Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.
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I just sent the email below to Richard Dawkins, and since I have no idea if I'll get a response, I thought I'd post it here as well.
Hi Dr. Dawkins,
I was a lifelong Christian, in fact a highly evangelistic Christian, until several years ago. I ended up in some discussions with atheists on an evangelism forum I had started, and then continued discussing the issues with Christians and atheists at TheologyWeb trying to find answers. The journey started for me in 2006, and while I was trying to reconcile the Bible with science, I setup two sites: http://www.CreationCrisis.com and http://www.OriginScience.com, both of which remain online unchanged.
By late 2009, my faith was completely gone, and I now consider myself an atheist - an angry atheist at that, having spent so many years believing and promoting Christianity. In the past year I setup another site: http://www.AtheistInfo.com with information on why I abandoned Christianity.
I have no doubt about the fact that Christianity is false, and that the 'God' of the Bible could not possibly be responsible for this universe. So there is no chance I'll ever return to Christianity or any other religion for that matter. In fact, I wish I could devote full time to debunking Christianity by confronting Christians head on in a variety of ways.
But one thing has really begun to bother me about evolution, and the more I've thought about it, the more it seems like a PROBLEM that evolutionists may be dismissing, ignoring, or perhaps even disingenuously pretending does not exist. I know evolution is true, and I don't believe the God of the Bible had anything to do with it, and I also know that intelligent design is a dirty word to evolutionists...
But I do not understand how the process of evolution — where species are known to adapt to their environment, and basically change as needed over time — could occur without some form of intelligent programming.
If some kind of new life were created in a vacuum, there is no reason to believe it would somehow be endowed with magical powers to adapt. And if a robot were engineered to automatically adapt to anything, we would certainly call it artificial intelligence.
So how is it that the magical power of evolution — that appears to allow organisms to automatically MAKE DECISIONS (as it were) TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER — how on earth is that considered a natural event that requires no programming or intelligence?
If anything else in this world automatically adapted and changed for its better, we would know intelligence had been programmed into the thing for this process to occur, so why is it that when it comes to evolution, there is not only resistance but absolute animosity toward the concept of any form of intelligence being involved in evolution?
I know one of the reasons is that it plays right into the hands of creationists. But if no religions existed in the universe, and evolution were analyzed only as a scientific process, I do not understand how a process like this — where anything can MAKE CHANGES to itself for its own survival and benefit — could be seen as a purely natural process, without some kind of advance programming. It just doesn't seem to make any sense. But I'm hoping there is an intellectually honest explanation.
Again, I have no faith in the God of the Bible and I have NO other agenda in asking this question. I simply do not think it makes sense that anything could adapt and change on its own (and for its survival and benefit) without some kind of advance programming in place.
Any help you can give me in understanding this would be greatly appreciated.
The problem is that you do not understand evolution. You could read some of Dr Dawkins book for more details (the selfish gene would be a good start), or Darwin, or many other books that explains the working of evolution. It would really help. Because It would be hard to condense that in a small forum post. But I will try to give you the gist of everything in a nutshell:
There is no direction to evolution as understood in darwinian way. Diversity is created randomly all the time without direction or necessarily usefulness. Then life selects for the organisms that are better at passing their gene to the next generation, whether because they are better at seducing mates, or because they are better at surviving. The accumulation of changes in the genetic make-up of the organisms, the changes in their environment (be it other living organisms, or climate or anything) changes and pushes toward accumulation of changes and diversity of organisms. Give it a few billion years and you get what we have now. REstart from teh beginnig, and the outcoe would likely be different. But I have no clue how different.
Hope that helps.
The field is vast, and their is a lot to learn. Good luck in your endeavour to eucate you.
Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
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