Monday, October 26, 2009

Anthropomorphic Warning, Part II

It's not my dog, it didn't bite you, and besides you hit the dog first anyway. --Anon

An evolutionist has criticized my previous post about Darwin's warning that we must not anthropomorphize God. Darwin argued repeatedly that God would never have created this inefficient and capricious world, but when it came to complex designs such as the eye, Darwin suddenly backtracked.

In his book Darwin made several failed attempts to reckon with the problem of how his blind process of evolution could create such wonders as the eye. The idea that the eye evolved on its own seemed absurd, but Darwin argued that while it is tempting to see God as the master engineer who crafted complex organs such as the eye, this would make God too much like man.

Darwin agreed that the perfection of the eye reminds us of the telescope which resulted from the highest of human intellect. Was it not right to conclude that the eye was also the product of a great intellect? This may seem the obvious answer but Darwin warned against it, for we should not "assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man." Better to imagine the eye as the result of natural selection's perfecting powers rather than having God too much involved in the world.

So according to Darwin, God would never create inefficient designs, God would never create capricious patterns, and besides we can't know the mind of God anyway. It seems contradictory but nonetheless my critic complains:

Religion drives your 'science' Mr Hunter (although you don't ever seem to have really done any) every bit as much as the people at Answers In Genesis or ICR. You have an agenda, an a priori commitment to defending your favourite set of ancient fables, and folklorish poetry.

So in other words, I believe in ancient fables and folklorish poetry, these beliefs drive my scientific research, and besides I haven't done any scientific research anyway.

It's not my dog, it didn't bite you, and besides you hit the dog first anyway.

9 comments:

  1. Classic response Dr. Hunter!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Geez, I haven't seen someone have their rear end handed to them like that in a long time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just more fancy footwork from Dancing Cornelius to avoid ever having to face the fact that his own ideas are as religiously inspired as supposedly those of the evolutionist.

    Just for the record, as people have pointed out over and over and over again - just because an evolutionist might criticize how God may or may not have designed, is not in itself a religious argument. It is a counter-argument to the IDist who claims that God is the designer.

    Besides, if theologians can regularly make pronouncements on the mind of God, why not posit on how God did or did not "design" (after all God himself does address creation/design himself in Genesis, so it seems fair game to analyze the process). Or should we tell the theologians that they have no right to make these kind of inferences?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Evolution of the eye - http://network.nature.com/people/trgregory/blog/2009/09/11/the-evolution-of-eyes

    Whatever Darwin thought or wrote is irrelevant to modern science, only creationists continue to attack Darwin as if that has any bearing on modern evolutionary science. Yes he was a brilliant scientist, who laid down some basic foundations but modern science moved on from Darwin a long time ago. If only creationists could move on too.

    The original author's point stands, no person who has to agree to a statement of faith as you did, and as people at AIG or ICR do, is unbiased in assessing anything.

    ReplyDelete
  5. But evolutionists claim that the only valid arguements are scientific ones. So they violate there own rules.

    ReplyDelete
  6. just because an evolutionist might critize how God may or may not have designed, is not in itself a religious argument//

    I don't think you understand,

    A) the evolutionist wants to have his bread buttered on both sides, he says we cannot invoke God (even if it was God, because this is metaphysical, it's not science)

    then the evolutionist turns around and says on top of this, oh btw "God-wouldn't-have done-x-like this", forgetting that this is also metaphysical and outside of science.

    The point is that Darwin ruled out Design on a theological premise about how "God-would-have-done-x"

    Charlie cannot tell us how God would have created a world, because a) Charlie is not God, b) Charlie never observed God create other universes

    -Johan

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anon: "then the evolutionist turns around and says on top of this, oh btw "God-wouldn't-have done-x-like this", forgetting that this is also metaphysical and outside of science."

    No The evolutionist is saying this because creationist/ID supporters are saying that there is an intelligent agent (i.e., God) at work. The evolutionist statements about God then are in RESPONSE to the creationist/ID support. If there were not IDers or creationists, then no statements about God would be necessary. It isn't that hard to understand...

    Anon: "The point is that Darwin ruled out Design on a theological premise about how "God-would-have-done-x".

    He ruled out design (if it was ever that explicitly stated and I'm not sure it was/is), only because the theory of evolution provides a much better and fuller explanation of the evidence. But again if Creationists/IDers claim that God was involved/cause life, it is not unreasonable to ask 'how' or whether that process is congruent with what we already know about God from the Bible. Theologians and preachers do this every day.

    "Charlie cannot tell us how God would have created a world, because a) Charlie is not God, b) Charlie never observed God create other universes"

    But it doesn't stop Charlie telling everybody else (especially in the US) that such and such an event (9/11, hurricane, general malaise) is caused by sin and lack of repentance. Apparently preachers and theologians are in fact quite happy at not only interpreting the acts of God, but even telling us what is on His mind at any given time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. No The evolutionist is saying this because creationist/ID supporters are saying that there is an intelligent agent (i.e., God) at work.//

    But first the evolutionist says that we cannot say ANYTHING that even implies God because this is metaphysical.

    The point is that theology and metaphysics is allowed only when it seems to support the "theory" of evolution.


    He ruled out design (if it was ever that explicitly stated and I'm not sure it was/is), only because the theory of evolution provides a much better and fuller explanation of the evidence//

    This is false.


    “I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the [parasitic wasp] with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or the cat should play with mice.” –Charles Darwin, 1860

    Evolution provided a better "explanation" only because God-wouldn't-have-done-x-like-this, Darwin's argument depended every bit as much on his theology as it did on the physical data.

    If I claimed that "God-would-not-have-created-banana trees" my argument does not become scientific only because I point to the existence of physical banana trees, my argument is dependent on a theological premise.

    Without the theology I have no scientific case against God in this case.

    -Johan

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not only is Darwin's objection against design theological, even if it was possible to scientifically prove that God was truly evil, this could still not be used as an argument against design.

    If an evil God created life, proving that this God was evil does not mean that these organisms are now not designed but "evolved".

    If x was designed, it does nothing to prove or demonstrate that the responsible agent for x was indeed evil. It would still mean that x is designed, and therefore for logical reasons x would defy a material explanation.

    This is what Charlie didn't understand.

    And btw Charlie ignored the fact that his objection againt design was theological and therefore needed to be addressed in the realm of theology.

    There are actually theological answers against Charlie's theological objections. See Leibniz, Augustine etc

    -Johan

    ReplyDelete