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Author Topic:   Evolution is antithetical to racism
Modulous
Member (Idle past 274 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 31 of 238 (422818)
09-18-2007 12:30 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 12:15 PM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie

"Seen in retrospect, evolution as a whole doubtless had a general direction, from simple to complex, from dependence on to relative independence of the environment, to greater and greater autonomy of individuals, greater and greater development of sense organs and nervous systems conveying and processing information about the state of the organism's surroundings, and finally greater and greater consciousness. You can call this direction progress or by some other name." -Theodosius Dobzhansky

I'm having difficulty with the source, the only place I find this goes back to your other quote - the panspermist, Brig Klyce.


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Hyroglyphx
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Posts: 5688
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 32 of 238 (422828)
09-18-2007 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Modulous
09-18-2007 12:18 PM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
The theory hasn't changed with the spirit of the times, the implications that people manage to draw from the theory might change though.

Thus the theory will always be protected, just as I said. Lets think about it objectively. If one race of mankind existed before another, and natural selection works to improve upon the whole of nature, then surely one race really would be less evolved than another.

Heck, Darwin used terms like "descending and ascending" all the time as a basis for proving that life has a general direction.

I really see no way of getting around that, if the ToE were true as it is defined currently. Therefore, I see the argument that racism has evolutionary ties to at least be suspect, if nothing else. But then again, if it were true, you can't very well blame nature for developing something as malicious. Since you can't view nature as malicious, why defend it in such a way that removes its social implications? Clearly there are deeper motives than mere science at work, in which case, we have leapt from science right in to personal interest.

the trait 'civilisation' was something Darwin believed would be positively selected for. His prediction is pretty much coming true right now, though as a memetic concept rather than a genetic one. We do have the luxury of evidence over Darwin here though - we have seen individuals from the so-called savage races become civilized.

If a theologian referred to any man as a "savage," I doubt very much that you would be defending him in the same manner that you glibly defend Mr. Darwin here. You'd likely be more inclined to skewer , tar, and feather him, then hang him out to dry as irrefutable proof that theology is inherently racist.

Another point to consider is that, unlike most of the creationists of his time, Darwin saw the other races as being equally human and deserving of the same respect and dignity as his own race.

    THE UNITY OF THE HUMAN RACE

"The evolution of man is not only a guess, but a very wild one; and it is totally unsupported by any convincing arguments. It can be mathematically demonstrated to be an impossible theory. Every proof of the unity of the human race in the days of Adam or Noah shatters the theory of the evolution of man. If the evolution of the human race be true, there must have been, hundreds of thousands of years ago, a great multitude of heads of the race, in many parts of the earth, without one common language or religion. The present population of the globe proves that mankind must have descended from one pair who lived not earlier than the time of Noah. The unity of languages also proves one common head about the same time. Certain beliefs and customs, common to various religions, point to one original God-given religion in historic time, in contrast to the evolution idea of many religions invented by ape-men in millions of years. The history of the world and the migration of nations point to one locality where the human race began in times not more remote, and show that man was created in a civilized state, and, therefore, never was a brute. If evolution were true, there would have been many billion times as many human beings as now exist, a great multitude of invented languages with little or no similarity, a vast number of invented religions with little, if anything, in common. Even the sciences invented and exploited by evolutionists, the Mendelian Inheritance Law and Biometry, also prove evolution impossible. The unity of mankind is also conclusively shown by the fact that all races interbreed, the most certain test of every species." -William Williams, circa 1928

I guess his beliefs were uncommon. It would do more to advance your assertion by providing unequivocal evidence as I have been doing.

More than that, attempting to turn the argument around creation is a grasping at straws, because whether or not early creationists were racists wouldn't detract from the argument that many, if not most, evolutionists undeniably were.

And apparently you have now given creationists a get-out-of-jail-free card in the event that some were. All they have to do is invoke the same exonerating message you gave for Darwinists.

Darwin was discussing the evidence as was known at the time. He considered it more interesting to discuss the fertility problems some races had when transported. Are you suggesting he should ignore the evidence?

Your premise doesn't follow. Darwin refers to other human beings as less evolved, and thus engendering some kind of clear of progress. The tacit assertion is that he is more highly evolved than they.

You seem to agree that this is an antiquated portion of the theory. But I don't see how it could be, since, if evolution is true, there really is a clear sense of advancement. Do you really disagree with that? Isn't the goal of man to progress? (Towards what is anybody's guess) But the point is that whether they outwardly deny progress is the unintended goal of life, the underlying message is easily read beween the lines.

Of course we should consider the socioethical concerns. That doesn't mean evolution is tied to any dogma of racism or anti-racism. Sociologists can study the effects that ideas have on people, and they do.

I'm not asserting that evolution is a malicious theory propagated to point out character flaws in lesser beings. Some creationists do that. I'm not one of them. I'm simply stating that I agree that, at the very least, a legitimate concern is not unfounded. I think evolutionists need to think carefully about the theory as it relates to socioethical questions.

You'll have to show where theory has flexed. You have only shown that the Victorian era was a time when racists were common (a matter of ignorance) and that racists might draw racist conclusions from a scientific theory about biology.

Certainly the theory has flexed. Darwin believed that features developed by exercise are inherited. Such as, my father working out before I was born would make me more inclined to be just as strong when I came of age-- which would also mean that if he got his arms chopped off before I was born, I ran the risk of being limbless too. Of course, that's preposterous.

But, really, all of this is off topic. I would like to focus on why the theory can justifiably be brought into question as far as it relates to racist ideologies.

Racists draw racist conclusions from the bible, and from just about any source they can.

Yes, but evolutionists directly received their information about such racist tendencies from Darwin himself. No one can such a thing about Jesus.

The fact is that people draw conclusions, warranted or otherwise, based on culture and the 'zeitgeist' - but that doesn't mean the explanation for biological change has changed.

I understand the zeitgeist if the time. I'm not saying that if you are an evolutionist that you automatically become a racist by virtue of association. I'm simply in agreement that questioning the theory on the pretense that it will invariably lead to racist sentiments is something to consider.

Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : Edit to add tidbit of info

Edited by nemesis_juggernaut, : typos


"It is better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." -Ravi Zacharias
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Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 1101 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 33 of 238 (422841)
09-18-2007 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Modulous
09-18-2007 12:30 PM


Problem with quotemines...
The quote is from:
Ayala, F.J./Dobzhansky, T., eds. 1974. Studies in the Philosophy of Biology: Reductionism and Related Problems. New York: Macmillan.

However, I either do not still have a copy of this or it is packed away. As is typical with quote-mined material the actual source is vague. Did Dobzhansky say this, or another essayist in the book? Was it said as a direct statement or as an example of a contrary position? I would appreciate it anyone out there who may have access to this could look it up!


"I have seen so far because I have stood on the bloated corpses of my competitors" - Dr Burgess Bowder
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6638
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 34 of 238 (422843)
09-18-2007 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 1:05 PM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
he theory hasn't changed with the spirit of the times, the implications that people manage to draw from the theory might change though.

Thus the theory will always be protected, just as I said.

Protected? Protected from what? We aren't discussing evidence for or against the theory of evolution in this thread; we're discussing whether it is or is not logically valid to use the theory of evolution to justify certain cultural beliefs.

-

If one race of mankind existed before another, and natural selection works to improve upon the whole of nature, then surely one race really would be less evolved than another.

I don't know what it means to be more or less evolved. If you mean that one race (assuming, I suppose, like the Victorians and people of the early 20th century, that races are biologically distinct categories) is closer morphologically to the common ancestor, then I suppose that you are correct.

Assuming that races are biologically distinct, it could be that both branches (and their subbranches when they branch) have each "evolved an equal amount" from their common ancestor. Then we no longer have the case of "more" or "less" evolved, just differently evolved.

And even if one race has gone through more morphological change than anther, so what? All this means is the members of the "newer" race is better adapted to the environment in which it is found than the "older" race would be if its members were in that same area. If this does happen, it isn't racism it acknowledge this, no more than saying dachsunds were bred to be better badger hunters than retrievers are is somehow "breedist".

Now the racists go beyond what is scientifically and objectively justifiable by attributing moral qualities, or aesthetic qualities, or somehow judging the various characteristics that distinguish the races (assuming that the races can even be distinguished). Not only does evolution not make judgements about morals, aesthetics, or what should or should not be considered "preferable", but racists often attribute these qualities without any regard to whether there is a correlation between characteristics and the values.


You can observe a lot by watching. -- Yogi Berra
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6638
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 35 of 238 (422844)
09-18-2007 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 1:05 PM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
Oops. Sorry, I missed this bit the first time around.

I would like to focus on why the theory can justifiably be brought into question as far as it relates to racist ideologies.

Yeah, that's a question I have, too. So some racists use evolution to justify their ideologies. Hell, let's for the sake of argument assume that the theory of evolution does, in fact, support a racist view of humans.

Why would this bring the theory of evolution into question? Either the theory of evolution is or it is not an accurate description of the history of life on earth. And that can only be determined by examining the evidence carefully and making the most reasonable inferences based on the evidence. Whether you or I like or dislike the implications of the theory are immaterial to its accuracy as a description of reality, and it is especially immaterial if racists merely use the theory to justify beliefs that you and I dislike.

Edited by Chiroptera, : typo

Edited by Chiroptera, : Added last clause.


You can observe a lot by watching. -- Yogi Berra
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19877
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 36 of 238 (422847)
09-18-2007 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Lithodid-Man
09-18-2007 1:28 PM


Re: Problem with quotemines...
I don't have it available, but Mayr talks about this too, in a way that is likely similar to Dobzhansky:

quote:
Evolutionary Progress

Evolution means directional change. Since the beginning of life on Earth and the rise of the prokaryotes (bacteria) 3,500 million years ago, organisms have become far more diversified and complex. A whale, a chimpanzee, and a giant sequoia are surely very different from a bacterium. How can this change be characterized?

The answer most frequently given is that current life is simply more complex. On the whole this is indeed true, but it is not universally true. Many phyletic lineages demonstrate simplifying trends, and this is particularly true for various kinds of specialists such as cave animals and parasites. But surely, it will be said, evolution shows progress. Are not vertebrates and angiosperms (flowering plants) more highly evolved, more progressive, than "lower" animals and plants, and bacteria? We have already analyzed this claim and shown how difficult it is to apply designations "higher" and "lower." In fact, the prokaryotes, as a whole, seem to be as successful as the eukaryotes. Yet, every step in evolution, generation after generation, that eventually led to rodents, whales, grasses, and sequoias took place, so to speak, under the control of natural selection. Does this not lead by necessity to a steady improvement, generation after generation, of every phyletic lineage? The answer is "No," because most evolutionary changes are dictated by the need to cope with current temporary changes of the physical and biotic environment. Hence, considering also the enormous frequency of extinction and the occurrence of regressive evolution, it is inevitable that one must reject the notion of universal progress in evolution. However, a different answer can perhaps be given when one looks at single lineages at particular moments of their evolution. There are a considerable number of phyletic lines that one could well call progressive during the period of their greatest flowering.
-- p.212

Doesn't the series from bacterium to man indeed document progress? If so, how can such seemingly progressive change be explained? In recent years a number of books were published debating the existence or validity of evolutionary progress. There is great dissension on this question because the word "progress" has so many different meanings. For instance, those who adopt teleological thinking will argue that progress is due to a built-in drive or striving toward perfection. Darwin rejected such a causation and so do modern Darwinians, and indeed no genetic mechanism was ever found that would control such a drive. However, one can also define progress purely empirically as the achievement of something that is somehow better, more efficient, and more successful than what preceded it. The terms "higher" and "lower" have also been criticized. For the modern Darwinian it is not a value judgment, but "higher" means more recent in geological time or higher up on the phylogenic tree. But is any organism "better" by being higher up on the phylogenic tree? Progress, it is claimed, is indicated by greater complexity, more advanced division of labor among organs, better utilization of the resources of the environment, and better all-around adaptation. This may be true to some extent, but the skull of a mammal or bird is not nearly as complex as that of their fish ancestors.

Critics of the concept of progress have pointed out that in some ways bacteria are at least as successful as vertebrates or insects, and therefore why should vertebrates be considered progressive over prokaryotes? The decision of who is right depends largely on what one considers to be progress.
-- p.214

Many definitions of evolutionary progress have been offered. I particularly like one that emphasizes its adaptationist nature: Progress is "a tendency of lineages to improve cumulatively their adaptive fit to their particular way of life, by increasing the number of features which combine together in adaptive complexes" (Richard Dawkins, Evolution 51(1997): 1016). For other definitions and descriptions of progress, see Nitecki (1988).
-- p.215

Ernst Mayr (2001) What Evolution Is, Basic Books, New York


Nem may not be quotemining so much as just plain misunderstanding the (nuanced) meanings that were used in the context.

Enjoy


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15069
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 37 of 238 (422856)
09-18-2007 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 11:28 AM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the creation of a smear
Others have taken this on but there are still points which I feel have not been made.

Your quotes do NOT demonstrate changes in the theory to accomodate changes in generally accepted belief. None of them even mention or suggest a change in the theory. All you see are changes in generally accepted belief. Racist views were (wrongly) believed to be fact when these people wrote. And only one out of the three (Tyndall) even suggests that evolution explains the difference - and that without any clear explanation of how the differences arise. And even Tyndall's quote comes from 1874 - only 15 years from Darwin's publication.

So, the most that you can say from these quotes is that the theory of evolution - as it stood in the 19th Century - did not obviously refute racism. That is hardly a surprising result, nor one that is actually helpful to your case.

Indeed the real issue is not the malleability of the theory, but the difficulty of applying it to such problems, without detailed knowledge of the conditions. Even simple mechanical problems can be hard to solve without detailed knowledge of the conditions (see Chaos theory) so this is not necessarily a serious strike against the theory.

However evolution does tend to oppose racist assumptions. For instance, given the fact that human populations do interbreed, any strongly advantageous trait would be expected to spread through the entire human population rather than being confined within a single race. Only locally advantageous traits would be expected to be so confined - and then not necessarily along racial lines (the greater lung capacity of Andean natives is an example). The idea that a trait would be so advantageous to spread throughout an entire "race" - and then stop there - is highly questionable.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 15069
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 38 of 238 (422863)
09-18-2007 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 12:15 PM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
The Dobzhansky quote doesn't quite say what you think it says. I have bolded relevant points to make it more clear:

quote:

"Seen in retrospect, evolution as a whole doubtless had a general direction, from simple to complex, from dependence on to relative independence of the environment, to greater and greater autonomy of individuals, greater and greater development of sense organs and nervous systems conveying and processing information about the state of the organism's surroundings, and finally greater and greater consciousness. You can call this direction progress or by some other name." -Theodosius Dobzhansky

This is more than evident reading the early writers of evolutionary theory. Approximately 30-40 years ago this belief began to, itself, evolve. Spearheaded by certain eminent figures like Margulis, Gould, Dawkins, etc, there was a new belief that life was not more evolved or less evolved-- just, evolved. And this bait and switch exists over its social and moral implications.


Let us note that nowhere does Dobzhansky hint that his idea applies within the human species. Nor does he suggest that this trend is more than a general historical idea, one that only applies over the whole of evolutionary history - not at the small scale of within-species evolution. (This is not to say that small evolutionary changes cannot be in the direction of "progress" just that many of them - likely a very large majority - will not be).

Nor would Margulis, Gould or Dawkins deny that the changes Dobzhansky refers to actually occurred. There isn't even a disagreement here. They would make the points that I am making. This "progress" is not identical to evolutionary fitness. In large part it is due to starting from a low base (as we would expect if life originated naturally !). If these traits were produced by evolution rather than starting then that in itself would explain the large-scale historical trend that Dpbzhansky refers to.

So here is no "bait-and-switch" here - nor are there the "social and moral implications" you would like to claim

(The Brig Klyce quote you produce is just silly. It's not even clear what he means by "logical entropy" - the Second Law of Thermodynamics only applies to thermodynamic entropy. Not to the entropy of information theory or some other "entropy" that Klyce has made up. There is no real problem - which is why it is ignored.)


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Cold Foreign Object 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1218 days)
Posts: 3417
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 39 of 238 (422879)
09-18-2007 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by jar
09-16-2007 10:19 PM


Born in racism: Darwinism
T.H. Huxley (Darwin's bulldog) writes:

No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried out by thoughts and not by bites. Lectures and Lay Sermons (1926:115).

"In 1919 the Brooklyn Zoo exhibited an African American caged alongside chimpanzees and gorillas" (Professor Huston Smith, Why Religion Matters 2000:17).

Note: Smith taught at MIT for fifteen years.

http://www.rae.org/otabenga.html

"He was first displayed in the anthropology wing at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair with other pygmies as 'emblematic savages' along with other 'strange people' The exhibit was under the direction of W J. McGee of the Anthropology Department of the St. Louis World's Fair. McGee's ambitions for the exhibit were to "be exhaustively scientific in his demonstration of the stages of human evolution. Therefore he required 'darkest Blacks' to set off against 'dominant whites' and members of the 'lowest known culture' to contrast with 'its highest culmination'" (Bradford and Blume, 1992, pp. 94-95). The exhibit was also extremely popular and 'attracted considerable attention' (Verner, 1906a, p. 471). The pygmies were selected because they had attracted much attention as an example of a primitive race. One Scientific American article said:

"The personal appearance, characteristics, and traits of the Congo pygmies... [conclude they are] small, apelike, elfish creatures, furtive and mischievois, they closely parallel the brownies and goblins of our fairy tales. They live in the dense tangled forests in absolute savagery, and while they exhibit many ape-like features in their bodies, they possess a certain alertness, which appears to make them more intelligent than other negroes.

... The existence of the pygmies is of the rudest; they do not practise agriculture, and keep no domestic animals. They live by means of hunting and snaring, eking this out by means of thieving from the big negroes, on the outskirts of whose tribes they usually establish their little colonies, though they are as unstable as water, and range far and wide through the forests. They have seemingly become acquainted with metal only through contact with superior beings . . ." (Keane, 1907, pp. 107-108).

http://members.shaw.ca/mcfetridge/Fisher.html

One of the books on my list for the sceptics book club is The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection by Ronald Fisher in 1930. Fisher is considered one of the founders of modern statistics and one of the fathers of the neo-Darwinian Synthesis in the 1930s that linked the Darwin's ideas about natural selection with Mendel's ideas about character segregation and assortment....It is interesting that Dawkins in the Selfish Gene awards Fisher the distinction of being "the greatest biologist of the 20th century".

In isolation, Fisher's final sentence is not clear. But in the preceding context it cannot be doubted that he is advocating eugenics. The Nazi holocaust commenced less than ten years after the publication of Fisher's book. Closer to home the implementation of forced sterilization in Alberta can be directly attributed to the credibility and authority that Fisher brought to the concept of eugenics in 1930."

Professor of History Edward J. Larson (evolutionist) writing in
"Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientifc Theory" 2004:66,67:

"Darwin's conceptual breakthrough came in 1838, after he began
considering the case of human evolution....during the "Beagle"
expedition...he encountered the native peoples of Tierra del Fuego,
who he deemed the lowest form of humanity on earth. In 1838, while
struggling to understand how evolution worked, Darwin's thoughts
returned to the Fuegians and their apparent similarity to primates in
the London zoo.

.....links between humans and animals pepper his private notebooks
throughout 1838. [Larson quoting Darwin] 'Let man visit orangutan in
domestication, hear expressive whine, see its intelligence....not
understanding language of Fuegian, puts [them] on par with
Monkeys....FORGET the use of language, & judge only by what you SEE
Compare, the Fuegian & Orangutan, & dare to say difference is so
great'"([them] in original; caps mine - R.M.)

The evidence above says Darwin based human evolution on certain human beings resembling living apes. Darwin has forsaken God, the Bible and his Christian faith: he is apostate and in this context he then sees
the "true" origin of mankind.

Adrian Desmond & James Moore "Darwin" (1991:10):

"'Social Darwinism' is often taken to be something extraneous, an ugly concretion added to the pure Darwinian corpus after the event, tarnishing Darwin's image. But his notebooks make plain that
competition, free trade, imperialism, racial extermination, and sexual inequality were written into the equation from the start - Darwinism was invented to explain human society."

"Commonweal" magazine, March 9, 2007

"The Not-So-Gentle GIANT
Selling & Sanitizing Darwin
[by] Peter Quinn"

Page 10:

"For the second edition of 'Descent of Man' (1874), Darwin "added...Galton's eugenic theories and Herbert Spencer's 'survival of the fittest' social philosophy...calling Galton's treatise 'remarkable' and Spencer 'our greatest philsopher'."

Eugenics, of course, was a theory invented by Francis Galton, first cousin of Charles Darwin. In 1912, Major Leonard Darwin (son of Charles) addressed the First Intenational Congress of Eugenics in London. Leonard Darwin believed eugenics would be "a substitute for religion" and conveyed that his father agreed that society should encourage breeding among its best and "prevent it among the worst" (Quinn; page 9).

Darwinism and evolution was born in Darwin's racist mind after he rejected God as Creator. As late as the 1920s, Darwinists were caging Africans as "evidence" of human evolution, when were told said claim was based on scientific evidence. If true, why did they cage Africans? Ronald Fisher, the "great geneticist" who is credited with the modern genetical theory was a racist and a promoter of eugenics, as was Darwin's son. Darwin's cousin, of course, invented eugenics based on his evolution theory.

Jar's topic here shows the world how deluded or how brazen evolutionists are in denying the racist foundation of evolutionary theory.

Ray Martinez

Edited by Cold Foreign Object, : No reason given.


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 274 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 40 of 238 (422896)
09-18-2007 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 1:05 PM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
Thus the theory will always be protected, just as I said.

It will always be protected against the claims you are making, but it is not an insurmountable theory. Falsification remains possible.

Lets think about it objectively. If one race of mankind existed before another, and natural selection works to improve upon the whole of nature, then surely one race really would be less evolved than another.

And what was natural selection doing with the ancestors of the latter race? Here's the thing: either all current races broke off from the 'first' race of man and are thus equally evolved OR some races broke off earlier, and the latter races evolved from one the earlier races - in which case they would be equally evolved.

The fatal problem is that 'more evolved' doesn't mean anything useful.

I really see no way of getting around that, if the ToE were true as it is defined currently.

So let's get this right:

Populations evolve due to differential reproductive success of genes that exert phenotypic effects, called natural selection. Difference in success occur through differences of genes, and differences of genes is caused by mutational events or horizontal gene transfer. Differences can occur also because of 'crossing over' effects. Other sources of difference might be epigenetic. Populations do not evolve as a result of non-heritable acquired traits. Therefore some races are more evolved than others and should be treated as inferior.

You find that train of thought inevitable? I think it is inane.

But then again, if it were true, you can't very well blame nature for developing something as malicious. Since you can't view nature as malicious, why defend it in such a way that removes its social implications? Clearly there are deeper motives than mere science at work, in which case, we have leapt from science right in to personal interest.

What? What has nature got to do with this? I am not going to blame nature for anything, true. I do not defend nature, it does not need my defence. Who said anything about removing social implications? I said sociologists study social implications, biologists study life. Some biologists might dabble in sociology (or be full blow sociologists). I am having difficult following what you are talking about. What deep motives are you talking about? Motives for what? Who has these motives?

If a theologian referred to any man as a "savage," I doubt very much that you would be defending him in the same manner that you glibly defend Mr. Darwin here. You'd likely be more inclined to skewer , tar, and feather him, then hang him out to dry as irrefutable proof that theology is inherently racist.

No - actually I wouldn't. Savage was a common way of referring to other not-Victorian races at the time. Indeed - xenophobic ways of referring to other cultures is very common. If you gave me a theologian today calling Aboriginal Australians savage he'd be more racist than the equivalent theologian of Victorian England. We have the luxury of evidence - lots of exposure to Aboriginal Australians has shown us that our ancestors maligned them needlessly.

Sure, Darwin is racist - by unfortunate ignorance not willfull ignorance. What experience he did have with other races showed him they were humans of the same species and should be treated with the same dignity as to ourselves. Today, such words would be made in spite of the evidence to the contrary - and would be inexcusable.

I guess his beliefs were uncommon. It would do more to advance your assertion by providing unequivocal evidence as I have been doing.

I told you of Victorian creationists (ie., almost all Victorians before Darwin's ideas became accepted), and that they were more racist than Darwin who was rather liberal for his time, and you respond with a non-Victorian bishop as a retort? You want evidence of this? Have you tried looking at the slave trade?

More than that, attempting to turn the argument around creation is a grasping at straws, because whether or not early creationists were racists wouldn't detract from the argument that many, if not most, evolutionists undeniably were.

Right! So what does demonstrating that some early evolutionists were racists? If both creationism and evolution can be used to justify racist thoughts and deeds - then either both concepts are 'schizophrenic' and are 'protected' and what have you - or neither are. Based on just the evidence regarding racists - I would say 'neither'.

And apparently you have now given creationists a get-out-of-jail-free card in the event that some were. All they have to do is invoke the same exonerating message you gave for Darwinists.

So you are accusing me of being fair? I put my hands up. Guilty as charged. If a Victorian creationist existed who wrote as Darwin did - I will not accuse that creationist of racism.

Your premise doesn't follow. Darwin refers to other human beings as less evolved, and thus engendering some kind of clear of progress.

Not in the passage quoted, unless I missed something. He simply states that men in their 'wild' state (uncivilized) seem to react poorly to travelling from their native environment. He remarks that this is similar to man's closest cousins. Where does Darwin imply other humans beings are 'less evolved'?

Darwin wrote a lot about other races - and perhaps he said racist things. However, he was against dehumanizing other races, of considering them less than human.

You seem to agree that this is an antiquated portion of the theory. But I don't see how it could be, since, if evolution is true, there really is a clear sense of advancement. Do you really disagree with that? Isn't the goal of man to progress? (Towards what is anybody's guess) But the point is that whether they outwardly deny progress is the unintended goal of life, the underlying message is easily read beween the lines.

I don't agree that it is antiquated portion of the theory. I state unequivocally that racist conclusions have never been a part of the explanation for the change of life on earth (ie the theory). I disagree with a clear sense of advancement. The history of life is a progression from the past to the present, but that is nothing to do with the theory other than the theory can explain how things changed during the progression of time. It is entirely likely that the history of life on earth will include 'regressions' to more 'primitive' 'forms' if I understand your implications. 'Complex' life (eg mammals), will likely go extinct before bacterial life forms - for instance. Under ideal conditions, diversity increases - and we have had a lot of good conditions on earth. However, diversity has decreased from time to time and that too is part of evolution. The theory doesn't predict that diversity will continue unabated until massive complexity. It explains it when it does, and it explains it when it doesn't. The theory is about explaining what happens with regards to the evolution of populations - not about dictating the history and future of any given population (though it can be used to predict and determine hypothetical histories and futures).

I'm not asserting that evolution is a malicious theory propagated to point out character flaws in lesser beings. Some creationists do that. I'm not one of them. I'm simply stating that I agree that, at the very least, a legitimate concern is not unfounded. I think evolutionists need to think carefully about the theory as it relates to socioethical questions.

And they do. That is why you see evolutionists here trying to tell you that the theory of evolution doesn't raise the socioethical questions you think it does. It is a misunderstanding of the theory to think that it does. The concepts in the theory can be cynically manipulated by dishonest or bigoted folk, and once again evolutionists have tried to point out when this is done.

If evolutionists weren't concerned about socioethic considerations, why would they try their very best to correct misunderstandings and debunk bigoted manipulations?

Certainly the theory has flexed. Darwin believed that features developed by exercise are inherited. Such as, my father working out before I was born would make me more inclined to be just as strong when I came of age-- which would also mean that if he got his arms chopped off before I was born, I ran the risk of being limbless too. Of course, that's preposterous.

Darwin agreed that Lamarckism was preposterous but without Mendelian genetics he could not think how else to get past the blending problem as such, in later editions of the Origins he included watered down concepts from Lamarckism. His hypothesis was falsified. Hypotheses get falsified all the time, that's an integral part of science.

I stated as much earlier when I spoke of Darwinism being fused with Mendelism to create the neo-synthesis. That is not 'flexing', that is scientific progress.

But, really, all of this is off topic. I would like to focus on why the theory can justifiably be brought into question as far as it relates to racist ideologies.

It can't. One has to misrepresent or misunderstand what the theory is (an explanation) and try to convince others that it justifies whatever vile thing they happen to want to justify. People do that, with lots of things. Vile people lie and twist things. It's called propaganda and we should fight it, no?

You have yet to show how a theory that explains genetic change and the subsequent phenotypic change that occurs in populations of living beings can possibly infer racism without the need to misrepresent or lie.

Yes, but evolutionists directly received their information about such racist tendencies from Darwin himself. No one can such a thing about Jesus.

I didn't say anything about Jesus, I said the bible. People received their information about racist tendencies from the Bible itself (or if you prefer, they justified their cultural intolerance, racism and xenophobia using the bible). The inspired word of God. And evolutionists did not receive their information about racist tendencies from Darwin himself - if you 'understand the zeitgeist' you will know that there was plenty of racism before Darwin and those evolutionists that were contemporary with Darwin would have got their racism from other sources before Darwin. As stated, and can be shown further if you require, Darwin spoke against slavery and mistreating other races.

If any social comment was to be taken away from Darwin's words it is that civilisation is good, slavery is bad and uncivilized, that other races a no less human and deserving of dignity.

Darwin writes:

I have watched how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery.— What a proud thing for England, if she is the first Europæan nation which utterly abolishes it.— I was told before leaving England, that after living in Slave countries: all my opinions would be altered; the only alteration I am aware of is forming a much higher estimate of the Negros characte

I'm not saying that if you are an evolutionist that you automatically become a racist by virtue of association. I'm simply in agreement that questioning the theory on the pretense that it will invariably lead to racist sentiments is something to consider.

Racists love biology, and they will pluck anything from it, twist it and try and show that science justifies their vile opinions. The theory cannot lead to racist sentiments on its own, it just explains how life changes - that's all it does. Racists can have a field day with whatever they choose -it doesn't alter the strength of the theory, its truth value or anything. I do not believe we should avoid revealing the results of study because someone will use it in propaganda.

Since propagandists exist, some scientists have taken time to show the fallacious reasoning, to reveal the lies and trickery of propagandists. That is a suitable response to these problems, no? Any better suggestions?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-18-2007 1:05 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6638
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 41 of 238 (422905)
09-18-2007 5:49 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Cold Foreign Object
09-18-2007 4:29 PM


racism predates Darwin
The evidence above says Darwin based human evolution on certain human beings resembling living apes.

This is false, of course. The passages you quoted say nothing about how Darwin came to the idea of human evolution. These are all people who already believed in the superiority of whites over the other races, and then placed their beliefs into the context of evolutionary theory.

In fact, Darwin formulated his theories based on his observations concerning non-human animals. Human evolution then becomes an inescapable conclusion of the overall pattern. Humans, after all, are similar to apes; in fact, Linnaeus wanted to place humans and chimpanzees in the same genus -- this long before Darwin came up with his theory.

As a matter of fact, the theory of evolution as a description for the history of life on earth
and the inferiority of Africans compared to whites
are two logically independent concepts, and these statements are true or false independent of one another. You have had evolutionists who are not racists, and you have had evolutionists who are racists. You have had creationists who are not racists, and you have had creationists who are racists.

Consider the four conjunctions:

The theory of evolution is correct, and blacks are a lower form of human.
The theory of evolution is correct, and blacks are not a lower form of human.
The theory of evolution is not correct, and blacks are a lower form of human.
The theory of evoltution is not correct, and blacks are not a lower form of human.

None of these conjunctions are contradictory. It is only evidence that can determine which combination is correct. As it turns out, according to the evidence, evolution is almost certainly correct, and blacks are definitely not a lower form of human.

Now, coming at the question of a 19th century white Christian Victorian, who already has an a priori assumption of the inferiority of blacks compared to whites (predating by a long time the development of the theory of evolution), and who is now exposed to Darwin's theory of evolution, then it is natural to wonder whether black Africans are closer to a more primitive ancestral form of human that the theory of evolution says must have existed and perhaps still exists in the present

Remember that pre-Darwinian Linnean classification already placed humans the closest to the African apes, so a natural conclusion of Darwin's theory is that humans originated in Africa. In that case, it is natural to wonder whether black Africans and non-African humans represent a older branching during human evolution. Further, white Christian Europeans were already used to thinking in terms of Aristotle's ladder of life, where all species and breeds of humans could be "ranked" from most primitive to most advanced; given white Christian Europeans' assumption that whites were "clearly" superior to blacks, then it becomes "obvious" that blacks might be a primitive and inferior type of human.

But white Christian Europeans already believed that Africans were a primitive and inferior type of human. They were already used to ranking the species and races according to Aristotle's ladder (and, in fact, it was long before people realized that Aristotle's ladder is contradictory to the theory of evolution), and they already believed that black Africans were inferior to white Europeans. So it was a natural consequence that they should place the beliefs that they already held in the context of a new scientific theory that was proving itself correct.

Edited by Chiroptera, : Edited my list of conjunctions -- thanks to RAZD for quoting the passage so that I could see that there were grammatical inconsistencies left from an earlier draft.


You can observe a lot by watching. -- Yogi Berra
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5688
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 42 of 238 (422907)
09-18-2007 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Modulous
09-18-2007 12:30 PM


Re: A schitzophrenic theory: the evolution of a lie
I'm having difficulty with the source, the only place I find this goes back to your other quote - the panspermist, Brig Klyce.

Klyce listed his reference sources, and I believe it was Lithodid-Man that posted it.


"It is better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." -Ravi Zacharias
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jar
Member
Posts: 30994
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 4.3


Message 43 of 238 (422908)
09-18-2007 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Cold Foreign Object
09-18-2007 4:29 PM


Re: Born in racism: Darwinism
Darwinism and evolution was born in Darwin's racist mind after he rejected God as Creator.

And what exactly is your point Ray. racism is far older than either Darwin or the Theory of Evolution, as seen in the racist passages in teh Bible.

The point is that today we know that there are no races, that you, Ray, and the Bonobobo are related just as you are related to pond scum.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19877
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 44 of 238 (422909)
09-18-2007 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Hyroglyphx
09-18-2007 5:59 PM


References and Quote-Miners
Klyce listed his reference sources, and I believe it was Lithodid-Man that posted it.

In other words you just parroted a quote-mine from a questionable source and didn't check your facts. Why not read the source and learn what Dobzhansky actually says about evolution and "progress"?

Message 28
" ... Clearly, if life originates and makes evolutionary progress without organizing input from outside, then something has organized itself. Logical entropy in a closed system has decreased. ... "
-Brig Klyce

He actually said "closed system" and you didn't twig that this makes him ... how do I put it kindly ... wrong?

That make him a questionable source ... whether on entropy or on the validity of the Dobzhansky quote or on any other question.

Enjoy.


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we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-18-2007 5:59 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19877
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 45 of 238 (422910)
09-18-2007 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Chiroptera
09-18-2007 5:49 PM


In a nutshell
Consider the four conjunctions:

The theory of evolution is correct, and that blacks are a lower form of human.
The theory of evolution is correct, and that blacks are not a lower form of human.
The theory of evolution is not correct, and that blacks are a lower form of human.
The theory of evoltution is not correct, and that blacks are not a lower form of human.

None of these conjunctions are contradictory.

That's it in a nutshell. Excellent.

Enjoy.


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
compare Fiocruz Genome and fight Muscular Dystrophy with Team EvC! (click)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

This message is a reply to:
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