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Author Topic:   Is Evolution the only option in a Naturalistic point of view ?
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2718 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 91 of 104 (518947)
08-10-2009 1:29 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by RAZD
08-09-2009 7:30 PM


Re: what about the topic?
Yeah the original question is pretty much answered. It was not much of a debate as more of 'what's your personnal opinion on this' kinda discussion.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by RAZD, posted 08-09-2009 7:30 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 92 of 104 (518950)
08-10-2009 2:48 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by slevesque
08-10-2009 1:23 AM


"Hard-Wiring"
Let's do a thread. I have some ideas on this subject ...

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 1:23 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 3:13 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 93 of 104 (518952)
08-10-2009 3:09 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by slevesque
08-10-2009 1:23 AM


Finches
Researchers do not go around collecting data on everything and anything. You have an idea of something you believe is true, and then set out to prove it. This is counter-intuitive in regards to the scientific method, but this is exactly how science acts in reality (You just have to read Karl Popper and 'The logic of scientific discovery'). Darwin saw different sizes in finch beaks, and theorized that human and apes were relatives. This was not seen at all in the fossil record in his time.

This is by the way, but:

(a) I have read Popper's Logic of Scientific Discovery, and that is the complete opposite of what he said. Have you read Popper?

(b) The idea that Darwin was inspired to think of evolution by the species now known as "Darwin's finches" is a complete myth. This is not entirely the fault of creationists, you can see the same myth promulgated in some junior-level biology textbooks. Nonetheless, it is in fact complete rubbish. As a matter of fact, Darwin collected the first specimens of "Darwin's finches" when he was very young, and didn't know much about birds, and he didn't even realize that they were all finches. When he found out that they were, he didn't make much of it: he never even mentions them in The Origin of Species.

The whole thing about the finches is just a made-up story about How The Great Genius Got His Big Idea, kind of like the story about Newton and the apple, except that we know from reading his notebooks that the thing with Darwin and the finches never happened, whereas the thing with Newton and the apple might conceivably be true.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 1:23 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 3:28 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2718 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 94 of 104 (518953)
08-10-2009 3:13 AM
Reply to: Message 92 by Dr Adequate
08-10-2009 2:48 AM


Re: "Hard-Wiring"
Well all the Data I got o nthis subject is in this thread
This message is a reply to:
 Message 92 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-10-2009 2:48 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-10-2009 3:56 AM slevesque has responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2718 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 95 of 104 (518955)
08-10-2009 3:28 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by Dr Adequate
08-10-2009 3:09 AM


Re: Finches
I interchanged Darwin's finches and the Darwin's mockingbirds. my mistake

As for Karl Popper, I have not read it. I have read about Popper's approach to how scientists do science in an english book, and so I maybe misunderstood it. (it was difficult to read, I'll have to find which book and reread it again because of you ). I had planned on buying Popper's book, but it is freakin' expensive for a student like me!

Still, it appeared logical to me at the time that when a scientists sets out to do an experiment, it is with the objective of proving/refuting a theory.

Example: Rutherford was set out to confirm the plum-pudding atomic model with his gold foil experiment, even though he ended refuting it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-10-2009 3:09 AM Dr Adequate has responded

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 Message 97 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-10-2009 4:04 AM slevesque has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 96 of 104 (518958)
08-10-2009 3:56 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by slevesque
08-10-2009 3:13 AM


Re: "Hard-Wiring"
Well then, I guess you'll come to this topic with a fresh and open mind.

I was starting to write some stuff on this topic. There are various questions that one might ask, depending on whom one was talking to, whether it was a theist who believed in fiat creation, or a theist who believed in evolution, or an atheist who believed in evolution.

Here are the questions that I'd like to start out by asking a creationist. If you find this discussion interesting, please let's start a new thread:

Many creationists believe that God created us directly and produced this supposed "hard-wiring" as part of his creation. This provides them with an argument against evolution more or less as follows: "The belief in creationism is apparently hard-wired into us. Why would evolution (which, since this is an odd-numbered day of the month, we're going to pretend must always produce perfect results) hard-wire into us a belief that as you claim (since we're going to pretend that all evolutionists are atheists) is false?"

A couple of obvious questions arise.

First, why bother? According to most theists, and all crackpot creationists, the existence of God is self-evident. There would then be no reason to hard-wire me to believe in God any more than to hard-wire me to believe in the sun, or clouds, or mountains.

Second, why wasn't it done better? If this supposed hard-wiring was produced by the Christian God, why did it produce, for example, Sun-worshipers who performed child sacrifice, like the Incas? Indeed, the practice of worshiping a Sun-god was nearly universal until the spread of the Abrahamic religions in historical times. To say that we were hard-wired to believe in "God", meaning the Christian God, would be an over-statement.

I would have other remarks to address to the evolutionist who believes in God, and the evolutionist who doesn't. I'd be happy to discuss these questions with you.

---

By the way, you maintain that English is your second language, and that you are only nineteen years old. If this is true, then I should like to point out to you that you are very obviously a person of superior intellectual talents --- and I say that as someone who thinks that pretty much everything that you've posted is wrong. Even as someone who is obstinately wrong, you are far more intelligent and coherent than 99.9% of creationists, and if you're achieving that at nineteen in a language that is not your own, then you have my admiration. I hope that you are putting that brain of yours to good use.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 3:13 AM slevesque has responded

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 Message 98 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 4:28 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 97 of 104 (518959)
08-10-2009 4:04 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by slevesque
08-10-2009 3:28 AM


Re: Finches
Still, it appeared logical to me at the time that when a scientists sets out to do an experiment, it is with the objective of proving/refuting a theory.

Ah, that's more like it. You originally suggested that scientists did experiments to prove a theory. But of course if the experiment produced the opposite result, then it would disprove the theory.

Scientists do experiments to test a theory. One way or the other.

(Popper would say that you can't prove a theory even by doing a zillion experiments which confirm it. I would disagree with him, but that is a subtle philosophical issue.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 3:28 AM slevesque has not yet responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2718 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 98 of 104 (518960)
08-10-2009 4:28 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by Dr Adequate
08-10-2009 3:56 AM


Re:
Well then, I guess you'll come to this topic with a fresh and open mind.
I was starting to write some stuff on this topic. There are various questions that one might ask, depending on whom one was talking to, whether it was a theist who believed in fiat creation, or a theist who believed in evolution, or an atheist who believed in evolution.

Here are the questions that I'd like to start out by asking a creationist. If you find this discussion interesting, please let's start a new thread:

Many creationists believe that God created us directly and produced this supposed "hard-wiring" as part of his creation. This provides them with an argument against evolution more or less as follows: "The belief in creationism is apparently hard-wired into us. Why would evolution (which, since this is an odd-numbered day of the month, we're going to pretend must always produce perfect results) hard-wire into us a belief that as you claim (since we're going to pretend that all evolutionists are atheists) is false?"

A couple of obvious questions arise.

First, why bother? According to most theists, and all crackpot creationists, the existence of God is self-evident. There would then be no reason to hard-wire me to believe in God any more than to hard-wire me to believe in the sun, or clouds, or mountains.

Second, why wasn't it done better? If this supposed hard-wiring was produced by the Christian God, why did it produce, for example, Sun-worshipers who performed child sacrifice, like the Incas? Indeed, the practice of worshiping a Sun-god was nearly universal until the spread of the Abrahamic religions in historical times. To say that we were hard-wired to believe in "God", meaning the Christian God, would be an over-statement.

I would have other remarks to address to the evolutionist who believes in God, and the evolutionist who doesn't. I'd be happy to discuss these questions with you.

I think we could indeed start a new topic on this, since I do believe that this 'hard-wired belief in God' argument is over used both in its biblical support and also in its significance in the evolution/creation issue. I usually only bring it up when somebody maintains that theism is only the fruit of social pressur, education and parental influence. I maintain that it is quite possible that belief in God/Gods is innate in humans, and that this is a fourth factor that comes into play.

So you can start a new thread on this.

---

By the way, you maintain that English is your second language, and that you are only nineteen years old. If this is true, then I should like to point out to you that you are very obviously a person of superior intellectual talents --- and I say that as someone who thinks that pretty much everything that you've posted is wrong. Even as someone who is obstinately wrong, you are far more intelligent and coherent than 99.9% of creationists, and if you're achieving that at nineteen in a language that is not your own, then you have my admiration. I hope that you are putting that brain of yours to good use.

We have a good english program here in Quebec so that even though our first language is french (athough a very poor french, according to people from France) you can pretty much be bilingual when you come out of highschool.

Now, obviously I have not only learned English at school or I could not even come close to debating science,etc. on an internet forum. I lived in the US from age 7 to 9, and so it helped a lot in being bilingual. (Writing is still good, but of course speaking in english is always harder for me). Add to that the fact that every documentation about the creationism/evolution debate is in english and so reading it gave me a pretty good vocabulary to express myself on these issues. I sometimes even talk about this with my friends and I have a hard time finding the word in french since I have the english one in mind hehe.

On a final note, I appreciate a lot your attitude change towards me. I still remember that very first comment I saw from you on my first thread. Obviously, coming in as a creationist on this forum you have to show that you can discuss coherently and be able to reason, and I'm glad you saw that I could. I do think that I gained this capacity through my pastor (this may sound ironic for some people here). I mean, I think I'm fortunate that I have a pastor that thinks much, much more than he speaks, and when he does speak it is well thought. Sometimes you almost feel like in your a sociology class, when in fact you're at church. (he studied history and sociology at university).

Edited by slevesque, : No reason given.

Edited by slevesque, : No reason given.


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 Message 96 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-10-2009 3:56 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5954
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 99 of 104 (518981)
08-10-2009 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by slevesque
08-10-2009 1:23 AM


Re: And What Should A Theist Think?
From the last article you quote.

quote:
S&S: From your research, do you think it’s possible that the inclination toward religion or spirituality is universal?

Petrovich: I think possibility is the precise word to use here. I can’t be more certain than that because I have only worked with children aged three-and-a-half upward, and that’s already an old age when it comes to basic understandings, some of which are in evidence in the first year of life.


I think any information is preliminary at best. This researcher makes a very clear point that it is difficult to study very young children and at 3 1/2 have they are heavily influenced by society.

I could as legitimately say that these beliefs dissapear when socially repressed.

I do not see how this line of argument helps you. In a sense this is what Grayling is saying. By not reinforcing the belief, the belief is in a sense repressed. Guess I do not understand how you think this is a significant point.

Again, you have made comments claiming that children have an innate belief in a creator. As of yet you have failed to provide convincing evidence that this is true. A few studies by committed christians, that I have nor seen any peer review of, and one article in a science magazine and another in a magazine that has as it mission statement the following.

quote:
Science & Spirit Mission Statement: Our mission is to facilitate a rich and robust dialogue between the scientific and religious communities by forging a common vocabulary. We intend the result to be a more integrated and balanced approach to complex social issues. The following operating principles guide us:

— Science can be enabling and liberating.
— Values provide a path to human integrity.
— Religious traditions should provide bridges between science and values.


Not very convincing for us non-believers. Children believe in a lot of things. A lot of things that arent real.

I guess the next question I have is why do you and the religious feel that if children believe in a god, somehow this make a god more likely or real. Finally on that, why do you even assume it is your christian god?

As for the Templeton Foundation, there is a lot of negative e feeling toward them in the scientific community. It isn't just Grayling and Dawkins either.

quote:
The Foundation's views on the connections between religious and scientific inquiry and their ability to provide significant grants for scientific research has led to quite polarising debate within the scientific community.

Sean M. Carroll, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago, wrote, in describing his self-recusal from a conference he discovered was funded by the Foundation, that "the entire purpose of the Templeton Foundation is to blur the line between straightforward science and explicitly religious activity, making it seem like the two enterprises are part of one big undertaking. It's all about appearances." But he also said, "I appreciate that the Templeton Foundation is actually, in its own way, quite pro-science, and is not nearly as objectionable as the anti-scientific crackpots at the Discovery Institute."[77]

In 2006, John Horgan, a science journalist and the author of several books, wrote in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education (reprinted in Edge) of his "misgivings about the foundation's agenda of reconciling religion and science". He claims that a conference he attended favored scientists who "offered a perspective clearly skewed in favor of religion and Christianity", and says that a Templeton official "told us that the meeting cost more than $1-million, and in return the foundation wanted us to publish articles touching on science and religion".[78]

Peter Woit, a mathematical physicist at Columbia University occasionally writes about his misgivings with the foundation on his blog (which is hosted by Columbia University). Woit feels it is unfortunate that Templeton's money is used to influence scientific research towards a convergence between science and religion.

In June 2005, Woit wrote:

Look not at what the Templeton people say (which is relatively innocuous), but at what they do. They explicitly refuse to support serious science, and instead fund an incredible array of attempts to inject religion into scientific practice. ... Instead they are heavily funding the one part of the field that most people consider dangerous pseudo-science and a serious threat to the whole concept of what it means to do science.[80]



Source


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 1:23 AM slevesque has not yet responded

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


Message 100 of 104 (518982)
08-10-2009 8:26 AM
Reply to: Message 90 by slevesque
08-10-2009 1:23 AM


Re: And What Should A Theist Think?
I'm trying to debug the non-printing character problem, and I'm unable to duplicate the unprintable characters in your last excerpt when I cut-n-paste from the link you provided: http://www.science-spirit.org/article_detail.php?article_id=128

Can you tell me what OS and browser you use, and if whether you cut-n-pasted directly, or did it indirectly via cut-n-paste first to Word or something else? Thanks!


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by slevesque, posted 08-10-2009 1:23 AM slevesque has not yet responded

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kjsimons
Member
Posts: 665
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 101 of 104 (518988)
08-10-2009 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 100 by Admin
08-10-2009 8:26 AM


Re: And What Should A Theist Think?
Nevermind, I need to have another cup of coffee before I post!

Edited by kjsimons, : Non-functioning brain this morning


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Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 102 of 104 (519676)
08-16-2009 4:47 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by slevesque
08-03-2009 2:06 AM


slevesque responds to me:

quote:
If something disappears, it is one step to assume it did disappear, it is second step to asssume that it reappeared elsewhere

But if something disappears, you have to violate conservation. If something simply translocates, all you have to account for is the change in position. And since we know that quantum translocation can happen, it is much less of an assumption to have a whole bunch of it happening then a brand new process that has never been seen before being the cause.

quote:
It is not about which is more or less miraculous, it is about which has the least numbr of assumption.

And what makes you think annihilation has fewer assumptions?

And you still haven't dealt with transmogrification.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by slevesque, posted 08-03-2009 2:06 AM slevesque has responded

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 Message 103 by slevesque, posted 08-16-2009 5:10 AM Rrhain has responded

    
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2718 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 103 of 104 (519678)
08-16-2009 5:10 AM
Reply to: Message 102 by Rrhain
08-16-2009 4:47 AM


Hey, if you think that one of the other options you mentioned are the ones with the fewer assumptions, so be it. I mean, this was a bit of a side-issue even at the time that this thread was active. You had equated Occam's razor to 'what is simpler', and so I did find it important to just correct the misunderstanding that Occam's razor is more specifically on the number of assumptions rather than on simplicity. I do think that you knew full well what Occam's razor was, and that it was just a bad choice of words on your part.

I don't think it is valuable to continue to discuss this side-issue, as I think it will end up 'arguing for the sake of arguing'.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by Rrhain, posted 08-16-2009 4:47 AM Rrhain has responded

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 Message 104 by Rrhain, posted 08-16-2009 6:01 PM slevesque has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 104 of 104 (519736)
08-16-2009 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by slevesque
08-16-2009 5:10 AM


slevesque responds to me:

quote:
You had equated Occam's razor to 'what is simpler', and so I did find it important to just correct the misunderstanding that Occam's razor is more specifically on the number of assumptions rather than on simplicity.

And that simply (hah!) means you had misunderstood what I was saying. Indeed, Occam's razor is, "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate."

And I should point out, you were the one who used the word "simple," not me. What I said was (Message 57):

Rrhain writes:

Are you seriously saying that some violations of the laws of physics are more likely than others? Having the atoms vanish is more parsimonious than having them teleport or transmogrify?

You will notice that I didn't mention "simplicity" anywhere. I was talking about likelihood (which is part and parcel of Occam's Razor since it refers to "needlessly" multiplying your necessities) and immediately used the word "parsimony," which is a synonym for the concept that Occam's Razor tries to convey.

Instead, you were the one who brought up "simplicity" in your response to that message (Message 58):

slevesque writes:

I do think you misunderstand Occam's razor.

It is not about which option is more ''likely'' to happen, but rather which of the explanations presented explains it in simplest form. or with the least assumptions, etc.

So do be aware of the irony: Here you are complaining about the use of the word "simple" when you were the one who brought it up in a message where you were complaining about my understanding of what Occam's Razor is. You're whining about your own argument.

Occam's Razor is not about "simplicity" or even about "assumptions." As I directly responded to you when you used the word "simple" (Message 60):

Rrhain writes:

And exactly how is one violation of the laws of physics "simpler" than any other? You seem to be saying that some miracles are more miraculous than others.

The "simplicity" (even in the sense of "number of assumptions") has nothing to do with it. After all, "goddidit" has an extremely low number of assumptions, but we never conclude that when we see things that we can explain naturally...especially when we can observe them happening right in front of our eyes.

quote:
I don't think it is valuable to continue to discuss this side-issue, as I think it will end up 'arguing for the sake of arguing'.

Indeed. The words you are looking for are, "Oops. I misspoke."

So let's try to get back to the original post: Evolution is an outcome of science which takes a naturalistic approach to examining the world. It isn't so much a question of "options" so much as it is a question of following where the evidence goes. This has nothing to do with "atheism" as you put in your original post, for surely god is capable of creating life that evolves.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
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 Message 103 by slevesque, posted 08-16-2009 5:10 AM slevesque has not yet responded

    
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