@Patrick and @Jerry_Coyne
My apologies in the delay in answering this question. Somebody logged me off of PeacefulScience, (as far as I could tell, it was someone on the system side) and it took me until today to focus on recovering my password.
“Why did God want to make new forms by tweaking … DNA in undetectable ways rather than just poofing them into existence?”
Well, that’s an odd kind of question for Atheists to be asking. As I’ve said any number of times, I’m a Unitarian Universalist… and some of my more cynical colleagues like to amuse the tourists by saying “We are atheists with children.”
I’m not quite so extreme in my thoughts or my humor (well, mostly).
My view is that the default setting for God’s creation is by means of Natural Processes … and by Natural Processes I mean those that are amenable to the scientific method… as opposed to “Super-Natural” processes, which might be characterized as more like “magic”… hence the “poof” effect!
So, for me, evidence shows us that God (which is a major premise for Pro-Evolution Christians, right?!) most definitely used the processes of Evolution to create virtually all the living things on Earth.
The exception, which is not even an exception that is important to me personally, is that God “poofed” just 2 humans into existence; science cannot confirm or deny this. And so, here at PeacefulScience.Org we are able to provide this scenario as a reasonable choice for Christians who very much rely on Romans 5 for their understanding of Christiantiy … and yet can see all the physical evidence which also show that humanity appears to have evolved from the Great Apes branch of the animal kingdom.
So… the mysteries of “biological theology” are probably still the poofing of 2 humans.
Calling God a “Heavenly Mutagen” might have its place… but not if the next step is a Divine Alpha Particle. There are hundreds of ways of making mutations - - the flawed replication of genetic information:
- the presence of water;
- the absence of water;
- too much local heat energy;
- too little local heat energy;
- cosmic ray strike;
- any kind of electromagnetic radiation strike;
- physical trauma;
- chemical trauma…
and on and on and on…
If God configures all these sequences at the moment of the Big Bang… we don’t need to call him a mutagen at all… other than to draw attention to his USE of mutagens.