Evolution and Religion

One of the favorite tactics of anti-evolutionists is to argue that evolutionary theory is itself a relgion. There are numerious problems with this view point. Usually this view relies on the logical fallacies of equivocation, and the argument from ignorance.

Often times these arguments will note that scientists believe in evolutionary theory and that some people believe in religion. Hence both evolutionary theory and religion are “beliefs”. Q.E.D, evolution is a religion. The problem is that belief is not so simple a word that it has only one meaning that is exactly the same in all cases. For example, I believe that if I drop a rock it will fall to the ground. Why do I believe this? I have witnessed it an untold number of times. I have seen rocks (and other objects) fall to the ground so many times and never once seen anything fall up into the sky, that I believe the theory of gravity. There is no religion here, no dogma and casting anybody who believes in gravity as some sort of religious gravitist is just silly.

A slightly different version will use the word “faith”. They’ll note that most scientists put a great deal of faith in the explanatory power of evolutionary theory. Then they’ll note that religious people have faith in the existence of God. Evolutionary theory is religion, Q.E.D. Again, this is taking a word whose meaning is ambiguous and using that ambiguity to muddy the waters. I have faith the sun will rise tomorrow becuase I have a boat load of evidence that the sun rises everyday. In fact, I have over 13,505 observations that everyday the sun has risen and oddly enough not one where the sun has not come up. Then there are things like the theory that outlines the motion of the planets, astronauts going into space and observing the rotation of the earth, etc. All this evidence suggests that in probabilistic terms I’d be a fool to not expect the sun to rise tomorrow. Hence, I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow. With regards to religion faith is different. You are to have faith in God without such cold hard evidence.

The other favorite tactic is to claim that there are gaps in the theory of evolution hence it is suspect and anybody who believes in eovlutionary theory must be dogmatic. This either is due a complete lack of understanding of the scientific process or a deliberate attempt to mislead those who don’t understand the scientific process. Basically, we should believe any theory that has the highest probability of being true. Suppose we have two theories, X and Y. We also have evidence, E. Now, given E what is the probability that X and Y are true? Which ever probability is higher is the one we should go with. Now if it turns out that X has the higher probability then it is irrelevant if X has “holes” or “gaps”. It is the best that we have now, and that is what we should go with. Does this mean that X is “True” in some universal sense? No. We should always be prepared to revise our probability of X being true as new evidence becomes available.

And that leads us to Intelligent Design (ID). ID has no evidence. Some might point to Irreducible Complexity (IC), but evolutionary theory can explain IC structures. Further, think about what ID gives us. ID posits and intelligent designer. Does ID tell us who the designer is? No. Does it tell us how the designer arrived at the design? Nope. Does it give any idea about future designs or changes in the current design? No again. What does ID tell us? Well besides there being an intelligent designer, nothing, nada, zip. As far as I can tell ID has no content.

In contrast we have evolutionary theory and science. Is evolutionary theory cast in stone? No. The current theory of evolution is very different than what Darwin posited. Now we have genetics, and genetic mutation, genetic drift. There is Margulis’ symbiogenesis that argues that symbiotic fusion of genomes is a significant factor in inherited variation. Initially this view was seen as kooky and was vigorously opposed by mainstream biologists. But Margulis kept at it (in the lab unlike IDists who seem to spend most of their time in court or lecturing politicians) and provided the evidence for her “kooky” theory and it is now considered a significant step forward. Margulis theory is actually a challenge to neodarwinist thinking, but it is based on naturalism and does not invoke a supernatural being. Current evolutionary theory has adopted Margulis’ work and keeps on going.

So is evolutionary theory a religion? No. Any attempt to argue the contrary is completely ridiculous. Are there gaps in the theory of evolution? Sure there are, but this is true for every theory out there. It is likely that some of most well understood and accepted theories in physics will be found to be wrong in some small detail? Should we thus conclude an intelligent designer is “filling” that gap? And yes, biologists and scientists have “faith” and “believe” in their theories and hypotheses. They have this belief and faith precisely because of the evidence they have in support of their theories and hypotheses. Religion on the other hand does not work in the same manner. As far as I know, there is no theory that lays out the exact limitations and abilities of God. But who knows, maybe this is what ID advocates are actually advocating, put limitations on God and telling him what exactly he can and can’t do.

FILED UNDER: Education, Science & Technology,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. DL says:

    The mistake is made, I believe, when one assumes that an evolutionary scientist cannot also have belief in God as Creator. Why should one negate the other? It is possible for people of God to have faith that God created the world through evolution.

    As it is, both sides have faith in their own view to a degree. Surely there is knowledge outside of science and surely, scientific truth cannot be against a God who is “all truth!”

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    DL,

    I don’t have a problem with that position. I think one can take the position you have outlined and do good science. This is another thing that annoys me with the Creationists/Anti-Evoluiontists. They love to protray their opponents as proselytizing atheists when that isn’t (always) the case.

  3. Herb says:

    E Gads Steve:

    Now you are on the evolution kick, Somehow this does not become you. Whatever happened to the Oil Comapny Gouging with gasoline prices.

    The big oil companies are AGAIN posting record profits between 34% to 80 plus percent.

    I liked you better when you talked anout oil.

  4. RJN says:

    You have confidence that a rock will fall when you drop it, not faith. You have faith in punctuated equilibrium. You have faith in unguided preconditions for life, and in unguided destinations for life.

    We all have confidence in natural selection.

  5. Steve Verdon says:

    RJN,

    Nope, I have faith that the rock will drop to the ground…as in,

    Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

    Religion on the other hand has faith as in,

    Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

    As I noted, it is equivocation to use the word faith and its ambiguous meaning to muddy the waters.

    Herb,

    Yeah, I see that profits are very high for some oil companies. But I’m also quite interested in evolution and the philosophy of science.

  6. anjin-san says:

    Why do God & evolution have to be mutually exclusive? Why would God want to create a static universe? We have to be careful about being too sure of God’s intentions, we are trying to interpet them with what is basically the brain of a souped-up monkey. Or in some cases, not so souped-up. (See Herb).

  7. RJN says:

    Steve, you are making my case for me. The definition you offer for faith is how evolutionists see the unproven aspects of their theory.

  8. Anderson says:

    Speaking of God and Darwin, did you see Mark Kleiman’s summary of a talk by a Dominican biologist-theologian? Serious ID-ass-kickin’.

  9. Allen says:

    Evolution is compatible with deism, but the major world religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Each of these religions have texts that describe the creation of the universe with certain details and timeframes which fly in the face of science. Only by being intellectually dishonest and twisting the text into something it doesn’t say can one attempt to reconcile the two. People need to face the fact that these religions are primitive texts created by primitive people with little or no understanding of science. That is why they claim the stars are hung on the firmament of the sky, the moon is in the second or third heaven, etc. It’s Santa Claus for adults, and until we outgrow this stuff, holy wars and religious extremism will not go away.

  10. Allen says:

    Evolution is compatible with deism, but NOT the major world religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.

    Sorry for the typo.

  11. Steve Verdon says:

    Allen,

    I agree. I think many (most?) religions these days need to realize that their early scriptures cannot be taken at face value for the very reasons you cite.

    Anderson,

    No, I hadn’t read it until just now. Sounds like an excellent talk, wish I had known about it.

  12. Tom Clark says:

    There are probably a hundred scientific theories which a nonscientist would find unbelievable, but incredulity is not a scientific standard. That is not to say that if you find theories unbelievable that you’re weak-minded, even Einstein had problems with the uncertainty principle. I am not an atheist when I question intelligent design, but as a scientific theory ID is useless; it cannot be tested and can predict nothing. As a philosophy it is also useless because it is all about the pretense of being a scientific theory. ID is a fools attempt to supplant proof of God for inspiration. Doesn’t that shows the desperation of one’s faith? Are the ID proponents that seriously lacking in conviction?

  13. John Nielsen says:

    Well done, well said. As a classic conservative and the son and uncle of scientists, I have long been disgusted with the Dominionists assuming their faith-based junk science should be accepted.

    They can scream about it all they like in church, but keep this crap out of my son’s science classes. Life is confusing enough as is.

    Regards.

  14. floyd says:

    the theory of evoluton is not a religion, it is just bad science. to believe it as presently presented is to believe a tornado could pass through a junk yard an turn out a perfect 747. iknow,i know; an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters…..[:

  15. Evolution is a religion because it presumes a belief about God. Consider these two positions.

    Position A: Life evolved on Earth through natural processes.

    Position B: Life evolved on Earth through the will of an external intelligence.

    Now, presume for the sake of argument that there exists at least one external intelligence with an interest in life on Earth. Position A becomes ludicrous; it simply cannot be the case. If there is such an external intelligence, it would necessarily have exerted an influence. (See Heisenberg.)

    Assume the opposite. Suddenly, position B becomes ludicrous. If there is no external intelligence, it cannot exert an influence.

    So to assert position A presumes *disbelief* in God just as the assertion of position B presumes belief. Since the decision clearly hinges on one’s belief in or about God, the two sides may be productively termed religions.

    Which means an argument about evolution v. creation is really an argument about whether there is a God, and as such neither side can ever win.

  16. RJN says:

    Caliban Darklock: There is a third possible position. Position C obtains when a Naturally Evolved Intelligence goes forth into space and comes upon a planet ripe for enhancement. Is this ridiculous? I don’t know; it may be inevitable.

  17. conservatives are gayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
    and they have all the wrong ideas and are really stupid and gay. thank you

    I think that is more than enough y’s.
    Steve

  18. RJN says:

    Jacob, you are so sweet. You have so much insight.

  19. Steve Verdon says:

    the theory of evoluton is not a religion, it is just bad science. to believe it as presently presented is to believe a tornado could pass through a junk yard an turn out a perfect 747.

    This notion has been debunked so often I’m surprised anybody still uses it.

    This is basically a strawman argument.

    Which means an argument about evolution v. creation is really an argument about whether there is a God, and as such neither side can ever win.

    Again, not true. One can believe in both God and the natural process. Why must an intelligent agency intervene? You are assuming facts not in evidence.

  20. DaveScot says:

    Steve,

    Another article of faith is that accumulated small mutations create novel new cell types, tissue types, organs, and body plans.

    Now we’ve never actually observed any of these things happening in the wild or in a laboratory. The stock explanation from evolutionists is that these things take millions of years and large populations.

    Well, sorry. That’s wrong on several counts. First of all the fossil record is one of long periods of evolutionary stasis where a species remains the same then bang, zoom, off to the evolutionary moon a new species suddenly appears. The stock ad hoc explanation for this unpredicted fossil testimony is that speciation occurs rapidly in small isolated populations (perhaps you’ve heard of Punctuated Equilibrium Theory [punk eek] by Stephen J. Gould?). So much for the large populations and millions of years.

    So why haven’t we observed some novel new cell types, tissue types, organs, or body plans happening in small populations in the wild? Still takes too long, they say.

    Now we might ask why haven’t been able to make this happen in a laboratory? We use chemicals and radiation to accelerate mutation rates thousands of times above the base rate in nature thus putting evolution on “fast forward” effectively eliminating the “not enough time” excuse. Morever, flies hatched in laboratories don’t have to compete with other flies to reproduce. If there’s anything at all of interest we separate that fly and breed his line further.

    Have we observed any novel new cell types, tissue types, organs, or body plans doing this? Nope. Not in a hundred years of trying. They’re all still fruit flies with nothing new. We got a few monsters with legs where their eyes should be and other grotesqueries that would never survive in nature but nothing novel and useful.

    Or look at dogs. 20,000 years man has been breeding dogs for helpers in hunting, herding, guarding, and really for any unique new trait that makes for an interesting dog. As a result we have today true breeding lines from Chihuahuas to Saint Bernards but you know what, they’re all still dogs and can all interbreed. Nothing changed except superficialities like ratio of leg length to body length, color of coat, thickness of coat, length of ears, yada yada yada. Again, these animals don’t have to survive the natural selection process because when people get a neat breed of dog they breed it true for fun and profit.

    Yet, Steve, with not a single shred of empirical evidence evolutonary biologists tell me it’s as sure as the law of gravity that random mutation plus natural selection turned bacteria into people over billions of years.

    Believing that is a matter of faith, Steve. Pure and simple faith.

    I ain’t swallowing it. I’m not from Missouri but when it comes to science I demand to be shown these things. Leave the faith in church. Just the facts in science please.

    And the fact is that evolution beyond minor adaptations to the environment within the same species is as unproven as the Greek gods on Mount Olympus.

    Keep the faith, Steve.

    No really, keep it. I don’t want your faith.

  21. RJN says:

    Steve: I believe just as you say. I believe in God, Christ, natural processes, and mutation and natural selection.

    ID proponents say that more is required than natural processes to get where we are. The mathematical rules, and coefficients within those rules seem to be set up for life to evolve and increase in complexity. We say that an independent intelligence likely made those rules.

    We also claim that there were deliberate upgrades to the DNA of humans. I greatly respect science, and I will point out that it was the peoples of religion who developed, and formalized, the estates of science.

    If I have misstated the case of what ID is, please offer me corrections.

  22. Steve Verdon says:

    How do we know that Lucy (or any fossil for that matter) is from the lineage that produced us when we have no DNA evidence from any of them?

    The short answer is we don’t know if these fossils are from our lineage or not. We think they might be because of superficial resemblances.

    You’re right we don’t have the DNA evidence, but that isn’t the only kind of evidence there is. There is, as you point out, fossil evidence. And while it isn’t complete, this does not negate the theory of evolution. Pointing to the “incompleteness” of data is not how one judges a theory.

    But I bet you have faith that they are indeed part of our lineage, right?

    Faith is for religion, Steve. Let’s stick to what we know to be true and leave the evolutionary story telling to people who write science fiction.

    And there it is the equivocation. While you are right that faith is part of religion, faith is not limited only to religion.

    Another article of faith is that accumulated small mutations create novel new cell types, tissue types, organs, and body plans.

    Now we’ve never actually observed any of these things happening in the wild or in a laboratory. The stock explanation from evolutionists is that these things take millions of years and large populations.

    Actually, speciation events have been observed in the laboratory and in the field.

    Well, sorry. That’s wrong on several counts. First of all the fossil record is one of long periods of evolutionary stasis where a species remains the same then bang, zoom, off to the evolutionary moon a new species suddenly appears.

    Actually that “bang, zoom off” is usually a very long time period geologically speaking. Also, this “imperfection” in the fossil record you are pointing too is also explained by the fact that fossil formation is a rare event. We can’t expect a nice gradient of fossils for all species.

    Further, you are not in contradiction with your earlier claim about mutations. Small population studies reveals that small, geographically isolated populations can evolve more quickly. Then if the geographical isolation “ends” then the new species migth displace the “older” species.

    Virtually all of your “objections” have an answer at talkorigins.org. So, why should I invoke an unseen, unknown, completely wide open, and supernatural designer when natural processes can also provide the answer?

    No really, keep it. I don’t want your faith.

    Bwahahahaha. Contradict yourself much? I thought you said that faith was for religion and hence evolutionary theory is religion…no you are apparently repudiating that position.

  23. Steve Verdon says:

    If I have misstated the case of what ID is, please offer me corrections.

    RJN,

    If you say, “The mathematical rules, and coefficients within those rules seem to be set up for life to evolve and increase in complexity. We say that an independent intelligence likely made those rules.” I don’t have a problem with that. I see that as a deist view (assuming I am reading you correctly).

    How this differs from ID is that if the “rules” are set up as you say, then that means that nature is set up that way. At least that is my take on it. Hence I see it as a way of reconciling naturalism and deism. No problems from me. I don’t believe it, but it is a question that is, as far as I can see, that is beyond empirical verification. But as I said, you wont hear a complaint from me on this.

    I can see somebody who holds the beliefs you outlined doing good science, promoting evolutionary theory and so forth. What the ID proponents argue is that at certain points the designer intervenes. The flagellum or a specific protein is created complete. In short, the IDist is saying precisely the opposite of what you are saying: that the “rules” are set up so that the irreducibly complex (or complex specified information) cannot arise.

    Is your view a type of intelligent design? I suppose, but I see it as being compatible with what an atheistic evolutionary biologist would conclude…you’d just have different starting points and some different interpretations. For example, you might see the beauty and wisdom of God and he’d see the amazing power of nature.

    If I’ve misread you let me know. Also, have you checked out Kenneth Miller’s book Finding Darwin’s God? I want to read it, just don’t have the time right now.

  24. RJN says:

    If it helps define what I believe, I can say that it is within my beliefscape that we exist in a computer . Think Ray Kurzweil’s singularity + 3000 or so years.

    No speculations of that sort interfere with, or diminish, my religious beliefs; so I think. I don’t know how anyone of my sort can not speculate about matters of importance.

    BTW: The way Bible prophecy is, I think, being fulfilled in events is a strong argument that we have a knowing God.

  25. DaveScot says:

    I see you kept the faith!

    I knew you would.

    LOL!

    You need a better science background, Steve. I’d change the subject if I were you.

  26. floyd says:

    caliban ; the truth has already won, the evolutionists just don’t know it …yet ; faith is merely the opposite of fear ,be patient with them and let them believe what they choose. carl sagan once said ” nothing in being absolutely sure ;precludes a man from being dead wrong” [paraphrase] carl now knows that is true in his case. it seems the people that talk the most about faith ,know the least about it . i’ve read darwin, wells & moses and i would not ban any one of them

  27. Boris says:

    As demonstrated by some comments on this thread, pretty much the only way to HONESTLY argue against evolution is from ignorance.

    For example, take RJN’s comment about faith in punctuated equilibrium. This phenomenon is not theoretic, it is observed in the fossil record. Therefore, as for any other observation, only faith in your own senses is required.

    As another example, take floyd’s comments about random processes. It is a fundamental misunderstanding of Evolution to claim it is unguided (this applies to RJN too) like a tornado passing through a junkyard. Sure, there are random processes that introduce novelty into genomes (and that’s an empirical fact, not an article of faith), but from the resulting variants are selected only those that work best for a certain niche in a certain environment (how much faith do you require to accept such an intuitive concept?) Thus, the evolutionary destination of any species is indeed constrained — and powerfully so — by the surrounding environment (which in turn is constrained by such things as the laws of physics as well as the natural history of that environment, of planet Earth, of the solar system, of the Milky Way galaxy, and ultimately of the entire universe.)

    I like sometimes to conceptualize evolution by natural selection as a process that discovers, encodes, and accumulates information about the universe. By maximizing fitness within a certain environment, an organism is essentially accumulating within its genome encoded information about this environment’s static and dynamic properties. However (and thankfully) this is not the only possible strategy for empowerment through “knowledge” — though it certainly is the simplest.

    We humans come from a long line of species which grew increasingly less specialized for any particular environment but rather ever more “generic” and flexible in dietary and habitat requirements, gradually developing a way to encode ever larger amounts of information by learning it over an individual’s lifetime (a very quick way to adapt to change) rather than by hard-coding it into the DNA of the species (which can only adapt to very gradual changes in the environment.) Our intelligence is our species’ main adaptation; it is the method by which our genus managed to endure all the climate catastrophes and all the radical changes in African flora and fauna over the last few million years.

    Our existence and our human qualities, while not strictly inevitable in this universe of ours, are nevertheless a direct result of our universe’s very nature at all levels of existence — from the subatomic to the astronomical. Therefore, to call any of it “random” is simply nonsensical.

  28. floyd says:

    steve ; surely when you say “our intelligence” you mean “your intelligence” which you strain so hard to demonstrate to those of us less evolved. the tornado reference was intended to show gullibility , not similitude.

  29. floyd says:

    steve; if evolution is not unguided ; who’s guiding it?

  30. Boris says:

    Not “who” guides it, but “what”. The laws of physics guide evolution. Of course, laws of physics need some initial conditions to be set up before they could apply. Thus, both the current genome (with the resulting phenotype) and the configuration of the environment (including other species, prey, predators, disease, parasites, etc.) at the given moment in time, guide evolution. In other words, the process of evolution of a particular species can never be isolated from its context and still make sense.

    By the way, regarding the objection that no new species, cell types, organs, etc. have been observed to emerge in the wild: I’d like to know, how it is that anyone can be so certain? Even today, there are many species in the world (especially of insects) that have yet to be discovered. If a new species of field mice evolves somewhere, when it is discovered it would simply be classified as a new species; nobody would know that it only became a separate species 20 years ago…

    As for the question of why hasn’t there been evolution in the lab, I’d think the answer is obvious. What utility would there be in spending years of effort and who knows what amounts of resources on an experiment that offers no practical value? Macroevolution is simply not controversial enough among the experts to warrant such a mammoth undertaking. Mutations, on the other hand, are routinely isolated in laboratories and bred into useful subpopulations — mostly for human disease modelling. These days, we have everything from narcoleptic dogs to super-healing mice — and that is even without any deliberate genetic engineering.

    Consider plant species, too. Do you think wheat can interbreed with its original wild ancestor? I don’t think so. And the same is true of other ancient agricultural staples such as corn, for example. All of these species were “domesticated” by humans who selected for certain favorable traits over the span of just 10 thousand years or so. Dogs, another example of domestication, do not interbreed with wolves (at least, not in the wild.) They may not have radically different organs, but they sure have radically different behavior (and that signifies some major alterations to the most complex organ in existence — the brain.)

    Of course these days, with whole-genome sequencing techniques rapidly advancing, it becomes possible to actually date the speciation events by counting the dissimilar SNP’s (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in the genomes of two related species, which are known to occur at an approximately constant rate over time — thus providing a handy molecular clock that has been proven to correlate well with fossil evidence.

    Incidentally, evolution.berkeley.edu is a good intro site to brush up on the basics as well as dispel any misconceptions.

  31. RJN says:

    Boris: I was referring to the faith that Stephen Jay Gould had in evolution when he postulated “punctuated equilibrium” as a fix for the lack of transitional step by step changes in the fossil record.

    Otherwise, nice post. I will add that one of the legs of the ID stool is the great improbability of the way our physics, and our solar system are set up for life. And chemistry: The exquisite capabilities, and complexities; the just so strong force, and the just so weak force, and the shells of electrons. These are so suspicious, to someone like me; it is all so incredibly improbable. And, the math says so too.

  32. Steve Verdon says:

    You need a better science background, Steve. I’d change the subject if I were you.

    Coming from you DaveScot and what I’ve seen of your posting at Dembski’s blog this is a compliment.

    Floyd,

    The tornado example is wrong because it does not accurately represent the probabilities in evolutionary theory. I know you weren’t meaning it literally, but using that chestnut to say, “Hey, these things are amazing unlikely…so unlikely nobody with an open mind would believe it.” But as I’ve said and so has Boris, the claims of extremely low probability are false and based on a mischaracterization of the relevant probabilities and processes.

    RJN,

    Otherwise, nice post. I will add that one of the legs of the ID stool is the great improbability of the way our physics, and our solar system are set up for life. And chemistry: The exquisite capabilities, and complexities; the just so strong force, and the just so weak force, and the shells of electrons. These are so suspicious, to someone like me; it is all so incredibly improbable. And, the math says so too.

    Actually, the math says exactly the opposite when looked at from a probabilistic stand point. Jefferys and Ikeda have a very nice and simple proof that learning that the universe is “fine tuned” as you note should actually increase our probability that the universe is guided by natural laws, or at best have no impact.

    I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but that is sometimes the case with probability theory. To this day people still don’t believe the Monty Hall problem, and lets not get started on Simpson’s Paradox.

  33. floyd says:

    steve; tornados are guided as well by the laws of physics , are they not?

  34. DaveScot says:

    “Coming from you DaveScot and what I’ve seen of your posting at Dembski’s blog this is a compliment.”

    Well then. Let me pay you an even higher compliment. You’re a real dumbass!

    LOL

    Postscript:

    Ah, I see I’ve been banned. I’ll add this site to all the others that banned me. Thanks. It’s an honor.

  35. Steve Verdon says:

    Davescot,

    I hate to throw some cold water on your persecution complex, but you haven’t been banned AFAIK.

    As for the rest of your post, it is just what I’d expect from one of Dembski’s lickspittles.

  36. Steve Verdon says:

    steve; tornados are guided as well by the laws of physics , are they not?

    Well are you sure? Maybe it is God. Describe a step-by-step description of how tornados form. Oh and any single gap will be proof that God forms tornados.

    So based on this divine intervention in regards to tornados…would it be all that shocking that a tornado in a junkyard produces a 747?

  37. floyd says:

    hmmm… nope,it’s physics, if you’re in doubt . It is just that you dismiss the creator and worship creation . where is your open mind or is the mind just a figment of…..??Brain function is an interesting subject but it is not the whole story.Being human , you are a spirit[in the image of God]. you have a soul [mind,will& emotions]. and you live in a body [brain,blood & tissue].Why dismiss more than half the truth without even exploring the foudational works on the subject?Where is your curiousity. is it fear or arrogance?

  38. floyd says:

    foudational should read foundational, excuse me

  39. floyd says:

    foudational should read,foundational,excuse me

  40. Steve Verdon says:

    Thanks for playing Floyd, but since you can’t describe the step-by-step process for a tornado clearly God creates them and hence the 747 is not only unsurprising, but a certainty…provided God wills it.

    Now I’m sure you are aware I’m joking around, but if you stop and think about what I’m writing you’ll see that you can’t win against my position. If a 747 doesn’t form, I’ve given myself a nice out: God didn’t will it.

    If one does form I win also. God willed it. No matter what, I win and you lose.

    Same thing with ID or any other “theory” that postulates and relies on a supernatural entity to do all the heavy lifting. The supernatural entity explains everything and hence nothing. Real science makes predictions that can be shown to be wrong–i.e., falsified or at least called into doubt.

    Evolutionary theory works this way. I highly recommend you read some of the stuff about Margulis’ work. You don’t have to delve into the nitty gritty advanced stuff, just some of the stuff written for laypeople such as you and me. Evolutionary theory will adopt non-neodarwinian processes that are based on natural processes and have the data to support them.

    All the rest of this is just verbal fencing. The problem is you have a spork and I have a rapier. For example, the problem with the tornado example is that it misrepresents the underlying evolutionary processes proposed by neodarwinian theory. Those processes are gradual and take a very long time. Hence the tornado-747 analogy is so faulty it isn’t even funny.

    Basically the tornado-747 analogy wants the entire object to spring into being fully formed in one fell swoop. If this actually happened in biological terms (i.e., a new species arising suddenly and fully formed from no ancestor) then that would be evidence for creationism, not evolutionary theory.

    Creationists use variants of this analogy. For example, Dembski’s paper on Searching Large Spaces posits “one true protein” that has to be found by a “darwinian” process. The problem is as follows:

    Evolutionary processes don’t care about any given protein. It doesn’t search for a target.

    Behe and Snoke used it in their paper as well. Sure, the probability for many biological structures is extremely small. But since evolutionary processes aren’t trying to find those specific “targets” these “small probabilities” really don’t mean much. Think of it this way.

    I flip a coin 1000 times. I get a random sequence of heads and tails. The probability of obtaining that sequence is 2^-1000. That is a very small number. What you and other creationists do, Floyd, is to insist that the initial sequence is the only valid sequence. Hence since nobody is likely to get that sequence we must invoke the supernatural or interference by an “intelligent agency”. But evolutionary theory doesn’t care what the sequence is. If we could go back 500 million years ago and start it all over in a huge do-over we probably wouldn’t get mankind, but we’d likely get something….or even maybe nothing. That is what evolutionary theory posits. Hence your tornado-747 stories are not even relevant.

  41. floyd says:

    ford,built my car, they don’t steer it. now it is clear that i understand evolution better than you understand creation .you may know what”other creationists” do but i am not a creationist, i’m a christian . as i pointed out earlier creation is more than the sum of it’s parts.you are most likely correct in much of what you say about the design of nature . even if you completely understand the “clockwork ” it is clear you haven’t seen it’s face, nor do you know how to tell time. never read a book without knowing something about the author.computers can hold facts, the mind can hold knowledge, but wisdom comes from God. fact is objective truth,knowledge is awareness of truth ,wisdom is understanding truth. you can not take nourishment with with a rapier so pick up the spork or you be too weak to do any real harm with your rapier . and don’t forget i have the sword of the spirit. eph.6:11-18 PS. you are a lot of fun, keep an open mind and desire for truth