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29872Re: Fruitless Searches! responses to selected items

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  • stewart8724
    Oct 21, 2012
      Kurt: I am not a creationist.

      Stewart: I didn't say you were, I just answered your statement.

      Stewart: Evolutionary science ignores such speculation because one subject has nothing to do with the other.

      Kurt: All evidence to the contrary! Google evolution vs creation and you'll get about a billion options. Engage virtually anyone on the topic and you'll hear heartfelt and impassioned responses from both sides that show the two are clearly entangled. What is at issue here is not just what science is looking for but rather what we believe and why. Isn't that why we're posting here, to support/explore your beliefs?

      Stewart: Yes, Google 'Moon landings', '911', 'UFOs', JFK etc. and you'll also get a billion comments, all equally as impassioned. Would you ask scientists to waste time responding to the zany opinions you find on all these issues.
      If you want to explore why we believe, great. I agree that is the reason I am here. What we cant do is ask science to endorse our conclusions if those conclusions stray into the philosophical. That doesn't mean we can't cite scientific evidence as validation of our reasoning.


      Kurt: Youre saying we looked to a self-invented, non-existent deity to help us cope with and explain the natural environment? The same environment that hominids had already been interacting with for the previous two million years. Really? After 3 or 4 billion years of life on this planet, in one form or another, along comes a species that needs to self-invent a creator to interact with the environment? Unlikely.

      Stewart: That's what I'm saying however unlikely you might think it. I also said in the last post that this need is accentuated when human civilisations settled in one area. I don't doubt that they had the same propensity to personify nature (Mother Earth) before that, but staying in one place allows you to create permanent structures in honour of your Gods. This keeps the deities in the present as they evolve with the population.

      Stewart: Humans developed the intelligence to understand that there was a future… They were intelligent enough to know the questions to ask but not experienced enough to know the answers. So they did what humans do best, they look for patterns, they try to understand how the world works.

      Kurt: You don't know that. You are making extrapolations based on what?

      Stewart: Based on human behaviour as it is today. I'm assuming we haven't been able to change our instincts to any great extent.

      Kurt: A person with an opposite agenda could as accurately assume early humans made informed decision based on senses and intellect no less, likely more, attune to their environment than yours or mine, made the accurate assessment that a creator was at work and reasonably sought to engage in a relationship with that creator. Your assumptions reflect a bias equal to any religious belief.

      Stewart: Rubbish, how does it show bias? I'm certain that they were more in tune with nature than 'civilised' people today. But it is no slur to say that they were completely oblivious to certain discoveries made since. Even in the time of the Pharaohs they had not developed the wheel, So this has nothing to do with an agenda, I think you have leapt to another false conclusion.

      Stewart: These are questions that can't be answered quickly, or at least not quickly and accurately. A compromise which offered a reason would be welcome even if the reason wasn't entirely accurate. Humans resorted to superstition as a makeshift response, and they are not the only animals that do this.

      Kurt: I gather you're saying that creationists today are inflicted with the residual effect of these erroneous beliefs, that the superstitions of early humans were so potent that even today creationist cannot escape them? If so, how is it that evolution-believers gained immunity? Are you not equally the progeny of those same early humans? Did not the same progeny that invented prayer also invent the scientific method? This is connected to my original point: both creationism and evolutionary theory represent the same behavior.

      Stewart: Why do you immediately assume that every answer I give is an attack on religion? I am saying that people are superstitious. Some of those superstitious people are theists. If you doubt that these ancient superstitions lacked sufficient and enduring effect on society, explain why people still 'touch wood', won't walk under a ladder, 'don't open umbrellas in doors', cross their fingers, avoid black cats, throw salt over their shoulder and so on.

      Stewart: Tests were carried out on pigeons which showed similar behaviour... pigeons too are superstitious

      Kurt: I read this study from B F Skinner. Smart guy. I'm always impressed by the patients and dedication this kind of study takes. Is it really a satisfying answer to you? Does it really speak to humanities species-long passion and desire for a creator? Does it even speak to our desire to look at pigeons? Or write down what we see? No. I don't think it speaks to desire at all.

      Stewart: I have no idea what you're trying to say. I pointed out that you don't know if other creatures are devoid of compulsive and irrational self serving habits, as you had implied

      Stewart: Evolution doesn't satisfy the need for a creator it offers an explanation to a natural phenomenon, as with gravitational theory, electricity, relativity etc. We have an insatiable hunger for understanding, it's this need that is satisfied by scientific theory. Evolution is not seen as a creator, it is limited to explaining the variety of species, not the all encompassing creation ascribed to Gods.

      Kurt: I think that's what we want evolution to do, I'd agree that that's the ideal. But it's not playing out that way, is it? For many, too many, you included, I'd guess, it does function as a belief system, and does play a roll that satisfies the need for a creator.

      Stewart: You guess? So far that hasn't been a successful tactic for you has it?
      You assume that because there is a religiously motivated resistance to evolution, that evolution its self must be religiously defended? The problem with that argument is that most theists (by some considerable margin) believe in evolution. So defending evolution does not indicate a hatred for religion or a need to replace religions creators.

      Stewart: A faith is accepted without having to explain its self, it doesn't have to make sense and it isn't subject to any natural laws. Scientific knowledge is an entirely different thing

      Kurt: You don't think the average evolution-believer accepts it faith or by authority?

      Stewart: It makes no difference what "the average" person thinks. You are accusing people who know what evolution is, of adopting it on the same basis that those who know nothing about it do. That is fundamentally unfair and absolutely misleading. Notwithstanding that there are those who neither know nor care about how evolution works, those who do, make their conclusions based on evidence. If you did likewise instead of guessing, you might make better judgements.

      Kurt: I talked about that in a previous post. We can cover it more if you want. The evolution/creation debate seems substantial, the differences feel irreconcilable, but what I had said in my first post applies here, they are both means of answering the same desire, that commonality is a more compelling than the differences.

      Stewart: I'll discuss whatever you like, but I don't see the commonality between creationism and evolution, they seem to me to be diametrically opposed.


      Kurt: Wouldn't scientifically endorsed mean the same as human being endorsed? Does any human experience or perspective exist without bias? The scientific method is our best shot at objectivity, an important and valuable tool. Still, it is a means, not an end. It is a human invention, for, by and about no one but us. Nature does not care about the scientific method. Appling it toward our own beliefs and desires can reveal nothing but our own beliefs and desires. What else would you expect?

      Stewart: First - Scientifically endorsed means that it is something sanctioned by people who dedicate their lives and stake their reputations on their disciplined examination of nature.
      I don't know what "human being endorsed" means other than something somebody somewhere at sometime thinks. The difference between the two is that one of them inspires a greater degree of confidence in its validity.
      Science is a method it's not a tool, and who said it serves nature? It serves us , no one pretends otherwise. What else do YOU expect?

      Stewart: It would be just lovely if we could all get on together, but sometimes we don't. (except me) The price of individuality - Se la vie.

      Kurt: Yes, it would be nice. Perhaps that day will come, it could happen.

      Stewart: Are you rehearsing for a beauty contest?


      ..

      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@...> wrote:
      >
      > Stewart: Creationism doesn't pose many questions at all...
      >
      > Kurt: I am not a creationist.
      >
      > Stewat: Evolutionary science ignores such speculation...
      >
      > Kurt: I know. That's why I brought the topic to this group. I'm not here to convince you of anything but rather to explore the point. Though I'm thinking hypothesis more than speculation.
      >
      > Stewart: ...because one subject has nothing to do with the other.
      >
      > Kurt: All evidence to the contrary! Google evolution vs creation and you'll get about a billion options. Engage virtually anyone on the topic and you'll hear heartfelt and impassioned responses from both sides that show the two are clearly entangled. What is at issue here is not just what science is looking for but rather what we believe and why. Isn't that why we're posting here, to support/explore your beliefs?
      >
      > Stewart: You're mistaken in thinking that humans don't display the same behaviour for exactly the same reason as other animals. You say animals respond to stimuli for real reasons, but humans believe in deities for real reasons. God is the answer to a number of questions which have real significance. What will make the rains come...
      >
      > Kurt: Youre saying we looked to a self-invented, non-existent deity to help us cope with and explain the natural environment? The same environment that hominids had already been interacting with for the previous two million years. Really? After 3 or 4 billion years of life on this planet, in one form or another, along comes a species that needs to self-invent a creator to interact with the environment? Unlikely.
      >
      > Stewart: Humans developed the intelligence to understand that there was a future… They were intelligent enough to know the questions to ask but not experienced enough to know the answers. So they did what humans do best, they look for patterns, they try to understand how the world works.
      >
      > Kurt: You don't know that. You are making extrapolations based on what? A person with an opposite agenda could as accurately assume early humans made informed decision based on senses and intellect no less, likely more, attune to their environment than yours or mine, made the accurate assessment that a creator was at work and reasonably sought to engage in a relationship with that creator. Your assumptions reflect a bias equal to any religious belief.
      >
      > Stewart: These are questions that can't be answered quickly, or at least not quickly and accurately. A compromise which offered a reason would be welcome even if the reason wasn't entirely accurate. Humans resorted to superstition as a makeshift response, and they are not the only animals that do this.
      >
      > Kurt: I gather you're saying that creationists today are inflicted with the residual effect of these erroneous beliefs, that the superstitions of early humans were so potent that even today creationist cannot escape them? If so, how is it that evolution-believers gained immunity? Are you not equally the progeny of those same early humans? Did not the same progeny that invented prayer also invent the scientific method? This is connected to my original point: both creationism and evolutionary theory represent the same behavior.
      >
      > Stewart: Tests were carried out on pigeons which showed similar behaviour... pigeons too are superstitious
      >
      > Kurt: I read this study from B F Skinner. Smart guy. I'm always impressed by the patients and dedication this kind of study takes. Is it really a satisfying answer to you? Does it really speak to humanities species-long passion and desire for a creator? Does it even speak to our desire to look at pigeons? Or write down what we see? No. I don't think it speaks to desire at all.
      >
      > Stewart: Evolution doesn't satisfy the need for a creator it offers an explanation to a natural phenomenon, as with gravitational theory, electricity, relativity etc. We have an insatiable hunger for understanding, it's this need that is satisfied by scientific theory. Evolution is not seen as a creator, it is limited to explaining the variety of species, not the all encompassing creation ascribed to Gods.
      >
      > Kurt: I think that's what we want evolution to do, I'd agree that that's the ideal. But it's not playing out that way, is it? For many, too many, you included, I'd guess, it does function as a belief system, and does play a roll that satisfies the need for a creator.
      >
      > Stewart: A faith is accepted without having to explain its self, it doesn't have to make sense and it isn't subject to any natural laws. Scientific knowledge is an entirely different thing
      >
      > Kurt: You don't think the average evolution-believer accepts it faith or by authority? I talked about that in a previous post. We can cover it more if you want. The evolution/creation debate seems substantial, the differences feel irreconcilable, but what I had said in my first post applies here, they are both means of answering the same desire, that commonality is a more compelling than the differences.
      >
      > Stewart: This is nonsense. A wish is wanting something that you don't have. How could anyone wish for evolution without being aware of it beforehand? People who believe the theory of evolution do so because they understand it and as a result, accept it as a reasonable and logical explanation. We have it already, it's a real scientifically endorsed explanation. There is no need for wishing.
      >
      > Kurt: Wouldn't scientifically endorsed mean the same as human being endorsed? Does any human experience or perspective exist without bias? The scientific method is our best shot at objectivity, an important and valuable tool. Still, it is a means, not an end. It is a human invention, for, by and about no one but us. Nature does not care about the scientific method. Appling it toward our own beliefs and desires can reveal nothing but our own beliefs and desires. What else would you expect?
      >
      > Stewart: It would be just lovely if we could all get on together, but sometimes we don't. (except me) The price of individuality - Se la vie.
      >
      > Kurt: Yes, it would be nice. Perhaps that day will come, it could happen.
      >
      >
      > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "stewart8724" <art1st@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > Kurt: No doubt some feel that humanities effort to understanding a creator was a waste of time until evolutionary theory came along,
      > > but none the less, that effort has been a hallmark of our species' behavior. Regardless of whether or not you buy into it, creationism at least addresses the question of why we possess this desire/behavior, evolution nearly ignores it.
      > >
      > > Stewart: Creationism doesn't pose many questions at all, and they certainly don't entertain them if they question how the world was formed.
      > > Evolutionary science ignores such speculation because one subject has nothing to do with the other.
      > >
      > > Kurt
      > > Mice exhibit a scurrying behavior for only one reason, predators are real. Whales travel 1/2 way around globe to birth their calves only because those warm, safe waters are real. Lions will protect a water source only because the shortage of water is real. My point is, animals exhibit only behaviors that reflect a genuine reality. Evolution just doesn't produce animals that go about wasting their time looking for stuff that doesn't exist, nor does evolution produce behaviors that don't relate to a genuine reality. We know this, we see it played out every day in the creatures all around us, and yet evolutionary theory would have us believe humans are the only species on the planet that can somehow invent useless, impotent behaviors for itself.
      > >
      > > Stewart: You're mistaken in thinking that humans don't display the same behaviour for exactly the same reason as other animals. You say animals respond to stimuli for real reasons, but humans believe in deities for real reasons. God is the answer to a number of questions which have real significance. What will make the rains come? What will guarantee that the Nile will flood this year? How can we ensure that the mountain will not spew fire? What must we do to ensure that the buffalo return this year? These are all real concerns for people who have committed to staying in one location.
      > > Humans developed the intelligence to understand that there was a future that had to be planned for. They were intelligent enough to know the questions to ask, but not experienced enough to know the answers. So they did what humans do best, they look for patterns, they try to understand how the world works. These are questions that can't be answered quickly, or at least not quickly and accurately. A compromise which offered a reason would be welcome even if the reason wasn't entirely accurate. Humans resorted to superstition as a makeshift response, and they are not the only animals that do this.
      > > Tests were carried out on pigeons which showed similar behaviour. Pigeons being fed remotely via a chute were fed when they made a turn to the left. The next time they turned to the left they were fed again. From then on the feeding would happen at random, so the pigeons would sometimes get food when they turned left but not always. Despite the fact that turning left had no effect on the food supply the pigeons would still turn repeatedly to the left when shown food. Their behaviour didn't guarantee food but neither did it diminish the supply, that they believed their actions were effecting reallity is all that matters to show that pigeons too are superstitious.
      > >
      > > Kurt
      > > We tend to think of creationism and evolution as choices of intellect but I have come to believe they are instead both expressions of the same desire/behavior and that that behavior could not exist if a creator were not a genuine reality. What other explanation does evolutionary theory offer?
      > >
      > > Stewart: Evolution doesn't satisfy the need for a creator it offers an explanation to a natural phenomenon, as with gravitational theory, electricity, relativity etc. We have an insatiable hunger for understanding, it's this need that is satisfied by scientific theory. Evolution is not seen as a creator, it is limited to explaining the variety of species, not the all encompassing creation ascribed to Gods.
      > >
      > >
      > > Kurt:
      > > Take the time to talk with some average evolution-believing folks and ask them to define evolution or even give an example of Natural Selection. I've asked people those questions for years, friends, acquaintances and students, and the answers you overwhelming get are about the varieties of dogs or improved crop production. Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory. After a 140 years of Darwinism permeating the culture, and two generations of teaching it in public schools, evolution, as it really plays out in the lives of average people, has become a wish-daddy, a faith, an accepted-by-authority, over-intellectualized religion.
      > >
      > > Stewart: A faith is accepted without having to explain its self, it doesn't have to make sense and it isn't subject to any natural laws. Scientific knowledge is an entirely different thing. If you don't see the distinction between the two, then you are an example of the same degree of understanding as those people you talked to about evolutionary theory. (P.S. 153 years of Darwinian theory)
      > >
      > > Kurt
      > > Arguments about the fossil record, vestigial organs and the like give only the appearance of objectivity. What they really express is a justification of a belief-system. Evolution-believers wish it to be true no more, no less than believers of any faith.
      > >
      > > Stewart: This is nonsense. A wish is wanting something that you don't have. How could anyone wish for evolution without being aware of it beforehand? People who believe the theory of evolution do so because they understand it and as a result, accept it as a reasonable and logical explanation. We have it already, it's a real scientifically endorsed explanation. There is no need for wishing.
      > >
      > > Kurt
      > > That is not to say that evolutionary science doesn't have a roll. It's defining that roll that is the important task, more important than quibbling about the usual minutia. Evolutionary science currently takes a lazy roll in education, in schools and culturally, passively allowing Natural Selection to be widely considered responsible for life, and in turn allowing it to function as religion. Evolutionary scientists need to step up and actively teach that evolution is the study of a process and nothing more, that evolution and Natural Selection are names we give to what life is capable of, not to be taken or taught as explanations.
      > >
      > > Stewart: It is taught as a process, part of that process includes natural selection. There are many other elements at work in the process of course, but I fail to see how this makes it a religion. I think there are too many people who have difficulty in distinguishing between a 'reasoned belief' and a 'religious belief'. Evolution is either valid as a theory or not, if not then why should it have a role? Most believe it is valid and we benefit from the role it plays as a result.
      > >
      > > Kurt
      > > I believe if science leaders could find the courage to do so we would see less pressure from IDers trying to get into public schools. Further, if creationists would just quit trying to be evolutionary scientists for God we'd be better equiped to distinguish the difference between science and religion. Having blurry lines between them is not good for either, or for the rest of us.
      > >
      > > Stewart: It would be just lovely if we could all get on together, but sometimes we don't. (except me) The price of individuality - Se la vie.
      > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > "There's your mistake. People don't wish Darwinian theory to be true."
      > > >
      > > > Kurt: Take the time to talk with some average evolution-believing folks and ask them to define evolution or even give an example of Natural Selection. I've asked people those questions for years, friends, acquaintances and students, and the answers you overwhelming get are about the varieties of dogs or improved crop production. Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory. After a 140 years of Darwinism permeating the culture, and two generations of teaching it in public schools, evolution, as it really plays out in the lives of average people, has become a wish-daddy, a faith, an accepted-by-authority, over-intellectualized religion. Arguments about the fossil record, vestigial organs and the like give only the appearance of objectivity. What they really express is a justification of a belief-system. Evolution-believers wish it to be true no more, no less than believers of any faith.
      > > > That is not to say that evolutionary science doesn't have a roll. It's defining that roll that is the important task, more important than quibbling about the usual minutia. Evolutionary science currently takes a lazy roll in education, in schools and culturally, passively allowing Natural Selection to be widely considered responsible for life, and in turn allowing it to function as religion. Evolutionary scientists need to step up and actively teach that evolution is the study of a process and nothing more, that evolution and Natural Selection are names we give to what life is capable of, not to be taken or taught as explanations. I believe if science leaders could find the courage to do so we would see less pressure from IDers trying to get into public schools. Further, if creationists would just quit trying to be evolutionary scientists for God we'd be better equiped to distinguish the difference between science and religion. Having blurry lines between them is not good for either, or for the rest of us.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "JamesG" <JamesGoff_960@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Me: "In discussing the story related by Geisler and Turek, I said nothing at all about Darwinian theory not being for 'good moral upright people.' What I said was that Geisler and Turek did not expect their readers to conclude that the story diminished or discredited the scientific case for Darwinian theory (that is to say, they did not ask or expect their readers to illogically conclude from the story that Darwinian theory must be false). Whether the theory is 'not for good moral upright people' (whatever you mean by that) is an entirely different matter. Don't you ever tire of creating straw men?"
      > > > > D R Lindberg: "Can this be the same person who is continually ranting on about 'moral, social, cultural, political, and theological implications of Darwinian theory,' and who is now denying that claims that it is accepted for illogical immoral motives could possibly have any negative implications?"
      > > > >
      > > > > That's not at all what I'm saying. What I have been repeatedly saying - without effecting any understanding on your part - is that Geisler and Turek related their story about the biology professor for the purpose of illustrating that some people are motivated to accept Darwinian theory for reasons unrelated to science. By saying that I'm not in the least going back on things I've written about the moral, social, cultural, political, and theological implications of Darwinian theory. If you want to discuss how the professor's motivations relate to those implications, we can do that. But that's not been the point of this thread, which began when I remarked that some people fervently wish Darwinian theory to be true and Stewart replied by writing:
      > > > >
      > > > > "There's your mistake. People don't wish Darwinian theory to be true."
      > > > >
      > > > > I replied by writing:
      > > > >
      > > > > "Lots of them (including, obviously, you) do. The following passage from 'I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist' (by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek) illustrates why some people wish Darwinian theory (or Darwinism) to be true for reasons unrelated to science."
      > > > >
      > > > > I then quoted the story. Since then, you've quite successfully made every effort not to understand why I quoted it or why Geisler and Turek related the story in the first place.
      > > > >
      > > > > D R Lindberg (quoting ID critic Stephen M. Barr):
      > > > >
      > > > > "It would be much, much easier to question aspects of Darwinian evolution were it not for the Young Earth Creationists. And I am convinced that it would also be easier were it not for the strategic mistakes of the ID movement. Had the ID movement simply called attention to the amazing complexity of life at the cellular level, as Mike Behe did in Darwin's Black Box, and argued that satisfactory and detailed explanations of such complex structures do not yet exist, and noted that until such explanations have been found scientists are not entitled to assume that Darwinism is the whole story, then they might really have made it easier to 'question'. But they went far beyond that, and in overreaching they achieved far less than they could have --- and on balance their achievement may be negative. Yes, they put certain questions on the table --- and that is wonderful, and they are to be praised for that. I have praised them for that. But they made serious mistakes that have largely vitiated that achievement."
      > > > >
      > > > > http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/02/the-end-of-intelligent-de\sign
      > > > >
      > > > > A response to Barr's essay by Discovery Institute Fellow Jay W. Richards can be found at:
      > > > >
      > > > > http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/02/how_to_completely_misunderstan031991.html
      > > > >
      > > > > Jim in Missouri
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
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