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Questions For Which Evolutionists Have No Answers

 
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 11:40 am
What's not to get? How is psychology not part of biology? Is the brain not a biological organ? Is the history of human civilization somehow not part of human biology because it is sociological and psychological components? If someone from another planet came to observe the earth, would they view Homo sapiens somehow differently than every other species on the globe?

Fundamental to natural selection is the notion that whoever passes along their genes, wins. Whoever doesn't, loses. The method of passing doesn't matter at all. All that matters is whose genes are present in the next generation, and whose are not. We are free to stand back and try and judge whether or not any particular passing is or is not beneficial for the species, but we can't negate a passage of genes because it somehow violated some sense of fairness. I can tell you that a mother bear doesn't give a rat's ass about "nepotism." She just wants her cubs to survive.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 12:23 pm
patiodog-

You're getting into the Materialist Theory of Mind with that. Which is fair enough but I feel it is a little sensitive to American lower-middle class values. And too complex.

Psychology is a part of biology of course. If you take the nature route rather than the nurture route you will end up where you are. Is biology part of psychology or the whole of it. Would Mr Bush be president had he been born where Mr Clinton was? It is possible but I think most people would think it highly unlikely.

I think an alien may well view humans as different from all other species.
Maybe not all humans though. If aliens had been viewing humans for a few thousand years I think they would notice something very different in the Christian era.

The concept of winning requires an awareness of doing so.

A mother bear doesn't "want" anything. She operates by determined instinct. Once her cubs become adults I imagine she loses all interest in them.

Under your scheme is there such a thing as rape? If there is a conception the rapist has "won" then?
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 01:45 pm
spendius wrote:


Under your scheme is there such a thing as rape? If there is a conception the rapist has "won" then?


Only the genes in the sperm that did the deed "won".
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 02:16 pm
What about the mental states?
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 04:32 pm
Why do you keep trying to overlay human values onto the thing, spendi? It's really very simple: the mechanism of evolution is change in the distribution and frequency of genetic alleles over time. By definition. I didn't mean to hang you up with the "game" thing. It's just a metaphor to describe the behavior of a complex and dynamic system over time.

Questions like this...

Quote:
Would Mr Bush be president had he been born where Mr Clinton was?


...are immaterial. You might as well ask if polar bears wouldn't be dying out if they lived in Antarctica instead of the arctic. They might, they might not -- it doesn't matter because they don't actually live there.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 05:50 pm
They like to project into the unknown, because the knowns are too factual for them. They love to divert the issues into as many ways as possible to divert the main issues being discussed. Their imagination is endless, and often doesn't have any relevance. That's their typical MO.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:06 pm
patiodog-

Why do you keep avoiding the question?

What about mental states? Everybody grown up knows that the way to prolong the action in order to impress a lady is to run a difficult three no trumps contract through the correct sequence. A whist hand if you failed to graduate. (Assuming no footsie is going on under the table obviously).

A monkey, and they are the best of the rest, just bangs it. Monkeys have no sociologists proving that the US average of 7 minutes twice a month is something to be ashamed of. Monkeys have no opinion about being laughed at.

You misquoted me really. I did allow for the possibility of Mr Bush becoming president had he been born where Mr Clinton was. A very remote one I suspect but I didn't rule it out.

PS- Isn't Setanta irrelevant?
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akaMechsmith
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 06:08 pm
hi CI,

What does bother me is that things that are presented to us (the great unwashed, or the body politic) as facts or observations run into our social philosophies.

Half baked philosophies derived from the resulting confusion when adopted by those who by some circumstance happen to be "in charge" cause a certain amount of pain and bother to us who aren't.

In recent history Adolph Hitler, John F. Kennedy, Pol Pot, George W. Bush etc. all caused us, the great unwashed, a lot of trouble when their theories outstripped their facts.

I expect better from those who are paid to determine facts from fiction, and differentiate theories from theology.

I also will probably continue to be disappointed Sad but there is no reason not to point out that we know that somebody is fibbing.

Frankly with the several CMBR probes, and the complicity of the Old Testament religions I am afraid that there is a lot of money in espousing "Beginnings".
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 11:52 pm
patiodog wrote:

Fundamental to natural selection is the notion that whoever passes along their genes, wins. Whoever doesn't, loses. The method of passing doesn't matter at all. All that matters is whose genes are present in the next generation, and whose are not. ....


You got it. The two big winners in the evolutionists world are the rapist and the welfare mother. The basic ideas are that "survival of the fittest" is the only moral law in nature, and that he who dies with the most offspring wins.

Ordinary morality doesnt have any sort of a place in evolutionland.
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gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 11:55 pm
spendius wrote:
What about the mental states?


Evolutionites have fewer answers for mental states than they do for things like wings, whalebone, and eyes, i.e. less than nothing.
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 12:10 am
Gunga, your only answer is a miracle. Fantastic fairytales to explain things that science has already explained. You will take a single quote from a 500 page dissertation and claim that it proves your theology. Every question you've asked has been answered. You just reject the answers because it terrifies your tiny little mind. Your another of these theist hypocrites, who demands proof while providing none yourself, and worshipping the god of gaps in the scientific knowledge.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 03:51 am
patiodog wrote:
What's not to get? How is psychology not part of biology? Is the brain not a biological organ? Is the history of human civilization somehow not part of human biology because it is sociological and psychological components?

I agree with you, but this kind of reasoning was enormously controversial when E. O. Wilson revived it in his book Sociobiology (1975). The opposition then didn't consist of creationist faithheads. It consisted of behaviorists, marxist sociologists, and generally left wing academics in the humanities and social sciences. So there are secular reasons for not according to evolution a prominent role in psychology and sociology. Whether these reasons are good is another question.

patiodog wrote:
If someone from another planet came to observe the earth, would they view Homo sapiens somehow differently than every other species on the globe?

Actually I think they would. They would recognize cultural variations among human societies that cannot be ecxplained by genes alone. A tudor era castle 500 years ago looked much different than Ming castle 500 years ago, and that both look very different than a billionaire's mansion today. By contrast, a tudor era termite hill looks just the same as a termite hill today. I think your hypothetical aliens would recognize these differences, and conclude that some things about our cultures and societies distinguish us from other species.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 04:12 am
gungasnake wrote:
patiodog wrote:

Fundamental to natural selection is the notion that whoever passes along their genes, wins. Whoever doesn't, loses. The method of passing doesn't matter at all. All that matters is whose genes are present in the next generation, and whose are not. ....


You got it. The two big winners in the evolutionists world are the rapist and the welfare mother. The basic ideas are that "survival of the fittest" is the only moral law in nature, and that he who dies with the most offspring wins.

Ordinary morality doesnt have any sort of a place in evolutionland.

That isn't true. Again, you are confidently making false statements about evolution that you could have easily tested -- and refuted -- with a Google search. In this Google search, the very first hit would have shown you how evolution can explain why we do act morally, even though it says nothing about why you ought to care about morallity. For a book-length exposition of the matter, read Matt Ridley, The Origin of Virtue.

Again, unless you want to come across as a dogmatic IDiot, don't just repeat other people's assertions uncritically. Instead, search the f'cking web first to check if they're true.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 05:59 am
Thomas wrote-

Quote:
In this Google search, the very first hit would have shown you how evolution can explain why we do act morally, even though it says nothing about why you ought to care about morallity.


I've read the hit link and it doesn't explain the problem to me.

Just exactly who is the "we". If there was advantage to an act which was generally considered immoral some might do it and then more would follow. If the "how" , a teleology anyway, doesn't suit the self interest of some and they have no "why they ought" to inhibit them they are going to do it. Once they have the advantage they can use it to justify their actions and if the advantage gave them control of media and law the immoral act would become accepted by everyone.

I think Thomas that you are defining the "we" as a collective of nice guys like yourself.

The "how" and the "why they ought" look to be in opposition on things like global warming or general inequality of energy use. Does your "we" include the millions of poor people living in low lying areas of the world. Or take drug use in athletics. Or the French revolution. Or the way media is now being used to skim millions of small amounts out of the population by preying on loneliness and alienation. Or the vast differences in infant mortality which exist in the world.

Your argument seems to me to be a justification of the status quo in which you are doing okay and if you have no "why they ought" you can then define as immoral anything which challenges it just as the robber barons embraced Darwin to justify their luxurious lifestyles with the rest of the population suffering under their rule effectively as slaves.

And it is impossible to find a "why they ought" without a revealed moral code which, in the ideal case, is interpreted by an organised class of people who live under vows of chastity and poverty and whose conclusions transcend their lifetimes.

From an evolutionary point of view the belief of the mass of people in the Christian ideal has certainly worked. To remove that belief is a leap in the dark. A faith even. If the elite have cynically engineered such a mass belief they have been justified by the outcome.

What I think your problem is, and many others, is that you hate the idea of having been tricked despite the value of it to you and you seek to distance yourself from this mass for your own self respect. But it is a feature of the elite that they maintain the trick and you refusing to do puts you outside that elite and thus a member of the mass.

You forget that the appearance of virtue is as good as virtue itself and you call people fools and idiots who may well have as many reservations as yourself but bow, with some humility, to the appearence.

Hypocrisy is a valuable tool.

We all know what a father gives away at a proper wedding. Would you rather it was made plain to everyone.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 08:06 am
spendius wrote:
Just exactly who is the "we". If there was advantage to an act which was generally considered immoral some might do it and then more would follow.

That's true -- and the Darwininian argument is that while such acts may sometimes benefit the individuals who commit them, they impede, on average, the chances of these individual's genes to copy themselves into the next generation. Thus natural evolution selects selects for selfish genes, which will produce somewhat altruistic carriers.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 09:09 am
Thomas wrote:
patiodog wrote:
If someone from another planet came to observe the earth, would they view Homo sapiens somehow differently than every other species on the globe?


Actually I think they would. They would recognize cultural variations among human societies that cannot be ecxplained by genes alone. A tudor era castle 500 years ago looked much different than Ming castle 500 years ago, and that both look very different than a billionaire's mansion today. By contrast, a tudor era termite hill looks just the same as a termite hill today. I think your hypothetical aliens would recognize these differences, and conclude that some things about our cultures and societies distinguish us from other species.


But, do you think they would look at the biology of the planet and think that somehow we were not a part of it, that we were not subject to the same principles that govern the career arc of other species?
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 09:18 am
patiodog wrote:
But, do you think they would look at the biology of the planet and think that somehow we were not a part of it, that we were not subject to the same principles that govern the career arc of other species?

No I don't -- but that's a different adverb than your original "somehow different". I agree alien explorers would not see fundamental biological differces between us and the rest of the biosphere. But I do think any culture capable of exploring space would notice what sets humans apart in terms of culture and cognition.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 09:30 am
gunga wrote:
You got it. The two big winners in the evolutionists world are the rapist and the welfare mother. The basic ideas are that "survival of the fittest" is the only moral law in nature, and that he who dies with the most offspring wins.


You're making two false assumptions here. One (1) is that there is nothing to mitigate against antisocial behavior by the individual. The other (2) -- leading, I assume, to the implicit conclusion that the acceptance of evolution will lead to rampant rape and pillage -- is that the primary impetus behavior will be the evolutionary rather than the personal and social implications of the actions.

(1) and (2)... Social species (like humans) have mechanisms which discourage the sort of behavior you're concerned about. Conformity, in general, is rigidly enforced, and whether it's a human society or a pack of wolves, individuals who step out of line are dealt with. Certainly groups of people have historically raped and pillaged and decimated other groups of people and have apparently benefitted from this (look at the conquest of the New World, after all), but this has been going on for time immemorial without the benefit of modern biological theory.

Quote:
Ordinary morality doesnt have any sort of a place in evolutionland.


No, it doesn't. Just like it doesn't have any place in physics or chemistry.

Anyway, the notion, which you and spendi seem to espouse, that truth should be determined not on the basis of careful observation but rather on the basis of what somebody or other determines will best benefit society smacks of fascism and 20th century state communism.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 09:33 am
Thomas wrote:
patiodog wrote:
But, do you think they would look at the biology of the planet and think that somehow we were not a part of it, that we were not subject to the same principles that govern the career arc of other species?

No I don't -- but that's a different adverb than your original "somehow different". I agree alien explorers would not see fundamental biological differces between us and the rest of the biosphere. But I do think any culture capable of exploring space would notice what sets humans apart in terms of culture and cognition.


Sorry, that was the main thrust of the argument. The flavor of "somehow" that I intended clearly didn't carry...
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 09:36 am
If you took an ideally careful observer of the scene over an extended time period it would become self evident that humans are animals and that they are animals different in some crucial way, from all the rest of mute creation.

As they would find it impossible to define what causes the difference they may well resort to a label such as a Divine spark. They could only describe its appearence.

As it is impossible to define the cause all other explanations of it are just as possible and thus it resolves itself into a suck it and see. The best explanation is defined by its having won.

The Christian explanation is thus declared the true explanation and rhetorical skills are brought to bear upon it to gain its acceptance. Those who reject it out of pride have a duty to show that their explanation will win, be more successful still, and for atheism to do that is going to require, given human nature, a lot more huffing and puffing than they have previously been able to be bothered with. Emotion being more than a match for reason in the mass population.
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