This dialogue between an evolutionist and myself was most profitable for me. It showed me some areas where I need to study. It is also a good example of the dangers of getting involved in an area that is not your expertise--as becomes evident. Nevertheless, I am not afraid of failure and use it as an opportunity to learn.
When dialoging with people who know more about something than you, don’t let that stop you from trying. They can help you learn.
Evolutionist: Do you have a Ph.D. too?
Matt: No. M.Div.
Evolutionist: Master of Divinity?
Matt: Yes. I'm a theologian. So, I'm utterly qualified to disprove evolution.
Evolutionist: No. You are not.
Matt: Uh. Humor? Evolutionists have that don't they, or did it disappear through natural selection?
Evolutionist: We have humor, more to the point we have education. Define empirical evidence please.
Matt: I’m a theologian. You'll have to define it for me.
Evolutionist: Okay. That in and of itself tells me you know nothing of science. I can educate. But will you listen?
Matt: Is your presupposition that my ignorance invalidates any of my arguments? I could presuppose that your ignorance of God negates your ability to rightly judge His existence, thereby forcing you to arrive at erring conclusions about evolution.
Evolutionist: What is a phylogenetic relation? What is neotony, heterochrony? You cannot argue against something scientific without knowing science. It is moronic to try to do so.
Matt: Who said that I was arguing science? So far, your logic hasn't impressed me.
Evolutionist: You are arguing against evolution, an empirical science, you must know something about it to argue against it, otherwise its called DOGMATIC PRESENTATION.
Matt: That makes sense. Since I am a theologian, as I said earlier, I am not qualified to refute evolution. I am simply restating the truth that I said earlier.
Evolutionist: Agreed, but you are trying to disprove it yes? Or present alternate hypotheses with adequate evidence to support it. I’ll listen to that if it is the case. But it has to be scientific evidence.
Matt: Well, more or less, yes. I think evolution is a great deception. Is evolution falsifiable?
Evolutionist: Evidence is. But in science there is the double blind test. Part of empirical evidence. That negates false proof.
Matt: Is there any evidence at all that goes against evolution?
Evolutionist: Not yet, as a scientist I must concede that there is always evidence coming in, but none in the last 200 years plus. Has there been any negative proof. We have had false claims. But they have been sought out through empirical means i.e. Piltdown man
Matt: If you have studied it thoroughly, then undoubtedly, you should have encountered evidence contrary to your belief. So then, is evolution an absolute fact?
Evolutionist: Absolute fact yes. Law no. Evolution happens, genetic change over time within a population but the how is theory, facts backing it. But theory, predictable at that
Matt: Macro or micro?
Evolutionist: I have encountered many claims no evidence. Define micro and macro please. I feel your definition may be different than science’s.
Matt: Micro--change in allele frequency. Macro--one species to another: Radical DNA restructuring.
Evolutionist: Okay, there you have it. How long does micro evolution take. How long does macro take? We are getting somewhere here.
Matt: Micro occurs. But I believe in the genetic 'lessening' of the gene pool through time, not its increase. Also, when I look at the eye, the heart, etc., the complexity is simply too vast. Abiogenesis is an absurdity, mathematically. I just can't buy the change of DNA info on such levels. It is too complex.
Evolutionist: It is not. Look at an embryology book it is very explainable.
Matt: Embryonic recapitulation?
Evolutionist: No, more than phylogenetic recapitulation.
Matt: What do you mean?
Evolutionist: Okay. First how much paleo do you know for the evolution of life to modern.
Matt: Very little. I know mathematics a bit.
Evolutionist: You have to know the evolutionary trend of light reception? Ok, then we can start at the beginning.
Matt: I know that the DNA molecule is extremely complex.
Evolutionist: Yes and you are going to quote the probability against abiogenesis.
Matt: Do you agree that abiogenesis is impossible mathematically?
Evolutionist: No I don’t. It is not impossible. See, the math is all wrong. For a thorough defense by someone that knows more than I, go to www.talkorigins.org.
Matt: I’ve seen stuff like that. I’ve done my own calculations. Permutations on gene sequence is functionally zero when it comes to abiogenesis.
Evolutionist: What is the highest level of math you have had?
Matt: Some calculus.
Evolutionist: This will end in no new light being shed. I’ve heard and defended against these arguments. I am wasting my time. Sorry.
Matt: Okay. Are all the missing links found?
Evolutionist: No they aren’t. We will always be finding more. There is only negative evidence for a deity.
Matt: You mean that the evidence of the eye and how it must have "evolved" by chance all with concurrent development before the whole can work is NOT evidence against evolution? You’re not qualified as a theologian are you?
Evolutionist: I am a reverend of the Universal Life Church.
Matt: In other words, you're not qualified.
Evolutionist: I am a scientist. I only deal in testable facts not opinion. I have little theological training but I have philosophical training. You have a blind argument requiring faith. Science does not require faith.
Matt: I have evidence.
Evolutionist: Then enter it but it must be testable, passing the double blind test. If it is scientific, publish it. You’ll be famous and change the world forever.
Matt: Oh, I see, any evidence I have must meet YOUR criteria? Okay, I can play that game, too.
Evolutionist: No it must meet scientific criteria to be entered. Not mine.
Matt: When you stack the cards, you always win . . . or think you do. The scientific method is not flawless. It is only as good as those who are using it. You are a sinner. Your mind is affected by sin as is your will.
Evolutionist: But science is self-correcting, theology is not. Prove sin. Prove will.
Matt: What makes you think science is self-correcting? It has lead to survival of the fittest in society. It is not evolutionary theory that stops the man in the alley from bashing your brains and robbing you. It is God in His heart.
Evolutionist: Don’t even tell me that it is god. And why is he lurking in the ally anyway? That’s the monkey juices flowing. 79% of all inmates convicted of violent crime is of a Judeo-Christian orientation.
Matt: Really? Wow. Does that also go for atheistic Russia’s political system as well as China's that have murdered millions? Don't you see? Presuppositions cause you and me to see things differently. You must believe in evolution. Your god is science. You have faith in it. My faith is in God. You have faith that it will answer all questions.
Evolutionist: No. I know it won’t answer all questions where you think that religion can. I don’t have faith. Evolution stands with or without my beliefs. It is TESTABLE.
Matt: So is my faith. Religion cannot answer all questions. Neither can Christianity. That is what happens when you encounter God. You encounter areas that you cannot fathom.
Evolutionist: Ok you believe in a god, a non-provable god. Science asks where did he come from. Your answer is that God is the only causeless cause.
Matt: Yep. Time is a function of matter, correct? Time exists when matter exists. You know this, right?
Evolutionist: We are at an impasse, good day sir.
Matt: Hold on. God is outside of time. Therefore, He can be the uncaused cause. That is perfectly logical.
Evolutionist: I’m going. Evolution is a fact. It is empirical evidence.
It is dialogues like this that help me understand the areas in which I need to improve. What the heck is neotony, heterochrony? What is the scientific definition of empirical evidence? Though I’ve read books on evolution (pro and con), I still have a lot to learn.