Friday, October 17, 2008

Does Miller's experiment prove evolution?

After reading this link about Miller's experiment, I decided to respond to it:
Miller's Experiment

In Miller's experiment the earth's atmosphere was assumed to be without oxygen. The problem is with no oxygen, there is no shield from harmful UV rays. This would have killed the "soup". Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem?

In the experiment both L and D stereotype amino acids were formed. Life only uses L stereotype amino acids. Does anyone know why that is?

What process combined the amino acids into DNA strands in the proper sequence? Does anyone know?

What process created the cell micro-machines that perform the translation of sections of DNA into messenger RNA? Does anyone know?

What process created the cellular protein regulation process? Does anyone know?

Some microbiologists spend their entire lives trying to understand the complex processes and information of cells. In the past, scientists believed that the cell was as simple as gelatin. The current understanding of the inner workings of a single cell is that it is equivalent to the complexity of the factories of General Motors and all of its part manufacturers. We still don't understand the main control process of the cell (when the cell is told to start making a protein and to stop making a protein). This is equivalent to the the inventory department at GM deciding to create more Chevy Cobalt Cars because those are in demand and stopping Chevy Suburban SUV production. What is staggering is the amount of information contained in the RNA to make a single protein. Similarly the design plans for a single General Motors car and the processes to create one are overwhelmingly complex.

To think that all the factories and processes of General Motors could be created accidentally is utter nonsense. In the Miller experiment essentially what they have created in General Motors terms is raw steel. Steel by itself doesn't create the design blueprint for the car (equivalent to an RNA section for a specific protein). Steel by itself doesn't create processes to build assembly line robots that build cars (equivalent to cell micro machines). Steel by itself doesn't create the transformers that convert the AC into DC to power the robots (cell glucose conversion into energy). Steel by itself can't create the process to create a new assembly plant (cellular mitosis; cell division).

Just as it is obvious that someone designed and built that car you are driving; it is obvious that someone designed and built proteins. Just as it is obvious that someone designed and created the processes of General Motors, it is obvious that someone designed and created the processes of cells. Each cell in your body has a specific purpose and works together with other cells. Doctor's still don't understand how everything works in the human body because it is so complex. There are around 300 cell categories. At this level, imagine a company 300 times the size and complexity of General Motors all working together. There is an estimated 10 million species on earth. At this level imagine a company 3 trillion times the size and complexity of General Motors.

Consider the biological process complexity. The processes and interactions between the processes are incomprehensible. Consider your job. Whether you flip burgers or are Joe the Plumber; processes don't happen by accident. At any level, you had some kind of training or education to do your job. Processes are designed.

But couldn't over millions of years the amino acids combine to create the DNA chains? Couldn't the processes be created by accident by the environment? Let's take that same argument to our GM example. Over millions of years, couldn't the raw steel create blueprints to create assembly line robots? Couldn't the raw steel create the assembly line robots? Couldn't the raw steel create the hardware programs and processes for the robots to create the cars? As silly as that sounds, the equivalent comparison is what evolutionists are claiming about amino acids. By itself, raw steel does nothing. By itself, amino acids do nothing.

Someone had to make the banana so you could eat it. Someone had to create the processes in your body to digest it. Someone had to make the bacteria in your intestine to break it down.

That someone is God.


blindman said...

There are some fundamental differences between the formation of organic compounds and the building of a factory.
It has been demonstrated through both scientific experiment and natural observation that organic compounds can self-organize to form more complex structures. An equivalent process where metallic compounds self-organize to form more complex structures has not been seen. Metalic compounds will occasionally crystalize, but this is a change in appearance rather than function, and the new form does not reveal emergent characteristics.
This may be due to the nature of metalic compounds, but it is probably also due to the fact that metalic compounds and crystals do not undergo Darwinian pressure. In effect, the raw materials are not competing for resources. Organic compounds do compete for both space an energy, and this is the engine that drives their evolution.
Secondly, evolution works on dynamic systems that self-sustain, and for organic compounds this means they reproduce copies of themselves. Factories, while centers of production, do not produce copies of themselves. There are no factory factories, that I am aware of.
For these reasons, the evolution/factory analogy falls short.
On a broader note, your theistic arguments seem to be focused around a "God Of The Gaps" argument. Here is an explantion of this argument from Theopedia, a Christian-oriented version of Wikipedia:
"From a philosophical point of view, the inherent problem with a God of the Gaps apologetic is that it relegates God to only a portion of creation — the portion that we don't understand yet. It places the apologist at a disadvantage by ignoring how the underlying patterns in the things we understand speak to the work of the Creator God. It also denies, in effect, the Christian view of science, which is that science is "thinking God's thoughts after him"; it does this by suggesting that we can only see God in the areas of nature which we do not understand, rather than seeing him most clearly in those which we do understand.

From a pragmatic point of view, the main problem with a God of the Gaps apologetic is that the gaps are getting smaller with every passing year. No one felt this more keenly than Isaac Newton, a religious man (in the end a Deist) who closed more gaps than any other scientist. As recorded in the General Scholium[1], Newton struggled to find a gap big enough for God. He eventually settled on gravity's action at a distance, unwilling to believe that a simple force could act across vast empty spaces and penetrate to matter in the center of the planets. That gap, of course, has long since diappeared from classical and relativistic physics. "

I think in arguing for the existence of God you should focus on Positive arguments illustrating His impact and relevance on our lives, rather than apologetic arguments attempting to point out flaws in Scientific Theory.

Congrats again, though, on soon experience once again the Miracle of Birth.


Max said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Max said...

how stupid it is to think that if 20+ aminoacids could be produced in a designed experiment then a fully working, reproducing,living cell just follows that process. it amazes me how people completely close their eyes on the probabilities that lead to a living cell arising by a chance. why people can't understand that even if you put memory, cpu, hard drive, motherboard, monitor, even a battery enough to power everything, etc, on the table in the middle of the desert, even after billions of years(without someone to assemble it) it won't self-assemble, turn on, and you'll never see a picture on the screen. it just not gonna happen, now apply same principle in a living cell where complexity is taken to so much higher degree, even if you have parts of a cell laying around (by the way calculate the chance that the parts are located so close to each other), a not completed, not fully functional cell does nothing except dying, leaving no offspring.

blindman said...

So, Max...
Your "gap" is the jump from organic compounds to single-celled organisms?
If science were to find a way to explain this transformation in terms of natural processes, would you then be prepared to admit that God does not exist?
I am assuming that you would not, because at its root, isn't your belief in God based on Faith, rather than proof? "Blessed are those who have seen and believe, but more blessed are those who have not seen and believe."
The irony here is that your arguments against science subvert the role of Faith, and that shows a rather poor understanding of Christian tenets.

Max said...

blindman, where did I mention God? I was not talking about God, but was making a point that presence of components of a cell(in rather distant locations from each other, since there is no chance of aminoacids produced by ligthning living so long and meeting each other and combining) does not mean arising a fully functional, reproducing cell.
Belief in a perfect, Creator God does need faith, so do beliefs in evolution and science, both are nothing without faith. Im not looking for proofs of a living God, I live them.

blindman said...

Max, you are arguing out of ignorance.
Your statement that there is "no chance of aminoacids produced by lightning living so long and meeting each other and combining" is simply untrue.
Amino acids have been detected in meteorites.
Look, if you want to promote your Faith based upon your personal experience and relationship with God, then that is fair game. But if you want to argue about Science then you need to be knowledgeable on that subject or it casts doubt on your credibility in all areas.
Its a simple matter of doing a little research before posting a claim.
Otherwise, you are like a Basketball player walking out onto a football field. Both are excellent games, but if you don't know the rules and the plays you are going to get knocked on your butt.

blindman said...

Greg, in regards to your question: "In Miller's experiment the earth's atmosphere was assumed to be without oxygen. The problem is with no oxygen, there is no shield from harmful UV rays. This would have killed the "soup". Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem?"
I didn't see that the article you referenced mentioned oxygen, so I will assume you got this information from a different source.
Oxygen will block UV rays, but it is not the only material that will block UV rays. Other gases will also block UV rays, and water will block UV rays.
Organic compounds likely formed in a liquid matrix which initially served to filter UV rays, but interestingly, the UV rays themselves may have served an important role in evolution. From wikipedia's entry on UV rays (
"Evolution of early reproductive proteins and enzymes is attributed in modern models of evolutionary theory to ultraviolet light. UVB light causes thymine base pairs next to each other in genetic sequences to bond together into thymine dimers, a disruption in the strand which reproductive enzymes cannot copy. This leads to frameshifting during genetic replication and protein synthesis, usually killing the organism. As early prokaryotes began to approach the surface of the ancient oceans, before the protective ozone layer had formed, blocking out most wavelengths of UV light, they almost invariably died out. The few that survived had developed enzymes which verified the genetic material and broke up thymine dimer bonds, known as excision repair enzymes. Many enzymes and proteins involved in modern mitosis and meiosis are extremely similar to excision repair enzymes, and are believed to be evolved modifications of the enzymes originally used to overcome UV light."
Life truly is amazing, no matter what direction you approach it from.

Greg Finzer said...

@blindman The General Motors analogy was to demonstrate cellular complexity. A cell is indeed a protein factory. Amino acids are as dead as raw steel. Certainly there are differences between organic and non-organic compounds. The point that I was trying to make is that there is no mechanism to go from a soup of amino acids into a protein; let alone a living cell. The Cell Theory states "Cells derive from other cells." The theory of evolution is against the Cell Theory. One of the theories is wrong. It isn't the Cell Theory.

@max Amino acids are not alive. The problems with the Miller experiment is that they had to siphon off the amino acids that were created because the environment that they were being created in would break the bonds of the amino acid.

@blindman As far as amino acids combining by themselves into a protein while in a soup; it simply does not happen. The only known process for amino acid combination is inside a living cell; translation, folding, messenger RNA etc. Proteins not only have to have a specific sequence of amino acids, their shape determines their function. The folding process of a protein by a cell machine is the only way the protein will work.

My argument isn't; that there is such a low probability for Evolution that there must be a God.

My argument is that the theory of evolution is disproved:
* Amino acids do not combine into proteins in a soup. This is observable.
* DNA, the blueprint for life does not create itself because the amino acids do not combine. This is observable.
* Cellular machines have to exist before proteins can be folded. Cellular machines are made of proteins which were folded by another cellular machine.
* The Cell Theory is an observable, demonstrable, reproducible theory.

Now that I have disproved the theory of evolution what is the alternative?

Is there an alternate theory of origins other than evolution and creation?

Thanks for the congratulations on the upcoming addition to our family. December certainly will be exciting.

blindman said...

Greg, I don't know where you got your information that it is impossible for amino-acids to combine naturally. Amino-acids can join together relatively easily due to their similar structures:
Scientists are currently working out the methods by which amino acids formed the first proteins through a process of pre-biotic selection:
So again, is this the basket you are going to place all your eggs in? Gaps in science are a very risky foundation for religious belief. The gaps get smaller every year.

Max said...

blindman, so what if the aminoacids were detected inside of meteorites(theres no aminoacids on the outside of meteorites, since heat from the entering atmosphere destroys the bonds between molecules in aminoacids, degradation follows), it doesn't add much to life's origin. if you have aminoacids locked in inside a rock, what does it do? nothing. then degrades. the meteorites you are referring to were observable and the samples collected quickly after the entry to the atmosphere, show me a meteorite that's been laying around for thousands of years and that still has aminoacids inside of it. even then it won't do much, proteins are not simple molecules, they have unique 3d structure that is made from the unique sequence of aminoacids.

Max said...

blindman, which Miller-Urey experiment are you referring to? the one that the whole world knows about did not involve Oxygen in the atmosphere. do some research

The experiment used water (H2O), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen (H2).

Anonymous said...

The information about amino acids existing in meteorites was cited merely to contradict Max's assertion that there is "no chance of aminoacids produced by lightning living so long and meeting each other and combining". I don't know what happens to the amino acids after the meteorites hit the Earth, but that is irrelevant. The fact is, the amino acids were able to survive in the harsh climate of space for millions of years (or only thousands, if you insist).
I would also point out that the article mentioned amino acids detected in experimental results from more than 50 years ago. Obviously, amino acids ARE able to survive independently long enough to meet and combine.
Also, your statement "the meteorites you are referring to were observable and the samples collected quickly after the entry to the atmosphere, show me a meteorite that's been laying around for thousands of years and that still has aminoacids inside of it" misrepresents the evidence. Amino Acids HAVE been found in many meteorites, even old ones. I believe you are referring only to the Murchison meteorite, which is the most famous example precisely BECAUSE its entry was witnessed and collected quickly, thus reducing the chance that the meteorite had been contaminated by Earth-bound amino acids. But it is by no means the only example of amino acids with extra-terrestrial origins.

No where in my post did I say that the Miller-Urey experiment used Oxygen. In fact, I stated that the article I read did not mention Oxygen.
I did, in fact, research my answer before posting, but apparently you did not bother carefully reading my post.
I am happy to continue this discussion with you, but only if you will have the courtesy to carefully read my responses before replying. Otherwise, you are just wasting my time.

Anonymous said...

"Greg, I don't know where you got your information that it is impossible for amino-acids to combine naturally. Amino-acids can join together relatively easily due to their similar structures..."


"Amino acids do not combine INTO PROTEINS IN A SOUP. This is observable...
* Cellular machines have to exist before proteins can be folded. Cellular machines are made of proteins which were folded by another cellular machine.
* The Cell Theory is an observable, demonstrable, reproducible theory..."

Jordan said...

what does the experiment have to do with evolution, i think you are very confused?

Anonymous said...

When biologists refer to a primordial "soup", the aren't really refering to something based on chicken stock. If your experiment involved anything with the label "Campbells" on it, that might have influenced the results.
The soup referred to contains a form of clay commonly found on the ocean floor (making it completely unsuitable for being served with grilled cheese sandwiches) The clay serves as a catalyst for several of the chemical reactions that lead to living organisms, and the formation of these compounds in this "soup" has been experimentally observed.
Here is a video that explains the steps involved, and how they occured:

Greg Finzer said...

@blindman I am getting my information from my wife. She has a masters in Microbiology. She also is a microbiology teacher. Amino acids do combine together to form proteins but just not in water or the mixture of chemicals that they were using in the Miller experiment. A good analogy is the child's toy legos. Legos certainly do have a structure that lends themselves to combine together. If you put legos in the bathtub they don't automatically just start combining by themselves. As I mentioned before, the combining of amino acids only happens naturally within living cells. It is more than just combining, they have to be physically folded in order to function. Please study the microbiology central dogma before replying again. My original argument still stands which disproves evolution.

As far as the link to the math model of chemical reactions to produce proteins. They were very vague in the article as to what they were producing. Without an actual lab experiment to back up their model; it is unverifiable. Being vague is typical of evolution scientists. Being specific opens the model up to scrutiny. By definition a scientific theory has to be observable, demonstrable, and reproducible. This model fails by that definition as it is not observable.

As far as the gap closing in on evolution; actually I have seen the opposite in my life time. I was taught the evolution of man from ape in high school in the 80's. I only learned within the last ten years the fraud that occurs in the name of "science". Nebraska Man was built from a single tooth of an extinct pig. Neanderthal man was found out to be from the skeleton of an old man suffering from arthritis. It is amazing to me the faith that evolutionists have in their humanist religion. It's not just bad science, its fraudulent science. Every time that I learn something new about God's creation it makes me even more appreciative of what God has designed. People always talk about Jesus as being a crutch for Christians. Evolution is so vehemently defended because it is the crutch for the non-Christian.

@jordan The title of the article is "Forgotten experiment may explain the origins of life." The title is a subtle lie. It should be renamed, "Forgotten experiment may explain the origins of amino acids." Amino acids are not alive.

Greg Finzer said...

@blindman I talked more with my wife (the microbiology professor) about the pre-life model at the link:

She said that because the model is not testable it is not even a hypothesis. It is not science at all. In its current form it is a fantasy. Experimentation is required to address common things like PH, pressure, temperature. Furthermore, an equivalent to DNA polymerase is not addressed. DNA polymerase is what copies the DNA. DNA polymerase is made of DNA.

There are some other observations that I now see. The article admits that it doesn't even know what chemicals would be used. The model assumes that there is some other mechanism that produces the inputs; namely the nucleic acids and primary proteins. So the logic argument against this model is:

* Amino acids do not combine into proteins in a soup. This is observable.
* DNA, the blueprint for life does not create itself because the amino acids do not combine. This is observable.
* Cellular machines have to exist before proteins can be folded. Cellular machines are made of proteins which were folded by another cellular machine.
* DNA polymerase needs to exist before DNA can be copied. DNA polymerase is built from DNA.

It is a sad indeed when a fantasy model is given as an argument for the creation of DNA. I guess fantasy is the only thing that is left for the evolutionist to have faith in.

Anonymous said...

I am getting my information from people who have PHDs in biology, who have put their ideas forward in a hostile environment for the critique of other proffesionals, and who have had their theories subjected to experimental verification.

No, Legos do NOT have a structure that lends themselves to combining together. They have to be forced together using energy. Amino acids DO combine by themselves, outside of the human cell. This was demonstrated by Miller more than 50 years ago, in the very experiment you cited.

As a matter of fact, that has been the only reference you have cited. I have cited five references in my posts, so I think it is unfair for you to accuse me of "not studying the microbiology central dogma". I have been reading fairly extensively on biology since the age of fifteen.

You keep repeating the assertion that proteins can only be folded within living cells. But I have not seen one reference to any article supporting this claim.
I have found several studies and experiments refuting this claim:

Greg, this statement is simply false: "Amino acids do combine together to form proteins but just not in water or the mixture of chemicals that they were using in the Miller experiment." The Miller experiment did produce amino acids. The experiment has been replicated.
Since your statements that amino acids cannot naturally combine and that proteins cannot fold outside of a living cell are false, you will need to come up with a different method of disproving evolution.

Though I admit that I am still perplexed why a person of Faith feels any need to disprove evolution.

This statement demonstrated several misunderstandings about the scientific method, and the scientific community: "Being vague is typical of evolution scientists. Being specific opens the model up to scrutiny. By definition a scientific theory has to be observable, demonstrable, and reproducible. This model fails by that definition as it is not observable."

There simply is no room in science for "vague". Science is a cut-throat world of very intelligent people fighting for very limited financial resources. No scientist who has been denied funding is going sit silently while another scientist produces shoddy research. While occasionally the media will report experimental results from a single researcher, the scientific community will not accept ANYTHING that has not been replicated. Nobel Prizes, for instance, are awarded not for current or recent research, but usually for research that was conducted 20 or 30 years before.

Thus, your statement that science is vague is false and unsupported.

Proponents of intelligent design, however, are not competing for those same resources. Their funding comes from Churches with ideological agendas that do not require predictive hypotheses or verifiable experimental results. ID proponents are free to be as vague as they like. For instance, Ray Komfort's laughably ridiculous "banana proof" you obliquely mention in your post. Here, as an aside, is a picture of a wild banana as God made it:

In addition, scientific theories do NOT have to be "observable" first hand. I don't know where you got that idea. The critical element of a scientific theory is that it be able to make testable predictions. The theory lives or dies by its ability to accomplish this.

ID does not make testable predictions. That is why it is not science.
Religion does not make testable predictions. That is why science and religion are two different disciplines.

Ironically, the community that insists on intermingling them is limited to fundamentalist Christians. Other religions do not have big problems reconciling science and religion, and neither do moderate Christians. It is those who profess the greatest personal Faith that are desperately seeking verifiable proof for their beliefs, and that leaves me non-plussed.

Science is not a religion. Religion is composed entirely of Faith, and science requires faith in only one thing: repeatable results. The belief that if you repeat an experiment you will get reproducable results. That tenet alone is hardly enough to justify labeling science a "religion".

If you were taught that Man evolved from apes in high school, you were either taught wrong or you were not paying attention. Evolution only states that Man and ape evolved from a common ancestor.

Your example of Nebraska Man is very poor. Nebraska Man was not widely accepted by the scientific community at the time. It is an example, as I mentioned above, of the media getting hold of a scientific idea before it went through a process of peer review. Which makes it, in fact, an excellent refutation of your statment that science is vague and imprecise.

You speak of Neanderthal man as if there existed only a single skeletal example. In fact, Neanderthal remains have been found spanning a time period from 130,000 years ago to 30,000 years ago, and a geographic range from the United Kingdom to Croatia. Their tools, paintings, and campsite remains are numerous throughout Europe.

Lastly, you put forth this straw-man argument: "People always talk about Jesus as being a crutch for Christians." Not only do I not understand where you would get that from, because I simply have not heard anybody make that accusation, but neither do I understand why you would be offended by it. Would you NOT consider your belief in Jesus to be a critical support in your life? To me, it sounds more like a positive metaphor than an accusation.

Now, in what way is Evolution a "crutch" for non-Christians? Do you think that an Atheist would believe in God if Evolution was disproven? They would not, because atheism is NOT based upon a belief in evolution any more than Christianity is based upon a disbelief in evolution. An atheist's views are based upon a lack of evidence for god, while a Christian's belief is based upon Faith in the existance of God. Evolution being proved or disproved is really irrelevant to the beliefs of either.

Philip said...

Let me start by saying that I have found this conversation to be very interesting. I have followed the links that both Greg and Blindman have posted and feel I have gained a better understanding as a result.


I like some of the questions that you are asking in this (Science needs to be scrutinized) but when you make assertions based on those questions you lose points with me. I find some of your arguments interesting and you seem well informed on several points.

However, I would take issue with some of the things you have mentioned. As a teacher, your wife you be well aware that you cannot prove a negative (meaning just because something cannot be observed right now doesn't mean that it proves its non-existence). The Scientific method only allows for things that can be proven (not that which cannot be) and theories therein.

My ex-wife was also a Biologist and I found it interesting that she also saw the complexity of the cell as evidence of the devine. She claimed that truly understanding the level of complexity that is a living cell raised a variety of questions about how feasible it was that it happened by chance. I respected this perspective of hers and have often wanted to find the time to investigate it further. It is intriguing but it doesn't prove anything. I might one day choose to follow a religion but that would be based on faith (not proof) because religion is a faith based institution. You can't prove the non-existence of God and, if he/she/it exists, it is obvious that it doesn't want to offer up this proof to us.

The common message I have always heard iterated in this type of debate is that atheists use evolution as a religion. I think this is a misnomer. People of science have an strong desire for things to be proven to them before they will place trust in that thing (whatever it might be). While I would encourage an intellectual discussion and challenging of scientific theories in general, I think you assertions that “if this can’t be proven then it must mean this” are in error. It is the same as providing the science behind why the sky is blue and then claiming that it is proof that a flying spaghetti monster exists. The science for the sky being blue might be solid but all that really proves is “Why is the sky blue?”


In general I have found your comments to be highly informative and intellectually stimulating. The links you have provided have offered greater insight into the science behind this topic.

I think it would be beneficial to approach this conversation with an open mind. I try to assume that all possibilities exist in discussions like this and find if I can learn something from someone that has a different viewpoint than my own. In general I think you have tried to honestly evaluate Greg’s statements but at times your replies have had an edge to them. Since this is a blog post it comes across as a statement of opinion rather than a request for honest, open discussion but knowing Greg it is my guess (and the assumption that I will operate under until proven otherwise) that his motivation in this is to discuss things.
For the most part I think you have kept this in mind but there have been a few comments that have suggested otherwise.

Greg Finzer said...

@blindman I think we are mis-understanding each other for the most part concerning the combination of amino acids into proteins. Which one of these options is your argument for:

A. The Miller experiment not only produced amino acids, it also produced primary proteins folded in the proper shape.

B. The Miller experiment produced amino acids and another experiment takes the amino acids produced from the Miller experiment and combines them into proteins and folds them into the proper shape.

C. The Miller experiment produced amino acids and another unrelated experiment demonstrates that amino acids combine in water and fold by themselves into the proper shape.

D. Some other argument.

Please tell me which argument you have positive proof for? Which of the primary proteins were produced in the experiment?


Max said...

blindman, i apologize, you did mean there is no oxygen involved in the Miller experiment.

Anonymous said...

Greg, before I post a long and dry synopsis of high-school biology and this conversation spirals down into a battle of the google searches where I discount all your experts for being simple-minded ideologs and you discount all my experts as elitist members of an international conspiracy to perpetuate a lie, I'd like you to answer a few questions for me.
If the Theory of Evolution were proven to be false, would that prove the existence of God?
If the Theory of Evolution were proven to be true, would that prove the non-existence of God?
If your answers to these questions is "no", then why is disproving Evolution so important to you?
Yes, You.
I've tried to answer the scientific questions and issues you have raised, but I have also tried to engage you in a discussion of personal Faith on this page more than a dozen times.
Yet, out of more about 30 paragraphs you have written on this page, only four or five mention your Faith or God.
Considering that I have already explained how the Theory of Evolution has virtually nothing to do with the beliefs of either an Atheist or an Agnostic, it seems like the person you are trying most desperately to convince is yourself.
Tell me what you believe. Tell me why you believe it. On this subject you are an expert, and you don't need to consult with either your wife or the internet.

Greg Finzer said...

@blindman Certainly I can offer you my view on those two questions:

If the Theory of Evolution were proven to be false, would that prove the existence of God?
If the Theory of Evolution were proven to be true, would that prove the non-existence of God?

I believe that evolution and God are exact opposites. Certainly evolution cannot occur in six literal days of creation. Neither does God have any place in the heart of an evolutionist.

We are not robots. God wants us to choose him. God wants us to love him. As it is written:

Re 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

I was raised in a good home and I went to Church and Sunday School all my life. I learned about God when I was very young because my mother read me Bible Stories before I went to sleep. I always believed there was a God and I knew that God wanted me. I thought I could run my life better than God could. I can remember looking up at the sky and cursing God out because I didn't get the girl that I wanted. I was so wrong. In elementary school I developed a fierce temper. My friend Stacie Ship was smaller than the other kids that were at school and he picked fights. One time he got into a fight and he yelled at me because I didn't back him up. After that I backed him up on every fight because his friendship was important to me.

In middle school after Stacie had moved away I became involved with a set of friends that were into cursing, Satanic Music, and pornography. I got into those things as well. I can't tell you the other things we were planning to do. Plans if implemented would have sent me to prison. My mom didn't like these friends of mine and she said that I should break it off with them. I did as she asked and I became friends with my next-door neighbor Dan, who was a good influence. He was a jock; we played football, baseball and built model airplanes and space ship models. One day I went over to his house and his mom said that I couldn't see Dan anymore because of our four-year age difference. I was crushed.

I was listening to the top forty count down on the radio and they played this long distance dedication from someone who would never see his best friend that had moved away. I immediately thought of my friend Stacie from Elementary school and I thought of how I would never see my friend Dan again either. I thought about committing suicide but for some strange reason I started thinking about Jesus. I was all alone so I prayed, "Jesus come into my heart I don't ever want to be lonely again." That was my prayer of salvation. My life now is totally different compared to what it was then and I had nothing to do with it. Jesus gave me a new heart; one that replaced my heart of anger. Jesus also brought meaning into my life without it right now I would probably be dead. The holiness of Jesus has also affected my life. No, I'm not perfect but Jesus helped me get rid of a lot of junk in my life. I no longer swear, listen to Satanic Music, or am engulfed in the trash of pornography but instead I say encouraging words to people, listen to Christian music, and look upon the promises God has given me in His word, the Bible. Probably the biggest thing that stuns people about my life is the fact I went to Church when I was like that. I believed in God and I thought that I was a good person. It's not just an intellectual understanding it's a surrender of your life to Jesus.

In recent years God has allowed me to marry a wonderful woman that loves the Lord. I have also had the opportunity to serve as a deacon at our church. What a humbling experience it is to visit the sick and to spend time in prayer over the entire church. Being part of administering the Lord's Supper has given me a new appreciation of the sacrifice that Christ made. Not the physical suffering but the weight of the sin of the entire world; and all the future sin of the entire world. God is certainly full of grace. What a great tragedy it is that most people reject God's grace their entire lives and then spend eternity without God. It pains me to think of my great uncle who passed into eternity. He rejected God on his death bed. He has been burning in hell for over 16 years now. My wife's father passed away but he made a different decision on his death bed. He accepted Christ at the last minute. I am looking forward to what God is going to do through Dublin Baptist Church and also in the lives of my children. I am looking forward to see how God can use me.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was more lengthy than I expected, but the honesty is appreciated. I can also tell that you shared this with others before.

I understand that you feel the Theory of Evolution is diametrically opposed to your belief in the literal truth of the Bible, to the extent that you, yourself, will never believe in Evolution. I want you to understand that I do not hold this against you. To my understanding, this is an honest interpretation of your Faith.
But you also have to understand how this degree of Faith disqualifies you from dispassionately judging the evidence for or against Evolution. Science, such as Evolution, is a continuing search for Truth, and in your heart, and your soul, and your mind, you believe you have already found that Truth in a different area.
For me, the search for Truth is based upon evidence and physical exploration rather than Faith and personal exploration. I hope you will believe me when I tell you, again, that my personal feelings about spirituality are NOT based upon a "belief" in Evolution. I do believe that the Theory of Evolution is largely correct, and the fact that their are still gaps does not make me discount the entire Theory. The Theory has been succesful in making testable predictions, and that is the criteria for science. But even were the Theory to be proven completely incorrect, it would not affect my personal belief in God.
For me, belief in God would require testable proof of God's existence, and this requirement for evidence is itself antithetical to the Christian doctrine of Faith. So I don't see this transformation occuring.

Also, I do question your assertion that the Theory of Evolution is completely antithetic to a belief in God and the literal interpretation of the Bible. It is true that the Theory of Evolution states that life could evolve from natural causes. But you can feel some satisfaction in the fact that, baring the invention of a Time Machine, there is no way Science can ever prove that it actually DID occur that way. I am sure you have already reconciled your Faith to the existence of a fossil record, shared genes, etc, and I assume you believe that the various observations which scientists interprest as evidence of Evolution were placed by God. Whether that be as a test of our Faith, or a subtle supernatural sense of humor, the Universe your God created can be interpreted by many of the intelligent beings he created as revealing a steady evolution of life. Whether you choose to believe that interpretation or not is a matter of your personal Faith.

Greg Finzer said...

@blindman As I thought about those questions more. I don't think we have a bit field.

If evolution is proven false that doesn't prove the existence of God. In fact there are some other theories that I have found people to believe in:

1. The universe has always existing in its current form. There is no evolution, but there is no God either.
2. We are not really here. Life is an illusion.
3. Mankind is a social experiment by aliens. We were genetically created. All the world religions were created to see how we would interact as a species. From time to time, people are abducted by aliens for routine experimentation.
4. We are here but we don't see the world as it really is. The universe as we know it; is a fabricated reality. No one can prove what the actual reality is. No one knows who created the reality.
5. The universe is actually an experiment; like a petri dish. A giant being is performing observations.

If evolution is proven true it means one of two things:
1. There is no God.
2. If there is a God, he is a liar. He lied about creation so he cannot be trusted.

The other implications of evolution:
1. Man came about by random chance. He has no intrinsic value. He is no more valuable than an amoeba.
2. There is no absolute right and wrong, only chemical reactions and biological processes.
3. There is no love. We don't really love our wives and children. It is a bilogical process.
4. When we die, that is the end of life.

In the Bible, Paul had a similar argument about the resurrection. If Christ was not resurrected, then it disproves Christianity:

1 Corrinthians 15:17
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

In the same way if evolution is proven true, it not only disproves Christianity but most of the world religions.

If you are really serious about pursuing evolution and you have empirical proof; I would suggest you submit to a web site that I have found. You have had a lot of financial difficulties in your life. They are offering $250,000 for empirical proof of evolution:,000

Some other interesting links on his site:

Miller experiment:

The Age of The Earth

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

If evolution is proven true it means one of SEVERAL things:
1. There is no God.
2. If there is a God, he is a liar. He lied about creation so he cannot be trusted.
3. There is a God, but our interpretation of the Bible is incomplete.
4. There is a God, but he is too vast and complex to be encompassed in a single book, and some of the wonders of His Creation have been left to us discover.

And I can't accept your dark view of the implications of Evolution.
1) I don't believe that something that occurs by chance has no intrinsic value. Tell that to a lottery winner.
2) While I am a moral relativist, that does not mean I do not believe in right and wrong. It means that I believe right and wrong are defined as a stable moral framework that benefits its members. There are many possible frameworks, but they are not all self-consistent and perpetuating. A society based on such a framework would self-destruct and be subsummed into a more succesful framework. Moral Relativism does not equate to Anarchy.
3) I do not believe that love or altruism depends upon a belief in God. There are many people who are Atheists who donate blood, volunteer in their communities, and donate to charities. They do this because they believe in improving the communities, and the world, in which they live.
4) Evolution does does not preclude the existence of God, or an afterlife. It would imply that we need to rethink our understanding of a Supreme Being, but after all, it was the Supreme Being who created us as finite creatures existing in a Universe nearly infinite in every dimenstion up and down. Considering this infinite expanse and complexity, I don't believe it is unreasonable to conclude that the Bible, or other religions, illustrate important and essential Truths, but cannot possibly encompass the entirety of Creation.

Philip said...


You testiment towards your faith in God is a good story and it lends credit to your belief in God. I have heard similar stories from members of my family and for them the experiences they have witnessed are every bit as moving and powerful. I envy those experiences.

Unfortunately, for me, no such revelation has ever occured (and there was a time in my life when I sought such an event). This doesn't preclude it happening one day but if that is to happen it is out of my hands to make it so.

Either way, these experiences are what faith is strongly based upon. They cement a persons belief through personal experience. I hope you can understand that to an outside observer they don't have the same effect (no matter how much detail you provide). They are personal and something that is only shared between yourself and your God. This is not to say that they are not very real but rather that this reality is limited to yourself and they lend the most strength to your own personal beliefs (we can not expect them to lend strength for others, although sometimes they might).

I would agree with Bruce on several points. Morality and Ethics are things that can be born from multiple sources. I also beleive that man is inherently flawed and as such our interpretation of words written over two thousand years ago may also be off the mark somewhat (you might not share this belief).

Evolution is a theory and it is unlikely that it will ever be proven conclusively but I am also with Bruce in saying that as you examine the evidence that does exist it makes some compelling arguments. Again, you might not share this belief but so long as I do not ask you to change your life as a result of what I believe I know we can co-exist in peace. In the same respect, if there are beliefs that you have that I do not share then I would ask you to limit imposing those beliefs to the scope of your own life.

History has proven that we often do not understand things to the level that we think we do. As such I am sure that the theory of evolution will gain new insight as time progresses. But we should also consider that our understanding of God will also grow.

I believe it is possible for God and evolution to co-exist (even in the heart of a single person) because my Mom has a very strong belief system and yet she also believes in evolution as a possible explaination of the method that God used to create us. I could post the details behind these beliefs but for now I will leave it as this brief statement.

As for the implications of an existence without God. Some of your assertions might be true but I do not see evolution as evidence for/against God. I see it as a theory, which has some supporting evidence, on how things might have occured in the ancient history of our planet and nothing more.