The Religion of Evolution

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Helen, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    In a very good article here
    http://www.apologeticspress.org/inthenews/2003/itn-03-04.htm

    entitled "Is Evolution Ready to Take Over Christianity?", author Brad Harrub, Ph.D., discusses Michael Ruse, who, Harrub thinks, is seeking to take over the vacant seat left by Gould in terms of evolutionary apologetics.

    Ruse has been known for admitting that evolution involves its own religious implications, and both he and Harrub back that up in the article. The close of the article has an interesting bit, however, which is even more telling:

    In the May 1980 issue of Physics Bulletin, H.S. Lipson, an eminent British physicist and evolutionist, authored a thought-provoking article titled “A Physicist Looks at Evolution,” which sparked quite a controversy. Dr. Lipson commented on his longstanding interest in the origin of life, yet made it clear that he has had no association with any type of creation theory or creationists in general. He then noted, however: “In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to ‘bend’ their observations to fit with it.” Lipson then “wondered aloud” in his article about how successfully evolution has withstood scientific testing. He concluded:

    -- "I have always been slightly suspicious of the theory of evolution because of its ability to account for any property of living beings. I have therefore tried to see whether biological discoveries over the last thirty years or so fit in with Darwin’s theory. I do not think that they do. To my mind, the theory does not stand up at all" (31:138). --

    After reviewing many of the problems of getting that which is living from that which is nonliving (especially the thermodynamic problems), Dr. Lipson asked: “If living matter is not, then, caused by an interplay of atoms, natural forces, and radiation, how has it come into being?”

    After dismissing any kind of “directed evolution,” Dr. Lipson concluded: “I think, however, that we must go further than this and admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation” (emp. in orig.). Does this make Dr. Lipson happy? Hardly! Like other evolutionists, he is quite unhappy with his own conclusion. He remarked: “I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject a theory we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it” (31:138, emp. added). I could not agree more!



    As someone who has also looked into the biological side and genetic side of evolutionary claims, I find myself in total agreement with Lipson.

    The fact is, actual, existing evidence not only does not support evolution, it evidences real support for special creation!
     
  2. The Galatian

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    Probably, the discussion would be better served by talking about the evidence, than by collecting edited quotes from other people.

    What is the evidence for evolution?

    First, anatomy shows homologies among organisms that show evolutionary histories. Similarities may or may not be homologies. For example, wolves and thylacines are superficially similar, but the details shows that one is related to canids and other carnivores, while the thylacine is related to other marsuipials. The same kind of teeth are in both animals, but the dental formula of the wolf is like other canids, and the superficially similar teeth of the thylacine follow the marsupial dental formula.

    Not surprisingly, when we look a the DNA of the two animals, we find that this analysis give us the same evolutionary history as anatomical information. (thylacines are presumably extinct, but we still have enough remains to do such analyses)

    And biochemistry gives us many other examples. Widely-distributed molecules in living things have small differences, which when analyzed, give us the same phylogenies we get from other, independent sources of evidnece.

    In the end, those who talk about "the religion of evolution" don't understand evolutionary theory at all. Evidence is what convinces the vast majority of scientists that evolution is responsible for life's diversity.
     
  3. Helen

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    I think I would rather let you tell Michael Ruse (whom I have met and like, actually!) that he doesn't understand evolution, OK?

    And this thread is not about the rest of your post, most of which has been widely discussed in other threads.

    The point is, evolution has a strong religious component to it. The other point is that there are a number of scientists who don't like the idea of creation at all but who, like Lipson, are seeing it as the only possible alternative to the bankruptcy of evolutionary interpretations (which, by the way, is all your 'evidence' entails).

    If you want to talk about evidence, take them one at a time for discussion on several threads. That way anyone interested can follow through with one thing at a time on the discussions. In the meantime, this thread is about a religion called evolution and the rejection of some previous evolutionists of it. Lipson is a good representative of what is going on more and more in the evolutionary camp.
     
  4. Preacher Nathan Knight

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    EVOLUTION = ZERO FAITH
     
  5. Helen

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    I understand what you are saying, but maybe we ought to amend that to zero faith for anyone claiming to be a mature Christian.

    I know a lot of baby Christians (new Christians) who simply hold to Christ (which is exactly where they should be!) but figure mainstream science is probably right about evolution. The more they read and study, however, and are led by Christ Himself into the truth, the more they realize the Bible isn't messing around with the truth, beginning to end.

    And so, for those who need that reassurance and the evidence that Genesis is really and truly true, we present it as often as we can.

    My husband is Barry Setterfield. You can see some of his work and material at www.setterfield.org

    Recently he gave a series of lectures to some college students in New Zealand. He went from there to Australia and will be home in a couple of weeks, but this morning faxed me some of the student reviews of his material. Here are some of the comments he got -- and I think this shows why we do try to present creation science scientifically as well as in conjunction with faith and Scripture:

    I really enjoyed Barry's lectures. Even though it wasn't all about scripture. I learned so much. It helped me see some of the ways that science and the Bible can co-exist.

    =========

    I loved his lectures. It showed me that I have not need to be ashamed about the Bible. I can trust God as man is not able to explain his creation.

    ===========

    Insight into the vastness of God.

    =========

    My faith in God was strengthened because what I've always believed was proved scientifically. He also encouraged me by how humble he was and his incredible love for God.

    ============

    It excites me when we can see God's work in science!


    For me, that is what it is all about. Encouraging and building up the body of Christ. There are those who feel that proving creation will also create Christians. I don't think so. A Christian is someone who responded to Christ, not to creation science! But if we can help in taking down some of the barriers between a person and Christ, or if we can build up and encourage those who are already believers, that is fantastic.

    It is truly a competition between two faith systems -- man's knowledge and interpretation of what he has found; and God's revelation and where the actual scientific data leads. Two different ways, but both based on faith in the long run.
     
  6. Johnv

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    I side towards evolution and I have lots of faith. There are many non-literal creation folks who are committed faithful Christians on this board.

    And a lot of them aren't even liberal [​IMG]
     
  7. Helen

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    And I have every faith God will lead you all into the truth! :D
     
  8. Timmy

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    I side towards evolution and I have lots of faith. There are many non-literal creation folks who are committed faithful Christians on this board.

    And a lot of them aren't even liberal [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]I'm quite interested in the subject and I don't think you should side towards evolution, I laugh when I come to think about what evolution teaches! It's mighty silly!
     
  9. Timmy

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    For instance, did you know the moon is getting dust from outer space? Some people say that it gets about 1 inch of dust per 10,000 - 12,000 years. Now, when the astronauts landed on the moon, their footprint only went into an inch of dust! Now if the moon is millions of years old...where's the dust???
     
  10. Timmy

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    If you really think you have scientific evidence proving evolution, tell you what, I know someone who will pay $250,000 to anyone who can offer any shred of scientific evidence to prove evolution. Click here to go to his website, by the way, his name is Kent Hovind.
     
  11. InHim2002

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    I think it might be useful to define the term religion before we start applying it as a label - I think Karl Popper defined it best as a closed belief system - I do not think that evolution fits this definition
     
  12. Helen

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    Actually, InHim, I agree with you. I was using Ruse's terminology and presenting what he said as a strong proponent of evolution.

    A religion is a belief system around which you run most or all of your life. It is not necessarily deistic or theistic (such as Confucianism), and not necessarily organized, such as with a church. It is usually shared by others so that there is some kind of cohesive set of values and expectations.

    I do think there is a religion which needs and supports evolution however: humanism. The idea that human beings are capable of grasping enough knowledge to make ethical and moral decisions based on their own knowledge, and that human beings can define what is important and the meaning of life based on their own ideas. Although some may give a nod to God, He is relegated to a shadowy backseat figure who may have started things but is uninvolved now. Thus there is no possibility of creation and humanists require that matter is eternal, that it self-organized, and that it reached a stage of self-organization which invented a deity or deities which do not effectively exist.

    Because evolution satisfies this need for this religion, it is the science explanation of choice for those who are in rebellion against God.

    God, however, has stated things differently. He has imposed moral and ethical standards on us from outside ourselves, defines what is important and why we exist by Himself, and, in the beginning of time as we know it, invented space and mass as well!

    Evolution is based on the religion of man. Creation is based on the revelation of God. It is also, actually, pretty well supported by both logic and data! But, then, God created both of those, too, so that is no surprise!

    To Timmy
    Be careful of some of the 'evidences' put forward by creation popularizers. The moon dust argument is not a good one for a number of reasons -- none of which have to do with evolution and creation, actually! If you want to discuss any of the evidences, though, please start a thread on one of them so we won't get sidetracked here, OK? Thanks [​IMG]
     
  13. Paul of Eugene

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    Whoah! Evolution is not based on the religion of man! Like all scientific disciplines, evolution is based on the evidence. Some men may take anything, I suppose, including evolution, and use it in their religion.
     
  14. Helen

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    Paul, the evolutionary interpretation is needed by humanism. That is what I said. It is totally supported by them.

    Regarding evidence, they have none -- feel free to start another thread about any evidence you feel supports evolution.
     
  15. The Galatian

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    I'm pretty sure that his "quote", was edited to make it appear that he meant what he did not. The evidence I mentioned is well-documented,and not controversial. I will contact Ruse, and see if he disagrees with any of the evidence I mentioned. The article you linked certainly seems to support my point of view.

    Well, it's good to remind ourselves from time to time, why the vast majority of scientists accept evolution. It is, as I noted, not about faith, but the evidence. If you had not brought up the subject, I would not have commented on it.

    I've spent a lot of time among scientists, and I've yet to see it. In general, when I ask someone why they accept some part of evolutionary theory, they start talking various kinds of evidence. That would certainly not be a religious approach. Ruse says:

    So, what does our history tell us? Three things. First, if the claim is that all contemporary evolutionism is merely an excuse to promote moral and societal norms, this is simply false. Today’s professional evolutionism is no more a secular religion than is industrial chemistry. Second, there is indeed a thriving area of more popular evolutionism, where evolution is used to underpin claims about the nature of the universe, the meaning of it all for us humans, and the way we should behave. I am not saying that this area is all bad or that it should be stamped out. I am all in favor of saving the rainforests. I am saying that this popular evolutionism—often an alternative to religion—exists. Third, we who cherish science should be careful to distinguish when we are doing science and when we are extrapolating from it, particularly when we are teaching our students. If it is science that is to be taught, then teach science and nothing more. Leave the other discussions for a more appropriate time.

    In short, Helen, Ruse is talking about the popular views of evolution, what we have called the "Cartoon Theory", which Ruse carefully distinguishes from actual evolutionary theory in this passage.

    [/quote]The other point is that there are a number of scientists who don't like the idea of creation at all[/quote]

    They are no more significant than creationists who don't like the idea of evolution at all. Dawkins, for example, seems to sometimes hope that science will support atheism. But it can't.

    Of course, the "bankruptcy" argument isn't very persuasive, in light of the diverse and congruent evidence for evolution. A single source would be less impressive. Multiple sources are statistically compelling.

    As I said, I wouldn't have mentioned it if you hadn't brought it up.

    As Ruse pointed out, this is an example of the way science is misapprehended by the general public; evolution as a religion isn't part of evolutionary theory.

    Cartoon Evolutionary Camp, maybe. As I've said, that kind of thing doesn't seem to show up in academia.
     
  16. Helen

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    I have Michael Ruse's book (signed to me by him at Concordia, June 2000), Mystery of Mysteries; Is Evolution a Social Construction? in which he spends far too much time to quote here on his opinion that evolution involves religion.

    As for the rest, you are welcome to your opinion. I, too, have spent and continue to spend a tremendous amount of my time involved with science and often among scientists. I'm talking about something I know about firsthand as far as the disillusion many are feeling with evolution now.

    That won't change you, Galatian, or what you post. But I said it for the record of anyone else reading.
     
  17. InHim2002

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    I disagree - a religion must have either one or meny godheads - otherwise it is not a closed system and, therefore, not a religion.
     
  18. Johnv

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    feel free to start another thread about any evidence you feel supports evolution.

    That's darn near impossible to do on this board in a rational manner, which is why this forum has been heavily regulated in the past. I guarantee any thread that attempts to do so will eventually be met with counterposts accusing of those in the discussion as ungodly, unchristian, heathen, God-haters, unbelievers, evil, etc etc etc.

    Indeed, PM's I've had with others on this board reflect that there are many who are afraid of joining such a discussion for fear of retribution by other members.
     
  19. Helen

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    InHim, I believe the Supreme Court of the United States has declared secular humanism to be a religion...

    I believe Scientology is also considered a religion, is it not? Of course, in that people are supposed to be gods or something, who have forgotten who they are and need to be reminded...

    I don't think that is what you were referring to, though... :D

    John, don't be silly. Take a look at the pages of arguments and discussion in the past and tell me that evidence is not allowed on this board. Bring it on!
     
  20. Dan Todd

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    Most reasonable people at some point in their lives - begin to wonder how we all got here.

    There seems to be two choices:
    1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth - Gen 1:1

    2. Everything happened by blind chance - evolution

    Now when the fool hath said in his heart - there is no God -- he was forced to discount choice number one. So his answer by process of elimination must be (and usually is) choice number two.

    Evolution is the explanation of origins according to the religion of athiesm. So if creation cannot be taught in the public schools -because it violates the perceived doctrine of separation between church and state -- then neither should evolution be taught in the public schools - as it is also a religious explanation of origins.

    My opinion is that evolution takes much more faith to believe than does In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

    Remember - all the cardinal doctrines of the Bible are based in Genesis 1-11. Knock out the foundation, and the entire building will fall.

    The first cardinal doctrine mentioned in the Bible is In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. If that first doctrine is wrong -- then why should I believe any other doctrine in the Book of Books - the Bible. If the Written Word is a fraud - then the Living Word is also a fraud.

    Praise God - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
     

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