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Author Topic:   Evolution is a Religious Issue
satrekker
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 303 (183471)
02-06-2005 9:12 AM


This thread began life as Message 23. It was off-topic and so was used to begin this new thread. --Admin

"Anyone who doubts this is a religious issue need only spend a little time here watching the less experienced Creationists talk about God and the Bible in threads that are strictly about science."

This is the real crux of the debate. It is a God issue. Evolution requires a staggering amount of faith, moreso than creationism in my opinion, and since God alone, or nobody if you are an atheist, was present "in the beginning," neither side will be able to "scientifically" prove their assertion. It is from this viewpoint that I am contemplating the practicality of participating in these discussions. It really is a God issue.

I imagine that I will be criticized for the following unsupported statements, but please permit me a few cursory observations regarding this site:

1. Horizontal variation within a genotype is quite a different thing than vertical evolution. Genetic mutation leading to increasingly complex processes/organizations is illogical and "unscientific." While being overly simplistic, reading about the assertion that taking 200 steps backward (negative result of a mutation/Devolution) and one step forward (some perceived "beneficial" mutation/evolution) has resulted in intelligent life from a primordial soup is outright comical, except for the fact that it has so many proselytes.

2. When you boil evolution down to its quintessence, all you really have is spontaneous generation standing upon some magical amount of time that is "theorized" to overturn everything that current, repeatable, observable, scientific inquiry tells us - life does not come from non-life, or for that matter something from nothing, which would by definition speak of a First Cause, but I digress.

3. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. It's a bit late, so I'm not going to elaborate. A rudimentary understanding of physics, I hope, will render this citation self-evident.

I apologize in advance if this post is a bit off topic and out of place.

Regards,
Bryan

This message has been edited by Admin, 02-06-2005 09:19 AM


Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 715 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 2 of 303 (183480)
02-06-2005 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by satrekker
02-06-2005 9:12 AM


quote:
"Anyone who doubts this is a religious issue need only spend a little time here watching the less experienced Creationists talk about God and the Bible in threads that are strictly about science."

This is the real crux of the debate. It is a God issue.

Evolution requires a staggering amount of faith, moreso than creationism in my opinion,


Actually, it requires no faith at all. We see it happening before our eyes, both in the lab and in the field, and the fossil, geologic, and genetic evidence all support the ToE.

There is no blind belief, only voluminous evidence and thousands and thousands of borne-out preditions.

quote:
and since God alone, or nobody if you are an atheist, was present "in the beginning," neither side will be able to "scientifically" prove their assertion.

So, do you dismiss the investigative field of forensics?

If we walk into our house after a long day at work, and we see that the door lock was jimmied, all the jewelry and electronics are missing, can we conclude that we were burgled, even though we didn't see it? And, when the crime scene is processed, can we not gather evidence such as fingerprints, tire tracks, footprints, and other evidence left behind by the perpetrator that you would accept as inferred evidence of who did the crime, and perhaps other crimes, if they could be matched?

The scientific study of past events is very similar.

quote:
I imagine that I will be criticized for the following unsupported statements, but please permit me a few cursory observations regarding this site:

1. Horizontal variation within a genotype is quite a different thing than vertical evolution.


Please define "vertical evolution".

quote:
Genetic mutation leading to increasingly complex processes/organizations is illogical and "unscientific." While being overly simplistic, reading about the assertion that taking 200 steps backward (negative result of a mutation/Devolution) and one step forward (some perceived "beneficial" mutation/evolution) has resulted in intelligent life from a primordial soup is outright comical, except for the fact that it has so many proselytes.

What you are saying above is "I can't believe it happened that way, so it didn't". Unfortunately, this is a logical fallacy called the "Argument from Incredulity".

Other than your personal incredulity, do you have any specific arguments regarding specific scientific evidence or any other evidence-based examples to support your dismissal of the field of Biology?

For example, perhaps you can describe how mutation combined with natural selection is "unscientific"?

quote:
2. When you boil evolution down to its quintessence, all you really have is spontaneous generation

Perhaps you are referring to Abiogenesis, the idea that life first arose from non-life? "Spontaneous Generation" usually refers to the idea of things like maggots and flies springing forth from non-living things like rotting food or dust.

Anyway, the Theory of Evolution does not address where the first life came from at all. It deals with what has happened to life once it got here. God could have poofed that first life into existence, it could have been seeded from another place, but how it got here has no effect upon the Theory at all.

So, your argument is a strawman.

quote:
standing upon some magical amount of time that is "theorized" to overturn everything that current, repeatable, observable, scientific inquiry tells us - life does not come from non-life,

That is inaccurate. We have not observed it yet, but this is not the same as stating that life does not come from non-life. We do have some observations which show that organic molecules can be formed from inorganic molecules with electricity.

Anyway, were you planning on addressing the Theory of Evolution any time soon? Why are you talking so much about other things?

quote:
or for that matter something from nothing, which would by definition speak of a First Cause, but I digress.

You certainly do.

quote:
3. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. It's a bit late, so I'm not going to elaborate. A rudimentary understanding of physics, I hope, will render this citation self-evident.

Does the 2nd law apply to open or closed systems?

Is the Earth a closed or an open system?


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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paisano
Member (Idle past 4968 days)
Posts: 459
From: USA
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 3 of 303 (183485)
02-06-2005 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by satrekker
02-06-2005 9:12 AM


Oh ,please please please elaborate on why you think the Second Law helps your case.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by satrekker, posted 02-06-2005 9:12 AM satrekker has not yet responded

Gary
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 303 (183487)
02-06-2005 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by satrekker
02-06-2005 9:12 AM


It appears that others have already replied to your post. It looks like it happened in the past, so I guess I can't be sure of that there "past" thing, but I'll just take it on faith that it did.

I'll take the Second Law citation. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that in a closed system, entropy, which can be thought of as random energy or heat, will always increase. This is accepted as correct by just about everyone who calls themself a scientist. However, the Earth, and the living things on it, are not closed systems. The Earth gets energy from the Sun, which can be absorbed by plants to generate complex molecules. This does not go against the Second Law because the plants are getting energy from an outside source. Animals eat the plants, releasing the energy from those complex molecules.

This is a simplified example, but I think it explains what we mean. If you have more questions, feel free to ask. Welcome to the forum!


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8933
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 5 of 303 (183491)
02-06-2005 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by satrekker
02-06-2005 9:12 AM


Define Faith Please
Before this goes on too long perhaps you should give your definition of faith. It is a near certainty that you are not using the same definition as some others. Unless that is cleared up it will degenerate into a match of "IS!", "IS NOT!", "IS".

I think you are trying to compare it to religious-faith. If so please elaborate if not clear that up for me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by satrekker, posted 02-06-2005 9:12 AM satrekker has not yet responded

Aximili23
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 303 (183496)
02-06-2005 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by satrekker
02-06-2005 9:12 AM


satrekker writes:

While being overly simplistic, reading about the assertion that taking 200 steps backward (negative result of a mutation/Devolution) and one step forward (some perceived "beneficial" mutation/evolution) has resulted in intelligent life from a primordial soup is outright comical, except for the fact that it has so many proselytes.

This isn't just overly simplistic, it's inaccurate. Evolutionary theory doesn't predict that harmful mutations would accumulate, as your phrase "200 steps backward" implies. Any change that reduces reproductive fitness is weeded out fairly quickly; an individual who has gone even one step backward (to use your analogy) probably wouldn't stand much of a chance against those who have remained the same, or have gone forwards.

Furthermore, your analogy of forward and backward steps, and your use of the term devolution, is misleading. There's only change, which may or may not add to complexity or be beneficial for reproductive fitness. You seem to imply that evolution is progressing towards some specified goal, and that devolution represents a retreat from it. But no such goal exists.

But what really concerns me is the main point of your post:

satrekker writes:

It really is a God issue.

You seem to hold the position that any discussion on the origin of life and its diversity should be made in the context of faith and religion, rather than science. This raises many objections, the most obvious one being that, if we tried to answer ANY questions about the natural world in this way, we wouldn't get anywhere. If we treated this as a "God issue", the only thing that would arise is a massive, never-ending intercultural argument on "Which God?".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by satrekker, posted 02-06-2005 9:12 AM satrekker has not yet responded

Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3578 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 7 of 303 (183503)
02-06-2005 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Gary
02-06-2005 11:11 AM


oh how I wish it were so simple
NELdredge; "Let us return for a moment to the grand pattern of nested sets of resemblence linking up absolutely all species on Earth. Closely related species are classified in the same genus, and related genera are put in the sme family. Families are lumped together in the same order, and related orders are grouped into the same class. This is the Linnaean hierarchy that was devised, long before Darwin's day, to encompass the nested pattern of similarities that define groups of organisms - a pattern naturalists had observed in the organic world since Aristotle. But we must ask, what exactly are these genera, families,orders, and so on? It was clear to Darwin, and it should be obvious to all today, that they are simply ever larger categories used to give names to ever larger clusters of related species. That's all these clusters, these higher taxa, really are: simply clusters of related species."

Gould however attempted IN THE SAME hierarchy formaliststructure to have have had it said, "But if contingency resided only in this basic aspect of environmental scaling, then the principle, though sound enough, would not run so deep in Darwinian traditions. Rather, contingency gains its greatest force thought the principle of quirky functional shift: the discordance between historical origin and curent utility, and the consequent fallacy of direct inference from modern status to intial meaning. Nietzsche emphasized the primary role of this discordance in the study of history by writing (as quoted more fully on p.1217) that "the development of a thing, a tradition, an organ is therefore certainly not its progressus towards a goal," and the inevitabilityof functional shift makes any important.."

If the target is the heirarchy in thermodynamics IT DOES matter that this issue of the progress to the unconditioned ONLY works for the criticism NOT the possible one or two functions devolved by workers OUT of the non-progressus. But as one poster recently said, there were no transcendence thus the difference of this as taught evolutionary thought by dint of Herbertisms vs some other but Kantian explanation of what was said falls by the way side of Gould's female sonumbonoum as the fetus' head size. Gould had thought that we critics of evolution substituted 'neceesity' for 'importance' but in the case of entropy INCREASE IT WAS the other conditioned way around. We all would like to see the postcondition of the thermodyanmic hierachy applied but if we argue whether it is a form of progressus (vs say a regresses against an absolute infinity) we will never see even that Gould is light years ahead of Dawkins nor that isolation of this increase is nothing but Gould's "secondary acceleration". We cant. At least I have not seen it.


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Replies to this message:
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Aximili23
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 303 (183510)
02-06-2005 1:24 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Brad McFall
02-06-2005 1:07 PM


Re: oh how I wish it were so simple
Far be it for me, a junior member, to challenge someone with nearly 2000 posts under his belt; but I feel compelled to say it: This post makes no apparent sense.

Can you please rephrase in simple English?


This message is a reply to:
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Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3578 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 9 of 303 (183521)
02-06-2005 1:57 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Aximili23
02-06-2005 1:24 PM


Re: oh how I wish it were so simple
You had had it, "You seem to imply that evolution is progressing towards some specified goal,"

but I hold THE CRITICISM of Evolution, with or without all the dogs, does EVEN THOUGH GOULD DOES NOT. Gould thinks he can avoid the target in this discussion not for the reason I supplied but because he does not think there is a direct physical link to form. I would agree more with Dawkins on that but rather than just air out Gould's notion of a strong central axis which being symmetrical can not relate the named hierarchy to the fluidity underconsideration by other posters wanted to see more talk on thermo here, that's all. There is plenty of sense. Perhaps I should have just done some cheerleading than advance the tradition against the organ. The tissue is not at issue when it comes to combining functions analogically. (oh I guess that would not sound like english to you). as for rest of your criticism in general feel free to take anything up with me somethreadelse.

to use the word goal vs promixat and ultimate philosophy of biology telematically is too much for then we might indeed show a dog a god or two but look you are correct to try to get me off the high horse of my lingo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Aximili23, posted 02-06-2005 1:24 PM Aximili23 has not yet responded

Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 1242 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 10 of 303 (183549)
02-06-2005 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by satrekker
02-06-2005 9:12 AM


satrekker writes:

Evolution requires a staggering amount of faith, moreso than creationism in my opinion, and since God alone, or nobody if you are an atheist, was present "in the beginning," neither side will be able to "scientifically" prove their assertion.

Since you seem to be able to put numbers on the amounts of faith needed for evolution and creation, I would ask you to present those figures. Show us how much faith is needed for evolution, and that it is more than is needed for creation.

satrekker writes:

It really is a God issue.

If that is true, then it is also a Krishna issue, and an Allah issue, and an Odin issue, and a Zeus issue, et cetera. Please tell me why the God issue is to be preferred over the others.

satrekker writes:

I imagine that I will be criticized for the following unsupported statements

Correction: "unsupportable" is the word you need.

satrekker writes:

Horizontal variation within a genotype is quite a different thing than vertical evolution.

They would probably be perpendicular, don't you think? That is, if they were scientific concepts within the theory of evolution. Which, for your information, they aren't.

satrekker writes:

Genetic mutation leading to increasingly complex processes/organizations is illogical and "unscientific."

Time to support this. Please specify where the logic breaks down and how it is unscientific. (Why the scare quotes? Do you not really mean it, or what?)

satrekker writes:

While being overly simplistic, reading about the assertion that taking 200 steps backward (negative result of a mutation/Devolution) and one step forward (some perceived "beneficial" mutation/evolution) has resulted in intelligent life from a primordial soup is outright comical

It sure is comical. Luckily, that isn't evolution you described. It's the creationist way of saying: "I don't understand the concept of evolution".

The buildup of "harmful" mutations is a myth. If a mutation is really harmful, it will probably kill the unfortunate creature possessing it in an early stage, i.e. before it procreates. If the creature procreates before dying, then any mutation it has is not harmful in an evolutionary sense.

satrekker writes:

When you boil evolution down to its quintessence, all you really have is spontaneous generation standing upon some magical amount of time that is "theorized" to overturn everything that current, repeatable, observable, scientific inquiry tells us

No, quintessentially, you would have random mutation and selective pressure. Nothing more, nothing less. Ironically, this is supported by "current, repeatable, observable, scientific inquiry".

Having said that, I anticipate a misunderstanding of the words 'repeatable', 'observable', and 'scientific'. Let's hear it.

satrekker writes:

life does not come from non-life

That's funny, I could have sworn I read in the Bible that God created life from dirt. Last time I checked, dirt was not alive. So, apparently, life can come from non-life.

satrekker writes:

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. It's a bit late, so I'm not going to elaborate. A rudimentary understanding of physics, I hope, will render this citation self-evident.

A better than rudimentary understanding of physics renders it ludicrous. I suggest you do your homework before writing down such a howler.


We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. - Richard Dawkins

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by satrekker, posted 02-06-2005 9:12 AM satrekker has not yet responded

satrekker
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 303 (183558)
02-06-2005 4:22 PM


Thank you everyone for your responses to my initial post. After reviewing the replies and reading a few other threads, I have a better idea as to the true nature and tone of these forums. My time spent here has not been fruitless. Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

Regards,
Bryan


Replies to this message:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4418 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 12 of 303 (183561)
02-06-2005 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by satrekker
02-06-2005 4:22 PM


OTOH, you could stick around and defend your statements. That's very much "the true nature and tone of these forums". You made fairly specific, scientific claims. One of the major functions of this discussion board is to examine such claims for their scientific validity. Unwillingness to do so usually means that either the claims have no merit (and often the proponent knows it), or that the proponent is unable from personal knowledge to support them adequately.

The fact that you received the responses you did indicates that these particular claims have been addressed fairly often here, and have invariably been found wanting. If you have evidence and/or further argument to produce in their support, you should present it/them - at least if you want to be taken seriously. Otherwise, you may be regarded as simply "yet another hit-and-run". Think about it. At worst, you might learn something.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by satrekker, posted 02-06-2005 4:22 PM satrekker has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by satrekker, posted 02-06-2005 5:53 PM Quetzal has responded

Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 1242 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 13 of 303 (183566)
02-06-2005 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by satrekker
02-06-2005 4:22 PM


How rude!
satrekker writes:

My time spent here has not been fruitless.

Apparently, our time means nothing to you. Considering the time some of us have taken to produce some rather lengty responses, the least you can do is answer them in kind, i.e. put up some kind of argument. Just coming in here, regurgitating some long-refuted creationist blather and then not bothering to answer critique, is downright rude.

satrekker writes:

Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

Thank you for wasting our time.


We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. - Richard Dawkins

This message is a reply to:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8933
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 14 of 303 (183574)
02-06-2005 5:11 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by satrekker
02-06-2005 4:22 PM


Yet another example
You are yet another example of the intellectual bankruptcy of the creationist cults. You actually had the idea that you could pose questions that would be difficult to answer.

You have been fed misinformation and outright lies. When you find that it isn't as easy as you thought it would be you cut an run.

You are, of course, in good company. I'd guess a majority of the literalists visitors behave as you do. Not the best advertisement for your faith but that is your choice.


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Replies to this message:
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CK
Member (Idle past 2673 days)
Posts: 3221
Joined: 07-04-2004


Message 15 of 303 (183575)
02-06-2005 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by NosyNed
02-06-2005 5:11 PM


Re: Yet another example
I think it's one of your quotes Ned, something like "they realise that the lions look lean and hungry"

This message is a reply to:
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