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Re: Darwism and evolution

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  • Jim Goff
    DARWINISM AND EVOLUTION gluadys: Insofar as you include any of these concepts in Darwinism, you are not speaking of the theory of evolution since it excludes
    Message 1 of 17 , May 30, 2009
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      DARWINISM AND EVOLUTION

      gluadys: "Insofar as you include any of these concepts in Darwinism, you are not speaking of the theory of evolution since it excludes all of these."



      As I have repeatedly said, none of those concepts are a part of Darwinism (or what you call the theory of evolution). But Darwinism does provide answers to those fundamental philosophical questions BY IMPLICATION. Any theory that purports to explain man's origin would have implications that bear on those questions. You would save the two of us a lot of useless typing if you could get over your obsessive, unproductive semantic nit-picking.


      gluadys: "No, descent is cause by reproductive processes."



      Oh, good grief. I wasn't talking about descent; I was talking about descent with modification. Reproduction is a given, but within Darwinian evolution, the modifications are caused (for the most part) by random genetic mutations and perpetuated (for the most part) by natural selection.

      gluadys: "Adaptive needs make the outcome of natural selection adaptive. So that is what drives evolution in a non-random way."



      Evolution does not even begin without variations. According to Darwinism, the variations arise randomly (primarily by way of random genetic mutations). Thus, Darwinian evolution is an essentially random process irrespective of the lawlike regularity with which natural selection culls, preserves, and perpetuates (or fixes) advantageous variations (or adaptations).

      gluadys: "That is why mutations are not evolution."



      No one here has ever said that mutations alone constitute evolution. But without the mutations, Darwinian evolution does not occur.



      Me: "Natural selection may preserve and perpetuate advantageous mutations, but it does not guide them in any meaningful sense."
      gluadys: "(Natural selection) drives a species toward fixation of that adaptation such that the species is changed from its ancestral norm."



      To say that natural selection preserves and perpetuates advantageous mutations is to say that natural selection fixes those adaptations within a population. Also, fixing an adaptation within a population does not amount to guiding the evolution of the population in any meaningful sense. Guidance implicates a goal, and within Darwinian evolution there are no goals. Survival of the fittest is a fortuitous outcome of random mutations and natural selection; it is not something that Darwinian mechanisms intend. Without intention, there is no real guidance. If natural selection were providing any meaningful guidance to evolution, it would control the course of evolution. But it can't control the course of evolution because the course is determined by advantageous variations that randomly arise (or so the story goes). If Darwinian mechanisms caused men to evolve from fish, the course followed by that evolution was a matter of happenstance, not guidance. That's why Gould aptly observed that if life's history could be restarted, it is quite unlikely that Darwinian evolution would once again produce mankind.

      Jim in Vermont


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    • gluadys
      ... Yet you attributed all of them to Darwinism without qualification. And I think you are right. These statements are what constitutes Darwinism. I am
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 3, 2009
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        --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Goff <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > DARWINISM AND EVOLUTION
        >
        > gluadys: "Insofar as you include any of these concepts in Darwinism, you are not speaking of the theory of evolution since it excludes all of these."
        >
        >
        >
        > As I have repeatedly said, none of those concepts are a part of Darwinism (or what you call the theory of evolution).
        >


        Yet you attributed all of them to "Darwinism" without qualification. And I think you are right. These statements are what constitutes Darwinism.

        I am glad you agree that they do not constitute the theory of evolution.


        >
        > But Darwinism does provide answers to those fundamental philosophical questions BY IMPLICATION.
        >


        Darwinism may provide those answers; the theory of evolution does not. Not one of them is an implication of the theory of evolution.

        Let's look at them again:

        >
        >1) Where did we come from?
        >
        >Darwinism: We evolved from some primordial "soup" of organic >molecules.
        >


        The "primordial soup" is not and never was any part of the theory of evolution. Darwin only referred to it once in a speculative way in a private letter. The theory of evolution does not imply anything about the origin of life. The theory of evolution would not change one iota if it was proved that life was seeded on the planet by extraterrestrials, arose from the magical touch of the tendrils of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or suddenly sprang up when God spoke it into existence.

        Darwinism may be committed to the theory of a primordial soup, but this is neither a part of nor an implication of the theory of evolution.


        >
        >2) Who are we?
        >
        >Darwinism: We are unintended bundles of molecules in motion.
        >

        The theory of evolution does not say or imply that we are unintended.

        One can, of course, specify that we are not intended by our DNA. Molecular changes in DNA sequences do not have intentions. One can also specify that no predecessor organism or species intended to become human. One can specify that no scientifically describable mechanism comes with inherent intentions.

        But one cannot specify scientifically that no deity intended us, and the theory of evolution makes no such claim. Nor does it imply that such intention was lacking. For all we can tell, God did indeed intend that humanity be an outcome of the process of evolution.

        That we are "unintended" may be essential to Darwinism. It is not part of the theory of evolution, nor is it an implication of the theory of evolution.


        >
        >3) Why are we here?
        >
        >Darwinism: For no reason whatsoever.
        >

        Much the same reasoning applies here. It is true that a scientific study of the process of evolution does not reveal a reason for our existence. But why should it?

        This is a theological question for which we have adequate theological answers,none of which is denied by the theory of evolution.

        Darwinism may imply or assume that human existence is without purpose or meaning. The theory of evolution does not. The theory of evolution is open-ended on this point, freeing each person to come to the conclusion they find personally appropriate.


        >
        >4) How should we live?
        >
        >Darwinism: It doesn't matter; our existence is unintended, >meaningless, and
        >without purpose.
        >

        I feel like saying "Ditto".
        The theory of evolution tells us nothing at all about how we should live. Indeed to derive a policy on human behaviour from the theory of evolution is to commit the naturalistic fallacy. It assumes, incorrectly, that we are nothing more than our genes, dominated by genetic impulses which we cannot resist, and that what is genetically common is ipso facto morally appropriate.

        This may be Darwinism. It is not the theory of evolution, not in any way implied by the theory of evolution.

        But don't just take my word for it. Let the dean of "Darwinism" reply:

        "We should not derive our values from Darwinism, unless it is with a negative sign. Our brains have evolved to the point where we are capable of rebelling against our selfish genes. The fact that we can do so is made obvious by our use of contraceptives. The same principle can and should work on a wider scale." Richard Dawkins, Introduction to the 30th anniversary edition of The Selfish Gene.

        So even without a reference to deity, we are not bound by the theory of evolution to consider that it does not matter how we live. There are many considerations that determine how we should live. Our genes and how we got them are not one of them.




        >
        >5) Where are we going?
        >
        >Darwinism: Into the bellies of worms.
        >


        Yes, of course, as all flesh does sooner or later. But the theory of evolution does not imply that there will be no resurrection.


        >
        >
        > gluadys: "No, descent is cause by reproductive processes."
        >
        >
        >
        > Oh, good grief. I wasn't talking about descent; I was talking about descent with modification.
        >

        Well, it would help if you would say what you mean. I sometimes get the impression that anti-evolutionists prefer to avoid speaking of evolution whenever they can do so, especially in a positive context.


        >
        >Reproduction is a given, but within Darwinian evolution, the modifications are caused (for the most part) by random genetic mutations and perpetuated (for the most part) by natural selection.
        >


        No, modifications in a particular genome are caused by mutations, but modifications to species are caused by natural selection. Evolution is a species-level phenomenon and that should never be forgotten.


        > gluadys: "Adaptive needs make the outcome of natural selection adaptive. So that is what drives evolution in a non-random way."
        >
        >
        >
        > Evolution does not even begin without variations. According to Darwinism, the variations arise randomly (primarily by way of random genetic mutations). Thus, Darwinian evolution is an essentially random process irrespective of the lawlike regularity with which natural selection culls, preserves, and perpetuates (or fixes) advantageous variations (or adaptations).
        >


        You have it backwards about. When you impose law on a random process what you get is law, not randomness. Consider the simple device of a lightning rod. Without lightning rods, lightning will strike a building at random, dissipating its energy in unpredictable pathways. With them, the energy is safely channeled to the ground. We now have a predictable outcome.

        Similarly with mutation and natural selection. Mutation and its effects are unpredictable. But natural selection gives us a predictable outcome: adaptation.



        > gluadys: "That is why mutations are not evolution."
        >
        >
        >
        > No one here has ever said that mutations alone constitute evolution. But without the mutations, Darwinian evolution does not occur.
        >
        >

        And with mutations alone evolution does not occur either. One needs both variation and selection. If we both know that, is it really necessary to assume every time one is mentioned that the writer is forgetting the other?

        It is sometimes necessary to focus on mutations to the exclusion of selection and sometimes necessary to focus on selection to the exclusion of mutations. But it is still and always the case that both are part of the evolutionary process. And that even both together do not constitute the whole panoply of evolutionary mechanisms.

        One needs to consider whether it is appropriate to respond to a discussion of selection with a point about mutations (or vice versa) or whether this is merely a diversionary tactic to avoid the original point.




        >
        >
        > To say that natural selection preserves and perpetuates advantageous mutations is to say that natural selection fixes those adaptations within a population.
        >
        >

        No it is not the same thing. Natural selection may maintain a balance of varying forms without fixing any of them. This is especially the case when a heterozygous form is favored. Also, for many traits, there is no selective advantage and they are not affected by selection. Yet they are still preserved and perpetuated.

        Perhaps the word you were really looking for is "propagates" which not only speaks of preserving & perpetuating, but of spreading a trait through the gene pool.



        >
        >Also, fixing an adaptation within a population does not amount to guiding the evolution of the population in any meaningful sense.
        >

        I suppose that depends on what you call "meaningful". Is survival not meaningful?

        >
        >Guidance implicates a goal, and within Darwinian evolution there are no goals. Survival of the fittest is a fortuitous outcome of random mutations and natural selection; it is not something that Darwinian mechanisms intend.
        >


        We have been over this ground before. Why should there be conscious intentions in mechanisms? Survival through adaptation is not a fortuitous outcome. It is a predictable outcome of natural selection. Do genes "intend" this outcome? How could they? Do organisms "intend" this outcome? Maybe, if they have sufficient brainpower, but organisms do not consciously control the appearance of mutations. Do other organisms "intend" the outcome? e.g. do flowers "intend" to attract bees? No, but they act as if they do.

        The important question is not whether mechanisms intend anything, but whether the outcome is intended. And by whom would the outcome be intended? The flower's incapacity to intentionally attract bees has no bearing on whether God intended the flower to attract bees and devised the process of evolution to generate the necesary adaptations.

        Does this divine intention exist "within Darwinian evolution"? Of course not. It doesn't exist anywhere in science. Science has nothing to say about divine intentions. It can only record the mechanisms that lead to the outcomes. It cannot record the intentions behind those outcomes.


        >
        >Without intention, there is no real guidance.
        >

        And since science does not exclude divine intention, it cannot exclude divine guidance operating through evolution.


        >
        > If natural selection were providing any meaningful guidance to evolution, it would control the course of evolution.
        >

        As it does, to some extent. But we should also remember that there are other factors as well as natural selection that influence evolution. Historical constraint is one. Endosymbiosis is another. Reproductive isolation is another. There is also genetic drift, sexual selection, gene flow and so on.

        No one factor in nature fully accounts for all evolution. If there is one factor that guides all evolution, it is not a natural factor, but one that transcends nature.


        >
        >
        >But it can't control the course of evolution because the course is determined by advantageous variations that randomly arise (or so the story goes).
        >

        You are making the error that mutations are inherently advantageous, neutral or deleterious. They are not. It is natural selection which bestows the appellation "advantageous" on a mutation. Natural selection determines which mutations are advantageous. The term "advantageous" applied to mutations has no meaning apart from natural selection. An advantageous mutation is one that is selected, not one that is inherently better than others. The fact of selection is what identifies it as advantageous.


        >
        > If Darwinian mechanisms caused men to evolve from fish, the course followed by that evolution was a matter of happenstance, not guidance.
        >
        >

        Darwinian mechanisms certainly played their role, but we needn't conclude that they were the sole factor. Just that they are the only factors which science can describe. Natural selection guides toward adaptation, not to specific forms. One could not predict, on a scientific basis, that the descendants of Devonian fish would include humans. Nor that they would include crocodiles, elephants, cobras or sparrows either.

        However, one can affirm that evolution certainly has the capacity to produce all these forms, and many others, from Devonian fish. And so one can affirm that whatever forms of life God intended were provided by evolution.
      • Clare Wilson Parr
        ... How odd. You utterly ignore if not flatly deny that what _Darwin_ explicitly referred to _is_ part of the theory of evolution IF those references
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 7, 2009
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          On 6/3/2009, gluadys wrote:

          > >1) Where did we come from?
          > >
          > >Darwinism: We evolved from some primordial "soup" of organic molecules.
          > >
          >
          >The "primordial soup" is not and never was any part of the theory of evolution.
          >Darwin only referred to it once in a speculative way in a private letter.

          How odd. You utterly ignore if not flatly deny that what _Darwin_
          explicitly "referred to" _is_ "part of the theory of evolution IF
          those references contradict your [idiosyncratic] rendering of the
          meaning and implications of Darwin's theory of evolution, then
          invoke "what Darwin referred to" when it suits your situational
          rhetorical purpose.

          >The theory of evolution does not imply anything about the origin of life.

          True. "The theory of evolution" [the euphemistic phrase meaning
          Darwinism] reduces "life" to a mere illusion; per Darwinism, or
          "the theory of evolution," "life" is a quantitative, not
          qualitative, material state. "Life," like teleology, soul,
          essence, nature, mind, etc., is but a meme ....

          > >2) Who are we?
          > >
          > >Darwinism: We are unintended bundles of molecules in motion.
          > >
          >
          >The theory of evolution does not say or imply that we are unintended.

          Another you has often claimed that "the theory of evolution" _does_
          "say / imply that man is unintended," that "randomness and
          necessity" are God's autonomous creative "tools," and that other
          you has also echoed, e.g., Miller's claim that "intelligence
          [which is by your and Miller's reckoning _the_ sum total of the
          likeness and image of God,] would "eventually have _evolved_
          somewhere, even if primates [or even vertebrates] did not" /
          "_some_ big-brained species was inevitable and God could have used,
          say, big-brained dinosaurs instead of 'hairless, bipedal
          primates'." Another of the "theistic evolutionists" / "evolutionary
          creationists" the "unintended" you has cited to underpin your
          claims, _former_ Vatican astronomer Fr. George Coyne, also flatly
          contradicts the "intended" you [the you who asserts that "The
          theory of evolution does not say or imply that we are unintended].

          Miller and Coyne are just two of the "theistic evolutionists /
          "evolutionary creationists" who give the lie to the "intended"
          you's claim that "The theory of evolution does not say or
          imply that we are unintended."

          > >3) Why are we here?
          > >
          > >Darwinism: For no reason whatsoever.
          > >
          >
          >Much the same reasoning applies here. It is true that a scientific
          >study of the process of evolution does not reveal a reason for our
          >existence. But why should it?

          What reasoning? Appeals to false authority aren't reasons.
          Furthermore, since you're the only person who's so much
          as hinted that "a scientific study of the process of
          evolution" _should_ "reveal a reason for our existence,"
          you'll have to answer your own pseudo-question.

          >Darwinism may imply or assume that human existence is without purpose or
          >meaning. The theory of evolution does not. The theory of evolution is
          >open-ended on this point, freeing each person to come to the conclusion
          >they find personally appropriate.

          Which is a claim that succinctly summarizes the crux of your
          OriginsTalk asseverations. According to you, there is only
          one universal, objective truth: Darwinian evolution - and
          then you insist ad nauseam that it is only _your_
          solipsistic "definition" of that one, universal, objective
          truth that's universally, objectively true.

          > >4) How should we live?
          > >
          > >Darwinism: It doesn't matter; our existence is unintended, meaningless, and
          > >without purpose.
          > >
          >
          >I feel like saying "Ditto".
          >The theory of evolution tells us nothing at all about how we should live.

          Trivially true, but unresponsive. Per "the theory of evolution,"
          life is reduced to a struggle to survive, but "the theory of
          evolution" "tells us nothing at all" about _how_ we _should_
          struggle. Darwin's theory of evolution does entail that "our
          existence is unintended, meaningless, and without purpose" -
          unless struggling to survive long enough to reproduce is your
          idea of "purpose."

          >But don't just take my word for it. Let the dean of "Darwinism" reply:
          >
          >"We should not derive our values from Darwinism, unless it is with a negative
          >sign. Our brains have evolved to the point where we are capable of rebelling
          >against our selfish genes. The fact that we can do so is made obvious by our
          >use of contraceptives. The same principle can and should work on a wider
          >scale." Richard Dawkins, Introduction to the 30th anniversary edition of The
          >Selfish Gene.
          >
          >So even without a reference to deity, we are not bound by the theory of evolution
          >to consider that it does not matter how we live. There are many considerations
          >that determine how we should live. Our genes and how we got them are not one of
          >them.

          Like "your word," "the dean of 'Darwinism's' reply" is a _glaring_
          violation of the law of non-contradiction, a fact that's been made
          manifest by legions of Darwinians, scientists and philosophers....

          > >Oh, good grief. I wasn't talking about descent; I was talking about
          > >descent with modification.
          > >
          >
          >Well, it would help if you would say what you mean. I sometimes get the
          >impression that anti-evolutionists prefer to avoid speaking of evolution
          >whenever they can do so, especially in a positive context.

          Jim _does_ say, quite unambiguously, what _he_ means. Your
          "impression" of what Jim means is prejudiced by prior
          false assumptions about "anti-evolutionists," which is
          hardly Jim's fault.

          >We have been over this ground before. Why should there be conscious intentions
          >in mechanisms? Survival through adaptation is not a fortuitous outcome. It is
          >a predictable outcome of natural selection.

          Since, according to Darwin's a priori prescription, adaptation is
          dependent upon a prior adaptive genetic mutation or mutations,
          and genetic mutations are _random_, adaptation is necessarily
          utterly fortuitous, so UNpredictable.

          >Do genes "intend" this outcome? How could they? Do organisms "intend" this
          >outcome? Maybe, if they have sufficient brainpower, but organisms do not
          >consciously control the appearance of mutations. Do other organisms "intend"
          >the outcome? e.g. do flowers "intend" to attract bees?

          A scarecrow that only betrays no understanding, or willful
          MISunderstanding, of the meaning of teleology [a
          Darwinian tradition].

          >Natural selection guides toward adaptation, not to specific forms.

          >It is natural selection which bestows the appellation "advantageous" on a
          >mutation.
          >Natural selection determines which mutations are advantageous. The term
          >"advantageous" applied to mutations has no meaning apart from natural selection.
          >An advantageous mutation is one that is selected, not one that is inherently
          >better
          >than others. The fact of selection is what identifies it as advantageous.

          Natural selection does NOT "guide toward" adaptation OR "specific
          forms." Natural selection does NOT "bestow," "determine," or
          "select." The mindless don't anticipate or intend, the blind
          don't see, and there are no squared circles or married bachelors.

          Natural selection is an EFFECT, not a cause.

          >One could not predict, on a scientific basis, that the descendants of Devonian
          >fish would include humans. Nor that they would include crocodiles, elephants,
          >cobras or sparrows either.

          There are NO "_predictable_ outcome[s] of natural selection."

          >However, one can affirm that evolution certainly has the capacity to produce
          >all these forms, and many others, from Devonian fish. And so one can affirm
          >that whatever forms of life God intended were provided by evolution.

          Oh, spare us the serpentine quantum leaps of faith!

          > >But it can't control the course of evolution because the course is
          >determined by advantageous variations that randomly arise (or so
          >the story goes).
          > >
          >
          >You are making the error that mutations are inherently advantageous, neutral or
          >deleterious. They are not.

          Which is a logical error called the straw man fallacy.
        • gluadys
          ... This may come as news to you, Clare, but not every utterance a scientist makes is a scientific statement . Still less is it an accepted part of a
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 10, 2009
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            --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Clare Wilson Parr <turandot1125@...> wrote:
            >
            > On 6/3/2009, gluadys wrote:
            >
            > > >1) Where did we come from?
            > > >
            > > >Darwinism: We evolved from some primordial "soup" of organic molecules.
            > > >
            > >
            > >The "primordial soup" is not and never was any part of the theory of evolution.
            > >Darwin only referred to it once in a speculative way in a private letter.
            >
            > How odd. You utterly ignore if not flatly deny that what _Darwin_
            > explicitly "referred to" _is_ "part of the theory of evolution IF
            > those references contradict your [idiosyncratic] rendering of the
            > meaning and implications of Darwin's theory of evolution, then
            > invoke "what Darwin referred to" when it suits your situational
            > rhetorical purpose.
            >


            This may come as news to you, Clare, but not every utterance a scientist makes is a scientific statement . Still less is it an accepted part of a scientific theory. Darwin did not publish any thesis on the origin of life. What he speculated in private is not science and not part of his theory. Furthermore, even some of what he did propose as science (his faulty theory of inheritance, for example) is not science today and not part of the theory of evolution.

            IOW, just because Darwin "refers" to something does not mean it has anything to do with the theory of evolution.


            > >The theory of evolution does not imply anything about the origin of life.
            >
            > True. "The theory of evolution" [the euphemistic phrase meaning
            > Darwinism] reduces "life" to a mere illusion; per Darwinism, or
            > "the theory of evolution," "life" is a quantitative, not
            > qualitative, material state. "Life," like teleology, soul,
            > essence, nature, mind, etc., is but a meme ....
            >


            We don't know through science of any "essence" of life. Life appears to be chemistry. And that is one of the reasons it is difficult to define life scientifically. I don't think this is a consequence of the theory of evolution in particular. Any thoroughly scientific study into the physico-chemical properties of life would come to the same findings, with or without evolution.

            Philosophically, the question remains in any non-dualistic consideration of material/spiritual relationships whether the spiritual is an epiphenomenon of material processes or vice versa.



            > > >2) Who are we?
            > > >
            > > >Darwinism: We are unintended bundles of molecules in motion.
            > > >
            > >
            > >The theory of evolution does not say or imply that we are unintended.
            >
            > Another you has often claimed that "the theory of evolution" _does_
            > "say / imply that man is unintended,"

            No, not another me.

            I have said that the material mechanisms of the evolutionary process are not the bearers of any intention toward the outcome of evolution. Perhaps you have confused that with a rejection of divine intention. But I have consistently affirmed the latter and affirmed that there is scope in the evolutionary process to permit such a divine intention to be expressed.

            There is no way one can logically conclude that the theory of evolution says or implies that we are unintended. One can only say that the natural mechanisms of evolution do not intend us. And that is generally the meaning of such statements in scientific literature.

            One can only exclude divine intention of evolutionary outcomes if one first commits to a philosophy of materialism. And that philosophy is not a scientific conclusion (or implication) of any part of science, including evolution.



            >that "randomness and
            > necessity" are God's autonomous creative "tools," and that other
            > you has also echoed, e.g., Miller's claim that "intelligence
            > [which is by your and Miller's reckoning _the_ sum total of the
            > likeness and image of God,]


            I don't know where you get this from. Actually I have argued against a facile equation of intelligence with the image of God. After all, a person who is mentally retarded is still made in the image of God.


            >
            >would "eventually have _evolved_
            > somewhere, even if primates [or even vertebrates] did not" /
            > "_some_ big-brained species was inevitable and God could have used,
            > say, big-brained dinosaurs instead of 'hairless, bipedal
            > primates'." Another of the "theistic evolutionists" / "evolutionary
            > creationists" the "unintended" you has cited to underpin your
            > claims, _former_ Vatican astronomer Fr. George Coyne, also flatly
            > contradicts the "intended" you [the you who asserts that "The
            > theory of evolution does not say or imply that we are unintended].
            >
            > Miller and Coyne are just two of the "theistic evolutionists /
            > "evolutionary creationists" who give the lie to the "intended"
            > you's claim that "The theory of evolution does not say or
            > imply that we are unintended."
            >


            You have scrambled up the citations so much that I can't tell who is supposed to have said what. But I think you are confusing two separate propositions.

            A. The process of evolution does not intend H. sapiens (or any big-brained creature) as an outcome.
            B. God intended a species made in his image (which is H. sapiens, but need not have been) to be an outcome of the evolutionary process.

            I think you are further assuming that if A is true (which it is) then B cannot be true. But that is not a valid conclusion.

            I am quite sure Miller understands the compatibility of both statements as I recall him arguing for it. I cannot comment on Coyne as I have not read him.

            > > >3) Why are we here?
            > > >
            > > >Darwinism: For no reason whatsoever.
            > > >
            > >
            > … since you're the only person who's so much
            > as hinted that "a scientific study of the process of
            > evolution" _should_ "reveal a reason for our existence,"
            > you'll have to answer your own pseudo-question.
            >


            This list of questions was preceded by the assertion that Darwinism (presumably meaning the science of evolution) had answers to them. Jim, in fact, agreed and said that Darwinism (which he claims is the theory of evolution) does indeed have answers and suggested what they were. So both the person who originally set out the questions and your colleague, Jim, have implied that a scientific theory (evolution) should reveal a reason for our existence. Else why pose the question or supply an answer to it?


            > >Darwinism may imply or assume that human existence is without purpose or
            > >meaning. The theory of evolution does not. The theory of evolution is
            > >open-ended on this point, freeing each person to come to the conclusion
            > >they find personally appropriate.
            >
            > Which is a claim that succinctly summarizes the crux of your
            > OriginsTalk asseverations. According to you, there is only
            > one universal, objective truth:


            Boy, you really don't know me at all, and you seem constantly to misread me. I don't know if there is one universal, objective truth, but if there is, we humans certainly don't know what it is. And it is certainly not any scientific theory whatsoever, because all of science put together does not constitute universal truth.

            >
            > > >4) How should we live?
            > > >
            > > >Darwinism: It doesn't matter; our existence is unintended, meaningless, and
            > > >without purpose.
            > > >
            > >
            > >I feel like saying "Ditto".
            > >The theory of evolution tells us nothing at all about how we should live.
            >
            > Trivially true, but unresponsive. Per "the theory of evolution,"
            > life is reduced to a struggle to survive, but "the theory of
            > evolution" "tells us nothing at all" about _how_ we _should_
            > struggle.


            Well, you are getting it partially right at least. That is a better perspective than that of idiots who think evolution requires constant aggression.

            The theory of evolution does not reduce life. Like any scientific theory it looks at a part of nature and gives us an understanding of how that part of nature works. The nature of scientific work requires that one must define a specific field of investigation and exclude others. So no theory of science can give us a complete picture of the whole. But one must remember that the sum of nature is more than the parts studied by science and any assumption that the part is the whole is erroneous.

            >
            Darwin's theory of evolution does entail that "our
            > existence is unintended, meaningless, and without purpose" -
            > unless struggling to survive long enough to reproduce is your
            > idea of "purpose."
            >


            Is "struggling to survive long enough to reproduce" a worthwhile purpose—I expect most creatures would (if they could) say that it is. Life has intrinsic value does it not? It is better to be than not to be. And most parents find reproduction a worthwhile endeavour.

            Is it enough of a purpose for humans? I daresay it is not. But the theory of evolution does not confine us to only that purpose either. The theory of evolution is solely about biological realities. But it does not say (or imply) that humans must consider only biological realities.


            >
            > Like "your word," "the dean of 'Darwinism's' reply" is a _glaring_
            > violation of the law of non-contradiction, a fact that's been made
            > manifest by legions of Darwinians, scientists and philosophers....
            >


            Basically, Dawkins is saying we are not fully determined by our genes—particularly in our decision-making. What in that statement violates the law of non-contradiction? (Which I understand to be "A and not-A cannot be simultaneously true.")

            >
            > >We have been over this ground before. Why should there be conscious intentions
            > >in mechanisms? Survival through adaptation is not a fortuitous outcome. It is
            > >a predictable outcome of natural selection.
            >
            > Since, according to Darwin's a priori prescription, adaptation is
            > dependent upon a prior adaptive genetic mutation or mutations,
            > and genetic mutations are _random_, adaptation is necessarily
            > utterly fortuitous, so UNpredictable.
            >


            There is no such thing as a "prior adaptive genetic mutation". There is a prior mutation. Environmental conditions determine whether any particular mutation is adaptive. At any particular time in the history of a species, an allele may be neutral, harmful or adaptive depending on the current environmental conditions The term "adaptive" has no meaning apart from current environmental conditions. IOW "adaptive" is a qualifier that expresses a relationship between the impact of a mutation on the phylogeny of an organism and the environmentally determined survival/reproductive prospects of the organism. It is not a quality the mutation itself possesses. Darwin coined the term "natural selection" to refer to this relationship. Arguably it is not the best way to describe the relationship, but it is a handy analogy and saves a lot of ink.

            Since natural selection is by definition the NON-random reproduction of adaptive qualities (and the underlying genotype) adaptation is by definition not at all fortuitous and entirely predictable. Mutations are fortuitous, but as soon as selection is in play—and that includes determining which mutations are adaptive—we are out of the realm of chance and into the realm of evolution.



            > >Do genes "intend" this outcome? How could they? Do organisms "intend" this
            > >outcome? Maybe, if they have sufficient brainpower, but organisms do not
            > >consciously control the appearance of mutations. Do other organisms "intend"
            > >the outcome? e.g. do flowers "intend" to attract bees?
            >
            > A scarecrow that only betrays no understanding, or willful
            > MISunderstanding, of the meaning of teleology [a
            > Darwinian tradition].
            >

            I think it was clear that these were rhetorical questions soliciting the answer "no". I would be more interested in your answer to the follow-up question. "Did the Creator intend that flowers attract bees?"


            >
            > Natural selection does NOT "guide toward" adaptation OR "specific
            > forms." Natural selection does NOT "bestow," "determine," or
            > "select." The mindless don't anticipate or intend, the blind
            > don't see, and there are no squared circles or married bachelors.
            >

            That is what I've been saying. Any intention that attaches to evolution has to be in the mind of the Creator, not in the mechanisms.

            Darwin once noted that "natural selection" was perhaps not the best term to use because it lends itself so easily to anthropomorphism---the idea that the "choices" are consciously made rather than being the automatic outcome of a process. I plead guilty to going overboard with the verbs "bestow" "determine", "select" if you understood them as implying a conscious mind. They were intended as metaphors only. When you learn not to take metaphors literally (or not to assume that they are meant literally), perhaps you can offer some substantive criticism.

            >
            > Natural selection is an EFFECT, not a cause.
            >

            Like many things it is both. It is an effect of selective pressures in that these non-randomly determine which variations/genotypes/mutations will increase or decrease their presence in the gene pool. It is a cause of the suite of changes in the morphological/physiological/ behavioral etc. traits that constitute the normative characteristics of the population over succeeding generations.


            > >One could not predict, on a scientific basis, that the descendants of Devonian
            > >fish would include humans. Nor that they would include crocodiles, elephants,
            > >cobras or sparrows either.
            >
            > There are NO "_predictable_ outcome[s] of natural selection."
            >

            The predictable outcomes of natural selection are evolutionary change, adaptation, speciation, bio-diversity and so forth. Anti-evolutionists seem to think the only thing worth predicting is form.


            > >However, one can affirm that evolution certainly has the capacity to produce
            > >all these forms, and many others, from Devonian fish. And so one can affirm
            > >that whatever forms of life God intended were provided by evolution.
            >
            > Oh, spare us the serpentine quantum leaps of faith!
            >

            Why? Faith is a perfectly legitimate mode of theological discourse. Are you opposed to believers speaking in terms of faith? Is belief not a positive term in your vocabulary? I thought you described yourself as an orthodox Christian. Do you not proclaim your faith every time you attend mass?


            > >
            > >You are making the error that mutations are inherently advantageous, neutral or
            > >deleterious. They are not.
            >
            > Which is a logical error called the straw man fallacy.
            >


            Nothing strawman about it. If survival depends on protective coloring, that coloring needs to be black on soot-blackened trees, but it better not be black on normal lichen-encrusted trees. The same melanic mutation is favorable in one set of conditions and harmful in the other. It follows that it is not inherently either beneficial or harmful.
          • Clare Wilson Parr
            ... Which is a straw man. I ve never so much as intimated that just because Darwin refers to something means that Darwin s reference has necessarily to do
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 12, 2009
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              On 6/10/2009, gluadys wrote:

              > >>The "primordial soup" is not and never was any part of the theory of evolution.
              > >>Darwin only referred to it once in a speculative way in a private letter.
              > >
              > >How odd. You utterly ignore if not flatly deny that what _Darwin_
              > >explicitly "referred to" _is_ "part of the theory of evolution IF
              > >those references contradict your [idiosyncratic] rendering of the
              > >meaning and implications of Darwin's theory of evolution, then
              > >invoke "what Darwin referred to" when it suits your situational
              > >rhetorical purpose.
              >
              >IOW, just because Darwin "refers" to something does not mean it has anything
              >to do
              >with the theory of evolution.

              Which is a straw man. I've never so much as intimated that "just
              because Darwin 'refers' to something" means that Darwin's
              reference has necessarily "to do with the theory of evolution."
              I _have_ plainly written that, according to _you_, there is one
              _true_ Darwinian theory of evolution and that is the
              idiosyncratic Darwinian theory of evolution _you_ mandate; _any_
              "reference" that contradicts _your_ idiosyncratic rendering of
              the meaning and implications of Darwin's theory of evolution,
              no matter how "authoritative," is dismissed out of hand as
              "having nothing to do with the Darwinian theory of evolution,"
              so begs the question. The meaning and implications of Darwin's
              theory of evolution are as, if not more, heatedly contested
              today as / than the meaning and implications of Darwin's theory
              of evolution were 150 years ago - among evolutionary biologists,
              philosophers, theologians, and the public - so those who depend
              on false appeals to authority to deflect legitimate criticism
              are only talking to themselves.

              > >>The theory of evolution does not say or imply that we are unintended.
              > >
              > >Another you has often claimed that "the theory of evolution" _does_
              > >"say / imply that man is unintended,"
              >
              >No, not another me.
              >
              >I have said that the material mechanisms of the evolutionary process are
              >not the bearers of any intention toward the outcome of evolution.
              >Perhaps you have confused that with a rejection of divine intention. But
              >I have consistently affirmed the latter and affirmed that there is scope
              >in the evolutionary process to permit such a divine intention to be
              >expressed.

              Perhaps your affirmations are contradictory or incoherent, so
              confusing.

              >There is no way one can logically conclude that the theory of evolution says
              >or implies that we are unintended. One can only say that the natural
              >mechanisms of evolution do not intend us. And that is generally the meaning
              >of such statements in scientific literature.

              Which is to agree that _Darwin's_ theory of evolution says or
              implies that man is unintended.

              >One can only exclude divine intention of evolutionary outcomes if one first
              >commits to a philosophy of materialism.

              So, you're a philosophical materialist then?

              > >that "randomness and necessity" are God's autonomous creative
              > >tools," and that other you has also echoed, e.g., Miller's
              > >claim that "intelligence [which is by your and Miller's
              >reckoning _the_ sum total of the likeness and image of God,]
              >
              >I don't know where you get this from.

              Um, your OriginsTalk messages.

              >Actually I have argued against a facile equation of intelligence with the
              >image of God.

              Well, no, you haven't "argued against" a "facile equation" of
              intelligence with the image of God, you've denied that man's
              intelligence _is_ a reflection of God's likeness and image.
              IOW, it seems to me that, according to you, man's
              intelligence, mind, etc., are Darwinian evolutionary
              epiphenomena. You've not made _any_ positive, enlightening
              observations about the human manifestations of God's likeness
              and image, you've only denied any positive observations about
              the human manifestations of God's likeness and image that I've
              made. No reasons, just denials.

              >After all, a person who is mentally retarded is still made
              >in the image of God.

              Which is another "little error" symptomatic of radically dualist
              mind-body metaphysics, it seems to me. A human being, whether
              he's mentally or physically disabled, is intrinsically valuable
              by virtue of the integrated being that he _is_. There is no test
              that a human being must pass in order to merit "personhood"
              because every human _being_ intrinsically bears the image and
              likeness of God, so possesses dignity / is a rights-bearer,
              from the moment he's conceived until the time of his natural
              death. That intrinsic value, dignity, etc., is God's gift to
              every _integrated_ being we call man, whether he's "perfect"
              or "imperfect." A human being is no less human and no less a
              "person" if he fails to meet _man's_ standard of "perfection."
              And, frankly, those who are labelled "mentally retarded" are
              often more intelligent than those who are labelled [or label
              themselves] the "enlightened," or the intellectual "elites,"
              or "brights."

              > > … since you're the only person who's so much
              > > as hinted that "a scientific study of the process of
              > > evolution" _should_ "reveal a reason for our existence,"
              > > you'll have to answer your own pseudo-question.
              > >
              >
              >This list of questions was preceded by the assertion that Darwinism (presumably
              >meaning the science of evolution) had answers to them. Jim, in fact, agreed
              >and said that Darwinism (which he claims is the theory of evolution) does
              >indeed have answers and suggested what they were. So both the person who
              >originally set out the questions and your colleague, Jim, have implied that a
              >scientific theory (evolution) should reveal a reason for our existence. Else
              >why pose the question or supply an answer to it?

              Actually Jim explained the ineluctable conclusions that follow
              _Darwinian_ premises. Because a person proposes that
              _Darwin's_ theory of evolution presumes to "reveal" NO "reason
              for our existence" doesn't mean that that person thinks _or_
              implies that a "scientific theory _should_ reveal a [or _no_]
              reason for our existence."

              > >Darwin's theory of evolution does entail that "our existence
              > >is unintended, meaningless, and without purpose" - unless
              > >struggling to survive long enough to reproduce is your idea
              > >of "purpose."
              > >
              >
              >Is "struggling to survive long enough to reproduce" a worthwhile purpose—
              >I expect most creatures would (if they could) say that it is. Life has
              >intrinsic value does it not? It is better to be than not to be. And most
              >parents find reproduction a worthwhile endeavour.

              It just boggles my mind that a person would write, in this day
              and age, that "life has intrinsic value" as if it were a self-
              evident, axiomatic truth.... Further, that "most parents find
              reproduction a worthwhile endeavor" is certainly "quaint"
              phraseology.... I suppose the 50 million American women who've,
              in the space of a mere three decades, relegated the "products
              of conception" they were "punished" by to an abortionists'
              tender mercies, don't qualify as "parents"....

              >Is it enough of a purpose for humans? I daresay it is not. But the theory
              >of evolution does not confine us to only that purpose either. The theory
              >of evolution is solely about biological realities. But it does not say (or
              >imply) that humans must consider only biological realities.

              Do helpfully persist in begging the question.

              > >Like "your word," "the dean of 'Darwinism's' reply" is a _glaring_
              > >violation of the law of non-contradiction, a fact that's been made
              > >manifest by legions of Darwinians, scientists and philosophers....
              >
              >Basically, Dawkins is saying we are not fully determined by our genes—
              >particularly in our decision-making. What in that statement violates
              >the law of non-contradiction? (Which I understand to be "A and not-A
              >cannot be simultaneously true.")

              How could I idiotically imagine that Dawkins "violates the law of
              non-contradiction? (Which I understand to be "A and not-A
              cannot be simultaneously true.")?" Surely I just "don't
              understand Dawkins' "metaphors" - or "science," or "the theory of
              evolution." Well, thankfully I can console myself by remembering
              that I'm in eminent company....

              What _Dawkins_ has written is a matter of public record:

              We are survival machines ­- robot vehicles blindly programmed to
              preserve the selfish molecules known as genes: ". . . . They
              swarm in huge colonies, safe inside gigantic lumbering robots
              .. . . they are in you and me; they created us, body and mind;
              and their preservation is the ultimate rationale for our
              existence."

              but, never fear:

              "'We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish
              replicators.'"

              "Society is not the extended phenotype," Dawkins pontificates; "the
              survival machines," "the blindly programmed, gigantic lumbering
              robot vehicles" we call human beings, "constantly act against
              Darwinian imperatives, the most obvious example being the use of
              contraception. Human society is, therefore, an emergent property
              arising from the scale and complexity of the brain. The human mind,
              like the peacock's tail, is far more than is required by mere
              survival. As a result, it takes off in counter-Darwinian ways."

              "Ultimately human society comes from the brain, which is a product
              of natural selection."
              --- --- ---

              Darwinian logic 101:

              (1) If there's an implication, trait, behavior, or [eye-roll] "meme"
              that Darwinists "like," it's the handiwork of evolution and
              therefore good.

              (2) If there's an implication, trait, behavior, or [eye-roll] "meme"
              that Darwinists don't like, well, then it's just a vestage of blind,
              dumb evolution that we can overpower and master now that we're
              "enlightened."

              It's always entertaining to observe Darwinists imagine "oughts"
              and infer an "ought" from a Darwinian "is."

              > >>We have been over this ground before. Why should there be conscious intentions
              > >>in mechanisms? Survival through adaptation is not a fortuitous outcome. It is
              > >>a predictable outcome of natural selection.
              > >
              > >Since, according to Darwin's a priori prescription, adaptation is
              > >dependent upon a prior adaptive genetic mutation or mutations,
              > >and genetic mutations are _random_, adaptation is necessarily
              > >utterly fortuitous, so UNpredictable.
              > >
              >
              >There is no such thing as a "prior adaptive genetic mutation".

              What I meant, which may be apprehended by those not determined
              to MISunderstand every word I write, is that adaptation is
              dependent upon a prior genetic mutation that, by sheer dumb
              luck, happens to become adaptive.

              > >Natural selection does NOT "guide toward" adaptation OR "specific
              > >forms." Natural selection does NOT "bestow," "determine," or
              > >"select." The mindless don't anticipate or intend, the blind
              > >don't see, and there are no squared circles or married bachelors.
              > >
              >
              >That is what I've been saying. Any intention that attaches to
              >evolution has to be in the mind of the Creator, not in the
              >mechanisms.

              What you've been saying [e.g., 06-03-2009]:

              <<quote>>

              It is natural selection which bestows the appellation "advantageous" on a
              mutation. Natural selection determines which mutations are advantageous.
              The term "advantageous" applied to mutations has no meaning apart from
              natural selection. An advantageous mutation is one that is selected, not
              one that is inherently better than others. The fact of selection is what
              identifies it as advantageous.

              <<end quote>>

              >I plead guilty to going overboard with the verbs "bestow" "determine", "select"
              >if you understood them as implying a conscious mind.

              I understand them as misleading.

              >They were intended as metaphors only. When you learn not to take metaphors
              >literally (or not to assume that they are meant literally), perhaps you can
              >offer some substantive criticism.

              A substantive criticism: metaphors and oxymorons are not synonymous.
              The mindLESS CANNOT select, bestow, determine, "guide toward"
              adaptation OR "specific forms," and so on and so forth, so there's
              no metaphor to be made.

              >The predictable outcomes of natural selection are evolutionary change,
              >adaptation, speciation, bio-diversity and so forth.
              >Anti-evolutionists seem to think the only thing worth predicting is
              >form.

              Do keep begging the question....

              > >>However, one can affirm that evolution certainly has the capacity to produce
              > >>all these forms, and many others, from Devonian fish. And so one can affirm
              > >>that whatever forms of life God intended were provided by evolution.
              > >
              > >Oh, spare us the serpentine quantum leaps of faith!
              > >
              >
              >Why? Faith is a perfectly legitimate mode of theological discourse. Are you
              >opposed to believers speaking in terms of faith? Is belief not a positive
              >term in your vocabulary? I thought you described yourself as an orthodox
              >Christian. Do you not proclaim your faith every time you attend mass?

              Whether "one can affirm that evolution certainly has the capacity to
              produce all these forms, and many others, from Devonian fish" isn't
              a theological question. You _assume_ - it is an article of your
              Darwinian "faith" that "evolution certainly has the capacity to
              produce all these forms, and many others, from Devonian fish," which
              is a quantum leap of faith, and then you declare that "evolution"
              [meaning Darwinism, or Darwin's theory of evolution] is God's
              surrogate creator that unconsciously, unintentionally brings forth
              God's intentions....

              It's my conviction that faith and belief are quite positive. It is
              your conviction that faith and belief, being "non-empirical,"
              must be subordinated to "empirical" truths; people must "accept"
              Darwinism because Darwinism is, according to you, empirically
              true, while any Christian truth claims must be "believed." I'm
              opposed to "believers" who hide behind the "authority" of SCIENCE
              and call _their_ metaphysical beliefs "empirical."

              > >>You are making the error that mutations are inherently advantageous, neutral or
              > >>deleterious. They are not.
              > >
              > >Which is a logical error called the straw man fallacy.
              > >
              >
              >Nothing strawman about it. If survival depends on protective coloring
              <<snip>>

              The logical error called the straw man fallacy is the accusation that
              your opponent's makes a logical error. Because your answer refutes an
              argument that your opponent did not make, it's a straw man.
            • gluadys
              ... You did. You referred to the primordial soup as if it were part of the theory of evolution and as if Darwin contended it was. In fact, he made one
              Message 6 of 17 , Jun 22, 2009
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                --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Clare Wilson Parr <turandot1125@...> wrote:
                >
                > gluadys wrote:
                >
                > >IOW, just because Darwin "refers" to something does not mean it has anything
                > >to do
                > >with the theory of evolution.
                >
                > Which is a straw man. I've never so much as intimated that "just
                > because Darwin 'refers' to something" means that Darwin's
                > reference has necessarily "to do with the theory of evolution."


                You did. You referred to the "primordial soup" as if it were part of the theory of evolution and as if Darwin contended it was. In fact, he made one off-hand reference to "a warm little pond" in a private letter. Darwin never did any research into that idea, he never attempted to gather evidence for it, he never presented a paper on it or published it. Hence, it is not and never was part of his theory, since he never introduced it into scientific discourse.

                The "primordial soup" concept was later introduced into scientific discourse, but not by Darwin and not as part of the theory of evolution. It is a concept found in some theories of abiogenesis.



                > The meaning and implications of Darwin's
                > theory of evolution are as, if not more, heatedly contested
                > today as / than the meaning and implications of Darwin's theory
                > of evolution were 150 years ago - among evolutionary biologists,
                > philosophers, theologians, and the public -
                >


                One should not, however, confuse these with scientific controversies. Does the theory of evolution mean that Social Darwinism is good public policy? Herbert Spencer contended it did. Richard Dawkins disagrees. Is the theory of evolution a natural argument that supports capitalism? Or one that supports socialism? You will get arguments either way. Does the theory of evolution sanction immoral behavior or favour altruistic behavior? Again the arguments go either way. Does the theory of evolution mean we are determined by our genes, or that we transcend them?

                What is significant in all of these is that they are not controversies about the fact or theory of evolution. What is also significant is that none of them can be resolved by studying evolution.


                >
                > >There is no way one can logically conclude that the theory of evolution says
                > >or implies that we are unintended. One can only say that the natural
                > >mechanisms of evolution do not intend us. And that is generally the meaning
                > >of such statements in scientific literature.
                >
                > Which is to agree that _Darwin's_ theory of evolution says or
                > implies that man is unintended.
                >

                Unintended in what sense? Unintended by genes? Certainly. Unintended by environmental/ecological selective factors? Certainly. Unintended by the God who created both genes and the environment they respond to? On what basis can you draw that conclusion?

                Mechanisms that are incapable of intentions cannot intend anything. That would appear to be tautologously obvious. But to use that as a premise for atheism seems extraordinarily naïve and reductionist.

                So, no, there is no implication that humanity is not and was not intended to be by the Creator.



                > >One can only exclude divine intention of evolutionary outcomes if one first
                > >commits to a philosophy of materialism.
                >
                > So, you're a philosophical materialist then?
                >

                No, I am a Christian. And I do not exclude divine intention of evolutionary outcomes. A surprising proportion of ID/creationists, however, seem to think that is mandatory. Seems to me that they are the philosophical materialists. (Takes one to know one?)


                > > >that "randomness and necessity" are God's autonomous creative
                > > >tools," and that other you has also echoed, e.g., Miller's
                > > >claim that "intelligence [which is by your and Miller's
                > >reckoning _the_ sum total of the likeness and image of God,]
                > >
                > >I don't know where you get this from.
                >
                > Um, your OriginsTalk messages.
                >

                I think you would be hard put to show that. I certainly never said that intelligence is _the_sum total of the likeness and image of God—a position which I have never held. In fact just below you reverse yourself and bemoan that I deny that man's intelligence _is_ a reflection of God's likeness and image. And that is also a position I do not hold.



                >
                > Well, no, you haven't "argued against" a "facile equation" of
                > intelligence with the image of God, you've denied that man's
                > intelligence _is_ a reflection of God's likeness and image.


                > IOW, it seems to me that, according to you, man's
                > intelligence, mind, etc., are Darwinian evolutionary
                > epiphenomena.


                And you would be wrong again. Three strikes, you're out.


                >
                >
                > A human being, whether
                > he's mentally or physically disabled, is intrinsically valuable
                > by virtue of the integrated being that he _is_. There is no test
                > that a human being must pass in order to merit "personhood"
                > because every human _being_ intrinsically bears the image and
                > likeness of God, so possesses dignity / is a rights-bearer,
                > from the moment he's conceived until the time of his natural
                > death. That intrinsic value, dignity, etc., is God's gift to
                > every _integrated_ being we call man, whether he's "perfect"
                > or "imperfect." A human being is no less human and no less a
                > "person" if he fails to meet _man's_ standard of "perfection."
                >

                I agree wholeheartedly. That is good theology.
                And that bit about "no test that a human being must pass" that means, inter alia, no intellectual test, right?



                >
                >
                > Actually Jim explained the ineluctable conclusions that follow
                > _Darwinian_ premises. Because a person proposes that
                > _Darwin's_ theory of evolution presumes to "reveal" NO "reason
                > for our existence" doesn't mean that that person thinks _or_
                > implies that a "scientific theory _should_ reveal a [or _no_]
                > reason for our existence."
                >

                Not only is it true that a scientific theory should not reveal (or deny) a reason for our existence. It _cannot_ do so.
                That is as true of the theory of evolution as any other.

                Hence the expectation that one will find such a reason (or denial) in the theory of evolution is completely misguided. That is the case no matter what the alleged (non-)reasons for existence are or whether one agrees or disagrees with them.

                The conclusions Jim provided may or may not be ineluctable given Darwinian premises (depends on what you think they are), but they cannot be based on or ineluctably derived from the biological theory of evolution.

                > >
                > >Is "struggling to survive long enough to reproduce" a worthwhile purpose—
                > >I expect most creatures would (if they could) say that it is. Life has
                > >intrinsic value does it not? It is better to be than not to be. And most
                > >parents find reproduction a worthwhile endeavour.
                >
                > It just boggles my mind that a person would write, in this day
                > and age, that "life has intrinsic value" as if it were a self-
                > evident, axiomatic truth....


                Yet that is what you yourself just said: <quote>> A human being, whether
                he's mentally or physically disabled, is _intrinsically valuable_
                by virtue of the integrated being that he is. There is no test
                that a human being must pass in order to merit "personhood"
                because every human being_ intrinsically_ bears the image and
                likeness of God, so possesses dignity / is a rights-bearer,
                from the moment he's conceived until the time of his natural
                death. That _intrinsic value, dignity_, etc., is God's gift ….<end quote> emphases added.


                If this is what you believe, why does it boggle your mind if someone else says it?


                Further, that "most parents find
                > reproduction a worthwhile endeavor" is certainly "quaint"
                > phraseology.... I suppose the 50 million American women who've,
                > in the space of a mere three decades, relegated the "products
                > of conception" they were "punished" by to an abortionists'
                > tender mercies, don't qualify as "parents"....
                >


                Sure they do. Many were already parents when they opted to abort a fetus. In fact, the welfare of already born children is sometimes the motivation for abortion. And many become parents at a later stage of their life.


                >
                >
                > Darwinian logic 101:
                >
                > (1) If there's an implication, trait, behavior, or [eye-roll] "meme"
                > that Darwinists "like," it's the handiwork of evolution and
                > therefore good.
                >

                That is not evolutionary logic. Just because something evolved does not confer a value on it.

                >
                > It's always entertaining to observe Darwinists imagine "oughts"
                > and infer an "ought" from a Darwinian "is."
                >

                And that is not evolutionary (or even scientific or philosophical) logic. Science describes what is—including evolution, natural selection, speciation, common descent. There is nothing in that description which justifies deriving an "ought" from it.


                > >
                > >There is no such thing as a "prior adaptive genetic mutation".
                >
                > What I meant, which may be apprehended by those not determined
                > to MISunderstand every word I write, is that adaptation is
                > dependent upon a prior genetic mutation that, by sheer dumb
                > luck, happens to become adaptive.
                >

                That's better. But it is not dumb luck that makes it adaptive. It is natural selection.


                >
                > A substantive criticism: metaphors and oxymorons are not synonymous.
                > The mindLESS CANNOT select, bestow, determine, "guide toward"
                > adaptation OR "specific forms," and so on and so forth, so there's
                > no metaphor to be made.
                >

                The mindless cannot "[consciously] select, bestow, determine, guide". But they can certainly be described metaphorically as doing so, as long as both writer and reader understand that the speech is metaphorical. (In literature this is called `personification'. Or sometimes `anthropomorphizing'.)


                >
                > Whether "one can affirm that evolution certainly has the capacity to
                > produce all these forms, and many others, from Devonian fish" isn't
                > a theological question.

                Right, that is a scientific conclusion.

                But the following sentence ("And so one can affirm
                that whatever forms of life God intended were provided by evolution.") _is_ a theological conclusion. I assumed it was the one you were referring to when you asked to be spared "serpentine leaps of faith".



                >
                > It's my conviction that faith and belief are quite positive. It is
                > your conviction that faith and belief, being "non-empirical,"
                > must be subordinated to "empirical" truths; people must "accept"
                > Darwinism because Darwinism is, according to you, empirically
                > true, while any Christian truth claims must be "believed."


                You speak as though belief is an inferior or defective form of knowledge. This seems to me a very strange attitude from a professed Christian.

                Psychologically, I think you are indulging in the exercise of `projection' i.e. stating your own beliefs as if they are mine. I assure you, what you describe as "your [i.e.gluadys'] conviction" or what is true "according to you [gluadys]" is almost diametrically opposite to what I would say for myself.
              • Clare Wilson Parr
                ... No, I didn t. Furthermore, if I had referred to the primordial soup as if it were part of the theory of evolution and as if Darwin contended it was, the
                Message 7 of 17 , Jun 24, 2009
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                  On 6/22/2009, gluadys wrote:

                  > >Which is a straw man. I've never so much as intimated that "just
                  > >because Darwin 'refers' to something" means that Darwin's
                  > >reference has necessarily "to do with the theory of evolution."
                  >
                  >You did. You referred to the "primordial soup" as if it were part of
                  >the theory of evolution and as if Darwin contended it was.

                  No, I didn't. Furthermore, if I had referred to the "primordial
                  soup" as if it were part of the theory of evolution and as if
                  Darwin contended it was," the assertion that "just because
                  Darwin "refers" to something does not mean it has anything to
                  do with the theory of evolution" is still a straw man.

                  >On 6/3/2009, gluadys wrote
                  [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/17928%5d:
                  >
                  >>1) Where did we come from?
                  >>
                  >>Darwinism: We evolved from some primordial "soup" of organic molecules.
                  >>
                  >The "primordial soup" is not and never was any part of the theory of
                  >evolution.

                  _My_ answer to the question, "Where did we come from?", is

                  According to the Darwinian creation story, "we" are evolutionary accidents
                  that "come from" a [mysterious] "extinct ape or ape-like species" that
                  pre-existed man, "created" by random mutation and natural selection.
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/17637

                  Having said that, I do contend that whether the "primordial soup" origin
                  of life is _formally_, or explicitly, "any part of the theory of
                  evolution," IOW, whether Darwinists can plausibly deny that the
                  "primordial-soup-to-man" hypothesis is "any part of the theory of
                  evolution" or not, the plausible denial is utterly disingenuous.

                  Nick Matzke [now retired Public Information Project Director at the National
                  Center for Science Education]:

                  <<quote>>

                  [S]plitting the OOL from evolutionary theory, is only technically correct
                  in a sort of legalistic, hairsplitting way. Sure, it's true that technically,
                  "evolution" only happens once you have life, or at least replicators, but getting
                  from replicators to the last common ancestor is most of what most people think
                  about when they're thinking about the origin of life, i.e., "where did the
                  evolutionary ancestor of all life today come from?" and all of that is evolution
                  all the way. Furthermore, even the origin of the first classical "replicator" was
                  itself very likely an evolutionary process, in that it occurred in stepwise
                  fashion and not all-at-once, and that the first replicator was likely preceded by
                  various sorts of pseudoreplication, statistical inheritance and kinetic biases.

                  <<end quote>>

                  If the purpose of the biological sciences is to understand life, the origin
                  of life is the most consequential question in all of biology. It holds the
                  key to understanding the relationship between the living and the inanimate,
                  the quick and the dead. Altogether mysterious is just how living systems
                  relate to the nonliving world of chemistry and physics from which they
                  presumably sprang. The black hole at the very foundation of the biological
                  sciences is the origin of life, the cell, biological information. Whence
                  came organized molecular assemblages that draw matter and energy into
                  themselves, reproduce their own structures, and evolve over time?

                  Biologists assume that cells are material systems that arose by some sort
                  of evolutionary process four billion years ago on earth [or conceivably
                  someplace else]. In the absence of evidence as to how this came about [or
                  even of a plausible hypothesis], this explanation is merely a belief - a
                  leap of faith - that must be bridged in order to determine whether
                  biologists are reading the book of nature correctly.

                  Living things are so much part of everyday experience that we scarcely
                  realize how strange they are, and how sharply they differ from
                  inanimate objects. Virtually nothing is known about the origins of
                  life's molecular components and processes or how those biological
                  components and processes are organized in space. For all its
                  familiarity and ubiquity, life remains an enigmatic mystery. [See
                  Franklin M. Harold, _The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms, and
                  the Order of Life_ / Oxford University Press / Chapter 11.

                  If, as you so often reiterate, "nothing in biology makes sense except
                  in the light of Darwinian evolution," then it cannot be true that the
                  origin of life is "not any part of the theory of evolution," because
                  nothing in biology makes sense in the light of Darwinian evolution
                  absent knowing whether biologists are in fact reading the book of
                  nature correctly.

                  > >The meaning and implications of Darwin's theory of evolution are as,
                  > >if not more, heatedly contested today as / than the meaning and
                  > >implications of Darwin's theory of evolution were 150 years ago -
                  > >among evolutionary biologists,philosophers, theologians, and the
                  > >public -
                  > >
                  >
                  >One should not, however, confuse these with scientific controversies.

                  And one should not confuse gluadys' scarecrows with the topic of discussion.

                  > >>There is no way one can logically conclude that the theory of evolution
                  > >>says or implies that we are unintended. One can only say that the
                  > >>natural mechanisms of evolution do not intend us. And that is
                  > >>generally the meaning of such statements in scientific literature.
                  > >
                  > >Which is to agree that _Darwin's_ theory of evolution says or
                  > >implies that man is unintended.
                  > >
                  >
                  >Unintended in what sense?

                  Unintended - accidental, aimless, random, erratic, extemporaneous,
                  fortuitous, haphazard, inadvertent, involuntary, purposeless,
                  unconscious, undesigned, unforeseen, unintended, unplanned,
                  unpremeditated, unthinking, unthought, unwitting - as opposed
                  to intended - conscious, mindful, essential, deliberate,
                  intentional, planned, premeditated.

                  >Mechanisms that are incapable of intentions cannot intend anything. That
                  >would appear to be tautologously obvious. But to use that as a premise
                  >for atheism seems extraordinarily nalve and reductionist.

                  That "mechanisms that are incapable of intentions cannot intend anything"
                  IS "tautologously obvious." That's precisely the point. It seems
                  preposterously naive and reductionist to pretend that the tautology
                  that mechanisms that are incapable of intentions cannot intend anything
                  "really means" that unintentional, unconscious, purposeless Darwinian
                  mechanisms are intentional, conscious, and purposeful. It is a trivial
                  truth that mindfulness, foresight, intention, etc., - design - are prior
                  to the "mechanism." It is only Darwinian mechanisms that - by design -
                  mindlessly, unintentionally, and randomly _create_ and it is only those
                  mechanisms to which design is _posterior_.

                  >So, no, there is no implication that humanity is not and was not intended
                  >to be by the Creator.

                  As I've amply publicly documented, you, and those "evolutionary creationist"
                  / "theistic evolutionist" scientists whose "Darwinian theology" you echo,
                  quite plainly refute your own indignant denials that "there is no
                  implication that humanity is not and was not intended to be by the Creator."
                  According to you, [echoing Ken Miller's exegesis] SOME big-brained species
                  may be an evolutionary inevitability: "mankind's appearance on this planet
                  was _not_ pre-ordained, we are here as an afterthought, a minor detail, a
                  happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out." ...
                  'In an entirely literal sense,' Gould has written, "we owe our existence,
                  as large and reasoning animals, to our lucky stars.'" Moreover, if Darwinian
                  evolution were in fact "intentional," or teleological, then you and the
                  "theistic" scientists whose new "Darwinian theology" you echo would hardly
                  claim that the earthly biological world that reflects "_God's_ omniscience,
                  power, and will" is "irrational," "sub-optimal" "stupid," and manifests
                  "obvious inconsistencies that any human designer would avoid," etc., etc.,
                  etc.

                  > >>>that "randomness and necessity" are God's autonomous creative
                  > >>>tools," and that other you has also echoed, e.g., Miller's
                  > >>>claim that "intelligence [which is by your and Miller's
                  > >>>reckoning _the_ sum total of the likeness and image of God,]
                  > >>
                  > >>I don't know where you get this from.
                  > >
                  > >Um, your OriginsTalk messages.
                  > >
                  >
                  >I think you would be hard put to show that. I certainly never said that
                  >intelligence is _the_sum total of the likeness and image of God—a
                  >position which I have never held.

                  Then why do you routinely claim yourself and cite others who claim that
                  it's "almost certain that eventually evolution would produce an
                  intelligent, self-aware, reflective creature endowed with a nervous
                  system large enough to solve the very same questions that we have, and
                  capable of discovering the very process that produced it, the process
                  of evolution"?

                  If a "big-brained creature ... endowed with a nervous system large
                  enough to solve the very same questions that we have, and capable
                  of discovering the very process that produced it, the process of
                  evolution," isn't _the_ sum total of the likeness and image of
                  God, then what, exactly, by your reckoning, is _the_ sum total of
                  the likeness and image of God? And why have you never made even a
                  token attempt to disabuse OriginsTalk readers of the notion that
                  you and those whose claims you echo aren't of one mind regarding
                  the dimensions of human nature that are _the_ sum total of man's
                  likeness and image of God?

                  >In fact just below you reverse yourself and bemoan that I deny that man's
                  >intelligence _is_ a reflection of God's likeness and image. And that is
                  >also a position I do not hold.

                  Well, the person who habitually reverses himself is you. As I have
                  explained, on the one hand it's man's "big brainedness" and "large
                  nervous system" that _identify_ the creature who just happens to
                  be made in God's likeness and image, but then on the other hand
                  you adamantly DENY that man's intelligence _is_ a reflection of
                  God's likeness and image.

                  > >Well, no, you haven't "argued against" a "facile equation" of
                  > >intelligence with the image of God, you've denied that man's
                  > >intelligence _is_ a reflection of God's likeness and image.
                  >
                  > >IOW, it seems to me that, according to you, man's
                  > >intelligence, mind, etc., are Darwinian
                  > >evolutionary epiphenomena.
                  >
                  >And you would be wrong again. Three strikes, you're out.

                  So, you deny then that man's intelligence, mind, etc., are the
                  handiwork of Darwinian natural selection?

                  > >A human being, whether he's mentally or physically disabled, is
                  > >intrinsically valuable by virtue of the integrated being that
                  > >he _is_. There is no test that a human being must pass in order
                  > >to merit "personhood" because every human _being_ intrinsically
                  > >bears the image and likeness of God, so possesses dignity / is a
                  > >rights-bearer, from the moment he's conceived until the time of
                  > >his natural death. That intrinsic value, dignity, etc., is God's
                  > >gift to every _integrated_ being we call man, whether he's
                  > >"perfect" or "imperfect." A human being is no less human and no
                  > >less a "person" if he fails to meet _man's_ standard of
                  > >"perfection."
                  > >
                  >
                  >And that bit about "no test that a human being must pass" that means, inter
                  >alia, no intellectual test, right?

                  That means that there is NO earthly test, no standard of "personhood"
                  or "perfection," a human being must pass in order to merit
                  "personhood" because every human being intrinsically bears the image
                  and likeness of God from the moment he's conceived until the moment
                  of his natural death. For instance, an embryonic or fetal human being,
                  or a "persistently vegetative" / "minimally conscious" human being,
                  isn't not human or a non-person, he is an actual - _essential_ -
                  human person who hasn't yet realized his potential or whose
                  realization of that potential is frustrated. Humanity / personhood
                  isn't conditional but essential.

                  > >Actually Jim explained the ineluctable conclusions that follow
                  > >_Darwinian_ premises. Because a person proposes that
                  > >_Darwin's_ theory of evolution presumes to "reveal" NO "reason
                  > >for our existence" doesn't mean that that person thinks _or_
                  > >implies that a "scientific theory _should_ reveal a [or _no_]
                  > >reason for our existence."
                  > >
                  >
                  >Not only is it true that a scientific theory should not reveal (or deny) a
                  >reason for our existence. It _cannot_ do so. That is as true of the
                  >theory of evolution as any other.

                  What is true is that your claim that because Jim proposes that
                  _Darwin's_ theory of evolution presumes to "reveal" NO "reason
                  for our existence" it necessarily means that he thinks _or_
                  implies that a "scientific theory _should_ reveal a [or _no_]
                  reason for our existence," is plainly false, and it is your
                  false claim that _was_ the topic of discussion until you lobbed
                  the rhetorical equivalent of a smoke bomb....

                  What you authoritatively assert Darwin's theory of evolution "reveal[s]"
                  or denies is so much emoting. That a person is blind and deaf to the
                  implications of the Darwinian theory of evolution hardly means that the
                  Darwinian theory of evolution is untainted by any metaphysical /
                  philosophical implications.

                  > > >Is "struggling to survive long enough to reproduce" a worthwhile purpose—
                  > > >I expect most creatures would (if they could) say that it is. Life has
                  > > >intrinsic value does it not? It is better to be than not to be. And most
                  > > >parents find reproduction a worthwhile endeavour.
                  > >
                  > > It just boggles my mind that a person would write, in this day
                  > > and age, that "life has intrinsic value" as if it were a self-
                  > > evident, axiomatic truth....
                  >
                  >Yet that is what you yourself just said: <quote>> A human being, whether
                  >he's mentally or physically disabled, is _intrinsically valuable_
                  >by virtue of the integrated being that he is. There is no test
                  >that a human being must pass in order to merit "personhood"
                  >because every human being_ intrinsically_ bears the image and
                  >likeness of God, so possesses dignity / is a rights-bearer,
                  >from the moment he's conceived until the time of his natural
                  >death. That _intrinsic value, dignity_, etc., is God's gift ….<end quote>
                  >emphases added.
                  >
                  >If this is what you believe, why does it boggle your mind if someone else says
                  >it?

                  It doesn't. [I will add that what I "believe" is beside the point.
                  It boggles my mind that a person would write, in this day and age,
                  that "life has intrinsic value" as if it were a self-evident,
                  axiomatic truth not because _I_ don't believe that life has
                  intrinsic value _is_ a self-evident truth but because it's an
                  objective truth that is flatly denied by a good many of today's
                  Promethean "innovators, among whom I'm ashamed to admit are
                  self-described Christians.]

                  You wrote: "LIFE HAS INTRINSIC VALUE does it not?"

                  I wrote: A HUMAN BEING, whether he's mentally or physically disabled,
                  IS INTRINSICALLY VALUABLE by virtue of the integrated being that he
                  _is_.

                  > >Further, that "most parents find reproduction a worthwhile endeavor" is
                  > certainly
                  > >"quaint" phraseology.... I suppose the 50 million American women who've, in the
                  > >space of a mere three decades, relegated the "products of conception" they were
                  > >"punished" by to an abortionists' tender mercies, don't qualify as "parents"....
                  > >
                  >
                  >Sure they do. Many were already parents when they opted to abort a fetus. In
                  >fact,
                  >the welfare of already born children is sometimes the motivation for
                  >abortion. And
                  >many become parents at a later stage of their life.

                  Which does certainly give the lie to your claim that "life has intrinsic
                  value, does it not?"

                  > >A substantive criticism: metaphors and oxymorons are not synonymous.
                  > >The mindLESS CANNOT select, bestow, determine, "guide toward"
                  > >adaptation OR "specific forms," and so on and so forth, so there's
                  > >no metaphor to be made.
                  > >
                  >
                  >The mindless cannot "[consciously] select, bestow, determine, guide". But they
                  >can certainly be described metaphorically as doing so, as long as both writer
                  >and reader understand that the speech is metaphorical. (In literature this is
                  >called `personification'. Or sometimes `anthropomorphizing'.)

                  In debate, this is called a fallacy of ambiguity, i.e., the fallacy
                  of hypostatization or reification.

                  > >It's my conviction that faith and belief are quite positive. It is
                  > >your conviction that faith and belief, being "non-empirical,"
                  > >must be subordinated to "empirical" truths; people must "accept"
                  > >Darwinism because Darwinism is, according to you, empirically
                  > >true, while any Christian truth claims must be "believed."
                  >
                  >You speak as though belief is an inferior or defective form of knowledge. This
                  >seems to me a very strange attitude from a professed Christian.
                  >
                  >Psychologically, I think you are indulging in the exercise of `projection' i.e.
                  >stating your own beliefs as if they are mine. I assure you, what you describe
                  >as "your [i.e.gluadys'] conviction" or what is true "according to you [gluadys]"
                  >is almost diametrically opposite to what I would say for myself.

                  Instead of psychoanalyzing me, why not just rationally, reasonably point
                  to my logical errors, my misunderstanding[s], my misreading[s]?
                • ur32212451@yahoo.com
                  Who cares about whether or not the idea of abiogenesis is was covered by Darwins Theory of Evolution or not. Science has succesfully falsified abigenesis, and
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jun 26, 2009
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                    Who cares about whether or not the idea of abiogenesis is was covered by Darwins Theory of Evolution or not. Science has succesfully falsified abigenesis, and Darwin's Theory needs Abiogenesis in order for Darwin's theory to be valid. Thus Darwin's Theory is not valid.
                    On the other hand, Charles Darwin was an ignorant man, he majored in religion, and got poor grades. Geology and origins of life was his hobby and Darwin was not very good at it. Most of Darwins ideas on biological gradualism came right out of Charles Lyell's mind, Lyell was the Lawyer, who in his youth sold his uniformatarian Geology to unsuspecting ignorant minds in position of power in his day. Darwinism was merely Lyellian uniformatarianism applied to origins, Darwinism was merely part 2 of Llyells efforts to undermine the Biblical stories of origins and Mosaic Geology. Lyell also succeeded is driving Christianity from Englands schools. 
                    Charles Darwin new nothing about genetics.
                    Charles Darwin's mechanism for his theory of evolution was an idea going to back to Hippocrates (460-377 BC), it was called pangenesis. 

                    Pangenesis is a theory in which gemmules containing hereditary information from every part of the body coalesce in the gonads and are incorporated into the reproductive cells.

                    Pangenesis is a A theory of heredity proposed by Charles Darwin in his 1868 update of his book "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life." Just like his Theory of evolution, Charles Darwin's explanation on how small beneficial genetic changes accumulated and passed on from offsrping to offspring proved to be totally wrong. Charles Darwin never had a clue about Genetics. He knew before he published 'Pangenesis' as his mechanism that it did not work as he had hoped it would. Darwin was very perplexed and dissapointed to discover that  third generation offspring often had physical traits of their grandparents while lacking traits some that were not present in their parents. This left Darwin scratching his head, but he published his 'Pangenesis' mechanism anyway, as it was the only theory he knew of for passing new traits to the offspring. 
                    On the other hand, Gregor Mendell is the Father of the Science of Genetics, and is considered to be the first geneticist. Mendell read Darwin's book and sent Charles Darwin a copy of his science paper. Mendell believed his paper would be the deciding factor on the variations observed in the any species. It's been said that Darwin never read Mendell's science paper on genetic inheritance, that the copy laid on Darwin's desk until He died in 1882.

                    Mendel's observations from his pea experiments can be summarized in two principles that hold true today: 

                    The Principle of Segregation 

                    The Principle of Independent Assortment 


                    Mendel came to four important conclusions from these experimental results: 


                    1. The inheritance of each trait is determined by “units” or “factors” (now called genes) that are passed on to descendents unchanged. 

                    2. An individual inherits one such unit from each parent for each trait. 

                    3. A trait may not show up in an individual but can still be passed on to the next generation. 

                    4. The genes for each trait segregate themselves during gamete production. 

                    The General idea promoted by Charles Darwin and friends was that the Species were not genetically fixed, that species were constantly accumulating new novel genetic characteristics and passing them on to their offspring via Pangenesis. Thus they viewed the species as having plasticity.As anyone could see, offspring were physically similar to their parents, but also had physical traits that were different somewhat from their parents. That over a very long period of time, these small variations from generation to generation would accumulate into major morphogical changes, so much so that the distant offpring will be enormously physically different. An ancient amphibian would have a human as their very distant future offspring. Thus Darwin, Wllace, and friends believed that all species had plasticity, meaning that all species were endlessly variable and fluid over time, and not fixed. 

                    Mendel's ideas on heredity and evolution were diametrically opposed to those of Darwin and his followers. As Mendellian Genetics became known to be the true mechanism for genetic variation, it quickly became clear that Darwin was wrong about pangenesis and plasticity of the species. Mendellian Genetics also re-established the fixity of the species.

                    This was clearly seen as a devastating blow to Darwin's Theeory of Evolution by the co-founder of Darwin's Theory. Alfred Russel Wallace:

                    From Monroe W. Strickberger, Genetics, 2nd edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1976), p. 812:

                    Alfred Russel Wallace, who independently proposed the theory of organic evolution slightly before Charles Darwin, was opposed to Mendel’s laws of genetics. Wallace knew Mendel’s experiments showed that the general characteristics of an organism remained within distinct boundaries. In a letter to Dr. Archdall Reid on 28 December 1909, Wallace wrote:

                    "But on the general relation of Mendelism to Evolution I have come to a very definite conclusion. This is, that it has no relation whatever to the evolution of species or higher groups, but is really antagonistic to such evolution! The essential basis of evolution, involving as it does the most minute and all-pervading adaptation to the whole environment, is extreme and ever-present plasticity, as a condition of survival and adaptation. But the essence of Mendelian characters is their rigidity. They are transmitted without variation, and therefore, except by the rarest of accidents, can never become adapted to ever varying conditions." James Marchant, Letters and Reminiscences (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1916), p. 340.

                    Once discovered and popularized, Mendellian Genetics became a cause of concern for the Darwinian evolutionists,  Other evolutionary scientists and proponents ignored the negative implications Genetics had for Darwin's Theory of evolution. And a few tried to discredit Mendel throughout the 20th century. Even after the popularization of Mendellian Genetics in 1900,  R. A Fischer and the other evolutionary mathematicians attempted to discredit Mendell. It took over 40 years before evolutionary scientists thought they manufactured a way to incorporate Mendellian Genetics into their beloved all important Theory of Evolution, via The New Darwinism (i.e. Neo- Darwinism. based upon the poplation genetics advanced by the mathematicians of the 1920's and 1930's. In the 1960's, a new set of leading mathematician challenged Neo-Darwinism at Wistar in 1966 and actually demonstrated that Neo-Darwinian evolution was mathemtaically impossible as it stands.
                    In the 1970's, The paleontologists led by Gould, Stanley, Eldredge, and Colin Patterson, who helped broker neo-Darwnism in the 1940's, but became dissappointed with the biolgists constant suppressing of his specialty, paleontology, which tellls quite a different story contrary to darwinism, namely that all new types of species appeared suddenly in the fossil record, and remained unchanged till today, or until they became extinct. 
                    Also in the 1970's, evolutionary scientists Johnathan Roughgarden, Spiess, and Richard Lewinton all seperately published peer review science papers decimating population genetics. 
                    Evolutionists and Lawyer Norman Macbeth also noticed this pattern  among the dogmatic evolutionists. The following is quoted from  "Darwins Enigma" by Luther Sunderland, p. 116, 1987, (Quoting  from, "Darwinism, a Time for Funerals - An interview with Norman 
                    Macbeth," Towards, Fair Oaks, Ca., V.2 Spring 1982): 

                    "One of the ideas that revised Darwinism was supposed to have 
                    contributed to biology was the contention that individuals do not 
                    evolve, populations evolve: populations would become isolated 
                    and drift, gradually forming new species. Norman Macbeth had 
                    some comments about the contribution of so-called population 
                    genetics to science. 

                      "Lewinton says some shocking things too, but some of these 
                       men are regarded as "enfants terrible" who like to startle 
                       people. The profession as a whole settles right back into 
                       its normal routine and ignores them. 

                       "I wrote a paper recently on the subject of population genetics 
                       with a neighbor who is a professor of zoology. We discovered 
                       that three leading recent treatises on population genetics, 
                       one by Lewontin, one by Spiess and another by Jonathan 
                       Roughgarden at Stanford, all stated that population genetics 
                       had contributed nothing to evolution theory. Therefore, our 
                       paper said we didn't see any reason why  courses in evolution 
                       should waste any time on population genetics. 

                       One of our colleagues at a nearby college read it over and 
                       said, "I really agree with you; this is all true, but you 
                       can't publish that. Publish that and the creationists will 
                       get a hold of it and throw it in our faces." There still 
                       is a conscious effort to cover up problems with evolution. 
                       This professor didn't quite realize what she was saying, and 
                       if we pointed out that this was just sweeping it under the 
                       rug, she might have changed her mind. But they instinctively 
                       take the position and try to protect the traditional and 
                       sacred theories that were taught to them in school and that 
                       they've been teaching to their own students. You have to 
                       wonder where they would ne if they did say this had all 
                       been a lot of rubbish. 
                    In the early 1980's, the powers that be in pro-evolutionary Academia, fearful that the general population may become more circumspect when they have evolution thrust down their throats, forced the paleontologists to shut down their rhetoric against Darwinian evolution. They were muzzled and forced to give lip service to Neo-Darwinism and soft-pedal their Punctuated Equilibrium as complementary to Neo-Darwinism.  At the same time, these same powers of materialism launched munerous attacks on creationary science and ad hominem attacks against creationary scientists. Carl Sagan in 1980 called for all evolutionary scientists to stop debating creationary scientists because they were losing every debate. Atheist and Biologist Richard Dawkins wrote his book, 'The Blind Watchmaker', which was an all out assault on Gould's and Eldredge's Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium, which in turn was overthrowing Darwinism.
                    This pattern of sweeping serious problems with Evolution under the rug persist to this very day. Darwin's Theory of Evolution is little more than poor science fiction masquerading as Science.

                    For more information:

                    http://www.weloennig.de/mendel02.htm%c2%a0

                    JOHANN GREGOR MENDEL: WHY HIS DISCOVERIES WERE IGNORED FOR 35 (72) YEARS


                    --- On Wed, 6/24/09, Clare Wilson Parr <turandot1125@...> wrote:

                    From: Clare Wilson Parr <turandot1125@...>
                    Subject: Re: [OriginsTalk] Re: Darwism and evolution
                    To: OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2009, 7:04 PM
























                    On 6/22/2009, gluadys wrote:



                    > >Which is a straw man. I've never so much as intimated that "just

                    > >because Darwin 'refers' to something" means that Darwin's

                    > >reference has necessarily "to do with the theory of evolution."

                    >

                    >You did. You referred to the "primordial soup" as if it were part of

                    >the theory of evolution and as if Darwin contended it was.



                    No, I didn't. Furthermore, if I had referred to the "primordial

                    soup" as if it were part of the theory of evolution and as if

                    Darwin contended it was," the assertion that "just because

                    Darwin "refers" to something does not mean it has anything to

                    do with the theory of evolution" is still a straw man.













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                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • gluadys
                    ... Not at all. It s a fact. Darwin spent considerable time putting his theory together. He gathered as much evidence as he could to support it, and would
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 4, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Clare Wilson Parr <turandot1125@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > the assertion that "just because
                      > Darwin "refers" to something does not mean it has anything to
                      > do with the theory of evolution" is still a straw man.
                      >


                      Not at all. It's a fact. Darwin spent considerable time putting his theory together. He gathered as much evidence as he could to support it, and would have taken more time still if Wallace had not sent him his own paper on the subject. Wallace and Darwin then jointly presented a paper to the Linnean Society in 1858, followed by his publication of the Origin of Species in 1859. Both of these are important events. The presentation of a paper at a scientific conference* constitutes the formal presentation of the scientist's research and conclusions to the scientific community for their consideration and criticism and possible validation or falsification. Because science is a communal activity in which any one scientist builds on the work of other scientists, the presentation of one's work to the scientific community is part of what makes it "science".

                      Anything Darwin (or any scientist) does no research on, gathers no evidence for, and does not present to the scientific community at large, to those who can examine the thesis, the evidence and the methods of evaluating it, is _not_ part of his scientific work and not part of his theory of evolution. Private musings in private letters, unless they repeat something in the published work, are not part of Darwin's theory.

                      *Not every paper today is presented at a conference, but conferences are still an important part of the scientific process. A PhD thesis is published by the university which awarded the degree. It has to be based on original research and be defended before other scientists competent in the field before the degree is awarded. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal is another way research is presented to the scientific community.




                      >
                      > Having said that, I do contend that whether the "primordial soup" origin
                      > of life is _formally_, or explicitly, "any part of the theory of
                      > evolution,"
                      >


                      No theory of the origin of life is part of the theory of evolution, formally or otherwise.


                      >
                      > Nick Matzke [now retired Public Information Project Director at the National
                      > Center for Science Education]:
                      >
                      > <<quote>>
                      >
                      > [S]plitting the OOL from evolutionary theory, is only technically correct
                      > in a sort of legalistic, hairsplitting way. Sure, it's true that technically,
                      > "evolution" only happens once you have life, or at least replicators, but getting
                      > from replicators to the last common ancestor is most of what most people think
                      > about when they're thinking about the origin of life, i.e., "where did the
                      > evolutionary ancestor of all life today come from?" and all of that is evolution
                      > all the way. Furthermore, even the origin of the first classical "replicator" was
                      > itself very likely an evolutionary process, in that it occurred in stepwise
                      > fashion and not all-at-once, and that the first replicator was likely preceded by
                      > various sorts of pseudoreplication, statistical inheritance and kinetic biases.
                      >
                      > <<end quote>>
                      >


                      Life may have originated by an evolutionary process, but that is still a theory of abiogenesis, not the theory of evolution. If it were positively shown that life did NOT originate by an evolutionary process, there would be no need to alter the theory of evolution in any way at all.

                      And if life did originate by an evolutionary process, it is to be expected that the evolutionary mode of abiogenesis would meld smoothly into evolution from the life forms that were so produced. As Matzke says above, theories of abiogenesis are about how we get from pre-life to the last common ancestor. The theory of evolution is about how we get from the last common ancestor to today's species.

                      If life did get started through an evolutionary process (and despite his confidence, that is not yet fully established), the difference between evolution leading up to the last common ancestor and evolution leading from the last common ancestor would indeed be technical, much along the lines of micro-evolution (within the species) and macro-evolution (to species and higher taxa). Nevertheless, it is still appropriate to keep the technicality in mind.

                      Lynn Margulis, says, for example, "No system of matter and energy flow less complex than a cell is alive." " http://www.sgm.ac.uk/pubs/micro_today/pdf/110406.pdf

                      From that perspective, it doesn't matter how the first cells came to be. The theory of evolution begins with cellular life, not before.



                      > If the purpose of the biological sciences is to understand life, the origin
                      > of life is the most consequential question in all of biology.
                      >


                      Certainly. But that doesn't mean the theory of evolution has to be about the origin of life, any more than the germ theory of disease (also a biological theory) or Mendel's theory of genetic inheritance (another biological theory) have to be about the origin of life.


                      >
                      > Biologists assume that cells are material systems that arose by some sort
                      > of evolutionary process four billion years ago on earth [or conceivably
                      > someplace else].
                      >


                      They don't assume it. They hypothesize it and look for evidence to test that hypothesis.


                      >
                      > If, as you so often reiterate, "nothing in biology makes sense except
                      > in the light of Darwinian evolution," then it cannot be true that the
                      > origin of life is "not any part of the theory of evolution,"
                      >


                      It was Theodosius Dobhzhansky (another theistic evolutionist, btw) who said that back in the 1950s before there was even any serious effort to find a natural origin of life. The first attempt to establish a possible natural scenario for the origin of life came in that same decade—the Urey-Miller experiment.


                      >
                      > > >>There is no way one can logically conclude that the theory of evolution
                      > > >>says or implies that we are unintended. One can only say that the
                      > > >>natural mechanisms of evolution do not intend us. And that is
                      > > >>generally the meaning of such statements in scientific literature.
                      > > >
                      > > >Which is to agree that _Darwin's_ theory of evolution says or
                      > > >implies that man is unintended.
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >Unintended in what sense?
                      >
                      > Unintended - accidental, aimless, random, erratic, extemporaneous,
                      > fortuitous, haphazard, inadvertent, involuntary, purposeless,
                      > unconscious, undesigned, unforeseen, unintended, unplanned,
                      > unpremeditated, unthinking, unthought, unwitting - as opposed
                      > to intended - conscious, mindful, essential, deliberate,
                      > intentional, planned, premeditated.
                      >

                      Unintended by what? The process of evolution? Of course. The Creator of the process of evolution? How does that follow? What does "purposeless" mean in this context? Does it mean that natural selection is not a conscious entity capable of purpose? Or does it mean the Creator has no purpose for natural selection? Does the theory of evolution require both meanings or just the first? What about "unforeseen"? Obviously a set of genes does not foresee what species will come about as they change over time. But is a God who knows the end from the beginning incapable of foreseeing what the genes themselves cannot? Much the same applies to most of the other adjectives.

                      So let's get to the heart of it. When you say that evolutionary theory "says or implies that man [sic] is unintended", is it your understanding that evolutionary theory says or implies that God did not intend humanity?


                      >It seems
                      > preposterously naive and reductionist to pretend that the tautology
                      > that mechanisms that are incapable of intentions cannot intend anything
                      > "really means" that unintentional, unconscious, purposeless Darwinian
                      > mechanisms are intentional, conscious, and purposeful.


                      Well, I am not the one saying that. Seems you are setting up a straw man.



                      >
                      > As I've amply publicly documented, you, and those "evolutionary creationist"
                      > / "theistic evolutionist" scientists whose "Darwinian theology" you echo,
                      > quite plainly refute your own indignant denials that "there is no
                      > implication that humanity is not and was not intended to be by the Creator."
                      > According to you, [echoing Ken Miller's exegesis] SOME big-brained species
                      > may be an evolutionary inevitability:


                      Have any of us the capability to read the mind of God? We simply don't know precisely what God intended. We do know that we are here; we have consciousness, we have a spiritual nature, and we believe that whatever God's purposes were in regard to a species made in his image, we fulfill those purposes. We also know that we have evolved biologically from earlier hominids.



                      >Moreover, if Darwinian
                      > evolution were in fact "intentional," or teleological, then you and the
                      > "theistic" scientists whose new "Darwinian theology" you echo would hardly
                      > claim that the earthly biological world that reflects "_God's_ omniscience,
                      > power, and will" is "irrational," "sub-optimal" "stupid," and manifests
                      > "obvious inconsistencies that any human designer would avoid," etc., etc.,
                      > etc.
                      >


                      Again, you are simply not paying attention to the necessary differences between scientific and theological perspectives. There clearly are many biological realities that make no sense if we think of them as being specially designed, but which do make sense if we think of them as outcomes of evolutionary history. The question for a theist then is whether (like Dembski) they are willing to believe that God purposely designed creatures in such a senseless way, or find that such "design" is inconsistent with the Christian view of the nature of God.


                      > >
                      > > I certainly never said that
                      > >intelligence is _the_sum total of the likeness and image of God—a
                      > >position which I have never held.
                      >
                      > Then why do you routinely claim yourself and cite others who claim that
                      > it's "almost certain that eventually evolution would produce an
                      > intelligent, self-aware, reflective creature endowed with a nervous
                      > system large enough to solve the very same questions that we have, and
                      > capable of discovering the very process that produced it, the process
                      > of evolution"?
                      >


                      Let's begin by noting that that list includes a great deal more than intelligence. So it is not an assertion that intelligence alone is _the_ sum total of the likeness and image of God. Probably the whole list is partial in reference to the sum total of the likeness and image of God. Or perhaps irrelevant.



                      >
                      > So, you deny then that man's intelligence, mind, etc., are the
                      > handiwork of Darwinian natural selection?
                      >


                      No, but I do deny that they are epiphenomena.


                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >And that bit about "no test that a human being must pass" that means, inter
                      > >alia, no intellectual test, right?
                      >
                      > That means that there is NO earthly test, no standard of "personhood"
                      > or "perfection," a human being must pass in order to merit
                      > "personhood" because every human being intrinsically bears the image
                      > and likeness of God from the moment he's conceived until the moment
                      > of his natural death. For instance, an embryonic or fetal human being,
                      > or a "persistently vegetative" / "minimally conscious" human being,
                      > isn't not human or a non-person, he is an actual - _essential_ -
                      > human person who hasn't yet realized his potential or whose
                      > realization of that potential is frustrated. Humanity / personhood
                      > isn't conditional but essential.
                      >


                      So, basically, you are agreeing with me again (though you will vociferously deny it as usual.) Intellect is not the sum total of the likeness and image of God for even those humans in whom intellectual capacities are completely lacking are still made in the image of God i.e. they are human. This could not be so if intellect and the image of God in humanity were identical.



                      >
                      > What is true is that your claim that because Jim proposes that
                      > _Darwin's_ theory of evolution presumes to "reveal" NO "reason
                      > for our existence" it necessarily means that he thinks _or_
                      > implies that a "scientific theory _should_ reveal a [or _no_]
                      > reason for our existence," is plainly false, and it is your
                      > false claim that _was_ the topic of discussion until you lobbed
                      > the rhetorical equivalent of a smoke bomb....
                      >


                      I am lost in this gobbeldy-gook. Perhaps you could arrange it in point-form to avoid the unduly complex syntax.


                      > What you authoritatively assert Darwin's theory of evolution "reveal[s]"
                      > or denies is so much emoting. That a person is blind and deaf to the
                      > implications of the Darwinian theory of evolution hardly means that the
                      > Darwinian theory of evolution is untainted by any metaphysical /
                      > philosophical implications.
                      >


                      The theory of evolution is no more tainted by any metaphysical/philosophical implications than the theory of heliocentrism or the atomic theory of matter or the theory of relativity. It has no implications which are not also common to all those theories (and any other scientific theory).


                      > >If this is what you believe, why does it boggle your mind if someone else says
                      > >it?
                      >
                      > It doesn't. [I will add that what I "believe" is beside the point.
                      > It boggles my mind that a person would write, in this day and age,
                      > that "life has intrinsic value" as if it were a self-evident,
                      > axiomatic truth not because _I_ don't believe that life has
                      > intrinsic value _is_ a self-evident truth but because it's an
                      > objective truth that is flatly denied by a good many of today's
                      > Promethean "innovators, among whom I'm ashamed to admit are
                      > self-described Christians.]
                      >


                      You sound like Elijah bemoaning that he is the only one left who worships the God of Israel when in fact there were still 7,000 others who had not bowed the knee to Baal.


                      > >Sure they do. Many were already parents when they opted to abort a fetus. In
                      > >fact,
                      > >the welfare of already born children is sometimes the motivation for
                      > >abortion. And
                      > >many become parents at a later stage of their life.
                      >
                      > Which does certainly give the lie to your claim that "life has intrinsic
                      > value, does it not?"
                      >


                      No. Just means that your earlier observation that not everyone thinks the same way is true.



                      > >
                      > >The mindless cannot "[consciously] select, bestow, determine, guide". But they
                      > >can certainly be described metaphorically as doing so, as long as both writer
                      > >and reader understand that the speech is metaphorical. (In literature this is
                      > >called `personification'. Or sometimes `anthropomorphizing'.)
                      >
                      > In debate, this is called a fallacy of ambiguity, i.e., the fallacy
                      > of hypostatization or reification.
                      >


                      Most writing about evolution is not a debate about it. "The Selfish Gene" is a book-length use of an anthropomorphic metaphor to help explain some features of behavior. Nor is it a unique use of similar metaphors in science. Einstein once said he came up with the theory of relativity by imagining himself to be a [conscious] beam of light and looking at the universe from that perspective. "Natural selection" of course, is another anthropomorphic metaphor deliberately chosen as an analogy to the artificial selection of breeders. Insofar as these metaphors get in the way of an actual description of evolutionary process they are problematical and need to be used with great care.


                      > >
                      > >You speak as though belief is an inferior or defective form of knowledge. This
                      > >seems to me a very strange attitude from a professed Christian.
                      > >
                      > >Psychologically, I think you are indulging in the exercise of `projection' i.e.
                      > >stating your own beliefs as if they are mine. I assure you, what you describe
                      > >as "your [i.e.gluadys'] conviction" or what is true "according to you [gluadys]"
                      > >is almost diametrically opposite to what I would say for myself.
                      >
                      > Instead of psychoanalyzing me, why not just rationally, reasonably point
                      > to my logical errors, my misunderstanding[s], my misreading[s]?
                      >


                      There is no logic to analyze when you attribute thoughts to me that I have not expressed but which you have produced from your own biased reading of my posts.
                    • Clare Wilson Parr
                      ... It is clear _to YOU_ that there are many biological realities that make no sense if we think of them as being specially designed, but it is by no means
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jul 4, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On 7/4/2009, gluadys wrote:

                        > >Moreover, if Darwinian evolution were in fact "intentional," or
                        > >teleological, then you and the "theistic" scientists whose new
                        > >"Darwinian theology" you echo would hardly claim that the
                        > >earthly biological world that reflects "_God's_ omniscience,
                        > >power, and will" is "irrational," "sub-optimal" "stupid," and
                        > >manifests "obvious inconsistencies that any human designer
                        > >would avoid," etc., etc., etc.
                        > >
                        >
                        >Again, you are simply not paying attention to the necessary differences
                        >between scientific and theological perspectives. There clearly are many
                        >biological realities that make no sense if we think of them as being
                        >specially designed, but which do make sense if we think of them as
                        >outcomes of evolutionary history.

                        It is clear _to YOU_ that "there are many biological realities that make no
                        sense if we think of them as being 'specially designed,'" but it is by no
                        means clear, to put it mildly, to many, if not most people, Christian or
                        not, that "there are many biological realities that make no sense if we
                        think of them as being 'specially designed.'"

                        >The question for a theist then is whether (like Dembski) they are willing
                        >to believe that God purposely designed creatures in such a senseless way,
                        >or find that such "design" is inconsistent with the Christian view of the
                        >nature of God.

                        Gluadys' "argument:"

                        1] The creatures that have inhabited the biological world we know since
                        there's been a biological world to inhabit are "designed in a senseless
                        way."

                        2] Such senseless "'design' is inconsistent with the Christian view of
                        the nature of God."

                        3] Therefore all creatures that have inhabited the biological world we
                        know since there's been a biological world to inhabit were created by
                        the "ordinary natural process," the mindless, aimless random search,
                        we call Darwinian evolution.

                        It is for reasoning such as gluadys' that the phrase non sequitur was
                        invented. Gluadys "argument" is purely emotive, both its premises
                        and conclusion reflecting what gluadys believes is the way things
                        _ought_ to be.

                        Premise 1] is utterly gratuitous. Good design = optimal _function_. The
                        biological world is stunningly _functional_ and therefore its design
                        is _good_: Genesis 1:31: "And God saw everything that he had made,
                        and behold, it was _very good_."

                        Gluadys [and those who use the argument from imperfection as a bludgeon
                        point to what _they_ assert are "senseless," "irrational, stupid,
                        incompetent, sub-optimal, bad, incompetent, cruel, sadistic
                        designs" plagued by "inconsistencies that any human designer
                        would avoid," utterly ignoring that the examples they point to
                        are quite trivial, and _local_, not global.

                        Premise 2] is risible. There is not a jot of evidence that the "ordinary
                        natural process" called Darwinian evolution has created _any_
                        "biological reality" - whether that reality is biological information, a
                        cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone the living _integrated_ wholes
                        of which biological information, eyes, wings, etc., are but parts.

                        Gluadys conclusion 3] is so much hubristic wishful thinking.

                        A healthy dose of humility concerning the intelligent v. apparent design
                        question is perhaps the true mark of wisdom.

                        > >>I certainly never said that intelligence is _the_sum total of the
                        > >>likeness and image of God—a position which I have never held.
                        > >
                        > >Then why do you routinely claim yourself and cite others who claim that
                        > >it's "almost certain that eventually evolution would produce an
                        > >intelligent, self-aware, reflective creature endowed with a nervous
                        > >system large enough to solve the very same questions that we have, and
                        > >capable of discovering the very process that produced it, the process
                        > >of evolution"?
                        > >
                        >
                        >Let's begin by noting that that list includes a great deal more than
                        >intelligence.

                        Neither self-awareness nor reflection is possible absent intelligence, nor
                        would a "large nervous system" help man to "solve the very same
                        questions that we have, and [be] capable of discovering the very
                        process that produced it, the process of evolution," absent
                        intelligence.

                        >So it is not an assertion that intelligence alone is _the_ sum total of
                        >the likeness and image of God.

                        Of course it is.

                        >Probably the whole list is partial in reference to the sum total of the
                        >likeness and image of God. Or perhaps irrelevant.
                        >
                        > >So, you deny then that man's intelligence, mind, etc., are the
                        > >handiwork of Darwinian natural selection?
                        > >
                        >
                        >No, but I do deny that they are epiphenomena.

                        Oh, well, then even man's intelligence doesn't reflect the likeness and
                        image of God....

                        > >>And that bit about "no test that a human being must pass" that means, inter
                        > >>alia, no intellectual test, right?
                        > >
                        > >That means that there is NO earthly test, no standard of "personhood"
                        > >or "perfection," a human being must pass in order to merit
                        > >"personhood" because every human being intrinsically bears the image
                        > >and likeness of God from the moment he's conceived until the moment
                        > >of his natural death. For instance, an embryonic or fetal human being,
                        > >or a "persistently vegetative" / "minimally conscious" human being,
                        > >isn't not human or a non-person, he is an actual - _essential_ -
                        > >human person who hasn't yet realized his potential or whose
                        > >realization of that potential is frustrated. Humanity / personhood
                        > >isn't conditional but essential.
                        > >
                        >
                        >So, basically, you are agreeing with me again (though you will vociferously
                        >deny it as usual.) Intellect is not the sum total of the likeness and image
                        >of God for even those humans in whom intellectual capacities are completely
                        >lacking are still made in the image of God i.e. they are human. This could
                        >not be so if intellect and the image of God in humanity were identical.

                        Please quit putting words in my mouth.

                        I've never so much as hinted that the human intellect _is_ the sum total
                        of man's likeness and image of God. Quite the contrary. I have contended
                        that by your having echoed Miller, et al, _you_ agree that their
                        reduction of the sum total of man's likeness and image of God to human
                        intelligence is true.

                        >>What is true is that your claim that because Jim proposes that
                        > >_Darwin's_ theory of evolution presumes to "reveal" NO "reason
                        > >for our existence" it necessarily means that he thinks _or_
                        > >implies that a "scientific theory _should_ reveal a [or _no_]
                        > >reason for our existence," is plainly false, and it is your
                        > >false claim that _was_ the topic of discussion until you
                        > >lobbed the rhetorical equivalent of a smoke bomb....
                        > >
                        >
                        >I am lost in this gobbeldy-gook. Perhaps you could arrange it in point-
                        >form to avoid the unduly complex syntax.
                        >
                        > > What you authoritatively assert Darwin's theory of evolution "reveal[s]"
                        > > or denies is so much emoting. That a person is blind and deaf to the
                        > > implications of the Darwinian theory of evolution hardly means that the
                        > > Darwinian theory of evolution is untainted by any metaphysical /
                        > > philosophical implications.
                        > >
                        >
                        >The theory of evolution is no more tainted by any metaphysical/philosophical
                        >implications than the theory of heliocentrism or the atomic theory of matter
                        >or the theory of relativity. It has no implications which are not also
                        >common to all those theories (and any other scientific theory).
                        >
                        >
                        > >>If this is what you believe, why does it boggle your mind if someone else says
                        > >>it?
                        > >
                        > > It doesn't. [I will add that what I "believe" is beside the point.
                        > > It boggles my mind that a person would write, in this day and age,
                        > > that "life has intrinsic value" as if it were a self-evident,
                        > > axiomatic truth not because _I_ don't believe that life has
                        > > intrinsic value _is_ a self-evident truth but because it's an
                        > > objective truth that is flatly denied by a good many of today's
                        > > Promethean "innovators, among whom I'm ashamed to admit are
                        > > self-described Christians.]
                        > >
                        >
                        >You sound like Elijah bemoaning that he is the only one left who worships the God
                        >of Israel when in fact there were still 7,000 others who had not bowed the knee
                        >to Baal.
                        >
                        > >>Sure they do. Many were already parents when they opted to abort a fetus. In
                        > >>fact, the welfare of already born children is sometimes the motivation for
                        > >>abortion. And many become parents at a later stage of their life.
                        > >
                        > > Which does certainly give the lie to your claim that "life has intrinsic
                        > > value, does it not?"
                        > >
                        >
                        >No. Just means that your earlier observation that not everyone thinks the
                        >same way
                        >is true.
                        >
                        > >>The mindless cannot "[consciously] select, bestow, determine, guide". But they
                        > >>can certainly be described metaphorically as doing so, as long as both writer
                        > >>and reader understand that the speech is metaphorical. (In literature this is
                        > >>called `personification'. Or sometimes `anthropomorphizing'.)
                        > >
                        > >In debate, this is called a fallacy of ambiguity, i.e., the fallacy
                        > >of hypostatization or reification.
                        > >
                        >
                        >Most writing about evolution is not a debate about it.

                        The OriginsTalk forum _is_ a debate about "evolution," meaning Darwinism,
                        or Darwin's theory of evolution, or Darwinian evolution....

                        > >>You speak as though belief is an inferior or defective form of knowledge. This
                        > >>seems to me a very strange attitude from a professed Christian.
                        > >>
                        > >>Psychologically, I think you are indulging in the exercise of `projection' i.e.
                        > >>stating your own beliefs as if they are mine. I assure you, what you describe
                        > >>as "your [i.e. gluadys'] conviction" or what is true "according to you
                        > [gluadys]"
                        > >>is almost diametrically opposite to what I would say for myself.
                        > >
                        > >Instead of psychoanalyzing me, why not just rationally, reasonably point
                        > >to my logical errors, my misunderstanding[s], my misreading[s]?
                        > >
                        >
                        >There is no logic to analyze when you attribute thoughts to me that I have
                        >not expressed but which you have produced from your own biased reading of
                        >my posts.

                        I'll refresh your memory _again_. For instance:

                        On June 3, 2009, gluadys wrote re: Darwinism and evolution [caps gluadys]:

                        <<quote>>

                        We do not, for example, KNOW that there was a first-century Jew in Galilee
                        called Jesus of Nazareth. And we certainly do not KNOW that he was a
                        descendant of David, worked miracles, was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
                        rose from the dead and was proclaimed Messiah and Lord.

                        What we KNOW is that a community of people BELIEVED these things and some
                        of them wrote down what they believed. What we KNOW is that we have a
                        testimony of what that community BELIEVED. And we can choose to become
                        part of that community of BELIEVERS.

                        Do I believe their testimony is true? Yes. Do I know for a fact that it
                        is? No, and neither does anyone else, since not a shred of it has ever
                        been verified.

                        <<end quote>>

                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/17928

                        I can't imagine a more explicit testimonial to the nonsensical scientistic
                        / positivist philosophy that reduces belief to an inferior or defective
                        form of knowledge than yours [which I unreservedly agree is a "very
                        strange attitude from a professed Christian].
                      • gluadys
                        ... So make sense of them. Make sense of human goosebumps and ear-moving muscles. Make sense of the GULO pseudo-gene. Make sense of human chromosome two.
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jul 15, 2009
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                          --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Clare Wilson Parr <turandot1125@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > It is clear _to YOU_ that "there are many biological realities that make no
                          > sense if we think of them as being 'specially designed,'" but it is by no
                          > means clear, to put it mildly, to many, if not most people, Christian or
                          > not, that "there are many biological realities that make no sense if we
                          > think of them as being 'specially designed.'"
                          >


                          So make sense of them. Make sense of human goosebumps and ear-moving muscles. Make sense of the GULO pseudo-gene. Make sense of human chromosome two. Make sense of Probaignathos' double-jointed jaw. Make sense of the tetrapod anatomy of whales. Just for a start. Make sense of a few of these things as `specially designed' rather than evolved.



                          >
                          > Premise 1] is utterly gratuitous. Good design = optimal _function_. The
                          > biological world is stunningly _functional_ and therefore its design
                          > is _good_: Genesis 1:31: "And God saw everything that he had made,
                          > and behold, it was _very good_."
                          >
                          > ..those who use the argument from imperfection as a bludgeon…
                          >utterly ignoring that the examples they point to
                          > are quite trivial, and _local_, not global.
                          >


                          So, are you saying that it is consistent with design by an omnipotent, omniscient Creator if stunningly functional design does not characterize the WHOLE creation? That a trivial bit of less than stunning design is ok so long as it is local? Uh-uh. If you are going to attribute the smallest details of brilliant design to the Creator, then no small, trivial, local exception makes sense. Why would there be any exceptions?



                          > Premise 2] is risible. There is not a jot of evidence that the "ordinary
                          > natural process" called Darwinian evolution has created _any_
                          > "biological reality" - whether that reality is biological information, a
                          > cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone the living _integrated_ wholes
                          > of which biological information, eyes, wings, etc., are but parts.
                          >



                          Which takes us back to whether natural processes "create" (not replicate) proteins. Depends somewhat on what limitations you give to the term "create".


                          >
                          > >
                          > >Let's begin by noting that that list includes a great deal more than
                          > >intelligence.
                          >
                          > Neither self-awareness nor reflection is possible absent intelligence, nor
                          > would a "large nervous system" help man to "solve the very same
                          > questions that we have, and [be] capable of discovering the very
                          > process that produced it, the process of evolution," absent
                          > intelligence.
                          >


                          So perhaps, we are using "intelligence" with somewhat different meanings. Let me ask you if you identify all faculties of mind and emotion as "intelligence" or do you distinguish intelligence, will, moral faculty, subjective self-awareness, love, soul and spirituality from each other. It is in the latter sense that I deny intelligence alone is the sum total of the image of God in humanity. All these other things are also (and some more so than intelligence) aspects of the image of God.


                          > > >So, you deny then that man's intelligence, mind, etc., are the
                          > > >handiwork of Darwinian natural selection?
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > >No, but I do deny that they are epiphenomena.
                          >
                          > Oh, well, then even man's intelligence doesn't reflect the likeness and
                          > image of God....
                          >


                          Your conclusion, not mine.


                          >
                          > I've never so much as hinted that the human intellect _is_ the sum total
                          > of man's likeness and image of God.
                          >


                          Well, I certainly would not have known that from the vociferous way you have been arguing against _my_ denial that the human intellect _is_ the sum total of humanity's likeness and image of God.


                          >
                          >Quite the contrary. I have contended
                          > that by your having echoed Miller, et al, _you_ agree that their
                          > reduction of the sum total of man's likeness and image of God to human
                          > intelligence is true.
                          >


                          In short you are putting words into my mouth again, and also into that of Miller, et al.

                          You can stop beating up your straw man now.

                          >
                          > I'll refresh your memory _again_. For instance:
                          >
                          > On June 3, 2009, gluadys wrote re: Darwinism and evolution [caps gluadys]:
                          >
                          > <<quote>>
                          >
                          > We do not, for example, KNOW that there was a first-century Jew in Galilee
                          > called Jesus of Nazareth. …..
                          >
                          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/17928
                          >
                          > I can't imagine a more explicit testimonial to the nonsensical scientistic
                          > / positivist philosophy that reduces belief to an inferior or defective
                          > form of knowledge than yours [which I unreservedly agree is a "very
                          > strange attitude from a professed Christian].
                          >


                          The fact that you react to this as a denigration of belief tells me how much you depend on a scientistic/positivist foundation of knowledge as the ground of your faith.

                          Can you show me that we know any more than I have stated we know?
                          Why do we say "I believe…" rather than "I know…" when we confess our faith in God, in Christ, in his resurrection, in his coming again, in the Holy Spirit, the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the life everlasting?

                          It is not because faith is defective knowledge. It is because faith is a different order of experience than knowledge. And it is above knowledge, not inferior to it. I can know and be indifferent to what I know. I can never be indifferent to what I believe. Through faith, God claims me in a way that knowledge never can.
                        • Clare Wilson Parr
                          ... I have made sense of the many biological realities you claim make no sense if we think of them as being specially designed. If I hadn t, we d agree,
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jul 16, 2009
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                            On 7/16/2009, gluadys wrote:

                            > >It is clear _to YOU_ that "there are many biological realities that make no
                            > >sense if we think of them as being 'specially designed,'" but it is by no
                            > >means clear, to put it mildly, to many, if not most people, Christian or
                            > >not, that "there are many biological realities that make no sense if we
                            > >think of them as being 'specially designed.'"
                            > >
                            >
                            >So make sense of them. Make sense of human goosebumps and ear-moving muscles.
                            >Make sense of the GULO pseudo-gene. Make sense of human chromosome two.
                            >Make sense of Probaignathos' double-jointed jaw. Make sense of the tetrapod
                            >anatomy of whales. Just for a start. Make sense of a few of these things as
                            >`specially designed' rather than evolved.

                            I have made sense of the "many biological realities" you claim "make no sense
                            if we think of them as being 'specially designed.'" If I hadn't, we'd agree,
                            now wouldn't we? Your "first premises," or "first philosophy," meaning your
                            conception of reality, convince[s] you that Mind-first / top-down intentional,
                            purposeful biological design is "senseless," an illusion, that the biological
                            world merely _appears_ to be designed, that appearance being a bottom-up
                            effect of "ordinary natural processes" [i.e. principally random mutation /
                            variation, random genetic drift, and natural selection]. My conception of
                            reality is diametric to yours. To my way of thinking, the notion that human
                            goosebumps, ear-wiggling muscles, and chromosome 2, the GULO pseudogene, etc.,
                            manifest "senseless design" is just plain absurd. Moreover, the "senseless
                            design" notion is so manifestly hubristic that it's a real struggle not to
                            just roll my eyes and then occupy my mind thinking about reasonable,
                            interesting questions....

                            1] Intelligent design is not necessarily optimal and optimal design is certainly
                            not "perfect."

                            2] Those who beat the "senseless, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal, inconsistent,
                            sadistic, cruel" dysteleology drum point to local, particular examples of the
                            biological designs they judge "senseless, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal,
                            inconsistent, sadistic, and cruel," but biological design is universal, or
                            global. Living creatures / species don't exist in isolation but are a part of
                            the biosphere and there must be a balance between the "good" of a particular
                            species and the "good" of the biosphere.

                            3] Another of the fallacious Darwinian argument-from-imperfection assumptions is
                            that biological design is _static_, which is risibly false.

                            4] The Darwinian argument-from-imperfection is fundamentally flawed because it
                            is predicated upon the false assumption that God can be psychoanalyzed:

                            An Intelligent Designer God would have NEVER have made "senseless, stupid,
                            incompetent, sub-optimal, inconsistent, sadistic, cruel" biological
                            designs that specify goosebumps, or ear-wiggling muscles, or wisdom teeth,
                            or man's spinal column, blahblahblah. Therefore, the biological world is
                            the design and creation of autonomous, "ordinary" Darwinian "natural
                            processes." [Two fallacies for the price of one.]

                            > >Premise 1] is utterly gratuitous. Good design = optimal _function_. The
                            > >biological world is stunningly _functional_ and therefore its design
                            > >is _good_: Genesis 1:31: "And God saw everything that he had made,
                            > >and behold, it was _very good_."
                            > >
                            > >...those who use the argument from imperfection as a bludgeon…
                            > >utterly ignoring that the examples they point to are quite
                            > >trivial, and _local_, not global.
                            > >
                            >
                            >So, are you saying that it is consistent with design by an omnipotent, omniscient
                            >Creator if stunningly functional design does not characterize the WHOLE
                            >creation?
                            >That a trivial bit of less than stunning design is ok so long as it is local?

                            Yes.

                            >Uh-uh. If you are going to attribute the smallest details of brilliant design to
                            >the Creator, then no small, trivial, local exception makes sense. Why would
                            >there be any exceptions?

                            If you'd bother to read any of the ID theorists' published works, such as Stephen
                            C. Meyer's _Signature in the Cell_, or Michael Behe's _The Edge of Evolution_, or
                            William A. Dembski's _The Design Revolution_, you'd answer your own questions. I
                            have outlined several of the reasons that explain the local "exceptions," but I
                            don't feel obliged to waste my time comprehensively answering fundamental
                            questions that the questioner boasts that he _won't_ be bothered to find
                            answers to himself.

                            > >Premise 2] is risible. There is not a jot of evidence that the "ordinary
                            > >natural process" called Darwinian evolution has created _any_
                            > >"biological reality" - whether that reality is biological information, a
                            > >cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone the living _integrated_ wholes
                            > >of which biological information, eyes, wings, etc., are but parts.
                            > >
                            >
                            >Which takes us back to whether natural processes "create" (not replicate)
                            >proteins. Depends somewhat on what limitations you give to the term
                            >"create".

                            Create: Make or cause to be or to become; bring into existence.

                            Do you ever tire of talking to yourself? There is not a jot of evidence
                            that the "ordinary natural process" called Darwinian evolution has
                            created _any_ "biological reality" - whether that reality is biological
                            information, a cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone the living
                            _integrated_ wholes of which biological information, eyes, wings,
                            etc., are but parts.

                            > >>Let's begin by noting that that list includes a great deal more than
                            > >>intelligence.
                            > >
                            > >Neither self-awareness nor reflection is possible absent
                            > >intelligence, nor ould a "large nervous system" help man
                            > >to "solve the very same questions that we have, and [be]
                            > >capable of discovering the very process that produced
                            > >it, the process of evolution," absent intelligence.
                            > >
                            >
                            >So perhaps, we are using "intelligence" with somewhat different meanings.
                            >Let me ask you if you identify all faculties of mind and emotion as
                            >"intelligence" or do you distinguish intelligence, will, moral faculty,
                            >subjective self-awareness, love, soul and spirituality from each other.

                            How on earth can a creature be volitional, moral, self-aware, know love
                            and spirituality, etc., if he isn't a rational [intelligent] being?
                            Human intelligence, volition, morality, self-awareness, spirituality,
                            emotions, etc., are _inter-dependent_ preternatural gifts.

                            >It is in the latter sense that I deny intelligence alone is the sum total
                            >of the image of God in humanity. All these other things are also (and
                            >some more so than intelligence) aspects of the image of God.
                            >
                            > >>>So, you deny then that man's intelligence, mind, etc., are the
                            > >>>handiwork of Darwinian natural selection?
                            > >>>
                            > >>
                            > >>No, but I do deny that they are epiphenomena.
                            > >
                            > >Oh, well, then even man's intelligence doesn't reflect the likeness and
                            > >image of God....
                            > >
                            >
                            >Your conclusion, not mine.

                            If you weren't so busy having your cake and eating it too, it would be your
                            conclusion too.

                            > >I've never so much as hinted that the human intellect _is_ the sum total
                            > >of man's likeness and image of God.
                            > >
                            >
                            >Well, I certainly would not have known that from the vociferous way you have
                            >been arguing against _my_ denial that the human intellect _is_ the sum total
                            >of humanity's likeness and image of God.

                            It's hardly surprising that you have ignored the crux of my argument, which is,
                            in a nutshell, that MAN - the INTEGRATED whole, soul _and_ body, form and
                            matter, immaterial and material - is the sum total of humanity's likeness and
                            image of God, not man's intelligence, or self-awareness, or spirituality, body,
                            etc., but the integrated whole, the "package" that we call man, or humanity.

                            > >Quite the contrary. I have contended that by your having echoed Miller, et al,
                            > >_you_ agree that their reduction of the sum total of man's likeness and image
                            > >of God to human intelligence is true.
                            > >
                            >
                            >In short you are putting words into my mouth again, and also into that of
                            >Miller, et al.

                            I'm doing no such thing, a fact to which a visit to the OriginsTalk archive will
                            amply verify.

                            >You can stop beating up your straw man now.
                            >
                            > >I'll refresh your memory _again_. For instance:
                            > >
                            > >On June 3, 2009, gluadys wrote re: Darwinism and evolution [caps gluadys]:
                            > >
                            > ><<quote>>
                            > >
                            > >We do not, for example, KNOW that there was a first-century Jew in Galilee
                            > >called Jesus of Nazareth. …..
                            > >
                            > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/17928
                            > >
                            > >I can't imagine a more explicit testimonial to the nonsensical scientistic
                            > >/ positivist philosophy that reduces belief to an inferior or defective
                            > >form of knowledge than yours [which I unreservedly agree is a "very
                            > >strange attitude from a professed Christian].
                            > >
                            >
                            >The fact that you react to this as a denigration of belief tells me how much
                            >you depend
                            >on a scientistic/positivist foundation of knowledge as the ground of your faith.

                            Talk about a straw man. The fact of the matter is that ALL belief, ALL knowledge
                            is fundamentally an act of faith, and it is a manifestation of my faith that I
                            trust that man is rational, that we can know good and evil, and love, and make
                            discoveries about the world and the reality we inhabit because they are
                            intelligible to us, and most importantly, that I can love God. As St. Paul
                            tells us, it is by attaining the unity of faith "that we may no longer be
                            children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by
                            the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles (Ephesians 4, 14).
                            I don't denigrate belief because I flatly deny that belief, or faith, is
                            _subordinate_ to knowledge: deeply rooted Christian faith opens us to all that
                            is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from
                            truth.

                            >Can you show me that we know any more than I have stated we know?

                            That we can know more than you've stated we can know has been "shown" by
                            brilliant minds for nearly two thousand years.

                            >Why do we say "I believe…" rather than "I know…" when we confess our faith in
                            >God, in Christ, in his resurrection, in his coming again, in the Holy Spirit,
                            >the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the life
                            >everlasting?
                            >
                            >It is not because faith is defective knowledge. It is because faith is a
                            >different order of experience than knowledge. And it is above knowledge,
                            >not inferior to it. I can know and be indifferent to what I know. I can
                            >never be indifferent to what I believe. Through faith, God claims me in a
                            >way that knowledge never can.

                            Your words ring hollow. A person who is convinced that faith isn't "defective
                            knowledge" would never opine, for instance, that

                            <<quote>>

                            We do not, for example, KNOW that there was a first-century Jew in Galilee
                            called Jesus of Nazareth. And we certainly do not KNOW that he was a
                            descendant of David, worked miracles, was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
                            rose from the dead and was proclaimed Messiah and Lord.

                            What we KNOW is that a community of people BELIEVED these things and some of them
                            wrote down what they believed. What we KNOW is that we have a testimony of what
                            that community BELIEVED. And we can choose to become part of that community of
                            BELIEVERS.

                            Do I believe their testimony is true? Yes. Do I know for a fact that it is? No,
                            and neither does anyone else, since not a shred of it has ever been verified.

                            <<end quote>>

                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/17928

                            -- or --

                            <<quote>>

                            I have every reason to accept that Darwinian evolution is true. If I am mistaken,
                            I stand in the company of many people, both believers and non-believers, who are
                            among the best intellects and researchers we have. I have seen not an iota of
                            evidence described that would make evolution untrue. In every conceivable way,
                            evolution makes scientific sense. I must therefore conclude that if Christianity
                            is true, it cannot reject evolution. To do so would be equivalent to rejecting
                            Christ.

                            <<end quote>>

                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/17439

                            Note: according to you, the testimony of the community of BELIEVERS that there was
                            that there was a Jew in Galilee called Jesus of Nazareth who was a descendant of
                            David, worked miracles, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, rose from the dead and
                            was proclaimed Messiah and Lord, isn't KNOWLEDGE because the testimony has never
                            been "VERIFIED." At the same time, according to you, you "have every reason to
                            _ACCEPT_ that Darwinian evolution is TRUE. Therefore, you must conclude that _IF_
                            Christianity is true, it cannot reject evolution. To do so would be equivalent to
                            rejecting Christ.

                            Where's the VERIFICATION that autonomous, ordinary, natural Darwinian processes,
                            principally random mutation / variation and natural selection, have created
                            biological information, a cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone built a
                            vertebrate from an invertebrate, a mammal from a reptile, or a human from an
                            ape?
                          • gluadys
                            ... Agreed. But an omniscient, all-powerful designer will at least produce optimal design, if that is defined as the best possible given the physical
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jul 22, 2009
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                              --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Clare Wilson Parr <turandot1125@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > 1] Intelligent design is not necessarily optimal and optimal design is certainly
                              > not "perfect."
                              >

                              Agreed. But an omniscient, all-powerful designer will at least produce optimal design, if that is defined as the best possible given the physical constraints. Design that exists solely because of historical constraints as opposed to physical constraints would be unnecessary.


                              > 2] Those who beat the "senseless, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal, inconsistent,
                              > sadistic, cruel" dysteleology drum point to local, particular examples of the
                              > biological designs they judge "senseless, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal,
                              > inconsistent, sadistic, and cruel," but biological design is universal, or
                              > global. Living creatures / species don't exist in isolation but are a part of
                              > the biosphere and there must be a balance between the "good" of a particular
                              > species and the "good" of the biosphere.
                              >


                              Why is biological design defined as universal or global? If each specific form of organism is uniquely designed there is no necessity for global designs. And what else is design about if it is not about designing unique species?

                              I don't get the "good of the biosphere" criterion. The biosphere is incredibly diverse with hundreds of unique ecological systems. Yes, a species needs to fit into its own unique ecological niche, but that niche itself can be very local. If design means anything it means designing creatures precisely adapted for such unique local ecologies.


                              >
                              > 3] Another of the fallacious Darwinian argument-from-imperfection assumptions is
                              > that biological design is _static_, which is risibly false.
                              >


                              If you mean that a once designed species evolves, you will get no quarrel from me. The question then is where is the ancestor that was designed?


                              > 4] The Darwinian argument-from-imperfection is fundamentally flawed because it
                              > is predicated upon the false assumption that God can be psychoanalyzed:
                              >
                              > An Intelligent Designer God would have NEVER have made "senseless, stupid,
                              > incompetent, sub-optimal, inconsistent, sadistic, cruel" biological
                              > designs that specify goosebumps, or ear-wiggling muscles, or wisdom teeth,
                              > or man's spinal column, blahblahblah.


                              An intelligent designer could do all of that. But a kind and good creator would not. Nor would a designer who is choosing optimal designs.



                              >
                              > >So, are you saying that it is consistent with design by an omnipotent, omniscient
                              > >Creator if stunningly functional design does not characterize the WHOLE
                              > >creation?
                              > >That a trivial bit of less than stunning design is ok so long as it is local?
                              >
                              > Yes.
                              >


                              Why? I contend again that if one is going to attribute the smallest details of brilliant design to the Creator, then no small, trivial, local exception makes sense. Why would there be any exceptions?



                              >
                              > If you'd bother to read any of the ID theorists' published works,
                              >


                              You can cut and paste the answers you think relevant, or post a link to them. I am not going to waste time and money reading three books and still have to guess what you think the answer is. The answer Dembski has given on-line is that ID does not have any theory on the nature of the Designer. As far as ID is concerned, maybe the Designer is whimsical or sadistic or childish or has a low IQ. That is fine as long as one does not also claim that the Designer is God, the Creator.


                              > >
                              > >Which takes us back to whether natural processes "create" (not replicate)
                              > >proteins. Depends somewhat on what limitations you give to the term
                              > >"create".
                              >
                              > Create: Make or cause to be or to become; bring into existence.
                              >



                              Yes, that is the general definition. By that definition, the pastry-maker creates a cake by assembling flour, sugar, eggs and other ingredients according to the instructions in the recipe. By that definition the ribosomal RNA creates a protein by assembling and folding amino acids according to the recipe transmitted to it by mRNA.

                              Some people prefer to limit the term "create" to the sort of creation that only a deity is capable of. Just wondering if you wantrd to add that limitation.



                              >
                              > > >I've never so much as hinted that the human intellect _is_ the sum total
                              > > >of man's likeness and image of God.
                              > > >
                              > >
                              > >Well, I certainly would not have known that from the vociferous way you have
                              > >been arguing against _my_ denial that the human intellect _is_ the sum total
                              > >of humanity's likeness and image of God.
                              >
                              > It's hardly surprising that you have ignored the crux of my argument, which is,
                              > in a nutshell, that MAN - the INTEGRATED whole, soul _and_ body, form and
                              > matter, immaterial and material - is the sum total of humanity's likeness and
                              > image of God, not man's intelligence, or self-awareness, or spirituality, body,
                              > etc., but the integrated whole, the "package" that we call man, or humanity.
                              >

                              LOL. You are not as good as Razzelflabben, but you do have the knack of arguing strenuously against something I have said and then turning around to state my position as if it were yours all along.

                              Of course, it may also have been yours all along, but you are bound and determined to argue everything I say, even what you actually agree with.


                              >
                              > The fact of the matter is that ALL belief, ALL knowledge
                              > is fundamentally an act of faith,
                              >


                              Now THAT I would agree with. See if you can get someone like Temlakos to agree with it though.


                              >
                              >and it is a manifestation of my faith that I
                              > trust that man is rational, that we can know good and evil, and love, and make
                              > discoveries about the world and the reality we inhabit because they are
                              > intelligible to us, and most importantly, that I can love God.


                              Yes, THAT I agree with. You will note that a couple of the first principles of science (the faith that science itself is fundamentally based on) are listed there: notably that we can "make discoveries about the world and the reality we inhabit because they are intelligible to us."

                              We need faith to even believe that we inhabit a reality and not a solipsistic illusion. We affirm by faith that God, not we, created this reality and that it is a reality even to God---not a dream in God's mind.

                              We need faith that we can access this reality with our senses and our intellect. We need the faith of Galileo that God did not endow us with sense and reason for these gifts to lie unused.


                              > I don't denigrate belief because I flatly deny that belief, or faith, is
                              > _subordinate_ to knowledge: deeply rooted Christian faith opens us to all that
                              > is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from
                              > truth.
                              >


                              I agree. If anything, it is knowledge (and by this I mean empirically testable knowledge) that is subordinate to faith, since it rests on the prior affirmations of faith in a created reality that is both knowable and intelligible.



                              > >Can you show me that we know any more than I have stated we know?
                              >
                              > That we can know more than you've stated we can know has been "shown" by
                              > brilliant minds for nearly two thousand years.
                              >

                              By whom, and in what treatises? Based on what evidence?


                              >
                              > Note: according to you, the testimony of the community of BELIEVERS that there was
                              > that there was a Jew in Galilee called Jesus of Nazareth who was a descendant of
                              > David, worked miracles, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, rose from the dead and
                              > was proclaimed Messiah and Lord, isn't KNOWLEDGE because the testimony has never
                              > been "VERIFIED."
                              >


                              It was probably knowledge to the apostles and the first community of Christians in Jerusalem and Galilee. But by the time we have anything other than word of mouth reports of Christians and what they believe, nothing is left by which that testimony can be corroborated.

                              All of the extra-biblical reports that mention Jesus mention him as the one whom Christians worship as a god. That is a witness to what Christians believed. It is not a corroboration of their belief.

                              And that throws us back on Christian writings, especially the New Testament. But these are shot through with apologetics. They give us no real grip on the historical figure of Jesus they are presumably about. They are a witness to Jesus as Christ, not a corroboration of the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth.

                              None of this means, of course, that Jesus did not exist as a historical figure. None of this means the testimony and traditions we have received are untrue. But it does mean that we rest our faith on testimony and tradition, not on corroborated historical information.

                              By contrast, the theory of evolution (i.e. Darwinian evolution) is corroborated by evidence and experiment. We don't need to have faith to accept evolution (other than those fundamentals of scientific faith mentioned earlier).


                              >
                              > Where's the VERIFICATION that autonomous, ordinary, natural Darwinian processes,
                              > principally random mutation / variation and natural selection, have created
                              > biological information, a cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone built a
                              > vertebrate from an invertebrate, a mammal from a reptile, or a human from an
                              > ape?
                              >


                              Why do you keep putting "autonomous" in your list when you know I don't agree that any natural processes are autonomous? As for the rest:


                              It is in the verification that individuals exhibit variation in their characteristics. It is in the verification that some of these variations are inheritable. It is in the verification that under some circumstances some of these variations will be inherited non-randomly. It is in the verification that inheritable variations are expressions of genetic information. It is in the verification that under given circumstances populations will divide into groups that no longer mate with each other i.e. become different species. It is in the verification that genomic and phenotypic distribution in time and space follows rules of inheritance, not rules of functional design. It is in the verification that phylogenies based on differing criteria (from biogeography to embryological development to endogenous ERVs) converge on the same phylogeny. It is in the verification that genetic information can be duplicated and then modified so that where there was one gene with a set of functions there are now two genes with a wider set of functions. It is in the discovery and verification that gene expression can be regulated in numerous subtle ways to affect development and turn it in new directions.


                              What, other than evolution, accounts for these observed phenomena?
                            • Clare Wilson Parr
                              ... You _assume_ that ours is not the best possible world. You _assume_ that the biological world s design [or designs] is sub-optimal, constrained by
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 23, 2009
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                                On 7/22/2009, gluadys wrote:

                                >>1] Intelligent design is not necessarily optimal and optimal design is
                                >>certainly not "perfect."
                                >>
                                >
                                >Agreed. But an omniscient, all-powerful designer will at least produce optimal
                                >design, if that is defined as the best possible given the physical constraints.
                                >Design that exists solely because of historical constraints as opposed to
                                >physical constraints would be unnecessary.

                                You _assume_ that ours is not "the best possible world." You _assume_ that the biological world's design [or designs] is sub-optimal, constrained by history, not physics. Your armchair psychoanalysis of God's nature and will is beside the point.

                                >>2] Those who beat the "senseless, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal, inconsistent,
                                >>sadistic, cruel" dysteleology drum point to local, particular examples of the
                                >>biological designs they judge "senseless, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal,
                                >>inconsistent, sadistic, and cruel," but biological design is universal, or
                                >>global. Living creatures / species don't exist in isolation but are a part of
                                >>the biosphere and there must be a balance between the "good" of a particular
                                >>species and the "good" of the biosphere.
                                >>
                                >
                                >Why is biological design defined as universal or global? If each specific form
                                >of organism is uniquely designed there is no necessity for global designs.

                                Who's suggested that each _specific_ form of organism is uniquely designed?

                                >And what else is design about if it is not about designing unique species?

                                I just don't have the patience to answer such an elementary question....

                                >I don't get the "good of the biosphere" criterion. The biosphere is incredibly
                                >diverse with hundreds of unique ecological systems. Yes, a species needs to
                                >fit into its own unique ecological niche, but that niche itself can be very
                                >local. If design means anything it means designing creatures precisely adapted
                                >for such unique local ecologies.

                                If _design_ means anything, it means designing creatures that are stable [faithful to type] and intrinsically adaptable to unique local ecologies.

                                >>3] Another of the fallacious Darwinian argument-from-imperfection assumptions is
                                >>that biological design is _static_, which is risibly false.
                                >>
                                >
                                >If you mean that a once designed species evolves, you will get no quarrel from me.
                                >The question then is where is the ancestor that was designed?

                                What _are_ you talking about? If a species is "once designed" it's ALWAYS AND FOREVER designed.

                                How a Darwinist can ask "... where is the ancestor that was designed" is beyond me....

                                >>4] The Darwinian argument-from-imperfection is fundamentally flawed because it
                                >>is predicated upon the false assumption that God can be psychoanalyzed:
                                >>
                                >>An Intelligent Designer God would have NEVER have made "senseless, stupid,
                                >>incompetent, sub-optimal, inconsistent, sadistic, cruel" biological
                                >>designs that specify goosebumps, or ear-wiggling muscles, or wisdom teeth,
                                >>or man's spinal column, blahblahblah.
                                >
                                >An intelligent designer could do all of that. But a kind and good creator would
                                >not. Nor would a designer who is choosing optimal designs.

                                Which are subjective assumptions:

                                1] Goosebumps, ear-wiggling muscles, or wisdom teeth, or man's spinal column, blahblahblah, _are_ "senseless, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal, inconsistent, sadistic, cruel" biological designs that 2] a "kind and good [C]reator" would NEVER have made.

                                >>>So, are you saying that it is consistent with design by an omnipotent, omniscient
                                >>>Creator if stunningly functional design does not characterize the WHOLE
                                >>>creation? That a trivial bit of less than stunning design is ok so long as it is
                                >>local?
                                >>
                                >> Yes.
                                >>
                                >
                                >Why? I contend again that if one is going to attribute the smallest details of
                                >brilliant design to the Creator, then no small, trivial, local exception makes
                                >sense. Why would there be any exceptions?

                                First, you _assume_ that there are "trivial bit[s] of less than stunning design, Second, who's mentioned "trivial, local _exceptions_?"

                                >>If you'd bother to read any of the ID theorists' published works,
                                >>
                                >
                                >You can cut and paste the answers you think relevant, or post a link to them. I
                                >am not going to waste time and money reading three books and still have to guess
                                >what you think the answer is. The answer Dembski has given on-line is that ID
                                >does not have any theory on the nature of the Designer. As far as ID is
                                >concerned, maybe the Designer is whimsical or sadistic or childish or has a low
                                >IQ. That is fine as long as one does not also claim that the Designer is God,
                                >the Creator.

                                Of course I _could_ cut and paste or post a link to the answers I think relevant, but in the first place many of the relevant answers aren't cut-and-pasteable or linkable, nor is what _I_ think the answers are material. Since you can't be bothered to do your own homework, and since you incorrigibly ignore or deliberately contort the data relevant to ID theoretics that are posted to OriginsTalk, and since you persistently reiterate the same dis- / misinformation undaunted by the fact that it has been incontrovertibly refuted time and again, I won't waste my time trying to force-feed you facts that you will not give a nanosecond's reflective thought to. Therefore, since you can't be bothered to take the time to comprehensively read and digest _any_ of the ID theorists' published works, any discussion with you is pointless.

                                >>>>I've never so much as hinted that the human intellect _is_ the sum total
                                >>>>of man's likeness and image of God.
                                >>>>
                                >>>
                                >>>Well, I certainly would not have known that from the vociferous way you have
                                >>>been arguing against _my_ denial that the human intellect _is_ the sum total
                                >>>of humanity's likeness and image of God.
                                >>
                                >>It's hardly surprising that you have ignored the crux of my argument, which is,
                                >>in a nutshell, that MAN - the INTEGRATED whole, soul _and_ body, form and
                                >>matter, immaterial and material - is the sum total of humanity's likeness and
                                >>image of God, not man's intelligence, or self-awareness, or spirituality, body,
                                >>etc., but the integrated whole, the "package" that we call man, or humanity.
                                >>
                                >
                                >LOL. You are not as good as Razzelflabben, but you do have the knack of arguing
                                >strenuously against something I have said and then turning around to state my
                                >position as if it were yours all along.
                                >
                                >Of course, it may also have been yours all along, but you are bound and determined
                                >to argue everything I say, even what you actually agree with.

                                I guess it wouldn't occur to you that it is quite often your _premises_, not your conclusions, that I profoundly disagree with.... We may both agree that MAN - the INTEGRATED whole, soul _and_ body, form and matter, immaterial and material - is the sum total of humanity's likeness and image of God, but we irreconcilably DISagree about _how_ man came to be the integrated whole that is the sum total of humanity's likeness and image of God, and I think we irreconcilably disagree that man _is_ an integrated whole in the sense that I understand he is.

                                >>The fact of the matter is that ALL belief, ALL knowledge
                                >>is fundamentally an act of faith,
                                >>
                                >
                                >Now THAT I would agree with.

                                Really, if I didn't know better [meaning that if I hadn't considered the source], I'd swear your "THAT I agree withs!" are parodical or satirical, most especially in contrast to the commentary relative to Biblical testimony that follows the "I agrees!" A person couldn't make this stuff up....

                                >See if you can get someone like Temlakos to agree with it though.

                                Leave Temlakos alone.

                                >>and it is a manifestation of my faith that I trust that man is rational,
                                >>that we can know good and evil, and love, and make discoveries about the
                                >>world and the reality we inhabit because they are intelligible to us,
                                >>and most importantly, that I can love God.
                                >
                                >Yes, THAT I agree with.
                                >
                                >>I don't denigrate belief because I flatly deny that belief, or faith, is
                                >>_subordinate_ to knowledge: deeply rooted Christian faith opens us to
                                >>all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false,
                                >>and deceit from truth.
                                >>
                                >
                                >I agree. If anything, it is knowledge (and by this I mean empirically testable
                                >knowledge) that is subordinate to faith, since it rests on the prior
                                >affirmations of faith in a created reality that is both knowable and
                                >intelligible.
                                >
                                >>>Can you show me that we know any more than I have stated we know?
                                >>
                                >>That we can know more than you've stated we can know has been "shown" by
                                >>brilliant minds for nearly two thousand years.
                                >>
                                >
                                >By whom, and in what treatises? Based on what evidence?
                                >
                                >>Note: according to you, the testimony of the community of BELIEVERS that
                                >>there was a Jew in Galilee called Jesus of Nazareth who was a descendant
                                >>of David, worked miracles, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, rose from
                                >>the dead and was proclaimed Messiah and Lord, isn't KNOWLEDGE because
                                >>the testimony has never been "VERIFIED."
                                >>
                                >
                                >It was probably knowledge to the apostles and the first community of Christians in
                                >Jerusalem and Galilee. But by the time we have anything other than word of mouth
                                >reports of Christians and what they believe, nothing is left by which that
                                >testimony can be corroborated.
                                >
                                >All of the extra-biblical reports that mention Jesus mention him as the one whom
                                >Christians worship as a god. That is a witness to what Christians believed. It
                                >is not a corroboration of their belief.
                                >
                                >And that throws us back on Christian writings, especially the New Testament. But
                                >these are shot through with apologetics. They give us no real grip on the
                                >historical figure of Jesus they are presumably about. They are a witness to
                                >Jesus as Christ, not a corroboration of the historical existence of Jesus of
                                >Nazareth.
                                >
                                >None of this means, of course, that Jesus did not exist as a historical figure.
                                >None of this means the testimony and traditions we have received are untrue.
                                >But it does mean that we rest our faith on testimony and tradition, not on
                                >corroborated historical information.
                                >
                                >By contrast, the theory of evolution (i.e. Darwinian evolution) is corroborated
                                >by evidence and experiment. We don't need to have faith to accept evolution
                                >(other than those fundamentals of scientific faith mentioned earlier).
                                >
                                >> Where's the VERIFICATION that autonomous, ordinary, natural Darwinian processes,
                                >> principally random mutation / variation and natural selection, have created
                                >> biological information, a cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone built a
                                >> vertebrate from an invertebrate, a mammal from a reptile, or a human from an
                                >> ape?
                                >>
                                >
                                >Why do you keep putting "autonomous" in your list when you know I don't agree that any
                                >natural processes are autonomous?

                                I. don't care whether _you_ agree or don't that any natural processes are autonomous, and I cannot for the life of me fathom why you imagine I should.

                                >As for the rest:
                                >
                                >It is in the verification that individuals exhibit variation in their characteristics.
                                >It is in the verification that some of these variations are inheritable. It is in
                                >the verification that under some circumstances some of these variations will be
                                >inherited non-randomly. It is in the verification that inheritable variations are
                                >expressions of genetic information. It is in the verification that under given
                                >circumstances populations will divide into groups that no longer mate with each other
                                >i.e. become different species. It is in the verification that genomic and phenotypic
                                >distribution in time and space follows rules of inheritance, not rules of functional
                                >design. It is in the verification that phylogenies based on differing criteria (from
                                >biogeography to embryological development to endogenous ERVs) converge on the same
                                >phylogeny. It is in the verification that genetic information can be duplicated and
                                >then modified so that where there was one gene with a set of functions there are now
                                >two genes with a wider set of functions. It is in the discovery and verification that
                                >gene expression can be regulated in numerous subtle ways to affect development and turn
                                >it in new directions.

                                Priceless! You've ever so helpfully VERIFIED that the VERIFICATION that autonomous, ordinary, natural Darwinian processes, principally random mutation / variation and natural selection, have created biological information, a cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone built a vertebrate from an invertebrate, a mammal from a reptile, or a human from an ape, is NONEXISTENT.
                              • gluadys
                                ... Paley did. That was the teaching that Darwin felt it was like confessing a murder to reject: that the form of species is fixed and every distinct
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jul 29, 2009
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                                  --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Clare Wilson Parr <turandot1125@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Who's suggested that each _specific_ form of organism is uniquely designed?
                                  >


                                  Paley did. That was the teaching that Darwin felt it was like "confessing a murder" to reject: that the form of species is fixed and every distinct species is a unique design. (Since creationists themselves rejected that position in the 1940s we sometimes forget that the teaching of the 19th century was indeed that species (not any undefined supra-specific "kind"—but species) were the unit of creation and that each one was a unique and separate creation and design that remained fixed, barring minor local variations within the species.



                                  >
                                  > If _design_ means anything, it means designing creatures that are stable [faithful to type] and intrinsically adaptable to unique local ecologies.
                                  >
                                  >


                                  That sounds basically like the modern creationist version of created kinds which experience micro-evolution within the kind. Is that what you intend to express?


                                  > >>3] Another of the fallacious Darwinian argument-from-imperfection assumptions is
                                  > >>that biological design is _static_, which is risibly false.
                                  > >>
                                  > >
                                  > >If you mean that a once designed species evolves, you will get no quarrel from me.
                                  > >The question then is where is the ancestor that was designed?
                                  >
                                  > What _are_ you talking about? If a species is "once designed" it's ALWAYS AND FOREVER designed.
                                  >
                                  > How a Darwinist can ask "... where is the ancestor that was designed" is beyond me....
                                  >


                                  Why not? If you are speaking of the design of a created kind---then the original created population is the evolutionary ancestor of all current species within the boundaries of the kind. E.g. horse, donkey and zebra, all members of the equine kind, have evolved from the originally created/designed equine. And that originally created/designed equine is the ancestor that was designed. At least that seems to be the view of most young-earth creationists and I expect of old-earth/progressive creationists too.

                                  But I am not as familiar with the latter position, so feel free to explain where I have gone wrong.


                                  >
                                  > First, you _assume_ that there are "trivial bit[s] of less than stunning design, Second, who's mentioned "trivial, local _exceptions_?"
                                  >

                                  You did. July 5, post 18141

                                  <quote>Gluadys [and those who use the argument from imperfection as a bludgeon
                                  point to what _they_ assert are "senseless," "irrational, stupid,
                                  incompetent, sub-optimal, bad, incompetent, cruel, sadistic
                                  designs" plagued by "inconsistencies that any human designer
                                  would avoid," utterly ignoring that the examples they point to
                                  are quite trivial, and _local_, not global.<<end quote>>

                                  Now can we get back to the current question?


                                  Gluadys <quote>Why? I contend again that if one is going to attribute the smallest details of
                                  brilliant design to the Creator, then no small, trivial, local exception makes
                                  sense. Why would there be any exceptions?<<end quote>>



                                  >
                                  > Of course I _could_ cut and paste or post a link to the answers I think relevant, but in the first place many of the relevant answers aren't cut-and-pasteable or linkable, nor is what _I_ think the answers are material.
                                  >


                                  The thing is, even if I did read them on my own, I still would not know what you think is relevant—what in the work constitutes the answer to my question. And what __you__think the answers are is very material, since it is __you__ that I am having this conversation with.



                                  >
                                  > >
                                  > >Of course, it may also have been yours all along, but you are bound and determined
                                  > >to argue everything I say, even what you actually agree with.
                                  >
                                  > I guess it wouldn't occur to you that it is quite often your _premises_, not your conclusions, that I profoundly disagree with....
                                  >
                                  >

                                  Well, it is nice to know that you agree with some of my conclusions.



                                  > >
                                  > >Why do you keep putting "autonomous" in your list when you know I don't agree that any
                                  > >natural processes are autonomous?
                                  >
                                  > I. don't care whether _you_ agree or don't that any natural processes are autonomous, and I cannot for the life of me fathom why you imagine I should.
                                  >


                                  You keep presenting it as a proposition I ought (as a "Darwinist") be defending. I don't defend what I disagree with. So it makes no sense for you to continually present it in that manner.



                                  > >As for the rest:
                                  > >
                                  > >It is in the verification that individuals exhibit variation in their characteristics.
                                  > >It is in the verification that some of these variations are inheritable. It is in
                                  > >the verification that under some circumstances some of these variations will be
                                  > >inherited non-randomly. It is in the verification that inheritable variations are
                                  > >expressions of genetic information. It is in the verification that under given
                                  > >circumstances populations will divide into groups that no longer mate with each other
                                  > >i.e. become different species. It is in the verification that genomic and phenotypic
                                  > >distribution in time and space follows rules of inheritance, not rules of functional
                                  > >design. It is in the verification that phylogenies based on differing criteria (from
                                  > >biogeography to embryological development to endogenous ERVs) converge on the same
                                  > >phylogeny. It is in the verification that genetic information can be duplicated and
                                  > >then modified so that where there was one gene with a set of functions there are now
                                  > >two genes with a wider set of functions. It is in the discovery and verification that
                                  > >gene expression can be regulated in numerous subtle ways to affect development and turn
                                  > >it in new directions.
                                  >
                                  > Priceless! You've ever so helpfully VERIFIED that the VERIFICATION that autonomous, ordinary, natural Darwinian processes, principally random mutation / variation and natural selection, have created biological information, a cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone built a vertebrate from an invertebrate, a mammal from a reptile, or a human from an ape, is NONEXISTENT.
                                  >

                                  Not at all. Much of what I listed speaks directly to the question you propose: how do evolutionary processes account for the emergence of complex life and its many singular features. The answer to that question lies in understanding each of the components of evolution listed above and how they contribute to the biological information that gives us a cell, an eye, a bat's wing, etc.
                                • Clare Wilson Parr
                                  On July 29, 2009 wrote re: Darwinism and evolution / Darwinism and evolution ... still [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/18294]: Since the
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Aug 1, 2009
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                                    On July 29, 2009 wrote re: Darwinism and evolution / Darwinism and evolution ... still
                                    [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OriginsTalk/message/18294%5d:

                                    Since the only casualty of gluadys' rhetorical war of attrition is gluadys' own rhetoric, I'm _happy_ give her the last word.

                                    On 7/29/2009, gluadys wrote:

                                    >>Who's suggested that each _specific_ form of organism is uniquely designed?
                                    >
                                    >Paley did.
                                    >
                                    >>If _design_ means anything, it means designing creatures that are stable [faithful to type] and intrinsically >adaptable to unique local ecologies.
                                    >
                                    >That sounds basically like the modern creationist version of created kinds which experience micro-evolution within the kind. Is that what you intend to express?

                                    _Of course_ what I've written _sounds basically like the modern creationist version of created kinds _to you_.

                                    >>>If you mean that a once designed species evolves, you will get no quarrel from me.
                                    >>>The question then is where is the ancestor that was designed?
                                    >>
                                    >>What _are_ you talking about? If a species is "once designed" it's ALWAYS AND FOREVER designed.
                                    >>
                                    >> How a Darwinist can ask "... where is the ancestor that was designed" is beyond me....
                                    >
                                    >Why not? If you are speaking of the design of a created kind---then the original created population is the evolutionary ancestor of all current species within the boundaries of the kind.

                                    You really do unerringly miss the point. Where is the universal common ancestor that is ancestral to every species that's ever inhabited the planet we call home? Where's the ape's and man's common ancestor? Where are all those "missing links?"

                                    >>First, you _assume_ that there are "trivial bit[s] of less than stunning design, Second, who's mentioned >"trivial, local _exceptions_?"
                                    >
                                    >You did. July 5, post 18141
                                    >
                                    ><quote>Gluadys [and those who use the argument from imperfection as a bludgeon point to what _they_ assert are "senseless," "irrational, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal, bad, incompetent, cruel, sadistic designs" plagued by "inconsistencies that any human designer would avoid," utterly ignoring that the examples they point to
                                    >are quite trivial, and _local_, not global.<<end quote>>
                                    >
                                    >Now can we get back to the current question?

                                    Note that I did NOT use the word _exceptions_, and I did not use the word exception because the assumption that there are "senseless," "irrational, stupid, incompetent, sub-optimal, bad, incompetent, cruel, sadistic designs" plagued by "inconsistencies that any human designer would avoid," is FALSE.

                                    >>Of course I _could_ cut and paste or post a link to the answers I think relevant, but in the first place many >of the relevant answers aren't cut-and-pasteable or linkable, nor is what _I_ think the answers are material.
                                    >
                                    >The thing is, even if I did read them on my own, I still would not know what you think is relevant—what in the work constitutes the answer to my question. And what __you__think the answers are is very material, since it is __you__ that I am having this conversation with.

                                    Since when?

                                    >>I. don't care whether _you_ agree or don't that any natural processes are autonomous, and I cannot for the >life of me fathom why you imagine I should.
                                    >
                                    >You keep presenting it as a proposition I ought (as a "Darwinist") be defending. I don't defend what I disagree with. So it makes no sense for you to continually present it in that manner.

                                    That is the proposition you DO defend. Your insistence that the autonomous "natural processes" you defend are "guided" in the same sense that a falling leaf is "guided" to the ground is as convincing as insisting that a dead person is just having himself a nap.

                                    >> >As for the rest:
                                    >> >
                                    >> >It is in the verification that individuals exhibit variation in their characteristics.
                                    >> >It is in the verification that some of these variations are inheritable. It is in
                                    >> >the verification that under some circumstances some of these variations will be
                                    >> >inherited non-randomly. It is in the verification that inheritable variations are
                                    >> >expressions of genetic information. It is in the verification that under given
                                    >> >circumstances populations will divide into groups that no longer mate with each other
                                    >> >i.e. become different species. It is in the verification that genomic and phenotypic
                                    >> >distribution in time and space follows rules of inheritance, not rules of functional
                                    >> >design. It is in the verification that phylogenies based on differing criteria (from
                                    >> >biogeography to embryological development to endogenous ERVs) converge on the same
                                    >> >phylogeny. It is in the verification that genetic information can be duplicated and
                                    >> >then modified so that where there was one gene with a set of functions there are now
                                    >> >two genes with a wider set of functions. It is in the discovery and verification that
                                    >> >gene expression can be regulated in numerous subtle ways to affect development and turn
                                    >> >it in new directions.
                                    >>
                                    >> Priceless! You've ever so helpfully VERIFIED that the VERIFICATION that autonomous, ordinary, natural >Darwinian processes, principally random mutation / variation and natural selection, have created biological >information, a cell, an eye, or a bat's wing, let alone built a vertebrate from an invertebrate, a mammal from >a reptile, or a human from an ape, is NONEXISTENT.
                                    >
                                    >Not at all. Much of what I listed speaks directly to the question you propose: how do evolutionary processes account for the emergence of complex life and its many singular features.

                                    Nothing you listed speaks to how "evolutionary processes account for the emergence of complex life and its many singular features." Nothing.

                                    >The answer to that question lies in understanding each of the components of evolution listed above and how they contribute to the biological information that gives us a cell, an eye, a bat's wing, etc.

                                    Assume a can-opener....
                                  • Randy Crum
                                    ... Hmmm....a single-celled organism that lived nearly 4 billion years ago with no hard parts is supposed to leave what sort of evidence, exactly? ... Hominid
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Aug 1, 2009
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                                      > Clare Wilson Parr:
                                      >...
                                      > You really do unerringly miss the point. Where is
                                      > the universal common ancestor that is ancestral to
                                      > every species that's ever inhabited the planet we
                                      > call home?

                                      Hmmm....a single-celled organism that lived nearly
                                      4 billion years ago with no hard parts is supposed
                                      to leave what sort of evidence, exactly?

                                      > Where's the ape's and man's common ancestor? Where
                                      > are all those "missing links?"

                                      Hominid fossil species:

                                      Sahelanthropus tchadensis
                                      Orrorin tugenensis
                                      Ardipithecus ramidus
                                      Australopithecus anamensis
                                      Australopithecus afarensis
                                      Kenyanthropus platyops
                                      Australopithecus africanus
                                      Australopithecus garhi
                                      Australopithecus aethiopicus
                                      Australopithecus robustus
                                      Australopithecus boisei
                                      Homo habilis
                                      Homo georgicus
                                      Homo erectus
                                      Homo ergaster
                                      Homo antecessor
                                      Homo heidelbergensis
                                      Homo neanderthalensis
                                      Homo floresiensis
                                      Homo sapiens sapiens <-- this last one is us of course

                                      The dinosaur to bird fossil history is also very rich
                                      in transitional species.
                                      (See http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC214.html) .
                                      There are many other evolutionary histories rich in
                                      transitional fossils.

                                      It might be more realistic to say that there is an
                                      excess of transitional fossils. It's difficult to
                                      classify which fossils are ancestral and which are
                                      "cousins", so to speak. The horse evolutionary history
                                      becomes "bushier" all of the time as yet more fossils
                                      are found.

                                      Scientists are very aware of this rich trove of
                                      fossils. That's one of the reasons that such high
                                      percentages of them support evolution.

                                      Randy C.
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