RF Q&A 316

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RF Q&A 316

Postby NearlySane » Tue May 14, 2013 9:26 am

Since I’m not an evolutionary creationist, Andrew, I guess my answer to your question would have to be “I don’t.” Evolutionary creationism is the currently chic name given to what we used to call theistic evolution, which is the view that the current evolutionary paradigm is entirely adequate, so that the evolution of presently observed biological complexity requires no causal input from God.

From the off, WLC shows his inadequacy of basic theology with a doozy of a contradiction. Theistic evolution is the view that the current evolutionary paradigm requires no causal input from God?! Helloooooooo, the whole point of it is that evolution was caused by God from the off, and without God evolution couldn’t happen at all, so it obviously follows that biological complexity requires causal input from God.

As my current lectures on Creation and Evolution in our Defenders class make clear, however, I am not yet convinced that the mechanisms posited by the current evolutionary paradigm are adequate to explain the biological diversity that we observe today.

Who cares if he’s convinced or not? An attempt to pander to his own “authority” and a large dollop of personal incredulity all rolled into one here.

One cannot exaggerate just how extraordinary an extrapolation the current paradigm involves.

One cannot exaggerate just how much you attempt to show your personal incredulity as somehow being credible.

Many of us probably think that if random mutation and natural selection can explain, for example, the evolution of the horse, then that surely shows the power of the neo-Darwinian mechanisms to account for biological diversity.

Hmm, look how one example is used to then be extrapolated to account for biological diversity as a whole, to try and point out that the mechanism is inadequate for biological diversity. Note how nothing is said about the evidence behind biological diversity - evidence from DNA for example. No, Craig keeps it way too simple for the ignorant zombie reader.

In fact, evolution within a single kind like this is nothing compared to the vast range of life.

What the fuck is a “kind”!? Epic creationist fail. The thing is, I’m pretty sure Craig isn’t stupid enough to put this in by accident, and what he is actually doing here is pandering to the ignorance of creationists who don’t even accept any form of evolution, to keep them onside. As far as I am concerned, using this erroneous, meaningless term is completely dishonest and counter-educational. It shows that this man isn’t interested in teaching people. His only interest is to promote his propaganda machine.

You might think that if we could show that random mutation and natural selection could explain, say, how a bat and a whale evolved from a common ancestor, that would certainly show the power of these mechanisms. Think again! A bat and a whale are both mammals, which is just one of the groups of the phylum Vertebrates. Even the evolution of a bat and a whale from a common ancestor is an utter triviality compared to the vast range of the animal kingdom. Such a demonstration would do nothing to explain, for example, how a bat and a sea urchin evolved from a common ancestor, not to speak of a bat and a sponge. This represents an extrapolation of gargantuan proportions. Indeed, it represents an enormous leap of faith in the efficacy of the Darwinian mechanisms.

An extrapolation? Liar. There is aplenty of evidence for biological evolution. For someone who accepts an old earth from geological evidence and microevolution, all you have to do is add them together for macroevolution, but of course his personal incredulity gets in the way so he can peddle his own version and shoehorn in God again.

Also, note his use of “leap of faith”, as if to try and equate an acceptance of evolution with belief in God. He’s trying to make it look like hypocrisy from the “evolutionists” side, but what he’s actually done is tell a huge porky while giving a leap of faith negative connotations. Own goal there, Bill.

Moreover, the entire animal and plant kingdoms are just two twigs on the branch of Eukaryotes. There are still the two other branches of the Bacteria and Archaea to be accounted for. The extrapolation of the Darwinian mechanisms from peppered moths and fruit flies and finch beaks to the production and evolution of every living thing is a breathtaking extrapolation of gargantuan, brobdingnagian proportions.

You see, if you use big, complicated words that the reader has to look up, it makes those who are ignorant think you know what you are talking about. Add in a bit of repetition and it shows that Craig is trying to force the point home to the ignoramuses that “Darwinian mechanisms” really are gargantuan extrapolations. For me, you couldn’t be more transparent if you tried.

We know that in science such extrapolations often fail.

Oh look, now he is just bunging it in there that it is such an extrapolation because he says it is. That should convince people.

For example, Albert Einstein attempted to extrapolate his principle of relativity from the special theory to a general principle of relativity that would relativize not only uniform motion but also accelerated and rotary motion. But the extrapolation failed. Instead, what Einstein discovered was a new theory of gravitation. The name “general theory of relativity” is thus something of a misnomer.

Given that he has offered nothing, at least as far as evidence goes, to show that “Darwinian mechanisms” are a huge extrapolation, this is just one big red herring. Of course to those who know no better, equating it with such a big name as Einstein and the GtoR gives his incredulity some unwarranted elevation.

So, I ask, where is the evidence for the extraordinary extrapolation the current paradigm involves?

Even more repetition! Don’t forget folks, if you keep repeating something, it automatically becomes true.

Michael Behe says that “the evidence for common descent seems compelling,” but “. . . except at life’s periphery the evidence for a pivotal role for random mutations is terrible.” Now if he’s wrong about this, then what is the evidence? I’m genuinely open to it. But what is it?

He’s using an intelligent design advocate who believes in irreducible complexity as a source to quote from? Genius. As if quoting from inside your own circle adds any weight to the argument. Not for a second do I believe he is open to the evidence, since it has already been presented to him and he’s ignored it to stick with his biased position.

When I, as an objective observer, look at the evidence,

Wow, an objective observer. You’re a subjective observer, Bill, like everybody else, but please do keep elevating yourself. At base level, it is amusing.

it seems to me that we haven’t been shown any good reason to think that the neo-Darwinian mechanisms are sufficient to explain the evolution of the extraordinary diversity of life that we see on this planet during the time available.

“We haven’t”? I think he means “he hasn’t”. Actually, what I think he means is that he has but he’s just ignoring them because it flies in the face of his propaganda machine, and if he makes it look objective by putting “we” (which is actually only intersubjective), then it adds credibility to his position.

So I’m not convinced that evolutionary creationism is true.

Then don’t put “we haven’t been shown any good reason” when you just mean yourself.

This sentence takes us back to the beginning, as if God isn’t causal to evolution, when God is, which he also believes anyway. This really is strange.

It seems to me that so-called progressive creationism fits the evidence quite nicely. Progressive creationism suggests that God intervenes periodically to bring about miraculously new forms of life and then allows evolutionary change to take place with respect to those life forms. But as for grand evolutionary change, this would not take place by the mechanisms of natural selection and mutation undirected by God. Rather we would need miraculous interventions of God in the process of biological evolution to bring about broad evolutionary change. So instead of evolutionary creationism, we would have a kind of progressive creationism whereby God creates biological complexity over time.

Where to start…

The all-powerful God that Craig believes in doesn’t have the ability to allow natural selection and mutation to happen without God having to intervene at certain stages along the way? God couldn’t do this? This is the thing, when Craig sticks the boot in “grand evolutionary change…undirected by God”, he’s actually sticking the boot right in God’s face. He simultaneously believes God is behind nature, and therefore the process of evolution, yet doesn’t believe nature can achieve macroevolution naturally. God needs to intervene in a process he created in the first place, a process which he could have, but didn’t, allow to happen from the off so that he didn’t have to keep intervening.

Secondly, this is incompatible with his fine-tuning argument. The universe is apparently set up just so that life, and more specifically intelligent life, can exist. Yet here we have life not being able to exist without God interfering and tinkering around, because the nature of the universe is incapable of doing so by itself.

Two great examples of Craig’s cognitive dissonance and compartmentalisation.

That being said, however, I do not understand why the evolutionary creationist and progressive creationist alike cannot affirm that man is created in the image of God.

That’s because they can’t. It’s an evidence free, faith based position.

My Old Testament colleagues tell me that the notion of man as God’s image, in the Ancient Near Eastern context, likely refers to man as God’s representative regent on Earth. Now in order to fulfill such a function, man would have to possess certain properties inherent to personhood, like self-consciousness, rationality, freedom, and the ability to stand in personal relationships.

This looks like one of those extrapolation things, and they often fail, right? I suppose I can let him off, because this one isn’t specifically scientific, it’s just special pleading.

These are the sort of properties which theologians have traditionally identified as constitutive of God’s image in man.

So, a man who tries to argue against a scientific theory uses tradition as a means of identification. Words fail me.

These are not properties belonging to man’s hominid body but to his soul. So it seems a matter of indifference how man’s physical body might have originated. However God chose to bring about our hominid bodies, the crucial thing that makes us human is our soul, invested with the sort of properties just described.

This again just renders his fine-tuning argument as completely pointless. We don’t need physical bodies in order to live, we have a soul for that, which isn’t dependent on the existence of a universe.

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Re: RF Q&A 316

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Tue May 14, 2013 10:05 am

A completely honest paraphrase of Craig: "I don't understand how it could have happened. Thus a wizard did it."

PS: Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize quite how pants-on-head retarded Craig was. I didn't think he'd actually stoop to denying the evidence for evolutionary theory like that.
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Re: RF Q&A 316

Postby sepia » Tue May 14, 2013 9:10 pm

I find it funny how WLC sometimes talks about science like a Young Earth Creationist does. He often uses the same misrepresentations.
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Re: RF Q&A 316

Postby NearlySane » Wed May 15, 2013 6:31 am

EnlightenmentLiberal wrote:PS: Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize quite how pants-on-head retarded Craig was. I didn't think he'd actually stoop to denying the evidence for evolutionary theory like that.

If you want a good laugh, you should read through the Q&A section on RF. You'll see that his stupidity is boundless.
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Re: RF Q&A 316

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Wed May 15, 2013 7:19 am

NearlySane wrote:
EnlightenmentLiberal wrote:PS: Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize quite how pants-on-head retarded Craig was. I didn't think he'd actually stoop to denying the evidence for evolutionary theory like that.

If you want a good laugh, you should read through the Q&A section on RF. You'll see that his stupidity is boundless.

Apparently indeed. Thanks sir. Further supports my cliche understanding of the man as just another sleazy idiot, except dressed up all nice in a suite.
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