The first step in any debate must be defining the terms. It’s paramount to the success of carrying the message. To draw from a recent example, I wrote a post once expressing my view of atheism from the classic definition: atheism is to believe in no god or gods. I even highlighted the root origins of the word ‘A-’, meaning ‘no’ or ‘negative’, and ‘theo’, meaning ‘god’ or ‘gods’. A few atheists took issue with my post because they defined atheism differently. They made the point, and one I try to better incorporate, that language is fluid; different words mean different things for different people, often at different times.

The best examples I’ve come across to highlight the significance of word meaning is usually stemmed from visual depictions of word imagery. For example, “The car went flying by”, has significant differences in meanings at different times. To you and me, living in the early 21st century, we can understand the statement to mean, an automobile driving really fast past a fixed point. However, a resident of the 17th century would have to speculate new/unknown words with how they view the rest of the sentence. In this case, they certainly would understand ‘flying’ and then make some assumption that a car was probably a winged bird. Further, that same sentence to someone a few hundred years into the future would have significant differences as flying becomes (probably) more normal. The heart of this matter rests on contextual and literary criticism. And it is where we begin understanding the necessity of defining the terms.

                

Macro-evolution, to a Christian (and more than likely also not a scientist), is a large scale evolutionary change. It describes a process Frank Turek and Norman Geisler write so eloquently,

“From goo to you via the zoo.”

The Christian view of macro-evolution attempts to argue that the common ancestor of ape and man absolutely did not give birth to an ape and/or a man and therefore did not create two branches of a family tree. This is a faulty view of evolution. The term ‘macro-’ here means large in a singular sense. It is most often used in contrast to micro-evolution. Mirco-evolution describes how eyelashes get longer (or shorter), skin pigment darkens (or lightens), and children get taller (or shorter) because of small (micro-) changes over a short time. To a Christian, macro-evolution is the opposite. Macro-evolution describes how species change and micro-evolutions describes changes in a species. To a Christian, micro- and macro-evolution are significantly different—which is why Christians typically do not have a problem with micro-, but do have a problem with marco-evolution.

Most (if not all) evolutionists do not have the same definition of macro-evolution. They do not define macro- as large, rather as lots/many. In this way, macro-evolution is no different than micro-evolution; it’s mirco-evolution many, many times. To an evolutionist, a Christian who accepts micro-evolution but rejects macro-evolution is foolish because they are the same thing; micro- being tens, hudreds, thousands of years and marco- being millions and billions of years. Jerry Coyne, a prominent biology professor and evolutionist, likens micro- and macro- evolution to a train on the tracks. Mico-evolution is the train we see pulling away at the station and marco-evolution is our ability to recognize the direction and destination.

Another way to interpret this is thinking of evolution like a sliding door. As the door slides down the evolutionary line, everything within the door is a micro- change so by the time the door passes, that which is outside the door is a marco- change. From this perspective: Sorry, Christians, Marco-Evolution Does Exist.

Before we pack up and go home, however, there is some serious discussion that must take place. What is evolution? Dictionary.com defines evolution as, “the gradual development of something, especially from simple to a more complex form.” Within this definition are two points that I feel deserve adequate attention: the gradual development of something and simple to more complex.

Evolution is a consequence of something already in existence. This is the biggest problem for die-hard evolutionists who insist evolution can explain the goo to you via the zoo; where did the goo come from? Evolution does not explain origins. Everything about evolution is an effect from some earlier cause. In fact, this is the whole of evolution—something changed that was more viable and therefore passed on that characteristic until the less viable piece disappeared (or became obsolete). To trace evolution backwards, it means you are the great-great-great (millions of times) grandchild of a primate, which was the great-great-great (millions of times) grandchild of a lizard, and this line keeps going through fish, bacteria, eukaryotic cells, etc. until it gets to one droplet of life, at one time, on one date, in one place. But, strictly speaking, evolution cannot explain that one cell. Non-life cannot “evolve” into life. Once life begins, evolution can also begin, but without the goo, there is no zoo let alone you.

Secondly, life is incredibly complex. I don’t mean the stuff like aunt Betty needs picked up from her doctors at 9:00, then I need to somehow get her to her sisters by 9:15 so I can make a conference call at 9:30…making each day complicated with personal and professional interactions. While that does complicate things, the smallest and seemingly most insignificant things that make up life are incredibly interconnected–that’s the real complexity of life. Think about the very first point of life. In order for it to evolve it needs at least 3 things: it needs to be alive, it needs to reproduce, and it needs to be sustainable long enough for all these to happen. Also, and this is critical, its ability to reproduce, absolutely must, create a replica the same or better than itself. If the first life doesn’t thrive or doesn’t reproduce, or doesn’t survive long enough for life to continue, then the tiniest probability that life spontaneously erupted up from the goo must happen again. Let me paint this in numbers. According to evolutionfaq.com, the probability of life is 1 in 1040 (NOTE: this is AFTER the chances of temperature, water, sun, gravity, and a whole mess of other factors are already in place. The chances of everything needed for life AND life is estimated at 1 in 10282)[i]. To make this a little more appreciable, by old earth standards the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or 4.6 x 109. If you convert that to seconds (multiply by days, hours, minutes, and seconds), the total number of seconds since Earth formed (not Earth was capable of life!) is 1.4 x 1017. In other words, according to the most liberal estimates, given the most possible amount of time, AND an already livable environment, the chances of life happening are so unlikely, Earth would need to triple its age before it would have 1 chance to get life—AND we’ve already established the one time life exists it needs to be (pretty much) perfect if it is to continue.

Obviously, there is some pretty complicated math and there are some webpages that will argue the time problem. One such, peer-reviewed, article proposes that there is indeed enough time provided the target is considered. The article basically says, “when one takes account of the role of natural selection in a reasonable way, there has been ample time for the evolution that we observe to have taken place.”[ii] There is however, two major significant challenges to the Wilf and Ewens report referenced above. The most notable of those, and the one I will address, is the issue of origin. That is, arguing that there is enough time once life has begun is secondary to there being enough time to begin in the first place. That is, not only did life have to beat the odds (by 3:1), it had to do it fast and soon enough to allow for Wilf and Ewens to mathematically support their position.

This leads me to my final point. All the math, chances, randomness, and hypothetical probabilities are, ultimately, possible. As the saying goes in Las Vegas, all you need is a chip and a chair. Unlikely as it may be, possible it is nonetheless. However, we have now arrived at the second point in defining evolution; gradually moving from simple to complex. If the first aspect of evolution did nothing except paint the picture about how complex life is—even with a broad brush—certainly I have prepared you to recognize, even more so, how unthinkable evolution is. That is not to say it is not currently happening. It is absolutely to say in order to meet the time requirements for evolution (micro- or macro-)as we know it now, it must be goal oriented; “[t]his means that once again…simulations of evolution seem to work only because they’ve been intelligently designed.”[iii] And with that perspective, Sorry, Evolutionists: Macro-evolution Does Not Exist.

[i] www.reasons.org/articles/probability-for-life-on-earth

[ii] Wilf Herbert S. & Ewens, Warren J., “There’s plenty of time for evolution”

[iii] Luskin, Casey. “Peer-Reviewed Science: There Isn’t ‘Plenty of Time for Evolution’”. Evolution News. December 13, 2012. From: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/12/peer-reviewed_s_1067421.html

23 COMMENTS

  1. Hmm. Many Christians have no problem with evolution so maybe it;s a bit unfair to aim this at the whole religion. Teilhard de Chardin would be a counter-example. Enjoyed it though, and the point about interpreting language seems excellent.

    • Hi Peter! Thanks for your response, and I’ll have to check out Chardon.
      One of the reasons I included the religious idea is because I don’t believe evolution is entirely chance and random mutation. That was the motivation in drawing out how unlikely the chance was and how perfect life needed to be at onset. From there I definitely did not want to divide Christian worldview (old/young earth idea) so I made sure to include (but probably could’ve accented better) the peer-reviewed study which demonstrated, there is enough time for evolution with the end in mind. In other words, evolution can only be true if it is directional, always moving forward, purposefully.
      Hope that clears it up, and again, thanks for interacting.

      • Apologies, Roger. I didn’t read it properly the first time, and it is actually more interesting than i noticed the first time . The spelling works against the plausibility of the argument. 🙂

        It seems to be quite a strong argument. I’m not so sure about the results you reach from them. I see no reason why evolution should not be teleological, so don’t see the need to take sides, and for biological life might even want to argue that it cannot be anything else than teleological, at least locally. Erwin Schrodinger proposed something called ‘faux-Lamarckism’ and it makes a lot of sense to me. We wouldn’t have legs unless we wanted to walk, and even Darwin notes that similarities between species can be explained by a similarity of wants and needs. Wants and needs! It’s almost as if consciousness has a role.

        I strongly believe that the chances of life beginning on Earth were always exactly 1. If we say life was a matter of chance then, as you say, the odds against it are so high we might as well say it was a miracle.

        Must we make teleology and ‘scientific’ evolution mutually exclusive? Is God expected to produce elephants and bicycles out of thin air? How is evolution supposed to work if its direction is not is not affected by the teleological behaviour of the species who are evolving? And how come consciousness evolved if it has nothing to do with anything? Its lack of any role rather suggest that it is a spandrel, in which case it may not depend on biological life after all, and may be prior to it, which may explain why Nature looks a lot like teleology has been at work.

        Sorry. Thinking out loud.

        • I appreciate the back and forth, PeterJ and Roger! If I may step in for a moment, I think it would be wrongheaded to suggest that evolution can somehow be guided, or have a “teleology” as you put it, PeterJ. The only reason I say that is because since its inception the theory has always been evolution over time through natural selection. Specifically, change comes through an influx of genetic information through random mutation.

          We know now that the necessary influx of genetic information for evolution to occur does not happen at all. The epigenetic information for the structure of the cell cannot be mutated. So if there were an influx of necessary genetic information it is not because of some evolutionary system but because God intervened repeatedly (i.e. every time a new influx of information was introduced) to make it happen. But now we’re not talking about evolution. We’re describing some form of creation. That’s not to say that what you’re proposing, in some sense, isn’t happening, PeterJ. I just think those who want to bring evolution and teleology together should be more specific about what they are positing, and call themselves progressive creationists. Or just use some other kind of term.

          By the way, a pretty good book on the subject is called Shadow of Oz by Rossiter. Anyway, great post, Roger! And thanks for your thoughts, PeterJ!

  2. “We know now that the necessary influx of genetic information for evolution to occur does not happen at all.”

    Could you expand a little, Nate? I’m not sure I’m reading it right and I didn’t quite understand your explanation. It looks like heresy.

  3. Thanks for wasting our time. There is nothing new or scientific here, just another retelling of an unsupported story using a provocative title to get a few people stirred up. “Goo to you via the zoo” is actually more eloquent. My biggest question (apart from the impossible non science) is why would an atheist care to expend so much effort on something of no consequence? To quote another eloquent uttering of our time and culture via HRC: “What difference does it make?!” Merry Christmas.

  4. My perspective on this issue has boiled down to one statement: “It’s not about whether or not common ancestry evolution is possible, it’s about whether or not it actually happened.”

    You don’t touch on mutations for very long in this article, and I think there is more to them. When evolutionists refer to macro-evolution they refer to it as the process that caused the ‘goo to you from the zoo’ to occur, and they point to the existence of micro-evolution to ‘prove’ that this happened. The problem is two-fold:

    1. Macro-evolution is theoretically possible, just excessively unlikely.

    2. Micro-evolution is so common that it is effectively the same exact thing as mutations in general.

    Micro-evolution causes mere change within an organism as a result of a mutation that causes the loss of genetic information and/or function. That is how every single mutation ever observed has happened. No mutation has ever produced new function within an organism. The process necessary for this is different from micro-evolution.

    Macro-evolution requires a specific change in allele frequency towards a specific end-goal new function. However, since the majority of functions/structures within an organism require more than a single strand of DNA each strand must itself mutate specifically towards that end goal. So not only do we have single strands needing to experience mutation towards an extremely specific function/structure, but multiple other strands doing so as well. This is far different from an increase in fitness by losing a function/structure that would hinder an organism within a given environment (aka: every beneficial mutation ever observed by man). These losses of function cannot combine with each other to form the introduction of a new function.

    In order for a new function to come about multiple allege frequency changes would have to take place within multiple different DNA strands, either at the same time (which is incredibly unlikely) or over time (which would require each incremental change to itself be beneficial or at the very least not harmful to the organism).

    Even though it might be the same action to throw a baseball to a catcher as to attempt throw a baseball into space to hit Pluto (only to have it fall back to the earth because of gravity), anybody with common sense would say they are distinctively different scenarios. Hitting Pluto with a baseball would require extreme mathematical calculations and a device that could launch it into space at a predictable velocity without destroying the baseball itself, rather than just throwing it in its general direction as one would when playing catch with their kid/father. For the same reason I believe macro-evolution is a fundamentally different process from micro-evolution.

    • Hi Josh!
      Thanks for responding here. I like your baseball analogies, and I agree that macro-evolution does include a massive amount of change. Moreover, I agree that mico-evolutionary changes produce losses of information. A great article on this (http://creation.com/the-evolution-trains-a-comin) describes it like a train we see pulling out of the station, but the train is heading the wrong way. That is, we see small changes in the present and big differences in the past then evolutionary theory must (eventually) include the idea that small changes become big changes over time. That’s why I focused on this aspect in my post (even though there is certainly more to uncover about macro-evolution *smile*)
      As the article points out, however, the train is headed the wrong direction. If a train leaves Jacksonville headed south, we have no reason to conclude the train will arrive in Chicago. This is where your point about information being lost in micro-evolution is spot on. The micro-changes do not, can not, produce macro- results on their own (which is why I concluded the way I did).
      Admittedly, I probably should have discussed mutations more, but I really wanted to focus on the vernacular. I wanted to point out that both sides of this debate are right (and wrong). I have a few other posts lined up before I get back to evolution, but when I do I’d love to get more of your thoughts. Did I capture your view adequately? What role do you see evolution playing in our history?

  5. The goal is survival. That’s what drives evolution. It does get more complex because there is no intelligent entity supervising the process to “clean it up” from time to time. Otherwise the redundancy and the inactive DNA could be wiped away. Nothing that indicates the presence of a deity here.

    • Hi Pedro. Thanks for bringing your thoughts. Getting different perspectives is how we all learn.
      When you say, “The goal is survival. That’s what drives evolution.” Do you mean that ‘the desire to survival’ is influencing evolutionary changes? If so, that seems to highly indicate deistic (though more likely theistic) involvement, here’s why.
      Survival is a mindset and not a physical trait–it is non-material. In the Army, a few of my friends tried out for Ranger School. They were all physically equipped for the training, but not mentally; they all dropped out. The instructors were quick to note that it’s not the strongest or the fastest, but those who want it the most that get through–those who can look past the current (awful) conditions and focus on the result. This survivability is ‘will’, ‘determination’, ‘fight’ and it is entirely dependent on a ‘mind’/’intelligence’.
      If you mean ‘those things that happen to survive’ happen to cause evolution this is problematic because it in no way suggests progressive evolution. To use a giraffe for example, there is no reason to assume a longer neck happened to survive instead of simply migrating to a further food source. If a long neck was an accident that happened to survive, then it is highly problematic with other facets of evolutionary change like camouflage, respiratory systems, and intellect which present as purposeful and beneficial.
      Why do you say nothing indicates deistic involvement? On the contrary, the realization that survival plays a role at all in evolution seems to better fit with design over chance. Would you agree?

      • Usually, when one says living organisms have the “desire” to survive, one is speaking in a figurative manner. Bacteria are adapted to survive and you wouldn’t associate them with a mindset. Trees employ sophisticated mechanisms to survive and compete with other trees, yet you wouldn’t associate them with a mindset. So I don’t see how that would indicate the presence of a deity.

        Strictly, there isn’t any “goal” in evolution. There’s no evidence of order in it, of a plan to “achieve” something. Life just… is. But I proposed “survival” as a sort of goal, just for the sake of the argument, because it seems to be the only thing that all living creatures somehow pursue.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “progressive evolution”. I see that Wikipedia has a term for “orthogenesis” that is related to “progressive evolution”, but this is my first time hearing it. Anyway, otrhogenesis is a discredited theory.

        Both the evolution of the giraffe’s neck and the appearance of the “desire” to survive are simple consequences of natural selection. Selection pressure makes life more difficult for organisms who don’t “want” to survive, so those who do soon dominate the gene pool. Then selection pressure makes life more difficult for giraffes with shorter necks, so those with longer necks start dominating the gene pool. Recall that it is a gradual process. It’s not like there wasn’t any food in lower branches overnight and all giraffes with shorter necks died or migrated. It’s simply that, over the years, they were finding harder and harder to become as strong as the better fed long-neck giraffes, and their descendents were slowly becoming longer-necked. These are not accidents that suddenly happen, but gradual changes that accumulate. “Micro-evolution” over thousands, millions of years, as you wrote.

        Everything in this process is completely natural and self-sustaining. There is no need or indication of a deity. The only apparent indication of a design is its mesmerizing complexity. But this is explained by gradual change of billions of years.

        One sign that this process is unsupervised is the amount of redundancy and unused information in the DNA. If there was a deity, an evidence for him or her would be if the DNA was being “cleaned up” from time to time. That would be very clever, and would probably require external intervention. But it doesn’t happen.

        • I appreciate you clarifying. I tried to incorporate both views of survival in my first reply (purposeful desire and consequential chance)–if fairness some people do argue in a literal sense of ‘choosing’ best genes for survival.

          As for progressive evolution, I used the terms in relation to the evolution train in my OP, not directed at orthogenesis. I was simply implying evolution doesn’t seem to move backwards (though it does fail in some cases).

          Part of my argument in my OP is that evolution is an effect and cannot justify its own existence simply because it exists. Moreover, evolution has a harder time dealing with gene redundancy than creation. Take the internet for example. The internet is full of redundancy and it is very purposeful. If Google had only 1 server that was capable of processing the millions of users daily, if that server became hacked, lost power, or stopped working, all of Google would shut down. As it is, redundancy is beneficial for protection. The same is true in DNA. Without redundancy, any single problem with core/active DNA, a single nucleotide, would thwart the entire process. What is really impressive about redundancy in terms of design, is because redundancy is purposeful in its usefulness, it cannot be evolutionary fodder. That is, the cell did not accidentally create duplicate genomes which happened to be beneficial (I’ll get to why in a moment). Rather, generating a duplicate by evolutionary standards should be hazardous. This is because a duplicate or redundant gene must, by default, be a weaker gene (if it were stronger it would be the gene and the original would be the redundant). Thus, having two of the same gene should open up more opportunities for lethal point mutations (which would reduce redundancy). This brings me to my final two points:
          (1) The benefits of redundancy are not natural selections in a cause-effect environment; they are designed into the cell. We can know this because gene duplication is not expanding exponentially but happens consistently and uniformly in tests with lab rats.
          (2) Because natural selection cannot account for redundancy it therefore must increase the complexity of the original cell.

          I appreciate you giving me an opportunity clarify my point and present a different view (based on the same scientific data) of evolution. Can I ask, in your original reply and in your dialog with Nate (Why Russell’s Teapot Fails), you refer back to the argument there is no evidence for God. What would evidence for God look like to you, and if that evidence could be demonstrated to have already happened, would you consider learning more about Jesus?

          Again, thanks for the interaction. I appreciate you taking the time to get involved. 🙂

  6. FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE: SORRY, CHRISTIANS, MARCO-EVOLUTION DOES EXIST.

    Quibbles too small to mention, but great start, Roger.

    BEFORE WE PACK UP AND GO HOME, HOWEVER, THERE IS SOME SERIOUS DISCUSSION THAT MUST TAKE PLACE. WHAT IS EVOLUTION? DICTIONARY.COM DEFINES EVOLUTION AS

    Oh no! We fell off the track so quickly. Why would you go to the dictionary, of all things, for the definition of a word, when clearly what you want to discuss is the scientific theory of evolution?

    Would it be of any relevance to note that “extreme or alarming importance; seriousness” is a dictionary definition of gravity when writing an article on the recent visual detection by physicists of gravity waves?

    Was this to set up a straw-man?

    “THE GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF SOMETHING, ESPECIALLY FROM SIMPLE TO A MORE COMPLEX FORM.” WITHIN THIS DEFINITION ARE TWO POINTS THAT I FEEL DESERVE ADEQUATE ATTENTION: THE GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF SOMETHING AND SIMPLE TO MORE COMPLEX.

    “Simple to more complex”… yes, straw-man it is.

    EVOLUTION IS A CONSEQUENCE OF SOMETHING ALREADY IN EXISTENCE. THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FOR DIE-HARD EVOLUTIONISTS WHO INSIST EVOLUTION CAN EXPLAIN THE GOO TO YOU VIA THE ZOO; WHERE DID THE GOO COME FROM?

    It really isn’t a problem of any kind for an evolutionist. You’re talking about the science of abiogenesis, which admittedly can prove very little, though has many ideas and some experimental evidence and success. The theory of evolution speaks not a single word about the origin of life. It describes everything that happened after the origin… the diversity of life. (Much like embryology and fertility are not the same science.)

    Millions of Christians (particularly if you include Catholics) suggest that God made the initial life, but that then life evolved just as the scientific evidence concludes. Not one element of the theory of evolution changes if one says that “God made the goo”.

    Materialists, like myself, do have to face the abiogenesis problem… evolutionists do not.

    BUT WITHOUT THE GOO, THERE IS NO ZOO LET ALONE YOU.

    I’m skipping over most of this, as it seems to be “argument from incredulity” and “god of the gaps” discussion. Just keep in mind, even if every aspect of cosmology, abiogenesis and evolution were unequivocally disproved and renounced by every scientist in the world tomorrow, that wouldn’t lend a single shred of evidence to a God claim.

    HOWEVER, WE HAVE NOW ARRIVED AT THE SECOND POINT IN DEFINING EVOLUTION; GRADUALLY MOVING FROM SIMPLE TO COMPLEX.

    That does not define evolution at all. Evolution has no goal. No end point. And simplification (e.g. five-fingers to horse hoof, reduction or drop or adaptation of vestigials, etc) is just as common as increased complexity.

    IT IS ABSOLUTELY TO SAY IN ORDER TO MEET THE TIME REQUIREMENTS FOR EVOLUTION (MICRO- OR MACRO-)AS WE KNOW IT NOW, IT MUST BE GOAL ORIENTED; “[T]HIS MEANS THAT ONCE AGAIN…SIMULATIONS OF EVOLUTION SEEM TO WORK ONLY BECAUSE THEY’VE BEEN INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED.”[III]

    [III] LUSKIN, CASEY. “PEER-REVIEWED SCIENCE: THERE ISN’T ‘PLENTY OF TIME FOR EVOLUTION’”. EVOLUTION NEWS. DECEMBER 13, 2012. FROM: http://WWW.EVOLUTIONNEWS.ORG/2012/12/PEER-REVIEWED_S_1067421.HTML

    OK, so I hunted this down and the article in question is from “BIO-Complexity” at http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2012.4

    From their website, the stated purpose of this “publication” says, “BIO-Complexity is a peer-reviewed scientific journal with a unique goal. It aims to be the leading forum for testing the scientific merit of the claim that intelligent design (ID) is a credible explanation for life.”

    Just like evolution, science does not have an end goal in mind that it builds toward. This is not how science works.

    In describing their peer review processes, the site says “BIO-Complexity uses an innovative approach to pre-publication peer-review in order to achieve this goal.” That doesn’t sound good. Peer review is to be as rigorous and repeatable as science itself, not innovative toward a short-cut to a goal.

    To its credit, this article did end up in Google Scholar. It was cited seven times, three of those by Bio-Complexity itself. At least once was to refute the article, and I didn’t take the time to hunt down the others.

    I’m tempted to ad hoc here, but I’m just way too very saddened by the hijacking of the concept. Peer review is only as strong as the peers. The less like-minded the better.

    • Paul,
      I’m….
      Hmm?
      I’m….well. I’m surprised. I guess at this point I expected better. Arguing the dictionary, inserting fallacies that don’t exist (this whole post argued vernacular not God), nit picking external website based on a misquote of its “about” page. I guess I didn’t expect you to like it, or even agree with it, but now I just feel you are letting your hurt guide your mind. Let me back up…
      I’m sorry you feel let down. I’m sorry you think Christianity is a ‘cancer’ you need to ‘recover from’. I’m sorry if the amount of time you spent searching for God has left you lacking. I’m sorry if I haven’t given you any new perspective or any Rey of hope (see what I did there?) for the faith we once shared together. I don’t know your past (outside of Easter Eggs left on social media/blog posts) and I’m not asking you to share, but these are the impressions I get. I guess for that matter, I’m sorry if I’m way off base 😉
      With this in mind, I hope I can be a trusted confidant. I hope you can find stability in my faith where (maybe) others have waivered. I hope you can see the honesty and integrity I try to bring while also recognizing me as a contrite sinner. My posts are not scripture, I’m going to make mistakes, but they are unequivocally going to represent a different perspective. As sure as I am that skeptics can deny a concept as simple as ‘yesterday’, I will continue to affirm the resurrection of Jesus Christ as best I know how, by sharing ideas and defending the faith.

      Respectfully,
      -Roger

    • “It really isn’t a problem of any kind for an evolutionist. You’re talking about the science of abiogenesis, which admittedly can prove very little, though has many ideas and some experimental evidence and success. The theory of evolution speaks not a single word about the origin of life. It describes everything that happened after the origin… the diversity of life. (Much like embryology and fertility are not the same science.)”

      Actually abiogenesis is a key theory to the theory of evolution. Common ancestry evolution requires a common ancestor, a single common ancestor. If there were many ancestors, such as in the theory of creationism, there would be no need for macro-evolution causing new ‘species’ to emerge. So without abiogenesis, the necessity of a single common ancestor is gone, and thus the problem of going from 1 ‘species’ to many is no longer a problem that needs resolving until the origin of life on the earth is known. Assuming there could only be one original lifeform is an assumption based on the assumed premise of naturalism and nothing else. So if you want the theory of evolution to work, you need abiogenesis to work as well, yet so many evolutionists like to pretend like they can ignore it, because they truly have no explanation as to how it is possible; the origin of life from non-life.

      “Millions of Christians (particularly if you include Catholics) suggest that God made the initial life, but that then life evolved just as the scientific evidence concludes. Not one element of the theory of evolution changes if one says that “God made the goo”.”

      The problem with that theory, theistic evolution, is one on the theistic side of things. It doesn’t mesh with the Bible at all. So really it’s just an ad hoc.

      “I’m skipping over most of this, as it seems to be “argument from incredulity” and “god of the gaps” discussion. Just keep in mind, even if every aspect of cosmology, abiogenesis and evolution were unequivocally disproved and renounced by every scientist in the world tomorrow, that wouldn’t lend a single shred of evidence to a God claim.”

      Well no, but there are other evidences for a supernatural creator anyway. Determining that supernatural creator to be God of the Bible happens more on the historical and philosophical side of things, rather than the scientific side. The sheer existence of existence suggests the existence of an existential constant; an existence that has existed for eternity. Basically the unmoved mover. This is the strongest evidence for a supernatural origin of the universe.

      “Just like evolution, science does not have an end goal in mind that it builds toward. This is not how science works. ”

      Very true, science as a tool, as an idea, as a concept, does not work towards an end goal, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t how scienTISTS work. A hammer doesn’t work towards any end goals, it is merely there to be used by men to achieve their own end goals.

      Concerning what ‘evolution’ is; what do you think it is?

      • CONCERNING WHAT ‘EVOLUTION’ IS; WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS?

        The word evolution is merely change over time. That’s it. It’s just a word.

        The scientific “Theory of Evolution” (which Roger originally conflates with the English word) is that the observed morphological changes in organisms are due to changes in allele frequencies resulting from random mutation and natural selection. This is also known as the Unified Theory of Biology.

        SO IF YOU WANT THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION TO WORK, YOU NEED ABIOGENESIS TO WORK AS WELL

        I’ll bite my tongue and say one more time for everyone in the back to hear, the Theory of Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life and makes no predictions about it. It doesn’t even predict whether life formed before or after evolution began. See above.

        Abiogenesis is the idea that non-living chemicals amalgamated into polymers which could reproduce, metabolize outside chemicals and react to stimuli while developing some system on inheritance. You’ll note that abiogenesis is a hypothesis, not a theory. But like any other hypotheses it makes a prediction — that the constituent characteristics of life can appear naturally. This prediction is confirmed by experiments as well as observation.

        You’ll note that creationists completely believe in and affirm that abiogenesis happened. They think God’s words were the cause, and that the result was many species and not just one, but there was still abiogenesis. There was still a physical process in our physical world. Something that can be studied. One day, science will understand this process fully… and that will neither prove nor disprove a god.

        YET SO MANY EVOLUTIONISTS LIKE TO PRETEND LIKE THEY CAN IGNORE IT, BECAUSE THEY TRULY HAVE NO EXPLANATION AS TO HOW IT IS POSSIBLE; THE ORIGIN OF LIFE FROM NON-LIFE.

        Evolutionists ignore abiogenesis in the same way that the developers of photography ignore the yet-inconclusive particle / wave nature of light. Photography needs light, and it might be better if the answers about light were known. But photography proceeds nonetheless… taking the world as it exists as a given, not waiting for other questions to be answered and no less true as a result. Evolutionary biology takes life as a given and proceeds from there. I’m sorry this bothers you.

        You said, “THE PROBLEM WITH THAT THEORY, THEISTIC EVOLUTION, IS ONE ON THE THEISTIC SIDE OF THINGS. IT DOESN’T MESH WITH THE BIBLE AT ALL. SO REALLY IT’S JUST AN AD HOC.”

        and then you said, “SCIENCE AS A TOOL, AS AN IDEA, AS A CONCEPT, DOES NOT WORK TOWARDS AN END GOAL, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT ISN’T HOW SCIENTISTS WORK. A HAMMER DOESN’T WORK TOWARDS ANY END GOALS, IT IS MERELY THERE TO BE USED BY MEN TO ACHIEVE THEIR OWN END GOALS.”

        If you don’t find the hypocrisy in those two statements to be hilarious, then you’re missing out on some great laughter. Thanks.

        • “The scientific “Theory of Evolution” (which Roger originally conflates with the English word) is that the observed morphological changes in organisms are due to changes in allele frequencies resulting from random mutation and natural selection. This is also known as the Unified Theory of Biology.”

          And what about change via the combination and loss of genetic information as a result of breeding offspring? Dominant and recessive and all that? Can’t biological diversity change as a result of that as well? This kind of change is the key difference between micro and macro evolution. Diversity within organisms can happen by gaining and losing genes from either parent. This is how humans ‘make’ new breeds of dogs. No mutations required. Yet these kinds of changes cannot account for the introduction of new genetic information and function that didn’t already exist within another organism (ie: the parents). So this is an example of a biological change that is a result of micro-evolution, but CANNOT produce macro-evolution (ie: the introduction of new genetic information and function). Micro and macro are not necessarily the same thing, and biological changes can occur without being a result of mutation. To think that the theory of evolution is limited to mutations is quite silly, and biased towards the naturalistic view of common ancestry (ie: molecules to man) macro-evolution.

          “I’ll bite my tongue and say one more time for everyone in the back to hear, the Theory of Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life and makes no predictions about it. It doesn’t even predict whether life formed before or after evolution began. See above.”

          If life began as numerous different life forms, common ancestry evolution does not require macro-evolution, and biological diversity can be largely accounted for simply with the combination or removal of genes within a new organism, from two parents. With no mutations required. In that sense, the idea that macro-evolution is a necessity is an idea founded on the belief that abiogenesis is true, and that a single common ancestor was randomly ‘produced’ at some point in the past from non-life material and ‘evolved’ into all life on the planet from there. The claim that macro-evolution is a necessity requires abiogenesis.

          “But like any other hypotheses it makes a prediction — that the constituent characteristics of life can appear naturally. This prediction is confirmed by experiments as well as observation. ”

          Sure, it makes that prediction, but that prediction doesn’t prove that abiogenesis can cause life from non-life, which is really the only prediction that matters, which itself hasn’t been confirmed through experiments or observation. The building blocks of carbon-based lifeforms is not the same thing as carbon-based lifeforms.

          “You’ll note that creationists completely believe in and affirm that abiogenesis happened. They think God’s words were the cause, and that the result was many species and not just one, but there was still abiogenesis. There was still a physical process in our physical world. Something that can be studied. One day, science will understand this process fully… and that will neither prove nor disprove a god.”

          The problem here is the process that would cause the fundamental building blocks of life to suddenly and spontaneously form into life itself. This is the core difference between creationism and naturalism: unguided random processes vs. design. The difference between dumping a pile of Legos into a washing machine to form a pile of Legos and dumping a pile of Legos onto the ground and constructing it into a spaceship. One is unguided randomness and one is design. If you saw a Lego spaceship you would assume somebody designed it, and that they didn’t just toss some pieces into a washing machine and out popped the spaceship, that would be ridiculous.

          “Evolutionists ignore abiogenesis in the same way that the developers of photography ignore the yet-inconclusive particle / wave nature of light. Photography needs light, and it might be better if the answers about light were known. But photography proceeds nonetheless… taking the world as it exists as a given, not waiting for other questions to be answered and no less true as a result. Evolutionary biology takes life as a given and proceeds from there. I’m sorry this bothers you.”

          Photography isn’t about explaining why photography works. Science is about explaining why things work the way they work. You can’t just make a scientific ‘theory’ and claim that you don’t need to explain it like that.

          “If you don’t find the hypocrisy in those two statements to be hilarious, then you’re missing out on some great laughter. Thanks.”

          I enjoy the typical atheist rescuing ad hominem as much as the next guy, but taking two statements and saying I am a hypocrite without actually explaining anything doesn’t prove any points. Explain why I am a hypocrite, then I can actually take your words seriously.

          • I ENJOY THE TYPICAL ATHEIST RESCUING AD HOMINEM AS MUCH AS THE NEXT GUY, BUT TAKING TWO STATEMENTS AND SAYING I AM A HYPOCRITE WITHOUT ACTUALLY EXPLAINING ANYTHING DOESN’T PROVE ANY POINTS. EXPLAIN WHY I AM A HYPOCRITE, THEN I CAN ACTUALLY TAKE YOUR WORDS SERIOUSLY.

            You insinuated that scientists can’t be trusted because you believe they work toward preconceived conclusions, mere paragraphs after dismissing out-of-hand evidence merely and proudly because it doesn’t mesh with your preconceived conclusion that the Bible, as you interpret it, is true. Perhaps more projection than hypocrisy.

            BIOLOGICAL CHANGES CAN OCCUR WITHOUT BEING A RESULT OF MUTATION. TO THINK THAT THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION IS LIMITED TO MUTATIONS IS QUITE SILLY

            Right, which is why I said it results from random mutation AND natural selection. An implied and/or there. (You added artificial selection into the mix, which is fine… a historically late variation when humans started intervening to remove natural selection pressure.)

            Speaking of artificial selection, I remember Genesis 30:39 that explains the science that Jacob had his animals mate in front of stripes to make the offspring striped. That’s probably microevolution.

            IF LIFE BEGAN AS NUMEROUS DIFFERENT LIFE FORMS, COMMON ANCESTRY EVOLUTION DOES NOT REQUIRE MACRO-EVOLUTION.

            True, if we are content with supernatural explanations, we don’t need any of science. Sadly, it is the nature of some humans to look for evidence to confirm affirmations and ask “how”.

            IF YOU SAW A LEGO SPACESHIP YOU WOULD ASSUME SOMEBODY DESIGNED IT, AND THAT THEY DIDN’T JUST TOSS SOME PIECES INTO A WASHING MACHINE AND OUT POPPED THE SPACESHIP, THAT WOULD BE RIDICULOUS.

            That you claim this is an analogy in any way to evolution through natural selection tells me that you either don’t understand the basic tenets of the theory, or you wish to deliberately misrepresent it.

            As you have affirmed that you will deny without consideration any facts that conflict with your holy book, to discuss the convergent independent lines of physically demonstrable evidence of the fossil record, morphology, embryology, biogeography, endogenous retroviruses and genetics (which would be more than enough evidence, without any of the others) would be wasting time and words.

            I spent my life studying the Bible, and with all the more vigor after I stopped believing it. I wish that everyone sought to understand the positions they reject in the same way.

            However, if I have misread your positions in any way and you seek a dialog, my apologies and we can continue.

          • “You insinuated that scientists can’t be trusted because you believe they work toward preconceived conclusions, mere paragraphs after dismissing out-of-hand evidence merely and proudly because it doesn’t mesh with your preconceived conclusion that the Bible, as you interpret it, is true. Perhaps more projection than hypocrisy.”

            How is it hypocrisy when both of my statements are saying the same thing? We all start with preconceived notions. The idea that scientists are unbiased is ridiculous. Nowhere was I saying that scientists can’t be trusted because they start with presuppositions. Everyone starts with presuppositions. That is why we are able to interpret evidences and arrive at conclusions, because we think we know other things about the world, and there has to be a core, cornerstone, foundational belief. So I don’t know where you are getting the idea that those statements are hypocritical.

            “Right, which is why I said it results from random mutation AND natural selection.”

            Except biological change by producing offspring, dominant and recessive genes and what not, ISN’T natural selection. Natural selection is simply what happens when organisms more fit within an environment have a higher likelihood to survive and therefore have a higher likelihood to pass on their traits. Natural selection doesn’t cause change, it just favors the survivability of organisms with the changes that make them the most fit.

            “True, if we are content with supernatural explanations, we don’t need any of science. Sadly, it is the nature of some humans to look for evidence to confirm affirmations and ask “how”.”

            There is a difference between assuming a supernatural and simply not assuming an exclusively natural. We don’t have to automatically assume creation just because we aren’t automatically assuming naturalism. Therefore we shouldn’t be obligated to assume naturalism just because we personally choose to not believe in the supernatural. That is still unscientific.

            “That you claim this is an analogy in any way to evolution through natural selection tells me that you either don’t understand the basic tenets of the theory, or you wish to deliberately misrepresent it.”

            This is an analogy to abiogenesis, not the alleged biological change process of evolution. Go look at the part of your post that this message responded to, and you will notice that it is about abiogenesis. You can have the building blocks of life without having life itself, just like you can have the building blocks of a LEGO spaceship without having a LEGO spaceship itself, and the presence of the building blocks doesn’t imply that said building blocks would eventually spontaneously form a spaceship through random unguided means.

            “As you have affirmed that you will deny without consideration any facts that conflict with your holy book, to discuss the convergent independent lines of physically demonstrable evidence of the fossil record, morphology, embryology, biogeography, endogenous retroviruses and genetics (which would be more than enough evidence, without any of the others) would be wasting time and words.”

            The single greatest evidence for evolution is the massively popular opinion that it has lots of evidence, and that is usually the line that 95% of all evolution ‘debates’ begin and end with. Apart from that there really isn’t anything all that convincing. I ask all sorts of people for evidence, and the best that they can come up with usually boils down to highly specific confirmation bias, aka: “Evolutionists thought this might happen, or that this might be here, and look it did/is!” followed by the statement of “Science makes predictions, and if it can’t predict it’s not science!” all to coalesce into a ‘scientific proof’ that involves no actual testing or direct observation of any evolution, but rather merely interpretations of events that evolutionists ‘claim’ are the result of evolution, while also refusing to acknowledge that these observations could have different interpretations.

Comments are closed.