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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Quotes on origins, 2

Also notice that, contrary to an apparently impossible to eradicate creationist belief, the theory (in the technical sense) of evolution is most definitely NOT a theory of how life originated. The latter is a matter for biophysics and biochemistry, not evolutionary biology. Evolution (in the neo-Darwinian sense) started after the origin of life on earth, and cannot therefore possibly be invoked to explain such origin. Nor do scientists ever use the theory for that purpose! Massimo Pigliucci, entry, "Creation, Evolution, and the Nature of Science," of Jan 16, 2005, in his (mostly) Rationally Speaking blog, emphasis in original. Pigliucci believes in non-supernatural evolution as the source of the diversity of living things, and is apparently an atheist. In the technical sense, he is correct. Darwin had no explanation of how life originated, and I don't recall that he even discussed the matter. But creationists, of all kinds, would argue against explanations of how life began that invoke purposeless chance processes as the cause. Life is here because God wanted it to be. Atheists, including many scientists, think that that statement is non-scientific. It is. But so is: "Life is an accident -- the result of purposeless chance." Both of these are statements of faith. See the next two quotes.

The origins issue has never been about facts and evidence as such—we all have the same world, the same evidence, the same facts. It is the philosophical framework within which facts are interpreted which differs. And philosophical frameworks are based on axioms (presuppositions, or starting beliefs). The scientific conclusions of Darwinism are squarely based on anti-Biblical (naturalistic) axioms, while those of creation are based on Biblical axioms. "AiG’s views on the Intelligent Design Movement," by Carl Wieland, 30 August 2002. (AiG is Answers in Genesis, an important Young-Earth Creationism organization.)

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (ESV)

"The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be." Carl Sagan, Cosmos, p. 4. New York, Random House, 1980. Sagan, an astronomer, was one of the two or three most important popularizers of astronomy of the last century, perhaps the most important. In spite of the fact that he was a scientist, this is not a scientific statement. It's a statement of belief. Sagan had not done an experiment that would rule out (or prove) the existence of a supernatural being who was and is outside the cosmos. How could he have? In other words, Sagan was expressing his faith.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (ESV) I believe it is significant that the very first verse in the Bible doesn't give the where, the how, or the why of creation, but the Who. (It doesn't exactly give us the when, either.)

See here and here for two recent posts with more quotes on origins.

Thanks for reading!

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