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Thread: Bush backs Intelligent Design

  1. #31
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Okay. Even *if* I were to grant the Bible as a source of history/biological evidence, how does that show that the scientific method used by evolutionary biologists is less rigorous and thoroughly investigated than relying upon the authority of a single text? That's what I'm a little bleary on. Particularly in light of your contention that other life forms (non-human) HAVE evolved. Why the human exceptionalism? After all, we share 98% of our genetic material with chimps; is it absurd to suggest that there may be a connection?
    FCB, a little warning, because I see where this thread is headed.

    The position the hardcore creationists will return to over and over and over again is the "holes" in evolutionary theory, which in their mind discredit all research/evidence compiled on the subject, leading to a conclusion that creationism *must* be the correct answer.

    You can try arguing with reason, you can try arguing with facts, you can try arguing with observational evidence, but the response will be consistently the same: evolution can't be sceintifically "proved", therefore it *must* be invalid, because I interpret it to be at odds with my interpretation of Genesis. Creationists mistake religion for science (see the drive to have ID taught in science classes) consistently, no more so than in the evolution "debate".

    So, whilst it is noble to fling around facts, evidence, and the logical position that if 99% of scientists believe that species-to-species macro evolution in some form occured on Earth it is a good reason for believing that it is true...it's not going to get you very far.

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  3. #32
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    And there's the rub.

    What people neglect to point out is that science makes no declaration or supposition as to the concept of "design" in the universe. There are a number of scientists who point to the intricate calibration of certain cosmological constants to show that, if this universe DID occur purely by chance, then that is a rather remarkable chance. There are others who argue that since we inhabit this universe, it stands to reason that this is the best universe that we could inhabit, and as such, it is the ONLY universe that could exist.
    If you really want to blow your mind a bit, there is a school of thought out there, which bases itself on Hawkings postulate that the Universe will eventually collapse back on itself in a "Big Crunch" event similar to the Big Bang, that thinks the universe is unimaginably old and has gone through many multiple "Bangs" and "Crunches" that failed because the conditions weren't just right to form a stable and expanding structure...and possibly even a few that did work, existed for trillions of years, collapsed, and then re-expanded.

    So, in theory, this could be like the 54th time some species has evolved on a planet, come up with baseball, and devoted a website to talking about the Cincinnati Reds (although only the 6th, 23rd, and 45th ever had to go to a reputation system).
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  4. #33
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    FCB, a little warning, because I see where this thread is headed.

    The position the hardcore creationists will return to over and over and over again is the "holes" in evolutionary theory, which in their mind discredit all research/evidence compiled on the subject, leading to a conclusion that creationism *must* be the correct answer.

    You can try arguing with reason, you can try arguing with facts, you can try arguing with observational evidence, but the response will be consistently the same: evolution can't be sceintifically "proved", therefore it *must* be invalid, because I interpret it to be at odds with my interpretation of Genesis. Creationists mistake religion for science (see the drive to have ID taught in science classes) consistently, no more so than in the evolution "debate".

    So, whilst it is noble to fling around facts, evidence, and the logical position that if 99% of scientists believe that species-to-species macro evolution in some form occured on Earth it is a good reason for believing that it is true...it's not going to get you very far.
    Trust me, I'm brutally aware of the argument ad ignorantiam belched by the fundamentalist line of thinking vis. "the holes" in evolutionary theory. "If it can't be explained, it must be God" isn't a theory; it's a default/defense mechanism.

    I'm just trying a different tack--as I now see that arguing for the scientific method is falling mostly on deaf ears. Perhaps, I can catch one who concedes that science actually enlightens some corners of the universe (Ravenlord) and compel him to see where his argument falls apart.

  5. #34
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    If you really want to blow your mind a bit, there is a school of thought out there, which bases itself on Hawkings postulate that the Universe will eventually collapse back on itself in a "Big Crunch" event similar to the Big Bang, that thinks the universe is unimaginably old and has gone through many multiple "Bangs" and "Crunches" that failed because the conditions weren't just right to form a stable and expanding structure...and possibly even a few that did work, existed for trillions of years, collapsed, and then re-expanded.

    So, in theory, this could be like the 54th time some species has evolved on a planet, come up with baseball, and devoted a website to talking about the Cincinnati Reds (although only the 6th, 23rd, and 45th ever had to go to a reputation system).
    Ah, yes, the whole "broken clocks are right twice a day" theory.

    Not implausible, either. I tend to blow my mind thinking about "infinity", or the Reds' FO unwillingness (thus far) so give Dunn a LTC. There are many things that blow my mind.

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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Best. Line. Ever.

    This week, Georgia’s board of education approved a plan that allows teachers to keep using the word "Evolution" when teaching biology. Though, as a compromise, dinosaurs are now called "Jesus Horses."

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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Wow, lots of great posts here.

    Following up on what RFS said, if you bog down on the details of Genesis you risk missing the bigger morals concerns it tackles. The story of Adam and Eve actually seeks to tackle the question of how complex beings tackle the concept of morality. We're not blessed with animal ignorance and that's something we've got to deal with. The story's telling you that life isn't going to be simple and that's a valuable lesson to keep in mind no matter what age you are.
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    And there's a school of thought that humanity is going through a period of rapid evolution. Thanks to plentiful food and advanced medicine, we're growing by leaps and bounds (generation to generation).
    I would submit that is fulfilling potential rather than evolving. These are still human beings you are talking about, whether or not they are taller or living a few years longer due to medical advances. But there is no new species resulting, so where is the evolution? By that concept, cows with more meat due to improved feeding techniques would be considered to be "evolving."


    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Ethnicity's also breaking down on the breeding front. We're all mutts, but that's combining the stronger traits of different ethnicities and winnowing many of the recessive boogeymen (e.g. Tay Sachs).
    Someone like myself won't deny that at the molecular level within species, that the concepts of evolution do hold some water through mutation and variation in the gene pool. It's when you start talking about species' evolving into a species that never existed before through the process of evolution as a creative process that we will start to disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    On top of that, there's a theory that we're getting smarter. The sum total of human knowledge has been growing exponentially for a century and some think it's because we're able to keep pace with it in a way our ancestors couldn't.
    Having more information does not make us smarter. Making discoveries does not make us smarter. We have more information than ever before, yet all it seems to lead to is building bigger, and sometimes better mousetraps. Yet, the world still has the same problems now, when you remove all the window dressing, that it always has. Men still are killing men at alarming rates, I guess they are smarter at that. There is still a HUGE problem with the allocation of resources among all humanity, one which goes unnoticed to many, many Americans because even the poor are comparatively rich. And not one man has been able to solve the sin problem that is at the root of all evil in the world. Getting smarter? No, we've just created technologically advanced ways to sin against God and all humanity.
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  9. #38
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    I would submit that is fulfilling potential rather than evolving. These are still human beings you are talking about, whether or not they are taller or living a few years longer due to medical advances. But there is no new species resulting, so where is the evolution? By that concept, cows with more meat due to improved feeding techniques would be considered to be "evolving."
    As that meatier body becomes part of the genetic code (largely due to ranchers favoring the meatier cows in their breeding practices) that is evolution at work. I think we might have hit at the core of it right here. Evolution's just a catch-all term for the gradual changes that occur in all species. Obviously the longer you take it out over the course of time, the larger the changes.

    On potential, every species has the ability to get bigger or smaller dependent on conditions. The largest land-based mammalian predator we've so far found, the Andrewsarchus, was hooved, more closely related to sheep than lions. And, yes, these are still human beings I'm talking about, though substantially different human beings thanks to the process of evolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    Someone like myself won't deny that at the molecular level within species, that the concepts of evolution do hold some water through mutation and variation in the gene pool. It's when you start talking about species' evolving into a species that never existed before through the process of evolution as a creative process that we will start to disagree.
    This gets back to timeline, though let me stress here that evolution is an adaptive process not a creative process. It tracks the flow of the changes in the living world. Anyway, timeline. Obviously if you've only got 6,000 years to play with, the sum total of changes isn't going to be that radical. Yet take that "mutation and variation in the gene pool" out over a million years and the total weight of those changes becomes immense. Dinosaurs (at least the ones that survived) become birds. Small land mammals become whales.

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    Having more information does not make us smarter. Making discoveries does not make us smarter. We have more information than ever before, yet all it seems to lead to is building bigger, and sometimes better mousetraps. Yet, the world still has the same problems now, when you remove all the window dressing, that it always has. Men still are killing men at alarming rates, I guess they are smarter at that. There is still a HUGE problem with the allocation of resources among all humanity, one which goes unnoticed to many, many Americans because even the poor are comparatively rich. And not one man has been able to solve the sin problem that is at the root of all evil in the world. Getting smarter? No, we've just created technologically advanced ways to sin against God and all humanity.
    When the tides rises, it floats all boats, good and bad. It's still a chicken-and-egg matter as to whether the current explosion in knowledge is a result of humans applying the skills we've always had or if we're now hitting a point where knowledge is exploding because we're better able to process it than we had been previously. Simply put, we don't know and we won't for a long time. It's speculation at this point.

    BTW, that wildly disparate allocation of resources could have profound evolutionary effects if it continues for another few centuries. If you look at evolutionary trees what you see is a lot of branching. There's a lot of gomptheriums and smilodons that wind up being out of the mainstream of what survives into the next era. If plentiful food, advanced medicine, protection against the elements and a disparate gene pool gets offered to some portions of humanity and not others, we're going to branch. I'm not talking about becoming different species, but people in the have section likely will develop a pile of beneficial traits that won't be found in the have-not areas.
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    I think we might have hit at the core of it right here. Evolution's just a catch-all term for the gradual changes that occur in all species.
    But that's where the discussions start to get messy. It sounds like you buy more into microevolution thought, where we have changes occurring within species, and are perhaps a little unsure once we start getting to full blown macroevolution, which is an explanation of origins for those who take it to the logical conclusion. However, rarely in discussions is the distinction made, yet it is so important. After all, a Creationist needs microevolution to explain the races, just as one example.
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    But that's where the discussions start to get messy. It sounds like you buy more into microevolution thought, where we have changes occurring within species, and are perhaps a little unsure once we start getting to full blown macroevolution, which is an explanation of origins for those who take it to the logical conclusion. However, rarely in discussions is the distinction made, yet it is so important. After all, a Creationist needs microevolution to explain the races, just as one example.
    Micro/macroevolution is a false choice. There is no difference. Dinosaurs became birds through the same process that enabled you and I to enjoy a big scoop of ice cream.

    Like I said, things change and evolution tracks the changes. Take a larger chunk of time and you get bigger changes. At its heart it's the simplest, least complex, least challenging theory out there. The matter of human origin only gets messy because of the enormous amount of time involved and our present-day knowledge that we weren't around for most of it. Where religious "creation" pops into the equation, I leave that up individual religions to determine.

    Seems to me that if someone wants to make the case for human exceptionalism they need to go a lot farther out than the biblical timeline, say 70,000 years. We've got no recorded history and not much of an artefact/DNA history to cover it. Maybe that's where the hand of God came in to stir the soup. I'm not saying that IS the case, just that it's around the time when something we'd have called humanity seems to have popped up (at least based on our best modern estimates).

    The Old Testament never claims to be the definitive source on space and time. It's a collection of stories and parables, aiming more at wisdom than scrupulous accuracy (which is an extremely modern concept, really its a child of the Enlightenment).
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  12. #41
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    The Old Testament never claims to be the definitive source on space and time. It's a collection of stories and parables, aiming more at wisdom than scrupulous accuracy (which is an extremely modern concept, really its a child of the Enlightenment).
    But is amazingly historically accurate when a literal rendering is required. The other stuff are your truth claims based on scientific theories (e.g. pre-history prior to Gen 1-2) vs. my truth claims from a Biblical perspective (ex nihilo Creation described in Gen 1-2).
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    It's when you start talking about species' evolving into a species that never existed before through the process of evolution as a creative process that we will start to disagree.
    On that subject, how does creationism deal with the lack of ancient fossil evidence for a number of animals that exist today? Scientists haven't found T-Rex fossils with, say, cows or sheep or people in their stomachs, and they haven't found grizzly bear fossils alongside dinosaur fossils.
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor
    The other stuff are your truth claims based on scientific theories (e.g. pre-history prior to Gen 1-2) vs. my truth claims from a Biblical perspective (ex nihilo Creation described in Gen 1-2).
    Theories, schmeories. An uncovered T-Rex skeleton isn't a theory, it's a fact.

    Artefacts found from human civiliazations that pre-date the biblical timeline aren't theories, they're facts. You can put your hands on them.

    Geological strata. Fact, not theory.

    Humans in North America with the only practical way to get there covered up by the ocean thousands of years prior to the biblical timeline. Facts, not theory.

    Mitochondrial DNA capable of tracing the migration of humanity out of Africa and across the globe over the course of tens of thousands of years. Fact, not theory.

    There's civilizations, continents, oceans and galaxies not accounted for in the Bible. How do I know North America exists? How do I know kangaroos exist? How do I know the solar system exists? It's not due to theory and it's sure as shooting not from Genesis.

    I'm simply allowing some facts to inform me. This isn't science vs. religion for me. As we've discussed before, I think religion marginalizes itself when it initiates that argument. Science takes the stance that we're constantly learning more about the universe around us. That what we've learned deserves constant revisitation and that we need to be aware that we still have incalculably more to learn. I've never understood why that fundamentally humble approach isn't embraced by religion. The claim that we understand the bulk and detail-level of God's works thanks to an ancient version of the telephone game strikes me as pretty cheeky.
    Last edited by M2; 08-04-2005 at 04:12 PM.
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  15. #44
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    I'm simply allowing some facts to inform me. This isn't science vs. religion for me. As we've discussed before, I think religion marginalizes itself when it initiates that argument. Science takes the stance that we're constantly learning more about the universe around us. That what we've learned deserves constant revisitation and that we need to be aware that we still have incalculably more to learn. I've never understood why that fundamentally humble approach isn't embraced by religion. The claim that we understand the bulk and detail-level of God's works thanks to an ancient version of the telephone game strikes me as pretty cheeky.


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  16. #45
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    Re: Bush backs Intelligent Design

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Theories, schmeories. An uncovered T-Rex skeleton isn't a theory, it's a fact.

    Artefacts found from human civiliazations that pre-date the biblical timeline aren't theories, they're facts. You can put your hands on them.

    Geological strata. Fact, not theory.

    Humans in North America with the only practical way to get there covered up by the ocean thousands of years prior to the biblical timeline. Facts, not theory.

    Mitochondrial DNA capable of tracing the migration of humanity out of Africa and across the globe over the course of tens of thousands of years. Fact, not theory.

    There's civilizations, continents, oceans and galaxies not accounted for in the Bible. How do I know North America exists? How do I know Kangaroos' exist? How do I know the solar system exists? It's not due to theory and it's sure as shooting not from Genesis.

    I'm simply allowing some facts to inform me. This isn't science vs. religion for me. As we've discussed before, I think religion marginalizes itself when it initiates that argument. Science takes the stance that we're constantly learning more about the universe around us. That what we've learned deserves constant revisitation and that we need to be aware that we still have incalculably more to learn. I've never understood why that fundamentally humble approach isn't embraced by religion. The claim that we understand the bulk and detail-level of God's works thanks to an ancient version of the telephone game strikes me as pretty cheeky.
    M2, That is an excellent post.
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