinism” was not as I thought.

    I still maintain there is great confusion on both sides of this issue between Darwin’s theory strictu sensu and philosophical interpretations of the theory. ID proponents are not entirely to blame for this, but the loose way they use the word “Darwinism” does not help clear up the confusion.

    I appreciate your thoughtful comments. However, this thread seems to have moved on into other areas, so let us leave things there.

    Kind regards
    C.

  106. Hummus,

    your last post was totally worthless. You did nothing but go right back to your you fallacious and absurd straw man argument about the like “do not judge” which is totally taken out of the context of the Bible as I already quoted and showed.

    Once again there are certain things you must believe to be a Christian. This is not my persona judgment but God’s. I am only repeating God’s word. It is not “MY” judgment for example that you need to believe in Christ to go to heaven- Christ says it himself- I only repeat what he has said.

    Darwinism is not the only world view that would prevent you from being a True follower of Christ. There are other examples I can give and say with 100% certainty that one is not a Christian.

    For examples

    Could you be a Satanist and a Christian?

    No. Of course not.

    Could you reject Christ as the savior and the word of God made flesh and be a Christian?

    No.

    Can you be a Muslim and a Christian?

    No.

    Can you be a murderer who knows he is sinning against God and does not care and refuses to repent and be a Christian?

    No.

    There are plenty other things.

    All you are doing is taking one little quote from the Bible totally out of context and trying to spin it to support your own moral relativism which is totally un-Biblical.

    I cannot personally judge anyone’s soul- only God can do that on judgment day- but I can say whether one is a Christian or not based on what scripture makes clear. That is I can tel you how God will come down on the ruling- just like I can say with certainty what the law of a State says regarding what it illegal. To say the law is not the same as to Judge someone OBVIOUSLY. The only difference is God’s law is divine and perfectly clear and there are no loop holes. This is why Christ teaches in

    Matthew 37:

    Let your yes be yes, and your no be no; anything else is from Satan.

    So, sorry but as I have shewn over and over again- your argument is laughable and twisted. You clearly don’t understand the Bible and should remain silent on issues that you are ignorant of. And for the record I have not seen one single quality post from you yet. That is one single post that somehow would help to enlighten the viewers of this site.

  107. Frost

    I cannot personally judge anyone’s soul- only God can do that on judgment day- but I can say whether one is a Christian or not based on what scripture makes clear.

    If you can’t see the inherent contradiction in that, there isn’t much I can do for you, bud.

    That is I can tel you how God will come down on the ruling.

    Ah, so you can’t see into the soul of a man, but you can read the mind of God? Awesome! Listen, professional theologians can’t agree on what Romans means and they are reading it in the original Greek. I am supposed to take the word of some guy commenting on blog?

    So, sorry but as I have shewn over and over again- your argument is laughable and twisted. You clearly don’t understand the Bible and should remain silent on issues that you are ignorant of. And for the record I have not seen one single quality post from you yet. That is one single post that somehow would help to enlighten the viewers of this site.

    Then let my posts stand as a testament to themselves. I don’t understand why you are so compelled to respond after having previously said we are done here?

    I know you have passed judgment on me and have found me lacking. Why continue to guild the lily, when there are millions of so-called Christians who need you to pass judgement on their relationship with God?

  108. Hummus said,

    “If you can’t see the inherent contradiction in that, there isn’t much I can do for you, bud.”

    Yeah maybe you should get the spec out of your eye and stop claiming to see things other cannot-that is by your own same ridiculous interpretation of Matthew.

    Then you ignorantly write:

    “Ah, so you can’t see into the soul of a man, but you can read the mind of God?”

    Yeah it is called scripture which is the revelation of God from his mind to ours… how you could miss this is incredible.

    Then you say:

    “Then let my posts stand as a testament to themselves. I don’t understand why you are so compelled to respond after having previously said we are done here?

    I know you have passed judgment on me and have found me lacking.”

    I reply to set the record straight. It was you that replied to my last post right after I posted it. But whether I respond or not is not related to the subject matter of the posts. I see no reason to let you false characterizations of my posts and of the Bible stand without rebuttal obviously;

    And, I don’t pass any judgment on you. I don’t know what your faith or lac thereof might be. I have a sense from what you write what you are likely to believe. But my arguments are not against you- or any Darwinist- they are against your fallacious flawed reasoning ad arguments and against the notions that Darwinism can be squared with Christianity. And you don’t have to agree with my arguments because you are given freedom of choice- but you cannot refute them because they are air tight.

    And all you are doing is repeating “do not judge” ad “you cannot know the mind of God”-

    Yeah as a Christian you know what God has said- and you know what is and is not necessary to be a Christian- and like I said I am only acting a lawyer and not a Judge. I know the law- I can repeat the law- I should repeat the laws to other as part of my Charity to fellow man. But God will be the Judge and Jury- not me.

    And your argument is completely worthless.

  109. And, I don’t pass any judgment on you.

    Other than deciding that I am not a real Christian, that is.

    And all you are doing is repeating “do not judge” ad “you cannot know the mind of God”

    And all your are doing is assuring me that you can. So, I’ll ask again, why should I believe you when theologians reading in the original Greek can’t agree on what Romans means?

    And your argument is completely worthless.

    So, are we done here or not? Because, seriously, I think that jitsak fellow is in need of some of your Christian charity.

  110. Frost,

    Then you ignorantly write:

    And your argument is completely worthless.

    This needs to be a civil discussion Frost, if you continue I will moderate you, and if you continue past that, I won’t allow your comments out of moderation and may be forced to ban you. Let’s keep it civil, okay? You can get your point across without this.

  111. hummus man,

    Ah, so you can’t see into the soul of a man, but you can read the mind of God? Awesome! Listen, professional theologians can’t agree on what Romans means and they are reading it in the original Greek. I am supposed to take the word of some guy commenting on blog?

    I can’t see the wind, but I often know what my friends are thinking. What’s your point? Does everything you know have to been seen? Then how could you know logic or reason, have you seen them as pieces of material?

  112. Clive, sure but I meant worthless not as an a simple insult, but as a measure of the value of what he was saying. I don’t think Hummus has done much other than to just keep repeating one quote from the Bible taken out of context. So while I cannot respect the quality of his arguments I can use softer language.

    As to Hummus, he is now switching ground trying to argue for scriptural “interpretations” and so forth. So because I used the text to prove him wrong now he is trying to say we cant trust the text because there is a diversity of opinion on it- which is just another attempt to make the meaning of scripture relativistic to the interpreter.

    But this is not really an issue because if you read the Bible at all honestly, you can see the point is that God makes his word clear and what the Church does is tell people what they “must believe”- not to judge them but to lead them to salvation. This is not passing judgment it is just teaching scripture.

    So I think I am going to end it here- and Hummus can take the last word if he/she wants.

    But out of friendliness to Hummus I think I will praise one thing from Hummus posts at 104:

    “So, maybe you should stop flailing away at that star man.”

    “Star man ” – making fun of my typo of straw man.

    I honestly thought that was funny. Ok, I promise that I will keep “flailing away” at that “star man” for sure.

  113. Clive:

    I can’t see the wind, but I often know what my friends are thinking. What’s your point? Does everything you know have to been seen?

    I am not disputing the wind or the atom. I am disputing that Frost has any special insight that renders him capable of deciding who and who isn’t a real Christian.

    frost:

    As to Hummus, he is now switching ground trying to argue for scriptural “interpretations” and so forth.

    Switching? Not really. The entire edifice of your presumed ability to differentiate the real Christians from the poseurs is built on the notion that you hold the one true interpretation of Scripture. I am merely pointing out that people who study the Bible for a living can’t agree. Thus, it is presumptuous in the extreme to think you know better.

    So I think I am going to end it here- and Hummus can take the last word if he/she wants.

    Jitsak. Shady character to say the least. Go git him. He needs some Christian charity. Why should I have all the fun.

  114. CLAVDIVS: You said,

    “Bruce David said (above) that ‘random variation culled by natural selection produces change in species … by itself, is incontestable and has been observed in nature and even in the laboratory.’ But bornagain77 said ‘Darwinism [is] a theory with never any credible scientific support to sustain it’.

    Am I the only one that is puzzled by this? Just what is ID’s position on the reality of Darwinian mechanisms?”

    I think you will find, if you read the ID literature, that ID proponents are pretty consistently in agreement that the mechanism of random variation/natural selection works to produce minor change in species. The question at issue is whether that mechanism is capable of producing major change in living organisms, a.k.a. macroevolution (e.g., new body plans, new organs or organ systems, new processes). It is this for which there is no evidence for and much evidence against.

    If you read the post you referred to above carefully, you will see that this is what I said there.

  115. Bruce,

    I think what you said could be read both ways. You meant changes within species.

  116. avocationist,

    Really? I thought I was quite clear: random mutation and natural selection can and do produce minor changes in a species, but the evidence very strongly suggests that that mechanism is incapable of producing major biological novelty, such as new body plans, new structures, organs, or processes.

  117. Bruce David

    Thanks for the response.

    I understand that ID questions the sufficiency of Darwinian mechanisms to produce macro-evolution.

    What I am confused about, is whether ID recognises macro-evolution and common descent as something that has really occurred in the history of life.

    If we grant that the mechanisms of variation and selection are insufficient, and thus that intelligent guidance is required, that does not logically necessitate that common descent is false. For example, it is logically possible that a designing intelligence guided the process of imperfect replication so that macro-evolution occurred according to a prescribed plan.

    What I guess I am stumbling over, is that many ID arguments seem to focus on disputing that macro-evolution occurred at all, rather than on the separate issue of whether macro-evolution occurred in an unguided manner.

    Thanks
    C.

  118. In comment #35 stephenB wrote:

    “Here we go again with another special version of your favorite anti-ID talking point: ID = religion.”

    And then in comment #72, stephenB wrote:

    “The issue is not about how we perceive randomness, but whether or not randomness has been constrained to know where it is going and if, through “prior intent,” the creator designed it that way.

    1. Darwinism holds that [a] there was no prior intent and therefore [b] natural laws and randomness launched evolution on an unpredictable journey to an unknown end, which, by definition, could not have had man in mind.

    2. Christianity holds that [a] God intended to create man, and did, therefore, have a specific end in mind. Front loaded evolution, which knows where it is going, could pull it off; Darwinian evolution, which doesn’t know where it is going, could not.

    Christian Darwinists want to have it both ways, but there is no logical way to do it. If God, through prior intent, created life by means of front loaded macro evolution, that rules out Darwinism, which rules out both front loading and prior intent Thus, Christian Darwinists, who posit both prior intent and no prior intent, contradict themselves. To say, then, as they do, that God played a role by not playing a role, is to lapse into irrationality.

    So, stephenB, doesn’t this comment consist of precisely the kind of linkage between religion (i.e. Christianity) and ID that you claim does not (and should not) exist?

  119. —Allen MacNeill:

    —-”So, stephenB, doesn’t this comment consist of precisely the kind of linkage between religion (i.e. Christianity) and ID that you claim does not (and should not) exist?”

    No. Did you analyze the context of the remarks I was responding to? Did you take note of the numerous references to God in the question I was being asked? Did you consider the earlier comment, made by you, asking what it is about Roman’s 1:20 that either requires or denies the direct intervention of God in natural processes.

    Did you notice that I responded by saying, “nothing.” “It indicates only that God played a role and made it happen in some way.”

    Did you notice that, before that, I was responding to and disagreeing William Dembski’s comment that theistic evolutionsits can, in any way, make a case that Christianity can be reconciled with Darwinism.

    Did you notice that my main point, which started the ball rolling, was to ask theistic evolutionists, who can’t stop talking about religion, to make up their mind about whether God did or did not play a role, rather than to say, as they do, that he played a role by not playing a role.

    ID begins from the bottom up, analyzing the evidence and following where the evidence leads. Theistic evolutionsts, on the other hand, begin from the top down, positing that God must have done things Darwinin’s way, because a competent God wouldn’t tinker with his creation. Thus, in responding to theistic evolutionists, ID defenders must talk about God, because theistic evolutionist will not stop talking about him except to say that he isn’t really involved in the evolutionary process, except that he is.

  120. CLAVDIVS, I appreciate your comments as well.

    With regard to your comment in Post 117: What I am confused about, is whether ID recognises macro-evolution and common descent as something that has really occurred in the history of life.

    There has been discussion on that very point here

    If you don’t feel like making the click, the answer is that ID neither endorses nor disputes macro-evolution and common descent.

  121. Frost122585 @112

    I don’t think Hummus has done much other than to just keep repeating one quote from the Bible taken out of context.

    Ironic, isn’t it?

    The True path is narrow. Christ’s words, not mine.

    …the application of these words in the current context is entirely yours.

    Nothing can quite be compared to taking Scripture out of it’s original context, placing it in a context foreign to that from which it was taken, and then declaring, “thus says the LORD.”

    This sort of stuff, coming from purported Christians, sickens me, especially when used as ammunition against other Christians.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-339317

  122. No Mung. Nice try but I used not one quote out of context over and over- but many different passages and quotes in context, and along with a clear and cogent supporting argument. Sorry.

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