# God AND Physics?

Tido611
A lot of my physics friends talk of god in such ways that leed me to believe that they believe in him/her/it (whichever) but im not so convinced. It has always been my understanding that it is one or the other, how could one beileve in god when we ourselves understand most of what is happening around us and we are working toward the rest. I mean no disrespect or ill will to any religious poeple but i was just wondering how can you be a man of science and The Church?

I was just wanting some insight from both sides of this argument

( i wasnt quite sure if this thread should even be under this topic but i felt it was most appropriate)

Mk
Tido611 said:
A lot of my physics friends talk of god in such ways that leed me to believe that they believe in him/her/it (whichever) but im not so convinced. It has always been my understanding that it is one or the other, how could one beileve in god when we ourselves understand most of what is happening around us and we are working toward the rest. I mean no disrespect or ill will to any religious poeple but i was just wondering how can you be a man of science and The Church?
Science and religion can mix, but usually not well.

Proof of the God of Miracles comes from Saint Thomas Aquinas, Troubled by the inconsistencies in the church ideology, he, in the 13th cntury, decided to raise the level of theological debate from the vagueness of mythology to the intense rigor of logical thinking. He proposed to solve the questions of God's existance. He even put it in an easy to remember poem!

Things are in motion, hence there is a first mover.
Things are caused, hence there is a first cause
Things exist, hence there is a creator
Perfect goodness exists, hence it has a source
Things are designed, hense they serve a purpose

The first three lines are variations of what is called the cosmological proof, the forth argues on moral grounds; and the fifth is called the teleological proof. Moral proof is by far the weakest, because morality can be viewed in terms of evolving social customs.

When scientists refer to God in a non-theological way, they are refering to the the God of Order. Einstein, in writing, fondly called him "The Old Man."

Gold Member
Tido611 said:
A lot of my physics friends talk of god in such ways that leed me to believe that they believe in him/her/it (whichever) but im not so convinced. It has always been my understanding that it is one or the other, how could one beileve in god when we ourselves understand most of what is happening around us and we are working toward the rest. I mean no disrespect or ill will to any religious poeple but i was just wondering how can you be a man of science and The Church?

Well I personally don't believe they are mutually exclusive. Other people certainly think they are but eh... its weird. Most sensible religious people realize that religion and faith is meant to try to explain things that is impossible for science to explain. I mean science can't really tell us what happened before the big bang (as far as i know its impossible) or if there is a divine being and if life is pre-determined. The reason there is this science vs. religion thing is because some people think that various religious books are out to teach us how the world works. For example, there was some crap about a city wanting to legislate Pi to equal 3 because there was something rather ambiguous in the bible about something being 10 cubits in diameter and 30 in circumfrence. Well some people take this to mean that pi must be 3 and they go off and say it. Some people see these people and they attack them and say God must not exist because they believe the Bible is wrong.

So this is what you have, one side taking something for what its not suppose to be (a bible as a textbook) and another side opposed to the idea of God. Add in human nature and you just have some stupid ideology war. Some people are just nuts. Even for example, the heads of the Catholic Church don't object to the idea of the big bang. Some people are just looking for fights i guess.

Like this whole evolution vs. creationism debate. I'm not really sure how the idea that DNA can change means that there is no God. Some people seem to be damn sure though! And of course... if God does exist, im pretty sure he can make the world seem like whatever he wanted it to seem. He made the laws, he can change them I suspect, he can do the impossible. If he does exist... well im pretty sure it can be beyond us to prove he exists if he wants us to not be able to. I just sit back and wait for the answer to come to me. I suppose im not really enthusiastic about dieing but I guess there is a plus side to it! You get the answer to one of the more annoying questions in life. But then again if a certain side is right, we wont really get to know we're right lol.

Last edited:
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
The question turns on monism, the belief that there is only ONE explanation/cause for anything. If monism is true then one of the following seems to result:
1) God is the cause/explanation and science isn't
2) Science tells the cause/explanation and it isn't God.
3) Science tells the cause/explanation and it is God.

In item 3, God would be a consequence of scientific analysis, which seems to deny Christian doctrine (faith in things not seen) and Islamic doctrine (God's unknowability), and possibly Jewish doctrine (God's unrepresentability?). So no Abrahamic God. What about Buddhism and Hinduism?

theCandyman
To answer the original question, I just do not mix religion and science together at all. One is a matter of knowledge that is proven and the other a matter of faith. There is not point to believeing if you have no faith.

Gold Member
I don't think if I understand you well. You say your physicist friend talk in a way that they believe in God, but then you ask whether it's possible to be a scientist and church man at the same time. Well as you know some people believe in God but they aren't religious.
Anyway religious people say that if there's a God, for sure he's not left humans without giving them a plan for their lives. So if there's A God, there should be a religion.
Anyway I don't know why some people say that it is impossible to be a religious scientist. Perhaps we find some false claims in holly books. But whenever we talk to religious people about them they say we still don't know everything about the world and when we discover all the fact about nature and universe, we'll be able to understand the Bible and other holly books. On the other hand they believe in miracles and say God is able to do everything. So it's not strange for them if someone would be born of a virgin.
I don't think there's anything wrong with it, as long as they don't want to oppose new discoveries. So I really want to know what would be wrong with a religious scientist if they exist.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
My my, but haven't you all been busy lately?

We don't host discussions about specific religions here, either pro or con. I've just given this thread a giant enema, and I expect it to stay dogma-free from now on. I could have issued enough warnings to get a few of you banned, but I refrained. But if this thread turns into another Christian debate, I will go back and issue them.

Now don't make me turn this car around! :grumpy:

Tom Mattson said:
We don't host discussions about specific religions here, either pro or con...

While I certainly support the policy, I don't know how one can discuss religion without being specific. Perhaps it would be better not to discuss religion at all?

if this thread turns into another Christian debate

In our culture, any debate about religion is a debate about Christianity. I have never seen an American or European atheist debate with a Muslim. And of course many atheists happen to be Buddhist!

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Johann said:
While I certainly support the policy, I don't know how one can discuss religion without being specific. Perhaps it would be better not to discuss religion at all?

We do, in fact, have a ban on religious discussion here at PF. This thread probably should not have been allowed to proceed, but unfortunately we missed it.

However, for the sake of the precious few philosophical points (such as those made by Mk and selfAdjoint), I didn't delete the whole thread.

We do allow philosophical discussions of the general concept of god (ontological, cosmological, teleological arguments; idealist metaphysics; etc.)

So on that note, let me throw in my $0.02: I think that the question of the coexistence of god and science is trivial. If "god" is taken to be an all-powerful, creative, intelligent being, then in principle I don't see how it could be in conflict with any scientific knowledge. I mean, this god (no matter whose god it is) could simply choose at any moment to suspend natural law and cause what humans would recognize as a "miracle". I really don't see how this discussion is philosophically interesting, but hey that's just me. Gold Member Tom Mattson said: We do, in fact, have a ban on religious discussion here at PF. This thread probably should not have been allowed to proceed, but unfortunately we missed it. So finally you saw this thread! I was surprised that nobody hadn't closed this thread and somehow happy! Becaus you even don't let we talk about religion in general, but this thread was about a specific religion! I think that the question of the coexistence of god and science is trivial. If "god" is taken to be an all-powerful, creative, intelligent being, then in principle I don't see how it could be in conflict with any scientific knowledge. I mean, this god (no matter whose god it is) could simply choose at any moment to suspend natural law and cause what humans would recognize as a "miracle". I really don't see how this discussion is philosophically interesting, but hey that's just me. I agree with that. And well I think this thread was a good experience. I always thought why you don't let us to discuss religion, although I knew it would be something like fighting instead of discussing. The problem is that I don't know why people can't let each other to believe in whatever they want. We're human and we're free to think in a way we want. And un/religious people should learn to be tolerant of each other. kant Tido611 said: A lot of my physics friends talk of god in such ways that leed me to believe that they believe in him/her/it (whichever) but im not so convinced. It has always been my understanding that it is one or the other, how could one beileve in god when we ourselves understand most of what is happening around us and we are working toward the rest. I mean no disrespect or ill will to any religious poeple but i was just wondering how can you be a man of science and The Church? I was just wanting some insight from both sides of this argument ( i wasnt quite sure if this thread should even be under this topic but i felt it was most appropriate) There are inherent limitation to the questions science can ever answer. I don t belief in god, but i can understand why people might find comfort in one. Vossistarts Tom Mattson said: We do, in fact, have a ban on religious discussion here at PF. This thread probably should not have been allowed to proceed, but unfortunately we missed it. However, for the sake of the precious few philosophical points (such as those made by Mk and selfAdjoint), I didn’t delete the whole thread. We do allow philosophical discussions of the general concept of god (ontological, cosmological, teleological arguments; idealist metaphysics; etc.) So on that note, let me throw in my$0.02:

I think that the question of the coexistence of god and science is trivial. If “god” is taken to be an all-powerful, creative, intelligent being, then in principle I don’t see how it could be in conflict with any scientific knowledge. I mean, this god (no matter whose god it is) could simply choose at any moment to suspend natural law and cause what humans would recognize as a “miracle”.

I really don’t see how this discussion is philosophically interesting, but hey that’s just me.

Strange that you do have a ban on religious discussion. Science and its methodologies are quite religious after you go back to about the 3rd or 4th definition of religious. You say that if God is all-powerful etc... then you don’t see how it could be in conflict with scientific knowledge, then Im guessing the ban is just for practicals considerations ie the typical arguments between purely first definition religious minded people and strictly science-minded types. I agree its huge waste of server space to keep these kind of one-sided arguments on file, but I guess I don’t see how either side is any worse than the other. Both mindsets that create (re-create) the arguments Im referring to are closed to large extent. One says OnlY SCIENCE such as I/WE understand it, the other says ONLY RELIGION such I/WE understand it. Personally I cant see why its difficult to acknowledge from a scientific mindset that if it is a consideration (such as religious) that it must be something that can at some point be put into scientific terms. Perhaps those specific terms haven’t yet been established,(perhaps we should have a little patience and realize that just because we haven’t explained something doesn’t mean we wont or cant) but in that notion, is the challenge. From a religious mindset I cant see how one can avoid considering that if all things that exist are the work and will of a supreme being or GOD, and that science clearly does exist at least to some extent, then all of the rest of it (science not considered valid) must in some way be valid, unless one is to believe that there exists phenomena ( from physical to mental etc) that is not valid and not created by the God. Thats a huge contradiction to the original premise and there must be a solution. Finding the solution is the challenge.
All of everything that we can consider no matter what the angle of our perspective exists in the realm of mind. The bottom line problem that I assume is responsible for the prejudiced ban on religion is a perspective, or perspectives that are somehow closed.

So isn’t creating a ban closing some point of consideration or perspective? It seems that in that somewhere are the grounds for similar problems.

If server space consumed by redundant debating is a problem perhaps selective and strict termination of such conversation based on certain established conditions should be used instead. What do you think?

Tom Mattson said:
We do, in fact, have a ban on religious discussion here at PF. This thread probably should not have been allowed to proceed, but unfortunately we missed it.

(I hope discussing forum policies on religion doesn't qualify as religious debate)

I agree with you that, from my understanding of the forum rules, this thread shouldn't be allowed. But I don't understand why you deleted most posts and kept the whole thread. I see nothing in the remaining posts that is less religion-laden than whatever else was left.

However, for the sake of the precious few philosophical points (such as those made by Mk and selfAdjoint), I didn't delete the whole thread.

This is just my personal opinion, but I don't see any post here that is not addressing "philosophical" points from a Western/Christian perspective. Where is Nirvana mentioned? Reincarnation? Karma? Enlightenment? Shouldn't a philosophical debate on religion address those religious concepts just as well?

I think that the question of the coexistence of god and science is trivial. If "god" is taken to be an all-powerful, creative, intelligent being...

In other words, the god of the bible, right? See what I'm saying?

I really don't see how this discussion is philosophically interesting

Neither do I. If God can be whatever you want, then the concept is meaningless and not worth talking about.

Vossistarts
Johann said:
Neither do I. If God can be whatever you want, then the concept is meaningless and not worth talking about.

If there is a god then it cant be whatever anyone wants it to be, it can only be what it is. Abandoning an arguement out of frustration or of thinking its futile is understandable, but its certainly not in the direction of arriving at a solution, unless its temporary. Perhaps a tempory solution is all thats desired here.

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Tom Mattson said:
I think that the question of the coexistence of god and science is trivial. If "god" is taken to be an all-powerful, creative, intelligent being, then in principle I don't see how it could be in conflict with any scientific knowledge. I mean, this god (no matter whose god it is) could simply choose at any moment to suspend natural law and cause what humans would recognize as a "miracle".
Sure, if you start out with the promise anything goes (everything's possible, which the positing of the all-powerful God implies), then of course, nothing can ever be in "conflict" with scientific knowledge either.

In fact, crocodiles that turn blue and climb into trees to sing might exist as well.
What a wonderful world that would be!

Last edited:
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
arildno said:
Sure, if you start out with the promise anything goes (everything's possible, which the positing of the all-powerful God implies), then of course, nothing can ever be in "conflict" with scientific knowledge either.

Yes, that's my point. That's why I think this is trivial.

As for the comments from Vossistarts and Johann:

It's OK to discuss our policies, but it should be done in the Feedback and Announcements Forum. All I'll say in response to your posts is that we used to have a Religion forum (it's archived, in case you want to thumb through it). It didn't work out so well, so now we don't host that sort of thing here anymore.

Gold Member
The question turns on monism, the belief that there is only ONE explanation/cause for anything. If monism is true then one of the following seems to result:
1) God is the cause/explanation and science isn't
2) Science tells the cause/explanation and it isn't God.
3) Science tells the cause/explanation and it is God.

I see another possbility.

If the "one cause" is some uncaused, forever-existing "base substance" that possesses dynamics which might spontaneously form consciousness, and if that consciousness were to evolve for zillions of eons, then it might learn to work with its own "base substance" in creative ways. And if one of the things it learned was to generate a long series of steps which establish what we now call "physical," then science is the explanation for all the steps that lead from physicalness to the point of generation, but isn't the explanation before/after that. Even then, if it is as I suggest, God (if you want to call the evolved consciousness that) is only the cause and explanation to the point of its own origin, and then we are back to the monistic concept that something neutral possesses dynamics which can accidentally cause consciousness to form.

I think that the question of the coexistence of god and science is trivial. If "god" is taken to be an all-powerful, creative, intelligent being, then in principle I don't see how it could be in conflict with any scientific knowledge. I mean, this god (no matter whose god it is) could simply choose at any moment to suspend natural law and cause what humans would recognize as a "miracle".

Well, it gets more interesting and less trivial if God is not all powerful, but is instead a consciousness that had a beginning and has evolved over a vast period, and if the unfolding of our universe (particularly in the corridor from the Big Bang to now on Earth) reflects the same sort of evolutive dynamic which developed the evolved consciousness. Since the universe is law-bound, we'd have to assume the creationary consciousness is as well. And while we don't need the concept of a creationary consciousness to explain how physics works, we might need it to explain certain aspects which are too creatively formed to be explained by any known physical principles (like the origin of life and the emergence of consciousness in biology).

Tisthammerw
Tido611 said:
A lot of my physics friends talk of god in such ways that leed me to believe that they believe in him/her/it (whichever) but im not so convinced. It has always been my understanding that it is one or the other, how could one beileve in god when we ourselves understand most of what is happening around us and we are working toward the rest. I mean no disrespect or ill will to any religious poeple but i was just wondering how can you be a man of science and The Church?

Think about this: the "founding fathers" of modern science were deeply religious theists, not atheists. Why, for instance, would a rational investigation of nature be successful? Because a rationally orderly God created the universe. (Nature consistently operating in mathematical patterns would especially be confirmative for this belief.) Indeed, many of the founders of modern science were Christians trying to demonstrate that humanity lived in an orderly universe.

Consider what Eugene Wigner says in his oft-quoted paper The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences:

The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.

A theist can be a physicist easily (as Newton was) because theism straightforwardly explains why we find sophisticated mathematical patterns imprinted in the universe.

Gold Member
For sure someone's beliefe has nothing to do with his job. But the question is whether physicists can accept what religion says about universe ?

Psi 5
In my opinion the logical ordered universe is more of an indication that God didn't create it than that he did. Most scientists who believe in God see the hand of an intelligent designer in its logic and order, I feel just the opposite. Most religions were created when the laws of the universe weren't known and it was believed to be a place of magic and chaos. I think that model fits a creator much better than the logical universe that we know today. Take the concept of heaven for example. It is inherently just the opposite of the ordered universe, a metaphysical place. Why would the creator create an orderly logical universe when it could create an analog of the concept of heaven for his soul forge? It's like attributing bathroom graffiti and the Mona Lisa to the same artist.

Religion has evolved to accept science over the years but as we know more and more of the universe, religion is rebelling against science because they are becoming incompatable in the fanatical (read that born again and fundamentalist) religious view. You can see that happening everywhere but worst of all for the world here in the US. The cause I think is that deep down, fanatics have doubts about their beliefs and they react by trying to stifle anything that challenges those beliefs, namely science like evolution, and try to impose their beliefs on others. Fanatical religion is a sickness, a disease and it's spreading.

Last edited:
Gold Member
Psi 5 said:
Most scientists who believe in God see the hand of an intelligent designer in its logic and order. . . Fanatical religion is a sickness, a disease and it's spreading.

What makes you think religion has anything to do with God?

Psi 5
Les Sleeth said:
What makes you think religion has anything to do with God?

What makes you think I do?

Gold Member
how can you be a man of science and The Church?

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein

Gold Member
Psi 5 said:
What makes you think I do?

This . . . "In my opinion the logical ordered universe is more of an indication that God didn't create it than that he did. Most scientists who believe in God see the hand of an intelligent designer in its logic and order, I feel just the opposite. Most religions were created when the laws of the universe weren't known and it was believed to be a place of magic and chaos. I think that model fits a creator much better than the logical universe that we know today. Take the concept of heaven for example. It is inherently just the opposite of the ordered universe, a metaphysical place. Why would the creator create an orderly logical universe when it could create an analog of the concept of heaven for his soul forge?"

You clearly link the beliefs about God to religion, and then reason in relation to religious concepts about God.

You ask why a creator would "create an orderly logical universe"? Well, maybe the creator isn't supernatural, but rather ultra-natural. That is, a consciousness that developed out of that chaotic situation you spoke of, and then continued to evolve. This creator can't do anything it pleases, it can only work within the potentials and limitations of the existence principles that gave it its beginning and allowed it to evolve. It is "ultra-natural" because (compared to the current state of our consciousness) it has learned highly advance ways to manipulate natural conditions (apparently, according to this model, so that new consciousnesses, us, will emerge out of those natural conditions).

You also say (excepted), ". . . religion is rebelling against science because they are becoming incompatable in the fanatical (read that born again and fundamentalist) religious view . . . they react by trying to stifle anything that challenges those beliefs, namely science like evolution, and try to impose their beliefs on others. Fanatical religion is a sickness, a disease and it's spreading."

I dislike fundamentalist religion myself (actually, all religion), so I am not defending it. But I also don't see much difference between that and the growing fanaticism with the secular religion of scientism. You cite evolution as an example, well I wish I didn't have to admit I agree with the anti-evolutionists since it makes people think I am an IDer or creationist (of the Biblical sort) which isn't so.

But I don't think what we know, as fact, about evolution allows us to leap to the conclusion it alone has done anything but alter rather superficial aspects of an organism (like bird beak size, or moth color). Yet we have the scientific community forcing schools (via Supreme Court decisions) to teach that evolution has evolved entire organs and organisms. What is scientific about pushing a theory as "truth" when the evidence isn't there (yet) to support it?

If pressed, the evolutionist may admit the evidence isn't there, but then will say "what better theory do you have?" or "it's the only reasonable theory." Why do they say that? Well, because they are committed to a scientific (aka, physicalist) explanation a priori, and so nothing can possibly be considered which isn't purely physical.

You are worried about religious fanaticism, but I am more worried about scientism fanaticism, which is so determined to explain the world as only physcial they do things like misrepresent the strength of evidence they have to courts in order to push their physicalist agenda. If you ask me, that is growing faster than religious fundamentalism and is to be more feared.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Les Sleeth said:
But I don't think what we know, as fact, about evolution allows us to leap to the conclusion it alone has done anything but alter rather superficial aspects of an organism (like bird beak size, or moth color). Yet we have the scientific community forcing schools (via Supreme Court decisions) to teach that evolution has evolved entire organs and organisms. What is scientific about pushing a theory as "truth" when the evidence isn't there (yet) to support it?
If pressed, the evolutionist may admit the evidence isn't there, but then will say "what better theory do you have?" or "it's the only reasonable theory." Why do they say that? Well, because they are committed to a scientific (aka, physicalist) explanation a priori, and so nothing can possibly be considered which isn't purely physical.
Good grief Les, surely you have looked at http://www.talkorigins.org/" [Broken], for example.

And your comment that evolutionists will fall back on "What better theory have you?" is just a straw man.

Last edited by a moderator:
Intuitive
All of this depends whether the Universe (always) existed, If it did then Creation couldn't of happened, I would think.

It is quite possible that the Universe has been recycling itself for all eternity from one state to another.

Tisthammerw
Psi 5 said:
In my opinion the logical ordered universe is more of an indication that God didn't create it than that he did. Most scientists who believe in God see the hand of an intelligent designer in its logic and order, I feel just the opposite. Most religions were created when the laws of the universe weren't known and it was believed to be a place of magic and chaos.

Most religions weren't monotheistic. Christianity was, and nearly all of the founding fathers of modern science were devout Christians who expected there to be order to the universe.

Some religions (e.g. the Greeks) were actually evolutionary in nature (the cosmos came from chaos, then came the gods...). On the other hand, it is reasonable to expect to find order in the universe if a rationally orderly God created the universe. Your objection might work for many polytheistic religions, but when it comes to monotheism it doesn't seem to apply.

Its noteworthy that it was classical atheism that did not imply an orderly universe.

Take the concept of heaven for example. It is inherently just the opposite of the ordered universe, a metaphysical place.

On what grounds do you believe heaven to be not ordered?

Religion has evolved to accept science over the years

Are you aware of how modern science arose? It was devout Christians--not atheists--who were the founding fathers of modern science (Kepler and Newton are good examples). They believed a rationally orderly God created the universe, and that a rational investigation of nature would be successful. So you can understand why these sort of people might expect to find mathematical patterns imprinted in the universe. Indeed, many of the founders of modern science were Christians trying to demonstrate that humanity lived in an orderly universe.

Tisthammerw
How could anyone who seriously studied the evidences exposed there say that the evidence for macro evolution isn't there?

A lot of it has to do with how the evidence is interpreted. For instance, no "real" evolution (i.e. evolution of new basic kinds) observed now? That's okay, it's happening too slowly. What about systematic gaps in the fossil record? It happened too fast. A creationist comes by and says that maybe it didn't happen at all.

The idea that only "superficial" differences are the result of evolution - what creationists call microevolution - has been well and truly exploded, and the evidence is out there for anybody to see. Consider the essay on http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html" [Broken], for example.

What you appear to be ignorant of is that creationists do not accept the fixity of species. They believe species can come about within the same "kind" (just as many breeds of dog could have ultimately come about through a common ancestor). The "kind" is usually not at the species level, more often it is at the genus or family level (according to creationists). However, they do reject evolution of a more complex species. The term "complexity" may be difficult to define rigorously, but one example of evolution producing an increase in complexity would be the evolution of a new organ. And it is noteworthy that while we have pointed to many organs that have deteriorated and become vestigial, never have we been able to find any incipient organs now in the process of development (however slowly). The kind of evolution creationists attack has never been observed (at least not directly).

This is not to say that the creationist position is ultimately correct here, but I think its good to understand their point of view. To often it has been ignored or misunderstood (of course, the same is true for creationists misunderstanding evolution). If you’re really interested in the controversy, I highly recommend Del Ratzsch’s Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate.

Last edited by a moderator:
Gold Member
Good grief Les, surely you have looked at http://www.talkorigins.org/" [Broken]. How could anyone who seriously studied the evidences exposed there say that the evidence for macro evolution isn't there?

I’ll tell you exactly why. Because the very best actual observed evidence is speciation, and speciation doesn't require organ development, as you must know. I am open to being shown the error of my ways. I’m lookin’ but I don’t see anything in evolution, proof-wise, except simple adaptation and speciation, and then tons and tons of speculation about how organisms develop by way of evolution.

The idea that only "superficial" differences are the result of evolution - what creationists call microevolution - has been well and truly exploded, and the evidence is out there for anybody to see. Consider the essay on http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html" [Broken], for example.

Exploded? I can’t find the evidence at your links which proves organ development. Perhaps I’ve missed something, so if you see it please direct me to it. All I find is the same thing I’ve always found, proof of simple adaptation and no PROOF of organ development via natural selection and genetic variation. Lots of theories though about how it might happen.

And your comment that evolutionists will fall back on "What better theory have you?" is just a straw man.

How many times do you think I’ve heard it here? It’s one of the favorite arguments of scientism devotees. It’s no strawman. In fact, if you insist I will reproduce comments of PF members saying exactly that.

You know, I would love to see the evidence, because if I do I will revert to my former faith in evolution so fast you will have to admit I am not biased one way or another, but I am simply skeptical of claims that the evidence we have allows us to conclude natural selection and accidental genetic variation has created organs and organisms.

If you look at the evidence, what you see is something like 3.5 billion of years of bacteria and algae, and nothing but. Then quite coincidentally (?) when the atmosphere had reached the proper proportion of oxygen, a huge burst of forms develop 550 MY ago. There is no logical explanation, and certainly no evidence, to explain why that would happen since we have all those conditions today and it doesn't happen.

Here’s the problem. We don’t see genetic variation today in existing species that would allow us to believe in the sort of variation needed to produce the burst of organ development during the Cambrian era. And we don’t see a huge range of variation in environmental conditions either that would help nature “select” the array of modifications needed for an organ/organism to develop.

Eldredge documents the “punctuated” development and then acts as if that is just how evolution works. To me, that is so revealing. Why would one automatically assume a huge anomaly in the starkly uncreative march of natural selection/genetic variation we actually can observe today is “normal” unless one is already committed to explaining everything Darwinistically?

No, based strictly on the evidence of what we have observed happening in nature, and I mean strictly (you don’t get privileges with evidence because you are a scientist), the natural selection-genetic variation team is only known to result in superficial changes. That alone doesn’t account for either the speed of changes that occurred during the Cambrian era, or the quality of changes which resulted in organs and organisms where nothing like it before had ever existed. And it also doesn’t explain why it isn’t happening now.

One might cite the genetic record, and it does show most all of life seems related. But what it doesn’t show is what caused the genetic changes. You, as a devoted physicalist, don’t get to claim natural selection and accidental genetic variation is responsible for that until you can prove it since there might be another influence involved, and since you can't demonstrate it today.

So I restate my objection that scientism devotees are making claims which aren’t yet supported by the evidence in order to push their beliefs on children in the education system and the rest of us. As much as you hate the idea, God or whatever you might want to call universal consciousness, just might have played a key role in the origin and development of our universe.

Last edited by a moderator:
Vossistarts
NIce Insights there. I agree with you on fanaticism and insistance of some religious types being a manifestation of insecurities in their beliefs. Sometimes I feel really bad for those people, and also it makes me angry at the people responsible for conditioning and cajoling them, often as young children, into accepting a beliefs system that defies logic, defies common sense and intuition, claiming the unapparent is real and the apparent is false. Its like those people were abused, and in a way I think they are, living desperate lives desperately arguing points that even while they are so fragile the threat of turning away from them is immense and ultimately damning should those beliefs turn out to be truths after theyve dismissed them as unlikely. THeyre made to believe the truths in their hearts that are god given so to speak, are lies, and the fabrication of a religious mankind from a relatively primative time in the far distant history of social and intellectual developement of humans are absolutely truths.

As for the whole god and creation thing. You have to acknowledge the remote possibility of a god creator amusing itself with random acts of invention being possible. Pretty unlikely, and Id think since a god is technically a thing, it would still have had to of had a creative source itself, making it mor like a demiurge.

I tend to think what it could come down to, is that at some point in time, as science follows the clues into the past present and future of the reality behind our and everythings being, the laws of science that will unfold with discovery will make the maddening weirdness of todays fanatics tale just a giggle next to mind-bending truths of just how and why it really is..

Psi 5 said:
In my opinion the logical ordered universe is more of an indication that God didn't create it than that he did. Most scientists who believe in God see the hand of an intelligent designer in its logic and order, I feel just the opposite. Most religions were created when the laws of the universe weren't known and it was believed to be a place of magic and chaos. I think that model fits a creator much better than the logical universe that we know today. Take the concept of heaven for example. It is inherently just the opposite of the ordered universe, a metaphysical place. Why would the creator create an orderly logical universe when it could create an analog of the concept of heaven for his soul forge? It's like attributing bathroom graffiti and the Mona Lisa to the same artist.

Religion has evolved to accept science over the years but as we know more and more of the universe, religion is rebelling against science because they are becoming incompatable in the fanatical (read that born again and fundamentalist) religious view. You can see that happening everywhere but worst of all for the world here in the US. The cause I think is that deep down, fanatics have doubts about their beliefs and they react by trying to stifle anything that challenges those beliefs, namely science like evolution, and try to impose their beliefs on others. Fanatical religion is a sickness, a disease and it's spreading.

Gold Member
Tisthammerw said:
A creationist comes by and says . . .

I enjoyed your thinking except for one thing. Not everyone skeptical of Darwinistic evolution is a creationist. Some of us are uncommitted and simply refuse to buy into scientism's hyperbole any more than we are willing to buy religion's nonsense. I have not seen anything in physical principles alone that would make me believe physicalness can achieve either abiogenesis or, for instance, a human brain via natural selection-genetic variation.

I don't have a problem with the universe being conscious somehow, and having that assist in it's development. But I also wouldn't have a problem with accepting that physicalness could achieve that if I'd ever seen physicalness behaving with the organizational quality that would lead to life and (especially) consciousness.

lawtonfogle
The question turns on monism, the belief that there is only ONE explanation/cause for anything. If monism is true then one of the following seems to result:
1) God is the cause/explanation and science isn't
2) Science tells the cause/explanation and it isn't God.
3) Science tells the cause/explanation and it is God.
In item 3, God would be a consequence of scientific analysis, which seems to deny Christian doctrine (faith in things not seen) and Islamic doctrine (God's unknowability), and possibly Jewish doctrine (God's unrepresentability?). So no Abrahamic God. What about Buddhism and Hinduism?

This would make sense, if science could explain the first cause. But it can't. I have asked a doctorate in physics about this, and he said all we can do is say it happened. We don't know how, and God could have done it for all we know. Because, when the singlelarity exploded, time began. What happened in the first planks time (I think that is what it is called) science can't explain, because time was created then also. Now for thoses who say the universe recycles itself, if time is in the direction of entropy, whenever the universe is recycling itself it is going back wards in time. So it never goes on forever, but back and foward between to points. Only a system with an infinite amount of energy could go on forever, becuase if there was no entropy, there would be no increase in it, and so no time; and if their was a limited amount, sooner or later, we would run out of enough organized information to hold what time it is, and past that, it will be complete entropy.

Tisthammerw
Les Sleeth said:
Tisthammerw said:
A creationist comes by and says . . .

I enjoyed your thinking except for one thing. Not everyone skeptical of Darwinistic evolution is a creationist.

True, very true; and I never meant to imply otherwise. Still, creationists are among the most vociferous of anti-evolutionists, so it seemed good to instantiate here. I myself am not a Biblical creationist (i.e. the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation story) but I am skeptical of neo-Darwinism and especially abiogenesis.

But I think that neo-Darwinism (evolution via mutation and natural selection) will go the way of Newtonian mechanics. Scientists will say, “Okay, maybe it doesn't encompass as big a domain as we once thought.” It'll be limited, but not completely abandoned. I see no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Does neo-Darwinism explain some variation? Absolutely! I think neo-Darwinism can explain a great deal of variation; evolve new species, genera and perhaps even families. On the other hand, we haven't seen any (at least not directly) empirical evidence that it can account for all of life’s diversity via producing larger-order changes (e.g. producing new organs). It would seem that there are limits to this sort of mechanism.

I suspect some kind of artificial intervention is necessary for the larger evolutionary changes to have occurred. What do you think? What's your theory of how they came about?

Gold Member
Tisthammerw said:
True, very true; and I never meant to imply otherwise. Still, creationists are among the most vociferous of anti-evolutionists, so it seemed good to instantiate here. I myself am not a Biblical creationist (i.e. the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation story) but I am skeptical of neo-Darwinism and especially abiogenesis.
But I think that neo-Darwinism (evolution via mutation and natural selection) will go the way of Newtonian mechanics. Scientists will say, “Okay, maybe it doesn't encompass as big a domain as we once thought.” It'll be limited, but not completely abandoned. I see no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Does neo-Darwinism explain some variation? Absolutely! I think neo-Darwinism can explain a great deal of variation; evolve new species, genera and perhaps even families. On the other hand, we haven't seen any (at least not directly) empirical evidence that it can account for all of life’s diversity via producing larger-order changes (e.g. producing new organs). It would seem that there are limits to this sort of mechanism.
I suspect some kind of artificial intervention is necessary for the larger evolutionary changes to have occurred. What do you think? What's your theory of how they came about?

Hey, are you my long lost missing twin or what?

Check out the debate "Are We Intelligently Designed?" On page 5 and/or 6 I offer some alternatives to pure Darwinism.