Skip to comments.Future of Conservatism: Darwin or Design? [Human Events goes with ID]
Posted on 12/12/2005 8:01:43 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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Me too... keeping in mind there is such a thing as a "liar" and a "fool".. Some lies are "bought" as truth, and some truth is "bought" as a lie.. Some fools are indeed foolish and some fools have an agenda and are not fools at all.. Quite confusing unless your are in spirit.. Which maybe completes my circle.. Not being is spirit is foolish and may even be a lie.. LoL.. Circular logic I know.. LoL.. but then I ain't perfect....... YET!... Maranatha sweet spirit..
One has to begin somewhere. With naturalistic presuppositions intelligent design is hardly an easy matter to deduce, if possible at all. The theory of intelligent design presumes without proof that organized matter behaving under predictable laws is evidence of intelligent design. It is no more necessary for science to show in some material fashion "who" this designer is than it is for a play to bring its director onto the stage every moment just to assure the audience the play has a director. In fact, it would essentially spoil the play.
It is my contention that science would have no object if matter were not organized in such a way as to be manifest to the observer, whether physically or mentally. It is hardly an unreasonable leap of logic to consider that, where matter is organized, design is involved, and where design is involved, there is intelligence. For what reason might one be inclined to reject this fairly reasonable point of view? The wind blows where it will . . .
The theory of evolution also presumes without proof, that the presence of organized matter can be attributed to any number of causes other than intelligent design. That is the prerogative of those who espouse it, though I do not consider it proper to hide one's assumptions and proceed as if they have the only scientific point of view. The evidence for naturalistic science fits very well. In fact, there is nothing in the known universe that cannot possibly be explained by so-called natural causes. That includes so-called miracles.
Reasoning confirms this because order cannot rise out of chaos in an unguided physical system. Order cannot rise spontaneously. The physical laws for instance are a guide to weather. And when we reason through cosmology, we know there was a beginning (because physical causation relies on geometry) and thus there is a guide to the universe itself from the beginning, an uncaused cause which is not a physical cause.
Likewise, the unreasonable effectiveness of math (Wigner, Vafa) suggests a guide to the system. Ditto for information (successful communications) in biological systems, autonomy and the ilk.
That is rather bland, innocent, non-offensive. However, when naturalism becomes the presupposition of the inquiry, it means the scientists have put blinders on, drawn boundaries, scrawled here there be dragons on the edges of the protocols.
Getting rid of that presupposition is the objective of the Intelligent Design movement (as opposed to the Intelligent Design hypothesis).
But that doesnt mean people expect science to come up with laboratory tests for a particular intelligent agent. It means they want science to keep an open mind, go where the evidence leads them like they do in physics and in mathematics.
Let's cut through the rhetoric--those who say this don't acknowledge that a sphere of God exists. The "sphere of God" is actually people's belief about God.
You can experiment with this bit of rhetoric by using Fester Chugabrew's analogy: Our knowledge of the play expands, our knowledge of the director shrinks. In this instance, it conflates the two into one.
And thereby loses all sense of the play being a collaborative effort of the director, the actors, the supporting crew, all in service of a compelling storyline.
What is really left of the play, when one does that? What can we say about it, then?
Plus to conflate the commensurable with the incommensurable is to commit a major category error. Subsequent thinking according to its terms will be distorted, a falling away from the truth of reality....
Thank you, cornelis, for your perceptive suggestion of this "experiment." It so well captures the "nit" of the problem we're picking over here....
The phrase you quoted does not appear in the post you responded to.
Thank you dear friends for your kind words. But jeepers....
If God is our explanation of the unknown then God is unknown. If He were known then that which He knows would be known by those who know Him.
For the atheist God is unknown. Only to the atheist is God the explanation of the unknown since, to the atheist, He is unknown.
For an atheist God diminishes as knowledge increases. For a believer God increases as knowledge increases.
Wow.. that was good and deep.. makes my mind go directions it didnt want to go.. good directions.. so is evil a direction, WoW.. Quite a thought.. You are sneaky Corny.. (holding down eye at the cheek) Got my eye on you cornelis..
And some wouldn't know the truth if it hit them between the eyes. I did not author the phrase you quoted.
Bump. Just checking in.
It took me some time to do the research required to validate my previous statements. I will be more careful to document my claims in the future.
I had for some time been following some of the arguments presented pro and con by Freepers concerning the evolution/creation controversy. So, I signed up to add my two cents on a previous thread and asked Freeper Patrick Henry to see if he could supply a credentialed biologist for the Evolution side to set up a formal debate with a view toward a discussion strictly on the merits of the theory. I proclaimed my position and reminded everyone that Dr. Carl Sagan was on record as stating that Evolution was a fact, and not a theory, and that he had boasted on the Johnny Carson show that he would be willing to debate the issue with any Creationist. I failed to note that he qualified his statement by saying any Creationist with proper credentials, or something to that effect. I also claimed that Dr. Thomas B. Warren accepted the challenge in letters sent to Dr. Sagan and Time Magazine wherein it was also reported that Dr. Sagan had said that Evolution was a fact and not a theory. Dr. Sagan never responded. Dr. Warren received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and had already debated the famed atheist Antony G. N. Flew, D. Litt on the existence of God. (See the Warren/Flew Debate. Book on Amazon.com.)
I had assumed that Freepers, of all folks, would be interested in honest inquiry. I was almost immediately accused of lying or misspeaking. Let me be clear: I have no interest in either Creation or I.D. being taught in the public schools. (I also have a very negative opinion of public schools.) However, Evolution is a sacred cow in the public schools and is not to be questioned. The student is required to parrot exactly what he has been taught or fail the course. That is the experience of both my children and grandchildren. (In my view, a theory taught to a captive audience in a classroom setting without permitting any critical review is not science. It is propaganda.)
In my generation, Bible was a class taught in the Texas Public schools. Of course, it is no longer. I believe that there is much to question regarding Evolution without ever mentioning Creation or I.D. I would hope that a debate between two credentialed biologists would shed more light than heat on the subject.
I must admit that I was surprised by the response I received from many of the Evolutionist Freepers. The vitriol permeated the thread. Perhaps I should not have been surprised in light of the comment by Richard Dawkins, noted evolutionist from Oxford University who said, It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane, (or wicked, but Id rather not consider that). (Dawkins, Richard (1989), Book Review (of Donald Johanson and Maitland Edeys Blueprint), The New York Times, section 7, April 9.)
Or maybe it is a matter of pre-disposition such as when Geneticist Richard Lewontin of Harvard in his review of Dr. Sagans book, Billions and Billions, said evolutionists have a prior commitment, a commitment to naturalism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.
Regarding the claim that I made about Dr. Sagan's statement that Evolution is a fact and not a theory, please refer to the October 20, 1980 issue of Time Magazine and the article entitled The Cosmos Explained by Frederic Golden for confirmation of my claim. Dr. Sagan's meaning was clear, regardless of how many semantic games may be played such as those offered by Dr. Steven Jay Gould. And, I have conferred with several of Dr. Warren's associates who remember the event quite well. Further, I have resurrected Dr. Warrens Editorial published in the October 1981 issue of the Spiritual Sword wherein he rehearses the entire matter. I have appended it to the end of this post for those who would like to read it.
Here is how I see it:
The general theory of organic evolution (Evolution) and Christianity represent two vastly differing world-views. (There is the stepchild of Theistic Evolution that is incompatible with both views, but that is a subject for another time.)
Both views are faith based. That is, they rely on convictions derived from what one hears and believes. Some will argue that evolution is based strictly upon science (knowledge), yet the fact remains that the theory rests on tenets yet to be proven that bring it into the realm of faith. (See evolution paragraph following.)
In the case of Christianity the source material used is the Bible. In it we are told of the creation, the first covenant and the alienation from our Creator, and ultimately how we can be restored to a right relationship with our Creator. We learn that law can never justify, but only condemn. If I am speeding in my vehicle I have just broken a law. I am condemned. Fortunately, the civil law provides a remedy. I can pay a fine or spend a few days in jail. However, my sin (transgression of His law) has separated me from my Creator, and since He is the repository of all the good virtues, including not only mercy and love, but also justice, what shall I give Him to atone for my sins? The answer is obvious, nothing. He created it all. Either the Creator makes a way for me to be reconciled to Him or I am ruined. As a businessman, I am acquainted with contracts. There are three essential elements. These are, the meeting of the minds, the consideration, and the term. Since the Creator is the higher authority it is He that set the terms of the contract with which we must comply (the meeting of the minds). That is, if we desire the efficacious result (eternal life). And, since we could not make the payment ourselves (the consideration), it is clear that the Creator had to make it! And, He did, by sending His very special Son to pay the price that we could not pay. Then upon meeting the terms of the contract and out of a thankful heart, the Christian lives his life engaged in good works. I hope I have explained this well enough for all to see that Christianity is a good way to live your life now, and holds forth the promise of eternal life with the Creator.
Contrariwise, Evolution is based upon the belief that matter is eternal, and that life proceeded from non-life, and that through natural selection and a series of beneficial mutations adding genetic material over vast amounts of time we have evolved to the present state, always progressing and becoming more adapted. In this view, man determines his own morality, whether good or bad, depending upon how you define the terms. Such as when the Supreme Court of the United States decided that all people of African ancestry could never become citizens of the United States. Or when it decided that the unborn child has no civil rights. Divorced from the Creator and His law, anything goes.
So, why would someone choose Evolution over Christianity? It is evident that we will all die. If the Evolutionist is right, then on our death, neither the Evolutionist nor the Christian will ever know it. But, if the Christian is right, then upon our death, the Evolutionist will suffer the deepest despair and regret imaginable. Evolution sounds like a poor gamble to me.
May we all have a happy and prosperous new-year.
Spiritual Sword Editorial follows:
WILL PROF. CARL SAGAN FACE UP TO AN ACCEPTANCE OF HIS OPEN CHALLENGE TO BIBLICAL CREATIONISTS?
Dr. Carl Sagan, Professor of Astronomy in Cornell University, was recently described, in a leading journal, as a sort of super-star of science (Time, Oct. 20,1980). Of him Time says, Sagan also issues some open challenges. To creationists, who argue for a biblical interpretation of lifes beginnings, he states that evolution is not a theory, it is a fact. (Oct. 20,1980, p. 63) Even before this article appeared in Time, the Central Church of Christ in Visalia, California had written (Oct. 9, 1980) both to Professor Sagan and to me, inviting us to be the two disputants in a public, oral debate on the question of the origin of human beings (was it by creation or by evolution?). This effort to arrange such a debate had arisen out of the enormous amount of publicity that had been given, in the various news and entertainment media, to Professor Sagan and his anti-God, anti-creation views. Among these had been Johnny Carsons Tonight Show and Sagans Cosmos series on television- both of which were viewed by millions.
Then the Time article (with Professor Sagan on the cover) appeared under date of October 20,198O. Since the Time article indicated (1) that Prof. Sagan had issued challenges to Biblical creationists and (2) that Sagan knew that evolution was not merely a theory but a fact, I felt certain that he would quickly respond by accepting (as I did) the invitation which had been extended to us to debate the question of the ultimate origin of human beings. But Sagan did not respond to the invitation at all. In the light of Dr. Sagans lack of response to the invitation to debate, the minister (Mark K. Lewis) who had written the letter (for the Church involved which extended the invitation to us) again wrote (on Dec. 4,198O) to Professor Sagan urging him to respond to and to accept the invitation to debate.
Again, no response came from Dr. Sagan. After waiting almost two months for a response to Lewis December 4th letter, I myself wrote (on January 26,1981), to Dr. Sagan, a letter in which I said the following:
Dear Professor Sagan:
Several weeks ago I received from the Central Church of Christ, Visalia, California (through their evangelist, Mark K. Lewis), an invitation to engage in public debate on the ultimate origin of human beings. Mr. Lewis indicated that you were being invited to be the other disputant in a four-night debate on this very crucial topic. You were invited to affirm, in effect, that all human beings now living owe their ultimate origin to evolution (by purely naturalistic, non-purposive, non-intelligent, non-living materialistic forces) and I to affirm that we human beings owe our ultimate origin to the miraculous creative activity of the infinite God.
I immediately accepted that invitation. So far as I know, you have not responded to that invitation. Since I feel that this matter is of such great importance to every individual, to our nation, and to the world, and since I am certain that God created man, since (according to TIME, Oct. 20,1980, p. 631 you are certain that evolution is not merely a theory but is a fact, and since (according to TIME) you have issued some open challenges to Biblical creationists (of which I am one), I am convinced that this opportunity for a four night public debate on this matter should not be allowed to escape us. Thus, I am writing to you to urge you to accept the invitation to debate the issue. It seems certain that no scholar of your stature would issue such a challenge and then be unwilling to defend it when it has been accepted.
I have met in public debate (on the existence of God - a question which included much discussion of the theory of evolution), such world-renowned philosophers as Professor Antony G. N. Flew of Reading University England and Professor Wallace I. Matson of the University of California at Berkeley.
Both of these debates have been published in book form. This past November I met a Humanist (Professor J. E. Barnhart) in a four-night debate on the Utilitarian Ethics of Jeremy Bentham, versus Christian Ethics. That debate is also to be published in book form.
Since you have been so splendidly straightforward in issuing, according to TIME, open challenges to Biblical creationists, permit me to be just as forthright in accepting your challenge and in saying that, in light of your challenges, I feel certain that you will feel under obligation to accept this invitation to publicly test (with an opponent who strongly disagrees with you) the claims which you have made for the theory of evolution.
May Mr. Lewis and I hear from you as soon as your convenience will allow? Since I feel that the editors of various magazines which have recently described you as being something of a champion for the view that all human beings now living owe their ultimate origin to evolution, I am sending a copy of this letter to them.
I feel certain that these editors will recognize the element of fairness needed in the matter of your having been pictured as issuing open challenges to Biblical creationists in regard to the theory of evolution not being merely a theory but a fact. Perhaps some of them might even be interested in noting that there are some who are willing to affirm in honorable public oral debate that they know that all human beings now living owe their ultimate origin to the miraculous, creative activity of God. If you are right (about evolution and there being no infinite God), then nothing really matters. If I am right (about my view that men can know that God exists and that He created the first human pair), then nothing else matters more.
I sincerely hope that you will accept as I have-the invitation to be a disputant to this proposed public debate.
Best wishes always,
Respectfully yours, Thomas B. Warren.
I sent a copy of this letter to the editors of TIME. In a letter dated February 17, 1981, Amy Musher, of the TIME editorial offices, kindly wrote to me, saying that TIME was unable to publish any part of my letter in its letters column. So, on February 26,1981, I wrote to the TIME editor as follows:
Since your rather detailed story (TIME. October 20, 1980) on Dr. Carl Sagan, indicating that he had issued some open challenges to Biblical creationists (of which I am one) to deny his (Sagans) contention that evolution is not merely a theory but is a fact, Prof. Sagan and I have been invited to go to California to engage one another in a public, oral debate on the basic question: do all human beings now living owe their existence ultimately to evolution (by purely naturalistic forces) or to the miraculous creative activity of God.
I accepted that invitation immediately after receiving it last fall. In spite of the strong claims stated in his behalf in TIME, nothing was heard from Prof. Sagan, After some time had elapsed, the party who had extended the invitation (the Central Church of Christ in Visalia, Ca., through its minister, Mr. Mark K. Lewis) again wrote to Prof. Sagan, asking for his response to the invitation to debate.
Again, there was no response from Prof. Sagan. So, after further waiting with still no reply from Prof. Sagan, I myself wrote to him on January 26,1981, suggesting that due to (1) his strong open challenge to Biblical creationists and (2) the importance of the question for our nation and for all mankind (there could hardly be a more important question) that he-as did I-accept the invitation to orally debate the issue of the origin of human beings.
However, at this writing (February 26, 1981), there has still been no word from Prof. Sagan. Can it possibly be the case that TIME's reporter misunderstood Prof. Sagan in regard to his challenging Biblical creationists? Surely a scholar of his stature would not issue such a strong open challenge and then reject the opportunity to make it good when such is offered to him!
In previous oral debates, I have met (on this same basic question) such world- renowned scholars as Dr. A. G. N. Flew (Reading University, England) and Dr. Wallace I. Matson (University of California at Berkeley). I anticipate that TIME-being the fair journal that it is- will want to make these facts known to the public.
Thomas B. Warren.
Then, on March 9,1981, Amy Musher (a Time editor) again wrote to me, basically in response to the fourth paragraph of my February 26 letter to Time. Editor Musher assured me that Time did not misrepresent Prof. Sagan in regard to his challenge to Biblical creationists in its October 20 cover story (on Sagan). She said that the story was very carefully checked for accuracy and that much of it was read by Prof. Sagan himself. (However, Time has printed nothing to make clear to its readers that Prof. Sagan has not even responded to the acceptance of his challenge.)
Thus, it must surely be the case (1) that Prof. Sagan has issued some open challenges and (2) that, to creationists who argue for a Biblical interpretation of the ultimate origin of human beings, he emphatically states that evolution is not merely a theory but is a fact! In the light of the foregoing facts, I would like for the people of America especially the youth of America to know that even though Prof. Sagan has boldly offered a challenge to Biblical creationists by stating that evolution is not a theory but is a fact, he clearly seems to be unwilling to face up to the obligation under which his issuance of that challenge placed him!
So, I would like to suggest again - in the light of the tremendous importance of this question for our nation and for the world (every atheist must be an evolutionist!) - that Prof. Sagan and I debate orally four nights for two hours and ten minutes each night the following propositions (two nights to each proposition):
1. RESOLVED: I know that God does not exist and that all human beings now living owe their ultimate origin (as human beings) to evolution (by purely naturalistic forces) from nonliving matter.
AFFIRM: Carl Sagan
DENY: Thomas B. Warren
2. RESOLVED: I know that God does exist and that all human beings now living owe their ultimate origin (as human beings) to the miraculous creative activity of God.
AFFIRM: Thomas B. Warren
DENY: Carl Sagan
This is a question of utmost importance to every person. If Prof. Sagan is right (about evolution and there being no infinite God) then nothing really matters. (As it has been well put, If there is no God, then everything is permitted.) On the other hand, if I am right (about my view that men can know that God exists and that He created the first human pair), then nothing else matters more.
And, let neither Prof. Sagan nor any of his supporters say it should be sufficient to superficially discuss these propositions for some ten to twenty minutes on a radio or television talk show, allowing each speaker no more than ten minutes or so to present his own case and to refute his opponents case. A subject so complex cannot be discussed adequately in ten minutes so as to satisfy the minds of an inquiring public.
But a four-night debate (with more than two hours each night) during which, in addition to his regular speeches, each disputant has the right to ask questions of the other, will provide a basis for honest people to see just what the truth about the existence of God and the origin of human beings really is.
The ball is now in Dr. Sagans court. Will he honor the challenge that he issued to Biblical creationists? If yes, we are ready. If no, then what rational explanation can he give for his refusal? Will Prof. Sagan prove to be - as some leading journals have intimated - sciences super star or merely sciences superwind?
As a Biblical creationist (to whom Prof. Sagan issued some open challenges) I have accepted his challenge. How can he honorably refuse to face up to what his challenge obligated him to do? It is frightening to contemplate the implications- for America-if Prof. Sagans views should become the prevailing viewpoint of its people. - T.B.W.
(The Spiritual Sword, Vol. 13, No. 1, Oct. 1981, pp. 28-31)
Thanks for the reply, however I in no way am simply taking a safe route as I firmly believe that the evidence is against the general theory of organic evolution. I was simply pointing out that beliefs have consequences, and you have quite correctly concluded that I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, however, I make no appelations to the Bible when considering the evidence for or against the theory. That is why I would like to see credentialed biologists meet on the polemic platform and discuss only the merits of the theory pro and con. I really don't understand why anyone would find such and exchange objectionable. Best regards.