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Saturday, December 11, 2010

But I really DO think that Christian Darwinism is an oxymoron


Something I wrote recently seems to have sparked quite the little discussion. (Dang! Everybody talks to Barry, nobody talks to me ... :) )

Briefly, I noted that a friend's post had been removed from a Christian Darwinist site because the moderator felt that he had intimated that Theodosius Dobzhansky was not a Christian. (He was not a Christian by any reasonable standard.)

How can one tell if a person is a Christian, many wanted to know. Isn't that just making a judgement (judge not, lest ye be ...)?

Barry Arrington made the excellent point that asking the person to affirm the Creed may be setting the bar a little high.

Fair enough: When I have used the Creed that way, I aimed to sort out situations where the person darn well knows what the Creed says and how it may differ from his private convictions. And I had good reasons for asking; otherwise, I wouldn't bother. I have neither time nor inclination for hunting down heresies. (And none of this is written with prejudice to any other religion. It's just that salesdarwinists currently target confused Christians more than other confused folk. So, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and others, please pardon us Christians as we set the record straight.)

We must say something when someone like Dobzhansky is fronted as a "Christian" to advance the Darwinist cause. I don't object in principle to other rational criteria for assessing whether someone is a Christian, ones such as Barry offered. The main thing to see here is that a person cannot in good faith believe two doctrines that oppose each other at the most basic level.

Darwinism opposes Christianity in a much more serious way than is generally recognized: The Darwinist must - and usually does - believe that Christianity accidentally evolved amid the noise of neurons and it spread via natural selection.

Thus it was that man created God.

Now, if the Darwinist also believes that Christianity was the result of God's admittedly spectacular self-revelations (cf the Creed**), then he believes that God created man. Which is it?

More to the point, if the Darwinist also believes that God can do all that the Creed commands* good Christians to believe, he cannot rationally go on to insist that

:) man is a part of nature, and Darwin proved it

:) God never intervenes in nature, but does it all by Darwinism

So man created God, but no, God created man. Or God created man with the capacity of accidentally evolve an idea of God as an illusion. Why? Because he couldn't reveal himself?

So yes, I do think Christian Darwinism is an oxymoron, if the Christian Darwinist is unconfused enough to know what he is saying.

It is hardly irrelevant to this discussion that 78% of evolutionary biologists are "pure naturalists" (no God and no free will).

* You cannot become an adult Catholic, so far as I know, without assenting intellectually to the Creed.

**For those for whom the Creed may be a bit challenging, due to age, haste, extreme suffering, or emergency, there is also a more basic prayer, the Act of Faith :
O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; I believe that Thy divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.
. Now that is either a branch of Christianity or Darwin's neural noise.


You'd rather watch this than passing trains ...

A friend drew my attention to this video essay: "The animators of life", New York Times (November 15, 2010):
Building on decades of research and mountains of data, scientists and animators are now recreating in vivid and sometimes jaw-dropping detail the complex inner machinery of living cells.
Essentially, the Darwinists' problem isn't with us. It is twofold: an ever-intensifying blizzard of disconfirming evidence from nature, plus the bad fortune to be working at a time when the Internet brings that information to people who are not inoculated against it. Essentially, time and chance do not create high levels of information through ruthless competition. Darwinism is a form of magic, and has the same success rate as the others.

Here's a snippet on the new technical power for discovering the facts, courtesy Boing Boing:
A human hair is somewhere between 60,000 and 120,000 nanometers wide. The new microscope that took this image of a mouse cell can capture 3-D images at a resolution of 30 nanometers.

Other friends recently became immersed in a question of the best source of animations.

One favors this one from Mercola:

This animation was designed to take cellular biology students on a journey through the microscopic world of a cell. It illustrates the mechanisms that allow a white blood cell to sense its surroundings and respond to an external stimulus.

And here's one that covers most of the major cell processes.

And here's the oddest attack I've ever heard on the evidence that the animations show: They are animations, and the real thing looks fuzzier under a micrograph. But then this person sees no difference between animations of actual cell processes and Haeckel's misleading embryo drawings, a scandal for over a century and still defended by Darwinists because, while misleading, they front Darwin's cause to students in tax-supported, compulsory attendance schools. And what else matters?

It's interesting to reflect that if ID folk had any reason to suspect that the new cell life animations really misled in any way, they would not want anything to do with them.

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Saturday morning coffee break: Frosty the Snowman was not designed, he evolved

Here's proof.
(Note: Frosty the Snowman on the Northwest Mantel in the East Room. White House photo by Susan Sterner.)

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