Debate with a scientist

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John Human
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Debate with a scientist

Post #1

Post by John Human »

Back in December and January, I had a debate with a scientist at a forum for medieval genealogists, where people routinely ridicule the thought of directly communicating with deceased ancestors. (For an explanation of communicating with ancestors, see https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/535187/com ... -ancestors)

Toward the end of December, a “scientist and engineer� appeared and initiated a debate. For the very first time, somebody actually tried to refute me instead of the usual fare of contempt and insults. This self-identified scientist made it very clear that he dismissed my lengthy stories from ancestors as hallucinations, because of his reductionist materialist presupposition that any such communication at a distance, without some sort of physical connection, was impossible.

“Reductionist materialism� is but one solution to the so-called mind-body problem that exercised natural philosophers (“scientists�) in the 17th and 1th centuries. Are mind and body two separate things? If so, which one is primary? An overview of the mind-body problem can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind%E2%80%93body_problem

Reductionist materialism means that things like astrology or shamanism or channeling or communicating with ancestors get summarily dismissed as “hallucinations� or “superstition.�

The conclusion of the debate (because the scientist made a point of bowing out without offering any counter-argument) came on Jan. 7. Here is the essential part of what I wrote to the scientist:
You made it clear that you consider mind to be an epiphenomenon of neural activity in the brain, and you go on to say: “To me, the mind is a function of a living brain, meaning that they’re not distinct. In my opinion, there can be no mind without some form of complex structure, like a brain.�

In response to your opinion that there can be no mind without some form of complex structure, the obvious question is, why not? I am reminded of the New York Times declaring that a heavier-than-air flying machine was impossible. Your opinion seems to be unscientific, and serves to block skeptical inquiry. It would also seem to be rigidly atheistic (denying the possibility of a transcendent deity), as opposed to a healthy skepticism when approaching questions that appear to be unknowable. Your position regarding belief in witchcraft, denying that it has anything to do with “truth,� also seems to be arbitrarily rigid and unscientific, opposed to a spirit of skeptical inquiry. However, perhaps you wrote hastily and polemically, and perhaps in general you are able to keep an open mind regarding subjects where you are inclined to strongly doubt claims that violate your pre-existing suppositions about reality.

Please keep in mind that, regarding the mind/body problem, there used to be (and still are) several different approaches, as opposed to the mind-numbing reductionist materialist view that is overwhelmingly prevalent today in science departments. Perhaps Leibniz’s approach was the most esoteric, and he was a renowned scientist and mathematician (as well as a philosopher and diplomat). His view was routinely dismissed but never refuted (as far as I am aware), but Leibniz’s influence simply disappeared from universities after protracted tenure battles in the mid-eighteenth century. However, Leibniz’s view isn’t the only possibility. I am intrigued by the thought that both matter and consciousness are manifestations of something underlying, which is not inconsistent with my own view of reality.

It seems to me that reductionist materialism (your stated belief) fails to explain the all-important phenomenon of human creativity, as measured by our ability to reorganize our environment (as a result of scientific discovery and technological progress) to establish a potential population density orders of magnitude above that of a primitive hunter-gatherer society in the same geographical area. (There is an important corollary here: Once a human society exits the Stone Age and begins using metal as a basic part of the production of food and tools, in the long run we must continue to progress or collapse due to resource depletion, especially regarding the need for progressively more efficient sources of energy. And there is another corollary as well: As a society gets more technologically complex, the minimum area for measuring relative potential population density increases.)

Is this human capability explainable in terms of matter reorganizing itself in ever-more-complex fashion? If you answer “yes� to such a question, the subsidiary question is: how does matter organize itself in ever-more-complex ways (such as the creation of human brains that then come up with the technological breakthroughs and social organization to support ever-higher relative potential population densities)? Does random chance work for you as an answer to this question? If so, isn’t that an arbitrary (and therefore unscientific) theological supposition? Or do you see the inherent logic in positing some form of intelligent design (an argument as old as Plato)? If you accept the principle of intelligent design, it seems to me that, to be consistent, the reductionist materialist view would have to posit an immanent (as opposed to transcendent) intelligence, as with the Spinozistic pantheism that influenced Locke’s followers and arguably influenced Locke himself. But if you go in that direction, where is the “universal mind� that is guiding the formation of human brains capable of creative discovery, and how does it communicate with the matter that comprises such brains? The way I see things, both the “deification of random chance� argument and the supposition of an immanent “divine� creative force have insurmountable problems, leaving some sort of transcendent divinity as the default answer regarding the question of the efficient cause of human creativity, with the final cause being the imperative for humans to participate in the ongoing creation of the universe.
The forum thread where this originally appeared is here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... yqswb4d5WA
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Re: alternatives to "natural selection"

Post #81

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to post 77 by Guy Threepwood]
It's always good to start with what the empirical evidence has to say on the matter Has anyone ever successfully selectively bred a fish into an amphibian?


What a silly question ... of course not! The process took many millions of years ... far longer than Homo sapiens have even been on the planet. So obviously no one has bred fish to amphibians, but that has no bearing whatsoever on the question ... unless your criterium for natural selection being valid is if all processes must occur within a single human lifetime.
If not, then then it's not demonstrable that this can occur within the typical selectable options as we see in common adaptation- e.g. finch beaks, peppered moths, Labradoodles.


Again, the "if not" comment implies that you discard something that doesn't happen within a human lifetime. That is completely unrealistic when discussing evolution, which occurs on time scales that depend on the reproductive cycle of the organism, and the driving natural forces that are responsible for the change. It could be weeks for bacteria, and tens of millions of years for other creatures. A human lifetime is nothing.
Floating jaw bones moving in preparation to work as ear components in air, limbs developing their segments and joints in preparation to walk rather than swim, lungs preparing to breath air, features that apparently may have already been developing before they left the water.


Sure ... amphibian legs evolved from fins, and all kinds of other tetrapods have the basic 4 limbs and a head structure. A lot of common DNA is involved and many variations are possible within existing DNA and its variations through mutations, insertions, deletions, etc. But this is all perfectly consistent with evolution by natural selection. Small changes ("micro") can happen in shorter time periods and "macro" changes take longer time periods. Theists like to make a distinction between these artificial degrees of evolution, but there really isn't any. Amphibians evolving from fish is a "macro" event taking many millions of years and various intermediates, while humans adapting to high altitudes is a "micro" event taking less time.

So I'll ask the question again ... do you believe that amphibians evolved from fish over a time frame involving many millions of years and many intermediates along the way?
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Re: alternatives to "natural selection"

Post #82

Post by Divine Insight »

Guy Threepwood wrote: It's always good to start with what the empirical evidence has to say on the matter
Has anyone ever successfully selectively bred a fish into an amphibian?
This kind of question only demonstrated a complete ignorance of evolution.

At this point the discussion should turn to your proposed alternative theories. Because you are clearly not in a position to be arguing against evolution.

So what is your alternative theory?

If your alternative theory is a theistic one where you are proposing that some intelligent agent purposefully designed all live on earth, then we should move the discussion to looking at the credibility of such a theory.

From a purely theological perspective such theories fail instantly. Unless the theologian is prepared to propose a totally inept creator, or an outright malicious creator.

Why? Well, it should be obvious. If there is a creator who is controlling the evolution of life at the molecular level, then that creator is also responsible everything it creates, including birth defects, all genetic defects, and even all diseases, etc.

To try to get back to a benevolent creator the theologian must then propose one of two things.

1. The creator actually allows evolution by natural processes to occur anyway.

But this would then defy the original argument against natural evolution.

Or

2. There is also an "evil creator" who is purposefully destroying the work of the benevolent creator.

But that proposal fails as well, because this would then require that the benevolent creator is either unable to stop the "evil creator" or is maliciously working along side it.

~~~~~

So the bottom line is that a theological purposeful designing creator can't be made to work in any case. Unless we allow that the creator is either inept or malicious.

So the theology fails even as a stand-alone explanation. In other words the theological "intelligent designer" fails whether the truth of evolution by natural selection had already been discovered or not.

The theology simply can't even stand on its own without any competition.
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Re: alternatives to "natural selection"

Post #83

Post by Waterfall »

Clownboat wrote:
Waterfall wrote: [Replying to post 32 by Divine Insight]

So because we can´t produce any evidence for it, then it is not the case? Most of us can´t remember our past life. This could be because we do not have a past life, but it could also be because it would be frustrating to remember it. Maybe there are other reasons? Lets say I was a pirate in a past life and hid a treasure somewhere...should I be aloud to remember it? It would be nice to remember something like that because I could use the money ;-)

I think we should do all that we can for anyone who is suffering.
Please provide evidence or at least observations that we have had past lives.
I would hate to waste time considering a falsehood, so I will await your reply before considering your words here.

In science, we need evidence. This applies no matter if you were a pirate in a past life or not.
I think there is a reason for the lack of observation.

How would you observe a past life?

If you can´t remember your past life then how observe it?

John came with a case of a past life (James Leininger) and it is interesting that there are people who can remember past life (if this is the case and I will not say it is not, given that John has investigated it...).

But why can he remember and I can´t?

There most be a reason for this to...

It would be nice with some evidence like a tresure or that someone could remember how the pyramids were built, but then life would not be the same, right?

Lets say we could remember our past life, then the rich people could hide there money away, and dig them up next time they were reincarnated.

When there is no observation/evidence we most rely on reason.

I am just trying to think for myself....

Did God tell me to put this on:





Or was it the beers O:)



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There are so many great people out there...

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summary of this thread so far

Post #84

Post by John Human »

Perhaps the time has come for a summary of what has been discussed on this thread so far, rooted in the original post.

Post #1 was “hidden� due to a glitch in the system, except for the tag, which indicated that I intended to challenge the “reductionist materialism� that dominates science today.

Post #2 was a response by Divine Insight, taking up my challenge to reductionist materialism. Divine Insight supposed that I intended to support a belief in God as represented in the Bible, and boldly claimed that “there really is no credible alternative to a reductionist materialistic worldview.�

However, my initial post (re-posted in posts #3 and #4) reached toward the position that reductionist materialism can be shown to be inherently absurd. (?!?) Is the argument that I advanced, regarding human (not divine) creativity, viable? That was my whole point in starting this thread, to test that argument.

In post #3, I gave a link to a post in another thread that explains where I am actually coming from, and gave an explanation of “reductionist materialism� (the dominant paradigm within today’s “science�).

Then, in post #3 and continuing into post #4, I re-posted my earlier post #1 (split in half, to get around the glitch in the system), presenting my conclusion from my earlier debate with a scientist back in December and January. I gave a link to where that earlier debate took place, on a forum devoted to discussion of medieval genealogy. In post #3 I explained the context of this earlier debate: I have been communicating with deceased ancestors and recording the stories that they tell. (This has been vehemently rejected as “hallucination� or fabrication.) My unrebutted conclusion, in my debate with the scientist, was that the measurable phenomenon of human creativity, as expressed in technological progress resulting in a potential population density orders of magnitude above that possible for a primitive hunting-and-gathering society, is inexplicable by reductionist materialism. This is the point of that I hope will eventually be tested on this current thread. But it seems that there is more ground to cover before I try to bring the discussion around to that point.

Regarding communicating with ancestors, an introduction to the topic is at https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/535187/com ... -ancestors, and I have been providing some raw data (recent statements by Mayflower ancestors) on this very recent thread in this forum's “Random Ramblings� sub-forum: viewtopic.php?p=959424#959424

In post #6, Rikuoamero challenged my general point of view, stating that at no point do I (or others like me) propose a mechanism for how the mind is able to operate without a physical brain. And this question of a mechanism (and whether it is necessary) has dominated much of the ensuing discussion.
One point that I haven't brough up so far: The requirement of a “mechanism,� by its very nature, seems to be rooted in the presuppositions of reductionist materialism, which implicitly denies the possibility of discussion of non-material (spiritual or “supernatural�) causes for material phenomena.

This general question of a “mechanism� has dominated my participation in this thread ever since post #6. In post #7, I brought up the example of Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles Darwin) who proposed evolution, without suggesting a mechanism. Erasmus Darwin’s lack of a mechanism didn’t mean that he was wrong. Generalization: the lack of a mechanism, by itself, does not justify arbitrary dismissal of a supposition.

In post #8, rikuoamero brought up the counter-example of Creation Science, showing that the lack of a mechanism went together with a conclusion (“God did it�) that was arguably devoid of rational support.

In post #9 I pointed out that Creation Science is based on the axiomatic supposition that the Bible, interpreted literally, is infallible. I provided an example (the three interlocking Christian doctrines that “Jesus never said�) as support for my conclusion that a combined “literal infallible� interpretation of the Bible is a non-starter.

In post #10 Dr. NoGods joined the discussion, with the mistaken claim that Charles Darwin published his findings on evolution in “peer-reviewed papers� before the 1859 publication of his “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.�

In post #11 Guy Threepwood joined the discussion, with the observation that “the origin of new design, creation without creativity, has always been the problem materialism has not been able to solve.�

In post #12, replying to Dr. NoGods, I reiterated my position that the lack of a mechanism does not by itself justify the arbitrary dismissal of a hypothesis. As I clarified in post #13, the question of whether a general idea is correct is a different issue from whether a proposed mechanism is correct.
Then, from posts #14 through #29, others debated evolution and natural selection.

I re-entered the discussion with post #30, but once again the post was “hidden,� apparently due to a technical glitch. I tried again with post #31, pointing out that (1) “natural selection� works with a reductionist materialist paradigm; and (2) the phrase “natural selection� in effect transforms a metaphor into a causal agent, which seems ridiculous.

I highlighted this point on post #35, challenging Divine Insight to name a single example of a species that has been proven to have evolved through natural selection. (This challenge has gone unanswered.) My point here was that, if there is no such example, then the door has to be open to consider alternatives to natural selection.

Then another important digression: On post #36 I responded to Clownboat’s challenge (post #34) to Waterfall (post #33): Clownboat requested evidence supporting the idea that we have past lives (reincarnation). I provided evidence: Dr. Jim B. Tucker’s synopsis of the case of James Leininger. Also on post #36, I provided a link to another thread I started recently, demonstrating that for millenia, orthodox Jews (including Jesus himself) believed in reincarnation. See “Did Jesus and his followers believe in reincarnation?� in the “Christianity and Apologetics� sub-forum. So far, NOBODY has challenged my observation that belief in reincarnation has been pervasive in Jewish culture, and mentioned in the Bible.

In post #40, Divine Insight, arguing against the “Intelligent Design� alternative to “natural selection,� brought up the problem that is generally known as “theodicy� (how do you explain evil and suffering in a world created by a wise, benevolent, all-powerful God?).

In post #44, DrNoGods gave his rebuttal of reincarnation: according to his reductionist materialist supposition, there is no way for the “brain� of a newly-forming human to receive “information in the form of memory� from a past life. DrNoGods once again brought up the issue of a lack of “mechanism� to justify his skepticism regarding reincarnation, without addressing my previous points about lack of mechanism, and without any substantive discussion of Dr. Jim B. Tucker’s report on the James Leininger case of a small child’s memories leading to the positive identification of a “past life� (James Huston, a World War II fighter pilot who got shot down and killed).

In post #51 I addressed Divine Insight’s post #40, presenting the question of “theodicy� and characterizing “natural selection� as an empty supposition.
Divine Insight responded in post #53, falsely stating that I “don’t have a viable alternative to evolution.� I have never argued against evolution, just the fairy-tale “natural selection.� Once again, Divine Insight has not provided a single example of a species that has been proven to have come into being as a result of “natural selection,� and has consistently avoided this point. I'm still waiting...

In post #56 DrNoGods asserted (without evidence) that homo sapiens evolved from earlier homo species through natural selection. A bald assertion isn’t good enough. Where’s the evidence that “natural selection� played a role in the progressive appearance of progressively more advanced “homo� species? Perhaps someone could cite page numbers from Darwin’s “The Descent of Man.� (The full text is available online; see the “Darwin Online� website.) Once again, I am not challenging the idea of evolution; I am challenging the cotton-candy fairy tale of “natural selection� as the purported mechanism of how new species come into being.

In post #63 rikuoamero tried to rebut my point regarding natural selection. Unfortunately, while ricuoamero’s point accounts well enough for variations WITHIN a species, it does not account for the sudden appearance of totally new species (with, for example, a different number of chromosomes). To rikuoamero I give the same challenge that I gave to Divine Insight: Please provide a single example of a species that has been proven to have come into being as a result of “natural selection.� Or at least provide some supporting evidence; perhaps there is enough of that to keep “natural selection� in the arena as something more than feel-good propaganda for reductionist-materialists.
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Re: summary of this thread so far

Post #85

Post by Tcg »

John Human wrote:
Please provide a single example of a species that has been proven to have come into being as a result of “natural selection.� Or at least provide some supporting evidence; perhaps there is enough of that to keep “natural selection� in the arena as something more than feel-good propaganda for reductionist-materialists.

Have you asked this of any of the Mayflower ancestors? Given how long they've been kicking around, they might have seen something.



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Re: summary of this thread so far

Post #86

Post by Divine Insight »

John Human wrote: To rikuoamero I give the same challenge that I gave to Divine Insight: Please provide a single example of a species that has been proven to have come into being as a result of “natural selection.�
As far as I'm concerned the scientific community has already provided many examples of species coming into existence via natural selection. The fossil record contained in the sediments of the earth have already provided that evidence. Your denial of the evidence is of no credibility as far as I am concerned.

Your rejection of evolution based on natural selection is based on a totally false understanding of how natural evolution works. You have already proven that several times over in this thread alone.

Finally, no one needs to provide any evidence of proof of anything to you. If you want to challenge know facts, you're the one who will need to come up with evidence to demonstrate otherwise.

Remember, the claim that some "Creator God" did it fails even on a theological level. You would either need to have an extremely inept God who makes all manner of mistakes. Or you would need to have a "Creator God" who is outright malevolent.

And let's ignore those two extreme problems with the proposal of a "Creator God". In addition to this you would need a "Creator God" who created many species that he then either, allowed to become extinct, or purposefully destroyed himself. Including several species of hominids.

The idea that life on earth was planned by some great designer simply doesn't have any merit at all. He would have had to have been one extremely terrible planner.

In order to continue to support this agenda, you not only need to reject the scientific fossil record of species naturally evolving, but you would also need to reject all the fossil records of species that had become extinct. The depth of your denial of verified observational evidence would need to be extreme.

Finally, as if the above wasn't already enough to reject your obviously false proposals, we even have the obvious current observation of how bacteria, viruses and even insects evolve right before our very eyes. These have been recognized as extreme problems for both medicine and agriculture. And some scientists in these fields have even suggested that these problems are only going to become worse, as they are not easy to deal with.

My question to you would then be quite simple. If there is some sort of conscious designer behind this type of thing, why is this designer so diabolical?

Because based on your objections to evolution via natural processes you have no choice left but to claim that your favorite intelligent designer is doing all this on purpose.

You say:
John Human wrote: Or at least provide some supporting evidence; perhaps there is enough of that to keep “natural selection� in the arena as something more than feel-good propaganda for reductionist-materialists.
Feel-good propaganda for reductionist-materialists?

What kind of utter nonsense is this? :-k

No one would be happier to discover that we were created by a higher intelligent entity that is more benevolent than most humans.

So if you think that I support evolution by natural selection simply because it makes me "feel-good" you are grossly mistaken.

This isn't about theists versus atheists. In fact, I refuse to even enlist in that war. If you want to propose an intelligent creator you need to come up with EVIDENCE to back up your postulate. And thus far you haven't done that.
John Human wrote: Regarding communicating with ancestors, an introduction to the topic is at https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/535187/com ... -ancestors, and I have been providing some raw data (recent statements by Mayflower ancestors) on this very recent thread in this forum's “Random Ramblings� sub-forum: viewtopic.php?p=959424#959424
I'm not even going to waste my time reading any claims you've made about such utter nonsense.

If there is any truth to your claims there are places you can go to have them verified.

And if you can't verify your claims, then why should anyone bother wasting their time listening to such utter nonsense?

It's an insult to intelligent people to even suggest that they should waste their time listening to (or reading) such outrageous unverified claims.

If you can't verify them then you have nothing.

You demand proof for evolution. And the proof for that is already in.

Yet you have no proof of your claims. How absurdly unrealistic is that? :-k
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Re: alternatives to "natural selection"

Post #87

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 80 by Guy Threepwood]
but if your app includes an unlicensed update or say 'pro- version' features that are not currently active - altering that code will have zero apparent effect- right?
This just reveals to me your lack of any practical knowledge of programming. The answer is no - removing 'inactive' code could have effects, some of them unanticipated.
'if you know what to look for'

and that's key- it is difficult enough for a person to look at our own raw digital machine code running a game or app and recognize what it does.
Is this an admission that one cannot identify the future courses of evolution by examining DNA?
I believe you noted yourself, that some simple animals have oddly large genomes
I have not commented on that, but so what? Unless or until you are able to identify and provide evidence for what it is you believe (namely, that future courses of evolution are already preloaded into DNA), then your beliefs have no weight here. What if I handed you a book, a thousand pages long, with the words and letters all jumbled together, and told you, without decoding it, that it's a copy of War and Peace?
My claim ought to have no weight there.
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Re: summary of this thread so far

Post #88

Post by Divine Insight »

John Human wrote: Then another important digression: On post #36 I responded to Clownboat’s challenge (post #34) to Waterfall (post #33): Clownboat requested evidence supporting the idea that we have past lives (reincarnation). I provided evidence: Dr. Jim B. Tucker’s synopsis of the case of James Leininger. Also on post #36, I provided a link to another thread I started recently, demonstrating that for millenia, orthodox Jews (including Jesus himself) believed in reincarnation. See “Did Jesus and his followers believe in reincarnation?� in the “Christianity and Apologetics� sub-forum. So far, NOBODY has challenged my observation that belief in reincarnation has been pervasive in Jewish culture, and mentioned in the Bible.
From my perspective this is totally irrelevant to the question of whether or not evolution is true.

For one thing the Bible contains all manner of obviously false claims. So if there are claims of reincarnation in the Bible that hardly makes reincarnation true.

Personally I would agree that the Biblical stories contain all manner of stories and claims. Many of which are contradictory to the overall theme of the original religion. So there is no reason for me to take anything in the Bible seriously anymore than there would be any reason for me to take stories of the Ancient Greek Gods seriously.

Reincarnation was an idea that appears historically to have originated in the far east and pretty much taken for granted there as a "self-evident" truth, even though it's not self-evident at all. It is true that it's obvious that old things die and new life springs forth. But there is no evidence that any specific individual "souls" are being passed from one life-form to another.

So the Bible is filled with many superstitious stories. And it would actually surprise me if the authors of the Bible never heard of the idea of reincarnation since that ideas predates the writing of the Bible by hundreds if not thousands of years.

So why should I take anything that might be suggested in the Bible seriously? :-k

The Bible claims that Jesus cast actual demons out of people and into swine. In this case the demons are obviously actual entities and not just a metaphor for someone's state of mind or thoughts.

Do we have any serious reason to believe that there exist actual demons that possess people? Clearly not. There has been no modern evidence for the existence of any demonic possession of humans. To the contrary many things that used to be thought of as demonic possession such as rabies, epilepsy, or even just fits of extreme rage, have since been recognized to be caused by perfectly natural causes.

So why should we care what the Bible has to day about anything? :-k

I would never argue that a person could not make a case that there are places in the Biblical canon that suggest reincarnation. But I will argue that just because these things might be suggested in the Bible that does not make them true.

So why should we care what the Bible has to say anymore than we car what Greek Mythology has to say, or any other religious mythologies for that matter?

Thor was said to have created thunder with his hammer. Do you believe that one too? :-k
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DrNoGods
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Re: summary of this thread so far

Post #89

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to post 84 by John Human]
In post #10 Dr. NoGods joined the discussion, with the mistaken claim that Charles Darwin published his findings on evolution in “peer-reviewed papers� before the 1859 publication of his “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.�


I may have been mistaken about that, but it is completely irrelevant to the discussion whether or not Darwin published any peer-reviewed papers before writing his book. Not sure why you seem to think otherwise.
In post #56 DrNoGods asserted (without evidence) that homo sapiens evolved from earlier homo species through natural selection. A bald assertion isn’t good enough. Where’s the evidence that “natural selection� played a role in the progressive appearance of progressively more advanced “homo� species? Perhaps someone could cite page numbers from Darwin’s “The Descent of Man.� (The full text is available online; see the “Darwin Online� website.)


Without evidence? Are you kidding? Where have you been for the last 100 years? There is no need to cite anything from an old book by Darwin for evidence. The fossil record (since Darwin) clearly shows (ie. evidence) that Homo sapiens evolved via a very branched process from earlier Homo species. Here are a couple of quick references if you are not aware of this common knowledge and the evidence it is derived from:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_h ... on_fossils

Now consider the evolution of the human brain across the above members of the genus Homo:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_brain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution ... telligence

It is clear that human intelligence advanced from Homo erectus to Homo sapien via enlargement of the brain, and changes in brain structure (modern human brains are about 80% neocortex). We know this from measurements of the brain case in earlier Homo fossils (ie. evidence), and from analysis of the artifacts left behind by these earlier Homo species (evidence). At present, the only extant members of Homo are Homo sapiens. Why is that?

Are you going to claim that a more capable brain was not favored (by natural selection). How did we (modern humans) outcompete earlier Homo species to remain the only group left? What is your counter to this happening via evolution by natural selection? Explain how a more complex and capable brain is a disadvantage, or would not allow for better survival and reproduction capabilities because of the advantage it provides (ie. through natural selection).

The evidence is overwhelming for this process, in the Homo sapien example and many others. Which is exactly why it is accepted by the huge majority of the scientific community worldwide, and has been for many decades. It is supported by evidence that is too compelling to ignore, and it is available to anyone who cares to look.

The reincarnation stuff is just silly ... there is no physical mechanism for such a thing to occur and it is supported by exactly zero evidence. One anectodal story of a coached kid isn't exactly reliable evidence.
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown..
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John Human
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Natural selection explains EXTINCTION, not new species

Post #90

Post by John Human »

DrNoGods, thank you for acknowledging your error.
I disagree with your claim that it has no relevance to the general issue of evolution, as you were trying to embellish Darwin to promote others’ acceptance of “natural selection� as an explanation for the appearance of new species.

With that said, you are clearly ahead of Divine Insight, who persists in the egregious error of conflating “evolution� (the progressive appearance of more advanced or specialized species, as deduced from the fossil record) with “natural selection� (a purported mechanism for how this appearance of new species happens).

Your reply makes it clear that you correctly understand that I am challenging the purported mechanism, NOT the progressive appearance of more and more advanced/complex species.

You write, “The fossil record (since Darwin) clearly shows evidence that Homo sapiens evolved via a very branched process from earlier Homo species.�

No problem there. However, the Wikipedia article that you linked to acknowledges ambiguity and disagreement among scientists about the exact path of modern human descent from earlier species and varieties, as well as acknowledging disagreement among scientists regarding where to draw the line between separate species versus variations within a species. Competition for survival can logically explain the appearance of variations within a species, with differing traits in separate populations better suited to one of several habitats. (Hence the differing skin pigmentation among various groups of humans at different latitudes, who are of course capable of interbreeding despite the difference.)

In response to your attempt to associate natural selection with the evolution of a more capable brain, you focus on the logically-presumed competition between earlier homo varieties and newly-evolved humans (with greater brain capacity), while ignoring the question of the jump to a human form with dramatically enlarged neo-cortex.

Do you think that this jump was the result of a random mutation that somehow “hit the jackpot�?
I don’t see any reason to believe that. Such a supposition appears to be a reductionist-materialist equivalent of “Creation Science.�

You ask what is my counter to evolution of by means of “natural selection.� My reply: Regarding the appearance of new species (as opposed to variations within a species, or competition between two different species, one of which eventually becomes extinct), there is no need or reason to counter a groundless fairy tale, except to point it out for what it is.
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