Re: [asa] (Job) Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution

From: John Walley <>
Date: Mon Aug 17 2009 - 22:23:57 EDT

What I see as the lesson from Job is that we are all created for His use and glory even if it means He spends our lives or the life of our children for some purpose of His that we may never know, as in the case of Job who also Job didn't know why all those terrible things happened to him and his children. That is ultimate trust and being a living sacrifice. Thanks John ________________________________ From: "Dehler, Bernie" <> To: "" <> Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 12:01:46 PM Subject: RE: [asa] (Job) Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution John walley: “‘But the lesson from Job makes this very clearly wrong”   Briefly- what do you see as ‘the lesson from Job?’   …Benrie   ________________________________ From:asa [mailto: asa] On Behalf Of John Walley Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009 12:13 PM To: Schwarzwald; asa Subject: Re: [ asa ] Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution   I think this is a profound perspective. Not meaning to be insensitive to your loss Bernie, but I think we can make the same presumptions on God through our expectations of life as we do in our theology like the YEC's. But the lesson from Job makes this very clearly wrong, provided we accept that as accurate theology. I know this is a theodicy based response but I don't see how we can divorce the meaning of life from that. I think everything comes down to theodicy.   Thanks   John   ________________________________ From:Schwarzwald <> To: asa Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009 2:57:11 PM Subject: Re: [ asa ] Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution What's the plan and purpose for someone who lives a full and relatively happy life, dying at age 80? As I said, the Christian message is that plan and purpose isn't exhausted by earthly life - I'd add, or individual experience - so it makes no sense to ask the question in that context. The only other angle I can see you coming at with your question is one with the unspoken implication "Wouldn't it have been better if this baby was never conceived to begin with?" Again, if we're operating within the Christian view, that just seems strange to ask. Whether someone dies 1 month after conception or 1000 months, they have a future beyond death to look forward to. If they can expect salvation - and from my perspective, even if they can expect something less than salvation but not everlasting tortuous hell - it's clear to me that, no, it's vastly better that they were conceived. Or maybe you're asking me "What purpose could someone dying so early possibly fulfill"? And there, I can see so many answers that can go on top of "For their own sake". But they would all be answers similar to what I'm sure you've run into already - lessons their (short) life teaches others, effects they have on others, what they indirectly bring about, what they demonstrate about the value (overestimating and underestimating) of earthly life and existence, etc. Hopefully you see where I'm coming from here. On Fri, Aug 14, 2009 at 11:41 AM, Dehler, Bernie <> wrote: Schwarzwald  said: “And frankly, it's not as if we're somehow more special just because we live longer lives than said babies - nor is God "done" with us after we die, whether it's at 1 month or 100 years. The Christian message has been that God has a plan and place for everyone, and that this plan isn't predicated on living some long, healthy, happy life.”   So what is the plan and purpose for a baby that died after childbirth?  There are probably thousands of cases of this every day around the world.  I’m asking from a “God’s will” perspective; not a theodicy question.   …Bernie   ________________________________ [] On Behalf Of Schwarzwald Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 1:00 PM To: Subject: Re: [ asa ] Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution   God has created all of us "specifically to die". Death no more eludes us than it does any baby who dies inside or outside of the womb. And frankly, it's not as if we're somehow more special just because we live longer lives than said babies - nor is God "done" with us after we die, whether it's at 1 month or 100 years. The Christian message has been that God has a plan and place for everyone, and that this plan isn't predicated on living some long, healthy, happy life. In fact, I'd think the experiences of Christ Himself would have made it clear that God's plan can include (and often does include) a tragic, premature death. Once someone accepts that even one particular tragic, early death can make total sense in the Christian perspective, it illustrates how any death - even of a child in the womb - can fit into a plan and purpose. Put another way, a dead child still has value. Dying young, even too young to have been born, does not make a person's existence somehow meaningless or pointless. Personally, I don't "struggle" with the problem of pain or evil anymore, and haven't for a long time. On the Christian worldview it makes complete sense that there exists pain and death (even in abundance) in our universe (and I don't think "evolution" adds much to that particular issue anyway). Frankly, it's also justifiable in a jewish, muslim, or hindu worldview as well, and probably other theistic views. In fact, it's death and evil is vastly more problematic for atheists who seriously contend the world is so evil that no good God would be responsible for it or willingly expose anyone to it, or who for whatever reason still try to load words like "good" or "evil" with meaning at all. (Though, in response to David Clounch, I have no problem seeing destiny and purpose in a world where evolution is true. I don't think TEs are particularly hobbled on the question just by nature of their accepting evolution. If anything they're hobbled because they simply, for whatever reason, tend to avoid thinking and speaking in those terms - but that's not a result of their believing in evolution, unless it's of evolution that was ultimately/entirely unplanned and unguided, which seems very rare.) On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 1:51 PM, Dehler, Bernie <> wrote: David C. said: “A pre-loaded universe only makes sense if it explains what your personal unique meaning is to  the creator, and also explains your destiny, where you are going.  It makes no sense to say a creator pre-loaded the universe to produce Bernie, and then have nothing to predict where Bernie is going. “   Hi David-   I don’t understand how anyone, and I mean anyone, can think God directly makes all people for His direct plans.   Consider all the spontaneous abortions (naturally occurring), still births, birth defects, etc.  God created all those people specifically to die? I myself had a daughter that died a few moments after birth, due to birth defects.  I don’t think that was God’s direct will (you will likely say His permissive will).  And it is not just about my experience- it is multiplied my many times all over the world, even more in undeveloped nations (where even healthy babies and mom’s die due to birth complications that could be avoided in the USA ).  So God made you and has plans for your life… what about all those others who died way too premature?  This is not a TE or YEC question, but a question really posed for all Christians to consider… one I struggle with too.   So are you a special case in that God has a plan for you and your life, but not for those who die of birth defects?  Or is that just a “I don’t know and I’ll have to ask God when I get to heaven” question…   David C. said: “Atheism, the worldview you seem to be endorsing Bernie…”   I’m a Christian agnostic … still sorting things out…   …Bernie (PS: Please know that it may sound personal and I may be upset, but it is really a content question and I’m not emotional about it… you can’t show that over email.) ________________________________ From:David Clounch [] Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:57 AM To: Dehler, Bernie Cc: Subject: Re: [ asa ] Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution   Bernie, I have come to appreciate your posts. No matter how much I may disagree with them. I find your candor refreshing. The view you just put forth is what millions of  students have arrived at.  Please note your conclusion - the idea that God made humans  is to be rejected.  Well, that is certainly not a theistic evolutionists viewpoint (as I have come to understand TE). As far as I can tell you seem to have separated human origins  from theism.  It seems very clean cut. On the door to my private study is a sign. It reads, "If people,  like rocks, are mere occurrences,  then they can have no more meaning than rocks". And you are correct that the thin veneer of humanism layered on top of the cold hard truth is just there so we can pretend we feel better.  But what if the atheist worldview is wrong?  What if humans are more than rocks? What if they have a  future destiny that is non-natural?   This is where  the TE worldview has failed to fill in the blanks.  A pre-loaded universe only makes sense if it explains what your personal unique meaning is  to  the creator, and also explains your destiny, where you are going.  It makes no sense to say a creator pre-loaded the universe to produce Bernie, and then have nothing to predict where Bernie is going.   Let me put it this way: rocks on the beach are not going to be spending time with their children one million years from now. But the resurrected Christians will be doing so. See the difference?  What I am getting at is:  a viable theory of origins contains a viable theory of  destiny.   Atheism, the worldview you seem to be endorsing Bernie,  has no theory of destiny.  Neither do deistic theories.   This is why deistic Christianity isn't convincing. It isn't theologically complete enough to compete with traditional Christian approaches. From  my admittedly ignorant viewpoint, some TE theorists I have read on this list  attempt to  solve this gap by putting a ghost in the machine - by invoking souls and theistic action that isn't physical.   I've been wary of this idea for quite some time. Seems to me (and I could be wrong)  it makes them a modern version of "immortal deist" as opposed to "mortal deists" who would deny there is any destiny or any soul.   Or it makes them a certain form of theist who believes God cannot affect the physical but only affects the soul.   The right wingers (YECs/OECs/etc) reject all that. They say God can touch the physical any time He wants. He operates in the universe.  He terraforms solar systems the way a painter mixes paints. The painting is both natural and non-natural.  It would not exist without the painter mixing up the paint. So Bernie, you seem to moving in the direction that there is no painter because the paint just gets mixed naturally. And indeed a great deal of it does. But  doesn't this just make Bernie (and indeed all of us) one more accident in a maelstrom of accidents?    I don't think science says that at all. I think its naturalism (and I don't mean Christian naturalism)  which says that.  -Dave PS - I didnt even get to the problem with conflating cosmological evolution with other forms of evolution. They have totally different meaning - but you have conflated them together as a principle. This is what  the leftists on the state science standards committees want you and all our children to believe.  In your case Bernie they seem to have convinced you.   On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 10:13 AM, Dehler, Bernie <> wrote: Actually- after accepting evolution- my whole worldview has changed.  Accepting evolution makes me understand things in a better way (designing products, competition for resources, jobs, etc).  We put a human layer on the top of it to soften it, but the layer is only a layer, and not the real underpinnings of the machine.  All of science is important, but evolution maybe even more important as it helps us to understand how the world runs and operates (from cosmological evolution, chemical evolution, biological evolution, etc.).  I’m still researching and understanding evolutionary impacts, and much of it has to do with unlearning some Christian doctrines (such as humans made ‘de novo’ (as Lemoureux would say) by God).   …Bernie   ________________________________ [] On Behalf Of Schwarzwald Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 9:59 AM To: Subject: Re: [ asa ] Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution   There's a small point I'd add to Moorad's observation here. As I've said before, I personally am very at home with evolution, and what's more, I always have been. But in the past few years, what I've started to find odd is the insistence that evolution is the single most important scientific claim in town. I cannot name a single other scientific topic that has so many educators collectively wringing their hands, wondering how they can get more students (or even adults out of school) to accept it. Why is there no comparable concern to promote the understanding of, say.. quantum mechanics, and how it differs from our common sense view of the world? (Indeed, if the authors of Quantum Enigma are right - and I'm not saying they are - the actual hope is that scientific laymen pay no attention to that topic.) What about geological processes, or chemistry, or any other number of topics? Why so much focus on one, and far and away only one, scientific issue? And why does that same focus suggest that understanding evolution
 is secondary to professed belief in it? And more than that, professed belief with as little room for speculations on guidance, purpose, intelligence and otherwise as possible? On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 10:42 AM, Douglas Hayworth <> wrote: FYI and FWIW, I commented briefly about this in one of my blog posts: Doug On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 7:44 AM, Alexanian, Moorad<> wrote: > The central issue > > > The central issue of the essay is the need to teach biological evolution</wiki/Biological_evolution> in the context of debate about creation and evolution in public education</wiki/Creation_and_evolution_in_public_education> in the United States.[2] The fact that evolution occurs explains the interrelatedness of the various facts of biology, and so makes biology make sense.[3] The concept has become firmly established as a unifying idea in biology education.[4] > > > > > > > > > > It is interesting that it does not say "as a unifying idea in biological research." > > > > Moorad > > > > > > To unsubscribe, send a message to with > "unsubscribe asa " (no quotes) as the body of the message. > To unsubscribe, send a message to with "unsubscribe asa " (no quotes) as the body of the message.

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