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Can evolution disprove the god hypothesis?

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Evolution doesn't disprove the "god hypothesis" or "intelligent design" (although the designer is pretty stupid, if you look at the evidence) but it renders them unnecessary.

And then one can apply Occam's Razor and say that entities which are unnecessary (have no detectable effect) should be discarded.

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You can't disprove a supernatural being. Maybe they simply controlled everything to such a degree that everything only appears to have evolved.

Does strain belief though. Lot of apparently deaths and dead ends when an all powerful being could have jumped straight to the end result.

Code really suggests a lack of intelligence involved. Spaghetti or disorganized code.

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Isn't heaven a concept associated with god? The place where most of our dead relatives are. If we have a common ancestor with chimpanzees, doesn't that mean chimps also go to heaven? When did god decide to impart a soul to the human body? A million years after the common ancestor between chimpanzees and humans? What makes humans so different from chimpanzees? 

It clear that humans are part of the animal kingdom and few believe that all animals go to heaven. Therefore, Heaven is a myth and so is God.

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3 hours ago, Vexen said:

Isn't heaven a concept associated with god? 

Some gods, not all.

3 hours ago, Vexen said:

If we have a common ancestor with chimpanzees, doesn't that mean chimps also go to heaven?

In some religions. Not others.

3 hours ago, Vexen said:

What makes humans so different from chimpanzees? 


3 hours ago, Vexen said:

It clear that humans are part of the animal kingdom and few believe that all animals go to heaven. Therefore, Heaven is a myth and so is God.

That is not a logical argument.

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  • 2 months later...


As I said elsewhere, I am brand new to this discussion forum. If there is a sub-forum designated for introductions, please feel free to point me in the right direction. (I briefly had a look around but found nothing obviously intended for that.) 

Having said that, I wish to tackle these questions of yours but please notice that I have expressed them here in my own words. I did this in hope of demonstrating that I have properly understood what you were asking. If I have not, please be encouraged to explain your question more precisely.

1. Can evolutionary science disprove the God hypothesis? Does our evolutionary history preclude an intelligent designer?

My immediate response to this question was, "There is no God hypothesis." But then my mind promptly drifts to that portion of my bookshelf where there is a book by Victor J. Stenger called God: The Failed Hypothesis (2007). [1] Okay, so I know that some have tried to pretend there is but, as with Stenger, their efforts are usually so embarrassingly weak or bereft of logical merit that we would all be doing them a favor by acting as if they never made the attempt. (Honestly, a first-year philosophy student could identify the glaring problems in Stenger's arguments, and yet he is an adjunct professor of philosophy? Or maybe the dust jacket was supposed to say "defunct" professor.)

Nevertheless, God is not a working hypothesis proposed for anything, much less evolution. There is no God hypothesis for evolution to disprove. [2]

So much for that question. However, there is more to be said. In the vein of science and critical thinking, it's worth pointing out that it would be impossible to even formulate a God hypothesis in the first place because there are two insurmountable problems at the outset: the first being the utter lack of a clearly defined God amenable to empirical testing, and the second being the complete inability to control for God in natural processes. In other words, this is not falsifiable even in principle, as there is no conceivable test for it. You cannot even begin. Anyone wanting to claim that evolutionary science rules out the involvement of deity in natural processes would find it more than a little challenging to formulate an adequate and falsifiable hypothesis for that.

Furthermore, since it is a logical fallacy to assume the very thing to be proved, you cannot start with the premise that evolution is a "purely natural" process (i.e., that it operates without divine input) if you're reaching for the conclusion that evolution disproves or rules out God. It must remain a faith claim that one assumes, for it is not a conclusion reached scientifically. 

The scientific theory of evolution is a natural explanation but it is not a naturalistic one (viz. metaphysical naturalism). It describes natural processes but that does not automagically rule God out. You may speak of natural processes using scientific language—even describing or explaining things in exquisite detail—but you have not thereby magically ruled God out. As a strictly scientific theory, evolution is religiously neutral; God is neither excluded nor included. Whether or not he guided that process is a question which science cannot answer. It is a theological question, not a scientific one.

Let us grant for the sake of argument a point made by Michael Shermer, that since divine providence appears to be indistinguishable from nature operating on its own (he is mistaken here), no supernatural explanation is called for when doing science. [3] This sentiment is akin to something which Pierre Laplace is supposed to have said to Napolean Bonaparte: "I had no need of that hypothesis." Indeed, I am in agreement with this. Leave out the supernatural when doing science. Historically, that is how the very best science has been done. (The irony escapes creationists who go on to use those results in their arguments for God.) But as a skeptic I would have to insist on the rational acknowledgement that the one proposition (no supernatural explanation is called for when doing science) is very, very different from the other proposition (nature operates on its own).

Consider the following example. I might explain to my son that meteorology is the scientific study of the weather, particularly with regard to the atmospheric distribution of pressures, temperatures, and moisture which produce such phenomena as winds, clouds, storms, and precipitation. And these normal day-to-day weather changes are part of a larger pattern of fluctuation known as climate. Now, notice that my statements have not included any reference to a God who commands the weather. Does that allow my son to conclude that meteorology is therefore naturalistic, ruling out any supernatural activity of God? Of course not. 

Neither evolution nor science is naturalistic (i.e., godless). The presence or activity of God is simply ignored—and that's a good thing. I will allow Denis Alexander to explain why: "There is a tradition in modern science not to use 'God' as an explanation in scientific discourse. This tradition was nurtured by the early founders of the Royal Society partly in an attempt to let the natural philosophers (as scientists were then called) get on with their job without becoming embroiled in the religious disputes of the time, but also in recognition that the universe is, in any case, all the work of a wise Creator—so using God as an explanation for bits of it didn't really make much sense, given that God was in charge of all of it" (emphasis mine). [4]

2. And heaven, what is the demarcation for species that go to heaven and those that don't?

On my view, the demarcation is a covenant relationship with God in Christ, which exists only with our species.

3. When did God impart souls to our species?

I answered this question in the relevant thread you started.

-- John M. Bauer


[1] Victor J. Stenger, God: The Failed Hypothesis – How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist (New York: Prometheus Books, 2007). 

[2] This should not be considered an odd statement for a Christian to make. I am indeed an evangelical Christian and obviously believe in God, nevertheless he is not a hypothesis. For Christians, God is not a conclusion to be drawn but a premise to be held, necessarily, an axiomatic presupposition, the predicate of all intelligibility and more. But a hypothesis he is not.

[3] Michael Shermer, Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown (New York: Owl Books, 2006), 177. With respect to science, the expression "supernatural explanation" really bugs me. Why? Well, returning to Pierre Laplace and another salient point he made, it's because the supernatural explains absolutely anything, predicts utterly nothing, and ends the search. It is therefore scientifically bankrupt.

[4] Denis R. Alexander, Creation or Evolution: Do We Have to Choose? (Oxford, UK: Monarch, 2008), 183–184.

P.S. For what it is worth, I am an evolutionary creationist. This denotes a theological view that deals with how to understand the science of evolution from within a biblical world-view. It is not a scientific theory or research program, it is a theological view and thus argued by different principles and methods than that which governs science. It is the belief that natural processes, orchestrated by God's ordinary providence in accordance with his good pleasure and the purposes of his will, are the means by which God brings forth all things including the existence of mankind.

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