Theological Mind, Evolutionary theory is well supported by The Divine Government.
Southwood Smith claimed that "all reasonable beings, however inferior the condition in which they commence their existence, are destined to rise higher and higher in endless progression, and to contribute to their own advancement."
Darwin: "[W]hilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
RWF, Theological ["Scientific"} Mind, Wolfpup, Rip, etc.
Richard Dawkins in The Ancestor's Tale reckons that our quadruped ancestor evolved into a biped in a similar way to that in which senior boys strutted around school to demonstrate their superiority to junior boys in the boarding school he attended. That's his anecdote to support his notion that our alleged quadruped ancestor evolved into a biped.
Same book, Dawkins reckons that the wolves evolved into domestic dogs through acting as, wait for it, WARM SLEEP COMFORTERS to man. Now, how about that?!
Without any shadow of a doubt, evolutionary theory should be classified as, if not a religion, then as "imaginative fiction".
Paul, Darwinian evolutionary theory is derived from Unitarian Christianity. Unitarians are agnostic in that they do not believe the biblical account of creation and consider that it is unknowable. A denial of Christ's divinity separates them from other Christians.
Evolutionary theory as conceived by Alfred Russel Wallace differs in that he was irreligious. Therefore, he conceived that evolution did not necessarily progress onwards and upwards as Darwin did.
For how Lamarckian evolution, not Darwinian evolution explains micro-evolution (evolution within a species),see The Hidden Power.
Also, see the More Letters of Charles Darwin (readable online) for the disagreements between Wallace and Darwin, concerning the role of sexual selection and of how the sterility of hybrids deals a fatal blow to the concept of evolution by natural selection.
The Darwin Life and Letters and Huxley Life and Letters are also worth a look.
From Darwin's Life and Letters vol 2, here is what the great Adam Sedgwick, Darwin's former tutor, had to say about Origin of Species:
I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly, parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow, because I think them utterly false and grievously mischievous. You have DESERTED--after a start in that tram- road of all solid physical truth--the true method of induction, and started us in machinery as wild, I think, as Bishop Wilkins's locomotive that was to sail with us to the moon. Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved, why then express them in the language and arrangement of philosophical induction? As to your grand principle--NATURAL SELECTION--what is it but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts! Development is a better word, because more close to the cause of the fact? For you do not deny causation. I call (in the abstract) causation the will of God; and I can prove that He acts for the good of His creatures. He also acts by laws which we can study and comprehend. Acting by law, and under what is called final causes, comprehends, I think, your whole principle. You write of "natural selection" as if it were done curiously by the selecting agent. 'Tis but a consequence of the presupposed development, and the subsequent battle for life. This view of nature you have stated admirably, though admitted by all naturalists and denied by no one of common sense. We all admit development as a fact of history: but how came it about? Here, in language, and still more in logic, we are point-blank at issue. There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly. 'Tis the crown and glory of organic science that it DOES through FINAL CAUSE, link material and moral; and yet DOES NOT allow us to mingle them in our first conception of laws, and our classification of such laws, whether we consider one side of nature or the other. You have ignored this link; and, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two pregnant cases to break it. Were it possible (which, thank God, it is not) to break it, humanity, in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it, and sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history. Take the case of the bee-cells. If your development produced the successive modification of the bee and its cells (which no mortal can prove), final cause would stand good as the directing cause under which the successive generations acted and gradually improved. Passages in your book, like that to which I have alluded (and there are others almost as bad), greatly shocked my moral taste. I think, in speculating on organic descent, you OVER-state the evidence of geology; and that you UNDER-state it while you are talking of the broken links of your natural pedigree: but my paper is nearly done, and I must go to my lecture-room. Lastly, then, I greatly dislike the concluding chapter--not as a summary, for in that light it appears good--but I dislike it from the tone of triumphant confidence in which you appeal to the rising generation (in a tone I condemned in the author of the 'Vestiges') and prophesy of things not yet in the womb of time, nor (if we are to trust the accumulated experience of human sense and the inferences of its logic) ever likely to be found anywhere but in the fertile womb of man's imagination. And now to say a word about a son of a monkey and an old friend of yours: I am better, far better, than I was last year. I have been lecturing three days a week (formerly I gave six a week) without much fatigue, but I find by the loss of activity and memory, and of all productive powers, that my bodily frame is sinking slowly towards the earth. But I have visions of the future. They are as much a part of myself as my stomach and my heart, and these visions are to have their antitype in solid fruition of what is best and greatest. But on one condition only--that I humbly accept God's revelation of Himself both in his works and in His word, and do my best to act in conformity with that knowledge which He only can give me, and He only can sustain me in doing. If you and I do all this we shall meet in heaven.
I have written in a hurry, and in a spirit of brotherly love, therefore forgive any sentence you happen to dislike; and believe me, spite of any disagreement in some points of the deepest moral interest, your true- hearted old friend,
Rip sez: "Sorry, I don't have the time to talk to pompous know it all snots."
It might be of interest to know that Bore had admitted some years ago(I can dig it up if necessary) to a rough existence similar to Bain's, if not in detail. That may help to explain their similar born-again fanatical mind-set and what may be underlying that.
For years now, Paul has been arguing against positions none of us here hold, but he will never admit it. He has claimed he knows more about atheism than any atheist, yet could never admit we might know more about some aspects of religion than he does. His knowledge makes him authoritative on topics of religion, physics, cosmology, psychology, philosophy and heaven knows what else. This does indeed place him in the category of know-it-alls.
You really can't read. I have already presented evidence on these points.>>>
Ah yes. And here we have the Bore insult followed by the Bore claim to have already presented evidence. Mysteriously I have only ever seen Bore insult and claim to have presented evidence, never actually any evidence.
For someone with so much evidence, he sure has a strong desire to keep it secret.
<<<P. Boire says: I am a theist and like most Christians, I am not aware of any difficulties with the idea of evolution generally vis a vis Christian theology. >>>
So you're a Christian, yet claim to be unaware of the Bible? Do we need to instruct you in your religion?
I'll confess, until recently I was also a Christian, and set aside problems with this, as with many other issues. Actually I don't know that it's a particularly strong case against Christianity, since I (and many other Christians) simply believed Yahweh had used evolution to create us, and didn't have too much of a problem with that...not compared with other issues.
I have no idea what ANY of these theists are trying to accomplish. They just keep saying the same ridiculous things over and over and over again, completely immune to evidence. I imagine they're all desperate to cling to a faith they know is unreasonable, much as the loudest anti-gay people tend to be gay.
<<<P. Boire says: You have no excuse for claiming religion is based upon 'blind faith">>>
Of course it is. There is no evidence for the existence of gods. Now of course you will CLAIM you've presented such evidence, but if true, you spend far more time insulting people and claiming you've presented evidence than actually presenting evidence. You've also not published it in Nature or Science or the like. You've also not accepted your million dollars, for some reason.
<<<Wolfpup also prefers to call me a liar>>>
That would be because of your constant claims to have presented evidence...somewhere...and years of posts of such claims, without actually ever presenting this evidence anywhere...including in the thread explicitly about presenting evidence for gods.
Is it possible you have evidence, and really have presented it somewhere, and want to otherwise keep it a secret? Yes, I suppose. Is this likely? No, of course not. If I had evidence, I'd share it with the world. Indeed, I'd still be a Christian.
Yeah, I have heard that joke(I may have mentioned it before here). A psychiatrist is interviewing his patient(s):
Psychiatrist: "What makes you think that you are God?" Patient 1: "Because God told me..." Patient 2(locked up in a cage): "Hey, I didn't"!
Well, this kind of delusional thinking is due to brain pathology.
The only way for even (seemingly)normal people to 'know' God is by experiencing God. In fact, God by experience is one of William Craig's five arguments for the existence of God. He doesn't say God exists by claiming to see or by any direct evidence. He can't because none exists.
On the other hand, the case of Born-again believers could be a little tricky: It might happen in a moment of extreme stress and a sense of hopelessness and self-loathing. The brain might be conjuring that up out of a need for self-preservation. Akin to the NDE/OBE experiences in the brain due to hypoxic or other stress situations.
<<<P. Boire says: Aw Wolfpup. Be an honest little agnostic>>>
I'm honest, but most certainly not an agnostic.
<<<and read the argument I had with Rip. Was he honest in his criticisms? Did he have any idea what he was talking about...even as history.. let alone argument?>>>
As near as I can see it was the same as always.
<<<Is the multiworld 'scenario' more consistent with the data?>>>
What does this have to do with anything? Multiple universes or not, you've got to have evidence of gods to convince people rationally that there are gods.
<<<Do you have free will?>>>
So far as I'm aware, technically no. Practically though, yes.
<<<If you are only physical then you are never free of the control of the laws of physics.>>>
This is correct.
<<<This means that you are not free to consider and decide anything ever; even about agnosticism.>>>
This is incorrect. While so far as we know it's entirely the result of physical processes within my brain, practically speaking this is "free will" enough on a day to day bases. I'm most certainly free to consider and decide things all I want, even if perhaps a powerful enough computer with full access to the data could model what I was going to decide.
If you want to claim there's something outside the influence of our reality making decisions for your body, you must actually demonstrate this to be the case. I, nor you, have any reason to believe this to be true without evidence.
<<<I have given a number of arguments for the existence of God.>>>
Regardless, I've yet to see you give evidence for the existence of any gods.
<<<Do you really believe that there are several zillion uninverse with quadrazillion little wolfpuppies runnging around manifesting every theortetical possibility.>>>
I don't know, and neither do you. I don't see how the question is related to evidence for gods, nor the question of whether you've actually ever presented evidence for gods.