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Which is worse: Tyrannosaurus Rex? or Satan?

Omar Johnson watched my brother Bryan’s video “From Missionary to Almost-Atheist to Present Day” and posted this great comment:

I found Bryan’s (anti?) testimony both engaging and moving. I also have rejected my fundamentalist upbringing, but I will give the Ken Hams of the world this:

“Inerrant” Bible Christian apologetics only needs to deal with 6,000 years of creation, not 14 billion.

They get to postulate while “fallen” now, the world/universe was once perfect.

The Evolution 2.0 model makes sense to me, even as it also makes me wonder what was behind this information-embedding Creator, who or what encoded the meta-programming that resulted in a God capable of jump-starting and micro-managing evolution with barely a Sistine Chapel finger extension? Off track.

What I wanted to point out is that 14 billion years of the universe evolving, whether jump-started and cleverly managed by unfolding layers of information or not, is a pretty amoral place.

Now we have to somehow come to grips with insanely surreal amounts of dying and death, of individuals, species, whole ecosystems, possibly on other worlds as well as our own.

Way before Eve, and the Fall, the great Novelist was killing off his darlings left and right. I think scientists have at least tentatively identified over ten hominid precursors to Homo Sapiens.

Fundamentalist Christianity posits Original Sin, and looks forward to the Second Coming, Redemption, etc. That’s all that’s on their plate.

It’s nuts, but it’s internally consistent.

MY REPLY:

Omar, you just nailed the REAL reason many Christians don’t accept evolution.

It’s NOT fossils or genes or Chimpanzees or molecules-to-man. It’s that they can’t stomach the idea that an all-powerful, all-perfect creator would make a world so savage.

Which is the exact same reason most atheists don’t believe in God!It’s not fossils or genes or Chimpanzees or molecules to man for them either.

It’s the cruel world we watch on the Discovery Channel.

I say: Neither side has taken the Genesis story seriously enough!

In Genesis, an evil, vile, crafty, jealous serpent is prowling around from the word go. And God doesn’t even explicitly warn our fair couple!

Picture a sexual predator on the loose… and all the daycare director tells the kids is ‘don’t talk to strangers.’

If you stop and think about it, why should anyone be more horrified about sharks and bacteria and Tyrannosaurus Rex than we are about… Satan?

I don’t think most Christians have stopped and thought about this at all.

Conflict is baked into the universe from the very beginning. This is a naked fact. Not only in the real world, but in Genesis too.

So whether you think Genesis is literal history, allegory, epic saga or something in between, the writer doesn’t flinch from the fact that the deck is stacked against our innocent couple from the word go.

“Naive 18 year old kid heads to Las Vegas with his grandmother’s inheritance money and hands every dollar of it over to the casino.” A setup. 

It’s high time for Christians to put on their big-boy pants and face this.

But what is even more interesting is the Sermon on the Mount, which is THE Anti-Darwinian Manifesto. There is nothing about Jesus’ moral teaching that conforms to the usual survival of the fittest. It defies all of it. Turns the entire order on its head. A massive right-angle turn in the history of humanity.

People in the 21st century forget that in Jesus’ day, the whole world was “survival of the fittest.” Everybody accepted that as completely normal. Including tyrants conquering countries and beating their slaves and torturing anybody who disagreed… and kings trucking down the road in their chariots every spring to burn down the next village, rape the women and steal all the loot.

Modern people are so accustomed to the Jesus ethic that even Charles Darwin was horrified at the implications of his theory 150 years ago.

But what Jesus really was showing us is that what got us HERE won’t get us THERE. Because “human evolution” post-Jesus (=equality, affordable health care for as many as possible, human rights, agape love etc.) means something entirely, utterly different from what was ever meant by “Darwinian evolution.”

Evolution 1.0 is Neo-Darwinism. Evolution 2.0 is the ingenuity of cells. But Evolution 3.0 started 2000 years ago and it continues right up to the present day.

We yearn to eradicate natural selection… death… entirely. Obviously a work in progress.

The lion never did lie down with the lamb… nor do the scriptures say it did. What you should really ask yourself is: WHY do so many of us dream of a world where someday that will happen? Where did we even get that idea?

Bryan’s Story: From Missionary to Almost Atheist to Present Day

The opening shot of my book Evolution 2.0 is an argument between me and my brother about evolution. Bryan had been a missionary in China, but in four years he went from right-wing Christian seminary grad to almost atheist.

He was dragging me with him. I wasn’t enjoying it, but I knew I had to be intellectually honest.

I found myself retreating to what I know best, which is science. I said, “Bryan, look at the hand at the end of your arm. I’m an engineer, and your hand is a fine, fine piece of engineering. You don’t think your hand is an accumulation of random accidents, do you?”

Bryan was good and ready for that question, and he pushed back with a standard-issue Darwinian answer. His answer didn’t quite Read more »

If you feel like “Evolution” is a 4-Letter Word… Read This

The other day I was sitting across the table from a retired missionary couple. They were eating their lunch and we were discussing evolution.

They were Young Earth Creationists. I took up the challenge of trying to persuade them that maybe there is some goodness to be found in evolution after all.

The guy said, “I wish someone would invent a different word. Evolution sounds so… secular.

I said, “Have you ever noticed that evolution is a household word? Regular folks use this term all the time in everyday conversation and most of the time they’re not talking about biological evolution at all. They’re talking about the evolution of iPhones and technology and pop music and politics and art and language and everything else.”

He nodded. I said, “So.. whenever we talk about that kind of evolution, it’s always intentional. Everyone knows iPhones and technology and art and language don’t evolve by random purposeless accident. Evolution is: chaos resolved by intent.

“The only time “evolution” means “random and purposeless” is when Neo-Darwinists talk about Darwinian evolution. But biological evolution isn’t random or purposeless either. It’s controlled by the incredible intelligence of cells.

“So – ALL evolution is purposeful. It’s never nihilistic or meaningless. The atheists have hijacked evolution and turned it into something it’s not. And… the Christians fell for it!”

Still he continued to object. “Dr. Sanford says genetic entropy is a one-way ticket to decay and degradation. Evolution can’t happen. It’s impossible.”

He had attended a Young Earth Creation conference in Chicago where geneticist John Sanford was explaining why evolution is necessarily impossible, because of genetic entropy.

Well I understand exactly what Sanford was talking about. Better than 99.5% of people. Why? Because I’m an electrical engineer and wrote an Ethernet book. I know all too well, once you degrade a signal you are never getting it back. Ever.

That’s what information entropy is. And in genetics, corrupting genes produces birth defects. Not evolution.

“But,” I said, “There’s something Dr. Sanford left out. And that is that cells actively re-engineer their own DNA. When information is destroyed, they rebuild it. When faced with threats, the re-engineer it. We really have no idea how they “know” how to do this; we just observe that they do it. You can perform specific experiments that generate new species at will.

I described Barbara McClintock’s corn experiments, where corn plants repaired damaged DNA in minutes and went on to reproduce. I described Kwong Jeon’s Symbiogenesis experiment, where he obtained a full merger-acquisition between two cells in 18 months.

Humans have no idea how to build technology that does this. Heck, we still have yet to even make a self-replicating machine. This means living things are exponentially more capable than man, or any man-made technologies.

So… how does evolution get rid of God?

And which is more impressive?

Door #1: Beaming a zebra onto the savanna, fully created an intact in an instant, where it appears and starts eating grass,

-OR-

Door #2: Building a universe that gives rise to a cell that builds an entire ecosystem, including zebras and grass?

I don’t know about you… but I think Door #2 is WAAAY more impressive than Door #1. By light years.

I also reminded him about Noah’s ark. There’s a strong case to be made for an ark and a local flood in the Middle East, somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago (we have good evidence for this). But I don’t think it was the extreme global catastrophe that Young Earth Creationists espouse.

Nevertheless, this gentleman does believe that all animals were saved by Noah in the flood. So let’s run with that.

If that’s true, then every species we have today traces back to a large herd of animals on a single boat. Which means the number of species they had then has multiplied by 100 or 1,000 or maybe 10,000 today.

1000:1 multiplication of new species in 5,000 years requires a LOT of evolution. And I mean a LOT.

And not accidental evolution, either. Purposeful, finely-engineered evolution. Massive and rapid.

Therefore EVERY way of viewing history requires evolution – yes, even if you are a traditional Christian of the most conservative possible variety.

So please, someone tell me – why are conservative Christians fighting against evolution with such ferocity?

Christians should be embracing it and exploring the purposeful, adaptive systems that make it possible. Christians should not be fighting it!

Could it be that clever atheists have set up Christians to hate evolution – through a clever straw-man argument – and thus succeeded in making Christians look like fools?

Could it be that Christians and Christian leaders have taken the bait… then gone tilting after windmills in a vain quest to “debunk” something that even the most conservative reading of Genesis still requires to be true?

And if we took the time to ask the question how and why are cells able to evolve at such high speed, would we uncover important new discoveries about the cosmos God made?

If you are a conservative Christian who feels like evolution is a 4-letter word, I hope you will think hard about that. Maybe evolution is not a 4-letter word after all.

Lynn Margulis: A Vindicated Heretic’s Unwavering Confidence, from Rejection to the Library of Congress.

Referred to as “Science’s Unruly Earth Mother”, a “vindicated heretic”and a “scientific rebel”, Lynn Margulis was an American evolutionary theorist, biologist, and science author. She was the primary modern proponent for symbiosis in evolution.

Throughout her career, Margulis’ work aroused intense objection (one grant application elicited the response, “Your research is crap, do not bother to apply again”,) and her formative paper, “On the Origin of Mitosing Cells,” appeared in 1967 – after being rejected by numerous journals.

Her papers are now permanently archived in the Library of Congress, and she is considered to be one of the 20th century’s most important inspirational leaders.

Jim MacAllister was a student and colleague of Lynn Margulis for the last decade of her life and converted her teaching materials and research video library to digital files. Jim is the editor of the Environmental Evolution newsletter and the founder of the field of evolution geography.

In this episode, Jim talks about his relationship with Lynn and her unwavering confidence in the face of rejection and ‘small-mindedness’ in the male-dominated scientific community. The discussion includes:

  • The fascinating ability that organisms have to reorganize themselves based on their environment
  • Evolution as a multi-mechanistic process (not a straight path!)
  • Why bacteria cannot be categorized as a species
  • Proposing the ‘new biological game in town’ to the next generation of students

Enjoy:

Originally posted at Ray Noble’s Podcast The Thin End

Poking Holes in Universe Age and Other Theories with Ray Noble

Academic, author and musician, Ray Noble has been a vocalist in Jazz and Blues groups performing at the Edinburgh Fringe and was lead vocalist in the Oxford based rock band, The HeartBeats. He’s a lead vocalist in The Oxford Trobadors and has appeared on radio and television in the UK and abroad.

Ray is the brother of the Denis Noble – one of the pioneers of Systems Biology who developed the first viable mathematical model of the working heart in 1960. When Ray is not immersing himself in his music, he’s busy challenging conventional thinking on his podcast named The Thin End. I was honored to be invited on his show.

We spent our time discussing random mutation, how organisms maintain their integrity by continuous change and how living things are internally directed. Plus we like poking holes in the theory that the universe is only 5000 years old. Some topics discussed:

  • We are only at the foothills of what biology is teaching us
  • The biggest untold story in science
  • Embracing the mantra: Reality is your friend
  • How biological evolution is very similar to technological evolution
  • Evolution is a system responding to environmental change

Enjoy:
Originally posted at The Thin End

“Got your hypothesis peer reviewed yet???” (say it out loud in a sneering, mocking tone of voice)

Reader Paul Jervis, reacting to a news story in American Entrepreneurship about my $5 Million Evolution 2.0 Prize, asked:

“Got your hypothesis peer reviewed yet?”

A peppering of snarky remarks followed.

Giving my cynical subscriber the benefit of the doubt, I replied:

“I was tempted to just ban you from Read more »

How Darwinism Sucked the True Power out of Biology

J. Scott Turner is a professor, biologist, and physiologist whose tireless work concludes that Modern Darwinism has failed in a big way.

After countless decades, we are at a scientific dead-end still unable to clearly define what LIFE is.

Turner says, that until Modern Darwinists surrender their materialist and mechanistic biases, and acknowledge the qualities and roles Purpose & Desire play, will the field move forward. Which at present, are held only as “mere illusion”.

I could not agree more. The purposefulness of living things is apparent to any six year old. It is manifest at every level at which you study life. So as in Mao’s China, it takes a great deal of “re-education” for people to un-learn the obvious.

In banishing purpose from the discussion, he says, “Where we have striven to exclude the ghosts from our machines, we have inadvertently constructed back doors that allow the ghosts to creep right back in.”

His book is extremely well written and congenial. Turner is a gentleman through and through, and does not go on a shaming rampage. This book is no rant. Rather, he invites you to really think and decide for yourself.

Join us in this fireside chat as we discuss his work.

Read more at:
//evo2.org/purpose-desire-review/

Change Your Beliefs with the Power of Biology and Improve Your Skills: Denis Noble Interview

Simple Programmer (Jon Sonmez) partners up with Denis Noble to discuss about the theory of beliefs and how there is much more to that than what we already know. Biology is not what we think we know and, more and more, the scientific community is starting to see more evidence about it.

Denis Noble (born 16 November 1936) is a British biologist who held the Burdon Sanderson Chair of Cardiovascular Physiology at the University of Oxford from 1984 to 2004 and was appointed Professor Emeritus and co-Director of Computational Physiology. He is one of the pioneers of Systems Biology and developed the first viable mathematical model of the working heart in 1960
(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_N…)

In this video, Denis will show:

  • how math disproves the “selfish gene” (3’54”)
  • a “petri-dish” thought experiment that proves that DNA is not “alive” (5’12”)
  • something that’s not right with mainstream science today (8’03”)
  • why DNA is not, and does not contain, the answer to everything (11’22”)
  • selfishness vs cooperativity in organisms (14’01”)
  • evolution is real but it doesn’t look anything like what the current science tells us (18’49”)
  • how understanding the evolution helps us in economics and management (24’45”)
  • how the very fact the Dawkins was able to write his book, disproves what he says in it (26’33”)
  • there is purpose in life… and here’s where it comes from… (28’06”)
  • the job of science and the job of philosophy, and why they cannot be separated (38’13”)
  • how mass media and social media make it harder for true science to happen (42’40”)
  • how all theories are wrong, albeit in different ways (51’04”)

Dance To The Tune Of Life: Biological Relativity Book

Origin of Life: Has Anybody Solved It?

Blog comment from a reader:

The first living things on Earth, single-celled micro-organisms or microbes lacking a cell nucleus or cell membrane known as prokaryotes, first appeared on Earth almost four billion years ago.

After a hundred thousand years or more of evolution and natural selection, these early forms became more and more complex, eventually developing a rudimentary nucleus, which contained the ‘pattern’ for the creature to pass on. Examples of simple creatures like this would be a protozoa, paramecium, or amoeba.

Life didn’t need a “code” to get started; it simply needed the right conditions. You want more specifics? Read any scientific textbook available on abiogenesis, evolution and natural selection. They’re full of proven, verifiable facts – i.e., that life as we know it has evolved over the past four billion years.

I replied:

I beg to differ.

Read more »

Yoga Talk Show – What Darwin Got Wrong

You don’t have to keep your opinions silent if you’re willing to listen to others

The very open-minded Lucas Rockwood graciously invited me onto his Yoga Talk Show to discuss my reasons for investigating the subject that eventually became Evolution 2.0. Listen to the full audio interview here..

EPISODE 271: What Darwin Got Wrong
with Perry Marshall

Prefer to download? Download

Lucas opened the show by saying how he’s learned to Read more »

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