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evolution vs. creation

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libertygrl
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Posted 01/22/09 - 2:07 PM:
Subject: evolution vs. creation
are the two mutually exclusive?

any thoughts?
smiling facelib
Monk2400
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Posted 01/22/09 - 3:35 PM:

Since creation is an act, a specific event, and evolution is just a catch-all term describing an ongoing process, then no, they are not mutually exclusive.

Evolution, however, cannot explain the origin of life.

At best evoution describes the process of balance--the balance between entropy and anthropy, whereby all lifeforms settle in to the most energy efficient orbits possible. It is not 'going somewhere' nor does it have directionality or purpose.

Creation, OTOH, is most probably conative--purposeful, and reflects the balance between necessary and final causes.

8)
libertygrl
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Posted 01/22/09 - 4:10 PM:

can it be said that a tree "creates" apples? (with the intention of reproducing)
praxis
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Posted 01/22/09 - 4:34 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
are the two mutually exclusive?


Uh, only if God doesn't evolve? confused
libertygrl
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Posted 01/22/09 - 4:37 PM:

praxis wrote:


Uh, only if God doesn't evolve? confused

nicely stated! clap

can it be said that god evolves?
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Posted 01/22/09 - 4:46 PM:

I certainly hope so, his likenesses could stand a redesign. laughing
Nihil Loc
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Posted 01/22/09 - 5:22 PM:

Anyone see Ben Stein's documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed? The title refers to a general academic intolerance in the published world for the advancing a theory of intelligent design. This institutional fear mongering might be due to the conflation between Creationism, with its theory based in religious doctrine and myth of us laypeople, and ID.

When Ben talks with Richard Dawkins in the end of the film, Dawkins seems to admit what what Midnight Monk has stated:

MM wrote:
Evolution, however, cannot explain the origin of life.
.

He then goes on to propose that alien life (an intelligent designer) could have had a hand in providing some structures out of which life on earth has evolved.
Spindlework
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Posted 01/22/09 - 6:12 PM:

Nihil Loc wrote:

When Ben talks with Richard Dawkins in the end of the film, Dawkins seems to admit what what Midnight Monk has stated

He then goes on to propose that alien life (an intelligent designer) could have had a hand in providing some structures out of which life on earth has evolved.

To clarify on this specifically, the Dawkins "alien comment" is often used by a petty group of theists--don't be mistaken, I am certainly not calling them all out, but I definitely am in regards to Stein--to misrepresent Dawkins and display him as a "nut," if you will--misrepresentation sadly seeming to be one of their favorite tools in attacking him (just look up "Dawkins stumped" on YouTube and the respective "exposed" video, for instance, and then read about it in A Devil's Chaplain). What he meant was that it is possible we were designed by "aliens," but that they, themselves, would had to have evolved, otherwise we fall into an infinite regression of creators.

Mutually exclusive? No, to echo the sentiments of the above posts.

Edited by Spindlework on 01/22/09 - 6:41 PM
Monk2400
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Posted 01/22/09 - 6:29 PM:

libertygrl wrote:


can it be said that god evolves?


Nope. God is the Absolute, so how can God 'evolve'? God, at a minimum, contains the potential to manifest infinite possibility. There is 'nowhere' for God to evolve to. Also, this requires God to be subject to time. Since God is atemporal, there is no change inherent in it.

8)
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Posted 01/22/09 - 6:37 PM:

The problem of the creator, is of course, the infinite regress. Which is a problem because we cannot comprehend it. But OTOH, its a fact and not a speculation. Even if we assume a big bang event, there is still the energy that exists before the event. And whence comes it? Well, it doesnt come out of nowhere. I recently read about some advances in theory that suggest that there is no one big bang, but more like a series of them, overlapping each other. The cosmos, meanwhile, seems to be eternal.

Or, if it does begin and end, there is something behind or underneath it that is eternal. Eternity cannot be escaped, no matter what we do. Ultimately there is a final source that is itself not a contingent event or fact, but a necessary one. The Prime Mover is impossible to move off hesh throne.

8)
praxis
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Posted 01/22/09 - 6:49 PM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:


Nope. God is the Absolute, so how can God 'evolve'? God, at a minimum, contains the potential to manifest infinite possibility. There is 'nowhere' for God to evolve to. Also, this requires God to be subject to time. Since God is atemporal, there is no change inherent in it.

8)

The universe appears to evolve or become increasingly complex. God is other than that which is the universe?
Monk2400
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Posted 01/22/09 - 8:24 PM:

praxis wrote:

The universe appears to evolve or become increasingly complex. God is other than that which is the universe?


Of course, how else could God create the universe?
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Posted 01/22/09 - 8:38 PM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:


Of course, how else could God create the universe?


If God is distinguishable from the universe, or anything, doesn't that put him or her within a temporal realm?
libertygrl
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Posted 01/22/09 - 9:06 PM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:
Of course, how else could God create the universe?

the way i see it, god does not exist without the universe. god creates the universe insofar as the universe creates god. thus god and the universe are one entity. one cannot exist without the other. without the universe, there is no god.

MM wrote:
Even if we assume a big bang event, there is still the energy that exists before the event. And whence comes it?

heidi hileman writes that "The Big Bang theory hypothesizes that subatomic elements were condensed into a super-dense ball of matter. The density creates heat that causes subatomic elements to fuse together to form simple atoms such as hydrogen and helium, sending matter exploding into space. Local gravity wells condense large masses of hydrogen, until it begins to fuse into helium, creating suns exploding outward into space. Increasing heat from the suns allow heavy metals to form and planets are born. Variable randomizing influences causes diversity of forms to appear upon earth called autocatalytic sets that could metabolized and reproduce, thus life was born. [...] It might be possible for gravity, when the suns die and matter freezes, fractures and becomes fine enough, to slowly wind everything back into a cold dense ball of matter and start the process of creation all over again." this suggests that the process of big bang/big crunch is cyclical and any energy that exists "before" the big bang event continues to always exist, experiencing transformation but never being created or destroyed, as per the law of conservation of energy. likewise, as per the law of conservation of mass/matter, matter is not created or destroyed, only transformed.

to me it makes sense that the energy that is present in the universe has always been present, and the matter has always been present. the process of transformation is eternal, and is perpetuated by what the theist may call divine forces, or what the scientist may call laws of physics. these two things are not yet synonymous, but they may one day be, for all we know.

the understanding which continues to elude me in this perennial debate concerns the meaning of intention. what does it mean for "god" to have an intention? does this describe a certain picture that god has in "mind" as an end result before he/she/it set us off on this course of dominoes falling? if that is the case, could it not be true that the "picture" god has in mind is merely a memory of how it has already happened, ie. the structure which led to the end result?

praxis wrote:
If God is distinguishable from the universe, or anything, doesn't that put him or her within a temporal realm?

thumb up

we usually talk about intention in terms of cause and consequence, but if it is true that god transcends temporal limitations, then perhaps the idea of "before" and "after" are not really related to intention, and at the base of it all, we're just talking about adhering or not adhering to patterns. presuming the patterns have been there all along to guide the course of evolution, how is it wrong to say that an apple tree "intends" to grow apples? i guess it's not totally clear to me what is meant by "intelligent" design. how can anyone produce things of intelligent design if we ourselves are not products of intelligent design? it seems to me there is a more broad distribution of agency than is acknowledged by the debate.

smiling facelib
Monk2400
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Posted 01/23/09 - 12:01 PM:

praxis wrote:


If God is distinguishable from the universe, or anything, doesn't that put him or her within a temporal realm?


Why would it? The universe contains temporality. It is part of the extension of the universe. That is, the creation of a universe is the creation of timespace. So if God is doing the creating, it is evidently transcendent of the timespace of this universe.

8)
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Posted 01/23/09 - 12:23 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

the way i see it, god does not exist without the universe. god creates the universe insofar as the universe creates god. thus god and the universe are one entity. one cannot exist without the other. without the universe, there is no god.


In that case, we have the following conclusions:


1. God (the universe) is not eternal. Therefore God (the universe) is finite, has a beginning (and ending).

2. God (the universe) is eternal. Therefore God (the universe) is infinite, has no beginning and no ending.


(1) seems to be suggested by the idea of a big bang. But then we have the problem of how something comes from nothing, not to mention the fact that this limits God's essence to that and only that which exists, hence, robbing God of the traditional qualities of omnipotence and transcendence. God, like the universe, is contingent.


libertygrl wrote:


heidi hileman writes that "The Big Bang theory hypothesizes that subatomic elements were condensed into a super-dense ball of matter. The density creates heat that causes subatomic elements to fuse together to form simple atoms such as hydrogen and helium, sending matter exploding into space. Local gravity wells condense large masses of hydrogen, until it begins to fuse into helium, creating suns exploding outward into space. Increasing heat from the suns allow heavy metals to form and planets are born. Variable randomizing influences causes diversity of forms to appear upon earth called autocatalytic sets that could metabolized and reproduce, thus life was born. [...] It might be possible for gravity, when the suns die and matter freezes, fractures and becomes fine enough, to slowly wind everything back into a cold dense ball of matter and start the process of creation all over again." this suggests that the process of big bang/big crunch is cyclical and any energy that exists "before" the big bang event continues to always exist, experiencing transformation but never being created or destroyed, as per the law of conservation of energy. likewise, as per the law of conservation of mass/matter, matter is not created or destroyed, only transformed.


Unfortunately, no one knows what 'gravity' is or how it works. It is just as likely that the universe expands forever, until it becomes absolutely cold and lifeless. Of course, this begs the question, what does the universe expand into?


libertygrl wrote:


the understanding which continues to elude me in this perennial debate concerns the meaning of intention. what does it mean for "god" to have an intention? does this describe a certain picture that god has in "mind" as an end result before he/she/it set us off on this course of dominoes falling? if that is the case, could it not be true that the "picture" god has in mind is merely a memory of how it has already happened, ie. the structure which led to the end result?


I would suggest that for God to intend something means that God selects one pattern from amongst the infinite possibles, and thence by sheer force of will manifests it. However, this idea makes God seem rather like Vishnu who sleeps and dreams the dream of a universe.

libertygrl wrote:


we usually talk about intention in terms of cause and consequence, but if it is true that god transcends temporal limitations, then perhaps the idea of "before" and "after" are not really related to intention, and at the base of it all, we're just talking about adhering or not adhering to patterns. presuming the patterns have been there all along to guide the course of evolution, how is it wrong to say that an apple tree "intends" to grow apples? i guess it's not totally clear to me what is meant by "intelligent" design. how can anyone produce things of intelligent design if we ourselves are not products of intelligent design? it seems to me there is a more broad distribution of agency than is acknowledged by the debate.


Is there not a clear distinction between that which grows according to its nature and that which is produced according to the artifice of a maker?

In the latter case we have a thing that would not exist EXCEPT for the artifice of the maker, through whose imagination a vision was borne, and through whose hands (or agencies) the thing was made manifest. The thing made is absolutely contingent on the maker. Nature would not, for example, spontanously generate automobiles no matter how long the universe exists (unless we rely on quantum randomness ;p ). But as a maker conceives of an ideal, it becomes a Final Cause, and hesh acts to make it, the First Cause. Hence idea and action are bound together in one complete structure.

I suppose the question becomes how much are you willing for God to intend? Can and does God intend all things to happen? DOes God create a determined universe? Or does God merely set the stage and then observe how things unfold due to those initial conditions, making hesh final creation partly a produce of design and partly of chance?

In this latter case we might say that God is the agency that winds up the clock and lets it go again. But, like any clock, without the action of the clock-maker in winding, it will simply run down and cease to operate.

8)
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Posted 01/23/09 - 12:40 PM:

I like what Libertygrl brought up about intention. I wouldn't suspect that a transcendent being possesses the capacity for intention, because intention requires a need to be fulfilled. Intention exist within a temporal realm, where there are things to do, people to see, plans to be made, and most significantly the topic: things to be created. If a being has needs to be fulfilled then that being must change, and change occurs within a temporal realm.

Both 'intelligent' and 'design' imply intension. Intention requires a need to be fulfilled. Only temporal beings have needs, thus if a God created the universe it must be part of the temporal realm and be subject to its evolution.
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Posted 01/23/09 - 2:08 PM:

praxis wrote:
I like what Libertygrl brought up about intention. I wouldn't suspect that a transcendent being possesses the capacity for intention, because intention requires a need to be fulfilled. Intention exist within a temporal realm, where there are things to do, people to see, plans to be made, and most significantly the topic: things to be created. If a being has needs to be fulfilled then that being must change, and change occurs within a temporal realm.

Both 'intelligent' and 'design' imply intension. Intention requires a need to be fulfilled. Only temporal beings have needs, thus if a God created the universe it must be part of the temporal realm and be subject to its evolution.


This is where the gnostics part from the theists in saying that such a being as a 'creator' is actually a demiurge that has emmanated from the Absolute Source, which in itself does nothing, neither creates nor destroys.

8)
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Posted 01/23/09 - 2:46 PM:

Separating mind and material, the oldest trick in the book. My argument is essentially the same... in the absence of material there's no need for mind.
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Posted 01/23/09 - 6:05 PM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:
But then we have the problem of how something comes from nothing,

(which is answered by the big crunch theory)

MM wrote:
not to mention the fact that this limits God's essence to that and only that which exists, hence, robbing God of the traditional qualities of omnipotence and transcendence. God, like the universe, is contingent.

i'm not sure how god is robbed of omnipotence in the pantheist paradigm. anything that is possible is still possible. as for transcendence, my thoughts are that people who believe in a transcendent god must believe that the transcendent part of god is somehow accessible - if not ever, then why even be aware of it?

austin cline writes, "The idea of God being transcendent is very common when it comes to the mystical traditions within various religions. Mystics who seek a union or at least contact with God are seeking a transcendent God — a God so totally “other” and so totally different from what we normally experience that a special mode of experience and perception is required."

the idea of transcendent perception is something i can relate to. i believe that the experience of transcendent perception is what naturally leads people, via reasoning by analogy, to believe there is always something beyond what we know. if there is such thing as a "transcendent" god, i conceive of it as one that is cognizant of everything in the universe all at once, not limited to individual perception. god does not need to be separate of the universe in order to have this quality.

MM wrote:
Unfortunately, no one knows what 'gravity' is or how it works. It is just as likely that the universe expands forever, until it becomes absolutely cold and lifeless. Of course, this begs the question, what does the universe expand into?

considering the cyclical nature of everything else we know, it makes sense to me that the life of the universe is likewise cyclical.

MM wrote:
I would suggest that for God to intend something means that God selects one pattern from amongst the infinite possibles, and thence by sheer force of will manifests it. However, this idea makes God seem rather like Vishnu who sleeps and dreams the dream of a universe.

if god is omnipotent, is god not also capable of dreaming?

MM wrote:
Is there not a clear distinction between that which grows according to its nature and that which is produced according to the artifice of a maker?

In the latter case we have a thing that would not exist EXCEPT for the artifice of the maker, through whose imagination a vision was borne, and through whose hands (or agencies) the thing was made manifest. The thing made is absolutely contingent on the maker. Nature would not, for example, spontanously generate automobiles no matter how long the universe exists (unless we rely on quantum randomness ;p ).

unless you feel that human creation is something separate from nature, nature does spontaneously generate automobiles. to me, cars and highways and computers and skyscrapers and everything else are just as much a part of nature as a tree or a starfish or a cloud.

i agree with praxis that intention fulfills a need. a beaver builds a dam because it fulfills a need, an artist paints a painting for the same reason. surely apple trees feel the need to grow apples.

MM wrote:
I suppose the question becomes how much are you willing for God to intend? Can and does God intend all things to happen? DOes God create a determined universe? Or does God merely set the stage and then observe how things unfold due to those initial conditions, making hesh final creation partly a produce of design and partly of chance?

a cosmic dance between will and grace is what makes sense to me. if we are indeed god's creation, how can we know surrender without god also knowing it?

smiling facelib
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Posted 01/23/09 - 7:22 PM:

Spindlework wrote:
...the Dawkins "alien comment" is often used by a petty group of theists--don't be mistaken, I am certainly not calling them all out, but I definitely am in regards to Stein--to misrepresent Dawkins and display him as a "nut,"...


Stein doesn't make Dawkins look like a nut in my mind, though after a few videos on youtube I do see that Stein appears to be on the side of right wing theists and ,ugh, wiki summarizes the criticisms against the doc in some words: antievolution propaganda. The main point I got from the film was that professors were unfairly losing their jobs for mentioning ID.

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#22 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/07/09 - 1:38 AM:

If evolution is true, where is the missing link?
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#23 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/07/09 - 5:48 AM:

davidlahiff wrote:
If evolution is true, where is the missing link?



The links aren't missing, they havn't been found yet. smiling face
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#24 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/07/09 - 5:55 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
are the two mutually exclusive?

any thoughts?
smiling facelib



These two are definately not mutually exclusive. They handle different subjects - origin of the present species and creation of life 'a priori', respectively . smiling face

It is a kind of tempting to follow this train of thought:
Gods have always been in the human mind to explain things that they could not find any logic for.
As science advances and eats away at the realm of the incomprehensible, the idea of gods is always pushed back: the idea of the incomprehensible shrinks. It's quite possible that humans will never weed out the incomprehensible entirely, but it seems as if it is theoretically possible, which would rule out the existance of any deity.
Unless of course deities become a part of the scientific explanation. But then if we can understand gods, are they still gods?

Edited by smokinpristiformis on 02/07/09 - 8:40 AM
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#25 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/15/09 - 1:55 PM:

Science cannot explain everything and even if it succeeds cannot explain nothing. And that is why there must be some one , or some thing beyond logic with no proper comprehension which must have been the origin. And just like how our mother and father still control and influence us indirectly by the genes we inherited, the origin surely influence it's siblings, be it life or non life.

What must have been before everything started? nothing? Then is it that everything came from nothing? Or if there was never a nothing, is it that nothing is there in everything?

And how can there be an origin to the first one?
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