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Re: [OriginsTalk] Re: Having one's cake and eating it too

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  • Turandot1125
    ... As you well know, Darwinism -Darwin s theory of evolution- *is* precisely what you euphemistically refer to as THE theory of evolution: Dr. Ernst Mayr,
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 30, 2009
      On 11/29/2009, gluadys wrote:

      >>>>Guided evolution is exactly that: evolution.
      >>>
      >>>So what? Guided evolution is the antithesis of Darwinism [Darwin's theory of evolution].
      >
      >I am quite sure it is the antithesis of Darwinism. But it is not the antithesis of the theory of evolution, and that is all that matters to me.
      >
      >

      As you well know, Darwinism -Darwin's theory of evolution- *is* precisely what you euphemistically refer to as "THE theory of evolution:"

      Dr. Ernst Mayr, _What is Evolution?_ / Basic Books / 2001 / p285:

      <<quote>> Darwinism: Darwin's concepts and theories on which his followers base the explanation of evolution. <<end quote>>

      Michael Ruse, _But is it Science? The philosophical question in the creation/evolution controversy_ / Prometheus Books / 1996 / p401:

      <<quote>> Darwinism: The theory of evolution that makes natural selection central. <<end quote>>

      The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

      <<quote>> Darwinism identifies a core set of concepts, principles and methodological maxims that were first articulated and defended by Charles Darwin and which continue to be identified with a certain approach to evolutionary questions. [So described, Darwinism denotes not so much a theory as a ‘research tradition’ (Laudan, 1976) or a ‘scientific practice’ (Kitcher 1993); that is, at any given time in its history Darwinism consists of a family of theories related by a shared ontology, methodology and goals. <<end quote>>

      >>Having said that, so what if "the flow of evolution" is "interrupt[ed]?" The premise that God would not >act in history, would not "invade" the physical world -His creation- is a theological prejudice that is >anathema to traditional Christians, and irrelevant to whether or not "the flow of evolution" *is* >interrupted," and whether or not Darwinian "mechanisms" *are* sufficient to "produce the designs of >living creatures."
      >>
      >Theologically, no problem. Scientifically--where is the evidence?
      >
      >

      "Scientifically -- where is the evidence" that warrants the claims my comments answer, to wit, that "the natural mechanisms of evolution" are necessary *and* sufficient "to produce all of the diversity and complexity of life" ... that "from a guided evolution perspective there is no such incapacity in the mechanisms of evolution"?

      You seem to think that you're entitled to define -*literally*- the *terms* of the OriginsTalk debate, from the words those with whom you fundamentally disagree may and may not use to the prerequisite that those with whom you disagree may post only "scientific" or "empirical" answers to your purely subjective metaphysical, philosophical, ontological, and epistemic claims. You also seem to think that simply because those with whom you disagree do not defer to your ad hoc terms of debate, whatever those terms may be from one post to the next, their commentary can simply be dismissed out of hand. I suggest you think again.

      There is no "scientific evidence", not a jot or a tittle, that it is *biologically possible*, let alone empirically confirmed, that autonomous Darwinian material causes, i.e., randomness and natural selection, are sufficient "to produce all of the diversity and complexity of life."

      >>"Evolution" that is directed by an intelligent agent is necessarily goal-directed, and the goals, like humanity / "the human form," are guided by and manifest the *agent's* intentions. Any tool an intelligent agent uses to effect his goal is necessarily the means to a particular end. Do you use a Smith & Wesson M&P .357 Sig. to brush your teeth?
      >>
      >Again, you assume the goal is humanity--at least in its current form.
      >
      >

      First, being a Christian, I "assume" that "man is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself."

      I "assume" that words, like guided, directed, goal, etc., have real meaning. Further, I "assume" that evolution directed by an intelligent agent is necessarily *goal*-directed, and humanity / the human form, by virtue of *being*, is necessarily one of those goals.

      >Yes, any tool an intelligent agent uses to effect his/her/its goal is necessarily the means to a particular end. And from a TE perspective evolution is the means to the ends which the Creator proposes for it and has the capacity to produce what the Creator wishes to have produced by these means.
      >
      >

      Which is just empty, meaningless prattle.

      As I have pointed out, the "theistic evolution" school of thought you echo insists that "an evolutionary universe is theologically understood as a creation allowed to make itself," that "not even God could know … with certainty" that "human life would come to be," that "mankind’s appearance on this planet was not preordained, that we are here … as an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out" ... "God cannot control the evolutionary process ... God must continually take the decisions of the creatures and work with them ... God works to create something good out of what the world makes possible."

      You and those theistic evolutionists you faithfully echo have simply christened Darwinism, or Darwin's theory of evolution and "naturalized" Christianity by ignoring its foundational precepts. "The Creator's wishes" are, according to you, that the biological creation "make itself." Well, if a person's a deist, or a pantheist, or a panentheist, or a "process theist," he will no doubt find your theology quite agreeable. On the other hand, those who are traditional Christians rightfully find your theology anathema. In short,
      you and those theistic evolutionists you echo empty both Christianity and Darwinism of any meaning.
    • gluadys
      ... I have yet to see either you or Clare actually use Darwinism to refer to the theory of evolution. Given all the characteristics which both of you
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 30, 2009
        --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, Jim Goff <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > HAVING ONE'S CAKE....
        >
        > Clare: "Guided evolution is the antithesis of Darwinism [Darwin's theory of evolution]..."
        > gluadys: "I am quite sure it is the antithesis of Darwinism. But it is not the antithesis of the theory of evolution..."
        >
        > Clare made it quite clear that she was using "Darwinism" to mean the same thing you mean when you refer to "the theory of evolution," in which case your response is senseless (much like it would be senseless to say that something is the antithesis of large, but it is not the antithesis of big). Her use of the word (like mine) is hardly inapt, as the following definitions of "Darwinism" show:
        >
        >

        I have yet to see either you or Clare actually use "Darwinism" to refer to the theory of evolution. Given all the characteristics which both of you attribute to "Darwinism" which would not be accurately attributed to the theory of evolution, it is clear that your own perception of what "Darwinism" is does not conform to what the theory of evolution is.

        I am not interested in how the dictionary defines "Darwinism" or even in how you define it when asked to do so, but in how you define it in the way you actually use the term "Darwinism".




        >
        > You need to get over the conceit that since you don't use the term "Darwinism" to refer to "the theory of evolution," then no one should use the term in that way.
        >
        > gluadys: "Again, you (Clare) assume the goal is humanity--at least in its current form."
        >
        > As a Christian, Clare doesn't need to assume that God intended for mankind to be what it is. The Bible explicitly tells her that God created man in His own image, thereby making it abundantly clear that man was the ultimate end of God's creative work in the Earth's biosphere. Now, you'll no doubt want to say that man's physical form (or any physical form) can't be the image of God's spiritual form, thus God would have been content to accept any physical creature produced by evolution so long as that creature reflected (however dimly) God's cognitive, moral, and creative intelligence. But to say that is to say that God did not actually guide evolution.
        >
        >
        >

        Why not? Are you saying that evolution would have produced a creature with the appropriate cognitive, moral and creative intelligence without guidance? That sounds strange coming from a supporter of ID?





        >
        >
        >You can say that you believe evolution was guided by God to bring man into being, or you can say that you accept Darwinism (or what you call the theory of evolution) as the explanation for the origin of man, but you cannot coherently say both things, as you constantly do.
        >
        >


        I have not said that evolution was guided for the purpose of bringing humanity into being. I have said God may have guided evolution to accomplish whatever purpose he had for evolution. Equally, he may not have, but still arranged that evolution would be a part of his purpose for creation.




        >
        > As Clare quite aptly said, "Guided evolution is the antithesis of Darwinism (Darwin's theory of evolution)." Any time we talk about evolution being intentionally guided to achieve certain ends, we are talking about a form of intelligent design, not Darwinian evolution.
        >


        You see what I mean about how you actually use the terms "Darwinian" "Darwinism" etc? Here you are defining "Darwinism" as "a form of evolution which is not guided by divine (or any) intelligence."

        That definition is not consistent with any scientific definition of evolution.

        At other times you define "Darwinism" as "a process using unintelligent material mechanisms". That is closer to a scientific definition, but it does not say whether or not those mechanisms were guided by an intelligence. Further to this, your claim is that these mechanisms cannot account for the diversity and complexity of life.

        So what is the theistic position that a process using the unintelligent material mechanisms of Darwinian evolution is fully capable of accounting for the diversity and complexity of life and also fulfills the purposes of the Creator--possibly, though not necessarily--because the Creator provided some guidance to the process?




        > gluadys: "...from a TE perspective evolution is the means to the ends which the Creator proposes for it and has the capacity to produce what the Creator wishes to have produced by these means."
        >
        > If a Creator had ends in mind for biological evolution, He could assure that those ends would be achieved only by guiding evolution to those ends - either by somehow programming the mechanisms of evolution to achieve those ends, or by somehow guiding those mechanisms to those ends, or by somehow introducing biological information (when needed) into the process of evolution to achieve those ends. He could not leave life's evolution up to a random, undirected process
        >
        >


        Correct. But what is not random in God's sight can still look very random to any human investigator, including scientists. That is why one ought not to impart a metaphysical concept of "random" when a scientific concept is what scientists are referring to. "Random" as used in the science of evolution (as in most sciences) is a reference to probabilities which cannot be predicted in particular cases but only statistically.

        Whether God determines the indeterminacies is a theological proposition science does not speak to. To a believer there is always the possibility that there is intention and purpose directing "chance" events. The theory of evolution does not rule this out, because it does not make theological statements.


        When you or Clare (or for that matter Dawkins) define "Darwinism" to exclude that possibility, you have divorced "Darwinism" from the theory of evolution by including a theological statement that does not belong in a scientific theory.
      • Jim Goff
        HAVING ONE S CAKE.... gluadys: I have yet to see either you or Clare actually use Darwinism to refer to the theory of evolution. Then you haven t been
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 1, 2009
          HAVING ONE'S CAKE....

          gluadys: "I have yet to see either you or Clare actually use 'Darwinism' to refer to the theory of evolution."

          Then you haven't been paying attention. Like Clare, I routinely use "Darwinism" to refer to the most widely-accepted theory of evolution (which is what you refer to as "the theory of evolution"). I can't be held responsible for your apparent inability to understand that when I discuss the philosophical/theological/moral/social/cultural/etc. implications of Darwinism, I haven't converted Darwinism into something other than the scientific theory of biological origins it purports to be. Also, I had no real attachment to the term "Darwinism" until it became apparent that the term annoys the Darwinian faithful. By trying to persuade me that it's inapt to use the term to refer to "the theory of evolution," you simply harden my determination to keep on using it.

          Me: "As a Christian, Clare doesn't need to assume that God intended for mankind to be what it is. The Bible explicitly tells her that God created man in His own image, thereby making it abundantly clear that man was the ultimate end of God's creative work in the Earth's biosphere. Now, you'll no doubt want to say that man's physical form (or any physical form) can't be the image of God's spiritual form, thus God would have been content to accept any physical creature produced by evolution so long as that creature reflected (however dimly) God's cognitive, moral, and creative intelligence. But to say that is to say that God did not actually guide evolution."
          gluadys: "Why not? Are you saying that evolution would have produced a creature with the appropriate cognitive, moral and creative intelligence without guidance?"

          No, that's what you keep saying by endorsing Darwinism. I simply echoed it.

          gluadys: "I have not said that evolution was guided for the purpose of bringing humanity into being. I have said God may have guided evolution to accomplish whatever purpose he had for evolution."

          Clearly, then, the Biblical account of humans being purposefully created by God to bear His own image means nothing to you. For a Bible-believing Christian, there should be no doubt what purpose God had in mind as He was creating living things: He intended to create humans, and humans alone, in His own image. Completely dissing the Biblical account of human origins is a rather curious thing for a Christian to do.

          gluadys: "You see what I mean about how you actually use the terms 'Darwinian' 'Darwinism' etc? Here you are defining 'Darwinism' as 'a form of evolution which is not guided by divine (or any) intelligence.'"

          That's not how I define Darwinism (or what you call the theory of evolution). That is an implication drawn from the statements of evolutionary biologists, who repeatedly insist that biological evolution is - in accordance with "the theory of evolution" - not guided by any intelligent agent or cause (which would, of course, include God). The God question is no part of Darwinism (just as it's no part of ID theory), but Darwinism implicitly speaks to the God question (so does ID). Apparently you're incapable of understanding that while Darwinism is defined by what it explicitly says (such as its claim that evolution is random and undirected), it nonetheless says a great deal more by implication. As you would have it, if a person discusses the extra-scientific implications of Darwinism, he's made those implications part of the theory, which is nonsense.

          gluadys: "When you or Clare (or for that matter Dawkins) define 'Darwinism' to exclude that possibility, you have divorced 'Darwinism' from the theory of evolution by including a theological statement that does not belong in a scientific theory."

          Your beef is with evolutionary biologists, who insist that Darwinian evolutionary theory refutes a teleological (or goal-directed) conception of life's evolution, which is the only conception of biological evolution that allows for the possibility of divine guidance. Clare and I haven't added a theological statement to Darwinism (or what you call the theory of evolution). That theological statement has been implicit in the theory all along, which is, of course, why the theory has been such a major contributor to the secularization of the Western world.

          Jim in Vermont





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        • Susan Cogan
          ... etc. The theory of evolution is actually a collection of related theories of which variation and natural selection is one. When you, Clare and other
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 1, 2009
            >HAVING ONE'S CAKE....
            >
            >Clare: "Guided evolution is the antithesis of Darwinism [Darwin's
            >theory of evolution]..."
            >gluadys: "I am quite sure it is the antithesis of Darwinism. But it
            >is not the antithesis of the theory of evolution..."
            >
            >Clare made it quite clear that she was using "Darwinism" to mean the
            >same thing you mean when you refer to "the theory of evolution," in
            >which case your response is senseless (much like it would be
            >senseless to say that something is the antithesis of large, but it
            >is not the antithesis of big). Her use of the word (like mine) is
            >hardly inapt, as the following definitions of "Darwinism" show:
            >
            >
            >1) A theory of biological evolution developed by Charles Darwin and
            >others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop
            >through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that
            >increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.
            >
            >http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Darwinism

            etc.

            The theory of evolution is actually a collection of related theories
            of which variation and natural selection is one. When you, Clare and
            other creationists use "Darwinism" you generally mean either
            "atheism" or "stuff I don't like."

            >
            >You need to get over the conceit that since you don't use the term
            >"Darwinism" to refer to "the theory of evolution," then no one
            >should use the term in that way.
            >

            To a scientist Darwinism usually refers specifically to variation and
            natural selection and not to the theory of evolution in general. Your
            various dictionary links reflect that.

            For creationists "Darwinism" is simply an advertising term. It's
            shorthand for "evil."


            >gluadys: "Again, you (Clare) assume the goal is humanity--at least
            >in its current form."
            >
            >As a Christian, Clare doesn't need to assume that God intended for
            >mankind to be what it is. The Bible explicitly tells her that God
            >created man in His own image, thereby making it abundantly clear
            >that man was the ultimate end of God's creative work in the Earth's
            >biosphere. Now, you'll no doubt want to say that man's physical form
            >(or any physical form) can't be the image of God's spiritual form,
            >thus God would have been content to accept any physical creature
            >produced by evolution so long as that creature reflected (however
            >dimly) God's cognitive, moral, and creative intelligence. But to say
            >that is to say that God did not actually guide evolution.


            So, based on the Bible, you think God selected apes as the ancestor
            of humans because they resembled him the most closely? That doesn't
            make any sense. If God micromanaged the genetic mutations and
            environmental conditions in a single species of ape-like creatures 4
            million years ago in Africa, I'm having a little trouble finding that
            in my Concordance.

            Of course, ID doesn't address that issue.


            >That's the same thing that Darwinism implicitly says by holding that
            >evolution is not directed by any intelligent agent or cause
            >(including God).


            In this context "Darwinism" means "atheism." Evolution doesn't have
            anything to do with God. Atheists don't think it was guided, theists
            think it was.


            >You can say that you believe evolution was guided by God to bring
            >man into being, or you can say that you accept Darwinism (or what
            >you call the theory of evolution) as the explanation for the origin
            >of man, but you cannot coherently say both things, as you constantly
            >do.


            a lot of theists constantly say that. It's not hard to imagine a God
            powerful enough to do that. Try it. It's easy. Even I can do it.


            >As Clare quite aptly said, "Guided evolution is the antithesis of
            >Darwinism (Darwin's theory of evolution)." Any time we talk about
            >evolution being intentionally guided to achieve certain ends, we are
            >talking about a form of intelligent design, not Darwinian evolution.
            >


            intelligent design has always been a perfectly acceptable religious
            belief. It simply isn't science. Not even PZ Meyers gets that
            subtlety, so you and Clare aren't alone in that.


            >gluadys: "...from a TE perspective evolution is the means to the
            >ends which the Creator proposes for it and has the capacity to
            >produce what the Creator wishes to have produced by these means."
            >
            >If a Creator had ends in mind for biological evolution, He could
            >assure that those ends would be achieved only by guiding evolution
            >to those ends - either by somehow programming the mechanisms of
            >evolution to achieve those ends, or by somehow guiding those
            >mechanisms to those ends, or by somehow introducing biological
            >information (when needed) into the process of evolution to achieve
            >those ends. He could not leave life's evolution up to a random,
            >undirected process and expect to see His ends achieved


            since he can see all ends, I can't imagine why this would be true.
            You're talking about the God portrayed in the Bible, aren't you?

            Susan

            --


            ----
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            -------
          • Pasha
            gluadys: I have yet to see either you or Clare actually use Darwinism to refer to the theory of evolution. Jim:  Then you haven t been paying attention.
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
              gluadys: "I have yet to see either you or Clare actually use 'Darwinism' to refer to the theory of evolution."



              Jim:  Then you haven't been paying attention. Like Clare, I routinely use
              "Darwinism" to refer to the most widely-accepted theory of evolution
              (which is what you refer to as "the theory of evolution"). I can't be
              held responsible for your apparent inability to understand that when I
              discuss the philosophical/ theological/ moral/social/ cultural/ etc.
              implications of Darwinism, I haven't converted Darwinism into something
              other than the scientific theory of biological origins it purports to
              be. Also, I had no real attachment to the term "Darwinism" until it
              became apparent that the term annoys the Darwinian faithful. By trying
              to persuade me that it's inapt to use the term to refer to "the theory
              of evolution," you simply harden my determination to keep on using it.

              Pasha:  That's funny.  I agree with Susan on this--every time I've seen you use the word it referred to atheism or some aberrant philosophy, seldom to the actual theory of evolution.

















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