----- Original Message -----
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2007 9:32 PM
[Left: Benjamin B. Warfield]
Continued from part #1
>Such a question I guess must have been asked before, and I apologize for my ignorance.
>I would very much appreciate your commet .
>Thanks very much for your considerarion
>Prof. of biology and philosophy
I hope this has helped.
It is important to realise that one could remain a "Darwinian Evoulutionist" and accept ID, if by "Darwinian Evoulutionist" is not meant the denial of design (as in Darwinism). As I pointed out in a recent post, "Re: Did Darwin believe in Intelligent Design?," in Darwin's day the foremost proponent of Darwin's theory in the USA was Darwin's friend and confidant, Harvard botanist Asa Gray, an evangelical Christian!
As I quoted in that post, there were at least two ways to reconcile the science (not the philosophy i.e. Darwinism) of Darwinian evolution with design.
The first was to step back one level to the "fitness of the environment" (see below), i.e. initial conditions, constants and laws of the Universe that Darwinian evolution itself depends on, could be designed, as pointed out by conservative Christian theologians like R.L. Dabney and B.B. Warfield, who wrote the definitive conservative evangelical Christian work on the Inspiration and Authority of Bible and who described himself as a "Darwinian of the purest water":
"If Hodge's and Patton's endorsement of evolution was ultimately tentative, B.B. Warfield was decidedly more partisan. By his own admission a `Darwinian of the purest water' [Warfield, B.B., "Personal Reflections of Princeton Undergraduate Life," The Princeton Alumni Weekly, 6 April 1916, pp. 650-53] .... It goes without saying that Warfield's endorsement of Darwin was not unqualified, however. He held that any scientific theory that in principle subverted providence or occasional supernatural interference must ultimately prove unacceptable. But within those limits, Warfield, in pointed contrast to both of the Hodges, said he would `raise no question as to the compatibility of the Darwinian form of the hypothesis of evolution with Christianity.' [Warfield, B.B., `Charles Darwin's Religious Life: A Sketch in Spiritual Biography,' in Studies in Theology, Oxford University Press: New York, 1932, p.548] The context of this particular ratification of Darwin's theory is itself important, for it shows Warfield's capacity to distinguish central issues from peripheral issues. He made the statement in an article entitled `Charles Darwin's Religious Life,' in which he reviewed the three-volume Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. As the subtitle `A Sketch in Spiritual Biography' suggests, Warfield focused on what has come to be known as Darwin's `affective decline'-that is, his increasing distaste for art, music, literature, and religion. Warfield certainly lamented the spiritually disruptive effects of the theory of evolution on its chief advocate, and he expressed his annoyance at Darwin's absolutist claims for his natural selection mechanism. But this must not be allowed to conceal the fact that Warfield remained enthusiastic about the theory as a natural law operating under the control of Providence an interpretation supported in various ways, he noted, by such scientists as Carpenter, Dallinger, and Gray. Warfield held that Darwin's aesthetic atrophy and spiritual disaffection could be traced on the one hand to an inability to conceive of God as immanent in the universe (which resulted in a misapprehension of the doctrine of Providence) and on the other hand to an unsophisticated understanding of teleology. It was Warfield's concern, therefore, to articulate a theological defense of divine design and providential government of the world in evolutionary terms." (Livingstone, D.N., "Darwin's Forgotten Defenders: The Encounter between Evangelical Theology and Evolutionary Thought," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, pp.115-117)
The second way to reconcile Darwinian evolution with design, was to propose that the variations (i.e. mutations) could be directed (either naturally and/or supernaturally), as Asa Gray did. These two ways are not mutually exclusive.
As I also quoted in that previous post, Darwin rejected the second way of reconciliation of his theory with design, but on personal philosophical (not on scientific) grounds. However, on the first way, Darwin himself claimed that, "Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws," which therefore included the content of his own theory! Indeed, Darwin did not reject that second way to reconcile his theory with design, and even admitted in his autobiography that when "reflecting" on "this immense and wonderful universe" he felt "compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man" and at those times he "deserve[d] to be called a Theist"!:
"Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far back wards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man ; and I deserve to be called a Theist." (Darwin, C.R., in Barlow, N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1969, reprint, pp.92-93).
As even Richard Dawkins himself admitted, the `blind watchmaker' depends on "the blind forces of physics ... deployed in a very special way:
"All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.5. My emphasis).
I have recently been reading Yale biophysics professor Harold J. Morowitz' "Cosmic Joy and Local Pain" (1987), where he quotes two other leading scientists (Harvard's Lawrence J. Henderson and Princeton's Freeman Dyson) who, like him, accepted Darwinian evolution but also accepted design, and then concludes, "Like Dyson and Henderson ... I find it hard not to see design in a universe that works so well. Each new scientific discovery seems to reinforce that vision of design. As I like to say to my friends, the universe works much better than we have any right to expect" (my emphasis):
"In the early 1900s, Lawrence J. Henderson revived the argument from design within his perceptive work The Fitness of the Environment. He did not actually talk about design; rather, he noted:There is, however, one scientific conclusion which I wish to put forward as a positive and, I trust, fruitful outcome of the present investigation. The properties of matter and the course of cosmic evolution are now seen to be intimately related to the structure of the living being and to its activities; they become, therefore, far more important in biology than has been previously suspected. For the whole evolutionary process, both cosmic and organic, is one, and the biologist may now rightly regard the universe in its very essence as biocentric. [Henderson, L.J., "The Fitness of the Environment: An Inquiry into the Biological Significance of the Properties of Matter," , Beacon Press: Boston MA, Reprinted, 1958, p.312]... design was back in the arena and periodically appeared in the writings of aging scientists, who, freed from the idylls of the marketplace, could state their philosophical views without fear of peer pressure.In 1979 Freeman Dyson attacked head-on a reexamination of design in light of the science of our time. His brief essay on theology occurs within a book appropriately titled Disturbing the Universe. Dyson is a prominent physicist and astrophysicist, and I think it came as a surprise to the scientific community when his book contained a chapter entitled `The Argument from Design.' He [wrote] ...It is true that we emerged in the universe by chance, but the idea of chance is itself only a cover for our ignorance. I do not feel like an alien in this universe. The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known that we were coming. [Dyson, F.J., "Disturbing the Universe," Harper & Row: New York NY, 1979, p.240]Dyson points to the role of mind in the domain of physics. He notes that there is just the right balance between the attractiveness of nuclear forces and the repulsion of the like charges of nucleons. If the repulsive forces were larger, nuclei could not exist. If the attractive forces were greater, all the protons of the universe would have been tied up in diprotons and all the hydrogen reactions that fuel the nuclear chemistry of the universe could not have taken place. The actual fusion reactions of hydrogen in the sun depend on what physicists call the weak interaction. It controls the rate of fusion: much stronger and the stars would burn up too fast, much slower and they would be too cold. Dyson goes on to point out that organic chemistry (and by extension biochemistry) depends on a delicate balance between electrical and quantum mechanical forces that come about because of the exclusion principle. The thrust of Dyson's approach is very much in the mode of Henderson's, except that he adds mind, the immanent mind quality of the universe, as a further feature of design. In the preceding chapters we, too, have looked at the workings of the biological and geological universes and have been impressed with how well the microscopic and macroscopic aspects come together. Like Dyson and Henderson ... I find it hard not to see design in a universe that works so well. Each new scientific discovery seems to reinforce that vision of design. As I like to say to my friends, the universe works much better than we have any right to expect." (Morowitz, H.J., "Cosmic Joy and Local Pain: Musings of a Mystic Scientist," Charles Scribner's Sons: New York NY, 1987, pp.295-298)
I personally, like Prof. Behe, accept Universal Common Ancestry, and as I mentioned in another previous post, "Since 2003, with minor variations, I have stated on my testimony page ... I would have no problem even if Darwinian evolution was proved to be 100% true":
"I would have no problem even if Darwinian evolution was proved to be 100% true, because the God of the Bible is fully in control of all events, even those that seem random to man (Prov. 16:33; 1Kings 22:34). Jesus said that not even one sparrow will die unless God wills it (Mat. 10:29-30), which means that God is fully in control of natural selection. But if the Biblical God really exists there is no good reason to assume in advance that Darwinian (or any form of) naturalistic evolution is true!".
Therefore, as with Christian geneticist David L. Wilcox, for me "neither an adequate nor an inadequate `neo-Darwinism' (as mechanism) holds any terrors. But that is not what the data looks like", i.e. what the data looks like to me and Prof. Wilcox is that an Intelligent Designer (who I assume is the Judeo-Christian God), has supernaturally intervened in life's history, including its origin, and like Wilcox "I feel no metaphysical necessity to exclude the evident finger of God"!:
"I have no metaphysical necessity driving me to propose the miraculous action of the evident finger of God as a scientific hypothesis. In my world view, all natural forces and events are fully contingent on the free choice of the sovereign God. Thus, neither an adequate nor an inadequate `neo-Darwinism' (as mechanism) holds any terrors. But that is not what the data looks like. And I feel no metaphysical necessity to exclude the evident finger of God." (Wilcox, D.L., "Tamed Tornadoes," in Buell, J. & Hearn, V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p.215. Emphasis original).
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
Genesis 42:6-8; 43:32-33. 6Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph's brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. "Where do you come from?" he asked. "From the land of Canaan," they replied, "to buy food." 8Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 32They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians. 33The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment.
"In the book of Genesis (43:33) we read of a lord of Egypt who entertained eleven men who were brothers. The men, so the story goes, `marvelled one with another' when they found themselves seated at table in the exact order of their ages. Let us seek to face the question: why was it that they marvelled? For answer we can only say that such an event seemed to contradict one of the basic ideas entailed in `common sense.' The men had never heard of the laws of probability, of entropy, or of the second law of thermodynamics, but they rightly suspected that the long arm of coincidence would hardly have arranged them in just that way. Somehow, they guessed that intelligence was at work, though to all appearances this could hardly have been the case. In the end, so it would seem, they decided to trust to appearances instead of intuition. Nevertheless, they soon learned that their intuition had not deceived them. The idea, in short, is simply this. Order does not arise of its own accord; it does not come out of nothing, and we must not explain it away by chance. On the other hand order is easily lost spontaneously." (Clark, R.E.D., "Darwin: Before & After: An Examination and Assessment," , Paternoster: London, Reprint, 1966, pp.148-149)