Joined: Sep. 2007
|Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 10 2009,17:40)|
|Quote (Daniel Smith @ Jan. 10 2009,13:31)|
|The aspect of front-loading that might seem miraculous to us (and the part that I'm agreeing to) is the necessity for foreknowledge of world environmental conditions. This may not be "miraculous" at all, if indeed there is a being that exists outside the constraints of time.If such a being exists, then this is not miraculous at all for him. It's the natural state of affairs for such a being. It just seems miraculous to us. So, I'll agree that omniscience is a requirement for successful front-loading. |
That's tap dancing. The dust settles and omniscience is required for front loading. Hence front loading is a supernatural explanation and lies outside the purview of science.
Front-loading requires omniscience in the same way that successful DNA encoding does. To build a successful DNA program for a functioning, reproducing, evolving organism would require knowledge far beyond that of man. Also, (to use your argument), front-loading happened billions of years ago - so how can we know that all the genetic "spit-swapping" that went on back then didn't produce a super-genome from which all others descended? I don't see how you can so quickly rule out natural mechanisms and arrive at the supernatural for one theory and not even consider using the same criteria to judge the other. Personal bias again?
|Let me clarify one thing here though: the "God hypothesis" operates from the assumption that there is a God. It interprets nature in the light of such an assumption. It is obviously no use to a methodological naturalist.|
Hence it is of no use to science, and of no relevance to science. That's all I've been saying.
Bill, we seem to be dancing around each other's arguments - repeating the same basic premises.
Maybe I haven't been clear, maybe you don't want the argument to end, I don't know. Let me try to state this one final time and hopefully we can move on...
I don't care if my argument is scientific or not, I don't care if it contributes anything to the empirical research of methodological naturalists, I especially don't care if those who embrace methodological naturalism reject it, I only care if it's true.
I only brought up the science of front-loading because those who presented the most powerful case for it were some of the most brilliant scientists in their respective fields. One thing I should have made clearer though was that none of them called it front-loading. Berg called it "Nomogenesis" which means "evolution by law". He offered no explanation as to how it all began, (other than one sentence at the end of his book where he postulated "tens of thousands of primary forms"), all he did was chronicle evidence from nature that showed "lawful evolution" (and there was a lot). Schindewolf directly rejected creationism and metaphysical explanations. His theory was based on overwhelming evidence of patterns within the fossil record and the lack of transitional forms necessary for Darwinist gradualism. Goldschmidt did not appeal to any supernatural mechanism either. His view was that macroevolution was saltational and based on the chromosomes and not the gene. Dr. John Davison built his Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis on the work of these and others and he was the one who introduced the concept of front-loading into the mix. His position is that there is no other possible explanation and that such a conclusion is obvious. Incidentally, he also proposed a completely natural, testable mechanism for Goldschmidt's chromosome based evolution - semi-meiosis.
For me, though, I'm only interested in how all these things fit together and how the findings of science fit within a theological worldview. I reject methodological naturalism because it cannot consider God as a source. I instead, embrace natural theology. So, although most scientific work is done within the framework of methodological naturalism, I evaluate it from a theological perspective. From this perspective, I fully expect methodological naturalism to fail when it comes to explaining what God has done. Just as science would fail to explain the origin of the space shuttle or any of its parts if it could not consider humans as a source, so must methodological naturalism fail in its quest to explain the works of God. I think there is much to be gained - for me personally - from this. Just as you can tell much about a creator through their work--be it a song, a painting or a space shuttle--so too can we learn much about God through the study of his creation. In the field of archaeology, we often learn everything we know about a culture by studying their creations.
|I agree that it would take a being like God to successfully front-load a genome (or genomes), but I also think it would take a being like God to design a ribosome, or to successfully integrate systems such as biochemical pathways, enzymes and co-enzymes, protein synthesis, intra and extra-cellular communications, anabolic and catabolic processes, DNA as an information carrier, etc. together into a functioning organism. You were able, in a wink, to decide that front-loading would require God, how about putting those powers of deduction to use on whether or not it would require God to make an organism?|
My position is that the search for a natural explanation of the origins of these structures is within the purview of natural science. Assertions motivated by reference to either the existence (or non-existence, for that matter) of God aren't relevant to that process. I hope, and believe, that scientific accounts (e.g. naturalistic accounts) will be attained for these structures and processes - although the precision of such accounts will certainly be constrained by the historical nature of these events, because events that occurred billions of years in the past are likely to be only incompletely knowable.
I don't think that logically follows from the proposed mechanism of the current theory. This mechanism is random variation sifted through natural selection. It is an accidental cause sorted through an often arbitrary filter. Arriving at the best idea would have to be a slow, indirect, sloppy process where most random variations wouldn't work. The number of workable variations would be few and should be easily reconstructed. "Billions of years" is no excuse - since that's the time it takes for such an inefficient process to work.
|I knew you'd say that. But God - as the causal effect of the natural world - can also thus be linked. IOW, if God created the natural world, the natural world itself is evidence - and a link to - God.|
See? Everybody is happy. Indeed, you could fully embrace evolutionary theory and abandon your reactionary anti-scientific stance by taking that philosophical attitude to the history of life generally.
I came here to challenge and to have my views challenged and so far, it's been productive for me. I've brought my own philosophy into sharper focus through our exchanges here. You have been one of the few to actually engage in debate. And, although I think you sometimes reject anything that might force you to consider God, I feel as though you have at least tried to consider my arguments.
There are some here who have not even tried. There is one here whose name I won't mention, whose posts I haven't replied to in months (in fact I haven't even been reading them), yet he continues to reply to everything I post. The sad thing is, I don't even think he's noticed that I'm not replying. I guess he feels he's winning our imaginary debate.
So thanks Bill, for not being totally dismissive (and at least noticing whether I respond or not).
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." Orville Wright
"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question." Richard Dawkins