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Author Topic:   Is "Goddidit" an already presumed option in evc debate topics?
Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 4381 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 1 of 12 (394706)
04-12-2007 8:10 PM


An offtopic question from
Abiogenesis
Message 60 by jar

But that is a nonsense statement... --

It is always a possibility that it was some act of creation, but that still tells us nothing. The question would remain, "How did God do it?


So, jar was stating that abiogenesis was THE only option for the first life to come by. I replied to jar saying that first life could have always come by a supernatural act of creation.
The problem is that I knew that he already knew that, and already knew what his next reply would be like (above^). Which was, that presuming god did the first life would give science no new information or anything to work on.
I knew that already, but just wanted to point out that there is always the possibility of the supernatural.

So, I (or anyone else) shouldn't need to make that remark that god is the second option when dealing with issues like this just to go over this futile conversation over again and sometimes dragging the whole topic off point.

So... To stop these useless reminders, is "goddidit" always an already presumed option when discussing evolution related topics?

I know I probably misrepresented jar in some ways, so an apology in advance :p

PS.
(I'm sensing a lot of pink unicorn replies)

Edited by Neutralmind, : No reason given.

Edited by Neutralmind, : No reason given.


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Message 2 of 12 (395627)
04-17-2007 7:23 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4130 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 3 of 12 (395639)
04-17-2007 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Neutralmind
04-12-2007 8:10 PM


Hi Neutral.

You ask a couple of good questions. So, like the inveterate debater that I am, I intend to answer the first with my own question. :D

I knew that already, but just wanted to point out that there is always the possibility of the supernatural.

My question: Why? I mean, why should we consider the "possibility of the supernatural" when exploring phenomena in the real world? Believers make the claim that we MUST consider the "supernatural" to be a possibility because there is no way to disprove it. Even die-hard agnostics make the weaker claim that we cannot know whether the "supernatural" was involved in whatever phenomenon we are considering. However, the supernatural is indetectable by natural means, yes? If it were detectable, even indirectly, it would no longer be "supernatural" by definition. Therefore, it makes no sense to consider the supernatural as a possible causative factor in natural phenomena. To me, then, the supernatural has no relevance, and thus is unnecessary (and in fact worse than useless) as an explanation for any observable phenomenon.

So... To stop these useless reminders, is "goddidit" always an already presumed option when discussing evolution related topics?

Believers would answer "yes". This is one of the key elements in the debate, after all. Non-believers would respond as above - that consideration of the "goddidit" hypothesis is an irrelevancy when attempting to understand nature. For us, it is NOT an option that is worthy of consideration. Believers insist otherwise - although without any support for the contention.


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Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 4 of 12 (395644)
04-17-2007 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Neutralmind
04-12-2007 8:10 PM


Yes, I feel a pink unicorn coming on myself. I will try to suppress it.

As far as I can see, Goddidit always remains a possibility, but it remains a possibility with zero explanatory power, and so zero usefulness.

For one thing, the answer goddidit provides no information about the nature of the god in question. Is it have the appearance of Ra? Does it resemble Odin in any way? Quetzacoutl(sorry!)? There is no way of determining from the conclusion that goddidit. If we don't know which of any of an infinite number of possible supernatural entities did whatever "it" is, then what's the point, frankly?

Goddidit is an end to the discussion and not the beginning of an enquiry.


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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 12 (395651)
04-17-2007 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Tusko
04-17-2007 9:31 AM


As far as I can see, Goddidit always remains a possibility, but it remains a possibility with zero explanatory power, and so zero usefulness.

I'd go farther than that. I'd say that, without a functional definition of the word "God", Goddidit is not only a useless explanation, but a meaningless one.

Actually, I just went through this on another thread. An explanation that fails to explain who, what, when, where, why, or how really isn't an explanation... just a synonym for "I have no idea."


"I know some of you are going to say 'I did look it up, and that's not true.' That's 'cause you looked it up in a book. Next time, look it up in your gut."
-Stephen Colbert

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Tusko
Member
Posts: 606
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 6 of 12 (395656)
04-17-2007 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dan Carroll
04-17-2007 10:01 AM


Okay, yes. I think I agree with you.

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fallacycop
Member (Idle past 3778 days)
Posts: 692
From: Fortaleza-CE Brazil
Joined: 02-18-2006


Message 7 of 12 (395666)
04-17-2007 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Neutralmind
04-12-2007 8:10 PM


is "goddidit" always an already presumed option when discussing evolution related topics?

Depends on how low a bar you're willing to put for acceptable explanations. In order for "goddidit" ALWAYS be an option, you must bring that bar so low that other possibilities will inevitably leak in. Such as Last-thursdayism, Spaghetti-monsterinsm, and, yes indeed, (Invisible-)Pink-unicornism. And who wants that??


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 8 of 12 (395684)
04-17-2007 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Neutralmind
04-12-2007 8:10 PM


So... To stop these useless reminders, is "goddidit" always an already presumed option when discussing evolution related topics?

Not specifically. Actually, in any philosophical debate - any conceivable and unfalsified hypothesis is a presumed option, and Goddidit - just as with any unfalsifiable hypothesis is unfalsified.

However, we don't have to limit ourselves to god, we can philosophically have any entity, concscious or otherwise be the cause of 'it' - assuming that this entity is not ruled out by whatever system of philosophy we are using.

When we are using science as our system, then obviously the Abrahamic God is out since under the philosophy of science the Abrahamic God is unfalsifiable and unfalsifiable things are ruled out as explanations in science.

In theology unfalsfiable things are not ruled out, they are often ruled very much in (belief in things unseen...).

So in short - it depends. On a purely philosophical level - Goddidit is an option. When we start discussing particular philosophies, Goddidit may or may not be a presumed option. In science God is an extraneous entity (and is thus unparsimonious), and unfalsifiable so is not a presumed option until such time as God becomes parsimonious and falsifiable.

Since the conversation happened in the science forums, god is an unnecessary explanation and is not a presumed option - this option has to be supported with evidence. Theories are all about explaining things. The hows. So if god did it, the scientific question to ask is 'How?'.


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jar
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Posts: 31275
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 9 of 12 (395695)
04-17-2007 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Neutralmind
04-12-2007 8:10 PM


Abiogenesis vs a Theory of Abiogenesis
When I was little, my grand father would amaze us by pulling coins out of our ears. We would ask him "How did you do that?", but his only answer was "Magic."

That answer satisfied us for awhile, but I always felt there must be more to it than that. So I practiced palming the coins and eventually got good enough at it to fool other kids.

Abiogenesis simply means "Life from Non-Life."

The evidence shows that at one time there was no life on earth and yet now we see that there is life on earth. Abiogenesis happened.

Somehow, somewhere, at some point in time, life came from non-life.

I wonder how that happened.

While I know that Abiogenesis happened, what I seek is "How?"

As I asked my Grandfather, "How did you do that?", I look at the universe and ask, "How did life come from non-life?"

I could, as I did when I was four or five watching my Grandfather pull coins from my brothers ear, accept the answer, "Magic." That really is what the answer "Goddidit" really says.

Many will gladly accept the answer "Magic" and even be totally satisfied with that answer, but personally I find that lacking, weak and very unsatisfactory. I want to know "How God did it."

Goddidit, like magic, is always a potential answer, but an answer that tells us nothing.

I seek more. I seek a model of Abiogenesis, a Theory of Abiogenesis that like the Theory of Evolution, will explain "How God did it."


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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Neutralmind
Member (Idle past 4381 days)
Posts: 183
From: Finland
Joined: 06-08-2006


Message 10 of 12 (395752)
04-17-2007 7:35 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by fallacycop
04-17-2007 10:59 AM


Depends on how low a bar you're willing to put for acceptable explanations. In order for "goddidit" ALWAYS be an option, you must bring that bar so low that other possibilities will inevitably leak in. Such as Last-thursdayism, Spaghetti-monsterinsm, and, yes indeed, (Invisible-)Pink-unicornism. And who wants that??

It's just that if someone says "goddidit" or "godcouldhavedoneit" in some evolution related thread it many times drags the whole topic off point.
That's why I think it should be always be considered as a "possible option" even in science threads.

Now as a possible option I don't mean that after writing a lengthy post explaining in detail about for example, the possible mechanics of abiogenesis, you should write somewhere on the end with small print "or god could have done it..." :d

My real point is that there are a lot of newcomers to this forum who don't understand why goddidit is not a valid point for scientific discussion. I think a topic should be stickied somewhere here that says "God did it is always an option but does not belong in scientific discussion because..."

And if only to spare us from repeating this dialogue:

New guy: God could have also done it!
Old guy: That's nonsense/That offers no information on how he did it/So why did he make it look like it fits this evidence?/Define God/ saghknlmn could have also done it!/ Flying Spaghetti Monster could have also done it!
New guy: This forum is so biased!/Still it doesn't mean He didn't do it./To test our faith/I see god as loving, passionate.../No reply/ There is no basis to assume that the Flying Spaghetti Monster did it when there is lots of evidence to assume God did it.

Also, newcomers should be informed of Razd's "Enjoy" signature as it's creating a lot of annoyance between the newbies :d

Edited by Neutralmind, : No reason given.


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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4211 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 11 of 12 (395814)
04-18-2007 12:08 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
04-17-2007 12:28 PM


Re: Abiogenesis vs a Theory of Abiogenesis
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

jar writes:

I seek more. I seek a model of Abiogenesis, a Theory of Abiogenesis that like the Theory of Evolution, will explain "How God did it."

I agree that there is an over-looked possibility that you have distinguished here.

When someone generally says 'goddidit' they are invoking magic. It is possible we feel, that God could have a coin behind His ear that He did not put there. He just imagined it there and poof! it was.

When someone says 'goddidit' the thought that flashes through your mind is that there is no explanation. One moment there was non-life and then poof! there was life.

Yet, a belief that God made all things happen in due time should not have to rule out an explanation. It has been no secret about how a baby is made since day one, and this has never stopped us from seeing it as miraculous or sanctified in some way. Learning how a baby forms and such came later, and perhaps only add to the wonder.

What I have learned about evolution and science since coming here is that there is no less wonder in any of it. At times there is more! I do believe that there could be things we can't explain or never will explain. At the same time the chances of this being true seem to be dwindling, and yet we are not in any sense 'running out' of questions to ask. If there is a God who did it all, He is still one amazing being. The complexity of what has been discovered...no not in the ID debate way...is IMO far superior to the poof! version. It's a much more beautiful thing.

So, yes, 'miracles' or 'magic' could be a possibility, but I finally can see that they are not answers. AS in, science is perfectly within its realm to keep looking, and to find whatever is able to be discoverd. If no one looks, no one will find.

For a person to consider the option 'goddidit' I do think that they should specify whether they are looking for a HOW or just magic. If we can discover the hows, it says MORE about God and about us as humans. It brings us full circle to the Garden of Eden and the ability to become like Gods, and makes me at least wonder HOW much we were created in His image? Perhaps more than we realize.

I think you may not go in for the ramblings here, so just consider this a general response to the OP as a spin-off from yours. :)


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Larni
Member
Posts: 3990
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005
Member Rating: 7.2


Message 12 of 12 (395863)
04-18-2007 6:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Neutralmind
04-12-2007 8:10 PM


The thing with 'goddidit' is putting an intention into the equation that does not belong (unparsimonious).

Our brains have evolved to be prone towards detecting false positives in terms of intentional action towards ourselves.

We can see this in how we personify objects and ascribe intent to them. This is shown brillianty as Basil Fawlty berates his car for its intractability.

When we see movement we can automatically assume it is made by something with intent, a predator hunting us for example.

When we are kids we hear the downstairs door creek late at night and we erroneously conclude it is a monster stealthing its' way through our house coming to get us.

Things in nature that move or change are prone to trigger our 'recognition of intent' circuits in our brain.

Most of the time we quickly realise it is not a monster, or our car is in fact not an intentional object.

But if we a taught that some things are intentional (a gods intention no less) this feeds into our 'recognition of intent' circuit. Having this reinforced by ritual and socialization only makes matters worse.

Our parents don't tell us that the monsters (our imagined intent behind the noise) are real; they tell us the truth: just as science does.

To entertain 'goddidit' as an option is to entertain the notion that monsters are real.


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