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Friday, May 13, 2005

Could God create through Darwinian evolution? Sure, but ... did he?

On my designorchance discussion group at Yahoo, someone asked (quoting a third party,

What is so objectionable about a God who created through evolution? Why can we accept that God front loaded the universe but we insist on something more when it comes to evolution?

I find it fascinating how creationists accept on the one hand front
loading in astronomy but cannot accept front loading in biology.

Can anyone, such as Denyse explain this?”

So I replied,

..., the key question is, what does the evidence reasonably suggest?

I can't speak for “creationists,” as I consider myself a post-Darwinist, but I do not think that the evidence reasonably supports the “mud to mind” account currently proposed by materialistic science for the origin of the life we see around us today, particularly humans.

The current information load in life forms is simply too high, within the life of the present universe.

Whether life forms with a high information load are produced by intervention or by initial encoding can possibly be answered by research.

I see Darwinists as trying to back away from the issue by pretending that natural selection has awesome powers that it does not really have.

For the record, I do not doubt that natural selection plays an important role, particularly in maintaining species against harmful drifts, and perhaps sometimes initiating new species. (I do NOT rule that out because it seems implicitly reasonable, but the evidence base is hardly very large and I doubt that natural selection accounts for massive, complex changes.)

Science does not yet have a way to understand the relationship between matter, energy, and information. I suspect - and said in By Design or by Chance? - that progress in this area requires addressing that difficult issue in particular.

As G.C. Williams writes:

Information doesn’t have mass or charge or length in millimeters. Likewise, matter doesn’t have bytes. You can’t measure so much gold in so many bytes. It doesn’t have redundancy, or fidelity, or any of the other descriptors we apply to information. This dearth of shared descriptors makes matter and information two separate domains of existence, which have to be discussed separately, in their own terms. (pp. 233-34)

In my view, it is useless to speculate on what God did/might have done.

Historically, speculating on what God did/might have done would not have helped scientists determine whether Ptolemy or Copernicus was right about the organization of the solar system or whether or not spontaneous generation of life forms actually occurs.

In theory at least, God could have done it either way! Why not? In creating a specific universe, the only requirement for laws is that they be workable and self-consistent.

Various models are possible in theory; however, only one can prevail in fact in a given location.

What God DID (or, for those who do not believe in God, whatever actually happened) is for us to discover.

As I understand it, that is what science is: An attempt to discover what God did/what happened/what happens.

cheers, Denyse (Find out more about my book, go to By Design or by Chance? )

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