Evolution: A few questions

From: <jason_r@www.wushuathletic.com>
Date: Sat Jun 12 2004 - 16:04:58 EDT

Hi All,

I stumbled upon this site last night and it seems that there are quite a
few theistic evolutionists here (or is this group for theistic
evolutionists?). If I had to classify myself, I'd say that I'm a
progressive creationist -- I believe in an old earth holding the day/age
view, etc. I'm skeptical (very skeptical?) of evolution, but I allow for
the possibility of it. Anyway, maybe some theistic evolutionists here can
provide some insight into some questions that I have (especially being
that this list seems pretty civilized, as opposed to a lot of other
message boards out there):

1) Since evolution is not "conscious" how does it "know" that something is
a benefit or a hinderance? The organism which experiences the change
doesn't think, "Oh, wow, this <insert change> benefits my <insert feature>
so I'm going to make sure I retain it!" And the process of evolution isn't
isn't "conscious" so it doesn't consciously retain it, either. Or does it
have to do more with the fact that the change isn't harmful to the
organism (which would cause it to die without reproducing) therefore it's
passed on? I imagine this is the case. If so, do we have any physical
characteristics -- internal or external -- that developed by chance and
that don't serve a purpose, but aren't harmful to survival, either so
they're retained? I imagine organisms would randomly develop a number of
these throughout the history of life.

2) What happens during the intermediary stages when a feature is evolving,
but before it's fully functional? For example, I imagine it took an
EXTREMELY long time before the wings of an insect or animal (which evolved
from whatever they evolved from) were perfected and enabled them to fly.
What happens during "however many generations" the organism exists with
wings that were not yet functional? Wouldn't this be more detrimental thus
causing the evolutionary process to drop the wings before they're useful?

3) My last question concerns non-theistic evolution -- the belief/theory
that there's no God, that life occurred purely by chance, etc: The purpose
of organisms is to survive and reproduce -- but why? If there's no purpose
for existing and reproducing then what difference does it make if they do
so or not? Why do organisms, from simple celled life-forms to plants to
animals, have an innate need to survive and reproduce if there's no point
to it?

4) Ok, one last question :p . This is another one concerning non-theistic
evolution and has to do with design -- specifically bodily symmetry. It's
hard to understand how blind chance produced such a symmetrical body. Take
the eyes for example. I followed a link from this list to
http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/resources/articles/0018.htm . Under the
progressive creationism section the article briefly describes how eyes may
have evolved: "[A] few light-sensitive cells form an eyespot, the eyespot
becomes recessed to increase the light-gathering area and to allow
directional sense, the opening narrows to create a "pin-hole camera" eye,
fluid fills the space for protection, the fluid becomes a lens." (the
comment "the eyespot becomes recessed to increase the light-gathering
area" makes it sound like it's a conscious decision, but I already asked
about this in question 1). It's hard to understand how there just happened
to be two areas containing light sensitive cells that were so
symmetrically and "strategically" placed on the head. It seems more likely
that organisms would have one eye on the side of the face, or two or three
eyes placed randomly on the face. Another example are ears. I imagine the
ears evolved in the same way the eyes did -- starting with an area of
sound-sensitive cells. Again, though, it's so hard to imagine that two
sound sensitive cell areas on the head happened to be so symmetrical --
being at the same distance from the center of the head, the same distance
from the top of the head, that they both evolved the exact same way, etc.
It seems more likely that blind chance would result bodies being more
asymmetrical and random. Can anyone comment on this?

Oh, finally, does anyone have testimonies online? I'd be interested in
reading how believers dealt with and reconciled evolution and the Bible
including the fall of man, the introduction of sin into the world causing
the need for a savior, etc. Like I said above, I'm skeptical of evolution,
but I do allow for the possibility of it so I want to hear some thoughts
from Christian evolutionists.

I look forward to any resonses.

Thanks a lot!
Received on Sat Jun 12 14:40:36 2004

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