Randomness (was Re: Science Education and the Church)

From: Loren Haarsma (lhaarsma@calvin.edu)
Date: Thu May 23 2002 - 11:42:14 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Ruest: "RE: Polyphyly and the origin of life"

    Walter Hicks wrote:
    > I think, Terry, that one critical point is missing in that essay. It is
    > the way that a significant fraction of the people think one means by the
    > term "evolution". Because of the influence of vocal atheists,
    > "evolution" carries the connotation not of factual data but rather of
    > Darwinian evolutionary theory. Specifically it means that change took
    > place in living organisms by purely random events. The reason that
    > different species survived is because of "natural selection" or
    > "survival of the fittest" in the search for food. You killed and ate
    > your adversary before he killed and ate you. If the randomness had
    > tugged a different way, then we could have had smart pigs or intelligent
    > giant grasshoppers, rather than humans as the dominant species. As such,
    > one has the options of believing
    > 1.) That God is capricious
    > 2.) There is no God involved
    > 3.) Scientists are wrong about evolution.
    > Given this perspective, those who know God reject 1 and 2 and adhere to
    > 3 as the only logical alternative --- and frankly they are not to be
    > faulted (IMO).

    Perhaps they are to be faulted for not knowing scripture.
    (Proverbs 16:33, for example. "The lot is cast into the lap, but its
    every decision is from the Lord.") People who believe the Bible, of
    all people, should know that events which appear random from a human
    perspective can be used by God to fulfill his purpose.

    Consider the weather. All sorts of "purely random events" heavily
    influence the weather, to the point where we humans cannot make
    predictions about cloud cover or precipitation more than a few days in
    advance. How many Christians would therefore conclude, based upon the
    influence of random events in the weather, that
        1.) That God is capricious
        2.) There is no God involved
    or 3.) Scientists are wrong about meteorology?

    Loren Haarsma

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu May 23 2002 - 13:50:43 EDT