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Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design


Epicman
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Well, this seems like a good place to start...

 

I am an author/scientist who has written a book about the Creation/Evolution/ID debate. My concept addresses the following statement:

 

A significant portion of the population is influential enough to cause our legislature to pass laws that restrict the freedom and funding for scientific research. One significant factor is the misconceptions that these people buy into concerning science. I believe the source of the misconceptions lies in the translation of scientific journals by unqualified members of the media. These unqualified media writers then add their sensationalistic twists and you have a controversy. My solution: scientists should either translate or supervise the translation of their work in layperson terminology for distribution to the masses.

 

Concerning my book "Come Together: Creation and Evolution Joined" the title itself suggests that I must address the debate from both a scientific and Biblical perspective. My purpose is to educate those who won't even consider anything scientific because of conflicts with their faith - that is the extreme - but I also address the issues from a scientific perspective too. In short I have found Biblical support for the majority of evolution theory, I have also proposed a science-based Theory of Intelligent Design and a Theory of Human Evolution that does not promote nor advocate any religious viewpoint.

 

What do you think?

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I agree wholeheartedly with what you say about members of the media distorting scientific findings, and promoting undue attention on sometimes questionable findings. In the Gaurdian's last 'life' supplement, the author of the 'bad science' column wrote an article saying words to the same effect, although in that case the focus was mainly on nutritional supplements and homeopathy.

 

As for educating people about religion and science, I'd say the main problem is getting people to understand that unguided evolution does not conflict with a belief in God, and then leave it for them to decide wether to be theist or not.

 

The only people who will have problems with that will be those who believe the words of their religious texts to be literally true, and in those instances you will probably find any kind of reasoning futile.

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I have also proposed a science-based Theory of Intelligent Design
Does it include evolution? I assume it does, since it's based on science, but such has been claimed for a lot that doesn't warrant it, recently.

 

a Theory of Human Evolution that does not promote nor advocate any religious viewpoint.
I'm curious about how this could be any different from the the currently accepted theory of human evolution. Is it any different?

 

 

Other than that, good for you if you're attempting, in some way, to put a stop to the deception practiced by YECs. On this bit, though:

scientists should either translate or supervise the translation of their work in layperson terminology for distribution to the masses.
Some scientists do this already. To me, though, the problem seems to be that people who aren't interested enough in science to go out of their way to understand it in it's native form probably aren't interested enough to try to understand a greatly simplified version of it either. I remember hearing somewhere that Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" is something like the most purchased-but-unread book ever, which gives some idea of the situation.
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sounds like some good ideas.

 

However can you explain "I have also proposed a science-based Theory of Intelligent Design"

 

From what i heard, the debate in the scientific community is that ID is not yet a theory. I would greatly appricate it if you can specify on these details.

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"Come Together: Creation and Evolution Joined"

 

In short I have found Biblical support for the majority of evolution theory

 

I have also proposed a science-based Theory of Intelligent Design and a Theory of Human Evolution that does not promote nor advocate any religious viewpoint.

 

What do you think?

 

No disrespect, but since you asked.....I think I have trouble with anyone who wishes to put Creation (ID) and Evolution in the same bottle...and your admission of finding biblical support for evolution "theory" leads me to suspect you are much more a creationist. ;)

 

I have not read your book or know you, so I won't comment further, but I am very interested in what others think about your proposal.

 

Bettina

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No disrespect' date=' but since you asked.....I think I have trouble with anyone who wishes to put Creation (ID) and Evolution in the same bottle...and your admission of finding biblical support for evolution "theory" leads me to suspect you are much more a creationist. ;)

 

I have not read your book or know you, so I won't comment further, but I am very interested in what others think about your proposal.

 

Bettina[/quote']

 

Intelligent Design is self defeating. It states that the universe is too complex to have been created by pure chance. Using this same hypothesis this would also mean that God is too complex to have been created by pure chance.

 

Case Closed.

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No disrespect' date=' but since you asked.....I think I have trouble with anyone who wishes to put Creation (ID) and Evolution in the same bottle...and your admission of finding biblical support for evolution "theory" leads me to suspect you are much more a creationist. ;)

 

I have not read your book or know you, so I won't comment further, but I am very interested in what others think about your proposal.

 

Bettina[/quote']

creation is not intelligent design. Though similar, they are completely different theories and should not be thrown in the same area.

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I am an author/scientist who has written a book about the Creation/Evolution/ID debate. My concept addresses the following statement: ... Concerning my book "Come Together: Creation and Evolution Joined" the title itself suggests that I must address the debate from both a scientific and Biblical perspective.

This has been done before. John Haught has several books on the topic. In the 1800s several theologians looked at creation (as distinct from creationism) and evolution.

James McCosh, The Religious Aspects of Evolution, 2d ed. 1890,

AL Moore, Science and Faith, 1889,

Lex Mundi, 12th edition, 1891

Is God a Creationist? ed by Roland Frye, 1983

 

Remember, creation is separate from creationism. ID is a form of creationism. Creation is the theological idea that God created. Creationism is a specific mechanism of HOW God created. Evolution is also a mechanism by which God created. So the conflict, for theists, is not between whether God created or not, but by which method God created.

 

My purpose is to educate those who won't even consider anything scientific because of conflicts with their faith

I doubt you will make much headway here. In the case of these people, their faith is in a literal Bible, and science does conflict with Biblical literalism.

 

In short I have found Biblical support for the majority of evolution theory,

:rolleyes: You and a couple of hundred other people. What do you think is the Biblical support?

 

I have also proposed a science-based Theory of Intelligent Design and a Theory of Human Evolution that does not promote nor advocate any religious viewpoint.

This ought to be good. Have you tested your theories against the available data in an attempt to show that they are wrong?

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Intelligent Design is self defeating. It states that the universe is too complex to have been created by pure chance. Using this same hypothesis this would also mean that God is too complex to have been created by pure chance.

 

Case Closed.

1. ID doesn't exactly state what you say, altho it is often mistated this way. ID states that the universe and living organisms are manufactured artifacts. IDers know that these are manufactured artifacts because they are too complex to have been produced by any known physical process (including natural selection).

 

2. If the statements is made as you say, then the contradiction is present. That is, if you categorically state that no complex entity can arise by pure chance and that pure chance is your only choice to intelligence, then yes, there inherently is no known origin for God.

 

However, that is irrelevant to the issue at hand. We aren't talking about the origin of God. We are talking about the origin of the universe and living organisms. Once we have answered that question, and IF the answer is that they were manufactured by an intelligent entity, THEN we ask how that entity arose.

 

IN an identical situation, we know the universe began in the Big Bang. What caused the Big Bang? The known laws of physics break down at the BB. So, none of the processes we know can account for the BB. Does that mean BB is self-contradictory? NO! It simply means we have to answer "We don't know what caused the BB". IDers would simply say "We don't know what caused God."

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As for educating people about religion and science, I'd say the main problem is getting people to understand that unguided evolution does not conflict with a belief in God, and then leave it for them to decide wether to be theist or not.

Part of the problem of science education is getting people to realize that we don't know whether evolution was unguided or not. :)

 

I know of at least 2 undetectable ways God could guide evolution. Since one was proposed by Dawkins and the other by Dennett (both atheists) I can't say that there is religious bias there.

 

The only people who will have problems with that will be those who believe the words of their religious texts to be literally true, and in those instances you will probably find any kind of reasoning futile.

I fully agree. For those people who worship a literal Bible, nothing will convince them. You are telling them their god is wrong. They won't accept that.

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creation is not intelligent design. Though similar, they are completely different theories and should not be thrown in the same area.

 

I disagree. ID implies a designer, which implies a creator, which implies a god, and should all be mixed in the same bottle.

 

Bettina

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1. ID doesn't exactly state what you say' date=' altho it is often mistated this way. ID states that the universe and living organisms are manufactured artifacts. IDers [b']know[/b] that these are manufactured artifacts because they are too complex to have been produced by any known physical process (including natural selection).

 

2. If the statements is made as you say, then the contradiction is present. That is, if you categorically state that no complex entity can arise by pure chance and that pure chance is your only choice to intelligence, then yes, there inherently is no known origin for God.

 

However, that is irrelevant to the issue at hand. We aren't talking about the origin of God. We are talking about the origin of the universe and living organisms. Once we have answered that question, and IF the answer is that they were manufactured by an intelligent entity, THEN we ask how that entity arose.

 

IN an identical situation, we know the universe began in the Big Bang. What caused the Big Bang? The known laws of physics break down at the BB. So, none of the processes we know can account for the BB. Does that mean BB is self-contradictory? NO! It simply means we have to answer "We don't know what caused the BB". IDers would simply say "We don't know what caused God."

 

I find the word "know" shocking, Lucas. Do you really mean to say this?

 

The grounds you give would be insufficient even if true.

 

Would you accept this substitution?

 

IDers suppose that these are manufactured artifacts because they suppose these are too complex to have been produced by any physical process (including natural selection) which IDers know about.

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..., we know the universe began in the Big Bang. What caused the Big Bang? The known laws of physics break down at the BB. So, none of the processes we know can account for the BB[/b']. Does that mean ...

 

I believe you are mistaken. The situation in cosmology has changed since Bojowald's paper of 2001.

 

A good many of the experts now believe that the laws of physics do NOT break down at the BB. The quantum cosmological model extends back earlier than that.

 

A good deal of current work is devoted to accounting for the BB.

 

By coincidence this absence of a BB singularity will be a major focus of a conference next week, in the Friday 14 October session.

If you wish to find out about it, please look at the programme, especially for Friday, at

 

http://loops05.aei.mpg.de/index_files/Programme.html

 

The relevant talks begin with at 12:20 with that of Roy Maartens followed by Ashtekar after lunch at 14:10.

 

Since 2001 scores of papers have explored the absence of BB singularity---it is just a fact that the original 1915 Gen Rel of Einstein BROKE DOWN at a certain point but that today's models which quantize Gen Rel, although they give the same results as Gen Rel a few seconds later, DO NOT break down, but continue on back in time. So we no longer can assume there is a singularity.

 

The big issue now is that in 2004 some people removed the BH singularity also----that is, they showed that when Gen Rel is quantized it no longer has a BH singularity either. So now, in 2005, a lot of research is focusing on the question of what is the relation between the BH and the BB ex-singularities.

 

PHYSICS CONTINUES THROUGH THEM but the question is, are they the same or not? A black hole contraction leads to an expansion forming a new tract of spacetime. And the BB model says that before expansion began there was a contraction (this should be TESTABLE by observing traces in the CMB, see Maartens papers). So the question is: physics continues through each ex-singularity, but does it match up?

 

Many of the articles about cosmology post-2001 are available online in preprint form at arxiv.org. There is a search engine. the easiest is just to look for papers by Bojowald,

http://arxiv.org/find/grp_physics/1/au:+bojowald/0/1/0/all/0/1 and then see who his co-authors have been and get their papers---quite a mass of literature by now :)

 

However to have it all in one volume, there is a book coming out which may interest you: It is scheduled to be published this year by World Scientific, and is called

A Hundred Years of Relativity.

http://www.worldscibooks.com/physics/5876.html

 

 

Chapters of the book, by some eminent people, are available online as preprints:

 

Thanu Padmanabhan

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0503107

 

Alan Rendall

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0503112

 

Clifford Will

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0504086

 

Martin Bojowald

http://www.arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0505057

 

many of the names are the same people who gave invited talks at the "Einstein Century" conference at Paris this year. As Ashtekar did himself. That is, the world experts on both classical and quantized General Relativity.

 

There's no need to say any more that "none of the processes we know can account" for the big bang. One can't be so certain, it is looking increasingly likely that some can.

 

there certainly are issues of TESTING both of the classical and quantized Gen Rel. Some quantum gravity stuff may be falsified, as early as 2007 or 2008, by gammaray burst or cosmic ray observations. We dont know how those will turn out! But that is the fun of it. Some of the processes we know CAN account and they have to be checked, and adjusted to fit upcoming observations and so on. Very exciting.

 

===========================

HI TOM "ancestors" SWANSON!

I WILL REPLY HERE SO AS NOT TO MAKE ANOTHER POST OF IT. So I am replying to your post immediately following. Yes! I was thinking that maybe Lucas was using "know" ironically, because from other threads my sense is that he is sophisticated and congenial. But too much of this irony can make posts hard to understand. So I decided to reply as if it was literally meant.

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I find the word "know" shocking' date=' Lucas. Do you really mean to say this?

 

The grounds you give would be insufficient even if true.

 

Would you accept this substitution?

 

IDers [b']suppose[/b] that these are manufactured artifacts because they suppose these are too complex to have been produced by any physical process (including natural selection) which IDers know about.

 

I assumed the use of "know" was in the dogmatic sense, like people once "knew" that the earth was the center of the universe, they "knew" the earth was flat, etc.

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I disagree. ID implies a designer' date=' which implies a creator, which implies a god, and should all be mixed in the same bottle.

 

Bettina[/quote']

ID does not specify a designer. Thats why its such an underdeveloped theory. ID deals with sciences like anthropology:was the tool formed naturally, or was an intellegent designer(in this case, man)involved?

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ID does not specify a designer. Thats why its such an underdeveloped theory. ID deals with sciences like anthropology:was the tool formed naturally, or was an intellegent designer(in this case, man)involved?

 

From Wikipedia: Though publicly most ID advocates state that their focus is on detecting evidence of design in nature, without regard to who or what the designer might be.

 

And we know who that "designer" is implied to be....There are many debates but "ID" to me means "Intellegent Designer", and for that it fails.

 

Bettina

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Part of the problem of science education is getting people to realize that we don't know whether evolution was unguided or not. :)

 

I know of at least 2 undetectable ways God could guide evolution. Since one was proposed by Dawkins and the other by Dennett (both atheists) I can't say that there is religious bias there.

 

We don't know wether evolution was unguided or not?

 

Yet as Martin pointed out you say ID followers 'know' that some things are too complex to arise by natural processes.

 

Where do you get all this evidence to base your beliefs so firmly that you can say what is known and what is not known?

 

I thought the main argument ID followers used to get the religion on the science curriculum was saying that the course did not allow room for different theories on the origin of life. From my perspective it seems like you are the one who has his mind made up firmly with no consideration of other theories.

 

 

Going back to unguided evolution, I apologise for not making myself clear. When I say unguided I meant unguided by an intelligent being, such as a human or a deity.

 

The theory of evolution includes its own designer - natural selection. We can see the effects of natural selection working quite clearly in nature with no need for any divine intervention - the bug that sticks out is the one that gets eaten by the bird, the ones better camouflaged survive and produce offspring.

 

Saying that there are other theories of evolution which rely on a designer rather than, or in tandem to natural selection is not evolution at all.

 

So saying that we don't know wether evolution is unguided or not, is wrong, as the basis of the theory is that it relies entirely on observable natural methods, with no intelligence involved.

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The problem is the difference between "guided" and "teleological". The latter, meaning "goal-directed" in the sense of long-term goals, definitely does not apply to the process of evolution, which is strictly short-term. Evolution itself does not try to produce anything, nor are organisms striving towards anything.

 

However, being "guided" from outside the system is something that cannot be evaluated. For instance, I plan on starting a plant breeding project soon, attempting to maximize the size and vigor of the purple pitcher plant via selection. The process is just like in nature, and thus not inherently teleological; the gametes assort randomly, some live and some don't, etc. There's nothing in the process specifying any particular end. What specifies the end is an outside force, me, who choses the selection regime and introduces new mutations (hypothetically, I'm not about to buy an x-ray generator for this project). Even though the mechanism of evolution does not have a long-term goal, there is nothing to say that one cannot be imposed upon it by an outside force, be it God, spirits, aliens, or Cthulhu. And, because the outside force would be utilizing the system itself to produce the results, the system would show no direct evidence of such guidance.

 

In essence, it's God of the Gaps, in which a deity guides evolution through "random" processes, and therefore leaves no trace. I don't personally agree with it, but it's more an issue of philosophy than anything else.

 

Mokele

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OK... It started out good - thanks.

 

To answer some of the questions:

 

First I'll restate that I am a scientist who is also a Christian so call me a 'Crevolutionist' and do not confuse me with Creavolution. Also, as far as ID is concerned, you have to throw out the preconcieved notion about getting God in the side door of the public schools. EVERYTHING that I propose related to Design Theory is SCIENTIFICALLY BASED and SUPPORTED. I DO NOT attempt to apply science to anything supernatural. In my book "Come Together: Creation and Evolution Joined" I present support based upon the CURRENT body of scientific knowledge (thanks for the list of outdated books - 3 from the 1800's and 1 from the early 80's) that shows Biblical support for evolution Theory and scientific support for certain Creation events based upon science-based geologic and evolution Theories.

 

I then propose what I have named "The Scientific Theory of Intentional and Intelligent Design" and "The Theory of Human Evolution" and scince they are within the same book I maintain my dual support analysis utilizing the scientific method and the Bible. A statement of my Theories independent of a Biblical analysis and based solely upon scientific support is in the editing stage and will be appropriate as a supplement to the public school science curriculum. Remember - NO PART of ANY of my statements of Theory in the curricular adaptation will mention, promote, advocate, or support anything related to any religion as they are solely science-based and supported.

 

Since science cannot address the supernatural the supernatural has no place in science.

 

No I do not attempt to mix ID and Creation. I first debunk misconceptions that stop a lot of folks from even considering vast parts of scientific theory that do agree both literally and not so literally with the Bible. For example, many will not consider anything Darwin proposes because the vast majority (87% according to my survey on a college campus) believe that Darwin said "man came from apes." Darwin never proposed that and what he did propose is completely agreeable with and even supported, in part, by what the Bible proposes.

 

My attempt with the main portion of my book is to debunk misconceptions and get more people to look at some basic evolution and geologic science. Some have already asked, directly and indirectly, what the Theories and ideas in the book are. Simply stated I have provided the gist, if you will, of my intent and methodology. Remember that content is meaningless without context and simply posting 1, 2, 3, ... lists of my statements would be meaningless without the accompanying context and background on formulation. A simple tossing out of Theory without the support and context would create a mess of mistranslation, misconception, and controversy - the very thing that i am attempting to address in my book.

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Ok - Lucas - here's a question that I've never had answered to my satisfaction: why does the designer have to be intelligent? Life is too complex to have evolved on its own, there must be supernatural processes involved, fine, fine. Why does the supernatural process have to be the result of an intelligent designer? I mean, life could be the droppings of a pandimensional dragon. I see no 'scientific' reason for supposing that any of this is a result of intelligence.

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What do you think Darwin did propose, exactly?

 

Although we didn't come from modern day apes, what we did come from would have looked a lot like an ape and most people would have looked at it and said it was an ape (or a monkey, maybe), so I really don't see what difference it makes in regards to the Bible whether man evolved from a modern ape or a prehistoric ape. What difference, in your opinion, does it make?

 

 

 

Also, I wish people would stop trying to pander to the Creationists with attempts to work the word "Creation" into what is essentially evolution. Evolution has nothing to do with the origins of life anyway, so it doesn't matter whether you think God created life and used evolution, or doesn't exist. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of Christians do accept evolution, so no-ones going to be amazed at how someone could possibly be a Christian and not a Creationist. Words like "Crevolutionist" and "Creavolution" are pointless and just confuse the issue. If you deny evolution - you are a Creationist. No more terms are required.

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I first debunk misconceptions that stop a lot of folks from even considering vast parts of scientific theory that do agree both literally and not so literally with the Bible.

 

You're attempting to use the Bible to argue that the common ancestry of human beings and apes is a lie. That's not exactly going to get you anywhere in the scientific community. Why don't you follow in the footsteps of the Catholics and discard the creation myth in Genesis as apocryphal?

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I do not deny evolution - I support it. I do not deny the Biblical Creation events - I support them also.

 

I have read Darwin's "Origin of Species" and nowhere does he mention anything about common ancestry in regard to humans. He does mention quite a bit - it is over 600 pages. Are you sure you want me to go over everything he says? Why don't you read it? And I do not try to convince people that common ancestry is a lie. I convince them that Darwin never proposed it and he has a very valid body of theory - what the heck is wrong with that?

 

I am not trying to upset your apple cart - I'm trying to get people to look at it. I am a scientist trying a new approach to address the majority that keep giving science a hard time. If anything I'm one of you - I don't understand the hostility here.

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