Sunday, March 06, 2011

Who was Darwin?


[the messiah of science]

Charles Darwin was the founder of a popular modern religion known as atheism. While it is true that atheists existed before Darwin, however Darwin made atheism respectable and popular. Richard Dawkins has written "atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist".

Who exactly was this man?

Charles Darwin was born in 1809 into a wealthy English family. He lived his entire life as an idle gentleman and never worked. Regarding his personality, he was polite, loyal and honest. He was a quiet man who was often sick with some unidentifiable digestive illness. He was married to his wife Emma from age 30 until his death 43 years later. They parented ten children, three of whom died in childhood or infancy. His only known vice seems to have been an obsession with shooting birds in his late teens and early twenties.

As far as education is concerned, Darwin received an ordinary degree from Cambridge University in 1831. This seems to have been something equivalent to a modern day American high school diploma. In 1853 Darwin was awarded the Royal Society's Royal Medal for two of his works: Geological Observations and A monograph on the fossil Lepadidæ. These were not earth shattering publications, however I believe that this medal for original research would qualify as the equivalent of a PhD in paleontology today.

As far as intelligence is concerned, I don't know of any evidence that Darwin was above average.

The reason why anyone today has heard of Darwin is because of a tragedy which occurred in 1851 - Darwin's ten year old daughter Anne died. Darwin until then had been basically a liberal Protestant. After this tragedy, the most painful in Darwin's life, he came to hate God. "What a book a Devil’s chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low & horridly cruel works of nature!" he would write in 1856. At last, in 1859, Darwin published the Origin of Species, the first book ever published by someone with real scientific credentials which suggested (although he still dared not state it explicitly) that life could, in essence, just create itself, no God needed.

In my humble opinion his arguments for evolution are no more or less convincing than arguments made by other men, just as bright and educated, for Christianity, Islam or Communism for example. Darwin's substitution of evolution for the Biblical God is grasped by scientists and hedonists for obvious self serving reasons. For the scientist, evolution meant that scientists are no longer merely studying God's handiwork while the clergy studies God Himself, making scientists naturally inferior to the clergy. Now scientists are of supreme importance. For the hedonist, evolution was (pardon the expression) a godsend. Without the Biblical God or an afterlife, everything is permitted.

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ad hominem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

(The above is presented as a refutation of your post, in the style you employ when "refuting" comments you disagree with. Therefore, I win.)

jewish philosopher said...

One myth of atheism is that Darwin was an amazing scientific genius who finally revealed nature's greatest secret. Not really. He was a very mediocre, bored rich guy who simply, in his unfortunate personal bitterness, gave some thin veneer of science to atheism.

Anonymous said...

Anonynous at 8:21

An arguement I often hear supporting evolution is that Darwin was so smart, almost a prophet, that evolution must be true. If it can be shown that Darwin wasn't so smart, then that removes that arguement.

Now, Darwin did get a lot of things wrong. His idea about genetic material were way off. So far off that when modern genetics was developed, evolutionists rejected it for a long time, until the modern synthesis was developed. He also thought that cells were just little blobs of jelly. Now we know that the simplest cell is as complex as a city. This complexity is hard to account for by a Darwinian process. And he predicted that the more highly evolved Europeans would exterinate the less evolved Africans. And his embrology was completly wrong, also. For a prophet, he sure got a lot of things wrong.

No true Scotsman said...

Darwin was gentleman scientist, as was every scientist of the time. They were men who had time to sit and think and experiment. Others had to work to put food on the table. Gregor Mendl was a monk, and that is why he had time to devote to science. To accuse him of being uneducated is a failure of your education. You admit in the post that he had the equivalent of a doctorate.

Also, to accuse him of being an atheist is more than you know. He wasn't a whole-world-is-black-and-white Bible thumper like you, but he was devoted to his religious beliefs. Even if what you say about his feelings on the death of his daughter, he surely is not the first one to lash out in some fashion during adversity. That proves nothing at all about his beliefs before or after. He is presumed to be what he always was, a Protestant who believed in G-d. Would you call Mark Twain an atheist? He had some harsh words for G-d under similar circumstances, but he was far from being a declared atheist. You have declared Darwin the founder of atheism, but a founder must be shown to hold the belief that he founded, true? There is not any evidence that Darwin was an atheist at all, and plenty of counter-evidence.

Many men have believed in G-d and in evolution, from the Malbim in Judaism (see his explanation of the shafan in Parshas Shmini, for instance) to Walcott, the Protestant who discovered the Cambrian explosion. Just because you don't doesn't make them atheists. You simply declare that anyone who disagrees with you cannot truly believe in G-d. I believe they call this the "no true scotsman" fallacy. Angus and the last five generations of his family are from Glasgow. Angus puts sugar on porridge. No true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge. Therefore, Angus is no true Scotsman.

jewish philosopher said...

"The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection had been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws." (p.87)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Darwin's_religious_views#Posthumous_Autobiography

That sounds like classic atheist dogma.

"his anguish over his 10-year-old daughter Annie's death sharpened his conviction that the operation of natural laws had nothing to do with divine intervention or morality"

http://www.amazon.com/Darwin-His-Daughter-Human-Evolution/dp/1573229555/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299549613&sr=1-1

The Scotsman said...

Paley's analogy fails on many levels, and Darwin did find that it did not prove "intelligent design". That says nothing about his beliefs, just that Paley's analogy was not a valid analogous "proof". Many today recognize the weakness of Paley's analogy and still believe in G-d. Many also believe that nature does not prove G-d's existence and still believe in G-d, and even see G-dliness in nature. It is just a matter of faith, not of testable evidence.

Also, his rejection of the concept that his daughter's death was a divine judgment of some type is still no evidence that he was an atheist. Many people believe that "stuff happens" and still believe in G-d.

Perhaps his empty faith changed to a tested faith, but you have given no evidence that Darwin was an atheist. He went from a childish belief in G-d to a more adult outlook.

A good example is of these matters is you. You offer a lot of arguments that are utter nonsense, that you assert as proofs of G-d, but someone who has rejected your proofs or even rejected that there are any proofs of G-d's existence, can still believe in G-d.

jewish philosopher said...

"Paley's analogy fails on many levels"

Which are?

Darwin clearly denied any sort of divine providence. It seems safe to say that he was covertly an atheist.

The Scotsman said...

"Covertly" atheist. As I said, it is the no true Scotsman fallacy.

Paley fails because he mixes his analogy, using different analog contexts in the compared objects. Read any of the books that refutes the "watchmaker" analogy. They all see the problem. There is no need to re-do their work.

jewish philosopher said...

The point of this post is that far from being a brilliant biologist uncovering the Unifying Principle of the Life Sciences, Darwin was merely a very obscure, but very bitter and angry, paleontologist, nothing more or less.

And I'm afraid that you're very mistaken. Darwin fails, watchmaker succeeds as I have explained:

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html

The Scotsman said...

In response you simply assert, and support your assertions by quoting ... yourself? In those references, you simply make more assertions.

You simply have no evidence that your characterization is a summation of Darwin's life nor that he spent any significant part of his life as an "atheist", a belief which you claim he founded.

Let's also define atheism properly. The Jewish faith has grave pronouncements for a "kofer b'ikar", an atheist who denies the fundamental basis, i.e. that G-d exists. If someone says, as Napoleon's scientist did, that he has no compelling evidence (unsupported vehement assertions of a Jewish philosopher aside) that G-d exists, and he says, "I do not require belief in G-d for my hypothesis", he is not a "kofer b'ikar". He has not denied anything. He has simply said that there is no compelling proof. He has not professed to believe or disbelieve anything. There is a big difference.

Very few atheists today fall into the category of "strong atheist", kofer b'ikar. If you have a discussion with them, most will say they are weak atheists or describe that as their feelings on G-d. Even Chris Hitchens, when pressed why he "doesn't believe in G-d" will answer along the lines that he has no compelling evidence to support it.

jewish philosopher said...

"In response you simply assert, and support your assertions by quoting ... yourself? In those references, you simply make more assertions."

I believe that my ideas make a lot sense than Darwin's.

"Let's also define atheism properly."

Let's. It means someone who does not believe in the biblical God and who believes evolution created us.

The Scotsman said...

"I believe that my ideas make a lot sense than Darwin's."
Really, I'd love to see your peer review.

"Let's. It means someone who does not believe in the biblical God and who believes evolution created us."

Atheism is from "theism" or belief in deity and "a" negation. You got to a specific god and evolution. Hallmarks of the Scotsman fallacy. Evolution is the sugar on your porridge. You conclude that anyone who believes in other deities or in evolution is an atheist. yet there are plenty of theists who believe in both. Ergo, you define them out. QED

jewish philosopher said...

Origin of Species wasn't peer reviewed.

And how do you define deity? Any being more powerful than humans?

The Scotsman said...

Origin is not only peer reviewed, for the past 150 years, but applications with very real effects are based on it. You must be kidding????!!!!

Deities are supernatural beings that are responsible for effects or forces in the physical world. Theists believe that at least one such deity operates in the physical world. Atheists believe that there are no such deities.

Note: Just because one believes that there is no evidence of a deity does not automatically make that person an atheist. One may believe that there are deities and admit that there is no physical proof or that all natural effects and forces can be attributed to natural forces. The most popular theologies today postulate a single Deity that guides all of these effects and forces beyond our ability to observe or perceive.

jewish philosopher said...

According to the Heisenberg Uncertainity Principle, subatomic particles do behave according the laws of nature. Are they gods?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle

Anonymous said...

Darwin got a lot of things wrong in "Origins". He got embryology wrong. Nobody does biogeography anymore. He got genetics all wrong. And it turns out that a lot of the vestigal stuuf he talked anbout really isn't vestigal. Even the nested hierarchy isn't holding up so well.

The Scotsman said...

According Heisenberg, subatomic particles behave differently than expected with respect to their larger counterparts, particles larger than atoms. Does that make them children?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child

At any rate, neither Heisenberg, Schroedinger, Einstein, Bohr nor anyone else in the debate ever suggested that subatomic particles are a supernatural cause of effects or forces in nature.

jewish philosopher said...

How do you define supernatural?

The Scotsman said...

Anon-
Granted that Origin was wrong on many accounts and Darwin would be the first to admit that later evidence altered some of his original views. That is the nature of building a theory based on observation science. When there are new observations, there are alterations to the theory, not to the evidence. That is the nature of all inductive reasoning. Many a Gemora sugya is built on objections based on later contradictory observation of dictum or competing dictum. The dictum is then fleshed and explained in light of the new evidence. There is nothing that contradicts Origin's underlying theme and logic and piles upon piles of confirmation, albeit in different forms than Darwin estimated.

And I am unaware of anything vestigial that is no longer considered so. The appendix is entirely vestigial. Usually Id tries to argue that it has some benefit, and it does perhaps, but it is no less vestigial. Vestigial means that it remains from a previous form were it was fully useful. A shard of wood left over from chopping may make a good toothpick, but no one would argue that it is not a vestige. Goosebumps are another good example. The human tailbone, yet another. The hips of a whale, yet another. The folks who sequenced the DNA report that vast majority of our genomes are inert viruses that we inherit from ancestors, where the virus had some effect on reproduction.

Supernatural means just what its name implies, that it does not operate by any natural laws. It does not mean that it operates by laws we do not understand, but that it transcends any natural laws.

jewish philosopher said...

"Vestigial means that it remains from a previous form were it was fully useful."

A century ago, the pituitary gland was considered to be vestigial.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wiedersheim

If vestigial means "any organ whose function does not seem to be as useful as God would have created it to be", that seems to be a little subjective. Some people might say their spouse is vestigial. ;-)

"Supernatural means just what its name implies, that it does not operate by any natural laws."

So you seem to be saying that atheism is synonymous with determinism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism

Problems with determinism are, among others, the problem of an undetermined first cause and the problem of human free will:

The universe seems to have been created from nothing. This implies an uncaused first cause. Atheists may claim that actually our universe is one bubble in a multiverse and the entire multiverse actually has existed eternally, but this violates the laws of thermodynamics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion

We all feel the freedom to make choices that are not determined by prior causes. Therefore, we hold people responsible for their behavior and either reward or punish them accordingly.

Also, quantum mechanics has challenged determinism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisenberg_Uncertainty_Principle#Critical_reactions

Anonymous said...

Darwins primary arguement form vestigal organs was that a creator would not create something that served no purpose. But many of these organs have been found to have purposes. The junk DNA contains lots of control sequences. The tonsils are now know to be invvolved in immune response. The appendix is now thought to store useful bacteria that is restocks the large intestine after a dysentary attack.
The human tailbone anchors muscles, and supports us when we sit. The whales hipbones anchor the reproductive organs. The asexual dandelion doesn't use tis own pollen, but it deos cross pollinate other flowers, and bees eat it.

So now, the have changed the srguement and say that a Creator did not have to use preexisting stuff, so it must be that there was no creator. But using preexisting components is considered good design technique. Its called modularity.

The true Scotsman said...

Anon- Your argument employs the strawman fallacy. Vestigial does not mean useless. Vestiges can find secondary uses and do not disappear entirely, and this is made clear even in Origin. As I said, "A shard of wood left over from chopping may make a good toothpick, but no one would argue that it is not a vestige." My used coffee cup makes a good ashtray and without it, my house might burn down as my ashes catch fire to the rug, but the coffee cup was not designed as an ashtray. An examination of all such vessels will find it indisputable that it was designed to hold hot liquids and it is no longer needed in that function. This says nothing positive or negative about the existence of a creator.

JS
Belief in evolution does not imply a pure deterministic philosophy. It does not imply atheism either. The vast majority of people in the US believe in both evolution and G-d, as Darwin himself did. To logically apply these other philosophies, you are merely attempting to force fit a previous notion with a desired outcome that does not follow logically. In short, in science this is called cognitive dissonance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

In logic, this is called the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

jewish philosopher said...

About evolution and atheism, Daniel Dennett writes about the fantasy of a “universal acid” as a liquid that is so corrosive that it would eat through anything that it came into contact with, even a potential container. Such a powerful substance would transform everything it was applied to; leaving something very different in its wake. This is where Dennett draws parallels from the “universal acid” to Darwin’s idea:

“it eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view, with most of the old landmarks still recognizable, but transformed in fundamental ways.”

While there are people who would like to see Darwin’s idea contained within the field of biology, Dennett asserts that this dangerous idea inevitably “leaks” out to transform other fields as well. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin's_Dangerous_Idea#Universal_acid

Anonymous said...

So why are vestigal organs sited as proof of evolution? They could just as easily be proof of good design methodology.

The true Scotsman said...

JS

Now you are being more honest. It is not Darwin or his ideas that you disagree with at any scientific level. You simply use it as stick to bash atheism. You imagine there is a proof of G-d that Darwin refutes. However, to paraphrase you paraphrasing someone else, no Darwin needed. There is no proof of G-d, with or without Darwin. He remains an object of belief, not of perceivable proof.

Anon - Your question is valid without the words "just as easily. It would be more difficult to shoehorn wisdom teeth (of little use and often harmful) and goosebumps into design than to derive evolution from them. And this is the main point. You are trying to start from design and work backward. Going forward from the evidence, Occam's razor never would have led us there.

Take my analogy from before. A slightly crushed cup with remnants of coffee, designed as a holder for hot liquids, with the words Dunkin Donuts printed on the side, is the cars ashtray. Naturally, I conclude that the manufacturer had a highly paid design team craft this special ashtray for this car. Aye?

jewish philosopher said...

"You imagine there is a proof of G-d that Darwin refutes."

Atheists think so.

An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.
-- Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (1986), page 6

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/dawkins.htm

Anonymous said...

Scotsman:

Organism have characteristics that are characteristics of designed things only.They have purposeful integration of parts. They have highly specified complexity. They have irreducable complexity. It is very hard to explain how all this came about wiht just the known laws of physics and chemistry without design. Evolution is an attempt to explain the appearance of design without actually coming on to design. Design is the default explanation. Design is the starting point.

The Scotsman said...

Anon - In ancient times, people tried to explain how the bodies went around the earth, because that is what they thought they saw. That was the starting point. That proves nothing about the ultimate truth of the matter. Otherwise, stage magicians would be out of business. Our minds often lead us down familiar paths only to conclusions that are incorrect, until we start to differentiate further. Arguments from irreducible complexity are easily answered in today's DNA and genetics study, which traits changing quickly and not incrementally, so there is no point in rehashing the matter.

JS - Atheism and the theory proposed in Origin have little to do with each other. The chidush (if you will) is that evolution provides a viable mechanism, data and observations, for something scientists understood must be so.

By way of analogy, everyone understands that a stage magician is not performing actual magic. He is merely exploiting your psychology to make you conclude something or to look away. thus, the layman, though he cannot tell the difference between a trick and a miracle, understands that the stage magician is doing a trick. He just does not understand how. Darwin provided them some data to begin to explore. Most people beyond the age of 8 understand that G-d works through nature, and he does not do open miracles. Atheists want to spin it one way. But there is nothing wrong or inherently atheistic about that. Your single minded obsession with making everything about demonizing atheism, demonizing Darwin, or demonizing people possessed of critical thinking skills is a little sad.

jewish philosopher said...

Origin was embraced enthusiastically by all atheists and many more became atheists because of the book, for example Stalin.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v10/i4/stalin.asp

Christians and other monotheists originally abhorred the book and many still do.

Anonymous said...

Scotsman:

I'm not talking about history. The fatc is that organisms have characteristics that are difficult to explain with just the known laws of physics and chemistry without coming on to design. The staring point is still design.

And the argument from irreducible complexit is not solved by saying things happen quickly. That is puntuated equilibrium, an attempt, almost an apologetic for why the fossil record does not show evolution.

Irreducible complexity means that some structures have numerous parts that are all necessary, so if one piece is missing, the whole thing doesn't work. Darwinism depends on purely random change. So that means that either all the parts showed up entirely by accident at once, or organism produced a lot of useless parts until all the parts where there. Evolutionists attempt to get around this by saying that all the parts that showed up incrementally had some function. We just don't know what they were. Nothing but speculation.

Scotsman said...

JS - Even quoting yourself is better than quoting answersingenesis.

Anon - DNA answers the questions of irreducible complexity. You are correct that Darwin was wrong about his model of evolution. It does appear that mutations to multiple genes is a better explanation that small mutative changes or theoretical design by a designer. Gene transfers via viruses over time make far more sense than the Darwinian model or the design model. Examining from a standpoint of Occam's razor it makes more sense out of more data points that either of the other two.

Design is a diagnosis of exclusion in your argument. In other words, it can only work if there are no other viable explanations. I have given you another viable explanation, your assertions to the contrary not withstanding. Irreducible complexity is only a problem in the outdated parts of the Darwinian model. Punctuated evolution is itself a framework. Multiple mutations is a part of that framework, and it perfectly logical and it explains how multiple interdependent changes occurred.

jewish philosopher said...

"Even quoting yourself is better than quoting answersingenesis"

It's better than an ad hominem argument.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

Anonymous said...

But a the cnahces of all the right multiple mutations happening ast once is vanishingly small. So the alternative is as series of mutations that lead up to the end result, the stucture or function in questions. But this menas that the organism is producing at lot of useless, or even harmful stuff. Natural selection depends on stuff being a benefit to the organism. So the approach that is used now is to say that each part has some benefit at each step, not necessarily connected to the end product. But this is pure speculation.

Has horizontal gne transfer by viruses even been demonstrated to influence evolution. Or is that more speculation?

Again, every organism has thousands of parts that show characteristics that are charateristics of designed things only. It is very hard to explain all theses millions or data points without coming on to design. Evolution is an attempt to do so.

The Scotsman said...

"But a the cnahces of all the right multiple mutations happening ast once is vanishingly small."

DNA changes and virus genetic transfer accounts for large changes at one time.

"Natural selection depends on stuff being a benefit to the organism."

Your statement is false. Natural selection depends on the organism being able to use its mix of traits to increase its chances of surviving and reproducing in a given environment. That is very different than what you said and far more intuitive.

"Has horizontal gne transfer by viruses even been demonstrated to influence evolution. Or is that more speculation?"

Correct. it has never been observed. That is how scientific theory works. We speculate based on the facts and data before us on circumstances that account for the facts as they exist and the non-existence of the facts as they do not exist. Give us a million years of observation. We have the before and the after. The evolution theory is interpolative, how we got from A to B. The changes from A to B are established facts. There is no way out of that.

"Again, every organism has thousands of parts that show characteristics that are charateristics of designed things only."

This is simply assertion based on the strawman facts that you are misrepresenting. People always believe in the most direct explanation of an observation first. People saw the sun going across the sky and proposed that it goes though windows in an opaque sky, hence night. Then they thought it goes around the Earth. As observation got better, those theories were discarded, regardless of how intuitive they seemed to our forebears. We now understand many natural effects that were once attributed to witchcraft. Would you say we should start with witchcraft, because that is what it seems like? You go with the data points we have, not take these and discard those to get to the conclusion you want.

The Scotsman said...

JS - If you had consulted your link, you would know that previous comment constitutes a criticism of an appeal to authority fallacy that you proposed. The authority that you appeal to is suspect. That is not ad hominem. Ad hominem would be if I attempt to answer your argument by saying that you are ugly, and why should I listen to you.

I still maintain that your definistion of atheism is a No True Scotsman fallacy. Since there are many religious people who believe in evolution and also deities or G-d, you cannot then decide that they are not religious based on some invented criterion and then derive conclusions from that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

jewish philosopher said...

"The authority that you appeal to is suspect. "

Says who?

Anonymous said...

Scotsman:

No one evr suggested that the thirty or more proteins in the falgellum sowed up all at once. Same thing for all the protein compleces in every organism. The chances of that happeing are vanishingly small. No virus can do that. No one ever suggested that.

By benefit I meant "Natural selection depends on the organism being able to use its mix of traits to increase its chances of surviving and reproducing in a given environment."

And you are now saying that evolution now depends on a mechanism that has never been observed to actually work? That it is just mere speculation. Why is this better than G-d did it?

Organisms display the functional integration of parts, highly specified, and irreducible complexity. These are facts. No strawmen here. Thes things are characeristics of designd things only. It is very hard to explain how all this came about.

The Scotsman said...

Says Christ Jesus their Lord and Savior?

This article is typical of the fare over there. For a good laugh:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/1999/11/05/dinosaurs-and-the-bible

And this is not quote mining. They are proud of this type of article. If you agree with them that the article represents tenable positions, I will have to get an eighth grader to set you right. That should be sufficient.

jewish philosopher said...

However they provide sources here which are accurate.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v10/i4/stalin.asp

Scotsman said...

"And you are now saying that evolution now depends on a mechanism that has never been observed to actually work? That it is just mere speculation. Why is this better than G-d did it?"

Evolution has been observed to work and you have admitted as much. We observe it all the time and we have medical engineering based on it working. The argument is about what happens over long periods of time. It is reasonable to say that the changes that we observe and have proven compound over time. That part is speculative but reasonable and intuitive.

On the other hand, there is no confirmed case of G-d doing it. In fact, there is no proof that G-d exists. As I said at the beginning, divine intervention is a diagnosis of exclusion, and there are other viable options. So the solution of divine intervention is always speculative from beginning to end.

I will remind you that this says nothing about whether it is true. If one were to say that G-d created the creatures of the world and PS used a mechanism called evolution, that would be a conclusion of faith.

The fact that it takes alot of time is what the theologeans objected. This seems odd since JS is not a new earth creationist and admits the time element, the main objection to evolution in the late 1800s.

Anonymous said...

Scotsman:

Small intraspecies changes in organisms have been observed, yes. But saying that this could lead to species-to-species change is mere speculation.

And evolutionists say that evolution happens too slow to be observed by humans, but it happens too fast to be caught in the fossil record. Its a Goldilocks thing.

And if there is no good naturalistic explanation for things like the existance of the universe, the fine tuning of the universe, the origin of life, the human mind, etc, etc, etc. then we have to come on to a supernatural one. Perfectly reasonable and intuitive. And scientists have no trouble with supernatural exlanations. That what multiverse is. They just don't like saying G-d did it.

The Scotsman said...

"Small intraspecies changes in organisms have been observed, yes. But saying that this could lead to species-to-species change is mere speculation."

It is not mere speculation any more than assuming that the planets will continue their orbits is "mere" speculation. It is an intuitive conclusion that interpolates from the data available.

"And evolutionists say that evolution happens too slow to be observed by humans, but it happens too fast to be caught in the fossil record. Its a Goldilocks thing."

All branches of science show the time periods. Those are the data points, not the interpolations. It does not happen too fast for the fossil record. Depending on how far apart you expect them to be and where you arbitrarily start, the men between Australopithicus, Homo Erectus, Homo Habilus, and Homo sapiens are all transitional. The Ida fossil, which clearly had traits of both humans and simians, though more to the simian than human side, the Archeopteryx, which has both bird and reptile traits, birds themselves, and amphibians, potential living transitional forms, whales, which have land mammal traits, like osteo-digits and hips. The fact is, that if evolution is sustained, every fossil and every living thing is transitional. The question transitional fossils is a moot red herring. Anything could be defined as transitional or not.

"And if there is no good naturalistic explanation for things like the existence of the universe, the fine tuning of the universe, the origin of life, the human mind, etc, etc, etc. then we have to come on to a supernatural one. "

As I said, and you agree, divine intervention is a diagnosis of exclusion. If there are any other plausible explanations or even potential explanations, no one would say there is "proof" of the supernatural. And abiogenesis, species transition, and cosmology all have plausible and potential explanations. Replicating chemicals and amino acids and organisms on meteorites are both plausible explanations of how life starts on earth. A recent study of cosmology showed potential evidence that the big bang was not the first such creation event, that the universe is oscillating (though it has yet to be proven, it is still plausible and nullifies the diagnosis of exclusion), and of course species transition has evolution.

And yet through all of this, I am still a believer in G-d, though JS would say that I am no true Scotsman.

Anonymous said...

Saying that the small observed changes in organism can lead to species-to-species change is like saying that I can make small random changes to my car and turn it into a truck. That's not intuitive at all.

And all the examples you sited where examples of chnages between major groups, not species to species change. Thats still missing, and that is what evolution is. And IDA is no longer considered transtional. Same thing with Tiktaalik. The real trnastions are missing. And the status of Archaeopteryx as a transition and not a sideline is highly questionable. Same thing with the protohumans you listed.

And scientist haven't believed in an occilating universe since the 1950's. Not enough mass to make enough gravity to pul the unverse back. And then there is the problem of the singularity.

And lots of evolutionary thinking s based on exclusionary reasoning. No designer would creta life in the nested hierarcgy if He didn't have to. If if works for evolution it should work for theism also.

The Scotsman said...

"Saying that the small observed changes in organism can lead to species-to-species change is like saying that I can make small random changes to my car and turn it into a truck. That's not intuitive at all."

After millions of generations of changes, I assure you it would look nothing like it currently does. However, it is a poor analogy. The DNA makeup of humans and apes for instance is 98% identical. It is like arguing that two similar paintings are from the same painter or whether one painter inspired the other. No one is arguing that these are not paintings. DNA changes things in whole groups, and we know that is the main factor. The Darwinian concept that you are using as a strawman is admittedly superseded by better observation and more knowledge.

Micro - macro-evolution work the same way. The difference is time and that was the main theological argument against it (before the common apologetics conceded that the earth was older than 6000 years). It is not a scientific difference. Species clearly change and they are related to each other. Scientists in Greenland were able to sequence the DNA of a millenia old human specimen and conclude that he was from Asia, owing to the viral mutations that he shared with Asians that were different than North Americans of the same time. It is no big trial to look at DNA of two species and determine beyond any reasonable doubt that they are related, and roughly how long ago the two species parted. Again, we are comparing two paintings. There is no doubt that they are paintings.

"And scientist haven't believed in an occilating universe since the 1950's. Not enough mass to make enough gravity to pul the unverse back. And then there is the problem of the singularity. "

The bases on which they abandoned oscillating universe, the Einstein Desitter model etc. are not longer valid. The theoretical dark matter provides the missing mass. Again, like with Darwin, we have superseded Einstein with more and better observation. These new data are more than a decade in circulation. Specifically, recent calculation on far away galaxies have been interpreted to show multiple big bangs by some scientists. This field is progressing quickly due to the observations allowed by orbiting telescopes and the passage of a enough time to make productive comparisons.

"And lots of evolutionary thinking s based on exclusionary reasoning. No designer would creta life in the nested hierarcgy if He didn't have to. If if works for evolution it should work for theism also."

As you have already agreed, any theistic argument is a diagnosis of exclusion. Nor does anyone who believes in evolution say that G-d did not do it. For all we know, each species was made individually, G-d did it and it all looks the same because G-d made it that way, and the world is only 6000 years old and evidence of older cities (like those under the Black Sea from almost 8000 years ago) and creatures (like Mammoths that were extinct already by then) is only here to test and deceive us. Occams' razor would dictate the natural progression of physical laws rather than the supernatural one. As Napolean's scientist said, "I do not require that hypothesis." That does not say that G-d did not do it. It just says that there is no proof that G-d did it from this type of approach (or any other). G-d remains a conclusion of faith not a demonstrated fact. And as a theist myself, I have no problem with that.

Anonymous said...

After making millionsof chnages to a car, you will porbably winf up with something that doesn't work at all.

And humans do not have that much DNA in common with chimps. It is only the coding DNA that is similar. They are more different inthe non-coding regions. And the differences aren't random. They are concentrated in the Human Accelrated reqions. This was not predicted by evolution.

And the newly discovered dark energy is causing the universes expansion to accelerate. No recollapse. And Omega is very close to zero. This means that no curvature is detected. Which menas that the exapnsion will continue forever while slowing down. And the problem of the sungularity still remains.

And there are other explanations for the fossils and such that explain the data better. Like a sereis of creations and destructions, as per various midrashim

Anonymous said...

It turns out that the Einstein Desitter cosmological constant that kep the universe from collapsing was actually pretty close to being correct.

The true Scotsman said...

"After making millionsof chnages to a car, you will porbably winf up with something that doesn't work at all."

Unless you only kept the changes that worked. That is what Darwin added to the theory of evolution, which was already centuries old by the time he wrote about it. IOW, that is the question that Darwin answered in Origin.

"And humans do not have that much DNA in common with chimps. It is only the coding DNA that is similar. They are more different inthe non-coding regions. And the differences aren't random. They are concentrated in the Human Accelrated reqions. This was not predicted by evolution."

Once again you are confusing "evolution" with "Darwin". Evolution predicts it, even if Darwin is superseded. Once again, no one argues that it is not a painting that we are looking at.

"And the newly discovered dark energy is causing the universes expansion to accelerate. No recollapse."

Once again, evidence has been presented to peer review to show that there were multiple big bangs. While this is very new field, we cannot go on information from the 50's. Dark matter and dark energy are different concepts in terms of what we are discussing.

"And there are other explanations for the fossils and such that explain the data better. Like a sereis of creations and destructions, as per various midrashim"

You have never sequenced DNA. It not only conforms to predictions of evolution, but it records them in close detail. If there were no evolution, if each part of the creation was truly independent, DNA sequencing could not work. You are back to Gosse, with G-d making sequencing work in order to trick us.

"t turns out that the Einstein Desitter cosmological constant that kep the universe from collapsing was actually pretty close to being correct."

My point exactly, which is why it was revived. You argue against it above.

Anonymous said...

Evolution did not predict the human accelerated regions. After the fact, evolutionists attempted to accomdate it.

I for one, would expect organisms that where designed to have similar morphology to hve similar DNA. DNA is the blueprint for morphology. And there many cases of DNA contradicting morphology. Distantly related species have similar DNA while more closely related species have different DNA. Sometimes the DNA evidence does not match other DNA evidence. Evolutionists have come up with things like horizontal gene transfer to explain this. Then there are all those ORFan genes that doen't look like anthing else. And some orqanism use a different DNA code. So the pattern doesn't hold up that well.

Einstein DeSitter cosmological constant was an attempt to explain how the universe would not collapse, which the General Theory of Relativity required. This was made unnecessary by the discovery of the expanding Universe and the Big Bang. The momentum of the Big Bang was enough to keep the Universe form collapsing. Omega is close to zero,which means that the curvature of a closed or recollapsing universe is not observed. This means that the Universe will not collapse. And there isn't enough matter to cause it to collapse. And the Dark Energy, the modern version of the Einstein DeSitter cosmological constant is causing the expansion to accelerate. Again, no recollapse.

And even if it did recollapse, what would make it explode again and make the next cycle. And how do you avoid the problem of the singularity.

Anonymous said...

Here's an example of how complicated and problematic arrainging the DNA into any sort of tree is:


http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0018011

The Scotsman said...

"Evolutionists have come up with things like horizontal gene transfer to explain this."

Whereas all that the creationists ever have come up with is "G-d did it". So I ask you which is more logical. To assume that G-d (or Jesus, or leprachauns or whatever presumed supernatural force did it, any such force being as logical as any other) did it, or to presume that there is a mechanism (even one that we have not yet discovered) that is a natural extension of what we already know and observe. A principle of Judaism is "olam k'minhago noheg". Among magical chasidic types, such a concept is called "Litvak" derisively. Shocking all the more that this site claims to be Litvak, and should agree with what I have said.

Re: Einstein Desitter - pick one side and stick to it please. My original point was that the eternal universe had been revived by later observation. "The Beginning" may well be an illusion, and later observation has born that out. You attempted to disqualify that based on old superseded observations. We probably agree on this, that there are many viable theories today that can explain the eternal universe, versus the finite universe. CBR is a not a proof of finiteness, as it was thought to be early on.

Anonymous said...

Evolutionist insist that we must a priori use only the laws of nature we are familiar with. this gets them into alls kinds of trouble. So they have to come up with ad hoc explanations. If we are allowed to go outside the laws of nature, (and there really isn't any good reason not to, beyond the psychological need to stick to what is familiar) then we don't have these problems.


I was addressing the point you made about the oscillatting Universe. Teh Einstein DeSitter Cosmological Constant was an attempt to avoid the inevitable collapse of the Universe. The discovery of an expanding Universe made it unnecessary. But recent observations have shown that the Universe will not collapse. Omega is zero. The Dark Energy is causing the exapnsion to accelerate. And an oscillating Universe still won't solve the problems of origins, like why it expand again, and the problem of the singularity.

Now, Stephen Hawking writes in his new book that he came up with a new theory that can explain the origin of the Universe without G-d. That means before he developed this theory, we did need G-d. The problem I'm having is that Nobody seems to really understand what his theory is.

Anonymous said...

Multiverse is consedered a perfectly acceptable scientific theory, and it is supernatural. It just says that supernatural stuff happens somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

There's considerable evidence connecting Darwinism, eugenics, and therefore nazism. Darwin's son ran the british eugenics business while Alfred Ploetz was a vice-president. Is it just a coincidence that Darwin's cousin Galton was a personal friend of Ploetz? It's pretty clear that most of the great evolutionists of the past, as well as members of Darwin's family, were eugenists, crackpots or dangerous psychos. Read about it here Darwinism-Evolution-Eugenics http://inbredscience.wordpress.com/euvolution/