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Is evolution evidence of a designer?


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#1    Naveed

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 05:18 AM

Ok, I've always been really into the idea that perhaps evolution is indeed proof that there is intelligent design in the universe. Heck, even we as people design machines, and to me it seems that lifeforms are not much different from machines and go through trial and error situations with evolution. So can an intelligence be behind this trial and error process of evolution? What do you think.

Also to start off this topic, I have an essay I wrote for my final in Philosophy if Religion. I'll put it in qoutes so it stands out against what I typed above.

QUOTE

                               Programming of Evolution
                                         By Jason Westby

Evolution; Dictionary.com defines the word as:
1. A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.
2  a: The process of developing.
    b: Gradual development.
3. Biology.
a: Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species.
b: The historical development of a related group of organisms; phylogeny


For centuries evolution has been stated as going against religion. None of the definitions above say that, but it is still the popular belief of creationists, saying it goes against God's plans because it does not match the Biblical form of Creation. In other words it goes against intelligent design or the belief that everything was created for a reason by a divine being such as God, so to many creationists evolution does not exist for that simple reason. They believe that everything was intelligently designed by God and that since evolution debunks part of the Bible, it must not exist.
Then you have people who believe evolution is evidence that there is no intelligent design and that everything happened by chance; that life just appeared one day when the right chemicals mixed and everything just went from there. Survival of the fittest is the key to that belief. A group of a type of organism lives, runs into a problem and either dies or adapts to it, possibly changing their physical characteristics to the point where they appear entirely different then before.
The majority of people tend to stay with the creationistic point of view, or the survival of the fittest one which involves no intelligent design whatsoever. But I ask you, why must it be one of the two? Could it be possible for one function with the other? I believe that the answer is a resounding yes, despite the fact they tend to contradict eachother.
Look at it this way, God is a programmer, albeit he or she is probably not the God of the Christian Bible, but one of a little less omniscience. You see, while programming a line of code for a computer, or a video game, or even if you are working on artificial intelligence, you run into problems. Something doesn't quite work right with another line of code, or the single purpose of one line doesn't work at all or results in the destruction of it's function. To better understand my analogy that I am speaking of lets look at God as video game programmer that has made the worlds largest and real video game. The world in which this game takes place, the programmer (God), has designed to function on it's own. It can change the makeup of itself, generate mountains through set processes, random weather etc...all on it's own.
Now lets say that the programmer decides that one of the world (Earth) should have life on it. However the process in which the life is programmed makes them easier to damage or destroy. So the first life appears as something small and easy to program, something that won't die off easy or be destroyed easy; a simple one cell organism. This organism is designed to function on it's own as well, and the programmer also observes how it operates in the enviroment in which he has made it. It functions good, so he programs it to form a more complex line of code or in other words a more complex lifeform. Of course God wants some variety though so some of the original lifeforms go unchanged and the new ones go on to function as well as the previous, but are weaker which makes them more vulnerable to change. So when the Earth does what it is programmed to do, and changes something in the area in which the life was created. These changes then cause a problem for the lifeforms living in that area. So the programmer goes back rewrites the lifeform's code and walla, a new lifeform has evolved.
Now I will be the first to admit that there are flaws in this analogy, but it works for the example I am trying to give. I have read plenty of articles on both creation and evolution throughout my lifetime, and I'm honestly surprised that an analogy such as that does not pop up more often as well. Because the one thing the majority of the articles from both sides agree on
is that every living thing, no matter how simple the lifeform, no matter where it lives, and no matter what it eats, has had to adapt in one way or another to certain situations. Because each animal down to the simplest cell is built and designed to function within their enviroments and interact with whatever comes there way. Also the very organs that make up all things from cells (including bacteria, viruses, etc), animals, and plants are programmed to perform certain functions as well. And if it weren't for the programming of these organs adaptation would not happen, therefore evolution would not happen because adaptation is what leads to evolution, and adaptation itself is inherently evolution, and without adaptation we would have no living things today. And I think that for things to adapt, for things to evolve, and their programming, designs, and structure to change is in fact a sign of a programmer.
ŠJason Westby


Edited by Naveed, 28 April 2004 - 05:19 AM.


#2    bathory

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 09:36 AM

the problem is that all you are doing is replacing one unknown with another, you see, by simply calling the being that does the creating a designer you have so vaguely defined the being that one cannot argue for or against.



#3    Seraphina

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 10:07 AM

No...no evolution doesn't prove a designer, because it's fueled by natural selection, not artificial selection. Evolution is the theory that proposes a natural development of life, as opposed to creationism and, while it's true it doesn't exactly disprove god, the theory has absolutely nothing to do with it/him/her/whatever.

Aren't most holy texts supposed to be "the very word of god" in any event, and propose creationism as how life came about (albiet with various, somewhat different, creation myths)? If evolution is how god did it, I guess that makes him a liar tongue.gif  

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#4    Tiyger

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 12:59 PM

I think that science just figures out how it is that God did what he did. It is natural, yes, but the miracles that happen, while most are hard to explain at the time, science has since discovered what it was that happened. I don't believe the timing to be coincidence, though.
a few examples:
the star in the sky at Jeasus' birth- was probably an exploding star that was finally seen from earth. The timing was just right, though, and its location.
The parting of the red Sea, by Moses- I'd heard something about intense winds (possibly combined with tide?) that pulled the water away from a shallow portion of the sea, and so enabled the hebrews to cross safely. again, timing... The wind must have stopped, or the tide passed, or whatever it was that happened before the Egyptians could cross.

There are others, but I cannot think of them at the moment.  


#5    Seraphina

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 01:14 PM

QUOTE
the star in the sky at Jeasus' birth- was probably an exploding star that was finally seen from earth. The timing was just right, though, and its location.
The parting of the red Sea, by Moses- I'd heard something about intense winds (possibly combined with tide?) that pulled the water away from a shallow portion of the sea, and so enabled the hebrews to cross safely. again, timing... The wind must have stopped, or the tide passed, or whatever it was that happened before the Egyptians could cross.


You are, of course, assuming these events happened at all.

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#6    saucy

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 03:25 PM

jeez you guys.  Understand something!  If God created us then we started to evolve, then that means God isn't perfect.  He created us in His perfect image.  Also, in that paper of yours, you never explained how the life on this planet started in the first place.  You want to truly explain evolution, then you need to explain where life came from.  Life cannot just suddenly start, a single cell cannot suddenly appear and start to evolve.  Even if it did, that one cell cannot evolve into the trillions of different species here on earth (all the plants, animals, and insects).  It's hard to understand what truly happened during the time of the bible with all the miracles.  Moses parted the Red Sea.  If the tide was different and allowed them to cross, then the tide would be the same and allowed the soldiers to catch up to them.  Tides cannot explain the parting of a sea.  If you try to mix science and religion, you'll only get confused.  Science tries to explain relgion, but it cannot because science cannot and will not account for the divine and supernatural.  Science is out to disprove God and the bible.  I used to believe the same thing, that the big bang happened after God said, Let there be light.  The big bang couldn't have happened.  Where did all the matter come from that just sudden exploded?  Was it always there?  Couldn't have been always there.  It had to of been created.  How the explosion cause order when every other explosion in history causes disorder and chaos?  The universe and galaxy was made exactly perfect, including the heat of the sun, size of the sun, distance of the earth and sun, distance of the moon from earth, distance of all the other planets from the sun and earth, the distance, size, heat and matter of all the other stars, it's all in perfect order to allow earth to sustain life.  God bless you in your search for the truth.  Have any more questions?


#7    Seraphina

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 04:27 PM

QUOTE
You want to truly explain evolution, then you need to explain where life came from.


That would be abiogenesis. I believe the theory was that electricity (in this case lightning) could create the basic raw materials for life in conjunction with water...although I might have it wrong. Either way, the theory was proven in laboratory conditions: life coming from nothing, so to speak.

Your turn tongue.gif If you want to preach to us that god is real, you have to tell us where he comes from; right now, he's still just a character in a book.

QUOTE
If the tide was different and allowed them to cross, then the tide would be the same and allowed the soldiers to catch up to them. Tides cannot explain the parting of a sea.


Actually, if we're to entertain the possibility that this event even happened, there's no reason to assume the tide couldn't come back in when the egyptians arrived. The crossing would likely have taken several hours (about the length of time the land bridge would be visible) and if we're to assume the egyptians arrived just as Moses as his entourage reached the opposite shore, then it's very unlikely indeed they would have had a chance of reaching it too.

Again, however, that's only if we consider the possibility that the story is true.

QUOTE
Where did all the matter come from that just sudden exploded? Was it always there? Couldn't have been always there. It had to of been created.


The same could be said of God...but then again, I assume he was created from the imagination of whoever wrote the bible. In any event, not being an astronomer, I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure there's actually a theory of what happened with the big bang also, and how all the components were formed and came together.

QUOTE
How the explosion cause order when every other explosion in history causes disorder and chaos?


Order? It sent the universe into such disarray that it is still expanding, with planets and stars floating around in a far more ad-hoc manner than the previous, nicely compacted and organised manner of the several millimeter long universe.

QUOTE
The universe and galaxy was made exactly perfect, including the heat of the sun, size of the sun, distance of the earth and sun, distance of the moon from earth, distance of all the other planets from the sun and earth, the distance, size, heat and matter of all the other stars, it's all in perfect order to allow earth to sustain life. God bless you in your search for the truth. Have any more questions?


All of the relative distances of heavenly bodies is down to their various gravitational pull on each other, not down to a perfect design....if there was a designer, you'd wonder why earth is the only planet in a solar system of 9 that is able to support life, with every other planet either melting from the sun's heat, or freezing from the distance. God is either wasteful, or just a bad decorator.

The moon, also, sits in the location it does because of the earth's gravitation pull on it...just like most planets seems to have at least one moon. There's no great designer putting everything in order, but rather natural forces at work, and it's these forces that the evidence points towards tongue.gif

Edited by Seraphina, 28 April 2004 - 04:28 PM.

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#8    saucy

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 05:47 PM

well, there's more to it than I described.  The earth is at the perfect distance away from the sun.  A few miles further or closer would make it impossible.  How can one cell evolve into plants, insects, humans, animals, birds, fish, other bacteria and every other living thing?  It can't.  According to the big bang, the earth was nothing but a big ball of rock.  Where did the water come from?  Oxygen?  When they did that experiment in the lab, there was oxygen and possibly bacteria in the area they conducted it.  My sister always asks me that if life cannot create itself, then how does mold grow on bread?  The bacteria is already there.  It lands on the bread and grows.  In the beginning, there was no bacteria, not living organisms.  I don't see how a lightning bolt, hotter than the sun, can create life.  How can a lightning bolt, a source of heat and electricity form a living cell?  It cannot.  If you have the proof I'll look at it, but you don't.  Life can't form by itself.  I believe God made all the other planets and galaxies to give us something to look at and be amazed.  How come none of the other planets have life?  Mars could support life, but it doesn't.  Why not?  Because God didn't put life on those planets.  If there is no God, then everything is a huge, gigantic, damn near impossible coincidence.  All the miracles written in the bible are recorded historical events and those are too coincidental to have happened without a God.  I'm not trying to get you to believe in God Seraphina, because no matter what I say, you'll be a non-believer unless you witness something spiritual yourself, I was just offering another side of what I believe to be the truth.  


#9    man_in_mudboots

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 12:41 AM

i have got to say yes. the chance that an animal species would need a traite badly to survive, and then evolve it, says to me that there almost has to be an intelligent and planning being somewhere pulling the strings. i just dont think chaos could produce such an intricate system.


#10    man_in_mudboots

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 12:44 AM

QUOTE (Tiyger @ Apr 28 2004, 01:59 PM)
I think that science just figures out how it is that God did what he did.

exactly my thoughts. like (was it Gallilao?) said: "science is thinking God's thoughts after him"


#11    Naveed

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 12:51 AM

QUOTE (bathory @ Apr 28 2004, 10:36 AM)
the problem is that all you are doing is replacing one unknown with another, you see, by simply calling the being that does the creating a designer you have so vaguely defined the being that one cannot argue for or against.

That was in a since almost the point of it. I always see these people arguing over evolution and creation, but no one ever really mentions much about the "inbetween" of it all. I was trying to point out that there is this inbetween possibilty that evolution exists along with this devine being, programmer, God, or whatever you want to call him/her/it. I didn't really want something that can be proven or disproven, and I know it can't be the Christian/Hebrew God we're used to hearing about.  


#12    Naveed

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 12:56 AM

QUOTE (man_in_mudboots @ Apr 29 2004, 01:44 AM)
QUOTE (Tiyger @ Apr 28 2004, 01:59 PM)
I think that science just figures out how it is that God did what he did.

exactly my thoughts. like (was it Gallilao?) said: "science is thinking God's thoughts after him"

Yeah, that totally makes since. Whether it's the Christian God, or a super intelligent monkey behind a type writer that controls everything.  


#13    aquatus1

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 01:39 AM

QUOTE
The universe and galaxy was made exactly perfect, including the heat of the sun, size of the sun, distance of the earth and sun, distance of the moon from earth, distance of all the other planets from the sun and earth, the distance, size, heat and matter of all the other stars, it's all in perfect order to allow earth to sustain life.


You're arguing from the wrong end.  The distance isn't perfect because we need it to be to survive.  We survive because we evolved to survive in the conditions that we live in.  While you may believe that the Earth has always been as it is now, science has shown that it has passed through many phases, many of which we could not survive in, but which the creatures at the time did.  This includes the corrosive atmosphere and liquids when the first self-replicating amino acids became the first bacteria, to the deadly oxygen gas created by the first plants which annihalted the lifeforms which couldn't deal with its presence, to the oxygen rich times of the dinosaurs, to the reduced oxygen and colder climate which we live in now.   It is a random process so unlikely to happen that we are currently the only known place in the entire universe that it did happen.  We are the one in a million shot.

QUOTE
i have got to say yes. the chance that an animal species would need a traite badly to survive, and then evolve it, says to me that there almost has to be an intelligent and planning being somewhere pulling the strings. i just dont think chaos could produce such an intricate system.


Animals species do not intentionally evolve specific traits.  The traits come about (in the natural world) through random mutations.  Sometimes, these mutations are beneficial and give the creature an advantage that allows it to breed more than it's competition.  More often, the mutations are disastrous and end in a premature abortion of the fetus.  Most often, by far in the great majority, mutations are neutral.  They neither offer an advantage, nor become a disadvantage.

QUOTE
I was trying to point out that there is this inbetween possibilty that evolution exists along with this devine being, programmer, God, or whatever you want to call him/her/it.


There is certainly nothing in science that says there cannot be some intelligent designer, but that is not what science is about.  The data needs to come before the theory, not the theory before the data.  Think of science as a fishing net with inch-wide holes.  Using this net to investigate, we can confirm the existance of fish larger than one inch.  We then propose a theory to explain their existance.  We cannot theorize the existance of fish smaller than an inch, because we do not have the data to support it.  This is not to say that we deny the existance of smaller fish, we simply need to have the data before we can attempt to explain them.  For all we know, smaller fish may not exist, in which case, creating a theory to explain them would be pointless.


#14    X~File_Agent

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 02:33 AM

Saucy
QUOTE
I believe God made all the other planets and galaxies to give us something to look at and be amazed. How come none of the other planets have life? Mars could support life, but it doesn't. Why not? Because God didn't put life on those planets. If there is no God, then everything is a huge, gigantic, damn near impossible coincidence. All the miracles written in the bible are recorded historical events and those are too coincidental to have happened without a God.


Man, I would hate to see the look on your face if those rovers on mars or future scientific exploration, would find traits of life on Mars.  blink.gif

So the universe is there for us to look at, man that's about the funniest thing I've heard.  Like the movie Contact says "It's a big waste of space".  Why because we can't see all of it, what we do see, happened millions of years ago, so who knows if those stars are still there.  I can't even come up with a percentage of how little we see of the universe.  Even with our best telescopes all we are dots.  Oooh ahhh, be amazed, at the glowing dots.  This isn't the stone age.

As for the this perfect order.  Last time I checked those pictures at Nasa, there are exploding stars, colliding galaxies, planets crashing into each other. Not to mention the times earth has been hit my a huge meteor.  Actually our galaxy is set to collide with our siter glaxy in about a gazillion years.

Trublvr - answered this question wisely once, but its something you have to remind yourself of.  How can such an intelligent being, become aware of itself.  How did it develop itself? How could it develop such powers?  You see the only answer to this question is, he's always been there, which is the same answer you give towards the big bang.  

Aquatus1 - Very good analogy at the end.  thumbsup.gif

I could go on, but I have a feeling this thread won't last very long.

Edited by X~File_Agent, 29 April 2004 - 02:33 AM.

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#15    Seraphina

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 07:20 AM

Mr Saucy, most of the points you made have been quite nicely dealt with by Aquitus in my absense, but I'll just touch on a few others...in the meantime, before making arguements, I suggest you do a little research of the scientific theory at hand here...

Every question you've asked, science has already answered, or at the very least forwarded an answer that is considered logical enough for wide acceptance (which alone is far more than creationists provide). While I've not got any real problem answering the questions you have, I'd rather not be forced to have to educate you on the subject matter of an ongoing debate.

In any event...

QUOTE
How can a lightning bolt, a source of heat and electricity form a living cell? It cannot. If you have the proof I'll look at it, but you don't.


I really do hate providing links to websites...It makes me feel as though I'm incapable of argueing my own case, and have to hide behind someone else's tongue.gif However, the "proof" that you want comes in the form of abiogenesis expiriments. Information on them probably isn't all that hard to find.

QUOTE
I believe God made all the other planets and galaxies to give us something to look at and be amazed.


.....

QUOTE
How come none of the other planets have life? Mars could support life, but it doesn't. Why not? Because God didn't put life on those planets.


Actually, it's believed by some than life on this planet may have even origonated on Mars. Certainly, there was water there at one point, and the planet may have supported single celled life at one stage. In any event, considering exactly how vast the universe is, and that we haven't even set foot on another planet out of the many millions upon millions that are out there, I think this is an extremely broad statement to be making. I, for example, believe that the laws of average (as I don't believe in a creator, but natural processes that led to life) make it almost a certainty that there are other planets that have harboured life in the universe.

QUOTE
All the miracles written in the bible are recorded historical events and those are too coincidental to have happened without a God.


No they're not; they're events that are alleged to have occured. There is little or no evidence for most of the miracles, and for those that do have evidence, they have already been explained as natural occurances (assuming they happened at all).

In any event, you failed to answer the following challenge...

QUOTE
If you want to preach to us that god is real, you have to tell us where he comes from; right now, he's still just a character in a book.


Please do, because I'm waiting.

You've challenged us to put some weight behind our own arguements, and thus far we have. You're questions have all been ones that science has managed to find an answer for through what we, in the world of actually discovering things, call "research". However, I've yet to hear any answer about God's sudden appearance beyond "God has always been there".

I do believe it was you yourself who said "can life come from nothing? No"...and while aboigenesis does prove you wrong tongue.gif I don't think it allows for all powerful, all knowing beings rolleyes.gif  

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