Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Jonas Salk on evolution vs. ID

By Aussiegirl

Herb Meyer share some memories of dinners with Jonas Salk. What a dream that must have been. I share Dr. Salk's opinion, I don't see why there has to be an either/or proposition -- after all -- everything in the universe was set in motion by the great creative hand of God, including all the laws of physics, quantum theory, and the secret of DNA and the mystery of evolution of life. One of the interesting things to ponder about Intelligent Design is the incredible number of so-called "anthropic coincidences" inherent in the universe which made the evolution of life even possible, and indeed led to the expansion of the universe as we currently see it rather than its almost immediate extinction or implosion. As one scientist so beautifully put it -- "Man is the universe taking a look at itself."Here's the excerpt:

Back in the early 1990s, Jonas and I would meet for dinner about once a month. His willingness to sit and chat with me, and to answer my questions about science, was among the greatest privileges of my life. At dinner one evening at a restaurant in La Jolla he liked to frequent, I told Jonas that I’d been reading some books and articles about Intelligent Design, and asked if he’d been following the debate. He nodded, so I plunged ahead and asked which side he was on. I was startled by the vehemence of his response. Jonas started to shake his head from side to side, slammed his knife and fork onto the table, and let fly:

“Why do I have to choose? Why must it be one or the other? Of course evolution is real. DNA mutates, and that makes evolution one of the most powerful forces in nature. But who set evolution into motion? Can’t God have done that? I can’t stand it when the ideologues take over on something like this. Don’t ever let yourself be caught in one of these “either/or” debates, because when you finally figure it out – it’s usually a bit of both.”


At 8:42 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Christians and Jews (and Moslems) believe in a TRANSCENDENT God; that is, a God who exists outside of the order of nature. As such, this argument has no validity since God natural laws do not apply to God. Just because we can`t see the Divine hand doesn`t mean it`s not there. Are paramecia aware of our interference with them when they are on the microscope slide?

Darwinism and Quantum Theory have both stuck their noses in matters of religion for the purpose of debunking God. Anyone who accuses the ID people of going where they don`t belong should remember that the ``scientists`` started this fight. Darwinists insisted that Evolution proves that there is no God (ignoring His transcendent nature) while quantum physicists have argued that all of nature is merely a matter of chance and so God could have no effect-which by extension means God doesn`t exist. Both of these views are philosophically dishonest.

Salk makes that point clear when he says that we shouldn`t get into the either/or trap. Quantum physics argues that at the subatomic level an event both occurs and does not occur. You can have both a and not a. As a result, what happens is an endless splitting of our universe into multiple alternates in which an occurance happens in one while not happening in another. (In an alternate universe my weight is proportional to my height, and I don`t have to be 8 foot 4!, lucky booger!)If this is true, then the whole issue of Darwin and Natural Selection becomes mute as everything becomes a matter of pure chance. The literal story of Creation is, by extension, absolutely true-it just happened on another time-line.

The fact is, I see no reason to limit the power of God (unlimited is the definition of God) because I`m too stupid to understand the way He works. I CAN understand the way Darwinism works-and can see numerous flaws in this human construct. Now, which one of these should I put my trust in?

At 8:42 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

Tim, that was a fabulous commentary about the greatest scientist of them all, God. I think I will continue to go with God.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger TJ Willms said...

What I find so amazing is the fear and anger exhibited by both sides of this seemingly unsolvable riddle.

God is god and evolution happens.

Scientists desperately want to be the final arbiters of “truth” and the existence of God threatens their supremacy. Religion teaches us that god created everything divinely in a single moment and a simple scientific theory somehow threatens Gods omnipotence. In my humble estimation, both viewpoints are somewhat hysterical and everybody could stand to calm down just a bit. Intelligent design would seam to bolster both the scientific and religious communities in what many scientists are still searching for but cannot prove definitively, a unified theory.

That God has in his infinite genius created a self-adjusting system that automatically improves itself as time and conditions change should render any questions of Gods unlimited potential moot. Opposing what seems obvious the scientific world should be glowing with pride that one of their own has helped advance our understanding of Gods true brilliance if even just a tiny fraction. Instead, because they cannot define the divine influence through a numerical equation they have allowed their collective personal vanity to discount that as a possibility.

Having examined both alternatives, I am forced to agree with Dr. Saulk for his stance seems completely rational and neither position offends the other unless for some reason I want it to.

“Why do I have to choose? Why must it be one or the other? Of course evolution is real. DNA mutates, and that makes evolution one of the most powerful forces in nature. But who set evolution into motion? Can’t God have done that?"

So God is God and evolution happens.

Now have a nice day, and God bless you all.

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aussiegirl said:

What wonderful comments from everyone!! Personally, the more I learn about science, and especially about quantum mechanics and astrophysics, the more convinced I become that God's hand is at work in all these miraculous laws which govern our universe. Indeed, when the Big Bang theory was first proposed and then confirmed, scientists who rejected the idea of a Creator were mortified at the religious implications of a BEGINNING.

I love the formulation -- God is God -- and evolution happens. (However, that's not to say that there aren't big gaps in the evolutionary theory that are yet to be explained.)

At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Robert Landbeck said...

COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED. A real monkey wrench is about to hit both sides in the ID vs Evolution debate and particularly religion is in for difficult times. For a wholly new interpretation of the teachings of Christ, contained within the first ever religious claim and proof that meets all the criteria of the most rigorous, evidential, testable scientific method, is published and circulating on the web. It is titled The Final Freedoms. An intellectual, religious and political bombshell!

It is described by a single Law and moral principle, offering its own proof, one in which the reality of God confirms and responds to an act of perfect faith, by a direct intervention into the natural world, delivering a correction to human nature, including a change in natural law [biology], consciousness and human ethical perception [proof of the soul], providing new, primary insight and understanding of the human condition!

So while proponents of ID may have got the God part right, if this development demonstrates itself to be what it claims, and the means exist to do so, all religious teaching, tradition and understanding of ID are wholly in error, while the proponents of evolution who have rightly used that conception to beat down the credibility of religious tradition, but who have also used it to deny the potential for God, are in for a very rude shock.

However improbable, what history has presumed to be impossible now looks all too real. The implications defy imagination! No joke, no hoax and not spam.

Pre publication review copies of the manuscript, The Final Freedoms, are a free pdf download at www.energon.uklinux.net and http://thefinalfreedoms.bulldoghome.com

Cheers: R.A. Landbeck

At 1:47 PM, OpenID timothysherrell said...

When you say 'evolution happens' you are making a statement for which there is no proof. There is still no proof. Scientists keep running around trying to find solutions to evolution's many problems when evolution itself was not a solution to a problem. Darwin had no real proof. Today's scientists have no real proof. Thinkers have to start asking themselves if the theory of evolution, whether or not it was true, gives us anything important or is it just demanding the cost of its own existence as a theory. In that case, money, time, energy and resources would be better spent on something else. Talk about holding back progress. It's circular.

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At 10:36 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I personally believe that some 'scientists' confuse 'evolution' with 'adaptation' of species. That's all I have to say at the moment.

At 7:51 PM, Anonymous K said...

God created the heavens and earth. Period. Case closed.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger mickeymouse said...

Where di you get this dialogue from at the restaurant? love to know
sounds interesting

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't know yet, therefore: god. Very smart.


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