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  1. #1
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    Was Darwin a theist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy
    Barry is natural selection neccessarily anticreation? I have previously done some reading, but not for a while, quite a while.
    Why ask Barry? he's a bloody mathematician! He's just messing with your head Scott. You need to ask that question to someone with an honours degree in Genetics from London, like what I've got Scotty! And the answer to your question is that natural selection is entirely consistent with Creationism. I mean, even Darwin knew there was a God! And there's even a suggestion there may be a God gene, put there by the Great Creator himself!
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    Apes evolved out of Creationists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy
    Barry is natural selection neccessarily anticreation? I have previously done some reading, but not for a while, quite a while.
    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    Why ask Barry? he's a bloody mathematician! He's just messing with your head Scott. You need to ask that question to someone with an honours degree in Genetics from London, like what I've got Scotty! And the answer to your question is that natural selection is entirely consistent with Creationism. I mean, even Darwin knew there was a God! And there's even a suggestion there may be a God gene, put there by the Great Creator himself!
    Not sure that a degree in Genetics, honours or otherwise is really that helpful. And I'm not sure that Charles Darwin wasn't a aetheist he certainly made a number of concessions on account of his deeply religious wife and his retiring nature. But his deeply held views on religion is another question entirely and totally irrelevent to Scott's question.

    Natural selection is basically the process which says specimens which are best suited to their environment will survive and displace those which are less well suited. Evolution says that random mutation with natural selection will cause species to evolve and eventually diverge to the point that one homogeneous population bcomes two populations which biologists would recognise as distinct species. On a larger timescale this leads to new families, orders, etc, etc, etc.

    There is a school which says yes life started as a single cell ameoba (or whatever) and eventually produced the all the species of animals, plants and bacteria we see today. However, God provided the spark, guided the process, and always had in his mind to eventually wind up with humans, whom he then imbued with a soul, etc, etc, etc. This is probably the orthodox christian view.

    Another school says God created all the species (as required) over a very long timescale. Evolution might make new races within species but never results in a new species. This school also sometimes uses the noun "kind" instead of species so as to be a little vague and have some leeway in their position. For the sake of the argument lets call these guys the special creationists.

    Then you have the fringe who say natural selection doesn't change species at all, God created everything in 6 days like the good book said and there is a global conspiracy going on among scientists who say otherwise. I can't think of a polite name for these guys. But lets call them the young earthers as they also tend to think the earth can be no older than around 10,000 years. Which is just so unlikely it really is no longer funny.

    So the problem with the orthodox position is they pretty much are forced to admit we are related to the apes. Which means if we go far enough back through your parents we will get to an smoething which is no longer human or even homonid. In fact, go far enough back and you and the chimpanzees at the zoo will have a common ancestor. What's more that common ancestor is the chimps closest common ancestor to any other species on earth. The current thinking is humans and chimps separated later than we did from the other apes, including gorillas (the chimps next closest relatives).

    Now if this isn't foundation rocking enough, another thing which may be a problem is the origin of the original sin. If there was no single Adam and Eve and garden of Eden, how did original sin come into being, and if you toss out that, it makes much of the gospel more than a little irrelevent. Anyway, mileage may vary on this one depending on the theological importance of the original sin and so I won't say too much more.

    The special creationists have the problem of God intervening quite a bit in the history of the earth. Not a major problem, but also taking quite a long time to get to "the point" from a religious angle. That is creating species that can actualy believe. I mean, why waste 200+ million years witht the dinosaurs only to wipe most of them out? Seems to present more questions than it answers.

    The young earthers and just so wrong science-wise the position is only tenable in you accept the conspiracy explanation of scientific research in practically all the natural sciences. Hardly worth wasting breath on.

    There are more than three positions and I might be accused of providing strawman refutations the the three I presented - so be it. But hopefully you find my post interesting and more use than just a couple of unfounded and misleading (in my view) statements about the importance of genetics (genetics and genes were unknown to Darwin when he wrote the Origin of Species) and Darwin's religious position (which in my view is by no means clear).
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
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    At the time of Darwin's death, Creationists reakoned that on is deathbed he recanted all of his On the Origin of the Species. But his wife soon after rebutted this and copies of her documents on this are available.

    Even if Darwin recanted it is almost meaningless, a theory holds up or doesn't regardless.

    And as someone doubted my credibility/repuatation earlier on another thread and I did not get around to answer, that if it was terrible Hitler who had discovered that two plus two equals four, it would still equal four.

    So all the imbeciles who try to smear my views by "association" have now being taught another lesson.

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    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist
    And as someone doubted my credibility/repuatation earlier on another thread and I did not get around to answer, that if it was terrible Hitler who had discovered that two plus two equals four, it would still equal four.
    All we need now is for someone to expand at little on the Hitler comments, a bit more to-ing and fro-ing, and then KB can invoke Godwin's law.

    But you're right AC, a fact is a fact, regardless of who presents it.

    See how conciliatory I can be? We might even become friends, who knows.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

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    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Cox
    There is a school which says yes life started as a single cell ameoba (or whatever) and eventually produced the all the species of animals, plants and bacteria we see today. However, God provided the spark, guided the process, and always had in his mind to eventually wind up with humans, whom he then imbued with a soul, etc, etc, etc. This is probably the orthodox christian view.

    Another school says God created all the species (as required) over a very long timescale. Evolution might make new races within species but never results in a new species. This school also sometimes uses the noun "kind" instead of species so as to be a little vague and have some leeway in their position. For the sake of the argument lets call these guys the special creationists.

    Then you have the fringe who say natural selection doesn't change species at all, God created everything in 6 days like the good book said and there is a global conspiracy going on among scientists who say otherwise. I can't think of a polite name for these guys. But lets call them the young earthers as they also tend to think the earth can be no older than around 10,000 years. Which is just so unlikely it really is no longer funny.
    Pretty good summary Barry. Problem with summaries though is that they tend to put people in boxes which (maybe) they don't quite belong in.

    Myself for example ... if I had to choose between the three "boxes" above ... I'd fit more into the last one than the other two because I don't accept that natural selection produces change in species. But I don't believe in conspiracy theories either. I do believe that the earth appears to be substantially older than 10,000 years.

    Maybe I'm a contradiction wrapped up in an anachronism?
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Cox
    Not sure that a degree in Genetics, honours or otherwise is really that helpful. And I'm not sure that Charles Darwin wasn't a aetheist he certainly made a number of concessions on account of his deeply religious wife and his retiring nature. But his deeply held views on religion is another question entirely and totally irrelevent to Scott's question.

    Natural selection is basically the process which says specimens which are best suited to their environment will survive and displace those which are less well suited. Evolution says that random mutation with natural selection will cause species to evolve and eventually diverge to the point that one homogeneous population bcomes two populations which biologists would recognise as distinct species. On a larger timescale this leads to new families, orders, etc, etc, etc.

    There is a school which says yes life started as a single cell ameoba (or whatever) and eventually produced the all the species of animals, plants and bacteria we see today. However, God provided the spark, guided the process, and always had in his mind to eventually wind up with humans, whom he then imbued with a soul, etc, etc, etc. This is probably the orthodox christian view.

    Another school says God created all the species (as required) over a very long timescale. Evolution might make new races within species but never results in a new species. This school also sometimes uses the noun "kind" instead of species so as to be a little vague and have some leeway in their position. For the sake of the argument lets call these guys the special creationists.

    Then you have the fringe who say natural selection doesn't change species at all, God created everything in 6 days like the good book said and there is a global conspiracy going on among scientists who say otherwise. I can't think of a polite name for these guys. But lets call them the young earthers as they also tend to think the earth can be no older than around 10,000 years. Which is just so unlikely it really is no longer funny.

    So the problem with the orthodox position is they pretty much are forced to admit we are related to the apes. Which means if we go far enough back through your parents we will get to an smoething which is no longer human or even homonid. In fact, go far enough back and you and the chimpanzees at the zoo will have a common ancestor. What's more that common ancestor is the chimps closest common ancestor to any other species on earth. The current thinking is humans and chimps separated later than we did from the other apes, including gorillas (the chimps next closest relatives).

    Now if this isn't foundation rocking enough, another thing which may be a problem is the origin of the original sin. If there was no single Adam and Eve and garden of Eden, how did original sin come into being, and if you toss out that, it makes much of the gospel more than a little irrelevent. Anyway, mileage may vary on this one depending on the theological importance of the original sin and so I won't say too much more.

    The special creationists have the problem of God intervening quite a bit in the history of the earth. Not a major problem, but also taking quite a long time to get to "the point" from a religious angle. That is creating species that can actualy believe. I mean, why waste 200+ million years witht the dinosaurs only to wipe most of them out? Seems to present more questions than it answers.

    The young earthers and just so wrong science-wise the position is only tenable in you accept the conspiracy explanation of scientific research in practically all the natural sciences. Hardly worth wasting breath on.

    There are more than three positions and I might be accused of providing strawman refutations the the three I presented - so be it. But hopefully you find my post interesting and more use than just a couple of unfounded and misleading (in my view) statements about the importance of genetics (genetics and genes were unknown to Darwin when he wrote the Origin of Species) and Darwin's religious position (which in my view is by no means clear).
    Come on, if the man who invented natural selection believed in God, and he did, then it must have come from a God-centric Universe and there are no inconsistencies. What you have described is the Classical Model. Neo-Darwinians argue it cannot generate enough vairation to entirely explain speciation, that there are other forces at work - there is a schism in opinion. What is at work - the hand of God maybe?
    Power comes from the barrel of a gun.

  8. #8
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    Pretty good summary Barry. Problem with summaries though is that they tend to put people in boxes which (maybe) they don't quite belong in.

    Myself for example ... if I had to choose between the three "boxes" above ... I'd fit more into the last one than the other two because I don't accept that natural selection produces change in species. But I don't believe in conspiracy theories either. I do believe that the earth appears to be substantially older than 10,000 years.

    Maybe I'm a contradiction wrapped up in an anachronism?
    I don't intend to put people's views into boxes, but human nature is hard to avoid. It might be more useful to think about a belief continuum and what I described are just three point in a range of views.

    Of course, you would know your own views best but you are sounding more like box #2 than #3 dweller to me. Perhaps I just didn't make box 2 sound inviting enough.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    Come on, if the man who invented natural selection believed in God, and he did, then it must have come from a God-centric Universe and there are no inconsistencies.
    Darwin didn't invent natural selection, he discovered it. Such linguistic abuse actually confuses your arguments. Had he invented it that would mean there could have been no evolution until the time of the publication of the Origin of Species.

    I think the faith of Darwin is not a lay-down misere. He was a very retiring man and no doubt had a deeply religious upbringing and wife. He understood the theological implications of the Origin of Man but had the intellectual honesty to present to scientific results and have them stand on their merits without appeasing the religious opposition he knew it would attract.

    Anyway, regardless of whether he invented NS or discovered it; regardless of whether Darwin was an aetheist or a Moony; the compatibilty of NS and creation is a complex question and should not be dismissed with some hand wavng and a vague statement on the supposed beliefs of Darwin.

    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    What you have described is the Classical Model. Neo-Darwinians argue it cannot generate enough vairation to entirely explain speciation, that there are other forces at work - there is a schism in opinion. What is at work - the hand of God maybe?
    What I tried to describe was natural selection. Please describe how it is inconsistent with the neo-Darwinians, in your view.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    Account Permanently Banned firegoat7's Avatar
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    Hello,

    I call for a democratic vote on whether this thread ought to be split. It is clearly off track, not that this is a bad thing. I just want to call the moderators on consistency.

    Cheers FG7

    P.S not that I believe that threads ought to be split, but I am curious to know whether Frosty does? Does this thread meet your criteria Frosty?

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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firegoat7
    I call for a democratic vote on whether this thread ought to be split. It is clearly off track, not that this is a bad thing. I just want to call the moderators on consistency.
    The importance of the role of evolution in undermining the absolutist position on the value of human life over all others I think warrants the digression and I don't feel it is as yet off-topic.

    The question is if all (wo)mankind and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor in the reasonably recent past (last 10 million years say) then how can the position of a single human life being more valuable than all other life on the planet be sustained?
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    So Barry. I guess it is then fair to say that natural selection is not necessarily contradictory to evolution. I have absolutely no problem with it.
    The age of the earth is a interesting question. The Bible makes no real determination on the age of the earth, only what God created on it.
    From just reading Genesis 1:1-2 all of these things are possible. I am not saying they did happen, just they are not inconsistent, in my opinion, with what is written.
    Some time, maybe a lot of time, maybe billions of years of time occured between God creating the earth and creation that is described in the rest of Genesis 1 and 2.
    During this time maybe the dinosuars lived on the earth and died out or there was different laws of nature/science at work on the earth. Either of these might explain some of the dating of the earth without there being a massive conspiracy of scientists.
    There is also the possibilty the earth existed without time existing.
    I don't believe in a massive conspircy of scientists in that all evolutionist scientist have agreed to put forth a view which they know are wrong to hide creation. I think this idea is just stupid.
    I don't why evolution has come forth, I just don't why, I just believe it to be wrong.
    Scott

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    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_Richards
    Come on, if the man who invented natural selection believed in God, and he did, then it must have come from a God-centric Universe and there are no inconsistencies. What you have described is the Classical Model. Neo-Darwinians argue it cannot generate enough vairation to entirely explain speciation, that there are other forces at work - there is a schism in opinion. What is at work - the hand of God maybe?
    Before reading the rest of the posts I read or seen on TV that Charlie became atheistic due to Problem of Evil, specifically, his young favourite daughter dying at an early age due to some disease. As he was earmarked by his father to become a pastor and had studied theology he did quite a turn around. I am sure this fact is easy to find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy
    So Barry. I guess it is then fair to say that natural selection is not necessarily contradictory to evolution. I have absolutely no problem with it.
    The age of the earth is a interesting question. The Bible makes no real determination on the age of the earth, only what God created on it.
    From just reading Genesis 1:1-2 all of these things are possible. I am not saying they did happen, just they are not inconsistent, in my opinion, with what is written.
    Some time, maybe a lot of time, maybe billions of years of time occured between God creating the earth and creation that is described in the rest of Genesis 1 and 2.
    During this time maybe the dinosuars lived on the earth and died out or there was different laws of nature/science at work on the earth. Either of these might explain some of the dating of the earth without there being a massive conspiracy of scientists.
    There is also the possibilty the earth existed without time existing.
    I don't believe in a massive conspircy of scientists in that all evolutionist scientist have agreed to put forth a view which they know are wrong to hide creation. I think this idea is just stupid.
    I don't why evolution has come forth, I just don't why, I just believe it to be wrong.
    Scott
    Great post Scotty, I think you'll leave Barry gobsmacked!
    Power comes from the barrel of a gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist
    Before reading the rest of the posts I read or seen on TV that Charlie became atheistic due to Problem of Evil, specifically, his young favourite daughter dying at an early age due to some disease. As he was earmarked by his father to become a pastor and had studied theology he did quite a turn around. I am sure this fact is easy to find.
    If he was an atheist, they would never have let him in the Royal Society!
    Power comes from the barrel of a gun.

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