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Is evolutionary chance impossible? 
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Post Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Since it takes four thousand coordinated proteins all acting together for cell division to occur even in a so-called simple cell, which is not simple at all, isn't the idea of evolutionary chance creating such a process impossible? Isn't the idea of a divine designer, God, who engineered this process and set it in motion much more plausible?


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Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:10 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Yeah, Goddidit makes so much more sense. Whenever we don't understand something, we should just say Goddidit and not worry about it any more.


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Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:44 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
craigdressler wrote:
Since it takes four thousand coordinated proteins all acting together for cell division to occur even in a so-called simple cell, which is not simple at all, isn't the idea of evolutionary chance creating such a process impossible? Isn't the idea of a divine designer, God, who engineered this process and set it in motion much more plausible?


The short answer is no, it is not impossible when you consider the time frame evolution has to work with, which is millions and millions of years. I would describe it as miraculous (a know the word is a dirty one to atheists), but not impossible.
It is common for someone unfamiliar with the basics of evolution to underestimate its immense power. I agree with Richard Dawkins when he emphasizes this point.


However, evolution describes mechanistic processes, and nothing more.
A much deeper mystery is what is the origin of syntactic/semantic information which is the true orchestrator of the miraculous processes of evolution.

From a singularity, a burst of light, energy, and matter came into being, and from that has arisen creatures capable of looking back in the direction of where it all began.

What caused the singularity to occur?

Atheists say it just happened.
Theists believe there is an intelligence behind it all.

Great minds like Spinoza / Einstein (and countless others) believe that there is an underling intelligence to nature, but it is NOT personal in nature.

Atheists, like Dawkins and Hawking essentially believe it just all happened and that we are lucky to be in one of millions of universes that gave rise to life. Of course, they have no proof of this hypothesis. They more or less have faith that it will eventually be proven.


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Last edited by ant on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
geo wrote:
Yeah, Goddidit makes so much more sense. Whenever we don't understand something, we should just say Goddidit and not worry about it any more.



Are you saying that the scientists of past that did believe in a god stopped at that rationale (goddidit, so nothing more needed here)?

Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and Arthur Eddington had no trouble reconciling science and religion. Quite frankly, it probably motivated them if anything.

Let's ackowledge great minds that contributed to science (and still do) despite their belief in a god.


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Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:12 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
craigdressler wrote:
Since it takes four thousand coordinated proteins all acting together for cell division to occur even in a so-called simple cell, which is not simple at all, isn't the idea of evolutionary chance creating such a process impossible? Isn't the idea of a divine designer, God, who engineered this process and set it in motion much more plausible?


The short answer is no, it is not impossible when you consider the time frame evolution has to work with, which is millions and millions of years. I would describe it as miraculous (a know the word is a dirty one to atheists), but not impossible.
It is common for someone unfamiliar with the basics of evolution to underestimate its immense power. I agree with Richard Dawkins when he emphasizes this point.


However, evolution describes mechanistic processes, and nothing more.
A much deeper mystery is what is the origin of syntactic/semantic information which is the true orchestrator of the miraculous processes of evolution.

From a singularity, a burst of light, energy, and matter came into being, and from that has arisen creatures capable of looking back in the direction of where it all began.

What caused the singularity to occur?

Atheists say it just happened.
Theists believe there is an intelligence behind it all.

Great minds like Spinoza / Einstein (and countless others) believe that there is an underling intelligence to nature, but it is NOT personal in nature.

Atheists, like Dawkins and Hawking essentially believe it just all happened and that we are lucky to be in one of millions of universes that gave rise to life. Of course, they have no proof of this hypothesis. They more or less have faith that it will eventually be proven.


Ant, I'm not sure why you feel the need to summarize complex positions to such simplistic talking points. Atheists believe x. Theists believe y. I'm sure atheists comprise a wide range of positions, as do theists. Your interpretation of Einstein's beliefs are also reductive to the point of being meaningless. And then your final conclusion that atheists like Dawkins and Hawking have no proof for their position (as if their position is one) is your opinion expressed as fact. IMaybe you enjoy making such grandiosely simplistic statements just to get a response.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
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Ant, I'm not sure why you feel the need to summarize complex positions to such simplistic talking points. Atheists believe x. Theists believe y. I'm sure atheists comprise a wide range of positions, as do theists. Your interpretation of Einstein's beliefs are also reductive to the point of being meaningless. And then your final conclusion that atheists like Dawkins and Hawking have no proof for their position (as if their position is one) is your opinion expressed as fact. IMaybe you enjoy making such grandiosely simplistic statements just to get a response.



Why did you summarize a complex position in the manner you did?
Your comment was "simplistic."

That's my first question to you.


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Last edited by ant on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:22 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
ant wrote:
geo wrote:
Yeah, Goddidit makes so much more sense. Whenever we don't understand something, we should just say Goddidit and not worry about it any more.



Are you saying that the scientists of past that did believe in a god stopped at that rationale (goddidit, so nothing more needed here)?

Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and Arthur Eddington had no trouble reconciling science and religion. Quite frankly, it probably motivated them if anything.

Let's ackowledge great minds that contributed to science (and still do) despite their belief in a god.


Belief in God is based on faith, not science. Certainly many great scientists have believed in God. The question was posed as a dichotomy, either evolution or God. I don't think it was intended as a serious question.


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Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:29 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
geo wrote:
ant wrote:
geo wrote:
Yeah, Goddidit makes so much more sense. Whenever we don't understand something, we should just say Goddidit and not worry about it any more.



Are you saying that the scientists of past that did believe in a god stopped at that rationale (goddidit, so nothing more needed here)?

Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and Arthur Eddington had no trouble reconciling science and religion. Quite frankly, it probably motivated them if anything.

Let's ackowledge great minds that contributed to science (and still do) despite their belief in a god.


Belief in God is based on faith, not science. Certainly many great scientists have believed in God. The question was posed as a dichotomy, either evolution or God. I don't think it was intended as a serious question.


He asked if it is plausible to consider an intelligence behind creation, more or less.
Why did you not consider it a serious question?
Is it because you do not consider such questions to be serious?
Is that why you gave a simplistic answer?


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Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Actually I don't have a problem with the idea of a prime mover. It was admittedly a rather flip response.

There's no evidence for a prime mover though and just because we don't know how it all got started doesn't mean that Goddidit. That's just a God of the gaps argument.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
geo wrote:
Actually I don't have a problem with the idea of a prime mover. It was admittedly a rather flip response.

There's no evidence for a prime mover though and just because we don't know how it all got started doesn't mean that Goddidit. That's just a God of the gaps argument.


I took exception to the way you accused me of being simplistic when your response was actually more simplistic than mine.

Summarizing Einstein and Spinoza's god as being an impersonal one was just that - a summary. I really didn't feel a need to explain Spinoza's Pantheism or Einstein's cosmic religion in detail.

I agree with you - there is no evidence for a prime mover. just the same as there is no evidence for the multiverse theory.

I don't expect science to shrug their shoulders and say god did it. Many "religious" scientists are not satisfied with a god of gaps. I deeply respect their humility.


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Last edited by ant on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
It was a somewhat reactive, impulsive response on my part. I probably shouldn't hadn't a oughtn't done that. The guy who started the thread is probably a troll, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

Quite a number of philosophers have argued for an abstract god. Thomas Hobbes says we can have no concept of infinity, so we give it a name. "God." I've always seen Einstein's references to God as metaphorical. I think you could make a good argument that Einstein was an atheist, not that it really matters.

When you say something like atheists believe x, you are overgeneralizing for sure. You said on another thread that atheists believe that Jesus didn't exist. I'm sure lots of atheists think Jesus was a historical person. They're just not as vocal.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
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I've always seen Einstein's references to God as metaphorical. I think you could make a good argument that Einstein was an atheist, not that it really matters.


I'd like to hear that argument. But if you don't think it matters that's fine.
To clarify, interpretations of my readings about Einstein are that he believes in a god similar to that of Spinoza's god and not a personal god.


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Last edited by ant on Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
I prefer to think that Einstein and Spinoza both were atheists, simply because neither believed that a transcendent, superintending god was present in the human world. When it comes to notions such as the world-soul or ground-of-being, these aren't theisms at all. There needs to be a better word for those who reject anything approaching the ineffable, who insist that everything but empirical data is an illusion. I wouldn't put Richard Dawkins in that category, though.


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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Quote:
prefer to think that Einstein and Spinoza both were atheists, simply because neither believed that a transcendent, superintending god was present in the human world.


That is clear from their writings. They did not believe in an intelligence that concerned itself with earthly matters. That is why I stated it was not a personal god per se. But their philosophy was far from atheistic.

Please show me what quotes from their works you are referring to specifically that leads you to the conclusion that both were atheists. I am genuinely curious.


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Last edited by ant on Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:23 pm
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Post Re: Is evolutionary chance impossible?
Quote:
Ant:

Are you saying that the scientists of past that did believe in a god stopped at that rationale (goddidit, so nothing more needed here)?


Neil DeGrasse Tyson addresses this very point, with these very scientists here:



And basically, the answer to that question is that when they run into a problem they can't tackle they do sort of give up and say "the rest is mystery too great, and surely it is god's business beyond."


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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