Inevitable Humans?

Jerry Coyne has a post up on the subject of whether a highly-intelligent, self-aware species is the inevitable end result of the evolutionary process. He begins:

Over at that hilarious goldmine of accommodationism, Francis Collins’s BioLogos website (generously supported by The Templeton Foundation), they have posted an answer to the question, “Did evolution have to result in human beings?” Now if you know anything about this history of faith/science accommodationism, you know that the answer has to be “yes”, at least if you construe the question to mean “Did evolution have to result in a rational, highly intelligent being that was capable of apprehending and worshiping its creator?” If God is running the evolutionary process, as the accommodationists maintain, then the evolution of humans (who are, after all, the goal of this process — the one species made in God’s image) could not have been left to chance.

Get the idea? See the original for appropriate links.

I think Coyne is right both about humans not being inevitable and about the importance of this question to religious folks. If Stephen Jay Gould was right about humans being unlikely to evolve a second time were we to replay the evolutionary process, then Christianity is really in some very serious trouble. It’s pretty hard to argue that humans are the point of creation if it’s a serious possibility that evolution would never have gotten past the trilobite.

Rather than reahsh that argument, however, I’d like to make a different point. Let us grant for the moment that humans really were the inevitable end result of the evolutionary process. Does that really make Christian theism seem plausible?

I think Christianity has a serious problem either way. If humans were not inevitable, them our cosmic significance is greatly reduced. But if we were inevitable, then why the four billion year preamble to our emergence?

Accepting the Francis Collins / Simon Conway Morris / Ken Miller thesis means that God set in motion four billion years of savage, wasteful bloodsport to reach an endpoint that was foreordained. Why did he do that? Why not simply get to the point and create humans right from the start (just as the Bible says He did)?

In principle I can see an argument that God created through an unpredictable evolutionary process because that was the only way for His creation to be genuinely separate from Himself. If God simply poofed the world into existence and told us all not to sin, then Earth becomes rather like an aquarium. We are just fish swimming in his tank, subject to his whims. Kind of makes life seem not so special.

Instead God created a set of initial conditions that made it likely that interesting things would happen, but then allowed the universe to unfold on its own. Perhaps intelligent life would never have emerged, and then He would have gone on to some other project. But once intelligent life did evolve, He sought a relationship with it. By creating in this way the universe could be viewed as being wholly separate from God Himself.

I don’t find that argument very plausible, but I have seen versions of it in various books and essays. The point right now is that this argument is plainly not available to someone who says humans were inevitable. I fail to see the relevant theological difference between creating humans in an instant, and setting in motion a process that inevitably leads to humans.

I suppose it’s possible to argue that humans weren’t literally inevitable, just highly probable. This approach has problems of its own, but enough already. Four billion years of bloody natural history is a problem for Christianity regardless of whether or not humans were inevitable. Positing, against the evidence in my view, that humans were inevitable just fills one hole by digging another.

Comments

  1. #1 DonalH
    May 13, 2009

    It’s not just Christianity. The two bedrocks of any religion is the specialness of humans among all nature and the personal relationship that God has with each one. If either goes away, religious belief does also.

  2. #2 Joseph Hewitt
    May 13, 2009

    All these discussions about God directing evolution make me imagine God as some guy playing SimEarth.

  3. #3 01jack
    May 13, 2009

    Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world’s age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man’s share of that age; & anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno.
    -Mark Twain

  4. #4 Donna B.
    May 13, 2009

    I have no problem believing God created the entire universe so that I might be born. He went to a great deal of possibly unneeded trouble, but that it was all for my benefit in ways I cannot possibly yet understand is quite understandable.

    Yes, folks… it’s all about ME.

  5. #5 Kurt
    May 13, 2009

    If we’re going to suppose that a human-like organism is inevitable at some point in evolution, then why stop there? What’s to say that we’re not just primitive forms building toward something far greater? And those eventual beings will regard us the way we look at, say, fish?

  6. #6 Daniel
    May 13, 2009

    Discussing the inevitableness of human beings is purely an academic exercise. One can invoke the anthropic principle and say humans are inevitable because we do indeed exist.

    However, it’s not simply a question of morphology – the physical manifestation of human beings is not terribly important to the discussion. It’s the things that make us truly human that gives me sufficient reason to accept theism. The non-empirical and irreducible aspects of our ontology – personhood, reason, logic, compassion, value, etc… – suggests reality is more than the sum of physical components and that they are just as primal as quantum fluctuations, quarks, and atoms.

  7. #7 GrayGaffer
    May 13, 2009

    4.5 BY? What about the rest of the Universe, at 13.75 BY? I thought this ‘God’ thing was supposed to be infinite etc and responsible for everything?

    I have more on inevitability of life, but no time right now. I’ll be back. Basically, if it can happen, it will happen. Somewhere, somewhen.

  8. #8 abb3w
    May 13, 2009

    “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” – Ps. 8:4

  9. #9 Romeo Vitelli
    May 14, 2009

    Don’t forget the anthropic principle (weak or hard). Since we’re here to contemplate the question, the deck is more or less stacked in our favour to begin with. As for whether intelligent life is inevitable, insects seem to manage just fine without it. They’ve been a lot more successful in the long run than humans have.

  10. #10 DaleP
    May 14, 2009

    #1
    It’s not just Christianity. The two bedrocks of any religion is the specialness of humans among all nature and the personal relationship that God has with each one. If either goes away, religious belief does also.
    ————-
    For at least 2600 years, human religion has included a form or forms that does not have a personal relationship with God, nor a specialness of humans among all nature, in the way I think you mean it. Such a form is now a small minority, but it is persistent. Currently, some Buddhists and Unitarian Universalists have religious belief without such bedrocks.

  11. #11 Herm
    May 14, 2009

    “Four billion years of bloody natural history is a problem for Christianity regardless of whether or not humans were inevitable.”

    Maybe you haven’t read the book of Job?

    It’s unfortunate that modern Christians in the West seem to have forgotten just how integral suffering is to Judeo-Christian faith. Maybe there are lessons to be had from Buddhism?

  12. #12 Herm
    May 14, 2009

    DaleP has a good point.

    Aristotle certainly believed in a God but Aristotle’s God was aloof and about as impersonal as one can get. Many of the founding fathers of the US were deists with little belief in a personal God of the variety found in the modern evangelical.

    It always puzzles me how atheists first construct a very particular belief in God that they then reject.

  13. #13 Jason Rosenhouse
    May 14, 2009

    Herm –

    The book of Job is about human suffering. Humans are reflective enough to be able to find some purpose in pain and suffering. But all those animals who suffered and died over four billion years just to pave the way for humans did not have that ability. They only knew they were suffering. I want to know why God countenanced four billion years of animal suffering when he might have fast forwarded the tape straight to the arrival of humans.

  14. #14 Sigmund
    May 14, 2009

    Hem said:
    “It always puzzles me how atheists first construct a very particular belief in God that they then reject.”
    I think you are misreading the situation. Most atheists are of the opinion that any human claiming to know the thoughts and intentions of a supernatural creator of the universe is mistaken. Atheists disbelieve THESE claims (for reasons such as there are many such contradictory claims and all seem to have exactly the same lack of empirical data to confirm them).
    As for deistic or pantheistic claims I suspect most atheists fall into what could be more accurately called the agnostic category (even if we tend to be in the most skeptical part of that particular group).

  15. #15 Jr
    May 14, 2009

    “I want to know why God countenanced four billion years of animal suffering when he might have fast forwarded the tape straight to the arrival of humans.”

    Conscious animal life has not existed for four billion years. Multicelluar life took billion of years to arise. Not that it weakens your point very much.

  16. #16 Gerald
    May 14, 2009

    However, an interesting question might be whether highly-intelligent, self-aware species are likely to inevitable. Any clue how self-aware a lobster or an octopus might be? Elephants seem to qualify, perhaps depending on how exactly self-aware is defined.

  17. #17 Craig McQueen
    May 14, 2009

    Maybe God doesn’t find a billion years such an extraordinarily long time as we do.

  18. #18 Herman Mays
    May 14, 2009

    “I want to know why God countenanced four billion years of animal suffering when he might have fast forwarded the tape straight to the arrival of humans.”

    I think the point is, philosophically speaking, suffering is simply part of the natural state of life. Period. To say that a Judeo-Christian conception of God precludes the existence of suffering is simply without any actual theological basis.

    The fact is however I have no idea why God did or didn’t do anything and I seriously doubt anyone will ever know that but that in no way denies one the personal meaning that grows from a belief in God.

  19. #19 Herm
    May 14, 2009

    “Most atheists are of the opinion that any human claiming to know the thoughts and intentions of a supernatural creator of the universe is mistaken. Atheists disbelieve THESE claims”

    If that is so then, as you say in your post, most atheists are really agnostics, an infinitely more rational position in my opinion.

    I agree that humans cannot “know” anything about a divine, omnipotent God, at least not in the rational, empirical sense of the word “know” you are implying. That is why belief in God is an article of faith and religious conviction and not “knowing” in the sense that you “know” your barber or “know” about baseball.

    Ironically I think both extremes, atheists and the most staunch Biblical literalists, are very uncomfortable with their own fallibility.

  20. This is the most heated topic of our time. It has been raging since man has had the ability to comprehend it.

    We are here to offer a middle ground. Beliefs help us get through day to day lives, but facts will benefit is here, and now.

    Understanding our world through observable facts has, and will continue to advance human civilization.

    We are Project Evolution Apparel, and this is our message.

    Join us at PEApparel.org

  21. This is the most heated topic of our time. It has been raging since man has had the ability to comprehend it.

    We are here to offer a middle ground. Beliefs help us get through day to day lives, but facts will benefit is here, and now.

    Understanding our world through observable facts has, and will continue to advance human civilization.

    We are Project Evolution Apparel, and this is our message.

    Join us at PEApparel.org

  22. #22 Steve Greene
    May 14, 2009

    There’s a more interesting issue here, speculating scientifically (ignoring religious irrationalities) about the odds of the evolution of highly-intelligent, self-aware species. Obviously, as yet we only know about one planet in the entire universe, and we understand the concept that the courses of biological are highly contingent.

    Myself, I suspect that life on other planets is not nearly as ubiquitous as some have speculated. I also suspect that on the vast majority of those planets where living organisms have developed (abiogenesis) there is nothing more “advanced” than single-celled organisms. Finally, I suspect that on these very rare planets where multicellular organisms have evolved, the evolution of a highly intelligent self-aware species is itself a very, very rare occurrence.

    This leads me to my personal speculation that the Earth might very well be the only planet in the Milky Way galaxy on which organisms with an intelligence like ours have evolved, and that intelligent species may be a rare occurrence in the universe.

  23. #23 Jim Harrison
    May 14, 2009

    The Abrahamic belief systems (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Marxism) do make a huge fuss about the cosmic significance of mankind. Other religions, though practically focused on our affairs because they are human creations, don’t necessarily give us so much credit. In Islam, envy over the exalted place Allah planned to give to human beings is supposedly what set off the rebellion of Satan. Compare that with the ancient Mesopotamian belief that the Gods created men because they certainly didn’t want to have to take out the trash and wash the windows. It’s hard to imagine a Shinto version of St. Anselm’s “Why the God Man?” (Cur deus homo). Catholics, but not Buddhists, write orations on the dignity of man.

    Rejecting the science fiction-side of theology is relatively easy. There aren’t any gods or angels? Well, D’uh. On the other hand, getting past the humanism that is integral to Judaism and Christianity is arguably the harder task. We still like to think of ourselves as the crown of creation even if, properly speaking, everything just happened and nothing was created.

  24. #24 chris y
    May 14, 2009

    Coyne: Now if you know anything about this history of faith/science accommodationism, you know that the answer has to be “yes”, at least if you construe the question to mean “Did evolution have to result in a rational, highly intelligent being that was capable of apprehending and worshiping its creator?”

    Rosenhouse: If Stephen Jay Gould was right about humans being unlikely to evolve a second time were we to replay the evolutionary process, then Christianity is really in some very serious trouble.

    And yet Gould was an accomodationist in this, though not a theist. He even wrote a book about it (not his finest hour).

  25. #25 tomh
    May 14, 2009

    Daniel wrote: The non-empirical and irreducible aspects of our ontology – personhood, reason, logic, compassion, value, etc… – suggests reality is more than the sum of physical components…

    That reality, the one that you suggest is more than the sum of physical components, only exists in your imagination. What makes you think that things like reason, compassion, etc., are nonempirical? All research indicates that they arise from purely physical processes that can be observed.

  26. #26 Ares
    May 14, 2009

    Humans were not inevitable. They were the result of millions of years of causes and effects. The miracle is that we were the end result. God created the earth, set the laws in motion, but evolution brought us here. As life evolved, it constantly gained an understanding of God. ON ITS OWN. We hit on the idea of God the Creator without Him telling us. That is the greatest mystery.

  27. #27 Jud
    May 14, 2009

    Ares writes: We hit on the idea of God the Creator without Him telling us. That is the greatest mystery.

    We hit on the idea of Bozo the Clown without an autobiography of Bozo. Pretty astounding, huh?

    Humans are great at making up stories, as the large fiction sections of bookstores and libraries attest. No mystery there, as I see it.

    Also, the converse point is a valid one as well. If one does accept at least some of the Bible stories as non-fiction, I’d say the whole Burning Bush and Parting the Red Sea thing pretty much puts the kibosh on that “without Him telling us” stuff.

  28. #28 Amar
    May 14, 2009

    “Accepting the Francis Collins / Simon Conway Morris / Ken Miller thesis means that God set in motion four billion years of savage, wasteful bloodsport to reach an endpoint that was foreordained.”

    And life now is less “savage, wasteful, and bloody”? I’m not sure that we have reached this supposed ‘endpoint’.

  29. #29 MartyM
    May 14, 2009

    #16

    If an animal knows it’s suffering, that is recognizes its own pain, hunger, cold, fear, and even location relative to others, doesn’t that suggest “self-awareness”? I think so. I don’t think one has to be analytical to be self-aware.

  30. #30 John Farrell
    May 14, 2009

    Jason, you might be interested in the discussion (albeit brief) going on about this over at Brandon’s blog. Like John Wilkims, I’m not so sure Gould is right.

  31. #31 Jason Rosenhouse
    May 14, 2009

    John Farrell -

    Thanks for the link. I have left a comment at Brandon’s blog. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that I found his reply very unpersuasive, to put it kindly.

    As for Wilkins’ comment, as often happens I find it difficult to discern his point. As I recall, in an earlier post at his blog he stated bluntly that he did not believe that humans were the inevitable end result of evolution.

  32. #32 Sigmund
    May 15, 2009

    I tend to agree with those who disagree that the contingency of our species is an inherent problem for Christianity.
    I have heard several Christian evolutionists agree with the basic point that replaying evolution would not result in the evolution of Homo sapiens but rather the evolution of another self aware conscious species. The modern Christian apologetic idea of an ‘ensoulment’ event that seems synonymous with the development of consciousness can equally be applied to this other hypothetical species at that point of their evolution.
    Of course if we apply Occam’s razor to the question we get another answer entirely but isn’t that the case for nearly every aspect of religion in general?
    Compared to the problem of explaining how miracles and rational science can co-exist the contingency argument is a somewhat trivial point.

  33. #33 Jud
    May 15, 2009

    The modern Christian apologetic idea of an ‘ensoulment’ event that seems synonymous with the development of consciousness can equally be applied to this other hypothetical species at that point of their evolution.

    So if the dinos hadn’t been wiped out by that asteroid, the Jesus Lizard might really have been Jesus?

  34. #34 Sigmund
    May 15, 2009

    #33
    “So if the dinos hadn’t been wiped out by that asteroid, the Jesus Lizard might really have been Jesus?”
    Does anyone seriously doubt that in the event that the KT asteroid missed the earth and a conscious species of dinosaurs eventually emerged they might have created their own form of religion with their own dinosauroid-like Gods?

  35. #35 JimV
    May 15, 2009

    #19 Herm | May 14, 2009 10:18: I get this a lot, and I don’t (get it). A theist is someone who believes in some specific god, right? If so an atheist is just someone who lacks a belief in any specific god, just as asymmetry is the lack of symmetry. Anyway, I consider myself an atheist and an agnostic: I don’t know if there is such a thing as a god or not, but don’t believe in any of the examples which have been put forward so far (Ra, Zeus, Odin, Yahweh, etc.).

    #22 Steve Greene | May 14, 2009 12:18: That’s getting to be my opinion too, despite having enjoyed a ton of science-fiction which assumes otherwise. Our telescopes and other sensors are getting better and better, without finding any signs of other life out there. A small proportion of life-bearing planets and just a handful of “intelligent” species per galaxy (or less) may be the norm.

    I hope I am not being somehow disingenuous, but this only tends to confirm my intuitive feeling that the theistic position is not the most reasonable one. It seems to me that a creator god of great powers who wanted to produce intelligent beings would only need one solar system in which to do so. The tiny lights in the sky at night could be his blackboard for special messages, or the souls of departed heroes, or something. Whereas one would think that the generation of intelligent life by random events (filtered by a natural selection process) might require thousands of solar systems, or maybe millions … or billions … or trillions …

    That is, in the kind of universe we find ourselves in, with its so-called “fine-tuning”. I can imagine far more fecund universes, in which life consists of self-replicating photonic structures which pervade the universe down to the quantum foam level, and produce several generations per nanosecond, each generation lasting longer in relative experience than our whole species. That would be the kind of universe I would tune for if I were a creator trying to produce soul-mates using genetic algorithms.

  36. #36 GrayGaffer
    May 15, 2009

    #33: how do we know they weren’t self-aware etc already? We have had maybe 5 MY, they had 150+MY. They also had hands not used for locomotion. So maybe their brain pans were a bit smaller than ours, but lately it has been becoming clear that that is not an absolute necessary and sufficient determiner of intelligence. Especially in birds. Who are today’s dinosauroids.

  37. #37 Pierce R. Butler
    May 16, 2009

    … the only way for His creation to be genuinely separate from Himself.

    Obviously not a priority for any deity creating a species “in his image”.

  38. #38 Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth
    May 19, 2009

    Donna B. yes! Theism begs the question of God: logic is the bane of theists. Teleological arguments- design, from reason, probability and fine-tuning all presuppose a being that wanted us, but that contradicts natural selection and all natural causes. The naturalist teleonomic/ atelic argument is that since the weight of evidence reveals no cosmic teleology, then all Nature has no divine purpose, and also the igtheist- Ockham reveals that either God is vacuous or else He is needlessly redundant, advanced theologian Alister McGrath notwithstanding. Eugenie C.Scott notwithstanding, George Gaylord Simpson and Ernst Mayr note no teleology , just causalism. Were their teleology, then as Dr. Wiesz notes in ‘The Science of Biology,” the event would happen before the cause, the future before the past, being then backwards causation.
    The argument from pareidolia notes that theists perceive designs rather than the actual patterns as one sees Yeshua in a tortilla, that pareidolia. From this they reason to the argument to design that begged question.
    Theists merely assume, guess and make it must be’s about God, which we find affirms igtheism [ Google ignosticism, the ignostic-Ockham or theological non-cognitivism.] that He is indeed vacuous.
    Therefore, theists are rank obscurantists.
    Therefore, Jerry Coyne, Paul Kurtz, William Provine, the writer of this article and I dare disagree with Scott and Michael Ruse, who have the temerity to find that we harm science when it actually is not a battle between creationism and science but between supernaturalism and skeptical reason- ontological naturalism, modern rationalism- empiricism and skepticism. Now those two accommodationists can gladly claim that from the side of religion, science and religion are compatible but- not from the side of science!
    She plays on the role of logic as it is possible for our appearing ten minutes ago, but that is not empirical, folks! That cannot gainsay God! And as an ontological naturalist, she knows that.
    Oh, we new atheists, anti-theists, naturalists, rationalists and full -fledged sceptics [ Unlike the great skeptic Martin Gardner, who is a fideistic deist.], find that no god can merit worship and no rational being wants it whatsoever.This goes to the theistic jugular!
    Paul Kurtz rightly calls the supernatural and the paranormal ” The Transcendent Temptation.” So Billy Graham and the Pope rank with Sylvia Brown[e] and James Van Praagh!

    Google naturalist griggsy, rationalist griggsy or skeptic griggsy or even sceptique griggsy and esceptico griggsy to see the case against theism.
    Yes, Donna, all that needless evil was for you!
    Google one of those names or the problem of Heaven to see the refutation of any theodicy.
    That replaceable placebo!

  39. #39 Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth
    May 19, 2009

    Donna B. yes!

    Theism begs the question of God: logic is the bane of theists. Teleological arguments- design, from reason, probability and fine-tuning all presuppose a being that wanted us, thus begging the question and thus contradict natural selection and all natural causes. The naturalist teleonomic/ atelic argument is that since the weight of evidence reveals no cosmic teleology, then all Nature has no divine purpose, and also the igtheist- Ockham reveals that either God is vacuous or else He is needlessly redundant, advanced theologian Alister McGrath notwithstanding.
    Eugenie C.Scott notwithstanding, George Gaylord Simpson and Ernst Mayr note no teleology , just causalism. Were their teleology, then as Dr. Wiesz notes in ‘The Science of Biology,” the event would happen before the cause, the future before the past, being then backwards causation.
    The argument from pareidolia notes that theists perceive designs rather than the actual patterns as one sees Yeshua in a tortilla, that pareidolia. From this they reason to the argument to design -that begged question.
    Theists merely assume, guess and make it must be’s about God, which we find affirms igtheism [ Google ignosticism, the ignostic-Ockham or theological non-cognitivism.] that He is indeed vacuous.
    Therefore, theists are rank obscurantists.
    Therefore, Jerry Coyne, Paul Kurtz, William Provine, the writer of this article and I dare disagree with Scott and Michael Ruse, who have the temerity to find that we harm science when it actually is not a battle between creationism and science but between supernaturalism and skeptical reason- ontological naturalism, modern rationalism- empiricism and skepticism. Now those two accommodationists can gladly claim that from the side of religion, science and religion are compatible but- not from the side of science!
    She plays on the role of logic as it is possible for our appearing ten minutes ago, but that is not empirical, folks! That cannot gainsay God! And as an ontological naturalist, she knows that.
    Oh, we new atheists, anti-theists, naturalists, rationalists and full -fledged sceptics [ Unlike the great skeptic Martin Gardner, who is a fideistic deist.], find that no god can merit worship and no rational being wants it whatsoever.This goes to the theistic jugular!
    Paul Kurtz rightly calls the supernatural and the paranormal ” The Transcendent Temptation.” So Billy Graham and the Pope rank with Sylvia Brown[e] and James Van Praagh!

    Google naturalist griggsy, rationalist griggsy or skeptic griggsy or even sceptique griggsy and esceptico griggsy to see the case against theism.
    Yes, Donna, all that needless evil was for you!
    Google one of those names or the problem of Heaven to see the refutation of any theodicy.
    That replaceable placebo- God!

  40. #40 Crandaddy
    May 19, 2009

    Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth,

    Were their teleology, then as Dr. Wiesz notes in ‘The Science of Biology,” the event would happen before the cause, the future before the past, being then backwards causation.

    This is an interesting claim. In effect, it apparently amounts to a reverse ontological argument, since if teleology is backwards causation and if backwards causation is impossible (as I think it is), then if God exists, he cannot be a personal agent.

    If successful, this would effectively kill classical theism, but I’m not convinced of the veracity of your claim. I don’t see any problem with God as a personal agent. How do you support this?

  41. #41 sesli chat
    May 20, 2009

    thanks your comments

  42. #42 bmkmd
    May 24, 2009

    Reality vs. Purpose

    Isn’t this just an expression of the Naturalist Fallacy, that what is (complex, self-aware creatures eventually evolving)is being seen as what should be/had to be (evolving with a goal in “mind”, with a purpose?)

    We like explanations, and some of us get nervous when we end up with “I don’t know.”

    bmkmd

  43. #43 giyim
    June 2, 2009

    great

  44. #44 Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth
    June 20, 2009

    How do you claim that He is personal?
    I rest my case on, pace Simpson and Mayr, science finds no teleology to affect matters. It is up to theists to show that although natural selection apparently does the job with no planned outcome, it is really God show does it with planned outcomes.That is the new Omphalos argument, which like the classical one makes God a deceiver! And it makes for Malebranche’s occasionalism that when we strike the eight ball, it is actually God who delivereth the goods! God the planner contradicts non-planning natural selection and thus, cannot be in line with it! It cannot perforce be His way of creating new species and on up the line. It is disingenuous for Miller to aver that he doesn’t claim that God intervenes in the sub-atomic realm but maybe He does as that is just another argument from ignorance paraded with maybe.
    That is the essence of theology – it must be, maybe,guesses and begged questions without any real substance as we igtheists note about God. We igtheists, ignostics, theological non-cognotists find Him to be fatuous, nebulous, otiose and vacuous- without real meaning. And the Razor eliminates Him as being an ad hoc contortion of arguments, a parasite on selection.
    There is no preordained outcome for life. It is a mixture of non-planning, anti-chance natural selection and randomness, not of some being who had us in mind, which begs the question as the teleological arguments -probability,fine-tuning, design and from reason – do. That is why Jerry Coyne in his ” Seeing and Believing’ and subsequent articles reveals the sterility of theistic evolution.

    bmkmd,yea!
    Google rationalist griggsy to get my take on all this @ various sites in different languages.

  45. #45 dost
    September 19, 2009

    dost yakasi..