Re: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

From: Nucacids <>
Date: Mon Jun 01 2009 - 09:19:15 EDT

Hi Dick,

I'm not saying that purposeless existence is a necessary component to natural selection. I'm just pointing out that natural selection, which is simply a mechanism of evolution, is itself a mindless process. Mindless processes can be used by minds to acheive a purpose.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dick Fischer
  To: 'Nucacids'
  Cc: ASA
  Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 6:46 PM
  Subject: RE: [asa] BioLogos - Bad Theology?

  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

  -----Original Message-----
  From: [] On Behalf Of Nucacids
  Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 9:09 AM
  To: Schwarzwald;
  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?


    ----- Original Message -----

    From: Schwarzwald


    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 Mon Jun 1 09:19:49 2009

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