Pseudonym wrote:No, but I consult for the cancer genomics group where I work, so I'm familiar.
Science has done some wonderful stuff in the last five years, but it hasn't produced a novel that's superior to one by Dan Brown. (It's not like it's even difficult (given a little training and mentoring) for a typically literate person to write a superior novel to one by Dan Brown.) But you judge the greatness of science versus the greatness of a novel using different measures.Brad wrote:I’d like to ask the non-literalist believers here a theodicy question. Do you believe the Biblical God created the world?
I don't know what you mean by "the Biblical God", since the Bible does not give a single, consistent picture of "God".
Certainly, I agree that the entity that inspired the Biblical authors to write is the same entity that is the great creative force in the universe. But that can't be what you meant, since this is indistinguishable from deism.
I don't know that God "made" evolution any more than God "made" mathematics. Parasites are, surely, an inevitable consequence of evolution. I don't think it's possible to have evolution without them. So in that sense I'm not sure that God "made" them any more than he "made" any other kinds of parasites, such as grifters and derivatives traders.
Thanks as always for your thorough reply. (By the way, maybe you or someone else could send me a pm and 'splain to me how to break up a post into various little quotes for response like everyone does here? For some reason, I can't make that work.)
I'd love to hear about your work - maybe some time there will be an appropriate time and place for that.
I get your point that you think comparing science to religious faith is apples and oranges. Quite so, but I was simply commenting on my own experience of awe, wonder, and mystery, and how those feelings are far better stimulated - for me - by learning about the things revealed by science than by concentrating upon or imagining the sort of deity (or any other character) posited in the Bible. As you suggest, however, the God I was taught to conjure in my mind is surely different from your conception of a Creator. As Angela and Wonders have shown above also, that's a big subject.
For my part, if the same entity/deity who was the creative force behind the universe also inspired the writers of the Bible, I think there would be a single, consistent picture of God within the Bible's pages. If the deity was sufficiently powerful to have created the universe, his direct "inspiration" would be more than sufficient to produce a single coherent "picture" that his creations could understand.
And similarly, if he was going to the trouble to send a part of Himself down to our planet to "redeem" the "sins" of all humanity, that is, to create the single most important event in human history, it seems to me that He would subsequently see to it that the report of the events - the resurrection part in particular - would be coherent and consistent. Yet what we have is multiple accounts of the events that can't be reconciled with one another.
I'd be interested to know how you personally account for these things, but if you don't want to bother explaining, that's OK.
I've heard and read some of the apologetic explanations of Biblical vagaries, and coupled with all the other things that make belief impossible for me, those explanations just don't persuade.
However, I would like to ask you this: If the God you envision was the great creative force in the universe, wouldn't he have either "made" or at minimum "allowed" evolution to take place? If he was the "great creative force in the universe," he could have used other means, no? And he could have even made mathematics function differently, too, no?
I guess at bottom, I'm still trying to figure out what sort of deity it is in which you actually believe, as you put it once, is consistent with evidence and rationality.
Last, is there a difference between grifters and derivatives traders? I thought they were the same.