Is it possible to believe in God, and be a darwinist at the same time?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Jan Ardena, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Of course. Many millions of people, including many evolutionary biologists, believe in God and accept Darwin's indea of natural selection.

    The only inconsistency that I can see arising from that would come as the result of holding additional theological views in addition to simple belief in God, such as the belief that life is organized into "kinds" of organisms, originally ordered into being by God at creation, and necessarily unchanging ever since.

    It's certainly possible to believe in God without having to hold that additional premise.

    Many theists favor some version of theistic evolution, in which God exploits the natural processes of creation, among them biological evolution, to bring about his favored ends (such as the appearence of human beings or whatever it's supposed to be).

    That idea might be kind of implicit in the enlightenment's faith in progress, which seems to assume that history has a direction (and perhaps some kind of ultimate destination) - such that new can simply be assumed to be better than old.
     
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Where do you get your understanding of deism from?

    They do not name nature as god but believe that nature is evidence enough to determine the existence of god, but reject all the scriptures and revelation as a source of knowledge.
    My understanding is that knowledge of god comes through nature, but that god does not interfere in nature once he has put it in motion - hence no revelation, no scriptures etc.
    It is a god that creates the universe and then leaves it alone to its own devices.

    With this god it is possible to believe in it and in evolution, for example.

    So I'm not sure where you get your idea of deism from?
     
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    This must be one of the hardest things for Creationists to comprehend, if they can at least get as far as understanding the difference between random and deterministic events. Even with that, they have to reconcile the idea that the root causes of intelligence (being born with a brain, taking care of it, etc.) begin derived from purely random events (most of all fertilization) while the sentient platform, once it is booted and operational is entirely causal in its operation - beginning with primal urges. The atheist, who has some innate sense of this regardless of educational level, is puzzled by the notion that God would have urges. These are known to be animal instincts strictly related to survival, nothing more. And of course the huge fallacy in this is why is God expressing survival behaviors? That is, of course, giving the widest berth to all the premises of religion, without first deciding if any of them are true or not, in the purest and most objective kind of logic we could hope to apply.

    That's perfectly concise, perfectly formulated, so I'll say it again:

    Simple quantum effects can be uncaused. Intelligence cannot.

    Beautiful. Folks you heard it first right here on Sci. :thumbsup:
     
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  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I made my post just above before noticing you'd posted this, but look how we converge at the same issue by completely different paths. (or is this just a case of "great minds think alike"

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    Jan,

    First of all, because none of the explanations are correct. That should ring bells for the person trying to sort things out.
     
  8. arauca Banned Banned

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    According to your random effect you don't need specific enzymes. Your view is mix paraffin oil and water and you will have an emulsion , but chemically you are wrong and so might be some of your ideas.
     
  9. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for the assist! Atheists 1 Theists 0
     
  10. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Sarkus,

    You are indeed correct. My bad.

    The basis of their philosophy seems to be consistent with the ID movement, because they see design in nature and reason that there must be a designer. There is no other information about this creator, that gives a sense of it's nature. Themy believe that the universe was created, but they don't believe in the creator. Deist's believe that one can only know 'God' through reason, and reject any form of supernatural intervention.
    If you were to take ID out of the concept of Deism, what would be left? And would that differ from atheism?

    I am of the opinion that to believe something, is a different position to believing in something. I think that believing in something is evidenced by how we act.
    A part of that ''believing in, requires faith, meaning one doesn't know the full extent of that which one believes in.
    The Deist.s believe that God exists purely because of the complexity of the universe, but do not believe in God. They are in love with the creation, not the creator, which is why I have this idea of deism.

    jan.
     
  11. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    I think what's really going on with people like you is that you are so invested in a relationship with your own personal conception of god that even entertaining the possibility that god may in reality be somewhat removed that conception seems like something of a betrayal. This actually makes perfect sense with reference to the dynamics of human relationships. For example, when a guy is in love with a girl, he only wants to imagine romantic interactions with her. No other girl will suffice, even though there isn't necessarily anything that would preclude other girls from being the objects of similar affections given different circumstances. And if a guy tries to imagine romantic interactions with some other girl anyway, not only does it seem empty, it can seem like a betrayal. Some would say it is a betrayal.

    Take a typical Christian for example. He/she has a relationship with a conception of god who essentially has three unique but complimentary faces: that of a father, a son, and a holy spirit. In particular, the primary focus tends to be on Jesus, who is god manifest as man to facilitate both the intimate relationship in question (though his cleansing sacrifice) and our eventual salvation as a direct result of that relationship. Thus to a Christian, the act of conceptualizing god as a deity who never actually became a man, and never actually subjected himself to the tortures of crucifixion, would be a betrayal. Some would say a rejection. In other words, for such a person the god of Christianity is the only girl in town. No other god will suffice, even though there isn't necessarily anything that would preclude other gods from being the objects of similar affections given different circumstances.

    Further, we are yet to touch on the variable ways in which the concept of god is fleshed out beyond scriptural parameters (or even in opposition to them) according to individual idiosyncrasies. In fact I'd say that in many cases (if not most) it is these sorts of embellishments that give rise to the strongest emotional attachments because it is essentially the fabrication of personhood. So in the end you have an entity that is functionally analogous to a real person. One that you can relate to. One that you can have an intimate relationship with. But if you could somehow materialize it (a la "Weird Science") while it might be the girl for you, it wouldn't be the girl for anyone else. Her hair isn't right. Her voice is lower in pitch. She has different quirks and mannerisms. She's a control freak and has a bad temper. And she doesn't even have the same family and friends! The reason for all this is obvious: she is, for the most part, you. Even if there is a god type character out there somewhere, the bulk of your relationship with it is actually with yourself.

    Your failure to recognize the god of deism as a real object of worship in the minds of it's practitioners needs to be attributed to something Jan. And if it's not willful ignorance, it probably has something to do with the above. After all, so many of your arguments seem to center on the idea that if we're not talking about your conception of god, then we're not actually talking about a god at all. In fact in spite of the absurdity you even seem to think it is some sort of valid philosophical argument. But the reality is that there are people out there with different conceptions of both god and the nature of creation, who are just as "spiritual" (if not more so) as you are, who would insist that you are merely worshiping a facade of your own making by pretending to know more about the nature of god than you actually do. Deists are among them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  12. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    If that had anything to with what I said, you might be right.

    Enzyme production is coded in the DNA, and DNA is the random result of meiosis and fertilization. You already know that the odds of bringing a particular egg together with a particular sperm cell is done by lottery. But even the machine that puts the barcode on the ticket has a random sequence generator in it.

    Here you see the way Mom makes her eggs and Dad makes his sperm. Let's say this is Mom. We are looking at just one chromosome being manufactured. There are 23 of them; this process happens in each one. On the left we have our maternal grandmother (red/orange) and our maternal grandfather (yellow/green). During egg production their DNA is randomly combined by a process called crossover. On the right are the haploid chromatids (individual strands) that will form the nuclei of four of Mom's new egg cells. The same process happens in Dad, scrambling the DNA of our paternal grandparents to produce the chromatids of four sperm cells.

    Then we get to fertilization, which, as you know, gives millions of these random lottery numbers from Dad a chance to combine with whichever egg cell won the lottery in Mom this month.

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    I hate to burst the bubble of the Creationists, but God really does play dice.

    I guess from the perspective of Intelligent Design, you could say He makes a damn good roulette wheel. And then he just spins it and waits for Baby. Might be a bouncing brown eyed girl born in a castle, or a blue-eyed boy born from rape. Might even have a problem with the barcode reader, and the child is given a hairlip, or a vestigial tail - just to remind us we evolved from tree-dwellers. But at least God can disclaim responsibility, since it's all just a spin of the wheel. One thing is for sure, the Lord does work in mysterious ways. Which leads to the question why does God punish the innocent?

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  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Aqueous Id,

    Just so that we are clear, when I use the term ''evolution'' it is meant in the darwinistic sense, 'over time one kind of animal turns into another (e.g. whale evolution), not small adaptive changes within the same kind. In this sense ''evolution'' is a theory, and while it may be a ''matter of science'', it isn't science. So please don't act as though folk aren't into science because they don't accept the theory of evolution.

    As a trend (fad), I agree.

    I mean it's an extension of something that is a fact, but it itself has not been effectively shown to occur without the aid of a lot of imagination.

    Why would we?

    No I'm not. You are implying that the theory of evolution IS science, so if you don't include it, you are not teaching science. That's no different than
    the idea that Christianity IS religion, therefore anything other than Christianity is NOT religion. Can you see how you guys are so similar that it's uncanny.

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    I happen to agree with the ID'ists that it should be taught as a theory, and the students should be allowed to hear objections to it, as it is not a truth.

    As I said before ''It's neither fundamentalist or non fundamentalist, it is a truth based on the fundamentals of the said concepts.''
    If you understand God in the same way as deists, then that allows for the theory of evolution, but it means that God is nothing but a creator.
    The choice to reduce God to a creator, is made with the understanding that God is understood to be more than a creator, therefore there is a greater God but we choose not to acknowledge the ''greater'' because it does not fit with out world view.

    But the theory of evolution is NOT science itself, just as Christianity isn't religion itself. That's my point.

    God ISN'T an idea, God IS, therefore one has to believe this, or not (as the case may be). An idea can be chopped and screwed around with.

    My remarks pertain to the literal meanings of the word, against mine and others actual thoughts and actions. If we don't mind sharp we will muddy the meanings into obscurity, and while that may constitute an explicit atheists wet dream, it will mean that in a few generations God will not even be a memory which, IMHO, will be very bad for human society.

    Given that the term ''fundamentalist'' has a dual meaning, why don't you replace with something that explain the essential quality of ''theism''?

    Nowadays ''fundamentalist'' can mean ''religious crack-pottery'', so as you are not an advocate of theism or religion, I'm not sure if you are using in that way. So a please give a clear definition of what you mean by it. Science is born out theism, as is religion, but it has to be regulated properly (hence the scientific method). A scientist cannot do science and hold strong view to the point where he disregards his discipline, the two just don't go together. You will find that true doctors who hold to their ethic will suspend prejudice when it comes to treating patience. It's a matter of intelligence, not smartness.

    Theism still remains one thing ''belief in God''. All the diversities occur because there are diversities among humans. It is the humans who have to sort themselves out.

    Yes, and that would be part of trying to understand God. So science is there so we can understand the cosmos, and understanding the cosmos helps us to understand more about God.


    And the Greeks get their standard from previous civilisations, right back to vedic.
    People were doing science long before the Greeks.


    Most who accept evolution do so because they think it has to be correct because the scientists say so, and it is literally everywhere in schools, tv, radio, comedy, bill boards, even the Pope I'm constantly reminded, etc... If they don't accept it they will be seen as stupid, and anti-scientific. Most do not have a clue what it is, and have not been exposed properly to alternative views or critical analyses of it's obvious flaws.
    There is a powerful and concerted effort to change to average thinking, especially children. But despite that, people still don't accept it as fully as you'd think (with the opportunities available for comprehension). That tells me it has little or no merit, and further I think you know it.


    jan.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  14. arauca Banned Banned

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    I don't think He is punishing , He gave the free will to the natural processes
     
  15. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

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    How does a "process" have free will?
     
  16. arauca Banned Banned

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    Generally in the lab if you don't want the light affect your reagent you set some condition that the reaction will not go such as freezing . but if you let the sensitive chemical reagent exposed to light or temperature the reaction will go slowly . I believe the same way at creation. Temperature have been fluctuating , so life had to adjust to the environment . God as the Creator , He put His spirit into man and man become a creator in the environment to survive
     
  17. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Darwin's theory limits itself to the causes of speciation. The fact of whale evolution is a consequence of cladistics, which is the result of paleontology. Cladistics overturns the Creation Myth regardless of Darwin's theory.

    Evolution as theory is Darwin's theory, as amended. Evolution as a process of nature is descent from common ancestry with genetic modification through natural selection. Evolution as science is Evolutionary Biology. Evolution in the sense you mean it is cladistics, which a work product of paleontology, which is science.

    Not sure what that means. People accept whale evolution for the same reason they accept cladistics. They accept cladistics for the same reason they accept paleontology. They accept paleontology for the same reason they accept science. People accept science because science works.

    Whale evolution is not an extension of fact or imagination. It's a fact of nature revealed by classifying specimens in the fossil record.

    The rationale used by Stalin and Pol Pot to repress and murder human beings does not comport with the freedom and dignity that Science endows through knowledge and discovery; by contrast Creation Science is best characterized as the murder of knowledge and the repression of academic freedom.

    The teaching of evolution is a national standard which defines the minimum requirements for classroom science curricula. You are advocating against these standards.

    Christianity is indeed religion, which is why a class in World Culture could no sooner omit an introduction to the teachings of Christianity than a school science curriculum can omit Evolution from school Biology classes as these things are established standards of educational curricula.

    As you will see, at the end of chapter 1, section 3 of this book, there is a module entitled "Objections to Evolution", This is standard fare in the curricula.

    That is the Creation Science claim which is contradicted by nature, as we have seen in the evidence for whale evolution.

    Religions outside of Fundamentalism disagree with you because they neither accept the Creation Myth, nor Creation Science, as truth. The sovereignty of God is contradicted by the invariance of the laws of nature from quantum scale to cosmic scale; in this regard evolution is minuscule to the reduction in God's powers by physics.

    Deism was initially a reaction to the overturning of the Creation Myth by discoveries that the Earth is not flat, it's not at the center of the universe, and that nature exists in and of itself without divine intervention. This left God "nothing but a creator" because they had not yet (18th c.) discovered evidence of the Big Bang. Today a Deist might simply conclude that God caused the Big Bang, then withdrew.

    The choice Deists made was to remove the denial of science from their belief system, long before this became a conflict over the presumed inerrancy of the Creation Myth.

    Your point was that acceptance of evolution negates a belief in God, which is contradicted by surveys show a large population who accept both.

    It's one thing to say "God Is" and quite another to say "the Creation Myth Is" and still another to say "Evolution Isn't" which is the smaller group of religious believers you are referring to.

    In order to not muddy the waters we should keep separate the most general of terms, theism, from the most specific, Fundamentalism.

    The common usage (google) is 1. A form of Protestant Christianity that upholds belief in the strict and literal interpretation of the Bible.
    2. Strict maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion or ideology, notably Islam
    .

    Science was born out of natural philosophy. Theism is (google) "belief in the existence of a god or gods, esp. belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures"; religion: "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods" which means theism and religion are equivalent.

    The scientific method is (google) systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. It is intrinsic to all of science as is math, or as logic is to math. A scientist who cannot do science is not properly called a scientist and would not be able to maintain employment doing scientific work. Regulation is not the principle that holds science together, but rather the inscrutable honesty that is necessary to develop the skills needed to make accurate assessments and calculations.

    All we see being sorted out are the diverse interpretations in religious lore which lead to the kind of sectarian views that Fundamentalists have adopted. During this "sorting out" process, a large segment of the religious population have established their distance from Fundamentalism by publishing their doctrines, collected here by the National Center of Science Education, as well as the nearly 13,000 clerics of mixed denominations who have participated in the Clergy Letter Project.

    Yes, and that would be part of trying to understand God. So science is there so we can understand the cosmos, and understanding the cosmos
    helps us to understand more about God.[/quote]
    While finding God in these institutions of higher learning, the students will also find the truth of science, including the reality of common descent, genetic modification, natural selection and the random nature of human origins, as well as the exegetical basis for attributing their religion's creation account as the syncretic fusion of mythology from cultures of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece and Rome.

    The opposite is true; the Fundamentalists say Evolution is false because they say so, whereas Science provides facts and evidence for students, and teaches them to think for themselves by teaching them how to apply logic, theorems and proofs in order to arrive at the truth of a matter, whether it involves the randomness of human origins, or the pagan origins of the Judeo-Christian Creation Myth.

    Besides learning the skills to interpret the facts which led to Darwin's Theory, people are receiving guidance from the approx. 13,000 clerics who have signed the letter stating, among other things, "We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. "

    If they are reasonably intelligent, they will be able to examine the facts and evidence by application of the thinking skills they acquired in their math and science classes - namely: logic, theorems and proofs - in order to make up their own minds.

    Taking the folks posting here as a representative sample, the only ones who demonstrate illiteracy in Science are Creationists. How do you think that reflects on the population as a whole, and to what do you attribute to their weakness?

    The only alternative view to Evolution is the Creation Myth, the only critical analysis is Creation Science, and the only flaws are the ones claimed by Fundamentalists which are based on the Creation Myth and Creation Science, which are false and incorrect.

    There has been a powerful and concerted effort to overcome illiteracy and to increase critical thinking skills, especially in childhood education, but there has also been a powerful and concerted effort to maintain scientific illiteracy within Fundamentalism by using the Creation Myth to deter children from unfettered access to the truths about Nature provided by a proper education in Science.

    In the US, approx. 13,000 clerics, 98,000 schools and 7,000 institutions of higher learning stand in disagreement with you. In countries where literacy is higher and Fundamentalism has not gained a foothold, denial of Evolution is negligible.

    What I know is that Darwin discovered evolved life forms on Galapagos, and that he correctly articulated the two principles--common descent through genetic modification and natural selection--which explains the origins of all species. I know that since this discovery has more merit than most singular scientific theories, it stands as one of the main pillars of Science and is therefore a vital learning module in the school curriculum, and that nothing but Fundamentalism, Creation Science and strident belief in the Creation Myth are to blame for the interference with that educational objective.
     
  18. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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  19. arauca Banned Banned

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    The cosmic environment act upon the earth, and we the living organism on the earth adjust to the environment and modification in our body will take place for survival.
     
  20. AMJFazande Registered Member

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    It IS possible to believe in evolution and still believe that a divine force started it all but there aren't very many people who believe that being a Darwinist suggests not believing in what the Bible says not if God exists
     
  21. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Okay, I see. But, that doesn't really have to do with God's 'spirit,' as you mention above.
    That's just basic biology.
    Maybe you mean here that God is the master Creator, 'behind' the biology; that man is capable of adapting because God 'created' him that way.
    I'm wondering if this is how you meant that?
     
  22. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that the deists typically accepted natural theology (whatever observations of this universe might imply about God) but rejected special revelations such as particular religions' supposed scriptures.

    And yeah, I agree that prior to the 19th century, the design argument seemed to most deists to be the strongest and most irrefutable of the natural theological arguments. Most thinkers in the 1700's and earlier couldn't imagine any way around the conclusion that the complex functional order observed in things like animal physiology required an intelligent designer.

    Though by the 1700's, the idea of biological evolution was growing in acceptance too. The problem that evolution faced was that evolution's suppporters didn't have any plausible explanation of how all the structure and complexity had appeared over time. So the idea of theistic evolution, the idea that God is still active in the world and guiding its changes, was attractive.

    Yes. The God of deism and of philosophical theology essentially ends up being a set of philosophical functions. God is whatever corresponds to phrases like 'first cause'. 'ground of being', 'designer', 'destination of history' or whatever. The so-called 'God of the philosophers' is a pretty abstract and impersonal sort of God.

    I think that they believed in God. Certainly they believed in a God of a sort. But their religiosity was psychologically quite different than the sort of personal-theism that centers on relating to God as if God was another person. The dimensions of loving God, or of obeying God as if God was an ancient monarchical "Lord", wasn't really there. It's typically the special revelations of the various theistic religions that fleshes out some concept of God's personality.

    Right. I think that historically, it was the appearance of Darwin and Wallace's theory of natural selection that kind of put a stake in the heart of earlier deism and led to its replacement by a more full-frontal atheism in the second half of the 1800's.

    Natural selection provided a plausible mechanism for how biological complexity might have originated, essentially by trial and error over tremendous periods of time, without any intelligent designers having to be involved in those events at all. So what had been seen as natural theology's strongest and most irrefutable argument suddenly lost a lot of its persuasive force.

    I'd prefer to say that the deists believed in God, but didn't always try to have a personal relationship with God in the ways that many in traditional Christianity had tried to do before them. Their idea of God-as-designer was more abstract and philosophical, perhaps more like people's idea of the big-bang today.
     
  23. arauca Banned Banned

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    Girl you hit the nail with the hammer . Remember we human bare the spirit of God we are creative and much more creative then any animal. The ape have not gone to the moon we did , we are creating robot which is an intention to make human . God did it millions of years ago
     

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