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Re: Has Evolution Really Been a Help?

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  • khunsinger33
    ... gluadys: Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)? ... Kurt: Not so much that I could comment. So many ism s, so little time. In a
    Message 1 of 29 , Oct 28, 2012
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      > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
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      gluadys: Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
      >
      Kurt: Not so much that I could comment. So many ism's, so little time.
      In a previous post of yours….

      Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?

      Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it? Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did? It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.

      Gluadys: Do you believe one impact of evolution is to encourage sexual promiscuity or do you find that notion absurd?

      Kurt: It's common for folks to assign blame to anyone or anything but themselves. I'd say this unfortunate practice is unrelated to the theory of evolution.

      > My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
      >
      >

      gluadys: Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?

      Kurt: I'm looking at evolution-belief in the same light at creator-belief. Comparing their commonalities does not contradict their differences.

      gluadys: Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?

      Kurt: I've not suggested that one "demands" anything of the other or that one demands the rejection of the other. I know it seems an unlikely view, but I see them more as two peas in the same pod.


      >
      > I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
      >

      gluadys: You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution…. In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.

      Kurt: I'm hoping I addressed this above. it may be my best explanation of what I'm trying to say. If it still makes no sense at all to you, it hasn't to most folks i've talked to, I may have abandon it or find a better path to express the point.
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      > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
      >

      >gluadys: The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?

      Kurt: Both. Raised Catholic, just after first communion my mother was "saved" then attended Baptist church. Never did answer an alter call, and refused to be baptized, none of it made sense to me. Always felt I was among "actors". You said in a previous post that theres no sense in spending time on the mis-perceptions of evolution held by those who don't try to understand it. But just as Baptist and Catholic churches are packed with believers who don't understand their own religion or why they believe it, so does evolutionary theory fill a similar sort of pew. I realize that that says something about the believer, not the theory. but it does speak to another commonality between them.
      >
      > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
      >
      >

      Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.

      Kurt: Can't comment on Euro-centric assumptions or post-modern deconstruction but if by inter-subjectivity you mean, to thine own self be true, then, yeh, I'm with you.

      > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?

      Kurt: That is correct. I am overwhelmingly unwilling to judge the theory or it's evidence, and I haven't compared any pieces of evidence from the theory to creationism at all. Propositions from either side that show the other to be incorrect are largely unrelated to what I have to say. It is propositions that show their commonality that interest me. *** I know that must seem kinda kooky. When I read other threads I realize that it's specific points and bits of evidence and ist's and ism's that make up the lions share of the banter. Sheesh. Don't ya get a little weary of that? I feel there is a broader picture here, neither side seems willing to consider that they're both painting on the same canvas, I beleive that that is worth some discousre.
      >
      > gluadys: Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?

      Kurt: No. I think we've been working on better ways for a long time and what we have to show for it is sometimes hopelessly flawed but also sometimes more beautiful than we deserse. But is it really reality that evoltuionary theory represents? Is there any method to confirm that what we observe is as it appears independent of our observation of it? If not, what meaning does "understanding the reality of the created world" have? I dunno, if evolutionary theory is staking a claim on what "reality" is, then, yes, that is claiming philosophical ground.














      > >
      >
      > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
      >
      > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
      >

      gluadys: Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
      Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
      Kurt: gould and Dawkins are the only examples I can sight. But true that I might be unfairly putting the rebuking of creationism together with creator-belief. Will consider that.




      --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Gluadys: As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
      > >
      > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
      > >
      > >
      >
      > Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
      >
      >
      >
      > >
      > >
      > >My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
      > >
      > >
      >
      > Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
      >
      > Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
      >
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      > >
      > >I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
      > >
      >
      > You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution.
      >
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      > In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
      >
      >
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      > >
      > > Gluadys: No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
      > >
      > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
      > >
      >
      >
      > The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
      >
      >
      > >
      > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
      > >
      > >
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      > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
      >
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      > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
      > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true…
      > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
      > >
      > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
      > >
      > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
      > >
      > > Kurt: I don't have experience at looking at it this way. Will have to read this a couple more times before I can reply.
      > >
      >
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      > If you are going to understand science at all, it is a very important to understand this way of thinking. It almost defines scientific rationality.
      >
      > Let me give you a concrete example to help clarify this.
      >
      > Tom was found dead with a bullet in his heart. The police suspect Robert put it there. So their hypothesis is: Robert shot Tom. But they don't know this yet. They can't prove it yet. So, put an "if" at the beginning and you have an A statement: "If Robert shot Tom, then-----"
      >
      > Now you can fill in the blank with several other statements which logically follow; for example
      >
      > B.---then, he was with Tom at the time.
      > C.---then, he had a gun in his hand.
      > D.---then, the bullet in Tom's heart came from the gun Robert was holding.
      > E.---then, Robert's fingerprints may be on the gun.
      >
      > I think you would agree that if Robert shot Tom, all these other statements must also be true.
      > The reason for setting out these statements is that it tells the investigators what sort of evidence they need to come up with to lay charges against Robert. (In science, these become the guides as to what needs to be researched.)
      >
      > Different statements provide different levels of confidence in the validity of the original hypothesis. If, for exanple, they find conclusive evidence that Robert was not with Tom when he was shot, the hypothesis is not valid and they need to focus on a different suspect. But if they find he was there, had a gun, and that the bullet came from the gun—but don't find fingerprints on the gun—all is not lost. Perhaps he was wearing gloves, or took time to wipe away the fingerprints.
      >
      > The same sort of reasoning is used by doctors when trying to establish a diagnosis and an effective treatment.
      >
      > And by scientists in all fields.
      >
      > When scientists say the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, they mean that of hundreds of logical consequences of evolution we can seek out in nature, virtually all of it supports the thesis. Some small fraction is ambiguous and none—none, so far—rules out an evolutionary explanation of the diversity of life, past and present, via a historical connection to common ancestors.
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      > > >
      > >
      > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
      > >
      > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
      > >
      >
      > Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
      >
      > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
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      > > Theres a bunch of your points that will take a bit more time for me to wrap my head around and will hit next time.
      > >
      > >
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      > Sure, take your time. I am particularly interested in the last two questions:
      >
      > > > Kurt:
      > > >Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory.
      > > >
      > > > gluadys: Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
      > > >
      > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
      > > >
      > > > gluadys: Do they? Examples?
      >
      >
      > ======================================================================
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      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: Good points and good question. We can all benefit from the sincere study of nature from both evolution-minded and creation-minded folks. Just reading Origin of Species is a huge undertaking for most of us, I respect it. My concern is the unjustified authority evolutionary theory enjoys.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > In science, evolution enjoys exactly the same authority as any other theory well-grounded in and substantiated by relevant evidence and capable of stimulating additional research in the field. No more, no less. This is not unjustified. It is the basis of justification for all scientific propositions. I would challenge you to find a better one.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >Dawkins a good example, exploit the perception that evolution in charge of what is rational and creationism only in charge of what is irrational.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > I would say you have it backwards about. Evolution is in charge of nothing but natural selection. OTOH rationality, applied to the observation of biological beings past and present, justifies the perception of evolutionary change and how that comes about.
      > > >
      > > > As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >Which is exactly how most people accept the theory.
      > > > >
      > > > >
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      > > >
      > > > You probably mean "most Americans". Not surprising, as Americans have been among the most heavily saturated with nonsense about evolution and had very little exposure to a good scientific education about what it is and isn't. There is no point debating uninformed public opinion about evolution other than to ask how it can become better informed.
      > > >
      > > > A special question for Christians is to ask about the role the churches should be playing to help their members understand evolution as part of God's creation and therefore non-threatening to Christian beliefs. Why do we have to leave this to parachurch organizations like BioLogos? (link)
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Evolution proceeds and feeds on the empty promise of objectivity.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
      > > >
      > > > It is certainly true that we need to be careful about asserting certainty as to the objective reality of many things, especially as we are far more aware than we used to be about the intimate relation of observer to observed. But science is an excellent tool for questioning the accuracy of our objectivity. The intense scrutiny of evolution, especially as we get into the observation of the molecular underpinnings of evolutionary change, has ensured that it is one of the best studied scientific theories, and therefore, as reliably objective in its conclusions as is humanly possible.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >Some would say science is self-correcting, we have the scientific method after all, right? But I don't buy it. There is power to be had here, influence, peers to gain praise from, reputations to uphold, a group to be a part of. These are not small components to the issue, these are potent motivators and none among are immune. Evolution is fine, Wielding lagrely unchecked authority and religious influence are making evoltuion too big for it's britches.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Do you understand the following line of logic?
      > > >
      > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true.
      > > > A (the "if" statement) is the hypothesis whose validity we are testing.
      > > > B, C, D, & E are specific observable consequences that logically follow from A.
      > > >
      > > > This sets the research program for scientists. How can we determine whether or not B exists in nature? C?, D?, E?
      > > >
      > > > Suppose scientists find none of these things? Logically they have to conclude the original hypothesis, A, is false—and whatever observations led to that hypothesis must be explained differently.
      > > >
      > > > Suppose they find some, but not others? Logically, they have to conclude that the evidential support for the theory is ambiguous and not certain.
      > > >
      > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
      > > >
      > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
      > > >
      > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > > Gluadys: Have you questions about the Darwinian theory of evolution as it applies to the changing nature of the biosphere? Those would be scientific questions and relatively easy to answer.
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: The Changing nature of the biosphere? No, I don't think so. Maybe later. I would like someone to address how evolution deals with the existence of consciousness.
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > Well, that is a frontier question. No one has more than speculative musings on it yet. Probably the most important discoveries of recent times have been in elucidating the consciousness of non-human creatures.
      > > >
      > > > In any case, just as one must learn to walk before running, it might be better to ask about basics first, then move into issues still on the fringe.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Without [consciousness] nothing happens. At least not on this issue for sure. But evolution seems to ignore it.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Oh, not at all. It is a very active and interesting field of research. Very controversial too. Check out neuropsychology. But our consumer culture values conclusions over questions (so antithetical to true wisdom—think of Job) and so the media do a lousy job on ongoing research.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > gluadys: But one thing we cannot ask about any of them is "what explanation does evolutionary theory offer?" Evolutionary theory offers no explanation or perspective on any of these fascinating questions, because that is not its function.
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: Not sure I get that. In the world of regular folk, in the minds of average people, evolution does offer explanations. "it evolved that way" is at least as common as "God did it". Offering explanations is evolutions accepted function.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > No, "offering explanations" without qualification is not the function of the theory of evolution. It is not even the function of the whole of science. Science seeks empirical explanations of the material relationships, (especially cause & effect) within the world of space-time we are embedded in and experience through sensory perceptions. Sometimes, the explanations themselves are not directly empirical, (no one has ever seen an electron) but they still have observable, empirical consequences by which the theoretical explanation can be tested in the real world. Evolution provides empirical explanations of observed patterns in the world of living creatures: patterns of distribution through space and time, patterns in embryological development, patterns which lead to a specific form of classification whether morphologically or genetically. Within appropriate parameters, evolution, and more broadly, science, do indeed offer explanations of a certain type. But only within these parameters.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Now a philosophical question is whether those parameters are co-extensive with the whole of reality. Or whether knowledge gained via scientific methods constitutes the only reliable form of knowledge. These questions, however, do not impinge on the validity of the knowledge science has gained for us.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > > Gluadys: You claim your point is not philosophical, yet you begin with a philosophical assumption--that behaviour (presumably including human behaviour) is driven solely by biology. Should we not actually begin by questioning that premise?
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: Maybe so. What would you question about it?
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > > gluadys: No, it is not at all cowardly for scientists to refuse to answer a non-scientific question.
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: If evolution did not function as a belief system I would agree.
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > Evolution is not a belief system. That is a bit of creationist (the evolution-rejecting type) crap.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
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      > > > >
      > > > >But fact is it does not play solely a scientific roll, it enjoys a popular support that other sciences do not because of its creator-related influence.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > That is hardly factual. In America, the only other field of science without significant popular support is climatology. No one is spending billions of dollars attacking gravity, chemistry or astronomy. But there is immense financial support behind both evolution denialism and climate change denialism. The last time we experienced such a concerted attack on scientific evidence was the tobacco industry's lobbying to suppress the fact that smoking causes cancer.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Gluadys: Well, no it isn't. An important component of the theory is traits which are inherited and may be affected by natural selection. Often such traits are behavioral, but behavioral traits have no special importance vis-vis morphological or physiological traits. All heritable traits are potentially selectable, and all selected traits contribute to the shaping of a species over time.
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: My point was that how any given creature behaves is of interest and can be used to assert any given evolutionary hypothesis. B F Skinners pigeons being a convenient example. Human creator-related behavior is deemed unworthy of this process only out of bias I believe.
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Not "assert"; the word you are looking for is "support". But not "any given evolutionary hypothesis" either. Most such work is narrowly focused on one hypothesis. (one of B, C, D, E, etc.) Each requires a different set of tests and observations.
      > > >
      > > > What is your hypothesis regarding "human creator-related behaviour"? (Your "A" statement.)
      > > > What sort of empirical evidence would follow if this is a valid hypothesis?
      > > > How would you determine if this evidence exists?
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > > gluadys: Scientists know why sharks swim continually. Unlike other fish, they have no swim bladder to regulate their position in the water column. So to maintain themselves at the appropriate depth, they have to keep swimmimg.
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: True. But it wasn't till recently by tagging great whites that we found out what vast distances they traveled. That's what I meant by swim around so much.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Ah, so you are really referring to studies in migration. Well, why not? We also study bird, butterfly, whale and human migration—and seed dispertion as well. Such studies have important ramifications in many areas.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Just picking up some earlier thoughts from other posts in this thread.
      > > >
      > > > > > > Kurt:
      > > > > > > Take the time to talk with some average evolution-believing folks and ask them to define evolution or even give an example of Natural Selection. I've asked people those questions for years, friends, acquaintances and students, and the answers you overwhelming get are about the varieties of dogs or improved crop production. Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory. After a 140 years of Darwinism permeating the culture, and two generations of teaching it in public schools, evolution, as it really plays out in the lives of average people, has become a wish-daddy, a faith, an accepted-by-authority, over-intellectualized religion.
      > > > > > >
      > > >
      > > > I am glad to see that you are concerned with "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory". I would certainly agree that the vast majority of people who accept evolution on the basis of a high-school course dimly remembered and/or a few not too reliable programs on public television likely don't have such an understanding, so naturally they flounder when trying to describe it. This doesn't mean much, of course. Most of those who deny evolution are just as ignorant of both evolution and the pseudo-science opposition.
      > > >
      > > > To get an actual grasp of evolution, one has to be prepared to study it, formally or informally. To get an actual grasp of the logic (to use the word loosely) of evolution denial, one has to research the material published by the professionals in the field: ICR, AiG, & Discovery Institute. It is pretty silly to base conclusions about evolution or evolution denial on talks with average evolution-believing/denying folk. All that gives you is a snapshot of uninformed opinion which has no relevance whatsoever. The only thing to consider about the average folk of either persuasion is how to expand their base of knowledge and their capacity for rational thinking, so they can better come to soundly informed conclusions.
      > > >
      > > > Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
      > > >
      > > > > ..
      > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > Do they? Examples?
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > .
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Kurt: [The author]'d make a wild guess at something, like the eye beginning as a fleshy protrusion that somehow had a mysterious sensitivity to light,
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > Not mysterious: chemical. The chemistry of light-sensitive pigments is well understood by bio-chemists. And that early light-sensing organ was more likely a pit than a protrusion. Check "evolution of the eye" in your browser.
      > > >
      > > > For a full-length treatment on the role of vision as a possible trigger of the Cambrian Explosion, see "In the Blink of an Eye" by Andrew Parker. While his thesis about the Cambrian Explosion is controversial, the book is a gold-mine of information on biological adaptations to light.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • stewart8724
      Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the impact of.. well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about
      Message 2 of 29 , Oct 28, 2012
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        Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?

        Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it?

        Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying the answers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.

        Kurt: Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?

        Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behaviour. Early humans had none of the technology available to us, so it's hardly surprising that they would fail to identify the reasons for all that puzzled them. If we put ourselves in their position we would doubtless have come up with equally fallacious and speculative answers. We are talking about no more than 10,000 years, a period in which human intelligence can't have been improved by very much if at all. So I'm not talking about intelligence I'm talking about knowledge, with the benefit of information storage we have the cumulative knowledge of centuries at our beck and call.

        Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them. The monster under the bed, the other one that lives in the cupboard, dinosaurs in the garden, there are so many stories we have to tell them to explain why those creatures won't get them. You could insist that monsters don't exist but this is folly, all children know that they do. They need their monsters and they need their daddy to scare the monsters off.
        It is guess work to say that ancient humans had imaginary monsters to fear, it's also guess work to say that they would naturally create an imaginary daddy to deal with these monsters. But based on what we know of ourselves it's also a reasonable assumption.
        Every day we gain knowledge and so every day we are able to dispel myths and correct previously held beliefs because of science. Science including Evolution is not a creator it is only answers to questions, so it couldn't satisfy the need for a creator. I for one have no need or desire for a creator, although I am interested in how things came to be.

        Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.

        Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.

        P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.



        ..

        --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > >
        > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
        > >
        > >
        > gluadys: Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
        > >
        > Kurt: Not so much that I could comment. So many ism's, so little time.
        > In a previous post of yours….
        >
        > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
        >
        > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it? Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did? It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
        >
        > Gluadys: Do you believe one impact of evolution is to encourage sexual promiscuity or do you find that notion absurd?
        >
        > Kurt: It's common for folks to assign blame to anyone or anything but themselves. I'd say this unfortunate practice is unrelated to the theory of evolution.
        >
        > > My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
        > >
        > >
        >
        > gluadys: Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
        >
        > Kurt: I'm looking at evolution-belief in the same light at creator-belief. Comparing their commonalities does not contradict their differences.
        >
        > gluadys: Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
        >
        > Kurt: I've not suggested that one "demands" anything of the other or that one demands the rejection of the other. I know it seems an unlikely view, but I see them more as two peas in the same pod.
        >
        >
        > >
        > > I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
        > >
        >
        > gluadys: You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution…. In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
        >
        > Kurt: I'm hoping I addressed this above. it may be my best explanation of what I'm trying to say. If it still makes no sense at all to you, it hasn't to most folks i've talked to, I may have abandon it or find a better path to express the point.
        > >
        > >
        > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
        > >
        >
        > >gluadys: The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
        >
        > Kurt: Both. Raised Catholic, just after first communion my mother was "saved" then attended Baptist church. Never did answer an alter call, and refused to be baptized, none of it made sense to me. Always felt I was among "actors". You said in a previous post that theres no sense in spending time on the mis-perceptions of evolution held by those who don't try to understand it. But just as Baptist and Catholic churches are packed with believers who don't understand their own religion or why they believe it, so does evolutionary theory fill a similar sort of pew. I realize that that says something about the believer, not the theory. but it does speak to another commonality between them.
        > >
        > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
        > >
        > >
        >
        > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
        >
        > Kurt: Can't comment on Euro-centric assumptions or post-modern deconstruction but if by inter-subjectivity you mean, to thine own self be true, then, yeh, I'm with you.
        >
        > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
        >
        > Kurt: That is correct. I am overwhelmingly unwilling to judge the theory or it's evidence, and I haven't compared any pieces of evidence from the theory to creationism at all. Propositions from either side that show the other to be incorrect are largely unrelated to what I have to say. It is propositions that show their commonality that interest me. *** I know that must seem kinda kooky. When I read other threads I realize that it's specific points and bits of evidence and ist's and ism's that make up the lions share of the banter. Sheesh. Don't ya get a little weary of that? I feel there is a broader picture here, neither side seems willing to consider that they're both painting on the same canvas, I beleive that that is worth some discousre.
        > >
        > > gluadys: Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
        >
        > Kurt: No. I think we've been working on better ways for a long time and what we have to show for it is sometimes hopelessly flawed but also sometimes more beautiful than we deserse. But is it really reality that evoltuionary theory represents? Is there any method to confirm that what we observe is as it appears independent of our observation of it? If not, what meaning does "understanding the reality of the created world" have? I dunno, if evolutionary theory is staking a claim on what "reality" is, then, yes, that is claiming philosophical ground.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > > >
        > >
        > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
        > >
        > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
        > >
        >
        > gluadys: Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
        > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
        > Kurt: gould and Dawkins are the only examples I can sight. But true that I might be unfairly putting the rebuking of creationism together with creator-belief. Will consider that.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Gluadys: As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
        > > >
        > > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
        > >
        > > Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > >
        > > >I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
        > > >
        > >
        > > You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution.
        > >
        > >
        > > In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > >
        > > > Gluadys: No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
        > > >
        > > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
        > >
        > >
        > > >
        > > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
        > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true…
        > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
        > > >
        > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
        > > >
        > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
        > > >
        > > > Kurt: I don't have experience at looking at it this way. Will have to read this a couple more times before I can reply.
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > If you are going to understand science at all, it is a very important to understand this way of thinking. It almost defines scientific rationality.
        > >
        > > Let me give you a concrete example to help clarify this.
        > >
        > > Tom was found dead with a bullet in his heart. The police suspect Robert put it there. So their hypothesis is: Robert shot Tom. But they don't know this yet. They can't prove it yet. So, put an "if" at the beginning and you have an A statement: "If Robert shot Tom, then-----"
        > >
        > > Now you can fill in the blank with several other statements which logically follow; for example
        > >
        > > B.---then, he was with Tom at the time.
        > > C.---then, he had a gun in his hand.
        > > D.---then, the bullet in Tom's heart came from the gun Robert was holding.
        > > E.---then, Robert's fingerprints may be on the gun.
        > >
        > > I think you would agree that if Robert shot Tom, all these other statements must also be true.
        > > The reason for setting out these statements is that it tells the investigators what sort of evidence they need to come up with to lay charges against Robert. (In science, these become the guides as to what needs to be researched.)
        > >
        > > Different statements provide different levels of confidence in the validity of the original hypothesis. If, for exanple, they find conclusive evidence that Robert was not with Tom when he was shot, the hypothesis is not valid and they need to focus on a different suspect. But if they find he was there, had a gun, and that the bullet came from the gun—but don't find fingerprints on the gun—all is not lost. Perhaps he was wearing gloves, or took time to wipe away the fingerprints.
        > >
        > > The same sort of reasoning is used by doctors when trying to establish a diagnosis and an effective treatment.
        > >
        > > And by scientists in all fields.
        > >
        > > When scientists say the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, they mean that of hundreds of logical consequences of evolution we can seek out in nature, virtually all of it supports the thesis. Some small fraction is ambiguous and none—none, so far—rules out an evolutionary explanation of the diversity of life, past and present, via a historical connection to common ancestors.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
        > > >
        > > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
        > > >
        > >
        > > Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
        > >
        > > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > > Theres a bunch of your points that will take a bit more time for me to wrap my head around and will hit next time.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Sure, take your time. I am particularly interested in the last two questions:
        > >
        > > > > Kurt:
        > > > >Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory.
        > > > >
        > > > > gluadys: Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
        > > > >
        > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
        > > > >
        > > > > gluadys: Do they? Examples?
        > >
        > >
        > > ======================================================================
        > >
        > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: Good points and good question. We can all benefit from the sincere study of nature from both evolution-minded and creation-minded folks. Just reading Origin of Species is a huge undertaking for most of us, I respect it. My concern is the unjustified authority evolutionary theory enjoys.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > In science, evolution enjoys exactly the same authority as any other theory well-grounded in and substantiated by relevant evidence and capable of stimulating additional research in the field. No more, no less. This is not unjustified. It is the basis of justification for all scientific propositions. I would challenge you to find a better one.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >Dawkins a good example, exploit the perception that evolution in charge of what is rational and creationism only in charge of what is irrational.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > I would say you have it backwards about. Evolution is in charge of nothing but natural selection. OTOH rationality, applied to the observation of biological beings past and present, justifies the perception of evolutionary change and how that comes about.
        > > > >
        > > > > As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >Which is exactly how most people accept the theory.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > You probably mean "most Americans". Not surprising, as Americans have been among the most heavily saturated with nonsense about evolution and had very little exposure to a good scientific education about what it is and isn't. There is no point debating uninformed public opinion about evolution other than to ask how it can become better informed.
        > > > >
        > > > > A special question for Christians is to ask about the role the churches should be playing to help their members understand evolution as part of God's creation and therefore non-threatening to Christian beliefs. Why do we have to leave this to parachurch organizations like BioLogos? (link)
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Evolution proceeds and feeds on the empty promise of objectivity.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
        > > > >
        > > > > It is certainly true that we need to be careful about asserting certainty as to the objective reality of many things, especially as we are far more aware than we used to be about the intimate relation of observer to observed. But science is an excellent tool for questioning the accuracy of our objectivity. The intense scrutiny of evolution, especially as we get into the observation of the molecular underpinnings of evolutionary change, has ensured that it is one of the best studied scientific theories, and therefore, as reliably objective in its conclusions as is humanly possible.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >Some would say science is self-correcting, we have the scientific method after all, right? But I don't buy it. There is power to be had here, influence, peers to gain praise from, reputations to uphold, a group to be a part of. These are not small components to the issue, these are potent motivators and none among are immune. Evolution is fine, Wielding lagrely unchecked authority and religious influence are making evoltuion too big for it's britches.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Do you understand the following line of logic?
        > > > >
        > > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true.
        > > > > A (the "if" statement) is the hypothesis whose validity we are testing.
        > > > > B, C, D, & E are specific observable consequences that logically follow from A.
        > > > >
        > > > > This sets the research program for scientists. How can we determine whether or not B exists in nature? C?, D?, E?
        > > > >
        > > > > Suppose scientists find none of these things? Logically they have to conclude the original hypothesis, A, is false—and whatever observations led to that hypothesis must be explained differently.
        > > > >
        > > > > Suppose they find some, but not others? Logically, they have to conclude that the evidential support for the theory is ambiguous and not certain.
        > > > >
        > > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
        > > > >
        > > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
        > > > >
        > > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > > Gluadys: Have you questions about the Darwinian theory of evolution as it applies to the changing nature of the biosphere? Those would be scientific questions and relatively easy to answer.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: The Changing nature of the biosphere? No, I don't think so. Maybe later. I would like someone to address how evolution deals with the existence of consciousness.
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Well, that is a frontier question. No one has more than speculative musings on it yet. Probably the most important discoveries of recent times have been in elucidating the consciousness of non-human creatures.
        > > > >
        > > > > In any case, just as one must learn to walk before running, it might be better to ask about basics first, then move into issues still on the fringe.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Without [consciousness] nothing happens. At least not on this issue for sure. But evolution seems to ignore it.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Oh, not at all. It is a very active and interesting field of research. Very controversial too. Check out neuropsychology. But our consumer culture values conclusions over questions (so antithetical to true wisdom—think of Job) and so the media do a lousy job on ongoing research.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > gluadys: But one thing we cannot ask about any of them is "what explanation does evolutionary theory offer?" Evolutionary theory offers no explanation or perspective on any of these fascinating questions, because that is not its function.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: Not sure I get that. In the world of regular folk, in the minds of average people, evolution does offer explanations. "it evolved that way" is at least as common as "God did it". Offering explanations is evolutions accepted function.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > No, "offering explanations" without qualification is not the function of the theory of evolution. It is not even the function of the whole of science. Science seeks empirical explanations of the material relationships, (especially cause & effect) within the world of space-time we are embedded in and experience through sensory perceptions. Sometimes, the explanations themselves are not directly empirical, (no one has ever seen an electron) but they still have observable, empirical consequences by which the theoretical explanation can be tested in the real world. Evolution provides empirical explanations of observed patterns in the world of living creatures: patterns of distribution through space and time, patterns in embryological development, patterns which lead to a specific form of classification whether morphologically or genetically. Within appropriate parameters, evolution, and more broadly, science, do indeed offer explanations of a certain type. But only within these parameters.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Now a philosophical question is whether those parameters are co-extensive with the whole of reality. Or whether knowledge gained via scientific methods constitutes the only reliable form of knowledge. These questions, however, do not impinge on the validity of the knowledge science has gained for us.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > > Gluadys: You claim your point is not philosophical, yet you begin with a philosophical assumption--that behaviour (presumably including human behaviour) is driven solely by biology. Should we not actually begin by questioning that premise?
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: Maybe so. What would you question about it?
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > > gluadys: No, it is not at all cowardly for scientists to refuse to answer a non-scientific question.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: If evolution did not function as a belief system I would agree.
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Evolution is not a belief system. That is a bit of creationist (the evolution-rejecting type) crap.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >But fact is it does not play solely a scientific roll, it enjoys a popular support that other sciences do not because of its creator-related influence.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > That is hardly factual. In America, the only other field of science without significant popular support is climatology. No one is spending billions of dollars attacking gravity, chemistry or astronomy. But there is immense financial support behind both evolution denialism and climate change denialism. The last time we experienced such a concerted attack on scientific evidence was the tobacco industry's lobbying to suppress the fact that smoking causes cancer.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Gluadys: Well, no it isn't. An important component of the theory is traits which are inherited and may be affected by natural selection. Often such traits are behavioral, but behavioral traits have no special importance vis-vis morphological or physiological traits. All heritable traits are potentially selectable, and all selected traits contribute to the shaping of a species over time.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: My point was that how any given creature behaves is of interest and can be used to assert any given evolutionary hypothesis. B F Skinners pigeons being a convenient example. Human creator-related behavior is deemed unworthy of this process only out of bias I believe.
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Not "assert"; the word you are looking for is "support". But not "any given evolutionary hypothesis" either. Most such work is narrowly focused on one hypothesis. (one of B, C, D, E, etc.) Each requires a different set of tests and observations.
        > > > >
        > > > > What is your hypothesis regarding "human creator-related behaviour"? (Your "A" statement.)
        > > > > What sort of empirical evidence would follow if this is a valid hypothesis?
        > > > > How would you determine if this evidence exists?
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > > gluadys: Scientists know why sharks swim continually. Unlike other fish, they have no swim bladder to regulate their position in the water column. So to maintain themselves at the appropriate depth, they have to keep swimmimg.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: True. But it wasn't till recently by tagging great whites that we found out what vast distances they traveled. That's what I meant by swim around so much.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Ah, so you are really referring to studies in migration. Well, why not? We also study bird, butterfly, whale and human migration—and seed dispertion as well. Such studies have important ramifications in many areas.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Just picking up some earlier thoughts from other posts in this thread.
        > > > >
        > > > > > > > Kurt:
        > > > > > > > Take the time to talk with some average evolution-believing folks and ask them to define evolution or even give an example of Natural Selection. I've asked people those questions for years, friends, acquaintances and students, and the answers you overwhelming get are about the varieties of dogs or improved crop production. Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory. After a 140 years of Darwinism permeating the culture, and two generations of teaching it in public schools, evolution, as it really plays out in the lives of average people, has become a wish-daddy, a faith, an accepted-by-authority, over-intellectualized religion.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > I am glad to see that you are concerned with "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory". I would certainly agree that the vast majority of people who accept evolution on the basis of a high-school course dimly remembered and/or a few not too reliable programs on public television likely don't have such an understanding, so naturally they flounder when trying to describe it. This doesn't mean much, of course. Most of those who deny evolution are just as ignorant of both evolution and the pseudo-science opposition.
        > > > >
        > > > > To get an actual grasp of evolution, one has to be prepared to study it, formally or informally. To get an actual grasp of the logic (to use the word loosely) of evolution denial, one has to research the material published by the professionals in the field: ICR, AiG, & Discovery Institute. It is pretty silly to base conclusions about evolution or evolution denial on talks with average evolution-believing/denying folk. All that gives you is a snapshot of uninformed opinion which has no relevance whatsoever. The only thing to consider about the average folk of either persuasion is how to expand their base of knowledge and their capacity for rational thinking, so they can better come to soundly informed conclusions.
        > > > >
        > > > > Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
        > > > >
        > > > > > ..
        > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Do they? Examples?
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > .
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Kurt: [The author]'d make a wild guess at something, like the eye beginning as a fleshy protrusion that somehow had a mysterious sensitivity to light,
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Not mysterious: chemical. The chemistry of light-sensitive pigments is well understood by bio-chemists. And that early light-sensing organ was more likely a pit than a protrusion. Check "evolution of the eye" in your browser.
        > > > >
        > > > > For a full-length treatment on the role of vision as a possible trigger of the Cambrian Explosion, see "In the Blink of an Eye" by Andrew Parker. While his thesis about the Cambrian Explosion is controversial, the book is a gold-mine of information on biological adaptations to light.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      • gluadys
        ... I agree to a point. Humans, in general, don t have an abstract thirst for knowledge. Behind the quest for knowledge is the need to survive in a world
        Message 3 of 29 , Oct 28, 2012
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          --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
          >
          > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it? Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it.
          >
          >
          >

          I agree to a point. Humans, in general, don't have an abstract thirst for knowledge. Behind the quest for knowledge is the need to survive in a world that is, in many ways, threatening. And awesome, in the full sense of that term. (Such a tragedy that this word has become weakened and trivialized to the point of being meaningless.) Think of the effect on early people of the sort of storm that is about to hit New York this week. From all reports it will be stunning even with a week or more warning. Can you imagine how it would impress hunter-gatherers without a weather forecasting system? What of the northern lights? How would one tell one's children what they are? Imagine the effect on early agriculturalists of a plague of locusts or a hailstorm destroying their crops? Or at nightime, hearing the wind roar through the pine trees as you huddled by a campfire?

          People were very much aware of the great powers of nature: the heat of the sun, the force of the wind, the explosive power of a volcano, the mystery of plant, animal and human reproduction. And they were not merely curious about them. They were also fearful of them and seeking protection from them. The quest for protection took several forms. One obvious recourse for protection from a great power of nature would be to propitiate it through gifts of prayer and sacrifice. Or to appeal to a still greater power who could control the lesser. So, in times of drought one seeks to gain the favour of the power that sends rain. A second avenue is to seek some sort of control over the threatening power. Hence the use of sympathetic magic, such as sacred prostitution to support the fertility of field and flock. It helps as well to develop ways to discern why a power has been angered and how that anger can be appeased. So systems of reading omens develop. Best of all is being able to predict the course of events and know ahead of time the best action to take. One of the earliest of sciences to develop was astronomy—but not out of simple curiosity about the night sky, wondrous though it is. The point of ancient astronomy, whether Chaldean, Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese or Mayan, was to discern the future via astrological interpretations of the movements of celestial bodies. (Indeed, almost all astronomers included astrological research among their activities until the nineteenth century when it was reclassified as superstitious nonsense.)

          So the "urge for knowledge" does have motivation: fear of dangerous powers, desire for protection from those powers, and, where possible, the desire to bring those powers under human control. And it is not in the least surprising that in the absence of scientific knowledge, the powers themselves were personified as deities.

          The move toward a more "scientific" view began with the trend toward belief in a single high power who controlled all the others. Monotheism desacralized nature and made it possible to investigate natural forces as impersonal, created forces rather than as personal, divine forces in themselves. And out of that, eventually, one gets modern science.



          >
          >Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?
          >
          >

          It seems that a lot of people are confused enough about evolution to think so. But from a scientific perspective, evolution is an impersonal, natural force (or better: process), just like the processes that generate geological strata, weather systems, etc. So from a theological perspective, it is an impersonal, created dynamic, like the hydrological cycle, the decay of radioactive particles, etc. Something God instituted within creation. It certainly gives us a profound insight into the natural/created world, but it doesn't really address creator-related questions. Not even the question of whether the universe of nature is a creation.



          >
          >it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
          >
          >


          Yes, obviously, you are trying to articulate an issue I have never run across before, so it is difficult to understand where you are coming from. Personally I see no relationship between "the practice of creator-belief" and evolutionary theory. Not only is evolutionary theory common to theists and atheists, but also to practitioners of various non-theistic faiths such as Buddhism (agnostic about gods), Hinduism (something of a combination of pantheism and polytheism) Wiccan/Pagan/indigenous (mostly animistic) which, whatever their attitude toward deity/ies, do not believe in a creator-god.


          > Gluadys: Do you believe one impact of evolution is to encourage sexual promiscuity or do you find that notion absurd?
          >
          > Kurt: It's common for folks to assign blame to anyone or anything but themselves. I'd say this unfortunate practice is unrelated to the theory of evolution.
          >


          Thanks for that. Those of us who defend science against evolution denialists tend to raise our hackles when someone speaks of the impacts or implications of evolution, because, usually, it is exactly this sort of silliness that is meant. The most common silliness, of course, is that evolution theory eliminates God & therefore creation. If there is one thing evolution-denying creationists and religion-hating atheists agree on, it is this false dichotomy: that God and evolution cannot fit in the same world-view.




          > > My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
          > >
          > >


          Well, in America, at least, the best known options are the two ends of the false dichotomy named above. The political ascendence of the religious right has been accompanied by a dearth of media attention to the more historic, and still more mainstream, theological view that evolution does not replace the creator, but is simply an aspect of the created world. It is almost as if mainstream astronomy were being continually contrasted with religiously-motivated flat-earthism while the majority view of believers who reject flat-earthism is passed by in silence as if it didn't exist.

          So, if you really want to look at the impact of evolutionary theory on existing beliefs, you really must not neglect the views of Christians and other theists who accept evolutionary science. Start by exploring the BioLogos site. You might also look at a group called Celebrating Creation by Natural Selection. In print, besides the authors I already named, let me also recommend "Darwin's Forgotten Defenders" by David N. Livingstone, who outlines the 19th century impact, pro and con evolution. (It may surprise you to learn that the most influential opponent of evolution was not a Christian, while one of the best known defenders of Darwin was.) Another worthwhile read is "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation" a collection of essays edited by an evangelical geologist, Kenneth Miller. (Not the same Kenneth Miller who wrote "Finding Darwin's God". The latter is a Catholic and a cell biologist.)


          >
          > gluadys: Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
          >
          > Kurt: I'm looking at evolution-belief in the same light at creator-belief. Comparing their commonalities does not contradict their differences.
          >

          The first idea to ditch is the notion of "evolution belief". At best one "believes" in evolution as one "believes" in electricity. It is empirical, not philosophical.




          >
          > Kurt: I've not suggested that one "demands" anything of the other or that one demands the rejection of the other. I know it seems an unlikely view, but I see them more as two peas in the same pod.
          >
          >


          And I reject that idea. That is what generates the needless religious hostility to evolution. Properly understood, evolution is a totally different category. Better to see an apple beside an orange.



          > >
          >
          > Kurt: I'm hoping I addressed this above. it may be my best explanation of what I'm trying to say. If it still makes no sense at all to you, it hasn't to most folks i've talked to, I may have abandon it or find a better path to express the point.
          > >

          A bit, but I still think you are hung up on the idea that evolution is a belief, not a science, and that skews your thinking in the wrong direction

          >
          > Kurt: Both. Raised Catholic, just after first communion my mother was "saved" then attended Baptist church. Never did answer an alter call, and refused to be baptized, none of it made sense to me. Always felt I was among "actors". You said in a previous post that theres no sense in spending time on the mis-perceptions of evolution held by those who don't try to understand it. But just as Baptist and Catholic churches are packed with believers who don't understand their own religion or why they believe it, so does evolutionary theory fill a similar sort of pew. I realize that that says something about the believer, not the theory. but it does speak to another commonality between them.
          > >


          Point taken. What we have to remember is that those pews overlap a fair bit, such that many people sit in both at once. Only at the one end do we have religious believers who reject evolution and while at the other sit atheists or agnostics who accept evolution while rejecting religion.

          But certainly, in all three groups, there are those who have little understanding of either science or their professed faith. They are simply relating to other people who are important in their lives, not reflecting on these ideas.

          >
          >gluadys: Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
          >
          > Kurt: Can't comment on Euro-centric assumptions or post-modern deconstruction but if by inter-subjectivity you mean, to thine own self be true, then, yeh, I'm with you.
          >
          >

          No, that would just be subjectivity. Inter-subjectivity implies sharing subjective perceptions with other people and taking note of commonalities which may point to a shared experience of the same reality.



          > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
          >
          > Kurt: That is correct. I am overwhelmingly unwilling to judge the theory or it's evidence, and I haven't compared any pieces of evidence from the theory to creationism at all. Propositions from either side that show the other to be incorrect are largely unrelated to what I have to say. It is propositions that show their commonality that interest me. *** I know that must seem kinda kooky. When I read other threads I realize that it's specific points and bits of evidence and ist's and ism's that make up the lions share of the banter. Sheesh. Don't ya get a little weary of that? I feel there is a broader picture here, neither side seems willing to consider that they're both painting on the same canvas, I beleive that that is worth some discousre.
          > >


          It is definitely refreshing to encounter a different point-of-view instead of the usual PRATTs.

          (Points Refuted A Thousand Times)


          > > gluadys: Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
          >
          > Kurt: But is it really reality that evoltuionary theory represents?
          >


          If it is not, virtually nothing we think of as reality is real. Evolution is supported across so many different scientific disciplines that its unreality would imply the non-reality of all the rest as well.


          >
          >Is there any method to confirm that what we observe is as it appears independent of our observation of it?
          >
          >

          No. Have you studied philosophy at all? You may have heard of Descartes' dilemma or of Kant's categories of the mind.

          Because there is no way to disprove solipsism, one of the unproven axioms on which science is based is that we are not brains in a vat, but actually existing people in an actually existing physical universe which is open to our sense and reason.



          >
          >If not, what meaning does "understanding the reality of the created world" have? I dunno, if evolutionary theory is staking a claim on what "reality" is, then, yes, that is claiming philosophical ground.
          >
          >


          Logically, a created world is one that is the same for all its inhabitants; the rules of order are the same for everyone. Everyone experiences water as wet, fire as hot. No one is exempted from the law of gravity or the speed of light and no living thing is exempted from evolution. The philosophical/theological ground here is set by understanding the implication of creation. Evolution is simply a natural process we observe within that and take for real because we have already decided that the natural/created world is real. Evolution is no more staking out a claim on reality than rain is. An evoltionary creationist accepts the reality of evolution for the same reason he or she accepts the reality of rain.


          Still waiting for comments on these questions.

          > > > > gluadys: Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
          > > > >
          > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
          > > > >
          > > > > gluadys: Do they? Examples?
          > >
        • khunsinger33
          ... Kurt: Youre saying any answer, so long as it is reasoned, will scientifically identify the purpose of the question, sort of retroactively? Are you saying
          Message 4 of 29 , Oct 29, 2012
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            >Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying theanswers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.

            Kurt: Youre saying any answer, so long as it is reasoned, will scientifically identify the purpose of the question, sort of retroactively? Are you saying that any reasonable answer is defined as science and answers not identified as science are rendered unreasonable, regardless of the question?

            >Kurt: Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. Itwas stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?

            >Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured
            us of this behaviour.

            Kurt: Where did the less worthy thing come from? Less worthy of what? I gotta ask you something and please consider this in good spirits… is it possible your attitude toward those who think unscientifically is overly judgmental? Bigoted is too strong a word I'm sure, but your statement, "Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behavior" is a bit telling. "Cured"? I mean, come on Stewart, it's not a disease! Cured?? Really? Cured of what?

            >stewart: Early humans had none of the technology available to us,

            Kurt: So what? They didn't have a lot of things we have. They didn't have anything called Transcendental meditation, flush toilets or transcontinental strategic missiles. that doesn't mean they didn't enrich their lives with contemplative prayer or wipe their fannies or understand the ugliness of war. But since they didn't have Darwinist guided science they couldn't possibly form intelligent questions and reasonable answers about a creator? Sorry, don't buy it. Even today with the "technology available to us", creator oriented beliefs are not only a reasonable answers that most people today consider material to their health and well-being, they represent a question that as yet is unanswerable by any other means. You keep saying evolutionary theory has nothing to say about a creator, so why do you keep insisting to have the answer to why we want/need/seek one??

            >Stewart: Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them.

            Kurt: My kids are grown adults and their experiences and place in history have – and should – generate different methods, styles and sources of both similar and differing beliefs, same as kids thru all of human time have built on what they got from their parents. Pretty sure Sagan is the one who asked us to envision our grandfathers walking through the door, each generation after the other until a primate-like grandparent stood before us. That is a powerful image! Doubtless many fundamentalists considered this an unwelcome intrusion on their self-image. Now, of course Sagan was representing well document science and I don't mean to imply that I'm trying to borrow credibility from him, but the concept is similar to my point.

            >Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me.The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if
            evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.

            >Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.

            Kurt: It's worth mentioning that I have not entered the word "God" even once. (I used it in one post in direct response to being asked about it) So it seems you *want* me to be a "God" advocate of some kind, or maybe you need me to be that so you can fit me into a box of some sort, I don't know, but it's clear youre assuming something not at all represented in my posts.

            >Stewart: P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.

            Kurt: Not in your email address.




            --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "stewart8724" <art1st@...> wrote:
            >
            > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
            >
            > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it?
            >
            > Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying the answers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.
            >
            > Kurt: Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?
            >
            > Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behaviour. Early humans had none of the technology available to us, so it's hardly surprising that they would fail to identify the reasons for all that puzzled them. If we put ourselves in their position we would doubtless have come up with equally fallacious and speculative answers. We are talking about no more than 10,000 years, a period in which human intelligence can't have been improved by very much if at all. So I'm not talking about intelligence I'm talking about knowledge, with the benefit of information storage we have the cumulative knowledge of centuries at our beck and call.
            >
            > Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them. The monster under the bed, the other one that lives in the cupboard, dinosaurs in the garden, there are so many stories we have to tell them to explain why those creatures won't get them. You could insist that monsters don't exist but this is folly, all children know that they do. They need their monsters and they need their daddy to scare the monsters off.
            > It is guess work to say that ancient humans had imaginary monsters to fear, it's also guess work to say that they would naturally create an imaginary daddy to deal with these monsters. But based on what we know of ourselves it's also a reasonable assumption.
            > Every day we gain knowledge and so every day we are able to dispel myths and correct previously held beliefs because of science. Science including Evolution is not a creator it is only answers to questions, so it couldn't satisfy the need for a creator. I for one have no need or desire for a creator, although I am interested in how things came to be.
            >
            > Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
            >
            > Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.
            >
            > P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.
            >
            >
            >
            > ..
            >
            > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > >
            > > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > gluadys: Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
            > > >
            > > Kurt: Not so much that I could comment. So many ism's, so little time.
            > > In a previous post of yours….
            > >
            > > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
            > >
            > > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it? Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did? It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
            > >
            > > Gluadys: Do you believe one impact of evolution is to encourage sexual promiscuity or do you find that notion absurd?
            > >
            > > Kurt: It's common for folks to assign blame to anyone or anything but themselves. I'd say this unfortunate practice is unrelated to the theory of evolution.
            > >
            > > > My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > gluadys: Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
            > >
            > > Kurt: I'm looking at evolution-belief in the same light at creator-belief. Comparing their commonalities does not contradict their differences.
            > >
            > > gluadys: Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
            > >
            > > Kurt: I've not suggested that one "demands" anything of the other or that one demands the rejection of the other. I know it seems an unlikely view, but I see them more as two peas in the same pod.
            > >
            > >
            > > >
            > > > I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
            > > >
            > >
            > > gluadys: You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution…. In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
            > >
            > > Kurt: I'm hoping I addressed this above. it may be my best explanation of what I'm trying to say. If it still makes no sense at all to you, it hasn't to most folks i've talked to, I may have abandon it or find a better path to express the point.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
            > > >
            > >
            > > >gluadys: The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
            > >
            > > Kurt: Both. Raised Catholic, just after first communion my mother was "saved" then attended Baptist church. Never did answer an alter call, and refused to be baptized, none of it made sense to me. Always felt I was among "actors". You said in a previous post that theres no sense in spending time on the mis-perceptions of evolution held by those who don't try to understand it. But just as Baptist and Catholic churches are packed with believers who don't understand their own religion or why they believe it, so does evolutionary theory fill a similar sort of pew. I realize that that says something about the believer, not the theory. but it does speak to another commonality between them.
            > > >
            > > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            > > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
            > >
            > > Kurt: Can't comment on Euro-centric assumptions or post-modern deconstruction but if by inter-subjectivity you mean, to thine own self be true, then, yeh, I'm with you.
            > >
            > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
            > >
            > > Kurt: That is correct. I am overwhelmingly unwilling to judge the theory or it's evidence, and I haven't compared any pieces of evidence from the theory to creationism at all. Propositions from either side that show the other to be incorrect are largely unrelated to what I have to say. It is propositions that show their commonality that interest me. *** I know that must seem kinda kooky. When I read other threads I realize that it's specific points and bits of evidence and ist's and ism's that make up the lions share of the banter. Sheesh. Don't ya get a little weary of that? I feel there is a broader picture here, neither side seems willing to consider that they're both painting on the same canvas, I beleive that that is worth some discousre.
            > > >
            > > > gluadys: Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
            > >
            > > Kurt: No. I think we've been working on better ways for a long time and what we have to show for it is sometimes hopelessly flawed but also sometimes more beautiful than we deserse. But is it really reality that evoltuionary theory represents? Is there any method to confirm that what we observe is as it appears independent of our observation of it? If not, what meaning does "understanding the reality of the created world" have? I dunno, if evolutionary theory is staking a claim on what "reality" is, then, yes, that is claiming philosophical ground.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
            > > >
            > > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
            > > >
            > >
            > > gluadys: Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
            > > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
            > > Kurt: gould and Dawkins are the only examples I can sight. But true that I might be unfairly putting the rebuking of creationism together with creator-belief. Will consider that.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Gluadys: As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
            > > > >
            > > > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > > Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > > Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
            > > >
            > > > Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > > You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Gluadys: No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
            > > > >
            > > > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
            > > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true…
            > > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
            > > > >
            > > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
            > > > >
            > > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
            > > > >
            > > > > Kurt: I don't have experience at looking at it this way. Will have to read this a couple more times before I can reply.
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > If you are going to understand science at all, it is a very important to understand this way of thinking. It almost defines scientific rationality.
            > > >
            > > > Let me give you a concrete example to help clarify this.
            > > >
            > > > Tom was found dead with a bullet in his heart. The police suspect Robert put it there. So their hypothesis is: Robert shot Tom. But they don't know this yet. They can't prove it yet. So, put an "if" at the beginning and you have an A statement: "If Robert shot Tom, then-----"
            > > >
            > > > Now you can fill in the blank with several other statements which logically follow; for example
            > > >
            > > > B.---then, he was with Tom at the time.
            > > > C.---then, he had a gun in his hand.
            > > > D.---then, the bullet in Tom's heart came from the gun Robert was holding.
            > > > E.---then, Robert's fingerprints may be on the gun.
            > > >
            > > > I think you would agree that if Robert shot Tom, all these other statements must also be true.
            > > > The reason for setting out these statements is that it tells the investigators what sort of evidence they need to come up with to lay charges against Robert. (In science, these become the guides as to what needs to be researched.)
            > > >
            > > > Different statements provide different levels of confidence in the validity of the original hypothesis. If, for exanple, they find conclusive evidence that Robert was not with Tom when he was shot, the hypothesis is not valid and they need to focus on a different suspect. But if they find he was there, had a gun, and that the bullet came from the gun—but don't find fingerprints on the gun—all is not lost. Perhaps he was wearing gloves, or took time to wipe away the fingerprints.
            > > >
            > > > The same sort of reasoning is used by doctors when trying to establish a diagnosis and an effective treatment.
            > > >
            > > > And by scientists in all fields.
            > > >
            > > > When scientists say the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, they mean that of hundreds of logical consequences of evolution we can seek out in nature, virtually all of it supports the thesis. Some small fraction is ambiguous and none—none, so far—rules out an evolutionary explanation of the diversity of life, past and present, via a historical connection to common ancestors.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
            > > > >
            > > > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > > Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
            > > >
            > > > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > > Theres a bunch of your points that will take a bit more time for me to wrap my head around and will hit next time.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Sure, take your time. I am particularly interested in the last two questions:
            > > >
            > > > > > Kurt:
            > > > > >Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > gluadys: Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
            > > > > >
            > > > > > gluadys: Do they? Examples?
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > ======================================================================
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: Good points and good question. We can all benefit from the sincere study of nature from both evolution-minded and creation-minded folks. Just reading Origin of Species is a huge undertaking for most of us, I respect it. My concern is the unjustified authority evolutionary theory enjoys.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > In science, evolution enjoys exactly the same authority as any other theory well-grounded in and substantiated by relevant evidence and capable of stimulating additional research in the field. No more, no less. This is not unjustified. It is the basis of justification for all scientific propositions. I would challenge you to find a better one.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >Dawkins a good example, exploit the perception that evolution in charge of what is rational and creationism only in charge of what is irrational.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > I would say you have it backwards about. Evolution is in charge of nothing but natural selection. OTOH rationality, applied to the observation of biological beings past and present, justifies the perception of evolutionary change and how that comes about.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >Which is exactly how most people accept the theory.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > You probably mean "most Americans". Not surprising, as Americans have been among the most heavily saturated with nonsense about evolution and had very little exposure to a good scientific education about what it is and isn't. There is no point debating uninformed public opinion about evolution other than to ask how it can become better informed.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > A special question for Christians is to ask about the role the churches should be playing to help their members understand evolution as part of God's creation and therefore non-threatening to Christian beliefs. Why do we have to leave this to parachurch organizations like BioLogos? (link)
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Evolution proceeds and feeds on the empty promise of objectivity.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > It is certainly true that we need to be careful about asserting certainty as to the objective reality of many things, especially as we are far more aware than we used to be about the intimate relation of observer to observed. But science is an excellent tool for questioning the accuracy of our objectivity. The intense scrutiny of evolution, especially as we get into the observation of the molecular underpinnings of evolutionary change, has ensured that it is one of the best studied scientific theories, and therefore, as reliably objective in its conclusions as is humanly possible.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >Some would say science is self-correcting, we have the scientific method after all, right? But I don't buy it. There is power to be had here, influence, peers to gain praise from, reputations to uphold, a group to be a part of. These are not small components to the issue, these are potent motivators and none among are immune. Evolution is fine, Wielding lagrely unchecked authority and religious influence are making evoltuion too big for it's britches.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Do you understand the following line of logic?
            > > > > >
            > > > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true.
            > > > > > A (the "if" statement) is the hypothesis whose validity we are testing.
            > > > > > B, C, D, & E are specific observable consequences that logically follow from A.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > This sets the research program for scientists. How can we determine whether or not B exists in nature? C?, D?, E?
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Suppose scientists find none of these things? Logically they have to conclude the original hypothesis, A, is false—and whatever observations led to that hypothesis must be explained differently.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Suppose they find some, but not others? Logically, they have to conclude that the evidential support for the theory is ambiguous and not certain.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > > Gluadys: Have you questions about the Darwinian theory of evolution as it applies to the changing nature of the biosphere? Those would be scientific questions and relatively easy to answer.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: The Changing nature of the biosphere? No, I don't think so. Maybe later. I would like someone to address how evolution deals with the existence of consciousness.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Well, that is a frontier question. No one has more than speculative musings on it yet. Probably the most important discoveries of recent times have been in elucidating the consciousness of non-human creatures.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > In any case, just as one must learn to walk before running, it might be better to ask about basics first, then move into issues still on the fringe.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Without [consciousness] nothing happens. At least not on this issue for sure. But evolution seems to ignore it.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Oh, not at all. It is a very active and interesting field of research. Very controversial too. Check out neuropsychology. But our consumer culture values conclusions over questions (so antithetical to true wisdom—think of Job) and so the media do a lousy job on ongoing research.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > gluadys: But one thing we cannot ask about any of them is "what explanation does evolutionary theory offer?" Evolutionary theory offers no explanation or perspective on any of these fascinating questions, because that is not its function.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: Not sure I get that. In the world of regular folk, in the minds of average people, evolution does offer explanations. "it evolved that way" is at least as common as "God did it". Offering explanations is evolutions accepted function.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > No, "offering explanations" without qualification is not the function of the theory of evolution. It is not even the function of the whole of science. Science seeks empirical explanations of the material relationships, (especially cause & effect) within the world of space-time we are embedded in and experience through sensory perceptions. Sometimes, the explanations themselves are not directly empirical, (no one has ever seen an electron) but they still have observable, empirical consequences by which the theoretical explanation can be tested in the real world. Evolution provides empirical explanations of observed patterns in the world of living creatures: patterns of distribution through space and time, patterns in embryological development, patterns which lead to a specific form of classification whether morphologically or genetically. Within appropriate parameters, evolution, and more broadly, science, do indeed offer explanations of a certain type. But only within these parameters.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Now a philosophical question is whether those parameters are co-extensive with the whole of reality. Or whether knowledge gained via scientific methods constitutes the only reliable form of knowledge. These questions, however, do not impinge on the validity of the knowledge science has gained for us.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > > Gluadys: You claim your point is not philosophical, yet you begin with a philosophical assumption--that behaviour (presumably including human behaviour) is driven solely by biology. Should we not actually begin by questioning that premise?
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: Maybe so. What would you question about it?
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > > gluadys: No, it is not at all cowardly for scientists to refuse to answer a non-scientific question.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: If evolution did not function as a belief system I would agree.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Evolution is not a belief system. That is a bit of creationist (the evolution-rejecting type) crap.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >But fact is it does not play solely a scientific roll, it enjoys a popular support that other sciences do not because of its creator-related influence.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > That is hardly factual. In America, the only other field of science without significant popular support is climatology. No one is spending billions of dollars attacking gravity, chemistry or astronomy. But there is immense financial support behind both evolution denialism and climate change denialism. The last time we experienced such a concerted attack on scientific evidence was the tobacco industry's lobbying to suppress the fact that smoking causes cancer.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Gluadys: Well, no it isn't. An important component of the theory is traits which are inherited and may be affected by natural selection. Often such traits are behavioral, but behavioral traits have no special importance vis-vis morphological or physiological traits. All heritable traits are potentially selectable, and all selected traits contribute to the shaping of a species over time.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: My point was that how any given creature behaves is of interest and can be used to assert any given evolutionary hypothesis. B F Skinners pigeons being a convenient example. Human creator-related behavior is deemed unworthy of this process only out of bias I believe.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Not "assert"; the word you are looking for is "support". But not "any given evolutionary hypothesis" either. Most such work is narrowly focused on one hypothesis. (one of B, C, D, E, etc.) Each requires a different set of tests and observations.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > What is your hypothesis regarding "human creator-related behaviour"? (Your "A" statement.)
            > > > > > What sort of empirical evidence would follow if this is a valid hypothesis?
            > > > > > How would you determine if this evidence exists?
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > > gluadys: Scientists know why sharks swim continually. Unlike other fish, they have no swim bladder to regulate their position in the water column. So to maintain themselves at the appropriate depth, they have to keep swimmimg.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: True. But it wasn't till recently by tagging great whites that we found out what vast distances they traveled. That's what I meant by swim around so much.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Ah, so you are really referring to studies in migration. Well, why not? We also study bird, butterfly, whale and human migration—and seed dispertion as well. Such studies have important ramifications in many areas.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Just picking up some earlier thoughts from other posts in this thread.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > > > > Kurt:
            > > > > > > > > Take the time to talk with some average evolution-believing folks and ask them to define evolution or even give an example of Natural Selection. I've asked people those questions for years, friends, acquaintances and students, and the answers you overwhelming get are about the varieties of dogs or improved crop production. Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory. After a 140 years of Darwinism permeating the culture, and two generations of teaching it in public schools, evolution, as it really plays out in the lives of average people, has become a wish-daddy, a faith, an accepted-by-authority, over-intellectualized religion.
            > > > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > I am glad to see that you are concerned with "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory". I would certainly agree that the vast majority of people who accept evolution on the basis of a high-school course dimly remembered and/or a few not too reliable programs on public television likely don't have such an understanding, so naturally they flounder when trying to describe it. This doesn't mean much, of course. Most of those who deny evolution are just as ignorant of both evolution and the pseudo-science opposition.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > To get an actual grasp of evolution, one has to be prepared to study it, formally or informally. To get an actual grasp of the logic (to use the word loosely) of evolution denial, one has to research the material published by the professionals in the field: ICR, AiG, & Discovery Institute. It is pretty silly to base conclusions about evolution or evolution denial on talks with average evolution-believing/denying folk. All that gives you is a snapshot of uninformed opinion which has no relevance whatsoever. The only thing to consider about the average folk of either persuasion is how to expand their base of knowledge and their capacity for rational thinking, so they can better come to soundly informed conclusions.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
            > > > > >
            > > > > > > ..
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Do they? Examples?
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > .
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Kurt: [The author]'d make a wild guess at something, like the eye beginning as a fleshy protrusion that somehow had a mysterious sensitivity to light,
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Not mysterious: chemical. The chemistry of light-sensitive pigments is well understood by bio-chemists. And that early light-sensing organ was more likely a pit than a protrusion. Check "evolution of the eye" in your browser.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > For a full-length treatment on the role of vision as a possible trigger of the Cambrian Explosion, see "In the Blink of an Eye" by Andrew Parker. While his thesis about the Cambrian Explosion is controversial, the book is a gold-mine of information on biological adaptations to light.
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • khunsinger33
            gluadys: I agree to a point. Kurt: Once again it will take me a bit to digest your response. But I will likely respond independent of the point I ve been
            Message 5 of 29 , Oct 29, 2012
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              gluadys: I agree to a point.

              Kurt: Once again it will take me a bit to digest your response. But I will likely respond independent of the point I've been making. I've hit a wall on offering anything more of substance on this thread. You've given me a chance to voice my observation though and you've heard it pretty close to the way I mean it. You've also helped with giving me plenty to build on. So, hey, I think that's pretty cool! Thank you! If you have more comment to make on it I'd be glad to hear it but I'm thinking it might be good to retire my concept for a bit while I improve my overall knowledge and return to it again when I have something more to add. Meanwhile I'd like to continue to chime in when I have something to contribute to other threads.













              --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
              > >
              > > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it? Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              > I agree to a point. Humans, in general, don't have an abstract thirst for knowledge. Behind the quest for knowledge is the need to survive in a world that is, in many ways, threatening. And awesome, in the full sense of that term. (Such a tragedy that this word has become weakened and trivialized to the point of being meaningless.) Think of the effect on early people of the sort of storm that is about to hit New York this week. From all reports it will be stunning even with a week or more warning. Can you imagine how it would impress hunter-gatherers without a weather forecasting system? What of the northern lights? How would one tell one's children what they are? Imagine the effect on early agriculturalists of a plague of locusts or a hailstorm destroying their crops? Or at nightime, hearing the wind roar through the pine trees as you huddled by a campfire?
              >
              > People were very much aware of the great powers of nature: the heat of the sun, the force of the wind, the explosive power of a volcano, the mystery of plant, animal and human reproduction. And they were not merely curious about them. They were also fearful of them and seeking protection from them. The quest for protection took several forms. One obvious recourse for protection from a great power of nature would be to propitiate it through gifts of prayer and sacrifice. Or to appeal to a still greater power who could control the lesser. So, in times of drought one seeks to gain the favour of the power that sends rain. A second avenue is to seek some sort of control over the threatening power. Hence the use of sympathetic magic, such as sacred prostitution to support the fertility of field and flock. It helps as well to develop ways to discern why a power has been angered and how that anger can be appeased. So systems of reading omens develop. Best of all is being able to predict the course of events and know ahead of time the best action to take. One of the earliest of sciences to develop was astronomy—but not out of simple curiosity about the night sky, wondrous though it is. The point of ancient astronomy, whether Chaldean, Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese or Mayan, was to discern the future via astrological interpretations of the movements of celestial bodies. (Indeed, almost all astronomers included astrological research among their activities until the nineteenth century when it was reclassified as superstitious nonsense.)
              >
              > So the "urge for knowledge" does have motivation: fear of dangerous powers, desire for protection from those powers, and, where possible, the desire to bring those powers under human control. And it is not in the least surprising that in the absence of scientific knowledge, the powers themselves were personified as deities.
              >
              > The move toward a more "scientific" view began with the trend toward belief in a single high power who controlled all the others. Monotheism desacralized nature and made it possible to investigate natural forces as impersonal, created forces rather than as personal, divine forces in themselves. And out of that, eventually, one gets modern science.
              >
              >
              >
              > >
              > >Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?
              > >
              > >
              >
              > It seems that a lot of people are confused enough about evolution to think so. But from a scientific perspective, evolution is an impersonal, natural force (or better: process), just like the processes that generate geological strata, weather systems, etc. So from a theological perspective, it is an impersonal, created dynamic, like the hydrological cycle, the decay of radioactive particles, etc. Something God instituted within creation. It certainly gives us a profound insight into the natural/created world, but it doesn't really address creator-related questions. Not even the question of whether the universe of nature is a creation.
              >
              >
              >
              > >
              > >it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > Yes, obviously, you are trying to articulate an issue I have never run across before, so it is difficult to understand where you are coming from. Personally I see no relationship between "the practice of creator-belief" and evolutionary theory. Not only is evolutionary theory common to theists and atheists, but also to practitioners of various non-theistic faiths such as Buddhism (agnostic about gods), Hinduism (something of a combination of pantheism and polytheism) Wiccan/Pagan/indigenous (mostly animistic) which, whatever their attitude toward deity/ies, do not believe in a creator-god.
              >
              >
              > > Gluadys: Do you believe one impact of evolution is to encourage sexual promiscuity or do you find that notion absurd?
              > >
              > > Kurt: It's common for folks to assign blame to anyone or anything but themselves. I'd say this unfortunate practice is unrelated to the theory of evolution.
              > >
              >
              >
              > Thanks for that. Those of us who defend science against evolution denialists tend to raise our hackles when someone speaks of the impacts or implications of evolution, because, usually, it is exactly this sort of silliness that is meant. The most common silliness, of course, is that evolution theory eliminates God & therefore creation. If there is one thing evolution-denying creationists and religion-hating atheists agree on, it is this false dichotomy: that God and evolution cannot fit in the same world-view.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > > > My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
              > > >
              > > >
              >
              >
              > Well, in America, at least, the best known options are the two ends of the false dichotomy named above. The political ascendence of the religious right has been accompanied by a dearth of media attention to the more historic, and still more mainstream, theological view that evolution does not replace the creator, but is simply an aspect of the created world. It is almost as if mainstream astronomy were being continually contrasted with religiously-motivated flat-earthism while the majority view of believers who reject flat-earthism is passed by in silence as if it didn't exist.
              >
              > So, if you really want to look at the impact of evolutionary theory on existing beliefs, you really must not neglect the views of Christians and other theists who accept evolutionary science. Start by exploring the BioLogos site. You might also look at a group called Celebrating Creation by Natural Selection. In print, besides the authors I already named, let me also recommend "Darwin's Forgotten Defenders" by David N. Livingstone, who outlines the 19th century impact, pro and con evolution. (It may surprise you to learn that the most influential opponent of evolution was not a Christian, while one of the best known defenders of Darwin was.) Another worthwhile read is "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation" a collection of essays edited by an evangelical geologist, Kenneth Miller. (Not the same Kenneth Miller who wrote "Finding Darwin's God". The latter is a Catholic and a cell biologist.)
              >
              >
              > >
              > > gluadys: Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
              > >
              > > Kurt: I'm looking at evolution-belief in the same light at creator-belief. Comparing their commonalities does not contradict their differences.
              > >
              >
              > The first idea to ditch is the notion of "evolution belief". At best one "believes" in evolution as one "believes" in electricity. It is empirical, not philosophical.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > >
              > > Kurt: I've not suggested that one "demands" anything of the other or that one demands the rejection of the other. I know it seems an unlikely view, but I see them more as two peas in the same pod.
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > And I reject that idea. That is what generates the needless religious hostility to evolution. Properly understood, evolution is a totally different category. Better to see an apple beside an orange.
              >
              >
              >
              > > >
              > >
              > > Kurt: I'm hoping I addressed this above. it may be my best explanation of what I'm trying to say. If it still makes no sense at all to you, it hasn't to most folks i've talked to, I may have abandon it or find a better path to express the point.
              > > >
              >
              > A bit, but I still think you are hung up on the idea that evolution is a belief, not a science, and that skews your thinking in the wrong direction
              >
              > >
              > > Kurt: Both. Raised Catholic, just after first communion my mother was "saved" then attended Baptist church. Never did answer an alter call, and refused to be baptized, none of it made sense to me. Always felt I was among "actors". You said in a previous post that theres no sense in spending time on the mis-perceptions of evolution held by those who don't try to understand it. But just as Baptist and Catholic churches are packed with believers who don't understand their own religion or why they believe it, so does evolutionary theory fill a similar sort of pew. I realize that that says something about the believer, not the theory. but it does speak to another commonality between them.
              > > >
              >
              >
              > Point taken. What we have to remember is that those pews overlap a fair bit, such that many people sit in both at once. Only at the one end do we have religious believers who reject evolution and while at the other sit atheists or agnostics who accept evolution while rejecting religion.
              >
              > But certainly, in all three groups, there are those who have little understanding of either science or their professed faith. They are simply relating to other people who are important in their lives, not reflecting on these ideas.
              >
              > >
              > >gluadys: Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
              > >
              > > Kurt: Can't comment on Euro-centric assumptions or post-modern deconstruction but if by inter-subjectivity you mean, to thine own self be true, then, yeh, I'm with you.
              > >
              > >
              >
              > No, that would just be subjectivity. Inter-subjectivity implies sharing subjective perceptions with other people and taking note of commonalities which may point to a shared experience of the same reality.
              >
              >
              >
              > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
              > >
              > > Kurt: That is correct. I am overwhelmingly unwilling to judge the theory or it's evidence, and I haven't compared any pieces of evidence from the theory to creationism at all. Propositions from either side that show the other to be incorrect are largely unrelated to what I have to say. It is propositions that show their commonality that interest me. *** I know that must seem kinda kooky. When I read other threads I realize that it's specific points and bits of evidence and ist's and ism's that make up the lions share of the banter. Sheesh. Don't ya get a little weary of that? I feel there is a broader picture here, neither side seems willing to consider that they're both painting on the same canvas, I beleive that that is worth some discousre.
              > > >
              >
              >
              > It is definitely refreshing to encounter a different point-of-view instead of the usual PRATTs.
              >
              > (Points Refuted A Thousand Times)
              >
              >
              > > > gluadys: Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
              > >
              > > Kurt: But is it really reality that evoltuionary theory represents?
              > >
              >
              >
              > If it is not, virtually nothing we think of as reality is real. Evolution is supported across so many different scientific disciplines that its unreality would imply the non-reality of all the rest as well.
              >
              >
              > >
              > >Is there any method to confirm that what we observe is as it appears independent of our observation of it?
              > >
              > >
              >
              > No. Have you studied philosophy at all? You may have heard of Descartes' dilemma or of Kant's categories of the mind.
              >
              > Because there is no way to disprove solipsism, one of the unproven axioms on which science is based is that we are not brains in a vat, but actually existing people in an actually existing physical universe which is open to our sense and reason.
              >
              >
              >
              > >
              > >If not, what meaning does "understanding the reality of the created world" have? I dunno, if evolutionary theory is staking a claim on what "reality" is, then, yes, that is claiming philosophical ground.
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > Logically, a created world is one that is the same for all its inhabitants; the rules of order are the same for everyone. Everyone experiences water as wet, fire as hot. No one is exempted from the law of gravity or the speed of light and no living thing is exempted from evolution. The philosophical/theological ground here is set by understanding the implication of creation. Evolution is simply a natural process we observe within that and take for real because we have already decided that the natural/created world is real. Evolution is no more staking out a claim on reality than rain is. An evoltionary creationist accepts the reality of evolution for the same reason he or she accepts the reality of rain.
              >
              >
              > Still waiting for comments on these questions.
              >
              > > > > > gluadys: Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
              > > > > >
              > > > > > gluadys: Do they? Examples?
              > > >
              >
            • gluadys
              ... Good call. & you re welcome. Hope you enjoy the research. ... Sure. Welcome aboard.
              Message 6 of 29 , Oct 30, 2012
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                --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > gluadys: I agree to a point.
                >
                > Kurt: Once again it will take me a bit to digest your response. But I will likely respond independent of the point I've been making. I've hit a wall on offering anything more of substance on this thread. You've given me a chance to voice my observation though and you've heard it pretty close to the way I mean it. You've also helped with giving me plenty to build on. So, hey, I think that's pretty cool! Thank you! If you have more comment to make on it I'd be glad to hear it but I'm thinking it might be good to retire my concept for a bit while I improve my overall knowledge and return to it again when I have something more to add.
                >
                >

                Good call. & you're welcome. Hope you enjoy the research.


                >
                >
                >Meanwhile I'd like to continue to chime in when I have something to contribute to other threads.
                >
                >


                Sure. Welcome aboard.



                >
                >
                >
                > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
                > >
                > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it? Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it.
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > > I agree to a point. Humans, in general, don't have an abstract thirst for knowledge. Behind the quest for knowledge is the need to survive in a world that is, in many ways, threatening. And awesome, in the full sense of that term. (Such a tragedy that this word has become weakened and trivialized to the point of being meaningless.) Think of the effect on early people of the sort of storm that is about to hit New York this week. From all reports it will be stunning even with a week or more warning. Can you imagine how it would impress hunter-gatherers without a weather forecasting system? What of the northern lights? How would one tell one's children what they are? Imagine the effect on early agriculturalists of a plague of locusts or a hailstorm destroying their crops? Or at nightime, hearing the wind roar through the pine trees as you huddled by a campfire?
                > >
                > > People were very much aware of the great powers of nature: the heat of the sun, the force of the wind, the explosive power of a volcano, the mystery of plant, animal and human reproduction. And they were not merely curious about them. They were also fearful of them and seeking protection from them. The quest for protection took several forms. One obvious recourse for protection from a great power of nature would be to propitiate it through gifts of prayer and sacrifice. Or to appeal to a still greater power who could control the lesser. So, in times of drought one seeks to gain the favour of the power that sends rain. A second avenue is to seek some sort of control over the threatening power. Hence the use of sympathetic magic, such as sacred prostitution to support the fertility of field and flock. It helps as well to develop ways to discern why a power has been angered and how that anger can be appeased. So systems of reading omens develop. Best of all is being able to predict the course of events and know ahead of time the best action to take. One of the earliest of sciences to develop was astronomy—but not out of simple curiosity about the night sky, wondrous though it is. The point of ancient astronomy, whether Chaldean, Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese or Mayan, was to discern the future via astrological interpretations of the movements of celestial bodies. (Indeed, almost all astronomers included astrological research among their activities until the nineteenth century when it was reclassified as superstitious nonsense.)
                > >
                > > So the "urge for knowledge" does have motivation: fear of dangerous powers, desire for protection from those powers, and, where possible, the desire to bring those powers under human control. And it is not in the least surprising that in the absence of scientific knowledge, the powers themselves were personified as deities.
                > >
                > > The move toward a more "scientific" view began with the trend toward belief in a single high power who controlled all the others. Monotheism desacralized nature and made it possible to investigate natural forces as impersonal, created forces rather than as personal, divine forces in themselves. And out of that, eventually, one gets modern science.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > >
                > > >Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > > It seems that a lot of people are confused enough about evolution to think so. But from a scientific perspective, evolution is an impersonal, natural force (or better: process), just like the processes that generate geological strata, weather systems, etc. So from a theological perspective, it is an impersonal, created dynamic, like the hydrological cycle, the decay of radioactive particles, etc. Something God instituted within creation. It certainly gives us a profound insight into the natural/created world, but it doesn't really address creator-related questions. Not even the question of whether the universe of nature is a creation.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > >
                > > >it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Yes, obviously, you are trying to articulate an issue I have never run across before, so it is difficult to understand where you are coming from. Personally I see no relationship between "the practice of creator-belief" and evolutionary theory. Not only is evolutionary theory common to theists and atheists, but also to practitioners of various non-theistic faiths such as Buddhism (agnostic about gods), Hinduism (something of a combination of pantheism and polytheism) Wiccan/Pagan/indigenous (mostly animistic) which, whatever their attitude toward deity/ies, do not believe in a creator-god.
                > >
                > >
                > > > Gluadys: Do you believe one impact of evolution is to encourage sexual promiscuity or do you find that notion absurd?
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: It's common for folks to assign blame to anyone or anything but themselves. I'd say this unfortunate practice is unrelated to the theory of evolution.
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Thanks for that. Those of us who defend science against evolution denialists tend to raise our hackles when someone speaks of the impacts or implications of evolution, because, usually, it is exactly this sort of silliness that is meant. The most common silliness, of course, is that evolution theory eliminates God & therefore creation. If there is one thing evolution-denying creationists and religion-hating atheists agree on, it is this false dichotomy: that God and evolution cannot fit in the same world-view.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > > > My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Well, in America, at least, the best known options are the two ends of the false dichotomy named above. The political ascendence of the religious right has been accompanied by a dearth of media attention to the more historic, and still more mainstream, theological view that evolution does not replace the creator, but is simply an aspect of the created world. It is almost as if mainstream astronomy were being continually contrasted with religiously-motivated flat-earthism while the majority view of believers who reject flat-earthism is passed by in silence as if it didn't exist.
                > >
                > > So, if you really want to look at the impact of evolutionary theory on existing beliefs, you really must not neglect the views of Christians and other theists who accept evolutionary science. Start by exploring the BioLogos site. You might also look at a group called Celebrating Creation by Natural Selection. In print, besides the authors I already named, let me also recommend "Darwin's Forgotten Defenders" by David N. Livingstone, who outlines the 19th century impact, pro and con evolution. (It may surprise you to learn that the most influential opponent of evolution was not a Christian, while one of the best known defenders of Darwin was.) Another worthwhile read is "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation" a collection of essays edited by an evangelical geologist, Kenneth Miller. (Not the same Kenneth Miller who wrote "Finding Darwin's God". The latter is a Catholic and a cell biologist.)
                > >
                > >
                > > >
                > > > gluadys: Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: I'm looking at evolution-belief in the same light at creator-belief. Comparing their commonalities does not contradict their differences.
                > > >
                > >
                > > The first idea to ditch is the notion of "evolution belief". At best one "believes" in evolution as one "believes" in electricity. It is empirical, not philosophical.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: I've not suggested that one "demands" anything of the other or that one demands the rejection of the other. I know it seems an unlikely view, but I see them more as two peas in the same pod.
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > And I reject that idea. That is what generates the needless religious hostility to evolution. Properly understood, evolution is a totally different category. Better to see an apple beside an orange.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: I'm hoping I addressed this above. it may be my best explanation of what I'm trying to say. If it still makes no sense at all to you, it hasn't to most folks i've talked to, I may have abandon it or find a better path to express the point.
                > > > >
                > >
                > > A bit, but I still think you are hung up on the idea that evolution is a belief, not a science, and that skews your thinking in the wrong direction
                > >
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: Both. Raised Catholic, just after first communion my mother was "saved" then attended Baptist church. Never did answer an alter call, and refused to be baptized, none of it made sense to me. Always felt I was among "actors". You said in a previous post that theres no sense in spending time on the mis-perceptions of evolution held by those who don't try to understand it. But just as Baptist and Catholic churches are packed with believers who don't understand their own religion or why they believe it, so does evolutionary theory fill a similar sort of pew. I realize that that says something about the believer, not the theory. but it does speak to another commonality between them.
                > > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Point taken. What we have to remember is that those pews overlap a fair bit, such that many people sit in both at once. Only at the one end do we have religious believers who reject evolution and while at the other sit atheists or agnostics who accept evolution while rejecting religion.
                > >
                > > But certainly, in all three groups, there are those who have little understanding of either science or their professed faith. They are simply relating to other people who are important in their lives, not reflecting on these ideas.
                > >
                > > >
                > > >gluadys: Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: Can't comment on Euro-centric assumptions or post-modern deconstruction but if by inter-subjectivity you mean, to thine own self be true, then, yeh, I'm with you.
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > > No, that would just be subjectivity. Inter-subjectivity implies sharing subjective perceptions with other people and taking note of commonalities which may point to a shared experience of the same reality.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: That is correct. I am overwhelmingly unwilling to judge the theory or it's evidence, and I haven't compared any pieces of evidence from the theory to creationism at all. Propositions from either side that show the other to be incorrect are largely unrelated to what I have to say. It is propositions that show their commonality that interest me. *** I know that must seem kinda kooky. When I read other threads I realize that it's specific points and bits of evidence and ist's and ism's that make up the lions share of the banter. Sheesh. Don't ya get a little weary of that? I feel there is a broader picture here, neither side seems willing to consider that they're both painting on the same canvas, I beleive that that is worth some discousre.
                > > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > It is definitely refreshing to encounter a different point-of-view instead of the usual PRATTs.
                > >
                > > (Points Refuted A Thousand Times)
                > >
                > >
                > > > > gluadys: Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
                > > >
                > > > Kurt: But is it really reality that evoltuionary theory represents?
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > If it is not, virtually nothing we think of as reality is real. Evolution is supported across so many different scientific disciplines that its unreality would imply the non-reality of all the rest as well.
                > >
                > >
                > > >
                > > >Is there any method to confirm that what we observe is as it appears independent of our observation of it?
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > > No. Have you studied philosophy at all? You may have heard of Descartes' dilemma or of Kant's categories of the mind.
                > >
                > > Because there is no way to disprove solipsism, one of the unproven axioms on which science is based is that we are not brains in a vat, but actually existing people in an actually existing physical universe which is open to our sense and reason.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > >
                > > >If not, what meaning does "understanding the reality of the created world" have? I dunno, if evolutionary theory is staking a claim on what "reality" is, then, yes, that is claiming philosophical ground.
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Logically, a created world is one that is the same for all its inhabitants; the rules of order are the same for everyone. Everyone experiences water as wet, fire as hot. No one is exempted from the law of gravity or the speed of light and no living thing is exempted from evolution. The philosophical/theological ground here is set by understanding the implication of creation. Evolution is simply a natural process we observe within that and take for real because we have already decided that the natural/created world is real. Evolution is no more staking out a claim on reality than rain is. An evoltionary creationist accepts the reality of evolution for the same reason he or she accepts the reality of rain.
                > >
                > >
                > > Still waiting for comments on these questions.
                > >
                > > > > > > gluadys: Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > gluadys: Do they? Examples?
                > > > >
                > >
                >
              • stewart8724
                ... Kurt: Youre saying any answer, so long as it is reasoned, will scientifically identify the purpose of the question, sort of retroactively? Stewart: No I m
                Message 7 of 29 , Nov 1, 2012
                • 0 Attachment
                  >Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying the answers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.

                  Kurt: Youre saying any answer, so long as it is reasoned, will scientifically identify the purpose of the question, sort of retroactively?

                  Stewart: No I'm saying that a reasoned approach in examining the point in question is by definition scientific. I didn't say anything about scientifically identifying the purpose of questions, the purpose of questions is to obtain answers (scientific or otherwise).
                  Retroactively?

                  Kurt: Are you saying that any reasonable answer is defined as science and answers not identified as science are rendered unreasonable, regardless of the question?

                  Stewart: No and No.

                  Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured
                  us of this behaviour.

                  Kurt: Where did the less worthy thing come from? Less worthy of what?

                  Stewart: Less worthy of respect - You previously suggested that I had understated the abilities and intelligence of ancient people who didn't have a formal scientific culture. You asked if I considered that everyone was stupid prior to the theory of evolution. I am trying to point out that I consider that people have been clever for a long time, but that without all the information even clever people can arrive at a false conclusion.

                  Kurt: I gotta ask you something and please consider this in good spirits… is it possible your attitude toward those who think unscientifically is overly judgmental? Bigoted is too strong a word I'm sure, but your statement, "Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behavior" is a bit telling. "Cured"? I mean, come on Stewart, it's not a disease! Cured?? Really? Cured of what?

                  Stewart: Again, your accusation that I think that we are now "immune" to creating creators, because we have the theory of evolution. I am saying that we are not immune, that is to say we are still infected with the behavioural instincts we had then.
                  Please note that regardless of whether we use the word immune or the word cured, the implication is the same and it was you who implied it. With that in mind, is it still a bit telling?

                  >stewart: Early humans had none of the technology available to us,

                  Kurt: So what? They didn't have a lot of things we have. They didn't have anything called Transcendental meditation, flush toilets or transcontinental strategic missiles. that doesn't mean they didn't enrich their lives with contemplative prayer or wipe their fannies or understand the ugliness of war. But since they didn't have Darwinist guided science they couldn't possibly form intelligent questions and reasonable answers about a creator? Sorry, don't buy it.

                  Stewart: Good because I'm not trying to sell it. This is a preposterous distortion of what I've been saying. Questions and answers about deities have nothing to do with evolutionary theory. Why do you keep connecting the two? Evolution is the description of the process by which living species developed over the course of time. There is nothing in that theory which pertains to Gods or our desires for them, it is not a psychological or philosophical study.

                  Kurt: Even today with the "technology available to us", creator oriented beliefs are not only a reasonable answers that most people today consider material to their health and well-being, they represent a question that as yet is unanswerable by any other means.

                  Stewart: OK, let's assume that my opinion of why people believe in Gods is 100% wrong. It alters nothing with respect to Evolutionary theory because my opinion was in response to your question on why people crave a creator. It was not a comment based on the science of or the evidence for evolution. You are going to have to separate these two subjects if you hope to have a productive discussion on either.

                  Kurt: You keep saying evolutionary theory has nothing to say about a creator, so why do you keep insisting to have the answer to why we want/need/seek one??

                  Stewart: That makes as much sense as saying, You say metallurgy has nothing to do with biology so why do you keep insisting that exercise keeps you fit?

                  >Stewart: Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them.

                  Kurt: My kids are grown adults and their experiences and place in history have – and should – generate different methods, styles and sources of both similar and differing beliefs, same as kids thru all of human time have built on what they got from their parents. Pretty sure Sagan is the one who asked us to envision our grandfathers walking through the door, each generation after the other until a primate-like grandparent stood before us. That is a powerful image! Doubtless many fundamentalists considered this an unwelcome intrusion on their self-image. Now, of course Sagan was representing well document science and I don't mean to imply that I'm trying to borrow credibility from him, but the concept is similar to my point.

                  Stewart: Which point?

                  >Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me.The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if
                  evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.

                  >Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.

                  Kurt: It's worth mentioning that I have not entered the word "God" even once. (I used it in one post in direct response to being asked about it) So it seems you *want* me to be a "God" advocate of some kind, or maybe you need me to be that so you can fit me into a box of some sort, I don't know, but it's clear youre assuming something not at all represented in my posts.

                  Stewart: I've absolutely no interest in putting you in a box or anywhere else. What I don't understand is how you can blame me for introducing God into this discussion', it's clearly slipped your mind that it was you who did. Then when I reply, you say I'm responsible for implying that you're a "God advocate".
                  I only suggested that you should identify the specifics of the things you're discussing. But I promise from now on to use the word creator instead of God when responding to your posts, we don't want to confuse you more than needs be.
                  "What's in a name, would not a rose by any other name smell as sweet? (W Shakespeare)

                  >Stewart: P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.

                  Kurt: Not in your email address.

                  Stewart: True, but this isn't my email address is it? I've informed you of something that I am singularly qualified on , and yet you respond with an argument. Regardless of how sensible it may have seemed to you to assume that my email address is evidence of a fact. The subsequent and superior quality of evidence I supplied, coupled with a basic schooling in written English should be sufficient for you to correct your behaviour in using lower case. So with the benefit of this knowledge you can change your current practice, or you can ignore the information and continue being wrong. That would indicate extreme stupidity, scientifically speaking of course.


                  ,,,

                  --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > >Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying theanswers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.
                  >
                  > Kurt: Youre saying any answer, so long as it is reasoned, will scientifically identify the purpose of the question, sort of retroactively? Are you saying that any reasonable answer is defined as science and answers not identified as science are rendered unreasonable, regardless of the question?
                  >
                  > >Kurt: Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. Itwas stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?
                  >
                  > >Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured
                  > us of this behaviour.
                  >
                  > Kurt: Where did the less worthy thing come from? Less worthy of what? I gotta ask you something and please consider this in good spirits… is it possible your attitude toward those who think unscientifically is overly judgmental? Bigoted is too strong a word I'm sure, but your statement, "Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behavior" is a bit telling. "Cured"? I mean, come on Stewart, it's not a disease! Cured?? Really? Cured of what?
                  >
                  > >stewart: Early humans had none of the technology available to us,
                  >
                  > Kurt: So what? They didn't have a lot of things we have. They didn't have anything called Transcendental meditation, flush toilets or transcontinental strategic missiles. that doesn't mean they didn't enrich their lives with contemplative prayer or wipe their fannies or understand the ugliness of war. But since they didn't have Darwinist guided science they couldn't possibly form intelligent questions and reasonable answers about a creator? Sorry, don't buy it. Even today with the "technology available to us", creator oriented beliefs are not only a reasonable answers that most people today consider material to their health and well-being, they represent a question that as yet is unanswerable by any other means. You keep saying evolutionary theory has nothing to say about a creator, so why do you keep insisting to have the answer to why we want/need/seek one??
                  >
                  > >Stewart: Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them.
                  >
                  > Kurt: My kids are grown adults and their experiences and place in history have – and should – generate different methods, styles and sources of both similar and differing beliefs, same as kids thru all of human time have built on what they got from their parents. Pretty sure Sagan is the one who asked us to envision our grandfathers walking through the door, each generation after the other until a primate-like grandparent stood before us. That is a powerful image! Doubtless many fundamentalists considered this an unwelcome intrusion on their self-image. Now, of course Sagan was representing well document science and I don't mean to imply that I'm trying to borrow credibility from him, but the concept is similar to my point.
                  >
                  > >Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me.The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if
                  > evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
                  >
                  > >Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.
                  >
                  > Kurt: It's worth mentioning that I have not entered the word "God" even once. (I used it in one post in direct response to being asked about it) So it seems you *want* me to be a "God" advocate of some kind, or maybe you need me to be that so you can fit me into a box of some sort, I don't know, but it's clear youre assuming something not at all represented in my posts.
                  >
                  > >Stewart: P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.
                  >
                  > Kurt: Not in your email address.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "stewart8724" <art1st@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
                  > >
                  > > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it?
                  > >
                  > > Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying the answers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.
                  > >
                  > > Kurt: Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?
                  > >
                  > > Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behaviour. Early humans had none of the technology available to us, so it's hardly surprising that they would fail to identify the reasons for all that puzzled them. If we put ourselves in their position we would doubtless have come up with equally fallacious and speculative answers. We are talking about no more than 10,000 years, a period in which human intelligence can't have been improved by very much if at all. So I'm not talking about intelligence I'm talking about knowledge, with the benefit of information storage we have the cumulative knowledge of centuries at our beck and call.
                  > >
                  > > Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them. The monster under the bed, the other one that lives in the cupboard, dinosaurs in the garden, there are so many stories we have to tell them to explain why those creatures won't get them. You could insist that monsters don't exist but this is folly, all children know that they do. They need their monsters and they need their daddy to scare the monsters off.
                  > > It is guess work to say that ancient humans had imaginary monsters to fear, it's also guess work to say that they would naturally create an imaginary daddy to deal with these monsters. But based on what we know of ourselves it's also a reasonable assumption.
                  > > Every day we gain knowledge and so every day we are able to dispel myths and correct previously held beliefs because of science. Science including Evolution is not a creator it is only answers to questions, so it couldn't satisfy the need for a creator. I for one have no need or desire for a creator, although I am interested in how things came to be.
                  > >
                  > > Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
                  > >
                  > > Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.
                  > >
                  > > P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > ..
                  > >
                  > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > gluadys: Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
                  > > > >
                  > > > Kurt: Not so much that I could comment. So many ism's, so little time.
                  > > > In a previous post of yours….
                  > > >
                  > > > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it? Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did? It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
                  > > >
                  > > > Gluadys: Do you believe one impact of evolution is to encourage sexual promiscuity or do you find that notion absurd?
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: It's common for folks to assign blame to anyone or anything but themselves. I'd say this unfortunate practice is unrelated to the theory of evolution.
                  > > >
                  > > > > My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > gluadys: Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: I'm looking at evolution-belief in the same light at creator-belief. Comparing their commonalities does not contradict their differences.
                  > > >
                  > > > gluadys: Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: I've not suggested that one "demands" anything of the other or that one demands the rejection of the other. I know it seems an unlikely view, but I see them more as two peas in the same pod.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > gluadys: You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution…. In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: I'm hoping I addressed this above. it may be my best explanation of what I'm trying to say. If it still makes no sense at all to you, it hasn't to most folks i've talked to, I may have abandon it or find a better path to express the point.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > >gluadys: The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: Both. Raised Catholic, just after first communion my mother was "saved" then attended Baptist church. Never did answer an alter call, and refused to be baptized, none of it made sense to me. Always felt I was among "actors". You said in a previous post that theres no sense in spending time on the mis-perceptions of evolution held by those who don't try to understand it. But just as Baptist and Catholic churches are packed with believers who don't understand their own religion or why they believe it, so does evolutionary theory fill a similar sort of pew. I realize that that says something about the believer, not the theory. but it does speak to another commonality between them.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: Can't comment on Euro-centric assumptions or post-modern deconstruction but if by inter-subjectivity you mean, to thine own self be true, then, yeh, I'm with you.
                  > > >
                  > > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: That is correct. I am overwhelmingly unwilling to judge the theory or it's evidence, and I haven't compared any pieces of evidence from the theory to creationism at all. Propositions from either side that show the other to be incorrect are largely unrelated to what I have to say. It is propositions that show their commonality that interest me. *** I know that must seem kinda kooky. When I read other threads I realize that it's specific points and bits of evidence and ist's and ism's that make up the lions share of the banter. Sheesh. Don't ya get a little weary of that? I feel there is a broader picture here, neither side seems willing to consider that they're both painting on the same canvas, I beleive that that is worth some discousre.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > gluadys: Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
                  > > >
                  > > > Kurt: No. I think we've been working on better ways for a long time and what we have to show for it is sometimes hopelessly flawed but also sometimes more beautiful than we deserse. But is it really reality that evoltuionary theory represents? Is there any method to confirm that what we observe is as it appears independent of our observation of it? If not, what meaning does "understanding the reality of the created world" have? I dunno, if evolutionary theory is staking a claim on what "reality" is, then, yes, that is claiming philosophical ground.
                  > > >
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                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > gluadys: Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
                  > > > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
                  > > > Kurt: gould and Dawkins are the only examples I can sight. But true that I might be unfairly putting the rebuking of creationism together with creator-belief. Will consider that.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Gluadys: As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Gluadys: No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
                  > > > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true…
                  > > > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Kurt: I don't have experience at looking at it this way. Will have to read this a couple more times before I can reply.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > If you are going to understand science at all, it is a very important to understand this way of thinking. It almost defines scientific rationality.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Let me give you a concrete example to help clarify this.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Tom was found dead with a bullet in his heart. The police suspect Robert put it there. So their hypothesis is: Robert shot Tom. But they don't know this yet. They can't prove it yet. So, put an "if" at the beginning and you have an A statement: "If Robert shot Tom, then-----"
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Now you can fill in the blank with several other statements which logically follow; for example
                  > > > >
                  > > > > B.---then, he was with Tom at the time.
                  > > > > C.---then, he had a gun in his hand.
                  > > > > D.---then, the bullet in Tom's heart came from the gun Robert was holding.
                  > > > > E.---then, Robert's fingerprints may be on the gun.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I think you would agree that if Robert shot Tom, all these other statements must also be true.
                  > > > > The reason for setting out these statements is that it tells the investigators what sort of evidence they need to come up with to lay charges against Robert. (In science, these become the guides as to what needs to be researched.)
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Different statements provide different levels of confidence in the validity of the original hypothesis. If, for exanple, they find conclusive evidence that Robert was not with Tom when he was shot, the hypothesis is not valid and they need to focus on a different suspect. But if they find he was there, had a gun, and that the bullet came from the gun—but don't find fingerprints on the gun—all is not lost. Perhaps he was wearing gloves, or took time to wipe away the fingerprints.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > The same sort of reasoning is used by doctors when trying to establish a diagnosis and an effective treatment.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > And by scientists in all fields.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > When scientists say the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, they mean that of hundreds of logical consequences of evolution we can seek out in nature, virtually all of it supports the thesis. Some small fraction is ambiguous and none—none, so far—rules out an evolutionary explanation of the diversity of life, past and present, via a historical connection to common ancestors.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > Theres a bunch of your points that will take a bit more time for me to wrap my head around and will hit next time.
                  > > > > >
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                  > > > >
                  > > > > Sure, take your time. I am particularly interested in the last two questions:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > > > Kurt:
                  > > > > > >Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > gluadys: Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > gluadys: Do they? Examples?
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > ======================================================================
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: Good points and good question. We can all benefit from the sincere study of nature from both evolution-minded and creation-minded folks. Just reading Origin of Species is a huge undertaking for most of us, I respect it. My concern is the unjustified authority evolutionary theory enjoys.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > In science, evolution enjoys exactly the same authority as any other theory well-grounded in and substantiated by relevant evidence and capable of stimulating additional research in the field. No more, no less. This is not unjustified. It is the basis of justification for all scientific propositions. I would challenge you to find a better one.
                  > > > > > >
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                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >Dawkins a good example, exploit the perception that evolution in charge of what is rational and creationism only in charge of what is irrational.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I would say you have it backwards about. Evolution is in charge of nothing but natural selection. OTOH rationality, applied to the observation of biological beings past and present, justifies the perception of evolutionary change and how that comes about.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >Which is exactly how most people accept the theory.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > You probably mean "most Americans". Not surprising, as Americans have been among the most heavily saturated with nonsense about evolution and had very little exposure to a good scientific education about what it is and isn't. There is no point debating uninformed public opinion about evolution other than to ask how it can become better informed.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > A special question for Christians is to ask about the role the churches should be playing to help their members understand evolution as part of God's creation and therefore non-threatening to Christian beliefs. Why do we have to leave this to parachurch organizations like BioLogos? (link)
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Evolution proceeds and feeds on the empty promise of objectivity.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > It is certainly true that we need to be careful about asserting certainty as to the objective reality of many things, especially as we are far more aware than we used to be about the intimate relation of observer to observed. But science is an excellent tool for questioning the accuracy of our objectivity. The intense scrutiny of evolution, especially as we get into the observation of the molecular underpinnings of evolutionary change, has ensured that it is one of the best studied scientific theories, and therefore, as reliably objective in its conclusions as is humanly possible.
                  > > > > > >
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                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >Some would say science is self-correcting, we have the scientific method after all, right? But I don't buy it. There is power to be had here, influence, peers to gain praise from, reputations to uphold, a group to be a part of. These are not small components to the issue, these are potent motivators and none among are immune. Evolution is fine, Wielding lagrely unchecked authority and religious influence are making evoltuion too big for it's britches.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Do you understand the following line of logic?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true.
                  > > > > > > A (the "if" statement) is the hypothesis whose validity we are testing.
                  > > > > > > B, C, D, & E are specific observable consequences that logically follow from A.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > This sets the research program for scientists. How can we determine whether or not B exists in nature? C?, D?, E?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Suppose scientists find none of these things? Logically they have to conclude the original hypothesis, A, is false—and whatever observations led to that hypothesis must be explained differently.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Suppose they find some, but not others? Logically, they have to conclude that the evidential support for the theory is ambiguous and not certain.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Gluadys: Have you questions about the Darwinian theory of evolution as it applies to the changing nature of the biosphere? Those would be scientific questions and relatively easy to answer.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: The Changing nature of the biosphere? No, I don't think so. Maybe later. I would like someone to address how evolution deals with the existence of consciousness.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Well, that is a frontier question. No one has more than speculative musings on it yet. Probably the most important discoveries of recent times have been in elucidating the consciousness of non-human creatures.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > In any case, just as one must learn to walk before running, it might be better to ask about basics first, then move into issues still on the fringe.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Without [consciousness] nothing happens. At least not on this issue for sure. But evolution seems to ignore it.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Oh, not at all. It is a very active and interesting field of research. Very controversial too. Check out neuropsychology. But our consumer culture values conclusions over questions (so antithetical to true wisdom—think of Job) and so the media do a lousy job on ongoing research.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > gluadys: But one thing we cannot ask about any of them is "what explanation does evolutionary theory offer?" Evolutionary theory offers no explanation or perspective on any of these fascinating questions, because that is not its function.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: Not sure I get that. In the world of regular folk, in the minds of average people, evolution does offer explanations. "it evolved that way" is at least as common as "God did it". Offering explanations is evolutions accepted function.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > No, "offering explanations" without qualification is not the function of the theory of evolution. It is not even the function of the whole of science. Science seeks empirical explanations of the material relationships, (especially cause & effect) within the world of space-time we are embedded in and experience through sensory perceptions. Sometimes, the explanations themselves are not directly empirical, (no one has ever seen an electron) but they still have observable, empirical consequences by which the theoretical explanation can be tested in the real world. Evolution provides empirical explanations of observed patterns in the world of living creatures: patterns of distribution through space and time, patterns in embryological development, patterns which lead to a specific form of classification whether morphologically or genetically. Within appropriate parameters, evolution, and more broadly, science, do indeed offer explanations of a certain type. But only within these parameters.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Now a philosophical question is whether those parameters are co-extensive with the whole of reality. Or whether knowledge gained via scientific methods constitutes the only reliable form of knowledge. These questions, however, do not impinge on the validity of the knowledge science has gained for us.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Gluadys: You claim your point is not philosophical, yet you begin with a philosophical assumption--that behaviour (presumably including human behaviour) is driven solely by biology. Should we not actually begin by questioning that premise?
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: Maybe so. What would you question about it?
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > gluadys: No, it is not at all cowardly for scientists to refuse to answer a non-scientific question.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: If evolution did not function as a belief system I would agree.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Evolution is not a belief system. That is a bit of creationist (the evolution-rejecting type) crap.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >But fact is it does not play solely a scientific roll, it enjoys a popular support that other sciences do not because of its creator-related influence.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > That is hardly factual. In America, the only other field of science without significant popular support is climatology. No one is spending billions of dollars attacking gravity, chemistry or astronomy. But there is immense financial support behind both evolution denialism and climate change denialism. The last time we experienced such a concerted attack on scientific evidence was the tobacco industry's lobbying to suppress the fact that smoking causes cancer.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Gluadys: Well, no it isn't. An important component of the theory is traits which are inherited and may be affected by natural selection. Often such traits are behavioral, but behavioral traits have no special importance vis-vis morphological or physiological traits. All heritable traits are potentially selectable, and all selected traits contribute to the shaping of a species over time.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: My point was that how any given creature behaves is of interest and can be used to assert any given evolutionary hypothesis. B F Skinners pigeons being a convenient example. Human creator-related behavior is deemed unworthy of this process only out of bias I believe.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Not "assert"; the word you are looking for is "support". But not "any given evolutionary hypothesis" either. Most such work is narrowly focused on one hypothesis. (one of B, C, D, E, etc.) Each requires a different set of tests and observations.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > What is your hypothesis regarding "human creator-related behaviour"? (Your "A" statement.)
                  > > > > > > What sort of empirical evidence would follow if this is a valid hypothesis?
                  > > > > > > How would you determine if this evidence exists?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > gluadys: Scientists know why sharks swim continually. Unlike other fish, they have no swim bladder to regulate their position in the water column. So to maintain themselves at the appropriate depth, they have to keep swimmimg.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: True. But it wasn't till recently by tagging great whites that we found out what vast distances they traveled. That's what I meant by swim around so much.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Ah, so you are really referring to studies in migration. Well, why not? We also study bird, butterfly, whale and human migration—and seed dispertion as well. Such studies have important ramifications in many areas.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Just picking up some earlier thoughts from other posts in this thread.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > > Kurt:
                  > > > > > > > > > Take the time to talk with some average evolution-believing folks and ask them to define evolution or even give an example of Natural Selection. I've asked people those questions for years, friends, acquaintances and students, and the answers you overwhelming get are about the varieties of dogs or improved crop production. Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory. After a 140 years of Darwinism permeating the culture, and two generations of teaching it in public schools, evolution, as it really plays out in the lives of average people, has become a wish-daddy, a faith, an accepted-by-authority, over-intellectualized religion.
                  > > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I am glad to see that you are concerned with "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory". I would certainly agree that the vast majority of people who accept evolution on the basis of a high-school course dimly remembered and/or a few not too reliable programs on public television likely don't have such an understanding, so naturally they flounder when trying to describe it. This doesn't mean much, of course. Most of those who deny evolution are just as ignorant of both evolution and the pseudo-science opposition.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > To get an actual grasp of evolution, one has to be prepared to study it, formally or informally. To get an actual grasp of the logic (to use the word loosely) of evolution denial, one has to research the material published by the professionals in the field: ICR, AiG, & Discovery Institute. It is pretty silly to base conclusions about evolution or evolution denial on talks with average evolution-believing/denying folk. All that gives you is a snapshot of uninformed opinion which has no relevance whatsoever. The only thing to consider about the average folk of either persuasion is how to expand their base of knowledge and their capacity for rational thinking, so they can better come to soundly informed conclusions.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > ..
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Do they? Examples?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > .
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Kurt: [The author]'d make a wild guess at something, like the eye beginning as a fleshy protrusion that somehow had a mysterious sensitivity to light,
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Not mysterious: chemical. The chemistry of light-sensitive pigments is well understood by bio-chemists. And that early light-sensing organ was more likely a pit than a protrusion. Check "evolution of the eye" in your browser.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > For a full-length treatment on the role of vision as a possible trigger of the Cambrian Explosion, see "In the Blink of an Eye" by Andrew Parker. While his thesis about the Cambrian Explosion is controversial, the book is a gold-mine of information on biological adaptations to light.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • khunsinger33
                  ... Kurt: Hey, thanks for the imput. If thats all the sense it s making to you then either I m falling short on communicating the point or we re just missing
                  Message 8 of 29 , Nov 2, 2012
                  • 0 Attachment
                    >Stewart: That makes as much sense as saying, You say metallurgy has nothing to do with biology so why do you keep insisting that exercise keeps you fit?

                    Kurt: Hey, thanks for the imput. If thats all the sense it's making to you then either I'm falling short on communicating the point or we're just missing each other in some fundamental way. Either way it's been fun trying to put some of these thoughts into words and hearing your feedback. Mentioned to gluadys I'd like to come back to it after I build some better overall knowledge. Till then, cheers.



                    --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "stewart8724" <art1st@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > >Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying the answers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.
                    >
                    > Kurt: Youre saying any answer, so long as it is reasoned, will scientifically identify the purpose of the question, sort of retroactively?
                    >
                    > Stewart: No I'm saying that a reasoned approach in examining the point in question is by definition scientific. I didn't say anything about scientifically identifying the purpose of questions, the purpose of questions is to obtain answers (scientific or otherwise).
                    > Retroactively?
                    >
                    > Kurt: Are you saying that any reasonable answer is defined as science and answers not identified as science are rendered unreasonable, regardless of the question?
                    >
                    > Stewart: No and No.
                    >
                    > Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured
                    > us of this behaviour.
                    >
                    > Kurt: Where did the less worthy thing come from? Less worthy of what?
                    >
                    > Stewart: Less worthy of respect - You previously suggested that I had understated the abilities and intelligence of ancient people who didn't have a formal scientific culture. You asked if I considered that everyone was stupid prior to the theory of evolution. I am trying to point out that I consider that people have been clever for a long time, but that without all the information even clever people can arrive at a false conclusion.
                    >
                    > Kurt: I gotta ask you something and please consider this in good spirits… is it possible your attitude toward those who think unscientifically is overly judgmental? Bigoted is too strong a word I'm sure, but your statement, "Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behavior" is a bit telling. "Cured"? I mean, come on Stewart, it's not a disease! Cured?? Really? Cured of what?
                    >
                    > Stewart: Again, your accusation that I think that we are now "immune" to creating creators, because we have the theory of evolution. I am saying that we are not immune, that is to say we are still infected with the behavioural instincts we had then.
                    > Please note that regardless of whether we use the word immune or the word cured, the implication is the same and it was you who implied it. With that in mind, is it still a bit telling?
                    >
                    > >stewart: Early humans had none of the technology available to us,
                    >
                    > Kurt: So what? They didn't have a lot of things we have. They didn't have anything called Transcendental meditation, flush toilets or transcontinental strategic missiles. that doesn't mean they didn't enrich their lives with contemplative prayer or wipe their fannies or understand the ugliness of war. But since they didn't have Darwinist guided science they couldn't possibly form intelligent questions and reasonable answers about a creator? Sorry, don't buy it.
                    >
                    > Stewart: Good because I'm not trying to sell it. This is a preposterous distortion of what I've been saying. Questions and answers about deities have nothing to do with evolutionary theory. Why do you keep connecting the two? Evolution is the description of the process by which living species developed over the course of time. There is nothing in that theory which pertains to Gods or our desires for them, it is not a psychological or philosophical study.
                    >
                    > Kurt: Even today with the "technology available to us", creator oriented beliefs are not only a reasonable answers that most people today consider material to their health and well-being, they represent a question that as yet is unanswerable by any other means.
                    >
                    > Stewart: OK, let's assume that my opinion of why people believe in Gods is 100% wrong. It alters nothing with respect to Evolutionary theory because my opinion was in response to your question on why people crave a creator. It was not a comment based on the science of or the evidence for evolution. You are going to have to separate these two subjects if you hope to have a productive discussion on either.
                    >
                    > Kurt: You keep saying evolutionary theory has nothing to say about a creator, so why do you keep insisting to have the answer to why we want/need/seek one??
                    >
                    > Stewart: That makes as much sense as saying, You say metallurgy has nothing to do with biology so why do you keep insisting that exercise keeps you fit?
                    >
                    > >Stewart: Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them.
                    >
                    > Kurt: My kids are grown adults and their experiences and place in history have – and should – generate different methods, styles and sources of both similar and differing beliefs, same as kids thru all of human time have built on what they got from their parents. Pretty sure Sagan is the one who asked us to envision our grandfathers walking through the door, each generation after the other until a primate-like grandparent stood before us. That is a powerful image! Doubtless many fundamentalists considered this an unwelcome intrusion on their self-image. Now, of course Sagan was representing well document science and I don't mean to imply that I'm trying to borrow credibility from him, but the concept is similar to my point.
                    >
                    > Stewart: Which point?
                    >
                    > >Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me.The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if
                    > evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
                    >
                    > >Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.
                    >
                    > Kurt: It's worth mentioning that I have not entered the word "God" even once. (I used it in one post in direct response to being asked about it) So it seems you *want* me to be a "God" advocate of some kind, or maybe you need me to be that so you can fit me into a box of some sort, I don't know, but it's clear youre assuming something not at all represented in my posts.
                    >
                    > Stewart: I've absolutely no interest in putting you in a box or anywhere else. What I don't understand is how you can blame me for introducing God into this discussion', it's clearly slipped your mind that it was you who did. Then when I reply, you say I'm responsible for implying that you're a "God advocate".
                    > I only suggested that you should identify the specifics of the things you're discussing. But I promise from now on to use the word creator instead of God when responding to your posts, we don't want to confuse you more than needs be.
                    > "What's in a name, would not a rose by any other name smell as sweet? (W Shakespeare)
                    >
                    > >Stewart: P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.
                    >
                    > Kurt: Not in your email address.
                    >
                    > Stewart: True, but this isn't my email address is it? I've informed you of something that I am singularly qualified on , and yet you respond with an argument. Regardless of how sensible it may have seemed to you to assume that my email address is evidence of a fact. The subsequent and superior quality of evidence I supplied, coupled with a basic schooling in written English should be sufficient for you to correct your behaviour in using lower case. So with the benefit of this knowledge you can change your current practice, or you can ignore the information and continue being wrong. That would indicate extreme stupidity, scientifically speaking of course.
                    >
                    >
                    > ,,,
                    >
                    > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > >Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying theanswers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.
                    > >
                    > > Kurt: Youre saying any answer, so long as it is reasoned, will scientifically identify the purpose of the question, sort of retroactively? Are you saying that any reasonable answer is defined as science and answers not identified as science are rendered unreasonable, regardless of the question?
                    > >
                    > > >Kurt: Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. Itwas stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?
                    > >
                    > > >Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured
                    > > us of this behaviour.
                    > >
                    > > Kurt: Where did the less worthy thing come from? Less worthy of what? I gotta ask you something and please consider this in good spirits… is it possible your attitude toward those who think unscientifically is overly judgmental? Bigoted is too strong a word I'm sure, but your statement, "Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behavior" is a bit telling. "Cured"? I mean, come on Stewart, it's not a disease! Cured?? Really? Cured of what?
                    > >
                    > > >stewart: Early humans had none of the technology available to us,
                    > >
                    > > Kurt: So what? They didn't have a lot of things we have. They didn't have anything called Transcendental meditation, flush toilets or transcontinental strategic missiles. that doesn't mean they didn't enrich their lives with contemplative prayer or wipe their fannies or understand the ugliness of war. But since they didn't have Darwinist guided science they couldn't possibly form intelligent questions and reasonable answers about a creator? Sorry, don't buy it. Even today with the "technology available to us", creator oriented beliefs are not only a reasonable answers that most people today consider material to their health and well-being, they represent a question that as yet is unanswerable by any other means. You keep saying evolutionary theory has nothing to say about a creator, so why do you keep insisting to have the answer to why we want/need/seek one??
                    > >
                    > > >Stewart: Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them.
                    > >
                    > > Kurt: My kids are grown adults and their experiences and place in history have – and should – generate different methods, styles and sources of both similar and differing beliefs, same as kids thru all of human time have built on what they got from their parents. Pretty sure Sagan is the one who asked us to envision our grandfathers walking through the door, each generation after the other until a primate-like grandparent stood before us. That is a powerful image! Doubtless many fundamentalists considered this an unwelcome intrusion on their self-image. Now, of course Sagan was representing well document science and I don't mean to imply that I'm trying to borrow credibility from him, but the concept is similar to my point.
                    > >
                    > > >Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me.The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if
                    > > evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
                    > >
                    > > >Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.
                    > >
                    > > Kurt: It's worth mentioning that I have not entered the word "God" even once. (I used it in one post in direct response to being asked about it) So it seems you *want* me to be a "God" advocate of some kind, or maybe you need me to be that so you can fit me into a box of some sort, I don't know, but it's clear youre assuming something not at all represented in my posts.
                    > >
                    > > >Stewart: P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.
                    > >
                    > > Kurt: Not in your email address.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "stewart8724" <art1st@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
                    > > >
                    > > > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it?
                    > > >
                    > > > Stewart: If we ask questions and employ a reasoned approach in identifying the answers, we create science. So science inevitably exists where intelligence reaches a certain level of curiosity.
                    > > >
                    > > > Kurt: Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did?
                    > > >
                    > > > Stewart: No it's not. It really isn't as complicated as you seem to think. I am in no way proposing that these early humans were less worthy because they knew less about certain things than we do. Neither am I saying that science has cured us of this behaviour. Early humans had none of the technology available to us, so it's hardly surprising that they would fail to identify the reasons for all that puzzled them. If we put ourselves in their position we would doubtless have come up with equally fallacious and speculative answers. We are talking about no more than 10,000 years, a period in which human intelligence can't have been improved by very much if at all. So I'm not talking about intelligence I'm talking about knowledge, with the benefit of information storage we have the cumulative knowledge of centuries at our beck and call.
                    > > >
                    > > > Without knowledge people will speculate on the reasons for natural events. Many natural events are frightening and it is in our nature to explain or tame those things that frighten us. If you have children you'll be well aware that they want reassurance on the things that scare them. The monster under the bed, the other one that lives in the cupboard, dinosaurs in the garden, there are so many stories we have to tell them to explain why those creatures won't get them. You could insist that monsters don't exist but this is folly, all children know that they do. They need their monsters and they need their daddy to scare the monsters off.
                    > > > It is guess work to say that ancient humans had imaginary monsters to fear, it's also guess work to say that they would naturally create an imaginary daddy to deal with these monsters. But based on what we know of ourselves it's also a reasonable assumption.
                    > > > Every day we gain knowledge and so every day we are able to dispel myths and correct previously held beliefs because of science. Science including Evolution is not a creator it is only answers to questions, so it couldn't satisfy the need for a creator. I for one have no need or desire for a creator, although I am interested in how things came to be.
                    > > >
                    > > > Kurt: It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
                    > > >
                    > > > Stewart: I think you need to find out what evolutionary theory is, in order to dispel your assumption that it's purpose is to substitute one God for another.
                    > > >
                    > > > P.S. My name begins with a capital letter.
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > ..
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > gluadys: Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: Not so much that I could comment. So many ism's, so little time.
                    > > > > In a previous post of yours….
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Gluadys: So, it is not evolution you wish to speak of, but the "impact of.." well, what—the fact of evolution, the theory of evolution, the controversy about evolution? And how will you judge the impact if you don't know the science? How can you even know what the impacts are and what is mere hogwash asserted without evidence by those with an agenda?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: Point taken. However, so far I haven't atemped to dispute any facts or theories regarding evolution. Except for calling the "early humans invented a creator to cope with the environment" idea guess work. And I hope you don't mind taking a look at that once more. It feels important to me to address why we were pursuing the question in the first place. Because whether you know the science or not, even if there were no such thing as science, if we don't know why we're asking, how can we identify what answers will satisfy the inquiry? If we can't discern the reason for the question, how can we be certain that science is even addressing it? Just saying humans have an urge for knowledge doesn't really cut it. It was stewart that said early humans developed a creator-belief to answer questions as best they could, but that we are now better equipped to answer what they could not. Well, how does that work exactly? Their erroneous musing just conveniently worked as a cerebral place-holder while technology caught up with the inquiry? Isn't stewarts proposition, which is a common view, really confirming that evolutionary theory is indeed addressing the same creator related questions they did? It doesn't seem all that difficult to see that evolutionary theory has a relationship with the pursuit of a creator, not the antithesis of it at all. Now I'm not saying that to dispute evolution or say "gotcha" or impugn the methods or results or validity of the theory; it's not the fact of evolution or the theory of evolution or the controversy about evolution that is at issue for me. The issue I'm trying to fetter out, in my painfully layman language, is that if evolutionary theory is, at any level, common to the practice of creator-belief, then continuing to deny that commonality is to deny its fundamental, underlying purpose.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Gluadys: Do you believe one impact of evolution is to encourage sexual promiscuity or do you find that notion absurd?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: It's common for folks to assign blame to anyone or anything but themselves. I'd say this unfortunate practice is unrelated to the theory of evolution.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > > My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > gluadys: Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: I'm looking at evolution-belief in the same light at creator-belief. Comparing their commonalities does not contradict their differences.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > gluadys: Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
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                    > > > > Kurt: I've not suggested that one "demands" anything of the other or that one demands the rejection of the other. I know it seems an unlikely view, but I see them more as two peas in the same pod.
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                    > > > > > I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
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                    > > > > gluadys: You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution…. In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: I'm hoping I addressed this above. it may be my best explanation of what I'm trying to say. If it still makes no sense at all to you, it hasn't to most folks i've talked to, I may have abandon it or find a better path to express the point.
                    > > > > >
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                    > > > > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > >gluadys: The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: Both. Raised Catholic, just after first communion my mother was "saved" then attended Baptist church. Never did answer an alter call, and refused to be baptized, none of it made sense to me. Always felt I was among "actors". You said in a previous post that theres no sense in spending time on the mis-perceptions of evolution held by those who don't try to understand it. But just as Baptist and Catholic churches are packed with believers who don't understand their own religion or why they believe it, so does evolutionary theory fill a similar sort of pew. I realize that that says something about the believer, not the theory. but it does speak to another commonality between them.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
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                    > > > > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: Can't comment on Euro-centric assumptions or post-modern deconstruction but if by inter-subjectivity you mean, to thine own self be true, then, yeh, I'm with you.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: That is correct. I am overwhelmingly unwilling to judge the theory or it's evidence, and I haven't compared any pieces of evidence from the theory to creationism at all. Propositions from either side that show the other to be incorrect are largely unrelated to what I have to say. It is propositions that show their commonality that interest me. *** I know that must seem kinda kooky. When I read other threads I realize that it's specific points and bits of evidence and ist's and ism's that make up the lions share of the banter. Sheesh. Don't ya get a little weary of that? I feel there is a broader picture here, neither side seems willing to consider that they're both painting on the same canvas, I beleive that that is worth some discousre.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > gluadys: Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Kurt: No. I think we've been working on better ways for a long time and what we have to show for it is sometimes hopelessly flawed but also sometimes more beautiful than we deserse. But is it really reality that evoltuionary theory represents? Is there any method to confirm that what we observe is as it appears independent of our observation of it? If not, what meaning does "understanding the reality of the created world" have? I dunno, if evolutionary theory is staking a claim on what "reality" is, then, yes, that is claiming philosophical ground.
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                    > > > > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
                    > > > > >
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                    > > > > gluadys: Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
                    > > > > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
                    > > > > Kurt: gould and Dawkins are the only examples I can sight. But true that I might be unfairly putting the rebuking of creationism together with creator-belief. Will consider that.
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                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
                    > > > > >
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                    > > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
                    > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > Gluadys: As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Kurt: Depends on what you mean by creationism. I have no input here on Scientific Creationism or ID or Creationism as identified with any particular group or as a theory of any sort.
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                    > > > > > Ever hear of Evolutionary Creationism (aka theistic evolution)?
                    > > > > >
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                    > > > > > >My intention is not to compare or contrast theories but to examine the impact evolutionary theory has on existing beliefs. So for salient qualities of creationism I have none. Creator-belief, however, is quite a different thing all together and its overwhelming persistence for millennia is indeed a defining quality.
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                    > > > > > Indeed it is a different thing, so why compare it with evolution? Does creator belief rule out evolution as a facet of the created world?
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Clearly, the answer of most theists—and certainly most theists who have studied science—is "no, it doesn't". Are you then laboring under a false impression that belief in creation demands rejecting science—or at least evolutionary science? Or vice versa?
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                    > > > > > >I've also argued that evolutionary theory is an example creator-belief, not an example of creationism.
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                    > > > > > You would have to explain that logic to me. I don't see how evolutionary theory says or implies anything about believing in a creator. All that suggests to me is that you don't have an appropriate understanding of the theory of evolution.
                    > > > > >
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                    > > > > > In the final analysis, to say the universe is a creation is a statement of faith, not a scientific proposition, and it remains independent of scientific theories.
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                    > > > > > > Gluadys: No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Kurt: Not always sure what Christian doctrine means. Christian doctrine and Egyptian mummification seem pretty much the same to me, parts and parcels of the same goal, the same desire, the same people heading up the same hill in intersecting spirals. As a Christian you may feel differently. Wouldn't mind hearing from you on that.
                    > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > The basic propositions of Christian doctrine are set out in the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed—both readily available on-line. But they will sound as esoteric as the Book of Thoth or the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the uninitiated. Christian scholars have debated and still debate what these phrases mean. Some of the recognized meanings are typically discussed in classes for those preparing for baptism or confirmation. Ever attend one of those?
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                    > > > > > > Kurt: Objectivity. I'm not convinced it is humanly possible at any level in or out of science. I can admit that that might be a bias. But from what I can gather from researchers like Pim Lommel and Fred Wolf objectivity may be nothing more than a vanity.
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                    > > > > > Possibly. I lean more toward the concept of inter-subjectivity myself. I have a fair bit of respect for post-modern deconstruction of traditionally accepted "facts". Certainly a view that came out of Euro-centric assumptions of what it is to be "rational" and "civilised" can hardly be called objective.
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                    > > > > > > gluadys: IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis… Do you understand the following line of logic?
                    > > > > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true…
                    > > > > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Kurt: I don't have experience at looking at it this way. Will have to read this a couple more times before I can reply.
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                    > > > > > If you are going to understand science at all, it is a very important to understand this way of thinking. It almost defines scientific rationality.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Let me give you a concrete example to help clarify this.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Tom was found dead with a bullet in his heart. The police suspect Robert put it there. So their hypothesis is: Robert shot Tom. But they don't know this yet. They can't prove it yet. So, put an "if" at the beginning and you have an A statement: "If Robert shot Tom, then-----"
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Now you can fill in the blank with several other statements which logically follow; for example
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > B.---then, he was with Tom at the time.
                    > > > > > C.---then, he had a gun in his hand.
                    > > > > > D.---then, the bullet in Tom's heart came from the gun Robert was holding.
                    > > > > > E.---then, Robert's fingerprints may be on the gun.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > I think you would agree that if Robert shot Tom, all these other statements must also be true.
                    > > > > > The reason for setting out these statements is that it tells the investigators what sort of evidence they need to come up with to lay charges against Robert. (In science, these become the guides as to what needs to be researched.)
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Different statements provide different levels of confidence in the validity of the original hypothesis. If, for exanple, they find conclusive evidence that Robert was not with Tom when he was shot, the hypothesis is not valid and they need to focus on a different suspect. But if they find he was there, had a gun, and that the bullet came from the gun—but don't find fingerprints on the gun—all is not lost. Perhaps he was wearing gloves, or took time to wipe away the fingerprints.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > The same sort of reasoning is used by doctors when trying to establish a diagnosis and an effective treatment.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > And by scientists in all fields.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > When scientists say the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, they mean that of hundreds of logical consequences of evolution we can seek out in nature, virtually all of it supports the thesis. Some small fraction is ambiguous and none—none, so far—rules out an evolutionary explanation of the diversity of life, past and present, via a historical connection to common ancestors.
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                    > > > > > > gluadys: As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Kurt: This is a good answer. When I asked the question, what drives behavior if not biology? I had hoped someone might sincerely offer this kind of answer. If not biology, what indeed? Of course Holy Spirit is not the only name such an influence has been given over time and around the world and not each and every single solitary person feels such an influence, but humanity as a whole has and does consider this kind of influence a significant player in their lives. I am beginning to see why that is not considered significant to evolution theory, but it seems so hugely significant otherwise that I am mystified that so much evolutionary literature seems bent on rebuking it.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Examples? I have read a lot of evolutionary literature and I have not come across this phenomenon. Well, I guess an exception can be made for die-hard determinists like B.F. Skinner and Daniel Dennett. But where else does this rebuking come from?
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Perhaps what you are taking for rebuke is simply scientific reticence in regard to non-scientific concepts which can be neither validated nor invalidated.
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                    > > > > > > Theres a bunch of your points that will take a bit more time for me to wrap my head around and will hit next time.
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                    > > > > > Sure, take your time. I am particularly interested in the last two questions:
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Kurt:
                    > > > > > > >Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > gluadys: Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > gluadys: Do they? Examples?
                    > > > > >
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                    > > > > > ======================================================================
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                    > > > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "gluadys" <g_turner@> wrote:
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "khunsinger33" <khunsinger33@> wrote:
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                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: Good points and good question. We can all benefit from the sincere study of nature from both evolution-minded and creation-minded folks. Just reading Origin of Species is a huge undertaking for most of us, I respect it. My concern is the unjustified authority evolutionary theory enjoys.
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                    > > > > > > > In science, evolution enjoys exactly the same authority as any other theory well-grounded in and substantiated by relevant evidence and capable of stimulating additional research in the field. No more, no less. This is not unjustified. It is the basis of justification for all scientific propositions. I would challenge you to find a better one.
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                    > > > > > > > >Dawkins a good example, exploit the perception that evolution in charge of what is rational and creationism only in charge of what is irrational.
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                    > > > > > > > I would say you have it backwards about. Evolution is in charge of nothing but natural selection. OTOH rationality, applied to the observation of biological beings past and present, justifies the perception of evolutionary change and how that comes about.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > As for "creationism", what do you see as its salient defining qualities? Why do you see it necessary to contrast "creationism" with the fact and/or theory and/or history of evolution?
                    > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > >Which is exactly how most people accept the theory.
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                    > > > > > > > You probably mean "most Americans". Not surprising, as Americans have been among the most heavily saturated with nonsense about evolution and had very little exposure to a good scientific education about what it is and isn't. There is no point debating uninformed public opinion about evolution other than to ask how it can become better informed.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > A special question for Christians is to ask about the role the churches should be playing to help their members understand evolution as part of God's creation and therefore non-threatening to Christian beliefs. Why do we have to leave this to parachurch organizations like BioLogos? (link)
                    > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > > Evolution proceeds and feeds on the empty promise of objectivity.
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                    > > > > > > > No more or less than any other field of science. Let's remember that the concept of objectivity is built into the Christian doctrine of creation. It is an affirmation that God did not place us in a sort of complex holographic world, as in the movie, Matrix. Creation is real, not a temporary movie set. Further, creation is knowable. We all experience the same created cosmos, even if we experience it from different perspectives. And there is enough overlap among those perspectives to permit shared inter-subjective knowledge which we can rely on.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > It is certainly true that we need to be careful about asserting certainty as to the objective reality of many things, especially as we are far more aware than we used to be about the intimate relation of observer to observed. But science is an excellent tool for questioning the accuracy of our objectivity. The intense scrutiny of evolution, especially as we get into the observation of the molecular underpinnings of evolutionary change, has ensured that it is one of the best studied scientific theories, and therefore, as reliably objective in its conclusions as is humanly possible.
                    > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > >Some would say science is self-correcting, we have the scientific method after all, right? But I don't buy it. There is power to be had here, influence, peers to gain praise from, reputations to uphold, a group to be a part of. These are not small components to the issue, these are potent motivators and none among are immune. Evolution is fine, Wielding lagrely unchecked authority and religious influence are making evoltuion too big for it's britches.
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                    > > > > > > > IOW, you are not willing to judge the theory on the basis of a) understanding its propositions, and b) testing them against the evidence of nature. Instead, you buttress your rejection of this science with unsupported armchair psychoanalysis.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Do you understand the following line of logic?
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > If A is true, B, C, D & E must also be true.
                    > > > > > > > A (the "if" statement) is the hypothesis whose validity we are testing.
                    > > > > > > > B, C, D, & E are specific observable consequences that logically follow from A.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > This sets the research program for scientists. How can we determine whether or not B exists in nature? C?, D?, E?
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Suppose scientists find none of these things? Logically they have to conclude the original hypothesis, A, is false—and whatever observations led to that hypothesis must be explained differently.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Suppose they find some, but not others? Logically, they have to conclude that the evidential support for the theory is ambiguous and not certain.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Suppose they find everything they began to seek out? The logical conclusion is that they have discovered something profoundly true about nature. The understanding may not be complete and may continue to be revised with new observations, but they are confident they are headed in the right direction.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Can you provide a better way of coming to understand the reality of the created world?
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Can you understand why, on the basis of this rational test, scientists put the theory of evolution in the third category?
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > Gluadys: Have you questions about the Darwinian theory of evolution as it applies to the changing nature of the biosphere? Those would be scientific questions and relatively easy to answer.
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: The Changing nature of the biosphere? No, I don't think so. Maybe later. I would like someone to address how evolution deals with the existence of consciousness.
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Well, that is a frontier question. No one has more than speculative musings on it yet. Probably the most important discoveries of recent times have been in elucidating the consciousness of non-human creatures.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > In any case, just as one must learn to walk before running, it might be better to ask about basics first, then move into issues still on the fringe.
                    > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > > Without [consciousness] nothing happens. At least not on this issue for sure. But evolution seems to ignore it.
                    > > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > Oh, not at all. It is a very active and interesting field of research. Very controversial too. Check out neuropsychology. But our consumer culture values conclusions over questions (so antithetical to true wisdom—think of Job) and so the media do a lousy job on ongoing research.
                    > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > > gluadys: But one thing we cannot ask about any of them is "what explanation does evolutionary theory offer?" Evolutionary theory offers no explanation or perspective on any of these fascinating questions, because that is not its function.
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: Not sure I get that. In the world of regular folk, in the minds of average people, evolution does offer explanations. "it evolved that way" is at least as common as "God did it". Offering explanations is evolutions accepted function.
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                    > > > > > > > No, "offering explanations" without qualification is not the function of the theory of evolution. It is not even the function of the whole of science. Science seeks empirical explanations of the material relationships, (especially cause & effect) within the world of space-time we are embedded in and experience through sensory perceptions. Sometimes, the explanations themselves are not directly empirical, (no one has ever seen an electron) but they still have observable, empirical consequences by which the theoretical explanation can be tested in the real world. Evolution provides empirical explanations of observed patterns in the world of living creatures: patterns of distribution through space and time, patterns in embryological development, patterns which lead to a specific form of classification whether morphologically or genetically. Within appropriate parameters, evolution, and more broadly, science, do indeed offer explanations of a certain type. But only within these parameters.
                    > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > Now a philosophical question is whether those parameters are co-extensive with the whole of reality. Or whether knowledge gained via scientific methods constitutes the only reliable form of knowledge. These questions, however, do not impinge on the validity of the knowledge science has gained for us.
                    > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > > Gluadys: You claim your point is not philosophical, yet you begin with a philosophical assumption--that behaviour (presumably including human behaviour) is driven solely by biology. Should we not actually begin by questioning that premise?
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: Maybe so. What would you question about it?
                    > > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > As a believer, I would consider the role of the Holy Spirit in influencing behaviour.
                    > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > > gluadys: No, it is not at all cowardly for scientists to refuse to answer a non-scientific question.
                    > > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: If evolution did not function as a belief system I would agree.
                    > > > > > > > >
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                    > > > > > > > Evolution is not a belief system. That is a bit of creationist (the evolution-rejecting type) crap.
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                    > > > > > > > >But fact is it does not play solely a scientific roll, it enjoys a popular support that other sciences do not because of its creator-related influence.
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                    > > > > > > > That is hardly factual. In America, the only other field of science without significant popular support is climatology. No one is spending billions of dollars attacking gravity, chemistry or astronomy. But there is immense financial support behind both evolution denialism and climate change denialism. The last time we experienced such a concerted attack on scientific evidence was the tobacco industry's lobbying to suppress the fact that smoking causes cancer.
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                    > > > > > > > > Gluadys: Well, no it isn't. An important component of the theory is traits which are inherited and may be affected by natural selection. Often such traits are behavioral, but behavioral traits have no special importance vis-vis morphological or physiological traits. All heritable traits are potentially selectable, and all selected traits contribute to the shaping of a species over time.
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                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: My point was that how any given creature behaves is of interest and can be used to assert any given evolutionary hypothesis. B F Skinners pigeons being a convenient example. Human creator-related behavior is deemed unworthy of this process only out of bias I believe.
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                    > > > > > > > Not "assert"; the word you are looking for is "support". But not "any given evolutionary hypothesis" either. Most such work is narrowly focused on one hypothesis. (one of B, C, D, E, etc.) Each requires a different set of tests and observations.
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                    > > > > > > > What is your hypothesis regarding "human creator-related behaviour"? (Your "A" statement.)
                    > > > > > > > What sort of empirical evidence would follow if this is a valid hypothesis?
                    > > > > > > > How would you determine if this evidence exists?
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                    > > > > > > > > gluadys: Scientists know why sharks swim continually. Unlike other fish, they have no swim bladder to regulate their position in the water column. So to maintain themselves at the appropriate depth, they have to keep swimmimg.
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                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: True. But it wasn't till recently by tagging great whites that we found out what vast distances they traveled. That's what I meant by swim around so much.
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                    > > > > > > > Ah, so you are really referring to studies in migration. Well, why not? We also study bird, butterfly, whale and human migration—and seed dispertion as well. Such studies have important ramifications in many areas.
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                    > > > > > > > Just picking up some earlier thoughts from other posts in this thread.
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                    > > > > > > > > > > Kurt:
                    > > > > > > > > > > Take the time to talk with some average evolution-believing folks and ask them to define evolution or even give an example of Natural Selection. I've asked people those questions for years, friends, acquaintances and students, and the answers you overwhelming get are about the varieties of dogs or improved crop production. Even the really silly answers like the evolution of the wheel to the airplane are more common than answers that show even the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory. After a 140 years of Darwinism permeating the culture, and two generations of teaching it in public schools, evolution, as it really plays out in the lives of average people, has become a wish-daddy, a faith, an accepted-by-authority, over-intellectualized religion.
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                    > > > > > > > I am glad to see that you are concerned with "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory". I would certainly agree that the vast majority of people who accept evolution on the basis of a high-school course dimly remembered and/or a few not too reliable programs on public television likely don't have such an understanding, so naturally they flounder when trying to describe it. This doesn't mean much, of course. Most of those who deny evolution are just as ignorant of both evolution and the pseudo-science opposition.
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                    > > > > > > > To get an actual grasp of evolution, one has to be prepared to study it, formally or informally. To get an actual grasp of the logic (to use the word loosely) of evolution denial, one has to research the material published by the professionals in the field: ICR, AiG, & Discovery Institute. It is pretty silly to base conclusions about evolution or evolution denial on talks with average evolution-believing/denying folk. All that gives you is a snapshot of uninformed opinion which has no relevance whatsoever. The only thing to consider about the average folk of either persuasion is how to expand their base of knowledge and their capacity for rational thinking, so they can better come to soundly informed conclusions.
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                    > > > > > > > Meanwhile,would you like to summarize for us "the most basic understanding of Darwinian theory" as you see it. What basics would you like these average folk to understand?
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                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: Evolutionary scientists create philosophical conclusions,. . ."
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                    > > > > > > > Do they? Examples?
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                    > > > > > > > > Kurt: [The author]'d make a wild guess at something, like the eye beginning as a fleshy protrusion that somehow had a mysterious sensitivity to light,
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                    > > > > > > > Not mysterious: chemical. The chemistry of light-sensitive pigments is well understood by bio-chemists. And that early light-sensing organ was more likely a pit than a protrusion. Check "evolution of the eye" in your browser.
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                    > > > > > > > For a full-length treatment on the role of vision as a possible trigger of the Cambrian Explosion, see "In the Blink of an Eye" by Andrew Parker. While his thesis about the Cambrian Explosion is controversial, the book is a gold-mine of information on biological adaptations to light.
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