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Old 02-14-2014, 03:10 PM   #61
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If we presuppose that what you say is true (that man was created by an infinitely capable God), then why must evolution be excluded as a tool which was used in said act of creation?

Why could He not have started the ball rolling, so to speak, by setting that first marble into play back at the Big Bang, then lounged back and watched everything unfold?
If we follow your line of thought, this implies that God is not perfect (How do you improve on perfection?).

Unless you want to take the view that "evolution" simply means change, whether good or bad.

Following this line of thought, we could be "devolving" from perfection. However, I think most take "evolution" to mean progress/getting smarter/better adapted, etc.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:19 PM   #62
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If I slap a fiberglass body-kit onto a Pontiac Fiero, does that make it a Lamborghini Countach?
If you replace every part on a car with new parts, is it still the same car or a new one?
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:38 PM   #63
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:40 PM   #64
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If we follow your line of thought, this implies that God is not perfect (How do you improve on perfection?).

Unless you want to take the view that "evolution" simply means change, whether good or bad.
Why does it mean that?

Let me be more clear:

1: Presuppose the existence of God.
2: Presuppose that, as Genesis says, God created the universe and the things in it.
3: Who is to say the exact physical processes by which these tasks were performed?

Or:

If I say to you "Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa," would you counter by saying to me "No, the Mona Lisa was painted with a brush?"




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If you replace every part on a car with new parts, is it still the same car or a new one?
Metaphysical answer: Do cars have souls?

Philosophical answer: Define what makes something "a car."

Pragmatic answer: Did you replace that portion of the firewall which has the VIN stamped into it?
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:44 PM   #65
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:49 PM   #66
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Why does it mean that?
Because if we are created in His image and he is perfect:

"perfect - excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement
or
entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings"


How can there be any ability for improvement (evolution)?

I'm not speaking of the "how" we were made, that's irrelevant to what I'm getting at, I'm speaking to the result.

In other words, if we are perfect, how can we evolve?

*Again, unless you are using "evolution" to mean "any change."
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:07 PM   #67
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What if God is continuously evolving?

What if God (being, you know, infinite and all) does not manifest itself in a single physical form, but rather in an incomprehensibly large (infinite?) number of forms?

What if (things that I cannot possibly comprehend or imagine, because I am mortal)?

In other words, most of the common objections which I hear along these lines tend to presuppose facts not in evidence, or beliefs which are not supported by actual religious canon but rather are the modern invention of individuals with a limited capacity for understanding and a tendency towards binary and literal interpretations of doctrine.


Nothing in the Abrahamic scriptures contradicts the suggestion that Darwinian evolution might have been used as a tool by The Creator, nor does it require that Homo Sapiens be understood to be the final and ultimate result of said evolution.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:11 PM   #68
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What if God is continuously evolving?
It's an interesting question, but it does not follow down our previous supposition that "God is perfect and created us in His image."


One of the things I've always wondered, why hasn't God/Jesus/Holy Spirit ever decided to make a return trip to clear up all the misrepresentations regarding His teachings?
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:23 PM   #69
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It's an interesting question, but it does not follow down our previous supposition that "God is perfect and created us in His image."
Why not?

I ask this seriously, though of course it's merely one conjecture among many.




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One of the things I've always wondered, why hasn't God/Jesus/Holy Spirit ever decided to make a return trip to clear up all the misrepresentations regarding His teachings?
An interesting question, but one which is tangential to the nature of the matter at hand.

I've no real interest (in this context) to debate the existence of God. To think otherwise is to miss the point of what I'm trying to say. That, simply, is this:

1: For those people who are already strongly convinced of the existence of God the Creator, why must they fear the notion of evolution as threatening to their beliefs?

and

2: For those who are strong proponents of the truth of evolution, why would they then make the leap towards assuming that this disproves the existence of God? It seems to me that, for some, Darwinism is an excuse to justify an underlying and pre-existing atheist faith, rather than atheism being the natural and obvious result of an understanding of Darwinism.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:52 PM   #70
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Why not?

I ask this seriously, though of course it's merely one conjecture among many.
In my deliberately literal sense of the words used, there simply is no capability for improvement on perfection.

If God is still evolving (in a positive way, which I'll assume since you haven't countered that point), he was never a perfect being to begin with, which takes me back the Epicurus quote.


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An interesting question, but one which is tangential to the nature of the matter at hand.

I've no real interest (in this context) to debate the existence of God. To think otherwise is to miss the point of what I'm trying to say. That, simply, is this:

1: For those people who are already strongly convinced of the existence of God the Creator, why must they fear the notion of evolution as threatening to their beliefs?

and

2: For those who are strong proponents of the truth of evolution, why would they then make the leap towards assuming that this disproves the existence of God? It seems to me that, for some, Darwinism is an excuse to justify an underlying and pre-existing atheist faith, rather than atheism being the natural and obvious result of an understanding of Darwinism.
Then as someone who enjoys debate, I'd be curious what context you would want to debate the existence of God.

Back on topic:

1. I think it goes back to my literal use of the word perfect. Implying something/one/entity can get better means it wasn't perfect, of Godly, to begin with.

2. I would agree that if you get rid of the idea of God being perfect, then it's perfectly plausible.
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:46 PM   #71
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I still feel like we're having two separate conversations here, where you're trying to analyze whether the bible is true, whether God exists, and so on.

I really couldn't care less. What's far more interesting is how people react to faith, both positively and negatively. The real question is not whether God exists. The question is:

1: for those people who are already convinced that God exists, why do many view the idea of Darwinian evolution as incompatible with that faith and an attack upon it,

and

2: for those people who accept Darwinian evolution as factual, why do so many of them vocally oppose the fundamental idea that God exists?



Can you not see the distinction that I am making here? Darwinian evolution describes a physical process by which life changes from one form to another, but makes no effort to explain how the very first life sprung up from non-living matter, now how the universe itself (and all the material within it) came to be in the first place.

By contrast, the Judeo-Christian religions offer an explanation for the origin of the universe and the initial spark that created the fundamental concept of life, but doesn't go into great detail about the exact physical processes which took place thereafter.


The two concepts, Genesis creation theory and Darwinian evolution, are not at all at odds with one another. They are, in fact, complimentary. Regardless of whether both are in fact true, they CAN both be true without creating any paradoxes.

So, why do so many people want to view the two concepts as an inherently either/or dilemma?

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Old 02-14-2014, 07:15 PM   #72
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The two concepts, Genesis creation theory and Darwinian evolution, are not at all at is with one another. They are, in fact, complimentary. Regardless of whether both agree in fact true, they CAN both be true without creating any paradoxes.
And this is possibly why we aren't on the same page, or I'm being too obtuse or pedantic, maybe it's my own personal viewpoint getting in the way.....

From what I know of both sides, going back to my "perfect" thing, prima facie they seem to be mutually exclusive. And I've given the reason why I think so, however, you maintain, that they are not mutually exclusive, yet provide no reasoning for why you think this way.

Perhaps, explaining to me why you think they don't create a paradox will help me understand your viewpoint. I realize this is all theoretical, but the "What if God is evolving?" doesn't really fit with the creationists position in any shape or form.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:26 PM   #73
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you maintain, that they are not mutually exclusive, yet provide no reasoning for why you think this way.
1: I thought that I'd done a rather comprehensive job of that by way of example, so long as you consider that I am analyzing people's reactions to faith, and not analyzing the validity of faith itself.

2: I'm on a train right now approaching Catskill, and will be away from technology for most of the weekend. I will check back in this thread after I emerge from beneath the Blanket of Infinite Snuggling, and reply further then.

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Old 02-14-2014, 09:15 PM   #74
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That, simply, is this:

1: For those people who are already strongly convinced of the existence of God the Creator, why must they fear the notion of evolution as threatening to their beliefs?

and

2: For those who are strong proponents of the truth of evolution, why would they then make the leap towards assuming that this disproves the existence of God? It seems to me that, for some, Darwinism is an excuse to justify an underlying and pre-existing atheist faith, rather than atheism being the natural and obvious result of an understanding of Darwinism.
Precisely.

For the 1st group: the primary issue is often Young Earth vs Old Universe, evolution being an issue in that it requires the Old Universe. A literal interpretation of Gen 1-6 requires for them a Young Earth. This is based on the concept that Christ and Paul both quote and refer to Gen 1-6, and further requires that it be literally interpreted, wholly true, or else one must reject the Christian faith outright.

For the 2nd group: By pushing for the dichotomy only (no possible blending) yields that the proving of evolution disproves a God; and allows them
to justify their atheism and frees them to define their own morality.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:53 PM   #75
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1: I thought that I'd find a rather comprehensive job of that by way of example, so long as you consider that I am analyzing people's reactions to faith, and not analyzing the validity of faith itself.

2: I'm on a train right now approaching Catskill, and will be away from technology for most of the weekend. I will check back in this thread after I emerge from beneath the Blanket of Infinite Snuggling, and reply further then.
Yes, rightfully so. I agree with you. I love debate, I realize I'm not always as good at being objective as I should be. I await your response.

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Precisely.

For the 1st group: the primary issue is often Young Earth vs Old Universe, evolution being an issue in that it requires the Old Universe. A literal interpretation of Gen 1-6 requires for them a Young Earth. This is based on the concept that Christ and Paul both quote and refer to Gen 1-6, and further requires that it be literally interpreted, wholly true, or else one must reject the Christian faith outright.

For the 2nd group: By pushing for the dichotomy only (no possible blending) yields that the proving of evolution disproves a God; and allows them
to justify their atheism and frees them to define their own morality.
I'll only speak to your 2nd para, I'm hoping I read you wrong that you are implying that without religion there is no morality.

I could be wrong, I'm many Guiness and Jamison into the evening.
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:25 PM   #76
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I'm saying that there are many who wish to define their personal morality, usually defined as ethics, rather than by Divine authority. And though I may digress, I am of the opinion that the heavy thinkers do, within an atheistic perspective, develop reasonable ethics; which are grossly mis-interpreted / applied by lesser men.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:55 AM   #77
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I'm saying that there are many who wish to define their personal morality, usually defined as ethics, rather than by Divine authority. And though I may digress, I am of the opinion that the heavy thinkers do, within an atheistic perspective, develop reasonable ethics; which are grossly mis-interpreted / applied by lesser men.
Agreed.

However, I don't think a "decent" moral code takes much thinking. Apply the "Golden Rule," show some empathy, donate to charity and keep living.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:11 PM   #78
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It's an interesting question, but it does not follow down our previous supposition that "God is perfect and created us in His image."


One of the things I've always wondered, why hasn't God/Jesus/Holy Spirit ever decided to make a return trip to clear up all the misrepresentations regarding His teachings?
I guess the obvious counterpoint that I feel has not been made is that just because God (assuming his existence for the argument) created us in his image does not mean he made us exact copies of himself. I mean for a real world example look at Chinese turbos. They are created in the image of garret turbos. That does not mean they are the same thing. One is the inspiration for the other but inspiration does not equate to identical.

Therefore it is reasonable to assume that God could be using humans (and everything else in the universe for that matter) as an ever evolving experiment or project. To the second part of your quote, that would defeat the purpose of faith.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:06 PM   #79
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Therefore it is reasonable to assume that God could be using humans (and everything else in the universe for that matter) as an ever evolving experiment or project. To the second part of your quote, that would defeat the purpose of faith.
That's an interesting thought, but I wonder why? If he is all seeing, all knowing.........what would happen that he doesn't already know?

Or do you wish to discuss the "God has a plan for us, yet we have free will" paradox?

And, yes, that was the sole purpose of the 2nd part of my quote. Joe has already pointed out I'm not particularly good at separating my own feelings in this debate. However, I still enjoy the debate.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:19 PM   #80
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Why is "Free Will vs. God's Sovereignty" any more of a problem for the theist than "Free Will vs. Determinism" is for the atheist? It's essentially the same paradox, no?
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