December 2007

Hi: I appreciate the positive way in which you provide this forum and also the positive way you interact with those who correspond with you despite the vitriol that many of them display. I don’t believe that true and honest argument can be made either direction when hate and anger are the basis of any verbal or written interchange. The one thing I would much appreciate however, is to know who you are as you don’t seem to want to identify yourself by name or whether you are male or female. Perhaps you have done that somewhere on your site and I just couldn’t find it.

The question of whether there is a God or not is, in my estimation, the most profound question that can be asked. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) a belief in God is central to every other doctrine that we believe in. And the most important responsibility that we have as members of this faith is to get to know that God on a personal basis. I don’t mean in an etheral or impersonal way but in such away as to be able to converse with Him as one person does with another. Eventually to be able to converse with him on a face to face basis. This is one of the main purposes of life and is achievable by anyone who is willing to pay the price with patience and with obedience to the process which God Himself has established to get to know him. One can apply science and the imperical method until the cows come home and will never know anymore about God, his nature and personality, than a new born baby. Christ said, “this in life eternal, to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he sent.” But he also said that it has to be accomplished on God’s terms, not on man’s terms. In my understanding of God it is shear arrongance for a person to say, “If God isn’t going to reveal himself to me on my terms then he doesn’t exist.” This life was meant to be a test. Men and women are meant to be tested in every conceivable way to find out if we are willing to take on the characteristics of our Heavenly Parents. That takes a life time of humility and growth and patience and striving to live the commandments that Christ so ably displayed when He was here on the Earth. Our potential is absolutely limitless, but we have to realize that potential on God’s terms, not on ours.

With the present discourse that is going on about Darwinian evolution vs. Intelligent Design, I find it interesting that those who would adhere to the Darwinian have so little substance to place their faith in. Let me illustrate what I mean. For over a century and a half since Darwin’s “Origin of the Species” many scientist have been trying to prove the veracity of Darwin’s arguement by research, experimentation and study. Much valuable knowledge has be obtained by this scentific approach, but the basic fundamental question of how it all happened is still subject to much speculation. And the ideas and theories are constantly changing. I have been aware of this as a student all of my life. And I have availed myself of the arguments on both sides of the issue of the existence of life and its origins. I hope that I am still open to accept fact that research has demonstrated to be so.

I find it rather interesting though, that man with his intelligence and ability to examine and study the forces of nature and with his knowledge of the basic elements and how they interact organicly and chemically has not been able to narrow down all the possibilities for the creation of life and show in the laboratory how it happened. I am not aware of one experiment of scientist that has resulted in the creation of new life. If man with his intelligence cannot short curcuit the system and create life it makes it arguably unlikely that it happened by chance. And to say, as some scientist have, that perhaps life began on earth when a comet or a meteor with organic life forms crashed into the earth and started it all, is only to push the question of life’s origins further back in time. The question still remains where did it all begin.

In addition to these points, I would like to point out that science is and always will be incapable of proving that life began by chance through anything that they (the scientists) do in the laboratory. The reason is that no matter what the experiment or how it is setup the scientist is always injecting the one item into the experiment that the evolutionist says was missing when life arose on the earth. All experiments are done by intelligent design. (In this case man’s intelligence rather than God’s). But by intelligence none the less. And there is absolutely no way they can ever do other wise. No matter how they try to duplicate some primeval pond with organic slime in it, the fact is they did it by design and they have only demonstrated that intelligence brought the primeval slime into existence. For this reason alone I suggest that the scientific method is much better at demonstrating the existence of God than otherwise. I will await your rebuttal.

You make some interesting points. I’ll see if I can address all of them.

You asked first about my name and gender. Although they’re not really a secret, I don’t bring them up because, honestly, I find that such personal details just get in the way when discussing topics of this sort. Some people draw conclusions from my gender or from other projects I’ve worked on, and it can lead to unnecessary tangents.

I agree that the question of whether or not God exists is an immensely important one. I also agree that science is likely unable to tell us anything about God, but it can give us information about whether or not it is necessary to assume the existence of God in some areas. For example, humans no longer need to postulate a deity that makes the sun move across the sky since science has provided us with a non-supernatural explanation for the phenomena. Could it be that God actively makes the sun move? Sure, but there is no compelling reason to believe so.

You are also right that one cannot say, “If God will not reveal himself on my terms then He does not exist.” I’ve heard atheists make statements of that type on occasion, and they are incorrect to do so. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to say, “I will believe in God only when it makes sense to me to believe in God.” Would I be correct in assuming that you agree? If not, under what conditions should I believe in something that I don’t think makes sense?

Regarding evolution, you are confusing the topic a little by mixing discussion of evolution with discussion of the origin of life. Darwin’s theory says nothing about how life started, only about what happened after it started. That aside, you are correct that the origin of life on Earth is still an open question. There are many theories but none have been proven.

I think you do a disservice to science, though, when you essentially say that “man has not created life” implies “man cannot discover the origin of life.” There is an enormous amount of information we don’t have or are just learning about life, and much that we need to know involves things that we have no direct access to (like Earth before life arose on it). There are still many theories left to be tested, and new ones arise as we learn more about our universe. It is far too soon to call the game over.

I feel that your argument about science being unable to create life without intelligent design is disingenuous. If we could only investigate the inner workings of the sun by creating a fusion reaction in a laboratory, that would not imply that some intelligence is causing the sun to function because it took intelligence to set up the experiment. When investigating the origin of life, all scientists need to do is show that whatever experiment they run does not rely on intelligent intervention to reach its conclusion. To say otherwise would be to essentially invalidate all of science.

Remember also that there are non-laboratory investigations into the origin of life. If we find the makings of life on a moon of Jupiter or near a deep-sea volcanic vent, that could answer our question without relying purely on laboratory experiments.

I think that’s it. Let me know if I missed anything or if you disagree.

Posted on December 27, 2007 at 7:22 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Evidence, Evolution

One Response

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  1. Written by Olorin
    on January 3, 2008 at 11:12 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Your correspondent finds fault with science because “the ideas and theories are constantly changing.” Does he not realize that this is what science is all about? If new objective evidence did not fill out and change the theories, we would call it “religion,” not “science.”

    He also cavils that, in 50 years since scientists discovered the genetic code, they do not yet know everything about life. He should remember how long it took from the discovery of how to get to the Moon until we actually got there: more than 300 years from Newton to NASA.

    Denial of evolution and ignorance seem to go together. Acceptance of evolution rises steadily with increasing levels of education, regardless of the subject of the education. Graduate education in biology, geology, anthropology, and related sciences increases acceptance dramatically. Creationists see this as a world-wide conspiracy, but the more parsimonious explanation is that greater understanding of the relevant evidence promotes greater acceptance.

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