Home » Intelligent Design » Uncommon Descent gets mail: From Christianity Today. Mad at me.

Uncommon Descent gets mail: From Christianity Today. Mad at me.

[images.jpg]Yesterday, I received a note from a high-ranking editor at Christianity Today who was pretty annoyed at what I wrote about the magazine’s June cover story on BioLogos. He hasn’t replied to my suggestion that I publish his note and my reply. So I will publish my reply here, with a couple of comments, and link to the pieces posted here at UD.

First, one comment: He thought it a “slur” to predict that the magazine could end up endorsing euthanasia. I confess to not knowing why it is a slur. Consider abortion and other traditionally prohibited lifestyle practices many nominally Christian groups do end up endorsing by word or silence: They believe themselves to be moral people, and some members have informed me that they are more moral than me. I am not inclined to dispute the matter. One wonders how many Evolution Sunday churches sing those tunes?

At any rate, many folk have told me over the years that they thought Christianity Today, for which I used to write, was slowly heading to the junction of Aimless and Liberal. The cover story’s apish Adam and Eve feels like that sort of watershed. I rarely read the mag any more and the mag isn’t important enough to the folk who told me that to justify the trouble of slander. They simply sense it is true, and change the subject. Anyway, I wrote:

I was sent the story and tried to make sense of it for what it is. For the message it gives, taken by itself, as I have every right to do, since most readers will.

And if you end up where I suggested, you’ll think it right to be there, little by little and step by step. So it won’t even be a slur. Look what Francis Collins endorses! And he is Mr. US Evangelical Scientist. If you doubt that personally, can I quote you? Can I quote this correspondence? [Apparently not. - d.]

A friend, a faithful Christian in science, was dismayed by the story. He is an information theorist. … The genome, to take one small point, is full over overlapping codes. (It’s as if a short story read backwards is a flawless different short story, and sections of it, read letter by letter down the right hand side are a flawless paragraph.)

Then I turn to Giberson and Collins and – straw men jousting at straw enemies. 78% of evolutionary biologists are “pure naturalists” (No God and no free will).And G and C are telling us that we should defer to the authority of science about what random processes can do, when I am hearing so much real science showing conclusively what they can’t do.

I thought Ostling did a superb job of allowing people to realize what they are choosing to embrace, and I especially loved the artist’s grotesques. It figures, in the new view, that God, if he exists and if he created Adam and Eve, would create them like that, so that we are superior to them instead of inferior.

And isn’t that the real point of Christian Darwinism?

Okay, so I am not on that guy’s Christmas list.

My posts on Christianity Today here:

Christianity Today on the BioLogos vs. orthodoxy “crisis”

Christianity Today article on BioLogos: A
Darwinian, not a Christian view of evil is floated, in defense of Christian Darwinism

Dumped Biologians could make own film

Ninety-nine per cent chimpanzee rides again? In a Christian rag? Well, maybe only 96%?

Prediction: Based on Christianity Today’s article on Darwin-friendly Adam and Eve

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33 Responses to Uncommon Descent gets mail: From Christianity Today. Mad at me.

  1. They are Christians. They can’t be mad at you.

  2. Ms. O’Leary, as to this quote of yours:

    ‘The genome, to take one small point, is full over overlapping codes. (It’s as if a short story read backwards is a flawless different short story, and sections of it, read letter by letter down the right hand side are a flawless paragraph.)’

    Notes:

    DNA – Evolution Vs. Polyfuctionality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4614519

    Poly-Functional Complexity equals Poly-Constrained Complexity
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....Zmd2emZncQ

    Scientists Map All Mammalian Gene Interactions – August 2010
    Excerpt: Mammals, including humans, have roughly 20,000 different genes.,,, They found a network of more than 7 million interactions encompassing essentially every one of the genes in the mammalian genome.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142044.htm

    Astonishing DNA complexity demolishes neo-Darwinism – Alex Williams
    Excerpt: Not only has the ENCODE project elevated UTRs out of the ‘junk’ category, but it now appears that they are far more active than the translated regions (the genes), as measured by the number of DNA bases appearing in RNA transcripts. Genic regions are transcribed on average in five different overlapping and interleaved ways, while UTRs are transcribed on average in seven different overlapping and interleaved ways. Since there are about 33 times as many bases in UTRs than in genic regions, that makes the ‘junk’ about 50 times more active than the genes.
    http://creation.com/images/pdf.....11-117.pdf

    Here, we show that the universal genetic code can efficiently carry arbitrary parallel codes much better than the vast majority of other possible genetic codes…. the present findings support the view that protein-coding regions can carry abundant parallel codes.
    http://genome.cshlp.org/content/17/4/405.full

    The data compression of some stretches of human DNA is estimated to be up to 12 codes thick (12 different ways of DNA transcription) (Trifonov, 1989). (This is well beyond the complexity of any computer code ever written by man). John Sanford – Genetic Entropy

    The multiple codes of nucleotide sequences. Trifonov EN. – 1989
    Excerpt: Nucleotide sequences carry genetic information of many different kinds, not just instructions for protein synthesis (triplet code).
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2673451

    “In the last ten years, at least 20 different natural information codes were discovered in life, each operating to arbitrary conventions (not determined by law or physicality). Examples include protein address codes [Ber08B], acetylation codes [Kni06], RNA codes [Fai07], metabolic codes [Bru07], cytoskeleton codes [Gim08], histone codes [Jen01], and alternative splicing codes [Bar10].
    Donald E. Johnson – Programming of Life – pg.51 – 2010

    Human Genome “Infinitely More Complex” Than Expected – April 2010
    Excerpt: Hayden acknowledged that the “junk DNA” paradigm has been blown to smithereens. “Just one decade of post-genome biology has exploded that view,” she said,,,, Network theory is now a new paradigm that has replaced the one-way linear diagram of gene to RNA to protein. That used to be called the “Central Dogma” of genetics. Now, everything is seen to be dynamic, with promoters and blockers and interactomes, feedback loops, feed-forward processes, and “bafflingly complex signal-transduction pathways.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100405a

    Most Detailed Annotation of Fruit-Fly Genome Points Way to Understanding All Organisms’ Genomes – December 2010
    Excerpt: “We also found an order-of-magnitude increase in the ways that genes are spliced and edited to produce alternate forms of known proteins, thus significantly increasing the complexity of the proteome.”,,, Despite the scrutiny to which the Drosophila genome has been subjected, the researchers found new or altered exons or splice forms in almost three-quarters of Drosophila’s previously annotated genes,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....131131.htm

    Bill Gates, in recognizing the superiority found in Genetic Coding compared to the best computer coding we now have, has now funded research into this area:

    Welcome to CoSBi – (Computational and Systems Biology)
    Excerpt: Biological systems are the most parallel systems ever studied and we hope to use our better understanding of how living systems handle information to design new computational paradigms, programming languages and software development environments. The net result would be the design and implementation of better applications firmly grounded on new computational, massively parallel paradigms in many different areas.
    http://www.cosbi.eu/index.php/.....rticle/171

    Do you believe Richard Dawkins exists?
    Excerpt: DNA is the best information storage mechanism known to man. A single pinhead of DNA contains as much information as could be stored on 2 million two-terabyte hard drives.

    Comprehensive Mapping of Long-Range Interactions Reveals Folding Principles of the Human Genome – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: At the megabase scale, the chromatin conformation is consistent with a fractal globule, a knot-free, polymer conformation that enables maximally dense packing while preserving the ability to easily fold and unfold any genomic locus.

    3-D Structure Of Human Genome: Fractal Globule Architecture Packs Two Meters Of DNA Into Each Cell – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: the information density in the nucleus is trillions of times higher than on a computer chip — while avoiding the knots and tangles that might interfere with the cell’s ability to read its own genome. Moreover, the DNA can easily unfold and refold during gene activation, gene repression, and cell replication.

    Quantum Dots Spotlight DNA-Repair Proteins in Motion – March 2010
    Excerpt: “How this system works is an important unanswered question in this field,” he said. “It has to be able to identify very small mistakes in a 3-dimensional morass of gene strands. It’s akin to spotting potholes on every street all over the country and getting them fixed before the next rush hour.” Dr. Bennett Van Houten – of note: A bacterium has about 40 team members on its pothole crew. That allows its entire genome to be scanned for errors in 20 minutes, the typical doubling time.,, These smart machines can apparently also interact with other damage control teams if they cannot fix the problem on the spot.

    semi OT: New DI podcast

    “ID Scientist Douglas Axe Responds to His Critics”
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_43-07_00

  3. Ms. O’Leary, as to this quote of yours:

    ‘The genome, to take one small point, is full over overlapping codes. (It’s as if a short story read backwards is a flawless different short story, and sections of it, read letter by letter down the right hand side are a flawless paragraph.)’

    Notes:

    DNA – Evolution Vs. Polyfuctionality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4614519

    Poly-Functional Complexity equals Poly-Constrained Complexity
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....Zmd2emZncQ

    Scientists Map All Mammalian Gene Interactions – August 2010
    Excerpt: Mammals, including humans, have roughly 20,000 different genes.,,, They found a network of more than 7 million interactions encompassing essentially every one of the genes in the mammalian genome.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142044.htm

    Astonishing DNA complexity demolishes neo-Darwinism – Alex Williams
    Excerpt: Not only has the ENCODE project elevated UTRs out of the ‘junk’ category, but it now appears that they are far more active than the translated regions (the genes), as measured by the number of DNA bases appearing in RNA transcripts. Genic regions are transcribed on average in five different overlapping and interleaved ways, while UTRs are transcribed on average in seven different overlapping and interleaved ways. Since there are about 33 times as many bases in UTRs than in genic regions, that makes the ‘junk’ about 50 times more active than the genes.
    http://creation.com/images/pdf.....11-117.pdf

    Here, we show that the universal genetic code can efficiently carry arbitrary parallel codes much better than the vast majority of other possible genetic codes…. the present findings support the view that protein-coding regions can carry abundant parallel codes.
    http://genome.cshlp.org/content/17/4/405.full

    The data compression of some stretches of human DNA is estimated to be up to 12 codes thick (12 different ways of DNA transcription) (Trifonov, 1989). (This is well beyond the complexity of any computer code ever written by man). John Sanford – Genetic Entropy

    The multiple codes of nucleotide sequences. Trifonov EN. – 1989
    Excerpt: Nucleotide sequences carry genetic information of many different kinds, not just instructions for protein synthesis (triplet code).
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2673451

    “In the last ten years, at least 20 different natural information codes were discovered in life, each operating to arbitrary conventions (not determined by law or physicality). Examples include protein address codes [Ber08B], acetylation codes [Kni06], RNA codes [Fai07], metabolic codes [Bru07], cytoskeleton codes [Gim08], histone codes [Jen01], and alternative splicing codes [Bar10].
    Donald E. Johnson – Programming of Life – pg.51 – 2010

    Human Genome “Infinitely More Complex” Than Expected – April 2010
    Excerpt: Hayden acknowledged that the “junk DNA” paradigm has been blown to smithereens. “Just one decade of post-genome biology has exploded that view,” she said,,,, Network theory is now a new paradigm that has replaced the one-way linear diagram of gene to RNA to protein. That used to be called the “Central Dogma” of genetics. Now, everything is seen to be dynamic, with promoters and blockers and interactomes, feedback loops, feed-forward processes, and “bafflingly complex signal-transduction pathways.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100405a

    Most Detailed Annotation of Fruit-Fly Genome Points Way to Understanding All Organisms’ Genomes – December 2010
    Excerpt: “We also found an order-of-magnitude increase in the ways that genes are spliced and edited to produce alternate forms of known proteins, thus significantly increasing the complexity of the proteome.”,,, Despite the scrutiny to which the Drosophila genome has been subjected, the researchers found new or altered exons or splice forms in almost three-quarters of Drosophila’s previously annotated genes,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....131131.htm

    Bill Gates, in recognizing the superiority found in Genetic Coding compared to the best computer coding we now have, has now funded research into this area:

    Welcome to CoSBi – (Computational and Systems Biology)
    Excerpt: Biological systems are the most parallel systems ever studied and we hope to use our better understanding of how living systems handle information to design new computational paradigms, programming languages and software development environments. The net result would be the design and implementation of better applications firmly grounded on new computational, massively parallel paradigms in many different areas.

    Do you believe Richard Dawkins exists?
    Excerpt: DNA is the best information storage mechanism known to man. A single pinhead of DNA contains as much information as could be stored on 2 million two-terabyte hard drives.

    Comprehensive Mapping of Long-Range Interactions Reveals Folding Principles of the Human Genome – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: At the megabase scale, the chromatin conformation is consistent with a fractal globule, a knot-free, polymer conformation that enables maximally dense packing while preserving the ability to easily fold and unfold any genomic locus.

    3-D Structure Of Human Genome: Fractal Globule Architecture Packs Two Meters Of DNA Into Each Cell – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: the information density in the nucleus is trillions of times higher than on a computer chip — while avoiding the knots and tangles that might interfere with the cell’s ability to read its own genome. Moreover, the DNA can easily unfold and refold during gene activation, gene repression, and cell replication.

    Quantum Dots Spotlight DNA-Repair Proteins in Motion – March 2010
    Excerpt: “How this system works is an important unanswered question in this field,” he said. “It has to be able to identify very small mistakes in a 3-dimensional morass of gene strands. It’s akin to spotting potholes on every street all over the country and getting them fixed before the next rush hour.” Dr. Bennett Van Houten – of note: A bacterium has about 40 team members on its pothole crew. That allows its entire genome to be scanned for errors in 20 minutes, the typical doubling time.,, These smart machines can apparently also interact with other damage control teams if they cannot fix the problem on the spot.

    semi OT: New DI podcast

    “ID Scientist Douglas Axe Responds to His Critics”
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_43-07_00

  4. semi OT: New DI podcast

    “ID Scientist Douglas Axe Responds to His Critics”
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_43-07_00

  5. Did you call their magazine a rag?

    Do you have any idea how insulting that is to a muslim?

  6. I am not a Denyse sycophant, but I can think logically, as she consistently does.

    I’m an engineer with specialties in AI computer programming, guidance navigation and control software in aerospace R&D, and finite-element analysis of nonlinear, dynamic, transient systems (with a little classical piano playing to keep my fingers and mind sharp).

    It is precisely because of my work in these fields that I find the Christian Darwinist thesis to be hopelessly illogical and self-refuting: Design with no design. Purpose with no purpose. The personal from the impersonal. Ethics from the amoral. And the list could be expanded.

    The Christian Darwinism worldview is a worldview locked in logical contradiction at every step.

    And the worst part is: The basis of the Darwinian thesis (random crap filtered by natural selection created Mozart, me, and you) is totally illogical, unsupported by any empirical evidence, and mathematically impossible.

    One of the main reasons I converted from militant atheism to theism in general, and Christianity in particular, is that once I put my head on straight, I perceived the illogic, motives, and agenda of the other side.

    Those motives and agenda are all bad, and the fruits of those efforts have been all bad, not only for the human condition, but for the integrity of science and scientific investigation.

  7. OUCH!

    Gil, don’t sugarcoat it, tell us how you really feel!

  8. Mung: high class long lasting paper used to be/is still made from — cotton rags (as opposed to wood pulp). G

  9. Well, you know the fight’s always been over the nature of God and man. If Francis Collins is right, then God is not the creator in the Biblical sense, directly bringing things of great value into being, but creates indirectly through the demiurge Nature; God is not completely sovereign because he has ceded at least some of his sovereignty to the demiurge; and God is not the direct source of human life. In which case, the work of Christ is not a re-creation or restoration of Eden, which never existed; promises like “the meek shall inherit the earth” are wishful thinking with no objective content, since nature is sovereign in our sublunary world and nature is not love; and, by far the most important, life is not the “light of men” because it does not have a divine or spiritual origin (rendering the Resurrection meaningless and depriving Christ’s passion of its inner significance).

    If CT is right, then man was not made in God’s image and therefore has not fallen; the Biblical diagnosis of the human condition is incorrect because man never consciously chose the vanity of being “like God” over sincere love; the failure to live up to the law was not man’s fault, since he could not be expected to overcome his evolutionary shortcomings, but God’s for inflicting it on him in the first place; the cross was not a sign of supreme self-sacrificing mercy and fatherly love, since evolutionary man could not be blamed for being at odds with God; and grace loses its graciousness and becomes a kind of deus ex machina for pinning a happy tail on an otherwise hopelessly depraved and writhing donkey.

    The CT cover and article are gleefully provocative. What did they expect? Were they so deep in their echo chamber that they did not realize the tide has changed and it is no longer possible to silence those who disagree with you by making an appeal to the authority of Darwinism? A wag I know calls them “Christianity Yesterday.” When the world was turning to Darwin, they clung to the old views of being; now they’re rushing to embrace him just when the world has decided to turn away.

  10. Gil Dodgen @6: Very well said! Because of your eclectic array of intellectual resources, including your experience as an engineer in AI programming, your well-developed artistic sensibilities, and your spiritual rags to riches story, you can unmask the pretentious facade of the Christian Darwinists with unusual authority and credibility. From an intellectual perspective, you are, as they say in sports, a triple threat. I really do appreciate your contributions on this site.

  11. 11
    Elizabeth Liddle

    I am not a Denyse sycophant, but I can think logically, as she consistently does.

    I’m an engineer with specialties in AI computer programming, guidance navigation and control software in aerospace R&D, and finite-element analysis of nonlinear, dynamic, transient systems (with a little classical piano playing to keep my fingers and mind sharp).

    It is precisely because of my work in these fields that I find the Christian Darwinist thesis to be hopelessly illogical and self-refuting: Design with no design. Purpose with no purpose. The personal from the impersonal. Ethics from the amoral. And the list could be expanded.

    The Christian Darwinism worldview is a worldview locked in logical contradiction at every step.

    And the worst part is: The basis of the Darwinian thesis (random crap filtered by natural selection created Mozart, me, and you) is totally illogical, unsupported by any empirical evidence, and mathematically impossible.

    One of the main reasons I converted from militant atheism to theism in general, and Christianity in particular, is that once I put my head on straight, I perceived the illogic, motives, and agenda of the other side.

    Those motives and agenda are all bad, and the fruits of those efforts have been all bad, not only for the human condition, but for the integrity of science and scientific investigation.

    heh. And as a catholic turned atheist, an ex-professional musician turned cognitive neuroscientist and computational modeller of evolutionary learning algorithms, I beg to disagree :)

    Not only would I hold that you have missed the logic of evolutionary theory, but you have also mistaken the motivation behind those find it a theory with great explanatory power.

    My own position is that Darwinian processes are, in effect, intelligent processes, and mirror, in some, but not all, respects, the way our brains work (hence the term “neural Darwinism), the big difference lying in the capacity for intention, which our brains have, but evolutionary processes do not, by virtue of the brain’s capacity to simulate output before execution, and re-enter the output as input, giving us the capacity of foresight and informed choice, and releasing us from the straitjacket of immediacy. Endowing us with free will, if you like, and thus the capacity for morality.

    Anyway, pleased to meet you :) I hear you are a Chopin devotee? I think the equivalent for me is probably Orlando Gibbons.

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  12. —Elizabeth Liddle: “heh. And as a catholic turned atheist, an ex-professional musician turned cognitive neuroscientist and computational modeller of evolutionary learning algorithms, I beg to disagree.”

    That’s quite a transition. What is it about the Catholic Church that prompted you to trade it in for atheism?

  13. —Elizabeth Liddle: “heh. And as a catholic turned atheist, an ex-professional musician turned cognitive neuroscientist and computational modeller of evolutionary learning algorithms, I beg to disagree.”

    That’s quite a transition. What is it about the Catholic Church that prompted you to trade it in for atheism?

  14. —Elizabeth Liddle: “heh. And as a catholic turned atheist, an ex-professional musician turned cognitive neuroscientist and computational modeller of evolutionary learning algorithms, I beg to disagree.”

    That’s quite a transition. What is it about the Catholic Church that prompted you to trade it in for atheism?

  15. Sorry about the triple post. I can’t account for it.

  16. Sorry about the triple post. I can’t account for it.

    Note the lack of any new information and the increase in entropy.

    Way to go StephenB, now we’re all going to die sooner.

  17. -”My own position is that Darwinian processes are, in effect, intelligent processes, and mirror, in some, but not all, respects, the way our brains work (hence the term “neural Darwinism), the big difference lying in the capacity for intention, which our brains have, but evolutionary processes do not, by virtue of the brain’s capacity to simulate output before execution, and re-enter the output as input, giving us the capacity of foresight and informed choice, and releasing us from the straitjacket of immediacy. Endowing us with free will, if you like, and thus the capacity for morality.”

    So what you’re basically saying is that the unintentional, some how unintetionally creates the intentional. That is not logic sorry. That’s superstition.

    How exactly is the causal structure of this atheistic world capable of creating the very opposite of what it is?

  18. You are appealing to things that have no place in an atheistic ontology.

  19. To put it simply, what you’re describing makes sense in a non-atheistic world. In an atheistic world which is inherently materialistic what you said is simply an illusion. ;)

  20. - Elizabeth Liddle: ”My own position is that Darwinian processes are, in effect, intelligent processes, and mirror, in some, but not all, respects, the way our brains work (hence the term “neural Darwinism), the big difference lying in the capacity for intention, which our brains have, but evolutionary processes do not, by virtue of the brain’s capacity to simulate output before execution, and re-enter the output as input, giving us the capacity of foresight and informed choice, and releasing us from the straitjacket of immediacy. Endowing us with free will, if you like, and thus the capacity for morality.”

    You seem to have missed Gil’s point. A purposeful, mindful creator who desires a specified outcome [Theism] will not use a purposeless, mindless process that produces an indeterminate outcome [Darwinism].

  21. Mung @ 16 … only you would have the presence of mind to think of that. ;)

  22. 22
    Elizabeth Liddle

    above:

    So what you’re basically saying is that the unintentional, some how unintetionally creates the intentional. That is not logic sorry. That’s superstition.

    Well, it’s certainly not superstition, and I don’t see that it’s illogical either.

    How exactly is the causal structure of this atheistic world capable of creating the very opposite of what it is?

    Well, I would say the answer is that the capacity for intention (i.e. for acting with forethought) is adaptational, in a Darwinian sense, and is therefore likely to evolve (and has done).

    (Although since you asked this, I think we have come to understand each other a little better :))

    StephenB:

    —Elizabeth Liddle: “heh. And as a catholic turned atheist, an ex-professional musician turned cognitive neuroscientist and computational modeller of evolutionary learning algorithms, I beg to disagree.”

    That’s quite a transition. What is it about the Catholic Church that prompted you to trade it in for atheism?

    Oddly enough, it was nothing about the catholic church itself (or nothing that I hadn’t previously objected to!), but a radical shift in stance over the nature of free will.

    I continued to go to mass for another couple of years though, as in many ways, as in some ways the grounding of my worldview or whatever hadn’t (and still hasn’t) actually changed. But increasingly the church seemed to spend its energies harping on the very things I had always objected to, and was endorsing far less the things I retained, and I found myself less and less firmly tethered.

    And in the end, I came to see it as standing for so many things I radically opposed, that I could not in conscience support it.

    I still miss the eucharist, though.

    And it has occurred to me to go back to my Quaker roots.

  23. 23
    Elizabeth Liddle

    StephenB:

    You seem to have missed Gil’s point. A purposeful, mindful creator who desires a specified outcome [Theism] will not use a purposeless, mindless process that produces an indeterminate outcome [Darwinism].

    I don’t actually see why not – especially an omniscient one.

    But my point is the opposite one: I do not see why a “purposeless, mindless process” should not produce purposeful entities, and indeed, I think it did and does.

    Most extraordinary of all, I think it produced entities capable of consciousness, morality, and transcendent love.

    The time sequence doesn’t bother me, especially, nor (by the same token, the direction of causality) as time seems to be a post hoc construct anyway. So perhaps all I’ve done is turn God upside down :)

    Seems to work just as well :)

  24. Elizabeth you state,

    But my point is the opposite one: I do not see why a “purposeless, mindless process” should not produce purposeful entities, and indeed, I think it did and does.
    Most extraordinary of all, I think it produced entities capable of consciousness, morality, and transcendent love.
    The time sequence doesn’t bother me, especially, nor (by the same token, the direction of causality) as time seems to be a post hoc construct anyway. So perhaps all I’ve done is turn God upside down.

    So Elizabeth, especially in your denial of time (direction of causality), you do not disagree with the concluding premise stated at the 6:50 minute mark of this following video. i.e. that man can become god and create the universe.

    The Anthropic Principle – Fine Tuning Of The Universe – Michael Strauss PhD.
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4323661/

    Remark at 6:50 mark
    i.e. “Well Barrow and Tippler wrote this book (The Anthropic Cosmological Principle), and they saw the design of the universe, but their atheists basically, there’s no god, and they go through some long arguments to describe why humans are the only intelligent life in the universe. That’s what they believe. So they got a problem. If the universe is clearly the product of design, but humans are the only intelligent life in the universe, Who creates the universe??? So you know what Barrow and Tippler’s solution is?? It makes perfect sense. Humans evolve to a point, someday, where they reach back in time and they create the universe for themselves! (audience chuckles),, Hey these guys are respected scientists. So what brings them to that conclusion? It is because the evidence for design is so overwhelming that if you don’t have God, you have humans creating the universe, back in time, for themselves.” Michael Strauss – PhD. in Particle Physics

    Isaiah 14: 12-15
    12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
    15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

    Elizabeth,,, That preceding comment in the video, by Michael Strauss, reminded me of this comment by John Lennox to Richard Dawkins in response to his ‘schoolboy question’ in the God Delusion, “Well, who created god?”,,, Lennox in response,, “No wonder you call your book “The God Delusion” for created gods are by definition a delusion!!”

    John Lennox – Science Is Impossible Without God – Quotes – video remix
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6287271/

    notes:

    If Humans Evolved It Was A Miracle – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5381036/

    In Barrow and Tippler’s book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, they list ten steps necessary in the course of human evolution, each of which, is so improbable that if left to happen by chance alone, the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have incinerated the earth. They estimate that the odds of the evolution (by chance) of the human genome is somewhere between 4 to the negative 180th power, to the 110,000th power, and 4 to the negative 360th power, to the 110,000th power. Therefore, if evolution did occur, it literally would have been a miracle and evidence for the existence of God. William Lane Craig

    Darwin and the Mathematicians – David Berlinski
    “The formation within geological time of a human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field, is as unlikely as the separation by chance of the atmosphere into its components.”
    Kurt Gödel, was a preeminent mathematician who is considered one of the greatest to have ever lived. Of Note: Godel was a Theist!
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....27911.html

    “Darwin’s theory is easily the dumbest idea ever taken seriously by science.”
    Granville Sewell – Professor Of Mathematics – University Of Texas – El Paso

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’’ (Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

  25. –Elizabeth Liddle: “I do not see why a “purposeless, mindless process” should not produce purposeful entities, and indeed, I think it did and does.”

    You are still missing the point rather spectacularly. We are not discussing your version of Darwinism, which is problematic enough; we are discussing Christian Darwinism.

    The problem for the Christian Darwinist is this: A purposeful Creator who knows exactly which outcome he wants and is capable of designing a process that will produce exactly what he wants, will not use an undesigned Darwinian process that will almost certainly produce something else.

    If evolution was programmed or designed to produce a result that conforms to the the Creator’s apriori specifications, which is a minimum requirement for Christianity, then it could not, at the same time, be a Darwinian process, because Darwinian processes are, by definition, not programmed or designed. A Christian-oriented evolution must be a designed evolution–which means that it cannot be Darwinian evolution–which means that Christianity cannot be reconciled with Darwinism.

  26. –EL: “But increasingly the church seemed to spend its energies harping on the very things I had always objected to, and was endorsing far less the things I retained, and I found myself less and less firmly tethered.”

    Are you talking about the Universal Church’s unchangeable magisterial teachings, or are you talking the American Church’s frivolous, politically correct, and watered down Catholicism?

  27. A purposeful Creator who knows exactly which outcome he wants and is capable of designing a process that will produce exactly what he wants, will not use an undesigned Darwinian process that will almost certainly produce something else.

    How could you know that it will almost certainly produce an outcome that was not desired unless you are omniscient?

    An omniscient God on the other hand would be able to know the outcome of a process that appears unguided from our frame of reference.

    Do you regard the Christian God as lacking omniscience?

    …Darwinian processes are, by definition, not programmed or designed.

    Did you come up with that definition yourself?

    Whenever I work with genetic algorithms I am programming, by design, a system that exploits Darwinian processes – at least ‘Darwinian’ in the sense of Darwin’s theory and what it has become in modern science. I accept that ‘Darwinian’ is a word that has been hijacked by many, and sometimes bears little relation to science, or Darwin.

  28. –EL: “And in the end, I came to see it as standing for so many things I radically opposed, that I could not in conscience support it.”

    On those issues that made the biggest difference, what standard did you use to decide that the Church was wrong and that you were right? If it was, indeed, your fallible conscience, did you make every effort to make sure that it had been informed by infallibly revealed truths?

  29. A purposeful Creator who knows exactly which outcome he wants and is capable of designing a process that will produce exactly what he wants, will not use an undesigned Darwinian process that will almost certainly produce something else.

    –Dr. Bot: “How could you know that it will almost certainly produce an outcome that was not desired unless you are omniscient?”

    Because Darwinian processes are not designed to produce specified outcomes? I don’t need to be omniscient to know what Christian Darwinists say about their own world view, which is that what happened was not necessarily intended by God.

    –”An omniscient God on the other hand would be able to know the outcome of a process that appears unguided from our frame of reference.”

    Yes, that’s true, but Darwinian evolution doesn’t just say that the process was unguided from “our frame of reference,” it says that it was unguided, period. That is also what Christian Darwinists say–at least those who are true to their Darwinism.

    —”Do you regard the Christian God as lacking omniscience?”

    Of course not. The Christian God is omnipotent, which means that he can produce the exact result he wants, and is omniscient, which means that he knows exactly what will happen.

    Darwinian processes are, by definition, not programmed or designed.

    –”Did you come up with that definition yourself?”

    No, the Darwinists say so in their textbooks and speeches.

    John Polkinghorne— “an evolutionary universe is theologically understood as a creation allowed to make itself.”

    George Coyne —“not even God could know… with certainty” that “human life would come to be.”

    Ken Miller— “mankind’s appearance on this planet was not preordained, that we are here… as an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out.”

    Again, Ken Miller–”evolution could have produced “a big-brained dinosaur” or a “mollusk with exceptional mental capabilities” rather than human beings.

    This is inconsistent with Christianity, which requires that an omnipotent God would get the exact outcome that he wanted and an omniscient God that would know with apodictic certainly that it would, indeed, become manifest. What God wanted was exactly what he god, you and me.

  30. That last sentence should read, “What God wanted was exactly what he got, homo sapiens.”

  31. 31
    CannuckianYankee

    Stephen B

    “This is inconsistent with Christianity, which requires that an omnipotent God would get the exact outcome that he wanted and an omniscient God that would know with apodictic certainly that it would, indeed, become manifest. What God wanted was exactly what he got, homo sapiens.”

    I fixed it for you.

    The Christian Darwinists want to believe something like this:

    God created everything to evolve. When humans happened to evolve from amoebae, and happened to not be what He had in mind exactly, due to an apparent “sinful nature,” God went back to the lab and decided to do something about it. He would continue with human evolution so that one day through non-teleological evolution they would be perfect as He had planned.

    That’s not Christianity. It’s the other way around.

    God created everything good and made human beings “in His own image,” giving them a free will as He has a free will. Because humans are not God, they are not perfect like God, and could use that free will to do evil rather than good, which they did (and do), and God knew that they would. But this too was part of the plan. It wasn’t an afterthought.

    We seem to believe that God is interested in human accomplishment. He’s not. He’s interested in human weakness and imperfection when it acknowledges who He is, and seeks to gain strength from Him. Everything exists for His glory, not our own. His ultimate plan is not perfection for us, but for us to become truly human; truly what He intended. That takes some doing. Only a Supreme Being could accomplish that. We all should know this.

    Here’s another issue. There’s a difference between “perfection” and “goodness.” When scripture says that God created everything good, it does not mean that He created everything perfect. Why?

    Think about the perfect computer. Could it create or perform the works of Mozart such that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between say a real human string quartet and the computer playing one? Believe me, I’ve tried this, and even with the greatest effort you can’t make a computer sound like a human ensemble. Why? Because the computer is too perfect with regard to an ability to create those very subtle imperfections in the music, which make the music what it is.

    What are those? Try to get a computer to mimic a violin playing tremolo, for example (I’ve tried this on my computer as well). Tremolo is a very rapid back and forth motion with the bow over the strings. The violinist does this so rapidly that he/she very subtly misses some notes every now and again, or some of the rhythm; which is what makes tremolo what it is. If it were perfect rhythm and perfect precision, it wouldn’t have the value we place upon it as music. You may be able to design a computer to mimic this, but it will do the same thing every time. It lacks the emotional imperfections that come with human effort. The only thing it could do, and does, is to play back what humans have already fed into it – as we do with mp3s and CDs. A computer can’t anticipate the emotional stress and strain that go into a performance. It just can’t be done, and it can’t be done because a computer has no will of it’s own.

    So God didn’t create us perfect, like the perfect computer, but He did create us good. It’s those imperfections apparently, that are valuable to God. He uses them towards His own glory. Everything is thus designed to achieve one goal – the Glory of God. And in that, we too are humanized. We’re humanized because He doesn’t want us perfect, He wants us to know him.

    So I think the Christian Darwinists miss this point. They see ID as positing a “mechanistic” view of God, as if we see God as only a tinkerer with His creation. Far from it. I think we know the difference. God is interested more in imperfection than perfection. I don’t think He would approve of a perfect computer. It wouldn’t be what He had in mind.

  32. How does a backup (restore to factory settings) database evolve?

  33. God created everything good and made human beings “in His own image,” giving them a free will as He has a free will. Because humans are not God, they are not perfect like God, and could use that free will to do evil rather than good, which they did (and do), and God knew that they would. But this too was part of the plan. It wasn’t an afterthought.

    Evil is not a necessary consequence of free will. Not everyone with free will chose to do evil.

    To say that God planned for free will to be used for evil means that it’s no longer free will. It also makes God responsible for every evil act and painful consequence.
    Free will is a someone’s choice, not someone else’s plan.

    The Bible says that sin entered into the world through one man. Adam was perfect until he sinned. That is why he would never have died if he hadn’t sinned.

    Holy cow, I’m replying to a post from June! I followed a link from another post and got here. I couldn’t be more irrelevant if I tried.

    God gave mankind the perfect opportunity. Adam made the wrong choice, which is why God is not responsible.

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