Francisco J. Ayala – Evolution – Scientists Who Believe in God – New York Times: As challenges to the teaching of evolution continue to emerge, legislators debate measures equating the teaching of creationism with academic freedom and a new movie links Darwin to evils ranging from the suppression of free speech to the Holocaust, “I get a lot of people who don’t know what to think,” Dr. Ayala said. “Or they believe in intelligent design but they want to hear.”

Dr. Ayala, a former Dominican priest, said he told his audiences not just that evolution is a well-corroborated scientific theory, but also that belief in evolution does not rule out belief in God. In fact, he said, evolution “is more consistent with belief in a personal god than intelligent design. If God has designed organisms, he has a lot to account for.”

Consider, he said, that at least 20 percent of pregnancies are known to end in spontaneous abortion. If that results from divinely inspired anatomy, Dr. Ayala said, “God is the greatest abortionist of them all.”

  1. bobbo says:

    Oh! – – – so close. He says: “Science and religion concern nonoverlapping realms of knowledge,” he writes in the new book.

    The corrected version will read: “Religion and Knowledge are nonoverlapping.”

  2. Steven Jay Gould also held the view of Nonoverlapping Magisteria. Personally, though I think Gould was great, I disagree with this one.

    Science is looking into the origins of morals. Science has come a lot closer to answering questions of our origins both cosmic and biological than religion ever has. And, science gives us a way to learn about our world that is utterly contradictory to religion.

    Science looks at data and forms opinions. Religion holds opinions and looks for data to back them up. When they fail to back up the religious belief, they are thrown out.

    So, I’m going to have to disagree with some very intelligent human beings on this one. But, remember, it’s just my opinion. I do not state my opinion as fact.

  3. Mark Derail says:

    If DNA exists by chance alone, then statistically it exists elsewhere in the universe in abundance.

    Would be cool if NASA made an MRI of the Sun, to compare against that of a human brain.

    Check for correlations while correcting for scale.

  4. GigG says:

    I was first taught evolution by a Catholic nun in 2nd grade. It didn’t seem newsworthy at the time.

  5. Mister Mustard says:

    >>Religion holds opinions and looks for data
    >>to back them up. When they fail to back up
    >>the religious belief, they are thrown out.

    Aw Scottie. Are you trolling? I don’t know what kind of whacked-out fundamentalist kooks you must have encountered in your religious wanderings, but that’s not consistent with what I’ve found. We welcome and embrace science. At the same time, we welcome and embrace God. If science ever disproves the existence of God, I guess my church will go out of business. We’re reasonable, well-educated folks.

    But hey. I steer clear of the fundie flakes, whether their religion be theist or atheist.

  6. Shubee says:

    I believe that creationism is easy to defend scientifically because the Bible teaches devolution, not evolution.

    It is often claimed that superior species evolve from inferior species over time. If the theory of devolution is true, then we would expect that random mutations are taking the viability of all life forms on this planet in a spiraling downward direction toward inevitable, unstoppable extinction. Interestingly, in support of devolution and the hand of God, there does seem to be persuasive evidence that all life that we know about, except bacteria and algae, is programmed genetically to become extinct within the next 1000 generations.

  7. Shubee says:

    #7. I’m amused by your link because I use quantum physics to defend creationism.

  8. #5 – Mister Mustard,

    Aw Scottie. Are you trolling?

    A little. You may not be as representative as you think though. You’re not nearly as dogmatic as most religions. Do you think the Catholic church is as you describe? If so, why their stance on abortion and birth control?

    That’s certainly got no scientific claim. Science, or at least reasonable statistics, show abstinence only education doesn’t work. Science shows that condoms reduce AIDS. Statistics show that lower birth rates reduce poverty, starvation, and suffering.

    Hell, even Jesus was pro-choice, if he ever existed. Abortion predates the formation of Christianity by 1550 years. And, despite the bible being decidedly NOT squeamish about sex, the authors never mentioned abortion explicitly.

    So, religion, yours possibly excepted, does indeed form opinions and then assert that they are correct, even when contradictory evidence exists.

    And, I did that without even mentioning the failed hypothesis that is ID. Oops. Well I almost made it.

  9. Smartalix says:

    There are only two elementary particles which make up the whole of the universe: the proton and electron.

    What about the Neutron? It isn’t “particulate debris”. For that matter, what is a photon? The initial claim is so stupid it isn’t even worth following the link.

  10. RBG says:

    The nut harvest has been good this year.


  11. #10 – C. David Parsons,

    Interesting point for you. The semiconductors in your computer work because quantum mechanics says they should. I suggest that if you do not believe in quantum mechanics, which is a little like not believing in gravity at this point, that you turn off your computer since it clearly doesn’t work.

    In short, when you become a particle physicist, let me know. Until then, you’re probably full of shit.

  12. Mister Mustard says:

    >>A little.

    Heh heh. I knew it! As to the rest of your post, I pretty much agree. And I think the Roman Catholic church has done more harm than good over the course of its existence. That (and the fact that they want to ram their bullshit ideas down my throat, and their priests’ cocks up my “masculine childrens'” [as Luca Brasi would say” asses) is why I don’t belong to it.

    But hey. This is America; freedom of religion and all. As long as they’re down with suffering a lifetime of soul-crushing guilt, unwanted children, and kids who are traumatized beyond the point of no return, I guess that’s their business. I wish they’d join my church, but what the heck. This is America.

  13. “In short, when you become a particle physicist, let me know.”

    RESPONSE: The proof is in the text. Why not discover the truth for yourself.

    “What about the Neutron? It isn’t “particulate debris”. For that matter, what is a photon? The initial claim is so stupid it isn’t even worth following the link.”

    RESPONSE: It is not possible to publish the extenisve text to this forum. It suffices to state that the neutron does not exist; it is simply an aspect of a strut going through its reversed neutral interval. Do not ask what this means; read the book.

    Regarding the photon, it was conjured up by Einstein in an attempt to explain the photoelectric effect. Following is limited text from Volume 1:

    In 1905 Albert Einstein released a 17-page paper suggesting that the wave theory may be incomplete. Borrowing from Planck’s quantum theory, Einstein surmised that light might be concentrated in little bundles of photons. He further suggested the possibility that each wavelength of light was associated with a photon of a different size. The prospect scored those particles associated with ultraviolet light to be of a sufficient size and energy to physically knock a buttress out of a photoelectric plate. Those light frequencies beneath the threshold were associated with smaller particles not having the ability to chip out an electron even if the plate were illuminated with light of high intensity.

    The imaginative concept could be likened to a small boy trying to knock an apple out of a tree with a handful of pebbles. If the pebbles were too small, he could bombard the tree all day and never knock out an apple. But, as he began to use larger stones, he would find that a direct hit would impart its energy to the apple, breaking it free. With the illustration in mind, imagine a beam of light being a shower of particles bombarding the photoelectric plate. If a particle associated with a red wavelength scores a direct hit on a buttress in place, its energy is not sufficient for photoemission to occur. But when a larger photon, one associated with ultraviolet light, scores a direct hit, the target is imparted with sufficient energy for it to escape. Therefore, if the energy of the photon were inversely proportional to the wavelength of light, the photobuttress would be imparted with the varying energies observed when a photoelectric plate is illuminated by light of different wavelengths.

    Although Einstein offered a compelling explanation for the photoelectric effect, he introduced a hitherto unknown and completely hypothetical elementary particle to physics. Unbeknownst to the famous physicist, his theory was totally dependent on the incorrect architecture of the atom and the nonexistent orbiting electrons. The fact is like taking the pebbles from the little boy who was trying to knock the apples out of the tree. In the absence of both photons and orbiting electrons, photoemission does not occur as summarized…

    Continue your education by reading The Quest for Right.

  14. Ah … the argument from incredulity!! Now I’m convinced … NOT!!

  15. M Garrett says:

    Here’s how I see it. Evolution is construction. Creationism is DESIGN. It’s like arguing that you can’t have an architect and a contractor on a building project.

    God designed the universe. But who’s to say he didn’t use evolution to actually build part of it?

  16. TVAddict says:

    C David….I think i will stick peer reviewed science.

  17. BubbaRay says:

    #11, Smartalix, don’t bother, you of all people know you can’t argue with religion. “The neutron does not exist.” Har! I’m laughing so hard, the tears just keep streaming down my face.

    Better go ask the survivors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima about that neutron deal.

  18. BubbaRay & smartalix,

    Yeah. I think this guy is totally out to lunch.

    C. David Parsons,

    Are you aware that there is an alternate explanation of gravity that is equally valid to your wonderful explanation of particles?

    I think you should give this a read. You’ll probably be convinced.

    One thing about science, the books and articles are all out there. If you don’t trust the last 100 years of science, you’re always welcome to learn all of what the scientists did and reproduce it yourself. That’s the beauty of it.

  19. Thomas says:

    Wait, are you actually serious? All modern computers are developed based on quantum mechanic theories. The list of inventions based on quantum mechanics is enormous. Microprocessors, transistors, lasers, . Einstein’s theories of relativity have been proven through experimentation (and modified as well). Einstein’s photoelectric experiment simply established that light behaved as both a particle and a wave.

    That link you provided is basically a flat-earth website sprinkled with scientific sounding verbiage and dodgey logic. For example, this line is a perfect example: “Conversely, the view that God is both responsible for and rules all the phenomena of the universe will stand or fall when the facts are applied.” This is a “beg the question” type logical fallacy in that you are assuming that this “God” thing is definable and exists. Unless you establish what this “god” thing is in narrowly defined terms and can provide tangible, repeatable, unbiased evidence of its existence, it has no place in a search for knowledge using the scientific method.

  20. Mister Mustard says:

    Hmmm… C. David – Here’s an alternative take on the book:

    Also, odd that a “scientist extraordinare” appears not to have graduated from college.

    In my neck of the woods, an advanced degree in science is typically required even to qualify as a “scientist regulaire”, much less “extraordinare. I guess the bar is lower in Appalachia?

  21. QB says:

    C. David. You crack me up. Did you actually take high school physics? Forget the quantum physics, work on getting the Newtonian side correct first.

    P.S. Yes, I did take high school physics. At least 7 or 8 times…


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