krabapple wrote:You admit complete incomprehension but feel free to criticize anyway?
I chose that passage to illustrate that the theoretical reasoning behind "molecular evolution" is filled with complex processes and hypotheses that are difficult to fully understand. And it is within complex hypotheses (as Darwin implied) where "obscure ideas" can naturally hide. It's an observation, not necessarily a criticism. I have no reason to think that molecular evolution theorists are deliberately trying to obfuscate.
I was amused, though, at seeing yet another term for "spontaneous generation" -- biopoesis.
...yes, and that's still the argument from incredulity:
"It is inconceivable that ____ (fill in the blank) could have originated naturally. Therefore, it must have been created/designed."
Well, I'm sure you would make an exception for what is an obvious creation of man. For example, if I said "It is inconceivable that the Great Pyramid could have originated naturally. Therefore, it must have been created/designed," you would agree, right?
Here's a few of the arguments against intelligent design, as explained by talkorigins (an impressively thorough site, BTW).
"The Darwinian mechanism of natural selection is part of the normal design process. Evolution is a designer (but not an intelligent one). The only example of known intelligent design we have is human design. Archaeologists and forensic scientists look for patterns which they know, from prior observation, are the sort of patterns that human designers make. The same goes for all other sciences that detect design.
Purpose does not indicate design. Functional integration does not indicate design. Complexity does not indicate design."
To sum up: Earth was once without life. The raw materials for life (amino acids, RNA, DNA) evolved. Life that is incapable of intelligent design (all life except man, by definition) evolved out of these raw materials. Life capable of intelligent design (man) evolved from this life. Man is the origin of all intelligent design.
If that chain of events is true, then I submit there can be only two conclusions: either evolution is an intelligent designer, or the concept of any intelligent design (perhaps even intelligence itself) is meaningless.
Since all life on earth is the result of natural processes (not created/designed), than all the actions of life are also the result of natural processes -- for example, a spider web. The spider is not intelligent, neither is the spider's designer (evolution). Therefore, the web is not an example of intelligent design. Why should any of man's works be considered differently? Because we say so?
Reconsidering the Great Pyramid, what other objective criteria we can use to determine intelligence? Purpose? Functional integration? Complexity? Beauty? What distinguishes it from a beehive, or a 20 foot high termite mound (besides size)? I could easily make the argument that the pyramid is less sophisticated, and contains less design knowledge, than either of those.
Man is no different than the spider, and the Great Pyramid is no different than the web. All were designed by evolution. There is nothing on earth that is "intelligently designed," because all is a consequence of, or a continuation of, evolutionary processes. There is no plausible scientific definition of "intelligent design." Suggesting that intelligent design is only human design, and vice versa, is a baseless fiat statement that arises from our vanity.
However, if we accept that the earth does have examples of intelligent design, then evolutionists can only find one origin for that design -- evolution.
So, God set the whole thing in motion, but has pretty much sat back and watched since then? Or are you saying the God created life on earth, directly? OR did he create species directly, or did he create man directly?
In the case of the snowflake (or any other non-living thing), the natural laws that govern its creation (all natural laws, in fact) were in place at the moment of the big bang. Life on earth was created much later. If we define creationism in terms of the Bible, "gap creationism" (see talkorigins) is the explanation most consistent with biblical verse, IMO. Gap creationism does allow for evolution, even transmutation, during the billions of years before the creation of Adam, as the Bible appears to be silent on this subject. However, man was created directly by God, and almost all the modern species were (re)created directly (some may have been identical or slightly modified from the ones that existed and died before Adam). Not enough time has passed since then to allow for any major evolutionary changes.
Then perhaps you shouldl include some reading on on god's 'mistakes'.
I think I've seen the major, oft-mentioned ones (panda's thumb, junk DNA, whale teeth, urethra passing through prostate, vestigal organs, 'jury-rigged' organs). I find it curious that evolutionists have trouble identifying intelligent design (unless it is man made), but they have no problem identifying "unintelligent" design. It's almost as if they're nitpicking, saying, "See? How can God be perfect if he designs such things?" The ironic thing is that they fail to mention God's biggest 'mistake' -- man. Of course, you could argue that man is also evolution's biggest mistake, as man is the only species capable of singlehandedly extinguishing most/all life on earth.
I perceive "form follows function" to be the main argument that labels these things as mistakes. I don't question this principle, but it requires a determination of the function, which may be near impossible.
Let's take as an example (since I work in it) the automotive/truck industry. Suppose you're changing your oil. You notice a pierced hole on one of the frame components of your truck, and it doesn't appear to have a function. It's just there. I'll list some of the possibilities of the function of that hole. I would guess that, unless you worked in the biz, some items would never occur to you.
It is used to hold a part that is not on your truck due to option package or configuration (A/C or larger fuel tank)
It is used as an access hole for a tool or a fastener
It is used as a tooling/fixturing hole for manufacturing (at the stamping plant)
It is used as a guide hole for assembly (at the assembly plant)
The part is used on both sides of the frame (LH and RH), but the hole has a function only on one side. This is common, in order to avoid plant complexity.
The part is a carryover (used on a previous model year), and the hole originally did have a function.
It is used to intentionally weaken the frame in that area, so that it collapses in such a way as to absorb crash forces.
It is used as a drain hole (allowing the liquid frame coating to drain) when the completed frame is dipped. (The frame I'm working on has dozens of these).
It is used as a tie down point for ocean shipping. We try to use an existing hole for this (such as on a safety chain plate), but that is not always possible.
It is used for shipping the frame to the assembly plant. Frames are generally shipped by rail car, and they are stacked. A special double headed shipping pin spaces and aligns the frames so that they aren't damaged by banging into each other. These pins need unique holes that would be very difficult to utilize for some other purpose.
This is why automotive engineers sometimes don't suffer fools and their "kibbitzing" gladly. Designing a single subsystem, such as a frame, takes thousands of man-hours, and the many requirements are mind boggling, from which way the front left tire twists in a frontal crash, to resonancy target frequencies, to total inches of weld. One thing I've learned in this business -- changes always affect more than the area you are changing, and forseeing all the consequences is extremely difficult. That's why 20 (or so, it varies) engineers have to "sign off" on every change.
...we are talking about the physical process of *how* you came to exist. That;s all science is interested in, becaseu that's all that can reasonably be answered by scientific means. As for 'why': there are so many possible answers...none of them are testable. So people tend to simply choose the one that makes them feel best. So long as they don't start making testable claims about the physical world, based on that, science doesn't care.
Agreed on all points.
If you posit a creator, you have to either posit the creator as being eternal, or as having been created...in both cases you've only raised the same questions again.
It's difficult to stretch your mind and imagine the nothingness that would result if the physical universe didn't exist.
But if God can exist outside of the material world, than he must be eternal, because time is a property of the physical universe. For instance, if we accept that God existed before the big bang, he must have been eternal, because time didn't exist before the big bang.