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Re: [OriginsTalk] Re: RUFFLED FEATHERS.

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  • Charles Palm
    D R Lindberg: How would that be relevant here? We are talking about the period since 1997 - not long enough to have a meaningful coefficient of determination.
    Message 1 of 194 , Apr 30, 2013
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      D R Lindberg: How would that be relevant here? We are talking about the
      period since 1997 - not long enough to have a meaningful coefficient of
      determination. What coefficient of determination do you have regarding
      Jim's alternative explanation - solar activity? What coefficient
      of determination are you demanding from Do-While Jones, Ian Juby and
      your other heroes? Aren't you using a double standard?

      Charles P: You remind me so much of one of my brothers-in-law and some of
      my roommates at the university. The value in this type of discussion is
      (1) I like you and I truly appreciate the opportunity to share what I know
      with you and (2) for me to learn something new because I take what you say
      as axiomatic and I begin asking myself questions like *why* and *how*
      BEFORE I reach a tentative scientific conclusion.

      Charles P: This time we are discussing empirical and verifiable data and
      there are only two possibilities for you: (1) you must sort through a lot
      of intelligently designed narratives in an attempt to discover who you
      trust to be the most credible source of information to accept as *Gospel
      Truth* or (2) you must learn to do the mathematics for yourself.

      Charles P: I learned about statistics in university physics classes. I
      trusted what my professors said and I learned to do the calculations and I
      passed the exams. However, it was not until decades later that I often sat
      in a quiet room alone and *made the truth my own* by doing the mathematics
      my own way and I worked at it until I got the right answers. If I did not
      get the *right* answer, it meant that there was still more to learn.

      Charles P: I taught myself statistics. As I said, I already knew how to
      pass exams, but I taught myself statistics as if I were the inventor of the
      ideas. If you have ever done something similar --- making the truth you
      own --- you know that special feeling that comes when you are able to
      duplicate the *right* answers without having any doubts about the


      Charles P: Give a man an *R squared* right answer and you feed him for a
      day. Teach a man to calculate the *R squared* right answer for himself and
      you feed him for a lifetime. Would you like to work on some data together
      here on Origins Talk to learn the methodology?

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • gluadys
      ... Which means you really don t agree. You speak of Darwinian morality as you might speak of the morality of con artists swindling elderly widows. You
      Message 194 of 194 , May 20, 2013
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        --- In OriginsTalk@yahoogroups.com, "JamesG" <JamesGoff_960@...> wrote:
        > gluadys: "There is no such thing as 'Darwinian morality'."
        > I agree. The Darwinian explanation of morality is quite distant from what most people (especially theists) think morality is.

        Which means you really don't agree. You speak of "Darwinian morality" as you might speak of the morality of con artists swindling elderly widows. You would agree their morality is abysmal and not at all like the morality you uphold.

        But abysmal as it may be, it is still a morality of sorts.

        When I say "there is no such thing as 'Darwinian morality' " I mean that literally. There is no moral system at all which can be called "Darwinian": neither a moral system I might approve of, nor one I wholeheartedly condemn.

        The theory of evolution gives us no idea at all how humans "ought" to behave. It prescribes no moral behaviour that would meet the standard of the Ten Commandments. Nor does it prescribe any moral behaviour that would condone murder, rape, promiscuity or any of the other immoral behaviours people like to attribute to it.

        It simply does not follow from anything we have learned about evolution, including human evolution, that there is any such thing at all as "Darwinian morality."

        As Darwinian philosopher of science Michael Ruse wrote:
        > "The scientific claim is that morality is natural. It is an adaptation produced by natural selection to make us good cooperators."
        > http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/evolutionary-ethics-part-two/37836?sid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

        Ruse may well be right. A level of awareness that allows the formation of moral codes is probably an adaptation produced by natural selection. But beyond that all we can say is that some behaviours we approve of have adaptive value and some behaviours we disapprove of also seem to have adaptive value, depending on the circumstances. Much depends on the species. It is apparently of adaptive value that female preying mantises bite the head off the male who is cohabiting them at the moment.

        There is no more reason we "should" behave altruistically because it has adaptive value than to say we "should" behave selfishly because it has adaptive value. "Is" is not "ought".

        Historically, the competitive instincts have gotten the lion's share of attention in evolutionary studies. The best competitor passed on the adaptive genes which allowed it to survive and reproduce. This led to the misconception that evolution promoted immoral behaviour. Now more recent research is showing many cases in which altruistic behaviour is adaptive, especially as groups compete with groups. But to say this means that evolution promotes altruistic behaviour as anything but a survival strategy is just as much a misconception as the opposite error.

        Better to say that evolution promotes behaviours, both individual and group behaviours, that maximise the ability to survive and reproduce. From our anthropocentric perspective we pass judgment on these as "moral" and "immoral". But that tells us there is a human standard of morality not that there is a Darwinian morality.
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