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Evolution stuffs up

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Perfect in the sense that even our "flaws" are perfect, as in designed inherently to challenge faith or w/e.

 

But, if I might wade into theology again, God isn't supposed to mislead his followers. He is Truth. Satan is the author of confusion, so he would have had to have created the "flaws" to test human faith, but if I recall there is a provision in Genesis barring Satan from creating life.

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But, if I might wade into theology again, God isn't supposed to mislead his followers. He is Truth. Satan is the author of confusion, so he would have had to have created the "flaws" to test human faith, but if I recall there is a provision in Genesis barring Satan from creating life.

 

In the old testament, Satan isn't the powerful character he is made out to be in Christianity. I don't remember the exact story of "Sahtan" but I don't remember it being significant in hebrew school.

 

Who says God isn't supposed to mislead followers? That's not the case in the Old Testament, I shouldn't think. Just look at God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son. He also insured that Moses had some sort of speech impediment, in order to make him humble.

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ID has elements (like irreducible complexity) that can be falsified (and have been) and elements (like "God did it" to explain any discrepancy) that cannot and thus aren't science. So in that manner it could be said to be both non-falsifiable and invalid scientifically.

 

"God did it" isn't an explanation. When you say that, your next statement must be HOW "God did it". I think what you are referring to is the ad hoc hypothesis "we don't know why God would do things this way; His purposes are beyond ours". I've seen that one trotted out when I remind IDers that the panda has a perfectly good thumb but it is fused to the other digits. Therefore, all the IDer had to do was free up that thumb instead of cobble together a makeshift one (no matter how "complex"). Then the ad hoc hypothesis comes out to explain why God didn't make the sensible choice.

 

However, that ad hoc hypothesis fails when we consider the scientific implications of intelligent designer. After all, we are allowed to infer that the ID must be at least as intelligent as we are (otherwise it wouldn't have been smart enough to manufacture us). And that, of course, gets us back to the theological problem -- Judeo-Christianity can't allow for a dumb deity. Perhaps "Design Theory" could, but notice it has to drop the "intelligent" from the name.

 

If we mean evolution loosely in the sense of gradual improving change, I can accept that.

 

But that isn't the scientific sense. To add the word "improving" is to invoke the pre-evolutionary idea of the Great Chain of Being. Evolution does not have a "direction" of "improving". A shark is just as good in its ecological niche as we are in ours (perhaps better).

 

What Genesis is talking about is the evolution of the human mind or a new type of conscious awareness.

 

Neither Genesis creation story is talking about any kind of evolution at all! Both creation stories have theological messages about the who and the why of creation. The "how" is just a mechanism to move the stories along, and the "how" is different for each creation story.

 

Genesis is talking about the new version of the human mind, capable of civilization, where humans suddenly begins to become aware of the world around themselves like they had never done up to that point in time. The "let there by light" is the light of modern consciousness separating from the instinctive unconscious darkness of ten of thousands of years of repetition.

 

That's an interesting hermeneutic, but not one supported by the text or other writings of the time. Instead, the text means just what it says: light. You can't interpret the Bible by trying to read into it what you want from the 21st century. The Rules of Interpretation demand that you look at what it meant for the people at the time it was written. And they didn't mean that, because they had no concept of "civilization", "primal dream state", or any of the other concepts you are using.

 

If you read the Enuma Elish -- http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/enuma.htm -- you get a very good idea of what Genesis 1 is all about.

 

The Bible has Adam appearing.

 

What Bible are you reading? All the ones I've read has Yahweh forming Adam from the dust of the ground -- not "appearing".

 

It is not coincidence that rise of civilization and Genesis coordinate in time.

 

Sorry, Genesis was written long after the rise of the first civilizations. While the Genesis 2 creation story may come from a primitive oral tradition, Genesis 1 was written after the Babylonian Captivity. The rest of Genesis also dates to later times. In the order that the books were "written", Exodus comes first. Genesis is later.

 

To form culture more advanced than migratory hunter-gathering groups implies a boost in the brain power.

 

No, it doesn't. What is required is the discovery of agriculture. No change in brain power. Also, hunter-gatherer cultures are quite sophisticated. You are mistaking technology for intelligence. It's quite a common mistake. But more advanced technology does not = increased intelligence.

 

This bridge position insults both side of the debate, at the same time, but I'll stay on the bridge, because it pays honor to both sides at the same time. Unfortunately both sides want all the credit for themselves. Too childish to share any credit.

 

This particular bridge position is falsified both by the Biblical texts and Biblical scholarship and by science. If you want a "bridge" position that is defensible, use theistic evolution.

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In the old testament, Satan isn't the powerful character he is made out to be in Christianity. I don't remember the exact story of "Sahtan" but I don't remember it being significant in hebrew school.

 

In the Old Testament he tends to be portrayed as acting exclusively by the fiat of God. The story of Job is his most prominent appearence in the Old Testament. There he tested him with various travails after gaining God's permission.

 

Who says God isn't supposed to mislead followers? That's not the case in the Old Testament, I shouldn't think. Just look at God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son. He also insured that Moses had some sort of speech impediment, in order to make him humble.[/Quote]

In the story of Abraham and Isaac God wasn't trying to trip-up Abraham by testing his faith with confusing commands. He was asking Abraham's absolute trust. That's really the point of the story.

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And some fictional account which has served as a social tool for cultural manipulation and control for millenia has what all to do with genetics?

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In the old testament, Satan isn't the powerful character he is made out to be in Christianity.

 

That's true. In the earliest stories -- Job -- Satan is just the "prosecutor" of humans and is a good betting buddy of Yahweh. It is Satan's job, as prosecutor, to bring human misconduct to the attention of Yahweh.

 

Satan undergoes a gradual transformation in the OT to a more adversarial position. When David institutes a census, for instance, his political opponents (who don't want the king to know where everyone is so he can tax them) says that Satan made him do this "evil" thing. The Christian concept of Satan came from the Essenes during the intertestatment period.

 

Now, does this indicate that the concept of Satan is made up or does it indicate a better understanding of the true nature of Satan? Certainly no way to decide that by science!

 

Just look at God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son. He also insured that Moses had some sort of speech impediment, in order to make him humble.

 

Neither one of these is "misleading" in the way you are using. In the case of Abraham Yahweh was testing Abraham's obedience. In the case of Moses, Yahweh is demonstrating his power by communicating thru a person that others make fun of.

 

And some fictional account which has served as a social tool for cultural manipulation and control for millenia has what all to do with genetics?

 

1. The thread started out pointing out theological problems with Special Creation/ID. The thread never had anything to do with genetics.

 

2. How do you know it's a totally fictional account? Science will tell you that some interpretations of the text are incorrect, but I haven't seen anything in science that says a) that deity is fictional, b) that deity created is fictional, c) that Yahweh's intervention in history as depicted in th Bible is fictional. Perhaps you could cite the papers for us.

 

Look, it's fine for you to believe the accounts are fictional. It's quite another to state them as "fact".

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You cannot prove something's nonexistence. Too bad those who claim existence can't prove that either. If you want science involved, that's where you should start. Until then, I quite agree that "science" has nothing to say on this, until (of course) you get into neuroses, group think, and other psychosocial descriptions of delusion. Regardless, "science" doesn't say ANYTHING, it's a method... an approach. Only "scientists" make claims, and they are quite plainly subject to all manner of personal biases and interpretations.

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It is interesting how much of this discussion is based on a Christian or Jewish God. In fact, if we ignore possibly fictional writings, there is no factual reason to assume that a god might not be anything at all.

 

I see two possible kinds of gods.

1. Creator Gods. These hypothetical guys are responsible for the Big Bang, and everything that follows, whether they control such events individually or not.

2. Created Gods. These guys came into existence after the Big Bang. They may be powerful, but are still just a part of the universe as we are. Perhaps ET is a created god?

 

In fact, if a God or gods exist, he/she/it or they could have almost any nature whatever. Of course, we have no way of knowing whether either or none exists, and so all this communication is wild speculation.

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I see two possible kinds of gods.

1. Creator Gods. These hypothetical guys are responsible for the Big Bang, and everything that follows, whether they control such events individually or not.

2. Created Gods. These guys came into existence after the Big Bang. They may be powerful, but are still just a part of the universe as we are. Perhaps ET is a created god?

I became fascinated by this concept after reading about possible higher spatial dimensions. Do they have a function or are they just there to complete the math in certain theories? Could a creator or created god use those dimensions to do something we'd consider physically impossible? That wouldn't be omnipotence and thus I can allow my skepticism to slip a few tenths of a percent.

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In fact, if we ignore possibly fictional writings, there is no factual reason to assume that a god might not be anything at all.

 

And ignore personal experience.

 

But if you mean "factual" = scientific data, then yes, there is no scientific data to say whether deity exists and what its nature may be. Science is just as agnostic toward Zeus, Markduk, Vishnu etc. as it is toward Yahweh.

 

I see two possible kinds of gods.

1. Creator Gods. These hypothetical guys are responsible for the Big Bang, and everything that follows, whether they control such events individually or not.

2. Created Gods. These guys came into existence after the Big Bang. They may be powerful, but are still just a part of the universe as we are. Perhaps ET is a created god?

 

Theists in general have falsified the idea of #2. They are not willing to accept a being that is part of the universe as deity.

 

Originally Yahweh could have fit in #2. The Hebrews knew Yahweh as the Creator of Israel long before they thought of Yahweh as Creator of the universe and everything in it.

 

In fact, if a God or gods exist, he/she/it or they could have almost any nature whatever. Of course, we have no way of knowing whether either or none exists, and so all this communication is wild speculation.

 

In terms of science, this is true. Science is handicapped in considering the existence and nature of deity. First, science is handicapped by Methodological Materialism and second by its insistence on accepting only intersubjective evidence. So science is not the appropriate discipline to consider these questions.

 

All science can do is test whether versions of deity are consistent with what we know of the physical universe. For instance, science will tell us that Thor striking his hammer is not the cause of thunder.

 

I became fascinated by this concept after reading about possible higher spatial dimensions. Do they have a function or are they just there to complete the math in certain theories? Could a creator or created god use those dimensions to do something we'd consider physically impossible? That wouldn't be omnipotence and thus I can allow my skepticism to slip a few tenths of a percent.

 

Most versions of deity do not require omnipotence. Judeo-Christianity does not. All deity has to be is powerful enough to accomplish the activities attributed to it. Many theists have extrapolated being very powerful, very knowing, and very present to the omni's.

 

The question theists would ask is: how powerful, knowing, and present does an entity have to be in order to qualify as deity?

 

You cannot prove something's nonexistence.

 

This is where skeptics start abusing science. Science proves the non-existence of entities all the time. That's what falsification is all about!

 

Wouldn't you say that science has proven the non-existence of a flat earth? How about a solar system with earth at the center? Proved the nonexistence of that, right? Or the nonexistence of specially created species.

 

Regardless, "science" doesn't say ANYTHING, it's a method... an approach.

 

Another abuse of science. Science is not A method. While grade schoolers are taught the "scientific method", it is more properly called the "hypothetico-deductive method". The problem with calling science "a method" is that science uses many methods -- not all of science uses the hypothetico-deductive. Also, other disciplines that are non-science use the hypothetico-deductive method. An irony here is that the Documentary Hypothesis and Trinity are both products of the hypothetico-deductive method. :doh:

 

Only "scientists" make claims, and they are quite plainly subject to all manner of personal biases and interpretations.

 

Doesn't matter. Once an idea is uttered, it takes on an independent existence. The idea is no longer tied to the people who advocate it and can be evaluated on its own. Also, you are ignoring a tenet of the "scientific method" here: hypotheses have consequences (claims). Not the scientist working on the hypothesis, but the hypothesis itself.

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This is where skeptics start abusing science. Science proves the non-existence of entities all the time. That's what falsification is all about!

Point taken. Let me restate.

 

Since the very concept of god is not falsifiable, it can neither be proven or disproven, and I see no reason to add this mysterious, unknowable, imaginative entitiy to our description of nature, as it literally adds nothing but distraction from our attempts to truly understand the processes and mechanisms of the universe.

 

 

Wouldn't you say that science has proven the non-existence of a flat earth? How about a solar system with earth at the center? Proved the nonexistence of that, right?

Yes, all were falsifiable. Thank you for the correction, but please do see my comment above.

 

 

 

Another abuse of science. Science is not A method. While grade schoolers are taught the "scientific method", it is more properly called the "hypothetico-deductive method". The problem with calling science "a method" is that science uses many methods -- not all of science uses the hypothetico-deductive. Also, other disciplines that are non-science use the hypothetico-deductive method.

Whatever. Tell me ONE thing that the "hypthetico-deductive method" has ever said. Whatever you call it, it's scientists who make assertions and claims and it's scientists who "say" things. I will arbitrate to you that sience is a collection of methods, as opposed to just a singular method. However, whether method be singular or plural, it/thy still "say" nothing whatsoever, science is not capable of comment, only people who engage in this method are... which is the point I was making.

 

 

Doesn't matter. Once an idea is uttered, it takes on an independent existence. The idea is no longer tied to the people who advocate it and can be evaluated on its own. Also, you are ignoring a tenet of the "scientific method" here: hypotheses have consequences (claims). Not the scientist working on the hypothesis, but the hypothesis itself.

Okay. Still not relevant to my point, nor accurately representative of what my point was, but I do thank you for taking the time to go all pedantic on me and help me learn something. :)

 

 

You cannot prove something's nonexistence. Too bad those who claim existence can't prove that either. If you want science involved, that's where you should start. Until then, I quite agree that "science" has nothing to say on this, until (of course) you get into neuroses, group think, and other psychosocial descriptions of delusion. Regardless, "science" doesn't say ANYTHING, it's a method... an approach. Only "scientists" make claims, and they are quite plainly subject to all manner of personal biases and interpretations.

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I do believe that when (honest!) people say, "Science says so and so" they mean that anyone applying the scientific method to the known data should reach that conclusion.

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lucaspa said :

 

"Science is handicapped in considering the existence and nature of deity. First, science is handicapped by Methodological Materialism and second by its insistence on accepting only intersubjective evidence. So science is not the appropriate discipline to consider these questions."

 

What, may I ask, is a more appropriate discipline?

I agree that science cannot nail down matters theological. But neither can anything else. Faith cannot, since most faith in the end is simply believing what you have been told. The bible, torah, q'ran, ramayana, gita etc are all just writings of dubious verity. Religious people often rely on subjective emotional experience, which is about as reliable as a car with water in the fuel tank instead of petrol.

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I agree that science cannot nail down matters theological.

Actually, it sort of can. Specifically, the fields of pscyhology and sociology. In my view, these two fields speak most plainly and clearly to the existence question.

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To iNow

 

Science can nail down some of the psychology and sociology behind religious belief, agreed. However, the basic question of whether a god exists cannot be nailed by science.

 

I am personally, a non believer. I see the concept of a god who hides as being quite strange and probably irrational. If God exists and wants us to worship him/her/it, as monotheists tend to preach, then why does he/she/it hide so that there is no direct convincing evidence?

 

The other kind of god, that is a part of the universe as we are, may be more possible. Such a being may be elsewhere and quite oblivious to human existence.

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This thread is edging towards the SFN theological danger line.

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Theology? I thought it was supposed to be about retarded features that evolved.

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Theology? I thought it was supposed to be about retarded features that evolved.

 

Diabetes.

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This is why I'm not a creationist anymore. :cool:

 

One of the really bad flaws in the creationist argument is based on their idea of a perfect creator.

 

Evolution is imperfect by its very nature - too many random variables. The results of evolution are very often seriously imperfect. If life had been created in finished form by a perfect creator, that life would, ipso facto, be perfect. Why would a perfect creator indulge in crappy workmanship?

 

Some of the imperfections I see as a result of evolution's stuff ups are ;

 

The human appendix

The fact that our breathing tube (trachea) and our swallowing tube (esophagus) open in our throats side by side, resulting in thousands of choking deaths each year.

Menstrual pains.

Inability to make Vitamin C inside the human body in spite of most of the required genetic mechanism being present.

 

Any comments, or other examples ?

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Here is a related evolutionary question. What changed or evolved within humans, about 10,000 years ago, which allowed the formation of civilization. Civilization is much more advanced than living in cave or wandering with the animals. It appears to have happened very fast relative to normal evolutionary time scales. The next related question is, did happen with a single or limited genetic mutation, i.e.. Adam-X, or did it happen in wholesale quantities all at the same time?

 

Say we were to draw a curve of advancement versus time. We start back say 2 million years. The curve starts almost flat with a slight upward slope. Around 10,000 years ago, more or less, the curvature changes drastically with the slope shooting up. It doesn't follow the same slope as before if we extended the rate of evolutionary process that has been. The old slope may be more in line with evolutionary predictions. Where the curvature begins to jump, this marked a turning point for humans. What was the change?

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Here is a related evolutionary question. What changed or evolved within humans, about 10,000 years ago, which allowed the formation of civilization. Civilization is much more advanced than living in cave or wandering with the animals. It appears to have happened very fast relative to normal evolutionary time scales. The next related question is, did happen with a single or limited genetic mutation, i.e.. Adam-X, or did it happen in wholesale quantities all at the same time?

 

Say we were to draw a curve of advancement versus time. We start back say 2 million years. The curve starts almost flat with a slight upward slope. Around 10,000 years ago, more or less, the curvature changes drastically with the slope shooting up. It doesn't follow the same slope as before if we extended the rate of evolutionary process that has been. The old slope may be more in line with evolutionary predictions. Where the curvature begins to jump, this marked a turning point for humans. What was the change?

 

Why do you assume it was something genetic?

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To pioneer

 

In my opinion, the most likely chain of cause and effect goes like this.

 

Ice age = hardship

Thawing of ice = possibility of agriculture

Development of agriculture = more food available

More food = possibility of human vocational specialties, such as specialised tool makers and larger communities

 

Then development of cities etc. The word 'civilisation' comes from a root meaning 'city dweller'.

 

All this happened as a result of the warming of the Earth. Three cheers for global warming!

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Why do you assume it was something genetic?

 

I was trying to stay in the spirit of genetics. But other options are possible. I was leaving it wide open for discussion.

 

In my opinion, the most likely chain of cause and effect goes like this.

Ice age = hardship

Thawing of ice = possibility of agriculture

Development of agriculture = more food available

More food = possibility of human vocational specialties, such as specialised tool makers and larger communities

 

Then development of cities etc. The word 'civilisation' comes from a root meaning 'city dweller'.

 

The farming is actually one of the important changes but in a subtle way that may not be obvious. Farming was more than a new way to generate food. What it represented was a new brain ability. The ability to control instinct and put off immediate instinctive gratification.

 

Look at this way. If the pre-humans were hungry they would gather, hunt, fish, steal, or maybe make use the dumb herd animals for food, allowing a quick method to satisfy hunger. They were very good at it. With farming it is more like lets plants some seeds and dinner should be ready in about 4-6 months, with no guarantee the plants will make it that long. The pre-humans may have had the smarts to do it, but were not be able to check the natural impulse to take the well traveled path, since it was very efficient, natural and quick. Humans suddenly changed in a way that allowed a new ability to control instinct, overcome previous evolutionary inertia, semi-abstractly look into the future, for the bigger payoff.

 

The brain somehow evolved or receive a new boost beyond instinctive inertia. Instead of living in the here and now, like their predecessors, they were still partially doing that, but now also starting to live semi-abstractly in the future. It wasn't long before this abstract ability began to develop math, alphabets, new construction techniques, science, medicine, art, commerce, etc. It was the beginning of humans away from the slow path of pre-humans.

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To pioneer

 

In my opinion, the most likely chain of cause and effect goes like this.

 

Ice age = hardship

Thawing of ice = possibility of agriculture

Development of agriculture = more food available

More food = possibility of human vocational specialties, such as specialised tool makers and larger communities

 

Then development of cities etc. The word 'civilisation' comes from a root meaning 'city dweller'.

 

All this happened as a result of the warming of the Earth. Three cheers for global warming!

 

A bit too simplistic. For one thing, not every culture "progressed" through these steps. Many developed pastoral or horticulturals ways of life, and many continued to be hunter gatherers. There was also a time lag between the end of the last Ice Age (13 kya) and the origins of agriculture in the Near East (10 kya, much later some other places). But your basic suggestion that civilization had its origins in food surpluses is one I at least tend to support.

 

Where the cause and effect lies is a bit more difficult to tease out. Humans might have unintentionally began to select various animal and plant species and then been forced to care for them more intensively as they ceased to be competitive with their wild counterparts. You might think of this as a domestication trap. Gradually, this process increased food supplies and lead to the ability to support specialists in settled communities near fields that could be harvested year after year. That's also simplistic but hopefully less so. I know it works well enough for the Near East and Central America, but I can't say that I've made an intense enough study of the subject to say that it applies universally to the causes of civilized life. I wish I could.

 

In any event, no great mutation is necessary, and hunter gatherers weren't simply too stupid to think up building huge, disease infested cities and live on a monoculture until your teeth fall out from the cavities.

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