Rational and civil debate between members of all religions and world views

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Danmark
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:25 pm  Why some people reject evolution Reply with quote

[you can skip the intro and go right to the last paragraph]

Growing up, I was seldom interested in math. At first it seemed tedious and boring. I invented my own shortcuts to make it easier. Later it required discipline when it got too difficult to do in my head. So, i loved geometry, but lost interest after trig, which I didn't even try to understand. I've been thinking of trying to teach myself calculus, just to see if, at 69 I can do it. So, I looked for a free online course of study and found this:

As Henry Ford said, " Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs ". Too much of the world is complicated by layers of evolution. If you understand how each layer is put down then you can begin to understand the complex systems that govern our world. Charles Darwin wrote in 1859 in his On The Origin of Species,

"When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which had a history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, nearly in the same as when we look at any great mechanical invention as the summing of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting, I speak from experience, will the study of natural history become! "
http://www.understandingcalculus.com/

So here's the question, do people not believe in evolution just because the Bible tells them so? Or is there another factor; that rather than try to understand it in small steps, one tiny transition at a time, since the entirety of the process ("microbe to man") seems impossible to them, do they reject it out of hand without looking at it step by step?

Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 71: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:06 pm
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[Replying to post 68 by Rufus21]

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Once the program is running it does not require anything from the programmer, right? It runs completely independently without any external input. It creates complexity all by itself. The programmer just sits back and watches, right?


It actually requires a great deal in order to continue running. Power for starters.
Most of all it requires a particular type of program which is not simply a random set of equations, in order to even begin to dance by itself and create its own reality.


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That’s it. That’s all. That’s evolution. It doesn’t matter who started it, the process ran all by itself.


You imply that it began by itself and no programmer was involved...and that "somehow' it became ordered complexity with intelligent consciousness all out of chaos and randomness.

That does not even describe the universe I am witnessing.

Quote:
Since your response focused on the programmer, let’s discuss that part as well. As you pointed out, the program could not run if someone hadn’t written it first. But let’s think about that – what kind of program could run without being written by anyone? Well, all of the “instructions” would have to be things that happen naturally – things that do not require any supernatural forces. Something like reproduction with random variation. Also, the mechanism by which it judged “good” and “bad” would have to be completely natural. Some sort of natural selection.


I note the subtle sarcasm. In answer to your question, "what kind of program could run without being written by anyone?" the answer is 'no kind of program' so if you want to carry on using the analogy you will have to consider the programmer. At least I am happy with the idea of both the program and the programmer.
You, on the other hand, are apparently hung up on the need to see the universe as the product of a mindless accident. That is magical thinking.

As to 'supernatural' the inference is laughable. Well... I suppose if it is accepted that something outside of the universe created the universe, and since the universe is considered 'natural' then any outside creative programmer would have to be considered to be something 'other than' natural to the universe, but the connotations of the word supernatural evoke a thin veil of occult-like concepts over the idea of a programmer from another reality. If we are going to discuss the idea of a universe which has been sufficiently programmed to therefore be as random as possible, it would be best not to use the words 'supernatural forces' in relation to that. It muddies the waters and misrepresents what I am actually saying.

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And we’re back to evolution being completely independent of supernatural forces.


This is not necessarily so anyway. The universe might have been created by the programmer in order that the programmer (supernatural forces as you call it) could place its consciousness (self) into the program in order to experience the program by being the consciousness within the program.

In this way, the 'supernatural forces' = the consciousness within the universe...which of course, we are the only ones that we know of who fit that description. Yes, we should also realize that we are probably not the only sentiment beings in the universe, but given the awesome distances between potential life bearing planets and our present limitations, we are not likely to discover anyone else and for all intent and purpose, might as well be the only ones.

Not to travel too far down that line of thought...the point being, given Occam's razor, the idea of this planet and its complexities arising from pure random processes without a 'supernatural force' instigating that process is more magical thinking than the idea that the process just appears to be random if one wants to see it that way but isn't really and had to have been created by some kind of intelligent process.

It may be called 'GOD of the Gaps' but the gaps are there and GOD-consciousness seems to be the filler. Random accident doesn't cut it.

See also - more on this subject in my Members Notes;

Biological Evolution is a platform in which intelligence can and does display itself.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 72: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:53 pm
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William wrote:


In other words, trying to explain how assumed total randomness came to be so complex and ordered without some type of mind being involved is to do so using magical thinking.
You reference 'magical thinking' without any supportive explanation. Instead you simply claim [with no basis] that complexity cannot from random processes. What is your basis for this claim? This claim has been trotted out for years by non scientists, and never with any basis or even argument. When it comes to evolution or even simple chemical reactions, there may be certain random events or interactions, but basic chemistry precludes certain interactions and makes others more likely. So, overall, the universe is not totally random. Let me give you an example. One need posit no conscious intelligence to explain volcanic eruption. Yet they do not occur randomly. Rather, volcanoes erupt when and where conditions naturally occur to facilitate it, such as a weak spot in the Earth's crust. The same type of thing happens on a molecular and cellular lever.


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Okay... so the claim is that life did not randomly create itself. Are you sure about that?

Quite. "Life" did not create itself. A process resulted in some rudimentary form of life. I suspect the reason you think the contrary is self evident is because your claim implies logical equivocation without understanding that is what is evident in the claim. "Life" of one very simple form, perhaps simply a precursor of a protein molecule, cannot be equated with a more complex life form such as a bacterium or a human being.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 73: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:02 pm
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William wrote:
Biological Evolution is a platform in which intelligence can and does display itself.

This is simply nonsense. There is no basis for such a ridiculous claim. In fact, the claim itself is only possible if one has virtually NO understanding of biology in general and evolution in particular. Evolution can easily be understood without assuming any intelligence at work. Evolution is simply the result of natural selection. We can observe it in the short run with ARTIFICIAL selection, such as with animal breeding. With artificial selection intelligence IS involved when the breeder selects the mates. With natural selection no one and no magical imagined being is involved. In both cases the animals simply have a sexual union that results in a new organism that is a product of its parents, plus random mutations.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 74: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:34 pm
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[Replying to post 73 by Danmark]

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Evolution can easily be understood without assuming any intelligence at work.


It can just as easily be understood by assuming intelligence is indeed at work.

It is all about interpretation. You 'understand' evolution through the lens of your particular interpretation.

You see no intelligent process because of that, does not in itself give you licence to say I am talking nonsense and making ridiculous claim.


Last edited by William on Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:46 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 75: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:43 pm
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William wrote:

[Replying to post 73 by Danmark]

Quote:
Evolution can easily be understood without assuming any intelligence at work.


It can just as easily be understood by assuming intelligence is indeed at work.

It is all about interpretation. You 'understand' evolution through the lens of your particular interpretation.

No, it is not 'a matter of interpretation.' Evolution can be understood without need to resort to magic or some mysterious 'intelligence.' Since this unnecessary 'X-factor' is purely speculative, why propose it? You might as well say microscopic leprechauns inside a watch move the hands despite the fact a watch movement can be explained by a mainspring and gears.

Since evolution and the variety of the species can be explained without reference to 'intelligence,' why add it? Since we now understand the cause of lightning, why say "It might be Zeus throwing thunderbolts?"

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 76: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:46 pm
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[Replying to post 75 by Danmark]

You are missing the point. Just because one can understand a process without including intelligence being involved, does not mean intelligence is not involved.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 77: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:47 pm
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William wrote:

You imply that it began by itself and no programmer was involved...and that "somehow' it became ordered complexity with intelligent consciousness all out of chaos and randomness.


I never said chaos. We have repeatedly pointed out that “order” came from selection mechanisms such as natural selection, selective breeding, etc. For example, if I drop 1000 marbles into a Galton board, the result will seem ordered even though I dropped all of the marbles randomly and I didn’t affect their movement in any way. The machine creates “order” out of randomness using a natural process without any help from me or anyone else.

Similarly, the computer program created complexity without the programmer influencing it while it was running. It started with nothing and randomly changed things, based on a selection criteria, until it reached a very efficient and complex solution.

Just for clarity, evolution does not claim that life did not have a creator. It has no opinion on the subject. It simply shows that once life was created, it evolved on its own without needing any interference from the creator. As I keep saying, we are simply talking about the process, not the possible causes.

William wrote:

You, on the other hand, are apparently hung up on the need to see the universe as the product of a mindless accident. That is magical thinking.


I am not “hung up on the need” to believe anything, there simply has not been enough evidence presented to me that shows an intentional or supernatural cause for the universe. I see no evidence that there was some magical beginning that set everything into motion then disappeared.


William wrote:

The universe might have been created by the programmer in order that the programmer (supernatural forces as you call it) could place its consciousness (self) into the program in order to experience the program by being the consciousness within the program.


That’s one possible explanation. A far simpler, and more likely, explanation is that everything that has been happening naturally for the past few billion years was all that ever happened. No magical beings, no higher purpose, just business as usual. Unless there is sufficient evidence to the contrary, that is the most reasonable explanation


Last edited by Rufus21 on Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 78: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:51 pm
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William wrote:

You are missing the point. Just because one can understand a process without including intelligence being involved, does not mean intelligence is not involved.


But it shows that intelligence is not required. Perhaps that intelligence exits, but without sufficient evidence we should not assume that it does. It's like saying "1 + 1 + X = 2". We know that 1 + 1 = 2, so why bother adding X to the equation?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 79: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:19 pm
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William wrote:

[Replying to post 75 by Danmark]

You are missing the point. Just because one can understand a process without including intelligence being involved, does not mean intelligence is not involved.

Wrong again. I understand completely. You are simply adding in an unnecessary element for no reason other than to fit some non rational, faith based belief.

The process itself works without inserting ghosts, or goblins, or gods. No magic required, so why inject it?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 80: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:02 am
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Danmark wrote:

William wrote:

[Replying to post 75 by Danmark]

You are missing the point. Just because one can understand a process without including intelligence being involved, does not mean intelligence is not involved.

Wrong again. I understand completely. You are simply adding in an unnecessary element for no reason other than to fit some non rational, faith based belief.

The process itself works without inserting ghosts, or goblins, or gods. No magic required, so why inject it?

Quote:
some non rational

Isn't it more or most irrational to believe that evolution is eternal, please? There must be a time/stage when it got going. Right, please?
If it could start off at a time/stage, then it could cease at a time/stage, rationally,please. Right, please?
Evolution is OK, but it is not eternal. Right,please?
Regards

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