What is an Evolutionist? Theistic Evolution and Darwinism

You could be "anti-macro-evolutionary changes via Darwinism," and believe that macro-evolutionary changes occured in various ALTERNATIVE ways, for instance:

1) Undiscovered internal cellular mechanisms that promote macro-evolutionary changes (These mechanisms could have been built into the cell supernaturally "in the beginning" or have evolved.)

2) Undiscovered external natural mechanisms, like the addition of viral DNA and bacterial DNA segments incorporated into the genomes of higher level organisms, promoting macro-evolutionary changes.

3) Undiscovered "morphogenetic fields" that are undetectable by modern science, but which surround every organism, and which can share information with species having a similar field, and which then alter that organism's behavior and/or evolution in inheritable ways.

4) Genetic manipulations from super-advanced civilizations from other planets, other cosmoses, other dimensions, or from the future. This may also include "angelic and demonic" manipulations.

5) Supernatural interventions directly influenced or performed by Yahweh, Allah, Brahman, the Tao.

In other words, mentioning the "anti" things that you DO NOT BELIEVE, does not tell people what you DO believe. If I was to merely define your beliefs in the realm of biological change as being "anti-macro-evolutionary changes via Darwinism," no one would know what you DID believe about macro-evolutionary changes.

LASTLY, having fleshed out your own beliefs in the scientific realm, three-dimensionally, above, I will now define my own beliefs for you, in the realm of the religion of which I once was a devoted born again believer, the majority religion on this planet at present, and in terms of mankind in general, instead of having you superficially think of me in a one-dimensional fashion.

1) I do not believe that either "inerrancy or concordancy" does intellectual justice to the millieu out of which the Bible arose and its historical development. I believe that the Bible does not speak as "clearly" as inerrantists and concordists and even "orthodox" Christians suppose. Many prima facia questions remain unanswered, and will probably remain unanswered, given the less than perfectly clear nature of the Biblical materials. (Or to put it in a wittier way, "All you need to understand God's will is the Bible and about a thousand commentaries, but only if they all reflect the same 'Christian' interpretations of that Bible.")

2) I do not believe that the fourth century "orthodox" Christian Creeds of Christianity are the only ways in which to interpret the Bible.

3) It would appear that there may never be just one "true" Christianity, but that there may always be divided opinions and denominations.

4) Christians claim the whole world is going to hell without Christianity. But I have yet to see any evidence in history that the whole world will get to "heaven" even WITH Christianity.

There are nations today with higher educational levels and lower crime rates and lower pollution rates, and which also give a higher percentage of their income to foreign aid than America, like the Scandinavian nations and Japan. While America has by far the most "Christianity" and lower educational levels and higher crime rates, as well as more people in prison, per capita, than any other nation on earth. I do not think that "even more Christianity" is therefore "the" answer to any nation's problems.

And if Calvin's Geneva is a case in point of what a "Christian paradise on earth," could be, then to hell with Geneva. I do not say this lightly, I have many statements from major Calvin biographers who back me up that his Geneva was a place of intolerance and coercion and the Calvinists policed, banished, tortured, and policed the population, until Calvin's teachings reigned supreme. Comparing Amsterdam to Geneva -- the Netherlands enjoyed huge prosperity and praise from all around Europe during a short-lived experiment in religious freedom and trade, until Calvinists plotted and otherthrew that freedom in Amsterdam. (See Chapter 2 of LEAVING THE FOLD)

5) In LEAVING THE FOLD I praise Christians/Christianity for having grown more liberal over time and invite them to continue to do so.

6) The historical "sins" of mankind are without number. Even "Christian" nations like America have helped support and even install fascist dictatorships, so long as the dictators didn't invade the nations surrounding them that America also had alliances with. Fascist dictators kill communist insurgents and anyone else who speaks out against their power. Communism claims to have its own martyrs and a triumphalist belief in a "worker's paradise" on earth. Communism also has derogatory words for the selfish rich, the bourgoisie, though every system of communism produces its own hierarchy of the have's and the have nots. No doubt both Karl Marx and Charles Dickens were appalled at the effects of the industrial revolution on women and children workers. Marx had had enough and wrote up a "call to arms," that worked in one of the nations with the most opulent Emperors and most oppressed peasants, Russia.

I do not claim to predict what the outcome of the species of man will be on this planet. A "Christian" nation like America remains the world's largest supplier of arms (both small and LARGE arms) by far. The history of the Americas (North and South) is also as checkered as that of other nations. Europeans who came to the Americas committed genocide on natives, enslaved others enmasse, and are now busy stripping the land bare of natural resources, oil, the rain forests, wetlands, going, going... North America also had a long and bloody Civil War that pitted brother against brother and killed more than in all the wars that U.S. soldiers have died in before or since (with Christians dying on both sides). North American and European and Japanese industries excell at creating energy gobbling devices. Everthing runs on electricity these days, lighbulbs, computers, phones, radios, appliances, televisions, movie theater... Neither has the invention of the computer produced a paperless society. Visit any Office Max store and see the boxes of paper stacked to the roof. We are printing MORE than ever before, and throwing away every mistake that comes out of our printers. Our cities in North America are suffering from urban sprawl, the pipes connecting the water and power and sewage are being drawn out longer and longer distances. More water is being used than ever before, for lawns, and in industry. Whole cities were begging each other for water just two years ago in South Carolina. Atlanta was parched. Today in China they are producing a pipeline to try and divert water hundreds of miles from the South to the parched North (or is it vice versa?) India and Pakistan's water needs continue to grow and India has produced dams in the north east that divert water to south India and away from Pakistan, which is getting very concered over the matter, and threatens war if India makes another such dam since Pakistan relies heavily on the water coming from that same river.

But worst of all is the threat IN THIS CENTURY of the coming oil/petroleum shortage, since oil/petroleum runs generators that produce electricity, it runs automobiles worldwide, it is used to produce synthetics (clothing and plastics), and also pesticides and fertilizer.

I was first alerted to this threat by a professional oil geologist, Glenn Morton. Also read the following in in the NY Times this past Sunday...

'Out of Gas': They're Not Making More


Published: February 8, 2004

If all you knew about David Goodstein was the title of his book, you might imagine him to be one of those insufferably enthusiastic prophets of doom, the flannel-shirted, off-the-grid types who take too much pleasure in letting us know that the environment is crumbling all around us. But Goodstein, a physicist, vice provost of the California Institute of Technology and an advocate of nuclear power, is no muddled idealist. And his argument is based on the immutable laws of physics.

The age of oil is ending, he says. The supply will soon begin to decline, precipitating a global crisis. Even if we substitute coal and natural gas for some of the oil, we will start to run out of fossil fuels by the end of the century. "And by the time we have burned up all that fuel," he writes, "we may well have rendered the planet unfit for human life. Even if human life does go on, civilization as we know it will not survive."

He's talking about 100 years from now, far enough in the future, you might say, that we needn't worry for generations. Surely some technological fix will be in place by then, some new source of energy, some breakthrough. But with a little luck, many readers of these pages will live until 2030 or 2040, or longer. Their children may live until 2070 or 2080, and their grandchildren will easily survive into the 22nd century. We're talking about a time in the lives of our grandchildren, not some warp drive, Star Trek future.

And what about that technological fix? ''There is no single magic bullet that will solve all our energy problems,'' Goodstein writes. ''Most likely, progress will lie in incremental advances on many simultaneous fronts.'' We might finally learn to harness nuclear fusion, the energy that powers the sun, or to develop better nuclear reactors, or to improve the efficiency of the power grid. But those advances will require a ''massive, focused commitment to scientific and technological research. That is a commitment we have not yet made.'' Drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and scouring the energy resources of national lands across the West might help the constituents of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and Vice President Dick Cheney's friends in the energy industry, but it won't solve the problem.

Goodstein's predictions are based on a sophisticated understanding of physics and thermodynamics, and on a simple observation about natural resources. The supply of any natural resource follows a bell curve, increasing rapidly at first, then more slowly, eventually peaking and beginning to decline. Oil will, too.

It has already happened in the United States. In 1956, Marion King Hubbert, a geophysicist with the Shell Oil Company, predicted that oil production in the United States would peak sometime around 1970. His superiors at Shell dismissed the prediction, as did most others in the oil business. But he was right. Hubbert's peak occurred within a few years of when he said it would, and American oil production has been declining ever since. There was no crisis, because this country tapped the world's reserves, and the supply increased along with demand.

Now Goodstein and many others have shown that the same methods, when applied to global oil production and resources, predict a Hubbert's peak in world oil supplies within this decade, or, in the best-case scenarios, sometime in the next. Once that happens, the world supply of oil will begin to decline gradually, even though large quantities of oil will remain in the ground. The world demand for oil will continue to increase. The gap between supply and demand will grow. But this time the gap will be real; there will be no other source of oil (from the moon, Neptune or Pluto?) to flow into the system.

When the supply falls and the demand rises, the price will go up. That's no problem, economists say. With the high price, companies will go after more costly oil, and the market will take care of things.

Notice above the need for a "a massive, focused commitment to scientific and technological research." Let's hope both Christians and those who are not Christians are up for that!

No comments:

Post a Comment