Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 80 (8898 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 03-25-2019 6:37 PM
20 online now:
DrJones*, JonF, Percy (Admin), Tangle, Tanypteryx (5 members, 15 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 848,643 Year: 3,680/19,786 Month: 675/1,087 Week: 44/221 Day: 15/29 Hour: 1/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
234567Next
Author Topic:   Is Evolution the only option in a Naturalistic point of view ?
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2720 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 1 of 104 (517469)
08-01-2009 4:04 AM


I have been thinking about this question for quite some time now, and finally decided to discuss it with you guys.

We know that the universe has not existed forever, that is, it had a beginning, a start. Either be it the Big Bang or God creating everything, the universe hasn't always existed. This is a logical deduction from thermodynamics, because if the universe has an infinite past, then there should be no mroe energy 'transfer'.

Knowing this, it seems that there are two option concerning the development of life:

  1. Either animal kinds are static

  2. Or they are not static, and so they can become other animal kinds given enough time. (I use the word 'kind' instead of 'species' because it has a broader sense then the later)

Now, in a Naturalistic, or atheist etc. point of view, there seems to be only one option: the second one. I come to this conclusion because there are no naturalists that I have ever heard of who are proponents of the first option.

Also, it seems a logical conclusion from the fact that we know the universe does not have an infinite past, and so since animals do not pop out of thin air, the only option is that they evolved from a lesser state, and a lesser state, etc. up to a primordial soup. I have to be careful here and make a precision: I am not saying that Neo-Darwinism (as natural selection+mutation are the mechanisms of this evolution) is the only option, but only that evolution is.

The Theist, or the non-Naturalist, still has both option. I come to this conclusion because there are Theists who are proponents of both ideas, and also that a universe that had a beginning does not prevent a force, or God, etc. outside of nature to create the animal kinds as static.

Please Discuss this.

Am I missing an option? Do you think it is possible that the universe does not have a beginning, and thus allowing the first option from a naturalistis point of view ? etc. etc.

Edited by Admin, : Improve formatting.

Edited by Admin, : Fix grammar in title.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-01-2009 7:36 AM slevesque has responded
 Message 4 by lyx2no, posted 08-01-2009 8:51 AM slevesque has responded
 Message 6 by Coyote, posted 08-01-2009 10:25 PM slevesque has responded
 Message 10 by Rrhain, posted 08-01-2009 11:21 PM slevesque has responded
 Message 14 by Jon, posted 08-01-2009 11:36 PM slevesque has responded
 Message 44 by RAZD, posted 08-02-2009 11:27 PM slevesque has not yet responded
 Message 70 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-04-2009 3:29 AM slevesque has responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12580
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 2 of 104 (517503)
08-01-2009 7:19 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Is Evolution is the only option in a Naturalistic point of view ? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16086
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 3 of 104 (517507)
08-01-2009 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by slevesque
08-01-2009 4:04 AM


It seems clear that someone with a naturalistic philosophy could deny evolution by denying well-established scientific facts just as a believer in the supernatural can deny evolution by denying well-established scientific facts.

You cite the Big Bang and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But evidently a mere rejection of the supernatural does not logically compel anyone to believe in either of these concepts. Evidence does, philosophy doesn't.

And you allow two options to supernaturalists --- but only by allowing them to deny equally well-established scientific facts, such as that evolution has occurred.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 4:04 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 11:15 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
lyx2no
Member (Idle past 2796 days)
Posts: 1277
From: A vast, undifferentiated plane.
Joined: 02-28-2008


Message 4 of 104 (517516)
08-01-2009 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by slevesque
08-01-2009 4:04 AM


Evidence
The naturalist's views are forced upon him by nature, not philosophy. He must follow the evidence wherever it leads or he's not a naturalist. If the evidence led to animals poofing into existence, then poofing it is. Evolution is the only option to the naturalist because that is the most parsimonious option the evidence seems to allow. "Seems" because it isn't certain that we've thought of every option yet.

The supernatural is dismissed because it is, by its very definition, unevidenced. The naturalist doesn't dismiss it, nature does.

The naturalist has any option that nature leave open to him.

Also, it isn't necessary to go all the way back to the BB and get tangled up in all that theoretical stuff. It was less than a third of that when the slag we call continents started floating to the top at a temperature a few thousand degrees warmer the life appreciates.

I don't know why but the masculine pronouns are grating at me this morning. I do wish the language had neutral pronouns. How hard would that be?


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them.
Thomas Jefferson

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 4:04 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 11:31 PM lyx2no has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16086
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 5 of 104 (517520)
08-01-2009 9:07 AM


Dr A writes:

You cite the Big Bang and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But evidently a mere rejection of the supernatural does not logically compel anyone to believe in either of these concepts.

To expand on this point. A philosophical naturalist could deny the Big Bang by copying some (though not all) of the creationist arguments against the Big Bang.

He could deny the Second Law of Thermodynamics by producing an equally dumb argument against the 2LoT. Here's one which I've seen seriously put forward (I'll tell you why it's dumb later, if you're interested):

The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a law of disorder, which says that any system left to itself will become more disorderly. But consider a disordered cloud of gas in outer space. According to the law of gravity, this will contract into a nice orderly sphere, as physicists readily admit. So much for the 2LoT.

And he can then convince himself against evolution by borrowing creationist arguments against evolution. Though he'd have to change some of the terms, such as "created kinds".

He can then picture an eternal and uncreated universe in which species are static and there has been an eternal cycle of chicken and egg. And if he was convinced by his own arguments, he could cheerfully believe that he was being scientific in so doing.

(I think I'm right in saying that some Greek philosophers, ignorant of the Big Bang, the 2LoT, and evolution, did in fact envisage such a static eternal cosmos.)

Now, as slevesque points out, no-one actually believes this nowadays:

slevesque writes:

Now, in a Naturalistic, or atheist etc. point of view, there seems to be only one option: the second one. I come to this conclusion because there are no naturalists that I have ever heard of who are proponents of the first option.

But, as I think that I have demonstrated, this is not because philosophical naturalism compels a belief in evolution.

It is simply because the facts are for evolution, and no philosophical naturalist has any compelling motivation to deny this, any more than to deny that the Earth is a spheroid and orbits the Sun. A philosophical naturalist could in principle hoodwink himself in this way --- but only a religious fundamentalist needs to.


Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 11:36 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 186 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 6 of 104 (517620)
08-01-2009 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by slevesque
08-01-2009 4:04 AM


Is Evolution is the only option in a Naturalistic point of view? At present, yes
Knowing this, it seems that there are two option concerning the development of life:

1. Either animal kinds are static

2. Or they are not static, and so they can become other animal kinds given enough time. (I use the word 'kind' instead of 'species' because it has a broader sense then the later)

Now, in a Naturalistic, or atheist etc. point of view, there seems to be only one option: the second one. I come to this conclusion because there are no naturalists that I have ever heard of who are proponents of the first option.


That may be because naturalists rely on evidence, and leave religious beliefs and pseudoscience to the philosophers, eh?

Static "kinds" have no basis in science. If it were not for the bible we would never hear of this option, nor even consider it for a moment. It is pure religious apologetics.

Also, it seems a logical conclusion from the fact that we know the universe does not have an infinite past, and so since animals do not pop out of thin air, the only option is that they evolved from a lesser state, and a lesser state, etc. up to a primordial soup. I have to be careful here and make a precision: I am not saying that Neo-Darwinism (as natural selection+mutation are the mechanisms of this evolution) is the only option, but only that evolution is.

Evolution is not the "mechanism." "Evolution" is the term used to describe changes in the genome.

And if "natural selection+mutation," or something quite similar, are not the "mechanisms of this evolution" what are? Does Old Man Coyote or some lesser deity nudge things along at times? If you think so, please specify the scientific evidence for this position. And, to save time, please specify the scientific evidence for which deity or deities is/are the culprit.

The Theist, or the non-Naturalist, still has both option. I come to this conclusion because there are Theists who are proponents of both ideas, and also that a universe that had a beginning does not prevent a force, or God, etc. outside of nature to create the animal kinds as static.

The theist has both options to the extent that they reject the naturalist option (that is, the one with evidence) for religious reasons. There is no scientific evidence for deities pushing genes or mutations around at will.

Kinds is a religious belief. Theistic evolution is a religious belief. Neither has any scientific evidence supporting it.

But fundamentalists and avid creationists are unwilling to accept this, hence creationism, creation "science," and most recently ID.

Believe what you want, but please don't try to inflict your particular religious belief upon either science or our schools.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 4:04 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-01-2009 10:43 PM Coyote has not yet responded
 Message 16 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 11:50 PM Coyote has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16086
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 7 of 104 (517625)
08-01-2009 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Coyote
08-01-2009 10:25 PM


Re: Is Evolution is the only option in a Naturalistic point of view? At present, yes
Evolution is not the "mechanism." "Evolution" is the term used to describe changes in the genome.

That's what slevesque said. He is distinguishing between evolution on the one hand, and the mechanism (neo-Darwinian evolution) on the other. I think his sentence structure has confused you, but if you go back and read what he wrote, it's clear enough what he means.

And if "natural selection+mutation," or something quite similar, are not the "mechanisms of this evolution" what are? Does Old Man Coyote or some lesser deity nudge things along at times? If you think so, please specify the scientific evidence for this position. And, to save time, please specify the scientific evidence for which deity or deities is/are the culprit.

Again, you misunderstand slevesque's point. What he's suggesting is that a philosophical naturalist would be compelled to infer that evolution had happened. But (says slevesque) he would not be equally compelled to infer that the mechanism of that evolution was neo-Darwinian --- he might, for example, be a Lamarckist, as indeed many people were before the discovery of genetics.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Coyote, posted 08-01-2009 10:25 PM Coyote has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 11:10 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2720 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 8 of 104 (517628)
08-01-2009 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Dr Adequate
08-01-2009 10:43 PM


Re: Is Evolution is the only option in a Naturalistic point of view? At present, yes
Thanks for explaining what I meant a bit more in detail.

To add to that, another option for a naturalist is to consider mutation+natural selection to not be enough to explain what he sees in nature. And so he could propose a third mechanism that would 'add on' to the two already discovered. Hence why I think that, although Evolution is obvious and the only option (as per scientific evidence, as mentionned. I'll add on to that in another post) for a Naturalist, Neo-Darwinian evolution is not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-01-2009 10:43 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2720 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 9 of 104 (517629)
08-01-2009 11:15 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Dr Adequate
08-01-2009 7:36 AM


I agree a complete denial of major scientific laws could allow a naturalist to believe in an eternal universe and static kinds. This is probably the only answer to my last question.

But I would find it extremely dichotomic for a Naturalist to reject laws of Nature. Rejecting a law is, in my opinion, much more difficult than a scientific theory, as it is at the top of the ladder of science.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-01-2009 7:36 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-01-2009 11:44 PM slevesque has not yet responded
 Message 37 by Theodoric, posted 08-02-2009 12:06 PM slevesque has responded

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


Message 10 of 104 (517631)
08-01-2009 11:21 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by slevesque
08-01-2009 4:04 AM


slevesque writes:

quote:
Now, in a Naturalistic, or atheist etc. point of view

Hold it right there. If this is your premise, then it immediately fails. Unless you're trying to say that the Catholic church is actually an atheistic group, then your claim that naturalism = atheism is trivially shown to be false. The official position of the Catholic church is that evolution is the only explanation we have for the diversity of life on this planet.

Are you saying that the Pope is an atheist?


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 1 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 4:04 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 11:33 PM Rrhain has responded

    
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2720 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 11 of 104 (517632)
08-01-2009 11:31 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by lyx2no
08-01-2009 8:51 AM


Re: Evidence
The naturalist's views are forced upon him by nature, not philosophy.

The supernatural is dismissed because it is, by its very definition, unevidenced. The naturalist doesn't dismiss it, nature does.

The naturalist has any option that nature leave open to him.

The very definition of supernatural is that it is outside of nature, and as of such it is very logical that by studying nature, he will not find supernatural things, as per the definition.

So it seems to me a bit circular to say that the surnatural is dismissed because it cannot be found in nature, or that because nature doesn't allow it, essentially because the definition of supernatural prohibits it to be found in nature.

Even if the supernatural could be observed to act in nature, the only evidence you would get would be personnal experience and eye-witness accounts. Since none of these are accepted to establish a scientific fact, a naturalist will never accept these as legitimate proof of the supernatural. (As can easily be seen when someone around here comes along and tells a personnal experience)

Also, it isn't necessary to go all the way back to the BB and get tangled up in all that theoretical stuff. It was less than a third of that when the slag we call continents started floating to the top at a temperature a few thousand degrees warmer the life appreciates..

Yeah I thought about that also, but my text was already all written down, so I didn't want to change anything hh. I could also have said that the solar system hasn't been existing forever because the Sun can't be burning forever, etc.

I don't know why but the masculine pronouns are grating at me this morning. I do wish the language had neutral pronouns. How hard would that be?.

Sorry, how could I do that ? (there are no neutral pronouns in french, so it may be a bit of a problem for me ...)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by lyx2no, posted 08-01-2009 8:51 AM lyx2no has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by lyx2no, posted 08-02-2009 2:54 AM slevesque has responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2720 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 12 of 104 (517633)
08-01-2009 11:33 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Rrhain
08-01-2009 11:21 PM


I do remember saying, at the end of my OP, that A Theist can rightfully believe in Evolution.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Rrhain, posted 08-01-2009 11:21 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Rrhain, posted 08-02-2009 1:12 AM slevesque has responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2720 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 13 of 104 (517634)
08-01-2009 11:36 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Adequate
08-01-2009 9:07 AM


I think all you said is straight in line with the last questioned I asked in my OP:

Do you think it is possible that the universe does not have a beginning, and thus allowing the first option from a naturalists point of view ?

My OP might have been a bit misleading on all this. Naturalism doesn't prohibit by itself the belief in static kinds. Naturalism+a none infinite universe (in the past, at least) does this.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-01-2009 9:07 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-02-2009 12:06 AM slevesque has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 104 (517635)
08-01-2009 11:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by slevesque
08-01-2009 4:04 AM


Senseless Post
quote:
  1. Either animal kinds are static

  2. Or they are not static, and so they can become other animal kinds given enough time. (I use the word 'kind' instead of 'species' because it has a broader sense then the later)

This is a false dichotomy. I am going to leave it to you to figure out why. Until you have validated the question, the answers cannot be considered as they are either themselves fallacious or irrelevant to the fallacious question.

Jon


You've been Gremled!
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 4:04 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by slevesque, posted 08-02-2009 12:36 AM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 19 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-02-2009 12:54 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16086
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 15 of 104 (517636)
08-01-2009 11:44 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by slevesque
08-01-2009 11:15 PM


But I would find it extremely dichotomic for a Naturalist to reject laws of Nature.

But it would be quite in order for a philosophical naturalist to reject something which he thought wasn't a law of nature.

Like other posters on this thread, you seem to be conflating the philosophical position of naturalism with acceptance of the discoveries of science. But, as I have pointed out, the one does not imply the other. A materialist always has the option of rejecting scientists' description of the material world. It's just that only rarely will a materialist exercise this option.

But it is possible. For example, it is one of the little ironies of the creationist movement that many of their best-loved arguments against science are taken from the staunch atheist and whackjob Fred Hoyle.

Rejecting a law is, in my opinion, much more difficult than a scientific theory, as it is at the top of the ladder of science.

This is fairly typical of the creationist confusion over the meanings of "law" and "theory". However, it would be off-topic to go into this further here --- perhaps you would like to take it up in my recent thread on "The Scientific Method For Beginners".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by slevesque, posted 08-01-2009 11:15 PM slevesque has not yet responded

  
1
234567Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019