7 Comments

  1. Jorgon Gorgon
    November 29, 2008 @ 5:36 am

    You make some fundamental mistakes. First of all, evolutionary theory does not deal with the origin of either the universe or of life, but only with the growth of biological diversity and new forms once life had started. Secondly, I recommend reading Prigogine and Kauffmann on the spontaneous self-organization that has been observed on all levels of biology, chemistry and physics. You can have God as the originator of the Universe (I do not believe even in that kind of God, but one’s mileage may vary), a Prime Mover, but the simple observed fact of evolution is beyond dispute. Finally, evolution is not a normative moral system; in fact, most people I know would recoil from applying evolutionary principles to sociology. Our morals stem not from our basic nature as animals, but from our equally basic nature as intelligent ethical beings and most of the modern work in ethics (and even not-so-modern; check out Spinoza) has dealt with that without involving the Divine in any way.

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  2. Scott
    November 29, 2008 @ 6:04 am

    I appreciate the comment, especially the authors to look into. I am a big reader and will certainly look for them. I am admittedly not a scholar in evolutionary theory, but do know that it usually goes hand in hand with the big bang theory on the timeline of everything being created, ordered, then springing forth life.A couple of disagreements I have with you is where you say “the simple observed fact of evolution is beyond dispute.” While I do know that micro-evolution cannot be disputed, macro-evolution has yet to be undeniably proven or observed. That is why it is still scientifically a theory, despite those who ignore the flaws and state it as fact.The other disagreement is that I do not think you cannot separate man’s evolution from his sociology. If we are products of our environment and evolutionary process, then our intelligence stems from our higher evolution but morality would be a flaw within it as it serves no survival purpose.

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  3. Bunc
    November 29, 2008 @ 11:42 am

    out another fairly elementary mistake in your logic. You say that in nature we “never see that order emerges from chaos”. I guess you have never seen a snowflake then? What about diamonds and other crystals? They are highly ordered forms which emerge from more disordered forms. It’s a good idea to know your facts before you start pontificating.

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  4. Scott
    November 29, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

    Point taken. I still don’t think you can use snowflakes and crystals, which are formed in delicately balanced systems in nature to prove a former event in which a massive chaotic explosion, by chance, not as an effect of some delicate system, orders itself into those systems which can then form snowflakes and crystals. I think the argument can go down as one for intelligent design just as easily.Again, I am not writing here to convince anyone of my beliefs. Certainly there are holes in my understanding of these scientific theories, but snowflakes don’t answer the larger questions about what makes the big bang work or how we evolved into moral beings. This is where even the greatest scientists turn to philosophers because we don’t have the ability to understand. And when those philosophies emerge, they are even crazier than what the Bible says happened. Thus, FOR ME, it is easier to doubt faith in evolution than faith in God.

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  5. Jorgon Gorgon
    November 29, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

    Scott: not so. The Big Bang theory is not logically connected to the theory of biological evolution at all; one can “believe” one and not the other (not too many people do that, since both are supported by HUGE amounts of evidence; evolution by a larger amount of such).There is no qualitative difference between micro- and macro-evolution, it is only a matter of degree. Many micro-evolutionary events together=macro-evolution. That’s all; and most biologists nowadays are reluctant to use those terms because of their reinterpretation by the creationists. Also, speciation has been observed repeatedly, as well as direct evolution of new traits (i.e., changes in the genome of an organism resulting in it being able to do something that it couldn’t before). Of course, in science a theory is a much more powerful construct than a simple fact (look up the definitions). That said, evolution is both: there is the fact of observed change over time, observed speciation, and there is the theory that explains these facts in terms of natural selection. The theory grows and changes, details are ironed out, but overall, all observations support it and it is one of the strongest and most consistently predictive scientific theories ever. The facts of speciation, transitional species, the interrelatedness of all life on earth and differential reproduction are not in dispute.Again, your claim that morality is somehow is disadvantageous is belied by much work in reciprocal altruism, kin selection, etc. In brief, morality is an advantageous quality for related organisms that live in social groupings, at least. However, even if it wasn’t, our approach to ethics would not have to change. Again, as with cosmology and biology, biology and ethics are two separate, logically unconnected disciplines.And remember: “chance” is a tricky word. Laws of physics are not chance, neither is natural selection. (Perhaps God created those laws: I am an atheist myself, but that is a point that I am prepared to not argue…;)) In short, the Universe is organized because of the inherent laws that govern the behaviour of matter. Chance has little to do with it, except for on the quantum level, and the initial setting of physical constants.

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  6. In Process
    November 29, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

    You have your hands full Scott. I would love to add some intelligence to the argument, but I would be a poor help. I never find myself engaging in these arguments because to me this is trying to prove my faith by my logic, and I lean more to the side that my faith defines my logic and not the other way around. So I can find logic in creation and miracles. I would possibly argue that most who would argue against God or for evolution as a matter of logic have already made a decision about their faith, but that’s a different argument for a different time. God speed.

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  7. Patty
    November 30, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

    When you doubt does it have anything to do with haviing fear of something or does fear have anything to do with doubt?

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