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Re: [OriginsTalk] Re: A challenge-combined response Part 2

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  • steelville
    ... The creation of new information that is necessary for the origin of new forms , or kinds of species, is where you end up , but of course wherever it is
    Message 1 of 57 , Feb 1, 2009
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      > And, in fact, evolution is not goal directed. Wherever you end up is
      > immaterial to the process.
      The creation of new information that is necessary for the origin of new
      "forms", or "kinds" of species, is "where you end up", but of course
      wherever it is that you "end up", it has everything to do with the "how".

      Just like any information-based or data-based computer program, you need
      to *test* your digitized programming language code against a
      "*standard*", based on where you want to go.

    • Clare Wilson Parr
      ... As Jonathan Wells has rightly explained, According to historian Neal C. Gillespie, it is sometimes said that Darwin converted the scientific world to
      Message 57 of 57 , Feb 12, 2009
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        On 2/9/2009, gluadys wrote:

        > >Second, scientific theories that explain natural phenomena, like,
        > >say, gravity, don't pretend to explain away the first and final
        > >causes of the phenomenon _without remainder_.
        >Neither does evolution. The theory of evolution does not speak of first
        >or final causes

        As Jonathan Wells has rightly explained,

        According to historian Neal C. Gillespie, "it is sometimes said that
        Darwin converted the scientific world to evolution by showing them
        the process by which it had occurred," but "it was more Darwin's
        insistence on totally natural explanations than on natural selection
        that won their adherence." The Darwinian revolution was primarily
        philosophical, and Darwin's philosophy limited science to "the
        discovery of laws which reflected the operation of purely natural or
        'secondary' causes." Furthermore, "there could be no out-of-bounds
        signs. ... When sufficient natural or physical causes were not known
        they must nonetheless be assumed to exist to the exclusion of other causes."

        The assumption that everything is explicable by natural causes
        follows from materialistic philosophy. Darwin did not propose a
        hypothesis that was then confirmed by evidence - as truly great
        scientists have done. Instead, like Marx and Freud, Darwin provided
        what evolutionary biologist Douglas Futuyma has called "a crucial
        plank to the platform of mechanism and materialism" that now
        dominates Western thought. <<end quote>>

        >—only of proximate material causes of biodiversity.

        According to Darwin, Darwin's theory of evolution, and to the
        generations of Darwin's scientist-disciples that have carried the
        torch during the past 150 years, the material / efficient, causes you
        call proximate _are_ sufficient to explain the origin and
        multifariousness of the living world we inhabit _without remainder_.
        Darwinian material causes are both proximate AND ultimate: "nature"
        is its own cause.

        >All the deep time aspects of common descent can be indirectly observed
        >in the same way as the big bang, via evidence that is available in the
        >present. And all the other aspects of evolution (mutation, natural
        >selection, speciation) can be, and have been, observed as real time
        >natural phenomena.

        Flatly untrue. Inferences to the best natural explanation and
        observable, testable evidence are not equivalent.

        There's not a shred of observable, indirectly or otherwise, evidence
        that every species that has ever inhabited the planet we call earth
        is / was, a transmutation that descends[ed] from a universal common
        ancestor, nor is there a whit of observable, indirectly or otherwise,
        evidence that Darwin's "simple little algorithm," [random variation /
        mutation + natural selection] _can_, let alone has, cause[d] any
        transformative organic effect.

        > >The _real_ biological sciences ask how, not why.
        >I am agreeing with you.

        Well, no. You're not.

        >"why…" can be understood by both questioner and respondent as a
        >"how" question.

        True, but irrelevant to the discussion.

        > >And the _real_ biological sciences are practical. Whether the world's
        > >flora and fauna "evolved" from a universal common ancestor naturally
        > >or are God's special creations is a metaphysical question, the answer
        > >to which is irrelevant to _real_ science - as the history - and
        > >practice - of science attests.
        >Science has answered (in the negative) that today's species are
        >specially created.

        "Science" has done no such thing!

        >It also seems you have unwittingly adopted the atheistic metaphysical
        >notion that what occurs "naturally" occurs "without God".

        It seems to me that what it seems to you "I have uniwttingly adopted"
        is a wishful figment of your imagination that is utterly devoid of a
        kernel of rationality.

        >Since truth cannot contradict truth, it follows, for Christians, that
        >God, as creator, used evolutionary process to continually create new

        It follows that you have, again, egregiously begged the disputed
        question, that question being _what IS the truth_?

        >This is not a Christian understanding. The Christian understanding
        >is that nothing happens "naturally" without God. All natural
        >processes happen with God, with the active sustaining power and
        >cooperation of God, by God's will and for God's purposes.
        >Theologically, it is irresponsible to exempt evolution as a special case
        >of nature acting without God.

        Then address your complaint to Darwin and to the generations of his
        disciples who are guilty of "theological irresponsib[ility]."

        > >_Living_ organisms aren't dead matter in motion, physico-chemical
        > >"units of evolution." There is an unbridgeable ontological gap
        > >between the science of biology and the _living_ nature it studies,
        > >a chasm that Darwinian evolution denies. Matter doesn't live and
        > >die any more than matter breathes, feels, thinks, needs or
        > >desires.
        >Until the 19th century it was thought that the complicated chemistry
        >found in living things was unique.

        It is.

        >you think---misled apparently by your acceptance of atheist propositions
        >about God not being in the natural—you think evolution has something to
        >say about this great mystery of life.

        _Evolution_ may not say much about "this great mystery of life."
        However, _Darwinian_ evolution, "an epic saga about who we are, where
        we came from, and where we are going," says plenty about "this great
        mystery of life" - by pretending to explain "this great mystery away."

        Speaking of "atheist propositions," who is it that, not a month ago,
        wrote [just one of many for instances]:

        Why would a spiritual difference depend on evolution?

        Why would God need to transgress physical laws to ensoul humans when
        the soul is not physical?


        Your OriginsTalk messages testify to the fact that it is you, not I,
        who banishes God from the "natural" world.

        >The theory of evolution has nothing to say about the soul, mind,
        >freewill, moral laws or conscience—precisely because none of these
        >are part of biology.

        Which reflects _very_ economical use of the truth. I refer you to
        Darwin's _Descent of Man_ and to the mountain of "sociobiology" and
        "evolutionary psychology" texts and peer-reviewed scientific
        literature that his disciples have been publishing since Darwin's

        >Again you appear to allow yourself to be misled by the unfounded
        >claims of atheist commentators on evolution. I refer you to the
        >fourth post in this series (17152) for a Christian perspective.

        My _orthodox_ Christian perspective is informed by the ancients, the
        Church Fathers, by several Holy Fathers, most particularly Pope
        Benedict XVI, by lay Catholic philosophers, and by several Protestant
        / Reformed Christian philosophers [e.g., Dr. Plantinga and Dr.
        Craig]. Atheists, e.g., Dr. Nagel, Dr. Fodor, and Dr. Searle, have
        also informed and enriched my Christian perspective.

        > >There is no earthly reason that "science" must deny, a priori, that
        > >"evolution is guided by intelligence."
        >Absolutely correct. However, they can show that they have not found any
        >evidence of such guidance.

        Darwinian biologists explicitly deny a priori that "evolution is
        guided by intelligence / teleological, so, of course, that they "can
        show that they have not found any evidence of such guidance" is
        utterly unsurprising.

        >Remember the ID claim is not simply that biological design exists
        >(any evolutionist would agree to that). Nor is it simply that
        >evolution was guided by intelligence (any evolutionary
        >creationist would agree with that). It is that intelligent design
        >in biology is scientifically detectable­and distinct from designs
        >produced by the evolutionary process itself. That is the point in
        >question. To date there is no substantial case in favour of this
        > It also poses a theological conundrum. If detectable (non-evolved)
        >design in biology points TO a creator, does this mean that designs
        >produced through the evolutionary process point AWAY from a creator? Is
        >nature divided in its testimony to its Creator? No wonder many
        >Christians are skeptical of ID­not because of shaky scientific
        >foundations, but because of unacceptable theological implications.

        Since discussing ID theory with people who won't make even a token
        attempt to understand it is pointless, I won't bother. I will,
        however, note that the Church Fathers and Doctors, most notably St.
        Thomas Aquinas, solved your "theological conundrum" centuries [and
        centuries] ago....

        > >Any theory that prescribes that "chance and necessity,""trial and
        > >error," exhaustively explain the origin, nature and modes of being
        > >/ existence of earthly life, is _necessarily_ metaphysical.
        > >
        >But is it an anti-Christian metaphysic?

        Yes. Christian metaphysics necessitates that chance is _posterior_ to
        intelligence and nature, as I have explained. Not the ancients, the
        Church Fathers / Doctors, nor the popes can be understood if the
        person doing the understanding insists on using his own - "modern" -
        preconceptions instead of the metaphysical perspective[s] of the
        people whose thought is the object of understanding.

        >So what do you think of Darwin's responses to the various
        >difficulties apparently opposed to his theory?

        One long, boring fallacy.

        > >How did the first "minimal" genome "evolve?"
        > >
        >Not an 1859 question. This is one of the new questions and is the
        >subject of ongoing research. This really reaches into pre-biotic
        >scenarios of abiogenesis which predate evolution. The
        >"evolution" which generated the first genome could not be a
        >biological evolution of the genome.

        Abiogenesis, the thesis that the living [organic] emerged from the
        dead [inorganic], and the minimal genome are quite distinct
        phenomena. Darwinian evolution assumes a self-replicating molecule,
        not a _genome_ tucked in a cellular envelope.

        > >From what universal common ancestor has every species that's ever
        > >inhabited the planet we call home descended?
        >Not an 1859 question. Darwin did not insist on a single common ancestor.

        Darwin insisted, [_Origin of Species_]:

        <<quote>> [P]robably all the organic beings which have ever lived on
        this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which
        life was first breathed.

        The whole history of the world, as at present known, ... will
        hereafter be recognized as a mere fragment of time, compared with the
        ages which have elapsed since the first creature, the progenitor of
        innumerable extinct and living descendants, was created.

        When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal
        descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed
        of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become
        ennobled. <<end quote>>

        > >Why, since" simple" unicellular organisms are universally adaptive,
        > >did multicellular organisms evolve?
        >Not an 1859 question. Darwin said little to nothing of microbial life.
        >Since evolution is not purposive, so far as we can tell scientifically,
        >there is no particular scientific reason for multicellular life to
        >evolve. That is probably why it evolved so few times: only in
        >eukaryotes and only around four times successfully.
        > >How did asexual and sexual reproduction "evolve?" In the case of
        > >sexual reproduction, did both sexes "evolve" in parallel? Did
        > >the "spontaneous emergence" of one sex precede the"spontaneous
        > >emergence" of the other, and if so, how did that lonely sex
        > >reproduce?
        > >
        >Not an 1859 question. Darwin spoke of sexual selection as being
        >important to the changing form of species, but I don't know that he
        >broached the question of the evolution of sexual reproduction.
        > I expect ongoing research will turn up some hard answers to this
        > >How did biological systems,like, say, vision, "evolve?"
        > >
        >Finally an 1859 question. I refer you to Darwin's discussion of the
        >evolution of the eye.

        The question isn't "how did the _eye_ 'evolve'?" The question is,
        "how did biological SYSTEMS, like, say, VISION, 'evolve?"

        > >What is the relationship among the "species" from which man is said
        > >to have "evolved?"
        >Not an 1859 question though one Darwin did deal with in his later work
        >Descent of Man.

        IOW, during the 150 years since the Darwinian "evolution," not a one
        of the 1859 questions [most of which you deny Darwin even asked] has
        been answered, not to mention those pesky post-1859 questions that
        keep rearing their ugly little heads.

        >"What we know is that vertebrates inherited obligate
        >sexual reproduction."
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/16969
        See how easy it is to reference an earlier post, Clare? So why do you
        find it impossible when you wish to me to see one of your own former

        I don't, and have never suggested, that I "find it impossible" to
        "reference an earlier post," mine or anyone else's. If I "wish ...
        [someone] to see" archived OT commentary, I retrieve that commentary,
        copy, paste, and re-post it. If _I_ wish to see archived OT
        commentary, I don't demand that someone else do my busywork, _I_
        retrieve that commentary all by my lonesome. So can you.

        I also see how easy it is for a person to respond to an opponent's
        commentary in the first place, instead of deleting the commentary
        that he "doesn't like" from his replies, later pretending that
        commentary was never posted in the first place, then demanding that
        the _author_ search the list's archives, unearth and re-post the
        commentary. I've much better things to do with my time than play
        electronic hide-and-seek with someone who has demonstrated no
        willingness to debate fair and square.

        > >Really! Well, post a few references that illustrate unambiguously
        > >that randomness and natural selection explain the functional
        > >complexity of life then.
        > >
        >Glad to oblige
        >< http://toarchive.org/>
        >< http://www.tolweb.org/tree/>
        >< http://evolution.berkeley.edu/>
        >< http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/historyoflife.php>
        >< http://www.gate.net/%7Erwms/EvoEvidence.html>

        IOW, no, you cannot post a few references that illustrate
        unambiguously that randomness and natural selection explain the
        functional complexity of life.

        > >Actually, the point is that" the grand trends and transformations
        > >in evolution" are a by-product of wishful multiple speculations
        > >over time that are bereft of any empirical confirmation, a fact
        > >to which your Origins Talk posts very helpfully attest.
        >Last I looked, both genomes and fossils are empirical evidence. So are
        >the geographical placement of species, the patterns of embryonic
        >development and the morphological traits which define species'
        >taxonomical placement. The grand trends seen in all of these aspects
        >of biological study are better explained by the evolutionary
        >relationship of species than by any previous theory.

        Which is a lovely testament to your certain faith that quite
        helpfully verifies my claim....
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