Continuity between Creationism and Evolutionism

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z@z

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Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
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Creationism and evolutionism are generally viewed as diametrically
opposed. I try to show that the relation between evolutionism and
creationism goes beyond a simple dichotomy. Several aspects must be
treated separately and there are even continuous transitions from the
creationist to the evolutionist point of views.

In my opinion important aspects of the creation-evolution-debate are:

1a) Randomism
vs b) goal-directed creativity

2a) Continuous emergence of life
vs b) discontinuous emergence of life

3a) Reality of souls
vs b) consciousness as a pure side effect of matter

4a) General validity of 2nd Law of Thermodynamics,
evolution of life considered consistent with 2LoT
vs b) general validity of 2LoT,
evolution of life considered inconsistent with 2LoT
vs c) life itself violates 2LoT

The first two aspects are at the heart of the debate. Whereas standard
evolutionists subscribe 1a and 2a, standard creationists subscribe 1b
and 2b.

The impact on current discussions (at least on t.o.) of the third
aspect concerning the reality of (human) souls is rather small. Maybe
even creationists fear to make a fool of themselves by talking about
souls. It seems to me that a majority of creationists has accepted
basic principles of materialistic reductionism: living organisms are
viewed as complex self-replicating machines designed and originally
produced by God.

The forth aspect is interesting insofar as the positions of evolutionism
(4a) and creationism (4b) are generally viewed as complete opposites,
despite the fact that both positions agree in supposing that extant
life does not violate the second law.

According to standard creationism only discontinuous interventions of
God can circumvent the second law. Based on 4b, the existence of complex
life is considered as evidence of God.

Standard evolutionists are forced to claim that despite the apparent
increase in common sense order during the evolution of our universe,
its real 'order' has been decreasing since its very beginning (i.e.
configurations of lower probablitity have been transformed into
configurations of higher probability).

This evolutionist view is in some respect even more creationist than
the view of old earth creationists: the universe appeares suddenly
with the highest order, and from that moment on, order only
decreases. Global decrease in order can lead (by chance, aimlessly)
to a local increase such as e.g. to a complex ecosystem on earth.

Old earth creationists however admit that there is some kind of
progressive development of the universe. They see it as the result
of discontinuous interventions of God. The creation of humans is
considered the latest and most important event of a long chain of
separate progressive creations.

Now we can ask how did God create e.g. elephants (within OEC view).
Did he create complete elephants by violating the law of mass-energy
conservation? Did he put together existent molecules in agreement
with all known physical laws (apart from 2LoT)? Did he use a yet
existing similar species in order to give birth to the first
elephants? If yes, did he change the hereditary information in a
discontinuous way, resulting in a huge macro-evolutionary step?
Or did he intervene continuously over several generations in a
rather small population, so that a continuous transformation to the
new species was possible? (Artificial inseminations with fertilized
eggs of other species or populations do not work at all or work
the better, the more related the involved populations are.)

Whether we explain order creating acts or processes (violating
the 2LoT) such as e.g. the appearance of new biochemical pathways
rather abstractly by postulating some kind of natural law or by
interventions of God does not make a difference in predictive
power.

In my opinion the existence of order creating principles in
nature is a fact. So why should we prefer the view that

normally the 2LoT reigns over the world and discontinous divine
interventions violate this law (and maybe even others) from time
to time in an extremely obvious way

to view that

order creating principles overlay the the second law all the
time, especially in the context of life?

I personally prefer the notion of God as the sustainer of nature
to the notion of God as a pure creator.


Cheers
Wolfgang Gottfried G., a (mono-, pan-, a-)theist


Evolution by continuous creation of life:
http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html

Mike K

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Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
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Two thoughts occurred to me as I briefly scanned your text:

1. Evolution is not just "randomism". There are directing influences
(natural selection + others)
2. Doesn't the 2LoT talk about a move toward equilibrium of entropy in an
isolated system, not an increase in it?

Mike

z@z <z...@z.lol.li> wrote in message news:7l930m$1e5$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net...

bigd...@my-deja.com

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Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
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In article <7l930m$1e5$1...@pollux.ip-plus.net>,

"z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote:
> Creationism and evolutionism are generally viewed as diametrically
> opposed. I try to show that the relation between evolutionism and
> creationism goes beyond a simple dichotomy. Several aspects must be
> treated separately and there are even continuous transitions from the
> creationist to the evolutionist point of views.
>
> In my opinion important aspects of the creation-evolution-debate are:
>
> 1a) Randomism
> vs b) goal-directed creativity
>
> 2a) Continuous emergence of life
> vs b) discontinuous emergence of life
>
> 3a) Reality of souls
> vs b) consciousness as a pure side effect of matter
>
> 4a) General validity of 2nd Law of Thermodynamics,
> evolution of life considered consistent with 2LoT
> vs b) general validity of 2LoT,
> evolution of life considered inconsistent with 2LoT
> vs c) life itself violates 2LoT
>
> The first two aspects are at the heart of the debate. Whereas standard
> evolutionists subscribe 1a and 2a, standard creationists subscribe 1b
> and 2b.

ZZ one of the biggest problems I have with creationists, is that for the
life of them, they are unable to correctly frame the debate. 1a is not
what evolutionary biologists subscribed to. What they subscribe to is
mutation acted on by natural selection. There is a big difference
between that and pure randomness. If "Goal directed Creativity" means
design, then you have adequately represented the creationist view..

>
> The impact on current discussions (at least on t.o.) of the third
> aspect concerning the reality of (human) souls is rather small. Maybe
> even creationists fear to make a fool of themselves by talking about
> souls. It seems to me that a majority of creationists has accepted
> basic principles of materialistic reductionism: living organisms are
> viewed as complex self-replicating machines designed and originally
> produced by God.

ZZ, when is the sole acquired? During the zygote stage? Blastula?
Gastrula? etc., at birth? They probably wish to avoid that question.. In
any event, the "soul" is a non testable entity and has nothing to do
with science.

>
> The forth aspect is interesting insofar as the positions of
evolutionism
> (4a) and creationism (4b) are generally viewed as complete opposites,
> despite the fact that both positions agree in supposing that extant
> life does not violate the second law.
>
> According to standard creationism only discontinuous interventions of
> God can circumvent the second law. Based on 4b, the existence of
complex
> life is considered as evidence of God.
>
> Standard evolutionists are forced to claim that despite the apparent
> increase in common sense order during the evolution of our universe,
> its real 'order' has been decreasing since its very beginning (i.e.
> configurations of lower probablitity have been transformed into
> configurations of higher probability).

Funny ZZ, but I have a number of fluid mechanical experiments,
specifically in thermal convection. Frankly it is amazing to see how
some 600x10^23 molecueles of corn syrup manage to arrange themselves in
rectangular or hexagonal patterns, despite homogenous boundary
conditions. Gee? Was God summoned up in my convection experiments.
"Common sense order" is a meaningless term in thermodynamics. Or can you
supply an equation for "common sense order" and show how it relates to
dQrev/T = dS?

>
> This evolutionist view is in some respect even more creationist than
> the view of old earth creationists: the universe appeares suddenly
> with the highest order, and from that moment on, order only
> decreases. Global decrease in order can lead (by chance, aimlessly)
> to a local increase such as e.g. to a complex ecosystem on earth.

Yup thats basically the picture. Only a small amount of entropy in the
Big Bang singularity. At least according to Penrose. Can't say I read
the paper. But I'm willing to take his word for it, until shown an
argument debunking it...


>
> Old earth creationists however admit that there is some kind of
> progressive development of the universe. They see it as the result
> of discontinuous interventions of God. The creation of humans is
> considered the latest and most important event of a long chain of
> separate progressive creations.

Some do. But YEC's are constrained to have everything made in 6 literal
days..

>
> Now we can ask how did God create e.g. elephants (within OEC view).
> Did he create complete elephants by violating the law of mass-energy
> conservation? Did he put together existent molecules in agreement
> with all known physical laws (apart from 2LoT)? Did he use a yet
> existing similar species in order to give birth to the first
> elephants? If yes, did he change the hereditary information in a
> discontinuous way, resulting in a huge macro-evolutionary step?
> Or did he intervene continuously over several generations in a
> rather small population, so that a continuous transformation to the
> new species was possible? (Artificial inseminations with fertilized
> eggs of other species or populations do not work at all or work
> the better, the more related the involved populations are.)
>
> Whether we explain order creating acts or processes (violating
> the 2LoT) such as e.g. the appearance of new biochemical pathways
> rather abstractly by postulating some kind of natural law or by
> interventions of God does not make a difference in predictive
> power.

Excuse me? Does creationism predict the existence of transitional forms
between land mammals and cetaceans? If so why and show how this
logically follows from creationists beliefs...

>
> In my opinion the existence of order creating principles in
> nature is a fact. So why should we prefer the view that
>
> normally the 2LoT reigns over the world and discontinous divine
> interventions violate this law (and maybe even others) from time
> to time in an extremely obvious way
>
> to view that
>
> order creating principles overlay the the second law all the
> time, especially in the context of life?

Creating principles don't "overlay" the second law. They are intertwined
with it..


>
> I personally prefer the notion of God as the sustainer of nature
> to the notion of God as a pure creator.

Stuart


>
> Cheers
> Wolfgang Gottfried G., a (mono-, pan-, a-)theist
>
> Evolution by continuous creation of life:
> http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html
>
>

--
Dr. Stuart A. Weinstein
"To err is human, but to really foul things up
requires a creationist"


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Share what you know. Learn what you don't.


Stefan Danyluc

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Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
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replying from <alt.talk.creationism>

"z@z" <z...@z.lol.li> wrote: <clipped 80% more or less>

> I personally prefer the notion of God as the sustainer of nature
> to the notion of God as a pure creator.


Why would he bother?
...assuming he exists.

steven


> Cheers
> Wolfgang Gottfried G., a (mono-, pan-, a-)theist
>
> Evolution by continuous creation of life:
> http://members.lol.li/twostone/E/psychon.html

John H. Morrison

unread,
Jul 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/2/99
to
Mike K wrote:

>Two thoughts occurred to me as I briefly scanned your text:
>
>1. Evolution is not just "randomism". There are directing influences
>(natural selection + others)
>2. Doesn't the 2LoT talk about a move toward equilibrium of entropy in an
>isolated system, not an increase in it?


No, second law talks about entropy increasing. The first comment is
correct, though.

Z@Z wrote:

>> In my opinion important aspects of the creation-evolution-debate are:
>>
>> 1a) Randomism
>> vs b) goal-directed creativity


No, 1a should be *tiny* random mutations, plus exponential reproduction
(which phrase I *define* to be reproduction in which one becomes two or
more, and each of those can repeat), plus natural selection.

Leave out any one of these, and you don't get evolution. I believe that
creationists play mind games of conveniently forgetting random mutation
when talking about natural selection, and forgetting natural selection
when talking about random mutation.

>> 4a) General validity of 2nd Law of Thermodynamics,
>> evolution of life considered consistent with 2LoT
>> vs b) general validity of 2LoT,
>> evolution of life considered inconsistent with 2LoT
>> vs c) life itself violates 2LoT


If life itself violates the 2nd law, then the 2nd law is invalid as applies
to
life. If life doesn't violate the 2nd law, evolution of life cannot
violate it.
Compare the amount of entropy involved with creating food and eating
it, with the entropy involved in the evolutionary process. The former
involves pounds and pounds of stuff per year. The latter involves an
extremely tiny part of a single cell -- a gene. Entropy is proportional to
the amount of material Anything that allows entropy decrease in
creating food also allows entropy decrease in a mutation of a gene. It's
literally lost in the noise.

I recently posted on talk.origins a thermodynamics quiz that is easy
(trivial, in fact) for anyone who actually understands thermodynamics.
For anyone who can actually do the quiz, it should settle whether the
2nd law allows entropy to decrease on the surface of the earth, and
whether the 2nd law allows evolution to occur.

(Funny, the repliers to the quiz don't attempt to do it, but rather object
to certain parts in ways that indicate they don't understand the
subject.)

Anyone who can't do the quiz needs to go back and review his basic
thermodynamics. Either that, or he was mal-taught. I wouldn't be
surprised if someone in a creationist school didn't actually learn
thermodynamics, but instead learned a fake imitation.

>> Standard evolutionists are forced to claim that despite the apparent
>> increase in common sense order during the evolution of our universe,
>> its real 'order' has been decreasing since its very beginning (i.e.
>> configurations of lower probablitity have been transformed into
>> configurations of higher probability).


Oh yes, for the total universe. Not necessarily for the earth's surface.

>> In my opinion the existence of order creating principles in
>> nature is a fact. So why should we prefer the view that
>>
>> normally the 2LoT reigns over the world and discontinous divine
>> interventions violate this law (and maybe even others) from time
>> to time in an extremely obvious way
>>
>> to view that
>>
>> order creating principles overlay the the second law all the
>> time, especially in the context of life?


It's better to realize that the 2nd law allows creation of local order.
All
machines built by man, all buildings built by man, are creations of local
order. Any time a body loses heat, it loses entropy. Snowflakes are
spontaneous creation of local order. So are crystals.

None of these violate the 2nd law. Nothing man does violates the 2nd
law. The 2nd law, and thermodynamics as a whole, was developed to
study (among other things) engines. The 2nd law limits what engines
can do; there is no way to go beyond those limits.

-- John

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