Mung, a theistic evolutionist who disagrees with some of his kind

Mung: What I Believe

I am neither YEC nor OEC, so don’t really know of a label I can give you.

I accept that the universe is old, that the earth is old. No problem with dating as provided by the latest science.

I am a theist and a Christian. I am not a deist. I am not a naturalist. I reject the idea of “nature acting alone.”

I believe the universe is created and sustained by God I believe the same of all living beings. I accept common descent or descent with modification as the best explanation for the history of life on earth, but reject the idea that this happens without God (by a random undirected process).

I’ve not identified myself as a theistic evolutionist because I find myself in disagreement with theistic evolutionist authors.

So the best description I can offer is “intelligent design” proponent.

BioLogos: What We Believe

  1. We believe the Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God. By the Holy Spirit it is the “living and active” means through which God speaks to the church today, bearing witness to God’s Son, Jesus, as the divine Logos, or Word of God.
  2. We believe that God also reveals himself in and through the natural world he created, which displays his glory, eternal power, and divine nature. Properly interpreted, Scripture and nature are complementary and faithful witnesses to their common Author.
  3. We believe that all people have sinned against God and are in need of salvation.
  4. We believe in the historical incarnation of Jesus Christ as fully God and fully man. We believe in the historical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, by which we are saved and reconciled to God.
  5. We believe that God is directly involved in the lives of people today through acts of redemption, personal transformation, and answers to prayer.
  6. We believe that God typically sustains the world using faithful, consistent processes that humans describe as “natural laws.” Yet we also affirm that God works outside of natural law in supernatural events, including the miracles described in Scripture. In both natural and supernatural ways, God continues to be directly involved in creation and in human history.
  7. We believe that the methods of science are an important and reliable means to investigate and describe the world God has made. In this, we stand with a long tradition of Christians for whom Christian faith and science are mutually hospitable. Therefore, we reject ideologies such as Materialism and Scientism that claim science is the sole source of knowledge and truth, that science has debunked God and religion, or that the physical world constitutes the whole of reality.
  8. We believe that God created the universe, the earth, and all life over billions of years. God continues to sustain the existence and functioning of the natural world, and the cosmos continues to declare the glory of God. Therefore, we reject ideologies such as Deism that claim the universe is self-sustaining, that God is no longer active in the natural world, or that God is not active in human history.
  9. We believe that the diversity and interrelation of all life on earth are best explained by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Thus, evolution is not in opposition to God, but a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes. Therefore, we reject ideologies that claim that evolution is a purposeless process or that evolution replaces God.
  10. We believe that God created humans in biological continuity with all life on earth, but also as spiritual beings. God established a unique relationship with humanity by endowing us with his image and calling us to an elevated position within the created order.
  11. We believe that conversations among Christians about controversial issues of science and faith can and must be conducted with humility, grace, honesty, and compassion as a visible sign of the Spirit’s presence in Christ’s body, the Church.

Tom English: What I Believe About Mung

Mung undoubtedly quibbles over some of the stated beliefs of BioLogos, because he is a quibbler. But he out-and-out rejects only point 11. He would find himself in agreement with some theistic evolutionist authors, were he to read more of them. (I suggest he start with the later writings of George Frederick Wright.)

Mung is much closer to theistic evolutionists in his beliefs about science than he is to most “intelligent design” proponents. He out-and-out rejects young-earth creationism. But most grass-roots proponents of “intelligent design” are young-earth creationists.

Mung aligns himself with “intelligent design” as a sociopolitical movement. He manifests as a sociopolitical activist when he characterizes evolution that “happens without God” as “a random undirected process.” Mung knows that natural selection is predominately nonrandom. Indeed, he takes offense if you suggest that he doesn’t know. But he always reverts to the standard propaganda, designed to inflame Christians who genuinely are ignorant of evolutionary theory.

85 Replies to “Mung, a theistic evolutionist who disagrees with some of his kind”

  1. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    Alan Fox: I wonder if your brother makes a similar effort in meeting you half-way or can he compartmentalize?

    There’s only One Way. I don’t think he ever forgets that I’m going to hell. But he genuinely loves me. And I love him. At present, it seems that will not be enough to keep us together. Some Christians in the family decided to split off from the bad people in the family. I cannot tell the story here. I’ll just say that I continue to recognize the good of Christianity in some, though I am acutely aware of the sickness of Christianity in others.

  2. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: I’ll just say that I continue to recognize the good of Christianity in some, though I am acutely aware of the sickness of Christianity in others.

    Yes, people don’t categorize reliably by belief (or lack of it). A more reliable guide, in my view, is example.

  3. Richardthughes Richardthughes
    Ignored
    says:

    Alan & Tom,

    The problem is that if you believe it is true then:

    1) You should be evangelising all the time.
    2) Having children makes you a monster.

  4. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    Richardthughes:
    Alan & Tom,

    The problem is that if you believe it is true then:

    1) You should be evangelising all the time.

    An important criterion for me is if someone lives their belief, rather than tells me I should too.

    2) Having children makes you a monster.

    Indoctrinating your kids or punishing them for growing up and away from you makes you a, well, maybe a monster, but certainly not someone to admire.

  5. Richardthughes Richardthughes
    Ignored
    says:

    Alan Fox,

    You misunderstand. If you think hell is real, and there’s any chance your children might go there, having children makes you a monster. Play “Theist having kids Pascal’s Wager” see what you get.

  6. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    Richardthughes,

    OK. That is child abuse, agreed.

  7. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: I know some fine folks, including some outstanding researchers in evolutionary computation, who are Republican (and who are very worried about the fate of their party).

    Hopefully they are looking within the ranks of their own party and not blaming turds like me. As for me, I hope both parties collapse.

  8. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Let me give a personal example. Somehow, I got registered as a Republican. I don’t know how. I did not register as a Republican or anything else. I don’t look kindly on whatever powers are in play that could allow such a thing to happen.

    What political powers might allow that, and if Democrats knew about it why didn’t they repeal it, unless it benefits them, too?

  9. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: Even if it is just one person who posts as Mung@TSZ and as Mung@UD, the two personae are very different. Personae, not persons, interact in the virtual world.

    I readily admit I act differently there than I do here. What inference can be drawn from that fact?

    I’ve often wondered why people here at TSZ who have been banned at UD cannot make that adjustment, from person to personae. My guess is it’s got something to do with thinking they are more righteous.

    I’m smart enough to understand the environment I am in and adjust accordingly. So sue me.

  10. Richardthughes Richardthughes
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: I’m smart enough to understand the environment I am in and adjust accordingly

    Um, no.

  11. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: You missed my point. Not bothering to question whether theistic evolutionist Ken Miller lied about ID, I pointed to Michael Behe as a theistic evolutionist you would not say lied about ID. All I was driving at was that (1) a theistic evolutionist can propound ID and (2) not all theistic evolutionists lie about ID.

    I know Ken Miller lies about ID. I don’t know that Michael Behe lies about ID. I await evidence that Michael Behe is a theistic evolutionist that has lied about ID.

  12. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: I took it as understood that the BioLogos Foundation is a theistic evolutionist operation, and that “What We Believe” (carefully written, to be sure) gave a good idea of what they regard to be theistic evolutionism.

    I have no doubt that it was carefully crafted. Carefully crafted so as to not exclude certain Christians while also excluding other Christians. If we were to compare the BioLogos site with the DI site, what would we find?

    Would we find that BioLogos is more inclusive?

  13. Patrick Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:
    As for me, I hope both parties collapse.

    Mung and I agree on something!

  14. Patrick Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: I know Ken Miller lies about ID.

    Got any evidence to support that accusation?

  15. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: I readily admit I act differently there than I do here. What inference can be drawn from that fact?

    That your balls really are in Barry’s purse.

  16. Frankie Frankie
    Ignored
    says:

    Patrick: Got any evidence to support that accusation?

    Just read what Miller says- although that would require you to know what ID really says and you don’t care about that. Heck he was caught lying about ID during the Dover trial

  17. Frankie Frankie
    Ignored
    says:

    Richardthughes:
    Alan Fox,

    You misunderstand. If you think hell is real, and there’s any chance your children might go there, having children makes you a monster. Play “Theist having kids Pascal’s Wager” see what you get.

    What an absurd opinion. If you think heaven is real and there’s a chance your children might go there, having children makes you great.

  18. Richardthughes Richardthughes
    Ignored
    says:

    Frankie: What an absurd opinion. If you think heaven is real and there’s a chance your children might go there, having children makes you great.

    Not at all. Carrots and Sticks are not symmetrical. The fact you don’t know this / can’t do the math is unsurprising.

  19. Richardthughes Richardthughes
    Ignored
    says:

    Frankie: Just read what Miller says- although that would require you to know what ID really says and you don’t care about that. Heck he was caught lying about ID during the Dover trial

    Care to cite anything specific?

  20. Frankie Frankie
    Ignored
    says:

    Richardthughes: Not at all. Carrots and Sticks are not symmetrical. The fact you don’t know this / can’t do the math is unsurprising.

    And more meaningless drivel from master Richie

  21. Frankie Frankie
    Ignored
    says:

    Richardthughes: Care to cite anything specific?

    ENV already has. And if you knew and understood the science you wouldn’t be asking.

  22. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Richardthughes: Care to cite anything specific?

    Apparently not.

  23. Richardthughes Richardthughes
    Ignored
    says:

    Frankie: ENV already has. And if you knew and understood the science you wouldn’t be asking.

    So provide the citation then. If you can.

  24. Richardthughes Richardthughes
    Ignored
    says:

    Frankie: And more meaningless drivel from master Richie

    In was better when “Sugared donuts retirement home for the rotund” ‘s internet was down.

  25. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Frankie: Just read what Miller says- although that would require you to know what ID really says and you don’t care about that. Heck he was caught lying about ID during the Dover trial

    I care ,Frankie. Go ahead , make the case for perjury

  26. Frankie Frankie
    Ignored
    says:

    Richardthughes: So provide the citation then. If you can.

    Here’s one:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/01/misrepresenting_michael_behes031221.html

  27. Frankie Frankie
    Ignored
    says:

    petrushka: Apparently not.

    Apparently so

  28. Frankie Frankie
    Ignored
    says:

    newton: I care ,Frankie. Go ahead , make the case for perjury

    ENV already did.

  29. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Frankie: ENV already did.

    Thanks. So the parts of a IC system are not IC until they are

    And he made that ENV argument during the Dover Trial?

  30. Frankie Frankie
    Ignored
    says:

    newton: Thanks. So the parts of a IC system are not IC until they are

    And he made that ENV argument during the Dover Trial?


    The SYSTEM is IC, not the parts. And Miller misrepresented the argument. I see that you cannot grasp that

  31. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Would we find that BioLogos is more inclusive?

    I believe you would. Check out their forums, and see for yourself.

  32. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    IC systems that are IC, are IC. I agree in every way. I even agree there are IC systems in biology, in fact many of them. Thousands, probably millions.

    It’s just that, IC systems can and do evolve. Unguided, random, accident-laden, copying error-based, unintelligent evolution with natural selection predicts that systems become IC over time as they evolve.

    In fact we have observed the origin of an irreducibly complex pathway for the utilization of citrate under aerobic conditions(ACT) in Richard Lenski’s long-term evolution-experiment with E coli.

    A gene duplication spawned a copy of the citrate transporter in vicinity of a promoter that is only active under aerobic conditions. This allows the cells to use citrate when oxygen is present, which they normally cannot do.

    If you remove the duplicate gene, the cell can no longer use citrate when oxygen is present. So the duplicate is critical to ACT.
    If you remove the promoter, the citrate transporter fails to activate when oxygen is present, and the cell cannot use citrate and will die if there is no other food available. So the promoter and it’s location in relation to the duplicate is critical to ACT.

    So there you go, a two-component, irreducibly complex system that requires both components to be present and arranged in a specific order and near to each other in the E coli genome, for the function of Aerobic Citrate Transport to work.
    If you remove one of the components, the system stops working. So it is irreducibly complex and it evolved.

  33. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    I’d forgotten just how sleazy the Attack Gerbil of Id was. I saw immediately in the TSZ post that Luskin was working a scam of some sort. He quotes Behe at length, and gives detailed citations (including page numbers), but summarizes Miller’s response in one sentence, and leaves us to find it in the book. Looking closer, I noticed that he takes just one sentence from the book that Miller supposedly misrepresented, Darwin’s Black Box:

    Simply put, in Darwin’s Black Box, Michael Behe makes it very clear that he only argues for irreducible complexity for the components after the “fork.” Thus Behe writes: “Leaving aside the system before the fork in the pathway, where some details are less well known, the blood-clotting system fits the definition of irreducible complexity.” [emphasis added]

    Luskin prefers to quote at length Behe’s testimony in the Dover case, including the sentence:

    So I was focusing on a particular part of the pathway, as I tried to make clear in Darwin’s Black Box.” [emphasis added]

    Does weaseling ever get more obvious? What did Behe actually write?

    Just as none of the parts of the Foghorn system is used for anything except controlling the fall of the telephone pole, so none of the cascade proteins are [sic] used for anything except controlling the formation of a blood clot. Yet in the absence of any one of the components, blood does not clot, and the system fails. [Darwin’s Black Box, p. 86]

    Behe clearly wanted his readers to believe that all of the components of the cascade had to come together at once for the system to work. Having established (yet again) that Luskin misleads intentionally, and that Behe weasels on the witness stand (probably intentionally), I’ll hand you off to the putative perjurer:

    Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

    By the way, none, like not one, is singular.

  34. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: IC systems that are IC, are IC. I agree in every way. I even agree there are IC systems in biology, in fact many of them. Thousands, probably millions.

    Of course IC is the abbreviation of interlocking complexity, the term that Nobelist H. J. Muller used before Behe was born.

  35. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Miller make a point (which should be obvious) that when an IDist says irreducible, he really means unevolvable.

    So it should be unevolvable complexity. That’s what Behe argues in the
    Edge, and that’s what Dembski requires for his math to be relevant.

    Too bad for both that science is in the business of figuring out such things.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.