The God Delusion - Chapter 5

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The God Delusion - Chapter 5

Post #1

Post by otseng »

According to Dawkins, how did religion arise?

McCulloch's question:
Is religion as an accidental by-product – a misfiring of something useful?

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Post #61

Post by bunyip »

> "Darwin-Wallace presented biological evolution. I do not believe they ever mentioned about cosmology. If they did mention cosmology, someone will need to provide a reference of it for me. "

See up above where i typed "change over time"?? That in itself was sufficiently revolutionary. It didn't have to be applied to cosmology until somebody did it. That was Edwin Hubble.

> "A star however cannot have "descent with modification". This is the crux of evolution, not "born, live and die".

No, the "crux of evolution" is "natural selection". Applying the idea to stars is a metaphor, like "adultery" in non-human species.

Could you please save me a bit of typing and go off and read Daniel C. Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea". I haven't the time nor energy to retype almost 600 pages.

I'd disagree that there are no evidence. We have had a book debate on . . . showing evidence of a creator. So, as for the assertion that there is "not one shred of evidence", it would be a false assertion.

Fine. Which "creator" are we referring to? Amaterasu? Baiame? Mut? Viracocha? There are something like 5000 "creator" deities out there, and those are just the ones who still have worshippers. We need to be very clear about which "creator" we're referring to, what the evidence [not simply declaration] we're using in support.

> "It can be your summation. But I have yet to see a statement from Dawkins that says this."

Then, quite simply, you haven't been reading the book. It would appear that you're only looking for ways to refute Richard without understanding his points.

I'll admit, it's far less work that way.

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Post #62

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:See up above where i typed "change over time"?? That in itself was sufficiently revolutionary. It didn't have to be applied to cosmology until somebody did it. That was Edwin Hubble.
"Change over time" can be applied to anything. And I would hardly consider "change over time" a revolutionary idea.
No, the "crux of evolution" is "natural selection". Applying the idea to stars is a metaphor, like "adultery" in non-human species.
Stars do not undergo natural selection either.
Could you please save me a bit of typing and go off and read Daniel C. Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea". I haven't the time nor energy to retype almost 600 pages.
We're not here to debate "Darwin's Dangerous Idea". So, there's really no need for me to read it for the purposes of this debate.
Fine. Which "creator" are we referring to?
Doesn't matter and it's not the point. The point is that the assertion is that "there is no shred of evidence" is false.

Further, even Dawkins does not make this assertion.
Then, quite simply, you haven't been reading the book. It would appear that you're only looking for ways to refute Richard without understanding his points. I'll admit, it's far less work that way.
Actually, I've read the book twice. And several chapters more than that.

If I don't understand his points, feel free to correct me. But the way to do it is to provide direct quotes from his book, not simply providing your own interpretation or claiming I haven't read the book.

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Post #63

Post by bunyip »

> ""Change over time" can be applied to anything. And I would hardly consider "change over time" a revolutionary idea. "

That's because you're ignornant of history. In Darwin's time "change over time" was rejected or not even considered by most of society. "Immutibility of species" was the norm - the days and years might pass, but life and the cosmos remained essentially static. Recall, if you will, that Darwin thought E/NS was "like committing a murder" and the victim was immuntibility.

> "Stars do not undergo natural selection either."

No? In a cosmos nearly 14 billion years old, how many times have stars died, only to have their debris become the nucleus of new stellar life. It's a metaphor, mate. Do you find that so difficult to handle?

> "We're not here to debate "Darwin's Dangerous Idea". So, there's really no need for me to read it for the purposes of this debate."

Whell, there is. but we'll let it go.
Fine. Which "creator" are we referring to?
> "Doesn't matter and it's not the point. The point is that the assertion is that "there is no shred of evidence" is false. "

It matters a great deal for that very reason. Any one of the creation stories should be checked against the available evidence. Otherwise it's simpy one myth stacked against the others.

> "Further, even Dawkins does not make this assertion. "

He takes all the arguments for declaring there is a deity and shows none of them are supported by evidence. Is my summary sentence truly that severe a departure.?

> "If I don't understand his points, feel free to correct me. But the way to do it is to provide direct quotes from his book, not simply providing your own interpretation or claiming I haven't read the book."

Sorry, If i start dumping every full citation in here there won't be any room for messages. "Not a shred of evidence" is not a direct quote, but neither is it an "interpretation". It is the theme of the book. If you missed that theme, you either haven't read the book or fail abysmally to understand it.

Just what do you think the idea of god as a delusion means?

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Post #64

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:That's because you're ignornant of history.
This statement can be considered an ad hom attack.
No? In a cosmos nearly 14 billion years old, how many times have stars died, only to have their debris become the nucleus of new stellar life. It's a metaphor, mate. Do you find that so difficult to handle?
It's a metaphor stretched beyond the limits of what natural selection means.
The differential survival and reproduction of organisms with genetic characteristics that enable them to better utilize environmental resources

Natural selection is the process in which some organisms live and reproduce and others die before reproducing. Some life forms survive and reproduce because they are better suited to environmental pressures, ensuring that their genes are perpetuated in the gene pool.

Process by which the genotypes in a population that are best adapted to the environment increase in frequency relative to less well-adapted genotypes over a number of generations.

The concept developed by Charles Darwin that genes which produce characteristics that are more favorable in a particular environment will be more abundant in the next generation.
http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3 ... +selection
It matters a great deal for that very reason. Any one of the creation stories should be checked against the available evidence. Otherwise it's simpy one myth stacked against the others.
It is two separate questions. The first question is "is there a god?" If yes, then the next question is "what is the nature of this god?" Your original statement, "there isn't a shred of evidence for the supernatural" relates to the first question. Your next statement, "Which creator are we referring to?" refers to the second question.

I've already countered your first statement with providing evidence for a creator. And only if one believes that a god does exist would it make sense to answer the second question.
If you missed that theme, you either haven't read the book or fail abysmally to understand it.
Just what do you think the idea of god as a delusion means?
Of course that is his theme, to show that God does not exist. But, as I've stated, his arguments are weak. The only thing I had asked you was:
otseng wrote:
bunyip wrote:
otseng wrote:What would you consider to be his strongest argument?
That there isn't a shred of evidence for the supernatural. Once that is understood, all else follows.
I don't recall Dawkins ever saying this in the book. Where does he state this?
Since he never does state, "that there isn't a shred of evidence for the supernatural", then it cannot even be considered an argument that Dawkins uses. So, I'll ask again, in Dawkins own words, what is the strongest argument presented by Dawkins against the supernatural?

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Post #65

Post by bunyip »

> "This statement can be considered an ad hom attack."

Perhaps so, but if you don't understand Darwin's own feelings in the early days of his formulating his ideas, then you don't understand the intellectual environment of his times. "Change over time" with traceable results [as the fossils were showing] was a serious challenge to orthodox thinking. Your earlier postings leave the impression that it was a widely accepted concept.

> "It's a metaphor stretched beyond the limits of what natural selection means."

Fine. You go tell all the cosmologists and astrophysicists to take out those chapters on "stellar evolution" from their monographs and textbooks.

and please let us know which phrase to replace it with. Then go back to the pre-Hubble books on astronomy and find the descriptions of the universe. Tell us all about their views on stellar "life" and how "change over time" was a commonly accepted view among them.

> "The concept developed by Charles Darwin that genes which produce characteristics that are more favorable in a particular environment will be more abundant in the next generation."

It seems my earlier evaluation was correct after all. You really have missed out on a good deal of history. If you know Darwin's story, you'd know that E/NS was challenged by Fleeming Jenkin to explain why traits wouldn't "blend" down the generations to produce an average instead of certain strong traits and certain "weak" ones. Darwin had no idea what the mechanism for transporting characteristics was. He only knew it had to happen to make E/NS work. He certainly had no idea of "genes". He proposed "gemmules" that resided in the blood carried traits along somehow.

It took Bateson, Morgan and a host of others a full generation after Darwin and using Mendel to explain how traits are passed on. [Jenkin had no idea of Mendel, either.]

> "I've already countered your first statement with providing evidence for a creator. And only if one believes that a god does exist would it make sense to answer the second question."

You've done no such thing. You haven't offered "a shred of evidence" to substantiate a claim for any deity. What evidence can you bring forward?

And you're correct, that makes the second question as meaningless as it is - in context.

> "Of course that is his theme, to show that God does not exist."

No, that is not the theme. The theme is: here are the arguements for why people think a god exists. None of the arguements are supported by evidence. Hence, the idea of a god is a delusion unless evidence demonstrates otherwise.

> "But, as I've stated, his arguments are weak. The only thing I had asked you was: what is the strongest argument presented by Dawkins against the supernatural?"

That all the claims for the supernatural are unsupported.

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Post #66

Post by otseng »

bunyip wrote:You've done no such thing. You haven't offered "a shred of evidence" to substantiate a claim for any deity. What evidence can you bring forward?
We've already covered this:
bunyip wrote:
otseng wrote:I'd disagree that there are no evidence. We have had a book debate on Nature's Destiny showing evidence of a creator. So, as for the assertion that there is "not one shred of evidence", it would be a false assertion.
Fine. Which "creator" are we referring to? Amaterasu? Baiame? Mut? Viracocha? There are something like 5000 "creator" deities out there, and those are just the ones who still have worshippers. We need to be very clear about which "creator" we're referring to, what the evidence [not simply declaration] we're using in support.
bunyip wrote:That all the claims for the supernatural are unsupported.
This would not be an argument, but a conclusion.

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Post #67

Post by Confused »

bunyip wrote:> "This statement can be considered an ad hom attack."

Perhaps so, but if you don't understand Darwin's own feelings in the early days of his formulating his ideas, then you don't understand the intellectual environment of his times. "Change over time" with traceable results [as the fossils were showing] was a serious challenge to orthodox thinking. Your earlier postings leave the impression that it was a widely accepted concept.

> "It's a metaphor stretched beyond the limits of what natural selection means."

Fine. You go tell all the cosmologists and astrophysicists to take out those chapters on "stellar evolution" from their monographs and textbooks.

and please let us know which phrase to replace it with. Then go back to the pre-Hubble books on astronomy and find the descriptions of the universe. Tell us all about their views on stellar "life" and how "change over time" was a commonly accepted view among them.

> "The concept developed by Charles Darwin that genes which produce characteristics that are more favorable in a particular environment will be more abundant in the next generation."

It seems my earlier evaluation was correct after all. You really have missed out on a good deal of history. If you know Darwin's story, you'd know that E/NS was challenged by Fleeming Jenkin to explain why traits wouldn't "blend" down the generations to produce an average instead of certain strong traits and certain "weak" ones. Darwin had no idea what the mechanism for transporting characteristics was. He only knew it had to happen to make E/NS work. He certainly had no idea of "genes". He proposed "gemmules" that resided in the blood carried traits along somehow.

It took Bateson, Morgan and a host of others a full generation after Darwin and using Mendel to explain how traits are passed on. [Jenkin had no idea of Mendel, either.]

> "I've already countered your first statement with providing evidence for a creator. And only if one believes that a god does exist would it make sense to answer the second question."

You've done no such thing. You haven't offered "a shred of evidence" to substantiate a claim for any deity. What evidence can you bring forward?

And you're correct, that makes the second question as meaningless as it is - in context.

> "Of course that is his theme, to show that God does not exist."

No, that is not the theme. The theme is: here are the arguements for why people think a god exists. None of the arguements are supported by evidence. Hence, the idea of a god is a delusion unless evidence demonstrates otherwise.

> "But, as I've stated, his arguments are weak. The only thing I had asked you was: what is the strongest argument presented by Dawkins against the supernatural?"

That all the claims for the supernatural are unsupported.

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Please refrain from personal attacks and insults. We can maintain a civil debate while still making our point if we remain respectful.
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Post #68

Post by bunyip »

> "Please refrain from personal attacks and insults. We can maintain a civil debate while still making our point if we remain respectful."

Sorry? I thought the purpose of these exchanges was to examine ideas and statements and thereby gain knowledge.

If somebody is "ignorant" of historical circumstances, particularly those related to the topic under discussion, then it's incumbant on those who have that knowledge to pass it along for possible enlightenment.

Being "ignorant" isn't the same as being "stupid". "Ignorance" leaves room for taking an opportunity to learn.

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Post #69

Post by Confused »

bunyip wrote:> "Please refrain from personal attacks and insults. We can maintain a civil debate while still making our point if we remain respectful."

Sorry? I thought the purpose of these exchanges was to examine ideas and statements and thereby gain knowledge.

If somebody is "ignorant" of historical circumstances, particularly those related to the topic under discussion, then it's incumbant on those who have that knowledge to pass it along for possible enlightenment.

Being "ignorant" isn't the same as being "stupid". "Ignorance" leaves room for taking an opportunity to learn.

the bunyip
I will ask another moderator to review the last few posts to see if perhaps I was overly sensitive or misinterpreted this.
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Never be bullied into silence.
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Post #70

Post by Jose »

Moderator intervention

Please do not question moderators in the thread. Do it by Private Message, so that it does not side-track the debate.

I agree with Confused. Let us remain respectful. Note that there is terminology that is used imprecisely in Conversational English. Used precisely, it may not be insulting, but in Conversational English it may be used specifically for insults. We all need to be aware of this possibility. This is often challenging, but worthwhile if one wants to keep the debate from devolving into name-calling.
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