RE: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Sun May 31 2009 - 18:46:01 EDT

Hi Mike:

 

If we would stop people on the street and ask questions such as why, or to
what purpose, do living creatures have eyes, most would answer something
like, "to enable them to see." Why do carnivores have eyes in front and
herbivores have them on the sides of their heads? So that carnivores have
depth perception to help them hunt and herbivores can more easily see their
attackers. And to what purpose do land mammals have ears, the answer would
be 'to hear." And so on. I was always amazed at the construction of the
human inner ear for one example with three semi circular canals at right
angles which functions like a gyroscope to allow us to walk upright.

 

So if you listed a bunch of physical attributes most people could give
practical reasons why we or other animals have them. My point being, how
can there be a purpose in the individual structures of life but not in life
itself? So personally, I do not see purposeless existence as a necessary
component to natural selection. Neither do I see a mandate for divine
intervention either.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Dick Fischer, author, lecturer

Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham

 <http://www.historicalgenesis.com> www.historicalgenesis.com

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Nucacids
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 9:09 AM
To: Schwarzwald; asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

 

Hi Schwarzwald,

 

I do agree with Dawkins's description of natural selection:

 

"A true watchmaker has foresight: he designs his cogs and springs, and plans
their interconnections, with a future purpose in his mind's eye. Natural
selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin
discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and
apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no
mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision,
no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of
watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker."

 

Since you recognize that I build around this distinction, I am not sure this
answers your question. Are you saying there is reason to doubt this
description?

 

-Mike

----- Original Message -----

From: Schwarzwald <mailto:schwarzwald@gmail.com>

To: asa@calvin.edu

Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2009 7:14 PM

Subject: Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

 

Heya Mike,

One question.

Nevertheless, we are still left with the fact that natural selection is a
mindless process, leading Dawkins to famously liken it to a blind
watchmaker. I think this metaphor is instructive for two reasons. We might
expect differences between a seeing watchmaker and a blind watchmaker.
Second, a blind watchmaker can be led with the appropriate seeing eye dog.
There are many directions to go from here.

One question I have: Why exactly are we "left with the fact that natural
selection is a mindless process"? I know you have a weighted criteria for
attempting to discern between guided and unguided - but this is actually a
key point of interest for me. There are theists/christians who have problems
with ID, and I think one key to their disagreement is that they view ideas
like "natural selection is mindless" as either pragmatic suppositions or (in
their view, incorrect) metaphysics.

Or is it more that you grant that natural selection is a mindless process
for the sake of argument?

  _____

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Received on Sun May 31 18:50:52 2009

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