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…
This issue has been on my mind ever since I got involved with the online origins discussions … After months of back and forth discussions, one blogger pretty much told me that he would rather accept nonexistence of God, than evolution being wrong…
I don’t know why… I just don’t…
A theist told you that?
Told me what?
Biologos, and the rest of theistic evolutionists, like Kenny Miller, Dr. Joshua Swamidass, WHY DO THEY DO THAT? Should they have their heads examined…?
My simple and one question is:
On what evidence do they base their beliefs?
…one blogger pretty much told me that he would rather accept nonexistence of God, than evolution being wrong…
A theist told you that?
Why do you think it is not obvious who told me this?
I’m sorry I asked. I was interested in discussing theistic evolution a while back. Not so much now. Best of luck with your new OP!
Sir, you display vast confusion regarding TE & EC. That you think this confusion is justified by your religious perspective compounds the problem.
Can a person be an ‘evolutionary scientist’ and believe in God? Apparently you prefer to fake truth in order to argue that it is impossible. Why does your religion ask you to do this, J-Mac? Please show where it is written specifically to do this in the religious scriptures of your sect.
Darwin didn’t believe in ‘divine guidance’ & admitted, to his own anguish, that he couldn’t see ‘purpose’ in natural selection. Yet ‘theists’ believe in a purposeful universe, including natural processes. It’s a different ‘anguish’ we are talking about & you seem to miss that Darwin isn’t the main point; nor is Pilate.
Ok, so there’s a bus & it’s driving strait at J-Mac. He’s going to throw someone under it. He’s a ‘true believer’ and those outside his 1000s of persons church, are by definition not ‘true believers’ (is J-Mac a southern Baptist, by any chance?), according to this logic. So, who does he choose? Dilemma of religion-friendly opponents; not involving atheists or agnostics, but ‘fellow believers’.
As we see in this OP, J-Mac chooses to throw under the bus about 90-95% of Christians (the majority of whom live outside of the USA). That is, those who accept evolutionary biology and are still functional and practising ‘Christians’ in full ‘communion’ with their churches. Is this the real problem J-Mac would like to address or is it perhaps the community of degenerates that he goes to church with in some isolated, individualised, hyper-USAmericanised small town, with a friendly, smiling pastor who ‘honestly’ and ‘sincerely’ holds to a ‘generally’ preposterous view of ‘evolution’ and ‘evolutionism’ that is mainly at issue?
As a sociologist, I focus on where people ‘fit’ into the overall discourse. Which means, paying attention to apparently ludicrous statements about ‘theistic evolution’ like J-Mac’s and frankly, about (ironically the polar opposite of those who accept TE or EC) 90-95% idiocy toward ‘theistic evolution’ nowadays by the IDM. Both the IDM’s & J-Mac’s approach need to be highlighted as outliers, not as a standard or ideal approach to take for religious believers around the world.
Venema, for example, is both ‘creationist’ (after his mentor Lamoureux) as well as ‘evolutionist.’ This also shows he is a piss-poor philosopher. And he likes bus throwing fellow religious believers now too, becoming what Dr. ‘Empty Chair,’ 5th Voice Pretense Swamidass calls a ‘no-Adam Christian.’
You are exposing yourself with highly emotive language, that most Christians don’t replicate or wish to see replicated. Are you aware of your rareness & isolated views in this regard? People who accept limited biological evolution or more broadly, evolutionary natural science, 1) needn’t become ‘evolutionists,’ meaning ‘ideologues,’ and 2) needn’t promote theology in science laboratories qua evangelicals, not qua simply religious believers. Yet you seem to be saying they have not choice but to *want* to do so.
It’s the ‘USAmerican evangelicals’ problem, that you should be reflexively addressing, J-Mac, rather than aiming your jelly roll shots at the citadel of ‘theistic science.’
Here we go again. Evolutionary theory does not work on “beliefs,” but on identification. So far, the kinds of phenomena identified include random ones, of course, but also some deterministic phenomena, namely selection, both negative (purifying selection), and positive (‘Darwinian’) selection. So, if by “unguided” you mean that there’s no deterministic or quasi-deterministic phenomena, then you’ve got it wrong.
Either way, as I said, identification. So, if someone discovered a new kind of phenomenon, and then that such kind of phenomenon is involved in how evolution works, then that would be added to the list. Science is not about adhering to some set of beliefs, it’s about explaining and identifying. It’s about figuring things out. That it happens to conflict with beliefs in gods is not some intended consequence. It’s just the way things are.
We need a J-Mac translation table in order to make any sense of this. For example, in J-Mac speak, “theist” and “believer” both mean “Christian who believes in the literal truth, and the same understanding of, those parts of the bible that J-Mac thinks are literally true”. No muslims or hindus are allowed, though Jews might be, can’t be sure. And any Christian who doesn’t think the Genesis stories are both literally true and mean what he thinks they mean is likewise not a True Christian. I think this is what results in his puzzlement.
You need a lot of translations…
Is it because of your deteriorating cognitive brain functions or simply your ignorance?
Does theism have to include Christianity? Have you ever heard of Judeo-Christian beliefs?
So, essentially, since you can’t get by on reason, you’re trying to use charm?
The vast majority of Jews are theistic evolutionists. This includes Reform Jews and Conservative Jews (where theistic evolution is the most widespread view) and Orthodox Jews (some are theistic evolutionists, and some are creationists).
Does that change the act of creation described in the Hebrew texts?
Use charm to persuade you? To kill your boredom?
It may change how Creation is interpreted, but interpretations of Torah are always being debated — even amongst Orthodox Jews, where there are centuries of commentary to consider (some of which is given equal authority with the written Torah).
It all depends what you mean by “literally true”…
The word “day”, as used in the bible, can’t mean 24 hour days only… Neither does it today…
Otherwise the universe would have to be 6 000 years old …and your buddy Sal would have to be right… 😉
There can’t be more than one true interpretation, could there?
I chose to throw 90-95% of Christians under the bus? I thought it would be like 99 % or more…
If they believe in theistic evolution, they threw themselves under the bus, don’t ya think???
Sorry… I just noticed your comment…
Yes, there can be.
Medieval Exegesis: The Four Senses of Scripture, Vol. 1
Introducing Medieval Biblical Interpretation: The Senses of Scripture in Premodern Exegesis
Two truths, huh?
Isn’t what your beliefs are all about, Mungo?
I believe that if you look into those books you’ll discover that there are more than just two ways to interpret scripture. 🙂
There are probably thousands of ways to interpret them but only one cam be true…
Either humans have an immortal soul or not…either there is resurrection or not…either there is life after death or not…either God used evolution to created life or He created life according to their kinds…
only one of these statements can be true…
I have attended a public debated once by some top notch scholars-theistic evolutionists (one or two…I don’t remember now). One or two may have been YECs… There was one evolutionary biologists/paleontologist as well…
After their debate someone from the audience asked them whether they agreed on how life evolved on the earth in 10 or 12 steps…
Everyone more or less agreed but YEC.
After that he read some bible review by some scientists who were surprised that the biblical account of the events of creation were pretty much on the mark with how scientists agreed how life evolved on earth…
I guess that means theistic evolution is right on the money… 😉
I find your comment (s) very, very interesting… I think Harshman can join it on this as well as he has shown some signs of interest in a truth…
Why don’t we start the debate by your definition of theistic evolution?
Harshman is an agnostic evolutionist, I’m a micro-evolution theists, you define your stand and we debate it…
BTW: Did I put you on the spot Harshman? You can take away some time from you very, very, busy life, can’t you? 😉
I don’t even know what “true interpretation” means, but I suspect there’s a whole lot of serious confusion lurking inside that phrase.
If an interpretation is a way of making sense of a text in light of one’s lived commitments and projects, then there would as many different interpretations as there are readers.
There can’t be an interpretation that “matches” or “corresponds to” the text itself, because a piece of writing that stands in a 1:1 relation with the text would just be the text.
There are certainly better and worse readings of any literary text, but “the true interpretation” seems like a phantom we’re better off not chasing.
I’d thought you were on vacations without access to the internet?
Is that the true interpretation of your message regarding your vacations?
Or, should we get some philosophers involved to break it down?
I didn’t consider it necessary to announce to TSZ that my vacation is over.
Sorry! How was it? Who did you miss the most out of TSZ, though I already know if wasn’t me…;)
I have reviewed the speculations by both Venema and Swamidass…
They require much more than speculative, optimism bias…
I forget who said this, and I’m paraphrasing, but a good response to a creationist debate challenge is “that would look good on your CV, not so much on mine”.
That is simply not the case. But you will never learn that just from me telling you, you’ll have to look into it on your own. I’ve pointed you in the right direction though. 🙂
No, I don’t. The ‘position’ now known as ‘theistic evolution’ (older) or ‘evolutionary creation’ (more recent) is the standard current position of Jews, Christians and Muslims. Sorry if you don’t like that. I’ve had conversations with Muslim biologists on this topic; it’s not as if evangelical protestants are ‘go-to’ people on this topic, certainly not nowadays. How many people outside of your ‘home congregation’ (sounds like a ‘church’ way outside of the mainstream) have you ‘debated’ on this topic & where?
And, no I don’t find 90, 95 or 99% admirable. You are now acting as a willing villain & disruptive voice in the name of a minority sectarian interpretation. In whose name do you do this intentionally to Christians en masse?
I’ve never understood the animosity that the ID community has for theistic evolution. Doesn’t TE require an intelligent agent to establish the laws that can lead to the observed complexity? And haven’t the IDists been telling us for year that the observed complexity required an intelligent agent?
If I didn’t know any better I might think that ID was just creationism in a shiny new package. 😃
It probably comes from the way that theistic evolutionists have attacked ID.
I remember reading Finding Darwin’s God by Kenneth Miller and thinking, wow, this book is full of misrepresentations.
And in the end, after having shoved God out of the evolutionary process, he tried to give God a foot in the door through quantum indeterminacy or some such. What utter hypocrisy.
Are you making this up, Mung?
Kenny actually tried to refer to quantum indeterminacy?
Why? Isn’t the mouse trap thingy converted into the tie clip enough of an embarrassment?
Do you have a theistic evolution definition in mind?
I fear you don’t …So, until then…
Looks like Harshman will try to defend theistic evolution …Since he can’t defend evolution, theism plus evolution could possibly ease the pain… lol
Moved a post to guano.
The Adult-themed version was sent to Guano. Here’s the ‘safe’ version for spoiled snowflake skeptics. TSZ censorship by the current 2 mods is funny.
1) I don’t deal with rude people who shorten peoples’ names. Kenny might be a saxophonist, athlete or character on South Park. But he is *not* a Brown University professor of biology. Please be more respectful towards someone who knows a *LOT* more about biology than you do.
2) You just admitted you willingly throw 99% of Christians under the bus. Yet are you not representing yourself *AS* one yourself?! (please excuse if i mixed this up, not having visited this site much in several months) You likened ‘theistic evolution’ to accepting evolutionary biology by religious persons to being a ‘Judas Iscariot.’ What respect do you think you deserve & from whom?
I don’t care to re-hash it. Sorry.
I always thought because it showed there was an alternative to ID for theists and that everyone who supports the evolutionary viewpoint is not motivated by hatred of God.
Two completely different understandings of God.
The TE sees God as the creator of all, and thus as the creator of nature. The TE expects God to do his work through nature.
The ID proponent see nature as inherently evil, and sees God as opposed to nature.
If you didn’t care to rehash it, you probably shouldn’t have brought it up. As it is you have left an unsupported and perhaps mistaken claim hanging in the thread.
Have you actually read the book? That God is not needed for evolution is an alternative view, I agree, though not one I would consider theistic. But then to turn around and say that oh, well, God might be needed after all, but at the subatomic level. Well, I see a problem there. 🙂
I don’t ascribe to that school of though. Making unsupported and possibly mistaken claims happens all the time here. Take Neil’s recent post, for example.
Reviews of the book can probably be found online.
Would you still have a problem if I had prefaced my comment with the statement that “it is my opinion that …”? Was it not obvious that I was offering my opinion?
The “maybe God is acting on particles at a level we can’t detect” was definitely the weakest and worst part of the book. It would have been a vastly better book if Miller had recognized that it was at least a silly idea and quite possibly incompatible with everything else he said.
That said, I do think that theistic evolutionism is a coherent metaphysical position, even if I’m not totally happy with Miller’s version of it.