12/01/2005

Intelligent Design and Theistic Evolution

While some theories may be backed by what appears to be science, this does not in any way make that theory itself scientific.  Take for instance global warming.  This theory is backed by huge amounts of research with numerous lines of evidence converging upon the same conclusion.  Nevertheless, “global warming” is not a scientific theory or model by any means, it is a political movement.  The same can be said for the modern Intelligent Design (ID) movement.

While I shall leave the discussion of why this is so for another time, I would like to dedicate the rest of this post to clarifying what other wise seem to be the rather blurry lines which separate ID, formerly known a scientific creationism, from both Theistic Evolution (TE) and Evolutionary Creationism (EC).  Many, in fact most, assume that these three models (not scientific models mind you) are basically the same thing or at minimum have a good deal of overlap with each other.  I will attempt to show that while these models do have their similarities and points of contact with each other, they are actually quite distinct from one another.

The reason for the confusion lies in the belief that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  In other words, since I believe in a Creator God and a fully naturalistic version of Neo-Darwinism denies such, anybody who disagrees with such a model must be on my side.  Accordingly, essentially every flavor of creationist has jumped on the ID band wagon, oft times without so much as asking themselves what it is that ID allows and rejects.  

ID, as it presented by Michael Behe and company does not allow for a young earth.  Nor does it hold out for a separate creation of species, including that of humans.  In fact, I can’t think of a single system or organ which is claimed to have been intelligently designed which is unique to humans.  Nor does the theory deny that natural selection as a process does have a significant amount of creative power.  It simply points out that some unspecified organs or systems could not have been produced without intelligent foresight.  That’s it. All these points should make ID supporters far more nervous than they seem to be.  

Thus, all young earth creationists cannot wave the banner of ID.  Nor can anybody who insists upon holding out for special and separate creations of species.  This, I assume, covers at least half of those who are so vigilant in their political activism in this matter.  Of course these discrepancies tend not to bother these people in so much as they are happy to have the mere mention of a Creator (Intelligent Designer? C’mon.) in the account of creation.  While they might not accept all of ID, they at least consider it a step in the right direction.

Here I simply can’t help but sidetrack and ask if this really sounds like science to anybody at all.  Parties putting forth preconceived theories without any appeal to falsifiable evidence which can distinguish them from any others and in the end reaching a tentative compromise in order to promote what are common in their different agendas?  People supporting supposedly scientific models based not on what the theory says itself but on what it says against another model?  People voting on what is science?  Politicians’ opinions serving as a substitute for the scientific method?  When was the last time anybody ever saw a debate in a physics, chemistry or biology class?  Contrary to popular opinion, the debate is being taught… to grad students and those who are well informed enough to have informed opinions on the matter.  What kind of class “teaches the debate” in high school?  A humanities class, that’s what kind.  The same kinds of classes that the politicians and lawyers, but not the scientists are accustomed to. But I have digressed.

Having shown how ID differs from the less sophisticated versions of creationism, we should also proceed to show how it differs from other more scientific versions of creationism.  Theistic Evolution maintains that evolution is “the pen which God used to write the book of life” so to speak.  It comes in two varieties.  First, Deistic Evolution (DE) states that God created the world and its laws knowing what would evolve and therefore had no reason to ever interfere with the process of creation.  The other version is that of Evolutionary Creationism which holds that God somehow guided evolution in some undisclosed way.  Both versions accept what ID denies, namely macroevolution.

Part of the appeal which TE offers to the scientific mind is that it makes no claims whatsoever to actually being science.  It offers no theories whatsoever as to how, where or when divine intervention played a role in the creative process.  It simply accepts that it did on simple, unpretentious faith.  But again I have digressed somewhat.

The differences between both forms of TE and ID should not be trivialized.  ID does not accept macroevolution, namely the idea that natural selection along with other purely naturalistic mechanisms could have possibly been responsible for the wide diversity of highly complex life which we now observe. The very idea of ID is that at some time an Intelligence came along and designed something. This is not natural selection, self-organizing complexity or any form of evolution at all which, be it theistic or non-theistic is defined as the accumulation of design through the (differential) replication of living entities.  Coagulation, flagella and the immune system, for example, didn’t evolve into existence at all, but were instead designed all at once.

Either something is designed by an Intelligence or not. I while back at Times and Seasons Glen Henshaw posted on evolutionary algorithms and their use in creating new designs in software programs and the like. This process is very akin to EC in a number of ways.  While the designers did design the computer algorithms they used as well as control the selective pressures, they did not design the products of that process.  Naturally if any person is to receive credit for having designed the products it would definitely be those programmers.  The real credit, however, belongs not with the programmers’ creative genius, but with the creative power of the entirely mindless algorithms themselves.  The programmers simply took advantage of this vast creative power and used it to their own advantage.

To give the designers the full credit for the resulting designs would be to miss the entire point of evolution by natural selection.  One of Darwin’s earliest critics understood this perfectly well when he shrieked:
“In the theory with which we have to deal, Absolute Ignorance is the artificer; so that we may enunciate as the fundamental principle of the whole system, that, in order to make a perfect and beautiful machine, it is not requisite to know how to make it... This proposition will be found…to express in a few words all Mr. Darwin's meaning; who, by a strange inversion of reasoning, seems to think Absolute Ignorance fully qualified to take the place of Absolute Wisdom in all the achievements of creative skill.”

Exactly!  

The differences between this and ID should be clear.  Had the engineers been intelligent designers they would have simply built the end product themselves rather than letting a long, wasteful and cumbersome process work on it for a while.  Had they intelligently designed the end product, then they would have indeed deserved full credit for the creative process, but they didn’t so they weren’t.  

Like DE, they didn’t directly create the end product, but rather the process by which that product, whatever it would turn out to be, would be created by nobody but the processes itself.  This, however, isn’t really giving the engineers their full due, for they did, presumably, supervise the process and guide it according to their tastes by a manipulation of selective pressures and variability.  Their roles were much more analogous to EC.  Nevertheless, they still did not directly create the end product and still do not deserve as much credit as if they had directly designed the end product by themselves.

Despite these similarities, there are, however, a number of differences which should not be overlooked.  In the case of the engineers survival and replication are artificially defined according to their particular tastes, desires and goals.  However in biological evolution survival and replication are in fact intrinsically self-defined.  Whereas the engineers defined the ability to survive and reproduce according to performance some particular faculty, surviving long enough to reproduce in biological systems is not defined by actually surviving long enough to reproduce.  Thus, it would seem that in this very important aspect, the User of the biological evolutionary algorithm could design nothing but creations which are good at surviving and reproducing, something which is done by all living organisms, irrespective of cognitive capability or Whose “image” they come in.

Other ways could be conjured up as to how God could have guided this evolutionary process though.  He could have some how protected from harm those organisms which He saw had mutations which, although not contributing to their genetic fitness, did contribute to His own definition of fitness.  He could have also negatively selected mutations which although increase genetic fitness, were contrary to His particular definition of fitness at that particular time.  This, however, would appear to be a serious uphill battle.  One would also have to wonder why, if He knew what was good or bad, didn’t He simply design it according to ID?

This is an important point worth mentioning and giving more thought to.  The reason why the engineers in our example used those mindless algorithms to discover those wonderful designs was because they didn't know what that design would eventually be. If they had known what that optimal design was beforehand, they simply would have intelligently designed it that way rather than taking the long and wasteful route.  One wonders how this point applies to a EC devoid of all intelligent design as I have defined it. If the Designer knew the design then why waste so much time, energy and life in taking the long route? Why take the longer and more exploratory route if no exploration was necessary? The ID answer is that He (to one degree or another) didn't. The evolutionary creationist, on the other hand, doesn't really have much of an answer.

The other way in which God could have guided the evolutionary process is by influencing the mutations in organisms as well as the variation within the populations making them less than random.  Of course, this starts to look an awful lot like full blown ID.  ID, as far as I can tell, does accept that while the irreducibly complex features we now observe could not have come about by natural selection, they do arise within the embryonic development of each organism in a purely naturalistic manner.  Thus, their design wouldn’t amount to building a system as much as simply tinkering with the genetic sequence with a specific goal in mind.  Is this really all that different from what TE is suggesting?

A few comments are in order.  First, if that is the form of design which ID promotes then they really need to abandon any hope of special creation, for this mechanism has common descent written all over it.  This, as we have already seen, should come as no surprise since Behe himself has already acknowledged this.Second, the manner in which "irreducibly complex" systems can arise due to simply manipulations in the genetic sequence actually works against ID attacks on evolution. They are quite fond of quoting Darwin's admission that gradualism is necessary, but here is exactly where Darwin's ignorance regarding genetics plays a crucial role. Modern Neo-Darwinism doesn't necessarily hold out for gradual change in the phenotype as much as it does for gradualness in the change of the genotype, and even then there are some important qualifications which have recently come to light.  The gradualism which ID attacks is no longer a strict prerequisite as it once was. Thus, ID simply must hold out for changes in the genetic sequence which are virtually impossible without some intelligent "help" for their "theory" to have any meaning whatsoever. And this is where the separation between ID and EC comes in. God's causing or influencing particular mutations in the genome would, I suggest, count as EC if the change COULD have come from entirely naturalistic causes, whether it actually did or not. Such mutations would count as ID if they could not have possibly been the effect of "random" mutations and this by their own definition.Thus the EC should be careful to not get too greedy and/or specific in his claims that God influence mutations and/or variation or else he might find himself in the ID camp after all.  The difference between EC and strict ID (a long earth creationism, complete with common descent and microevolution) is one of degree rather than kind, for the possible/impossible divide as to whether a mutation could have arisen by itself is blurry at best.
This then serves as a sufficient test as to whether somebody rejects the ID movement for pragmatic reasons or due to its falsity. Those who reject ID due to its falsity don't think that there are any mutations which COULD NOT POSSIBLY have been entirely blind and naturalistic. Those who reject the ID movement for pragmatic reasons think that there just might be some mutations which really couldn't have been random and therefore do require an Intelligence Designer.  “It’s just,” they claim, “that we probably won't ever be able to find any such mutation events with any degree of surety.  Therefore it is best that we leave that explanation out of science altogether for it is only by assigning naturalistic explanations to all we can that the exceptions will be revealed.”

ID says that those mindless algorithms aren't powerful enough to have done the work we now observe.  Therefore the design which we see now is not a product of indirect design through the tool of blind forces, but is instead the products of direct design. That is why it is "intelligent" rather than "blind."  Thus, either design came directly from God as ID claims or it came, at best, indirectly from God as EC suggests. It can't be both. If we accept any breaks at all in the genealogical lines of accumulated design then we have at that very moment left evolution altogether and are now in ID land.

20 Comments:

I'm solidly in the "undetectable God" camp, i.e. theological evolution. One interesting question worth asking is whether God can accomplish anything he wants to while still eluding detection.

For example (and this may seem off topic), we often hear that the commandment to tithe is for our own good. "God could provide the money himself if he wanted to," we're told. But how could God fund a multibillion dollar church without tipping his hand? If he inspired church investors to buy certain stocks, for instance, then the church's inexplicable "good luck" would not go unnoticed.

The trick is for God to carry out his purposes in ways that are indistiguishable from undirected nature. Stochastic processes provide an opportunity for God to do this, but his actions must look statistically random. So I guess I see God as a very smart pseudorandom number generator. 

Posted by will

12/01/2005 03:25:00 PM  

If they had known what that optimal design was beforehand, they simply would have intelligently designed it that way rather than taking the long and wasteful route. ... If the Designer knew the design then why waste so much time, energy and life in taking the long route? Why take the longer and more exploratory route if no exploration was necessary? The ID answer is that He (to one degree or another) didn't. The evolutionary creationist, on the other hand, doesn't really have much of an answer. 

Obviously an incisive question, but it may misleadingly focus too much on individual organisms. Remember that entire ecosystems have to be built up into a biosphere that can support man. Starting from a lifeless planet, it could be that it is necessary to build up slowly, gradually bringing along complicated systems with many interactions. In this context what seems wasteful from the perspective of a single individual of a single species might actually be quite reasonable in the context of the bigger picture.
 

Posted by Christian Y. Cardall

12/02/2005 11:56:00 AM  

This, however, isn’t really giving the engineers their full due, for they did, presumably, supervise the process and guide it according to their tastes by a manipulation of selective pressures and variability. 

A difficulty in applying this to God's possible influence over biological evolution is that a very large part of an organism's environment is other organisms. (In fact I think in Darwin's original version the competition against other individuals of one's own species almost completely dominated.) Hence to influence evolution by influencing the environment would still amount to either designing or controlling other organisms. 

Posted by Christian Y. Cardall

12/02/2005 12:00:00 PM  

At last some comments. I certainly thought that my post was at least a little controversial and deserving of some criticism.

Your first comment is a rather good one, but I'm not sure that your response is broad enough to cover the gap its trying to bridge. For staters, the actually ecosystem which supports man is but a small portion of what actually has arisen. I simply don't accept that all the the ecosystems which now exist on earth, let alone all those which have existed, have done so in order to support man's existence. I don't actually think that you really believe it this strongly either, but that is what your comment amounts to.

Your comment also begs the original question to a large extent. Obviously the design which we are talking about here far exceeds that which those engineers were working on. That, it seems to me, is all your comment really says in the end, for why couldn't God have simply intelligently designed an ecosystem suitable for his purposes on the spot rather than, again, using such a prodigously wasteful and indirect method of creation? This is simply the original question put in its proper perspective.

As regards your second comment, Darwin did state, and correctly so, that the most intense competition will be between those organisms who occupy the most similar niches.

Your comment on one interpretation agrees with my post if by "environment" you mean selective pressures. I don't think that the selective pressures can be controled by anybody due to their being intrinsically self-defined and I consider the environment as you seem to be describing it as being part of these selective pressures.

If, however, environment is taken to mean God's somehow artificially protecting or endangering particular organisms then I do think that it is possible that it could be done. HOWEVER, there are some serious drawbacks:

1) Its would be VERY DIFFICULT to overcome the intrinsically self-defined selective pressures require huge amounts of divine supervision and interference.

2) We have absolutely no reason to suggest that God works in such non-subtle ways. It simply seems wrong to suggest that God interferred with the course of nature all the time before there men on the earth but stopped intervening once man showed up. Serious issues regarding the problem of evil naturally arise.

3) Similarly, if God did have such power and influence over the evolutionary history of life, then He is, at least indirectly, responsible for all the bad things which have evolved as well, for He could have avoided them. This is what makes ID such bad theology for it puts God in role of a very unintelligent designer.

It is issue like these that help keep Evolutionary Creationism in check, making it obviously clear that such a position is based upon pure faith without any pretentions to science. This, in my opinion, is a good thing. 

Posted by Jeffrey Giliam

12/02/2005 12:51:00 PM  

Jeffrey, I definitely don't believe all the things I say. ;-> I like to explore many angles and may play devil's advocate, even when my true position is actually closer to that of my interlocuter.

I agree, in very many places in nature it is apparent that God doesn't care exactly what is happening---at least it's not relevant for humans---and this probably is the case with many peripheral ecosystems as you mention.

Whether the task is creating a specific creature or an entire ecosystem... Just thinking out loud here, suppose the task was to bake a cake. Would God directly create a fully-formed cake, or mix the ingredients and put it in the oven, letting natural law take over? Would the latter be called inefficient, wasteful, etc.?

There are many important differences with evolution, but still it suggests the attractiveness of what you call deistic evolution. While seemingly slow, wasteful, whatever from the point of view of time, it's exceedingly efficient with regards to the amount of effort God himself has to put in. Nature does the heavy lifting. A version of this in which God is involved not only at the beginning, hut comes around only from time to time and adjusts only crucial things is also possible (and indeed suggested by our creation accounts).

A key question is how contingent evolution really is. One deist-style solution would be that God kicks off evolution on many worlds and only in some of them do beings arise that are close enough for him to call his "children."

For Mormons, however, this would be giving up a lot because the First Vision is strictly interpreted to mean that God is exactly anthropomorphic. Also our creation accounts suggest nothing like this, but rather successful involvement with a particular planet. Again, this involvement could be quite intermittent, mostly hands off. But again, with any "hands off" approach there is still the problem of contingency; even if getting to some sort of intelligent being were roughly automatic, getting something that looks just like God---close enough to seem like his literal offspring---seems like a tall order.

In summary, next to atheism, the deist-style position seems to be most consonant with "waste" in nature (and some degree of occasional "checking up" may not be ruled out), but the contingency this implies makes it a tough fit for Mormon conceptions of what it means to be a child of God, made in his image. 

Posted by Christian Y. Cardall

12/02/2005 02:01:00 PM  

The scriptures are centered around humans, and well they should--we are his children. But they also hint that God has other big projects going on. All those wasteful ecosystems are wasteful when thinking of us as the goal, but they may have value in and of themselves. I'm thinking of the progression of lesser intelligences such as animals, and so forth. Are they more wasteful than all of those stars and planets God created 'for mine own purpose'? 

Posted by Jared

12/02/2005 02:10:00 PM  

Man, this is starting to sound like a New Cool Thang thread.

Now about your cake. If God could produce a fully formed cake or mix the (unspecified) ingredients and let nature take it toll (this toll being huge amounts of suffering, waste and a not too intelligently designed product) which should we choose? The answer seems all too obvious to me. We can only make EC sound like a good option if we trivialize the waste and/or postulate some undefined mechanisms to get what we want.

These are the reasons why I hate analogies so much. They too easily serve to divert attention away the real issues at hand. (No offense intended to anybody here. Geoff, the king of analogies, knows about my undying hatred as much as anybody.)

DE is quite efficient, but efficiency is only a virtue to those who are limited in power, resources and/or personal investment.

We can allow nature to do the "heavy lifting" but this is exactly what I addressed in the post. God doesn't get credit and we are left wondering why He simply didn't do it the best way which he (presumably) could have. This is why special creationism and ID are so attractive to theists, because they avoid the negative implications of these questions.

There are two things which Jared wrote which I want to address:

1) Wasteful doesn't simply mean "efficient use of materials" in this context. Wasteful also includes the waste of life in the inherently competitive nature of natural selection and the inevitability of unintelligent and even immoral design. This is what separates evolution from the lifeless expanses of heaven.

2) I have also suggested that eternal progression can be extended to less lifeforms, but I don't think that this is good enough. This response doesn't address the natural evils of unintelligent and immoral design (by immoral I mean the numerous examples of infanticide, rape and murder which is so common to life and atheists are so fond of pointing out). We are also left with a situation in which God isn't really creating anything in particular at all.
 

Posted by Jeffrey Giliam

12/02/2005 03:13:00 PM  

Jeff,

Aren't you forgetting that we live in a fallen world--and it is supposed to be so? Is the wastefulness and natural evil problem lessened by a more direct creation? I don't think so. I doubt you do either, so now I'm not sure what we're talking about.

12/02/2005 05:01:00 PM  

Jared,  I'm curious to know what you think about the historical contingency of species and ecosystems that are peripheral to humans. Do you think God specifically designed each one for a particular kind of lesser intelligence? Or do you think they arose naturalistically, with God assigning appropriate lesser intelligences to them "on the fly"?  

Posted by Christian Y. Cardall

12/03/2005 12:51:00 PM  

Jeffrey:  DE is quite efficient, but efficiency is only a virtue to those who are limited in power, resources and/or personal investment. ... He simply didn't do it the best way which he (presumably) could have. 

As you're fond of pointing out, we don't believe in a God of unlimited power. However I'm not sure how much of the "waste" should be construed as delineating limitations on God's power, because as Jared points out, this is alleged to be a fallen world.

We are also left with a situation in which God isn't really creating anything in particular at all.

Well, believers may say God was needed to kick it off. And they'd also say we're only witnessing the second of three acts, and it remains to be seen how he'll pull it all off in the end.

But I should admit that I sympathize with the questions, and to some extent am playing devil's (or rather God's) advocate here. In fact I have Spinozist leanings... ;-> 

Posted by Christian Y. Cardall

12/03/2005 06:44:00 PM  

(I had comment trouble also.)

Christian,

Given the stochastic nature of ecosystems, it is hard for me to believe that every detail is planned. That would be a lot of bean-counting (or beetle-counting). I tend to believe that the assignment of intelligence to life-form has some kind of simple principle behind it that does not require constant attention.

On the other hand, since I believe that we are an intended product, I can certainly imagine that God had other intended products.

So I really don't know, but I suspect that both processes occur. That's just my speculating opinion. 

Posted by Jared

12/03/2005 09:11:00 PM  

Jared,

I had to go back and figure out what, exactly, it really was that we were arguing about.

My point in the post that you called into question was that the strength of evolutionary algorithms in a creative process lies in both its exploratory nature and its ability to design without a designer. However neither of these can really be considered virtues in the hands of a (supposedly) vastly powerful creator.

If the Creator did used only these algorithms then it suggests both that 1) He didn't really know what the final product would entail exactly and 2) He didn't really to the creating Himself. These are problems in addition to the typical problems of wastefulness and natural evil.

The IDers state that God didn't use ONLY these algorithms, but instead jumped in to give the Creative process a helping hand every now and then. This however raises other problems. First of all, the problems of wastefulness and natural evil are serious issues now, for whereas the ECist can write off most wastefulness and natural evil to the mindless nature of the process (just as we will everything else to a certain degree). Another problem is that it would seem that God would intervene under with ID only when He for some reason couldn't accomplish His purposes with EC, in which case the Designers power and/or competence is called into question. Finally, and most importantly, the evidence for the creative process can only ever work against ID as far as I can tell.

At this point you responded that this process is only wasteful if we only consider humans as being somehow important. If we look at the whole picture, you suggested, we might have a very different perspective.

I don't think so. The wastefulness comes not necessarily from the billions of years which life took to evolve to us, but from the very nature of evolution by natural selection. There is a constant struggle for survival and resources are always limited with few exceptions. In this light, the creation of any organism looks a bit wasteful and a bit cruel.

I also think that we shouldn't get too carried away in our esteem, in God's eyes, for other animals. We have no strong scriptural reason to think that this earth and all its life was created for anybody but us humans. The idea that intelligence extends into the animal realm, as I have defended elsewhere, is an entirely ad hoc attempt at twisting the scriptures. This isn't to say that it isn't a good idea, only that we have no reason to believe it really.

The main objection to it, as I said earlier, is that God, though not ALL powerful, really needs to be VASTLY powerful in order to inspire worship. Nobody is saying that any idiot could create a full blown ecosystem without the help of evolutionary algorithms, on that God should have been able to.

As to the fallen world, fallen compared to what? What was the not-fallen world from which we supposedly fell? The basic difference, it would seem, is merely mortality. But the existence of mortality does not at all suggest that life must come into existence in such an indirect and brutally competitive way. This is the beauty of special creation in that mortal life is created whenever God wills it. What EC and to a certain extent ID say is that God apparently COULDN'T have created a paradise at all, that this was pretty much the best He could do. Remember, at no point in the past do we have any reason whatsoever to suggest that there was a "fall" from a paradisiacal earth to a fallen one due to man's failure. Instead, it has always been pretty much this way, and this, THIS was pronounced "good."

Now as I said at the beginning of this comment, the problem of evil is only exacerbated (sp?) by a more direct creation. The problem of wastefulness is addressed a little bit but not too much. The problem of credit, however, is alleviated as is the problem of competence (whether God knew the eventual outcome).

That is the main point of that part of the post, namely that these problems work against each other in considering ID versus EC. One can only give God more credit and competence in the creative process only at the expense of exacerbating the problems of wastefulness and natural evil.
 

Posted by Jeffrey Giliam

12/05/2005 10:39:00 AM  

Jeff,

It seems like you are making a point similar to the one I made in this post . I agree with your last paragraph--at least in the strong versions of each camp.

12/05/2005 08:37:00 PM  

Jared,

Your link isn't working. I don't know if you put it in wrong (doubtful) or if blogger is just having more issues as I have noticed around a few other blogs as of late. You might have to simply cut and paste the url. 

Posted by Jeffrey Giliam

12/06/2005 01:19:00 PM  

That's strange, I'm almost positive I put the link in. Well anyway, it's my post, "Blood, the Fall, and Intelligent Design." It's in my notebook. 

Posted by Jared

12/06/2005 05:00:00 PM  

Actually no, global warming is real and there are various scientific explanations for it. The two most obvious being that the Earth has always gone through warming and cooling cycles and we are simply getting warmer now. The other would be that we are killing the ozone layer (which is fact) and that is allowing unfiltered UV rays in that are warming the planet and that we are generating gases that trap heat in the atmosphere thus raising the average of the Earths temperature.

But of course ID is just political; everyone who pushes ID is a Christian who is just trying to disguise the creation myth of the Christian Bible.

12/20/2005 08:49:00 AM  

While there are political activists promoting intelligent design today, Buckninster Fuller, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, proved Creationism 30 YEARS AGO.

1/03/2006 11:16:00 AM  

If God gave man "dominion" over the earth prior to the fall, man may have had some type of creationary power over the earth. If God chose to make man in his image, a being that can choose, then man can "muck" up almost any part of creation.

The second LAW of thermodynamics states that things become LESS organized over time!!!

1/03/2006 11:41:00 AM  

Buckminster Fuller proved creationism--I must have missed the memo.

Joseph,

I'm not sure what role you see for man mucking up creation, but I doubt it can explain what needs explaining.

As for the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it's called a law because it is true as far as can be observed, not because it was given some divine sanction. And as I understand it, it is really more about the accounting and ultimate destiny of energy. It has very little to do with evolution. 

Posted by Jared

1/05/2006 09:47:00 AM  

Jared,

I'm impressed that you actually took the time to address such an ill-informed opinion. Did either of those comments have ANYTHING to do with the post? 

Posted by Jeffrey Giliam

1/06/2006 08:08:00 AM  

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