Valerie's Review of GAE

Nup. This is not the case. It’s a very common misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, but a misunderstanding nonetheless.

Evolution doesn’t make things “better” in any moral sense, or really even any physical sense. All it does is select the organisms that are best adapted to survive and pass on their genes in a particular ecological niche.

It seems as though that consideration has tended to lead to increased complexity over the history of Earth, but that is not always or necessarily the case. The evolutionary process does not have a direction or a goal. There is no concept of ‘inevitable progress’. Only of change in order to optimise survival within an ecosystem, and to adapt to changes to the ecosystem.

1 Like

Genesis 1 does contain the history of the creation of the universe. I’ve never said it’s a science textbook.

Total knowledge is not possible for a finite being.

You’re limiting what a text can say. Is all of the Bible only absolutely crucial or do we get lavished with extras to know more about God?

Correct. That’s why I reject origins as described by mainstream science. If you believe what you wrote, why don’t you reject the random grab bag of ideas they present?

Do you find any irony or interest in the fact that in the narrative @swamidass presents in GAE that you take this verse “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’” completely literally but you have to reject that Genesis 1 is literal?

If you reduce the first few chapters to only essential truths, how does that apply to the rest of the Bible?

How do you know he rejects a literal interpretation of Genesis 1? A literal interpretation is not in conflict with an ancient earth…

Do you believe there was death before sin?
Do you believe everything arose from a single cell?
Do you believe that evolution explains morality as mainstream science does here? The evolutionary advantage of being friendly - Peaceful Science

I would say that sin results in death and a right relationship results in life. Do you agree with that?

So we should expect the weak do not survive? Should we try to help them? Or let that go if we’re fighting against the inevitable?

Science tells us the way the world works, but it doesn’t tell us how it should work or what we should do. Mistaking an “is” for an “ought” is called the naturalistic fallacy.

So we should help the weak, even if they would not survive without our help. Evolution doesn’t tell us one way or another, but we know by other means that we should help the weak.

3 Likes

@swamidass has answered well above: we absolutely should help the vulnerable, and it’s something I’m very passionate about, but biological evolution doesn’t tell us so. It doesn’t tell us we should kill them either, and indeed an important part of humanity’s success lies in cooperation. But concern for others comes out of moral reasoning, not out of our biology.

3 Likes

If science tells us the way the world works, then wouldn’t you agree it’s telling us that God set the world up so the weak don’t survive?

How does one interpret Genesis 2:2-3 as not being in conflict with an ancient earth?

By realizing that there is activity before Day 1 (Gen 1:1-2), by interpreting “day” as other than 24-hour duration, seeing the whole genre other than a literalistic thing, and/or seeing the finishing of creation as not excluding creatio continua.

2 Likes

What activity?

i offered this as one of four possibilities to answer your objection/statement. Almost everyone thinks Day 1 begins in v. 3. There are some rejoinders, but not many. Therefore, one must ask what happens before Day 1. Either vv.1-2 describes a previous divine action or it assumes something already in place when Day 1 gets started. Either way, Day 1 is not the beginning but the assumption before the beginnning.

3 Likes

Well, I’m guess I’m not in the “almost everyone” crowd. Valerie's interpretation of Genesis 1 - Peaceful Science

In my interpretation it describes a divine action at the beginning of Day 1, which is the creation of the universe, which subsisted of waters. Days are evening and morning. The first part of the day was evening. When light created it was morning. Problem solved.

Do you consider any of these options to be literal for both Genesis 1 and the beginning of Genesis 2? Because that’s what I was responding to. I don’t see them as literal.

  1. By realizing that there is activity before Day 1 (Gen 1:1-2)
  2. by interpreting “day” as other than 24-hour duration,
  3. seeing the finishing of creation as not excluding creatio continua.

Hey David - I apologize I missed this post totally and only saw your other one later. I actually agree the other things that Genesis 1 says are far more important than anything it communicates scientifically or even literally. I just think it’s communicating something that way too.

I look forward to reading your blog and seeing where we agree in this other areas. :blush: Thanks for responding and I’m sorry I took your words about grandma the wrong way.

I suspect you and I won’t agree on the meaning of “literal.” But all have been put forward by proponents who think their view is the “plain sense” meaning of the passage (well #3 is a bit different). #1 especially is literal, even in a tight definition of the word.

What’s not literal is taking the waters of v. 2 to be something other than water.

1 Like

But it is and isn’t water :slight_smile: It’s sort of half-literal.

I actually agree the other things that Genesis 1 says are far more important than anything it communicates scientifically or even literally. I just think it’s communicating something that way too.

I look forward to reading your blog and seeing where we agree in this other areas. :blush: Thanks for responding and I’m sorry I took your words about grandma the wrong way.

Great! I think that settles the question of ‘grandma vs. scientists’: we’re agreed that neither has total knowledge (which is impossible for any human), but that their knowledge is not in conflict, and more importantly, that grandma’s knowledge is incomparably more valuable than the scientists’.

I do hope you read the rest of my article - it covers pretty much everything that came up during this discussion, such as the ‘death before Adam’ issue, and which parts of the Genesis creation story is “literal” and which is “figurative”, and why they must be interpreted that way. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve covered every verse in the Bible that touches on the creation story. In fact, if you find any major reasoning about the interpretation of the creation story that I’ve missed, I’d like to know.

I do want to bring up one correction to something that you wrote though, because I think it can be resolved easily and it’s important to my worldview in general. It’s this part here:

Correct. That’s why I reject origins as described by mainstream science. If you believe what you wrote, why don’t you reject the random grab bag of ideas they present?

So, what I’m saying there is that the knowledge of God leads to all scientific knowledge. And therefore science is NOT a random grab bag of ideas, because they flow from a single, unified being. And that’s why I DON’T reject it.

But if you DON’T believe in God, then science has to be just a random grab bag of ideas. In other words, if you think that science IS in fact a random grab bag of ideas, then that ends up supporting ATHEISM.

So the association is God with principled science, and atheism with random ideas. I think it’s important to get this straight, because you seemed to have interpreted things the exact opposite of what I said, and because this idea is very important to my overarching philosophy, and what we’re all trying to do in these forums.

Anyway, if you read my article please let me know, and we can discuss more about what you think about it!

Ok. I’ll take a look. Can you point me to the particular blog post? I’ll bookmark it and take a look soon.

Yes - what I’m saying is that correct scientific knowledge means evaluating the evidence based on the knowledge of God. We should be wary of assuming all science is correct if it’s not based on observation evidence and especially if it’s evaluated in a way that leaves God out. That’s what current evolutionary theory does. It looks to explain science in a way that purposefully removes God.

Correct. And this is why I reject evolutionary science. They’re ignoring the evidence of a global flood and post-global flood era in the fossil record and using the fossil record to create design arguments to make the case for evolution over deep time.

I agree with Carter and Sanford here, and that’s why I reject the GAE narrative.

Finally, we urge Joshua, and others like him, to reject the philosophical underpinnings of naturalism and its stepchild, methodological naturalism. In every instance in this book, one can swap the word “science” for “naturalism” and there is no change in meaning. **But naturalism is a philosophy that, in the end, reduces God to a non-entity.**26 At the same time, naturalism cannot be used to explain important aspects of science,27 especially since the idea that there should be a regularity in nature comes from Christianity, not evolutionary theory. 28 Naturalism works wonderfully as a philosophy of the laboratory, but it fails miserably as a philosophy of origins. Yet, this is where the debate lies. Hence, his thesis gets us nowhere.

This is a classic place they wildly misread me. If that’s your reason your reject the GAE, you are standing on sinking sand. I do not affirm naturalism.

Ignoring the evidence of a global flood? Good grief! What, pray, can you claim as evidence for a global flood?

4 Likes