Monday, April 6, 2009

The dirty E word

As many of our friends know, Marisa and I both are strong proponents of evolution. We don't say that it is exactly the way that God created man and thus put a spirit in the offspring of some pre-Adamite's son and called him Adam. In fact, we don't believe that is the way things went down. Despite that, we are in agreement with many LDS biology professors that evolution is an incontrovertible fact! Those who don't agree, that I have met in person are uninformed. I have never met a person that understood the science and still felt that evolution is false. When I say that, I do mean the evolution of species in the forms that we see today. For a nice, short, honest synopsys of the subject see the following video:

So, if you disagree...tell me why. I'd love to see if I can make a believer of you ;-)


Loyd said...

I didn't know you and Marisa were atheists.

Also, why should I believe that anonymous liar on the video over Kirk Cameron?

Loyd said...

On a serious not, here is the best argument against the evolution of man that I can give from an LDS perspective.

Mormons generally believe that God has a physical body that is essentially the same as ours. For example Brigham Young said that we would not be able to distinguish God from other people if he were to be walking among us. Some Mormons, take this to mean that God has the same genetic structure as his human offspring.

If we take this to be true, as well as the general belief that humans evolved from 'lower' life forms as the rest of the biological world, than it seems that there are three possible conclusions:

1. The grand evolutionary process inevitably results in the teleological evolution of human-like animals; or

2. That humans and God are so physically similar is mere accidental; or

3. Human beings are not a result of random mutation in the evolutionary process, but are rather the results an intelligent design process (perhaps controlled mutations) that eventually resulted in beings like God.

(1) to me, seems a little too contrived and improbable. (2) has the same problem and would probably not gel well with most LDSaints. (3) would perhaps be the most accepted by LDSaints... But if we take out random mutation, are we really talking about the same evolution as the scientists are?

Carson Calderwood said...

Good point Loyd. I think that it is a combination of both. There were random mutations, but he helped guide things down the path (amongst the many options) that he wanted. For example, when mammals were not doing well and the dinosaurs were dominating, he could send a meteor or blow up a huge volcano and help the mammals out.

Russell said...

Because we are eternally progressing, both mentally and spiritually, I have always felt like a real possibility is the “evolution of learning”. i.e., We all needed to learn how to help build God’s creation. Clearly we could not start off with the biggest most complicated creations. So we learned to make the simplest things first and then built on that knowledge until we could help with the complicated. So evolution was a learning tool not necessarily the “origin of species”.

I also believe that there are two distinct kinds of evolution. The evolution we all earn about in grammar school in which all species were derived from a common ancestor (which I as a scientist find totally implausible. The chance of one mutation occurring which is actually of benefit to a species to make it better adapted to its environment is so incredibly small as to be ridiculous. Enough “beneficial” mutations to create a different species, probabilistically unthinkable. Enough of those “beneficial” mutations to make 90 million species (scientist’s estimate of how many species have occurred on the earth)? Really think about it.
The other kind of evolution is genetic drift, this is what Darwin described (he and to my knowledge no other scientist has ever witnessed evolution create a new species, just genetic drift within a species). That occurs all around us and one would have to be scientifically blind or ignorant not to recognize it.

These are just my thoughts on the subject. They certainly are not echoed to my knowledge by anyone I have ever heard of in either the LDSaint or Biological worlds.

Every aspect of science that I have ever learned clearly in my mind points to the existence of God. One of the amazing lectures I ever heard that clearly (in my mind) pointed to God’s existence was on properties of water. I won’t go into it, but water’s mere existence so amazingly points to God’s existence as to be mind boggling to me. Here is Einstein’s (a supposed Atheist) thought’s on God’s existence in Science:
"Every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble...My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."

Loyd said...

There is a larger problem from the LDS perspective that I forgot to address, and that is the nature of God's body. I think it is indubitable that our physical bodies are a result of evolutionary processes - the shape, structure, and biology of our bodies are the result of natural selection. If this is the case, and God has the same time of body as us, then this seems to imply that God's body, also, is the result of natural selection.