4.14.2005

Evolution vs. Christianity

Hey everyone! Mom's trying to plan bicycle rally in our town. She went to www.pedalbmx.com to try and find someone to come and do a bike show. PedalBMX has a forum on it where bikers discuss everything under the sun. WARNING! Do not click on that link just for the sake of looking around. The bikers use extremely bad language. Anyway, they had a thread on "Theory of Evolution vs. Christianity" This thread had a bunch of atheists on it discussing the "glories" of evolution. Mom (username: fithwite) got on there and started smashing heads (or trying to). She used information from Answers In Genesis. They attacked her vehemently, calling creationists every name under the sun. She just waited it out and kept on telling why evolution was a lie. To make a long story short, I got on the forum as well (username: standonbible) and started spouting logic. It startled them enough that they began using real arguments rather than slander. Anyway, I told them that there has never been any genetic information added to the genome. I challenged them to give me an example. Like most pseudo-scientists, they told me that natural selection absolutely increases genetic information. As you probably know, this is a LIE. Natural selection removes information from the genome by "selecting" the organisms that have lost inferior genes. Well, the guy on the thread (Wouter, an avowed atheist and evolutionist)said: "OK, then: If we take a non-literal interpretation of the Bible, God created one organism millions of years ago with all the genetic information necessary for all organisms, and creatures have been devolving ever since." Hahahahahaha! Like trilobites had more genetic information than me. In Him, David

41 comments:

Eric (the dented one) said...

LOL that's great! That's cool you've enabled comments... do your parents know? ;)

God Bless,
Eric

Renate' said...

i agree that it's cool you've enabled comments! :-)

Anonymous said...

yeah, comets are great! they go zoom zoom! BANG! OWWY!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm probably showing my ignorance of this issue, but if all DNA molecules are the same size, how could one organism have more genetic information that another?

David S. MacMillan III said...

DNA is a long strand of connected molecules. These molecules contain a code which specifies the genetic makeup of a creature. The longer the strand, the more information.

:-)

Ryan said...
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David S. MacMillan III said...

I'm not saying that the genome doesn't change. That's ludicrous. The human genome loses information all the time through natural selection. However, there is never an increase of information, which is what is required for molecules-to-man evolution. Ask any scientist if they know of a method to increase genetic information in the genome. It is impossible; information never arises from information.

David S. MacMillan III said...

Oops!! My mistake. A bit of a typo there.

It is impossible. Information never arises from non-information.

Anonymous said...

David,
Thank you very much for answering my question.

Anonymous said...

Ryan,

Creation is just as much a fact as the fact that the world exists. Since the world couldn't have existed forever in the ordered state it is in now (as the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us), it had to have had a beginning sometime. And if it had a beginning, it must have had something to begin it. Just as you can't have a started car without someone to start it, so you can't have a universe without a person to make it.

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I see two problems with the idea that a natural force created the world:
First, a natural force cannot exist before nature exists.
Second, forces can't choose to do things.

How do you respond to these problems?

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The universal or natural force that I previously described is also one that does not have a choice tb behave in the way that it does.

But then why didn't the universal force create the world sooner, instead of waiting till now?

Now, I think that when we look at nature we must come to the conclusion that whoever created it was:

Personal, to be able to choose to create it at a specific point in time.

Infinitely intelligent, to be able to design such an amazingly beautiful and orderly world.

Infinitely powerful, to be able to create such a huge amount of matter from nothing.

Anonymous said...

Ryan,
You seem to be making a distinction between what Creationists believe and the idea of creation. What is the difference between the two?

David S. MacMillan III said...

Ryan,

The universal or natural force that I previously described is also one that does not have a choice to behave in the way that it does. It behaves as it is programmed or designed to.

I might be missing something, but according to what you say here, there must be some programmer or designer. Who, then, created natural laws?

David S. MacMillan III said...

Ryan,

The basic idea of Creationism and Christianity is this:

If the universe as it is today could not have arisen through purely naturalistic processes, then a supernatural force of some kind is required to start and/or sustain it.

The universe could not have arisen through purely naturalistic processes.

:., there must be a supernatural force of some kind that we would call god or God.

Obviously, you wouldn't differ with the first premise, so the second premise is what we would want to attack or defend. Just something to get us a bit more on track when it comes to what we are discussing. If you wanna debate Creationism, please attempt to disprove the second premise. :-)

Gabriel Bertilson said...

I would add something to that summary. The God that Creationists believe in is an infinite personal God, not an infinite impersonal god as in many Eastern religions. The difference is that our God has consciousness and can think, while their god is just a force or spirit that is all through everything.

Anonymous said...

The problem with creationists is that they never really define what they mean by genetic information. Usually when they talk about loss of information I can't discern what they mean since their definition of genetic information is too vague to be usefull.
For example, does a point mutation add, subtract, or leave unchanged the "amount of information"? What about a gene duplication? What about a gene duplication, followed by a point mutation in either the duplicate or original, but not the other? And how _much_ of a change of information is there? How do they explain that simulations show the opposite of what they claim?

David S. MacMillan III said...

Anonymous said:

The problem with creationists is that they never really define what they mean by genetic information.

Genetic information is code in DNA. All those different proteins combined to produce physical characteristics.

Usually when they talk about loss of information I can't discern what they mean since their definition of genetic information is too vague to be useful.

A loss of genetic information occurs like this: In a group of dogs, the gene for short hair is "ss" and the gene for long hair is "LL". If there is an extremely hot season, all of the dogs with "LL" genes will die. This results in a net loss of coded information in the genome, because there is now no way to get long hair. Natural selection.

What about a gene duplication?

If your printer malfunctioned and printed two copies of a paper instead of one, you would not assume that new information has been created. You would try to get the printer fixed!

Mutations are places where, during reproduction, a gene is:

A. Copied twice instead of once.
B. Not copied at all.
C. Copied incorrectly ("abel" when it should be "able")

All these are mutations. These do not increase genetic information; they can't turn crabs and crustaceans into Catholics and Creationists.

Ryan said...
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Gabriel Bertilson said...

Regardless, the idea that it choose to create life now so it must be personal is so far into the realm of unknown.

But if we can know that whatever created the universe chose to create it, that would mean that it was personal. By a personal God I don't mean a little personal pet god, I mean a God who knows that He exists and has the power to think and choose. The Creator of the universe couldn't have been a force, because forces can't choose either to create an orderly universe or to create one at all.

I think that infinitely powerful is also answered somewhere previously. I agree that it would be but I won't agree that we could ever know for sure.

But we can know at least that God is almost infinitely powerful. After all, it takes a lot of power to create the universe by nothing but his power.

By the way, were you saying in your last post that the Creator of the universe couldn't be personal (that is, having consciousness and the ability to choose) because humans, whom it created, are personal? If that's what you meant, I would say that you are doing the exact same thing by saying that the Creator is a force. After all, there are many forces in nature.

David S. MacMillan III said...

So,

Are you a believer in the idea of Intelligent Design but agnostic; "A supernatural creator exists but we can't know anything about him."?

David S. MacMillan III said...

Hey guys,

I just wanted to say that I appreciate the time y'all are putting into this and I'm glad to be debating!

God Bless,

David

Gabriel Bertilson said...

Well, I'm sure glad that you enjoy debating on here, because I do too. It's really interesting to hear what people believe and to argue with them, especially since I can debate more than just fellow Christians on here.

Anonymous said...

To give a good definition of genetic information you have to connect it with a physical observable and show a measurement can distinguish between different amounts of information in a genome. This is nontrivial but people have done it. See the talk.origins newsgroup.

As for your printer example--it reinforces my point. One can easily create a random algorithm to produce new information using what corresponds to gene duplication and point mutations along with selection. Take a message, say "Hello World", and send it to your printer or screen. Let there be a nonzero probability that the message will be duplicated along with a possible scrambling or change in the letters. Compare the output with what appears in Merriam-Webster and reject those messages which have no correspondence. Repeat. One could probably write a novel using a more sophisticated version of this algorithm.

gerbil said...
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Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ryan said...
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Gabriel Bertilson said...

Like I said beliefs are fine but in order to sway me, you have to support your beliefs with fact and science. Was it naturalistic? Show me your data, was it supernatural? Is there data that can prove supernaturalistic activity? I dont really know. I guess that is my point.

Ryan, does science tell us that only science is true?

I will admit that the force may be supernatural but I really DONT KNOW. It could be natural disguised to our perceptions as supernatural or it could be the inverse.

Can nature create itself?

So what I would think is that the subargument of your first premise may be false. I am not sure of whether the naturalistic forces of the universe could have lead to the birth of human life.

But there is a lot more to human beings than just what nature can give us. Nature can't give us morals, creativity, humor, love, or beauty, so how can you explain them without involving what is beyond nature, in other words, the supernatural?

David S. MacMillan III said...

Ryan said:
So what I would think is that the subargument of your first premise may be false. I am not sure of whether the naturalistic forces of the universe could have lead to the birth of human life.

Natural forces cannot produce life from non-life. That's the law of abiogenesis, formulated by Dr. Louis Pasteur. This law has never been "broken".

The closest we have come to creating "life in a test tube" is the formation of several amino acids that, incedentaly, are harmful to life. If certain other amino acids related to these are folded into proteins, and the proteins are assembled by living cells, DNA can be created. However, even DNA is a far cry from life. More later.

Gabriel Bertilson said...

Pineapples grow on bromeliads.

David S. MacMillan III said...

I think that the main problem here is that we assume that the world and universe must conform to our own understanding rather than that we have to conform our way of thinking to it.

This reminds me of a humorous quote by C.S. Lewis:

If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole (supposed) evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents — the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts — i.e. of materialism and astronomy — are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.

According to your model, then, our minds can't grasp the universe anyway, so we can't know anyway.

According to our model (which we believe because all the evidence we see points to it), a supreme personal God created the universe with a plan and purpose. This means that we aren't accidents, so we should be able to use reason effectively.

Hmmm . . . I'll go with the second idea myself. Everything I see tells me that our senses and our reasoning skills are valid . . . unless you believe that everything but your own mind is just a self-created hallucination.

Ryan said...
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Toad734 said...

So you really think Noah put 2 of every animal in the Ark at one time and was able to feed them for 7 months, or however long they were in there. And do you really think that when his family came out of the boat one was black, one was white, one was an Arab and there were some Asians and a couple of Mexicans?

You should open you mind just a tad.

Ya, there is all kinds of science backing your hypothesis.

Admitting evolution does not prove that there isn't a God. It just means that the Bible is just a bunch of stories, written and embellished by man, after the fact in order to scare, exploit and control the masses.

David S. MacMillan III said...

what do you really know about god aside from beliefs that you learned from the bible?

Science gives me the impression that some supernatural being created the universe approximately 6,000 years ago. Therefore:

1. Since He created the world, he knows everything about it (all-knowing).
2. Since He created the laws of nature (they had to come from somewhere) He is greater than them and not bound by them (omnipotent).
3. Since He created time, He is not bound by it.
4. Since He created the universe, he can do anything or go anywhere in it and is not restricted by physical properties (omnipresent).

These are the properties of God that we can see through science.

David S. MacMillan III said...

So you really think Noah put 2 of every animal in the Ark at one time and was able to feed them for 7 months, or however long they were in there.

Absolutely. There is a book by one of the people at Answers In Genesis that explains the logistics of the ark without invoking any supernatural aid other than pointing the animals in the general direction of the ark. It's all pretty simple.

And do you really think that when his family came out of the boat one was black, one was white, one was an Arab and there were some Asians and a couple of Mexicans?

Absolutely not!!! All the members of Noah's family had a middle-brown level of melanin (pigment) in their skin. Remember, we don't have any trouble with microevolution; that's loss of genetic information. Black people have lost some of the genetic information that removes melanin. White people have lost some of the genetic information that adds melanin. Macroevolution is adding information!!!

You should open you mind just a tad.

Hey, I'm one of the most open-minded guys on here! I'm perfectly willing to admit that macroevolution is a natural process if you can show it happening today testably, repeatably, and proveably. You guys are the ones that have "toadally" closed your minds to the possibility of the existence of any supernatural being.

Admitting evolution does not prove that there isn't a God.

I agree. But evolution requires long periods of time, and the Bible says that God created the universe just 6,000 years ago. Not only does evolution violate science, but it violates God's infallible Word.

It just means that the Bible is just a bunch of stories, written and embellished by man, after the fact in order to scare, exploit and control the masses.

That is an incorrect statement. Period.

GabrielB said...

What do you know about god? Ok, let me rephrase what do you really know about god aside from beliefs that you learned from the bible? To continue a conversation like this it is at least a necessity to realize the difference between your knowledge and your beliefs.

I think that there is very good evidence supporting the idea that the God of the Bible exists. The best piece of evidence is, in my opinion, the fact that there are universal moral values.

Even you have to admit this. You believe that it is morally wrong to say that the Bible is historically correct fact when it's so obvious that it isn't. But if there really weren't a God, you would only oppose it as an idea that just wasn't very good—not an idea that it was actually wrong to believe.

David S. MacMillan III said...

I deleted all of Ryan's comments because his picture was an obscene gesture, and I will NOT have anything like that on MY blog!

Toad734 said...

The Bible also says that men shouldn't shave their beards, that you should go to Church on Saturdays, that that Saturday in one book is to commemorate the day God rested, but then a couple of books later says it is to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews out of Egypt, and that children are to be stoned when they disobey their parents, that Jonathan and David were lovers, that the 10 Commandments were written on Mt. Sinai, and then 2 books later is says it was Mt. Horab, that 7 headed dragons came out of the sea, that the sea turned to blood, that Cain had a wife and a son, and that son also had a wife but supposedly there were only 4 people on the planet that time so how is that so?

So do you still believe everything that is in the Bible?

I would also like for you to get 10 of your friends in a line and each of you whisper the same joke into each others ears and see how different the last persons joke is. Then multiply that by several years and several hundred people. What you end up with is stories about stories based on hearsay AKA the Gospels that were all written after the death of Jesus. Those stories are only 2000 years old; the ones from Genesis are about 6000 years old so how accurate do you think all that information really is?

Anonymous said...

Wow- havent checked in on this dialogue for a while, and not for lack of interest in the vast spectrum of points of view which have been expressed and conversed here on these pages, Ive just been incredibly busy.

I am a bit dismayed that my posts, only mere humble contributions to the dialogue, here on David's site have been deleted.

Its not so much that I think that my comments were particularly enlightening or of some great providence, but more that I think that my comments were extremely relevant and open minded, and particularly necessary to reduce the echo chamber effect that this dialogue has seemed to take on.

The echo chamber is the cradle of insanity, in my humble opinion, and I feel that I know this because when I have sometimes found myself in the grips of yelling at the top of my own voice only to hear the same drab drivel resounding back at me- I have gone out in search of other voices.

I try to look for the ones that are the most unfamiliar to me in the hopes of learning something new or even just finding a refreshing new position to consider- and then on my own terms rejecting or affirming it.

This is not in any way an affront to the opinions that I try to take in and understand, even if I decide that these are not perspectives that I choose to affirm.

My grandfather used to say that opinions are like... well lets just say that he said that everyone had them, and that no single one was the right one, and to try to consider any and all that I came across, (maybe that wasn't exactly it...)

Either way, my grandfather wasn't a very educated man, but he was a very wise man who held a strict faith in the Catholic church all of the years of his life until the day that he died.

I, on the other hand, am not wise in spite of jibes that my friends will sometimes make at me, and I wouldn't consider myself to be a man of any particular structured religious faith, and yet I have a great respect for this man, my Irish Catholic grandfather, and others in his great generation who were just like him.

I think that this is an important part of life, being able to at least understand and converse with people of all different beliefs, especially those that I am not familiar with.

I can't say that I rally around the crowd whose beliefs might be closely like the ones that I have expressed here on David's page, or even that I know many others who believe in things the way that I do.

I dont have a gang of echoes to lean on when my perspective seems lost in a maze of confusion, and it seems that most of the time the only voice that I have to compete with, is the one right here in my head- and I can't tell you how dull that becomes.

That is why I have frequented this page for the past few months or so, because I am genuinely interested in the perspectives of others.

I think it is just plain foolish for me or anyone else to try and make their way through life sheltering their beliefs from any others for fear that their mind may be changed.

If a belief is strong and true than it will hold up to any scrutiny, from without or within. Any that wouldn't I would almost be ashamed to hold onto, in spite of my own understanding that their are holes in the particular story.

Anyway, I am not so disappointed that my contributions here have been deleted from the record, but more that if such a thing was necessary it wouldn't have been done sooner.

I have a signifigant amount of respect and gratefullness for all of those who have responded to my posts on this page and shared with me their own perspectives.

I have to admit I am a little disappointed in the lack of interest from the rest of the frequenting posters on this page, especially David who started the page, in what I percieve to be a failing of some sort to show the same interest in my point of view as I have for all of yours.

The picture that seems to have gotten my comments erased was placed on my site as a joke. Admittedly it may have been a bad one, but it was placed there in an effort to send a message to a certain girl who I feel has done me wrong.

Without going to deeply into it I still feel that it was justified and I know that this intended reciever got the message that I was sending.

Childish, I know, but I guess you can just chalk it up to love doing crazy things to people, and women doing the craziest things to men who love them.

The picture was of me giving the middle finger after having a few too many, while on vacation with a group of friends- including my new x-girlfriend.

I dont know why I am sitting here divulging all of this personal information other than that I have been called many things in my life but to my knowledge never have I been seen as being disrespectful to others who have shown me respect and been willing to have a conversation with me in open- minded dialogue.

I havent made any pretense here or anywhere else about who I am. I may curse and drink and question when I am told not to, and sometimes a combination of these and other "vice" traits that some would deem unworthy, and to an extent that many would find objectionable.

My purpose has never been to offend, but more to act as a catalyst for thought, my own and in others.

This is the purpose of my website, and while some of the commentary that appears there some people might deem to be on the same level as frothy pond scum, I still feel that it has a purpose, or at least place in this world of ideas.

In spite of what this may make me in the eyes of the world, I am quite proud of it, and I recognize it not as anything great or extraordinary but just as my personal contribution to this dialogue of the world.

For any that may have been offended by my middle finger picture I surely apologize.

I will admit that being considerably technologically illiterate I did not realize that this picture would end up on David's site in the midst of this lively exchange of ideas, but I guess if I knew then what I know now that might make me not so much the person that I am today, and I am quite happy with that person.

Honestly, I admit that in my search for other perspectives ther are not many dialogues such as this that I have actually decided to weigh in on. I mostly have always thought of it as a futile effort, and taken the experience purely as one of learning. I like to think that living is learning and if not than the life may not be worth so much...

Earlier I mentioned disappointment with those who frequent this site and even the person who started it.

What I meant there is that of all the bad and nasty things I have said on my website about an array of issues, it was this picture that was placed here unbeknownst to me that effectively shut my voice out of the dialogue and erased my thoughts from the record.

This only tells me that my site, so full of perspectives that many of you may never been exposed to in the aquarium worlds in which we live, was never even looked at, or thought about, even by any of those whose thoughts and views I considered so heavily and even spend a considerable amount of time responding to their comments and ideas, or reading their own websites.

While I spent hours at some points trying to convey my own thoughts against all of your own, I could have saved considerable time and effort by displaying one misplaced picture.

Im sorry I have been wasting all of our time here, but I assure you all that I will not post here again.

Thank you for your thoughts and ideas, and while I will post as anonymous due to a picture that may show up...

I remain
Ryan

www.gonzogoblin.blogspot.com