Evolution as a God-Guided Process

(Herculean Skeptic) #1

Continuing the discussion from Bill Cole's Case For Design:

George: I would honestly like to understand your position and how it contrasts to the different creation or evolutionary paradigms that exist. Here are a few questions that come to mind. I don’t want to pigeonhole you in any way, but rather to understand.

  1. Do you consider your position at all similar to OEC, wherein there is acceptance that evolution played a significant part in the development, but that God stepped in from time to time in order to advance life at critical points in time and geography?

  2. Since you see God as being undetectable in the evolutionary process, do you feel that, from a purely scientific perspective, your views would be considered by materialistic evolutionists to be the same? (Would you and they describe the evolutionary process identically, apart from your opinion that God worked in the background?)

  3. Do you feel that God is necessary, at all, in terms of providing otherwise strictly evolutionary processes a means by which certain things could evolve? (Or, on the other hand, that the God-ordained process of evolution is singularly adequate in providing all of the answers?)

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(George) #2

@Michael_Callen

My position is that God is fundamentally arranging everything. To say he is “intervening” in the world would be like he is “intervening in himself”.

He ENGAGES in the universe CONSTANTLY … and sometimes His engagement is in a miraculous form.

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(George) #3

@Michael_Callen

Yes… it would look the same.

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(George) #4

@Michael_Callen

I believe we needed God to bridge some barriers of nature.

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(Herculean Skeptic) #5

I would agree personally. In regards to the science, I don’t have enough knowledge to give it an “amen” but it sure makes sense and helps with some challenging evolutionary conundrums regarding timing and the like.

So, given that, how do you personally appeal to science in a scientific discussion to help cross this bridge? I mean this given the rules set forth here (to which I also agree) regarding the “why questions”:

I believe that this is the most challenging constraint inherent in the discussion. You seem to walk the line very well, in terms of not upsetting the applecart. How do you suppose that is given your obvious belief that God is fundamentally engaged, sometimes actively so, (answers to Q1 and Q2 above) and yet the scientific conversation cannot make such an appeal? Do you have any advice regarding that conversation? I, for one, struggle mightily.

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(George) #6

@Michael_Callen

I don’t expect science to help me discover the bridge crossings.

I use induction to discover the crossings.

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(Herculean Skeptic) #7

Thank you. That makes sense. I have read where you distinguish between an attempt to discover such crossings by others as “assumptions”, which clearly cannot be invoked in a scientific discussion, vs. ones that would legitimately fit within your parameters. Can you think of any examples of inductive reasoning wherein you were able to successfully identify such a crossing into the science zone by God, in a way that was accepted by the “general science” community? Maybe overall acceptance is too much to hope for, but at least an example wherein the “general science” community didn’t dismiss what you were saying on the grounds that it was “theology?”

I would imagine that it would be challenging to find an example that would satisfy the community as a whole. But, because you clearly have a well-versed philosophy around those crossings, I thought I would ask.

(George) #8

@Michael_Callen,

No. I don’t think it can be done.

Induction is a personal process.

For me, the most important use of it is concluding that we are conscious BECAUSE God exists. If there were no God… we would all operate without consciousness.

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(Herculean Skeptic) #9

I agree with your conclusion, wholeheartedly.

So, then, I would understand this to be why you commonly insist that he is “undetectable from a scientific view.”

Do you hold to this philosophy (undetectability) in order to balance the separate or siloed conversations (science vs. theology) the way that you, and many others, do? Or do you feel, for scientific reasons alone,
that God is undetectable from a scientific view (a la who “would we expect him to leave a note saying ‘Love, Yahweh’ in Hebrew?”)?

I ask because I struggle with this question, personally. To me, it always has seemed that one could use probability, for instance, to determine likelihood given that there are only a few serious options (everything evolved, God made everything, or some combination of the two.)

(George) #10

@Michael_Callen

This sounds more like my position.

Science, in its very nature, cannot control for the variable of God.

To expect that it can IS BASED on a hunch (that is in error) … not on science.

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(Herculean Skeptic) #11

Thanks George.

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(S. Joshua Swamidass) #12

This is an extremely important and deep point worth expanding.

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(Herculean Skeptic) #13

Since science does control for variables, what is so important about this point? Is it due to the fact that George sees God’s involvement as continuous? What if one posits (and I don’t really, but some may hold this position or one similar) that God intervened once to create life and once to breathe life into man? Are those variables that could be controlled or no?

(George) #14

To that end, then, I will list the considerations I have listed before:

  1. How do you control for God’s intentions which are just as much part of God’s miracles?

  2. If God sees that nature will take a century too long, or a year too long, or a day too long, or a second too long… so he engages a miracle to accelerate the process… how can we expect to demonstrate that?

  3. How do we know whether God created [“pooof”] the Dino killing asteroid around Jupiter and then sent it? Or if he had planned since the moment of Creation that a natural event should form and send the asteroid?

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(Herculean Skeptic) #15

Very good points.