Theistic Evolution – The Judas Iscariot Effect?

I have always been puzzled by the theistic evolution belief system. It makes absolutely no sense to me at all as it clearly seems to contradict both theism and evolution – the two fundamental beliefs it is supposedly be based on…


In short, theistic evolution totally contradicts the act of creation clearly described in the bible so cherished by the great majority of believers…
Theistic evolution also seems to contradict the fundamental evolutionary belief that evolution is a random and an unguided process…

While there may be, and probably are, many variations to the theistic evolution belief system, the general idea most likely is that God either created the laws governing the universe for life to create itself and then evolve to 10 billion species we apparently have on Earth today, or He created the first “simple” life form and let it evolve, through some kind of Darwinian process (either guided or unguided), such as random mutations and natural selection…

In any case, no matter how one can look at theistic evolution, its supporters seem to want to have the better or the best of two worlds. They would like to be respected by both theists and evolution supporters… In my view, theistic evolutionists sit on the fence between theism and evolution belief systems and can, and should, “get shot” by both sides…In other words, they should be rejected by both sides of the worldviews because of their obvious inconsistencies…

Theistic evolutionists belong to the large group of people who I call The Swedish Buffet Belief System. They want to believe in something but they would like to pick and choose themselves what they are going to believe. They want to decide what that “the truth” is going to be…

Theistic evolutionists (and many believers today as well) remind of the lyrics of one of the songs by Benjamin Booker entitled “Believe”:

“I just want to believe in something
I don’t care if right or wrong
I just want to believe in something
I cannot make it on my own”

In any case, theistic evolution has what I call The Judas Iscariot Effect written all over it. According to the bible, Judas Iscariot was Jesus’ apostle who, just like theistic evolutionists, wanted the best of both worlds. He was following Jesus, saw many of his miracles first hand, and yet, he also decided to make a few bucks on the side by cooperating with Jesus’ enemies and sold him for 30 pieces of silver…

In my view, theistic evolution has a trademark Judas Iscariot. Its supporters like to have the best of both worlds:
the theistic world support to view them as believers in God, and the so-called scientific world of evolutionary scientists…

As I have already mentioned it at the outset, just like Judas Iscariot, theistic evolutionists are sitting on the fence between theism and evolution, and should “get shot” from both sides of the worldviews…
After realizing his mistake of trying to play both sides of the worldviews, Judas Iscariot committed a suicide…

I personally think that theistic evolutionists “commit both religious and scientific suicides” by promoting both religious and scientific inaccuracies… just to put it very lightly…

One of the prefect examples of such inaccuracies is the promotion of the many of unfounded speculation that Adam and Eve could not have been the only two human parents of the whole human race… This unfounded notions recently got some unnecessary attention from Biologos “born-again” theistic evolutionist Dennis R. Venema by means of his book… These inaccuracies however have been exposed by a biologist Richard Buggs and some others…

BTW: If anyone, including theistic evolutionists, has some ideas how to experimentally test the unfounded speculations based on pure assumptions, such as human mutation rate now must equal Adam and Eve’s mutation rate or how to challenge the sharp population bottleneck of 8 people after Noah’s flood, please speak up…
There may be some data available of some sharp bottleneck, isolated populations recently discovered in the Amazon, as well as others, such as Inuit, Bushman and the like…

206 thoughts on “Theistic Evolution – The Judas Iscariot Effect?

  1. Neil Rickert:

    The apparent concept formation would lead me to doubt your basic idea.

    KN seems to have moved on, but I did have a chance to read that paper.

    I think KN would say that rats do not have concepts because they do not meet the Evans criterion for possessing a concept:

    A subject can only properly be described as having the thought that a is F if he is capable of thinking the thoughts
    (1) b is F for any object b of which he has an appropriate concept and
    (2) a is G for any property G of which he has an appropriate concept.

    That’s closely related to systematicity in languages. Indeed, in his reply to me, KN says he’s research involves language aspects.

    I don’t think one could say that any concept learned by the rat in running the maze meets that condition. But I am happy to say the rat does learn a new concept by recognizing that a different type of concept, namely non-linguistic (pre-linguistic?) concepts, exist in animals and babies.

    KN also uses categories, not concepts. I’m still struggling with categories versus concepts. Likely because I never bothered to study Aristotle who I think first formalized the idea of categories for philosophy. But for now, I’ll go with a definition I found in a psychology text: concepts pick out categories. Categories are not arbitrary but are based on law-like generality. Example: concept of grayscale picks out black, white, grey.

  2. BruceS,

    He’s got everything all figured out without them.

    Shameless generalization: there are two types of posters:
    (1) those that know the answers and want to explain why they are right and others are wrong.
    (2) those that have tentative answers they want to post about in the hopes of improving their ideas; as such, they are open to all constructive input.

    I read the rules of the site as trying to turn everyone into type (2) posters. But no rules can effect that kind of personality change (KN has made a similar point).

    I draw the conclusion that Lizzie should stop trying to set culture by fiat. She should instead separate posting rules enforced by moderators from cultural recommendations which are not enforced by moderators. My view is that culture can only be changed in these anonymous forums by setting a good example in one’s own posts and by disengaging with those who do not meet one’s standards for posting.

    That is how other successful sites work. As an example, but going my memory only, I think Petrushka had recommended a Photography forum that took that approach in one of his posts in the squawk thread..

  3. BruceS,

    One issue I need to focus on is how map-like concepts can satisfy Evans’ Generality Constraint. There’s been some recent work on this by Peter Carruthers and by Elizabeth Camp, and I haven’t given it my full attention. But I agree that that’s a big issue, and it would be problematic for our understanding of non-human minds if only language satisfies the Generality Constraint.

  4. BruceS: The link did not work for me (it wanted me to sign on to facebook). I left it since I took it as being about Hall’s ideas.

    But I did just try harder to find the paper.In doing that, I did find a list of his publicationsin linguistics, and from the titles it seems you are right in saying he deals with both linguistics and the philosophy of language.

    It’s not about Hall. He’s likely never heard of Hall. I’ll upload a pdf of it here if I get a chance.


    Please. I’m quite familiar with petrushka’s take on philosophy. He’s a type 1 guy all the way. I agree with you that he’s not likely to change as a result of internet scolding any more than you or I am, and I’m certainly not going to change him. But “shameless” is a scold, no?

  5. walto: But “shameless” is a scold, no?

    “Shameless” was meant as an adjective for my generaliization about posters at TSZ. Of course, I say nothing about individual posters motivations or personality, except my own. Which I don’t think is a rule violation, but its difficult to tell, because the rules are ambiguous.

    Atnd they will continue to be unless the rules are changed to follow my recommendations.

    That’s a shameless plug.

  6. Kantian Naturalist:

    One issue I need to focus on is how map-like concepts can satisfy Evans’ Generality Constraint.

    I’m quite happy to define concepts as mental representations. But I mean the structural, map-like representations we discussed in another thread (not the Fodor/GOFAI approach where Evans would apply). I don’t see why one would need to apply the constraint to all mental representations if they are defined like that; rather I thought it only need apply language use of concepts.

    In Mindware (p. 171 of 3rd edition), Clark refers to some experiments where chimps learned higher-order sameness (eg two cups and two shoes have same relation). The chimps used colored tokens to express this relation. Clark speculates this use of tokens is a simple analog to our use of language. Maybe some simplified analog of Evans GC constraint could be applied as well,.

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