Evolutionists Trying To Protect The Sacred Cow

Diehard defenders of this massively complex metaphysical research program known as evolution are getting more and more weary and particular about the use of certain words or ideas which describe the theory. For example, we see an objection of a term used in a popular way to describe evolution…

“In spite of the nice contrast between ‘accident versus design’, the term design carries with it too many undesirable connotations, such as the existence of a creator, and should not be used in evolutionary theory. Design could be replaced with non-accidental or non-stochastic, but these substitute terms are awkward and not really informative.”–Evolutionary biologist Walter Bock of Columbia University

I’m not quite sure what Walter Bock believes to be “many undesirable connotations” with the use of the word “design.” I only see two connotations that evolutionists like himself would object to rather than many, and they are a supernatural creator namely God or intelligent agents.

“Darwin developed his theory of organic evolution in part as an explanation of the appearance and perfection of adaptations to counter the idea of design as advocated by Paley and accepted then by almost everyone in the western world, including biologists…”

I agree, design was the consensus of the majority of scientists during Paley’s time. And I certainly agree with the notion of Darwin wanting to “counter the idea of design” by proposing naturalism in the origin of species. But what professor Bock fails to recognize and struggles with are terms like “non-accidental” or  “non-stochastic” both of which mean design.

He is basically looking for a term that can’t be connected with the meaning of design, but still imply the fundamental meaning of it. I hate to inform Professor Bock, but there is no such word and using some highly technical jargon doesn’t help either but it’s attempt only accomplishes confusion in the public realm so one can try to get the desired affect which is to conclude a certain way.

In the end, Professor Bock does in fact realize this and his proposal of not using the word “design” is the only option in his opinion, but not really the solution in which alludes him because he cannot come up with one word that would be suitable to what he feels is an overall problem with using a word  that still implies design. Professor Bock believes very strongly the option of using other words might sway people to conclude naturalism rather than a creator or intelligent agents.

“Unfortunately in this respect there is no solution to the paradox posed by Darwin which should not have been expressed in the form he used; his query was expressed in a letter to a colleague and not in a manuscript intended for publication. Actually the living world as we see it is the result of chance because all of the attributes of these organisms evolved and the process of evolution is stochastic.”

I disagree evolution being totally “stochastic” even a militant atheist like Richard Dawkins admits nature looks designed, but in his opinion the observation is an illusion as stated below…

The God Delusion: “Darwin and his successors have shown how living creatures, with their spectacular statistical improbability and appearance of design, have evolved by slow, gradual degrees from simple beginnings. We can now safely say that the illusion of design in living creatures is just that—an illusion.”

It is interesting to note, creationists and ID proponents also use the statistical improbability argument for their particular issue so it’s not just creationists and ID proponents using it as some would like us to believe. Overall, the claim of “spectacular statistical improbability” is nothing short of a miracle in fact, it’s a pretty enormous miracle.

There is a pattern in evolutionary theory, upwards trend, positive adaptation as it’s goal or progress rather than in a pattern of negative adaptation where animals wouldn’t be able to survive in the battle of the fittest in a particular environment.  All these things are designed type features, but the question is, what or who designed them, God or an unthinking process using errors to somehow create new and better information, called; evolution? The answer is quite obvious, it’s God who created all animals for particular environments He also created (which we continue to study and learn about it’s very advance designs) with variation within it’s own kind. The massively complex metaphysical research program known as evolution was put in place to remove God, nothing else. The evidence for intelligent design is undeniable!

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15 thoughts on “Evolutionists Trying To Protect The Sacred Cow

  1. Well put. We translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into English so it would be easier to understand, so when someone tries to use big words or Latin phrases to describe something they are usually trying to hid the real meaning.

    P.S. I link to your post from my blog, everyone should read this.

  2. non-accidental and non-stochastic processes are *not* the same as design.

    From wikipedia (you just love them, don’t you):
    As a verb, “to design” refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product, structure, system, or component with intention. As a noun, “a design” is used for either the final (solution) plan (e.g. proposal, drawing, model, description) or the result of implementing that plan in the form of the final product of a design process.

    Well, nature is not finished, it is still changing, so it is not a design. Is it designed ? That implies intention, and non-stochastic processes still have no intention: they just follow laws. So that means you want the scientific laws themselves to be designed. Why would that be ? Who designed E=mc^2 etc. ? And who designed the designer, of course.

  3. Eelco: The laws where designed by God and God is eternal. No one, or no entity, had to design God, He has always been.

    It really is a difficult concept to understand because we exist with in the laws of Time and Space that God created. He has always been and will always be, except there is no measurement for his beginning just like you can not point to the start of a circle.

    “Who designed E=mc^2”, I believe that was Einstein, right?

  4. Well according to your favorite source, Wikipedia stochastic for example, means a system’s subsequent state is determined both by the process’s predictable actions and by a random element. Now it’s counterpart, the opposite meaning of this word is according to your favorite source which says; “deterministic system is a system in which no randomness involved in the development of future states of the system.” A process which cannot think cannot be deterministic of anything, it has no direction, unable to follow anything, or create anything, nor execute anything. Who or what created gravity, and why does it behave in a certain and precise way as it does even before man declared it was the law of nature?

    “non-accidental” it means a purposeful act or intentional act, again this reflects design which has “intention.”

  5. covillle,

    Glad to see you post again and thanks for the link! I agree, jargon is a favorite pastime, easier to conceal a weakness in a theory to the average person.

  6. Michael: wikipedia is not my favorite source – it is just readily available to all.

    Why are you talking about processes that can ‘think’ ? But using that metaphor, which is what I assume you are doing, a non-stochastic process follows some law(s), and therefore does ‘think’, but according to those laws.

    Of course evolution is only partly stochastic: it has stochastic elements and non-stochastic ones. Like lots of other processes in the natural science, really. Just read a little further on the wikipedia page.

    There even seems to be ‘stochastic teaching’, which is completely new to me.

    mcoville:

    Einstein discovered E=mc^2, he did not design this.

  7. I agree, Einstein discovered E=mc^2, but so was the planets in our solar system discovered as well, but that doesn’t mean those planets were not designed. “stohastic teaching” as you put is a term (non-stohastic) suggested to replace describing evolution as being able to “design” nature so people wouldn’t automatically associate the word with “design” at least in the professor’s thinking who had no solution for replacing the word “design” which he doesn’t like used with something else.

  8. Planets follow laws, they are not laws …

    As for your stuff on ‘stochastic teaching’, I cannot quite follow what you are saying. I just said it was mentioned on the wikipedia page.

  9. There we go !
    That is the question of questions, indeed.

    I have no idea. Should they have been created ? I don’t think so, but this is very hard to either prove or disprove, in my opinion.

    So the laws could always have been there. But they could have been created. I am already very pleased that you say ‘what’, and not ‘who’. That makes me quite happy!

  10. And that Eelco is the meat of the debate. All IDers are saying is that there is a logic behind an Intelligent Designer assisting in the development of everything.

    It is ok to say that people do not know everything and that in time we may know more than we know now, but there are somethings that appear logically to be designed. If evolutionists, or Darwinists as I like to call them, would just admit that there is a chance that somethings where designed the philosophical part of the debate would be over and we could start working together on how things where designed and how they work, we can leave the “who” part to the comparative religion courses.

  11. But there is no evidence at all that nature has been designed: it’s fine that you keep trying to find evidence for that, go ahead, but most scientists simply consider this to be a false idea.
    Are people still researching why the earth is flat ? No …
    Same with ID. No evidence. If there would be, scientists would jump on this immediately and start working on ID.

  12. Eelco “I have no idea. Should they have been created ? I don’t think so, but this is very hard to either prove or disprove, in my opinion.”

    So natural laws are eternal, immortal in other words…At least in your opinion. Yes, I agree it’s very hard to prove or disprove how those laws were created.

  13. “Are people still researching why the earth is flat ?”, stop beating a dead horse with this strawman. People did research a flat earth is there is evidence that the earth is round. Can you disprove design?

  14. mcoville: “Can you disprove design?

    No no, I’m not falling for that one. YOU come up with a “new” theory (well, not really new, see below), which is supposed to be replacing one that works very well (evolution). So YOU need to prove, or at least show some evidence, for design. There are very few problems with evolution, and no evidence for design.

    My example was not a strawman. It was an example of an old theory people once favoured, and which has been replaced by a better one. Intelligent design is basically bits of christianity (genesis etc.) repackaged, and that makes it a pretty old theory indeed.

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