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Author Topic:   Does Evolution Require Spreading The Word?
jaywill
Member (Idle past 602 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 88 of 135 (338797)
08-09-2006 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:01 AM


Anyway, my point is, this forum, and many other evolutionist minded folk throughout my life, have always been adamant about pleading their case. Many say it's fact, and has been proven. They are always persistent in letting you know what they believe. My question is, is it really necessary to promote it so much, if it's that written in stone. I mean, you already have it infiltrating the school system, why do you even need to debate about it, it's fact, isn't it? Is there some sort of "Go and tell" command that evolutionists must abide by, to make sure that their propaganda gets spread? Sort of reminiscent of the Christian's command to go and spread the Gospel.

How does this work to the tune of "Go Tell It On the Mountain"?


Go tell it in the class room,
Down at the dorm and everywhere,
Go tell it in the class room,
That a monkey became a man.

(chorus)
When I was a student,
I studied man night and day.
I asked Darwin to help me,
He showed me I came from an Aaaape -------

Go tell it in the class room,
Down at the dorm and everywhere,
Go tell it in the class room,
That a monkey became a man.

(Make sure you clap your hands on the Upbeat - one TWO one TWO!

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Teets_Creationist, posted 06-08-2006 7:01 AM Teets_Creationist has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-10-2006 1:26 PM jaywill has not yet responded
 Message 90 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-10-2006 9:36 PM jaywill has responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 602 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 116 of 135 (340868)
08-17-2006 3:42 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Dr Adequate
08-10-2006 9:36 PM


Hi Dr. Adaquate,

I get told that "evolution is a religion" and that "to believe in evolution requires faith", and, on this thread, that those pesky "evolutionists" "spread the word", that evolution is "messianic", and the implication of your post seems to be that if we're going to teach children evolution we might as well teach them to sing hymns to Darwin.

I was being a naughty troll.

But I give some serious reply to your inquiry. I can understand some people saying that a kind of religion has developed around the theory of evolution. This came home to me from two insidents.

One was while I once noticed that the Boston Globe newspaper had taken out space to defend the teaching of evolution in school. They took out a entire full length page and filled it with nothing but a photograph of a aged bearded Charles Darwin. I wondered why the sparse article should be accompanied by a huge mug shot of a distinquished aged old man. It struck me as an appeal to people's religious sensibilities to be awe struck by this massive image of "the great sacred Father" of Evolution.

The second incident came when I visited a high school which had a poster depicting the common themes of evolution theory. These eyes stared out intelligently at the viewer amidst a ape like being with arms raised as in benediction. A kind of light was depicted around the figure and the progression of the fiqures was meant to portray that man gradually emerged as intelligent from these lower animals until he kind of "blesses" human civilization with his higher insight. The art work struck me as something worthy of comparison with any fresca on St. Peter's Biscillica or on any stain glass window of religious edifice.

It doesn't surprise me that some critics feel the belief in evolutionary theory has become a religion.

Now to your point about teaching evolution to kids. I would want it to be taught to my kids (who are now in their twenties) as a theory. I think they certainly should learn about the theory. And I think problems that some scientists have (yes both of them) with the theory should not be suppressed. I think that is good education.

There is something about this which puzzles me.

Again and again, when you're trying to say that evolution is stupid, you compare it to Christianity. It's like you're saying, over and over, "Hah! Evolution! It's as dumb as Christianity!"

Christianity is a religion. When it acts as a religion it is doing what it is supposed to be doing. Evolution is suppose to be science. When it acts like science it is doing what we expect. When it aderents act like religious folk - like the artists and propogandists of the above situations I discribed, then it does look stupid because it is behaving as a religion.

What was I suppose to do when I opened the newspaper and saw that huge picture of the sacred father figure, fall on my knees and say 10 Hail Darwins?

When Science acts like Religion it does look stupid. And vica versa.


Now if I want to compare something to something ridiculous, I pick on flying pigs. I would never seek to ridicule any propostion that I considered silly by comparing it to the Christian faith.

Well, I think flying pigs are pretty ridiculous. But I also think that a ape / monkey or what have you as a "primate" giving birth one day to a human being is also ridiculous. If someone shows me it occur one day that will seriously alter my sense of it being foolish.

Besides in evolutionary theory the flying pig is not that bad. Well, you almost have that in the giraffe who stretch and stretched and stretched its neck until it evolved into the long necked creature that we see today. Maybe the head will gradually dislocate from the neck and the two little knobs on the top will evolve into wings.

Then perhaps the neck (without the giraffe head) will evolve in the future into some kind of snake like furry creature. I'm not sure how evolution will handle the big rump and four legs in back. Maybe that will evolve into the nest with four stands that the furry serpantine giraffe neck hatched from.

Don't sneer at me. I was taught that all the animals gradually evolved into their present characteristics by natural selection. The turtle shell, the elephant trunk, the jelly fish, the bees, termites, ants, all evolved into their characteristics over huge amounts of time with natural selection navigating through near infinite possibities.

I don't think that change in species is ridiculous. I think the limitless change proposed by some evolutionists is ridiculous.


Creationists do this all the time.

In effect, you say of evolution, "How stupid, it's a religion, how stupid, it requires faith, how stupid, the believers "spread the word", how stupid, it's "messianic", how stupid, they might as well be singing hymns, how stupid"; and yet having told everyone how utterly stupid that would be, you would of course wish that they should join a religion which requires faith and spreads the word and is messianic and sings hymns.

I have tried to state that when it behaves as science theory it is not stupid. When it behaves like something you have to believe because we just know that we know that we know - well people with religious convictions know religion when they see it. Don't be surprised that they point out that Evolutionist are then behaving like a religion.

Which you have just explained to them is the hallmark of absurdity.

I confess, I am puzzled to think what you are trying to achieve by holding up Christianity as the benchmark for ridicule.

Clever. You couch the discussion cleverly.

But as I said. When evolutionists behave as scientists who actually don't know for sure some of these things it deserves respect. When they behave as highpriest of ultimate truth about things that they actually do not know because they weren't there to observe it, then they're behaving like a religious faith.

I think some truth can be arrived at through scientific study and some truth cannot.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-10-2006 9:36 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by MangyTiger, posted 08-17-2006 8:31 PM jaywill has not yet responded
 Message 118 by Annafan, posted 08-18-2006 6:12 AM jaywill has responded
 Message 120 by Dr Adequate, posted 08-19-2006 7:13 AM jaywill has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 602 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 119 of 135 (341081)
08-18-2006 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 118 by Annafan
08-18-2006 6:12 AM


That's certainly not evolution.

Is this another way of saying that there is no point at which we can identify a living thing as "human"?

Are you saying that there is no point in which we can say that a non human life reproduced a human life?

Or are you saying that evolutionary change only occurs during the course of the particular living things life span?

And the truths that cannot (or that you don't want to) be arrived at through scientific study, what do you do with those?

I'm not sure if the parenthesis portion implies that I prefer not to believe that all truth can indeed be arrived at through scientific study. Is that the implied meaning of "(or that you don't want to)"?

Do you envision a society where spirituality or philosophy is no longer needed? Do you envision a society finally discarding the idea of revelation, prayer, communion with God, intuitive senses of right and wrong, or trust in the messages of morally exemplarary people?

I think things like revelation, faith in God, and faith in a god's desire to communicate the otherwise unknowable to people, philosophical speculation are the tools other than scientific study that people use to arrive at truth.

I think when you sit across the table from a scientist who is in tears at undergoing a painful divorce, it comes home to you that some problems cannot be worked out with a slide rule. And some forms of truth must be attained apart from the tools of science.

Do you imagine that a society might cause my expectation to be one day obsolete?

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by Annafan, posted 08-18-2006 6:12 AM Annafan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Annafan, posted 08-21-2006 11:41 AM jaywill has responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 602 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 122 of 135 (342322)
08-22-2006 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by Annafan
08-21-2006 11:41 AM


Both will always be possible, since it is a matter of choice.

This sounds as if the classification systems are ambiguous. What does that do to all the tree diagrams taught us showing the evolutionary relationships between vertebre and non vertebre, mullusks, reptiles, mammals, etc.? If the classification system is because of choice so ambiguous how can you effective teach transmutation from one species to another?

It concerns me a little bit also that some educated people may "choose" to declassify me and my children as human beings. If you want to teach children that to date we really can't pinpoint what is a human, that has some social implications that I think should concern us.

The issue here is that you seem to be trapped in the preconception that there are "absolutes". You want to categorize, but fail to understand that categorization only works over very long timeframes.

With long and longer timeframes eventually at some point you have catagorize still. You can't wipe out catagorization by stretching the timeframe out more and more.

Are you suggesting that to date we still may not be human beings? I have seen many tree diagrams of evolutionary relationships. It seems that you are saying that huge lengths of time really render those diagrams not useful.

And I don't feel "trapped" in a system that I think has some validity. I just question if I need to be trapped into one taken to a further degree then it actually can account for.

Let's take the classic example of the electromagnetic spectrum of visible light: viewed from a distance, it's quite easy to point to the colors (violet - blue - green - yellow - red). But zoom closely into the areas between the colors, and tell me where exactly for example green changes into yellow? Basically, your guess is as good as mine... It's arbitrary. And unless one recognizes that and accepts the fuzzy concept, there will always be an argument.

So if we zoom in close enough on some people walking around we might well see that some humans are not really humans yet? Or have we all crossed the ambiguous line between non-human and human somewhere in the past?

IF we educate our children this way I have some concerns about the possibility of it being challenged that certain groups of people are still evolutionarily sub-human. Didn't some folks propose already some ideas like this around the mid early part of the 20th century? I think they were called Nazis.

I'm concerned about an education of kids which makes the line between humans and nonhumans ambiguous to the point that it is completely up to one's choice to bestow identity on people to be one of them or not.

Do you think that these dangerous byproducts of massive evolutionary ideology should be examined as well in the education of
young people?

Your "primate giving birth to a human" line illustrates a denial of the fuzzy and gradual transition. Starting from that premise makes it impossible to correctly picture how it works.

I think you need to weigh that against the denial of a more concrete definition of what a human is and what such ambiguity does to our social structures. Perhaps, not everyone will say "Well, it doesn't matter because we know we have all crossed the fuzzy line."

Suppose some have scientific reasons to believe that the fuzzy line has not been crossed by some people yet?

I'll have to respond to your additional points in another session.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Annafan, posted 08-21-2006 11:41 AM Annafan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by Annafan, posted 08-23-2006 5:40 AM jaywill has not yet responded
 Message 126 by Annafan, posted 08-23-2006 12:43 PM jaywill has responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 602 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 123 of 135 (342348)
08-22-2006 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by Annafan
08-21-2006 11:41 AM


Looking at your post count, I think it's fair to call you a regular here? In that context, it kinda surprised me how (poorly) you still characterized evolution. The examples you gave repeat the same parody of evolution that normally characterizes people who are eiter pretty ignorant or dishonest. Somehow I think you not only *should*, but also *do* know better than that.

This is a veiled accusation of dishonesty. You're of course entitled to that opinion of me. But I will tell you what I am impressed with too.

I am impressed with how soon and how often people tell me "You just don't understand evolution." It seems with some people to question evolution is to not understand it. Well, of course I don't claim to know everything about the theory. But I think I understand enough that I don't think you should automatically assume I am lying or am ignorant if I have some reservations about how far we are going to take this theory.

You can probably go on forever telling me that I just don't understand evolution. The more you do that sometimes the more you sound like a Catholic priest of the Middle Ages telling the layman that he cannot be trusted to read the sacred text of Scripture.

Humans were arrived at gradually and progressively from "lower" forms of animals. That is the basic idea. Now you could probably grill me on some amino acid combination and satisfy yourself that I really don't know much about evolution. But I think I grasp enough of the basic outline to assume that at some point a human was the offspring of something less than human, even if the difference is atomically minute or it happened over millions of years.

The middle of the around the equator is warmer because of the more direct sunlight. As you travel from north to the center the degress of temperature change in extrememly minute degrees. But they do change. If we have measurements for such they are agreed upon as adaquate if not precise to an infinitissimal degree.

Evolutionary theory holds that a man is the offspring of a one celled animal over very large amounts of time. Or a man is the offspring of a ape like primate over a long period of time. I question that as proposterious. Am I misrepresenting evolutionary theory in a dishonest way?

You can't always dull the sense of shock at such a proposal by accusing people of intentionally putting forth effort to misunderstand the theory.

Saying that it happened over huge amounts of time might be better. But it is not all that much better. Not everyone believes that over enough length of time practically anything can happen slowly and gradually.

Why is it then, that you hold onto that easily ridiculed portrayal? The only reason I can think of (besides dishonesty, but I certainly don't immediately jump to that conclusion), is that you feel better about it that way.

If you want to talk about feelings, I "feel" that to ask me to believe that the present state of all the living things was arrived at gradually by evolutionary transition, is too much to ask me to believe given a process like natural selection.

I "feel" like you are asking a great deal of me. I feel like you are asking me to excercise faith in something of a miracle. This process as far as I have been able to see is "goaless" and random. When I make this kind of criticism I expect the counter to be "Well, you just don't understand evolution, either as a dishonest motive or otherwise. You just don't understand evolution." Your response was not a surprise to me.


You obviously start from the premise that evolution can and should not be true. So, for yourself, you embrace the picture of a female primate mother with a human baby popping out. An image that is so ridiculous that you can easily discard it without further thought, like any other sane person. You can then easily bash that parody without feeling uncertain, and feel good about it. So much nicer than being confronted with all the unsurmountable evidence that inevitable leads to only one conclusion.

I don't think that the evidence is unsurmountable. And I don't think that separating the non-human mother and the human child with millions of years of "fuzzy" little transitions helps that much. There are such tremendous differences between humans and even the closest other life that it is still asking a lot to believe.

I don't believe all change within living things should be bashed. How far are we going to take this principle is a concern to me. Please don't tell me I don't understand evolution when I assume that the theory suggests that our most distant ancestor is some one celled animal. And that by gradual reproduction over long long periods of time transmutations caused a human being to come out.

Let's say in my ignorance that I suggest that an amoeba is the ancestor of you and I. Maybe technically I misrepresent the lattest research. But I don't think I am far off. Through sexual (or asexual) repoduction over many many fuzzy millennia of gradual transmutation, natural selection did its work to cause these descendents to arrive at their present form as Homo Sapien. Do you still say "You just don't understand evolution?"

For all the people who have been telling me that I just don't understand either purposely or otherwise, I am still waiting for this moment of shock that the idea of macro evolution is not all that hard to accept afterall.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Annafan, posted 08-21-2006 11:41 AM Annafan has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by MangyTiger, posted 08-22-2006 3:29 PM jaywill has responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 602 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 127 of 135 (342779)
08-23-2006 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by MangyTiger
08-22-2006 3:29 PM


MangyTiger,

If you demonstrated a decent grasp of the basics of evolutionary theory then your reservations might be taken more seriously.

I understand that natural selection worked on critters to cause them to adopt to be able to survive. The more adopted to the environment the more chance at survival. The "useful" traits caused some populations to survive and reproduce and the less "useful" traits caused the others to be passed over and become exctinct.

Now if you pull me down into an argument about some minute molecular combination or some amino acid catalyst you will quickly see that I don't know as much about Evolution as you do.

But this basic overview I think is a fair representation of the overall concept.

So let me drop the lampoon about the Giraffe neck. And I'll drop the sarcasms too. Now, am I wrong to understand that the characteristics of the Giraffe's neck are the result of evolution's work to enable the beast to reach higher and higher into the air to reach the high growing tasty food for survival?

Did natural selection weed out the shorter necked specimens in favor of the longer necked ones? Is that a concept in Evolutionary theory?

What is it about the overall concept that you say I don't understand?

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by MangyTiger, posted 08-22-2006 3:29 PM MangyTiger has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 602 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 128 of 135 (342788)
08-23-2006 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by Annafan
08-23-2006 12:43 PM


Annafan,

I'll have to respond in short sessions.

I will certainly agree that this is a much better representation already than "a primate giving birth to a human being". So the first question is: why then do you still spontaneously decide to use the inadequate characterization (not to say downright misrepresentation) at times? Strawmen usually show up for a reason.

The ever popular diagram of evolutionary progress, which has probably been seen by millions of students, shows ape like animals walking in a row and finally arriving at something we recognize as a human.

The net effect of it is that humans came from apes, or something that the evolutionists have told the artists to make look like an ape. I don't think that that stretching the process over millions of mutations over millions of years dulls the essential impact of the concept. At some point you have apes and at another point you had humans. They are related by descent and reproduction.

You are trying to dull the implication by expanding the time so that it is hardly noticable. But somehow we still notice what you're getting at. Don't blame me for erecting a strawman.


I should also add though, that even someone who characterizes evolution/common descent like you just did, could still misunderstand the essence. One should also always keep in mind that the mechanism is not thought to be teleological and/or progressive. I.e. "further evolved" is not thought to be synonymous to "higher animal". (I noticed you used the term 'less than human' at some point) And if we rewind time and let things start all over again, we would never get Homo Sapiens again. Maybe not even intelligent beings, or (even more) maybe not even the same biochemical basis.

Of that we have no idea. That is an experiment that we never can do.

But it does seem perculiar to me that humans seem so much to be one of a kind. We seem to occupy a class alone. The dolphins and the chimps are wonderful. But there are still tremendous differences between them and humans.

If the process took place I wonder why there is no ready equal "competitors" so to speak at the most evolved end of the scale.


I mention this because part of some people's "disbelief" is caused by this idea that it would require such staggering innumerable amount of precise coincidences to exactly produce Homo Sapiens, while this is not much different from the "incredible coincidence" someone feels when winning a lottery. It's only an "a posteriori" coincidence or improbability (?)

Somehow Annafan, this doesn't do much for my sense of the "incredible coincidence" of life arising in the first place. I know that a mighty chorus will say "Evolution is not about origins". It use to be. I think they backed off from that. And Darwin did call his book "Origin" of Species.

But aside from that I can't get much from rationals that reason that it is not all that much of a coincidence that energy organized itself and brought bacterias to one day transmutate into human beings. Arguments that its not that big of a deal probabalistically aren't too impressive to me.

Some of these arguments I call Pseudo Buddhist kinds of arguments. That is that there is an illusionary appearance of staggering coicindence. If you just look at it the right way it all seems pretty much what we'd expect. But we have nine or so other planets yelling that it didn't happen there.

We have no way of making a statistical comparison about probability until we find one more world where life is. Having found only one so far, what can dull the sense of great coincidence?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Annafan, posted 08-23-2006 12:43 PM Annafan has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by NosyNed, posted 08-23-2006 5:11 PM jaywill has not yet responded
 Message 130 by ReverendDG, posted 08-23-2006 6:13 PM jaywill has not yet responded
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