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Scientist
Talk.origins caught lying again
Mon Jul 9, 2018 8:21pm
108.53.79.114

"WHO ACCEPTS EVOLUTION?

Q: “Don’t you have to be an atheist to accept evolution?”
A: “No. Many people of Christian and other faiths accept evolution as the scientific explanation for biodiversity.”
R: Two points here. First, TO wants to assure its visitors that “Christian and other faiths” are compatible with evolution. I would again say that all beliefs are compatible with evolution as long as evolution is confined to speaking about (observed) biological change. But as we all know (or should know), this is not the way that it is.
Evolution, as a manifestation of methodological naturalism (the operational version of philosophical naturalism), makes countless assertions into metaphysical areas with cosmological and biological origins representing just a few of these. TO makes no attempt to make known this subtle yet all-important aspect of what ‘accepting evolution’ comprehensively means. TO lures ‘people of all faiths’ into their camp with assurances of compatibility. Deception by omission.

The second point concerns the latter half of their answer: “...evolution as the scientific explanation for biodiversity.” Such a statement suggests the necessity of concessions, compromises, and ‘special’ interpretations of the Bible in order to satisfy the (naturalistic) theory of evolution as the explanation for biodiversity. After all, not doing so entails opposing the formidable and authoritative pronouncements of the “scientific establishment”—and who wants to do that? [Besides, exactly how would the average person go about challenging this “scientific establishment”?]

I ask, whatever happened to the answer that, “Biodiversity is part of God’s creation”? Specifically, if a person believes in God as the Creator of everything then this ‘everything’ includes the biodiversity that we observe. Of course, maybe in this arena ‘everything’ does not mean everything? Nowhere does the Bible even hint that a gelatinous substance was formed and that from this goo there emerged ‘simple life’ that diversified—over eons—into zebras, humans, and the rest of the biological community.

Quite to the contrary, concerning man’s origin, the Bible very clearly states that ‘from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female’ (Genesis 1:27; Mark 10:6). It bears pointing out that this foundational event in the biblical record defies any kind of evolutionary ‘interpretation’ that doesn’t compromise either evolutionary dogma, the credibility of the biblical record, or both. The Bible contains numerous other assertions that cannot be reasonably answered under the paradigm of evolution unless the Bible receives ‘special’ interpretation—the kind that denigrates the historical validity of the biblical record in order to accommodate popular contemporary beliefs. This then is the bottom line: the Bible has to be distorted in order to accommodate the edicts of evolution. TO never mentions any of this, preferring instead to shamelessly assert that evolution and Christianity are somehow ‘compatible.’

Besides, “...evolution as the scientific explanation for biodiversity” is nothing more than a tautology in the sense that it is the “scientific community” that dictates what is admissible and what is not. Is it any surprise that this same community embraces philosophical/methodological naturalism and frowns heavily upon anything that even remotely suggests anything other than material causes?

I can think of no better illustration of this than the case of intelligent design theory (ID). Leaving out numerous details, ID is having a difficult time being accepted into the scientific establishment as a bona fide scientific theory simply because it has metaphysical—in fact theistic—implications. After all, if the logical conclusion is that specified and complex design is present, then a designer is the only available option and the big ‘G’ immediately enters the realm of possibilities. Naturalists were quick to pick up on this rather obvious and, to them, highly unpalatable conclusion and as a result ID is being treated by many as if it were advocating the practice of human sacrifices.

The fact of the matter is that ID is as robust a scientific theory as one should reasonably expect, having all of the components—foundation, logical/mathematical formulation, explanatory/predictive power, etc.—that other widely accepted scientific theories have. For more details on this I recommend two sources: The Design Inference, Cambridge University Press, 1998 by William Dembski and Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology, InterVarsity Press, 1999 also by William Dembski.

To summarize this point, ID is not being scorned because it is bad science or illogical, but because it crosses the line that separates one metaphysical worldview from another. The “people in charge”, i.e., the naturalistic scientific establishment, are unwilling to allow that to happen—naturalism must be protected at all costs, from their point of view. Why doesn’t TO mention or elaborate on any of this to its readers? Deception by omission."

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