Happy Darwin Day: Thank God For Evolution!

Today we’ll be having a lunchtime pizza chat entitled “Thank God For Evolution?” Richard Dawkins has expressed gratitude for Darwin’s theory, as making it possible to be an intellectually-fulfilled atheist. But Francisco Ayala is one of many who has expressed gratitude for evolution as making it possible to be an intellectually-fullfilled Christian. If one had to believe that God directly created parasites to feast on other organisms and devour them alive, it would lead to a far more problematic view of God than evolution does. One simply cannot avoid rethinking one’s views about God in light of scientific knowledge, but without evolution, the things we know about biological organisms might necessitate the abandonment of any notion of a benevolent deity.

Here is a selection of other recent Darwin Day posts:

John Dennehy is gathering Darwin Day posts too.
John Pieret offers a quote from a biography of Charles Darwin. There is much more than a single post on this subject on his blog.
Wesley R. Elsberry has been covering the public part of the discussion on science education in Florida. Also at The Panda’s Thumb.
Jason Rosenhouse disagrees with Richard Harries on the subject of evolution and religion.
Scott Hatfield shares his Credo as well as a post about Darwin Day.
Paleoblog shares the introduction to a museum exhibit on Darwin.
P. Z. Myers wishes you a Happy Darwin Day (and Valentine’s Day).
The Dispersal of Darwin has lots to offer, including information about Darwin Day e-cards.
Duane Smith offers Darwin a hesitant happy birthday.
Ian sums up the event hosted by the Center for Inquiry at the University of Oklahoma.
The Panda’s Thumb offers a dancing panda and invites us to learn more about biology.
Hyper-Textual Ontology wished to say more.
WickedEye’s Quotient offers a belated happy Darwin Day.
Michael Barton’s whole blog is relevant to this event.
Pondering Pikaia starts with a great quote from the man himself.
Peggy has a post on Darwin and Science Fiction.
IO9 shares the news that a hot planet with organic compounds has been found outside our solar system. New Scientist also featured that story, as well as one about the ongoing controversy in the public sphere about Darwin’s theory. That article also alerts us to a new web site to watch…next year.
Vridar has an interesting post on the wiring of our brains and the three-tiered view of the universe.
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  • Anonymous

    James,I hope you will visit and participate on my blog. john.a.davison.free.fr/”A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”

  • Anonymous

    I offer the following.http://john.a.davison.free.fr/?p=17#comment-280“Mankind fiddles while earth burns.”John A. Davison

  • Hmm… I like the mathematics of evolution a lot, and mathematics explains a lot of stuff that we would think (naively) would have a more contingent explanation, but I don’t like the idea that we have our present attributes because vast numbers of creatures lacking them (in some long messy line of similar attributes and dissimilar ones) did so badly that they produced no viable offspring. And the problem of evil persists, because the instigator of an evolutionary process was responsible for every little bad thing in that vast process. It’s not as if the whole thing had to be a package deal; and anyway, nasty creatures could always be explained, e.g. as the work of the devils, or trials for us to rise above…

  • Anonymous

    enigman,whoever that is.The simle truth is that no one knows how many Gods there were or are now, how or when they worked or, most important, whether or not they now still exist. Gods are like that. Of one thing I remain convinced. Such entities must have once existed because it is ridiculous to imagine that life could ever have arisen through chance even once.”A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”John A. Davison

  • John, please don’t criticize “Enigman” (who tells us openly in his profile where to find out his name and other information than his nickname) when you insist on using the Anonymous comment feature for your comments. It doesn’t reflect well on you.I would love to know how you calculated the improbability of life arising. On all the Earth-like planets that we have been able to investigate thus far, there is life! “One out of one people surveyed said…” is of course worthless information if one is trying to get a sense of how things are in general, but it is equally useless for all sides. We simply have no way of knowing how probable or improbable it is for life to appear…yet.But I suspect that in either case, Christians (and others) will use whatever the probability may be when we know more as an argument for God’s involvement. If life is improbable, then God must have intervened to create it. If it is probable, then this shows the creator fine-tuned the laws of physics to bring about life.”Heads I win, tails you lose“.Bravo to Nathan Rice for trying to avoid circular and tautologous arguments

  • Anonymous

    The reason I use anonymous is because I lost my google password. James Where oh where is there life anywhere except right here on planet earth? I can’t believe you could make such a statement. John A. Davison

  • Which other solar systems have you explored, that you know so much about the lack of life in the universe? Presumably you, unlike the rest of us mere mortals, have gone swimming beneath the ice on Titan and Enceladus, and have travelled the length of the galaxy looking for life, but were unsuccessful.Where, oh where, do we know for certain that there isn’t life, apart from in our small corner of this particular solar system? How can you make such a statement? Or are you still living in the relatively smaller universe that the Biblical authors, like other ancient peoples, wrongly presupposed?

  • Anonymous

    If life existed elsewhere there would be millions of instances of it and we would have been contacted long ago. Also science does not proceed on the basis of probability, only on what is known. There is not a scintilla of evidence for life anywhere else in the universe. “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”John A. Davison

  • If science cannot deal with probabilities, then what is your basis for claiming that the origin of life is improbable? You also said that its arising ‘by chance’, which sounds significantly unlike what scientists are talking about when they discuss the possibility of it arising through natural processes, directed by underlying laws of physics and chemistry, which certainly may have an element of randomness about it, but isn’t simply ‘chance’.