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Author Topic:   What we must accept if we accept evolution
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 318 (280466)
01-21-2006 6:33 AM


The idea here is to study what evolution necessarily includes. I've identified several corollary concepts. If you accept TOE, you must also accept the following:

1. materialism
2. determinism
3. atheism
4. and lastly, of course, nihilism.

I'm interested in #1 and #2 primarily. My point about the connection between atheism and evolution has been discussed recently, and at length, on another thread ("Nature and the Fall of Man").

Materialism: One cannot, I think, be a dualist and accept TOE. It's rather difficult to imagine a type of reality called "mentality" evolving out of another type of reality called "physicality." It must be all physical. But if it's all physical, then it's all a matter of automatic responses to stimuli, and that's a deterministic concept.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-21-2006 05:34 AM

This message has been edited by AdminPD, 01-21-2006 07:57 AM


Replies to this message:
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AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 2 of 318 (280475)
01-21-2006 7:58 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

OP edited to add thread link.

This message has been edited by AdminPD, 01-21-2006 07:58 AM


Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 318 (280482)
01-21-2006 9:04 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-21-2006 6:33 AM


I don't see how the Theory of Evolution necessitates the belief in any of those any more than the Special Theory of Relativity does. Certainly, the ToE fits better with atheism than with many specific kinds of theism (Biblical literalism, for example) but that doesn't mean that it and theism are mutually exclusive.

I think it comes down to whether one is inclined to either believe in things for which we do not have evidence (faith), maintain an open mind on such things (agnosticism), or disbelieve in them. If you're the latter sort of person, then yes, you probably should sympathize with materialism, atheism and nihilism. Determinism is arguable.


This message is a reply to:
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 318 (280486)
01-21-2006 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Funkaloyd
01-21-2006 9:04 AM


I think it comes down to whether one is inclined to either believe in things for which we do not have evidence (faith), maintain an open mind on such things (agnosticism), or disbelieve in them

I'm talking about what we do have evidence for--evolution--and I am suggesting that not only does evolution loosely fit the other ideas, but that evolution dictates them logically.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-21-2006 08:27 AM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-21-2006 08:27 AM


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 10806
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 5 of 318 (280488)
01-21-2006 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-21-2006 6:33 AM


I agree with Funkaloyd. One can accept evolutionary theory without accepting any of the items on the list.

The Catholic Church accepts evolutionary theory but still holds that the human soul originated with God. That is just one way in which a dualistic belief can come to terms with evolution.a


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by robinrohan, posted 01-21-2006 6:33 AM robinrohan has responded

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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 318 (280489)
01-21-2006 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
01-21-2006 9:29 AM


The Catholic Church accepts evolutionary theory but still holds that the human soul originated with God

I'm just wondering how the Catholic Church is going to explain the apparent abitrary cruelty of nature and reconcile that with the goodness of God.

Evolution is cruel.


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 Message 5 by PaulK, posted 01-21-2006 9:29 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by iano, posted 01-21-2006 9:56 AM robinrohan has responded
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 1477 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 7 of 318 (280493)
01-21-2006 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
01-21-2006 9:29 AM


which ISM??
OF course trivially one could reject the items but I do not find this a very significant thought.

If determinism is not meant in the ugly sense of eugenics then I think that there MUST be some (kind) of determinism in TOE. What this recalls intellectually is the seperation of value and fact and indeed there was a German Scholar who came to Harvard lecturing on this but in consequence of this kind of seperation one had to buy into some relations between perception and physical reality that were only academically proped. Instead I find some kind of direct imposition being skirted. I think this is wrongly laced with chemicals and in the hands of money grabing psychiatrists it goes the wrong way socially in some states of this union.

I was just listening to
http://www.historicalvoices.org/earliest_voices/bryan.html
especially on science and bimetallism and I find that TOE does remand the name of the sound "bimetallism" but that is not on the list.

I can even wonder more about the word "parity" diffently. Just listen.

This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 01-21-2006 09:39 AM


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 318 (280496)
01-21-2006 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Brad McFall
01-21-2006 9:37 AM


Re: which ISM??
I think that there MUST be some (kind) of determinism in TOE

Yes. Physical events are deterministic in the sense that they happen automatically, like water running downhill. The water does not make a decision to run downhill. This is true of ALL physical events, unless there is a mind around to decide something. But if the brain is all physical, then all our thoughts are caused physically.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-21-2006 08:49 AM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 01-21-2006 08:50 AM


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Replies to this message:
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iano
Member (Idle past 90 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 9 of 318 (280497)
01-21-2006 9:56 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by robinrohan
01-21-2006 9:31 AM


I'm just wondering how the Catholic Church is going to explain the apparent abitrary cruelty of nature and reconcile that with the goodness of God.

The Fall....

Evolution is cruel.

...was very serious.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by robinrohan, posted 01-21-2006 9:31 AM robinrohan has responded

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 10806
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 10 of 318 (280499)
01-21-2006 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by robinrohan
01-21-2006 9:31 AM


You might as well say that evolution puts the cruelty that exists in nature to constructive use. I don't see that OEC views can have any great advantage of the mainstream Catholic line in that respect. Even YECs have a similar example of cruelty in the Flood story - and that is directly attributed to God.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by robinrohan, posted 01-21-2006 9:31 AM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
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Ben!
Member (Idle past 66 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 11 of 318 (280500)
01-21-2006 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-21-2006 6:33 AM


ONLY scientific results as "true"
RR,

Some people accept only scientific evidence as bearing on "truth". For those people, I believe you are right. Since science only produces explanations that are natural, and since "natural" is simply a word we've made to include both materialism and determanism, then those who accept scienctific evidence and theory as "true" (or only scientific explanations as "true") will follow the path you've outlined.

That's just due to the nature of the concepts. Science only deals with material, deterministic explanations.

The idea here is to study what evolution necessarily includes.

You can study evolution without believing science is the avenue, or the only avenue, to truth.

I've identified several corollary concepts. If you accept TOE, you must also accept the following:

I hope my previous replies helped explain why I think this is an overstatement. It's only if you accept science as the only thing telling you about truth.

By the way,

1. materialism
2. determinism

Even if you accept these as true, "free will" can still be a useful construct for understanding behavior. Pretty much, we have no other manner of analysis, so ... at this point, it's a necessary construct.

3. atheism

Again, I hope my explanation above makes it clear that I think atheism would be forced by the belief that only science can tell you about truth.

Assuming that "god" need be supernatural. Natural "gods"; i.e. the worship worship of natural things can exist, but I don't think you're interested in that.

4. and lastly, of course, nihilism.

This doesn't make sense to me. Nihilism is a subjective opinion. Meaning is imposed by the individual. The meaning imposed can be perfectly objective.

They just have no reasonable grounds to back them up.

Another way to approximate that thought is to say, there is no objective meaning, but there's nothing to stop an individual from believing in an objective meaning. But really, since meaning IS CREATED by the individual, an individual who believes in an objective meaning CREATES an objective meaning. There's no reasonable grounds to back it up and no reasonable grounds to shoot it down. It's a construct that depends on the individual.

Nihilism is not necessary. Because meaning has nothing to do with naturalism or logic. Nihilist are nihilists because they chose. "Choose" not meaning necessarily a conscious choice, but "chose" in the embodied sense--you, as a mind and body, as a being, chose it. You did it. Your body is just responsible for you as your mind.

Feel free to ignore me. I'm having trouble getting people to understand where I'm coming from.


This message is a reply to:
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iano
Member (Idle past 90 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 12 of 318 (280501)
01-21-2006 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by robinrohan
01-21-2006 9:49 AM


Re: which ISM??
This is true of ALL physical events, unless there is a mind around to decide something. But if the brain is all physical, then all our thoughts are caused physically.

..ergo, the mind, which does allow decision must not be (totally) physical. The presumption that the mind is located in the brain - something not demonstrated yet - must be false. That is the only conclusion to come to - unless one is prepared to say that every thought is as inevitable as water running downhill.

In which case we should all go home.


This message is a reply to:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 372 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 13 of 318 (280502)
01-21-2006 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by robinrohan
01-21-2006 6:33 AM


oh must i?
that's really news to me. maybe you should try it sometime. you might like it. first hit is free :p

ok my first question is which definition of materialism?

The theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life.

haha so not. or at least not for me.

A great or excessive regard for worldly concerns

if you mean by that my concern for human rights, well then guilty as charged and proudly. but then jesus was all about human rights too. maybe jesus believed in evolution. wouldn't that be funny.

The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

this is the most likely. while i am quite convinced that the brain and its chemical processes are quite sastisfactory for managing all our functions, i see this as no problem. so you can't figure out how it works therefore there must be some magical soul that makes us special that we actually use to think. that's crap. why can't god be a powerful enough god to create a brain that runs on chemistry that makes all out thoughts and feelings a reality?

The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.

ever hear of 'god's will'? sounds a little like determinism to me. as a presbyterian i believe in christian predestination. this is deterministic. so. what i'm struggling with now is whether to continue to believe in determinism as a christian or to believe in something more like 'free will' as something other than a christian. imagine that. i think that in order to be a christian you have to be a determinist.

Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.

i will always believe in a god of some sort, i think. but my god who is smart and powerful is smart and powerful enough to design a system that works on its own and doesn't lie to us. i'm so sick of people saying that the rocks and the bones lie or that they aren't what they seem to be. or that god made them day before yesterday to look old. if that is the case then god made them to lie. this makes god a liar. why is your god a liar?

An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
-or-
A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.

if i were a nihilist, why would i be on this board? why would i be pursuing a degree with the intention of being a professor to mold young minds? if nothing can be communicated then i have no hope of working to save humanity from itself. if that is the case, then i have no purpose in living. but i have nothing but hope.

The view that the world consists of or is explicable as two fundamental entities, such as mind and matter.

well. if evolution is a goal-less cycle then any kind of goal-bearing anything opperates outside of it. i guess that means that evolution is inherently dualistic. and any scientist will tell you that evolution is not driven, but rather just kind of happens. it doesn't kill off things on purpose to make way for new things.

evolution is nothing more than the witnessed pattern of the passing of genes from a parent to a child and so forth and how that affects their longevity and genetic success. if a child is given a gene for a defective heart, it will die and not pass that on. now. no parent pokes around in their genes trying to give the child a defective heart. neither does evolution. it is not guided nor is it really purposeful. it is not an entity or anything more than a name for a pattern. a pattern of what lives and what is genetically successful. it is not a deterministic heavy hand that squashes what it doesn't like. it is not an it. evolution is not a god.

do you think maybe it's possible that proponents of evolution are less prone to -isms?


This message is a reply to:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 372 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 14 of 318 (280503)
01-21-2006 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Ben!
01-21-2006 10:01 AM


Re: ONLY scientific results as "true"
You can study evolution without believing science is the avenue, or the only avenue, to truth.

science is not an avenue of truth. it is the observation of natural processes. it has nothing to do with 'truth'.


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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 372 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 15 of 318 (280504)
01-21-2006 10:13 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by iano
01-21-2006 10:06 AM


Re: which ISM??
why does a physical brain preclude choice?
This message is a reply to:
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