Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Isn't evolution wonderful? — 8 (makeovers)

The Guardian's pictorial is titled Masters of Disguise. But, lest anyone imagine any intelligence behind all this (— what? no! no, of course not!), the text helpfully explains that "natural selection has crafted some remarkable lookalikes."

Now, turn that over in your mind. "Natural selection," a mindless, impersonal, purposeless process.

"Crafted," a purposeful, intelligent, personally-guided procedure.

But it's only scientistic... er, scientific... to believe that these things Just Happened.


NoLongerBlind said...

Yup. Right in line with what I heard on the Discovery Channel the other night: "Nature has evolved a way in which..." - I was so stunned at what I'd heard that I don't even remember the rest of what they said!

"Professing to be wise, they became fools..."

CGrim said...

Here's something that strikes me as odd... doesn't natural selection imply some sort of intelligence, conscious choices being made? One variant is selected while the other is discarded?

To hear many evolutionists speak, "nature" is some sort of conscious entity, guiding evolution to its own ends. Sure, they reason, if left up to random chance, a trillion generations would pass, and the amoeba would still be an amoeba, more or less. But with the cunning accumulated consciousness of Gaia, ah! anything is possible!

I mean, they're practically advocating "intelligent design" themselves. The only difference is that they think the intelligent designer is nature itself. It's like everything is shouting "Creator!" at them, but they (consciously) refuse to recognize it.

"Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things..."

CGrim said...

Ha, NoLongerBlind and I were clearly thinking the same thing. :)

Stefan Ewing said...

Yeah, Romans 1 popped into my mind to. There is this desire to assign some kind of personalized, intelligent agency to nature (called "nature," "the earth," "natural selection," or "evolution"), even among those who profess to reject God as the personalized, intelligent author of creation.

NoLongerBlind said...

Agree with everything that's been said, but, to further clarify my comment, this was a show about weather, I think it was "Raging Planet", discussing lightning fires, and they were saying that "Nature has evolved a way to rejuvenate the ecosystem by starting fires to burn away the underbrush", or something along those lines.

Michelle said...

I think it's very convenient for those darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God (Eph 4:18) to believe that these things "just happened". It jives with their being the master of their fate and the captain of their soul. Unlike a Creator God, "Mother Nature" demands nothing of them, except that they do their best to reduce their carbon footprint.

Tristan Guthrie said...

I'd be curious to know what the theistic evoulutionist (TE) take is on this. Did God create a "creative force" (evolution), because
"a purposeful, intelligent, personally-guided procedure" seems to include more personal involvement from God whereas my experience with TE is that God sets up the process and allows "nature" to do it's thing. That may be way off. Anyone have any insight? I had a professor in college who claimed to be a TE, but when it came down to it was more of an agnostic, so I didn't really learn a lot from him except that he was confused, but TE has always struck me as a far-too-convenient way of having your cake and eating it too.

GrammaMack said...

Praise God for His amazing creation!

David Regier said...

The funniest part of this is that we are part of nature and a product of evolution, right? And we, caused global warming, right? But wait, what we did to cause global warming was unnatural, right?

But we're a product of nature, right? And nature will take care of itself, right? But we don't like that, so we have to thwart nature, in the name of being a product of nature, because being somehow unnaturally natural, yes,we can!

Anonymous said...

TE has always struck me as a far-too-convenient way of having your cake and eating it too.

That's always been my thought as well.

Michelle said...

I had a humility check since my last comment. As believers, not only do we have reason to praise God when we see His amazing creation, but we have reason to praise Him that we fully recognise such as His amazing creation. I know for me, it's easy to snicker and scoff at the foolishness of the lost, until I realize that it's only by God's saving grace that I'm no longer lost in the same darkness and foolishness.

DJP said...

Tristan, I was a theistic evolutionist before I was a Christian. As a panentheist, I believed God was in everything. So to me, evolution was guided by Divine Mind. Nature was all God's self-expression, self-unfolding, and evolution was how It flowed.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


Amazing - absolutely amazing. That octopus that looked like snake (not to mention the real snakes just gives me the willies.

You're so right... no matter how much they talk about evolution, the terminology they use all reveals the need for a creator.

GOD crafted these remarkable look-a-likes! What an amazing array of animals and plants! And, why?

The boys and I were just talking about this over the weekend. Why are there so many different kinds of rock? Why so many colors of flowers? Why so many different flavors in food?

All for His glory.


DJP said...

That's just it, Julie.

They can't not.

They can try and try not to use teleological language, but they just can't do it.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

The creation declares His glory. God WILL be glorified.

They can try to talk around it all they want, but as CG said, the creation is shouting "Creator!" at them.

If we won't speak up, even the stones will cry out - Luke 19:40.

Unknown said...

"Isn't evolution wonderful?"

Yes, it sure is. I have read "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne, and "The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution" by Sean B. Carroll. I have done years of research on the internet. I have made my own observations in museums and when walking thru forests. I'm now convinced evolution is not only fact, it's also the most interesting and most well documented fact of science, and new discoveries are being made every day that are making the evolution idea stronger than ever.

It's too bad that some people deny all this evidence. They don't know what they're missing.

Unknown said...

Grim wrote "doesn't natural selection imply some sort of intelligence, conscious choices being made? One variant is selected while the other is discarded?"

What is selected is what works. What is discarded is what doesn't work. Favorable mutations accumulate while unfavorable mutations disappear from the population.

What works gets passed to the next generation. It's so bloody simple, and there's nothing intelligent about it. It's just how the world works.

Many people here can obviously benefit from some studying. Not to worry, studying can be enjoyable if you know where to look. That's why I recommended the two books above. They are fun to read, especially Coyne's book which is easier to understand. Please do some research. You really don't know what you're missing.

DJP said...

It's too bad that some people deny all this evidence. They don't know what they're missing.

True, that.

CGrim said...

I still think one of the craziest plants is the one that grows in the jungles of the Philippines and eats rats:

Kinda freaky, really

Unknown said...

Tristan724 said... I'd be curious to know what the theistic evoulutionist (TE) take is on this.

Evolution is a completely natural process. The word evolution does not need any adjectives, especially not theistic. Talking about theistic evolution is as stupid as talking about theistic gravity.

Scientific ideas like evolution and religious ideas are completely separate and can never be mixed together.

Scientific ideas must have massive and powerful evidence before they are accepted. Evolution passes this test and that's why virtually every biologist in the world loves evolution.

Religious ideas don't need any evidence because gullible lazy people are willing to believe any childish nonsense if it makes them feel good.

DJP said...

And let me guess, Bob: you really hate dogmatism, too?

CGrim said...

Bob said: Scientific ideas like evolution and religious ideas are completely separate and can never be mixed together.

This is, most notably, a belief not demonstrable by science.

If your brain is purely natural, a happenstance cluster of tissue and chemicals, why should we buy what you're selling?

Fred Butler said...

So Bob, I take it that you believe in abiogenesis?

On top of Grim's comments, why should I care about Indonesians dying in a tsunami? I mean, if they were not evolved enough to protect themselves from nature, why care? Isn't that just nature selecting out the stupid and weak?

By the way, why does every coward "Profile Not Available" go by "Bob?"

I get like ten different "Bobs" at my place all the time.

Stefan Ewing said...

Bob and weave.

I appreciate the presumption that we're gullible rubes who haven't thought this stuff through.

I was an ardent believer (if you will) in natural selection when in my younger, staunchly atheistic days; and coincidentally, had the same sneering, dismissive attitude towards Evangelical Christians.

Aric said...

Bob (a/k/a the troll) said: Religious ideas don't need any evidence because gullible lazy people are willing to believe any childish nonsense if it makes them feel good.

As opposed to the non-childish notion that trees, rocks, water, dogs, cats, snakes, and people all came from a single cell? Or the non-childish notion that a “favorable mutation” did not cause that organism to be snuffed out due to natural selection: the weak perish and the strong survive, unless the weak is weak because it favorably mutated, then it will survive so it can randomly produce the same random mutation.

Sorry, tough day at the office. Needed to vent. But I feel better . . . in case you were wondering. :0)

Anonymous said...

Profile Not Available. That was my first choice.

Apparently trollness hasn't worked its way out of the gene pool.

Aaron said...

I was watching the Discovery channel just the other day and was contemplating evolution. The show I was watching was on the Colossal Squid. Some fisherman had managed to catch a live one, the first one to ever be caught in a decent condition. So they took a lot of effort and expense to study it, which was all fine and dandy with me. Then they acknowledged midway that this new specimen changed something they always thought to be true. So I started wondering how long they had been teaching incorrect facts in textbooks and classes about squid. I also noted how the professors quickly started referring to hypothesis, theory, and conclusions as "fact." How often has something been taught as Scientific fact, been completely untrue. That's without even talking about the obviously speculative nature of something like evolution.

Aaron said...

What's with the profile? I posted for months without a profile. Somehow not having a profile is a certain sign of cowardice?

DJP said...

Aaron, the answer to "How often" is EVERY GENERATION.

Today's assured finding of science is tomorrow's discarded theory.

Look at it another way: Today's discarded theory is tomorrow's assured finding of science.

What is different about evolution is that it is a religious position. So evidence may not cancel it out.

Aaron said...

Theistic evolution is a method by which some people have tried to reconcile Science with Scripture. Obviously there are some things the Bible doesn't explain. Multiple races/ethnicities, for example. The problem is that theistic evolution starts with man's understanding and then tries to apply it to Scripture instead of starting with Scripture and using it to shape our understanding.

Interestingly, many of the most famous Scientists of the past were either Christian or believed that there was a creator.

Aaron said...


You're right, of course. My question was mostly rhetorical. I was just pointing out that our understanding of "science" is constantly changing. The theory of evolution, even if it were true, is based almost entirely on conclusions at best and outright conjecture at its worst. Anybody who stands up and says "it's truth" has obviously deceived themselves. And that's before I even get to the Scriptural arguments against evolution.

Fred Butler said...


You may not have had a profile, but I would imagine that if I had asked you who you were, you would have had told me, and not remained hidden behind some made up on-line non-existent personality.

PNA trolls are notorious for wanting to avoid any real identity.


Anonymous said...

Sir Aaron, What's with the profile? I posted for months without a profile. Somehow not having a profile is a certain sign of cowardice?

Not having a profile is not a certain sign of cowardice. However, trolls and cowards are much more likely to be anonymous than the average person, at least according to my unscientific study.

More often than not when I read a horribly obnoxious comment (by someone other than myself) I'll click on the name to see what kind of nitwit would post such a thing only to find that it's another nameless troll.

On the other hand, after reading a good comment I like to visit the person's blog and see what they're about. Occasionally I find it was posted anonymously feel a bit disappointed that I can't explore their ideas further.

NoLongerBlind said...

Here's a question for you, Mr. Bob:

According to your scholarly research, please explain to the class how something like this would evolve.

I look forward to your explanation!

DJP said...

[Note to self: dang, I've got some smart readers. Better try to bring up my game.]

Anonymous said...

"The evolutionists seem to know everything about the missing link except the fact that it is missing." --G.K. Chesterton

CR said...


Coyne (whom you cite) makes his own logical fallacies in his book. See Hunter's (an ID proponent) critque of the book you cite. Coyne's evolutionary argument is basically this: Design X had to arisen naturally because it would not have been designed.

The problem is evolutionists are interpreting their science from their own metaphysical world view.

You see, your argument is essentially that the fact that the parasitic nematode worm turns the abdomen of its host, red, tricking the birds to eat the ant and its parasites, arose naturally because it couldn't be design. Why can't it be design?

Rhology said...

I just finished reading Coyne's Why Evolution Is True and was very unimpressed.
For one thing, he bases a great deal of his case on the fossil record. But think about it - you don't know whether that fossilised organism is an ancestor of any other fossilised organism. You can ASSUME, but you're supposed to be PROVING.

For another, he keeps saying "creationists have no answer to this" when I was able to come up with an answer in about 2 seconds for almost all of them. A pretty poor book.

Anonymous said...

You say you were unimpressed. Perhaps I can help you.

Jerry Coyne belongs to the Scientific Priesthood. That means that his opinions carry extra weight and that yours are worthless.

Richard Dawkins, another member of the Scientific Priesthood, has stated (as quoted from the back cover of Coyne's book): Anybody who doesn't believe in evolution is stupid, insane, or hasn't read Jerry Coyne.

Since you've read the book, the Priesthood has declared you to be stupid or insane.

I have another theory about why you weren't impressed with the book.

The back flap of the dust jacket refers to the graphic on the front of the book which has artistic depictions of four animals on it. The explanation on the back flap states:

The jacket depicts a chronological sequence of fossils showing the evolution of birds. We do not know whether the actual line of descent included the first three species, but the origin of modern birds almost certainly involved a sequence very much like this one.

What is the fourth species? Ardea herodias, the great blue heron, common today in North America and the Caribbean.

Four animals are purported to represent the evolutionary chain of birds and the evolutionists are not sure if the first three were actually included and the fourth one is a modern bird.


It seems like the Scientific Priests may be the stupid, insane, or ignorant ones.

To repeat my comment from yesterday:
"The evolutionists seem to know everything about the missing link except the fact that it is missing." --G.K. Chesterton

Aaron said...

Fred and Stan: Ok, ok. The thought never even occurs to me...(I wouldn't have even setup a profile except for Dan's comments and now, apparently, I need to register an avatar at somebody else's blog. Never was important to me or indicative of anything).

Back to regular scheduled programming.

Aaron said...

Rho and Stan:

Indeed, exactly what I said. You have to make conclusions, mathematical models, and outright conjecture to back up evolution. Change one figure in your mathematical modeling and suddenly things are drastically different. But to evolutionists, the difference between 5 million years and 15 million isn't any big deal.

CR said...


Here's the problem with evolutionist arguments. They argue about the "missing link."

Let's consider their argument that we evolved from fish or some amphibian-type ancient creature. In other words, we started off as water breathing and evolved to air-breathing. Well, you would expect to see in the fossil record these creatures swimming out of water trying to sneak up on shore and die from breathing air. I mean little by little, these creatures crawling up on the shores, taking a few deep breathes and dying. Etc. etc. etc. You would expect this to go on for millions of years. So, what you would have is not a missing link, but millions of missing links.

How many of these missing links show up in the fossil record? Zero.