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Author Topic:   Philosophising on the Evo vs Creo debate.
halucigenia
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 56 (309203)
05-04-2006 7:49 PM


Is the Western way of thinking to blame for the Evo/Creo debate?

Is the Evo/Creo debate fuelled by the western way of thinking that things are objects not events and in that way we presume that objects have to be made?

I have just been listening to some old lectures by Allan Watts, and it has made me think about the evolution/creation debate in a different way (philosophically?).

Alan Watts was interested in the differences between Eastern and Western ways of thinking and one of my favourite quotes of his was that where a western child would ask “how was I made” an eastern child would ask “how did I grow”. Another one is that the Western term for “being here” would be “I came into this world” whereas the equivalent Eastern term would be “I came out of this world”.

I do not know much about the Eastern (Hindu, Buddhist or Taoist) ways of thought other than what I have heard via Alan Watts and other western interpreters. But I doubt that the Evo/Creo debate would even exist in a Hindu, Buddhist or Taoist based Eastern culture. I did, however, think that this might be an interesting topic for the Evo vs Creo forums.
(With this in mind maybe it should have been in the Comparative Religion section?)

Also I am trying hard not to be “scientific” in this topic as that is my usual POV, I’m just trying to give a different philosophical perspective to the TOE /Creation debate, and see what people think of it.

Below is the theme that got me thinking about this. I have tried to put Alan Watts’ discussions into my own words so apologies for misquoting/paraphrasing.

Why do we call a fist a fist, surely when we wave we call it waving, when we point we call it pointing, so a hand in the form of a fist is fisting (no crude jokes please).
The point, I think, is - a fist is not an object, but an event and that we (in the west) tend to think in terms of objects rather than events.

When an apple tree bears fruit we call it fruiting, we could call it appleing.
Appleing is what an apple tree does, it is it’s raison d’etre.

If an alien race visited Earth over 3.5Ba ago they would see no sign of life, but if they visited again now they might say “oh look that planet is now peopleing”.
So when a planet produces people we could call it peopleing.
As an apple tree apples so the Earth peoples (as AW puts it).

The point, I think, is, by this analogy we can realise that people are not “made” at all, as western religious thought would have it, in the image of god, but they grow out of their environment just as all organisms do.

Continuing this theme and expanding it:
In the same way when a planet/environment grows any organism we could call it organisming (creaturing, crittering , lifeing, … what you will).
What I am trying to get at is that the appearance of these organisms we are normally inclined to call things or objects are actually events, and there should be a term for these events.

Putting it into an evolutionary perspective:
As organisms are delineated by the term species, we could see species as events rather than things or objects. So a term for the continuing growth of life on a planet would be speciating.
Going up the scale from species we get genera, so generating might be a better term. The Earth generates ;) But that just does not quite grasp the concept.

Science does have a word for the start of life on a planet, abiogenesis – the generation of life from non life, but saying that the planet is abiogenesising is a bit of a mouthful, and not quite what I am getting at, as this does not appear to be a continuing process.

There must be a word to express the continuing growth of life on the planet, like an apple tree apples, but I just can’t quite bring the right one to mind.
Maybe it’s just evolution - the Earth evoluts.

So are we made as objects, or are we events in the life cycle of the earth?

This message has been edited by halucigenia, 04-05-2006 09:09 PM Edited for clarity and background (I hope that's not too much of an edit, after it had been promoted)

This message has been edited by halucigenia, 05-05-2006 12:52 PM Just tweaking grammar

This message has been edited by halucigenia, 05-05-2006 02:03 PM


Replies to this message:
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AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 2 of 56 (309204)
05-04-2006 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by halucigenia
05-04-2006 7:49 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5699
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 3 of 56 (309220)
05-04-2006 8:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by halucigenia
05-04-2006 7:49 PM


Why do we call a fist a fist, ...

I saved this from a usenet post (Nov 2000, Jacques Guy)
quote:
The ultimate secret of language is this: language is absurd, illogical. If it were not, it would not work.

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DominionSeraph
Member (Idle past 3617 days)
Posts: 365
From: on High
Joined: 01-26-2005


Message 4 of 56 (309227)
05-04-2006 8:53 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by halucigenia
05-04-2006 7:49 PM


halucigenia writes:

Why do we call a fist a fist, surely when we wave we call it waving, when we point we call it pointing, so a hand in the form of a fist is fisting (no crude jokes please).
The point, I think, is - a fist is not an object, but an eventand that we (in the west) tend to think in terms of objects rather than events.

Bad example. A fist is an object. "Making a fist" is the action.
But yes, we do rotate the temporal into the spatial to turn a physical object moving into a physical object's movement. It's faster to use the noun form, as you have the beginning, middle, and end all there, all at once. It's also more useful, as you can disassociate the "movement" from any particular object that is moving, thus allowing you to mix and match.
People do occasionally get lost in the abstract, and think that because an action is a noun, it has existence separate from any physical object acting, and so we end up with absurdities such as, "God is love;" but that's easily fixed by bringing the physical back into the picture.


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lfen
Member (Idle past 3540 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 5 of 56 (309258)
05-05-2006 12:09 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by DominionSeraph
05-04-2006 8:53 PM


Bad example. A fist is an object. "Making a fist" is the action.

The word "fist" is the subject of the sentence "A fist is an object" so what are you talking about?

After having made a fist where does it go if you open your hand?

lfen


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ikabod
Member (Idle past 3355 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 6 of 56 (309294)
05-05-2006 3:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by halucigenia
05-04-2006 7:49 PM


i think it also a matter of focus , most people focus on the now .. at best today or a week hence , and by doing so we tend to assume things will not change ... we plan to buy milk on the way home from work , or we plan for go to see a film at the week end , all things / events become static in the now , even when the " now" is tomorrow, none of use plan for 5 generation hence ..( ok may be we should be re green house issues ) we tend not to see things in long time span , and we do not see changes effecting use .
so we see your actions/events as objects .. and we speak in fixed time .. a fist is a fist (object) not a transient formation of fingers and palm (event) even in the passed and future we still view it fixed at a static time .. only in writing style might someone say .. "and my fingers came together to unite with my palm to form that construction called a fist" ..

our perception is time locked by the fact we cannot move backwards or forwards in time .. its is always now , so the chain of events that is appleing , or peopleing or abiogenesising are not see .. we only see what is in frount of use .. the rest of the chain is disconnected someware else .. in a place we cannot visit .


This message is a reply to:
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halucigenia
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 56 (309323)
05-05-2006 8:05 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by DominionSeraph
05-04-2006 8:53 PM


It's not a wave or a point
Making a wave, or a point could be an action. So why do we not call a waving hand a wave, or a pointing hand a point? A hand waving is not the object called a wave or a hand pointing is not an object called a point.

Anyway the point is that realising that a fist is not an object but an event leads on to the rest of the argument, maybe it's a zen thing ;).


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halucigenia
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 56 (309324)
05-05-2006 8:09 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by lfen
05-05-2006 12:09 AM


It is a zen thing
quote:

After having made a fist where does it go if you open your hand?
Very zen :D

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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 56 (309325)
05-05-2006 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by halucigenia
05-05-2006 8:05 AM


Re: It's not a wave or a point
So why do we not call a waving hand a wave, or a pointing hand a point? A hand waving is not the object called a wave or a hand pointing is not an object called a point.

We are using the hand as a symbol. The hand represents a pointer, an arrow. When you point your finger at the dog food, the dog, who perhaps does not understand symbols, licks your finger instead of turning his head toward the food.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 05-05-2006 07:22 AM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 05-05-2006 07:22 AM


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halucigenia
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 56 (309328)
05-05-2006 8:26 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by ikabod
05-05-2006 3:53 AM


The eternal now
That's another of Alan Watts' favorites - the eternal now.
quote:
so we see your actions/events as objects .. and we speak in fixed time .. a fist is a fist (object) not a transient formation of fingers and palm (event) even in the passed and future we still view it fixed at a static time ..
Exactly - a snapshot in time makes it look like an object rather than an event changing with time. Analogous with fossil species perhaps.

This message has been edited by halucigenia, 05-05-2006 01:51 PM


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halucigenia
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 56 (309330)
05-05-2006 8:28 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by ikabod
05-05-2006 3:53 AM


Look, it's a finger.
Oops double post, I will just change this to a reply to robinrohan.

I see what you mean about the symbolism of a hand pointing and a dog, it makes me think of a visual gag done by Spike Milligan.
"Look, Look" says Spike, pointing at the sky, everyone looks at the sky, Spike lowers his finger, still looking at it and says "Look, it's a finger" :D

This message has been edited by halucigenia, 05-05-2006 01:44 PM


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 56 (309359)
05-05-2006 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by halucigenia
05-04-2006 7:49 PM


Is the Evo/Creo debate fuelled by the western way of thinking that things are objects not events and in that way we presume that objects have to be made?

I don't think I understand the topic very well. There is a sense in which all is process, since all is changing, but I would think there would have to be something to be processed. These somethings are objects. I don't think you can have an "event" without a something to go through the event.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 05-05-2006 10:18 AM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 05-05-2006 10:19 AM


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lfen
Member (Idle past 3540 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 13 of 56 (309364)
05-05-2006 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by robinrohan
05-05-2006 8:20 AM


Re: It's not a wave or a point
We are using the hand as a symbol. The hand represents a pointer, an arrow. When you point your finger at the dog food, the dog, who perhaps does not understand symbols, licks your finger instead of turning his head toward the food.

But I've known quite a few dogs who do look where I'm pointing. It's a communication and dogs, especially in that they are pack animals, use commmunication.

Also surely you had dogs look at you and then look at their empty food bowl and then look back at you? And then there are sheep dogs who work extensively with hand signals, whistles, and some work with sequences of verbal commands.

Here once again your brevity is cryptic. I don't know what you are getting at.

lfen


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lfen
Member (Idle past 3540 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 14 of 56 (309368)
05-05-2006 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by robinrohan
05-05-2006 11:18 AM


There is a sense in which all is process, since all is changing, but I would think there would have to be something to be processed. These somethings are objects. I don't think you can have an "event" without a something to go through the event.

Good question. Let's take some time with this and see what we can find.

Let's find an object/event and see what is it that goes through the event? I don't know if hand/fisting is a good example but it's been started. We could change it for something else.

What is a hand? Cells. What are cells? Molecules. What are molecules? Atoms made up of sub atomic particles. So do you wish to say sub atomic particles are the objects that go through events?

I certainly accept that events often appear to us as objects. But when we get really close to an object at the sub atomic level its solidity dissappears. There is a lot of empty space with some energy fields and weird stuff going on all the time at the quantum level.

There is a possibility that what goes through an event is mind.

lfen


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 56 (309384)
05-05-2006 12:50 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by lfen
05-05-2006 11:28 AM


Re: It's not a wave or a point
I don't know what you are getting at.

I just meant that our activities are so full of symbols that they hardly register to us as symbols. One theory about animals is that they can't think in terms of symbols. I don't know myself. Anyway, we can use our hands as symbols, but that doesn't mean it's something else when we use it as such. It's just a symbol--an abstraction.


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