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Author Topic:   Joralex: Tentativity or Dogmatism?
Posts: 15042
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2

Message 61 of 67 (36384)
04-06-2003 6:18 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Joralex
04-05-2003 9:18 AM

Re: Any clearer?
No, this makes it less clear.

It seems that you have two ideas of "M.E." one of which is defensible (although I would disagree with it) but does not support your view and one of which is not defensible but does support your view.

So unless you settle on one definition - or show that the two definitions really are synonymous - it seems that you have no case.

All this dancing around the real issues just confirms that you don't know what you are talking about - and that your criticism of Mayr which ultimately sparked this thread is in fact unfounded.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Joralex, posted 04-05-2003 9:18 AM Joralex has not yet responded

Posts: 15042
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2

Message 62 of 67 (36433)
04-07-2003 5:06 PM

What exactly *is* Metaphysical about "M.E." ?
While the definition of "Metaphysical Evolution" as "anything beyond a change in allele frequencies in population" is clearly convenient for creationists who wish to deny that creationism is in conflict with science, I have yet to see any real justification for that definition.

It is certainly not an obvious truth - indeed it cannot be since it tells us nothing positive about about the ideas involved which would allow us to deduce that they were metaphysical in nature. And in fact it seems to be clearly false since there are aspects of evolution which appear to be quite clearly scientific, rather than metaphysical, which do indeed go beyond "changes in allele frequency".

So if I beleive in elements of evolution which are not clearly metaphysical I should not affirm or deny that I support "M.E." since I do not accept that what I believe IS correctly classified as "M.E.", yet I do beleive in elements of evolution beyond "changes in allele frequency". An simple affirmation or denial would be too open to misconstrual.

The rules of this forum are that we should debate in good faith. Surely that requires that it is reasonable to ask for support for an assertion especially whien it is repeatedly made, and when it seems to be clearly false. So, on what basis do you assert that all evolution beyond "changes in allele frequencies" is metaphysical ?

Inactive Member

Message 63 of 67 (60030)
10-07-2003 11:53 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Joralex
03-31-2003 10:49 AM

Re: The Metaphysic of Evolution
I continue to be puzzled over so many people being seemingly unaware of the fact that there is a metaphysic of evolution (ME) as well as a science of evolution (SE). I can't shake the feeling that I'm being played here.

Joralex proposes that those who accept the materialistic history of the universe and for the development of life on earth do so not because of the evidence, but because they have a social-political agenda which finds these conclusions convenient.

He separates his views on evolution into those claims that he feels are politically or socially motivated, and those that he feels are directly derivative of empirical evidence. He then labels the former the ME, and the latter the SE.

The problem with this position are several:

1. The fundamental metaphysical assumption of the "evolutionist" worldview is empiricism and the scientific method, not naturalism, and not the "conclusions" of empiricism.

2. Evolution per se only deals with the development of life on earth from a common ancestor. Joralex has thrown all of science in the pot.

3. Scientists and evolutionary biologists are a diverse group, with many divergent social and political views. They are only united in their acceptance of empiricism.. which results in their general agreement in matters of science.

4. The social and political implications of the hodge podge of scientific theories mentioned by Joralex are irrelevant when considering the "evidence" for such theories.

5. Joralex's definition of what is SE and ME are arbitrary, and guided purely by his own religious prejudices and nothing more.

What he claims is ME (at least in the subject of evolution, not astronomy, cosmology, or the other subjects he mentions) are actually clearly and provably all SE. This guts his primary argument.

In concise, layman's terms a "metaphysic", a.k.a. a "worldview", is a fundamental foundation in whatever activities people conduct - science, math, any of the arts, politics, war, economics... anything!

Translation: Joralex believes that the "conclusions" of evolution and a variety of other sciences are actually their "premises". In other words, they are assumed (as his religious views are) to be correct, and all evidence is interpreted in terms of their claims. This is strong claim, and must be supported by direct "argument" and "example". It is not adequate merely to make the claim and assume its truth.

But what sort of evidence?

Consider the claims themselves:

Science: Evolution is simply derived from empirical evidence that anyone can inspect. The evidence is unambiguous, and only fits well within an evolutionary interpretation. (Likewise the other scientific theories Joralex lumps together.. each with their own set of evidence more or less completely unrelated to that for biological evolution.)

Joralex (creationists): The evidence said to be for evolution is ambiguous, and can easily be made to conform to any particular interpretation. Because of this, those with an atheistic worldview find it easy to make this ambiguous evidence fit with their evolutionary paradigm.

(Another possible position might be that scientists "hide", or "misreport" unambiguous evidence against evolution. I have not heard Joralex mention this grand conspiracy interpretation yet, however.)

Joralex then goes through the laundry list of conclusions of empirical science (though conveniently omitting the connection between them and the real metaphysical assumptions of science.. empiricism).

*********** SYNOPSIS OF THE ME ***********

Somehow, someway, the primordial essence of matter-energy (whatever that may be) became the common matter-energy that we know today. Maybe this occurred in what is called the Big Bang (?).

This is not evolution, it is cosmology.

The empirical evidence for this is the cosmic background radiation, its distribution, and temperature.

Secondary extrapolative empirical evidence is the cosmic redshift indicating the expansion of the universe.

The most parsimonious and simple explanation for both is the big bang theory.

Through gravitational condensation (of the lightest element, H) stars formed. These stars then 'evolved' through what is called 'stellar sequences' and, in the process of so doing,

This is a direct and uncontroversial extrapolation of newtownian mechanics.

Gasses will contract if they are unevenly distributed. Either that, or what we know of the laws of physics is invalid.

nucleosynthesis produced the heavier elements. Eventually some of these stars exploded spilling these heavier elements into space. Again through gravitational condensation, planetoids and planets formed.

Again.. extrapolated directly from the distribution of stars of different types in the universe, the witnessing of supernova, the snapshots of stellar evolution we see everywhere. In addition to this, these processes are predicted by newtownian mechanics and special and general relativity as well as atomic physics. These are also largely uncontroversial.

Through matter-energy interactions planets evolved to eventually acquire certain environments (e.g., Earth, Mars, Venus, etc. each has their own characteristic environments). Some environments are conducive to the emergence of life and, somehow, life got started on earth.

Science does not know the exact process by which life first emerged on earth. However, there are two facts that indicate the process was natural, and not superantural.

1. The evidence of biological evolution which we clearly see recorded in the fossil record indicates that life converges towards a very simple form early in the history of the planet.
2. There seems to be no reason why the boring and prosaic mechanisms of chemical self organization can not provide the means by which this early simple life first emerged, though the details are not yet known.
3. Other hypotheses (i.e. God) seem to present no evidence whatsoever in their own support. Self organization and emergent complexity seem to directly undermine the arguments for "design". And the fossil evidence as well as mathematical and computer modeling indicates that evolutionary processes are adequate for generating biological complexity without a designer.

There is therefore far more evidene for a natural origin for life vs. a supernatural or magical origin.

The earliest life was extremely simple. This life began to evolve and become more and more complex and diverse. Eventually man emerged from this plethora of organisms on a spiral of complexity/diversity.

Since we have a clear set of movie "snapshots" of this process occuring with the contents of the fossil record, this is the most clearly illustrated aspect of evolution.

At each layer in the fossil record, we have a set of extant species which are clearly very similar to those in adjacent layers above and below.

These fossil occur in a clear and invariant order. This order forms a progressively diverging tree, where the characteristic similarities between the fossils "branch" and "diverge". These are the hallmarks of evolution (not design), and are also always found in mathematical and computer simulations of the process as well.

In addition to this primary evidence, add the branching similarity in DNA that matches the fossil evidence, biogeographic distribution of fossils which match the evolutionary timeline, vestigial structures indicating progressive modification of organs, shared genetic mistakes between related species, observed speciation, observed malleability of species under artificial selection, etc.

All of this empirical evidence, in the absence of any "evolutionary worldview" would automatically demand one.

Man continued to evolve and in time developed a sophisticated culture.

The evidence for this is the wide array of paleontological evidence for human evolution. I think it is practically impossible to pretend that the variety of transitional that have been found could be anything but our relatives, cousins, or ancestors.

Again, the line transitional human fossils clearly demands an evolutionary explanation, not the other way around. The "worldview" of evolution did not cause these fossils to exist.

All things 'evolve' : life 'evolves' (from the simplest organisms to a very complex and diverse biota);

Joralex is stating here that evolutionists are guilty of equivocation, of claiming that since things "change" (evolve), that therefore biological evolution must be true.

Evolutionists never claim that "change" and "biological evolution" are the same thing. This is merely a red herring, a false argument.

The evidence that biologists bring forward for evolution have nothing to do with the definition of the word. You could call it "purple", and it would still be the common ancestry of all life due to the processes of mutation plus natural selection over billions of years.

However, just as real as SE is ME. I have little doubt that the synopsis presented above was recognized. Setting aside theistic/progressive evolutionists, when all other evolutionists promote 'evolution' they aren't just promoting SE, they are actually promoting ME - the completely materialistic, naturalistic worldview of the universe as summarized above.

Joralex is saying that since scientists tend to accept these things as true.. this must automatically mean that they accept them blindly (as he accepts his religious doctrine blindly), and that the evidence is either ambiguous, manufactured, or faked in order to provide the support for these conclusions after the fact.

As briefly demonstrated above.. this just ain't so.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Joralex, posted 03-31-2003 10:49 AM Joralex has not yet responded

Inactive Member

Message 64 of 67 (62987)
10-27-2003 12:50 AM

Hah. Hahah. Hahahahahah.
You people are a thousand times more concerned with toying around with your opponents' words than you are with the actual subject up for debate.
It's really, really funny.
Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by NosyNed, posted 10-27-2003 2:07 AM Bags has not yet responded
 Message 66 by Peter, posted 10-27-2003 5:21 AM Bags has not yet responded

Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003

Message 65 of 67 (62995)
10-27-2003 2:07 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Bags
10-27-2003 12:50 AM

Bags, all there are here are words. What else would be toyed with?

In this case the definition of terms is being discussed and an attempt is being made to find some clarity.

Other than laughter do you have something to contribute?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Bags, posted 10-27-2003 12:50 AM Bags has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 2088 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002

Message 66 of 67 (63006)
10-27-2003 5:21 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Bags
10-27-2003 12:50 AM

Could you please define 'funny', I'm not sure
I know what you mean ... do you mean 'funny ha ha'
or do yu mean 'funny' as in 'odd' or 'peculiar' ?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Bags, posted 10-27-2003 12:50 AM Bags has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 3009 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003

Message 67 of 67 (63018)
10-27-2003 9:49 AM

...funny how? I mean, funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to f--kin amuse you? What do you mean, funny? Funny how? How am I funny?? ... How the f--k am I funny? What the f--k is so funny about me? Tell me! Tell me what's funny!!
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