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Why theistic evolution makes no sense...

#11SirThinkALotPosted 1/27/2013 2:49:04 AM
Mike_Stanton posted...
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?


I dont think its necessary to say that God 'guided' evolution. At least in the sense of micromanaging individual mutations etc. In fact I cant identify any TE who believes that off hand(although there probably is at least one out there)

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.


Does anybody take the chicken and egg problem seriously? I know I havent since I was about 7. But yea its not necessary to drag God into the process of evolution. But since I believe in God for other(historical and philosophical) reasons, it sort of becomes necessary.

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.


I think its kind of beautiful that God shows a preference for complex and intricate methods of working. Also if evolution didn't happen that means that things like human wisdom teeth or our poorly designed backs are there because God 'poofed' us into existence with them...which makes him look like even more of a psychotic freak if you ask me.
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#12IamvegitoPosted 1/27/2013 9:00:49 AM
Just gonna leave this here...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_theology
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#13OzymandiasIVPosted 1/27/2013 11:18:40 AM
I'm a pretty devout atheist (yes, that's a play on words, don't look any deeper into it), and questions like these (in the OP) never cease to annoy the hell out of me. No, they don't necessarily make sense, but it's easy enough to step into the shoes of a believer and see why they believe what they do. It's not always senseless. For some people, religion always comes first. For others, they give religion and science near-equal footing, unless perhaps the science undeniably contradicted something of their faith. They're just trying to reconcile the two (their religion and modern scientific claims).

From: Mike_Stanton | Posted: 1/24/2013 3:12:26 PM | #001
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?


I hope this isn't a question of how he is able to do it, or how he's able to keep track of all the mutations, or if he could have a hand in all of them. The Bible and other writings say nothing on this, as far as I'm aware, but God is believed to be omniscient and omnipotent, so it's not difficult to divine an answer. He can do anything and knows everything. It would be nothing for him to control every single mutation. Or perhaps he only guides the mutations, at times, to lead things to where he wants them to be. Or any step in between, or even far off from that.

And it's no secret that people have suffered by God or for God (and let's not forget about hell). That's to be expected, so it's not really shocking to think that some critters may have been given bad mutations by God. What is temporary, mortal suffering compared to non-existence (for animals, as some believe; also, animals won't have to suffer the torture of hell, so pain on Earth really is nothing for them) or eternity in heaven?

And for a lot of these people, introducing God does not violate Occam's Razor. They believe God has always existed and that he created time and space and all existence. It might not make sense to you and me, but it makes sense to them. We ask where God came from, but that's not something they have to ask. They believe God made us to be like we are, so when they see that evolution is undeniable, adding God into the mix actually does make the situation more simple (since evolution has no end goal, unless you add in a creator who directs it).
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#14OzymandiasIVPosted 1/27/2013 11:18:47 AM
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.


Once again, they don't have to explain anything about God or his origins to believe that he exists, he is all-powerful, and he can control every aspect of evolution. They believe he exists. He has told them (through the Bible or other means) that he exists. They believe it. Granted, the proof they have isn't good enough for you and me, but if we believed an entity like that existed, and he didn't want to tell us about his origins, we probably wouldn't press him.

It's very similar to how we don't have to understand what caused the Big Bang or what came before the Big Bang (assuming you buy that explanation). Knowing all that about the Big Bang is unnecessary to understand evolution, but we understand that without it, we wouldn't be here to day and evolution then couldn't occur. Same principle. They don't have to know the origins of God to believe he controls evolution. So the infinite complexity of the nature of god really is no issue here.

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.


"Brutal" extinction. Love it. It gets a good emotional response. You may not like it, and I certainly don't, but we (they) don't know why God creates animals and then kills them off, and we (they) don't need to. Who knows why he does it? I don't see it as cruel. In the concept of everything, any suffering they go through is incredibly short-term, and he gets to decide when to take back that life anyway, so I don't see what the issue here is.

It really sounds to me like a lot of your complaints are emotional. You don't like the idea of a being that created us being able to take out life away, or to make us suffer, so you resort to calling God a freak because you don't like it.
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#15JonWood007Posted 1/27/2013 12:00:18 PM


I think its kind of beautiful that God shows a preference for complex and intricate methods of working.


Yeah, but without proof of God's existence it kinda seems illogical to go with a complex system as opposed to a simple one. I think a deistic god is possible here, but a human centric one like in the Bible? Doubt it.

Thats the thing, yeah, if you try hard enough, of course you can reconcile religion and science...but the thing is, it's a mess of rationalizations built on no proof.
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#16Julian_CaesarPosted 1/28/2013 1:06:36 AM
From: OzymandiasIV | #014
It's very similar to how we don't have to understand what caused the Big Bang or what came before the Big Bang (assuming you buy that explanation). Knowing all that about the Big Bang is unnecessary to understand evolution, but we understand that without it, we wouldn't be here to day and evolution then couldn't occur. Same principle. They don't have to know the origins of God to believe he controls evolution. So the infinite complexity of the nature of god really is no issue here.


Couldn't have said it better myself.
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#17ravenomoarPosted 1/29/2013 8:30:56 AM
Julian_Caesar posted...
From: OzymandiasIV | #014
It's very similar to how we don't have to understand what caused the Big Bang or what came before the Big Bang (assuming you buy that explanation). Knowing all that about the Big Bang is unnecessary to understand evolution, but we understand that without it, we wouldn't be here to day and evolution then couldn't occur. Same principle. They don't have to know the origins of God to believe he controls evolution. So the infinite complexity of the nature of god really is no issue here.


Couldn't have said it better myself.


Except there are mountains of evidence for the big bang and evolution and zero evidence for the existence of god.
#18Julian_CaesarPosted 1/31/2013 7:41:58 PM
From: ravenomoar | #017
Julian_Caesar posted...
From: OzymandiasIV | #014
It's very similar to how we don't have to understand what caused the Big Bang or what came before the Big Bang (assuming you buy that explanation). Knowing all that about the Big Bang is unnecessary to understand evolution, but we understand that without it, we wouldn't be here to day and evolution then couldn't occur. Same principle. They don't have to know the origins of God to believe he controls evolution. So the infinite complexity of the nature of god really is no issue here.


Couldn't have said it better myself.


Except there are mountains of evidence for the big bang and evolution and zero evidence for the existence of god.


*whoosh*
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#19countzanderPosted 2/1/2013 6:31:54 PM
Mike_Stanton posted...
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.


Theistic evolution was not, I don't think, intended to a scientific theory. As John pointed out, it's just a means by which Christians try to reconcile their faith with what seems to be reality. Occam's razor is not applicable since theistic evolution is not a scientific statement.

How do you know God is infinitely complex? Incomprehensibility is not the same as infinite complexity.

Lastly--. Well, the last point is pretty good. But the conclusion is questionable. Even if life on earth isn't perfect, it's still good enough (otherwise we wouldn't be here). Granted, a lot of plants and animals have been weeded out by natural selection, but so what? This isn't heaven. Everything has to die eventually.
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#20SirThinkALotPosted 2/2/2013 10:39:10 PM
JonWood007 posted...


I think its kind of beautiful that God shows a preference for complex and intricate methods of working.


Yeah, but without proof of God's existence it kinda seems illogical to go with a complex system as opposed to a simple one


Well, for starters I think there are good reasons to think God exists(although the complexity/variety of life isnt necessarily one of them)

But to be frank, I dont think any of us are in a position to judge what is 'most logical' for God to have done. We(and here I speak of humanity collectively) dont have even a fraction of a percent of the knowledge he does, and arent even remotely capable of thinking on the same level he is. Rather than debating what God should'would have done, I'd rather look at the world to figure out what he actually did.
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