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Why theistic evolution makes no sense...

#1Mike_StantonPosted 1/24/2013 1:12:26 PM(edited)
First of all, if God guided the process of evolution then where exactly does he step in? Mutations occur periodically with some being harmful, some being neutral, and some being beneficial. Beneficial mutations continue to occur thanks to reproduction and natural selection. Adding God to the theory only adds on an unnecessary entity, and therefore violates Occam's Razor. And if he causes mutations to happen in order for evolution to happen then why would he bother with the harmful mutations?

And for those of you who identify as "theistic evolutionists," I hope you realize that since evolution explains the chicken or the egg problem by claiming that complexity emerged from simplicity, you're actually making even less sense out of evolution by adding an infinitely complex entity to the process.

Lastly, if God chose evolution as his method of creation then think about what that implies about the nature of God. He chose a method that involves the brutal extinction of many of his creations, as well as some arbitrary poor design choices. That makes God seem like a psychotic freak.
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#2Faust_8Posted 1/24/2013 2:26:58 PM
Many things make the Christian God look like a psychotic freak, so at least they're consistent.

Anyway, though, I think they usually claim that he doesn't guide evolution, just got it started and watched it from there. While that doesn't exactly seem like a "good" thing, as you pointed out, it's the only way to reconcile their religion with the evident truth of evolution.

Otherwise they're just denying reality and in the same standing as any other nutjob who closes his mind to preserve his feelings.
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#3Lord_IchmaelPosted 1/24/2013 2:33:54 PM
Evolution doesn't disprove God, it just disproves an active "good" God.
#4TheRealJiraiyaPosted 1/24/2013 2:45:47 PM
Mike_Stanton posted...
First of all, if God guided the process of evolution then where exactly does he step in?


Creation? Maybe he plays a roll in the mutation process, choosing which ones can occur from time to time, nudging it but overall allowing his initial creation to follow the clockworth path he laid in front of it?

Mutations occur periodically with some being harmful, some being neutral, and some being beneficial. Beneficial mutations continue to occur thanks to reproduction and natural selection


I would be interested in seeing you prove that every mutation is without any sort of divine intervention, but even if you do, see the last bit in my previous point.

Adding God to the theory only adds on an unnecessary entity,


If I was using evolution to prove God you would have a point, but I am not. I already believe in God for other reasons, and evolution for other reasons. My burden is just to demonstrate that they do not contradict.

Btw Occam's Razor is not a law. I think you can find a response to your harmful mutation point in my initial point.

And for those of you who identify as "theistic evolutionists," I hope you realize that since evolution explains the chicken or the egg problem by claiming that complexity emerged from simplicity, you're actually making even less sense out of evolution by adding an infinitely complex entity to the process.


How does it make less sense with God involved? Who cares about the chicken and egg problem? Pseudointellectualist garbage at its best, that problem. I have never known anyone to seriously ponder it.

Lastly, if God chose evolution as his method of creation then think about what that implies about the nature of God. He chose a method that involves the brutal extinction of many of his creations, as well as some arbitrary poor design choices. That makes God seem like a psychotic freak.


Wow. Or he chose a beautiful, clockwork method of creation. What is so innately bad about death? What is so innately bad about extinction?
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#5TheRealJiraiyaPosted 1/24/2013 2:48:47 PM
Lord_Ichmael posted...
Evolution doesn't disprove God, it just disproves an active "good" God.


No it doesnt. It just proves a God who, if he exists, use evolution. We have no idea whether there is anything good or bad about it. I, for one, prefer evolution as a creation method, and I do not consider myself to be psychotic. If God had a motive that was good behind it, if its part of an overall purpose, then it was a good act. And we dont know one way or the other.

When atheists have to have faith in made up ideas (like the assumption that any being to implement evolution must necessarily have done so pointlessly or maliciously) to argue against theists, it is a pretty bad sign for the strength of their argument.
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#6DeadPresidents2Posted 1/24/2013 2:51:27 PM
First of all, if God guided the process of evolution then where exactly does he step in? Mutations occur periodically with some being harmful, some being neutral, and some being beneficial. Beneficial mutations continue to occur thanks to reproduction and natural selection. Adding God to the theory only adds on an unnecessary entity, and therefore violates Occam's Razor. And if he causes mutations to happen in order for evolution to happen then why would he bother with the harmful mutations?

Just a quick question to the entire board beforehand: What is the obsession with Occam's Razor on this board? Is it some kind of meme that I'm just not picking up on? I'm familiar with parsimony, but I don't think I've ever seen it hailed as an infallible heuristic like how it tends to be here. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a full argument between individuals that did not mention Occam's Razor or Bertrand Russell. Same thing with the constant usage of Latin. "Onus probandi", "ad hominem", etc. I feel like I'm missing something with how often these things are used.

Anyway, that's just a minor rant, something that I've meaning to say for a while and was reminded of upon seeing this post. To actually address the topic, I don't think that theistic evolution has to involve God stepping in at a random point, when things were occurring normally. I'm fairly certain that most with the belief sort of view it as a derivative of the "First Cause", but from a Biology perspective, positing that a god set in motion the rules that allow life to mutate and so on. Or maybe I'm just mixing it up with something else.
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#7JonWood007Posted 1/24/2013 3:11:10 PM
Evolution only causes problems for religious theism tbqh. Deism and more generic forms of theism are unaffected. In this model, God designed evolution.

It's when you begin talking about creation, and how humans are made in God's image, and trying to reconcile it with christian doctrines, and you begin going into the soul, and just generally trying to reconcile it that you begin to get problems. If you stick to a simple deism type belief in God, it's not a problem.


Creation? Maybe he plays a roll in the mutation process, choosing which ones can occur from time to time, nudging it but overall allowing his initial creation to follow the clockworth path he laid in front of it?


Do you have evidence for this? How often does he get involved? Why do bad mutations happen? If God can cause good ones to happen, why not stop bad ones?

You see, and I say this as someone who once thought this way, I see this kind of response as an attempt to reconcile Christianity with science. And it doesn't work. Think about this. What are your motivations for thinking like this? You're smart enough to give credibility to science, and you're going against a good chunk of the foundational material of the Bible in doing so, but you're still holding on to your religious beliefs. But the second you start doing this, it becomes easier and easier to poke holes in your belief system, more stuff can be demonstrated as being natural, and after a while, you're left to wonder if anything can be attributed to God. Then you begin to think like me.

I would be interested in seeing you prove that every mutation is without any sort of divine intervention, but even if you do, see the last bit in my previous point.


This seems to be a god of the gaps argument/argument from ignorance/attempt to shift the burden of proof. I know this topic is not about proving God, but this is a common fallacy among Christians. We don't know if God could play a part, so I'm going to assume he DOES play a part, even though I probably can't pony up any evidence for this. The question we should be asking is "how do we know God did not have a part in evolution?", but "how do we know that he did?"

Btw Occam's Razor is not a law. I think you can find a response to your harmful mutation point in my initial point.


Not a law, but a good presumption to follow.

Just a quick question to the entire board beforehand: What is the obsession with Occam's Razor on this board? Is it some kind of meme that I'm just not picking up on? I'm familiar with parsimony, but I don't think I've ever seen it hailed as an infallible heuristic like how it tends to be here. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a full argument between individuals that did not mention Occam's Razor or Bertrand Russell. Same thing with the constant usage of Latin. "Onus probandi", "ad hominem", etc. I feel like I'm missing something with how often these things are used.


Why should we accept an unnecessarily complex system when a much simpler system is just as valid?

I mean, the more complex system COULD be truth, but it makes more presumptions, is more likely to be wrong, and in the case of Christianity and other organized religions, half its assumptions are already provben wrong and you're just trying to cling to the other half.
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#8TheRealJiraiyaPosted 1/24/2013 3:18:57 PM
JonWood007 posted...
Do you have evidence for this?


Why on earth would I need evidence for this? I explained why I didnt need it later in my post.

The answer to the rest of your questions ("how often", etc) are "I do not know". Its possible he just set things going at creation and doesnt do much intervening at all. As for bad mutations, I never said he caused all mutations, but I also dont see how a "bad" mutation is bad objectively. Creatures that die due to bad mutations feed the ecosystem.

I see this kind of response as an attempt to reconcile Christianity with science


You should, because that is what it is.

I feel like your entire post can be responded to with what I already posted

If I was using evolution to prove God you would have a point, but I am not. I already believe in God for other reasons, and evolution for other reasons. My burden is just to demonstrate that they do not contradict.
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#9ravenomoarPosted 1/24/2013 5:27:31 PM
I think theists just take the lazy approach. Notice how most things are assumptions and justifications for god would have acted or provide reasons and justification for it. Why can't we simply accept that the answer is complicated and unanswered? Sure it is easy to say that God did it and blindly follow that dogma.
#10IvashankoPosted 1/25/2013 6:48:33 AM
...I honestly don't even see what the issue is here. It really doesn't seem to be a good argument.