Yes, Richard Dawkins is Obsolete

Thanks to Mark D. Thompson for posting this helpful blog comment:

Richard Dawkins has been out of date since the day “Selfish Gene” hit the bookstores

This issue [re: “Memo to Dawkins & friends: Recess Is OVER”] was also debated in a Nature article in terms of niche construction:

Richard Dawkins has been out of date since the day that he published the Selfish Gene. I admire his writing and his books were great enjoyment leading into my undergraduate.

However, Sewall Wright, Rupert Riedl, Conrad Waddington, and even Richard Lewontin were very skeptical. Some even published rebuttals of Dawkins in the peer-reviewed literature.

Stephen J. Gould’s writings should have been the tombstone marker on Dawkins’ thesis, but for some reason this never caught traction.

There is a grand divide between populist thinking in evolutionary biology and what is really going on in evolutionary peer-review.

Here we are with an article in 1978 on epigenetics:

Dawkins still didn’t get the memo. He put out this horrific paper:

It was essentially a re-hash of what he has already said and he ignores the evidence. I have admired Dawkins and many of the other neo-Darwinian) players, but they need to modify their views in light of the evidence (which they claim to do).

Interestingly, Charles Darwin would be more of a modern thinker in relation to his pangenesis theory, which started genetics and is really prescient thinking on the way that RNA intermixes with the proteome. Great article!

41 Responses

  1. mikebay says:

    There is a problem with the current Intelligent Design movement. There is no mechanism explaining Intelligent Design. NeoDarwinianism has a mechanism. Yes, it is materialistic, but it is a mechanism. It can be historically traced. It has flawed assumptions, but still it’s a mechanism. ID has none. I am a Biblical believer. I am old earther. The universe was created billions of years ago. There is no question that life was created by an intelligent being. The ID community needs to connect the dots. The Creator revealed in the Bible did the creation. It is obvious. The question is ‘what was the mechanism’? How did the eternal Creator God do it? The eternal Creator God created the universe and has interacted with it. There should be evidence scattered all over kingdom come. And I believe that there is a huge amount of evidence buried in the genetic code of all life forms. The code is an historical record. It will take supercomputers and really smart people to unravel the historical record in the code. But eventually they will uncover the historical points at which the Creator interacted with the creation… Adam was not created ‘poof’ as the young earth creationists would have us believe. There is overwhelming evidence that the pre-human primates are related to us in the bloodline. We carry their history. We even carry the errors in their genetic record… When the ID researchers propose a hypothesis to explain the mechanism we will be on the way. This is not a spiritual endeavor. When God touched life he left his marks. Those marks are physical. We can find them….

    • Mike,

      Well said.

      This is EXACTLY what Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design is all about.

      • Scott Harwell says:

        And the fossil record belies this macroevolution belief. Hence Gould espousing punctuated equilibrium. Evolution is slow and takes hundreds of millions of years …. except when it happens so fast that zero evidence is left behind in the fossil record.

        • Tim B. Smith says:

          “Fast” meaning several million years? Your argument has a wonderful analogy. There is a folk “myth” (which may actually be true) about catching raccoons. It states that if you put a shiny object in the bottom of a narrow necked container, the raccoon will see it and reach for it and grasp it and then refuse to let go out of sheer stubborn avarice. And here you are holding and holding and holding onto an argument that no scientist would even bother to rebut because it lacks the tiniest modicum of merit. You trapped in irrelevance with no hope of escape by your own willful inability to be honest with yourself.

          • Jeramy says:

            He means that it happens so “fast” there is no evidence left in the fossil record. It’s a bit of veiled sarcasm. The argument is this-if evolution is a slow process taking millions of years, then why can’t we find evidence of transitional species in the fossil record? We can’t. Therefore, these evolutionary changes must have happened so fast (that is to say from one generation to the immediate successor) that there was no record left. If evolutionists posit that species evolve over vast expanses of time, they seem to be overlooking the glaring lack of evidence in the biological record.

      • Carol Sperling says:

        So, how’s the research coming, Perry? Have you found the self-modifying code in our DNA yet? Last time I asked this, you said something about other people doing this, but I have not heard of any biologists who are looking for it. Come on, this is your chance to win a Nobel Prize, and you can stop peddling books for a living.

        • It seems to me that we see self-modifying code in DNA everywhere, like this video for example, so if you don’t think that counts then perhaps you can clarify what you’re looking for:


          • Carol Sperling says:

            Perry sees change. Actual scientists explain it as mutation and selection aided by the law of large numbers. Only Perry infers an alternate hypothesis of code that modifies itself. If it is so self-evident to you, Perry, it should be trivial for you to find this code and demonstrate how it modifies itself. Until you do this, it remains an unsubstantiated hypothesis. You are the one purporting to do science, so get on it.

            • Carol you can read about this in everything from Barbara McClintock to Lynn Margulis to Eva Jablonka to James Shapiro. The entire Royal Society conference in London was about such phenomena. Similarly we know from genetic algorithms that pure random mutation and selection is entirely worthless. GAs only work successfully with 1) pre-defined fitness functions and 2) modular self modifying code. If you don’t believe the evidence or are not aware of it, then that is your issue and I’m not taking it upon myself to solve your inability or unwilligness to read the literature.

    • mikebay says:

      Guiding Creation. If we accept the premise that the Creator God created the heavens and the earth, then it stands to reason that the Creator God was in contact with the creation. An artist can touch his painting. Likewise the Creator Artist has touched his handiwork. And if the Creator God had the ability to touch the heavens and the earth, then the Creator God, had the ability to fabricate, touch, fashion and alter DNA. And if the Creator God, touched DNA, then it stands to reason that the Creator God left fingerprints on the DNA… I propose that we open a new line of DNA investigation. Look for the fingerprints of the Creator God in the DNA. Look for those moments in time when DNA was touched. In fact if the Creator God touched DNA once, it was most likely touched many times. Maybe thousands of times. We know that DNA is an historical record. We have discovered the migration routes of many human groups over the last many thousands of years by evaluating their genetics. They trace marker genes… We can tell where and when the markers came into existence. The simple markers are simply mutations or fragments of DNA moving around the chromosomes… I suggest we may be able to identify the historical time of insertion of complex and irreducible DNA constructs. What we would want to do is reconstruct the original construction of that DNA. If the Creator God introduced it, it would be immensely valuable to us to know the original DNA code for that insertion. For medical research it may be important to know the original formation of various complex structures and regulatory systems. You’d think that if we could reengineer replacement DNA based on the original created forms, then those replacements would work optimally. And this of course would mean money, lots of money, in the pockets of the developers… Fingerprints of God. Knowing what they are and when they were made may be a most invaluable series of scientific discoveries. Think Nobel Prizes…

    • Jasper says:

      Kinda gotta go back to your assumptions.
      You assume a limited God inside space time and matter.
      Working with stuff already present.

      God must be outside time matter and space to be able to bring it into existence.
      For that reason alone science can’t detect God because he is outside of what science can work with.

      Science can just detect the handy work that points to Him since it clearly showes that natural processes can’t explain how everything is here

    • Don Huber says:

      Have you ever designed anything Mike? Your intelligence was the key factor along with your power to manipulate the materials not a mechanism. Why would an omnipotent designer require a Mechanism?

    • Anthony J Cassandra says:

      Did you not read that God spoke everything into being….that is the mechanism……God spoke and that is how everything came to be.

    • Bisonman says:

      Asking ‘how’ God created the initial mechanisms of life is an unanswerable question. Ask a more fundamental question. Why not ask, “How exactly did God create energy?” It’s just as answerable- or unanswerable- as the previous question.

    • Don Neuharth says:

      “We even carry the errors in their genetic record…” Yes, just as all those different automobiles carry the same “evolved” Takata airbags.

    • arich says:

      Intelligent Design is just re-wrapped young earth creationism nonsense. The Bible is a collection of fairy tales. Moses, Abraham, and Jesus have no contemporary accounts other than the bible. Hence they, more than likely, didn’t exist.

      Why would you follow a deity who supposedly created the universe but gets off on the smell of animal and human blood sacrifice, slavery (don’t give me it was indentured servitude), rape, pillaging, and mass murder.

      Your god is so inept he couldn’t get it right the first time so he destroyed the world except Noah and started over. So much for his omnipotence and omniscience.

      Your stupid god couldn’t create a radish much less a universe.

      Time to dump archaic, foolishness, bronze-age superstition (like the Hebrew created god) and accept reality.

      • Scott says:


        Based on your post, I have not doubt that you have never researched the issue of the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. No serious 21st century scholar, even the most hardened skeptic, doubt that Jesus was a person and was crucified by Pontius Pilate.

        It is also very apparent that you do not understand fundamental Christian teachings. You may consider it a waste of your time but many skeptics have researched this issue and became followers of Jesus Christ.

      • Jeramy says:

        Wrong. Intelligent design theory fires way beyond young earth creationism or even Judeo-chrisrian thought. Intelligent design starts with the observation that the universe behaves and functions in such a way that it appears to be calibrated and fine tuned to a level that required a mind and personality. It makes no assumption as to the nature of the designer. Take a look at simulation theory. Look at the discovery within superstring theory that underlying the equations is a binary code similar to the code that governs the way Internet browser functions. There are many avenues of ID research, both religious and secular. You also assume that every person who follows Christ is a mindless lemming. Those of us who think for ourselves know that young earth creationism is impossible, and many of us even contend that if evolution is proven true (meaning moves being theory into law-doubtful) it doesn’t disprove creation. Evolution could be an adaptive trait built into all life by a creator.

      • Rob says:

        Yes, the reality that you want us to accept is: 1. The universe just happened. It has no cause. 2. Life just happened. It has no cause. 3. DNA molecules in their staggering complexity and all the vast array of highly ordered biochemical processes in the cell are the product of time and chance, no more. 4. Moral creatures like you who can get indignant about what they consider foolish arguments just happened. And so on … I call you, my friend, to dump your anti-intellectual atheist fetish and learn to accept reality. The universe and life proclaim God. You just don’t want to see it. You should think about why that is true.

  2. Joe Clem says:

    Mikebay writes, “There is overwhelming evidence that the pre-human primates are related to us in the bloodline. We carry their history.”

    The DNA between some primates and humans may be upwards of 97% similar, but that in no way proves to a high degree of accuracy that humans evolved from primates. If that is true, where are all the missing links leading to primates, and then onward to humans?

    The only conclusion any reasonable biologist would conclude is that every creature, including humans, was created fully grown after their own kind with the ability to procreate, as is revealed in Genesis 1. Working backwards from a ToE to explaining how creatures might have evolved is not science, and is certainly not the way all other scientific truths and laws are shown to be be true to a high degree of accuracy.

  3. Jon says:

    Your theory does not square with Genesis 2 and Romans 5 I’m afraid.

    • Paul Cotton says:

      Genesis 2 and Romans 5 have no basis in fact so does it matter? You are simply fuelling the almost Freudian fire of Perry’s almost pathological hatred for Richard Dawkins.

  4. Barry Johnstone. says:

    One of the most highly regarded quotes of Richard Dawkins is his great definition of religious faith being ‘belief without evidence’. This is a logic which stands up to the most vigorous scrutiny – and it makes me say ‘come on all you theists, give me some undeniable evidences that a god exists, then I may say OK, let’s go for it’ Until such time as this happens, NO WAY!

    • Jeramy says:

      Give me undeniable evidences that evolution is true. 🙂

    • Tom Mikkelson says:

      Barry you have tremendous faith believing atoms can randomly come together to produce life in all it’s various amazing forms. Remember natural selection can only work on living creatures, not produce them. Must less faith is required to believe in a all powerful God that made and maintains this wonderful universe.

    • Rob says:

      Hi there: If you think this sentence from Dawkins is evidence of profound thinking, I can only suggest you are philosphically naive. I would like to ask you: what evidence for God would you consider acceptable? Perhaps you have rigged the game by deciding beforehand that you will accept only one kind of evidence. I think your very existence is evidence for God. Where did you come from? How did life begin? Why is there even a universe? How did a cell come into existence with its absolutely staggering levels of order and complexity? If you believe this all just happened by itself, I suggest you are in denial of clear evidence. You are living with a form of cognitive dissonance and it shows up in your ardent defence of a man who may have been a good scientist but is a very poor philosopher – as even many of his peers are well aware.

  5. Tom Godfrey says:

    I agree with Scott. Good point.

    On the mikebay comment, can anyone explain why lack of a mechanism explaining Intelligent Design is a problem? If we are talking about designs miraculously built into creatures at their creation and still evident in our time, does it really make sense to expect scientists to uncover a mechanism to explain this result through a study of the laws of nature and natural processes?

    Consider, for example, Matt. 17:27 and assume that this was recorded because Peter actually did as the Lord commanded and paid their tax with a coin found in the mouth of a fish. One might speculate that the idea worked because a fisherman had dropped the necessary coin overboard, a fish had snapped at it, and Jesus had correctly guessed that this would be the first fish that Peter would catch. In this case, the only miracle might be nothing more than a lucky guess highly unlikely to be correct. One might also speculate that the coin was created in place miraculously after Peter caught the first fish. In this case, would it be reasonable to expect an investigator to find a credible mechanism to explain what actually happened? What possible evidence might “unravel the historical record” of how the eternal Creator God did it? Miracles may be believed or disbelieved, but by definition, they cannot be explained.

    I would also like to know how anyone can be so sure that “Adam was not created ‘poof’ as … creationists would have us believe.” It is the same story. If Adam was created miraculously, there is no reason why this could not have been done in a single day as claimed in Genesis. If this is what actually took place, then a study of physical evidence, even overwhelming evidence, would be sure to suggest a speculative story that is either wrong or highly misleading.

    We can agree, however, that when God touched life, he left his marks, and those marks are fantastic. I give him all the glory for his marvelous works (Ps. 92:4-5), whether I can explain them or not (Is. 55:8-9).

  6. John Cahill says:

    ‘He’ spoke and it was (done). That is the ultimate divine fiat. When a King decreed (issued a ‘fiat’) the decree materialised … that’s what a ‘fiat’ is, an efficient and effective word in which is the ‘energy’ that actualises the intention. They are one. Thus in human terms, there was to be no space or time between the decree and the actualisation of it. Essentially, a divine fiat is not a time-space thing; time-space is the consequence, not the source or the cause. By the Word (contrast words) of the Lord were the heavens created. (Small ‘w’ ‘words’ constitute instructions, procedures, techniques, methods… big W [sic], The Word is simultaneous outcome i.e., the sameness of the Word to the intention i.e., the Divine Love knows no separation of intention from completion… the ‘obedience of love’. “Your wish is my command. My wish is your command.” ) The ‘actions’ of God cannot be reduced to linear procedures though the consequences of the ‘actions’ (of the Word [a personage in the relationship of Divine Love] not letters) of God are experienced as linear unfoldings ‘within’ time space consciousness. Our task is not to impose time-space procedures on “The Ineffable” (there is no such imposition in God) but to read through linear experience to the divine i.e., the reverse or empirical insolence. [Insolence only in-so-far as it is assumed that empirical negates or will negate God]. “In Him we live, and move and have our being,” and, He does/did not set ‘things’ in motion just to see how we would managed them; His (The Word) being the Alpha and Omega means He initiated it, and He will bring it to a purposeful consummation, but more importantly for us in this present state of consciousness (or unconsciousness), He IS SUSTAINING all ‘things’ in every moment, every event and every possible and potential discrete ‘thing’… as one. Faith (which is heaven grated insight) sees beyond the empirical and it see as assurance – the conviction of things that are not seen (cf those views that by conviction and dogmatic confessionalism cannot factor in the unseen); faith is not linear but it affects the linear. That He is sustaining all things indicates that linear processes are completely overwhelmed and consumed by the ‘ever-present’ or ‘eternally ‘acting” Word … in our linear experience the power of the omnipotent is non-linearly sustaining all things though we may not perceive the non-linear nature that sustaining power (stuck in Newtonianism), except by faith which is a different disposition of conviction about the nature of existence. The only reason we can ‘work up to God’ in any sense at all is that in all space-time we are enveloped, infused and sustained by the eternal (‘eternal simultaneity’) i.e., sustained by non-measure (non-measurables), things that do not pertain to metrics. The context of space-time is divine omnipresence (divine simultaneity in all space-time). The context of linear (i.e., our current metaphorical) intelligence is divine omniscience. The context of matter is ‘non-discriminated’ wholeness, things being constructs of the linear mind of self preservation (discrete ‘self’ being an aggregate (illusion) of the fears of the senses – i.e., fear). Products of measure cannot produce the eternal. To perceive in this way, the very same mechanism is at work… i.e., the decree of and as The Word. “In the beginning (before the foundation of the world) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made (no thing at all). In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The rest of that book (the Gospel (and Cosmology) of John) relates the ‘Divine fiat’, the decree of God, the Word of God… and here’s the thing: that Word became flesh i.e., subject to all things human (and apparently linear) so that we could transcend (ascend) to all things divine (i.e., realise the consumption of God’s ‘before the foundation of the world [of time-space and the metaphors of measure]’ purpose) in ‘bringing many sons and daughters to glory’. What’s the option? Just what is widely proposed and revered these days – Artificial intelligence (metaphors of metaphors), Virtual realities (more metaphors of metaphors), proposed displacement even of the flesh (and therefore the senses) by many forms of artificial augmentation. Are the wrong? No. Not in themselves. But in their use as ultimate they sustain us in our blindness. Used in the context of the eternal and to perceive and honour the Eternal, they are very beautiful expressions of omnipresent love. Time-Space is a little like the box in which God gave us ten thousand Lego blocks. These blocks were never intended to displace our Home, however, for the purposes of control, perhaps we prefer to live in our Lego constructions.

  7. Aarno Aapro says:

    The Mathematics of Genesis
    Or the Unified Field Theory?
    By Johannes

    Reference to KJV Genesis 1:1
    In the beginning God created the heaven and earth.
    Reference to KJV Genesis 1:2
    And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
    In the very beginning of everything, a creator (God) caused space (heaven) and the ingredient that mass is made up of to come into existence.
    According to this interpretation; there are only two basic ingredients in the universe, one is space, in other words, a volume that has absolutely nothing in it, this volume is called “heaven” in Genesis of the Bible and the other is the ingredient that mass is composed of, that ingredient in today’s scientific language is called the Higgs field and it is called “earth” in the Bible.
    Reference to Genesis 1:2
    The volume of space was filled and evenly distributed with the ingredient of mass, known today as Higgs field. The said Higgs field had no motion or vibration in the volume of the space.
    The depth of the space was totally without light because the ingredient that makes up light and mass was motionless, in other words, no frequencies or vibrations could exist under such conditions.
    The implication here is that all energy that exists in the universe is nothing more than the motion or frequency of the ingredient that composes mass; Higgs field in other words.
    Reference to Genesis 1:3
    Then the creator caused motion and vibrations in and on the space/mass ingredient, frequencies of these vibrations ranged from extremely low to extremely high, which includes the bandwidth of light that we can see. (Motion within the motionless Higgs field was created) (Motion = Energy)
    The combination of space and the mass ingredient can be compared to water, because water is also composed of two ingredients, namely hydrogen and oxygen.
    Reference to Genesis 1:3
    The motion that was caused, created a changing density in the s/mi, (space/mass ingredient) so that there was a higher density and many frequencies (light) in one area and lower density and low or no frequencies (darkness) in the surroundings, this density of s/mi then became greater and more dense until it could not become any denser, at which point the s/mi reversed its motion and began to decrease in density. This event would be called inflation or big bang in today’s terminology.
    Reference to Genesis 1:4
    This first expansion event flung the s/mi far away from the center of the expansion event, the center part became emptier and darker, the emptiness created an enormous amount of potential energy within that volume, that in turn caused some of the s/mi to begin moving back towards that spot of expansion. Kinetic energy is in the motion of the Higgs field or mass, potential energy is in the emptiness of the space.
    Reference to Genesis 1:5
    Since some of the s/mi was left behind so that it did not start returning to the spot of expansion, the totality of space was not as dark as it was when it was created. ( No ”Night” ) only evening and morning.
    The “first day” mentioned in the Bible happened before and during the scientific big bang or inflation event, it is the epoch where space, mass, and energy, was created. How long such a “day” was, is anybody’s guess, only the creator knows.
    Reference to Genesis 1:6
    Since some of the s/mi was moving away from the point of event where the expansion happened and another part of the s/mi was going towards that point, the s/mi volume between the opposing movements crated a density of s/mi where the photons would move at a constant speed.
    Reference to Genesis 1:7
    Once the distance was large enough then the s/mi density would be such that the photon propagation would be constant in that volume. (firmament)
    The “firmament” represents a density of the Higgs field, it represents the midpoint in the compression or expansion of the field density, it is also the density of the field where the photons propagate at a constant speed, represented by “C” in math formulas.
    The firmament can also be considered as the density level that separates the emptiness of space from the density of mass. It is somewhat comparable to a zero reference point on the Celsius temperature scale.
    The reciprocal of a constant is zero.

    To transcribe the information into mathematical formula; only the concepts that can be addressed by quantities need to be considered.
    In Genesis 1:1 space and Higgs field were created, further reading reveals that empty space has the potential for energy, empty space is a force and the Higgs field, when in motion, contains kinetic energy.
    In other words, the empty space can be represented by the letter U, indicating the potential for energy.
    The Higgs field can be represented by the letter k for kinetic energy.
    Mass as we know it is a combination of U and k. ( potential and kinetic energy )
    Genesis 1:7 indicates the presence of an area of Higgs field density where the photons propagate at a constant speed, this can be represented by the letter c.
    If we want to know the total energy that mass can release, we need to take the constant and multiply it by the square of the mass that is under consideration, then we need to divide that result by the kinetic amount that is the same as the amount of mass, then the result must be multiplied by the constant in order to get the maximum amount of energy.
    The formula then becomes E= (U/k) c
    To see if this matches the results in Einstein’s formula, we can do some simple calculation, using the same values of mass and the constant that is used with Einstein’s formula.
    In order to simplify the expression of the desired concept I will omit the descriptive additions such as, distance per unit of time, etc., if more extensive information is needed then these additions can be included.
    The concepts are what we are comparing, so the numbers will be approximate; the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters/second, but in order to simplify the calculation further I will use 300,000 kilometers/second as the approximate speed of light.

    Formula derived from the Bible.
    M= (U/k)/C
    E= (U/k)*C
    U= 300,000*m^2

    If m=2 then 2^2 = 4*300.000 = U = 1,200,000 = amount for potential energy.
    If m=2 then k=2 = quantity of Higgs field in the form of mass.
    Then U/k=1,200,000/2 = 600,000 = Intrinsic potential energy of mass quantity * 300,000 = 180,000,000,000 = Total energy contained within specified units of mass when accelerated to the speed of light.

    If m=4 then 4^2= 16*300,000 = 4,800,000
    If m=4 then k=4
    Then U/k=4,800,000/4 = 1,200,000 * 300,000 = 360,000,000,000

    Einstein’s formula
    E=MC^2 = (C*C)*m= E,
    If m=2 then 300,000*300,000=90,000,000,000*2=180,000,000,000
    If m= 4 then 300,000*300,000=90,000,000,000*4=360,000,000,000
    The result is the same in both calculations and the “speed” does not need to be squared in the Bible calculation.
    In order to simplify the calculation of larger numbers and still keep it very simple, I will remove 3 more zeroes from the approximate constant, so that the c is represented by 300 instead of 300,000 km/s

    90,000*15 = 1,350,000 in Einstein’s formula with 15 units of mass. = E

    15^2 = 225
    300*225 = 67,500 =U
    67,500/15= 4,500
    4,500 * 300 = 1,350,000 = E in Bible formula with 15 units of mass.
    The Bible formula gives the same result as the Einstein’s formula.
    I understand the Bible formula better, because the mass is squared instead of the constant (or speed. ) I can relate to square pieces of matter but square speed is unfamiliar to me.
    Squaring the constant does give the correct answer and there is a reason why it was done that way, but I still like the other way of doing it better.
    Is the Bible formula right or wrong; is there a way to determine that through experiments?
    The formula indicates that emptiness contains potential for energy, it also indicates that mass is a combination of kinetic and potential energy and that all forms of energy is derived from the motion of the material that mass is composed of, in other words: Higgs field, if it is in some form of motion, is the ingredient that makes up all energy and mass in the universe.
    The implication also is that light propagates at a constant speed in the Higgs field that is at a certain density, meaning that the propagation speed of light is determined by the density of the medium that it goes through.
    We can speculate on that concept; if we could reduce the density of the Higgs field in space, or in front of a space ship, then faster than light speed would be possible.
    According to this interpretation there is only the Higgs field, in various densities and frequencies of vibrations, within space that gives rise to all other fields, such as the magnetic field, the gravitational field and the so called electromagnetic frequencies, besides composing the mass that we are familiar with. This formula then represents the unified field theory that scientists have been looking for.

  8. James says:

    In the mind of God there is no distinction between what we call theology and science. There is only truth. Science therefore will never be able to explain nature satisfactorily because it will only look for naturalistic explanations. The whole truth will always evade it. When God says He not only created all things but sustains all that He has created then we are left with the question; ‘How does He sustain it all?’ Is this by small but significant interventions now and then, or has He built into life the resilience and adaptabiity for the perpetuation and survival of all that is living? If He has then science will always on its own, fail. Scientists as humans, made in the image of God, were never expected to work in a godless world with a godless mind set.
    It has struck me that the more we experience God the more we marvel at Him and see that everything is possible and that we actually know very little – despite the fact that we like coming to great conclusions!

    • James,

      Please use your full name.

      What you are saying sounds good on the surface but it’s at odds with the views of classical scientists like Copernicus and Newton, who viewed science as a view into the mind of God.

      You ask a very important question:

      “‘How does He sustain it all?’ Is this by small but significant interventions now and then, or has He built into life the resilience and adaptabiity for the perpetuation and survival of all that is living? If He has then science will always on its own, fail.”

      Newton thought that God occasionally pushed the planets back in place, but Laplace corrected his math and showed it’s not necessary.

      I believe God has given nature the ability to sustain and develop itself (which I feel is entirely consistent with the Biblical assertion that God sustains everything – through the constancy of the laws of nature) and THIS view of nature gives us the capacity to decode and uncover its mysteries.

      If God is constantly tinkering with nature when we are not looking, then science degenerates into meaningless speculation.

      This is not a trivial question. It’s one of the most important questions in all of science, and it’s a question of whether Christians are going to participate in the scientific enterprise, or if, preferring outdated notions of how God works in the world, recuse ourselves to the ghettos of their own imaginations and impractical mysticism.

      It is true that we know very little but we can discover much more if we presume that God has granted nature great power.

      • Tom Godfrey says:


        I agree with you that the laws of nature are consistent enough for the work of scientists to be worthwhile. I believe we also agree that God can miraculously intervene in the normal operation of those laws at will at any time, even in our own time and even in the future. The time of our origins certainly cannot be an exception to this rule. God evidently arranged for the laws of nature to make normal life possible without any need for constant miraculous tinkering or adjustment, all right, but whenever a miracle is performed and physical evidence of it remains, a person could study this evidence and not realize that a miracle was involved in its history. We can know about miracles through revelation, testimony, or personal experience.

        So for instance, if the disciples studied leftover food in their twelve baskets after the miraculous feeding reported in John 6:5-15, we have no reason to believe that any of its physical characteristics would have made it plain to them that a miracle had been involved. They didn’t need to find out about the miracle that way, because they were eye witnesses. A skeptic who examined the leftovers might have guessed that its history was quite ordinary, but they would have been wrong. The next miracle reported in the same chapter (walking on water) evidently left no physical evidence behind that could have been studied to reconstruct a speculative history. Our belief that it actually happened is based on credible testimony.

        If we are right about this much, I think it has important implications for our beliefs about origins. If it was miraculous, we can forget about trying to piece together a speculative origin myth based on a study of physical evidence. This is what some scientists do anyway when they take off their scientist hat and put on their historian hat. In this case, their story is bound to be wrong or misleading. When scientists do the real work of ordinary science, they assume that no miracle affects their observations, because they are studying the ordinary laws of nature. This makes sense. When they apply this same no-miracle presupposition to their study of origins, they err for sure, if in fact miracles were involved, as Genesis clearly claims. It is up to every one of us to decide whether we prefer to believe a story based on the scientific no-miracle presupposition and a biased study of physical evidence or else one based on the revelation in Genesis. I recommend the latter.

      • Tom Mikkelson says:

        Perry, I mostly agree with you and would like to point out the sustaining work of God is holding the entire universe together. This is accomplished by holding the protons together in an atom, which by all of our observed data, should fly apart because of like charges repelling each other. Man has come up with the strong nuclear force, that is only displayed and observed in atoms.

  9. Lance Sharpe says:

    I’m still not buying the book, but we’ll said Perry.

  10. Tim B. Smith says:

    I don’t have access to the Dawkins article, but his view in the past…which seems reasonable based on what I have studied and seen…is that epigenetics are what they say they are, “above” the gene. They modify expression, but do not modify the code and are themselves subject to the code. I am aware that RNA is edited after it is transcribed, and I have seen research that suggests mutation occurs at faster rates than expected due to random chance. I have not seen a model that shows how those accelerated rates somehow escape control by the gene. If that is true, I’d certainly like to see the evidence because that would indeed be an enormously important finding. Dawkins is frequently abrasive and unnecessarily adversarial, but I don’t see yet how he is wrong.

  11. Perry, I read E2.0 a couple months ago and found it fascinating. I have also been reading recent engagements by evangelicals with evolutionary biology, attempting to interpret the Genesis accounts in light of evolution. Currently working through Venema and McKnight’s ‘Adam and the Genome.’ It seems to me that current evangelical engagement with evolution is still dialoging primarily with Neo-Darwinian theory with random mutations and natural selection as the presupposed mechanism. Are you aware of any quality theological engagements with the ideas of Evolution 2.0? (P.S., I am not a scientist, and merely a novice interested in the dialogue between science/theology, but I find your contribution particularly interesting. I am the chair of theology at a major evangelical seminary, a professor, patristic scholar, author, and theologian, but definitely not a scientist, so any guidance here would be appreciated.)

    • Michael,

      SORRY for such a long delay. I have been working on some very important developments, with some cool announcements coming in the future.

      You are right about most evangelicals still dealing with Neo-Darwinism. Biologos (I’m friends of those guys) isn’t particularly interested in parsing competing aspects of the science, but making peace of the factions in the larger sense. – typically not a very friendly environment to evolutionary thinking. Congrats on being here.

      “Are you aware of any quality theological engagements with the ideas of Evolution 2.0?”

      Not really, although I’ve been to the last 2 ASA meetings ( and will be presenting at the next one.

      What I would say is that the “third way” / evolution 2.0 approach welcomes teleology whereas neo-Darwinism explicitly forbids it. It says we live in a purposeful world instead of a purposeless one. I for one think the difference between the two is vast. And I find that many traditional Christians are much more amenable to the 2.0 version than the old version.

      It is really nice to meet you here and hope to meet you in person someday.

  12. Edmundo says:

    If we are the product of an intelligent design of a superior being like the God of the bible, then why are we so imperfect??? Further more since the bible postulates we were created to it’s image, that would imply that God is also imperfect, therefore not a God by definition, perhaps just another limited creature.

    • John Cahill says:

      It’s a good, logical and necessary question. It is based on common notions of the meaning of words like “good”, “perfect/imperfect” and “righteous”. Please note that I am a ‘believer’ and that I consider the question to be fundamental to dialogue within religious circles let alone in debate with secularism. This is much more than a rhetorical challenge, it goes right to the heart of religion’s problem with itself.

      The short answer is that religion does unfortunately and most often talk about and hanker after the kind of perfection implied in your extremely important question, and it is precisely that notion of ‘perfection’ that existence is NOT interested in, NOT working towards and NOT going to be fulfilled via that definition. That perfection does not exist because it derives from comparison which is judgement.

      I do not want to alarm you at all but I see this question as a modern day condensation of the very same problem Jesus of Nazareth had with religion in his day!!! I am saying that his debates were all with religious people who assumed much the same definition of perfection as implied in your question. This is good news… you are standing very close to where Jesus stood!!! I will try to explain, but first, it is worth noting also that whether one is a ‘believer’ or not, we are all stuck with this kind of imperfection and frustration; that kind of perfection does not actually appear on either side of the debate, and we all have to confess that none of us has ever produced it. In that sense, upon assumptions of that perfection, existence is flawed. Everyone agrees. And I agree with you that religions seem to imply that flaws and the possibility of failure an brokenness can be eliminated.

      But existence and sound eternal intelligence is not about that kind of perfection at all. The sustaining and energizing force of existence is not subject to measure and thus it is not concerned with failure as we are. Such things are our devices, and such suffering is our doing, permitted by the wisdom of being, of the nature existence.

      Common assumptions about ‘perfection/imperfection’ and the question asked here actually imply that humanity would be best served if this supposed “superior” being would simply impose perfection on existence, and especially on humans who appear to be the especially morally conscious species. But the imposition of order and functionality is what nasty despots do, not at all what freedom and love require. Despots impose perfection, of the kind implied in your question. It is the kind of perfection that our own experts in all fields will do in their moments of power, for the good of (some of) humanity and ‘the planet’. It is a popular preference.

      This question of yours actually demands that the potential for true freedom, the kind of freedom that belongs only (even if only speculatively) to a divinity, be removed from existence. Thus, to have the perfection demanded, we would have to be insulated from the possibility of knowing, experiencing and expressing love of divine proportions. Desire at the level of our material senses would have to suffice, and that is what we are developing and practicing now. To forgo the potential for freedom (to fail) and the potential to love like ‘a god’ is an option, it is permitted, and it seems to be the preferred option. We do our best, our way to beat the pains of existence (dukkha, the travail of being in time and space) according to our perception of perfection.

      The question and its many concomitant arguments demand dehumanization, and that is, of course, what we are furiously working toward in the present age. It is a complete package … no chance of failure … the perfect machine. Many forms of “Christianity” promote mechanistic perfection by imagining that “God” wants, even demands foolproof perfection, if not now, later, and inevitably … functional perfection according to measure. That is why the charge of religious hypocrisy seems quite fitting, in those terms religion is hypocrisy. The assumptions built into perceptions of perfection and ways to become achieve it are themselves the cause of the very fractures they so dislike. [It’s a little like, “no expectation, no failure” … but that aphorism is grossly inadequate because two factors are missing, vis-à-vis : utter freedom and unconditional love]. When one promotes the ‘perfection’ of measure and comparison (and most religion does that) the foundations are laid for inevitable failure relative to the paradigm i.e. failure by definition, failure as existence. And that is where religion traps you… and you hate it, quite rightly! So do I. But I am a believer, and I am a believer because no one in time/space has the solution because that is all about measure and comparison, acceptance and rejection, affirmation and condemnation. Perfection must be, just has to be of a very different kind, and it is!

      Based on relativist or ‘comparativist’ assumptions about the meaning of the word ‘perfection’, we all – atheist and religionist – are working towards mechanistic, cause and effect functionality which may even produce deterministic perfection, but if we achieve it, we are the deadest of dead. Atheist and religionist both argue for and from the same sterile paradigm, and together “we” are approaching an approximation of the mechanistic ideal. No congratulations from me!

      The problem is that these assumptions and ideals are all against our own natures, against the nature of nature, against the nature of existence and against the meaning of ‘perfection’ as the divine knows it. We fail because the ideal, the goal is impossible if our actual potential is to remain our potential. We are all succeeding to fulfill this closed frame perfection by opting to fall short of humanity; succeeding because the ideal derives from both materialistic secularism and moralistic religion which is also materialism in abstraction, according to mental objects … it is no different for science or for most religious practice.

      The nuances and fractures of mundane existence are not subtle or new to theology. Christian theology in particular is cracked – broken to bits and pieced back together – along these lines and it behaves and expresses quite erratically because of these very (implied) poles. In one moment measure ‘perfection’ of demanded, and in another gracious attributions of perfection are promised of the same genre of perfection are promised, but I have yet to be or find anyone who has achieved it … and I am a believer. The order is usually, perfection of measure, promise of gracious attribution of said measure, requirement to embody said measure i.e., false guilt, false attribution, false (in)security. In practice, many believers bypass the guilt trips – thankfully – and necessarily – and deep down count on perfection being something different somehow… and it is something different somehow. That is the good news! Thank heavens!

      To cut a long story longer, true perfection lives with what is ‘so’ and your kind of imperfection is ‘just so’ … we are all stuck with it because it is essential to our freedom, essential if we and the cosmos are to realize freedom’s true potential. Since the unbeliever and I both ‘suffer’, the question becomes, how do we rise above that imperfection? Transcendence cannot arise from the paradigm (that definition) itself. No one has achieved it because it does not exist. Fulfilment is necessarily real freedom to fail (by that definition) and fulfillment is necessarily challenged or conditioned not by development or growth over time into fail-proof mechanistic cause and effect functionality but by the ubiquitous force of love which is grace which is non-measure and unconditional and unconditioned acceptance. “True religion” does not ask you to be perfect like this or that measure… not at all … it is of a very different genre and in fact that is proven to be counterproductive of its own goals. To the religious mind, this is scandalous. Religions of measure, and most are, cannot tolerate this scandalous welcoming of persons of that imperfection because it means God choses to be with us in that kind of imperfection.

      Let me ask you, did that fellow Jesus get along with imperfect, suffering religious outcasts, or was he favored by the religious who earnestly measured according to moral consistency, according to status, who tended to ignore suffering … who measured everything? Not all religious people did or do… we too get confused. But Jesus was not being exceptional … he was not perfect in the common religious sense because it did not exist for him … perfection is not perfection, gracious acceptance of imperfection, this is the perfection of existence.

      Yes. You are right! All this is God’s doing, all of it! And it is wiser than the wisdom of your measures. The demand of the universe … the demand of the designer creator is not for you to be perfect (period), it is to “be perfect AS I AM PERFECT” … that’s a very different perfection … THAT perfection is unfailing, unconditional loving kindness which is ever present with us whose true freedom and potential can only arise out of real freedom to fail according to that other mundane and trivial measure.

      God does not impose your perfection on existence because in it there is no potential for us or the cosmos to realize and experience the freedom and love that is attributable only to divinity. The idea that God somehow dies to what we imagine to be godly demands is the strangest of cosmologies, but it is critical data. Our condition… as atheist and religionist demands it. And the good news is that this is precisely how he creates us. We are, if we will, being taken beyond measure and failure, beyond mechanistic cause and effect to the dynamic and energy of ever welcoming love. I cannot but declare it and you cannot but require it. Outside of that grace, what hope do you offer me?

  13. Alex Faulkner says:

    “It has been observed by many modern palaeontologists that my theory
    of natural selection does not appear to be supported by the remains
    of ancient species, the fossils or skeletons of which are still being
    discovered. These observations are correct. It is God who, at
    appropriate moments in time, alters instantaneously, the genetic pro-
    gramme for future species.

    Man has already discovered how to do this himself but, whereas he
    creates the effects by physical manipulation of DNA, God, using
    spiritual control, is able to achieve any desired change so that all
    future forms of that particular species will be different from their

    I still follow closely the progress of man’s scientific
    investigations into the origins of species and feel certain that, if
    only they could acquire an understanding of the spiritual influences
    on both themselves and the fauna of the world, they would advance in
    leaps and bounds.” – Charles Darwin writing through clairvoyant medium Alan Valiant in the book Why Believe, When You Can Know.

    Of course, this explanation will be dismissed with the utmost scepticism but it fits with the evidence for evolution much more than Darwin’s original theory. Species are designed for their environment and only change or ‘evolve’ in reaction to changes in environment and otherwise remain the same, as is the case for several species that haven’t evolved, or barely at all, for thousands or even millions of years. This is a good example of evolution, or rather adaptation, in relation to changes in environment:

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