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Kenneth Miller finds good news in evolution

“The Human Instinct” cover and author Kenneth R. Miller. Images courtesy of Simon and Schuster

(RNS) — To many of the most ardent advocates of the theory of evolution, human beings are accidental creatures living a pointless existence whose every action is determined by neural chemistry, reflex and reaction.

In the words of scientist and atheist Sam Harris, “We are driverless cars running a program we did not write, which we cannot control, and whose existence we are not even wired to sense.”

Kenneth R. Miller, a Brown University biologist, agrees that humans evolved according to Charles Darwin’s law of natural selection, but in his new book, “The Human Instinct,” he suggests “we are more.”

Humans are also conscious, self-aware, creative and intelligent. We are, in Miller’s view, exceptional in those very traits.

The human species may not be the pinnacle of evolution, which continues to unfold, but humans represent the first stirrings of true consciousness.

Miller may be best known as the plaintiffs’ expert witness in the landmark 2004 Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in which a group of parents sued the Dover, Pa., public school district for requiring the teaching of intelligent design. They won when U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design was a religious view, not a scientific theory.

Miller, a practicing Roman Catholic, sees no conflict between his faith and science. He has written other books on the topic — “Finding Darwin’s God” and “Only a Theory” — but said he wrote this one to counter the message that evolution was dreary, depressing and demoralizing.

The book offers a summary of the basics of evolutionary theory and then moves on to address three additional topics: evolutionary psychology, the evolution of consciousness and the existence of free will.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Why did you write this book?

“The Human Instinct” by Kenneth R. Miller. Image courtesy of Simon and Schuster

About four or five years ago, I had a general sense, both from my scientific colleagues, who were advocates for evolution, and from some very thoughtful people — who were not evolution deniers in any sense — that they found the message of human evolutionary ancestry to be degrading and who were treating it as a bit of news they’d rather not hear.

I came to the conclusion that the message evolution was sending to people all too often was a philosophical message that really was not dictated by the science itself but by the worldviews of the interpreters of that science. I wanted to do what I could to set the record straight — to stick more closely to the actual biology and see where that leads us.

One of the people you specifically address is the writer Marilynne Robinson. Why?

In her book “The Death of Adam,” there’s a long essay considering what she calls “Darwinism.” She almost uses Darwinism as a synonym for evolution, but she’s not a denier of evolution. She recoils against what she calls a view of Darwinism that reduces the human species to just one species among many, that compares our worst behavior to that of animals, that basically invalidates human reason, human aesthetics and presents all of the best of humanity as just preprogrammed responses by natural selection.

In a sense, I wanted to address some of Marilynne Robinson’s complaints by saying: I share your sentiments, but there is a perfectly reasonable way to understand evolution that gets around those problems.

One of Robinson’s concerns is very clearly that the field of evolutionary psychology has basically tried to explain the religious impulse, the moral impulse, and even the aesthetic impulse, which leads us to create art, as meaningless results of natural selection. One of the central ideas of the field is that there’s no such thing as genuine morality, right or wrong; there is simply an ethical sense that has been bred into us by the imperatives of reproduction and survival.

I would argue that there is an authentic morality, that right and wrong are genuine qualities. I would also argue that there’s a genuine aesthetic of beauty that is associated with the arts that can’t be debased by simply saying what we think is beautiful is simply an artifact of what we adhere to in order to survive and reproduce.

How do you talk about evolution with religious people who have difficulty squaring evolution with faith?

We human beings are wholly natural creatures. We are indeed animals. We have our origin in the process of evolution, just like every other living thing on this planet. We are made out of matter and energy and it’s matter and energy that gave rise to us. But I don’t see anything in that formulation which is contradictory to the message we get from all the Abrahamic religions.

I remember the admonition from the Bible: “Thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.” To me that’s the admonition that we are creatures made out of the matter of the Earth. And even in the Book of Genesis, which I do not take as science or literal history, there is an understanding of the way in which God works, as God commanding the Earth and its waters to bring forth life. The Earth is seen by the author of Genesis as the intermediary creating and sustaining life, which is pretty much what science tells us too. So I don’t find that a threat to religious belief unless you are someone who demands that every book of the Bible, every word of Scripture, be taken in a very literal sense.

You say that while also acknowledging that the human species is not the crowning achievement of creation and that we owe our existence to happenstance.

Indeed. The evolutionary process is a process of diversification that explores what biologists called “niches,” in life, ways of making a living. There’s a niche that’s occupied by a plant, like a dandelion. There’s the niche that’s occupied by a bird that gathers seed, like a robin or a sparrow. Ultimately, there is a niche, and we’re the only species to date that have come to occupy it, that involves reflective intelligent and self-aware cognition of the conditions of existence. I do not argue that we were predestined to fill that niche — only that the niche has always existed and that the evolutionary process was bound, sooner or later, to produce a creature that would fill it.

What you mean by “The Human Instinct”?

“The Human Instinct” author Kenneth R. Miller. Image courtesy of Simon and Schuster

By the human instinct, I mean the collection of traits and behaviors and cognitive abilities that make us unique among all the organisms on planet Earth. I also mean the processes that gave rise in us to reason, consciousness and free will. These are the things that make the human species absolutely unique.

What I mean by special is not a chest-thumping “we’re-the-pinnacle-of-creation,” but an acceptance of responsibility. Of all the creatures that inhabit the planet, we’re the only ones who are aware of where we came from, what gave rise to us and what effect we’re having on the future of this planet. That gives us a special responsibility that no other species can possess. We’re the only ones aware of a process called extinction. We’re the only ones aware of our global footprint on this planet. We’re the only ones that can take steps to safeguard the biodiversity and future of the planet. That alone makes human beings special.

You’re critical of many of evolutionary psychology’s more sensational conclusions, such as studies that find men are predisposed to rape or women are predisposed to shop. How can laypeople distinguish good evolutionary psychology from bad?

The really faulty studies never bother to do any genetics or molecular biology. They never bother to say, “Can we find genetic markers that go along with this behavior or that ability or anything else.” If this was an authentic case of evolution favoring a particular behavior, we should as good biologists find the genetic markers that go along with it. So if a story like this lacks actual genetics, I would tend to discount it. I think most biologists would as well.

My favorite is the evolutionary story of why women evolved to shop. Those stories come about because the authors presume to know what the social roles of women were in the Pleistocene Epoch and what men were out doing in the Pleistocene. Men were out hunting and women were gathering and staying home and tending the fire. How do you actually know that? The answer is, “You don’t.” So unless you have really discovered some genetic marker that predisposes people to like to go into the mall and shop, then these stories are absolute nonsense.

Do you go to church?

Every Sunday and on holy days. I am a practicing Roman Catholic and I will keep on practicing until I get it right.

A DNA strand next to the title of the series.

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

84 Comments

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  • SPIN AND COUNTER-SPIN THIS THANG in “a perfectly reasonable way [so as] to understand evolution that gets around … problems.”

    PROBLEMS, WHAT PROBLEMS?! Oh just lots & tons of them, and then some – that are, you know, how do you say? – MIXED-“bred into us by the imperatives of reproduction and survival.”

    BUT DON’T SWEAT IT. Let’s just, you know, stop “saying what we think is beautiful is simply an artifact of what we adhere to in order to survive and reproduce.” So, like, like, SPIN AND COUNTER-SPIN THIS WACHAMOKOLIT – yeah, evolution – a.k.a. “‘niches,’ in life”!

    Repeat after me: “‘NICHES,’ IN LIFE”!

    Again. “‘NICHES,’ IN LIFE” – where there is, or better be, yeah? – the “acceptance of responsibility” and of “a process called extinction.”

    EXTINCTION?! You heard me. EXTINCTION. Hip hip hurray, then?

    “Good news in evolution”, indeed. ENJOY.

  • I’m a firm believer that science may one day catch up to the wisdom of God, and this short excerpt suggests such:
    In the words of scientist and atheist Sam Harris, “We are driverless cars running a program we did not write, which we cannot control, and whose existence we are not even wired to sense.”
    They are correct. With Christ in control of everything, we just go along for the ride and try to remember to glorify Him on the way;

  • Humans are nothing more than “lucky accidents”, according to Miller’s previous messed-up anti-biblical monstrosity, commonly known as :Finding Darwin’s God.

    So now, many years later, is there any improvement or change in his specific phrase concerning the origin of humans? NOPE. Right here in this RMS article, he show’s that he is STILL firmly in the cult grip of the poison religion of evolution. He done drunk the Kool-Aid way too much.

    Look at this monkey-business mess. Miller openly agrees with and promotes the scientific & scriptural falsity of “We owe our existence to happenstance.” He’s still preaching that we humans are merely lucky accidents. This mess directly makes a liar out of Jesus (Matt. 19:4-5).

    Science is compatible with faith, but Evolution is INCOMPATIBLE with Christianity. Miller proves it.

  • “Humans are nothing more than “lucky accidents”, according to Ken Miller’s previous messed-up anti-biblical monstrosity, commonly known as Finding Darwin’s God.”

    How would you know? You neither read his book nor have ever bothered to even understand Evolution or how it works.

    You oppose the well established scientific theory because of an immature desire to browbeat others to accept your faith as something more convincing.

    If your religious belief requires you to deny evidence based reality like that, it speaks badly of your religious belief. It turns it into something dishonest and cheap.

  • Sorry, but I’ve had my OWN copy of “Finding Darwin’s God”, for years.
    So please check this out. Remember, Miller always says he’s a Christian.

    (1) Miller already called Jesus (see Matt.19:4-5) a liar, as seen above. Hmm.

    (2) Miller says “We humans are wholly natural creatures.” So he’s calling Jesus (see Matt. 10:28) a liar again. Hmm.

    (3) Miller does his “inevitable evolution niche” gig, but evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould asked, “If complex consciousness has evolved but once in the admittedly limited domain of known evidence, how can anyone defend the inevitability of its convergent evolution?”

    (4) And evolutionist Jason Rosenhouse piles on Miller with this question: “If humans were inevitable, why didn’t God simply fast-forward the tape himself, thereby sparing all of those animals that died horrible deaths in the preceding hundreds of millions of years?”

  • I do not believe for a second you have the book handy or

    1 & 2 are your opinion and interpretation and not particularly relevant to the topic.

    3&4 (if accurate, which in of itself is highly unlikely) are rational criticism to an idea which may be more conjecture than evidence.

    None of which are the criticism of evolution you are expecting.

  • “I’m a firm believer that science may one day catch up to the wisdom of God . . .”

    I’m a firm believer that science religion may dissolve one day as people catch up to the wisdom of God reality of science.

  • I’ve been interacting with and observing evangelicals (et al) for many years, and listening to their ravings (AM radio, where they are because AM radio is so inexpensive).

    One thing that stands out about them is that they have a high need to believe in “control”–“god’s in control” kind of stuff. (It does not take more than about 3 hours of listening to AM radio to hear this.)

    But one of the key ideas of evolution is randomness. I suspect this might be a key reason in evangelicals’ rejection of evolution, probably combined with a general lack of education in STEM.

  • I agree that evolution is not compatible with evangelical or fundamentalist christianity. Cult, poison, Kool-Aid??? Funny.

  • I’m in Miller’s camp. I find no disharmony between evolution and faith. But, then, I’ve never been a fundamentalist.

    As for the supposed randomness of evolution, I think of it like chaos theory. That apparent randomness may be part of a divine pattern so intricate that it can only be recognized through the metaphysical imagination.

  • Evolutionists and atheists rely on professing Christian evolutionists to sell evolution, (which even opposes and negates Christ’s Atonement!), to theism-friendly voters, judges, elected officials, media, schools, etc.

    Ken Miller is a longtime salesman. Always trying to sell that Evolution is compatible with Christianity.

    But as you see from the 4 totally unrefuted points above, Miller’s sales-pitch is totally DOA, not only from Scripture, not only from Jesus, but also from Science.

  • Floyd, you can whine about how poorly your scriptures fit with science all you want, and spend all week ranking about the scriptural falsity of something. I don’t really care. But you have absolutely no grounds to attack the scientific findings of evolutionary biology. Quit pretending you’re making a scientific objection when all evidence indicates that all living organisms have a shared ancestor that arose billions of years ago and diversified into all of today’s life.

  • I have no idea what you’re trying to communicate.

    Here’s a suggestion. Try composing your thought’s for the benefit of the reader. Don’t make people work so hard at trying to figure out your meaning. Complete sentences would be a good start.

    This might be the most brilliant post in the history of blogs, but if nobody can understand it, what difference does it make?

  • Evolutionists do not exist. There are scientists and laypeople who go with the evidence backed accepted theory in the field of biology. But Evolution’s existence is not premised on whether you chose to believe it or not. That is the great thing about scientific theory. Its objective evidence based credibility.

    Christians who are at odds with Evolution or any established scientific theory are better known as liars. People who try to convince the public that their ultra-narrow sectarian Protestant Christian belief is based on something other than faith. People who are so narcissistic that they demand the world conform to their whiny desires and ego rather than the reality around them.

    Your Christian belief seems to be defined by who you are supposed to hate, what facts you are supposed to deny, and what lies you think are acceptable to say in public. It does not appear very worthwhile.

  • Miller is trying to find common ground between science and faith. Agree with him or don’t, but when you focus so much energy on criticizing his motives, that strikes me as not only a waste of time but also uncharitable.

    As a person of faith, I don’t feel the need to demonize those who don’t share my perspective. I’m more secure in my beliefs than that.

  • Hey, I haven’t denied that Miller is personally Christian, though Miller’s exact beliefs vis-a-vis the Scriptures are not really clear.

    It IS a genuinely bad sign, however, that he wide-open publicly disagrees with Jesus Christ on the historicity and factuality of Genesis’ human origins claims, while advertising he’s a Christian.

    I’ve read FDG. Even watched him do a lecture and powerpoint on it, years ago. I do not seek to demonize him.ut his no-good sales-pitch, well’designed to put a clearly bad virus in Christian brains, fully deserves a full, point-by-point attack.

  • It doesn’t make a liar out of jesus. It merely points out what we already know. Jesus was a man of his times.

  • A few observations:

    1. In fact, an official document of the Catholic church (from many years ago) finds no conflict betw evolution and Christianity.

    2. There are some evangelical scientists–some of them prominent–who see no conflicts betw evolution and “Christianity”—even the perverted version of it embraced by evangelicals.

    3. If you pay close attention to what evangelicals (et al) say and write, you will discover fairly quickly that they have a problem with “ambiguity”. Anxiety caused by ambiguity are of course not limited to evangelicals, but they seem more common among evangelicals.

    Ideas re Evolution (indeed, so much of science!) contain much ambiguity, which I suspect might be one contributing factor to evangelicals’ rejection of it.

  • “People who try to convince the public that their ultra-narrow sectarian Protestant Christian belief is based on something other than faith.”
    And yet they will tell you, though not quite in the same breath, that evolution and science are based on faith, which they then aver y implication is a terrible way to know anything.

  • Good observations. If the choice is between certainty that flies in the face of scientific discovery and faith that leaves room for ambiguity (a/k/a divine mystery), I’ll choose the latter every time.

  • Think of it this way Jim:

    There are certain English words that have the very same effect when used on evolutionists, as fresh nightcrawlers have when used on big summer panfish.

    So I keep a good supply handy, both ways, whenever it’s time to catch me some fish. Heh!!

  • What you call disagreement with Jesus others might call nuanced interpretation. Until I read Miller’s words for myself, I’ll withhold judgment.

    But just to make clear where I come from, I don’t believe one has to accept Genesis as literal history in order to glean the divine truth of it. If that, for you, is a sticking point, I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    Moving on. Peace.

  • “What difference does it make” to an unbeliever who declares, “I’m in Miller’s camp”?!

    LOTS. But of course, right?

  • Will the social media records show that one rockchalkwombat doesn’t go “criticizing [writers’] motives [and] do[es]n’t feel the need to demonize those who don’t share [her] perspective”?

  • Yes, they will. I try to show respect in all relationships, including those online. Being human, I occasionally fail, but it is important to me.

    I discuss issues. I discuss what people say. One can only speculate about their motives.

  • No such thing as a “disagreement with Jesus [being a] nuanced interpretation.”

    What prophet, messiah or apostle ever spoke of a “disagreement with Jesus [as being a] nuanced interpretation”?

  • I’m flattered that you’re spending so much time scrutinizing my posts, but I see nothing to be gained by furthering this discussion. I’m moving on. I wish you well.

  • You go “scrutinizing [other people’s] posts” who mustn’t go “scrutinizing [your] posts”? Is there something about you that you’re not telling us, other than, LOOKAME as per this here article – “I’m in Miller’s camp”?!

  • If you are relying on “objective evidence-based credibility” to support your evolutionism, you better not attempt to bring up the standard atheistic evolutionist myth of a non-human “ape-like common ancestor” animal, from which humans supposedly evolved.

    (If you do attempt it, the available objective evidence will BITE you — and objective evidence always has sharp hungry teeth. So try not to get munched up by both Science & Scripture!! )

  • Practice in what?
    “I am a practicing Roman Catholic and I will keep on practicing until I get it right.”
    This is the most honest statement I’ve read from a follower of a particular faith. He’s trying to get it right within himself, not dragging down others who aren’t in lockstep with his chosen ideology.

  • The words you used are used by many more people to describe fundamentalists and they fit you rather than those who accept the theory of evolution. There is real evidence to support it but absolutely none for your view.

  • If he’s trying to get it right within himself in a church which teaches that getting it right means getting with the program, he’s already on the wrong page.

  • There is little or no wisdom in science.

    Being able to deduce physical laws and apply them is not philosophy.

  • Because of the overwhelming evidence produced to support it embarrasses you too much?

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fossil-reveals-what-last-common-ancestor-of-humans-and-apes-looked-liked/

    Scripture is not a source of fact. Not even historical accounts. There is nobody less respected in the field of archaeology and historical research than one who puts “Biblical” at the front of their title. It has the effect of telling people “Not Really [title after it]”

  • That was a trick question Rocky Balboa didn’t fall for. Too bad for me. Gotta go by his words first, see. Maybe he’ll spill out nonsense about “divine mystery”, proving he didn’t know what he was talking about with Howard Kay earlier.

    Or, he’ll prove he’s clueless that Jesus did mention the word “mystery” (though not “divine mystery”) once. But it was Paul who used that word a lot. The trick here, see, to get Rocky Marciano realize he’s clueless about Jesus and Paul’s takes on “mystery” and reason for omitting the phrase “divine mystery” altogether.

    But, thank you, I did “check out the apocryphal acts of St. John.” Only to confirm, however, that there too he didn’t use the word “mystery” or the phrase “divine mystery”.

    So what in the world was rockchalkwombat talking about, then?

    Grasping for straws was what he was doing. Fighting the Straw Man.

  • “Scripture is not a source of fact, Not even historical accounts.”
    Seriously, Spuddie? You wanna go down THIS road? No way!

    “In the ruins of a shrine excavated next to the gate of Lachish, the largest city of the kingdom of Judah after Jerusalem, archaeologists found an altar with the horns cut off from each corner.
    They also found a stone toilet that was never used, which had been placed in the holy of holies, apparently to desecrate it. They attributed both discoveries to the religious reforms under King Hezekiah, described in 2 Kings 18:4.”

    — “Biblical Archaelology’s Top 10 Discoveries of 2016” (Lachish Gate was #2), from Christianity Today, Gordon Govier, 12-28-2016.

  • The problem, of course, is that “all evidence” does NOT indicate any such thing. The evolutionary oatmeal has gone way past its expiration date. Time to trash it, and get on with today’s scientific reality — intelligent design.

    (1) Busy people are mostly interested in seeing whether evolution is correct or incorrect regarding us humans. (It’s the latter, folks.)

    (2) Thanks to modern science, we know that scientific evidence points AWAY from evolution and instead points TOWARD God, as the Creator and Intelligent Designer of all humans.

  • What evidence do you think there is that supports the magic sky daddy hypothesis? This should be amusing.

  • Theologians are not historians. Biblical archeology gets its deserved terrible reputation for engaging in confirmation bias and failing to properly vet their findings.

  • My remark was a jocular pun in which my intent was to demonstrate my disagreement with both his analysis and his conclusion. That is fair game in any context. It was not a personal attack.

  • Today I have a little more time to play. So I’ll attack just for the fun of it.

    The media pretends that all Catholics have sold their souls to Evolution, but that just ain’t so. Amazingly, some Catholics still believe (or mostly believe) the Bible on this topic. A few choose to fight back.

    Thomas J. Centrella asks: “Is Theistic Evolution Truly Plausible?”

    http://kolbecenter.org/is-theistic-evolution-truly-plausible/

  • Not difficult. The two easy targets for Christians — or anybody else — are “origin of life” (chemical evolution) and “human origins” (via biological evolution.)

    Non-Darwinists have done so much damage to the “life evolved from non-living chemicals” scam, we’ve dried up Darwin’s “warm little pond” cr*p to such a degree, that SciAm’s John Horgan (a hater of creationists!), was forced to employ this one 2011 headline:

    “Pssst! Don’t tell the creationists, but scientists don’t have a clue how life began”

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/pssst-dont-tell-the-creationists-but-scientists-dont-have-a-clue-how-life-began/

  • Nope. Theistic evolution isn’t plausible, for the obvious reason. Theism isn’t plausible.

  • Actually, if your last sentence were rationally correct, you would automatically confirm that TE isn’t plausible.

    In other words, you would have finally won the game, and all Christians would have to surrender to your conclusion — for real.

    But since Rom. 1:20 is true, and God has thrown biological evidence literally all over Planet Earth just to confirm His very existence, well, umm, you lose, yes?

  • The trouble with your circular reasoning is that it best fits in the circular file. “But since Rom 1:20 is true…” is just your own unsupported personal assertion. You have no outside empirical evidence to support your assertion. Ben, on the other hand, doesn’t need the evidence that you do. The absence of evidence in support of your assertions is actually all the evidence that his assertions need to be more credible than yours.

  • There is no “good news” or “Gospel” in the Theory of Evolution. Science is progress and not subject to the human valuations of “good” or “evil.” That need to judge and assign value is what causes self-proclaimed mouth-pieces for “Jeezus” to to say God-awful, idiotic things. For example, on April Fool’s day, Mormon “Apostle” Quentin L. Cook tried to assert the notion of “non-consensual immorality” to justify LDS Church leaders’ “authority” to pass judgement on the victims of sexual violence. Good thing that Easter was also April’s Fools this year: Elder Cook won the grand prize for ecclesiastical foot in the mouth. But the point is, too many religionists feel the need to judge things that don’t need it and are better off without it.

  • In fact, I already threw in some Emp Evid in my response to MadScientist 1023. So if you want to look at it, it’s there. Besides, there’s always more, on each topic.

    (But I never assume that evolutionists are automatically going to look at empirical evidence that challenges their beloved evolution and establishes an alternate explanation.)

    Anyway, I combine what the Science shows with what the Scripture says, so the readers can more easily understand the significance & implications of the Science evidence that they’re looking at.

  • Anything genuinely “scientific” can be empirically proven through independent reproduction of tests and results. No such standard for evidence exists with anything religious or biblical.

  • “Pssst! Don’t tell the creationists, but scientists don’t have a clue how life began”

    As usual, you are being fundamentally dishonest in advancement of your religious agenda.

    The article is question doesn’t say that scientists don’t have a clue. They actually have a lot of clues, and a lot of different ideas, and a lot of plausible explanations.

    What they don’t have is certainty. You have certainty, but not a shred of evidence except a book written by people who thought that insects have four legs.

  • No, that’s definitely not true with the theory of evolution.

    There’s no testing, as well as no evidence, of the evolutionist mantra of a non-human, ape-like “common ancestor” animal that somehow magically evolved into us humans (who happen to have certain abilities that have never been observed in ANY of the animal world, with no known evolutionary or genetic pathways to obtain those abilities even if we wanted to pretend that evolution did it.)

  • So you’re automatically going to ignore ONE clear example if it’s presented to you? Not very scientific, nor very rational, of you.

    Still, exactly what example or examples would you like to see? Human? Animal? Astronomical? Biological? Origin of life? Your own genetic code right this minute?

  • You may want to re-read the article.

    NOWHERE does John Horgan contradict, backpedal, or even water down his own headline.

    The most he can attempt, is to assert that creationists don’t have a clue **either.**

    Which is hardly a save move for the evolutionist side.

  • “Evolutionists do not exist”? Seriously?

    Shall we ask Dr. Jerry Coyne if that’s true? How about Science Guy Bill Nye?

  • They are not evolutionists. They are scientists and science educators who accept the fact based main working theory in the field.

  • They are not evolutionists. They are scientists and science educators who accept the fact based main working theory in the field

  • They are not “evolutionists”. They are scientists and science educators who accept the fact based main working theory in the field

  • Thanks for being consistently wrong on all points. Referring to proto-humans as “apes” is just the usual holy hypocrite misdirection rational people have come to expect from folks addicted to the circus blend of horse and elephant manure they substitute for actual faith in deity.

  • Some humans are lucky accidents, the rest of us are not so lucky when the holy hypocrites feel the need to opine.

  • Even less credible are the Mormon “archaeologists” out to prove the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

  • You said “The media pretends that all Catholics have sold their souls to Evolution. That looks like a pretty confident statement to me. So it should be an easy matter for you to back up your allegations against KertZer with 2 specific examples.

    Somehow, though, I’m fairly confident that you will not come through. Because Kertzer is a scholar and a careful historian and backs up everything he states.

  • I’m pretty sure you will not be able to post even ONE clear example to support your claim, floydlee.

    Once again, you have destroyed your credibility for all to see. Even more important, you’ve demonstrated once again that you are all bluster.

  • Miller is a good writer and interesting interview, but the premise of the discussion–that evolution is ‘dreary and demoralizing’–is nonsense.

  • If Christianity is incompatible with science, then Christianity is simply wrong. No big deal. It’s not like that’s an uncommon situation, either.

  • To the contrary; religion is always trying to catch up to science. And when it refuses, it gradually becomes ridiculous and worthless.

  • Wow. I was expecting to be underwhelmed, and you certainly met those expectations. You talk awfully big for such a little delivery.

    Let’s start with the fact you have absolutely nothing to say about evolutionary biology. You don’t even seem to understand what evolution is or what Darwin said. You talk solely about abiogenesis without a word about evolution. So right off the bat, you lose any objection to evolution.

    Then there’s the fact you provide no actual evidence in your “evidence”. You have two opinion pieces, both of which talk about abiogenesis, not evolution. One is written by a non-scientist and provides no data. The other is written by two scientists, and is published in a bottom-tier journal as an opinion piece. Neither did any research. Neither presents any new information. Neither one is evidence.

    Last, let’s talk about what your “evidence” actually says. The first is a non-scientist who doesn’t know the science and makes scientifically inaccurate statements. He describes RNA as unstable, but only goes by what it’s like in an oxygenated atmosphere. He’s also several years out of date and missing more recent discoveries like how certain early hydrothermal vents could spontaneously generate RNA polymers. Your second article doesn’t even try talking about prebiotic chemistry. It’s nothing but information and coding theory. Theory means nothing without evidence to back it up, and there’s no evidence that these two’s theory has any relevance to anything.

    So to review, you didn’t even try providing evidence contradicting evolution, the sources you provided are opinion pieces, and neither source includes any information or intelligent information. And you jump from that to there must be a magic man in the sky who made everything but covered up his tracks to lie to people/made one cell than sat back an watched for billions of years? That’s one limp attempt to discredit evolution.

  • floydlee, I want to thank you for bringing up the topic of “how the media cover evolution”.

    Really!

    I was curious, so I did a search for the word “evolution” in the media.

    Guess what? Most of the articles I found were in science publications or sites, and not daily or weekly mass media. For example, I found articles in sites or publications such as “R + D Magazine”, ION, Smithsonian, phys.org, and so on.

    Oh, I forgot–I turned up some articles such as “Selena Gomez’s Hair Evolution, From Pink Extensions to Her New Undercut: See Pics” and “The peanut research explosion and the evolution of a society”.

    Gee, no wonder you’re having trouble coming up with citations to back up your claim about the way the media treat evolution!

    HAHAHA!

  • Which non-human “ape-like” ancestor are you talking about? Sahlanthropus tchadensis? Ardipithicus ramidus? Australopithicus garhi? Australopithicus ramidus? Homo ergaster? Homo heidelburgensis? There are a couple dozen of them that have been identified at this point, tracing a very clear path of progression from our last known common ancestor shared with chimpanzees to today, exactly as evolution predicted we would find in the fossil record. But of course, you’re too stupid to understand what an “experiment” is, or too dishonest to admit that such experiments have already been done.

    BTW, humans are still apes. “Apes” refers to every species in the Hominidae family, of which there are 4 living members: humans, gorillas, chimps, and orangutans. There are many extinct members, including all of the species I mention above. Denying the fact that humans are apes is as unintelligent as denying that we’re primates, mammals, vertebrates, or animals. Thus, I’m not surprised to see you do so.

  • Ha! As if you could post one. You’ll probably just post another opinion piece that doesn’t say what you think it does and call it a day. Or just ignore it.

  • Geneticists, archaeologists and historians estimate that human beings with White European features first appeared around 6,000 years ago, interestingly, Bible scholars place Adam’s creation at around 6,000 years ago. http://www.icr.org/article/james-ussher-his-chronology-reasonable/

    The origins of the mid-Neolithic populations that did form the basis of modern Europe are also unknown.
    This population moves in around 4,000 to 5,000 [B.C.], but where it came from remains a mystery, as we can’t see anything like it in the areas surrounding Europe,” said Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130423-european-genetic-history-dna-archaeology-science/

    That mystery is answered by Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

  • Once the Bible is understood correctly, it can be seen that there is no conflict between the Christianity and science, or between creationism and the theory of evolution. The word “days” of Genesis Chapter 1 cannot be interpreted as literal, 24-hour periods of time. This is wholly evident at Genesis 1:14-19 alone, where it is obvious that our sun and moon were not created until the fourth “day”! Genesis Chapter 1 is a poetic explanation of the Creation, which certainly does not attempt to account in detail for everything which we see in existence today. It begins with the evidently unformed mass of the planet that we know as Earth, and ends in the creation of Adamic man.

    The word usually translated “day” where it appears here in Genesis, the Hebrew yom (Strong’s number 3117), can also refer to an age, or an unspecified but lengthy period of time. Understanding this, the Genesis creation account is easily reconciled with everything that we know from observable science concerning the age of the planet as it now exists. The six “day” periods of Genesis creation are indeed ages, some of which may well have been quite long in duration. https://christogenea.org/overview/genesis-chapter-1

    Strong’s No.: H3117 http://www.kingjamesbibledictionary.com/StrongsNo/h3117
    Bible Usage: {age} + {always} + {chronicles} continually ({-ance}) {daily} ({[birth-]} {each} to) {day} (now {a} two) days ({agone}) + {elder} X-(idiom) {end} + {evening} + (for) ever ({-lasting} {-more}) X-(idiom) {full} {life} as (so) long as (. . . {live}) (even) {now} + {old} + {outlived} + {perpetually} {presently} + {remaineth} X-(idiom) {required} {season} X-(idiom) {since} {space} {then} (process of) {time} + as at other {times} + in {trouble} {weather} (as) {when

  • With all respect, honest review of Miller’s evangelistic evolutionism propositions are extremely disturbing, logically and scientifically. His claims are faith-based, not empirically established. But, the most revealing and disturbing statement is his last sentence that he will “keep practicing until I get it right.” Get what right? Salvation is a gift given by God through surrender and faith in Him. What possible act can any human perform to “get it right?”

    There is an ironic consistency between Miller’s lack of understanding of Christianity and his distortion of the Biblical perspective on evolution to justify his own beliefs. Add that to his deceptively convincing perspective about evolution.

  • The real dichotomy that exists in the area of evolution is between those who deny any nonmaterial effects in the universe, and those who insist on the necessity of these nonmaterial effects to account for human consciousness. Is there any material explanation for how carbon became aware that it is carbon? Or how carbon learned to use words to express ideas and emotions? To insist that our totality is made up solely of inanimate physical elements, seems not only indefensible, but very much like the most dogmatic belief of religious fundamentalists.

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