Evolution and God

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Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 3rd, 2018, 2:06 am 

I seem to often encounter scientists that believe in both the theory of evolution and God. This especially puzzles me when it's biologists or other evolution related scientists because the two are somewhat conflicting. It's like believing in evolution is believing that all life evolved from a simple life-form 3.5-5 billion years ago. Do people who believe in God and evolution think that God created life that long ago? Is it just because we haven't yet recreated life from building blocks in a lab? Science is based on observation and evidence and I don't see any evidence of God so I find scientists who believe in God to be a contradiction.

Can anyone share some insight into how this thinking works?
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 14th, 2018, 4:43 am 

Abiogenis takes the term “miracle” and relabels it as “random spontaneity”

Or maybe it’s just me and I don’t understand the difference?
Looking at it from my point of view, it’s easy to see how there’s no real contradiction when believing in both an omnipotent creator and scientific understanding.

Recreating it in a lab would do wonders for a better understanding of the miracle ingredient.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby Zanthius on April 14th, 2018, 5:48 pm 

zetreque » April 3rd, 2018, 1:06 am wrote:Can anyone share some insight into how this thinking works?


Humans aren't completely rational. Things we learn during early childhood can have strong emotional associations, and are stored very deep in our neural structures:

Image

This isn't just related to religion BTW. You might have strong emotional associations to Christmas (and/or other celebrations), The Bill of Rights (or a Monarch if you are living in a monarchy), Weddings, Funerals, etc.

For a deeply religious person, there are just so many strong and nice emotional associations to the religion. The rational mind doesn't want to mess with your nice emotional associations, so it stays away.

Even if you are an atheist, I think you should be able to find irrational "nice" emotional associations in yourself, that your rational mind doesn't want to mess with. None of us are completely rational.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 16th, 2018, 3:02 am 

No one has talked to this point yet.
zetreque » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:06 pm wrote:Science is based on observation and evidence and I don't see any evidence of God so I find scientists who believe in God to be a contradiction.


To pull a quote off google
Science is
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.


If you are a scientist, I would think that you should believe in what you observe finding evidence in your reality that you build off of scientific principles. To be a scientist and believe in God, you would have to be observing evidence for God. It's flawed though because it's non-impirical. It's shaping evidence to fit faith rather than the other way around. Perhaps people think they are seeing miracles as their evidence when the "miracles" have perfectly logical explanations based on science and not anecdotal belief.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby KyCoo on April 17th, 2018, 5:43 am 

Although I do believe that there is a power that has made the world (as we call it God) I still can't wrap my thoughts around the "man-made" God and religion that divides people and causes havoc.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 19th, 2018, 2:27 am 

Zetreque,

Where is the evidence for abiogenisis or the Big Bang.
Either could have been created by the hand of god.
Einstein thought of the laws of physics themselves as being evidence of a creator.

It takes faith to believe that none of these are evidence of a creator.
Simply because we don’t fully understand them and we don’t have cold hard evidence that scientifically explains them.

Some Big Bang theories don’t have a universe of atoms all squished together, in fact some theories suggest our universe just keeps shrinking indefinitely, the further back in time we look.
But we use faith to pick a theory that suits us.

It takes faith to argue that the laws of physics are not simply the will of god.
It takes faith to argue that god does not exist, because there is no evidence that he doesn’t exist (chuckles)
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 19th, 2018, 10:17 am 

I disagree. One is reality and one is imaginary. God is imaginary. I think my point is that science works with reality. By reality I mean actual observations that you can see and touch and not far out there concepts.

People that believe in God live in an imaginary world. At least the laws of physics, etc is built from the ground up framework of observations that work for everyone no matter what your faith.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 19th, 2018, 12:56 pm 

There is only one law of physics, the law of reality.
As humans we like to separate things based on our perception.

We write in our books that each observation represents a different law.
But the only thing that differentiates each law, is our human perception.
A plane does not fly based on only the laws of aerodynamics.
The laws of gravity, motion, aerodynamics etc are all intertwined, you can’t have one without the other.

So then, our perception that each law is separate, that is imagination.
What are you really perceiving then?

I got the idea of one law from Einstein’s perspective.
Einstein perceived each law as being separate.
But he said we could never fully understand each one.
If we could write down every aspect of each law in a separate book, then each book would be infinitely long.
Not only that but there are an infinite number of laws.
By thinking of them as books, he went on to say that there would be an infinite number of books to, which is evident today as we continually discover new laws.
Infinitely large books, in an infinitely large library.
He asks, is there an author of these books, and an owner of the library.

Using common denomination we see that there is just one “infinitely” large book, ie one law.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 19th, 2018, 1:15 pm 

Sensory perception is also based on imagination.
You think you can touch wood, but really, the atoms in your hand will never make contact with the atoms of anything.

You think the grass is green, but really it’s just the way that light is reflected off it’s cells, it’s not actually green.

You think that poo stinks, but really it’s just particles not much different from the particles of fragrant roses.

You think objects make sounds when they crash together, but they don’t.
They simply cause vibrations with the air around them.

It’s your imagination that makes you believe these are all real perceptions of reality, when in fact you are misled.
We give terms to differentiate our perceptions like hearing, seeing, feeling.
But what good are these terms to anything that does not have the five senses of human perception.

Many people trust in their perception of God, the way that you trust in your senses.
Last edited by edy420 on April 19th, 2018, 1:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 19th, 2018, 1:18 pm 

edy420 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:15 am wrote:
Many people trust in their perception of God, the way that you trust in your senses.


So you are proposing there is a sense for God just like there is a sense for sight or touch?
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 20th, 2018, 7:15 am 

No.
For the “educated” or the “intellegent” I think faith in God requires the understanding that we know next to nothing about reality.
Our perception of reality is not just limited, it is false.

We can’t hear high pitch sounds like a dog can.
We can’t sense radio waves, many micro waves, low voltage etc

Without our 5 senses, reality is just a bunch of atomic clusters that interact over an infinite time period.

With our 5 senses, we know it is much more.
Thanks to science and the creation of artificial sensors, we know that reality is more than what our 5 senses perceive.

How differently would we understand the world with 10 senses.
100 senses, or the Godly number of senses, infinite.
Compared to God, we know very little.

Faith in God is quite simply another perspective on reality.
A perspective that does not require limited sensory body parts.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 20th, 2018, 11:20 am 

There is no other perspective on reality.
I can't just say my perspective is that frozen water lights my hand on fire.
Or all dogs are purple or water flows up hill.

We test things over and over and over again. That's evidence based reality. To believe in that and then believe just as much in God is nonsensical.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 20th, 2018, 1:45 pm 

How differently would you see the world if your eyes were infra red.
You would try your best to convince me that all dogs are bright red.

How differently would it be if you had a 4th dimensional eye.

Many autistic people have a poor sense of pain and will wash their hands in boiling water, not knowing much different from ice cold water.

There are numerous perspectives.
Yours is just one.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 20th, 2018, 1:48 pm 

Sounds to me like again you are proposing there is a sense for God just like there is a sense for sight or touch. This has nothing to do with how many senses a person has. It has to do with reality ground up framework vs imaginary concepts.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby Braininvat on April 20th, 2018, 2:56 pm 

Edy, an odd argument, that God exists because our senses are limited. You could argue for a giant ghost raspberry named Calliope Keith who spans 25 light-years and invisibly tickles space-kittens, using that logic and your conviction that Keith is manifest to the faithful.

I wonder sometimes why SPCF has a religion forum at all. It seems to invite unreason and incoherence.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 20th, 2018, 9:13 pm 

Haha, before I had faith, I failed to understand it too.

Regardless of my position, I still fail to understand this explanation, which is what the OP is referring too..

abiogenesis
ˌeɪbʌɪə(ʊ)ˈdʒɛnɪsɪs/
noun
noun: abiogenesis

the original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances.
"to construct any convincing theory of abiogenesis, we must take into account the condition of the Earth about 4 billion years ago"
historical
another term for spontaneous generation.


By this definition, Keith may very well be responsible.
According to science, life begins, just because it does.
And the only proof science has, is that fact that life exists.

You cant experience this phenomena with any of your senses and yet you sense its real.
It is a self proofing theory, and yet you believe it with utmost confidence.
Why?
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 20th, 2018, 9:57 pm 

Multiple completely different fields of science (which works with real world observations of phenomena) ultimately agree into the sum of human knowledge.

You can in fact have people with multiple perspectives encounter and agree on the same data.

Sure one can propose a theory that some supreme being created life but obviously there is the age old argument that if some being created life on Earth, what created that being (life) that created life? And what created the life or the being that created the being that created life?

Here in the real world based on basic observations of things we encounter every day that adds up to making sense of the world, it appears to make more sense that the basic building blocks of life came together in the right combination and conditions (which align with the age and state of the Earth through multiple other fields of evidence) to form the beginnings of life. This makes far more sense to believe what is in front of your nose through the sum of human built knowledge, than to deal with concepts that have flaws of life creating life creating life creating life to the infinite.

Sure people ask the question about what became before the big bang, or what happens inside a black hole, or what goes on outside our visible view of the universe that is limited by the properties of light, but I think that true reasonable people don't believe in anything beyond those boundaries as much as they believe in God. We leave that to our imagination (there is nothing wrong with imagination) and you can think God created all of that if you want but it's just imagination with flaws.

My point is that it is incredibly weird for someone to believe in the real world around them based on countless observations by countless people adding up into what we interact with... <u>evolution</u> being one of these concepts, while at the same time believing in some mythical being that is not compatible with what science is all about. Which is building our understanding of the world around us through observations that all come together into the sum of human knowledge. Knowledge that allows us to do everything from talk on the cellphone to drive to the store.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 21st, 2018, 7:09 am 

Here in the real world based on basic observations of things we encounter every day that adds up to making sense of the world, it appears to make more sense that the basic building blocks of life came together in the right combination and conditions (which align with the age and state of the Earth through multiple other fields of evidence) to form the beginnings of life. This makes far more sense to believe what is in front of your nose through the sum of human built knowledge, than to deal with concepts that have flaws of life creating life creating life creating life to the infinite.


By the age of the earth, I think you mean our planet cooled enough to produce the right temperatures, weather conditions, and chemical ratios etc
What does this have to do with the actual creation part.
The jump from inanimate object, to organic cells.

I’m sure if Everyone in the world stuck a rock in a bucket of sea water and zapped it with lightning, we would all come to the same observable conclusion.

Life does not simply create itself, we need faith to believe otherwise.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 21st, 2018, 7:43 am 

My point is that it is incredibly weird for someone to believe in the real world around them based on countless observations by countless people adding up into what we interact with... <u>evolution</u> being one of these concepts, while at the same time believing in some mythical being that is not compatible with what science is all about. Which is building our understanding of the world around us through observations that all come together into the sum of human knowledge. Knowledge that allows us to do everything from talk on the cellphone to drive to the store.


I do understand your argument here.
It seems like there’s a contradiction.
But because science is not an absolute truth, you can not use it to deny other points of views that lack absolute truth.

So to settle our disagreement, we must either wait for God to reveal himself to all.
Or develop Science to a point where all scientific fact is cold hard fact and unchangeable, and built on repeatable proof.

Until then we must pick and choose based on our personal beliefs.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 21st, 2018, 5:05 pm 

edy420 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:09 am wrote:
I’m sure if Everyone in the world stuck a rock in a bucket of sea water and zapped it with lightning, we would all come to the same observable conclusion.

Life does not simply create itself, we need faith to believe otherwise.


I find it much more real for someone to believe that the building blocks came together to create life than an intelligence was involved because of the evolution topic I started out with. It is shown that all life has evolved from a primitive source. This source was much less complex and if you just follow the direction from complex to less complex then it goes down to elements coming together in the right combination back when life was just starting out as the conditions warranted for it. If an intelligence were involved, why would it not just start off with complex life and a universe setup for life rather than 13 billion years without it? Why would it go through several mass extinction events letting different creatures (dinosaurs) rule the planet and evolving from one another? And why did none of those creatures become intelligent to have their own faith? Oh I know, it's because humans took a bite from an apple and suddenly turned them into something conscious and unique?? But humans are not that much different or unique from other unethical animals that fight for survival. So again, an intelligence behind the creation of life doesn't make any sense.

I find it incredibly weird that humans can be so arrogant to believe in a God that created them unique among all other life when they are just a blip on the screen in evolution and life is a blip on the screen in the universe as we know it. Then you have the evolution of religion itself where the concept of evolution was blasphemy, but now it appears well accepted in a growing portion of the religious world. The only hard evidence of God is in the human mind and originated with humans. I don't think faith has as much to do with believing more in Abiogenis over God. It just makes a lot more sense based on what is available to us with the sum of human knowledge.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 21st, 2018, 7:37 pm 

If an intelligence were involved, why would it not just start off with complex life and a universe setup for life rather than 13 billion years without it?


Imagine all the different life forms, and unique genetic codes you’d have to create.

If we were to build a virtual replica of our universe, it would be much more simpler to create one code, ie the code of evolution.
Writing the DNA code for apes, then for humans, snakes, bananas, flowers etc etc is infinitely much more inefficient.

But humans are not that much different or unique from other unethical animals that fight for survival.


Many species are intelligent, but other animals don’t seem to ponder their existence.
Science and religion separates us from animals, enough to argue that we are unique.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on April 22nd, 2018, 3:33 pm 

edy420 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:37 pm wrote:

Imagine all the different life forms, and unique genetic codes you’d have to create.

If we were to build a virtual replica of our universe, it would be much more simpler to create one code, ie the code of evolution.
Writing the DNA code for apes, then for humans, snakes, bananas, flowers etc etc is infinitely much more inefficient

Are you saying God isn't smart enough to figure all that out or just do it?
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on April 23rd, 2018, 3:04 am 

If he built each individual creature, they would all be perfect.

He may as well build an utopia with no suffering, another topic in itself.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on May 25th, 2018, 6:40 pm 

Is it fair to say, evolution is perfect, as an idea of perpetual self improvement..

I heard on the radio the other day that hardcore Christians don’t acknowledge the evolution theory.
I’m still new to fending the Christian point of view, so this is all new to me.

They agreed that by acknowledging the evolution theory as being truth, you must deny the truth of the Bible.
Adam was the first man, and Eve the first woman, created by God..
I haven’t read much of the Old Testament.. or of the Bible yet but am familiar with most of the stories.

If we break down evolution to its simplest components and at the same time acknowledge that God does in fact exist, then IMO, there is no conflict in belief.
Evolution and abiogenesis together, state that man was created from dust.
As I stated earlier, abiogenesis could be the will of God, so no contradiction with the Bible yet.

Until we get to the geneology where the Bible clearly names Adam, Eve and their descendants.

My theory here is, God let evolution do its job.
God then, jumped ahead of time to see that his creation was boring and predictable.
He then took a creature, and gave it free will.

It’s a theory in progress, any criticism would help me to develop it.
When it’s ready for scrutiny I’ll create my own thread.

But to the OP, is it really that hard to understand how people can rationalise and believe both the existence of God and evolution?
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby zetreque on May 25th, 2018, 7:56 pm 

edy420 » Fri May 25, 2018 3:40 pm wrote:But to the OP, is it really that hard to understand how people can rationalise and believe both the existence of God and evolution?


To me it is because when you live your life and work in a direct observation evidence based world where evidence has been built upon generations of hard work through direct observations, there is no reason to believe in God that strongly. Religion itself evolves as people become more educated about how the world works. Religions, like ones that believe in Gods like Poseidon being in charge of the ocean get abandoned as other Religions that still seem possible keep a foothold. I think I already said it before but to be a devoted God believer appears to go against the evidence based direct observation world that scientists work in where they believe in evolution.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby edy420 on May 25th, 2018, 9:56 pm 

That would be true if one proved the other wrong.
When both beliefs work together, there is no contradiction.

Science will never disprove the existence of God/creation, but some seem to think it will/does.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby davidm on May 26th, 2018, 3:32 pm 

edy420 » May 25th, 2018, 4:40 pm wrote:Is it fair to say, evolution is perfect, as an idea of perpetual self improvement..


Evolution is not "perfect," whatever that is supposed to mean, and has nothing to do with "perpetual self-improvement."

I heard on the radio the other day that hardcore Christians don’t acknowledge the evolution theory.
I’m still new to fending the Christian point of view, so this is all new to me.

They agreed that by acknowledging the evolution theory as being truth, you must deny the truth of the Bible.
Adam was the first man, and Eve the first woman, created by God..


Evolutionary theory shows that there was no "first" man or woman. This is because populations evolve, not individuals. The original human population could not have been lower than about 1,500.

Evolution and abiogenesis together, state that man was created from dust.


Evolution and abiogenesis does not state this.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby mitchellmckain on May 27th, 2018, 12:09 am 

zetreque » April 3rd, 2018, 1:06 am wrote:I seem to often encounter scientists that believe in both the theory of evolution and God. This especially puzzles me when it's biologists or other evolution related scientists because the two are somewhat conflicting. It's like believing in evolution is believing that all life evolved from a simple life-form 3.5-5 billion years ago. Do people who believe in God and evolution think that God created life that long ago? Is it just because we haven't yet recreated life from building blocks in a lab? Science is based on observation and evidence and I don't see any evidence of God so I find scientists who believe in God to be a contradiction.

Can anyone share some insight into how this thinking works?


Well I am certainly in this category. In fact, I have said that evolution is more compatible with Christianity than creationism. I will explain this after addressing the question of this thread.

Clearly I do not see evolution and God as conflicting because I do not see these as competing theories to explain the existence of life and the species. I did not start out as a theist or Christian but as a scientist. Thus the explanation of the species is evolution and the explanation of the existence of life is abiogenesis. But does this mean I see no role for God in this? No.

You see for me the central issue here is the nature of life. Consider how I have addressed the question of "what is life" in another thread:

Life is a dynamic self-organizing process (in a universe with many such processes) which has attained the capacity for adaptation so that it can maintain its own internal organization apart from the environment through a range of environmental changes. This means the system has something like an awareness of environment and self for it is sensitive to changes in them and responds to these changes. As such, life is a is a highly quantitative characteristic for the degree of this adaptation, sensitivity, and responsiveness varies greatly.

I would argue that the attributes growth and reproduction often used in the definition of life are actually particular strategies of maintenance and adaptation rather than definitive of life itself. For I would argue that organisms do not cease to be alive when they cease to grow or reproduce. But once an organism ceases to maintain its own organization apart from the environment then it has indeed entered into the process we call death. In other words, we call something alive because it does things for in own reasons in response to the environment but when this breaks down so that everything is simply a direct effect of changes in the environment then it is no longer alive.

You can say this means there is a layer of complexity involved between the environmental changes and the internal adaptations. But it is not just complexity because there are reasons for them. For example, an organism typically generates heat in response to a drop in environmental temperature in order to keep the chemical process going which are needed for its own organization and maintenance.


The point here is, that if self-organization is the very nature of what life is, then it is completely incompatible with design. So I have explained in another thread that the mechanisms/chemistry of life is in no way incompatible with being a machine. I have every hope that in the future we will design machines with that same chemistry. So what makes us life rather than a machine isn't the chemistry, but the simple fact that it isn't a product of design. Living things do what they do for their own reasons and that is ONLY possible if they are a product of self-organization rather than intelligent design.

Thus I believe in a God who valued love and freedom over power and control and this is why He created the conditions for life. By going for something that from the ground up makes its own decisions about what it is and what it does, God is seeking something that is truly apart from Himself and not just an extension of His own will and desire. This makes sense if His objective is the love of others, and in particular the love of children who instead of being a means to an end are an end in themselves.

So if life is a process of self-organization, then is there any role for God in this except the Deist conception of one who just starts it all and then sits back and watches what happens. Well yes... just because living things make their own choices doesn't mean they do it in a vacuum. Their choices are in response to an environment and that environment can include farmers, shepherds, teachers and parents. So God can play these same roles in the development of living things. Though to be sure, if He does so, then it is far far more subtle than what these roles usually consist of.

So why is all this more compatible with Christianity than creationism or intelligent design? It is because of the philosophical problem of evil and suffering. It is because of the rather obvious fact that human life has some rather serious flaws in it. Considering all the pointless suffering involved, it boggles the mind to think God created disease for some higher purpose. To any rational mind a great many illnesses look a great deal more like screw ups. If we are a product of our own self-organization then no further explanation is required but if we are a product of a designer then it is impossible to come to any coherent conclusion other than this designer is inept, perverse or malign.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby davidm on May 29th, 2018, 10:25 am 

mitchellmckain » May 26th, 2018, 10:09 pm wrote:Thus I believe in a God who valued love and freedom over power and control and this is why He created the conditions for life. By going for something that from the ground up makes its own decisions about what it is and what it does, God is seeking something that is truly apart from Himself and not just an extension of His own will and desire. This makes sense if His objective is the love of others, and in particular the love of children who instead of being a means to an end are an end in themselves.


But parents, even if they bring into the world children whom they do not regard as a means to an end, but rather as ends in themselves, work tirelessly to protect their progeny from harm. God does not do this. The evident analogy to parents/children fails at the outset for this reason alone.

So why is all this more compatible with Christianity than creationism or intelligent design? It is because of the philosophical problem of evil and suffering. It is because of the rather obvious fact that human life has some rather serious flaws in it. Considering all the pointless suffering involved, it boggles the mind to think God created disease for some higher purpose. To any rational mind a great many illnesses look a great deal more like screw ups. If we are a product of our own self-organization then no further explanation is required but if we are a product of a designer then it is impossible to come to any coherent conclusion other than this designer is inept, perverse or malign.


I'm not following the above at all. The Problem of Evil is specifically a problem for Christianity.
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Re: Evolution and God

Postby mitchellmckain on May 29th, 2018, 11:40 am 

davidm » May 29th, 2018, 9:25 am wrote:But parents, even if they bring into the world children whom they do not regard as a means to an end, but rather as ends in themselves, work tirelessly to protect their progeny from harm. God does not do this. The evident analogy to parents/children fails at the outset for this reason alone.

Analogies always have ways in which they are similar and ways in which they are different -- always. So, differences also include...
1. Creating life itself from scratch rather than simply reproducing oneself.
2. This is about raising up species not just raising up individuals.
3. The creations are learning a great deal more than just to live as you do.
Thus the implications of these difference are...
1. Life requires fixed rules. You cannot adapt and learn if the rules are changed whenever inconvenient.
2. The process of evolution does not work if you are protecting individuals from harm. For this to work, the only protecting involved would be that of protecting the environment needed for the evolution of life. And that includes an environment with serious challenges to survival.
3. Self-organization means they are deciding who they are and how to live without any preset patterns. Thus you can only expect the most general sort of guidance if any.

davidm » May 29th, 2018, 9:25 am wrote:I'm not following the above at all. The Problem of Evil is specifically a problem for Christianity.

Hardly... The problem was first stated before Christianity even existed by ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus from 270 BC:
Epicurus as provided by Wikipedia wrote:God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. If He is willing and is unable, He is feeble, which is not in accordance with the character of God; if He is able and unwilling, He is envious, which is equally at variance with God; if He is neither willing nor able, He is both envious and feeble, and therefore not God; if He is both willing and able, which alone is suitable to God, from what source then are evils? Or why does He not remove them?

All it requires is the belief in a being who is supposedly opposes evil and has the ability to do something about it, and the acknowledgement that evil exists in the world.
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