Darwinians’ risible scenarios, and the motive that drives them

Todd White also has an blog post commenting on National Geographic’s coverage of the discovery of Ardipithecus ramidus. The piece Mr. White writes about, like the piece I wrote about, is by Jamie Shreeve, National Geographic’s science editor, and while the two articles are very similar, they have somewhat different texts. In White’s version, Shreeve goes more deeply into certain scientists’ absurd Roissyesque speculations (presented as science) about female primate sexuality. Thus:

Buried among the slew of papers about the new find is one about the creature’s sex life. It makes fascinating reading, especially if you like learning why human females don’t know when they are ovulating….

If the female knew when she was fertile, she could basically cheat the system by taking all the food offered by her milquetoast of a provider, then cuckold him with a dominant male when she was ovulating, scoring the best of both worlds. The food-for-sex contract thus depends on what [anthropologist C. Owen] Lovejoy calls “the most unique human character”—ovulation that not only goes unannounced to the males of the group, but is concealed even from the female herself.

Remember that these learned statements about calculating female sexual strategies concern a chimpanzee like creature that lived four and a half million years ago.

White then quotes atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel, who, sounding as though he were writing at VFR, explains why the fear of religion, outright fear of the possibility that God exists, is the driving force behind

much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life, including everything about the human mind.

- end of initial entry -

Richard Hoste writes:

I see that you’re once again talking about Darwinism. I don’t know if you’ve ever laid out your own theory of human origins, but I’ve never seen one. Presumably you believe that God made humans in their present form. Do you believe God just planted people in their present form on this earth 100,000-200,000 years ago (when we have the first fossils of anatomically modern humans) or do you think we’ve been here for 4.5 billion years? Do you believe what scientists say about the earth being 4.5 billion years old, life only beginning a billion years ago and humans being here for the last couple hundred thousand?

LA replies:

Why don’t you read my articles on the subject? They happen to be online. You claim to be interested in my views, but from your questions and your off-base suppositions about my beliefs, it’s evident you haven’t read my writings, which I link repeatedly. The collection is also linked permanently on VFR’s main page.

Anti-Darwinism: a collection

Start with the first one in the list:

Summarizing my views about evolution (A series of bulleted points presenting my position in simple terms)

I’ve never presented a theory of human evolution. I’ve presented my own speculations and intuitions, always making clear that that is what they are. I’ve also said that I believe that the universe, life, and consciousness come from God. I’ve said that since Darwinism and theism are mutually contradictory, and since Darwinism is inherently impossible, theism must be true. However, saying that God exists, and that life and all evolved life forms come from God, does not explain how the evolution of life occurred. The statement, “evolution is an expression of God,” or, “God is guiding evolution,” is no more a scientific theory than the general statement that life shows ample evidence of intelligent design is a scientific theory. At the same time, scientists claim to have knowledge of how evolution happened which in reality they do not have. I’ve said over and over that the scientific truth is that we do not know how evolution in general happened, and how human evolution in particular happened, and that the only way science can regain its integrity is for the scientists to admit that they do not know.

Richard Hoste writes:

I’d read the article. It didn’t address exactly what I was asking about the timeline. I like precision in arguments. You always accuse Darwinists of trying to make implausible things sound plausible. But you believe…

4.5 billion years ago-God creates world

for 3.5 billion years God sits around and plays with rocks and oceans

1 billion years ago- God creates life

Then God sits around until 100,000 ya and creates man.

That’s pretty implausible, but you never put it like that.

My understanding is you accept mainstream science on everything except macro evolutionary changes (I don’t think you ever addressed where you draw the line between macro and micro changes. if you did before, forgive me). Correct?

LA replies:

It’s impossible to have a sensible discussion with materialists on these matters, because they keep discussing God as though he were a guy, like us, and they demand that his actions make sense in human terms.

It’s just amazing to me that people deny the existence of God, then turn around and talk about God as though they understood his nature, and his nature just happens to be just like ours, and they think we ought to be able to understand it. Thus you want a scenario of why God “waited” three billion years to start creating complex life. Why does not the simple idea occur to you that it took a very long time for the earth to reach the point where it was ready for complex life? It makes perfect sense to me. Why do you find it so difficult?

The other absurd thing about Darwinians, just alluded to, is that the only theistic scenario they will allow is that God created everything at once, sort of the way a human would have done it if he had the power. Since God is omnipotent, and he can do whatever he wants, he must have created everything at once. And because it’s evident that everything did not come into existence at once, the Darwinians declare victoriously, “See? God is disproved. Darwinism is proved.” They’ve shot down a caricature of God, and this for them proves that Darwinism is correct. About a third of Jerry Coyne’s book consists of such firing of cannon at straw men.

In reality, divine creation is perfectly consistent with a gradual unfolding over great periods of time.

A further joke is that the materialists despise Genesis, yet the only view of God they will allow is the most literalist, brainless version of Genesis. And if that brainless version of Genesis is shown to be untrue, then God doesn’t exist and Darwinism is proved. This is beneath the level of proper human thought. But that’s what materialist reductionism does: it destroys people’s ability to think, or, rather, it reduces their thought processes to a single dimension where proper understanding of any subject beyond the movements of matter becomes impossible.

And I can already hear Dennis Mangan’s victimological cry: “Auster says Darwinians are incapable of thinking!” However, in this case his characterization of my statement would be correct, because material reductionism does destroy people’s ability to understand anything beyond the material level.

Richard Hoste replies:

“Why does not the simple idea occur to you that it took a very long time for the earth to reach the point where it was ready for complex life? It makes perfect sense to me. Why do you find it so difficult?”

Because God could do anything! Why waste billions of years? Why would the earth need a second to get ready? Why create species millions of years apart making it look like they evolved? If you’re just going to say “We can’t understand God” then I guess there’s no way to argue with that.

As far as Genesis goes, what metaphorical meaning is to be found in “x begat y and live 845 years, y begat z who lived 900 years, z begat q who begat r and f, etc.”? The only conclusion one could draw from reading Genesis is that it was meant to be taken literally. That’s the way Christians interpreted it throughout history, and only when science proved that Genesis was bunk did the historically understood version become “brainless.”

LA replies:

Thank you for proving my point. Your materialist reductionism, your ignorance of and hostility toward anything outside materialism, and your insistence on the most literalist and one-dimensional view of the Bible, in which lists of generations are seen as of equal truth value as God’s creation of the universe, make you incapable of intelligent reflection on the subject at hand. For you, if the list of “begats” is not scientifically proven, then God is false. For you, either God creates in one moment the entire universe and everything in it including all life forms and man, as per YOUR expectations of how God ought to do things, or else God doesn’t exist. And you don’t see how silly your argument is.

Paul K. writes:

Richard Hoste should understand that for a God to be eternal he must exist outside of time. Thus, the assertion that He “wasted billions of years” makes no sense except in the way man understands things. This sort of argument against the existence of God has been addressed by philosophers centuries ago. Whatever one believes, if he has any interest in this subject he should familiarize himself with the history of this debate.

Clark Coleman writes:

The obvious reply to Mr. Hoste is that God is not constrained by time; matters of time have no import to God in ways that human beings can understand. We think about “waiting” from a mortal perspective. We only have so much time to live, so it is irritating to stand in a line and wait, for example. The clock is ticking away and nothing is being accomplished. God is not like that, so there is no sense in questions such as “Why did God wait a billion years after creating the earth to create the first living organism?” Much more can be said about God and time that space does not permit.

Secondly, Mr Hoste says: “The only conclusion one could draw from reading Genesis is that it was meant to be taken literally. That’s the way Christians interpreted it throughout history, and only when science proved that Genesis was bunk did the historically understood version become ‘brainless.’”

This is simply incorrect, and is close to being the exact opposite of the truth. Christians used very non-literal interpretations of a large portion of the Bible for more than a millenium, and only when Darwinism seemed to threaten the faith did many Christians become very rigid in interpretation. At that point in time, any non-literal interpretation was looked at skeptically by fundamentalists as some sort of sell-out to, or compromise with, scientific materialism.

Augustine, for example, wrote that God created everything in an instant. He based this not on any reading of Genesis, but on an abstract theological understanding similar to Mr. Hoste’s error: He thought of God as if time means something to God, and reasoned that God COULD do it in an instant, therefore he must have. He then had to explain that the Genesis account was merely a “poetical framework” for discussing the creation and the six days of creation had no literal meaning at all.

If someone today claimed that Genesis Chapter 1 was only a poetical framework, they would be denounced by fundamentalists, but this kind of non-literal interpretation was unexceptional in Christendom until very recently. As I said, this is the opposite of Mr. Hoste’s claim that interpretation was always literal until recently.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 01, 2009 11:24 PM | Send

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