John Avise Says Defects of the Body Prove Evolution?

We have people who have a appendicitis or bad backs in the world, which John Avise who was featured in says is evidence against intelligent design thus he says, Christians and theologians should embrace evolution. This is an old arguement which claims if there is a God then everything would be good, no diseases, no death, no crimes, no suffering and so on.

He answers a question by talking about Christianity and religion in general…

“Theodicy is the age-old conundrum of how to reconcile a just God with a world containing evils and flaws.  With respect to biological imperfections, evolution can emancipate religion from the shackles of theodicy.”

“No longer need we feel tempted to blaspheme an omnipotent deity by making him directly responsible for human frailties and physical shortcomings, including those we now know to be commonplace at the molecular and biochemical levels.”

First of all, what is a theological viewpoint doing in a science publication? Is is because they use storytelling (evolution) to attack religion rather than showing Christianity in a positive light? Second of all, Christians do not hold God responsible for the sins of the world.  In Romans 12:5, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Avise has made up his own story about Christianity and misrepresenting it with the modern intelligent design movement.

Third of all, the modern intelligent design movement has no history, meaning it holds to the belief  “intelligent agents” are the origin for the creation and direction of information while embracing other evolutionary beliefs but there is no scientific method that they use or exists in their opinion that would be able to describe it’s history on the origin of those agents.

The only reason why he’s trying to blur the two together, is that creationism was made illegal by the court where a teacher cannot mention in a positive  or neutral manner in a science classroom taught by the public schools. On the other hand, intelligent design has not been made illegal in all 50 states. However, it does have one ruling against it.

So what about the human genome? It’s actually points to a creator rather than evolution…

Avise makes more claims…

“Proponents of intelligent design understandably focus on the many beauties of life, claiming that smooth-working biological traits prove direct creation by a supernatural deity. However, natural selection in conjunction with genetic processes can also produce complex biological systems that usually function well.”

Here is a creationist viewpoint which is part 2 out of 9 that deals with various things about DNA…

What is really flawed in terms of argument is the fact that John Avise has no logical evidence for his belief in evolution nor does he describe the opposing viewpoint (creationism or intelligent design) in terms of what they really are in his book…


7 thoughts on “John Avise Says Defects of the Body Prove Evolution?

  1. Creationism contains a number of ironies.

    One of them is that the science of “genetics” that originated in the 1920s was advanced as an argument against Darwinism.[1] Genetics, later understood in terms of DNA, was the last shadow of the 50-year period called “the eclipse of Darwinism,” during which scientists and religionists alike attempted to find evidence for both creation[2] and goal-directed[3] evolution.


    [1] See, e.g., Bowler, Monkey Trials & Gorilla Sermons (2007). Bowler is the leading authority on the relation of religion and evolution.

    [2] Louis Agassiz, America’s greatest geologist, was a creationist. Just in case you wish to play the persecution card.

    [2] That is, non-selectionist.

  2. Theodicy predated John Avise, and will outlast him. Like all questions in philosophy, it has no answer. We merely play logic games around it.

    The point, however, is that theodicy has not, in several millenia, explained the provenance of these defects, while evolution has explained many of them, and promises to explain many more. That’s why it’s science. While creationism and intelligent design have no explanation.

    Why is an explanation important? The goal of science is to understand more and more physical phenomena at deeper and deeper levels. But that is not the ultimate goal. The reason for understanding things is to control, change, or fix them. In this case, the defects.

    I have previously described several recent instances where an evolutionary explanation has provided a beneficial application. My favorite is a fix for a congenital heart defect.[1] No, here’s another: Research into the origin of multicellular organisms led to the discovery of “quorum sensing,” Bacteria employ this technique to delay their attacks until their numbers are sufficient to overwhelm their host’s defenses. Defeating this signaling could prevent infections by persuading the bacteria that there are never enough of them to begin an attack. This has the further advantage that it would not provoke drug resistance—because it does not kill the bugs, and thus does not provoke evolutionary selection.

    Studying the evolutionary origin of evolutionary defects often offers clues to their amelioration. Certainly the evolutionary study of immune-system defects has been of great value in treating HIV/AIDS.[2]

    So what do the understandings of creationism offer in this connection? What proposals to creationists offer toward understanding these defects, much less alleviating them? What proposalls can it ever offer? Evolution says that things are the way they are because they got that way—thus opening up research into HOW they got that way. Creaionism says that things are the way they are because they are that way. How would you propose to investigate this hypothesis?

    This is one reason why creationism is not science.


    [1] By investigating the transition between 3- and 4-chambered hearts and sifting out a single protein that builds the ventricular septum.

    [2] And studying the evolution of SIV into HIV provides insight into its infectious mechanism, a first step toward preventing it.

  3. Olorin: “Like all questions in philosophy, it has no answer. We merely play logic games around it.”

    Hear renowned early-20thC philosopher and logician Alfred North Whitehead

    “The purpose of logic is to provide excuses for doing what we want.”

    That’s why most working scientists are dismissive of philosophy. Science is grounded upon physical evidence. Philosophical answers are written in the wind and running water.

  4. Michael: “On the other hand, intelligent design has not been made illegal in all 50 states. However, it does have one ruling against it.”

    Two rulings, at the Federal-court level. Kitzmiller v. Dover in Pennsylvania, and Selmer v. Cobb County in Georgia. Several at the State level. California Christian Schools[1] is probably the most recent one.

    Kitzmiller was so thorough in its legal issues and opportunities for ID to bring any number of witnesses and to introduce practically any evidence it wished, that all 50 States consider it authoritative, even if not legally binding.[2]


    [1] Sorry, I can’t remember the cite offhand. YCLIU.

    [2] The ID defense in Kitzmiller points up a pervasive problem with ID/creationists. Their legal team was stupendously ignorant of evolutionary theory and research. The questions that they asked of the evolution-science witnesses were so stupid that the witnesses easily brushed them aside—which also gave those witnesses further opportunities to present the case for evolution, even during cross-examination by the ID folk!

    One of the first principles of legal argument—as in all debate—is to know your opponent’s case as well as he does. In this case, the ID attorneys failed miserably. On the other hand, the plaintiff’s attorneys stayed up all night doing their homework, coming up with over a thousand references concerning the history, definition, and practice of intelligent design. One might say that the motto of the ID team was, “God will provide,” while the motto of the other side was, “God helps those who help themselves.”

  5. Michael: “On the other hand, intelligent design has not been made illegal in all 50 states. However, it does have one ruling against it.”

    Creationism, however, is very definitely illegal in all 50 States, by a decision of the US Supreme Court.[1] So, Michael, your only remaining hope is to sign up with the Discovery Institute.[2] Of course, they accept universal common descent, 4.5 Byr age for the Earth, and refuse to name Xxx as their “Intelligent Designer.”[3]


    [1] Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987)

    [2] 208 Columbia Street, Seattle, WA 98104

    [3] That would vitiate their cover, wouldn’t it?

  6. Re Michael’s videos—

    Why do I get a creepy feeling when watching someone explain science from a pulpit?

  7. Michael, if you don’t object to these two yo-yos explain science, how can you object to Richard Dawkins explaining religion?

    Oh, that’s right. Consistency is a dirty word among creationists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s