Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Evolution & Creation

There is no more proof that the first single celled organism formed by accident out of the primordial ooze than there is of God's creation of all in however long six days would be to such an entity. Some significant scientists say it takes greater faith to believe in pure evolution than it does an "intelligent designer." (Warning - heavy Christian commentary along with a really good case for intelligent design)

As you might expect, I fall on the side of that intelligent designer being the God of Abraham, et al. You may think differently.

I'll go so far as to say that if the theory of creation can't be taught in schools, neither should pure evolution, it's a theory without basis in fact, much like creation. Adaptation, yes. Evolution, no.

Besides that fine point, so what!

What does this have to do with feeding the poor? With making better PUBLIC schools? With sharing health care that people can afford? With stopping the power flow from the people to the corporations? With saving Social Security and, of more immediate need while it's hardly being discussed, Medicare and Medicaid? With ousting a tyrannical regime that will desecrate this country's true democratic foundation?

Nothing.

Let's move on towards getting them out of our government. All Americans will get back a democracy and we moderate Christians will stop having apoplexy every time we turn on the TV.

20 Comments:

Blogger interfaithpope said...

Very well put. I'll add this... I thought we took care of the Evolution/Creation debate in the 60's when the court ruled it was unconstitutional to prevent schools from teaching the theory of evolution. Also, just because our inability to prove evolution as fact shouldn't prevent us from teaching the possibility of it happening. After all, that's really what science is all about. Taking a theory and pushing it until it is DISPROVED. Also, I have heard a few interesting blends of the evolution/creation argument including my own theory that our higher power USED evolution/adaptation to CREATE the earth and it's contents. Therefore, evolution would only be a tool in an intelligent designer's hand. Think that one over. :)

5/20/2005 11:38 AM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Well, yes, but ... if pure evolution hasn't been disproved yet (because it can't be) why can't we teach creation as a possibility, too? Rather than create conflict by speaking from one party line and disallowing the other voice, why not have both sides spoken with reason? And yes, purely yes, isn't the Creator amazing in His ability to design adaptation into his creation!

There is a great little web site (sorry, don't know how to put a link in a comment) at the url: www.dnai.org This is a purely scientific site brought home from school by my daughter. It is all Flash based so a more specific url isn't available. Go to "code" then "copying the code" then "putting it together" and click on either "Transcription" or "replication" and see what happened the very first time a cell divided. If you can honestly tell me you think all that came about my accident, I look forward to your thinking.

Lastly for the moment - the original intent of my commentary was to show that this is not a divisive question, evolution vs creation, that we have more important things to deal with here on this planet that aren't theological in nature. This is, however, one of my favorite conversations. ;>)

5/25/2005 3:20 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Amen, amen, amen! I recently had this conversation with a group of folks you might find interesting at www.evangelicalupdate.blogspot.com

Scroll down to the post on Homeschooling. Very great blog, forcing us to fine-tune our beliefs and look at things from a different angle.

5/27/2005 7:58 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hi christian democrat, I found your blog by way of Jennifer's link. I really like what I'm reading!!

This topic in particular grabbed my attention, because I've been blogging about evolution and ID for a while now (though we seem to have different views). I agree too with you that we simply have bigger fish to fry, so lets move on folks and focus on real problems. However, you sort of left it open for debate by suggesting "why can't we teach creation as a possibility, too?" -- which is a suggestion that we indeed change the status quo. I would say that, if we're going to focus on "more important things," then we should just leave the whole evolution/creation debate out of the school system altogether, don't you?

"I'll go so far as to say that if the theory of creation can't be taught in schools, neither should pure evolution, it's a theory without basis in fact, much like creation. Adaptation, yes. Evolution, no."

Actually, evolution is a fact, not a theory. We observe species evolving all the time (viruses, bacteria, etc.). Adaptation is also a fact (see "evolution") so maybe you're making a different distinction. The "theory" part is really in the mechanism of evolution being that of "natural selection" but that has nothing to do with the "creation" event either. When the "spark of life" question comes up, that's when religion enters the scene, and that's where I draw the line between science and religion. when someone tells my kid that the "only" reason life exists is because some "goo" got together in a pond, and some lipids and protein molecules decided to get together and form a cell -- that's silly. When I was a kid, the teacher said it is one of many possibilities, but nobody knows -- and I was fine with that. There can be no proof of that whatsoever. But, that doesn't mean that kids need to be taught "creation" or 'ID' as an alternative "theory" because it is not a scientific theory. I would rather explain creation, in the biblical sense, to my kids, and not have the school do it anyway. But if we start teaching "philosophical" origin of life ideas, such as ID, then we also have to teach about other meta-physical origin of life theories, and we've suddenly turned biology class into a philosophy class. Not good science, in my view.

Two good resources to dig into are: http://www.talkorigins.org/ which discusses the debate pretty openly and presents most views.
I personally like this, which biblically reconciles Christianity to Scientific understanding (of age of earth, etc) in a personal essay: http://www.theistic-evolution.com/theisticevolution.html and I blogged about it here: http://absolutewisdom.blogspot.com/2005/05/if-evolution-ever-challenged-your.html

Sorry to clog up your comments box with my first comment. Like you "this is one of my favorite conversations" too! :) Cheers!

5/27/2005 1:36 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Chris - so, we'll stay on this topic for the moment because it interests us both -

Evolution has several connotational meanings. Adaptation is scientifically proven, yes; viruses and bacteria mutate and become different related viruses and bacteria; the original wolf becomes a wide variety of dogs, end of that issue, agreed

Evolution as origin from pre-biotic soup has no scientific basis. There is no record of the first cell being formed, no provable idea of how it could have been physically possible. I'll refer you to my previous response comment above, to the link to DNAi.org. Pure science, no religion, no explanation other than this is how we can observe that it works. If anything, science is proving that it couldn't have happened by accident.

Leaving the ID folks out of this, look at Arno Penzias, who discovered the cosmic hum while at AT&T Labs that most consider the remnant of the big bang. Of the big bang he says "The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to gon but the first five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole."

Look at Allan Sandage, cosmology wizard that figured along with others at Mt. Wilson observatory the ages of stars and proved, mathematically and scientifically, the age of the universe. Born into a Jewish family, rejecting all theology as a child (he was a math genius after all) and a life devoted to purely scientific research of the highest order and held in extreme high regard by his peers. In 1985, after 30+ years of searching the skys for the origins that could be proven, he announced very publicly that he not only believed in God (with a capital "G" by the way) but Jesus Christ as well. "The Big Bang," he said, "was a supernatural event that cannot be explained within the realm of physics as we know them." Later he told a reporter "It was my science that drove me to the conclustion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by sciene, it was only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence."

Getting back more purely to Darwinism there are the 100 scientists who signed the ad rejecting Darwinism in response to the PBS series "Evolution" www.reviewevolution.com/press/pressRelease_100Scientists.php Worth noting that list has grown considerably since the first gathering of signatures.

Science can take us to the first moment, but not the first cause.

Back on point specifically - evolution from pre-biotic soup has no basis in science. It is theory at best, and without support. As there is no scientific support for pure evolution from nothing, it should not be taught. That's my line in the sand, if we can't teach creation as a theory, then we shouldn't teach evolution. It's crap.

5/27/2005 5:56 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I don't think we can define what consitiutes "science" as such, based upon anecdotal references to particular scientists who are also religious. I'm a physicist, and a Christian, but I also try to separate things that are science from those that are super-natural (religious). There is a point, of course, where science can no longer make forward or backward predictions through history. We can still have theories, though, based upon observable phenomena. We can create a simulation of what the Earth's pre-historic atmosphere was likely composed of, add electricity, and produce complex molecules, including simple proteins. I'm not saying that life began by accident, I'm just saying that there is a scientific basis for a theory of it. Creation, however, is impossible to prove, so you can't really attach a "theory" to it.

I certainly don't want ID or creationism taught in biology class, but have no problems with evolution being taught.

I guess we just disagree on this point, which is fine. Overall, after having read through your blog, we tend to agree on more than we disagree on.

So, I linked to your blog and plan to visit again. I think you've got a good thing going here... keep it up!

5/28/2005 7:59 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Chris - I can accept that we agree to disagree, but can't let go of an error that comes up when your your statement is taken to the next level.

Yes, complex molecules can be formed when we take an example of the theoretical early atmosphere, but, depending on whose experiment you are speaking of it doesn't sauce out. Using Stanley Miller's experiment, the assumed atmosphere present at the beginnings of the earth has been learned to be a false test, it was backwards calculated at the time. They knew that if you passed electricity through a given atmosphere heavy in hydrogen with methane, ammonia and water vapor, that certain amino acids would form so they presumed that atmosphere must have been what was there in the beginning. This was discredited in the 1970's by Beligian chemist Marcel Florkin and supported by space shuttle observations that have since proven that the assumed atmosphere was not that which Stanley Miller used.

Given the same test and the atmosphere that is now believed to have been present (low in hydrogen, heavier in carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapor) and adding electricity does also produce complex organic molecules, but not amino acids as are believed by secular evolutionists to be necessary for life to begin. The only things produced in that test were cyanide and formaldehyde. Not really life sustaining, or life beginning building blocks.

I'll agree with you that creation shouldn't be taught in schools and go further saying it should be taught in church. My point was simply that evolution, pure evolution theory of life being formed from nothing is only a theory, and a lousy theory at that. It has no more basis in fact than does pure creation and, is widely disproven by the scientific attempts to prove it correct. Pure evolution is the secularists equivalent of creation. Why force one concept on the entire population of youth over the other?

5/28/2005 10:20 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Well, CD, our views really aren't that far apart after all. We both agree the schools shouldn't broach the impossible to prove facets of the point of creation and weld that onto evolutionary theory (how things evolved once life DID begin).

Good stuff, you've done your research too on the biochemestry of early Earth.

When you submit that there IS a God, and that God is the creator, then all things are possible, and you cannot discount the miraculous anymore, right? Certainly what started off Life was miraculous, and part of God's plan to create creature (us) in God's image. Awesome stuff!

Nice chatting with you here.

5/29/2005 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are not accidents, there are merely random incidents. So we don't yet know how formaldehyde and ammonia fit into the puzzle. Just imagine being a primitve and not knowing anything about germ, virus,bacteria, etc. The religious bunch had all sorts of explanations for death and disease, most designed to heap coals of guilt upon the heads of the ill and dying..... but lo and behold, Brother John, it's things we can't see with the naked eye that are causing our illnesses and early deaths. Imagine how Brother Theorist felt on his way to the Catherine's Wheel to meet his own death at the hands of Bro. John-- for his blasphemy.

Chemical reactions happen.Over millions and billions of years there were ample opportunities for mutations, alterations, blending, splitting, dividing, cross-breeding, hybridizing, etc. You name it, it's happened. The result all depends on the conditions of the moment and whether the change was viable under the conditions in place when it occurred. If not, then it didn't survive. If yes, then things proceed apace until at some time later, another change occurred....and so on.
The problem as I see it, is that humanity has no concept of the length of time this all took and the gazillions of trials and errors that took place. Most of us are trained to expect wars and empires to be won in two hours, slavery to be ended with the stroke of a pen, a country created in a single decade in the late 18th century, and our children to grow up between ages 16 and 18. Speed is the modern answer to anything, including when Christ returns. Lordy, let's not wait until He's ready, let's hurry it up so we can visit with him before we have to go home to dinner.
Because some folks don't recognize homo sapiens as mammals doesn't mean they aren't. Because they don't recognize some homo sapiens as human because of the pigment of their skin, doesn't mean they aren't.
Human beings have all too great a tendency to think they are the be all and end all of creation and I blame the Bible for a lot of this. A Bible of which people say they believe every word, but what would they say if asked if the Prophets spoke and wrote in English? And since when is a circular argument accepted in logic? (The Bible says something is so and the proof is that the Bible says it).
Man-made religion is about making people similar in thought (aka brainwashing) while encouraging them to bring every issue down to a human size and perspective. Because their minds are molded to accept the mystical as real and deny the scientific as equally real, they continue in ignorance. This ignorance makes it easy to control their thoughts and for them to turn into Nazi prison guards, Indian thuggee murderers, Belgium choppers off of hands, Chinese water torturers, Saudi aircraft terrorists, Serbian mass murders, or like the Jew I heard of. He was so determined to run off the British and take Palestine for his own homeland that he cut the throat of a family friend who was unlucky enough to be serving in the British Army in Palestine ........all these people turn around and go home to the family each evening as if it were all in a decent day's work.
The rest of us....especially americans..think we are so morally superior a return to primitive savagery can't be our lot...which is exactly teh attitude of the German hausfrau as she she sent her son off to serve the Furhrer in the SS.
Christians are just as likely to turn non-believers into torches to light the way to the Colisseum as the pagans
were under Nero.
And iff'n we don't watch out, it will happen here, the way things are going.
Frist and that bunch will make you do what they want and you'll get some idea of what a spooned African in the hold of a filthy ship felt. Helpless, homeless, friendless, and trapped. And no one will come to your aid because everyone will be like the Russians under Stalin, turning in their family members to save their own skins.

6/21/2005 11:26 AM  
Blogger yinyanggirl said...

Here's an interesting question. Evolution has been taught as the answer to the "origin of the species" for decades. It is taught as Science. If "intelligent design" is to be taught, is it also taught in the Science class? And furthermore, if you CD, truly believe your statement that we should be willing to embrace and be tolerant of all faiths and the faithless, how can we teach only the "Christian" point of view (intelligent design) and not the Hindu, Islamic, Buddist and all the other points of view of the miriad other children attending that school?

6/21/2005 1:37 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

I'll reply to yinyangirl here as well as the evolution portion of "anonymous's" comment above hers:

Yinyangirl - I don't know enough about the other religions origin theories to comment directly, although I did get into a conversation with a wonderful Cambodian woman a couple of years ago and her belief was that the earth was held in place by turtles, and under them turtles, and under them turtles until it all worked. Not really scientific, but I sure didn't sway her from her belief, nor did I really feel a need to.

You capitalize "Science" as if it is some superior set of principals, and in many respects it is; provable interactions and relationships are a wonderful thing when trying to figure out the how and why of things. Many scientists have also gone to the ID side of thinking; the weak and strong anthropic principals have more credence, more liklihood of being accurate due to a vast number of factors that point, together, to the same conclusion - it wasn't an accident.

I am not purely Biblical in my personal creation theology - who is to say how long a day is to an entity that was around before there was light? But I am also unable to believe that the first cell that divided happened by accident, I believe in a designer of some sort, and I choose to call that designer God.

As for the other religions theories of origin, can anyone stand up and say that there are those in the science realm that support them?

My real point about wanting to have intelligent design taught alongside evolution is that it is a credible theory, supported by at least as much evidence as the concept of primordial ooze creating DNA and RNA and all the molecular contraptions that make reproduction at the cellular level possible as the start of life on this little rock we call Earth.

To each thier own, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of teaching a diverse range of possibilities. To each their own.

Peace.

6/21/2005 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11/20/2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

I will delete any and all comments that do not pertain to the topics here, especially those that simply create links to outside sales sites.

11/20/2006 4:19 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Another thought on non-topical posts containing links - whomever is doing this please consider doing it the way big business does it - the set up a variety of sites of their own, each looking as if it is somehow important, and then put the links on them.

So please, play the game right. Buy more domains, create the web sites yourself, and link to each other.

But please, stop posting them here.

With thanks,

Christian Democrat

11/20/2006 4:22 PM  
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