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Do creationists fear evolution or do they fear science?

 
 
Reply Sun 7 May, 2006 08:51 pm
At the core of creation/evolution debate seems to be a dichotomy between naturalistic views and supernatural views.

Even though the topic of the debate revolves around evolution, the root of the problem in most cases is a philosophical disagreement over the assumption of naturalism, and therefor, the structure of science.

If philosophy and science are the real sticking point for creationists, then why don't they focus on that directly? Why plink away at a mere aspect of their real complaint? What is it about Evolution which makes it an attractive target when it's foundation in science is as solid as any other prevailing theory?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 2,749 • Replies: 27
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kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 May, 2006 09:54 pm
At its core it is the age-old dilemma of Knowledge versus Certainty.

From the "Knowledge or Certainty" discussion by Jacob Bronowski, an episode from the 1973 BBC series "The Ascent of Man", transcribed by Evan Hunt:

"The Principle of Uncertainty is a bad name. In science--or outside of it--we are not uncertain; our knowledge is merely confined, within a certain tolerance. We should call it the Principle of Tolerance. And I propose that name in two senses: First, in the engineering sense--science has progressed, step by step, the most successful enterprise in the ascent of man, because it has understood that the exchange of information between man and nature, and man and man, can only take place with a certain tolerance.

"But second, I also use the word, passionately, about the real world. All knowledge--all information between human beings--can only be exchanged within a play of tolerance. And that is true whether the exchange is in science, or in literature, or in religion, or in politics, or in *any* form of thought that aspires to dogma. It's a major tragedy of my lifetime and yours that scientists were refining, to the most exquisite precision, the Principle of Tolerance--and turning their backs on the fact that all around them, tolerance was crashing to the ground beyond repair.

"The Principle of Uncertainty or, in my phrase, the Principle of Tolerance, fixed once for all the realization that all knowledge is limited. It is an irony of history that at the very time when this was being worked out there should rise, under Hitler in Germany and other tyrants elsewhere, a counter-conception: a principle of monstrous certainty. When the future looks back on the 1930s it will think of them as a crucial confrontation of culture as I have been expounding it, the ascent of man, against the throwback to the despots' belief that they have absolute certainty.

"It is said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That is false: tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. *This* is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality--this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

"Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge or error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we *can* know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken."

"We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to *touch people*.

http://ronrecord.com/Quotes/bronowski.html
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Kratos
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 02:11 am
It depends on the type of science. They'll attack anything which contradicts their beliefs. Science is easily a far more difficult opponent to counter than any religion due to having the most viable method in its search for truth.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 02:22 am
Do creationists fear evolution or do they fear science?
Quote:


Is there a purpose behind this question? I believe in "Creation" and neither fear evolution nor do I fear science. Razz Razz Razz
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 02:49 am
Re: Do creationists fear evolution or do they fear science?
rosborne979 wrote:
At the core of creation/evolution debate seems to be a dichotomy between naturalistic views and supernatural views....


It's basically just a question of how much supernaturalism you want or feel comfortable with.

The bible contains a couple dozen, four or five dozen at most stories about miracles, and most of the miracles are fairly simple, like walking on water or converting water to wine.

Evolution on the other hand requires an essentially endless sequence of outright probabilistic miracles and zero-probability events, and basically just takes everything we know about modern mathematics and probability theory and flushes it down the toilet.
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jin kazama
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 06:16 am
Miller wrote:
Do creationists fear evolution or do they fear science?
Quote:


Is there a purpose behind this question? I believe in "Creation" and neither fear evolution nor do I fear science. Razz Razz Razz



Ah you are probably one of those blind faith types then huh?
0 Replies
 
USAFHokie80
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 09:30 pm
Re: Do creationists fear evolution or do they fear science?
gungasnake wrote:
rosborne979 wrote:
At the core of creation/evolution debate seems to be a dichotomy between naturalistic views and supernatural views....


It's basically just a question of how much supernaturalism you want or feel comfortable with.

The bible contains a couple dozen, four or five dozen at most stories about miracles, and most of the miracles are fairly simple, like walking on water or converting water to wine.

Evolution on the other hand requires an essentially endless sequence of outright probabilistic miracles and zero-probability events, and basically just takes everything we know about modern mathematics and probability theory and flushes it down the toilet.


I find it amusing that people say this... There is really no way to compute a probability of a genetic mutation. If it were so mathematically improbable, why do nearly ALL scientists around the world accept it? Science is largely based on mathematics.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 09:48 pm
I would like to note that with the right equipment I, myself, can turn water into wine. And then into sex. And then into piss.

Can I get canonized now?
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 May, 2006 10:41 pm
Re: Do creationists fear evolution or do they fear science?
gungasnake wrote:
rosborne979 wrote:
At the core of creation/evolution debate seems to be a dichotomy between naturalistic views and supernatural views....


It's basically just a question of how much supernaturalism you want or feel comfortable with.

The bible contains a couple dozen, four or five dozen at most stories about miracles, and most of the miracles are fairly simple, like walking on water or converting water to wine.

Evolution on the other hand requires an essentially endless sequence of outright probabilistic miracles and zero-probability events, and basically just takes everything we know about modern mathematics and probability theory and flushes it down the toilet.
[/b]

Care to explain how?

btw: just what is the meaning of remarks of yours like "an essentially endless sequence of outright probabilistic miracles and zero-probability events?"

apparently you have read (or heard of) Mike Behe, but have you an understanding of his work or are you parroting what you have heard from others who do not understand the basics of chemistry and biology?

your analogies are poorly drawn, indicate a misunderstanding of the topic, and are comparing apples with walrus tusks by using the biblical creation story and comparing it (and other alleged biblical miracles) with the statistical probabilities for protein sequencing\building and small molecular combinations.

saying that there is one chance in a million of something occurring is incomparable to walking on water, sending plagues, raising the dead, rising from a tomb on the third day after being crucified. Lumping them together in a bizarre subset grouping and calling both "supernatural" begs the rational question.. HOW DID EACH OCCUR?

these are not in the same ballpark, hell, they not even the same sport. The latter are events, and non-predictive tools for further analysis; they are without explanation; the former are rational, time tested methods and techniques whose validity is proven by the modern world all around you.

The Bible does not say HOW its recorded miracles happened. Science does.

It is fine and dandy with me that you believe in whatever Foma you want to and that it makes you happy, healthy, and strong. But try not to argue that 1+ 1 = 3. It makes no rational sense.

as to your Foma, Any Bokononist knows its value.

"I wanted all things
To seem to make some sense
So we all could be happy, yes, instead of tense.
And I made up lies
So that they fit nice,
And I made this sad world a par-a-dise."

Calypso #58 from the Books of Bokonon in Cat's Cradle.

Vonnegut's Bokononism satirizes the notion of a purpose for life in our universe, and tries to make people happy by providing many Foma, or harmless untruths and illustrates the principle paradox present in his view on happiness; the necessity of lying about the truth to create happiness.

so, Foma-way, at least you are happy in your wilfull ignorance. And that is what your god wants, right, your happiness?
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 07:21 pm
Miller wrote:
Do creationists fear evolution or do they fear science?
Quote:


Is there a purpose behind this question? I believe in "Creation" and neither fear evolution nor do I fear science. Razz Razz Razz


Miller, just how do you manage that balancing act?
0 Replies
 
Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 07:36 pm
Eorl wrote:
Miller wrote:
Do creationists fear evolution or do they fear science?
Quote:


Is there a purpose behind this question? I believe in "Creation" and neither fear evolution nor do I fear science. Razz Razz Razz


Miller, just how do you manage that balancing act?

When immersed in superstition, everything is fair game.
0 Replies
 
xingu
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 07:49 pm
I suspect what creationist fear is science will show the Bible to be wrong. Prove it wrong at Genesis and and you destroy the inerrancy idea; the belief that God is never wrong.

I suspect that creationism, in time, will go into the trash can as did flat earth and geocentricity, both supported by the Bible.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 08:05 pm
xingu wrote:
I suspect that creationism, in time, will go into the trash can as did flat earth and geocentricity, both supported by the Bible.


I agree. Eventually creationism will succumb to more realistic views. But for now the insanity endures. Enjoy it while you can. Smile
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 08:05 pm
Yeah,

Atheism just wasn't a credible, respectable position until Darwin, who changed that forever...he's been wearing a target ever since.

I don't doubt that theism can survive, if not win completely, but only through suppression of science, truth and information....which is exactly what they are trying to do.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 08:22 pm
Eorl wrote:
I don't doubt that theism can survive, if not win completely, but only through suppression of science, truth and information....which is exactly what they are trying to do.


Theism and Creationism are not the same thing. I'm certain that theism will survive. It will evolve to fit the limits of our understanding of the world. But it will become more and more spiritual in form, retreating to the cracks where the light of science has yet to shine. Ultimately theism will reside in the wild places if the human mind, where it is both nurtured and nurturer.
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 May, 2006 08:55 pm
You're right. I should have said creationism may eventually win..... but then again, "eventually" is a long time. No dark age could last forever.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 May, 2006 05:48 am
Eorl wrote:
Yeah,

Atheism just wasn't a credible, respectable position until Darwin, who changed that forever...he's been wearing a target ever since.


This entails a couple of assumptions, neither of which are correct--to dismiss the last one first, Darwin, as did all young men of his day at university, studied ostensibly as a divinity student, with the intention of taking up a living as a curate in the established church. Before HMS Beagle sailed, he was offered the position of "philosopher" (natural scientist) and he discusses it in a letter to his father, noting their discussion of his plans to seek a living in the church. There is absolutely no reason to associate Charles Darwin with atheism--he remained a devout Christian throughout his life.

Taking the first point last, it is unwarranted to assume that "atheism just wasn't credible" until Darwin. Sometime before his death in the mid-first century BCE, Cicero wrote:

When you see a sundial or a water-clock, you see that it tells the time by design and not by chance. How then can you imagine that the universe as a whole is devoid of purpose and intelligence, when it embraces everything, including these artifacts themselves and their artificers?

He would hardly have needed to advance such a proposition were the concept of a created cosmos not questioned. Cicero lived in a sophisticated society which valued education and expertise. Given that homo sapiens sapiens has been around for many tens of thousands of years (some folks contend over one hundred thousand years)--i'd say atheism is at least that old (at the least, in any example in which a sophisticated culture existed).
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 May, 2006 06:09 am
Eorl (Scion of the Éothéod and grandsire Rohirrim) has opened one of my favorite cans of worms, whether he intended it or not, and whether he likes it or not. Since i first read Wells' The Outline of History almost fifty years ago, i've been fascinated by contemplating the rise of organized religion and of religious heirarchies. I submit that there have always been sceptics, and given that the earliest educated men and women would often have been members of the shamans or the priesthood, that is the place in which such sceptics are likeliest to have been found.

Cuneiform tablets have been found which are, essentially, warrants for the use of travelling priests or acolytes. Thousands of years ago, such tablets requested that the temples in other cities extend to the bearer the courtesies of the temple, such as lodging and food. So, were a priest or an acolyte to travel from Sumer to Nineveh, he might observe while in the latter place that it were raining in the mountains, and then see the river begin to rise. If, upon his return to Sumer, he learned that there had been a flood, and that the priests were admonishing the people that this were a sign that they had been impious and angered the gods, he might well say to himself: "No, the flood came because of the heavy rains in the mountains." Any number of such examples may be imagined in which experience taught a sufficiently perceptive man or woman that circumstance and not a deity were responsible for the casual events of a natural world which had been asserted to be divine judgment. People do not necessarily suffer from stupidity so much as from ignorance--which is the handmaiden of superstition, which is indistinguishable from religion.
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 May, 2006 06:36 pm
I largely agree Setanta, with a few small exceptions.

I did not state that Darwin was an atheist or that he intended that atheism should be more credible as a result of his work.

The other thing is, perhaps I should have been more specific in identifying the time and place, the environment into which Darwins results were published. It was the implications of credible atheism stemming from his work to which the church has been reacting ever since.

Historically, I think it was the naturalistic "last straw" for creationism...but you are far better studied in these areas than I Setanta, so I hopefully I'll learn something if you don't agree !
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 02:41 pm
Interesting that Creationists fear the randomness of evolution and, also, not having enough control over their own fate. They "give it up to God" not because they recognize that the players on the stage aren't following their directions but that they, themselves, aren't able to following their own directions.
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