Room for Discussing Design in Evolution?

The Pharoah issue is not a difficult problem. There are different ways that different traditions approach this.
I see hardening as God withholding his grace from people. Whether it is the Pharoah, or Israel in Jesus times, or the people mentioned in Romans 1. When faced with consistent rebellion Gods spirit stops contending with the people and withdrawn of his grace is the start of Judgement.

@Michael_Callen explained the context of my comment clearly. You can refer the same.
Thanks @Michael_Callen


@Ashwin_s (and @Michael_Callen)

Withdrawing grace…exactly at the moment when Pharaoh was about to concede to Moses … is hardly a solution.

Now you are cherry-picking your theodicy.

Theodicy is very rarely presented as a sound refutation of God using Evolution … leaving Special Creation AND Theodicy issues.

That’s not at all true. Virtually all evolutionary biologists still consider natural selection crucial to adaptive evolution. What has changed is the realization that a lot of evolution is not adaptive – but that part of evolution generally doesn’t look like design. (There are also important debates changes and debates about what kinds of variation are available for selection to act upon.)

That is true of the vast majority of molecular evolution, no phenotypic evolution. How much phenotypic evolution is neutral and how much is the result of selection is not clear.

No, that’s not the current understanding.


@Michael_Callen there is always room to discuss the material significance of any new feature. A methodological naturalist can do that because it doesn’t leave the realm of the material. So can an ID proponent, but the point of being an ID proponent is to show that the significance is more than material…that it indicates a higher Power/Intent at work. The methodological naturalist can’t look at that as a methodological naturalist but I think one of the things we have gleaned from our dialogues is that they should be able to as human beings. Science is a process and its assumptions are naturalistic when seeking truth discovery but every scientist should be more than a scientist, they are also a man, or woman. They ought to be able to take those work filters off and go “well when I am only looking for natural causes to test for I can’t consider that idea but when I think about this as a human being it strikes me as awe-inspiring how all this fits together.”

So both sides need to see something. ID proponents need to understand the limits of the scientific method in pointing to supernatural causes and methodological naturalists need to understand that naturalism should just be a method they use for certain processes, not something that is assumed to be a total statement about all of reality.

Did God intervene repeatedly or did He just set up nature so all of this would wind up where we are at? We don’t have other examples to know. I suspect that if one took a billion habitable worlds in galaxies where God agreed not to further intervene, and put single celled organisms on them then when we came back in a billion years none of them would have the complexity and balance and diversity of life which we have had on this planet. We can’t test any of that scientifically though. It’s just an assumption, just as the methodological naturalist has an assumption that a Star Trek universe is out there even without any assistance from the hand of God. Their assumptions are no better than mind, and if they try to say they are because “ours are based on science” then they are cheating. Science is designed only to test for natural causes so if that’s all it finds then it really says nothing about super-natural action.

So the short answer is that I think there is room for discussing design in evolution, but it won’t be a strictly scientific discussion. It doesn’t have to be less than a scientific discussion though. It can be a discussion which transcends science.


So do you agree with Patrick that evolution shows a creator who is indifferent and cruel?

It’s also not clear what exactly natural selection is in case of phenotypes… it’s an unpredictable untestable tautology which could create any trait and support any claim.
It’s also not clear whether phenotypic evolution can be considered independent of molecular evolution. If molecular evolution is largely neutral… then this should apply to phenotypes also… whu do you disagree with this?

Well what is it? Competion as the main impetus for evolution? Randomness?

I never invoked a creator. It is my value judgement that Nature is indifferent and cruel.

Ammounts to the same thing…
I wanted to know if @glipsnort shares a similar value judgement.

No it doesn’t. Stop putting your beliefs into my science. :sunglasses:

And don’t bring your untestable value judgements into science…

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That “science” doesn’t see God isn’t an argument. It’s a rhetorical trick. Under methodological naturalism science can’t see God even if God were standing right in front of it. Science is a procedure which is conducted to detect for laws only. It is incapable of detecting any lawgiver.

An analogy would be lawyers trained to go about the legal libraries looking in various texts with a mission of determining what the laws were. If they were constrained to that process, then by that process they could never detect the human beings- the legislators - who drafted the bills which became those laws. Even if the legislators wandered the halls of the libraries crying out “it was me, I drafted such and such a law” the process of looking at the text for what is written there could not detect them. If the lawyers doing the searching desired to be obstinate and deny the existence of the legislators, they could semi-honestly report back that their search of the laws gave them no indication that any legislators existed.

To see the lawgiver one must take off the “hat” of methodological naturalism and look at things as a human, not very narrowly as a “scientist”. If it weren’t for sin in our hearts, this would be easy to do. For the order, diversity, interconnectedness and beauty of nature cries out “there is a Creator God”. But the respectability of science and what it has done for mankind has allowed some hearts to use this as a shield to prevent perceiving that which they ought to see, not as scientists but as men. They can deny the Lawgiver exists because they have found, in their search for the laws, only laws and no Lawgiver. That they could not expect to find a Lawgiver in a search only for laws is conveniently set aside for the temporary comfort that escape from accountability brings. The pity is that lasting comfort for escape from accountability is only available through that same Lawgiver in the mercy and atonement accessed via faith in Christ.


No it doesn’t.

There is no sin in our hearts. Sin is just another religious invention to control people. And the heart is just a pump.

Because God is invisible, perhaps imaginary?

Are you saying that only Christians can be Lawgivers and serve in legislative bodies?

Of course not. That is silly.

was curious about @glipsnort opinion… I know you would think it’s silly.

The word “intervene” in this context is unsupportable. But you are not the only one to use the term in this way; most people use the term “intervene” out of habit and because they aren’t sure how else to express the sentiment.

But in a dual scenario context, the word “intervene” is inclined to set up a false dilemma.

If God is actively supporting all natural lawful processes… miracles are not interventions, they are a different kind of process.

The answer to the question for this thread is: God does ENGAGE in miracles… in between and congruent to working his goals through NATURAL processes.


Thank you for the assist.

Someone actually flagged my urging Patrick to discuss his question with @T_aquaticus… who SHARES his views… but does not repeatedly interrupt threads to champion atheism .

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@Ashwin_s, what suggested that @swamidass did?

I’m not following your reasoning here… please explain?

Patrick made an observation that evolution is inherently cruel and indifferent… which implies that if it’s a tool of creation, then the creator is cruel and indifferent.
I answered him by pointing out that current understanding of evolution does not support such an view. @glipsnort took issue with some of the points I made and gave his opinion on it…
So I asked him, whether he agrees with Patrick.
@swamidass was not in the discussion. I did not say anything to him. He answered my query and I pointed out that I was asking @glipsnort. To be clear, I am not accusing anyone of anything. I just asked a clarifying question because @glipsnort made an intervention into a larger question.

I hope this makes things clear…

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Makes sense. When directed a specific person, mention them so it’s clear first time around next time.