What kind of God makes an evolutionary universe?

Stuart Norey posted this insightful comment on my blog:

I am not going to argue for or against any sort of God. But I will say this.

In the world NOW there are countless examples of evolution happening right now, backed up by sound science. There are no examples of God at work backed up by sound science.

Science can show, through DNA and fossil records etc, the previous evolutionary paths species have taken. No sensible person would argue against examples of current species evolving from others, even man.

Perry does not argue that God created man. His God is not like the God of the more traditional biblical God the ‘Christians’ etc who defend his views argue for.

Perry does not seem to deny science or evolution happening.

The biblical story is clearly wrong.

He has therefore had no choice but to retreat from biblical creation and his God appears to

have made his ‘intervention’ at the point where he can currently comfortably say ‘science can’t prove I’m talking nonsense’.

This results in a God who appears to have intervened at the point chemistry transitioned to biology, that’s roughly where science is at. His God then appears to have retreated from the scene.

Science has a pretty good theory, with some experimental evidence but obviously no observational evidence from billions of years back, how this transition happened.

Perry might one day accept this.

His God and science will then meet at the furthest point back in space and time – the Big Bang.

Science will say ‘we don’t know.’

Perry will say ‘God did it’

That’s where he will end up as science continues to push and discover. He will have no choice as he obviously understands science is ‘real.’

We will probably never know.

Perry’s God is not the Christian, Muslim etc god. The God he advocates takes no interest in his creation. He/she appears to be more of a pagan Mother Nature type god.

I replied:

Stuart,

I somewhat agree. But one of the reasons I am completely comfortable moving God all the way to the big bang (or even before that!) is I also have witnessed miracles, like these (please read very carefully, I offer much documentation and supporting links):

http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles/

I also have had many personal spiritual encounters, like this one:

https://www.perrymarshall.com/34766/the-story-behind-the-story/

So I know that I know that I know that God is real. God is active in the world.

Perry’s God is the Jewish and Christian God. And the Christian God is not in any way in conflict with science. In fact without Jewish and Christian theology, we would not have science in the first place.

This is the same thing Isaac Newton or James Clerk Maxwell or Copernicus or Galileo would say to you if they were alive today.

I also observe that with a handful of very elegant assumptions (two to be exact) the Genesis story matches the science story just fine:

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/genesis1

And finally… any person who actually believes in cause and effect knows no universe can create itself.

41 Responses

  1. Stuart Norey says:

    Thanks for correcting the typo Perry.
    I enjoy the debates and respect your intellect and beliefs, despite my thinking being the opposite.
    Whatever caused it, the universe is a beautiful place, to be appreciated and enjoyed.

    • Mike Bay says:

      The COBE research was revolutionary. It demonstrated beyond doubt that the Universe had a beginning. Until COBE we really did not know. Now we know. And just for the record… the Biblical narrative reveals that the Universe had a beginning… Coincidence??? No. COBI got it right. The Biblical record has it right. Both say the same thing. In my book that tells us that the Biblical record is correct on this…

      • Shasa says:

        So the world is less then 7000 years old?? What reference is real what reference is wrong, what about the anti gay stuff? What line is correct, surly this logic verify anything as correct due to lack fo typos

    • Mike Bay says:

      And who is to say that the Creator God has not played a role in the development of life over the last billion years. When we look back in time we are not doing science. We are doing history. An historical account carries the same weight as a scientific account. The events of the past may not be repeatable but they can be demonstrated to have happened. We may not see the Creator God creating life forms today but that doesn’t mean there was no creative processes in the past. We need to look at the historical records. Surely, the fossil record has told us much. However, the genetic record has an incredible amount of data. Our own human DNA carries the story of our arrival going back millions of years. For example we can trace the origins of human groups as those groups traveled across the globe over thousands of years.

      • Leny says:

        “God has not played a role in the development of life over the last billion years” is not a statement that a reasonable person would make.
        But it is certainly a null hypothesis, which must be falsified by those who do posit that God HAS played a role, in order for such a pronouncement to be taken seriously.

    • James says:

      Neat thought: for one to hold the universe as beautiful is to fulfill a God given vocation of man, if made in His image & His likeness such an act functions as praise.

  2. I was of creationist views, but deeper study of Bible lead me to the understanding that Bible does support evolution.

    https://endofgospel.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/evolution-creationism/

    http://withoutvowels.org/wiki/Theology:Evolution

    I believe Bible more than science, but I think Bible itself confirms evolution theory.

    • Carl Rosel says:

      What are the very first words of the Bible in Genesis 1. ( IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH ) Genesis 1 isn’t very long. Carry on to the end.

  3. Tom Godfrey says:

    Stuart,

    We do agree on at least your opening claim, “In the world NOW there are countless examples of evolution happening right now, backed up by sound science.” If this is what is meant by evolution—changes that can actually be observed—then there is really nothing controversial about it, as far as I am concerned. Molecules-to-man evolution is another story. Besides this, the idea that God takes no interest in his creation is quite controversial, whether Perry or anyone else somewhat agrees with you or not.

    I believe you suggested that science is real, and we agree on this point, too, but you also personify science and imagine that it “continues to push and discover,” perhaps eventually meeting God. It may help us think through these issues better if we cut out the figurative language and get real. Science actually has no theories at all. People have them. Theories may need to be revised or rejected as more is learned, but this is all done by people, not science. Sometimes those people deliberately or conveniently ignore evidence considered problematic for their theory.

    One of the theories of interest here is the idea that “chemistry transitioned to biology.” We lack observational evidence related not just to *how* it might have happened. We have no proof that it even *did* happen, though people may have faith and strongly believe that it did. Science says nothing, but people (scientists) who are interested in origins can already say, if they are honest, “We don’t know.” People (like me) who believe Genesis can honestly say, “We believe that God did what Genesis says he did.”

    Really, no one moves God “all the way to the big bang (or even before that!)” except perhaps in his imagination. Perry and I agree that God is real and is active in the world. It is not so clear that we agree on the question of how active he was in the distant past, and we evidently still disagree dramatically on the timing of creation. We also disagree about his proposed reconciliation of Genesis with the story of origins developed by scientists who presuppose that no miracle ever really took place, even during the earliest stages of the alleged evolution of the tree of life. If you read his article about this, you may have noticed one huge discrepancy, which Victor Porton also ignored or overlooked. Genesis describes a finished creation completed by God in just six days of work, followed some time later by a fall, leaving the whole creation in “bondage to decay” (Rom. 8:21). In contrast, the secular story is that creation has never been finished, and no fall is in sight. Evolution is supposed to be ongoing and perhaps never-ending, considering the universe as a whole, and of course, the process is not supposed to have ever been disturbed by any act of divine intervention.

    There are other discrepancies, but what I just mentioned ought to be abundantly clear and recognized as quite insurmountable, even with clever exegesis of Genesis. From my point of view, one either goes with Genesis or with the tentative secular alternative. I don’t see how one can honestly have it both ways. It takes faith either way you go. As you pointed out, no modern scientist was there to witness what happened in the beginning. Angels evidently were there (Job 38:4-7). The true story might be learned by believing credible testimony from someone who was there or by trusting in the correctness of tentative theories based on a study of physical evidence. I go with the testimony. What about you?

    • Stuart says:

      Tom

      This article I read the other day has some thinking on the chemical-biolology transition.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170302133445.htm

      Suppose it is ALL theory (Science and Religion).

      Science cannot travel back in time to the big bang or an evolutionary milestone (although they sometimes can be seen in the fossil record) so often cannot prove its theories.

      Equally, the writers of the Bible were not there at the time of creation and in fact we know written records did not appear for millions of years after human like creatures appeared (even if you take modern man and modern mind, you are talking about 70,000 years) and billions of years after the earth formed. So these are either theories or God appeared and told the story – what always bothers me about the story being told to man is that God included lots of detail about stuff that did not matter but neglected to mention his creation of one of the most successful, diverse and longest serving creations in the Dinosaurs! Why miss most of history?

      My point was that you can place religion and science in an evidence ‘stalemate’ (book vs experiments and theories up to now) but that this will keep changing – Science will continue to push boundaries, release theories and make discoveries while religion is really static (if you accept the bible as the word of god).

      I am not saying religion is wrong and there is no God, Science gets it wrong every day! After Brexit and Trump, nothing would surprise me!

      • Joe Baublis says:

        Mr. Stuart sir, kindly note that several of your premises are false or at least unreliable as bases upon which you appear to have drawn your conclusion.
        First, the term “dinosaur” was coined in 1842 – so it’s absurd for you to expect it’s use in bible books. But there are numerous references in bible books to creatures known today as “dinosaurs”. The bible refers to “behemoth” , flying serpent, and dragon.
        Second, your reference to “billions of years” (if you are refering to radiometric dating) is not a reliable premise because all 3 assumptions upon which radiometric dating is presumed to be reliable have have been demonstrated false and published. The vast majority of earth dating methods show a young earth. At the very least, the issue is controversial.
        Third, your argument that “science cannot travel back in time” is vague and not proved, and can be shown to be false. For example, you can find arrowheads in the dirt and know for a fact that somebody highly skilled and intelligent created the arrowheads at some point in the past. The mere fact that the arrowhead itself does not reveal the creator’s name and physical characteristics does not extinguish the fact that someone intelligent created the arrowhead and did so in the past.
        Fourth, you presented the argument that bible authors “we’re not there at the time” with no reliable premise. It’s just speculation. As such, reverse speculation can dispel your argument. Consider that according to Big-bang theory, matter, space, and TIME were created at the singularity. Stands to reason that whoever or whatever created TIME has dominion over it and can manipulate it, potentially for His beings who are comprised of the same material that He also created.
        In conclusion, I find that many of your arguments lack merit. Perhaps you’ve been spoofed by comm. chatter.

        • Stuart Norey says:

          You are basically denying science. I know it’s fashionable, Trump and all that. Where do you get this stuff? Young earth, vast majority? A few years ago it was about 6000? Then we find older civilisations, now I suppose it’s 10,000 or so years old? The creation story does not mention dinosaurs, or anything you can twist to look like them. It gets a lot in the wrong order. However you define a ‘day’ it probably needs to be a fairly consistent passage of time, they don’t work unless one days billions of years and another’s millions etc. Pretty much nothing fits in truth. It’s a pretty imaginative story created to explain something someone had no clue about!
          There might or might not be a god, but the creation story is clearly a campfire tale. A lot of the stories were probably passed down verbally for hundreds or thousands of years and written down later. Theres a lot of ‘I’ve not got a clue what just happened so I’ll do my best…’ stuff, some of it clearly involving mind altering substances we know we’re used by ancient cultures. There’s some history in the bible and a lot of stories clearly designed to teach morals etc. Much has been changed to suit later days and mistranslated too. What’s in it is in it for political and social reasons, dictated by the romans and arguing sects. A lot was left out as it wasn’t on message or totally conflicted.
          By all means believe in a creator. But dont deny science – if you are going to do so you should probably put your keyboard away and go stick your head in a hole in the ground?

          • Joe Baublis says:

            Stuart I did NOT deny “science”, so your claim to that effect is a lie. I told you that all 3 assumptions upon which radiometric dating is presumed accurate have been proven false. As such, the dating method is not reliable. Among other things, brand new rock from recent volcanoes has been dated at many millions of years. Obviously, there’s a massive problem. But that does NOT imply a denial of science – quite the contrary.

            So, creatures known today as “dinosaurs” were described in the bible. And the creatures known today as “dinosaurs” have been depicted in art dating back many thousands of years ago. As such, and among other things, there’s a huge problem with the notion that dinosaurs existed only in ancient antiquity. There is data to the contrary.

            Your radiometric dating argument has been refuted and you didn’t defend it. So I infer you have conceded the point.

            Your claim that “science cannot travel back” has been refuted, and you didn’t defend it. So I infer you conceded the point. By the way, there are scientists who attempt to discover facts from extreme antiquity – such as the alleged evolution of species in the extreme ancient antiquity. That is an example of science travelling back in time, or at least trying to.

            As for your speculation about the bible authors – I see no coherent argument from you. All I can see in your post is a random assortment of platitude. I don’t see any logical flow of reasoning leading to a deductive conclusion.

      • Tom Godfrey says:

        Stuart,

        Sorry it took me so long to notice that you replied to my February 28 comment. Thanks for the link to a short article with ideas about a theoretical chemical-biological transition. It is an interesting article, all right.

        Did you notice the description of a “major mystery about life’s origin” in the opening paragraph? It was “how phosphate became an essential building block of genetic and metabolic machinery in cells, given its poor accessibility on early earth.” Did you also notice that the research covered in the article did nothing to solve this mystery? It was all about investigating “how life may have emerged without phosphate” and a theory that “a few simple prebiotic compounds could support the emergence of a rich, phosphate-independent metabolic network.” We could talk about uncertainties in assumptions about early earth conditions, but maybe they are already too obvious. Besides this, even if the theory proves to be correct, we would still be left with the stated major mystery. How and why would a theoretical “metabolic network” gradually evolve from one relying on relatively abundant “phosphate-free compounds thought to have been available in prebiotic environments” to one relying on phosphate instead “given its scarcity and poor accessibility”? Did you detect even any interest in this question? I am mystified.

        An even greater mystery, in my view, is the origin of information needed to engineer anything complex enough to live and reproduce, let alone think and compose symphonic masterpieces. The research covered in the article does not address this mystery either. It is possible that Goldford and his fellows are so sharply focused on their theories that they cannot see the big picture. The closing paragraph says, “In future studies, the researchers will continue to apply systems biology approaches to study the origin of life.” They evidently do not realize that they are not actually studying the origin of life at all. Life must have originated in the unobservable past, and no one has demonstrated yet that a comparable event can be repeated in a modern experiment. To be more accurate, some scientists seem to be studying *ideas* about what they think might be the true story of the origin of life. Some may consider their ideas promising or even compelling, but how could anyone ever hope to prove that any of this speculation must actually be the true story?

        As I have mentioned before in comments for Perry Marshall’s blogs, scientists work under a no-miracle presupposition, but if the origin of life was actually miraculous, the stories they develop based on a study of physical evidence is bound to be wrong or misleading. The other side of this coin is that physical evidence is irrelevant in an evaluation of the story in Genesis—if the no-miracle presupposition is granted. In this case, the first verse in the book would be all you need to reject it as myth, legend, or unscientific nonsense. As you may have guessed, I reject that presupposition. What about you?

        On the writers of the Bible, I embrace the teaching in 1Peter 1:16-21 and believe that the account of creation in Genesis is not a strictly human account of the events of creation week, even though humans, by the grace of God, wrote it down and preserved or transmitted it through the centuries for us to read today in our own language. In other words, I regard it as an account inspired by God, who was the ultimate eyewitness to those events. If the Bible is right about the history of life on earth, Genesis may well be a compilation of ancient testimony that stretched all the way back to Adam. I am convinced that it is credible and trustworthy.

        You are evidently convinced that “written records did not appear for millions of years after human like creatures appeared,” but do we really “know” this? I think it is just a matter of educated guesses based on interpretations of evidence that involve presuppositions that may or may not be correct. If biblical chronology *is* correct, then the span of time from Adam to writing may be much shorter than you suppose, and remember that people lived much longer before the Flood. Another important point to consider is that pinpointing the exact time of the emergence of writing is problematic. It is reasonable to say that writing was invented *at least* as far back as the earliest example that has been found and reliably dated. It would be foolish to jump to the conclusion that writing could *not* have been invented even earlier. In the beginning, writing could have been a secret art, practiced by a few elite scribes writing on perishable manuscripts or hidden documents that we have not and may never find, even if they still exist. Watch out for *argumentum ad ignorantiam*.

        Anyone who reads any book is free to form his own opinion about what details matter and what should or should not have been included. The Bible is no exception. Obviously, no author can possible please everyone in this regard, simply because opinions can vary widely. Nevertheless, every author decides what to include for his own reasons, and readers can take it or leave it. A genealogy that may not seem to matter at all to you can be considered essential to someone else interested in biblical chronology, for example, but then again, everyone has an option to skip over that part at will.

        I would not say that the Bible misses most of history because of how little it has to say about dinosaurs. You realize that the term *dinosaur* does not appear there, because it is a modern, more or less technical term. Ancient terms that might refer to what we would call a dinosaur are dragon, behemoth, and leviathan. The Bible actually has relatively little to say about *any* single kind of animal, because the major focus is on mankind and God’s work of redemption. You may be interested to compare what God said to Job about animals that are fairly well known to us modern folks in Job 39. Compare the much longer coverage of behemoth and leviathan in the next two chapters. It would seem really strange to me if Job had no idea what God was talking about. Back to Genesis, it is 1:24-31 that covers “creatures that move along the ground and wild animals,” but they are not listed as specific kinds, such as ants, bears, crows, lions, wombats, zebras, and dinosaurs, so we can only speculate about exactly which kinds could have been truthfully listed, but we really have no good reason to say that any kind of animal in particular could not possibly have been there on that day in history. Watch out for *argumentum ad ignorantiam*.

        Your point about science sometimes getting things wrong is well taken. To be honest, I have to admit that *I* could be wrong too. At least, if atheists actually got it right, I certainly do not have to worry about ever having to face any of them after I die, wagging a finger in my face, taunting me, and saying that I should have realized I was being fooled. On the other hand, if *they* got it wrong, their own experiences after death could be disappointing, to put it mildly. As far as origin stories are concerned, we have a choice between Genesis and the tentative, speculative, ever-changing tales of people relying on physical evidence alone, studied and interpreted under the no-miracle presupposition. Whichever way we go, I think this one choice will have a huge impact on how we live, because it has implications for our perception of reality and our eternal destiny. I am going with Genesis. What about you?

    • Peter says:

      So you say you go by the testimony of the angels, but do you have evidence that there are even angels? If we had court to see who was correct, would you be able to call the angels to stand as witness? Would those angels attend that court? Is it god who created the universe? Does god exist? Who was there to witness it? Where the angels there? Do angels even exist?

      • Tom Godfrey says:

        Peter,

        I assume that you intended to address your questions to me, because in my February 28, 2017, comment to Stuart, I did say, “Angels evidently were there (Job 38:4-7)” to witness creation. I couldn’t find where anyone said, “I go by the testimony of angels,” but if I just overlooked this, I extend my apologies to that other person, who probably should be replying to you instead of me. I go by the testimony found in the Bible, even if it is anonymous in some cases, because I believe that it is all inspired by God, regardless of who the original human writer was.

        You asked for evidence that angels exist. I don’t have any, unless testimony in the Bible counts. I suppose this raises another question. What kind of evidence would you consider acceptable? A photograph? A YouTube video clip? Or what? You would dismiss any such evidence as bogus even if it were presented, right? I might very well join you in doubting it too. Could I call on an angel to stand as a witness in a court? Silly question. Did God create the universe? I certainly believe he did, as claimed in Genesis, and since he is omnipresent, it follows that he was there.

        How do you believe the universe came into existence? What is the basis for *your* belief about this? Do you believe a story about this that was told to you by someone who was not there when it happened? Is the story based on a study of physical evidence interpreted under the no-miracle presupposition? If the honest answer is yes, then you ought to realize that the story is bound to be wrong if this presupposition is actually incorrect.

  4. My opinion was labeled as a discrepancy saying that I overlooked that in Bible there is a distinct fall but in the mainstream science there was no biblical fall.

    No, my view on this is not a discrepancy. You just didn’t know what I believe in. My view is the following:

    God took a homo sapiens and using DNA engineering transformed his brain into a powerful computer. God produced special trees of knowledge. (Eat a fruit and know say quantum mechanics.) One tree (I don’t know why God allowed it in His garden.) was knowledge of brain functioning (how it differentiates good and bad) itself. After eating it Adam transformed to a regular home sapiens (no more a computer) himself, because he received the “power” to break himself. See https://withoutvowels.org/wiki/Theology:Fall_of_the_man

    There was a fall of the man, not of the entire biosphere at this point. If the man would obey God, he would become deadless unlike other species.

    You cited my opinion as a discrepancy because you thought that I believe in fall of the entire biosphere, which I don’t believe to.

    • Well, “bondage to decay” (Rom. 8:21) may tall about very long time (such as hundreds millions years) of “bondage” and “decay”, long before people existed. People will be used to redesign the entire biosphere in the future.

      I see no discrepancy in my opinion.

      • Tom Godfrey says:

        Victor,

        Thanks for responding to my comment on the remarks by Stuart and Perry. I mentioned you, but you may have misunderstood me. I certainly did not intend to label *your opinion* as a discrepancy. I was talking instead about what appears to me to be a futile attempt to reconcile Genesis with the secular story of evolution, that is, to reinterpret Genesis so that nothing in its story of creation conflicts with what atheistic scientists tell us must be the true story of our origin, assuming that no miracles were involved.

        I looked at the article you linked earlier and did not see any explanation about how the broad sweep of secular history has any room for a finished creation, let alone one that was finished after only six days of God’s work. Genesis speaks of a fall into sin as the cause of death in our world. Evolutionists regard death as a necessary part of the long process that eventually led to the appearance of mankind. I am talking about huge differences in the way we understand the history of life on earth. This should explain why I disagree with your idea that the Bible itself confirms evolution theory. They appear to me to be entirely incompatible. I think you have to pick one or the other. Which one do you pick?

        Thanks for sharing your article on the fall of man. Genesis actually provides very little detailed information about the effects of the fall. In Genesis, it is mostly limited to the three curses reported in Gen. 3:14-19 and the report of the exile of Adam and Eve from their original home in Eden at the end of the chapter. This leaves us free to speculate about other details not given, as you have done, but I would encourage you to take a broader view of the effects of the fall. I already mentioned Rom. 8:21, but the curse is also mentioned near the end of the Bible. We learn by reading Rev. 22:3 that we can look forward to a future life without the curse that has troubled mankind since Adam, on through the time of Noah (Gen. 5:29), and even today.

        On the secular side, scientists have great respect for the second law of thermodynamics and believe in a general tendency toward more and more disorder. This ought to be recognized as a challenge for evolutionists, who believe strongly in a gradual change from the early chaos of the Big Bang to the universe that we observe today, including life on earth. Now it is my turn to speculate, and I suggest that increasing entropy might be yet another effect of the curse on “the ground.”

        • Stuart Norey says:

          In my understanding the whole entropy thing is a very long term ‘process’ where e.g. The universe ends up a cold empty place. It’s also pretty much about non biological ‘things’, so a rock turns to sand turns to dust etc etc? Over such vast timescales there’s plenty of time for peaks and troughs? Biology would appear to start simple and become more complex and ordered, but the life we know is a tiny fraction in time and won’t matter in the grand scale of the universe? There’s room for evolution as it’s a blink of the eye in the universes journey? Just like a snowflake will form and melt again?
          I know that does not make much sense, it’s late!

  5. Billy K says:

    Sorry but he’s wrong about evolution being undeniable. First off you people need to let go of DARWINS theory of evolution. He has become Jesus for atheists and they refuse to stop using his dead theory. Darwin believed in acquired hereditary traits. Meaning the parent organism under went a change, like the thickening of a woodpeckers beak and skull from the abuse of pecking at tree trunks, then passed that thickened beak/skull down to their offspring. With the discovery of DNA we know that is not true. You can’t pass post birth adaptations down to your offspring, lifting weights won’t make your baby be born more muscular. The DNA you are going to pass down to your children won’t change through normal daily activities. Hence the theory of random genetic mutation. Scientists are clinging to this the random genetic mutation theory because with the progress of science that’s all they have left to lean on. Can organisms evolve over time by the reduction of DNA? Yes. Bottlenecking and natural selection can delete DNA but there is no logical sound mechanism for creating functional DNA. It would take millions of random genetic mutations to create something as simple as an opposable thumb. What is the downfall of experiencing millions of random genetic mutations? That most mutations, in fact nearly every observed mutation in modern times is harmful to the species, not helpful. Dwarfism, down syndrome, CANCER, to name a few of the more well known forms of mutation.

    • Billy,

      Always use your full first and last name.

      “You can’t pass post birth adaptations down to your offspring”

      You’re wrong about that, and that’s just the first thing. Look epigenetics and spend some time with it.

      Enough said for now.

    • Stuart says:

      Billy

      I dont think Darwins theory (and that is what it was, and agree times have changed) relied purely on post birth mutations being passed on (which does happen).

      Take 10 birds that like to nest in holes in trees, which happen to be at a premium. One is born with a slightly thicker skull or beak. This bird has a slight advantage over the others in that it can make existing nest sites more suitable or indeed create new ones. It breeds more successfully as it is maybe presenting a more attractive nest site to a mate and keeping its offspring out of predators reach etc. Its offspring inherit the thicker skull/beak, maybe in a few generations some offspring have even thicker ones. And so on. One would eventually see this group dominate or indeed gradually become a recognisably different group of bird?

      Such mutations can happen and give huge benefits right away, transforming things in a single generation – we see it with Moths for example, where a small proportion with darker colouration suddenly became dominant as it allowed them to take advantage of environmental changes.

      Much of Darwins theory is still relevant?

      Proof of evolutionary changes, beneficial and not so good, is everywhere.

      Cancer is a mutation but not a pre-programmed one (it only manifests in the presence of the right triggers in many cases, which increase risk, you are not guaranteed to get it even with a gene that means you can) and not evolutionary in itself I would think? The genes predisposing one to cancer would be inherited. Environmental changes might make genes that previously did not matter in terms of predisposition matter a lot? In many cases these genetic predispositions dont make themselves known and cause a disadvantage until after reproduction, so the gene would be passed on offering neither an advantage or disadvantage at the time? Breast cancer is a good example?

  6. Ed Gosnell says:

    I note that you say no universe can create itself; but a universe could certainly be a step in a chain of events that stretch back in some form of hyper time that has no beginning. Part of the problem that we poor humans have understanding our place in existence is that we are finite beings embedded in an existence that is infinite (without limit) in an infinite number of ways. The concept of a first cause is an illusion of a finite being. That is not to say that there is no God. But if there is a God, does He have a God? And does His God have a God? Is it Gods all the way up? That is the wonderful thing about infinity, there is no limit; and if you think about it, how could there be?

    • All philosophers reject infinite regress for obvious reasons.

      There has to be an uncaused cause.

      And because of entropy, that uncaused cause is obviously not the universe itself. If you walk into a room and a candle is burning, you know the candle was not there forever. The cause is necessarily something outside the universe.

      That is all pure simple logic.

      The buck stops at one infinite God who exists outside of space and time. This is why monotheism has been the cornerstone of western civilization for over 1000 years. It is because it is logical.

      See http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/incompleteness and step through the logic piece by piece.

      • Ed Gosnell says:

        Thank you for your reply. So what if God is outside of our space and time. Why would He not exist in a higher dimension of space and time; and why would there not be a higher space and time beyond His? There does not have to be a single infinity. Infinities have no limit; but they can be proportional relative to one another . For example, there are an infinite number of numbers that can be divided by 2 and an infinite number that can be divided by 4 which exactly half the size as the infinity that can be divided by 2. No matter how infinite your God is, there is no logical reason that there cannot be one that is the next step up from His infinity. And there does not have to be an uncaused cause if there is no beginning to existence as a whole rather than just our universe. There may have been a Big Bang for our universe; but that is no reason our universe is not simply one of a parade of an infinite number of universes that are intertwined with one another in an infinite number of ways on an infinite number of levels.

      • Ed Gosnell says:

        What is the supposedly obvious reason that all philosophers reject an infinite regress? Please elaborate. It seems to me that you are thinking in a finite way. There is no logical reason why a multi- universe (which includes our smaller infinite universe which started with the big bang) could not be infinite on a progressively grander scale which means that there would be no first cause since there would be no ultimate beginning. Saying God is the first cause is just begging the question. What caused God? To say that God has always existed is no different than saying a multi-universe has always existed. You are just claiming that the multi-universe is self aware which could possibly be true. Since you know that you are aware, self awareness obviously exists. Given that a multi-universe could be infinitely old with no beginning, it is certainly possible that it could have become self aware at some point. It certainly had the time to do so. My guess is that the multi-universe is self aware in an infinite number of ways on an infinite number of levels. I realize that this all may sound like gobbledygook; but keep in mind that that Georg Cantor among other mathematicians developed a systematic mathematical approach to dealing with infinities of different magnitudes. In other words, infinites can be approached logically. You apparently think of God as being some form of infinite being; but you apparently have not really thought about what that possibly means. Open your mind. I would argue that you are thinking on too small a scale.

        • From a physics point of view the problem with infinite regress of universes is entropy. Where is the entropy reset button that allows you to use that spent energy all over again?

          For what it’s worth, you are literally the first person I’ve encountered in ten years to try to assert that infinite regress is not a cop-out.

  7. Dominick Benson says:

    I’ve heard this question asked by both Creationists and skeptics who criticize the idea of theistic evolution. The way I see it, it’s God’s universe and planet, and he can do with it whatever he wants. If he chose to create us via evolution, so be it.

    Perry you have made perhaps the greatest discovery of all time, shame it’s not getting the attention it deserves.

  8. Carl Rosel says:

    Wrong. There are countless examples of Gods’ creation everywhere. Us. With our minds, eyesight, in three dimension and technicolour. Hearing. Smell. Emotions. Etc, etc. The universe. Through little balls in our skull we can even see other galaxies trillions of light years away. In the Southern Hemisphere, we can see the the Large and Small Magellinic Clouds. In the Northen Hemisspere we can see the Andromeda Galaxy. It is obvious isn’t it.

    • Stuart Norey says:

      All the senses you mention evolved for survival. We can see their ‘evolution’ in fossil records. The fact we can see galaxies means nothing, the fact we can see and smell food and hear danger means a lot!

  9. Stuart Norey says:

    I think people get very confused as to what constitutes evidence.

    Evolution is a theory and there is some evidence to back it up, not the full set, but a lot. We can prove things evolve today. We can look at modern and ancient DNA and fossils and see evolution has happened in the past. Can we prove how biology started from chemistry? There’s some good experimental results that show how it could have happened – maybe it was like that, maybe not. Proof might be out there, fossilised protocol cells or something. Science has some pretty solid mechanisms for making sure things put forward as theories and evidence are tested, checked, replicated reviewed etc. So if I say I achieved x% efficient solar cells, it can be checked.

    God is a theory too. The bible is not evidence. It’s where the theory of god is written down. Faith is not evidence – it’s trust. Neither is belief – it’s just what you think. In the case of religion this faith and belief is drawn from what’s written in a book (the bible) or are told (which either comes from the bible originally or is an expansion of the bible theory).

    Some people claim to have witnessed miracles etc. This might strengthen your belief but you are taking them on trust. So it’s not evidence based.

    You might believe you saw a miracle etc. Something happened and you think it was god. It strengthens your belief. That’s still a theory. You’ve not proved to yourself or anyone else 100% (the same argument you’ll gladly use against science) it was god. No one has replicated it etc.

    Religion (or some believers) and science have different views over DNA. It exists. Science has some good theories how it got here and some evidence and experiments that support the theories. Religion has theories. The fact science has not got to the bottom of it yet is not evidence for god.

    DNA looks like a code. So what? We know intelligent things make codes. Doesn’t mean someone made DNA. Are codes exclusive to intelligence? I don’t think that question has been answered yet. Unknown does not = god. It just means we don’t know.

    Unknown = god is how the bible got here.

    Saying DNA proves god exists because we don’t know how it got here is the same as an Ancient Greek saying thunder and lightning proves Zeus exists.

  10. David Craig says:

    Let’s see. Genesis says God created light before he created the stars. And it says He created the Earth before stars. These are both in complete disagreement with the view of science. There was no light until the first stars formed. And we needed stars to create the elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, elements that the planets were formed from.

      • Stuart says:

        Perry, you know full well that is a very creative interpretation of the Genesis story and there are many many Christians that would not agree with you. Genesis was written by man, not God. The current theory is that Moses was probably one of the first to write it down, he had an education, before that it was likely verbally passed on (hence my campfire stories comment). By your own standards you cannot really present it as anything but a theory and admit that it will have been told and retold, interpreted and reinterpreted many times in the past too? And your interpretation is just that – yours. Made from a better informed position – i.e. you (should) know birds evolved after land animals as opposed to before. The individual(s) who first wrote it down would probably insist your interpretation is wrong (and might even stone you to death for suggesting it) – in fact there are modern day Christians (who insist it is word for word correct and that family histories in the bible prove the earth is 6000 years old etc) who might do the same!
        So that link presents a theory about a theory. Who knows, it might be right?!

        • Stuart says:

          Sorry – there are many more things that reinforce the view that Genesis was written by man than God! I know you will go for me on that one! 😉

  11. Stuart Norey says:

    Here’s an interesting article and theory on the subject of how you might get life, and information passed on, from chemistry leading to biology:

    Experiments test how easy life itself might be
    06 Apr 2017, 10:19 pm

    UW scientists are combining theory with experiment to try to understand how life could arise from lifelike chemical reactions under the right conditions. “If we find many different chemistries supporting lifelike reactions, we can expect more origins of life elsewhere in the universe,” says botany Professor David Baum. ()
    On a lab benchtop, a handful of glass vials taped to a rocker gently sway back and forth. Inside the vials, a mixture of organic chemicals and tiny particles of fool’s gold are begging a question seemingly beyond their humble appearance: Where did life come from?

    Combining theory with experiment, University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists are trying to understand how life can arise from non-life. Researchers at the UW-Madison Wisconsin Institute for Discovery are conducting experiments to test the idea that lifelike chemical reactions might develop readily under the right conditions. The work addresses some of the deepest mysteries in biology, and has implications for understanding how common life might be in the universe.

    David Baum, chair and professor of botany at UW-Madison and a Discovery Fellow at WID, thinks the earliest life might have relied on a primitive metabolism that originally started on mineral surfaces. Many central reactions in modern cells rely on iron-sulfur catalysts. This reliance on iron and sulfur could be a record stamped into cells of the environments where metabolism itself first evolved. Baum is testing this idea by turning to iron pyrite, a mineral of iron and sulfur better known as fool’s gold.

    Together with Mike Berg, a graduate student researching the origins of life, Baum is mixing microscopic beads of iron pyrite with a source of chemical energy and simple molecular building blocks. As vials of this mixture rock back and forth in the lab, small groups of chemicals bound to the mineral surface might aggregate and start assisting one another in producing more chemicals. If so, they’re likely to spread to other iron pyrite beads, colonizing new surfaces.

    When Berg transfers some beads to a fresh vial, the chemical groups could continue to spread. Generation after generation, vial after vial, the most efficient and competitive chemical mixtures would colonize the most iron pyrite. This is selection. Like natural selection, which has created the diversity and complexity of life on Earth, selecting for the colonizing ability of these chemical groups may reveal lifelike chemical cycles capable of changing over time.

    “The view that I’ve come around to is that lifelike chemistry may pop up relatively easily in many, many geological settings,” says Baum. “The problem then changes. It’s no longer a problem of ‘will it happen,’ but how will we know it happened?”

    They’ve gone through more than 30 generations so far, and are looking for any sign of change over time, whether that is heat generation, energy consumption or the amount of material bound to the beads.

    Baum and UW-Madison microbiologist and WID systems biologist Kalin Vetsigian published a paper last year that outlined the experiments, which are based in part on the principle of neighborhood selection. Normally, natural selection operates on a population of individuals. But the scientists proposed that even though no well-defined individuals exist in the chemical mixtures, the molecular communities that are best at colonizing new surfaces will prevail, and likely get better over time. Successful traits of the community as a whole can be selected for and passed on.

    “This community-level selection could have taken place before there were individuals with traits that were both heritable and variable,” says Vetsigian. “If you have good communities, they will persist.”

    The project recently received $2.5 million in funding from NASA. Baum is the lead investigator of the research, which includes Vetsigian, UW-Madison chemist Tehshik Yoon, and collaborators from seven other institutions.

    Cells need the kinds of metabolic reactions that Baum studies to produce energy and the components of more complex molecules. They also need a way to store information. All living cells pass on their genetic information with DNA. But UW-Madison professor of chemical and biological engineering and WID systems biologist John Yin is exploring alternative ways to store and process information with simpler molecules in an effort to understand how information storage could evolve without cells or DNA.

    Taking a cue from computer science, Yin is working with the most basic method of encoding information, binary. In place of electronic bits, his ones and zeros are the two simplest amino acids, glycine and alanine. Using a unique form of chemistry, Yin is drying out mixtures of the amino acids to encourage them to join together.

    “We’re seeing reproducibly different strings of alanine and glycine under different kinds of conditions,” explains Yin. “So that’s a first hint that in some ways the product is a way of representing a particular environment.”

    Yin’s group is working on the technically challenging task of reading these sequences of amino acids so they can keep track of the molecular information. The Yin lab eventually hopes to discover groups of chemicals that can build off this molecular information to reproduce themselves. For both Baum and Yin, selectable systems require these cycles of chemicals able to make more of one another, what Yin calls “closing the loop.”

    Closing the loop in the lab is likely to be difficult. Only experimentation will tell for sure.

    Yin, Baum and Vetsigian are interested not only in how life on Earth got started, but how it could get started — anywhere. If lifelike chemical reactions and molecular information are readily produced in the lab, that could change the calculus of how common life might be on other worlds.

    “If we find many different chemistries supporting lifelike reactions, we can expect more origins of life elsewhere in the universe,” says Baum.

    Story Source:

    The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

  12. Thomas Quine says:

    “… any person who actually believes in cause and effect knows no universe can create itself.”

    That *should* be the case. Oh how I wish it were true:
    http://tertiumq.blogspot.com/2016/08/deter-lucem-defends-hawkings-self.html

  13. Mike Bay says:

    It is irrelevant that the Creator God is not creating right now. The historical records tell the story of creation. The Founding Fathers are not now founding new nations. That does not negate the fact that they did their founding in their time… The recorded Biblical record says the universe as we know it had a beginning and we know that now to be an undeniable historical fact

    • Stuart Norey says:

      Mike. The Bible is not a recorded history and clearly was not intended as such. It is a collection of writings, often contradictory, drawn from a much larger collection – much of which contradicts or disagrees with what is in the Bible, even who/what Jesus was. The document was negotiated. There is some history, yes, but a lot of philosophy and ‘propaganda’ too.

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