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Author Topic:   Motivation for Denying God and Accepting Evolution
Genologist
Junior Member (Idle past 1823 days)
Posts: 8
From: Kadoma, Mashonaland West, Zimbabwe
Joined: 09-15-2012


Message 1 of 39 (673249)
09-17-2012 3:05 PM


Please see the latter half of Message 2 for the opening post of this thread. --Admin

Dear Administrator

I would like to propose the following topics. I would be delighted if either (or both) of the topics could be put forward for approval or modification along these lines:

a) In what tangible ways would mankind be worse-off if the theory of evolution were to be omitted from mainstream education?
b) Do evolutionists posses a religious zeal in their defence of the theory of evolution, and if so why?

Thank-you.

Edited by Admin, : Add redirect message at top.

Edited by Admin, : Change title to be appropriate to topic.


Replies to this message:
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Admin
Director
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From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 2 of 39 (673250)
09-17-2012 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Genologist
09-17-2012 3:05 PM


Hi Genologist,

The way this works is that you write the first message of your thread by describing what you'd like to debate and clearly laying out your position, then a moderator reviews it, maybe he requests a few changes, maybe not, and then the thread gets promoted to one of the discussion forums. But just to get things going I'll edit your message using topic (b) to be the opening post of a new thread by using your last message from the Scientific vs Creationist Frauds and Hoaxes thread. You can propose another thread for topic (a) if you like, but I'd suggest waiting a bit and see how things go with your first thread.

To everyone, what follows is to be used as the opening post of this thread.


Genologist's opening post, including some of the text from his Message 186:

I have through observation and discussion discovered that the removal of even the mere notion of a higher being is considered attractive to "some" people because they can live with a free albeit numbed or diminished conscience in this area at least. In most of those cases their answer to life is that they go with science as opposed to Christianity for example, in the context that science becomes almost a belief system or religion to them.

I believe that true science is compatible with Christianity when we point out definite evidence, (unfortunately even definite can be subjective) but we must then proceed not to "so readily" let our ideas generated from compiling such evidence become "theory and even fact". I find it sad that people consider theories such as evolution FACT, fait accompli, as if there were some ageless being with a clipboard documenting the whole thing.

Do evolutionists posses a religious zeal in their defence of the theory of evolution, and if so why?


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Admin
Director
Posts: 12536
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 3 of 39 (673252)
09-17-2012 5:03 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the new topics re: evolution thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Percy
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From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 4 of 39 (673253)
09-17-2012 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
09-17-2012 5:01 PM


Genologist writes:

Do evolutionists posses a religious zeal in their defence of the theory of evolution, and if so why?

How does one recognize religious zeal? Do you think religious zeal indicates a religious rather than factual basis for one's position? Is it your position that the more vehemence displayed the less factual must be the basis?

--Percy


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PaulK
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Posts: 13375
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 5 of 39 (673254)
09-17-2012 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
09-17-2012 5:01 PM


(Replying to Genologist's message, reposted by Admin)

quote:

I have through observation and discussion discovered that the removal of even the mere notion of a higher being is considered attractive to "some" people because they can live with a free albeit numbed or diminished conscience in this area at least. In most of those cases their answer to life is that they go with science as opposed to Christianity for example, in the context that science becomes almost a belief system or religion to them.

I would like to know these "observations" since I suspect that they are circumstantial at best.

In my experience, I would say that Fundamentalist Christianity is more likely to lead to a numbing of the conscience. The need to justify Biblical atrocities is an obvious example, but there are more.

quote:

I believe that true science is compatible with Christianity when we point out definite evidence,

We have plenty of definite evidence for evolution. That is why it is accepted by the vast majority of experts - including many Christians, such as Francis Collins, Kenneth Miller and Simon Conway Morris.

quote:

but we must then proceed not to "so readily" let our ideas generated from compiling such evidence become "theory and even fact". I find it sad that people consider theories such as evolution FACT, fait accompli, as if there were some ageless being with a clipboard documenting the whole thing.

Of course that last is your invention. Evolution is accepted as fact because of the vast weight of evidence supporting it. And I suspect that you are quite willing to accept other beliefs with less support as fact.

Edited by PaulK, : Clarify that this is a reply to Genologist


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Coyote
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(3)
Message 6 of 39 (673255)
09-17-2012 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
09-17-2012 5:01 PM


Theory vs. fact
I find it sad that people consider theories such as evolution FACT, fait accompli...

I think you have some problem with definitions of terms. For example, evolution is both a theory and an observed fact. An analogy would be gravity: things fall to the earth because of gravity (a fact), and the theory of gravity explains why. Similarly, populations have been observed to evolve (a fact), and the theory of evolution explains why. Incidentally, the theory of evolution is a better explanation for biological change than the theory of gravitation is for gravitational attraction.

Here are some definitions which may help:

Theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses. Theories do not grow up to be laws. Theories explain laws.

Theory: A scientifically testable general principle or body of principles offered to explain observed phenomena. In scientific usage, a theory is distinct from a hypothesis (or conjecture) that is proposed to explain previously observed phenomena. For a hypothesis to rise to the level of theory, it must predict the existence of new phenomena that are subsequently observed. A theory can be overturned if new phenomena are observed that directly contradict the theory. [Source]

When a scientific theory has a long history of being supported by verifiable evidence, it is appropriate to speak about "acceptance" of (not "belief" in) the theory; or we can say that we have "confidence" (not "faith") in the theory. It is the dependence on verifiable data and the capability of testing that distinguish scientific theories from matters of faith.

Proof: Except for math and geometry, there is little that is actually proved. Even well-established scientific theories can't be conclusively proved, because--at least in principle--a counter-example might be discovered. Scientific theories are always accepted provisionally, and are regarded as reliable only because they are supported (not proved) by the verifiable facts they purport to explain and by the predictions which they successfully make. All scientific theories are subject to revision (or even rejection) if new data are discovered which necessitates this.

Proof: A term from logic and mathematics describing an argument from premise to conclusion using strictly logical principles. In mathematics, theorems or propositions are established by logical arguments from a set of axioms, the process of establishing a theorem being called a proof.

The colloquial meaning of "proof" causes lots of problems in physics discussion and is best avoided. Since mathematics is such an important part of physics, the mathematician's meaning of proof should be the only one we use. Also, we often ask students in upper level courses to do proofs of certain theorems of mathematical physics, and we are not asking for experimental demonstration!

So, in a laboratory report, we should not say "We proved Newton's law" Rather say, "Today we demonstrated (or verified) the validity of Newton's law in the particular case of..." Source

Observation: any information collected with the senses.

Data: Individual measurements; facts, figures, pieces of information, statistics, either historical or derived by calculation, experimentation, surveys, etc.; evidence from which conclusions can be inferred.

Fact: when an observation is confirmed repeatedly and by many independent and competent observers, it can become a fact.

Truth: This is a word best avoided entirely in physics [and science] except when placed in quotes, or with careful qualification. Its colloquial use has so many shades of meaning from ‘it seems to be correct’ to the absolute truths claimed by religion, that it’s use causes nothing but misunderstanding. Someone once said "Science seeks proximate (approximate) truths." Others speak of provisional or tentative truths. Certainly science claims no final or absolute truths. Source

Hope this helps.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15987
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.0


(19)
Message 7 of 39 (673256)
09-17-2012 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
09-17-2012 5:01 PM


Do evolutionists posses a religious zeal in their defence of the theory of evolution ...

Yes, we do. That's why we blew up the Institute for Creation Research, burned Ken Ham at the stake, and declared a fatwa against Phillip Johnson.

Of course, some of the more mild-mannered among us just go from door to door with pamphlets asking if you've heard the good news about Darwin. But I say, let us give the infidel no quarter!

Repent, Genologist, of your Darwinless ways, or you will burn forever in hell while demons poke you with pitchforks. Let us now turn to page 156 of our hymnals and sing that rousing old hymn "What A Friend We Have In Huxley".

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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jar
Member
Posts: 29807
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 8 of 39 (673258)
09-17-2012 7:02 PM


Evolution is a FACT.
Evolution is a FACT just as it is a FACT that on earth we have periods of light followed by periods of darkness.

There is simply no discussion possible about whether or not Evolution happened. It did. To question whether or not Evolution is a fact is no different than questioning whether or not on Earth we have periods of light followed by periods of darkness.

The question is, "What is the explanation for the Fact of Evolution?"

Down through history many attempts have been made to explain the facts seen; there is the "Parent" myths where everything is the product of the union of two gods; the "Orderer" that finds Chaos and lines everything up and the "Travel" myths where life emerges from some other realm, under ground, the skies, a cave.

They were all attempts to explain the FACT of Evolution.

The only answer so far that best explains the fact of Evolution is called the Theory of Evolution.

The FACT of Evolution and the Theory of Evolution are two separate things and should not be confused.

While the FACT that life evolved is ageless, the Theory of Evolution has changed over time as new evidence and techniques are introduced.

Accepting the FACT of Evolution requires no more zeal than accepting the FACT that there is Day and Night.

No one simply accepts the Theory of Evolution, rather it is the very Evolutionists that constantly challenge it and when new techniques become available use those new techniques to test the Theory of Evolution yet again and to change it where it does not stand up to critical analysis.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

Replies to this message:
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Stile
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Posts: 3044
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(6)
Message 9 of 39 (673284)
09-18-2012 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Genologist
09-17-2012 3:05 PM


Genologist writes:

I have through observation and discussion discovered that the removal of even the mere notion of a higher being is considered attractive to "some" people because they can live with a free albeit numbed or diminished conscience in this area at least.

I don't find a removal of God attractive. I just find that He doesn't exist.
I've looked for God, I've asked for God, I've prayed to God and I remain open to accepting God.
I've just never heard from God. I think it's because He doesn't exist.

In most of those cases their answer to life is that they go with science as opposed to Christianity for example, in the context that science becomes almost a belief system or religion to them.

I don't have an answer to life. I'm not sure if anyone does.
I also don't think that there can really be just one answer. And if so, it would have to be so general as to be useless. People are different. There are lots of people. There are vast differences. One thing such as "the answer to life" just isn't going to work for all people.
I mean, there's not even one flavour of ice-cream that works for all people. Why would you expect something as grand as the answer to life itself to be simpler than ice-cream? I would guess that such a thing would be rather comlplex, not simple.

Do evolutionists posses a religious zeal in their defence of the theory of evolution, and if so why?

I don't.
But it certainly seems to be a much better answer for the diversity of living creatures over God and the Bible.
Evolution at least tries to deal with all the information we're learning over time as we advance through our lives. God and the Bible kinda stopped learning about stuff at least a few hundred years ago. Sort of an "old and busted" vs. "new hotness" idea.


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ringo
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Posts: 13987
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 10 of 39 (673292)
09-18-2012 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
09-17-2012 5:01 PM


Genologist writes:

Do evolutionists posses a religious zeal in their defence of the theory of evolution, and if so why?


My father believed zealously in God. He also believed zealously that the earth is round and he believed zealously that men have walked on the moon. He believed zealously without any scientific reasoning whatsoever.

So yes, it is hypothtically possible for somebody to believe zealously in evolution without any scientific reasoning. Of course, that isn't a reflection on the scientific basis for a round earth, men walking on the moon or evolution. It's a reflection on the person.


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Theodoric
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From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 9.6


(3)
Message 11 of 39 (673300)
09-18-2012 1:17 PM


I have through observation and discussion discovered that the removal of even the mere notion of a higher being is considered attractive to "some" people because they can live with a free albeit numbed or diminished conscience in this area at least.

I would have to say this is probably a load of crap. I find atheists no more or less moral than anyone else.

Care to provide some examples of these people? I can provide you thousands of christians with a "numbed or diminished conscience".
Or do you define everyone that does not believe what you believe as "numbed and diminished".

Your whole premise is offensive.

What is my motivation for denying a god and accepting evolution?
First of all they are not mutually exclusive things. You can believe in a god and accept evolution. You can also not believe in a god and not believe in evolution. Not believing in evolution is pretty stupid for anyone. There is that sticky thing called evidence.

I don't deny a god. That would mean that I am refusing to accept something. There is nothing to accept so there is no denial. It is simply following where the evidence leads. There is no evidence for a god or bigfoot so there is no reason to believe in them.

So why do I accept evolution? Because of the evidence. It is that simple. It is not a moral judgement.

I do not need a god to make moral decisions or to live a moral life. In fact I can live a moral life much easier because I have no reason to believe in a god.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


    
NoNukes
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(1)
Message 12 of 39 (673382)
09-18-2012 5:12 PM


Is Genologist the least bit interested in this topic? I thought his first question was far more thought provoking. Most of the answers I see so far seem to deny the entire premise behind the motivation question.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison.

“Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own.” George Bernard Shaw


    
Genologist
Junior Member (Idle past 1823 days)
Posts: 8
From: Kadoma, Mashonaland West, Zimbabwe
Joined: 09-15-2012


Message 13 of 39 (673441)
09-19-2012 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by jar
09-17-2012 7:02 PM


Re: Evolution is a FACT.
The FACT of Evolution and the Theory of Evolution are two separate things and should not be confused.

(please excuse my unavoidable absence). Jar, I generally like your concise posts, however I think you need to fully expand or define the word "evolution" within the phrase "the fact of evolution" vs the "theory of evolution". I say this because unfortunately from observation it appears that very few people actually separate certain, individually observed "evolutionary" phenomena such as adaption or selection which are included as evidence for the ToE as a whole, (as you do), as being distinct on their own, ie "are able to stand alone" from the actual ToE (which is merely certain people's opinion translating those facts into a form of explanation). When speaking of evolution it is my understanding that it logically should at least be very closely associated with abiogenesis, (it invariably continues to be taught as connected by teachers, why?), and if it in fact "OFFICIALLY" shouldn't, then this has been poorly conveyed, and for the purposes of clarity, it certainly needs to be at least strongly emphasised that the ToE effectively has no known beginnings other than that the idea started with a common ancestor, a "simple", ALREADY EXISTING (Intelligently- Created?) life form.- Incidentally, and surely to the embarrassment of secular evos, there is in fact no such thing as a "simple" life form- indeed the genome of the much touted "simple" amoeba proteus, (the amoeba traditionally is taught as being the likely common ancestor), has 290 billion units of DNA- some one hundred times that of the human being! www.genomenewsnetwork.org/.../02.../Sizing_genomes.shtml - how's that for simple-to-more-complex? I don't hear this fact being bandied about too much in the evo posts, Why? The ToE with its current ambiguity, (such as is widely taught in schools/mainstream education), coupled with an insistence that every genetic transaction in evolution is unguided or random is why I assert that there is a religious ambition to exclude a Creator.- Ask a bunch of high school students today if they feel that they have been taught the TOE as fact and I'm pretty sure most will say yes, indeed if you observe the exam questions, they at the very least treat the theory as fact. There has also appeared over time to generally be a subtle (why subtle?) "evolution" within the theory of evolution from ideas to fact, often with little or no tangible evidence (eg the on-going controversy with transition across species), this is similar (albeit less blatant) to the following typical example of "transition" in another aspect of science: "The Earth is thought to be 4.6 billion years old". "Therefore since [fact] the Earth is 4.6 billion years old," ... As stated elsewhere, the religious pursuit by some to obviate a Creator from science or even from the origins of scientific theories stems from the dislike for accountability or relationship with a being higher than ones-self (pride?). It also stems from a misunderstanding within Christianity at least, that such Intelligent and awesome Being does not condemn but actually desires to restore relationship for OUR good. Look around you, there is corruption, but there is also clear evidence of a Creator who made wonderful things for us to enjoy and cherish. Random? I don't think so.


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jar
Member
Posts: 29807
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.5


(2)
Message 14 of 39 (673442)
09-19-2012 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Genologist
09-19-2012 12:31 PM


Re: Evolution is a FACT.
Fortunately what you think has no bearing on reality.

The Reality is that all the available evidence supports the FACT that evolution happened and is happening today.

Abiogenesis is irrelevant to discussing the FACT of evolution.

The Theory of Evolution is NOT simply someone's opinion or interpretation, it is the ONLY theory that explains the variety of life seen today.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Replies to this message:
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DrJones*
Member
Posts: 1683
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 08-19-2004


Message 15 of 39 (673443)
09-19-2012 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Genologist
09-19-2012 12:31 PM


Re: Evolution is a FACT.
As stated elsewhere, the religious pursuit by some to obviate a Creator from science or even from the origins of scientific theories stems from the dislike for accountability or relationship with a being higher than ones-self (pride?)

And what is your evidence for this assertion?

God separated the races and attempting to mix them is like attempting to mix water with diesel fuel.- Buzsaw Message 177

It's not enough to bash in heads, you've got to bash in minds
soon I discovered that this rock thing was true
Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil
Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet
All of a sudden i found myself in love with the world
And so there was only one thing I could do
Was ding a ding dang my dang along ling long - Jesus Built my Hotrod Ministry
Live every week like it's Shark Week! - Tracey Jordan
Just a monkey in a long line of kings. - Matthew Good
If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - Get Your War On
*not an actual doctor


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