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Dennisg

Where did Darwin get his ideas?

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What is the problem with recognizing the parallels between Christianity and Evolution?

What benefit does it bring? You are really attempting some strange biological form of numerology here.

 

Are you also going to detail every parallel between Islam and Evolution?

Are you also going to detail every parallel between Hinduism and Evolution?

Are you also going to detail every parallel between Buddhism and Evolution?

Are you also going to detail every parallel between the countless thousands of religions which were in practice during Darwins time and Evolution?

 

How does such an endeavor, one that is minimally accurate, broadly speculative, and deeply motivated by wish thinking help us to understand any better the reality which is nature around us, or the briilliant idea of Darwin which helps us to explain that reality?

 

 

 

And when there are gaps then something known as the “Closure Principle” kicks into action. The principle of closure applies when we tend to see complete figures even when part of the information is missing. Our minds react to patterns that are familiar, even though we often receive incomplete information. It means that, when a person is given an incomplete set of data, his mind will fill in the gaps to make a whole picture so that he can interpret it.

Yes. I'm aware. There's a similar phenomenon known as Gestalt formation in human cognition.

http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/2_learntch/theories.html

 

 

In the case of Darwin the familiar pattern was that of Christianity.

See, now here's where you lose me. We were good when you were simply stating that there is this phenomenon out there called a "closure principle." You then go on to assert this non-sequitur which is not only unsupported, but also counter the evidence which we do have available, and you leave it at that.

 

 

As for your cup analogy, it fails. Darwin was not describing a material object like a cup, a finch, or a tree. He was describing an abstract process regarding how those things came to be, and how slight differences in environment could result in huge differences is morphology. Ergo, since a concept doesn't have an existence in "real time and space" there is no meaningful difference between the actual process and the description of it or its interpretation in the mind.

 

Now, had Darwin instead been describing a physical entity like a cup, a finch, a tree, or whatever, then you'd be quite right. However, that's not what he did, so it's moot.

 

 

In Darwin’s case the gaps were many and large and he filled them with the Christian scenario.

 

Again, you assert that there is this phenomenon out there where we tend to fill in gaps of our knowledge, and that is fine. However, you then go on to again assert another non-sequitur which is itself also unsupported and counter the evidence we have.

 

 

 

That's not how it works, mate. It's like you're saying "because today is Saturday, bananas are yellow."

Edited by iNow
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Are you also going to detail every parallel between Islam and Evolution?

 

No because there is no evidence that Darwin was influenced by Islamic thought patterns.

 

You then go on to assert this non-sequitur which is not only unsupported, but also counter the evidence which we do have available, and you leave it at that.

 

Darwin trained for the Christain ministry his subconscious would have these structures inbeded.

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No because there is no evidence that Darwin was influenced by Islamic thought patterns.

 

Darwin trained for the Christain ministry his subconscious would have these structures inbeded.

 

Maybe this is a simple miscommunication. I have absolutely zero idea what you mean when you say "Christian thought pattern." I think of very negative things about that term, and based on your posts, I'm confident you do not intend it in a negative way.

 

So, what does it mean?

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Maybe this is a simple miscommunication. I have absolutely zero idea what you mean when you say "Christian thought pattern." I think of very negative things about that term, and based on your posts, I'm confident you do not intend it in a negative way.

 

So, what does it mean?

 

Basically, the idea is that Darwin’s theory was culturally bounded. Both Darwin’s theory and Christianity are about the transformation of one species into another. For Christianity it is the creation of the new man. Darwin’s scenario begins with one member being different at birth. This follows Christianity as Jesus was different – being conceived by the Holy Spirit. In Evolution this “mutation” gives the individual an advantage in survival. Having been raised from the dead proves that Jesus was a survivor. Finally in evolution members of a species are not like this new individual may become “extinct”. This too follows the Christianity in that those who do not accept Jesus are lost. Please note that none of these ideas are self evident in the natural world. They are read into it by Darwin’s preconceived ideas.

 

Evolution is Christianity in disguise. It is Christianity without God and with the survival of the fittest in place of the redemption of the unfit. Darwin’s “evolution” wasn’t a new idea or a revelation he just took from what he knew and changed it to suit himself and applied it to the natural world.

Edited by Dennisg
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Basically, the idea is that Darwin’s theory was culturally bounded. Both Darwin’s theory and Christianity are about the transformation of one species into another. For Christianity it is the creation of the new man. Darwin’s scenario begins with one member being different at birth. This follows Christianity as Jesus was different – being conceived by the Holy Spirit. In Evolution this “mutation” gives the individual an advantage in survival. Having been raised from the dead proves that Jesus was a survivor. Finally in evolution members of a species are not like this new individual may become “extinct”. This too follows the Christianity in that those who do not accept Jesus are lost. Please note that none of these ideas are self evident in the natural world. They are read into it by Darwin’s preconceived ideas.

 

Evolution is Christianity in disguise. It is Christianity without God and with the survival of the fittest in place of the redemption of the unfit. Darwin’s “evolution” wasn’t a new idea or a revelation he just took from what he knew and changed it to suit himself and applied it to the natural world.

 

Errmmm... Never mind. I don't even know where to begin with all of that. Let's just say that I (and I'm sure countless others) disagree strongly with your position.

 

 

"Evolution is Christianity in disguise." That takes a special level of delusion.

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Errmmm... Never mind. I don't even know where to begin with all of that. Let's just say that I (and I'm sure countless others) disagree strongly with your position.

 

 

"Evolution is Christianity in disguise." That takes a special level of delusion.

______________

 

I'm not worried.

 

What I find really interesting is the parts of the Christian idea of transformation that Darwin left alone has led to real discovery. The parts that he meddled with ie "God" and "survival of the fittest" form the basis for some very negative social dogmas. The world would be better if he hadn't made these changes.

 

Eugenics

For more details on this topic, see Eugenics.

Following Darwin’s publication of the Origin, his cousin, Francis Galton, applied the concepts to human society, starting in 1865 with ideas to promote “hereditary improvement” which he elaborated at length in 1869.[141] In The Descent of Man Darwin agreed that Galton had demonstrated the probability that “talent” and “genius” in humans was inherited, but dismissed the social changes Galton proposed as too utopian.[142] Neither Galton nor Darwin supported government intervention and thought that, at most, heredity should be taken into consideration by people seeking potential mates.[143] In 1883, after Darwin’s death, Galton began calling his social philosophy Eugenics.[144] In the 20th century, eugenics movements gained popularity in a number of countries and became associated with reproduction control programmes such as compulsory sterilisation laws,[145] then were stigmatised after their usage in the rhetoric of Nazi Germany in its goals of genetic “purity”.[V]

 

 

Social Darwinism

For more details on this topic, see Social Darwinism.

The ideas of Thomas Malthus and Herbert Spencer which applied ideas of evolution and “survival of the fittest” to societies, nations and businesses became popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, and were used to defend various, sometimes contradictory, ideological perspectives including laissez-faire economics,[146] colonialism,[147] racism and imperialism.[147] The term “Social Darwinism” originated around the 1890s, but became popular as a derogatory term in the 1940s with Richard Hofstadter’s critique of laissez-faire conservatism.[148] The concepts predate Darwin’s publication of the Origin in 1859:[147][149] Malthus died in 1834[150] and Spencer published his books on economics in 1851 and on evolution in 1855.[151] Darwin himself insisted that social policy should not simply be guided by concepts of struggle and selection in nature,[152] and that sympathy should be extended to all races and nations.[153][VI]

Edited by Dennisg
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The parts that he meddled with ie "God" and "survival of the fittest" form the basis for some very negative social dogmas.

 

I've already responded to this point above, but will say it again. Just because people out there misinterpreted his work, and used it to promulgate negative dogmas does not mean that Darwin's idea intended these things, nor does it mean that those things are a direct result of his idea.

 

It's the same argument people use when attacking atheism and saying Hitler used atheist ideas and evolution to further his cause of murdering Jews. Bullshit. He was NOT an atheist, and he was not performing natural selection (he was doing artificial selection and discrimination and using nationalistic fervor to accomplish it, and he very much used Jesus in his speeches to justify his ends).

 

The fact that you bring up eugenics and social darwinism proves to all of us that you are trying argue a guilt based on association. In case you missed it, NONE of those things are from Darwin. They are from others who have misapplied for their own ends Darwins described process for evolutionary change in nature via selection pressures.

 

All "fitness" means in this context is the ability to pass on your genes to the next generation.

 

 

The world would be better if he hadn't made these changes.

I find this statement appalling. It appears that you would rather live in a world of lies and fairy tales instead of one where we know the truth of nature, simply because some tiny fraction of a percentage of people use those truths in ways they were not intended.

 

Also, better for whom? Folks who can't stand challenges to their worldview and would rather bury their heads in the sand and pretend the earth is flat?

 

 

Finally, the tooth paste is already out of the tube, and you're not going to be able to force it back in. So get used to having this knowledge. It's been around for 150 years already, it's proven to be one of the strongest scientific theories ever put forth in the history of humans, and if it conflicts with your religious beliefs you should probably let go of the one that is probablistically more likely to be a false and inaccurate description of the universe.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000426.html

Social Darwinism is the philosophy that the individuals or classes in a society are subject to natural selection, much as organisms in nature are subject to natural selection. Thus, it is seen as fitting for the weak to grow weaker and the strong to grow stronger; the population is thus improved overall. Social Darwinism was popular in the early 20th century, and I have no doubt that it influenced Nazism and a lot of other aberrations. That fact has absolutely nothing to do with “Darwinism,” as the Discovery Institute people call the theory of evolution. Darwin never made the mistake of assuming that the theory of evolution could be extended to social systems, and theories regarding different races (a term that subsumes what today we call ethnic or religious groups) predate Darwin by centuries.

 

Social Darwinism is thus a misnomer; it has nothing to do with Darwin. It was, however, used to provide intellectual support for laissez-faire capitalism. Economic stratification was considered “natural.” Thus, the state was prohibited from intervening and supporting the lower economic classes. Survival of the fittest, a term coined by Spencer, not Darwin, was ensured as the “unfit” poor received no quarter. Social Darwinism was also used to justify imperialism and racism. It was a self-serving theory that could easily be adopted by rich individuals and imperialist nations. It “justified” the inequality of the social system and, indeed, the position of the rich in society.

It is obscene for the social Darwinists at the Discovery Institute to argue against “Darwinism” on the grounds that it leads to social Darwinism.

 

 

 

And read tihs link, too, while you're at it:

 

http://www.texscience.org/reviews/darwinism-racism.htm

The persistent misidentification of evolution with economic exploitation, racism, euthanasia, eugenics, infanticide, and genocide all depend on someone's persistent confusion about the vital difference between social and scientific Darwinism, that is, between social biological determinism--not a science but a discreditable doctrine--and biological evolution--an accurate and highly reliable science. By mendaciously ignoring this vital distinction, anti-evolutionists try to discredit evolution by illogically associating it with historically disreputable ideologies. Anti-evolutionists believe that if people come to believe evolution, under the misnomers of "survival of the fittest" and "social Darwinism," is equivalent to evil ideologies, they will then doubt the veracity and necessity of evolutionary science. Guilt by association is the anti-evolutionist's goal for scientific evolution, and their fondest wish is to promote this distortion. Even the fact that economic exploitation, racism, euthanasia, eugenics (in the sense of favorable breeding), infanticide, and genocide were all common in human history long before either evolution or Darwin does not dissuade the true believers. How can "Darwinism" be responsible for things that historically predate it? The obvious answer is that it can't.

Edited by iNow
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Basically, the idea is that Darwin’s theory was culturally bounded. Both Darwin’s theory and Christianity are about the transformation of one species into another. For Christianity it is the creation of the new man. Darwin’s scenario begins with one member being different at birth. This follows Christianity as Jesus was different – being conceived by the Holy Spirit. In Evolution this “mutation” gives the individual an advantage in survival. Having been raised from the dead proves that Jesus was a survivor. Finally in evolution members of a species are not like this new individual may become “extinct”. This too follows the Christianity in that those who do not accept Jesus are lost. Please note that none of these ideas are self evident in the natural world. They are read into it by Darwin’s preconceived ideas.

 

Evolution is Christianity in disguise. It is Christianity without God and with the survival of the fittest in place of the redemption of the unfit. Darwin’s “evolution” wasn’t a new idea or a revelation he just took from what he knew and changed it to suit himself and applied it to the natural world.

 

These are interesting analogies you make. Unfortunately, though they make some sense, none of us know what was in the depths of Darwin's mind when he constructed his ideas. You can make the assertion that this is possible but you cannot with certainty assert that this is true.

 

I am curious, though, how you would relate these ideas to the current, refined structure of evolutionary theory. Evolution does not favor survival; it favors reproductive success, and survival is only worth carrying on as long as you can continue to promote your reproductive success by doing so. Jesus had no children (according to most accounts, at least). In evolutionary terms he was a dead end. The transferrence of beliefs from one generation to another is not genetically based, it is learned. Thus they are also not subject to evolution. Our ability to transfer beliefs is genetically based and evolved, but that ability was present in the human species long before Christianity popped up, and contributed also to the rise of many different forms of religion, the majority of which do not involve accepting Jesus.

 

Also, an actual understanding of what evolutionary theory does and does not say will reveal that those negative social dogmas you speak of are merely incorrect perversions of evolutionary theory, as iNow has pointed out in detail.

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iNow you are reacting to what you don't like in my posts - I really am not here to argue.

 

These are interesting analogies you make. Unfortunately, though they make some sense, none of us know what was in the depths of Darwin's mind when he constructed his ideas. You can make the assertion that this is possible but you cannot with certainty assert that this is true.

 

Exactly right - these are, for me, interesting ideas - worth thinking about and further investigation.

 

I am curious, though, how you would relate these ideas to the current, refined structure of evolutionary theory.

 

I think that Evolution today is science but . . . . according to Godel’s incompleteness theorems, science is not reality. Simply put its like “reality” is a curved line and we as humans can only think in straight lines. At best our theories are tangent to reality for a period of time and then digress as new information is uncovered. Rational human thought is sequential and pretty much follows a straight line. Reality is sometimes non sequential and often follows a curved line. Because of the limitations with our thinking theories that are closest to reality are counterintuitive to our minds – Quantum Mechanics is an example of this. Compared to Quantum Mechanics the Theory of Evolution is a pretty easy pill to swallow – which all by itself raises some doubts about it. In 150 years people will view today's evolution just as we view Darwin's today

 

Evolution does not favor survival; it favors reproductive success, and survival is only worth carrying on as long as you can continue to promote your reproductive success by doing so. Jesus had no children (according to most accounts, at least). In evolutionary terms he was a dead end. The transferrence of beliefs from one generation to another is not genetically based, it is learned. Thus they are also not subject to evolution. Our ability to transfer beliefs is genetically based and evolved, but that ability was present in the human species long before Christianity popped up, and contributed also to the rise of many different forms of religion, the majority of which do not involve accepting Jesus

 

 

This question is off topic but please allow me to respond to it in passing.

 

While Jesus had no children he is the transforming agent when people become Christians. This makes him by far the most successful person to have changed the identity of humanity. When someone becomes a Christian they are embarking on a process of being born again. Billions of people have done just this. And so from Darwin's point of view Jesus would be the prototype of the new man.

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iNow you are reacting to what you don't like in my posts - I really am not here to argue.

 

This is a discussion/debate forum, is it not? iNow is reacting to your discussion points that he disagrees with with valid counter points. The fact that he is doing it with a little bit of fervor does not mean his points should not be addressed.

 

Exactly right - these are, for me, interesting ideas - worth thinking about and further investigation.

 

What further investigation? As we do not have the ability to talk to Darwin himself and ask what was the motivation and reasoning behind his theory that he did not write in any of his publications, there is no way for you to further investigate your assertion.

 

I think that Evolution today is science but . . . . according to Godel’s incompleteness theorems, science is not reality. Simply put its like “reality” is a curved line and we as humans can only think in straight lines. At best our theories are tangent to reality for a period of time and then digress as new information is uncovered. Rational human thought is sequential and pretty much follows a straight line. Reality is sometimes non sequential and often follows a curved line. Because of the limitations with our thinking theories that are closest to reality are counterintuitive to our minds – Quantum Mechanics is an example of this. Compared to Quantum Mechanics the Theory of Evolution is a pretty easy pill to swallow – which all by itself raises some doubts about it. In 150 years people will view today's evolution just as we view Darwin's today.

 

I am not familiar with this theory, but it sounds interesting. However, if what you say is true about humans' ability to perceive reality, then would not other forms of explaining reality, including religion, also not represent reality? Would not all explanations need to continue to change over time in light of new knowledge in order to more closely approach reality?

 

As a side note, you call evolution an easy pill to swallow, but I imagine that most proponents of creationism and/or intelligent design would disagree. A main component of their arguments is often that evolution just seems so gosh darn unlikely/improbable. Some are even more likely to accept quantum mechanics than they are to accept evolution.

 

This question is off topic but please allow me to respond to it in passing.

 

While Jesus had no children he is the transforming agent when people become Christians. This makes him by far the most successful person to have changed the identity of humanity. When someone becomes a Christian they are embarking on a process of being born again. Billions of people have done just this. And so from Darwin's point of view Jesus would be the prototype of the new man.

 

Perhaps you misunderstood my question. I was referring to modern evolutionary synthesis. Darwin's view was deficient as he lacked an understanding of genetics. However, he did understand that there must be some mechanism of heritability, and that evolution acts on heritable traits. Christianity is not heritable in a way that its tenents will be effected by natural selection.

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I am not familiar with this theory, but it sounds interesting. However, if what you say is true about humans' ability to perceive reality, then would not other forms of explaining reality, including religion, also not represent reality? Would not all explanations need to continue to change over time in light of new knowledge in order to more closely approach reality?

 

I guess I would go for the old 2% inspiration and 98% sweat formula. At some point Darwin had an “eureka!” moment and things jelled. Many innovations can be traced to some kind of inspiration. Experience tends to confirm our prejudices because of our human bias. Revelation is like a thunder bolt out of the blues that blows us out of the rut that we are in and opens new possibilities to our thinking.

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I guess I would go for the old 2% inspiration and 98% sweat formula. At some point Darwin had an “eureka!” moment and things jelled. Many innovations can be traced to some kind of inspiration. Experience tends to confirm our prejudices because of our human bias. Revelation is like a thunder bolt out of the blues that blows us out of the rut that we are in and opens new possibilities to our thinking.

 

...okay. That may very well be how Darwin reached his conclusions. But I don't quite see how this relates to the incompleteness theorem and religious explanation, which is what you quoted from my post.

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Evolutionary science had been alive before Darwin who in education I guess mainly went on to be a geographer of some kind? As it was back then you had a lot of modern scientific theory not existing in such a states but was more hypothetical such as with geology, physics and so on all were not in todays modern forms by any means.

 

In natural selection by Darwin no supernatural force or entity is required to explain the diversity and evolutionary history of life. Genetics was not as it is but such thinking about such a unit was not absent by any means in such. Darwin eventually I think became an agnostic which I think resembles in much of the theory as it to me only attempts to explain via some physical process something physical. It has sense become a dominant aspect of biology simply because the science of such only continues to support it.

I think it makes up that basic concept of what operates on variation over time with reproduction really, in that you find I think genetics at the base, with more molecular stuff on up in complexity to ecological scale stuff, in all of it though natural selection can hold via what science discovers such as genes and genomes.

So again it works as modern theory because I guess it naturally can in connection with science. If natural selection were wrong, I would think continued complex biological study of such would discover this. For it to function in every field of biological inquiry and even be able to bridge all of those in a coherent whole, I just do not know how it can still be doubted so easily. It again works because it puts forward a physical process to explain a physical process that can be falsified by means of science.

 

By accepting evolution via natural selection you then are agreeing to how it works, which does not require again anything supernatural.

 

I also think origin of life is talked about by Darwin in conjuncture with basically a prebiotic organic soup.

 

I also think that if the natural selection was proposed to be some form of intelligent design or creationism I think such a statement lacks as natural selection itself not only then but in a modern sense never called or calls for anything supernatural.

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My point is that Darwin built his theory on a Christian Framework. I would guess that he did this unconsciously. His basic theory follows the Christian or “redeemer” scenario with a few changes as noted above.

 

The historical data is not that Darwin built his theory on a "Christian framework" but rather:

1. He firmly set evolution within the "natural theology" tradition operating in Christianity at the time. He firmly believed that evolution was compatible with Christianity, being the "secondary cause" that God used.

3. At the time he wrote Origin, Darwin was a theist.

 

"Natural theology" is the idea that God uses secondary causes -- material causes discovered by science -- as His means of working. This can clearly be seen in this quote from Origin:

 

"To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual." C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species,pg. 449.

 

It can also clearly be seen in the 3 quotes Darwin chose (and kept in all 6 editions) for the Fontispiece.

 

However, there is no "redeemer" motif. Remember:

1. Evolution happens to populations, not individuals

2. There is no volition in natural selection. That is, no control by the individual. Individuals are lucky or unlucky in the genetic variations they have. They are born with these; they do not choose them. These variations either do well or poorly in the competition for scarce resources (Struggle for Existence). The individual has no choice or control over the process. A "redeemer" gets to choose whether he/she will play the part assigned to them. Remember Jesus' anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane? He could have chosen to leave the path at any time. An individual in natural selection can't.

 

Also, variations don't always lead to "redemption". Many species walk down narrower and narrower paths of adaptation so that they can exist in only very restricted environments. When that environment changes, the population can't adapt fast enough and the species goes extinct. Remember, fully 99.9% of all species that have ever lived on the planet have gone extinct. That's not much "redemption" if only 0.1% are redeemed. It might fit with Jehovah's Witness or some of the more radical Reformed denominations, but it certainly doesn't work for mainstream Christianity, in which everyone can find redemption and Jesus died so that everyone could be saved.

 

I"m sorry, Dennisg, but it needed to be pointed out that your claim was not only bad science, but also bad theology.

 

In natural selection by Darwin no supernatural force or entity is required to explain the diversity and evolutionary history of life.

 

Not entirely accurate, I'm afraid. In natural selection deity is not required to directly manufacture species or parts of them as is required by Special Creation/ID. It's not clear that no "supernatural force or entity" is required at all.

 

The proposed requirement is deeper than direct manufacture. It goes back to "secondary causes" again. How does deity work? By direct manufacture or by sustaining the material causes that do the direct work?

 

Judeo-Christian theology always has maintained that Yahweh did 2 things: directly interferred in human history and sustained the natural world. This attitude is expressed very well in the second quote Darwin used in the Fontispiece to Origin of Species:

 

"The only distinct meaning of the word 'natural' is stated, fixed, or settled; since what is natural as much requires and presupposes an intelligent agent to render it so, i.e., to effect it continually or at stated times, as what is supernatural or miraculous does to effect it for once." Butler: Analogy of Revealed Religion.

 

Read that carefully. It is proposing that everything that happens "naturally" requires deity to will it to happen. Put hydrogen and oxygen together and add a spark and the oxygen and hydrogen combine to make water. However, according to this proposal deity must will the reation to take place or it doesn't happen. Deity wills it to take place each and every time. And this applies to everything science studies, whether evolution, gravity, electromagnetism, ligand-receptor interactions, etc.

 

Science can't tell us whether Butler is correct or not. It's a limitation of science called Methdological Materialism. We know that evolution is sufficient as a material cause. We don't need an additional material cause of direct manufacture. However, that doesn't allow us to say that deity is not required. Deity could be required for the material cause to work.

 

Darwin eventually I think became an agnostic which I think resembles in much of the theory as it to me only attempts to explain via some physical process something physical.

 

Yes, Darwin had "wild swings of faith" between theism and agnosticism but eventually settled toward agnosticism.

 

If natural selection were wrong, I would think continued complex biological study of such would discover this.

 

Yes. Notice that both "irreducible complexity" and "complex specified information" are failed attempts by IDers to show natural selection to be wrong.

 

By accepting evolution via natural selection you then are agreeing to how it works, which does not require again anything supernatural.

 

See above. That "not require anything supernatural" is going beyond what science can tell you.

 

I also think origin of life is talked about by Darwin in conjuncture with basically a prebiotic organic soup.

 

In a later letter, Darwin speculated about this. But in Origin of Species Darwin allowed the possibility of direct manufacture by deity:

 

"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst 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." C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species, pg 450.

 

In Evolution it is the one member of a species that has a mutation that is advantageous who leads the way to survival. ... Finally, in evolution this changed member of a species must out procreate the other members from the species to be changed.

 

Your view of natural selection isn't accurate, therefore your conclusions are wrong.

 

First, we are dealing with variations, not "mutations". Mutations are simply one of the methods to get variation. In sexually reproducing species, sexual recombination generates far more variation than mutation.

 

Second, the individual with the advantageous variation doesn't "lead the way". Instead, because that variation confers a better design in coping with the "struggle for existence", that individual will do better than other individuals in getting scarce resources. That means that the lucky individual will have more offspring than other individuals. Those offspring, by inheritance, will likely have the variation.

 

Over the course of generations, what happens is that the descendents with the variation of that one lucky individual continue to do better than individuals without the variation. Eventually, that variation will become "fixed" in the population, meaning every individual will have it. That means, of course, that eventually every individual will be descended from that one lucky individual.

 

There is no "leading" here. It's all unconscious. Procreation is also not conscious. It's just that, by doing better in the struggle for existence, that individual will "naturally" produce more surviving offspring than those who do not have the variation.

 

While Jesus did not procreate - his spiritual "genes" are in billions of people making him the most “imitated" person to have ever lived.

 

Actually, that is wrong. Muslims outnumber Christians. Which makes Mohammed the most "imitated" person to have ever lived. :doh:

 

What you call "underlying themes" break down on many levels.

 

Now, you certainly can look upon evolution and natural selection has how God created. Christians do. But the attempt to gain credibility for that belief by comparing natural selection to Christian redemption fails as both science and theology. Give that argument up, please. It hurts both science and Christianity.

 

The two stories are two perspectives of the same event and are not completely separate. For example in Genesis 1:29 fruit with seed is given as food. The questions then becomes how would one know whether a fruit had a seed or not? And what would be the consequences of eating fruit without a seed? These two questions are then answered in the second account where God points out which tree not to eat from and what the consequences of eating from it are.

 

Sorry, but Biblical scholars now all agree that we have 2 separate stories. Also, people can look at see if there are seeds in a fruit. The 2 trees that are forbidden are not forbidden based on seeds! Read Genesis 2! They are in the center of the garden and are forbidden because of the powers eating their fruit bestows! One bestows knowledge of Good and Evil and the other bestows Eternal Life.

 

 

You are also ignoring all the other contradictions between the 2 creation stories. In Genesis 1 all the animals are created before men and women (both plural in the Hebrew) are created. So we don't have just one man and one woman. We have many men and women spoken into existence. In Genesis 2 the story has one man created "from the dust of the ground", then all the animals to be helpmeets to that man. When all of them fail to be a proper helpmeet, the story says that one woman was created from one of the man's ribs.

 

Animals were companions for Adam and he “tended” the garden in return for food for himself and his companions.

 

The command to tend the garden comes before there are any animals and birds created to be "helpmeets". Adam was placed in the garden in 2:15 and the animals and birds are not created until 2:19.

 

If you are going to try to rely upon a literal reading of the Bible as evidence, then you must also accept contrary evidence that also comes from a literal reading of the Bible. If not, then you really aren't out to find truth, but want to warp truth to fit an idea that you want. That's not good in either science or theology.

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Not entirely accurate, I'm afraid. In natural selection deity is not required to directly manufacture species or parts of them as is required by Special Creation/ID. It's not clear that no "supernatural force or entity" is required at all.

 

<...>

 

We know that evolution is sufficient as a material cause. We don't need an additional material cause of direct manufacture. However, that doesn't allow us to say that deity is not required. Deity could be required for the material cause to work.

 

<...>

 

See above. That "not require anything supernatural" is going beyond what science can tell you.

You're right. This little semantic word game you're playing is not wrong. Science cannot tell us that a "super natural cosmic dictator" is not required.

 

 

However, the theory in existence that has ZERO inclusion of a supernatural entitiy still works as well as can be. It does not include the assumption of the supernatural, yet it performs majestically.

 

Adding the part you did which implies that a supernatural cosmic dictator might be involved does nothing for us beyond semantic correctness, and offers seemingly nothing to an already robust theory. In my view, the inclusion of such a "god possibility" only offers solice to the mentally handicapped people who are still struggling to reconcile their belief in god and their Iron Age fairy tales with their empirical knowledge of the natural universe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If not, then you really aren't out to find truth, but want to warp truth to fit an idea that you want. That's not good in either science or theology.

 

My point exactly. Perhaps I was wrong to remind you of this above.

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Evolution happens to populations, not individuals

 

As Maggie used to say "There are no popluations only individuals".

 

Also, people can look at see if there are seeds in a fruit.

 

God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.' Please don't pretend to be an expert.

 

 

Actually, that is wrong. Muslims outnumber Christians. Which makes Mohammed the most "imitated" person to have ever lived.

 

In the future prehaps you will be explaining your ideas to them. My main point really is that Darwin's idea of transformation was a really good one. But his ideas of "survival of the fittest" and "chance" were bad and have produced many negative social outcomes. Mature people should be able to discuss these sorts of things and take responsibility for mistakes.

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You're right. This little semantic word game you're playing is not wrong. Science cannot tell us that a "super natural cosmic dictator" is not required.

 

1. It's not a semantic word game. It gets to the heart of what science can and cannot tell us. It's a basic reason why science is agnostic.

2. Here you say that science can't tell us that deity is not required. Notice the semantic word game you are playing: ad hominem. But then you contradict this by saying:

However, the theory in existence that has ZERO inclusion of a supernatural entitiy still works as well as can be. It does not include the assumption of the supernatural, yet it performs majestically.

 

This is still saying that deity is not required. :) It's just saying it differently. Again, science can't comment on the inclusion of deity. What we can say, as scientists, is that we have sufficient material cause. Is there a supernatural cause/entity included/required? We don't know. We can't say by the methods of science.

 

But there is a further problem with what you are saying. There are at least 2 ways that deity can influence natural selection and evolution and we would not be able to detect it. Thus deity may be "included".

1. Deity can introduce particular muations that it wants ( R Dawkins, Climbing Mt. Improbable, pp 80- 82.)

2. Deity could engage in a little artificial selection and eliminate some varieties it doesn't want. (D. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, pp. 317-318).

 

Adding the part you did which implies that a supernatural cosmic dictator might be involved does nothing for us beyond semantic correctness, and offers seemingly nothing to an already robust theory.

 

We are not talking about adding to the theory. Instead, we are talking about using science correctly and acknowledging what science can and cannot tell us. It does add to science by not eliminating possibilities without the data to do so. If you eliminate possibilities without data to do so, then you too "warp truth to fit an idea that you want."

 

In my view, the inclusion of such a "god possibility" only offers solice to the mentally handicapped people who are still struggling to reconcile their belief in god and their Iron Age fairy tales with their empirical knowledge of the natural universe.

 

That's your belief. Stripped of the invalid ad hominem, you are welcome to it. I don't particularly like the intolerance expressed by the ad hominem and am, therefore, glad you don't have enough political power to enforce that intolerance.

 

The point here is that you can't base your belief in science and use science to convert that belief to anything other than a faith. You may not like it that science can't deny the existence of deity or that your faith is a faith, but that's the reality.

 

My point exactly. Perhaps I was wrong to remind you of this above.

 

Your point didn't include theology. My point is the Dennisg has misrepresented both science Judeo-Christian theology and scripture. You are misrepresenting science.

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My main point really is that Darwin's idea of transformation was a really good one. But his ideas of "survival of the fittest" and "chance" were bad and have produced many negative social outcomes. Mature people should be able to discuss these sorts of things and take responsibility for mistakes.

 

Exactly which point of my rebuttal above in post #51 and post #57 do you think is mistaken?

 

 

 

 

 

This is still saying that deity is not required. :) It's just saying it differently.

Actually, what I am saying is that it is not currently included and it works fine without it.

 

We are in agreement that science cannot be used to disprove the hand of some god in the process, just like science cannot be used to disprove that fairies, unicorns, or dragons have some hand in the process of evolution. However, I flatly reject the god assertion with the same fervor and confidence, and also for the same reasons, that I reject the assertions of fairies, unicorns, and leprechauns, and countless other ridiculous fairy tales have some involvement in evolution.

 

Finally, if the proported influence of some supernatural cosmic dictator cannot be measured, perceived, or detected then it can be fully ignored and disregarded with zero negative impact to our understanding.

Edited by iNow
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As Maggie used to say "There are no popluations only individuals".

 

That's not true. There are separate populations. They are called "species". You are ducking the point that the individuals don't change. They die with the same alleles they are born with. The proportion of alleles changes only in a population and that over the course of generations.

 

God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.' Please don't pretend to be an expert.

 

Genesis 2:16-17: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

 

Scripture does not say what you say it does. Please don't misrepresent scripture that anyone can go read. The location of the trees is given back in Genesis 2:9 and it is not God speaking:

"And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

 

I notice you didn't even attempt to address the other points I made.

 

My main point really is that Darwin's idea of transformation was a really good one. But his ideas of "survival of the fittest" and "chance" were bad and have produced many negative social outcomes. Mature people should be able to discuss these sorts of things and take responsibility for mistakes.

 

The ideas are good. Misrepresenting them and taking them out of biology was bad. For instance, the idea is natural selection. You have misrepresented that as "survival of the fittest" without knowing what natural selection is, only the soundbite version. See the end of the post for what NS really is.

 

You have also misrepresented "chance". What we have is that variations are random. But in this case "random" has a very specific meaning: random with respect to the needs of the individual or the population. In a climate growing warmer, just as many deer will be born with shorter fur as longer fur. But selection is the opposite of chance or random. It is pure determinism. Evolution is not a theory about "chance".

 

Now, a summary of natural selection by the man who discovered it:

"If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season, or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite diversity in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each beings welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occured useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection." [Origin, p 127 6th ed.]

 

"survival of the fittest" was coined by Spencer, not Darwin. And it was Spencer who committed the naturalistic fallacy of trying to take this strawman version of natural selection and say humans ought to enforce it.

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But his ideas of "survival of the fittest" and "chance" were bad and have produced many negative social outcomes. Mature people should be able to discuss these sorts of things and take responsibility for mistakes.

 

You are committing the naturalistic fallacy, dennis. Darwin's descriptions of "survival of the fittest" and "chance" were not ideas but patterns that he observed in nature. They have no moral value. They are not "good" or "bad." They are simply what is. Natural selection happens. Mutations happen. No matter how anyone feels about it, there is no denying these facts. Mature and intelligent people should understand this, and should take responsibility for using the existence of these processes to incorrectly justify their actions.

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Notice the semantic word game you are playing: ad hominem.

 

<...>

 

That's your belief. Stripped of the invalid ad hominem, you are welcome to it.

 

We agree more than we do not on the issue that science cannot with certainty prove anything, but with that said, you need to look up what an ad hominem is. What I did contained invective, aggression, and I was also mocking, however, it was not an ad hom.

 

Had I said, "Lucaspa is an idiot who believes in fairy tales, therefore his points can't be trusted and are all wrong,' then that would be ad hom. However, I respected your points, respected you, and mocked religious belief in general. My mocking of belief in religion and the fairy tales was not used in support of my argument, and was, in fact, peripheral to it. Therefore, my argument was made separate from my mocking and no ad hominems were made.

 

 

You're well educated, and I respect your biological knowledge as it far surpasses my own. However, I did not ad hom you and wanted to set the record straight on that.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

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Scripture does not say what you say it does

 

God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.' Gen 3:3

 

As you can see it does say what I said it said.

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You are committing the naturalistic fallacy, dennis. Darwin's descriptions of "survival of the fittest" and "chance" were not ideas but patterns that he observed in nature. They have no moral value. They are not "good" or "bad." They are simply what is. Natural selection happens. Mutations happen. No matter how anyone feels about it, there is no denying these facts.

Dennis' argument is akin to people saying bad things about Isaac Newton for describing gravity and then asserting that it's his fault people drop rocks on to others from tall buildings.

 

 

It's now time for me to bow out of this conversation because people are trying to use Iron Age fairy tales as evidence in a scientific discussion.

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Dennis' argument is akin to people saying bad things about Isaac Newton for describing gravity and then asserting that it's his fault people drop rocks on to others from tall buildings.

 

 

It's now time for me to bow out of this conversation because people are trying to use Iron Age fairy tales as evidence in a scientific discussion.

 

Gravity is not a social world view - evolution is.

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Actually, what I am saying is that it is not currently included and it works fine without it.

 

LOL! And how is that different from saying deity is not "required"? All you've done is given the definition of "required".

 

We are in agreement that science cannot be used to disprove the hand of some god in the process, just like science cannot be used to disprove that fairies, unicorns, or dragons have some hand in the process of evolution.

 

No, we don't agree to the second. Because we can disprove the existence of those 3. Think about it for a minute; we already have the data to do this, you only have to apply it to this problem. Therefore, since unicorns, fairies, and dragons don't exist, they can't be involved in the process.

 

However, I flatly reject the god assertion with the same fervor and confidence, and also for the same reasons, that I reject the assertions of fairies, unicorns, and leprechauns, and countless other ridiculous fairy tales have some involvement in evolution.

 

Well, by the data you can't use the same fervor as for fairies, unicorns, and dragons. Now, you can propose some other entities, but then we have to look at the characteristics of those entities. If they have the same characteristics of "deity" then we have a case of "a rose by any other name ..." and you are simply playing semantic games.

 

Finally, if the proported influence of some supernatural cosmic dictator cannot be measured, perceived, or detected then it can be fully ignored and disregarded with zero negative impact to our understanding.

 

It depends on why it "cannot be measured, perceived, or detected". If the reason is that our methods of doing the measuring, perception, or detection is incapable, then your statement is in error.

 

You have set a criteria for ignoring or disregarding theories/entities. Let's test that criteria by taking it out of the special case you are using it for. After all, the criteria can't just apply to deity, can it?

 

So, let's start with the rolled up dimensions of String Theory. They "cannot be measured, perceived, or detected", can they? But do we we say they "can be fully ignored and disregarded"? Nope. Instead, we are working at ways to detect them.

 

How about tachyons? Can't be detected by our current instruments. Have we "fully ignored and disregarded" the existence of tachyons? Again, no.

 

What you have done is really, really damaged science in an attempt to rationalize your faith. You have stood science on its head. In science, we never discard an entity unless we can disprove it. To do what you want would mean to prematurely discard entities that exist and have an important effect on the universe and our understanding of it.

 

Your criteria would ruin science and, if followed in the past, have destroyed science. You are going to have to learn to live with the possibilities I've outlined. You can believe those possibilities are wrong and there are some valid arguments you can use; but none of the arguments you've proposed are valid.

 

Gravity is not a social world view - evolution is.

 

No, Dennisg, evolution is not a social worldview. Evolution is a theory that describes how the physical universe works. Just like gravity does.

 

Social Darwinism was an attempt to make natural selection into a social worldview. Social Darwinism isn't evolution. It misrepresented evolution and also committed the Naturalistic Fallacy (look that up if you don't know what it is).

 

Let's try another scientific theory: nuclear fission/fusion. That tells us that energy is released when an atom fissions or when 2 or more atoms fuse to form a different one. There have been and are people who advocate using weapons based on this theory to impose ideas on other people. But that worldview is not fission/fusion, it it?

 

Do you think evolution = atheism?

 

God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.' Gen 3:3

 

As you can see it does say what I said it said.

 

What you have done is pick the translations that serves you best: The ESV and RSV. You have also left out part of the verse.

 

Genesis 3:2-3: "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

 

This is KJV and Hebrew Names Version.

 

In most translations, it is Eve that says "the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden", not God.

2. Eve is giving a summary of what God said, not a verbatim quote. The quote is back in Genesis 2.

 

All in all, not playing fair with scripture.

Edited by lucaspa
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