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Are You There God? It’s Us, Scientists (Infographic)

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June 24, 2012 Tags: Science & Worldviews

Today's entry was written by the BioLogos Editorial Team. You can read more about what we believe here.

Note: The BioLogos Forum is pleased to present this infographic about religious belief among scientists. The graphic, titled "Are You There God? It's Us, Scientists," uses data from the Pew Research Center, Rice University, and some quotations from scientists assembled in a recent Huffington Post article. For details on the source material go here. We encourage you to share the graphic with anyone and everyone, but please be sure to link back to this post as its source!

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A Note from President Darrel Falk:

In his BioLogos post, "Come and See", Mark Noll writes the following:

Classical Christian orthodoxy as expressed in the creeds that summarize the Scriptures begins at the beginning: nature owes its existence to and is sustained by Jesus Christ. From this starting point several important ramifications follow naturally.

One is the implication that the best way of finding out about nature is to look at nature. This implication comes directly from the Christological principle of contingency (see above, 49-55). As described in the Gospels, individuals who wanted to learn the truth about Jesus had to “come and see.” Likewise, to find out what might be true in nature, it is necessary to “come and see.”

The process of “coming and seeing” does not lead to infallible truth about the physical world since there is no special inspiration from the Holy Spirit for the Book of Nature as there is for the Book of Scripture. But “coming and seeing” is still the method that belief in Christ as Savior privileges for learning about all other objects, including nature. This privileging means that scientific results coming from thoughtful, organized, and carefully checked investigations of natural phenomena must, for Christ-centered reasons, be taken seriously.

If this is true, then it behooves us to ask the question: why is there such an under-representation of Christians in the academy following the Christological mandate to “come and see?” In the study reported in the accompanying infographic, evangelical Christians are represented in the sciences at one seventh of the frequency of their representation in American society as a whole. In the nation’s most elite institutions, the situation is even more extreme. Elaine Ecklund’s recent study shows that evangelical Christians are fourteen fold under-represented in the sciences in the nation’s most elite universities.

Either Noll has the mandate wrong, or we conservative Christians are not doing a very good job of following it.

In an age that will be increasingly dominated by new biological technology, the much needed well-informed Christian scientific voice is all too silent. BioLogos exists to show that the two far-too-separate voices (Christianity and science) can speak as one—in harmony.


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Roger A. Sawtelle - #70621

June 24th 2012

I assume that by Christian you mean evangelical or conservative Christians.

Maybe in materials addressed to evangelicals it makes some sense to use their language, but I still wonder how it helps them to feed on their apparent self image that only evanglicals are true Christians. 

It also threatens to feed on their perception that evangelicals are discriminated against, which I do not think is generally the case. 


George Bernard Murphy - #70622

June 24th 2012

Well I feel very bad that evangelicals are frequently mistranslating something and  they are just suffering from misunderstanding.

 I love concordance because sometimes it erases a misunderstanding and everyone can agree.


wesseldawn - #70774

July 1st 2012

George - you are bang on!  The reason why there’s so much confusion about the Bible is that people are not using a concordance to check ‘every’ verse that speaks on the same subject and so are mistranslating everything. Can I ask where you learned this?


Darrel Falk - #70644

June 25th 2012

Hi Roger,

No, by Christians, I do mean Christians in general  The data clearly show that Christians as whole are under-represented.  Evangelicals are a sub-group that is vastlly under-represented.

I do not consider the dearth of evangelicals in the scientific academy to be caused by discrimination.  Instead, I want to suggest, a careful reading of Mark Noll’s work would be important to us all. 

Darrel


Francis - #70627

June 25th 2012

Maybe one reason for the paucity of Christians, particularly those who question evolution, in the science departments of elite universities is that such people are screened out in the hiring process. That is, plenty of Christians may be trying to enter science’s august academic ranks, but they’re just not allowed in by the gatekeepers. (Gatekeepers can be kind of “funny”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjP4FM6JDlk )

 

From one of the source articles provided by the BioLogos Editorial Team  (http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx):

“When President Barack Obama announced on July 8, 2009, that he would nominate renowned geneticist Francis Collins to be the new director of the National Institutes of Health, a number of scientists and pundits publicly questioned whether the nominee’s devout religious faith should DISQUALIFY him from the position. In particular, some worried that an outspoken evangelical Christian who believes in miracles might not be the right person to fill what many consider to be the nation’s most visible job in science.”

 

A brief Google search found at least one who was turned away because of his views on evolution:

http://genealogyreligion.net/creationist-astronomer-sues-university

 

Not that elite universities are that unusual in their discriminating tastes. For example, would BioLogos hire a scientist who questioned the validity of evolution theory?


Francis - #70628

June 25th 2012

Why does the science establishment discriminate against one who doubts evolution, when belief in evolution appears to offer no advantage to real, tangible, beneficial scientific/medical research?

[Dr. Marc Kirschner, chair of the Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, stated: “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”9 Dr. Skell wrote, “It is our knowledge of how these organisms actually operate, not speculations about how they may have arisen millions of years ago, that is essential to doctors, veterinarians, farmers ….”]

http://questionevolution.blogspot.com/2012/02/where-are-scientific-breakthroughs-due.html


George Bernard Murphy - #70633

June 25th 2012

The trends now-a-days are toward panspermia.

The Darwinians are still looking for LUCA, [last universal common ancestor] and they are more pig-headed  about it than fundamentalists ever were.

 Unfortunately they probably ain’t gonna find LUCA here on this earth.


Francis - #70637

June 25th 2012

George,

What do you mean by “The trends now-a-days are toward panspermia”?

 

I think panspermia is raised in discussions of the origin of life on earth. This just “kicks the can down the road”. That is, how did life on the earth-crashing comet originate?


George Bernard Murphy - #70639

June 25th 2012

Well they keep finding more and more evidence of life in outer space.

 Just last week Science Daily had an article about lichen living for months in outer space, exposed to the sun’s rays and cosmic rays.

The stuck the lichen on the OUTSIDE of a satellite in orbit for months, I think.

When they got the lichen back they had no trouble getting them to grow again.

 In the past they thought life would have been killed by the harsh space conditions. Now they know that is not true.

So if life arose through evolution , it could have evolved anywhere in out galaxy, and seeded the earth in space debris.. The late  Sir Fred Hoyle originated this idea.

Currently his student Chndra Wicksramasingh carries on his word,...In Wales I believe.


Ashe - #70634

June 25th 2012

Um, you might want to continue reading to the next paragraph:

 ‘If anything, Kirschner and Gerhart hope their book will have an impact at least as substantial on their colleagues in biology. For too long, they say, researchers in its different domains-from evolutionists in the field to cell biologists in the lab-have remained isolated. ”I wouldn’t call it an antagonism as much as one not knowing anything about the other,” Gerhart offers.’  

You might also look into work such as that of Mizoguchi et. al. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12513992


Francis - #70636

June 25th 2012

Ashe,

I don’t, um, see the significance of the paragraph quoted.

Can you think of just one scientific/medical breakthrough for which belief in, or knowledge of, evolution was essential or even helpful? Stated differently, could a creationist have delivered the same beneficial results, all other things being equal?


GJDS - #70643

June 25th 2012

The facts are obvious, both in my experience, and from a few remarks made by other scientists I know (some who are agnostic and perhaps one or two atheists). Evolution is not taught, nor used, nor needed by research scientists whose interests are chemstry (all branches), physics, and I think even some biochemistry (although I would think some would take an interest in evolutionary activities). The theory of evolution, in my view, has been given prominace mainly becuase it has been centre stage in an long standing argument against religion. Without this, I think it would remain what it is, a vast geenralisation that has been an ‘umbrella’ to the activities dealing with lengthy periods in the earths history, and specualtion concerning samples of plant and animal life during these periods. The speculative nature of this approach has amazed me at times; not that speculation should not be undertaken, but the way this is discussed, as if science has proven such non-sense (think for example, of a prominant chemist who publicly states that the correct optical isomers for amino-acids and bio-life has been the result of meteors and neutron stars). This would have been laughed out of any discussion, until it is stated as part of the theory of evolution. (I give up on trying to correct typing errors in this window - my apologies)


Ashe - #70662

June 26th 2012

See the research article I just linked to. It studies the underlying mechanisms of coevolution, which will bring about phage therapy as a compliment to or alternative to antibiotic therapy. Similar experiments also contribute to vaccine development, since they involve understanding how hosts and parasites in the covevolutionary process are favored in certain conditions. There are many, many examples of medical applications of evolution.

Give me one, just one, example of a practical medical application of some creationist theory currently in use today. 


PNG - #70646

June 25th 2012

This graphic needs to be rendered at a larger size. Parts of it are unreadable at this size.


Stephen Mapes - #70685

June 27th 2012

Hi PNG,

Click on the graphic to view the full high res image.


PNG - #70696

June 27th 2012

Thanks - actually I had to click on it twice in Safari to get the full size.


Francis - #70670

June 26th 2012

Ashe,

In the article you provided (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12513992) , I don’t understand the use of the word “coevolution.”

Did the E. coli turn into something other than E.coli, or the bacteriophage into something other than bacteriophage?

Would you provide another scientific/medical breakthrough for which belief in, or knowledge of, evolution was essential or even helpful?

You asked “Give me one, just one, example of a practical medical application of some creationist theory currently in use today.”

Neither creationist nor evolutionary nor any other theory of origins is meant for medical/scientific applications. As Dr. Skell said above, “It is our knowledge of how these organisms actually operate, not speculations about how they may have arisen millions of years ago, that is essential to doctors, veterinarians, farmers ….”


Christine S. - #70679

June 27th 2012

Francis wrote:

Neither creationist nor evolutionary nor any other theory of origins is meant for medical/scientific applications. As Dr. Skell said above, “It is our knowledge of how these organisms actually operate, not speculations about how they may have arisen millions of years ago, that is essential to doctors, veterinarians, farmers ….”

Evolutionary Theroy is first and foremost a theory about how organisms operate today. Decent with modification and natural selection are in operation now. It helps medical doctors and vets understand the epidemiology of infectious deseases and is useful for monitoring the potential hazards. In agriculture it is significant for the maintanance of biodiversity as a reservoir for useful alleles to develope more resilliant crops. And genetically modified crops also have to be monitored for potential cross fertilization and and subsequent modification - there may be unforeseen and potentially detrimental effects to the wild life.

It is only the extrapolation into the past of the of the mechanisms that we see in operation that turn evolutionary theory into a *theory of origins*, but it is not exclusively or even mainly that.

Christine


Christine S. - #70680

June 27th 2012

Sorry - it should be *descent*


Francis - #70686

June 27th 2012

Christine S.,

Are you saying that one cannot effectively practice epidemiology unless one believes in evolution?

Or the same for an agriculturist working on genetic crop modification?

Did Gregor Mendel believe in or rely on evolution in founding the whole study of genetics?


PNG - #70697

June 27th 2012

Mendel had to think there was heritable variation or he wouldn’t have done the experiments that he did. He initiated the basis for understanding the heritable variation that makes evolutionary change inevitable, although of course we know now what the molecular nature is of the variations that Mendel studied and we know a lot more about how variants come to fixation or a high allele frequency in a population.

And yes, you can’t model the changes that occur in infectious agents over time without believing that they do change with mutation and reassortment as time goes on. If you didn’t think they evolve, you wouldn’t find out that one infectious agent often derives from a related  organism, pathogenic or not. So, yes, there are large parts of infectious disease studies and agricultural genetics that you can’t do without accepting evolution.


GJDS - #70699

June 27th 2012

I would like to see a difference suggested between depending on the theory of evolution to such an extent that it is considered central to science (and I suspect medicine and agriculture) with an acceptance that it is a theory that biologists, geologists and related areas have accepted and find it useful. Even variations and biodiversity may be accounted for using for using alternate ideas - they may or may not be as useful as time-dependent variations evolving in the manner suggested by evolutionists, but it is always good to have various views. I am unsure that infectious deseases or any pathogens can be treated (or are treated) more adequately because of acceptance or otherwise of evolution.


melanogaster - #70706

June 28th 2012

GLDS,
Why would you like to see it merely suggested? So that you can dismiss it with a sniff?

Hasn’t it been thoroughly documented?

As just one example, rmbush.bio.uci.edu/Nature2003.pdf

If you disagree, maybe you should start your own evolution-free vaccine company! Or at least you could ask yourself why no one from the ID movement has never done so.

 


GJDS - #70707

June 28th 2012

melanogaster,

I suggest it is because I have chosen to suggest rather then ‘dismiss it’? When I go to my doctor or any specialist and he assures me that he is about to suggest a treatment that he was created because of evolution, I will be the first to publish it. You come over with attitude, but I SUGGEST that you come up with this earthshaking documentation and certainty you seem to profess. Surely even YOU can understand that if medical people are that indebted to evolution THEY would be sharing their enthusiasm with ALL of the people they have cured because of evolution, and everyone may dance in the streets praising Darwin. An how does ID get into my discussions - perhaps you should read before you retort. Point out a major vaccine company that has stated publicly that their vaccine is evolutionary or derived from evolution! I am making a point, that it is JUST NOT central to major activities, even if you believe it is.

In an effort to show you that I do not have the hang up you seem to suffer, I have copied and pasted a portion of the abstract of the example you offer, and ask you to show how this proves a point you may wish to make:

“Another enigma is the replacement of existing strains during a global pandemic caused by ‘antigenic shift’—the introduction of a new avian influenza A subtype into the human population.Here we explore ecological and immunological factors underlying these patterns using a mathematical model capturing both realistic epidemiological dynamics and viral evolution at the sequence level. By matching model output to phylogenetic patterns seen in sequence data collected through global surveillance, we find that short-lived strain-transcending immunity is essential to restrict viral diversity in the host population and thus to explain key aspects of drift and shift dynamics.”


melanogaster - #70718

June 28th 2012

GJDS sniffed:
“When I go to my doctor or any specialist and he assures me that he is about to suggest a treatment that he was created because of evolution, I will be the first to publish it.”

You’re moving the goalposts because I’ve pointed you to evidence. Why should your doctor’s assurance trump the evidence? Who should know more about the relevance of evolution to influenza vaccine: a virologist or the physician or nurse who injects you?

“You come over with attitude,…”

Sorry, my dear GJDS, but only one of us is claiming more expertise than the experts. Moreover, your claims of being a practicing scientist are anything but convincing.

“… but I SUGGEST that you come up with this earthshaking documentation and certainty you seem to profess.”

I offered a start. You, predictably, are haughtily sniffing and pretending that it I am portraying it as the total documentation.

“Surely even YOU can understand that if medical people are that indebted to evolution THEY would be sharing their enthusiasm with ALL of the people they have cured because of evolution,…

Another goalpost move! Now you’re going to change the definition of “medical people” to suit your rhetorical purposes.

But doesn’t Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the US National Institutes of Health, qualifies as the ultimate “medical person”?

“… and everyone may dance in the streets praising Darwin. An how does ID get into my discussions - perhaps you should read before you retort. Point out a major vaccine company that has stated publicly that their vaccine is evolutionary or derived from evolution!”

No! STATEMENTS AREN’T THE POINT! Evidence is the point!

Why do you purport to be a scientist while relentlessly conflating rhetoric with evidence, GJDS?

“I am making a point, that it is JUST NOT central to major activities, even if you believe it is.”

Then why do you deal only in rhetoric and ignore evidence? This is about evidence, not belief.

“In an effort to show you that I do not have the hang up you seem to suffer, I have copied and pasted a portion of the abstract of the example you offer,…”

But your copy/paste of the abstract just proves my point! When a scientist cites a paper, it’s about the evidence in the paper, which I can count on you to pathologically avoid.


Francis - #70716

June 28th 2012

melanogaster,

I took a look at the article you linked:“Ecological and immunological

determinants of influenza evolution”.

I didn’t read the whole thing, but does it show influenza evolving into something that is not influenza?


melanogaster - #70719

June 28th 2012

Francis,

You say you took a look at it, but you have nothing to say about the content. Why is that?

Your creationist word games are tiresome and incoherent. Influenza is a disease, not a virus. Influenza viruses evolve very rapidly, influenza does not.

To anticipate your next move, the term “influenza virus” refers to a huge family of different, yet related, viruses.


Francis - #70715

June 28th 2012

PNG,         

No one disputes the existence of molecules, mutations or heritable variation.

However, many reasonable and knowledgeable people, scientists included, do dispute that such can cause ‘amoeba-to-monkey-to-man evolution.’


PNG - #70725

June 28th 2012

The only people who deny that we have a common ancestor with other primates are 1) those who have never looked at the evidence or don’t understand the evidence they have seen 2) those who start with an emotional committment to believing in special creation that makes it more important to preserve that belief than to interpret the evidence in a straightforward way. 

That is the reason that research institutions should discriminate against evolution skeptics - it is an indication that the person is willing to subordinate a reasonable interpretation of evidence to a prior idealogical committment. Selectively gathering evidence to support something that you think you already know is how pseudoscience is done, not science.


wesseldawn - #70747

June 29th 2012

you might like this:

 

man = soul (the animal principle only - Genesis 2:7)

It was of the dust/ground (mortor, ground, dust, mud) as being a product of the dust itself!


jonj - #70717

June 28th 2012

“...it behooves us to ask the question: why is there such an under-representation of Christians in the academy following the Christological mandate to “come and see?”

One factor is that scientists are typically drawn from the most intelligent five per cent of the population, while Christians, in general, are not. If you want to control for this you could estimate the proportion of Christians in this elite group and see how that compares with the proportion of scientists who are Christian.


Jon Garvey - #70751

June 30th 2012

jonj

“Ho - that old chestnut!” as my physics teacher used to say.

Cambridge University 1970-73. UK representation of Evangelicals <7%. Student body approx 4,000. Cambridge Intercollegiate Christian Union membership approx 400. That’s 10% of student population (significantly higher than national rate).

That, of course, references only Evangelicals. Denominational societies were strong (Anglican, Catholic, non-Conformist of various shades). Other religions too, of course, but that’s not relevant to your erroneous post.

Representation of natural science students vis a vis philosophers, architects, mathematicians, literature and languages, theologians, musicians, archaeologists etc pretty close to demographic: the most under-represented group was probably sociology owing perhaps to its (then) strongly Marxist bias. I was one natural scientist amongst many others (I but I did some sociology too).

Many of my friends at Oxford would point to a similar situation there.


GJDS - #70724

June 28th 2012

melanogaster,

I suggest you take your own evidence and give it to someone who can tolerate you and your retorts. Even you must understand that if you are aggresively seeking to change another’s opinion you need to provide the compelling arguments, and as you say, evidence. My credentials as a scientist are safe even from you, and I do not state that I am questioning the credentials of others, especially those who specialise in evolutionary biology.

If you cannot tolerate other opinions, why participate in this nonsensical manner? There are no goal posts that are moved - I have responded to you, and now I refuse to induclge you any further - however have a happy and useful day.


melanogaster - #70772

July 1st 2012

GJDS sniffed:
“I suggest you take your own evidence and give it to someone who can tolerate you and your retorts.”

You’re making my case for me—you are afraid of evidence.

You asked a question, I answered it; the polite, Christian, scientific response would be for you to thank me instead of demonstrating your shallowness by cutting and pasting the abstract.

Is Francis Collins not the ultimate medical person?

“Even you must understand that if you are aggresively seeking to change another’s opinion…”

This is hilarious! Is your ego really so large that you think that I am trying to change YOUR opinion by pointing out your allergy to evidence?

“… you need to provide the compelling arguments, and as you say, evidence.”

Precisely backwards! If you are a scientist, you want evidence. You don’t need no stinkin’ arguments. By putting evidence after rhetoric, you are affirming your fear of it.

“My credentials as a scientist are safe even from you, and I do not state that I am questioning the credentials of others, especially those who specialise in evolutionary biology.”

If you were a scientist, you wouldn’t be sniffing about credentials. If you were a real scientist, you’d know that one’s credentials are one’s work!

“If you cannot tolerate other opinions, why participate in this nonsensical manner?”

Hilarious! I point you to evidence. I point out your desperate move of conflating evidence with rhetoric while claiming to be a scientist. In what way does that represent intolerance of your aggressively uninformed opinion?

I’m just trying to get you to be honest enough to explicitly admit that you have NO FAITH that the evidence will support your opinion. That’s why you repeatedly turn to rhetoric and each time implicitly confirm your lack of faith. Therefore, the better question is, if you cannot tolerate evidence, why participate in your nonsensical manner?

“There are no goal posts that are moved - I have responded to you, and now I refuse to induclge you any further - however have a happy and useful day.”

Assertion is not argument. You have not responded to any of my questions because they expose your fear of evidence.


Francis - #70729

June 29th 2012

Melanogaster,

The article you directed us to uses the contiguous words “influenza evolution.”

I asked whether the influenza evolved. Apparently this is unacceptable in your eyes. One must say “influenza virus evolution” or “did the influenza virus evolve”.

So, in your eyes, I was wrong, and have been reprimanded.

Did you pedantically pillory the publisher as well? What was his response?

I’ll modify my question and try to elevate it to your high standards:

DID THE INFLUENZA VIRUS CHANGE INTO SOMETHING THAT IS NOT INFLUENZA VIRUS?

(I think I know the answer but would like to hear it from you.)

 

Biologos bloggers: It’s summer fruit season. Enjoy! But exercise care in making your selections. Under-ripe is better than the other extreme. Some fruit picks can deceive you. They may look good superficially, but turn out nasty on the inside. I know. I very recently had an unfortunate experience  with  o gastly melan.


melanogaster - #70773

July 1st 2012

Francis,

Your creationist label game is just as vapid and tiresome as it was the first time. Let’s show its inanity with a medically-based hypothetical.

1) You were immunized with last year’s influenza vaccine.This year’s has yet to be released.
2) This year’s influenza pandemic is especially severe, with many deaths.
3) Many of those dying this year were immunized last year.

OK? Assuming those three things, would you consent to my injecting you with an isolate from this year’s pandemic because I assured you that “Don’t worry about dying! You’ve been immunized against influenza virus last year! This is still an influenza virus too!”

Or would you decline, since the population of influenza viruses clearly has changed over time?

Do you not realize that evolution is simply changes in the genetic makeup of a population over time, regardless of the label we use for the organisms in that population?

And three more questions:

1) Can you state the biological definition of species?
2) Has speciation been observed in real time?
3) In real evolutionary theory, does one species change into another species or does a population of organisms split into two populations that lose their ability to interbreed?


Francis - #70736

June 29th 2012

PNG,

You wrote: “… that the person is willing to subordinate a reasonable interpretation of evidence to a prior idealogical [sic] committment [sic]. Selectively gathering evidence to support something that you think you already know is how pseudoscience is done, not science.”      

Well said.

My only quibble (other than the carelessness and lack of attention to detail evident in your misspellings) is that, ironically,

your words perfectly describe evolutionists.

 


wesseldawn - #70746

June 29th 2012

In many Christian circles, science is considered the outright enemy of the faith. Where science appears to conflict with the Bible, science will always be viewed as wrong by those Christians.

In order to change that you will have to show just how far off Evangelicalism is from the Bible.

Yet how can you (Evangelicals yourselves) expect to change what you yourselves are? Though your views of creation have an evolution slant, it’s still not in ageement with mainline science! All you have to do is read the other blogs about image Dei to see that!

In essence that just makes you another branch of Evangelicals, albeit with an academic slant. You too however, will be viewed with suspicion by the very people you are trying to enlighten.

It appears to me that it’s “the blind leading the blind” and neither considering the possibility that they may be wrong!

 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #70760

June 30th 2012

wesseldawn,

You bring up a good point.  Evangelicals follow Biblical Christianity.  If EvangelicalISM has strayed from Biblical Christianity, and I think that it has, it is the responsibility of Evangelicals to bring it to where it belongs.

No one should expect this will be easy or simple.  All reformers and prophets have suffered for their faith. 

If God is God, and the Bible is true, then God is incharge of the universe and human history.  If humans, Christians included, chose to ignore the Biblical Truth that the Logos, Jesus Christ, is the basis of physical reality as well as intellectual and spiritual reality, then we will pay the price of denying God’s word and God’s Word. 

God is already working through climate change to punish humanity for its pride and arrogance.  The sooner we all wake up the better.

 


wesseldawn - #70776

July 1st 2012

Roger,

The problem with Christianity in general is that there is no ‘universal’ interpreting rule for the Bible. That alone is causing the confusion.

George Bernard Murphy (post #70622) has it right - people need to use a concordance and look up every verse pertaining to a subject (same phrases but be cautious as often synonyms are used). When we do that we see that the verses themselves will explain the meaning. This is God explaining Himself instead of  humans giving their ideas about what the words might mean.

As an all-powerful entity, surely God would have foreseen that left to our own we would mess things up. And so He put in place an interpreting rule and when we follow it, will be able to unravel Bible mysteries.

 


Francis - #70782

July 1st 2012

Melanogaster,

Would I consent to you, melanogaster, injecting me?   No.

As far as others injecting me, I think I got a flu shot once in my life. As I recall, I got the flu later that winter. My brother got the shot a year ago and not long after was felled with a flu case so severe he was bedridden for about a week.

On this, I’ll take my chances, and rely on the human body’s marvelous natural defense systems.

I think you’ve correctly answered my question, i.e. No, the influenza virus did not change into something other than another flavor of influenza virus.

You wrote “Do you not realize that evolution is simply changes in the genetic makeup of a population over time, regardless of the label we use for the organisms in that population?”

No, I don’t realize that.

If that was all that “evolution” was about, I don’t think we’d have a controversy. Nor would we have BioLogos.

You asked “1) Can you state the biological definition of species?”  I won’t even try. The scientists can’t even agree on what “species” means. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem

“2) Has speciation been observed in real time?”  You can observe anything in real time, provided you get to define what “anything” is. (See directly above.)

 “3) In real evolutionary theory, does one species change …”  Whatever. I don’t think I know what “real” evolution theory is anymore. It keeps evolving. Also, I see “real evolution theory” as something like an oxymoron. Like that movie title: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bzcm7RbMIU

 


melanogaster - #70785

July 1st 2012

“Would I consent to you, melanogaster, injecting me? No.”

Because we agree that the virus has evolved.

“As far as others injecting me, I think I got a flu shot once in my life. As I recall, I got the flu later that winter. My brother got the shot a year ago and not long after was felled with a flu case so severe he was bedridden for about a week.”

It’s a moving target because of evolution. That’s why I offered it as the example of evolution’s relevance to medicine.

“On this, I’ll take my chances, and rely on the human body’s marvelous natural defense systems.”

You do realize, don’t you, that they work by the Darwinian mechanism of genetic variation and selection on the level of B and T lymphocytes?

If you can believe that Darwinian mechanisms can’t generate speciation, why did God design our bodies to use them to generate new proteins in a couple of weeks?

“I think you’ve correctly answered my question, i.e. No, the influenza virus did not change into something other than another flavor of influenza virus.”

And I think that you’ve implicitly admitted that your labels are meaningless in this context—a matter of life and death.

“No, I don’t realize that.”

Then how can you be such a denialist when you are so ignorant of what you are desperately trying to deny?

“If that was all that “evolution” was about, I don’t think we’d have a controversy. Nor would we have BioLogos.”

We have it because there is so much misinformation.

“You asked “1) Can you state the biological definition of species?” I won’t even try. The scientists can’t even agree on what “species” means. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem”

But isn’t that to be expected with Darwinian mechanisms and not to be expected with special creation?

““2) Has speciation been observed in real time?” You can observe anything in real time, provided you get to define what “anything” is. (See directly above.)”

Then pick one, copy/paste it, and answer the question. You might learn something!

““3) In real evolutionary theory, does one species change …” Whatever.”

It’s an important point of which you remain completely ignorant. Most denialists’ misrepresentations of evolutionary theory take this utterly stupid form.

“I don’t think I know what “real” evolution theory is anymore.”

Correction—you never did!

“It keeps evolving.”

So does creationism. But scientific conclusions are provisional and evolving by definition. Theological ones aren’t supposed to evolve, but they do…


GJDS - #70784

July 1st 2012

Reply to #70772

Melanogaster/megablusterer

What a bore you are; you are a very good reason for treating evolutionists with all the skepticism scientists can muster.


melanogaster - #70808

July 3rd 2012

“Melanogaster/megablusterer

What a bore you are;...”

Namecalling is all you’ve got left?

How, precisely, is asking questions of you boring?

Simple questions like:
“Why would you like to see it merely suggested?”
“Hasn’t it been thoroughly documented?”

And then you cut and paste an abstract instead of discussing the evidence? What a howler!

“…you are a very good reason for treating evolutionists with all the skepticism scientists can muster.”

If you really believed that, you might actually come up with a reason why. If you were an actual scientist, you’d know that the duty of all scientists is to be skeptical. For your categories to make any sense, you’d have to identify “evolutionists” that are not scientists.

For example, I’m extremely skeptical of your claim that you are a scientist. Therefore, I test my hypothesis in ways that would falsify it. All of your vapid responses support my hypothesis, particularly this one.


wesseldawn - #70800

July 2nd 2012

No doubt science and religion conflict - but - science and the Bible do not!


happygolucky55 - #70893

July 6th 2012

Exactly! Like when God created grass before he created the sun to fuel the photosynthetic process that keeps the grass alive…


wesseldawn - #71117

July 15th 2012

lol…good point…sorry I didn’t reply as I didn’t get a notice about your post…obviously if Bible verses are read in chronological order then yes it looks like the grass came before the sun!

I don’t think that ‘lights’ in Genesis 1:16 are referring to the Sun (greater) and Moon (lesser):

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) 

lights/stars (of heaven) = angels

“You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thess. 5:5)

Therefore, the ‘greater light’ in Genesis One that ‘rules the day’ is referring to God/Jesus, while the ‘lesser light that “rules the night” has to be referrring to Satan who, according to the Bible became ‘the god of this world’!

Of course this would not be visible from general reading as the Bible and some apocrypha are a huge puzzle (find confirming verses and collectively they will explain the meaning).

 


brian-vs-stats - #71002

July 10th 2012

I would like to present one viewpoint I have not seen addressed in these posts and that is the viewpoint of a statistician.  That viewpoint is given by the famous quote of George Box:

“essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.”

As a statistician, we are trained in this doctrine.  We believe that models (i.e., the equations we use to approximate the true data generating mechanisms) will always be wrong.  So as a statistician (and as a scientist), I believe that the current evolutionary model is wrong.

However, this does not mean it (i.e., the current evolutionary model) is not useful, it is our current way of attempting to approximate nature (which by the way is something we will always do wrong). It does explain many parts of nature well, but not all parts.

  If you think that the current model of evolution is 100% correct, then I am afraid to tell you that you are wrong (whether you believe the doctrine of BioLogos or elsewhere).  Moreover, perhaps you should not be a scientist as you have lost your ability to be skeptical.

Now the reason I created this posted is there seems to be a lot of “I am right, you are wrong” going on in this forum chat (in terms of the evolutionary debates I am seeing).  My point is that we all are wrong (again I am talking about being wrong on our current model of nature) and we should be using this opportunity to share ideas on how to improve the current model of evolution.  I think it reasonable to assume that regardless of if you share the viewpoints of Biologos or not, by keeping an openmind, great strides can be made in these improvements to the current model if we drop our egos and listen to each other respectfully.

   

Thanks for your attention.


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71005

July 10th 2012

brain-vs-stats,

You are certainly correct.  No model is 100% correct.  I would add theological models, philosophical, and statistical models as well as scientific to that list.

Models are visualizations of a process.  They are 3D and nonlinear, while scientific prose and often math are linear. 

Models are also generalizations and thus approximations of a process so they are not the actual process per se.  That is why they are good and necessary for understanding, but do not take the place of research aimed to imp[rove our knowledge and understanding.

You might find my book, Darwin’s Myth, interesting.  It is a model based analysis of Darwin’s Theory showing its strengths and weaknesses.  


brian-vs-stats - #71010

July 10th 2012

Hi Roger,

thanks for your comments. 

“Models are visualizations of a process.  They are 3D and nonlinear, while scientific prose and often math are linear.”

I am not sure that I understand this statement.  Are you saying the process we are attempting to model are 3D and nonlinear.  If so, I would say that in general they are not 3D (the time dimension for example).  Also, I am not sure by what you mean by  scientific prose and often math are linear.  I might be willing to accept that scientific discovery could be linear as well as mathematical progression, but I am not convinced that this holds throughout recent history (there may be periods in time of rapid discovery that is different than other periods of time).

“Models are also generalizations and thus approximations of a process so they are not the actual process per se.  That is why they are good and necessary for understanding, but do not take the place of research aimed to imp[rove our knowledge and understanding.”

Again this statement is not entirely clear to me.  I agree with models being an approximation to the process but am not entirely clear on what you mean by generalization of a process. 

I guess to me, the process itself is the generalization we wish to acheive.  If God gave me the gift of knowing the exact equation that describes my process of interest, then this is the best I could ever do and it should describe every situation that is dependent on this process (apart from different numerical values of parameters within this divine model, for example the force of gravity on earth versus the moon).  In reality, we will never get this gift and we must instead either empirically or from first principles approximate this process, i.e., use a model to describe the process.

Lastly I agree with your final comment in this paragraph.  Models are necessary for understanding and they should be used to motivate our research in that we should seek to understand what is incorrect with our models to seek improvements.  We should never fall into the hubrus of believing that our current model is 100% correct. If we all felt this way, then science and knowledge will never progress.

I will find time to read your book.  Sound interesting.

 

cheers!


Roger A. Sawtelle - #71032

July 11th 2012

Brian-vs-stats,

Thank you for your response.

Just one clarification if I may which might help.

You mentioned time as a linear aspect of reality.  While it is true that we moving from the past into the future, which is linear, we are also living in the present, which adds the third dimension. 

It is not only the past which influences us as we move to the future, it is also the many aspects of life that impinge and influence our outlook and direction today. 

Life is never as simple as it appears to be.  Hindsight is always much better than foresight.    


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