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Author Topic:   What i can't understand about evolution....
Percy
Member
Posts: 22606
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 481 of 493 (494776)
01-18-2009 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 480 by subbie
01-18-2009 12:54 PM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
subbie writes:
They truly and sincerely believe that evilutionist scientists have, as part of their agenda, a plan to disprove the existence of a supreme being.
What a coincidence that you should mention this because I briefly considered writing a second post about another common creationist misapprehension, confusing atheism with evolution, but decided against it. But it's much the same thing. No matter how often you point out that more often than not scientists who accept evolution also believe in God, few creationists will believe it. If you remember Ray, he confused evolution and atheism for all the years of his participation here.
What it comes down to is that conservative Christians think anyone who doesn't believe as they do is an atheist. In Dover a couple who taught Sunday school and ran a summer Bible camp were called atheists as soon as it was discovered they accepted evolution, their opponents apparently unconcerned whether it was true or not as long as it was politically expedient by demonizing and marginalizing them in they eyes the community. I guess it's okay to propagate a lie if it's done in God's service.
Fact for creationists: All evolutionists are not atheists. Not even most are atheists. Your bias and closemindedness become obvious as soon as you confuse the two, and it also makes it clear that you approach the controversy as a religious rather than scientific issue.
--Percy

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Replies to this message:
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Capt Stormfield
Member
Posts: 429
From: Vancouver Island
Joined: 01-17-2009


Message 482 of 493 (494779)
01-18-2009 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 480 by subbie
01-18-2009 12:54 PM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
I think Subbie has put his finger on a key issue here. Evolution, theistic or some other variety, doesn't necessarily challenge the beliefs of the liberal believer. But for people who may have a lower than average tolerance for ambiguity, it is viewed as the start of a slippery slope, and thus has strategic importance. It's a bit like Churchill's speech to the House in 1940:
"...we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."
To the fundamentalist who has invested a special authority in the literal words (as opposed to the general ideas) of the Bible, and who sees human existence as a "great controversy" *, every inch of the doctrinal landscape must be contested. The words of Genesis are seen as contiguous territory with all the other words in the text.
* Thus revealing the denominational roots out of which I evolved.
Capt.

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Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 115 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 483 of 493 (494781)
01-18-2009 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 481 by Percy
01-18-2009 1:51 PM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
Hi Percy,
I think there is another reason why creationists seek to conflate evolution and abiogenesis; it's simply that evolution can be simply demonstrated in any reasonably well equipped biology lab. Abiogenesis can't. Evolution is also fairly easy to understand (at a basic level anyway). Abiogenesis is necessarily quite complex.
This is why they are so keen to pursue the link. So long as abiogenesis is un-replicable and mysterious, creationists will be able to sow doubts by forcing the two topics into one.
Abiogenesis still provides a little gap for the Gap God to live in. Fortunately it's a doomed tactic, since science is quickly closing in on this particular gap...
Mutate and Survive
Edited by Granny Magda, : No reason given.

"The Bible is like a person, and if you torture it long enough, you can get it to say almost anything you'd like it to say." -- Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade

This message is a reply to:
 Message 481 by Percy, posted 01-18-2009 1:51 PM Percy has not replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 492 by Agobot, posted 01-22-2009 7:37 PM Granny Magda has replied

bluegenes
Member (Idle past 2554 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 484 of 493 (494782)
01-18-2009 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 481 by Percy
01-18-2009 1:51 PM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
Percy writes:
Fact for creationists: All evolutionists are not atheists. Not even most are atheists. Your bias and closemindedness become obvious as soon as you confuse the two, and it also makes it clear that you approach the controversy as a religious rather than scientific issue.
As an atheist, I can back you up on this. Neither biological evolution nor abiogenesis tell us anything about whether or not this universe was created by a god. Only those who think that gods must necessarily be incapable of creating universes in which such things could (or would inevitably) happen would believe this. I'm not an atheist because of biology at all, and there's nothing I know of in science that contradicts the possibility of gods.
Interestingly, one of the most popular arguments put forward by more sophisticated theists is the "fine tuning" one. Recently, I saw a YEC on another board list the "fine tuning" of the universe as one of his points in evidence for creation. I laughed, because virtually all the arguments from personal incredulity and false probability arguments that creationists use against biology imply that the universe is anything but fine tuned for life. Without going into the arguments against fine tuning, I would have thought that abiogenesis and evolution as feasible natural processes would be used by theists to support the hypothesis.
The nature of the universe is indeed ideal for life.

This message is a reply to:
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subbie
Member (Idle past 1332 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 485 of 493 (494783)
01-18-2009 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 483 by Granny Magda
01-18-2009 3:13 PM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
quote:
So long as abiogenesis is un-replicable and mysterious, creationists will be able to sow doubts by forcing the two topics into one.
Yes, that's a very important part of it, too. Given the doubts they've been able to raise in the mind of the public about evolution, where the evidence is overwhelming, it's even easier to throw dust in the air and create confusion where the evidence is more speculative, although not nearly as speculative as creos make it out to be.

Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

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 Message 483 by Granny Magda, posted 01-18-2009 3:13 PM Granny Magda has not replied

subbie
Member (Idle past 1332 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 486 of 493 (494784)
01-18-2009 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 482 by Capt Stormfield
01-18-2009 2:22 PM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
quote:
To the fundamentalist who has invested a special authority in the literal words (as opposed to the general ideas) of the Bible, and who sees human existence as a "great controversy" *, every inch of the doctrinal landscape must be contested.
And the screwiest part of all of this is that most people don't buy into the literalist biblical arguments, but they're still swayed by the nonsense that creos spin. I'm afraid that this speaks volumes about the quality of science education in this country. And what it says isn't very flattering.

Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

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 Message 482 by Capt Stormfield, posted 01-18-2009 2:22 PM Capt Stormfield has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 487 by AdminNosy, posted 01-18-2009 4:54 PM subbie has not replied

AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 487 of 493 (494789)
01-18-2009 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 486 by subbie
01-18-2009 3:45 PM


Topic
I think you have wandered far enough from the thread topic. Please turn right and get back in the lane now.

This message is a reply to:
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fallacycop
Member (Idle past 5598 days)
Posts: 692
From: Fortaleza-CE Brazil
Joined: 02-18-2006


Message 488 of 493 (494798)
01-18-2009 7:00 PM
Reply to: Message 477 by Buzsaw
01-18-2009 11:43 AM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
Genesis literalist creationists who once believed in evolution have been convinced otherwise.
There aren't too many of these, I don't think.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 477 by Buzsaw, posted 01-18-2009 11:43 AM Buzsaw has not replied

Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 362 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 489 of 493 (494810)
01-18-2009 9:05 PM
Reply to: Message 439 by Peg
01-16-2009 9:40 PM


Re: arrogance and ignorance
Michael Dentons quote "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis," p. 250.
Michael Denton has changed his mind, you know.
He wrote: "Evolution: A Theory In Crisis" in 1985.
By the time he wrote "Nature's Destiny" in 1998, he had this to say:
quote:
It is important to emphasize at the outset that the argument presented here is entirely consistent with the basic naturalistic assumption of modern science - that the cosmos is a seamless unity which can be comprehended ultimately in its entirety by human reason and in which all phenomena, including life and evolution and the origin of man, are ultimately explicable in terms of natural processes. This is an assumption which is entirely opposed to that of the so-called "special creationist school". According to special creationism, living organisms are not natural forms, whose origin and design were built into the laws of nature from the beginning, but rather contingent forms analogous in essence to human artifacts, the result of a series of supernatural acts, involving the suspension of natural law. Contrary to the creationist position, the whole argument presented here is critically dependent on the presumption of the unbroken continuity of the organic world - that is, on the reality of organic evolution and on the presumption that all living organisms on earth are natural forms in the profoundest sense of the word, no less natural than salt crystals, atoms, waterfalls, or galaxies.

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Admin
Director
Posts: 13081
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 490 of 493 (495433)
01-22-2009 4:06 PM


Time for Summations and Closing Arguments
This thread was kept open long past closing time and hasn't drawn any posts in the past few days, so it's probably time to close it down. I'll keep it open a couple more days in case anyone wants to post summations or closing arguments.
Please don't reply to anyone, there won't be time for discussion and it will make me grumpy.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 491 of 493 (495438)
01-22-2009 4:41 PM


What some people can't understand
What some people can't understand about evolution can fill 500 posts up quite easily.
When presented with a difficult concept that one hasn't studied there are several different ways to proceed. The first is to accept whatever the experts in the field say knowing that maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong but if anybody is going to at least get close it is them. In cases where there is some disagreement one might simply choose the side with the most support. A second method is to be sceptical of the experts.
Sometimes one might be driven to be sceptical of the experts because their conclusions are in tension with some notion that one holds dear in which case there are certain If you wish to act on this scepticism (speaking out loud, writing to a school board), it might be best to study the topic to at least a fairly decent level first. You would look foolish if you told the world that electricians were wrong in their wiring concepts if you didn't know what the purpose of grounding was. If it is biology, first learn basic science then study basic biology, then spend time studying the particular part of biology that is causing the tension (such as evolution versus creationism). If you have the time to argue with people on the internet about it - you have the time to read online resources occasionally asking questions. And hey - maybe if you find you want to learn more, a visit to the library or bookstore and a few dollars/pounds/rupees can give you access to a wealth of new information should you desire to learn.
All too often people proclaim their scepticism, declare people that have done a lot of studying of the subject are wrong and yet have an attention span that means they cannot spend the time necessary to even read and understand the basics of the position they are trying to explain they have declared erroneous. While they are perfectly willing to imply or even in some cases outright say that practitioners of the subject - and let's not be coy, evolution and natural history is the subject at hand in this specific case - are morons and idiots and yet they consistently to the point of inevitability will not read and absorb a few thousand words from someone who has read or studied the subject in more depth than they.
The evidence of this is clear: An evolution denier will state that evolution implies something that it doesn't. Other people will explain that evolution doesn't imply that and why. The evolution denier will sometimes concede the point and then three posts later repeat the misconception.
It shows an unwillingness to learn. I suspect the reason is twofold. Firstly, if they learned what evolution actually is, their belief in their own favourite killer argument against it might evaporate and they might be forced to think that they aren't as smart as they thought they were. Secondly (and most importantly) there is a real fear their faith might be destroyed like so many that go to pinko-liberal universities tend to.
I haven't found a cure for this seemingly willful ignorance. I think it is something that the opposition to evolution should seriously consider working on because there are many people out there that are willing to discuss evolution with them, and answer any questions they might have - but it quickly becomes an exercise in futility if the person asking the questions thinks they know better than the person whose answering them. Humility not arrogance, should guide creationists, IDists and other evolution deniers, if they have a real desire to learn what the other side thinks.
Alternatively, and this is what I suspect evolution deniers will continue to do, they can just be completely arrogant think-they-know-everything 'smart-arses' they'll learn nothing, get bored of the subject and eventually forget about the whole thing. Their loss, ultimately.

Agobot
Member (Idle past 5607 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 492 of 493 (495458)
01-22-2009 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 483 by Granny Magda
01-18-2009 3:13 PM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
Granny Magda writes:
Abiogenesis still provides a little gap for the Gap God to live in. Fortunately it's a doomed tactic, since science is quickly closing in on this particular gap...
This approach is called propaganda. Communism used to employ such tactics, declaring the fall of capitalism was imminent. Of course everybody laughed.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 483 by Granny Magda, posted 01-18-2009 3:13 PM Granny Magda has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 493 by Granny Magda, posted 01-22-2009 8:47 PM Agobot has not replied

Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 115 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 493 of 493 (495466)
01-22-2009 8:47 PM
Reply to: Message 492 by Agobot
01-22-2009 7:37 PM


Re: Evolution and Abiogenesis
Oh grow up Agobot.

One thing is made clear by this thread; creationists have some very strange ideas about what the theory of evolution actually says. The real ToE has hardly been discussed. Most of the thread has been devoted to creationist misapprehensions, conflations and straw men, as well as people saying "Evolution doesn't work like that" until they are blue in the face.
This is kind of tragic. To disagree with a theory, one must surely first understand what it actually says. Only then can the creationist claim to be making a reasonable judgement about it. Even if, after learning all about the ToE, the creationist is still unconvinced, surely, with a clearer understanding of the issue, they will be all the more effective in opposing it. For this reason alone, any creo worth their salt should be keen to learn what evolution is really all about.
This thread has seen some open-mindedness and willingness to learn on the part of the creationist side. It has also seen quite a lot of bull-headedness and hubris. It would be nice to see a bit more of the former, since there is no point in debating this issue unless both sides are talking about the same theory.
Mutate and Survive
Edited by Granny Magda, : Belatedly noticed admonishment against replies. Hastily edited to minimise Admin's grumpiness.

"The Bible is like a person, and if you torture it long enough, you can get it to say almost anything you'd like it to say." -- Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade

This message is a reply to:
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