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Elspeth
03-22-2010, 01:47 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/mar/19/evolution-darwin-natural-selection-genes-wrong


....Inevitably, those of us who aren't professional scientists have to take a lot of science on trust. And one of the things that makes it so easy to trust the standard view of evolution, in particular, is amply illustrated by the legend of the Nasa astronomers: the doubters are so deluded or dishonest that one needn't waste time with them. Unfortunately, that also makes it embarrassingly awkward to ask a question that seems, in the light of recent studies and several popular books, to be growing ever more pertinent. What if Darwin's theory of evolution – or, at least, Darwin's theory of evolution as most of us learned it at school and believe we understand it – is, in crucial respects, not entirely accurate?

.....Take, to begin with, the Swedish chickens. Three years ago, researchers led by a professor at the university of Linkφping in Sweden created a henhouse that was specially designed to make its chicken occupants feel stressed. The lighting was manipulated to make the rhythms of night and day unpredictable, so the chickens lost track of when to eat or roost. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, they showed a significant decrease in their ability to learn how to find food hidden in a maze.

The surprising part is what happened next: the chickens were moved back to a non-stressful environment, where they conceived and hatched chicks who were raised without stress – and yet these chicks, too, demonstrated unexpectedly poor skills at finding food in a maze. They appeared to have inherited a problem that had been induced in their mothers through the environment. Further research established that the inherited change had altered the chicks' "gene expression" – the way certain genes are turned "on" or "off", bestowing any given animal with specific traits. The stress had affected the mother hens on a genetic level, and they had passed it on to their offspring.

The Swedish chicken study was one of several recent breakthroughs in the youthful field of epigenetics, which primarily studies the epigenome, the protective package of proteins around which genetic material – strands of DNA – is wrapped. The epigenome plays a crucial role in determining which genes actually express themselves in a creature's traits: in effect, it switches certain genes on or off, or turns them up or down in intensity. It isn't news that the environment can alter the epigenome; what's news is that those changes can be inherited. And this doesn't, of course, apply only to chickens: some of the most striking findings come from research involving humans.

One study, again from Sweden, looked at lifespans in Norrbotten, the country's northernmost province, where harvests are usually sparse but occasionally overflowing, meaning that, historically, children sometimes grew up with wildly varying food intake from one year to the next. A single period of extreme overeating in the midst of the usual short supply, researchers found, could cause a man's grandsons to die an average of 32 years earlier than if his childhood food intake had been steadier. Your own eating patterns, this implies, may affect your grandchildren's lifespans, years before your grandchildren – or even your children – are a twinkle in anybody's eye.

It might not be immediately obvious why this has such profound implications for evolution. In the way it's generally understood, the whole point of natural selection – the so-called "modern synthesis" of Darwin's theories with subsequent discoveries about genes – is its beautiful, breathtaking, devastating simplicity. In each generation, genes undergo random mutations, making offspring subtly different from their parents; those mutations that enhance an organism's abilities to thrive and reproduce in its own particular environment will tend to spread through populations, while those that make successful breeding less likely will eventually peter out.

As years of bestselling books by Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and others have seeped into the culture, we've come to understand that the awesome power of natural selection – frequently referred to as the best idea in the history of science – lies in the sheer elegance of the way such simple principles have generated the unbelievable complexities of life. From two elementary notions – random mutation, and the filtering power of the environment – have emerged, over millennia, such marvels as eyes, the wings of birds and the human brain.

Yet epigenetics suggests this isn't the whole story. If what happens to you during your lifetime – living in a stress-inducing henhouse, say, or overeating in northern Sweden – can affect how your genes express themselves in future generations, the absolutely simple version of natural selection begins to look questionable......

Epigenetics is the most vivid reason why the popular understanding of evolution might need revising, but it's not the only one. We've learned that huge proportions of the human genome consist of viruses, or virus-like materials, raising the notion that they got there through infection – meaning that natural selection acts not just on random mutations, but on new stuff that's introduced from elsewhere. Relatedly, there is growing evidence, at the level of microbes, of genes being transferred not just vertically, from ancestors to parents to offspring, but also horizontally, between organisms. The researchers Carl Woese and Nigel Goldenfield conclude that, on average, a bacterium may have obtained 10% of its genes from other organisms in its environment.

To an outsider, this is mind-blowing: since most of the history of life on earth has been the history of micro-organisms, the evidence for horizontal transfer suggests that a mainly Darwinian account of evolution may be only the latest version, applicable to the most recent, much more complex forms of life. Perhaps, before that, most evolution was based on horizontal exchange. Which gives rise to a compelling philosophical puzzle: if a genome is what defines an organism, yet those organisms can swap genes freely, what does it even mean to draw a clear line between one organism and another? "It's natural to wonder," Goldenfield told New Scientist recently, "if the very concept of an organism in isolation is still valid at this level." In natural selection, we all know, the fittest win out over their rivals. But what if you can't establish clear boundaries between rivals in the first place?

.......And now, if epigenetics and other developments are coming to suggest that environment can alter heredity, the very terms of the debate – of nature versus nurture – suddenly become shaky. It's not even a matter of settling on a compromise, a "mixture" of nature and nurture. Rather, the concepts of "nature" and "nurture" seem to be growing meaningless. What does "nature" even mean if you can nurture the nature of your descendants?

This is one central argument of Shenk's new book, subheaded Why Everything You've Been Told About Genetics, Talent and IQ is Wrong. All our popular notions about talent and "genetic gifts", he points out, start to collapse if the eating habits of Tiger Woods's ancestors, for example, might have played a role in Woods's golfing abilities. (Woods always crops up in discussions on the origins of genius; more recently, he has started cropping up in evolutionary psychology discussions about whether promiscuity is inevitable.)

"What all this evidence shows is that we need a much more subtle and nuanced understanding of Darwinism and natural selection," Shenk says. "I think that's inevitably going to happen among scientists. The question is how much nuance will carry over into the public sphere . . . it's really funny how difficult it is to have this conversation, even with a lot of people who understand the science. We're stuck with a pretty limited way of viewing all this, and I think part of that comes from the terms" – such as nature and nurture – "that we have."

Among the arsenal of studies at Shenk's disposal is one published last year in the Journal of Neuroscience, involving mice bred to possess genetically inherited memory problems. As small recompense for having been bred to be scatterbrained, they were kept in an environment full of stimulating mouse fun: plenty of toys, exercise and attention. Key aspects of their memory skills were shown to improve, and crucially so did those of their offspring, even though the offspring had never experienced the stimulating environment, even as foetuses.

"If a geneticist had suggested as recently as the 1990s that a 12-year-old kid could improve the intellectual nimbleness of his or her future children by studying harder now," writes Shenk, "that scientist would have been laughed right out of the hall." Not so now.

Elspeth
03-22-2010, 01:48 AM
Second half:


And then there is Jerry Fodor, the American philosopher. I started reading What Darwin Got Wrong, the new book he has co-authored with the cognitive scientist Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, one morning, along with that day's first coffee. A few pages later, as the coffee kicked in, I grasped with astonishment what Fodor had done. He hadn't just identified evidence that natural selection was more complicated than previously thought – he'd uncovered a glaring flaw in the whole notion! Natural selection, he explains, simply "cannot be the primary engine of evolution". I got up and refilled my cup. But by the time I returned, his argument had slipped from my grasp. Suddenly, he seemed obviously wrong, tied up in philosophical knots of his own creation. I alternated between these two convictions. Was Fodor's critique so devastatingly correct that his critics – Dawkins, Dennett, the Cambridge philosopher Simon Blackburn, and many others – simply couldn't see it? Had he actually managed to . . . but then it slipped away again, vanishing into mental fog.

I called Fodor and asked him to explain his point in language an infant school pupil could understand. "Can't be done," he shot back. "These issues really are complicated. If we're right that Darwin and Darwinists have missed the point we've been making for 150 years, that's not because it's a simple point and Darwin was stupid. It's a really complicated issue."

Fodor's objection is a distant cousin of one that rears its head every few years: doesn't "survival of the fittest" just mean "survival of those that survive", since the only criterion of fitness is that a creature does, indeed, survive and reproduce? The American rightwing noisemaker Ann Coulter makes the point in her 2006 pro-creationist tirade Godless: The Church of American Liberalism. "Through the process of natural selection, the 'fittest' survive, who are the 'fittest'? The ones who survive!" she sneers. "Why, look – it happens every time! The 'survival of the fittest' would be a joke if it weren't part of the belief system of a fanatical cult infesting the Scientific Community."

This argument, perhaps uniquely among all arguments ever made by Coulter, feels persuasive, not least because it is a reasonable criticism of some pop-Darwinism. In fact, though, it's entirely possible for scientists to measure fitness using criteria other than survival, and thus to avoid circular logic. For example, you might hypothesise that speed is a helpful thing to have if you're an antelope, then hypothesise the kind of leg structure you'd want to have, as an antelope, in order to run fast; then you'd examine antelopes to see if they do indeed have something approximating this kind of leg structure, and you'd examine the fossil record, to see if other kinds of leg died out.

Fodor's point is more complex than this, although it's also possible that it is not really a point at all: several reviews of the book by professional evolutionary theorists and philosophers have concluded that it is, indeed, nonsense. As far as I can make out, it can be summarised in three steps.

[B]Step one: Fodor notes – undeniably correctly – that not every trait a creature possesses is necessarily adaptive. Some just come along for the ride: for example, genes that express as tameness in domesticated foxes and dogs also seem to express as floppy ears, for no evident reason. Other traits are, as logicians say, "coextensive": a polar bear, for example, has the trait of "whiteness" and also the trait of "being the same colour as its environment". (Yes, that's a brain-stretching, possibly insanity-inducing statement. Take a deep breath.)

Step two: natural selection, according to its theorists, is a force that "selects for" certain traits. (Floppy ears appear to serve no purpose, so while they may have been "selected", as a matter of fact, they weren't "selected for". And polar bears, we'd surely all agree, were "selected for" being the same colour as their environment, not for being white per se: being white is no use as camouflage if snow is, say, orange.)

Step three is Fodor's coup de grace: how, he says, can that possibly be? The whole point of Darwinian evolution is that it has no mind, no intelligence. But to "select for" certain traits – as opposed to just "selecting" them by not having them die out – wouldn't natural selection have to have some kind of mind? It might be obvious to you that being the same colour as your environment is more important than being white, if you're a polar bear, but that's because you just ran a thought-experiment about a hypothetical situation involving orange snow. Evolution can't run thought experiments, because it can't think. "Darwin has a theory that centrally turns on the notion of 'selection-for'," says Fodor. "And yet he can't give an account – nobody could give an account – of how natural selection could distinguish between correlated traits. He waffles."

Those of us baffled by this argument can take solace in the fact that we're not alone. The general response to Fodor among evolutionary thinkers has been a mixture of derision and awkwardness, as if one of their previously esteemed colleagues had entered the senior common room naked. Says Dennett, via email: "Jerry Fodor's book is a stunning demonstration of how abhorrence of an idea (Jerry's visceral dislike of evolutionary thinking) can derange an otherwise clever thinker . . . a responsible academic is supposed to be able to control irrational impulses, [but] Fodor has simply collapsed in the face of his dread and composed some dreadfully bad arguments." What Darwin Got Wrong, Dennett concludes, is "a book that so transparently misconstrues its target that it would be laughable were it not such dangerous mischief".

It would be jawdroppingly surprising, to say the least, were Fodor to be right. A safer, if mealy-mouthed, conclusion to draw is that his work acts as an important warning to those of us who think we understand natural selection. It's probably not a bankrupt concept, as Fodor claims. But nor should laypeople assume that it's self-evidently simple and exhaustively true.

The irony in all this is that Darwin himself never claimed that it was. He went to his deathbed protesting that he'd been misinterpreted: there was no reason, he said, to assume that natural selection was the only imaginable mechanism of evolution. Darwin, writing before the discovery of DNA, knew very well that his work heralded the beginning of a journey to understand the origins and development of life. All we may be discovering now is that we remain closer to the beginning of that journey than we've come to think.

Gingersnap
03-22-2010, 09:46 AM
I read a few pieces last week about this. It's interesting.

I'm always struck by how "settled" various issues in science and medicine become once the media (and various interest groups) get done translating them for the general population. This idea about selection and how quickly genes can be turned on or off has actually been around for some time. It raises some doubts about the current direction of evolutionary biology (not about the field itself but about its role).

Likewise, we always hear a lot about some popular pronouncement ("high" cholesterol causes heart disease, for instance) but little about the actual science behind the association (inflammation damages arterial walls, plaque is the repair system). This leads to all kinds of misunderstandings and really bad public policy such as the drive to reduce dietary fat to reduce plaque. When cholesterol numbers decline on draconian diets (and they need to be fairly strict), the cause is a reduction of triglycerides and inflammatory factors (due to low calories) which can also be achieved by reducing carbohydrate metabolism or by short term periodic fasting.

But there is no special interest group in line to receive funding, fame, or glory by telling people to skip eating one day a week or by telling them to drop the toast and fruit for breakfast and stick with eggs or a leftover pork chop. So we drug people to achieve the "right" numbers and bully them when they fail.

Hansel
03-22-2010, 10:14 AM
I read a few pieces last week about this. It's interesting.

I'm always struck by how "settled" various issues in science and medicine become once the media (and various interest groups) get done translating them for the general population. This idea about selection and how quickly genes can be turned on or off has actually been around for some time. It raises some doubts about the current direction of evolutionary biology (not about the field itself but about its role).

Likewise, we always hear a lot about some popular pronouncement ("high" cholesterol causes heart disease, for instance) but little about the actual science behind the association (inflammation damages arterial walls, plaque is the repair system). This leads to all kinds of misunderstandings and really bad public policy such as the drive to reduce dietary fat to reduce plaque. When cholesterol numbers decline on draconian diets (and they need to be fairly strict), the cause is a reduction of triglycerides and inflammatory factors (due to low calories) which can also be achieved by reducing carbohydrate metabolism or by short term periodic fasting.

But there is no special interest group in line to receive funding, fame, or glory by telling people to skip eating one day a week or by telling them to drop the toast and fruit for breakfast and stick with eggs or a leftover pork chop. So we drug people to achieve the "right" numbers and bully them when they fail.

It seems to be an empirical method and too many of us rely on prescription meds to take the place of common sense eating habits. Look at most of what restaurants have to offer, and look at the huge portions. There is no money in selling a sensible sized plate of food because the labor involved is about the same as that for a jumbo sized plate of food.

Also, people love their fats and their sweets. For example, beef seems to be addictive for me, and as hard as I try there is not substitute for a good old hamburger or a piece of roast beef. Beef and pork are both very rich in calories and in cholestoral, and if we could reduce our intake by half or so we might be healthier and live longer.

I don't wish to diss Darwin considering the fact that he was working long before the miracles of modern science let us look at genes and the like in a quantitative manner. At least the author did not throw intelligent design into the discussion.

Gingersnap
03-22-2010, 10:16 AM
It seems to be an empirical method and too many of us rely on prescription meds to take the place of common sense eating habits. Look at most of what restaurants have to offer, and look at the huge portions. There is no money in selling a sensible sized plate of food because the labor involved is about the same as that for a jumbo sized plate of food. Also, people love their fats and their sweets. For example, beef seems to be addictive for me, and as hard as I try there is not substitute for a good old hamburger or a pice of roast beef. Beef and pork are both very rich in calories and in cholestoral, and if we could reduce our intake by half or so we might be healthier and live longer.

I don't wish to diss Darwin considering the fact that he was working long before the miracles of modern science let us look at genes and the like in a quantitative manner. At least the author did not throw intelligenkt design into the discussion.

I think you missed my point here. ;)

wilbur
03-22-2010, 10:22 AM
Step three is Fodor's coup de grace: how, he says, can that possibly be? The whole point of Darwinian evolution is that it has no mind, no intelligence. But to "select for" certain traits – as opposed to just "selecting" them by not having them die out – wouldn't natural selection have to have some kind of mind?


Short answer: no.

fettpett
03-22-2010, 10:31 AM
I don't wish to diss Darwin considering the fact that he was working long before the miracles of modern science let us look at genes and the like in a quantitative manner. At least the author did not throw intelligent design into the discussion.

ah, but you make the same misconception about Intelligent Design and Creationism as everyone else that argues against it does. ID/Creationism does NOT state that evolution doesn't happen and that animals can't adapt. what it says happens is that there was something that was the Catalyst for everything, and that Catalyst had Intelligence. What is frustrating is people want to take these THEORIES as facts and not have honest discussions about them, especially in the scientific community where Evolutionist do everything they can to keep ID/Creationist from presenting their arguments.

What is needed is an open, honest, and civil discussion about both Theories. but unless God or w/e Intelligence is discovered that wont happen.

nightflight
03-22-2010, 10:47 AM
ah, but you make the same misconception about Intelligent Design and Creationism as everyone else that argues against it does. ID/Creationism does NOT state that evolution doesn't happen and that animals can't adapt. what it says happens is that there was something that was the Catalyst for everything, and that Catalyst had Intelligence. What is frustrating is people want to take these THEORIES as facts and not have honest discussions about them, especially in the scientific community where Evolutionist do everything they can to keep ID/Creationist from presenting their arguments.

What is needed is an open, honest, and civil discussion about both Theories. but unless God or w/e Intelligence is discovered that wont happen.

This opens up a whole can of worms. If there is a designer, it has to be admitted that perhaps he/she/it is malevolent. Consider the ebola virus; why would a designer create such a thing? Or the spitting cobra, mosquitoes, parasites, etc.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 11:03 AM
This opens up a whole can of worms. If there is a designer, it has to be admitted that perhaps he/she/it is malevolent. Consider the ebola virus; why would a designer create such a thing? Or the spitting cobra, mosquitoes, parasites, etc.

All things serve a purpose in the ecosystems of the world. Just because we find them extremely unpleasant doesn't mean that they have a purpose and a role to play. Rattlesnakes are pretty nasty but besides biting people, they keep the rodent population down. Black widow spiders make sure that we don't have a lot more insects running loose. Even ebola does it's part. Now that part is probably to keep the human population under control but are the effects ebola worse than a soldier getting a shot to the gut that may take serveral horrible days to die from?

Your body is full of parasites that the body has adapted to and actually need. The deadly ecoli bacteria lives in your intestines and helps to regulate the amount of water in your body. The mouth is one of the most germy areas of the body but biologiests are starting to realize that most of the germs in the mouth serve on important purpose. To take up space and keep other more troublesome germs out. No room at the inn, so to speak.

wilbur
03-22-2010, 11:05 AM
ah, but you make the same misconception about Intelligent Design and Creationism as everyone else that argues against it does. ID/Creationism does NOT state that evolution doesn't happen and that animals can't adapt. what it says happens is that there was something that was the Catalyst for everything, and that Catalyst had Intelligence. What is frustrating is people want to take these THEORIES as facts and not have honest discussions about them, especially in the scientific community where Evolutionist do everything they can to keep ID/Creationist from presenting their arguments.

What is needed is an open, honest, and civil discussion about both Theories. but unless God or w/e Intelligence is discovered that wont happen.

"Catalyst" with a capital "C"? Good grief, just drop the ambiguity and say Jesus/Yahweh.. it would be more honest.

In any case, what ID "says" tends to vary with the time of day, but it makes more specific claims than what you suggest. Its two foundational ideas are specified complexity, and irreducible complexity.

IC has basically been falsified, or at least shown to have no positive evidence. And this idea certainly does really state that the type of evolution proposed by TTOE is not possible. The big example for a long time was our blood clotting cascade. It was claimed that such a complex interaction of parts could not have evolved, because removing any of the parts would result in a non-functional system. If it would be rendered useless by a single missing peice, no small incremental changes as a result of a mindless process could have produced it. Well, guess what happened when ID'ists proposed this idea? Scientists considered the arguments, then went looking for blood clotting cascades similar to ours in other organisms. and found many examples of blood clotting cascades that functioned with all kinds of missing parts, and were even able to produce a plausible hypothesis for how our cascade formed in a step-wise fashion, using real world examples. Meanwhile, ID'ists pretend their arguments were not addressed.

SC, well... no one has quite figured it out yet, because Dembski himself (it was his brainchild) can't even figure out how to apply his formulas to real world scenarios. But without IC, its useless anyhow.

fettpett
03-22-2010, 11:08 AM
This opens up a whole can of worms. If there is a designer, it has to be admitted that perhaps he/she/it is malevolent. Consider the ebola virus; why would a designer create such a thing? Or the spitting cobra, mosquitoes, parasites, etc.

all depends on your POV. If you believe in Creation than you believe in the Fall and know that Satan caused sin and death and everything from plants to animals to microorganisms changed.

but from a pure biological stand point, all those things adapted to defend themselves or catch pray. just because something attacks humans doesn't mean it attacks other things in the ecosystem the same way. There is too much evidence supporting a designer than there is supporting hap n' stance. but again, they are both Theories that CAN NOT be proven, only evidence for and against.

Rockntractor
03-22-2010, 11:10 AM
Your body is full of parasites that the body has adapted to and actually need. The deadly ecoli bacteria lives in your intestines and helps to regulate the amount of water in your body. The mouth is one of the most germy areas of the body but biologiests are starting to realize that most of the germs in the mouth serve on important purpose. To take up space and keep other more troublesome germs out. No room at the inn, so to speak.

Ginger will love this one. All of her parasites are very clean and wash each day and take their vitamins!

fettpett
03-22-2010, 11:18 AM
"Catalyst" with a capital "C"? Good grief, just drop the ambiguity and say Jesus/Yahweh.. it would be more honest.

In any case, what ID "says" tends to vary with the time of day, but it makes more specific claims than what you suggest. Its two foundational ideas are specified complexity, and irreducible complexity.

IC has basically been falsified, or at least shown to have no positive evidence. And this idea certainly does really state that the type of evolution proposed by TTOE is not possible. The big example for a long time was our blood clotting cascade. It was claimed that such a complex interaction of parts could not have evolved, because removing any of the parts would result in a non-functional system. If it would be rendered useless by a single missing peice, no small incremental changes as a result of a mindless process could have produced it. Well, guess what happened when ID'ists proposed this idea? Scientists considered the arguments, then went looking for blood clotting cascades similar to ours in other organisms. and found many examples of blood clotting cascades that functioned with all kinds of missing parts, and were even able to produce a plausible hypothesis for how our cascade formed in a step-wise fashion, using real world examples. Meanwhile, ID'ists pretend their arguments were not addressed.

SC, well... no one has quite figured it out yet, because Dembski himself (it was his brainchild) can't even figure out how to apply his formulas to real world scenarios. But without IC, its useless anyhow.

I capitalized the "C" to refer to the starting point. NOT to the Intelligence behind it. IE the Big Bang. Nothing in the Biblical account or anything else a thinking person that can take the evidence and extrapolate from can see that God/Intelligence works within a frame work, that framework is science. Nothing says the two can't work together, You assume that all ID/Creationist are religious fanatics that can't or don't understand a scientific theory or how to experiment. That is dead wrong, there are many Scientist that believe in ID/Creationism and work from such a stand point.

Gingersnap
03-22-2010, 11:23 AM
Ginger will love this one. All of her parasites are very clean and wash each day and take their vitamins!

I try not to think about it. :D

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 11:29 AM
"Catalyst" with a capital "C"? Good grief, just drop the ambiguity and say Jesus/Yahweh.. it would be more honest.

In any case, what ID "says" tends to vary with the time of day, but it makes more specific claims than what you suggest. Its two foundational ideas are specified complexity, and irreducible complexity.

IC has basically been falsified, or at least shown to have no positive evidence. And this idea certainly does really state that the type of evolution proposed by TTOE is not possible. The big example for a long time was our blood clotting cascade. It was claimed that such a complex interaction of parts could not have evolved, because removing any of the parts would result in a non-functional system. If it would be rendered useless by a single missing peice, no small incremental changes as a result of a mindless process could have produced it. Well, guess what happened when ID'ists proposed this idea? Scientists considered the arguments, then went looking for blood clotting cascades similar to ours in other organisms. and found many examples of blood clotting cascades that functioned with all kinds of missing parts, and were even able to produce a plausible hypothesis for how our cascade formed in a step-wise fashion, using real world examples. Meanwhile, ID'ists pretend their arguments were not addressed.

SC, well... no one has quite figured it out yet, because Dembski himself (it was his brainchild) can't even figure out how to apply his formulas to real world scenarios. But without IC, its useless anyhow.

That irreducible complexity has been basically falisfied is basically a myth. There are still strong debates going on.

wilbur
03-22-2010, 11:32 AM
I capitalized the "C" to refer to the starting point. NOT to the Intelligence behind it. IE the Big Bang. Nothing in the Biblical account or anything else a thinking person that can take the evidence and extrapolate from can see that God/Intelligence works within a frame work, that framework is science. Nothing says the two can't work together, You assume that all ID/Creationist are religious fanatics that can't or don't understand a scientific theory or how to experiment. That is dead wrong, there are many Scientist that believe in ID/Creationism and work from such a stand point.

There is a difference between believing and God, and believing in ID. ID, as I mentioned before, is a very different beast than this kind of wishy washy notion about there being an intelligent creator that started everything, or intended for everything to be as it is. It proposes some specific ideas about the nature of intelligence and the limits of complexity that can arise from mindless processes.

fettpett
03-22-2010, 11:37 AM
There is a difference between believing and God, and believing in ID. ID, as I mentioned before, is a very different beast than this kind of wishy washy notion about there being an intelligent creator that started everything, or intended for everything to be as it is. It proposes some specific ideas about the nature of intelligence and the limits of complexity that can arise from mindless processes.

as wishy washy as everything happened completely at random and by astronomical chance. Yes there is a difference between ID and a Creator, but they still have the same arguments and similar enough POV that they are on the same side.

Personally I'd rather believe in a Creator God that knows me and cares for me than we are just here randomly and the cosmos is run completely by chance. but that's my Opinion

wilbur
03-22-2010, 11:40 AM
That irreducible complexity has been basically falisfied is basically a myth. There are still strong debates going on.

Seriously, there really isnt.

wilbur
03-22-2010, 11:44 AM
as wishy washy as everything happened completely at random and by astronomical chance. Yes there is a difference between ID and a Creator, but they still have the same arguments and similar enough POV that they are on the same side.


What I'm just trying to point out is, that unless your supporting those very specific ideas, you arent really supporting the theory of ID, you are simply kind of supporting some philosophical argument from design - they really are not the same thing.



Personally I'd rather believe in a Creator God that knows me and cares for me than we are just here randomly and the cosmos is run completely by chance. but that's my Opinion

Hey, I wish Santa were real - seriously - cuz how cool would that be?

Rockntractor
03-22-2010, 11:47 AM
Hey, I wish Santa were real - seriously - cuz how cool would that be?
Santa would give you coal.

asdf2231
03-22-2010, 11:53 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/MidnightLight/Motivational%20Posters/BigBangTheory.jpg

fettpett
03-22-2010, 11:54 AM
What I'm just trying to point out is, that unless your supporting those very specific ideas, you arent really supporting the theory of ID, you are simply kind of supporting some philosophical argument from design - they really are not the same thing.



Hey, I wish Santa were real - seriously - cuz how cool would that be?

I've read enough on ID/Creationism and evolution debate to know that it's not that as simple as that. YES there are difference between ID and Creation, obviously. for all ID knows it could have been some super advanced form of alien or we're just the figment of some LSD laced things imagination. CREATIONISM has a specific Creator, and created for a reason. However the arguments are the same. SOMETHING designed everything.

You can make fun all you want, but those are my believes. I didn't come in here making fun of yours so take that crap somewhere else.

The Night Owl
03-22-2010, 11:56 AM
all depends on your POV. If you believe in Creation than you believe in the Fall and know that Satan caused sin and death and everything from plants to animals to microorganisms changed.

but from a pure biological stand point, all those things adapted to defend themselves or catch pray. just because something attacks humans doesn't mean it attacks other things in the ecosystem the same way. There is too much evidence supporting a designer than there is supporting hap n' stance. but again, they are both Theories that CAN NOT be proven, only evidence for and against.

By claiming that there is evidence supporting a designer, are you suggesting that the universe has been designed with humans in mind?

The Night Owl
03-22-2010, 12:00 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v604/MidnightLight/Motivational%20Posters/BigBangTheory.jpg

The Big Bang theory describes the expansion on the known universe, not what caused it.

fettpett
03-22-2010, 12:17 PM
By claiming that there is evidence supporting a designer, are you suggesting that the universe has been designed with humans in mind?

not necessarily. Our planet, solar system, and possibly Galaxy yes. the entirety of Creation, no. why only create with one thing in mind?

I subscribe to the Thomas Carlyle thought on stars:

"A sad spectacle. If they be inhabited, what a scope for misery and folly. If they be not inhabited, what a waste of space."

The Night Owl
03-22-2010, 01:07 PM
not necessarily. Our planet, solar system, and possibly Galaxy yes. the entirety of Creation, no. why only create with one thing in mind?



Considering that there is a myriad of events which could have prevented life on Earth from being possible and a myriad of events which could have prevented the human branch of evolution from being possible, what gives you the idea that our corner of the universe has been designed with humans in mind?

Let me put it this way... if our corner of the universe is designed with us in mind then the design is like that of a car which is designed to kill the occupants. In other words, it's a design which doesn't make sense.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 01:42 PM
By claiming that there is evidence supporting a designer, are you suggesting that the universe has been designed with humans in mind?

Yes it was.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 01:43 PM
The Big Bang theory describes the expansion on the known universe, not what caused it.

Without a cause the theory lacks something...

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 01:46 PM
Considering that there is a myriad of events which could have prevented life on Earth from being possible and a myriad of events which could have prevented the human branch of evolution from being possible, what gives you the idea that our corner of the universe has been designed with humans in mind?

Let me put it this way... if our corner of the universe is designed with us in mind then the design is like that of a car which is designed to kill the occupants. In other words, it's a design which doesn't make sense.

The fact that none of those myraid of events did occur when all it would have taken was one of them and life would not have developed. I would say that your own statement cites pretty heavy odds for the reasons why life shouldn't be here yet it is. You not your own best ally today.

The Night Owl
03-22-2010, 02:42 PM
The fact that none of those myraid of events did occur when all it would have taken was one of them and life would not have developed. I would say that your own statement cites pretty heavy odds for the reasons why life shouldn't be here yet it is. You not your own best ally today.

I wouldn't be my best ally if I were the type of person claiming that humanity was the certain or likely result of universal evolution prior to humanity but I'm not. The ID proponents are the ones making that claim.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 03:48 PM
I wouldn't be my best ally if I were the type of person claiming that humanity was the certain or likely result of universal evolution prior to humanity but I'm not. The ID proponents are the ones making that claim.

My point was that what you claim as evidence against ID is the same statistical evidence ID enthusiasts use to support their claim that the universe is designed. You cited the fact that there are a myriad of events that could have made the universe uninhabitable for life as we know it.

You stated:

Considering that there is a myriad of events which could have prevented life on Earth from being possible and a myriad of events which could have prevented the human branch of evolution from being possible, what gives you the idea that our corner of the universe has been designed with humans in mind? That leads to the question that if any one of those myriad of circumstances had not occurred and no life would have formed then why is there life here? What are the odds the the universe would be suited to life? As defined by Roger Penrose


The calculations of British mathematician Roger Penrose show that the probability of universe conducive to life occurring by chance is in 10^10123. The phrase "extremely unlikely" is inadequate to describe this possibility.
That is According to Penrose, the odds against such an occurrence were on the order of 10^10^123 to 1.

Yet we have a whole world teaming with life. And not only life but life that has the ability to ask and answer the question "what are the odds of a universe being accidentally created that was suitable to life?" If those are the odds for any type of live can you imagine what they are for intelligent life. Extrapolate form the earth. In 5 billion years and according to evolutionists millions and millions of extinct species there is only evidence of one that has intelligence.

Data source is here (http://www.esotericscience.org/article1a.htm)

wilbur
03-22-2010, 04:14 PM
Without a cause the theory lacks something...

How bout this: It was necessary.

For thats all theologians have to say about God, if one is to inquire about what "caused" Him, or what explains Him. They just arbitrarily define him as the one thing which needs no justification or explanation. But if they get to shirk their responsibility, they surely can't complain if I choose to shirk mine: So the big bang was necessary!

fettpett
03-22-2010, 04:28 PM
I wouldn't be my best ally if I were the type of person claiming that humanity was the certain or likely result of universal evolution prior to humanity but I'm not. The ID proponents are the ones making that claim.

Your argument is that our part of the Universe wasn't set up for life. Yet our place in the Solar system, how far from the sun, the speed it rotates and ellipse's around it. The distance the Moon is from the earth, it's ellipse, the other Planets positions. Our Solar systems place in the Galaxy are all in places that just so happen to be able to support life.

Too close we burn, too far we freeze (ie. Venus and Mars)
Moon too close and gravity pulls it in and starts pulling the planet apart, too far away and it fly's off and not enough tidal force.
Outer planets arguably protects us from Comets/Asteroids from the Kiper belt through their Gravity.
if the Solar System was up too far, down too far, in too far or out too far in the Galactic Arms we'd be in a Radiation belt that would fry us.

all this happened by chance? very small chance

that's just where we are in the Galaxy. that doesn't mean there aren't other habitable planets or inhabited ones, just where we are.

but they are ALL THEORIES ID, Creationism, and Evolution. None of them can be proven. observe them in some form, find evidence for them, yes, prove them no.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 04:40 PM
How bout this: It was necessary.

For thats all theologians have to say about God, if one is to inquire about what "caused" Him, or what explains Him. They just arbitrarily define him as the one thing which needs no justification or explanation. But if they get to shirk their responsibility, they surely can't complain if I choose to shirk mine: So the big bang was necessary!

Actually only a few theologians say that. There are many reasons that attempt to explain why God created the universe. My personal favorite is that since God is infinitely good then creating must be a good thing to do. Unfortunately there are a couple of things that you profess to believe in that apparently have no cause or the cause can not be determined by the theory. Evolution is another one. What caused evolution? How did the first bit of innate matter start reproducing itself? If the theory can't explain itself then what good is the theory? I'm not saying that the theory should be tossed out, I'm just stating that it should be suspect.

Since it seems the Universe is finite and needs a cause and the prevailing view of God among Christian theologians is that he is infinite then how would you justify or explain the existence of an infinite being? Philosophically would something that is infinite need an explanation or justification? Could a finite mind grasp the nature of something infinite? Do you even believe in the possibility of an infinity?

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 04:48 PM
Your argument is that our part of the Universe wasn't set up for life. Yet our place in the Solar system, how far from the sun, the speed it rotates and ellipse's around it. The distance the Moon is from the earth, it's ellipse, the other Planets positions. Our Solar systems place in the Galaxy are all in places that just so happen to be able to support life.

Too close we burn, too far we freeze (ie. Venus and Mars)
Moon too close and gravity pulls it in and starts pulling the planet apart, too far away and it fly's off and not enough tidal force.
Outer planets arguably protects us from Comets/Asteroids from the Kiper belt through their Gravity.
if the Solar System was up too far, down too far, in too far or out too far in the Galactic Arms we'd be in a Radiation belt that would fry us.

all this happened by chance? very small chance

that's just where we are in the Galaxy. that doesn't mean there aren't other habitable planets or inhabited ones, just where we are.

but they are ALL THEORIES ID, Creationism, and Evolution. None of them can be proven. observe them in some form, find evidence for them, yes, prove them no.

You have hit on something that bothers me about some atheists. They are so certain that there is no God that they are unable to entertain the possibility of God. The fact that I am a believer doesn't close my mind to ideas of the possibility of evolution or creationism or ID are anything else that doesn't step over the line in to a violation of reason and logic. I can have God and evolution and ID without upsetting my worldview. They are merely different ways of looking at things and exercise different aspects of the mind.

fettpett
03-22-2010, 05:00 PM
You have hit on something that bothers me about some atheists. They are so certain that there is no God that they are unable to entertain the possibility of God. The fact that I am a believer doesn't close my mind to ideas of the possibility of evolution or creationism or ID are anything else that doesn't step over the line in to a violation of reason and logic. I can have God and evolution and ID without upsetting my worldview. They are merely different ways of looking at things and exercise different aspects of the mind.

yeah that's my biggest problem with atheist/liberals almost to a fault they are the most closed minded and bigoted people around. and yet they will be the first ones to accuse Conservatives/Christians/any religion for the same thing

Wei Wu Wei
03-22-2010, 05:17 PM
That irreducible complexity has been basically falisfied is basically a myth. There are still strong debates going on.

Irreducible complexity isn't a theory, it's more a of a deconstructive method of analysis. It's actually quite useful in further exploring how the minutia of evolution occurs, but it's hardly an anti-evolutionary theory.

Wei Wu Wei
03-22-2010, 05:20 PM
You have hit on something that bothers me about some atheists. They are so certain that there is no God that they are unable to entertain the possibility of God. The fact that I am a believer doesn't close my mind to ideas of the possibility of evolution or creationism or ID are anything else that doesn't step over the line in to a violation of reason and logic. I can have God and evolution and ID without upsetting my worldview. They are merely different ways of looking at things and exercise different aspects of the mind.

I think a lot of people place "science" as the psychoanalytic position of "subject-supposed-to-know". As such, they treat current scientific understanding as dogma, or assume that there is a complete picture which we may someday unravel, which are both improper.

The problem with introducing God into the theory of evolution is that supernatural causes cannot be accounted for within the epistomology of science. It's like asking how beautiful something is using mathematics (not that some people try).

The epistemological stance that all scientific inquiry takes only looks at natural (as opposed to supernatural) phenomenon, and so far great progress has been made.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 05:24 PM
Irreducible complexity isn't a theory, it's more a of a deconstructive method of analysis. It's actually quite useful in further exploring how the minutia of evolution occurs, but it's hardly an anti-evolutionary theory.

Where did I say that it was a theory? I just stated that the debunking of IC was not as complete as wilbur would have some believe. I agree with the rest of your post. For the record I am not anti-evolution. I see some useful science in it and it explains many things. I also see some pretty huge assumptions being made by some who profess it to be a closed subject.

Wei Wu Wei
03-22-2010, 05:25 PM
Also although older theories of evolution have been long discredited (Cuvier's), it should be remembered that things you do in your life can still affect your offspring either by genetic alteration (chemicals that change genetic structure in sex cells) and also simply from pre-natal exposure (a woman who experiences high stress produces chemicals (stress chemicals such as Cortisol) which can stay in her body and affect the development of a child the same as foreign chemicals like alcohol.

Wei Wu Wei
03-22-2010, 05:28 PM
Where did I say that it was a theory? I just stated that the debunking of IC was not as complete as wilbur would have some believe. I agree with the rest of your post. For the record I am not anti-evolution. I see some useful science in it and it explains many things. I also see some pretty huge assumptions being made by some who profess it to be a closed subject.

Yeah there are no closed subjects.

I understand the intuitive ideological opposition to evolution (if Man evolved from Ape, then there's really no such thing as Ape and no such thing as Man), it causes many people to think that any blind spots in the theory means the theory as a whole in invalid (which is wrong, gravity works and it's effects happen even if we don't fully understand how, likewise evolution does too).

Evolution happens, in fact evolution is the story of the cosmos. For ourselves (conceived [incorrectly I believe] as consistent, unchanging beings) evolution presents an existential threat. However, there is a gap between the reality we experience through language (what most people consider "real" reality) and the Real beyond it (Lacan's Real, Kant's Noumenon, ect.)

wilbur
03-22-2010, 05:28 PM
Actually only a few theologians say that. There are many reasons that attempt to explain why God created the universe. My personal favorite is that since God is infinitely good then creating must be a good thing to do.


Necessity is not a motive for creation, its the pseudo-explanation offered for the existence of God.

Its the answer given to the question "What caused God?", not the question "Why did God create the universe". Though I supposed some might also say necessity for the second question too, but its not that common. Most Christians hold that God has free will and created the universe in a "free act of Grace", but its creation wasn't necessary. God could have chosen otherwise.

With that in mind, the double standard should be clear. If you ask "What caused the universe?", and I reply "it is necessary", the believer will no doubt not be satisfied with that explanation and demand more. If I asked "What caused God?" the believer will have to give some answer to the effect of "God is necessary" (unless they come up with some new or esoteric theology right there on the spot).

That's called special pleading. I can easily just choose to cut off the explanatory chain before we get to God and declare that existence is just brute fact.



Unfortunately there are a couple of things that you profess to believe in that apparently have no cause or the cause can not be determined by the theory. Evolution is another one. What caused evolution? How did the first bit of innate matter start reproducing itself? If the theory can't explain itself then what good is the theory? I'm not saying that the theory should be tossed out, I'm just stating that it should be suspect.


Answer: chemistry.



Since it seems the Universe is finite and needs a cause and the prevailing view of God among Christian theologians is that he is infinite then how would you justify or explain the existence of an infinite being? Philosophically would something that is infinite need an explanation or justification? Could a finite mind grasp the nature of something infinite? Do you even believe in the possibility of an infinity?

Finite minds, with a little trouble surely, grasp the nature of infinite things all the time. See mathematics, set theory, etc.

Unless we're OK with an infinite regress, we generally just have to concede that there is something, which is simply brute fact. The problem here is, if the naturalist will offer up a brute fact explanation, the believer will generally demand and explanation for the explanation, while requiring the naturalist to stay away from their own favored crutch: necessity.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 05:33 PM
I think a lot of people place "science" as the psychoanalytic position of "subject-supposed-to-know". As such, they treat current scientific understanding as dogma, or assume that there is a complete picture which we may someday unravel, which are both improper.

The problem with introducing God into the theory of evolution is that supernatural causes cannot be accounted for within the epistomology of science. It's like asking how beautiful something is using mathematics (not that some people try).

The epistemological stance that all scientific inquiry takes only looks at natural (as opposed to supernatural) phenomenon, and so far great progress has been made.

I work from the view that I shouldn't close of any avenue of potential discovery in that the avenue I refuse to follow might be the very one that gives me the answers that I am looking for. As a believer I "believe" that God is the correct cause, but even if I wasn't a believer (which for a long time I wasn't) I wouldn't not rule out the possibility.

Kant put a dividing line between the nominal and phenomenal realms and he stated that one realm could not access the other. I believe that we in the phenomenal can't access the nominal and so with our senses we cannot determine the existence of God. However, I don't believe that God is restricted from reaching over in to the phenomenal realm when the need suits him. Perhaps (and I feel that He did) He left clues for us to find. The question is would we recognize them if we have already ruled out the possibility of the existence of God.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 05:57 PM
Necessity is not a motive for creation, its the pseudo-explanation offered for the existence of God.

Nothing is necessary for God. To say that necessity is a motive for creation is exactly right and no serious theologian would ever state that God created anything out of necessity. Necessity implies the lack of something and if God lacks something then he is not God. I think my whimsical answer is closer to the truth. God creates because it is good to create.



Its the answer given to the question "What caused God?", not the question "Why did God create the universe". Though I supposed some might also say necessity for the second question too, but its not that common. Most Christians hold that God has free will and created the universe in a "free act of Grace", but its creation wasn't necessary. God could have chosen otherwise.

I reiterate that God is not subject to necessity. He is not required to do anything. Once again requiring something implies that there is something lacking in God and God to be God would lack nothing.



With that in mind, the double standard should be clear. If you ask "What caused the universe?", and I reply "it is necessary", the believer will no doubt not be satisfied with that explanation and demand more. If I asked "What caused God?" the believer will have to give some answer to the effect of "God is necessary" (unless they come up with some new or esoteric theology right there on the spot).

Here is why that is not a double standard. In our reality all things finite must have a cause. The universe is finite (i.e. it has size, shape and beginning and an end). Its nature defines it as being the effect of a causal relationship. An infinite God would have no beginning nor an end. To have a beginning or end would make God finite and again He would not be God because He would need a cause. The idea of the infinite God is not a Judeo/Christian concept. It was reasoned by both Plato and Aristotle and their concepts happen to be very close to the Christian God, but that is neither here nor there.



That's called special pleading. I can easily just choose to cut off the explanatory chain before we get to God and declare that existence is just brute fact.



Answer: chemistry.

Not a answer. A process like mathematics.



Finite minds, with a little trouble surely, grasp the nature of infinite things all the time. See mathematics, set theory, etc.

Unless we're OK with an infinite regress, we generally just have to concede that there is something, which is simply brute fact. The problem here is, if the naturalist will offer up a brute fact explanation, the believer will generally demand and explanation for the explanation, while requiring the naturalist to stay away from their own favored crutch: necessity.

Can you completely describe infinity? I can't. It's like trying to describe nothingness. You can grasp some aspects of nothingness but the attempt describe it makes it in to something.

Just something to think about.

FlaGator
03-22-2010, 06:14 PM
Yeah there are no closed subjects.

I understand the intuitive ideological opposition to evolution (if Man evolved from Ape, then there's really no such thing as Ape and no such thing as Man), it causes many people to think that any blind spots in the theory means the theory as a whole in invalid (which is wrong, gravity works and it's effects happen even if we don't fully understand how, likewise evolution does too).

Evolution happens, in fact evolution is the story of the cosmos. For ourselves (conceived [incorrectly I believe] as consistent, unchanging beings) evolution presents an existential threat. However, there is a gap between the reality we experience through language (what most people consider "real" reality) and the Real beyond it (Lacan's Real, Kant's Noumenon, ect.)

Your an interesting person to talk with. I love discussions like this. Even the ones with wilbur as long as he and I can both remain civil with each other :D I have long had an interest in philosophy and a lot of my friends thought I'd give it up when I became Christian. In reality it made me even more interested in the subject. Now I've added the likes of Augustine and Aquinas and Jonathan Edwards to the list. I'm ordering the book by Paul Tillich that you mentioned last week. I'm not big on Existentialism but the web site you linked peeked my interest.

If your interested, I just picked up a book called 'The Quantum Enigma' http://quantumenigma.com/ . It's got me interested in reading about Quantum Consciousness. I visited a few web sites dedicated to the subject and it is very thought provoking.

Wei Wu Wei
03-22-2010, 06:26 PM
Your an interesting person to talk with. I love discussions like this. Even the ones with wilbur as long as he and I can both remain civil with each other :D I have long had an interest in philosophy and a lot of my friends thought I'd give it up when I became Christian. In reality it made me even more interested in the subject. Now I've added the likes of Augustine and Aquinas and Jonathan Edwards to the list. I'm ordering the book by Paul Tillich that you mentioned last week. I'm not big on Existentialism but the web site you linked peeked my interest.

If your interested, I just picked up a book called 'The Quantum Enigma' http://quantumenigma.com/ . It's got me interested in reading about Quantum Consciousness. I visited a few web sites dedicated to the subject and it is very thought provoking.

I enjoy discussions like this too. I think you'll like Tillich, I recommend that book to all Christians I know and even non-christians alike. While I have many ideas from different traditions (Hindu traditions like Advaita Vedanta, light dabbling in Taoist and Buddhist traditions), I find that this book by Tillich best explains the human condition in a concise, relatively simple, and thorough way which seems to balance out all of my experiences as well as offer a pragmatic guide to how to live in Faith, which I personally consider the most important thing a person can do.

The faith Tillich describes is not faith in the traditional sense as strongly held beliefs in a set of stated principles, but the faith of action when all conceptual principles and symbolic supports fall away, when we really come face to face with this moment (this moment being where I believe divinity is buried). That moment is usually a moment of impending panic and anxiety (an anxiety that cannot be resolved as well), and this book talks about how to step into that doubt (you have to step off the boat to walk on water).

wilbur
03-22-2010, 08:11 PM
Nothing is necessary for God. To say that necessity is a motive for creation is exactly right and no serious theologian would ever state that God created anything out of necessity. Necessity implies the lack of something and if God lacks something then he is not God. I think my whimsical answer is closer to the truth. God creates because it is good to create.

I reiterate that God is not subject to necessity. He is not required to do anything. Once again requiring something implies that there is something lacking in God and God to be God would lack nothing.


"Necessity" means "could not be otherwise", in philosophy speak. So to say that theologians claim that God's existing is necessary, is to simply say that theologians claim that "God's existing, could not be otherwise".

Its not that God does something necessarily, or is subject to necessity. Its to say his being is necessary.



Here is why that is not a double standard. In our reality all things finite must have a cause. The universe is finite (i.e. it has size, shape and beginning and an end). Its nature defines it as being the effect of a causal relationship. An infinite God would have no beginning nor an end. To have a beginning or end would make God finite and again He would not be God because He would need a cause.


If we buy the logic that says the temporal universe requires an infinite cause, that still does not mean it requires an infinite cause that is God. It just means something infinite is required.

And so one can then decide to define the material that the universe is made of as infinite (though its present temporal shape is not), and thus it becomes brute fact, and needs no further explanation (according to the logic of theism). What I'm trying to highlight, is that this is the same technique that is in play when God is offered as an explanation.

So to reject my assertion that the universe just is because I do not provide an explanation, is to commit the fallacy of special pleading in favor of your own point of view.



Not a answer. A process like mathematics.

Can you completely describe infinity? I can't. It's like trying to describe nothingness. You can grasp some aspects of nothingness but the attempt describe it makes it in to something.

Just something to think about.

There are whole arithmatics for manipulating infinite quantities. There are properties of infinite things that we understand quite well, and they make such arithmatics possible. So its not a given that infinite things are incomprehensible.

noonwitch
03-23-2010, 07:58 AM
I am not a scientist, nor was science ever my best subject in school. My school didn't really get into the evolution/creation debate in science class, and left it to the debate class for arguments.

If Darwinian evolution were proved to be 100% scientifically correct, I would accept it without it challenging my faith in God as creator, because I believe that the stories contained in Genesis about Adam and Eve are allegorical truths about the nature of God and His relationship with mankind, and not literal history. God created my spirit, the individual that I am. My body may have come about through evolution, however. I can live with that split to explain things that may be beyond my comprehension, whether they be of God or of science.

Wei Wu Wei
03-23-2010, 11:27 AM
I am not a scientist, nor was science ever my best subject in school. My school didn't really get into the evolution/creation debate in science class, and left it to the debate class for arguments.

If Darwinian evolution were proved to be 100% scientifically correct, I would accept it without it challenging my faith in God as creator, because I believe that the stories contained in Genesis about Adam and Eve are allegorical truths about the nature of God and His relationship with mankind, and not literal history. God created my spirit, the individual that I am. My body may have come about through evolution, however. I can live with that split to explain things that may be beyond my comprehension, whether they be of God or of science.

The "schoolhouse version" of evolution is true. All life evolves, what we call man today evolved over a long span of time and at one point resembled what we call apes, and so on and so on.

The parts of evolution that are debated are for people getting PhD's in biology, they are the real nitty gritty of how it works and so on, however the basic idea stands stronger than it ever has before.

Yes though, for many people it doesn't cause a conflict with their belief in God and I also don't think it should. I think most people consider some stories in the Bible (like creation) to be allegorical. There are far deeper and more important truths than simple literal truth that can be conveyed.