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Author Topic:   Confidence in evolutionary science
Capt Stormfield
Member
Posts: 402
From: Vancouver Island
Joined: 01-17-2009


Message 31 of 37 (496717)
01-30-2009 4:31 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Agobot
01-28-2009 9:07 AM


Not sure if it's kosher to reply to someone who can't respond in this thread, but I'm sure I'll find out.

Does an evolutionary atheist ever ask himself - "what exactly are we"? If not, why, and is the confidence in evolution merely a confidence that it is happening, but deeper questions aren't related to the theory of evolution and should be addressed by philosophy?

To the section in bold, the answer is yes. Just as our confidence in auto mechanics or our confidence in chemistry or our confidence in orbital mechanics is based on the fact that we can observe and predict and test - in short, that they happen. The question creationists need to ask themselves is why they single out evolutionary theory for such attention? There is no underlying philosophical question regarding evolution that does not equally apply to every other aspect of human activity and knowledge. When you drive across a bridge on your way to work in the morning, your very survival depends on theories that are descriptive of nature's behavior, and that can be abstracted to precisely the same level as can questions about evolution or the nature of man.

The human body, as it is, is mind-blowingly complex, in fact no words can properly describe the organisational complexity involved

May I suggest you invest in one of the new tubeless, puncture resistant minds? They've been available for several hundred years now. In fact, words can quite adequately describe the organizational complexity of the human body. It would just take a whole lot of them. You seem inordinately fond of the "there's too many zeros in this number so it must be god" fallacy.

(especially when you consider how proteins move atoms to repair broken links within cells, how those 100 000 trillion trillion atoms of your body constantly move and interact in an organised fashion to create who you are).

How many atoms are in that bridge I mentioned above? Does not each of them have to "constantly move and interact in an organised fashion" just as surely and predictably as the atoms in your body? Is it your impression that bridge atoms behave differently than cell atoms? Why does the number "100 000 trillion trillion" impress you? How many cells should a body have? Is there any reason to suspect that any one of those atoms is not behaving in exactly the same fashion as the other 100 000 bajillion quintillion googletillion atoms in the universe?

To return to the first quote above where you ask "Does an evolutionary atheist ever ask himself - 'what exactly are we'?"
I must say, this is arguably one of the dimmest questions I have ever encountered. Setting aside the evolution/atheist pratt, did you even think about you wrote? You are addressing people who are making it their life's work to try to answer a very big part of that question. For you to imply that those who actually study the subject in a sustained and systematic way are likely to take a shallower view than you is, well, given my tendency to stray into the nether regions of the English vernacular, I will allow you to finish the sentence yourself.

Capt.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Agobot, posted 01-28-2009 9:07 AM Agobot has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Agobot, posted 01-30-2009 5:59 AM Capt Stormfield has responded

  
Agobot
Member (Idle past 3606 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 32 of 37 (496723)
01-30-2009 5:59 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by Capt Stormfield
01-30-2009 4:31 AM


Capt Stormfield writes:

When you drive across a bridge on your way to work in the morning, your very survival depends on theories that are descriptive of nature's behavior, and that can be abstracted to precisely the same level as can questions about evolution or the nature of man.

And those theories aren't the decider of your faith, everybody is aware of that. It's either chance(read atheist camp), or it's your fate in the hand of god.

Capt Stormfield writes:

In fact, words can quite adequately describe the organizational complexity of the human body. It would just take a whole lot of them. You seem inordinately fond of the "there's too many zeros in this number so it must be god" fallacy.

The fallacy lies with your religion or the inacceptance to look even a bit further beyond the atheist dogma. I am not against atheism but i am against pretending that too many zeros mean nothing.

Capt Stormfield writes:

How many atoms are in that bridge I mentioned above? Does not each of them have to "constantly move and interact in an organised fashion" just as surely and predictably as the atoms in your body?

This is complete nonsense and it's a shame that atheists can spread drivel 7/24 here. A bridge does not have emergent properties, it's not alive and it's most definitely not conscious. If this board was not biased toward atheism you'd get at least temporary suspension.

Capt Stormfield writes:

Is it your impression that bridge atoms behave differently than cell atoms?

What??? Are you aware that proteins are in fact moving individual atoms? Are you at least partly aware that most of your atoms are actually in motion throughout your body? Are you aware that in a year, a human being changes more than 95% of it's constituent atoms?
Does the bridge change its atoms in a year?

This board is said to promote science, I'd love to see how you'd get a tap on the back for the above hogwash.

Capt Stormfield writes:

Why does the number "100 000 trillion trillion" impress you?

I'd say because i don't belong to your radical "religion".

Capt Stormfield writes:

Is there any reason to suspect that any one of those atoms is not behaving in exactly the same fashion as the other 100 000 bajillion quintillion googletillion atoms in the universe?

Yes, most definitely:). As soon as get acquainted with emergent properties, you'd see that atoms do get to behave differently according to the specific configuration they are in. If this is news to you - OK, but it isn't to anyone else here.

Capt Stormfield writes:

To return to the first quote above where you ask "Does an evolutionary atheist ever ask himself - 'what exactly are we'?"
I must say, this is arguably one of the dimmest questions I have ever encountered. Setting aside the evolution/atheist pratt, did you even think about you wrote? You are addressing people who are making it their life's work to try to answer a very big part of that question. For you to imply that those who actually study the subject in a sustained and systematic way are likely to take a shallower view than you is, well, given my tendency to stray into the nether regions of the English vernacular, I will allow you to finish the sentence yourself.

The only thing i implied, sorry if you have misunderstood, was that we are nowhere close to explaining reality, existence and emergent properties. Only ignorance can "explain" these phenomena and that was the point of my post, to show how many unwarranted and often ridiculous assumptions and beliefs atheism makes/holds(not that i think you'll understand but maybe someone who's reading this and isn't brain-washed).

BTW, I am also a kind of an atheist towards all religions. I am simply not so radical as most of you and i do think that there is a cause for the existence of the universe.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Capt Stormfield, posted 01-30-2009 4:31 AM Capt Stormfield has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Admin, posted 01-30-2009 7:42 AM Agobot has not yet responded
 Message 34 by Coyote, posted 01-30-2009 7:52 AM Agobot has not yet responded
 Message 37 by Capt Stormfield, posted 01-30-2009 3:06 PM Agobot has not yet responded

    
Admin
Director
Posts: 12579
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 33 of 37 (496730)
01-30-2009 7:42 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Agobot
01-30-2009 5:59 AM


Hi Agobot,

In Message 19 I pointed out to you that the nature of reality is not the topic of this thread and requested that you propose a topic for that discussion over at Proposed New Topics. You also keep bringing up the nature of reality over at So Just How is ID's Supernatural-based Science Supposed to Work?, so since this seems like something you're truly interested in discussing, proposing a new topic for it seems like a good idea for you.

But you have to stop bringing up off-topic issues in threads, it'll only get you in trouble with moderators. We have 11 science forums and 6 religious forums, most of the forums have plenty of open threads, you should have no trouble finding threads for what you want to discuss, and you can always propose new threads.

EvC Forum makes it a primary goal to keep threads on-topic because topic diversion is one of the main causes of unproductive threads. Staying on-topic is in the Forum Guidelines that you agreed to follow when you joined.

In Message 20 AdminNosy requested that you stop posting to this thread, so since you've ignored a moderator request I have to suspend you now for 24 hours.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Agobot, posted 01-30-2009 5:59 AM Agobot has not yet responded

    
Coyote
Member (Idle past 182 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 34 of 37 (496732)
01-30-2009 7:52 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Agobot
01-30-2009 5:59 AM


Radical "religion"
Capt Stormfield writes:

Why does the number "100 000 trillion trillion" impress you?

I'd say because i don't belong to your radical "religion".

When you return could you please clarify this point for me--are you claiming that evolutionary science is a "radical 'religion?'"


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Agobot, posted 01-30-2009 5:59 AM Agobot has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by kuresu, posted 01-30-2009 8:45 AM Coyote has not yet responded
 Message 36 by AdminNosy, posted 01-30-2009 9:09 AM Coyote has not yet responded

  
kuresu
Member (Idle past 589 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 35 of 37 (496740)
01-30-2009 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Coyote
01-30-2009 7:52 AM


Re: Radical "religion"
I think agobot is making the basic mistake of mistaking atheism for science. Or science for atheism. not sure why.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Coyote, posted 01-30-2009 7:52 AM Coyote has not yet responded

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


Message 36 of 37 (496745)
01-30-2009 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Coyote
01-30-2009 7:52 AM


Re: Radical "religion"
When you return could you please clarify this point for me--are you claiming that evolutionary science is a "radical 'religion?'"

Not in this thread. You can open one while you wait for agobot to get over his suspension.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Coyote, posted 01-30-2009 7:52 AM Coyote has not yet responded

  
Capt Stormfield
Member
Posts: 402
From: Vancouver Island
Joined: 01-17-2009


Message 37 of 37 (496785)
01-30-2009 3:06 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Agobot
01-30-2009 5:59 AM


This is complete nonsense and it's a shame that atheists can spread drivel 7/24 here. A bridge does not have emergent properties, it's not alive and it's most definitely not conscious. If this board was not biased toward atheism you'd get at least temporary suspension.

What??? Are you aware that proteins are in fact moving individual atoms? Are you at least partly aware that most of your atoms are actually in motion throughout your body? Are you aware that in a year, a human being changes more than 95% of it's constituent atoms?
Does the bridge change its atoms in a year?

This board is said to promote science, I'd love to see how you'd get a tap on the back for the above hogwash.

Sweet merciful Jesus. You actually think that the atoms in living stuff are "busier" than the atoms in non-living elements. Hmmm. This is me, speechless.

Nevertheless, onward and downward!

The point that you appear to have missed entirely is that emergent properties arise from systems in which each individual component behaves according to the same rules as it would if it were not part of the system. (pretty much by definition if I understand it correctly - I do stand to be corrected on this) To put this in the context of the OP, one of the reasons that evolutionary theory is widely accepted is precisely that it is parsimonious. It does not require the introduction of additional layers of reality or untestable entities or unexplainable behavior on the part of atoms. The chemistry and physics that describe the processes which underlie evolutionary change are the same as the chemistry and physics that describe the behavior of atoms in a bridge.

When you say that proteins are moving individual atoms, what do you think is happening? How do you think they do that? Proteins are made up of atoms. Those atoms interact with the atoms around them according to the same set of rules they followed before someone ate the mango in which they previously resided. The atoms in a living cell don't have extra electrons buzzing about doing special "living" things. If you wish to claim that they do, please describe the difference between the behavior of an atom of iron in a bridge and an atom of iron in hemoglobin, given the same input from its surroundings.

I will attempt not to get sidetracked into discussing the nature of emergent properties, but the whole zen of that concept is the emergence of a property from regular, off-the-shelf parts that can't be seen to be doing anything special when considered in isolation. The whole being greater than the sum of the parts, to put it simply. If the atoms in a conscious brain were in any way different than the atoms in an unconscious thing, then consciousness wouldn't be an emergent property. It would just be chemistry, or physics, or anatomy, depending on the level at which the different behavior occurred.

Is there any reason to suspect that any one of those atoms is not behaving in exactly the same fashion as the other 100 000 bajillion quintillion googletillion atoms in the universe?

Yes, most definitely. As soon as get acquainted with emergent properties, you'd see that atoms do get to behave differently according to the specific configuration they are in. If this is news to you - OK, but it isn't to anyone else here.

You seem very confused vis a vis the difference between the behavior of an atom that is part of a system that has emergent properties, and the emergent property itself. A crude analogy would be a piece of iron dropped in the water - it sinks - and an iron tub dropped in the water - it floats. The iron is no different, but its arrangement gives the tub a different property with respect to the surface of the water.

But enough diversion from the topic. Long story short (although I guess that ship has already sailed), one of the converging arrows of confidence evolutionwise is the fact that it interfaces seamlessly with the basic sciences. It doesn't require spirits or souls or special properties that are not explainable by an unbroken chain of interactions starting from our most elemental observations of matter.

Capt.

Edited by Capt Stormfield, : edit formatting

Edited by Capt Stormfield, : typo


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Agobot, posted 01-30-2009 5:59 AM Agobot has not yet responded

  
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