God Necessary For Evolution?

(Jon Garvey) #33

Not so - science has simply pursued an epicurean approach to reality that was available over 2,000 years ago as an alternative hypothesis. Whether it is adequate is a matter of individual judgement.


Wow - science has simply pursued an epicurean approach to reality that was available over 2,000 years ago. Wow, let me tell that to the thousands of scientists of the 20th and 21st century! All those Nobel Prizes could have been found 2,000 years if scientists just had a better approach to reality. :rofl:

(Jon Garvey) #35

Those with any knowledge of philosophy already know that. Epicureanism, like theism, needed experimental empiricism to make the progress it has. Bacon and Descartes started theistic empiricism - the Deists paved the way for the Epicureans in the 18th century.

I should add that the accleration of progress from Theists like Boyle, Newton, Faraday, Maxwell has most to do with professional organisation and government funding, not metaphysical assumptions.


This sums up my own view rather nicely. God is necessary, therefore Occam’s Razor doesn’t get rid of God.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #37

Now just drop all the bad scientific arguements to justify this and you are good to go.


It would help me immensely if you could be more specific. Feel free to start a thread listing my bad scientific arguments. I honestly do not wish to be making any bad scientific arguments. Or any bad arguments at all for that matter. :slight_smile:

The Mystery of Mung
(John Harshman) #39

Thanks? What follows makes no sense to me. I don’t know what “definitionally random” means. I don’t understand the Catch-22 reasoning that makes God responsible for everything whether we consider it random or non-random.

(John Harshman) #40

What? How’s that going for us?

(John Harshman) #41

Or, in my experience, any arguments at all.

(Jon Garvey) #42

It’s the philsophical alternative to the Catch-22 reasoning that makes chance or necessity responsible for everything that occurs in nature.

(Jon Garvey) #43

Pretty well, since we’re all alive, and have ability, time and leisure to consider Peaceful Science.

But bear in mind I’m not doing an apologetic for theism - merely saying that one has to make theistic or epicurean assumptions about the basis of reality: if you want to talk about “hypotheses”, then God is not the only one to be questioned, but the “chance hypothesis” is equally open to scrutiny.


Still smarting over bird ovaries John?


All the result of modern science - increased life expectancy, modern medicine, technological advances. All man made, all the results of human reasoning and scientific inquiry.

(John Harshman) #46

I’m not sure you understand what “Catch-22” means. Should I explain? Did you ever read the novel?

Sorry, by “us” I wasn’t referring just to affluent, comfortable internet denizens. How is God’s intervention currently working for Yemenis, for example? Is this one of those things where there’s an air disaster that kills 147 people, but the lone survivor thanks God for saving him?

(John Harshman) #47

As I recently said elsewhere, stop digging.

(Jon Garvey) #48

I don’t know how to break this to you, Patrick, but there were living people with ability, time and leisure to discuss things before modern science.

(Jon Garvey) #49

Don’t be so condescending. We have a choice of axioms, either that everything is ultimately due to mind, or that ultimately everything is due to chance.

Christian theology - and, once must add, early-modern science - has always taught that God is the source of both regular events and contingent events. It’s not a Catch 22, but a consistent metaphysic.

Epicureanism, on the contrary, says that all causes are “natural” - either caused by the laws of nature, or by chance. Another self-consistent metaphysic - and in the case of laws (as an interminable current thread on BioLogos discusses) those ultimately must resolve to chance as well.

Either both are Catch-22, or neither are.

On your second point, you have fulfilled my former prediction by moving to a theological argument about what God would not do. You will note that my use of the theological argument was only to explain my personal reasons for expecting theistic rather than deistic government of nature - it has no bearing on the “necessity of God for evolution.”

(Bill Cole) #50

There is no other explanation for their existence other then conscious intelligence.

I agree but not one of these mechanisms explains FI. To explain life’s diversity you have to explain the origin of novel FI. We have evolutionary theory however there is no theory of evolution.


Why isn’t evolution an explanation?

Why can’t evolution produce FI?

(John Harshman) #52

Sorry. But you did grossly misuse the trope.

I deny the dichotomy. You have turned “chance” into a catchall term for anything not due to mind. What happened to necessity? And of course we have the difficulty of explaining what mind is due to.

Perhaps you mistake what I was referring to as Catch-22. I meant your notion that whichever stance we adopt, God wins. That’s exactly how Catch-22 works.

I’m not the one who moved. You attributed a motive to God: ongoing care of human affairs. I claim that this motive is incompatible with what we observe. Your theological claim, not mine. I agree that this has nothing to do with evolution. Why would you imagine otherwise?