Is There Visible Proof of God?


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #121

Excellent article that deserves its own thread.

Maybe but you also are in more of a middle ground position between RTB an, for example, me. You know that, right?

(Guy Coe) #122

Yes; I am not shy about advocating for design and for the inadequacies of a purely materialistic conception, nor about the ongoing “options” available to God as regards means. He is not “boxed in by” natural laws, but, AFAICT, reluctant to go outside of them. Don’t know the exact degree of difference you and I share, but enjoy the agreement on the essentials which we do.


Do you reject evolution as an adequate explanation for how species have changed over time?

Do you find the germ theory of disease to be an inadequate explanation because it does not explain how life originated?

I skimmed through some of RTB’s articles and they are loaded with bad arguments. I don’t think they are being cautious enough in the arguments they are putting forward.

(Guy Coe) #124

I do not affirm its entire adequacy.

No, because it used not even purported to do so by anyone.


So where is it lacking with respect to how life changed once it appeared?

The theory of evolution does not make claims about the origin of life, either.

(Dale Cutler) #126

It does not explain the New York Philharmonic.

By an agnostic:

“The claim that ocean water [or pick your favorite flavor of prebiotic soup] will in time produce Manhattan seems to me sufficiently extraordinary to require extraordinary evidence.”

Vox Popoli: Evolution evaluated

(Guy Coe) #127

Dale, that’s an appeal back to abiogenesis. T Aquaticus wants to know what I think about after that.
To which my reply is in coming up with the “just right” sequencing adaptations to enable beneficial mutations, randomly and by chance alone, among other things.


Perhaps you should reread the question?

“So where is it lacking with respect to how life changed once it appeared?”

(Dale Cutler) #129

It is also quite a ways beyond that, if you will note the title. (@T_aquaticus)


So how are evolutionary mechanisms incapable of producing these beneficial changes?

People get just the right sequence of numbers to win the lottery against very incredible odds, and they do so by picking random numbers. How is this any different?

(Guy Coe) #131

The lottery winning doesn’t result in new, beneficial information, which can be passed on to subsequent generations.
Nor does it increase complexity.
At best, in biology, random changes are benign, but they also often easily lead to loss of function and maladaptation.


Can you point to the genetic differences between humans and chimps that could not be produced by known evolutionary mechanisms?

(Guy Coe) #133

Can you? And can you say, for certain, that you know they all arose randomly?
One giant clue, for me, is in the unique nature of human consciousness, a change in kind, not just in degree.
How many truly beneficial mutations have come out of thirty years or more of Drosophila melanogaster studies as a result of random changes, accumulating over time?


You may want to check out my thread on that very subject:

Do you think the difference between human and chimp consciousness is due to the DNA differences seen in our genomes?

Do you doubt that the some of the differences between the human and chimp genomes are beneficial to humans?

(Guy Coe) #135

Sure, for example, upright bipedalism, resulting in smaller birth canal openings in the sacrum, is in tension with the development of cranial capacity at childbirth.
All conserved changes have potentially maladaptive and adaptive elements.
As for human consciousness, the changes go way beyond the expected differences, given the degree of DNA similarity. I see this as a Goldschmidt-like “hopeful monster” issue, a stochastic change.
An anomaly notable enough to warrant a mention in Genesis 1:26-27 and forward.

(Herculean Skeptic) #136

If I remember correctly from reading here in prior posts… is it not true that it is a dramatic increase in neural count, not cranial capacity, that allows for an increase in intellect and, potentially, the arrival of human consciousness?


So none of the genetic differences seen between chimps and humans are beneficial?

Based on what? How are you arriving at this conclusion? What do you think is causing the difference in intelligence between chimps and humans if it isn’t due to our genetic differences?

(John Harshman) #138

Not to me. It’s a dispute over what words mean, and unless words have clear meanings we can’t discuss much. Now in your case, you are using “progressive creationism” in a nonstandard way which is guaranteed to confuse other people about what you think. Why would you choose to do that?

Perhaps that’s what you mean by the term, but it isn’t what other people usually mean. Generally, the position you take (apparently) would be characterized as theistic evolution. Do you object to that term?

Couldn’t agree more. Though the people I have met who have that problem appear to be mostly creationists.

You are confusing me with someone else. My concern is almost entirely with common descent.

I see no such caution. They seem to be opposed to common descent, fairly consistently. What can you show me to the contrary?

(John Harshman) #139

I searched the RTB web site using the string “common descent”. Every result was an attempt to deny common descent or attack evidence for it or both. @Guy_Coe, how does this fit with your claim?

(Guy Coe) #140

RTB presents the “design” versus “common descent” perspectives as requiring a forced choice. That’s a bit of a problem.
Since you and I both have affirmed that’s not neccessary, to my mind, that’s where they need to understand there’s no need, since they are not actually in conflict in any metaphysical sense.
That means I can support them, while offering a critique, as long as they’re accurately characterizing both perspectives. They do better than most.
It’s a “how much, versus how little” difference, not a “right versus wrong” difference.