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what good is Intelligent Design?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by UnchartedSpirit, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    Sure, why not? The gospel writers recorded what Jesus said, and also wrote the narrative and commentary around those sayings. All of it is inspired. Same goes for Exodus and Deuteronomy.

    What is obvious to you about the bread and wine is not obvious to most Christians. If you were raised Lutheran, you would have to figure it out for yourself, because you would grow up thinking it was obvious that the text meant what it literally said, and somehow the bread became Jesus' body without ceasing to also be bread. I agree with you, and I reject the real presence doctrine, but then it's also obvious to me that the six days and Sabbath day are symbolic. Both young-earth creation and real presence seem to be based on over-literal interpretations that miss the importance of symbolism.

    No. The way the seventh day is portrayed as ongoing and not consisting of a literal cessation from work elsewhere in Scripture is an internal factor leading one to take it symbolically.

    The difference in the order of creation between Genesis 1 and 2 is another internal reason: taken literally, they contradict, as can be seen by comparing when all the birds are made in both accounts. If their purpose is not to reveal exact historical details, there's no reason why they couldn't present events in different orders for different purposes. The gospel writers did the same thing with Jesus' temptation; his temptation remains true even if we don't know the exact details or order. Same goes for God's creation of the universe.

    If the seventh day is symbolic, it is likely that the six days preceding it are also symbolic. The seventh day is recorded in the same way as the prior six in Genesis and Exodus.

    And, there's other creation texts in the Bible that portray the same creation events of Genesis 1 without the six-day time frame. For instance, Psalm 104 describes God's creation of animals and provision of food for them as ongoing into the present.

    Thanks, and I agree.
     
  2. Dave

    Dave Member
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    Are you referring to Genesis 2:19? If so, I would agree that this could be a figure or it could make sense as speaking of a prior event in the formation of the creatures, and a current one in the bringing of them to Adam.

    But not if the figurative or symbolic part of the seventh day is only the "rest" and "refresh". They could simply indicate something that there is no equivalent within our framework. On this we can certainly agree to differ.

    This looks to me like he's praising God for his work in creation as well as sustaining the creation. This does not seem like anything relating an ongoing creation to me.
     
  3. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    Hi Dave,

    I have to leave for a meeting shortly, but a quick comment:

    This looks to me like he's praising God for his work in creation as well as sustaining the creation. This does not seem like anything relating an ongoing creation to me. </font>[/QUOTE]Psalm 104:27-30 (ESV):

    These all look to you,
    to give them their food in due season.
    When you give it to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
    When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
    When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.


    Sounds like ongoing creation to me. ;)
     
  4. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow Active Member

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    The way I see it, the theory of ID isn't morality. It simply says that the universe exists due to the influence of a higher being, the designer. In the same sence, evolution is amoral as well. These are competing scientific theories. A scientific theory isn't moral or immoral. E=mc2 was amoral. Using this theory to construct a nuclear weapon was immoral.

    This is the problem I have with teaching ID. It doesn't go all the way to Creationism by the Lord God Jehovah. It doesn't teach religion or morality. It presents a competing scientific theory.
     
  5. Dave

    Dave Member
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    Or possibly just a reference to the fact that all life is dependent on Him for it's very breath. The spirit of life is in God's hands. He gives it and takes it away. When He takes it away, our bodies cease to function. This is ongoing participation in the pro-creation process, I believe.

    Yes, I know someone will tell me that this is the result of biological processes only, and not dependent on Gods general grace that He gives to every living creature, but there is something more, because if the machine was perfect, it still doesn't live. Life is something not simply biological in nature.

    See the verses in question the way the HCSB renders it
    One other point. On the seventh day of creation, God rested from His work on day 7.

    I took at look at Genesis 2:2-3 (LITV)
    This appears to say that God rested from His work of creation, not to say that God stopped everything and rested. This means He ceased from the labor of creation. So I do not see support for taking this symbolically.

    Another point to be addressed, which was in my first post in this thread, is the use of "...it was evening, it was morning...". This is rather precise language. If the scripture simply said it was 1 day, or creation took 1 week, then I could see it more. We see days and weeks used as symbolic references in prophesy (such as in the 70 weeks in Daniel 9), but never see this phrase meaning anything but a literal 24-hour day in any other place in the Bible.

    Also, LITV and KJV do not say that God "rested and was refreshed". I checked a few other versions as well, so we seem to have a discrepancy on the language used in Exodus 20:11.

    [ March 10, 2006, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: Dave ]
     
  6. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    Hi Dave,

    I'm curious as to why you want to minimize what Psalm 104 says. What is the problem with God still being active in creation? This psalm uses the some of the same imagery to describe God's creative work as Genesis 2. In both, God provides breath to his creatures, without which they are just dust. We're all formed from dust by God and given breath by his Spirit, not just Adam.

    Be that as it may, God is the author of biological life as well. Remember, the whole point of the doctrine of creation is that nature is one of God's works!

    But we know from Psalm 104 and other passages that God's work in creation continues. When Jesus was accused of working on the Sabbath, he pointed to the example of his Father who also works on his Sabbath (John 5:15-17). God's cessation from work on the seventh day is not literal, but it's a picture of something greater: God's shalom that we are called to enter (Hebrews 4:1-11).

    This is a frequent source of confusion. There is not one set of words for literal description and another set of words for figurative description. The same words are used for both. When Jesus spoke of how he is the bread of life in John 6, he used "bread" together with words like "eat" and "food". Just because elsewhere these words refer to literal eating of literal bread that is literal food does not mean that Jesus couldn't have a symbolic purpose here.

    Also, I encourage you to look at the entire Bible and see what passage has a form or style most similar to Genesis 1. You won't find it in historical accounts. The closest I've found is the accounts of the seven seals, trumpets and bowls in Revelation. Although written in a different language, the form of all these seven-item accounts is similar. They all set the seventh item apart as special. They all let us see beyond the veil a bit to how God's words and actions from his dwelling place directly affect our world. It is to be expected that words will need to be stretched a bit from their literal meaning to reach such evocative heights. Most agree that the seven bowls of Revelation do not refer to literal bowls that literally contain God's wrath, even though words like "pour" are used with them. The bowls seem to be a literary framework for describing God's wrath, just as the days of Genesis 1 are a literary framework for describing God's creation.

    The reference is Exodus 31:17.
     
  7. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    The theory of evolution is neither a philosophy nor atheistic.</font>[/QUOTE] Absolutely, positively FALSE.

    From Darwin's very formulation of it, evolution has been based on a philosophical, metaphysical presupposition that everything in nature must have a strictly undirected, natural cause.

    That IS a philosophical assumption... and a very poor one to boot.
    Again false. The amount of data that has been explained in ways that accommodate the ToE is certainly vast... but not a single shread "supports" it.

    Why? Because the study of the evidence presupposes a philosophy that limits possible causes to those that must lead to evolution in some form. The fallacy of limited alternatives is formed into an all encompassing rule for "science"... and anyone who argues against such a limitation is either ignorant, dishonest, or stupid.
    In a way, I agree. You and every other faithful devotee of evolution will never agree that any evidence refutes evolution. There will always be some possible though incredibly improbable way that evolution could have done it... so in the end, you have a theory that is not falsifiable... and therefore, not scientific.

    It does not belong in the science classroom. Philosophy maybe but not science... which wouldn't be a problem since it makes no vital contribution to operational science anyway.
    No more so than it was coincidence that 99.9% of the Hitler youth believed in Nazism.

    Telling a lie repeatedly with enough conviction will most certainly cause people to believe it.

    The question of whether or not evolution is true has been taken off the table since the lie of "naturalism" has become the paradigm of science education... It was not taken off the table by any real "proof".

    It is speculation that accommodates to one degree or another the evidence. It could just as easily accommodate different or even contradictory evidence... it is therefore not proven by the evidence.
     
  8. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    The theory looks at the natural processes that result in the diversity of life. Your thoughts on what Darwin was thinking when he came up with the theory are irrelevant. It is only if one assumes materialism that natural forces are seen as existing and working apart from God. From that lense, Newton's work was just as atheistic as Darwin's work, since both advanced science by uncovering more about the natural forces that make our universe what it is.

    Instead of fighting evolution and other discoveries about nature, Christians should counter materialism. The goal shouldn't be to disparage nature as much as possible and attempt to find as many holes in it as possible, but rather to give glory to God who is the author and sustainer of nature and the one who will accomplish his purposes for it.
     
  9. UnchartedSpirit

    UnchartedSpirit New Member

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    good idea, unstead of arguing wither life should be studied, we should be arguing life is still worth living anyways.
     
  10. jaxdad

    jaxdad New Member

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    If you believe evolution to be true,

    Where is the evidence that at one point in time something living came from something nonliving?

    Where is the evidence that at one point in time something human came from something non-human?

    Where is the evidence that at one point in time something consciousness came from something without conscience?

    Where is the evidence that at one point in time something intelligent came from something without intelligence?

    Daniel
     
  11. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    This has nothing to do with evolution. Evolution explains life's diversity, not life's origin. As Darwin put it at the close of Origin of Species: "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

    Note that the title is Origin of Species, not "Origin of Life".

    Shared genetic defects between humans and chimpanzees and other apes are one example. The evidence of human chromosome 2 being a fusion of two ape chromosomes is another. Check out the Science board here for much more.

    I think God entered into relationship with humans, and this is what made us human beings and not merely beasts. We can relate to God in a way that mere beasts can't. But, that's a theological position, not something I look to science to establish.

    I think God is quite intelligent, and he's the one who made creation with all its natural processes, including evolution.
     
  12. Dave

    Dave Member
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    I find it interesting that if I say God is active in the ongoing functioning of his creation but not guiding an evolutionary process, you view this as limiting God. However, your view that God used natural processes (had to use? or chose to use?) rather than simply create everything in 6 24 hour days is not limiting Him?

    I think your view is far more limiting because if God is all-powerful, and capable from rocks to raise up children to Abraham (as John the Baptist stated), then why would He use a process that would result in many flawed life forms, that must change into more advanced life forms through an endless cycle over billions of years? I would think that this would make little sense to anyone who does not subscribe to the prevailing theories of so-called "origin science".

    Also, what passage in Revelation uses the construct of "it was evening, it was morning the X day". I am not familiar with one.

    Be that as it may, God is the author of biological life as well. Remember, the whole point of the doctrine of creation is that nature is one of God's works!</font>[/QUOTE]I agree God is the author of biological life. I just don't agree that He uses evolution to produce it.

    But we know from Psalm 104 and other passages that God's work in creation continues. When Jesus was accused of working on the Sabbath, he pointed to the example of his Father who also works on his Sabbath (John 5:15-17). God's cessation from work on the seventh day is not literal, but it's a picture of something greater: God's shalom that we are called to enter (Hebrews 4:1-11).</font>[/QUOTE]It continues, but the text doesn't indicate that it is further creation of different kinds.

    This is a frequent source of confusion. There is not one set of words for literal description and another set of words for figurative description. The same words are used for both. When Jesus spoke of how he is the bread of life in John 6, he used "bread" together with words like "eat" and "food". Just because elsewhere these words refer to literal eating of literal bread that is literal food does not mean that Jesus couldn't have a symbolic purpose here.</font>[/QUOTE]You could do this logic with almost any passage in the Bible.

    Revelation is obviously a vision which should mostly be taken symbolically. Genesis 1-3 was not a vision. Here I would think context should be considered at least as much as sentence construct.

    The reference is Exodus 31:17. </font>[/QUOTE]Thanks. I'll check it out.
     
  13. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    It's my turn to apologize. I didn't mean to imply that. I think we agree that God is still active in creation, whether that is through natural processes, or creating the supernatural component of life, or both. Is that fair?

    Evolution isn't about moving to advanced life forms. Bacteria are just as evolved as humans (in fact, if you go by the number of generations, they're far more evolved). It also isn't about flawed organisms being perfected. At each point a population of organisms needs to be viable or it wouldn't exist.

    Revelation 6 uses the construct of "When he opened the X seal, I heard the voice of the X living creature say...". Revelation 8-9 uses the construct of "The X angel blew his trumpet...". Revelation 16 uses the construct "The X angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth...". All four accounts use seven items as a literary framework for the account.

    Great! I think our agreement is more significant than our disagreement.

    Exactly. I think it shows that one can't determine whether or not a passage is literal by looking up the meanings of the words. Words used figuratively still have literal meanings. There are many other good reasons to consider Genesis 1 to not be history in the genre of Samuel-Kings or Acts. If you're interested, I went into that in some detail in an older thread on The genre of Genesis 1.

    I'm curious how you arrived at that conclusion. Do you think it's an account from a human eyewitness? If not, how did God reveal it to a human? I'm going to explain my own view on this in detail in my next post.
     
  14. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    This is somewhat off-topic, but since we've already gotten into the theology of creation quite a bit in this thread, I think it's applicable. This is part of a short essay I wrote about God's methods of revelation. It's a long answer to this statement:
    Note: Scripture references are provided as footnotes. Click the numbers in square brackets to read the verses.

    Both Scripture and creation speak the truth

    The New Testament proclaims that the Author of life is also the Way, Truth and Life: Christ Jesus.[1] All that exists declares his glory and divine attributes.[2] The Word is revealed in the Scriptures which speak of him and the universe formed by him.[3] These two witnesses cannot ultimately contradict. Their truth points to the one who is Truth himself.

    Scripture: God condescends to speak

    God's spoken and written word takes many forms. Jesus spoke in parables, he exaggerated,[4] he inspired visions.[5] About a third of the Old Testament is poetry. Often events are recounted in evocative formats,[6] including songs, riddles and fables.[7] God's thoughts and actions are frequently anthropomorphized.[8]

    The Bible's most obviously historical books reveal sources, whether direct eyewitnesses, investigation, or other books.[9] When God reveals something no human has yet seen, whether to Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, John or others, the style is frequently apocalyptic, poetic and full of symbolism. When Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God or eschatological events, he frequently used parable, simile and metaphor.

    God speaks in ways that accommodate human ignorance. Daniel received a vision of a tree that only makes sense from a flat earth perspective.[10] Ancient Hebrews did not understand the brain or even have a word for it, so God spoke of thoughts arising from the heart and kidneys, in keeping with the science of their time.[11] The sun is described as moving -- like an athlete -- around a fixed earth; this is treated as literally as the movement of the wind and water as they cycle.[12] The narrator of Genesis implies that Jacob's trickery with his flocks was effective, though genetics tells us differently.[13]

    Why did God not reveal the nature of the brain, earth's orbit, genetics, or the enormity of stars and space? Because that is not the purpose of Scripture. God gave us dominion over the earth, which implies a mandate to understand it.[14] The Lord allowed Adam to examine each beast to determine an appropriate name.[15] He is also patient as we unravel mysteries in creation, not spoiling our exploration by blurting every surprise before we uncover it.

    Genesis 1

    If the creation of the world described in Genesis were plain historical prose, it would be virtually unprecedented within Scripture. Genesis 1 does not claim to be God's perspective; it is recorded in the third person. There is no introductory statement telling us whether it is parable, vision, or literal account. In Job we have a creation account written as God's speech, yet it is even more poetic.[16] Psalm 104, a creation hymn, echoes Genesis yet describes the creation of food and creatures as an ongoing event not confined to three days. The New Testament interprets God's seventh day Sabbath rest as ongoing and not a literal cessation from work.[17]

    Genesis 2-4

    My own view is that Genesis 2-4 is recounting history the same way Ezekiel 16 and 23 do. The characters are more than individuals. The serpent actually represents the tempter, Satan. The trees aren’t literal magic trees, but rather represent God’s knowledge[18] and God’s sustaining power[19]. Adam and Eve represent the first humans, however many of them there were, just as the lady Jerusalem and Oholibah represent Israel in those Ezekiel passages. I reconcile a redemptive Christ with a figurative Adam because of the way I view symbols and figures. They are more than what they literally appear to be, not less. I don't view figurative as the same thing as false. Adam, a name that means "humanity", really did do the things Genesis 2-3 recounts, just as surely as God's chosen nation-bride really did play the harlot.

    For those coming from a literalist perspective, perhaps the simplest way of explaining it is that I interpret the entire Genesis 2-4 account the way you probably interpret Genesis 3:15. I don't think that one verse is a deviation from an otherwise prosaic, literal account; instead, the whole account is pregnant with that kind of far-reaching symbolism.
     
  15. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

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    Scripture makes some very interesting "observation" about man.

    1. Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

    23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden,


    Ge 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

    7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

    In both cases, God intervened to "prevent" man from accomplishing what obviously was possible.


    Man, made in the image of God, and given "Eternity", would in fact become a God, however there's another "preventive measure" God has taken, "END OF TIME".

    God has given man some "incredible abilities" but unfortunately, they are used to make man "God".
     
  16. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    The theory looks at the natural processes that result in the diversity of life. Your thoughts on what Darwin was thinking when he came up with the theory are irrelevant.</font>[/QUOTE] No they aren't... my thoughts nor irrelevant.

    They are what he wrote. He premised his theory on the concept that God wouldn't have done it according to the general Christian understanding of direct creation.

    Further, someone's presuppositions are of critical consequence to their conclusions and theories. If someone brings the naturalistic/materialistic presupposition to the evidence, their perspective will most certainly be biased against if not totally prejudiced against any explanation that involved creation/intelligence... even if such an explanation meets Ockham's standard much better.
    There is little sum difference. Belief in a system that precludes God's activity is no more dishonoring to God than ascribing to Him a process He never claimed and that has as its operating assumption that He did nothing to cause it.
    That is a ridiculous assertion beyond belief. Newton dealt within the operational realm of science. Whether God superintends every observed incident that he studied or not... the results of his scientific discovery are directly observable... and useful.

    Darwin's theory even after 150 years has no real, demonstrable mechanism. The deeper we go into the gene, the more problems arise for Darwinism. Repeatedly, the fossil record shows complexity arising suddenly, without precursor... and prior to less complex animals. Recently, two more Lazarus fossils were discovered. One according to evolutionists has been around for 225 million years- UNCHANGED.

    Evolution is not a discovery about nature. It is a philosophical premise applied to natural data. If you are going to say that natural observation led to Darwin's theory... and we revisit those observations... then we must conclude that evolution is false since the microevolution he observed has never been proven to ever become macroevolution... that though is the operating assumption when evolutionists approach the evidence.
    I agree with that much... but that end isn't very well served by accepting uncritically the conclusion of materialists that justifies their dismissal of God. As Gould said, evolution allows for a intellectually fulfilled atheism (paraphrase).
    We certainly aren't doing that.

    Operating from supernatural premise, there are simply much better ways to explain the evidence than evolution. For instance, speciation from created kinds. God creates an original set of perfect animals with extraordinarily large genomes. From there, the speciation has occurred by deletion and atrophe rather than an accummulation of complexity via natural processes.

    Which works with observations? Progressive loss of genetic diversity fits what we observe. Accummulation does not.

    For instance, there is an evolutionist who is trying to explain why chimps seem to be further evolved than humans. Very difficult to explain via evolution... not difficult at all if you accept that humans had a unique and narrow original genome while the ape kind had enough diversity to account for every different form of ape that ever existed.
     
  17. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    That's moving the goalposts. What I responded to is your claim that Darwin's theory of "evolution has been based on a philosophical, metaphysical presupposition that everything in nature must have a strictly undirected, natural cause." Now you say it's just premised on "the concept that God wouldn't have done it according to the general Christian understanding of direct creation." I would agree that that was his conclusion, though not his premise. And, it's also the conclusion reached by many scientists frequently touted as creationists, such as those who adamantly rejected evolution and yet uncovered evidence showing the extreme age of the earth and the lack of evidence of a global flood. Scientists like Georges Cuvier, Lord Kelvin, Edward Hitchcock and Louis Agassiz. (For more, check out [this page on AiG] and note all the prominent early creationists listed as "old-earth compromiser".)

    Of course, it was also the conclusion of Galileo and Copernicus that God didn't create our universe according to the general Christian understanding of earth being the centre. Sometimes, the general Christian understanding was wrong. Since I don't believe in an infallible church or magistrate, I don't see that as a problem.

    Again, you're confusing presuppositions with conclusions. Darwin's theory was based on evidence, and his presupposition was that there was an explanation for that evidence.

    That operating assumption is not valid: I believe God is the creator of the universe, and science cannot and does not affirm or deny this belief. In any case, do you also reject electromagnetism, germ theory, gravity, atomic theory, and all the other scientific processes that God never directly claimed? If not, why the inconsistency?

    Your loud protestations aside, you're attempting to make a distinction where none exists. We observe genetic similarities. We observe whales with hind limbs and chickens with teeth. We observe the result of a chromosome fusion in human chromosome 2. We observe shared endogenous retroviruses between humans and chimpanzees and other apes. We observe bacteria that can metabolize nylon waste that only came into existence in the last century, and we can observe the genes that differ from other bacteria that brought about this change. Evolution is based on observations just as surely as gravity.

    Mutation is one mechanism that explains how genetic diversity arises in populations. Natural selection works on the accumulated diversity in order to favour beneficial traits. Both have been demonstrated in simulations, lab experiments, and in the wild.

    Unsubstantiated assertion.

    We don't know the history of some breeds of dog either, yet that doesn't mean they don't have a common ancestor with other dogs. If you're counting on there always being gaps in our knowledge, that's a safe bet, but it means your perception of God shrinks with each discovery.

    Unchanged at what level? Unchanged as in still having four limbs, or unchanged as in being identical? If you're talking about Laonastes aenigmamus, its teeth are not unchanged.

    The only way creationists have maintained the macro/micro distinction is by constantly redefining microevolution to include more evolution. The only stable definition of the terms among creationists seems to be that microevolution is "the evolution we're willing to accept" and macroevolution is "the evolution we still feel the need to resist".

    Materialists rely on natural explanations for gravity, electricity, magnetism, disease and nuclear power as much as they do for speciation and the diversity of life. Are you willing to throw out the "materialistic" explanations for all of those things as well? If not, why the inconsistency?

    But that simply isn't a better explanation.
    </font>
    1. You have no idea where the kind boundary is, and you certainly don't get it from the Bible (if you did, you'd agree with earlier creationists who equated kind with species).</font>
    2. This provides no explanation for shared defects or shared retroviral inserts.</font>
    3. This posits hyper-evolution far more rapid than what is observed in order to get all the species of animals known from ancient times to come from prototypes on the ark.</font>
    4. This ignores DNA testing of organisms thousands of years old that does not show them being more perfect or having extraordinarily large genomes compared to modern organisms.</font>
    5. This contradicts the fossil record, even ignoring the dating, because new types of organisms came about in different periods. It even contradicts what you stated earlier about "the fossil record shows complexity arising suddenly", since complexity should not arise at all according to your view, except at the very beginning. Instead, as you admit, complexity does appear at many places in the fossil record. Evolution can explain this due to the fossil record not being complete, and not every transition being preserved. By your theory, it should be impossible for complexity to ever arise.</font>
    That's just a non-technical start. I'm sure someone with a scientific background could explain many more problems.

    Unsurprisingly, consensus science does. Maybe that's why the consensus view among scientists in general is no different than the consensus view among Christian scientists.
     
  18. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    double-post
     
  19. Mercury

    Mercury New Member

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    double-post
     
  20. Scott J

    Scott J Active Member
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    Baptist
    That's moving the goalposts. What I responded to is your claim that Darwin's theory of "evolution has been based on a philosophical, metaphysical presupposition that everything in nature must have a strictly undirected, natural cause." Now you say it's just premised on "the concept that God wouldn't have done it according to the general Christian understanding of direct creation." I would agree that that was his conclusion, though not his premise.</font>[/QUOTE] Only if you say that his conclusion preceeded his theory... which is probably fair. His conclusion and premise are one in the same...
    I would say the crack in the sidewalk between those who believe in an old geological universe with a recent biological creation according to the Genesis account is nothing compared to the chasm between those who effectively dismiss God's Word in favor of evolution... based on materialistic presuppositions.

    Center as defined by....? Center of the universe or center of his purpose? There is a difference. One of the pretty neat things coming from the Old Earthers at Discovery (who believe God used the Big Bang to form the universe) is the unique position the earth holds to sustain life and observe the created universe.

    I actually agree with that. The popular notion that Darwin responded to was that God created all of the species exactly as they appeared. That went well beyond what scripture said and what the evidence would support. Darwin's reaction to the appearance of natural evil was to separate God from that evil... by separating Him from creative acts.

    I would suggest "Darwin's God" for more background on the philosophical reasoning behind ToE.

    Again, you're confusing presuppositions with conclusions. Darwin's theory was based on evidence, and his presupposition was that there was an explanation for that evidence.</font>[/QUOTE] Nope. Darwin presupposed a conclusion then manipulated what he observed into a theory to support that conclusion.

    That is one of the principle things I find dishonest about evolutionists today. They assume evolution, interpret the evidence within that paradigm, then claim the evidence supports evolution. The truth is that the evidence can be accommodated by evolution but it cannot prove evolution. The reason is that no matter what the evidence is an explanation will be fashioned.

    That operating assumption is not valid: I believe God is the creator of the universe, and science cannot and does not affirm or deny this belief.</font>[/QUOTE] Oh but it can... It can come up with a first cause that was not God. But we both no that it can't. In the end, materialistic evolution dies by a fallacy of its own creation- that everything be the result of secondary causes.

    OTOH, while the existence of the universe does not prove the Christian God as creator... It does logically demand a creator or else the First and Second "Laws" of Thermodynamics are utterly false.

    Evolution sets up a contradiction between logical truth and scientific truth that cannot in reality exist.
    No... Because God DID claim creation and gave a specific though not detailed NARRATIVE for how He did it. What kind of straw man argument is that anyway?

    I already mentioned a way in which genuine descent could have occurred through speciation/microevolution that fits what we observe occurring right now in nature. We don't have to speculate some mechanism for accidentally acquiring information... We only have to look at the way animals really adapt and differentiate in nature.

    I never said that God didn't create Natural Laws when He created the universe. I said that He created in the way He communicated through His Word.

    Your loud protestations aside, you're attempting to make a distinction where none exists.</font>[/QUOTE] No. I am not. There is a dramatic distinction even amongst secular scientists between operational science and theoretical science.
    So what? All that proves is that there are genetic similarities... not where they came from.

    You say they came from a common ancestor. I say they came from a) a common pattern for the gene and b) common environmental factors on the early genomes.
    Maybe. Maybe not. Not too long ago there were thought to be something over 100 vestigal organs in the human body... all of them have now been proven to have a function and purpose.

    You are placing alot of stock in the omniscience concerning whale biology of the materialists you say we should oppose.

    Further, who knows? Maybe whales are the last of a line of a "kind" of shallow water foragers. What would the loss of legs be?... a deletion, right? Even your own "evidence" for evolution presupposes that a genetically more fit animal descended into the modern whale.
    Proving nothing but that they have teeth.
    Which does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that we have a common ancestor by any stretch of the imagination.

    This above all other examples is a direct affront to God's Word and truthfulness. He very specifically claimed and Jesus affirmed that man was created directly.

    All that those things prove is that there are common insertions... and we know that some insertion points are more favorable than others. With a pristine genome, it is fair to speculate that this would have been even more true for the more ancient inserts.
    Which proves little beyond the fact that the bacteria genome had a natural ability to metabolize nylon waste. This was not observed to have been acquired via mutation.

    So either the genome included the ability and it was favored environmentally where the waste was available (a process observed in many ways throughout the natural world) or else a mutation gave the bacteria this new ability via some process that has never been observed/verified in nature.

    Nope. We can observe the genes that differ... you can only assume that they represent a change beyond the scope of the original genome.
    Nope. As you have so adequately proven, it is based on explanations of observations as governed by presuppositions that favor the theory.
    Mutation is one mechanism that explains how genetic diversity arises in populations. Natural selection works on the accumulated diversity in order to favour beneficial traits.</font>[/QUOTE] The only problem is that natural selection has never been proven as a vehicle for creating one species from another. A species adapts within the scope of its genome... but when it reaches the boundary, it can go no further. When pushed to an extreme for long periods of time, a species may lose the ability its predecessors had to adapt back in the other direction... that is observed but not to keep going beyond the limits of its progenitor.
    Nope. Mutations are rarely beneficial, never generate a new species, and as a rule have a net cost genetically that is greater than the net benefit. In other words- degeneration, decay, change through loss of complexity and ability... not acquisition.

    Unsubstantiated assertion.</font>[/QUOTE] Nope. Information, structure, design, interdependencies, etc. can all be given evolutionary explanations... but not reasonable ones. Speculating chance events that cannot be reproduced experimentally are not a good basis for science.

    We don't know the history of some breeds of dog either, yet that doesn't mean they don't have a common ancestor with other dogs.</font>[/QUOTE] Oranges and apples since we do know that they are dogs and are of the same species.
    Now THAT.... is an unsubstantiated conclusion.
     
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