Thank God for Evolution

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Thank God for Evolution

Postby Aware-ness » Sun Nov 10, 2019 4:28 am

“We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose.”― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

I'm reading "Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World" by Michael Dowd ... and wish to share some of my impressions.
https://www.amazon.com/Thank-God-Evolution-Marriage-Transform/dp/0452295343

In short, Dowd has turned the 13.8 billion years of evolution, of the universe, into what would fit a religious model ... with God "Ultimate Reality" behind it.

Dowd use to be a Baptist evangelist of the gospel of Christ, but is now, along with his wife Connie, a itinerant evangelical preacher of the gospel -- good news -- of the "Greatest Story ever told," of the grand deep space and deep time message of how the universe evolved over billions of years, into the vast universe our powerful telescopes are revealing to us today, right up to the consciousness reading these words.

It is an amazing tale, and he tells it with the conviction of a preacher. He has some amazing conceptions in the book. Like : "Facts are the native tongue of God," and ; "all major religions in the world are "flat earth religions," in that they came out of the times when most everyone believed the earth was flat. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the apostle Paul, as well as Buddha, and the like, could never have known about the universe such as we do today.

He says, God has been revealing his truth long before our "flat earth book" was written, and continued long afterward. He distinguishes between "Private Revelation," and "Public Revelation" ; the former can't be proven, and the latter can be objectively proven, by most all -- like peer review.

Has anyone out here encountered this book? Any feedback on it? Any detractors?
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:15 am

Note my argument 'God is an impossibility as real empirically and philosophically'
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=193474
overrides the above God as an ultimately reality behind evolution.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Aware-ness » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:04 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Note my argument 'God is an impossibility as real empirically and philosophically'
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=193474
overrides the above God as an ultimately reality behind evolution.

Methinks the title is a provocation of the Bible-thumping evolution deniers, who believe evolution disproves the creation account in Genesis.

From what I gather so far, Dowd is saying, don't think of evolution in terms of we come from the monkeys, but rather as we come from the Big Bang, that evolved the universe up to the point of the consciousness reading these words.

I own a Kindle version of the book. Recently I bought a hard bound, to give to my cousin-in-law, who's been a conservative Southern Baptist most of his life, in hopes of getting into a discussion with him about the book.

After a couple of days I get a text asking if he is stardust. And then he quoted from the song Woodstock:

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden


So I called him. I knew he didn't believe in evolution, but he's been open in the past to other books I've given him, like Daniel Quinn's "Story of B", the theme of which is animism. He read the preface and three chapters of Dowd's book. He didn't like it. Too many big words, he said.

But we talked about deep space and deep time. He mentioned he believed in the gap theory, in the first two verses in Genesis, and so believes God had a creation before Adam ; that to him explains the dinosaurs.

At any rate, he's been exposed to Dowd's big ideas, and even tho he's not a fan of evolution, he won't be able to be the same.

I wormed him.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:19 pm

Without a teleological look at human evolution the anthropic principle would make no sense. I think it's high time that purpose becomes the recognition of agency in creation. For me, the activity of DNA is God in action, going back to the explosions of stars from which all chemical elements came into being.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby felix dakat » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:01 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Note my argument 'God is an impossibility as real empirically and philosophically'
http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=193474
overrides the above God as an ultimately reality behind evolution.


How many people have you convinced with your argument?

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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Dan~ » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:04 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Without a teleological look at human evolution the anthropic principle would make no sense. I think it's high time that purpose becomes the recognition of agency in creation. For me, the activity of DNA is God in action, going back to the explosions of stars from which all chemical elements came into being.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon

https://science.howstuffworks.com/light7.htm

I have a hunch that matter isn't based in burnt out old stars.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Ierrellus » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:49 pm

Dan~ wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:Without a teleological look at human evolution the anthropic principle would make no sense. I think it's high time that purpose becomes the recognition of agency in creation. For me, the activity of DNA is God in action, going back to the explosions of stars from which all chemical elements came into being.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon

https://science.howstuffworks.com/light7.htm

I have a hunch that matter isn't based in burnt out old stars.

The stars do not need to be burnt out in order to emit chemical elements.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Persefonie » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:08 pm

Shalom.

Man is his own God.

When we come to realise our responsibility and our own divine role within creation then we will be liberated from the chains of imposed and restricted Godhood.

The responsibility of being your own master and god is the first step into the birthing of YOU in a cosmos that is waiting to be conceived in human consciousness. Please do not impose chains of godness onto the abyss, I think you will find that the rest of the cosmos will throw them right back at you.

As for deeper revelations into the insight of man himself, well, 'As above, so Below'.


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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby promethean75 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:46 pm

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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Persefonie » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:23 am

[/youtube]
promethean75 wrote:


I love that flick... love the 1962 version even more..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jARp24AJWLk
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Ierrellus » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:27 pm

Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker" is, IMHO, a failed attempt to prove human evolution does not entail purpose. This is the traditional atheistic argument against a creator God. The book fails to convince anyone that humans do not have a spiritual nature, that out rational nature is sufficient to describe all that it is like to be human. Nowadays Dawkins is wasting his time bad mouthing fundy Christian mythology, an easy target for atheists.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Aware-ness » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:44 pm

promethean75 wrote:

That was cute. Question : Can a speck of reality know the whole of reality even if it's made of the same stuff?
"The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Aware-ness » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:18 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker" is, IMHO, a failed attempt to prove human evolution does not entail purpose. This is the traditional atheistic argument against a creator God. The book fails to convince anyone that humans do not have a spiritual nature, that out rational nature is sufficient to describe all that it is like to be human. Nowadays Dawkins is wasting his time bad mouthing fundy Christian mythology, an easy target for atheists.

Dowd says, in a nutshell, that his evolution gospel -- The Greatest Story ever told -- can be accepted by theists and atheists alike :

Seriously, in all but the most polarized settings, my reframing of what we might be pointing to when we use the word “God” resonates with ardent atheists and with the scripturally minded. I recall a time when I addressed an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group of students at a university in eastern Canada. One young man came loaded for bear. Along with his King James Bible, he brought a copy of Strong’s Concordance. He challenged me from the get-go. “Lighten up, John,” someone finally called out to him. “Give the man a chance to present his viewpoint.” Well, after my talk and the discussion period, John gave me a bear hug. “Now, I don’t go along with everything you say,” he began. “But I’m not threatened by your ideas.” Similarly, I have been delighted by responses from most atheists. In Colorado Springs, an older man blurted out in the midst of my presentation, “Finally, a God that makes sense!”
~~ Dowd, Michael. Thank God for Evolution (p. 122). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
"The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Praying to an otherworldly God is like kissing thru glass." - Paul West
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:07 pm

"The more I study science, the more I believe in God."---Albert Einstein
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:14 pm

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."--Albert Einstein
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby promethean75 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:36 pm

Question : Can a speck of reality know the whole of reality even if it's made of the same stuff?


hm. that's a philosophical question, which means it's a very strange and elusive question. let me ask you something before i attempt an answer; what would a wrong answer to that question look like, and would you know one if you saw it?

(we must proceed very cautiously here lest we suffer a bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language. i just stole that from wittgenstein, btw.)
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby phoneutria » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:59 pm

Can a piece of my burrito know all of the burrito, even if it is made of burrito? I don't know, dude, sometimes they plop all of the sour cream in one spot. Isn't that annoying? I kind of want every bite of my burrito to have a proportional amount of every ingredient. Is that too much to ask?
But let me save you some trouble here, homie. Burritos don't know anything. They don't gots brains.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby promethean75 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:35 pm

Burritos don't know anything. They don't gots brains.


https://images.complex.com/complex/imag ... wkibqk.jpg

Where you can get it: Carnitas Michoacanas, Resedas, CA

Ingredients: Pork brains with sesame, soy sauce, and green onion
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Aware-ness » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:38 pm

phoneutria wrote:Can a piece of my burrito know all of the burrito, even if it is made of burrito? I don't know, dude, sometimes they plop all of the sour cream in one spot. Isn't that annoying? I kind of want every bite of my burrito to have a proportional amount of every ingredient. Is that too much to ask?
But let me save you some trouble here, homie. Burritos don't know anything. They don't gots brains.

I think therefore I am. Burritos don't think therefore they ain't am.

But you get my point, right phoneutria? We can only know a small part of the universe, therefore an even smaller part of Dowd's Greatest Story ever told, i.e. the 13.8 billion year evolution of this universe, evolving all the way up to the consciousness writing and reading this post ; howbeit a very limited consciousness at that.

. . . The eyeballs of this grand universe, according to Dowd (and prolly Primack and Adams) ; the universe looking back at itself.
"The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Ierrellus » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:27 pm

A few decades ago philosopher Colin McGinn opined that consciousness is too complicated for the mind to explain.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Aware-ness » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:00 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Note my argument 'God is an impossibility as real empirically and philosophically'
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=193474
overrides the above God as an ultimately reality behind evolution.

True. I think Dowd sees "Ultimate Reality" as God because of his evangelical background. The word God to him is a symbol of what he assumes to have to exist, which is ultimately, well, reality. In fact, in his book he calls reality God.

It's his thing ; something that we all can agree upon ; that doesn't depend on believing ; reality is, well, a actual real thing ; we might say as real as the consciousness writing and reading this post.

Hey, I haven't finished reading his book. But maybe the evolution of the universe from 13.8 billion years ago, all the way up to this living consciousness, is why Dowd asks and says :

Dowd wrote:"Is this a God anyone would want to worship, pray to, or devote one’s life to serving? I offer a resounding Yes!"

    “Finally, a God That Makes Sense!” Twice in my first six years of itinerant ministry, I faced an audience equally split between the extremes of the science-religion spectrum: atheists and biblical fundamentalists. Give me either group, in its full-blooded richness or interspersed with moderates, and I will do a fair job of making my points in ways that most people can hear and will be led to consider. But the two together? I call that “an audience from hell.”

    Seriously, in all but the most polarized settings, my reframing of what we might be pointing to when we use the word “God” resonates with ardent atheists and with the scripturally minded. I recall a time when I addressed an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group of students at a university in eastern Canada. One young man came loaded for bear. Along with his King James Bible, he brought a copy of Strong’s Concordance. He challenged me from the get-go. “Lighten up, John,” someone finally called out to him. “Give the man a chance to present his viewpoint.” Well, after my talk and the discussion period, John gave me a bear hug. “Now, I don’t go along with everything you say,” he began. “But I’m not threatened by your ideas.” Similarly, I have been delighted by responses from most atheists. In Colorado Springs, an older man blurted out in the midst of my presentation, “Finally, a God that makes sense!”
~~Dowd, Michael. Thank God for Evolution (p. 122). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


In earnest ...
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby phoneutria » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:56 pm

promethean75 wrote:
Burritos don't know anything. They don't gots brains.


https://images.complex.com/complex/imag ... wkibqk.jpg

Where you can get it: Carnitas Michoacanas, Resedas, CA

Ingredients: Pork brains with sesame, soy sauce, and green onion


That's pork brain, man. That's not 100% authentic burrito brain. I ain't eating that.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby phoneutria » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:01 pm

Aware-ness wrote:I think therefore I am. Burritos don't think therefore they ain't am.

But you get my point, right phoneutria? We can only know a small part of the universe, therefore an even smaller part of Dowd's Greatest Story ever told, i.e. the 13.8 billion year evolution of this universe, evolving all the way up to the consciousness writing and reading this post ; howbeit a very limited consciousness at that.


yeah, but, so what? Is there a point you're making? I missed it. Sorry, I'm stupid.

. . . The eyeballs of this grand universe, according to Dowd (and prolly Primack and Adams) ; the universe looking back at itself.


Surely one can't look back at itself with one's own eyes. That's gotta be someone else's eyes then.
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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby felix dakat » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:46 pm

For your consideration: "Reality reconciles science and religion": Michael Dowd at TEDxGrandRapids
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QeTWVw9Fm4

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Re: Thank God for Evolution

Postby Ierrellus » Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:31 pm

felix dakat wrote:For your consideration: "Reality reconciles science and religion": Michael Dowd at TEDxGrandRapids
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QeTWVw9Fm4

An inspiring talk for those of us who believe in a possible marriage of science and religion as providing evidence of Reality.
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