Do Jehovah's Witnesses Accept Evolution?

by jukief 131 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • jukief

    jukief: I perfectly well understand your desire to believe in a God of some sort. I don't, but I understand why most people do. There are many things in the world that seem better explained by an intelligent cause, but many more that seem better explained by lack of one. And of course, there is always the problem of where the intelligent cause came from, for which no theist has an answer. "God has always existed" is just as good or bad as "the universe has always existed".

    Earnest: I have never understood the "problem of where the intelligent cause came from."

    I think it's a matter of what kind of thing one thinks might have always existed. Theists generally argue that our universe and life are so complex and unlikely to have come about without an intelligent cause, that they *must* have an intelligent cause. Yet by that argument an intelligent cause must itself have come about in some way from something that existed before. Otherwise, if one argues that that cause has always existed, yet argues that a much simpler physical universe cannot have always existed, then one is being inconsistent. What is more a priori unlikely: an intelligence that has always existed, or a bunch of unintelligent stuff that has always existed? If one insists that "life comes from life", making an exception for some "first cause" is just special pleading.

    Earnest: To my mind we have to accept that something has always existed even if we cannot comprehend it.

    I agree. The latest thinking in physics accepts that idea. But exactly what it is that has always existed is the subject of much speculative discussion.

    Earnest: The idea of something coming from absolutely nothing is, to me, even more far-fetched than something always existing.

    Physicists don't think that what we commonly think of as "nothing" -- empty space -- is actually empty. They think it's filled with some wierd quantum-mechanical stuff called "vacuum energy". Saying any more is way beyond my pay grade, but there's lots of information available online. But cosmologists posit that somehow, this vacuum energy experienced a quantum fluctuation (or something else entirely happened) that resulted in the Big Bang. This is related to the "multiverse" and so forth.

    So scientists don't claim that our universe came from "absolutely nothing".

    Earnest: And if I accept by default that something has always existed it is, to me, more reasonable that the universe that we know had an intelligent cause.

    But then you're back to the conundrum I described above.

    Earnest: This is not because I need to have God in my life, but only because any other explanation I have heard is even more absurd than an intelligent first cause.

    From what you've said, I don't think you're up on the latest thinking by scientists. You might look up some lectures and books by Lawrence Krauss if you want to get into this. Alan pointed me in this direction and I found it all very fascinating.

    jukief : It is often said by biblical apologists that God is outside space and time. How do they know that? Certainly not by any scientific means.

    Earnest: I am no cosmologist although I do try and understand cosmological fact and theory. What I understand is that before the big bang there was neither space nor time. If that is a scientific conclusion then the intelligent first cause must be outside of space and time.

    This does not reflect the latest ideas of cosmology. One might think of our universe as a sort of bubble in a much larger multiverse. Wierd stuff, but that just shows we don't know very much.

    In the case of a multiverse, would "the intelligent first cause" just be outside of our little bubble, but inside the multiverse? Or would it be outside the multiverse altogether?

    We simply don't know anything about these things. So saying that "the first cause" is outside space and time is saying something for which there is zero evidence -- but lots of speculation.

    Earnest: My intention here is not just to repeat an argument. I am quite willing to be convinced I am wrong. It is no skin off my nose. But I find it difficult to understand why others come to a conclusion different to mine. Not for the first time.

    Perhaps what I've said above can clear things up a bit.

  • Rattigan350

    Sure they do. How do you think God became. He evolved.

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