Re: [asa] Darwin only biological evolution? (can anything exist without evolution?)

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Mon Jan 12 2009 - 18:28:07 EST

On Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 10:39 PM, Michael Roberts
<> wrote:
> A quick response Iain.
> Bernie's arguments may well help emotionally rather than intellectually .
> They illustrate the chasm we need to bridge.
> Michael

I'm not sure how you mean that Bernie's arguments (e.g. with the pig
and the VW) help emotionally. Could you expand?

I would have said that it is a mistake to present evolution as an
"overarching theory of everything". To do so exaggerates its
importance, and at the same time reduces it to rather a meaningless
and vague concept. Just how the hydrogen atom "evolved" is pretty
unclear to me, and if it can be said to have evolved (from whatever
the initial particles in the Big Bang were), it is entirely different
from the process of evolution by natural selection.

That is not to say that I don't see analogies of evolutionary
processes in areas other than biological evolution. I have argued
that complex pieces of software, after they are released onto the
market and the market demands new features, undergo a series of
evolutionary changes (quick fixes to put in features that weren't part
of the original design), and if carried out too far, the software
becomes "irreducibly complex" in that you can't change one part of it
without affecting all sorts of other parts. I've seen this actually
happen. Hence I think that (software lifecycle) is something where
you can use evolution as a useful way of looking at it. It was this
analogy, if you recall, that caused a certain loud mouth on Christians
In Science to accuse me of "worshipping Darwin". However, in certain
creative acts (composition of a symphony, for example, or the writing
of a poem), where it simply isn't useful or helpful, anymore than the
theory of gravity is any help in working out what move to play in a
game of chess ( ok, so it stops the pieces from floating off the board
I guess .... ;-)

To respond to David in the same post:
I personally wish organizations like the ASA were better at helping
people rebuild their filters and foundations after the traumatic
experience of realizing that an apologetic built around criticizing
biological evolution is inadequate.

For a while I, too was hoodwinked by the YEC nonsense, and for a long
while after that by ID. But the turning point for me was looking at
scripture, especially the story of Nicodemus and being Born Again. As
soon as I realised that it's "not that sort of birth" (going back in
your mother's womb) and the silliness of N's suggestion (one of the
best bits of humour in the Bible), it was easier for me to understand
that the Death resulting from the Fall wasn't "that sort of death"
either. As in John 3:16 "shall not perish but have everlasting life"
does not mean we're not going to die physically. It means that death
doesn't mean the end.

The Bible itself, therefore, shows us that you shouldn't take it
literally - and encourages you to look for the metaphorical meaning.



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Received on Mon Jan 12 18:28:44 2009

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