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Array
02-18-2003, 01:17 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-580851,00.html

An Erased One
02-18-2003, 02:16 AM
So that's it? All the Artists, all the Art, our creativity, and in the end this Forum, too, are only part of our World because of a small piece of DNA making a random change some thousand years ago?
Wow. That's a little ... depressing, isn't it?

jjburton
02-18-2003, 04:10 AM
Forgive me if I don't change my world view just quite yet...

Maybe it's just me but I don't place a lot of stock in something scientist say happened “some time between last Tuesday and 200,000 years ago”. I prefer to trust in things a little more certain than that;).

jsh3d
02-18-2003, 04:41 AM
Crazy :thumbsdow . How do those scientist know what was going on 50,000 years ago :shame:. They're just trying to show off again :thumbsdow .

-Jsh3d

Akuma
02-18-2003, 05:45 AM
Actually, your all being to hard on this, it does make sense.

If you look at it like that its bad, but if you realize that this gene that allowed us to create art was infact the gene that brought us up from apes... doesnt that have alot of weight to it?

The only reason we are not still in trees is because of art. I think this article makes perfect sense.

oh and since this genetic mutation was a small step in evolution... if your not an artist your not as evolved :beer:

noisewar
02-18-2003, 05:54 AM
What's so hard to believe? A genetic change that enables us to appreciate and create art is a great way to explore variation, and that's how things survive. Darwinism is often misinterpreted as "Survival of the Fittest" but by "fittest" he did no mean the strongest, but the most adaptable. Art allows us to come up with solutions nonlinearly.

It's depressing if you look at it as JUST a genetic knick-knack. Art then looks as unsatisfactory to us as a tiger and its claws, no different than a bird's wings or a fly's ability to multiply rapidly. I prefer to look at it as out species' special ability, our hadoken, our kamehameha =)

BTW, there's also a part of your brain in the limbic region I believe that allows us to experience God. Whether you choose to see it as an argument FOR or AGAINST God, it's certainly interesting, no?

jjburton
02-18-2003, 06:50 AM
I wasn't trying to argue if it was true or not. With the topsy turviness or those "hard sciences" like biology dropping and acquiring theories on a whim or a single fossil, I just don't put much stock in it.

Whether or not this is true or not has no impact at all on my faith in God as science never has been good at proving or disproving the unseen...though some of the metaphysics that I've read sure do try:) If this theory is still around in a few a few years or so, I might give it some thought.....

And, Akuma, macroevolution is still a theory. Nice site by the way, it appears you have some interest in this sort of thing. One suggestion, the white text on the super light background is nigh to impossible to read...just a suggestion:thumbsup:

wgreenlee1
02-18-2003, 07:32 AM
I tend to belive that maybe the first art,like the first fire,was based on need...
Perhaps a caveman wiped a booger on a cave wall and found the pattern to be much like a reflection of sorts.....

noisewar
02-18-2003, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by wgreenlee1
I tend to belive that maybe the first art,like the first fire,was based on need...
Perhaps a caveman wiped a booger on a cave wall and found the pattern to be much like a reflection of sorts.....

wgreenlee1 you should read Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics" where he shares your exact sentiment... that art is anything that doesn't contribute to survival or reproduction (i.e. a booger on the wall)

and jjburton, for you to say science never has been good at proving or disproving the unseen... what's your definition of unseen? I would say it's pretty impressive for science to have let the ancient greeks predict the circumference of the Earth, and for Einstein to predict curvature of space, but none of those could be "seen" at the time.

flipnap
02-18-2003, 10:22 AM
uhh yah, i believe this.. like i believe the earth is hollow and little people live in it.. Come on, this is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. Why? you ask me, well, isnt it possible? Yeah, its also possible i can win a million dollar in my next shopping spree. These scientists are the same ones who said, bones fossilize after some millions of years under certain conditions.. Then in the 70's, after they found a cowboy boot attached to a fossilized leg bone, well--- then wait a second, we might have been wrong here.. these is the same brilliant minds that were hanging people for saying the earth was round.. i dont trust in scientists anymore than i can throw them..Scientists are constantly being proven wrong, year after year and most of the time i have little faith in their "theories" especially about this.... when im inspired and i see a vision, or look at a fine peice of art, or listen to a concerto that brings me to tears... well, boy oh boy, look at all that DNA!!! yee haaa...

oh and, noise war, not to make a religious debate here, but when you say,

"I would say it's pretty impressive for science to have let the ancient greeks predict the circumference of the Earth, and for Einstein to predict curvature of space, but none of those could be "seen" at the time.

i would have to say that that "discovery" was written in the bible 2000 years ago where it was written, "And God sat upon the roundness of the earth" ...

but then again, i guess where people need proof for Everything, trusting in people prone to failure makes more sense.

red_oddity
02-18-2003, 11:33 AM
I wonder when the 'flame and shout on a forum' DNA strand is gonna be discovered. :p

flipnap
02-18-2003, 11:46 AM
One last thought, for all you Darwin fans out there.. Even Darwin said his own theory was so far from possible, that he pulled back and refuted his own writings..

Iain McFadzen
02-18-2003, 12:36 PM
So are you a creationist then flipnap?

jjburton
02-18-2003, 01:10 PM
Aren't these threads fun...:)

Noisewar-there were a lot of people that believed the earth was round before it was "proven". The fact that the earth wasn't "proven" till someone sailed around it and got back where they started. So I'll stand by what I said but I will make a qualifier. Science has never been good at proving the "unseen", but it sure does like to make a bunch of theories about it (just read a little metaphysics or some of the more theories on how the universe came into existance). Some of those theories pan out and some of them don't. Scientists just seem to have a lot more faith in their theories than many of those who ascribe to some "religion"...which to me is rather ironic. Oh, well...

Iain, I'll volunteer that I'm a creationist HOWEVER, I wasn't there and science has yet to convice me as to how it all happened. I just believe that 1) it did in fact happen and 2) that God did it. The process doesn't interest me near as much as the Designer.

flipnap
02-18-2003, 01:25 PM
Yes i am.. but i think i was one long before i knew it.. I remember hearing the theory of life from ooze for the first time in Jr. high and i almost choked on my tongue. I didnt know anything about God or Science, but i sure didnt buy that everything we are came from an absolute nothing.. it simply rang ridiculous and it goes against everything i had experienced from life at that point; still does.

slaughters
02-18-2003, 02:01 PM
The whole creationists vs evolutionist argument is just sophmoric.

God creates earth, people, etc. - uses big bang and evolutionary process to do so.

Why argue about the methods, focus on the results.

P.S. I do disagree with the article. My opionion is that art is in itself a form of abstract "symbolism". I see symbolic thinking as a necessary process of what we call intelligence. I expect intelligence and artistic appreciation occured hand in hand. The scientist in the article seems to take some facts and then throws in some pretty wild speculations.

slaughters
02-18-2003, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by flipnap
... i sure didnt buy that everything we are came from an absolute nothing.. it simply rang ridiculous and it goes against everything i had experienced from life at that point; still does. (OK, time to take a cheap pot shot which I'll probably regret)

flipnap, that pretty much sums up the creationists theory.

flipnap
02-18-2003, 02:14 PM
I suppose if you consider God to be nothing you are correct. Its actually curious because creationism starts at a logical point, where as evolution and goop theory started from absolute zero, which 99 percent of respectable scientists agree is "theoretically" impossible. And creationists also do not think that God caused the big bang or evolution.. Any theory that states, if i get a tatoo of a smiley face on my arm, and my kid does too and so on and so on, in a couple of million years, my generation will all be born with smiley face tatoos on their arms.. :)

slaughters
02-18-2003, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by flipnap
... And creationists also do not think that God caused the big bang or evolution.. My last post on the subject (I knew I would regret taking the pot shot):

I'm allways comforted by the fact that Creationists know what God can and can not do. The limitations they set on his powers amaze me.

flipnap
02-18-2003, 03:12 PM
Dont ever regret it man, this is stimulating and i took no insult so dont worry.. and as far as

I'm allways comforted by the fact that Creationists know what God can and can not do. The limitations they set on his powers amaze me

Creationists believe in the bible and the bible says how God created the earth. But in contrast to your very own statement, by saying God created the earth by the big bang and by evolution is in fact placing limitations on Gods power isnt it? I understand you were being facitious but you should consider your thoughts more carefully.

sasquatch
02-18-2003, 03:56 PM
They're all just theories; Creationism, Darwinism etc etc. What you choose to place your faith in, be it a god, a scientist or a can of week-old saurkraut is a personal decision based on your experience and interpretation of the source.

Having said that, this is indeed stimulating (it makes a change from the usual kind of posts). I like to see people stating their views without being reactionary. Hell, I know next to nothing about creationism, other than what was taught to me in infant school, so it's always good to pick up new ideas. It probably won't change my view on the universe, but it will at least make me better informed.

I don't, however, consider the big bang as a limitation on a deity's power. With unlimited power surely comes unlimited choice? Given the option between things just appearing suddenly one day, and setting the whole thing off with the biggest explosion the cosmos has ever seen, I'd take the intergalactic fireworks show any day.

Maybe god-with-a-capital-g doesn't move so mysteriously after all...:D

thatbrickwall
02-18-2003, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by flipnap
Any theory that states, if i get a tatoo of a smiley face on my arm, and my kid does too and so on and so on, in a couple of million years, my generation will all be born with smiley face tatoos on their arms.. :)

ok... lets take one of the most widely accepted definitions of evolution, which states that evolution is a change in allele frequencies. Followng this path, then evolution is based on the passing on of genetic traits. Since tatoos are not a genetic trait, if your descendants pop out into the hospital bed with tatoos on their arms... its something other than evolution.

Originally posted by flipnap
One last thought, for all you Darwin fans out there.. Even Darwin said his own theory was so far from possible, that he pulled back and refuted his own writings..

Not to take potshots at you, but I'm pretty sure that this was because:
1) Darwin was a monk for some time
2) Most every respected scientist back then did not really agree with Darwin.

An Erased One
02-18-2003, 07:05 PM
Hm, the only god I'd ever believe in is a god who is such a genius that he can construct a set of rules for an universe that make sure that there will be life in it.

But it's a good question if creativity can be traced to a single gene - people could start breeding artists or so. Weird. :surprised

Originally posted by flipnap
Scientists are constantly being proven wrong, year after year

Yes, they are, and that's important. A scientific Theory is only a Theory when it can be proven to be wrong. It doesn't need to be wrong, but there must be a possibility to contradict it - otherwise there is no point in it at all.
So, of course they are contradicted.

jayrtfm
02-18-2003, 07:20 PM
flipnap,
since it seems you don't believe in evolution, how do *you* explain the prevelance of antibiotic resistant bacteria?

playmesumch00ns
02-18-2003, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by flipnap
One last thought, for all you Darwin fans out there.. Even Darwin said his own theory was so far from possible, that he pulled back and refuted his own writings..

Darwin never said anything of the sort. What he did say was that he was unsure of how evolution could produce something as complex and beautiful as the human eye, and left its origins up to the imagination of the reader.

Since then, many scientists have shown how it is possible, and even likely, for the eye to evolve out of a single photoreceptive cell, with compelling evidence to back it up.

Scientists have never hanged anyone for saying that the Earth was round. The only people that have ever killed or imprisoned anyone for saying anything other than the officially-endorsed Biblical view are those of the Church, particularly the Catholic Church. Galileo spent the last years of his life under house arrest for daring to suggest that the Earth might actually revolve around the Sun.

What the scientist in the article was getting at was that around 50,000 years ago, mutation produced a change in the structure of the brain of man. This development gave man an increased ability for language, lateral thinking and expression. As this was obviously an advantage, evolution ensured it developed over successive generations, producing the wonderful, artistic people we are today.

Our thoughts are direct results of the neurological connections in our brains, which result both from our genes, and from our upbringing.

None of this is intended, or should be misinterpreted as trying to belittle what we are. However our brains developed, our creativity is one of the most incredible things about the human species today.

Array
02-18-2003, 07:34 PM
argh.....im biting my toung as much as humany possible right now....you guys should read "Ishmael" and "The Story of B"

jjburton
02-18-2003, 08:12 PM
Array- Interesting can of worms you oppened....:p

playmesumch00ns- A couple of things

1) Are you absolutely certain that "Darwin never said anything of the sort."? I've read and heard that he did many times though I don't know if he did or not.

2) I've not seen any such "compelling evidence" about the human eye, care to reference?

3) No offense, but you need to check your history, my friend.
a) Many of the early scientists came out of the church. In fact much of what science owes to it's existance came out of religous monks, clergy and what not seeking to find God in nature. So if you want to take that thought train to its rational end, scientists did kill people who didn't agree with them.
b) The Christians weren't the only ones who killed people who didn't agree with them, perhaps you've not heard of the Islamic "convert or die" crusades, Hitler, Sadam Hussein, or countless others
c) Such practices are no longer condoned (thankfully), so today, scientists simply ostrasize those who disagree with them.

I don't pretend to know all the answers; that's why I continually question those ideas and beliefs I hold. Theories are interesting, but they're a poor foundation for a world view that is strong enough to weather the ever changing world of scientific discovery.

playmesumch00ns
02-18-2003, 08:52 PM
jjburton:

1) Ooops, you might have me there. I know that he did take a step back from his work in the later part of his life. The scientific community sometimes called him a nutter, and his wife certainly wasn't supportive of his ideas when he was first published. What of course matters is that he has been proven right again and again in the years after his death.

2) Got some of it at home (at least a list of references in some books somewhere). You might try reading "Climbing Mount Impossible" by Richard Dawkins (he personally takes an aggresively atheist view, and I think he covers this exact topic in the book). In particular the last section of the book, on the fig tree and wasps, is fascinating.

3)
a) Yes, most of the early scientists came out of the church Mendel, the father of modern genetics was a monk. This goes right back to ancient times, when the people exploring the natural world were often priests, e.g. Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians, the Aztecs.

Science began to break off from religion when it became a discipline of its own, especially around the time of the industrial revolution in England. Back in Tudor times scientists began exploring the rules that govern the natural world, and the universe itself, by conducting controlled, measurable and repeatable experiments. This scientific revolution was the start of what we call science today.

I'd like to point out that I do not see science and religion as mutually exclusive. Many scientists (even in todays atheistic times) still believe in God or some creator, and find no contradiction there. While I believe that the Big Bang was the event that created the universe, science cannot at present conclusively explain why or how this came to pass, and I see now reason to assume that it could not have been set off by some omnipotent being (although I do find this improbable).

What I do take exception to is the view of some creationists that all science, particularly evolution, must be wrong because "this old book here says so". This is especially aggravating given that you can walk into any of a number of museums and inspect the fossil record for yourself. I find it inconceivably ignorant that some religious schools won't even teach evolution as a theory because it contradicts what they're being taught in Bible studies.

b) I think this comes under the category of "religious intolerance", which is another subject altogether. Every religion (with the possible exception of Buddhism) has a long and bloody history of "let's kill the other guy cos he doesn't think the same as me". In fact some governments are willing to carry on this tradition today, on both sides of the world. Scientists are notoriously a rather flaccid bunch, and I can't think that any group of people has been killed by an uzi-wielding physicist because they wouldn't accept quantum mechanics.

Ultimately I believe that both religion and science have enormous value. While I don't believe in God, I can't help but be impressed by Westminster Abbey. And while a bible-bashing zealot may shun science, I'm sure he'd enjoy watching The Ten Commandments on DVD.

I find it perfectly plausible to imagine that all the mechanics of the universe that scientists unravel could have been put in place by some God specifically for the purpose of scientists having something to discover. I just cannot believe in something I cannot prove is there.

If someone came up to me and told me there are these crazy, tiny little invisible things called electrons that make electicity, I'd probably think he was mad, but if he can show me that they're there by firing them at a phosphorescent screen to make a picture, I'll believe him. Even more compellingly he can tell me why I can't see them.

jjburton
02-18-2003, 09:42 PM
Playmesumchoons- You've got some good points there though I am curious why you didn't answer my "3b" point, probably just overlooked it.

I haven't read "Climbing Mount Impossible" by Richard Dawkins but I'll look it up. Such a path as you describe him to take is one of the reasons why I find strict evolution to be such a hard sell. To anyone who reads much of what many of the more popular evolutionists write, a lot of the times they simply come off as if theyr'e willing to make huge leaps of faith simply to disbelive God. The theory comes off as more subjective than scientific in such approaches.

Your setting of the time period of the break from Science from the church is certainly after most of the attocities we've talked about occurred so science would still have blood on its hands if you wanted to look at it that way.

I don't see religion and science as being exclusive either...quite the contrary. However the fossil record as being anywhere near concrete is a rather audacious overstatement. It is plagued with inconsistancies and always a new find away from a major shift. I still find it humerous that carbon dating is taken as "gospel" by so many when numerous tests have shown inconsistancies in it. It is one big theory that perpetually attempts to support itself.

Rather that simply categorizing it as religous intolerance, I would simply call it intolernace, especially in todays time when there are many in academia who are ironically intolerant of religous beliefs and in America, more and more its traditional Christianity that is frowned upon.

I would agree that "Scientists are notoriously a rather flaccid bunch", however I'd stop there. Yes, scientists may not typically be quick to pick up a machine gun themselves, but they sure are working hard on building that next super weapon and there were not a few Scientists in Germany under Hitler experimenting on human beings in the pursuit of the "advance of science."

I especially enjoyed your last paragraph.:)

Science is perpetually unable to make up it's mind about anything for very long. Again, all of this is why I personally choose to focus not on the process, but on the Creator. But to each his/her own.

playmesumch00ns
02-18-2003, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by jjburton
Science is perpetually unable to make up it's mind about anything for very long.

And that's why I find it so exciting! As you say, to each his/her own. It's nice to have a banter about it from time to time tho :beer:

froggyplat
02-19-2003, 12:08 AM
some comments:

1) evolution is a process. natural selection is a model of how the process occurs...they are not the same thing. don't confuse them. there is no debate over whether or not evolution occurs...the evidence is in the geological record. if you think there is a debate, you are probably a creationist. the debate is over the model...namely how well does natural selection (the model) account for, describe, predict evolution (the process).

2) carbon dating isn't used to date fossils. the geological record is used to date fossils.

3) what darwin may or may not have said about evolution in his later years is irrelevant. scientific theories do not function based on belief. they are evaluated, tested and accepted or dismissed based on how well they describe phenomena. even well accepted theories can be dismissed and replaced with newer ideas. this doesn't mean "science can't make up its mind"...it means it's functioning exactly as it is supposed to.

lricho
02-19-2003, 12:20 AM
original post by An Erased One
A scientific Theory is only a Theory when it can be proven to be wrong

Hmm, i would actually word this slightly differently - a scientific theory only becomes more than a theory when it can be proven to be right.

I am also always amused by people thinking that the big bang theory is synonymous with evolution. Isnt it just a mathematical extrapolation of the current data of the expansion of the universe today? It is then not either for or against either evolution or creationism.

froggyplat
02-19-2003, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by lricho
Hmm, i would actually word this slightly differently - a scientific theory only becomes more than a theory when it can be proven to be right.

no. he was right. a scientific theory can only be disproved. it is never proved, because that would mean that the theory can account for all possible phenomena and never be contradicted, which is impossible in the physical universe. theories are accepted to be true based on how well they describe phenomena and how well evidence supports them. the more they are corroborated the more they are accepted. eventually they become so widely accepted that they are no longer questioned (at least in the scientific community), as is the case in Newton's Laws (even though Newton's Laws only cover non-relativistic mechanics)

jjburton
02-19-2003, 12:38 AM
PlaymesomechOOns- Great banter going on here...agreed...:beer:

Froggy- So you're saying just because I question the evidence of evolution in the geological record then I MUST be a creationist? That's pretty "higher than thou" don't you think? I've made no attempt to hide the fact that I believe in God and believe He created the world, I don't have any idea how He did it, I just believe He did. I question the geological record not because it "contradicts" what the Bible says, I question it because there have been times when it has been proven to be inaccurate especially in cases where there a cataclysmic events that happen (i.e. floods, volcanos, meteors striking the earth). I question it because that it hasn't been proven. Isn't that what scientists are supposed to do as well? If you make a hypothesis and the experiments or observed facts don't support it, shouldn't you then question that hypothesis?

By the way, Carbon dating has been used to date fossils or every book and text book I've ever read on the subject have been wrong (though I wouldn't rule that out either;))

lricho
02-19-2003, 12:45 AM
froggyplat: ahh, yes. that makes a lot more sense. I think i did know this, i am just not in a thinking straight sort of mode at the moment.

jjburton
02-19-2003, 12:52 AM
Iricho and Froggy- I've not heard that definition, it doesn't seem to add up rationally to me, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now. But it makes me wonder how many contradictions does it then take to disprove a theory?

froggyplat
02-19-2003, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by jjburton
Froggy- So you're saying just because I question the evidence of evolution in the geological record then I MUST be a creationist?

no, your statements have already made it clear that you are a creationist, or that you at least have read creationist literature and seem to believe it.

CARBON 14 Dating: (from http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/evolution/bldef_carbon14.htm)
Definition: A general method used for dating things in the natural world is to measure the level of radioactive isotopes still contained in them. Radioactive isotopes decay over time, so the older something is the less of those isoptopes researchers will be able to find. One of the most common and most well known of these isotopes is Carbon-14. Use of this, however, is limited to relatively young items of only a few thousand years because, when compared to other elements, it decays quickly. A failure to understand this leads some creationists to believe that the method as a whole is flawed.

other useful links:

http://www.gate.net/~rwms/crebuttals.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-creationists.html

Originally posted by jjburton

But it makes me wonder how many contradictions does it then take to disprove a theory?

only one.

carefulconan
02-19-2003, 01:53 AM
I recently saw a television program here in Australia which
was on Darwins Evolution, Now the theory they came across
with was that Humans use art to encapsulate themselves
into a message to be read basically by the opposite sex.
The way a guy or girl dances on the dancefloor in a club
might be one extrapolation of that.

You can basically take that same essence and use higher
motivations other than mating, Social commentary in Charicature
decries the artists ability to perceive and express, so we know
him in a way by seeing his work. He gets not only the message
of the topic across but also adds his own memetic message
purely by creating that art.

So basically Art is for showing off. :P


Creationism to me is not even a concept to take seriously,
But then again I believe in ghosts and reincarnation.
so if the guy with the beard is watching I want a new comp,


for christmas...OOPs wrong guy with a beard.

carefulconan

jjburton
02-19-2003, 02:08 AM
Froggy- Well...that's one way to read what you said...I have read creationist literature as well as evolutionist literature. And as I've said many times already, I don't pretend to know exactly what happened in regards to the creation of life but I question much of what popular science would have us believe about the topic.

I'm fully aware of what carbon 14 dating is, but thank you for enlightening me once more. However, it is still taught in many text books as being proof of evolution and other things when clearly it is not. I do like that you're link even contains "atheism" in the URL...wonder why that is? Your "talkorigins link" headlines a quote from a notable athiest and continues said pattern from there on. The other link has little to do with the topic we are on unless you're trying to point out something that hast to do with a minor portion of the most strict Biblical literalists interpretation of Creation. I'm afraid I find your links to be subjective at best. Though I have read many good articles in other places that support a macroevolution world view. Doesn't mean I bought it, but some of the arguments were persuasive. Based on your links, I could make the same assumption about you that you made of me about what I read and believe...however, I'm not going to do that.

You neglected to answer the problems in the geological record; perhaps you forgot?


If it's true that only one anomaly will disprove a theory, I'm afraid a heck of a lot of scientists didn't get that memo...;)

playmesumch00ns
02-19-2003, 02:54 AM
what exactly is your problem with the geological record?

draconix
02-19-2003, 03:20 AM
Originally posted by Akuma
Actually, your all being to hard on this, it does make sense.

If you look at it like that its bad, but if you realize that this gene that allowed us to create art was infact the gene that brought us up from apes... doesnt that have alot of weight to it?

The only reason we are not still in trees is because of art. I think this article makes perfect sense.

oh and since this genetic mutation was a small step in evolution... if your not an artist your not as evolved :beer:

:applause: I like that.

froggyplat
02-19-2003, 03:48 AM
jjburton,
that link was taken from www.about.com which is generally a pretty good source for information. and the links provided were simply the first couple i pulled off google that looked okay. you can do the research yourself, as you seem willing to do.

your free to draw whatever conclusions you want about what you think my biases or motivation might be. i don't have any particular inclination to defend them to you. i'm simply trying to clarify some mistakes you've made in your assumption about what science is and how it works. i wasn't even singling you out, per say.

about the geological record (fossil record), you haven't said anything beyond "there are problems" or "there are inconsistencies"...okay, so what? you think that disproves evolution? or what? if you could be more specific then i might have something to say.

but really, i probably won't because i've had this kind of discussion enough times to know it leads to nowhere useful. there is plenty of information available on the internet that refutes creationists' claims point by point, and with detailed explanations. if you really want to find out more about the fossil record, go there. the information is easy to find.

and remember, anomaly and contradiction aren't the same thing.

jjburton
02-19-2003, 04:34 AM
I appologize for not pointing out what problems I had with the geological record and I appologize for my comment on your links, after attempting to find some reference for what I was talking about in regards to the geological record. It took me 11 pages to find a link that was even possibly objective. The majority of pages are either ardent creationist, athiests or evolutionists with a strange bent against the Bible. However, I did find this site:

http://www.thedarwinpapers.com/oldsite/number5/darwin5.htm

I am in no way vouching for it and didn't even get to read all of it, but some of what I have read was in there.

Specifically the things I remember reading from various places (I had a great interest in this topic a few years ago, but sadly my memory is not all that great for sources):
1) Fossils have been found which cut through multiple layers of the geographical column, thus being in "millions of years" at the same time
2) Many places where the layers are out of order in that "older" layers are on top of "younger" layers
3) A high school teacher showed us an picture of dinosaur footprints and human footprints in the same "layer"- I've been searching for this one off and on for years and haven't been able to verify it or not, but I did see the photo (but then again, that would have taken me about 2 minutes in Photoshop now a days:D)

I have no idea what your biases and motivations might be just that you have them as well as I. I have yet to hear anyone say anything of substance in an unbiased way on any topic;) That includes myself by the way. However, I was wrong to make that assumption about you and I appologize.

However, when you quote me and then respond, I tend to think you might be talking to me...maybe I'm wrong on that too.

No I don't think that inconsistancies in the geological record prove or disprove anything irregardless of what I've read up to this point in my life. As I've said many times, I HAVE NO IDEA how we got here, I just choose to believe in Who put us here.

Yes there is plenty of "information available on the internet that refutes creationists' claims point by point, and with detailed explanations." And I could show you countless ones that does the same thing in the opposite direction. In all of this, you have to recognize the sources of that information and recognize those biases that come with that. That's why you read and read and read, and you pick what you're going to accept as truth and discount what you don't- discount it, but don't ignore it. It's also why communicating with people who don't view things the same way as you is so beneficial. It forces us to know why we believe what we believe rather than blindly accepting what we're told.

...Yes, "anomaly and contradiction aren't the same thing" but if you got an anomaly, you're more than half way to a contradiction:)

All in all, this all has been a great discussion...thanks:)

jayrtfm
02-19-2003, 05:28 AM
quote jjburton ".......what carbon 14 dating is, but thank you for enlightening me once more. However, it is still taught in many text books as being proof of evolution and other things ......."

you've just pointed out a major problem with trying to find out the truth about a subject.

The majority of textbooks are bad, and/or wrong.
http://fy.chalmers.se/~f3aamp/teaching/wakalix.html
the link is to an excerpt from Feynman's book, which has a chapter dealing with textbooks. (and anyone who hasn't yet read "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman" and "What do you care what other people think?" is in for a real treat. )

froggyplat
02-19-2003, 05:50 AM
jjburton:
there isn't any need for anyone to make apologies here. after all, this is just a friendly discussion:)

again, you aren't providing much in the way of specific information in terms of the geological record but i can answer the three points immediately

1) & 2) this is not uncommon considering the earth's surface is very active and has been through many geological changes. earthquakes, continental drift, ice ages and volcanoes can provide explanations as to why fossils sometimes appear out of order in the strata. but the piece you are missing here is that quite often in these cases we still find that the hierarchal organization of the fossils are correct. they are simply displaced by geological changes.

3) i don't know what you're hs teacher showed you but there have been several cases where human and dinosaur prints appear to coexist in the same strata. but, careful investigation has either shown that these usually fall under the scenario i described above, or they are just outright frauds.

the problem with creationism is that in order to accept it, you have to deny a few hundred years worth of scientific knowledge. and this just isn't biology, but geology, physics, astronomy and chemistry. creationists are a very crafty bunch, and can often seem to provide very persuasive arguments against evolution. but when you look carefully at their arguments and follow up on their refutations you will always find fallacies in logic, misdirection, and the withholding of information.

you might disagree with me here, and that is fine. i don't expect to change your mind. but i can tell you that i have studied this subject extensively, written research papers on it, read the literature and consulted with some very knowledgeable people in the respective fields: it has all led me to the conclusion that creationism is not a science, and has no useful purpose. in fact, it does a lot of damage to religion because it devalues it.

it is entirely possibly to believe in the existence of an almighty creator who created the universe and everything in it AND hold true the tenets of scientific knowledge. they do not contradict each other. when you become too rigid in your beliefs and feel that science can somehow threaten them, then you become more susceptible to the ideas behind creationism. creationists give easy answers and bank on the fact that most people will not bother to follow up and check out the facts. obviously, you are not one of these people because your ARE willing to listen and explore ideas that may SEEM to threaten your beliefs. this is a really good thing, jjburton, because already you are ten steps ahead of the most die-hard creationist.

like i said, i don't want to change your mind...just give you a perspective from someone who has asked the same questions you are right now, done the work, read the books and made up his own mind a long time ago on this subject.

good luck.:thumbsup:

froggyplat
02-19-2003, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by jayrtfm
anyone who hasn't yet read "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman" and "What do you care what other people think?" is in for a real treat. )

those are great books, jayrtfm. i've also read "genius" and QED (another one of feynman's) and i have his 3 volume set of lectures in physics (haven't quite made it through that one...and probably never will :cool: )

jjburton
02-19-2003, 06:12 AM
Actually, when I place my foot in my mouth, I feel that an appology is necessary, you don't have to accept it, but I believe it's the right thing to do;)

As to the lack of concrete details concerning those problems I've had concering the gelogical table, again, I'm sorry. Some of my books are in storage and I can't get to them and though I found lots of sources on google, finding ones that are objective is difficult (on both sides). Your explaining away of 1 and 2 is interesting though. You say

"this is not uncommon considering the earth's surface is very active and has been through many geological changes. earthquakes, continental drift, ice ages and volcanoes can provide explanations as to why fossils sometimes appear out of order in the strata. but the piece you are missing here is that quite often in these cases we still find that the hierarchal organization of the fossils are correct. they are simply displaced by geological changes."

I find it interesting because it uses theories to explain away problems with theories which is a logic circle that this type of science often leads into. In order to explain away inconsistancies, scientists simply come up with another theory or variation of their theory to make it work in that instance. I'd have to do some studying on my own to verify that each instance of problems that I was suggesting has been satisfied by more than a theory.

I'd have to agree that evolutionists and creationists, both, are a crafty bunch and both are guilty of skewing data in their favor at times, however it does make it difficult for someone to know what the truth is or isn't.

For me, evolution neither impedes, nor supports my world view, it's just a theory on process. At this time in my life and in my studies, I'd have to say I can't accept macroevolution as being believeable, but that could change eventually, but even if it does, I'll still follow Jesus- He doesn't mind my questions...:)

You say that in order to disbelieve evolution, I would have to discount a few hundred years worth of science. Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but didn't Darwin propose the theory in the later part of the 1800's. This past century has seen many scientific "facts" get punched in the face, but science keeps on trucking not seeming to be bothered by such "about faces." I wonder what they'll be saying in another 50 years...:shrug:

Don't worry, my mind doesn't change quite that easily;). I don't follow the subject with the intensity I have in the past (no time), but I keep up with it when I can.

pomme
02-19-2003, 10:05 AM
God is a beautiful fairy tale. And the bible is emotionally touching because it's well written. Religion became popular because its disciples had talent. What imagination they had, very amazing. Although I don't belive in god, I relate with creative types who had long hair and preached love.

But I also learned to think for myself, which I'm sure we're all trying to prove right now, that no one is 100% right.

-p

jayrtfm
02-19-2003, 12:14 PM
Science works to produce usefull results.

Theories build upon previous theories upon previous theories etc. untill we are able to read yet another person doubting science ON A FREAKING COMPUTER!!!!

The universe doesn't give much* of a damn what we "feel" about something, or what we wish something to be, or how our beliefs skew our view of the world.

The scientific method gives us the best way to view the workings of the universe. It is perhaps the only thing in the past 3,000 years to truely improve mankind's quality of life.

got an alternative? what's its track record?






*yeh, I've been to a lecture by Robert G. Jahn

jjburton
02-19-2003, 03:30 PM
pomme- I didn't know we were debating the existance of God...but you are entitled to your belief. Perhaps you should learn a bit more about the Bible before making uniformed comments like that. Historically speaking, we have more copies of the Bible than any other document from antiquity. Time after time after time, the Bible has been proven to be historically accurate in regards to archeological verifiable events. Many archeologists have used it to help them find places that have long since been buried under the ground. If you'd like to throw all that out, then I guess you'll have to to throw out Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, the greek Plays, the histories of the Romans and the rest as being a fairy tale as well. But again, this discussion was on evolution, not on the existance of God or the reliability of the Bible.

Jayrtfm- Since when is doubting some of the components of one branch of science so crazy? I think science in general has done some great things, not all of them are great mind you, but it has.

You say, "The universe doesn't give much* of a damn what we "feel" about something, or what we wish something to be, or how our beliefs skew our view of the world." How could you possibly hope to prove that? And what if you're wrong and what if it does?

If the scientific method gives the best way to view the workings of the universe, perhaps it should be followed more. Proven hyphothesi should be continually tested, and theories should be stated as such openly. Ironically, the only place I've seen science do otherwise is in regards to evolutionary biology and most of the time it's not the scientists themselves who do it, it's the media and those who wish to force a particular world view on the masses.

As to sciene being perhaps the "only thing in the past 3,000 years to truely improve mankind's quality of life", I think you'll have a hard time proving that. The scientific method isn't nearly that old. As of yet in our history, science has benefited many people, but often it's at a price that many cannot afford.

An alternative to what?

thatbrickwall
02-19-2003, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by jjburton

I find it interesting because it uses theories to explain away problems with theories which is a logic circle that this type of science often leads into. In order to explain away inconsistancies, scientists simply come up with another theory or variation of their theory to make it work in that instance. I'd have to do some studying on my own to verify that each instance of problems that I was suggesting has been satisfied by more than a theory.
....
For me, evolution neither impedes, nor supports my world view, it's just a theory on process. At this time in my life and in my studies, I'd have to say I can't accept macroevolution as being believeable, but that could change eventually, but even if it does, I'll still follow Jesus- He doesn't mind my questions...:)



Remember though, that concepts that are "just theories" still hold a lot of weight behind them. All it takes is one contradiction to disprove a theory. After it has been disproved, its the scientist's JOB to explain "inconsistencies," resulting in what you seem to think is a "logic circle." (BTW, the fact that large amounts of the earth's surface can be shifted by various things like earthquakes is quite observable. You don't actually have to go as far as relying on tectonic plate theory, you can just use take a look with the naked eye.)

jjburton
02-19-2003, 05:43 PM
That brickwall- Good points. However, when a scientist explains away an anomaly with another theory, it needs to be clear that that is a theory and not taught as fact (I'm speaking mostly to the American education system here as I don't know much about how other countries teach). What I've learned and read of other branches of sciences, they don't seem to take the liberties that evolutionary biologists do at times.

On the geological stuff, just because tectonic plate movement is observable today doesn't mean you can know exactly what happened thousand or millions years ago. You can postulate very probable scenarios, but you can't prove it. On the other hand, you're probably very right in that theory being able to explain away some of the inconsistencies in the geological record, but I don't know if it can do it for all of them or not. I'm too busy right now trying to learn 3d and go to school to become a scholar in this subject...;) But this thread has been most interesting:thumbsup:

pomme
02-19-2003, 07:45 PM
your belief in god is what this is all about, so don't say I'm changing the subject, I just find it depressing when someone takes a follower's viewpoint of the world. Forget your bubble, I mean bible, for a second.

In the far past, politics and religion were merged, laws were forged by priests and kings, they didn't know what the sun was or why it showed itself like clockwork, they didn't understand the stars or why the wind had a direction, they lived in a grand mystery. It's only natural that they will come up with stories to explain it all, it's human nature, and yes sometimes they will use real people and real cities for their stories, so that the people of the time can relate better, just like the fact that a fiction narrative film like Spiderman happened in a real city like New York.

People who dish science, are like people who dish movies, just because some films suck doesn't mean you throw the baby with the bath-water, but religion tends to have alot of dirty bath water, and the existence of its baby still hasn't been proven.

"There once was a big man in the sky... oh wait, I travelled by plane and I didn't see anything... There once was a big man in the cosmos..."

-p

jjburton
02-19-2003, 08:39 PM
Promme- There's no need to get ugly....

It sounds like you have a problem with Religion, and I assume that that is mostly pointed at Christianity, but that is only an assumption. If you've got a problem with Religion, that is another issue. This topic is about evolution, not about whether or not God exists, or the reliability of the Bible. It has also been about the problems with the scientific process in regards to evolution.

If you've got some points to make in that regard, by all means go ahead, but I for one, would not like this to turn into a debate on religion. I've said numerous times that my beliefs in God have no bearing on my problems with evolution...they are two different things. If evolution were to be irrefulably proven, my faith would still be very much intact. So if you've got something else to say about evolution, I'm all ears...:)

pomme
02-19-2003, 09:27 PM
if evolution is not the reason for why we are the way we are, then what? what's the other theory? I'd like to hear it? Just because some people screw-up in scientific circles doesn't mean anything, that happens everywhere, so you don't have to spell it out. The theory of evolution is not really a theory, it's more like common sense. Poking holes at it makes me feel as if you have an agenda to sell which is why I said the things I said in previous posts.


-p

jjburton
02-19-2003, 09:39 PM
Promme- Thank you:)

First of all, unless I'm mistaken, evolution has never made an attempt to explain why we're here. It only tries to explain the how. The why would obviously bring God into the discussion. The how is what I have questions about in regard to evolution.

The only other theory that I know of involves creation coming instantly out of nothing by the command of God, which again, brings God into the discussion.

I would have to disagree with you that evolution is simply "common sense." Some of the other problems other than the geological record that have already been pointed out are:
1) The lack of "missing links" in the fossil record. If macro evolution is true, it should be full of them
2) Supposed decendants being found that date older than their ancestors
3) The laws of physic (fourth law I believe) that dictates things tend to move toward less complexity rather than more complexity

That's all I can think of at the moment, though I know I've had other concerns in the past.

As to agenda's to sell, the only thing I'm trying to do is get people to think and hopefully have a mutually informing discourse in the mean while.:thumbsup:

terryford
02-19-2003, 09:44 PM
http://www.talkorigins.org/

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/index.html

<runs for cover, before God can spread dung on his face> :)

pomme
02-19-2003, 11:24 PM
evolution has never made an attempt to explain why we're here.



I said "why we are the way we are". Why are we creative? Why do we have 5 fingers? Why does Conan O'Brien's hair get less orange as the years go bye?



3) The laws of physic (fourth law I believe) that dictates things tend to move toward less complexity rather than more complexity


You're taking that law out of its context, its way more complicated than it sounds, and you know that. You're making it sound like we started super-smart and now we're becoming more and more dumb. Are we becoming homo-cromanion?

-p

lricho
02-19-2003, 11:45 PM
You're taking that law out of its context Rather than just say that, i would have liked you to actually put it into context for us.

froggyplat
02-19-2003, 11:50 PM
3) The laws of physic (fourth law I believe) that dictates things tend to move toward less complexity rather than more complexity

i assume what you are referring to is the second law of thermodynamics. this is another popular punching bag for creationists. unfortunately, it has absolutely nothing to do with biology or geology. typically it goes like this...
creationst: "if evolution were true, it would violate the second law of thermodynamics which states that everything moves progressively towards disorder."

well, no it wouldn't. the second law deals exclusively with heat exhange in something called a "reversible engine". i won't go into the details of it, but you can easily find them yourself. i will tell you that the second law does NOT state that things always move towards progressive disorder, nor does it state that entropy ALWAYS increases. these are very special cases which are generally reproduced in a laboratory setting. Check section 44-1, Vol. I in "The Feynman Lectures on Physics" (Addison Wesley) if you would like a precise formulation of the second law. this has been pointed out to creationists for the last 20 years, but it hasn't stopped them from using the argument.

jjburton
02-20-2003, 12:07 AM
Iricho- Agreed...

Pomme- That is exactly the point. evolution can't explain why we are the way we are, it can only attempt to explain how we got this way.

If you think I was implying that we started super smart, I appologize, because that's not what I was talking about at all. Quite the opposite, evolution contends the opposite, and that is an issue I have with it. Do I know that that law is absolutely correct, no? Do I see a contradiction between it and the idea of evolution without design- yes.

Off topic, I see you are a new member and that all of your posts appear to be in this thread....just curious, why is that?

Terryford- Does God fling dung nowadays?...I wasn't aware;). I've read simiar writings as you link to and have, for myself, found satisfactory answers to the issues raised. Though I didn't go through your links with a fine toothed comb.

Froggyplat- Welcome back:) Thank you for a more detailed answer, it is much appreciated. Alas, but I don't have "The Feynman Lectures on Physics" so I'll have to take your word for it. Not that I buy it, as I haven't read it myself, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Care to speak on the lack of "missing links" in the fossil record?

lricho
02-20-2003, 12:38 AM
on the matter of "are we getting smarter". Could i put it to you that humans are not necessarily any smarter now than we were hundreds or thousands of years ago. We are definitely much more knowledgable though. E.g. A smart person without all the knowledge of today would still have to invent the wheel for faster/easier travel and everything else the wheel has provided us with.

terryford
02-20-2003, 01:04 AM
I'm glad to see that this debate has remained fairly civilised so far (for really ugly skeptic/believer fist fights I like to go to the JREF (http://www.randi.org/) forums) - nothing is guarenteed to make people lose their sense of humor faster than religious debate (except maybe politics :)).

jjburton - "Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces..." Mal.2:3 It's from the Old Testiment.

It's not my intention to mock anybodys religious convictions, although the SAB (http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/index.html) is undoubtedly irreverent, I found it to be interesting and amusing, but I can understand why Biblical Literalists would find it a difficult site to read, probably dismissing it with "The devil can quote scripture to his purpose".

The creation/evolution argument has be fought for years, I posted those links because they're relevent to the debate and they encapsulate my own pro science/evolution beliefs - the arguments are presented there more eloquently that I could do myself. Trust me, all the arguments; missing links, fossils, Piltdown hoax, are all covered at talkorigins.org and the talk.origins newsgroup.

As to why we're here? Who knows, lets just try to make the best of it eh?

I'm outta here before the administrators lock this way OT thread :)

pomme
02-20-2003, 01:30 AM
Off topic, I see you are a new member and that all of your posts appear to be in this thread....just curious, why is that?


New people join cgtalk everyday, and this thread is the most stimulating. You'll see more of me though, hope that doesn't piss you off heheh

-p

jjburton
02-20-2003, 02:11 AM
Terryford-:D Interesting quote, hadn't come accross that one before. SAB most definately has a certain bent, wouldn't you say?;). I believe in the Bible and I don't have a hard time reading it, I jut have a hard time believing it. What little I did look at was clearly taken out of context.

I'm fully aware of the resources available for both sides of the aisle. However, finding objective information is what's difficult. Both sides accuse eachother of lying and explain away eachother's positions. And often times it's athiests who have other motives that the objective presentation of information on the macroevolution side. It makes it rather difficult to find out what the truth is.


I saw a post on politics today and one of the admins said any talk on religion is forbidden, so I'm pleasantly suprised that this thread has lasted so long. It's definately been stimulating.

Pomme- :D...not at all. I was just suprised by it. Your first post was a little confontational, but I'm glad everyone remained civil. I hope to see more of you as this is benefited by each new point of view that comes along. I look forward to seeing your CG work:thumbsup:

playmesumch00ns
02-20-2003, 03:25 AM
jj: things starting to heat up slightly!

What "missing links" are you referring to? The fossil record is by its very nature incomplete. Fossils are only created when an animal happens to fall into a bog/get caught in a mudslide etc. So finding examples of every single species is a challenge. As it stands the fossil record is pretty good. One can follow the path of evolution by examining the changing shapes of specimens and plotting these changes over time.

Many of the inconsistencies are attributable to human error: a scientist analysing a fossil has to classify it according to species already known, or if it's significantly different he may decide to anounce the discovery of a new one. If by "missing links" you are referring to the way that the fossil record shows distinct steps in evolution, this is down to the same problem: while a fossil may appear to be half-way between one species or another, the scientist in question has to classify it one way or the other.

As for the question of evolution answering why we're here, I believe it satisfys this pretty well:
Hundreds of millions of years ago, organic molecules were formed (somehow) by natural processes that had the capabillity to self-replicate. No-one knows exactly how this occured - this "spark of life", but many believe that we are close to finding out. (and yes, until a provable hypothesis is formulated, one could just as easily presuppose that it was God's doing)

Over the following aeons, natural selection did its magic and the molecules formed into more and more complex structures that began to approach something similar to viral RNA, and bacterial DNA. The most important difference between viruses and bacteria to be concerned with here is that viruses cannot reproduce on their own: they do not have the necessary cellular apparatus for performing this process, whereas bacteria do. In order to replicate, a virus must invade a host cell, e.g. a bacterium, and hijack the bacterium's own reproducing machinery to produce copies of the virus's own RNA. Hey presto, hundreds of viruses are churned out from the bacterium until it's worn out or bursts open. The new viruses then go on to infect other bacteria and so on and so forth. Still with me?

From this point of view, a virus is the simplest possible form of life. The virus itself is just a shell for carrying the RNA. Just like a computer virus's code, the RNA is just a set of instructions that says "copy me". The DNA of the bacterium is exactly the same, with a few important differences. The bacterium's DNA says "Copy me, but in order to copy me, first build a nucleus, ribosomes, cell wall etc etc". Natural selection ensures that the DNA of the bacterium survives better than the RNA of the virus, because the DNA makes sure to build itself a nice little environment suit (the cell) before it starts replicating (the viral RNA prospers because it concentrates simply on churning out huge numbers of copies without worrying about expending the extra energy on building a cell).

Natural selection dictates that any DNA with better copying equipment, or better environment protection will prosper. So DNA that built multi-celled organisms evolved, then multi-celled DNA suits with nice hard outsides, then multi-organed organisms with nice thick skins. After many million years of evolution DNA has evolved to the point where instead of just saying "Copy me", it now says "Copy me, but in order to do so build a tree first", or "Copy me, but in order to do so, build an elephant", or, most impressively, "Copy me, but in order to do so build a human". That is why we are here. We're unimaginably complicated, beautiful DNA-copying machines. That life on this planet is so numerous and so varied is a testament to the awesome power of natural selection (and the huge amount of time it's taken to get us here).

This is why sex is so important to us: because the base intention of every single cell in our body is to replicate. Every single cell in your body is screaming at you to get it on as much, and as quickly as possible.;)

One can even see natural selection at work today. A powerful example is so-called "superbugs": bacteria that have developed resistance to anti-biotics. Since mankind begin using penecillin at the start of the 20th century, we've been wiping out huge numbers of bacteria every day. Random mutations in the bacteria's DNA during replication sometimes (and this is really a one-in-a-trillion-trillion chance) give the resulting bacteria resistance to one antibiotic or another, by pure chance. Despite the chance being so infinitesimally small, the sheer scale of bacterial populations, their rate of reproduction, and the willingness with which we prescribe antibiotics means that this has happened many many times over the past hundred years. It only takes one bacteria to develop this immunity to produce an entire strain in a very short space of time. Suddenly finding all his competitors wiped out by the very same antibiotic that he is immune to, he can replicate in huge numbers using the entire wealth of resources that are now available to him, and all his children will have the same resistance. It's a scary thought.

jjburton
02-20-2003, 04:11 AM
PlaymesumchOOns- Back in full force, eh? Yeah...things heated up a bit, but I think we're back to a low roar now;)

Quite a detailed resonse...very good. Seems like you know more than a little on the subject. More than I do I'm willing to freely admit.

On the fossil record, one of my major concerns what is actually found in the ground and what is presented as the actual fossil. I've seen many examples where fragments are pulled in the ground and full skulls are formed from them. Often times what is real and what is "prettied up to make a full fossil" is very gray indeed. From what I've seen, it seems that often the paleontologist is more conerned with making the fossil fit the record than letting the fossil lay where it will and adjust the record accordingly.

Why have some species remained the same and some "evolved"? Why is there "prehistoric" fish still being caught off the coast of Africa?

I personally still have trouble when I look at the "evolution of the horse" exhibit at the Smithsonian. With the evidence I've seen thus far, it look like too much snazz and not enough substance.

Adaptation is an observable trait, however, learning to deal with the rain by making an ubrella and having an umbrella grow out of your head are two different things...at least in my mind. I have no problem whatsover with microevolution, it's the macro that I don't buy stock in.

Very informative post, thanks!

flipnap
02-20-2003, 10:08 AM
Whatever is, can and will be said.. what it all comes down to is we all think we are right dont we? isnt that our plight and the direction of our effort? Well i know one thing for sure, we all have one thing in common - we will all find out the answer one day! Muhaa haa haa....

Seriously though, at least if you wanted to hang out with God and he turned out to be real, wouldnt it be a pleasant surprise once you flipped the script? on the other hand......

flip


p.s. it really was good to see some people engage in some stimulating conversation without (too much) poop slinging.

ciao

geez, one last thing. Scientists have come up with an actual number that represents the odds of the conditions that would have to come together to make the "life from ooze" thing work.. the actual name denotes an odd that is so great, it is considered not possible.. Does anyone know the actual name of that? i cant remember.

playmesumch00ns
02-20-2003, 12:54 PM
jj: glad to ses you're enjoying things!

As I've said, scientists do make mistakes in putting together fossils - who wouldn't? It's like a 10,000-piece jigsaw without the picture on the box - but they're getting better at it all the time, and are constantly re-forming their ideas. There was a case of a dinosaur which palentologists believed had a really long thumb-claw, but no-one could work out what it was for, until they found a couple more skeletons some years later and found that the "thumb-claw" actually went on the beast's nose!

As for some species evolving and some not, I've often wondered why chimps aren't steadily evolving into humans, and seem to have reached this "plateau". The answer is quite simple: Natural selection isn't a constant driving force pushing species "forward" up the evolutionary ladder. It is by its very nature reactionary. If the random mutations that fuel this process are not beneficiary, their hosts die out pretty quickly - what good is a cheetah with 5 legs, for example. What this means is that when "nature gets it right", the species is perfectly able to survive how it is. It has reached a point where nearly all slight mutations are detrimental to its chance of survival, and has literally reached an evolutionary plateau. You can think of natural selection as a pushing force (selection pressures), pushing species up the evolutionary ladder. This pushing force is made up by a species' predators, causing species to evolve faster, or more ingenious methods of escaping being eaten. It's being able to find food, causing species to evolve new apparatus for getting food better or getting at new kinds of food (sometimes quite bizzare - think anteater, or that long-fingered sloth-thing), or being able to digest the food that's already available better (cow's four stomachs). It's also a myriad other things. It's all a fine balance. While a giraffe might be born with even longer legs, letting it reach higher leaves than its compatriots, those long legs might break under its weight and that new mutation will die out pretty quickly.

A perfect example of this is the shark, or the crocodile. Both are oft-admired by naturalists as near-perfect killing machines. They have no natural predators and can pretty much take their pick of anything that comes by for dinner. There is not really any selection pressure on these species at all, and as such they have not changed much in the last hundred-million years.

flipnap:
geez, one last thing. Scientists have come up with an actual number that represents the odds of the conditions that would have to come together to make the "life from ooze" thing work.. the actual name denotes an odd that is so great, it is considered not possible.. Does anyone know the actual name of that? i cant remember.

Those odds are calculated on the basis that it had to happen on earth. Yes it is an infinitesimally small chance, and so small that it is almost unbelievable. But it only has to happen once, once on just one of all the planets around all the trillions of stars in all the billions of galaxies in the universe, once in the 12 billion years or so since the universe began (and that's with a billion trillion chemical reactions going on all over the planet every nanosecond) for life to evolve. I'd bet on those odds.:lightbulb

flipnap
02-20-2003, 01:08 PM
Yes it is an infinitesimally small chance, and so small that it is almost unbelievable. But it only has to happen once, once on just one of all the planets around all the trillions of stars in all the billions of galaxies in the universe, once in the 12 billion years or so since the universe began for life to evolve. I'd bet on those odds.

you better stay out of the casinos my man:)

seriously though, this number is like, well, if you take all those numbers you put up and times it by about 987 hundred trillion times, itll only be close to about 1 -100000000 of the number.. its a really ridiculous number.. i mean, just because its theoretically possible doesnt make it possible, so to speak.. i mean, according to quantum mechanics, if i tap my finger on this desktop once every second, i might catch a break in the quantum nature of the matter in this table and my finger could pass right through.. I think the time set is like 735 trillion years or so, and even that is only a possibility.. but i just cant accept it.. to me that sound more like a fairy tale than God.. You know, scientist really "uncover" things.. they arent really "discovering" anything.. we think because we figured out how to clone that we are God, we know the nature of the universe, we understand DNA, we are so knowledgable... the fact is we have no wisdom as a race and we dont know the first thing about love, after all these thousands of years, were still in the dark.. A lot of people here accept these theories because they make sense.. well, isnt that how greek gods were formed, i mean, theres is a whole lot more to our existance than this.. the very fact that we know time has changing properties is enough for me to see the face of God.. i see it in the DNA and all our "uncoveries".. see i believe in science, but i beleieve we are unraveling Gods wonders.. People argue that God made the earth in 7 days.. then "no, we have proof the earth was made over millions of years!!" well, let me ask you this, whos time clock are you using.. you know there are places in the universe where time stands still? okay okay, im writing a book here..

im out

An Erased One
02-20-2003, 02:24 PM
There is no use to wonder "why" we are here - we can only answer the "how". I think there is no "why" - I'm here, that's enough for me. We all are the product of the biggest coincidence ever.

But whether you believe in a meaning of our existence or not - we cannot know more about the sense of it all as a pawn can know about the meaning of chess, because we are part of this universe. Anything "behind" this Universe is completely incomprehensible for us.

Joviex
02-20-2003, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by flipnap
One last thought, for all you Darwin fans out there.. Even Darwin said his own theory was so far from possible, that he pulled back and refuted his own writings..

Please read up on the subject. This was a statement made after much berrating by the Church and a threat to eject him.

The paradox is, if GOD created the world, and the bible timeline started only 5000+ some change years back, why all the extra billions of years in age??

Then, why the dinosaur bones?

Then, why make some dude named Darwin to start a great debate on the very existance of the thing which created him?

Then, why all the extra space in the universe?

For every I think I know better than evolution creationist out there, I will find you a counterpart.

jjburton
02-20-2003, 07:23 PM
Amorano-

Concerning Darwin, I've not heard that the statement was made after much "berrating by the Church and a threat to eject him." If I would like to read up on the subject, where would I look for that? Preferrably a book by a credible author.

Your problem with the bible timeline- not all biblical scholars believe in the young earth theory, some don't consider the 6 days of creation to necessarily have to be 6 literal 24 hours days. On the other end, there are some scientists who don't buy the earth being that old who are not "creationists."

There are dinosaur bones because dinosaurs lived died and were buried in such a way that fossilization could occur...;)

If you happen to believe in the God of the Bible, then you also believe that God created man with free will to do, believe, say whatever he or she so desires. Again, though I don't believe in macro evolution, if I were conviced of it, it has nothing to do with whether or not I believe in God or not. For more on both of these points, I would recommend "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis. Evolution is about process- trying to explain the how.

Why the extra space...if I was all powerful and could create earth with all the life in it, I sure as heck wouldn't stop here. Why do we as artists love to continue to create new worlds and creatures?

You say,"For every I think I know better than evolution creationist out there, I will find you a counterpart." I have no idea what this sentance means. Care to clarify?

playmesumch00ns
02-20-2003, 08:04 PM
jj: If you were to be convinced of macro-evolution, surely that would muck up the whole "And God created man in his own image" thing? Would that mean that 600 million years ago God was a blob of green ooze and has since been a fish, a small shrew-like creature and a monkey?:)

jjburton
02-20-2003, 08:13 PM
Playme- Nice try...:) It would mean something of the sort if God were a physical being. We're dancing the line here talking directly about what the Bible says about God, but I'll give it a shot and see if the mods will let it go.

God is spirit, man is spirit and flesh. When the Bible says "God created man in His own image" it is not speaking in a physical manner. Most theologians I've read interpret that to mean that God gave us free will, as He enjoys and by creating us in His image, it enables us to have the kind of relationship with us that He desires- not of Master and slave, but of Father and children. Children who are free to leave home if you will.

You really should read Lewis' "The Problem of Pain" if you haven't, it's one of the clearest and most rationally sound presentations I've read on the subject...from a Christian point of view that is;)

flipnap
02-20-2003, 08:17 PM
Please read up on the subject. This was a statement made after much berrating by the Church and a threat to eject him.

Eject him from what, his death bed where he made the statement? its just that his rebuttal has become somewhat debated.. it hasnt been proved that he didnt say this.. if so, prove it to me..

The paradox is, if GOD created the world, and the bible timeline started only 5000+ some change years back, why all the extra billions of years in age??

right, you must not have read what i said about time having physical properties.. or about scientists missing the point ALL the time.. the bible never said we've only lived on earth for ten years? And do you think the bible existed since the beginning of time or something?

Then, why make some dude named Darwin to start a great debate on the very existance of the thing which created him?

its called freewill, something that any loving God would give his children.

Then, why all the extra space in the universe?

I dont know, why?

For every I think I know better than evolution creationist out there, I will find you a counterpart.

For every part, there must be a counterpart, isnt that the way?

dude, seriously. read C.S. Lewis when you get a chance.. He can really plow through some of your questions. Though he was an Oxford scholar and a philosopher, i think you can chew through it, you sound like a smart guy..

here, check out some good stuff if youd like


The Good Stuff!!! (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060652926/ref=lib_rd_ss_TT01/103-9526268-2103018?v=glance&s=books&vi=reader&img=14#reader-link)

Cheers

Iain McFadzen
02-20-2003, 08:27 PM
Creationists who dispute the theory of evolution are ploughing the same ground the Catholic Church ploughed when it condemned Galileo for heresy. It has nothing to do with the details, it has to do with a system that needs to appear to be infallible being shown to be completely and fundementally wrong.

flipnap
02-20-2003, 08:32 PM
Creationists have nothing to do with Galileo or the Catholic church. Creationism is filled with details but in a scientific world that needs to appear infallible in the eyes of bankers, the government and institutional facilities, it is often shown to be completely and fundamentally wrong..



The Goods!! (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060652926/ref=lib_rd_ss_TT01/103-9526268-2103018?v=glance&s=books&vi=reader&img=14#reader-link)

cheers

terryford
02-20-2003, 09:51 PM
I hesitate to jump into this thread again, I don't think anybody on either side is going to be swayed by anything posted here, and there are more appropriate forums for this kind of discussion. However, I can't let the statement about Darwin recanting on his deathbed pass without comment. It is a Creationist myth, and was refuted by Darwin's daughter who was present at his deathbed.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_cul4.htm

jjburton
02-20-2003, 09:58 PM
Iain- You say, "It has nothing to do with the details, it has to do with a system that needs to appear to be infallible being shown to be completely and fundementally wrong."

I wasn't aware that evolution has proven Christianity to be completely and fundamentally wrong? Maybe I'm misunderstanding you. I'm not afraid to say, "I don't have all the answers in regards to the beginnings of the universe." Does evolutionary biology share that attitude? Most of the time, I'd say not. Many "evolutionists" (not necessarily scientists here, but not exluding them either) seem more concerned with attacking Christianity than being objective.

I also don't see how you can say that questioning the THEORY of evolution is paramount to condeming someone for heresy. It's just asking questions...what's so wrong with that?

On a side note, I love you cg work...phenomenal!:thumbsup:

Terryford- :)...I understand your hesitancy...I think we're about to a standstill. However, I don't consider About.com to be a credible source of information as all info that I've ever read on the site has a rather one-sided attitude.

terryford
02-20-2003, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by jjburton
Terryford- :)...I understand your hesitancy...I think we're about to a standstill. However, I don't consider About.com to be a credible source of information as all info that I've ever read on the site has a rather one-sided attitude.
A Christian site on About.com is suspect eh? Then how about a fundie Creationist site:
<EDIT: my mistake I thought the site in my previous post was hosted on About.com. It's not.>

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1315.asp

Woohoo, I found something that Creationists and Darwin supporters can agree on... well, some Creationists. :)

Array
02-20-2003, 10:40 PM
woah....getting WAY off topic here. lets talk about art please :beer:

Aggro - Thingy
02-20-2003, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by jjburton
If it's true that only one anomaly will disprove a theory, I'm afraid a heck of a lot of scientists didn't get that memo...;)

It disproves the "specific" theory and modifies the theory to create a new theory.

Aggro - Thingy
02-20-2003, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by Array
woah....getting WAY off topic here. lets talk about art please :beer:

debate is a form of art..............

parallax
02-20-2003, 11:21 PM
2 guys talking about the existance of god:

"how do you know for sure, that god exists?"

"well, it says so in the bible"

"How do you know that what is written, is true??"

"Well, that is also written in the bible"



so now i carry around a little book that says "god does not exist"


I dont believe in god, i never met him.

:applause:

terryford
02-20-2003, 11:27 PM
Yeah, you're right Array, guilty as charged, sorry. Still, we don't exist in a CGI bubble, I think it's OK to wander off topic occasionally provided everyone remains civil (mods might disagree though). Last word from me in this thread :)

jjburton
02-20-2003, 11:35 PM
Terryford- I'm not aware of a Christian site on About.com. It's just that as I've researched unrelated topics on there in the past...a certain onesidedness was evident.

I know there are countless Creationist sites, both their and any evolutionist sites nonobjectivity is why I have refrained from linking to any of them. By doing so, anyone looking at it is immediately skeptical of the information (at least they should be). Thanks is why searching things out for yourself is so important.

I do not consider the internet to typically be a very unbiased or very accurate way of research.

I think this thread has about reached its end for constructive debate.

froggyplat
02-21-2003, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by jjburton
I do not consider the internet to typically be a very unbiased or very accurate way of research.

can you define, precisely, what constitutes and objective source of information? because everytime anyone references anything here you immediately cast doubt on it. if you doubt the objectiveness of creationists, and doubt the objectiveness of evolutionists, and doubt every single source of information that serves as exposition and critical analysis of each, then what? are you some sort of nihilist?

jjburton
02-21-2003, 12:19 AM
Froggy-Sure...but just for clarification, I have not cast doubt on every reference that has been brought up. But when something is obviously persuasive in nature either way, don't you think you should take that into consideration?

I consider books, magazine articles in respectable magazines, interviews, and the like to be good sources of info. For something like this topic a trade journal on biology, paleontology or geology would probably prove useful. No, even those aren't always completely objective or 100% right, but they typically reference what they are talking about so that one can verify for themselves whether not those things concur with what is said or even exist. I seriously doubt you would find About.com or intelligentdesign.com referenced on any serious article.

However, just because someone is subjective (everyone is subjective to some degree) does not mean that you should just discount everything that they, it just means you should recognize that and go from there.

If someone is comfortable accepting everything they see or hear that conforms to their own world view, more power to em; just not something I'm comfortable with. I like to know why I believe what i believe and that allows me to honestly say "I don't know" when I don't.

Parralax- I do and I have.

holosynthetic
02-21-2003, 01:54 AM
as a movie i watched briefly said

things always go wrong when people believe in something, a belief is etched in stone, so its harder to change, why not instead have an idea about something, cause ideas are always easier to change..just in case someone proves your idea wrong you can switch it..but for someone to prove a belief wrong..makes people with that belief look stupid

playmesumch00ns
02-21-2003, 03:12 AM
flipnap:

Thanks for the link! CS Lewis writes beautifully and very convincingly, but there's absolutely no substance to what he says whatsoever! I won't even begin to pick holes in it.

I'll make sure to find a copy of this book, and the other one jj pointed out. Makes for very interesting reading
:)

-- edit

my university library's got "Mere Christianity" but not "The Problem Of Pain". Maybe I can find the latter somewhere else, but I'll be checking the former out tomorrow. Thanks for pointing me in this direction guys!:wavey:

Jhonus
02-21-2003, 03:57 AM
I would just like to thank god and/or evolution for developing the creativity gene so that man was able to write the bible and create many arguements due to its inception.

I also forgot to mention the Koran.. and and... other religious texts all of which are founded on a rock of logic and a bed of truth. Not one contridictory statement exists between all the religious texts... this is truely a feat of amazing creativity.

lricho
02-21-2003, 04:22 AM
things always go wrong when people believe in something, a belief is etched in stone, so its harder to change, why not instead have an idea about something, cause ideas are always easier to change..just in case someone proves your idea wrong you can switch it..but for someone to prove a belief wrong..makes people with that belief look stupid

What if your idea was right, but you were persuaded to see otherwise, would you not then look just as stupid as the person with the wrong belief?

parallax
02-21-2003, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by Krugar
I would just like to thank god and/or evolution for developing the creativity gene so that man was able to write the bible and create many arguements due to its inception.

I also forgot to mention the Koran.. and and... other religious texts all of which are founded on a rock of logic and a bed of truth. Not one contridictory statement exists between all the religious texts... this is truely a feat of amazing creativity.

:applause:

Parralax- I do and I have.

So you were chosen by god, to see him?
:rolleyes:

flipnap
02-21-2003, 09:56 AM
Wow guys, this thread has treaded on! I have to bow out, just because its time.. Thanks to the mods for letting this go on.. this may not be the right forum for this but these times sure need some discussion. It was good talking with all of you about this and whatever you beleive, i wish you peace and joy in your life and i hope you find the answers you are looking for in truth not in compromise. Remember, mans knowledge is rendered useless in the face of truth's wisdom; dont be led astray by people, religion, governments, books or even your own heart.. and above all, be tolerant. There is no need to insult or ridicule anybody here for what they believe. One of my favorite verses from the bible is when Jesus and Peter and walking into town and they are leaving Judas behind. Peter, knowing full well that Judas is the betrayer says to Jesus, "What about him Lord, arent you going to do anything with him?" and Jesus says, "All you need to worry about is what is between you and I, nothing more"

Well, it was something like that.. ive never been known for memorizing bible versus:)

Anyhoo, God bless and may you all have a wonderful life, make the most of it!!!!!:rolleyes: :)

CIAO!!

jjburton
02-21-2003, 01:35 PM
Well...this thread was rather civil and informative, I'm sorry it couldn't remain so. It would be nice if everyone could respectfully disagree and discuss instead of attacking beliefs. So adios....

Mods- Thanks for letting it pan out and not locking it.

Parallax- Yes...and I believe we all were; we're just not forced to. Doesn't mean you have to believe it.

googlo
02-21-2003, 07:29 PM
I think what everyone HAS to agree upon here objectively is that whether you believe in science or religion, or some combo of both, it's all ultimately a matter of faith; I think that, at least, is irrefuteable.

DiMENSiON
02-23-2003, 01:59 AM
Hey,

Just thought I'd join in. I'm in Biology 12 and studiying evolution and it pisses me off! Anyhoo... Just a couple points to make

Evolution and Natural Selection are not the same thing.

BTW, I'm a christian and know natural selection happens. Just look at bacteria and antibiotics. I do not however beleive we evolved from blobs of $hit. Here's on simple point. Senses. How the F*** would these have evolved . I could not feel, smell, see, hear, or taste. But, one day, some mutation occurs and huh? I can hear? Or over millions of years I develop sight from chemicals and proteins, or what? Everything I read on this subject does not mention how they form, but rather the stages of development.

When you laugh, cry, get angry, you think (Wow, that's neat evolution how it made me emotional, and there is nothing else to it). Emotions are of no benefit to us. Why would we evolve those? To help us hunt? Climb trees? Make fires?

Inteligence creates inteligence. Blobs don't create inteligence under any conditions.

Something CAN NOT be made from nothing. At least that's what every self respecting scientist would say. Unless Rocks and chemicals have been floating around forever which scientifically speaking is impossible.

So, all life starts in the ocean. One day at one specific time, the first animal would have to climb out of the water for the first time.
How did it breathe?

Do you not find it odd how we are the only intelligent species? There are billions of species, but only we can experience emotion, and are smart (in most cases).

Blah Blah Blah???????

Just my opinion :) Sorry for my ranting style :p

noisewar
02-23-2003, 02:13 AM
Bah I'll sum it all up for everyone...

Science tries to explain process

Creationism/Religion tries to explain purpose

How vs. Why

When they try to explain the one they're not supposed to, they get in biiiig trouble. =)

eirenicon
02-23-2003, 02:33 AM
This thread is full of more misconception and bad science than I can shake a stick at. People need to realize that they have no right to argue against evolution science if they haven't even taken the time to basically educate themselves on it. The most obvious example here is those who confuse biological evolution with abiogenesis, and even with cosmic evolution, but there's plenty more.

:shame:

Nonquad
02-23-2003, 09:38 PM
Here's on simple point. Senses. How the F*** would these have evolved . I could not feel, smell, see, hear, or taste. But, one day, some mutation occurs and huh? I can hear?

I assume this is a rhetorical question. Surely you must be aware that evolution isn't by and large something that happens overnight, whether in theory or in practice.

It's nice that you bring up hearing, because that's got to be one of the easiest senses for an evolving species to develop. Think about it. Sound is just pressure waves. Sound is so direct and simple to percieve that you can often feel it on your skin. All the species has to do to develop "hearing", is get progressively more sensitive to the vibrations.

Or over millions of years I develop sight from chemicals and proteins, or what? Everything I read on this subject does not mention how they form, but rather the stages of development.

There is no lack of material on the subject. Perhaps you just haven't looked hard enough. Here are a few examples.
http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~lindsay/creation/eye.html
http://www.2think.org/eye.shtml

When you laugh, cry, get angry, you think (Wow, that's neat evolution how it made me emotional, and there is nothing else to it). Emotions are of no benefit to us. Why would we evolve those? To help us hunt? Climb trees? Make fires?

But emotions are of benefit to us. They provide a framework to encourage us to engage in social behaviors as a species, much to our benefit.

Here is a particularly insightful article that addresses the subject in detail. It is an editorial, so it does express an oppinion, but if you can get past that, I promise you will learn something.
http://www.nonzero.org/newyorker.htm

I privately doubt that anyone is going to read that link the way down to the "good part", so I'm going to ram it in here with a big honking block quote. I beg pardon for the size of it, but if you've made it this far into the thread, you really should read this. It's very relevant to the topic. so here we go:


......
Many biologists believe that human social organization has also favored genes for intelligence. Our species, for example, has "reciprocal altruism." We are designed to feel warmly toward people who do favors for us, to return the favors, and thus to forge mutually beneficial relationships—friendships. What's more, one kind of favor we swap is social support. That is, we are a "coalitional" species; groups compete with each other for status and influence. Reciprocal altruism takes brainpower—to remember who has helped you and who has hurt you. And the coalitional variety takes more brainpower, since strategic plotting and communication among allies are vital.

Here again, the basic ingredients are not peculiar to us. Vampire bats have reciprocal altruism; they'll donate painstakingly gathered blood to a needy friend, who will return the favor when fortunes are reversed. And vampire bats have bigger forebrains—the locus of much "social" intelligence—than other bats.

As for the richer form of reciprocal altruism, coalitional contention, it turns out not to be confined to such famously political animals as chimpanzees. Bottle-nosed dolphins even form coalitions of coalitions. Team X of male dolphins will help team Y vanquish team Z, and, later, team Y will return the favor. Since victory brings sex, skill in coalition building is an obvious candidate for an arms race among dolphins.

All told, if you look at the foundations of human intelligence—tool use, language, reciprocal altruism, coalitional contention, and others—you can find them, if in primitive form, scattered far and wide across the animal kingdom. Given evolution's tendency to generate more and more species, to elevate complexity, and to keep inventing and reinventing technologies, the eventual combination of these foundational properties in a single species was likely all along.

Gould writes, "Humans are here by the luck of the draw." Undeniably true. But there's a difference between saying it took great luck for you to be the winner and saying it took great luck for there to be a winner. This is the distinction off which lotteries, casinos, and bingo parlors make their money. In the game of evolution, I submit, it was just a matter of time before one species or another raised its hand (or, at least, its grasping appendage) and said, "Bingo!"

This thesis, though little publicized, is not radical. Some noted biologists, such as William D. Hamilton and Edward O. Wilson, believe that the evolution of great intelligence was likely from the start.

Hamilton's work also suggests another interesting likelihood. He was the first to rigorously explain the evolution of family bonds—that is, "kin-selected altruism." In the human species, with its complex emotions, such altruism entails love and empathy. What's more, these warm feelings were expanded by the advent of reciprocal altruism so that we are now capable of empathizing with people we're not related to. Since natural selection has invented both kinds of altruism numerous times, it is not too wild to suggest that this expansive sentiment was probable all along.

This prospect—that evolution's directionality may have a "moral" dimension—helps explain why some religiously inclined people find progressivism intriguing. Obviously, this theme wouldn't sell the creationists themselves on Darwinism; if you think that Genesis is literally true, evolution will always be your enemy. But, in the battle between Darwinians and creationists for the hearts and minds of the uncommitted, it matters whether evolution by natural selection is spiritually suggestive.

Even if you accept the arguments for directionality, and agree that intelligence and even love were likely from the start, that is hardly overwhelming evidence of a higher purpose. But it's closer to it than Gould's version of evolution—a stumbling, bumbling process that just happened to lead, Mr. Magoo-like, to Einstein, Mother Teresa, and the Internet.

Some Darwinians flirt with deism, the no-frills faith that was favored during the Enlightenment precisely for its compatibility with science. In this view, God set cosmic history in motion and then adopted a hands-off policy, confident that it would lead to something interesting. Certainly, history has led to something interesting. Who knows? Maybe the present moment—when an intelligent form of life starts to collectively, deliberately shape the whole biosphere's destiny, was itself, in some statistical sense, destiny.

But, really, how consoling could any Darwinian god be? Those who would like to believe in a higher power that is both omnipotent and benign will be frustrated by the most casual inspection of the medium of our design. Among the key ingredients in natural selection's creative energy are death and suffering, the casting aside of the "unfit." And, for every bit of love and harmony, there seems to be a flip side of antagonism and cruelty; among the things we do for loved ones is hate their enemies. What kind of god would use natural selection as a creative tool?

It is tempting to answer as the biologist George Williams has: a very bad god. On the other hand, a smart, reflective species with a capacity for empathy could be capable of greater things than we've seen. Maybe human behavior will someday justify a theology rather like that of the ancient Manichaeans: maybe nature, though dominated by darkness, has always contained seeds of light, seeds of intellect and love, which over the ages grow until they transcend their base embodiment.

In any event, to note the ample dark side of evolution is simply to re-state the problem that any honest religion must confront: the problem of evil. And solving timeless theological quandaries is beyond Darwinism's job description. My point is just that Darwinism needn't put theologians out of a job. Granted, it may force them to abandon beliefs. Scientific progress, as the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead wrote, has long spurred the amendment of religious doctrine—"to the great advantage of religion"—while religion's essence remained intact. For many religious people, part of that essence is the belief that, above and beyond the vestigial cruelties and absurdities of the human experience, there is a point to it all, a point that, even if obscure, may yet become manifest. So far, biological science has provided no reason to conclude otherwise.

Robert Wright, from an essay for The New Yorker, available at
http://www.nonzero.org/newyorker.htm



Inteligence creates inteligence. Blobs don't create inteligence under any conditions.

In all seriousness, says who?

Besides, are you seriously saying that God is omnipotent, and can create intelligent life from scratch, and yet he couldn't create a set of conditions whereby intelligent life would arise from blobs? Your position is self-contradictory.

Something CAN NOT be made from nothing. At least that's what every self respecting scientist would say. Unless Rocks and chemicals have been floating around forever which scientifically speaking is impossible.

I think maybe this is a reference to the big bang. Let's keep this thread on evolution. There's more than enough here to talk about already.

So, all life starts in the ocean. One day at one specific time, the first animal would have to climb out of the water for the first time.
How did it breathe?

Wait. Hold the bus a second. Does the fish really have to start walking and breathing all at once? Think about it for a sec.

Here's a hint: today we have catfish that can survive for a short period of time out of the water, and 'walk' or hop with their fins to move from pond to pond. That's not to say that the walking catfish shares any lineage with the era of history we're talking about; it's just to say that there are a lot more shades of grey between "fish" and "dog" than you've accounted for.

That's my gripe with creationists in general. So many of them argue by means of definition; by constructing their definitions with such narrow rigidity that every meaningful question is precluded. It works as long as you stick to cars and trucks, but the truth is there are el caminos out there, and sooner or later you have to confront them, and either loosen up your perspective or suffer an aneurism. Either way, the seats aren't likely to be comfortable.

googlo
02-23-2003, 10:14 PM
I'm not saying theories of evolution are wrong, but one thing that has always bothered me with certain concepts of evolution is the randomness that keeps being preached within it.


Arms, eyballs for seeing, brain structures for remembering, or whatever else don't just suddenly appear, if they take time to evolve, I don't see how it can really occur according to certain precepts of evolution because the mutation that leads to something like legs from fins MUST be beneficial along the entire course of the evolution, otherwise it would be weeded out through natural selection; either by interfering with the organisms methods of survival or just being a 'burden' to the organism because it's keeping tissue alive that has no beneficial function

Does anyone get what I'm saying? Even tissue that doesn't directly interfere with an organism's methods of survival must be beneficiary in some way, otherwise the body by natural selection wouldn't expend resources to keep that tissue alive because organisms without that 'burden' would be more likely to survive than organisms of the same species without that burden.

The only way I can see it working is if somehow intermediate mutations did't impede the organism in any way, but it seems to go against the efficient nature behind the idea of evolution itself. Benign mutations that could one day lead to a beneficial mutation are in their 'intermediate' state just a taxation on the organisms use of resources with no return for the organism. And I don't see how an organism's species could survive, just by the odds, along a gauntlet of random muatations that 1) are not only beneifical, but, 2) also coincidentally build upon the previous mutation in some kind of constructive way.

I think the ideas of evolution are a good start at trying to scientifically explain the beginnings of things, but there seems to be many inconsistencies.

What also seems to go against the physics of nature is the complexity of organic molecules. In physics, one of the fundamental ideas is that EVERYTHING is going from a state of order to disorder. It doesn't seem coherent with physics that molecules would be assembling themselves into a higher ordered state in a universe that by nature is progressively become less ordered. The only way I see around it is that maybe in the greater process of order to dissorder, their can be processes that enable dissorder to progress into order, at the expense of permanent energy loss, i.e. entropy.

I guess a good way of conceptualizing the idea is like a fish that is swimming upstream but is still moving downstream. if you look at the water from the fish's frame of refernce, it's moving forward, but in the greater picture of the river that it's in, it's still moving backwards as a whole.

Like as organisms progress to a higher state of order with more complex internal structures and molecules, as a whole, they are still part of a universe that is ultimately becoming less ordered.

Still, it seems odd that in nature order seems to spontaneously happening in a universe that is as whole degenerating into complete disorder.

noisewar
02-23-2003, 10:38 PM
I totally agree with you, Nonquad, and that's an excellent post. I'd like to add my rebuttal to Flipnap (not that he's reading this anymore, but I was just totally wasted this past week).

The reason that Nonquad's examples are so powerful an argument against creationism is that Science is not seen as an absolute truth, nor is it an explanation of motivation. That's why it is needless for there to be a division between evolutionists and creationists... if God exists and designed the system of evolution we see, that's a far more marvellous and ingenious design than just POP POP POP human fish bird everywhere. Don't take the Bible literally, I think Genesis is boring enough without going into the specifics of allele frequency and distribution factors.

Thus, to say that the Bible said 2000 yrs ago the Earth was round (btw the Greeks figured it out before then... check you timelines) is as good an argument for "proof" and such is extremely fallible. The Greeks showed the Earth was round thru trigonometry and other humanly reproducible experiments. Sailing around the world is reproducible. That's the heart of the scientific process... science doesn't make WRONG assertions, it just fails to disprove incomplete ones. That means that once someone can demonstrate a truth to be wrong, the community corrects its thinking (ideally). But how does one go about saying the Bible reliably tells us the world is round? Because God told so and so who told so and so who wrote it down in Hebrew which was forcibly translated into English? I don't mind accepting what the Bible says as truth, but not as proof. Just like if John Lasseter told you the way into Pixar was through a magic purple door... I sure as hell will believe anything that man says, but until I take the magic purple door myself, I have no proof.

I don't get why all these literalists must see the attempt to find proof and form and function in God's designs as an attack on belief in God. Do not Christians need proof too in the form of prayer? If they never heard anything in their heart nor love for Him, then how do they expect anyone to believe that the Bible is more correct than the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Scriptures, and any number of crackpot "bibles" out there written by truly crazy people? Look up the Book of Urantia if you want to know what I mean. Is that book any less valid than the Bible, haven been written 2000 years later by someone just as sure he talked to Him? Read it! It's frightneningly similar in moral tone despite the fact the guy is nuts.

flipnap replied "but then again, i guess where people need proof for Everything, trusting in people prone to failure makes more sense." Right, you can't trust people, but I believe the Bible was written by a person, no? Was he not a mortal vehicle for God's message? The point is, the scientific process at it's most ideal state account for error, allows for it, and corrects for it. And if you eat hybrid veggies and take antibiotics, you have firsthand experienced evolution wielded by humans. And that is perhaps the real gift from God to us, not consciousness, not emotion but a hand in his brilliant designs.

froggyplat
02-24-2003, 12:04 AM
Originally posted by googlo

What also seems to go against the physics of nature is the complexity of organic molecules. In physics, one of the fundamental ideas is that EVERYTHING is going from a state of order to disorder. It doesn't seem coherent with physics that molecules would be assembling themselves into a higher ordered state in a universe that by nature is progressively become less ordered. The only way I see around it is that maybe in the greater process of order to dissorder, their can be processes that enable dissorder to progress into order, at the expense of permanent energy loss, i.e. entropy.



you're reasoning here is flawed. see my earlier post about thermodynamics and entropy. physics does not state that everything progresses towards disorder. self-organization in one of the fundamental principals guiding how all things interact in the universe.

googlo
02-24-2003, 12:35 AM
you're reasoning here is flawed.

I don't think so. I'm not coming at this from a Creationist standpoint. I didn't even know Creationists used this for their arguement.

If the universe is to be viewed as a closed system; then yes, the entropy in the universe is increasing and systems will tend to a higher state of disorder.

froggyplat
02-24-2003, 04:39 AM
Originally posted by googlo

If the universe is to be viewed as a closed system; then yes, the entropy in the universe is increasing and systems will tend to a higher state of disorder.

well, the universe as a whole may tend towards a state of disorder given enough time, but that has little to do with evolution. the fact that entropy always increases as a consequence of irreversible change doesn't mean things (i.e. molecules, objects, thoughts) can't become more ordered or complex over time. so, globally things might become more chaotic or disordered, but locally things tend towards organization, just as you stated later in your post.

again, the laws of thermodynamics do not govern how species grow and change over time.

playmesumch00ns
02-24-2003, 09:24 AM
Nonquad's already dealt convincingly (and very eloquently!:thumbsup: ) with DiMENSiON's post, aside from:

Something CAN NOT be made from nothing. At least that's what every self respecting scientist would say. Unless Rocks and chemicals have been floating around forever which scientifically speaking is impossible.

While it is slightly OT, this whole thread isnow, so here goes: Assuming you're talking about the Big Bang: the theory does not state that the entire universe is made from nothing. It simply states that everything we see now came from a very, very, very small bundle of matter and energy. If you believe string theory, that bundle was about the plank length (1*10^-37m).

googlo said:
Does anyone get what I'm saying? Even tissue that doesn't directly interfere with an organism's methods of survival must be beneficiary in some way, otherwise the body by natural selection wouldn't expend resources to keep that tissue alive because organisms without that 'burden' would be more likely to survive than organisms of the same species without that burden.

You're perfectly right googlo, anything that is not benificial will probably not survive through generations (though we've still got an appendix, so go figure!) But how can you assume that anything half-way between one "absolute" or another is not benificial? If a fish has just started to move on land for the first time, any stumpy little leg-thing is going to be more use to it for getting around than a slightly smaller little leg-thing.

Equally, for the first organisms evolving eyes: one photoreceptive cell is better than none, two is better than one and so on. Once it's got a flat-eye (just a patch of photoreceptive cells), a slightly curved one gives a better picture than a flat one, all the way to something approqching our eye. In fact, the eye has evolved not once, not twice, but many times completely independently.

An Erased One
02-24-2003, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by googlo
If the universe is to be viewed as a closed system; then yes, the entropy in the universe is increasing and systems will tend to a higher state of disorder.

It does. Though Animals and Humans got more complex by evolution, they are little "entropy machines": Everything you eat is transferred from a ordered state (say a Hamburger or so) into an more disordered state (heat, co², movement of our body, ...and you know what we all turn food into in the end :rolleyes: ) with the air we breathe. We can only survive because we transfer things from order to disorder and gain energy from that.

So while the body of animals (and humans) got more and more complex/ordered, much more disorder was created in their lifes. When you sum this up, there is much more disorder in the end than before.

Nonquad
02-24-2003, 06:30 PM
Well stated, Erased.

googlo
02-24-2003, 07:33 PM
but locally things tend towards organization, just as you stated later in your post.

again, the laws of thermodynamics do not govern how species grow and change over time.

(for the first part) That's why I think it's odd that things appear to be that way in a universe that as a whole naturally tends to disorder, not order.

(second part) But they do really, all of the fundamental laws of the universe govern how everything operates within it. They all work together; a continuum of phenomena that WE seperate out for understanding purposes. Chemical reactions would not occur if not for the transfer of heat right? That's a quick example, but there are many things going on in an organism that require this kind of energy transfer and wouldn't be able to exist otherwise if not for that kind of phenomena. So thermodynamics really does 'guide' what can and can't happen in this context, fundamentally speaking.

Let me put it this way, if you could remove thermodynamics from the process of evolution, it wouldn't even happen. So it really does govern over it, it's intrinsic, just like any other fundamental principal of the universe. That's why I think it's odd that in a universe which is increasing in dissorder, naturally within it, order seems to just be spontaneously happening against the cosmic flow of things. It's like fundamentally things are heading to state of dissorder, but at a higher level some other phenomenon is going against that process, and at the same time, adding to the dissorder, which is ultimately working against itself! It's like nature is working against itself.

There may be ways of quantifying why this happens, but it seems totally counterintuitive.

You're perfectly right googlo, anything that is not benificial will probably not survive through generations (though we've still got an appendix, so go figure!)

Yeah but if it weren't for medical science intervening, I bet appendicitis would eventually eliminate the appendix from our genetic history. It does'nt appear to do anything but get infected and (if not for medical intervention) kill people. See what I mean?

But how can you assume that anything half-way between one "absolute" or another is not benificial?

Well, do you think that it's statistical realistic that truely random mutations could coherently form a history of beneficial results the whole 'time' through some evolutionary adaptation? The moment one mutation happens that ISN'T beneficial, BAM, natural selection starts to weed it out. Add to it that multiple systems need to change together beneficially for the organism and it just seems statistically impossible doesn't it?

I'm not saying evolution is wrong, it just seems the modeling for it is too simple.

So while the body of animals (and humans) got more and more complex/ordered, much more disorder was created in their lifes. When you sum this up, there is much more disorder in the end than before.

Yeah, I understand what you are saying, but what 'primed the pump' sort of speak in the first place for systems like that to have evolved from a more basic and efficient state? Do you get what I mean? How can a universe that is intrinsically flowing to an ever higher state of dissorder also have systems evolving to a higher state of order?

I understand what you mean about entropy, being 'generated' by people, animals, etc.. But even before animals and humans could ever be, something is/was going on fundamentally that had to allow and even motivate order to form out of disorder. Do you see what I mean? Molecules that form the basis for all life HAD to evolve from a less ordered to higher ordered states than what they were before to precipitate life, or even molecules.

Like look at DNA, I can understand it's forming from just natural forces, like salt crystals forming a lattice, with amino acids, but something like DNA has to be maintaned from degenerating to a more basic state. It just gets 'worse' and 'worse'; take an organism. There are active transports besides passive transports in cell walls. DNA in cells have molecular self-repair mechanism. Vast chemical networks, tissues, all ebbing and flowing, forming systems upon systems that proactively try to maintane themselves at the 'expense' of the rest of the universe it seems, order upon order happening in a universe that as spiraling towards disorder.

What came along fundamentally (scientifically speaking) that allowed/allows disorder beget order?!

googlo
02-24-2003, 07:51 PM
You know I just thought of something that is totally theoretical. Maybe as a whole thermodynamics governs the ultimate demise of everything, but on a smaller scale other forces are working against it; like how there are weak, strong, electromagnetic, and gravitational forces, that aren't directly related but coexists, working against one another.

Maybe my frustration with this issue is the difference between the macroscopic and microscopic world

It's just very odd to me how everything else in the observable universe takes the 'path of least resistance', while the compenents of life are seemingly trying to take the path of ever increasing resistance. It seems like a paradox.

How could the precepts of progressively ordered systems have even ever arose from a more simplistic state that by nature is already simplistic?

It IS like a paradox.

How can ordered systems ever have evolved from a less ordered state when the nature of the universe is that ordered systems, by nature, degenerate to a less ordered state?

Nonquad
02-24-2003, 09:40 PM
Kinda sorta, but not really.

Nothing works "against" thermodynamics. Period. There is no force in the universe which, made stronger, could overcome the second law. Everything contributes to entropy.

But if you want to think about order arising from chaos, here is an example:

Say I fly around the world today, driving santa's magic sleigh (to make good time), and say I give everybody in the world a bowl full of M&M's with two colors. Some people get red and blue, some get blue and yellow, some get black and orange... etc.

And I also make a rule, that from now on, every time people meet, they each trade one M&M at random.

The system I have created promotes entropy; the overall amout of order in the system is destined to decay. After a few weeks, the number of people who still have only two colors in their bowl, will be few indeed. (edit) Moreover, most people, being naughty, will have eaten their experimental data.

But, there will be a few people, a very few, who wind up with an entire bowl of just one color M&M -- more order than they started with! Thus, a chaotic system can and will produce order, and will even produce it with statistically predictable frequency.

googlo
02-24-2003, 10:24 PM
Nothing works "against" thermodynamics. Period.

I don't think that kind of assuredness is being scientific.

Thermodynamics only deals with potential/kinetic energy and heat transfer, I don't think it deals with energy like that of nuclear or chemical.

But, there will be a few people, a very few, who wind up with an entire bowl of just one color M&M -- more order than they started with! Thus, a chaotic system can and will produce order, and will even produce it with statistically predictable frequency.

It's a good concept for a type of chaos, but I don't think it relates to thermodynamics. It's like you are saying that heat energy can transfer from a cold object to a hotter object all on it's own.

eirenicon
02-24-2003, 10:51 PM
To clarify the thermodynamics and evolution debate, take a look at these links:

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ENTRTHER.html

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo/probability.html

Here's a quote from another link (source (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#thermo)):

The second law of thermodynamics says, "No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body." [Atkins, 1984, The Second Law, pg. 25] Now you may be scratching your head wondering what this has to do with evolution. The confusion arises when the 2nd law is phrased in another equivalent way, "The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease." Entropy is an indication of unusable energy and often (but not always!) corresponds to intuitive notions of disorder or randomness...

However, they neglect the fact that life is not a closed system. The sun provides more than enough energy to drive things. If a mature tomato plant can have more usable energy than the seed it grew from, why should anyone expect that the next generation of tomatoes can't have more usable energy still? ...not only is life irrelevant to the 2nd law, but order from disorder is common in nonliving systems, too. Snowflakes, sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightning are just a few examples of order coming from disorder in nature; none require an intelligent program to achieve that order. In any nontrivial system with lots of energy flowing through it, you are almost certain to find order arising somewhere in the system. If order from disorder is supposed to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, why is it ubiquitous in nature?

froggyplat
02-24-2003, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by googlo
all of the fundamental laws of the universe govern how everything operates within it.

no, the fundamental laws of the universe do NOT govern how EVERYTHING operates.

true: the laws of physics are immutable
false: the laws of physics control all processes in nature
example: thermodynamics does not control the operation of ant colonies (self-organization from random motion and simple algorithmic programming)

the piece that you are missing here is the concept of range of plausibility. any acceptable, and therefore falsifiable, theory in science has built into it the idea of range of influence. this is because scientific theories postulate causal relationships. it is not enough to say that theory X is a law (of which there are very few in physics), therefore all interactions at every level are controlled by such law. the problem with the creationist argument (that evolution contradicts the second law of thermodynamics) is that it falls far beyond the range of plausibility. it doesn't mean that it is impossible, but the creationist argument is one of definition, not of science. they would have to show evidence of an actual causal relationship. this has never been done.

An Erased One
02-24-2003, 11:53 PM
Originally posted by googlo I understand what you mean about entropy, being 'generated' by people, animals, etc.. But even before animals and humans could ever be, something is/was going on fundamentally that had to allow and even motivate order to form out of disorder. Do you see what I mean? Molecules that form the basis for all life HAD to evolve from a less ordered to higher ordered states than what they were before to precipitate life, or even molecules.

Like look at DNA, I can understand it's forming from just natural forces, like salt crystals forming a lattice, with amino acids, but something like DNA has to be maintaned from degenerating to a more basic state. It just gets 'worse' and 'worse'; take an organism. There are active transports besides passive transports in cell walls. DNA in cells have molecular self-repair mechanism. Vast chemical networks, tissues, all ebbing and flowing, forming systems upon systems that proactively try to maintane themselves at the 'expense' of the rest of the universe it seems, order upon order happening in a universe that as spiraling towards disorder.

What came along fundamentally (scientifically speaking) that allowed/allows disorder beget order?!

I guess it's because of the structure of our solar system:
We have the sun in the centre, it does all our nasty "disorder" stuff:
Incredible amounts of matter are transformed into energy every second, so there is a lot of ordered matter transfered to a more disordered state: heat and radiation, for example sunlight.
This sunlight reaches our (and other) planets, and the energy can be "used" to order the disordered things here.
There is a constant stream of energy to our planet for some Billion years now, enough time to form some spontaneous strange self-reproducing molecules by chance. As long as there is Energy pumped into the system "earth", something will happen here.
There are self-organizing patterns in physics and chemistry, like crystals, ice, sand dunes, etc...
And at least one of them was self-replicating. And here we are...

googlo
02-25-2003, 12:53 AM
no, the fundamental laws of the universe do NOT govern how EVERYTHING operates.

You must be meaning the current known laws don't necessarily explain everything. Because the underlying principles of the universe, whatever they may be, DO govern everything that operates within it. Are you saying that you think everything operates arbitrarily?

true: the laws of physics are immutable
false: the laws of physics control all processes in nature
example: thermodynamics does not control the operation of ant colonies (self-organization from random motion and simple algorithmic programming)


Physics is the pursuit and study of what the underlying principles ARE of the universe. Everything in the universe obeys those principles. Even if it appears far removed, ultimately, at the most basic level, it's there influencing and shaping things. Like the causality that you were talking about.

i.e. in your example the ants, I don't think you are looking at them rudimentary enough.

Timothyk, I'm not arguing from a creationists standpoint. I'm not trying to prove or disprove God, some kind of ultimate design or whatever. I'm just into physics an science :).

So basically you are saying that within the frame of reference of like an ecosystem or planet where energy is coming externally into the system, i.e. it's not closed, everything is cool. What I am saying is that from a bigger picture in which the universe itself is viewed as closed, it's peculiar that within that cosmic framework, processes are in force totally opposite of that, at least it seems that way.

I don't like the crystal example though because crystals are like death, same thing with every other type of natural phenomenon except life. Like you don't see sand dunes building themselves up, or atoms in crystals freeing themselves, they become less animate precisely becaue they are loosing energy. Life molecules are the exact opposite, work is being done all over the place to capture, release, recapture, recycle, energy. That to me is the fascinating part because most all other phenomenon in nature doesn't do that, it's just all about the dissipation of energy.


Life seems much more than just about self-organization, like crystals or whatever; life tries to maintane itself, save it's energy and even get back energy that it may have lost and repair itself. It actively self-preserves and even increases it's energy, everything else in nature just settles down into deeper and more dormant energy energy states unless work comes in from somewhere to change that. But the only work I see in nature aside from life processes that does that is the result of other process 'dying' or 'giving' away their energy like a one way street.

Do you see what I mean?

What is going on (scientifically speaking) which allowed/allows disorder to beget order in a universe that is fundamentally 'seeking' dissorder? That's my main question.

Erased one, I'm not ignoring your response, just a lot of what I said seems like it would just be repeating myself to respond directly to your post too. :)

googlo
02-25-2003, 12:55 AM
Noone else is probably talking in this thread anymore than us four, huh.?

Nonquad
02-25-2003, 01:07 AM
I don't think that kind of assuredness is being scientific. -googlo

Lucky for me, I'm not a scientist! :D

But you're absolutely right. I made a blanket assertion and failed to provide support. Very bad form. :argh:

Nonetheless, I'm confident that if you research the subject, you will find that despite my lack of tact in this instance, the assertion I made is a strongly confirmed one.

I don't have time to pursue the subject further right now (I'm on a short break) but I hope to return to it later.

Be well.

An Erased One
02-25-2003, 01:14 AM
Nothing beats a late-night-internet-board-discussion about the fundamental laws and meaning of the universe :D :rolleyes:

Hey, I don't know more or less about the origins of life than anybody else, we all can only speculate.

And I still like the thought of a God who was so clever to design the laws of physics in a way, that life, the universe and everything must evolve in the way they did. That would be about the only God I'd accept.

froggyplat
02-25-2003, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by googlo
You must be meaning the current known laws don't necessarily explain everything. Because the underlying principles of the universe, whatever they may be, DO govern everything that operates within it. Are you saying that you think everything operates arbitrarily?


if you read the rest of my post again you will see that i'm not saying that at all. we'll have to agree to disagree on that point, i guess.

if your interested learning more about self-organization and emergent behavior (order from chaos) then you might want to look up the santa fe institute or do some reading on complexity theory (non-reductionist science). it's fascinating stuff.

so long, thread...:wavey:

DiMENSiON
02-25-2003, 01:39 AM
It may have sounded as if I was saying evolution happened overnight. I really meant that at one point in time, for the first time ever, some organism would have had to hear something. Not necessarily the way we hear today, but in some sort of rudimentary fassion. If an organism was to develop sight through the feeling of vibrations, then how did the sense of feeling develop. You are assuming that it already had developed before hearing. Here's what should have been the question. How did the first sense develop?

Even the most basic sense would have had to start somewhere. I find it impossable to beleive such a thing could have evolved.

I dont agree with that exercpt. Emotional development IMO is not of any benefit, although it is a good thing. Monkeys work fine socially the way they are. They pick ticks off eachother, hang around, hunt together (I think, and if not many other species do). Did you ever see the Star Trek movie or TV show when Data got his emotional chip? He started crying in a corner when the others fought, and was essentially useless. BTW, I'm not a trekkie, just remember that. :) Well, that's just a lame example. :p


What I should have said was IMO Intelligence creates intelligence.
I don't think god created the world in 6 days literally. Maybe he took years, or 10 million years. The evolutionary process is extremely unlikely process for God to have used.

Catfish may be able to flop from pond to pond, but that means nothing. If it tried to stay on land it would DIE. It would not have evolved during it's time on land, and it would have had no offspring. Mutations enabling a species to live on land are impossable. Also, I have yet to see a beneficial mutation to any species. I would also like to know when the first bird flew.

Sorry for going off topic in my last post, and for my bad spelling. I wasn't refering to the big bang, but rather to the origin of life. Also, I'd like to apolagise for my first post. It was just ranting.

I'm not trying to be preachy, I'd just like to make a suggestion. Read the Bible, not only on evolution. At least you will have an informed opinion. I run into so many people with uninformed opinions on both subjects. I do admit my knowledge of the evolutionary theory isn't superb, but I do know what the theory is built upon. I haven't read the whole thing myself, but I intend to fairly soon. Not saying you are uninformed, but perhaps if you are.....


:airguitar

eirenicon
02-25-2003, 04:59 AM
DiMENSiON, you probably won't find many answers here. You appear to have no more than a vague idea of what evolution science is; I suggest you do some research.

First off, the origin of life is not evolution science; rather, it's called abiogenesis. We do not know how life began; that's irrelevent to evolution, however.

Secondly, emotional development is widespread through the animal world; to take your example, monkeys certainly have emotions. Emotional evolution is entirely tied to the evolution of the mind, which is a very interesting field. Try picking up a book called "Dragons of Eden", by Carl Sagan. It's very informative.

Thirdly, to develop sight a single photoreceptive cell is needed. That would be a useful development for obvious reasons; being able to pinpoint the location of the sun is one of them. The exact science of development to the eye itself is something I'm not familiar with, though.

A fish evolving into a land animal in one step is a huge leap; if something like that did happen, evolution would be at a loss to explain it. Evolution works in small steps, not large.

Beneficial mutations are everywhere. You and I are beneficial mutations. If you want more observable evidence, though, check out this (http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/) and this (http://talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html).

And by the way, I've read the Bible, more than once. I've been brought up by a Christian family. But once you study evolution, you can't deny the truth of it. Evolution is science fact; to deny that is to be blind. That's not to say that you can't be Christian and agree with evolution; there's nothing in the Bible that says that.

And in the end - follow your mind and your heart. They didn't spend all those years evolving to be ignored :beer:

DiMENSiON
02-25-2003, 07:41 AM
Just a quick reply before I go to sleep.

Thanks for pointing out the difference between evolution and abiogenesis. I just did Biology 11, and they seemed to merge them into one topic "Evolution".

Evolution is a fact, but only to a certain extent. Look at bacteria. Birds evolving harder beaks because they are isolated or whatever is entirely beleivable. I beleive in Microevolution, not Macroevolution. I do not beleive evolution to such an extent as monkeys evolving to humans etc.

What I really think is that man will never know how it came to be. We really aren't all that brilliant. I don't think we are capable of explaining it. There are probably millions of other possabilities aside from evolution, we just haven't thought of them yet, and probably never will.

"In the last 400 years there has been a great increase in accumulated technology. This is not the same as wisdom or intelligence. We can have a computer because thousands of men before have invented various parts and ideas that can be put together. There is no evidence that modern man is smarter than ancient man. I think the opposite is true. Many of the ancient structures indicate greater intelligence in solving problems in a low-tech age."

This got me thinking about something I heard about a while ago about devolution (Is that what it's called?), and man getting stupider. Couldn't find it anywhere. Anyone else heard of this?

Here's a very long and interesting article I skimmed through.

http://www.ldolphin.org/wmwilliams.html

Yeah, I do admit I have a lot of research to do on the subject, but I'm 18 and just getting interested in this sort of stuff. I just thought I'd join in for the fun of it. It's got me researching and thinking a lot anyhow.




Later

Nonquad
02-25-2003, 01:06 PM
googlo:
for the second law of thermodynamics, try
http://www.secondlaw.com/two.html
It's unnecessarily long, but you can get the idea if you just read a page or two. Alternately, try any of the other bazillion sites/articles on the subject.

In this particular example it's rather embarassing for me, since it does go into detail about forces delaying the ramifications of the second law; specifically chemical bonds. The site uses terminology more like yours than mine, "resisting" and "opposing".

So, in defense of my own stupid-arse comments, I must reiterate that the point I was trying to make is that no known force could reverse the effects of the second law -- which so help me is true =) -- and when you have read some about the second law, you will understand why I spoke with such casual certainty about that. Basically, the second law is as fundamental as gravity, only more so; you pretty much have to accept it to get on with life.

But on the other hand, to give you credit, a moderating force like you were thinking of does exist in the form of chemical bonds.

The effects of chemical bonds are kind of like brakes on a car; no matter how strong the brakes are, they can never back the car up -- but they can resist the forward motion of the car. Likewise, chemical bonds can't unburn a matchhead, but they can resist its tendency to burn until you break those bonds with friction. Get it? Seriously, read the site a page or two. If we all got up to speed with at least an introductory education on the subjects, it'd do the thread good. And us.


dimension:

Here's what should have been the question. How did the first sense develop?
Even the most basic sense would have had to start somewhere.

Well really the question is, how do you define a "sense"?

Is it just an ability to react to your surroundings? There are plants that react to their environment in a very straightforward way; a notable example being the venus flytrap. If you touch one of its trigger-hairs, it sets off an immediate chemical reaction in the plant causing its 'jaws' to clamp shut. Even simpler examples would be plants which "turn" to face the sunlight, through a very simple chemical system where the part of the stem exposed to sunlight tends to expand.

All it takes is an organization of cells or balance of chemicals in such a way that environmental changes trigger a reaction in the organism. Pretty broad, easy place to start, right? Almost anything could meet that definition.

But perhaps by now you're thinking, maybe for it to really qualify as a "sense", you need to be able to interpret the information. So you would need an information processing system like a neural system.

Ok. Luckily, both neural systems and reactive systems offer independent advantages; so there's no reason both would need to develop at the same time. Given that they could develop independently, it seems inevitable that once both traits were present in the same species, some small mutation would begin a relationship between those systems, with beneficial survival traits. Voila. "senses".

I dont agree with that exercpt. Emotional development IMO is not of any benefit, although it is a good thing. Monkeys work fine socially the way they are.

Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Are you implying that Monkeys don't have emotions?
If so, please substantiate that assertion.
I believe that monkeys have emotions. I also believe that dogs have emotions. How do I justify that belief? Because they act like they have emotions.

Given that this is exactly the same reasoning we use to justify the belief that other humans have emotions, I see no reason that other species should be magically barred from consideration.

Also, please explain how emotional development is a "good thing", in a way that avoids mentioning any potential benefits -- and also avoids comparisons to god, since you cannot assume people will agree on the nature of god.
It may be possible, but it will be a helluva mental exercise.

Did you ever see the Star Trek movie or TV show when Data got his emotional chip? He started crying in a corner when the others fought, and was essentially useless. BTW, I'm not a trekkie, just remember that. :) Well, that's just a lame example. :p

lol no kidding. Ok you're off the hook on this one :p

The evolutionary process is extremely unlikely process for God to have used.

Why do you think so?
If there is an intelligent Creator, he obviously has a penchant for creating simple systems that produce complicated results. If you want proof, just look at the night sky. God loves formulas. Evolution fits in with that trend dead-on.

Catfish may be able to flop from pond to pond, but that means nothing. If it tried to stay on land it would DIE.

In case you missed it, that was the POINT. Walking and breathing both have their own, separate benefits. Therefore they didn't have to develop simultaneously; they could develop independently. And if you allow them to develop independently, it suddenly isn't so unlikely anymore. It's not like the species all of a sudden has to do both X, Y, and Z. It just needs to do a little bit of x, and then a little bit of y, and then a little bit of both.

Mutations enabling a species to live on land are impossable.

Explain.

Also, I have yet to see a beneficial mutation to any species.

First of all, are you sure you would know a beneficial mutation if you saw one? A "beneficial mutation" can be something as mundane as "5% more beak". You're really so keen that you can mentally catalogue every single pidgeon you encounter?

And secondly, we're talking about processes that take millions of years - but you're judging them based on what? 8 years, for practical purposes, assuming you started paying attention to these things at an early age. I mean seriously. If you expect to see any exciting natural evolution in your lifetime, much less your adolescense, you are asking for astronomical luck.

I would also like to know when the first bird flew.

So would a lot of scientists. It's a subject open to debate.

But you don't really need to stand around here wondering, when you could just type in "earliest dinosaur flight" in yahoo and immediately get this:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/802009.stm

Now, there's nothing to say this is the first... but it's pretty dang early. Of course, it's the nature of palentology that every time something new is discovered, the whole structure has to shift a little. You really just have to work with what you know. At present, we know enough to establish with pretty much total certainty that evolution is fact. (I will give my example in the next post!) But the specific history of evolution is a gnarlier question, since it is based on a fossil record, which is a very hard puzzle to uncover.

Anyway. There's your critter. Whether you decide to call it a "bird" or a "lizard" is up to you. Doesn't change anything.

Read the Bible, not only on evolution. At least you will have an informed opinion.

Doh! Guilty as charged. Then again, the bible is a big honking book, and it's just one of many heavy religious texts that people of different religions expect you to read.

There simply isn't enough time in one lifespan to read all of them... so I figure I'll just wait -- until I meet someone who actually makes a good case for their religion, by being so clearly enriched and made better by their religion (while not suffering any disturbing side effects) that it makes me want to know what their secret is. Then and only then will I consider investing time in exploring a religion.

In the case of christianity, so far, I have met one (1) person who actually made christianity look appealing. That is to say, she was (is) kind, generous and intelligent, and still open to debate and eager to learn. And yet despite her apparent vulnerability, she is emotionally resilient, and seems to find satisfaction in life, even in the face of adversity. That, I think, is cool.

But I have to weigh that against a large volume of counterexamples. It seems like every other christain I meet, uses their faith as a crutch; it excuses them from having to doubt or worry or confront uncertainty, and allows them fill the voids in their life with meaningless doctrine -- I say "meaningless" in the sense that these people generally use the doctrine as a simple moral index, and can't extrapolate beyond its context. The assurance of blind faith exempts these people from the stress that would otherwise force them to strecth to achieve greater knowledge and understanding. Instead of growing, they take the easy way out, by convincing themselves that they already have access to all the answers.

I don't want to go down that path.

So anyway. I like some of the ideas that seem to be associated with christianity... but so far I have not seen enough positive examples to make me want to spend my time reading the book. Is that hypocritical of me, having asked everyone else to read about science? Probably so, but it's a matter of volume. I'm asking a page or two; you're asking an epic.

Tell you what. You point me towards any three pages of text that you feel convey a significant christain perspective on the subject (something on the net, preferably; not something difficult to obtain), and I'll read that, and we'll call it even =)

In the meantime, I will remain an agonstic. It's not the most glorious position, but it's honest.
And, while agnosticism offers no foundation, I can say that I do know that there is meaning, because as an intelligent creature, assigning meaning is my own perogative.

Of course, that last bit is probably just empty words to anybody else. But I guess if you know what I'm talking about, you didn't need me to tell you anyway.

DiMENSiON
02-25-2003, 10:42 PM
I think I'm going to quit debating about evolution for now. Seems everyone is pretty firm in their beleifs and we'll get nowhere anyhow. :)

Nonquad:

I totaly agree with you about not being able to find many apealing christians out there. Probably most are just as bad, or worse than non christians, and lots are just plain weirdos. There are a few real gems out there though. They're what you look for.

Yes, I do agree there are lots of religions out there. It just frustrates me when people tell me how stupid and unbelievable the Bible is, and have never ever read a single page of the Bible. I guess lots of people don't have time to read the whole thing. You're right. If you would like to argue about a religion, you really should have a decent understanding about it at least (Not saying you don't). I myself may not be an expert evolutionary scientist, but I get the whole concept, and have read a few papers etc. and have studied it in school. BTW, I do realise evolution happens in very very very small incremental steps. I just look around and can't beleive it. I don't care how small the steps are, I just cannot see or beleive a bird evolving wings over any period of time. Not because I am closed minded, but to me it seems impossable.

Maybe I wasn't quite done with evolution :p

playmesumch00ns
02-26-2003, 09:54 AM
Hee! Can't believe this thread is still going! Though it looks like it's just about petered out. One last thing tho.

Googlo:
Life seems much more than just about self-organization, like crystals or whatever; life tries to maintane itself, save it's energy and even get back energy that it may have lost and repair itself. It actively self-preserves and even increases it's energy

All life ever does, or ever has done has been all about self-organisation. One molecule making an exact (or rather, almost-exact) copy of itself. It's just that by the time we've got here, life has developed some incredible apparatus for doing so (thanks to natural selection) which involves all the gaining/losing of energy you describe.

Well looks like this one's just about dead. It's been fun y'all! :beer:

Gelfling
02-26-2003, 02:46 PM
Yawn

It amazes me the extent on both sides people will go to prove a point. To bash and claim some victory that is nothing but shallow. I have to believe this long of a post about this has to extend from boredom. You people can not really care what someone online think's this much can you?

I have yet found a philosophy, idea, religious text, scientific theory that can not be torn apart in some way. Before I was torn away into the CG industry I was going for a BA in Theology. We had christians, atheist and about every kind of background in class.

Science is not so perfect and people that deem it so are as silly as those who deem anything perfect. The religion of science has been shown time and time again to have a agenda. It has it's own set of fraud's and radicals. We are not half as smart as we try to make ourself out to be. We create science and we define everything. We are limited by our own understanding and science goes a step further by limiting itself to only real world theory for the most part. Science and Religion can both exist at the same time and both be wrong at the same time.

Quantum physics do more ever year to prove how little we really know then just about anything. Multidimension is becoming the little secret behind closed door's. It would explain everything from reincarnation to deja-vu. If proved then you can throw out what you think you know.

The only thing this post show's is how easy people are duped. How close minded people really are. Oh and why in 2003 we still act like children and war is more alive then ever.

Christians and radical science sheep share more then they differ.

Jhonus
02-26-2003, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by Gelfling
Yawn

It amazes me the extent on both sides people will go to prove a point. To bash and claim some victory that is nothing but shallow. I have to believe this long of a post about this has to extend from boredom. You people can not really care what someone online think's this much can you?


ROFL. Thats funny... in a hypocritical sort of way :beer:

Gelfling
02-26-2003, 03:01 PM
How so? I am not trying to prove anything

I just find it funny how Christianity and Science seem to have this war that the average person could care a less about. People believe what they believe. You have to admit it funny in our profound glory of religion on one hand and science on the other.. we sure have "evolved"

Evolved greater way's of killing each other that is.

playmesumch00ns
02-26-2003, 04:30 PM
Gelfling:
I couldn't care less what anyone else thinks about the arguments presented here, just like I don't give a toss what you think about the discussion we've been having. It's enjoyable and intellectually engaging to debate these things with people. If we took your attitude that "We are not half as smart as we try to make ourself out to be" and just gave up, we would be a world full of dullards.

Nonquad
02-26-2003, 08:10 PM
I agree. We have our limits, but we also gain more from open discussion than we would from lounging in ignorance.

And Gefling, you spout off about radical science sheep (implying that evolution theory is "radical science" now?) and then in the same breath announce that "Multidimension" will explain reincarnation. Perhaps you ought to observe your own shading network, before making remarks about the kettle.

googlo
02-26-2003, 09:57 PM
nonquad,
yeah, the part about resisting the second law of thermodynamics or working against it was just a personal idea. I view the flow of energy in the universe,from a scientific perspective, as a one way street kind of thing. Like you can drive in one direction at whatever speed you want, but you can't ever go backwards (at least that's what it seems like).
I have read a lot about this stuff too :), I majored in physics in college and highschool! :bounce:

I like physics because of how it challenges everything and how it brings about new views and changes of understanding, even shattering views in science amongst 'scientists' who view things so absolutely (which isn't being scientific in my opinion)

Have you ever noticed that a lot of scientists will treat currently held scientific ideas as if they are absolute? I totally hate that.. That utterly goes against scientific thinking in my opinion.

I think one of the biggest problems with how we understand things is that they must be viewed and interpreted through our five or so senses. It's impossible to be truely objective.

Like if we want to understand something, we have to describe it in terms we can relate too; like with models and symbols of everyday things at or within our level of perception.

I think that's a gauruntee of never really knowing anything for how they really are you know?

I brought that up with on of my physics teacher and he agreed. It made me depressed for a little while :(. Still does sometimes.

Like if you look at anything in physics, it's all modelled in concepts that we can understand like waves, dimensions, colors, etc.. Which means that the myriad of all the things that make up our universe and how they occur must be manipulated and 'filtered' to fit OUR perceptions and how we are able to understand things.

I totally hate that. I personally believe that the moment you have to represent something as anything else than what it actually is, you are already not getting the truth about it, but more like a partial truth.


Everything has to come via some kind of context

:annoyed:



playmesumch00ns:
I care about everyone's arguements though. I don't feel like I'm just spouting out stuff and then leaving, I like hearing what other people think and why. I think it's fun.
:)

Gelfling
02-26-2003, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by Nonquad
I agree. We have our limits, but we also gain more from open discussion than we would from lounging in ignorance.

And Gefling, you spout off about radical science sheep (implying that evolution theory is "radical science" now?) and then in the same breath announce that "Multidimension" will explain reincarnation. Perhaps you ought to observe your own shading network, before making remarks about the kettle.

Can you read? I said if proved it could. Not that it did. Do not add word's.

I never said I believed in reincarnation. That is where science is headed though. Quantum physics is the science of the future.

I never said evolution was radical science. Again, more ASSuming. I said science has part's that are just as sheepish and radical as some part's of the Christian flock. Plenty of scientist's themself say this, I do not have to.

It is obvious most of you just want to argue. No one is trying to learn but shove each view down each other's throat. Hey, feel free...

googlo
02-27-2003, 12:43 AM
Gelfing,

I'm not saying you believe this, but just wanted to comment. I don't think reincarnation like a lot of people make it out to be is real because if it were, populations wouldn't be growing and getting bigger all over the world like they are if people's souls were just being recycled in and out of the system again as people/animals, etc. .

Gelfling
02-27-2003, 12:55 AM
I am not talking about new age reincarnation

The earth is flat

googlo
02-27-2003, 01:12 AM
The earth is flat? Explain what you mean.


"Evolved greater way's of killing each other that is."

That's just one aspect of how we've evolved. Why do we love to judge ourselves like that? Anyone else notice this? It seems like regardless of what we do we always want to make ourselves feel guilty about ourselves, regardless if it's coming from a secular or religous standpoint. Why?

Gelfling
02-27-2003, 01:28 AM
lol because logic will tell you that we can not continue to grow, destroy resources, and continue on as we are

No need for doom prophecies or religious idealogy. Just simple logic. Judge? uh the only difference is now we have BIG and powerful weapon's to smaller less deadly one's. Now we can destroy masses of population with one click of a button. Not rocket science here friend. I do not live my life worrying, if it is you're day to go then it just is.

The earth is flat was sarcasm. Nevermind

Nonquad
02-27-2003, 04:33 AM
Googlo:

You make good points.

But while human understanding can only be described in terms of context, the same can be said of the universe itself.

If you majored in physics, I'm sure you know relativity theory. One of the ramifications of relativity, is that we have to acknowledge that there is no single instantaneous state of the universe. The structure can only be interpreted from the position of a spectator. The heisenburg uncertainty principle supports that same idea. So I would apply that perspective to your dilemma, and assert that we do not live in a universe whose true beauty exists just beyond our grasp. Rather, you might say we live in a beautiful universe which is manifest only by our ability to grasp it. Our position is limited, but not tragic; it's quite the opposite. By experiencing the universe in context, we connect with it in a way that fundamentally agrees with its nature. One might even say that we are champions, bringing appreciation and fulfilment to a grand work of art; one that would be meaningless and void without our presence to acknowledge it.

Or at least that's my oppinion.


Gelfling:
I am in awe of the rhetorical prowess you displayed by capitalizing "ASSume". Henceforth I shall keep my distance, lest your razor sharp wit wound me any deeper!
:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

googlo
02-27-2003, 04:42 AM
because logic will tell you that we can not continue to grow, destroy resources, and continue on as we are

Logic is only one aspect of knowledge though. Experience should also tell you that 'growing pains' are part of the maturing process. Right?

The earth is flat was sarcasm. Nevermind

Sarcasm isn't always percieved correctly though when people are communicating only through simple text messages to each other, that's why there are things like emoticons :)

Gelfling
02-27-2003, 04:54 AM
Originally posted by Nonquad
Googlo:

Gelfling:
I am in awe of the rhetorical prowess you displayed by capitalizing "ASSume". Henceforth I shall keep my distance, lest your razor sharp wit wound me any deeper!
:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

It is noted :rolleyes:

googlo
02-27-2003, 05:24 AM
Nonquad,

Yeah, I try to be rational when I can, but it doesn't always make me feel good.

Like I get what you mean.

Like this idea.

If we look at things from a naturalistic perspective, ideas like beauty could just be a derivative of evolution, like a benefical survival kind of thing.

Like many feel at peace and soothed when looking at beautiful scenery, like green meadows and trees with a brook or stream running through it. We say it's beautiful and wonderful, some kind of mastery or whatever..

However, that could all be indicative of plentiful food. Like running water is good for obvious reasons, and a lot of greenery means that there is plentiful plant life and also animal life most likely. In that environment most animals thrive because food is plentiful.

So maybe evolution instilled within us the fulfilling desire and pleasurable satiation of seeing such things or being in such places because in primal life, that kind of environment would be beneficial if we were naturally drawn to it.

So it's like an automatic mechanism that drives or attracts us to it as an organism instinctively; that we now as self-aware beings interpret as being something that is wonderful, special, and call beautiful.

The same is true for attraction to other people.

Even for exploration of anything, like our need for it. Organisms that have the need to explore are more likely to discover things that could be useful for it's survival (food, shelter, etc) (and spread it's species out) as opposed to an organism that stays in one place. So instinctively we have this desire to progress and expand (in everything) because it's beneficial to us as an organism, even if when we aren't consciously aware of it, but consciously it's something that we celebrate about ourselves and find pride in.

Or like feelings of love and friendship. We like to think of those kinds of things as being beautiful special things, but from an evolutionary perspective, those instincts just evolved within us because it was beneficial to us as organisms to have them, i.e. little societies from the sexual couple up to cities provide a better method of survival than a bunch of loners who don't like being around each other.

I guess the point I'm trying to get at is that rationally looking at things from an evolutionary stance, many things that we consciously hold dear and special, almost spiritual, can have very practical and basic roots that aren't really special at all and are just motiviating forces where the end purpose is nothing more than tissue survival and replication.

The repercussions of rational evolutionary thinking is negative one I think, unless people just choose to deny it, because a lot of the things that we uphold as being virtues of humanity and moral conduct don't really have the same signifigance anymore :(.

Beauty, and other concepts like it are wonderful on their own, but once you understand the origins of their existance, it just doesn't seem to hold the same 'power' anymore.

LIke if two people really love each other, does it make them feel good to think that the basis for their love is a biological one concerning reproduction and surival?

It bothers me greatly sometimes.

Personally I know that people don't consciously fall for each other and really care for one another because they are thinking survival of each other and the entire species. They do it because their conscious self-ware minds make them feel good to do that, like on a spiritual level. But underlying all that is nothing more than a biological evolutionary construct, that doesn't even exist on subconscious level. It's just a matter of nature, self-repeating patterns, or whatever.

Nonquad
02-27-2003, 08:39 AM
It's funny. I was thinking about the same things the other day.

I arrived at the conclusion that the only true proof of autonomy, is to commit suicide. Do that, and you defy every natural force that tries to shape you. But you simultaneously forfeit what may be your only chance to use that autonomy to make any meaningful statement.

The other option, is to acknowledge that in life you are playing a necessary game, with fixed rules, but also assert that you are playing it by choice.

Believing that is a matter of conviction, but it is also a matter of fact. Humans are strong willed; whether we decide to submit to our instincts or resist them, our actions are by choice.

The hardest part (for me at least); the part you seem most concerned with; is having enough confidence in your own control, to be able to let go. But that is the goal. In the end, you can enjoy the field, and the open road, and falling in love. And if all it proves is that you were predisposed to do so...

so what.

If you had resisted those temptations, all it would have proved is that you had the strength to resist them. What good is that? Why not just play the game and enjoy it? The truth is you are both a player and a gamepiece; happiness is to make the most out of both roles. If the game seems trivial, then laugh at it. You're allowed to.

Beyond that, although I can't prove it, I strongly believe that respect transcends biology. I believe it is a condition that can exist between any two perspectives that each recognise the other as being self-aware.

So while the pairing and association of humans is a system wrought with biological influences, I think successful friendship and love connect on far deeper levels.

googlo
02-27-2003, 10:24 AM
Well, suicide might seem that way,but if you also think about it, any organism that would consider and be willing to commit suicide isn't free will either really because it can have the natural selection purpose of weeding out organism that would be willing to do that and so eliminate themselves from the gene pool and hence stop the genetic trend that allowed an organism to do so.

Suicide can also be a natural selection process indirectly.

Like lets say that someone is suicidally depressed, like from chemcial imbalance or because he/she can't handle some kind of stressor. Well, if they kill themselves, they are eliminating from the gene pool the mixture of genes that made organisms like themselves that couldn't handle/cope with a certain kind(s) of situation(s) or who were genetically predisposed to becoming depressed and hence dysfunctional. Suicide in these cases thereby eliminates the possibility of future organisms (or people) inherting that problem or genetic predisposition and inability to handle those same situations.

Understand what I mean? Suicide, for whatever reasons eliminates that individual from the gene pool and hence whatever it was about their genetic being or inability to handle a situation (be it social, medical, psychological, etc ) from continuing on down the species lineage and produceing more individuals with that same problem; so in a way, it's like a protection mechanism for the longterm survival of the species as a whole.

With how we are beginning to understand genetics and how it influences people, I don't see how people aren't freaking out with all the moral implications of it.

Like should everyone really be held to the same ideal of law and moral conduct and suffer the same consequences when they don't behave EVEN when we are seeing that people are a product of their genetic predisposition and each individual has a varying degree from one another on how their genes predispose how they will act and behave? What may be possible for one person to handle may not be so easily for another person or not even possible at all. I know nature and environment influence people as well, but genetics determine the boundaries of just how an organism can adapt and change according to environmental influences.

So then what? Punish them the same anyway just because (as an example)?

In a way, I'm kind of glad that most people don't think so deeply because I'm afraid it would lead to social chaos or mass dysfuntion. But I also hate ignorance.. ugh man :eek: :shrug:

Nonquad
02-27-2003, 07:48 PM
Granted, suicide can also fit in as a way of weeding out genetic failures... actually I've thought along the same lines at one point, but chose not to bring it up here. I think, if you killed yourself for the sole purpose of exhibiting autonomy, then that action would not easily fit into the same category as depression suicide. (edit: of course, exhibiting autonomy by suicide could be interpreted as a genetic failure in its own right, but I don't think that necessarily dectracts from the autonomy of the action)

In either case, the positive counterpart to your position remains. If you take it that every possible action is accountable by biological motives, then you demonstrate that biology does not dictate a narrow course of actions, but rather that we have an unlimited number of choices as to how we play our part in the game.

And regarding law and punishment, yes, I believe we must treat each other as equals. Simply to exist in a society - particularly democratic society - requires an assertive belief in the autonomy of others, just as we must believe in our own autonomy, to face life as individuals. Perhaps it is a leap of faith, but it is one that we all make.

googlo
02-27-2003, 09:44 PM
And regarding law and punishment, yes, I believe we must treat each other as equals. Simply to exist in a society - particularly democratic society - requires an assertive belief in the autonomy of others, just as we must believe in our own autonomy, to face life as individuals. Perhaps it is a leap of faith, but it is one that we all make.

Even when it can be shown that true autonomy doesn't really exist?

It sounds like emotional denial to me (I'm speaking generally about the issue), like a religious person who will still believe in something about their religion even if it can be proven wrong or something like that.

It's like if people were to really believe scientifically and rationally about everything, motivation to live would cease or just burn out because no matter how much we deny it, we need to feel that their is some higher purpose or higher 'pureness'/validy to things whether it be love for another person or belief that we are heading to bigger and better things.

Most people don't really believe in science to the degree that they profess they do, especially when they argue against other people about religious or social beliefs outside their own. I've found that most of if not all of the times, people use science against religous or spiritual arguements for personal reasons, but they NEVER take that reasoning as far as it should go to where it even goes against their own belief system.

I understand what you are saying about law but I don't think it fits real life though. It's like a contradiction to know that people are by nature different and not on equal grounds with each other, but then as a matter of social order, hold everyone to some universal type of moral code when we KNOW that people aren't identical to one another in the first place. It makes sense practically, but fundamentally it's wrong and unfair from a moral standpoint.

How is it really morally justifiable to judge another person then without feeling an enormous amount of guilt and unfairness; to live with that kind of contradiction that in a way invalidates even one's own self?

It's like a bad dream if you really think about it. Even if someone is scientific and doesn't believe in religion or spirituality, it's like they still have to hold to some kind of higher ideal, even when rational evaluation says that it doesn't truely exist.

Personally I think people deny these kinds of thoughts because it's just to hard to deal with. I don't mean exactly our conversation, but the whole general idea that we are talking about.

Nonquad
02-28-2003, 03:11 AM
Even when it can be shown that true autonomy doesn't really exist?

If it could be shown that autonomy doesn't exist, then everything would fall apart. But I contend that your implied assertion is false.

To borrow a notion from Hawking, prediction is the only meaningful way to measure free will (if you dissagree, provide an alternative). If the human mind is impossible to predict, then the concept of autonomy is effectively irrefutable.

This is the case; the mind is impossible to predict.

To begin with, the mind is extremely complex and chaotic; with minor changes in state quickly propagating across the system. To put the complexity of the mind in perspective, according to Robert Ornstein of stanford university, the number of connections in the human brain probably exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.
To predict the permutations of such a sensitive system, you would first need to capture its entire state on a particle level -- information which simply doesn't exist, according to the uncertainty principle. (1)
That you would then need a computer more massive than the universe itself to process that nonexistant data, is a point that I think Hawking brings up in A Brief History of Time; but I don't remember how that argument was supported so I'll just leave it on his word.

In either case, the point is that while it obeys all physical laws, the human brain is not predictable; not even in a hypothetical sense; therefore the idea of free will is defensible.

And in a more general sense, beyond proof or disproof, I just don't think you give humans enough credit. The Copenhagen interpretation of the uncertainty principle states that waveforms do not collapse unless/until they are observed. In a philosophical sense, this implies that awareness is an integral key to the structure of the universe. While we only exist in the context of the universe, one can also say that the universe itself only exists in our contexts. It isn't something that we are being subjected to; the universe is a participatory event.

You can continue to interpret it as a helpless relationship if you chose to, but the irony is that even in making that interpretation you demonstrate the profound power of the human mind to assign meaning.

edit:
(1) more accurately, the uncertainty principle would state that this information can never be known. The question about the actual existance of the information would come from the Copenhagen interpretation. And the Copenhagen interpretation seems to lead to a very peculiar situation; because consciousness can be described as both the product of brain activity, and the force that, by the act of perception, causes its own reality to become manifest. It is a weird and fascinating duality, in my oppinion. It even seems paradoxical, on the surface... but it must not be, or we wouldn't be here.

edit again:
This is pure speculation, but it would be pretty cool if turned out to be that paradox that forces consciousness to move forward through time; sort of riding on the crest of the collapse of its own reality.

Or else I'm just utterly confused and wrong-headed...

googlo
03-02-2003, 12:37 AM
To borrow a notion from Hawking, prediction is the only meaningful way to measure free will (if you dissagree, provide an alternative). If the human mind is impossible to predict, then the concept of autonomy is effectively irrefutable.

But see, that is all based on an assumption, that has to be proven wrong, when it's not even known if it's really true in the first place.

To put the complexity of the mind in perspective, according to Robert Ornstein of stanford university, the number of connections in the human brain probably exceeds the number of atoms in the universe.

I don't know what this guy said that. What he is saying is true in an abstract or mathematical form, but it's not true in reality.

The human brain can't have more physical connections in it than there is matter to make those connections. Also the brain holds only so much matter, which not all of it is even devoted to making connections between neurons i.e. blood vessels, neurons, brain chemicals, etc..), so the number of physical connections in the human brain is less than that of the number of particles making up the mass of the brain itself, let alone the universe.


To predict the permutations of such a sensitive system, you would first need to capture its entire state on a particle level -- information which simply doesn't exist, according to the uncertainty principle. (1)
That you would then need a computer more massive than the universe itself to process that nonexistant data, is a point that I think Hawking brings up in A Brief History of Time; but I don't remember how that argument was supported so I'll just leave it on his word.


The uncertainty principle just says that you can't know the momentum/position of a particle with unlimited accuracy by bouncing photons off of them. What about a collection of particles?, say the size of a human? The impact of a photon at that level of scrutiny is going to have a minimal influence on the momentum and/or position of a human being, I would even say completely negligible.

There is a big difference between how things proceed at the quantum level as opposed the macroscopic level. Just because at the quantum level processes may indeterminant doesn't mean that at the macroscopic level systems are going to be just as indeterminant.

In fact, despite the ineherit indeterminability (is that really a word? :) ) of certain events at the quantum level, most processes at the scale of our everyday world are entirely determinable or predictable.

The brain doesn't operate at the quantum level of subatomic particles, it's a macrostructure, relying on the interaction of cells, tissues, and organs. That's why I don't think it really matters having to know the quantum state of all of the particles making up the brain, I don't see why you would have too.

It's like saying to predict the system of a car engine and how it will work, you have to know he entire quantumum state of all the particles making up the engine system first.

In either case, the point is that while it obeys all physical laws, the human brain is not predictable; not even in a hypothetical sense; therefore the idea of free will is defensible.

I don't think this is true. People can be made to behave in controllable and predictable ways just through brainwashing and/or with psychoactive drugs. The only defense people really have for free will is a lack of knowing how the brain fully operates.

But to me this is the more important factor: why people argue for free will in the first place.

If people didn't have an emotional or psychological need for there to be free will, then I think most people would say that the human brain is predictable it's just a matter of understanding how it is, which takes time.

It's just that I think we feel threatend with the idea that our thoughts and actions and everything else might just be the result of caused events creating more caused events as opposed to how we would like to view ourselves as something special where our identities and thoughts are truely unique and independent of predictable processes isntead of being dependent on physical process like everything else in the universe.

It's like we cherish the idea of 'self and free will' as a religion in which we need to be true because it defines for ouselves who we are, it's become a fundamental part of our identity. It's just like religious people in the past fighting against the idea that we weren't at the center of the universe, or that the we orbit the sun instead of the sun orbiting us.

This is the main reason why I think people, scientist or not, resist the idea of free will not being truely free.

And in a more general sense, beyond proof or disproof, I just don't think you give humans enough credit.

Credit for what? <-I mean this rhetorically.

The Copenhagen interpretation of the uncertainty principle states that waveforms do not collapse unless/until they are observed. In a philosophical sense, this implies that awareness is an integral key to the structure of the universe. While we only exist in the context of the universe, one can also say that the universe itself only exists in our contexts. It isn't something that we are being subjected to; the universe is a participatory event.

But see, that's all it is, a philosophical model, and abstraction of the self-aware/conscious part of the human mind to make things understandable in the way that it can work with.

Like the idea of Schroedinger's cat. Regardless if the person opens the box to find the cat dead or not, the cat IS going to be dead or alive, regardelss if the person opens the box to find out for her or himself. The cat's fate isn't truely dependent on the person's perception of it like the wave collapse idea makes it sound like it is. I think the same thing is true of the universe. Processes and events just occur and will continue to occur, regardelss of whether we are there to observe them or not.

While we only exist in the context of the universe, one can also say that the universe itself only exists in our contexts.

See, I think you are mixing things up between reality apart from our percepetions and reality as we percieve it to be. Our percepeptions are one thing. Reality is another. They aren't one and the same. Look at it this way. Before we existed, the process that we DO observe happening now, occurred before we even existed in the first place and even created us (if you want to believe in evolution). But if you were to look at things according the wave collpasing idea, you would think that we have to observe things first for them to come into being. Obviously the universe doesn't work like that, as in, it works apart from our perceptions.

I think the confusion comes because we have nothing else but our perceptions to perceived reality through. It's like looking into the reflection of a mirror of another mirror, and the reflections go on forever.

I think it's the exact same way with trying to study things about perception and self-awareness. It's like we are aware of, that we are aware of , that we are aware. And even if we refute certain concepts, it's still within the framework of that awarenes, so its like who can say for certainity right?

It's just that even if that may be so, at some point it doesn't matter, because the 'real' world intercedes. Like for example, you can't will an avalanche to go around you, or will that if you are cut and bleeding to death and can't stop it that you won't die, but the avalanche will crash into you, and you will bleed to death.

Those last two paragraphs may seem like it's impossible or a paradox, but it's not really and I'll use an example of how.

Like in mathematics. You can have an infinite surface area over a finite volume.

While that may be mathematically true, it's not true in reality.

It's the same thing with our awareness, and I would even argue why mathematics (which is an abstract construct of our awareness itself) can say this while in reality it's not true.

It's like we set up these abstract models to make sense of reality, and then for some reason, decide that that's how reality actually is, forgetting that it's only an abstract model in the first place meant to help use make sense of the reality around us; knowing objectively the whole time that it's based upon the framework of our brains biology which defines our perceptions in the first place.

Regardless of all this hypothetical wrangling, it just boils down to the fact that our brains are biological machines. It is what produces are thoughts and makes us self-aware. There may be a complex interplay between the biology of the brain and stimulus from the outside world, but it still boils down to cause and effect. Regardless if we are smart enough to map it all out or not so that we can actually understand it all, it ultimately implies that the results of all of that, our self-awaredness and it's happenings, are predictable and even reproduceable.

We can want it to be more than that to fulfill our spiritual and emotional needs for it to be, but that may be all that it really is, a psychological need. Just as it is a need for many creationists that evolution not be true. It's just that with the issue of self-determination, most people want that to be true. It's almost like a basic universal requirement for most people and how they form their moral outlook of things, regardless if they are religous or not.

I have ideas against what I've been saying too, but I'm trying to take the objective scientific reasoning route, apart from my personal and emotional needs wanting it to be different than that.

I need an excedrin. :)

BiTMAP
03-02-2003, 05:53 AM
K i only like read the first page but I may go back and read it all


I just want to say that the evolutionary viewpoint isn't very creative... It really limits the reasons to do things, I think the fact that God gave us a need for love, and a need for things that are pretty and That gives me the feeling that the worlds I try to mimic in 3d, and the feelings I try to produce, are there to make people feel better, and that they didn't just "become" that way.

Astral
03-02-2003, 04:00 PM
The evolution theory is flawed on many level's. If we followed the "theory" then we would let our weaker part's of society die and not try to find cures. We would not try to save animals going extinct but let them die off "let the strong survive". According to evolution we should be killing off people with diseases so we can evolve.

I am not a Christian but neither am I a sheep to anything thrown at me. While the evolution theory might have some aspect's right .. it is still flawed. It does not add up to the way humans have lived for centuries.

How about the Piltdown man? Found in England in 1912 and was considered *prove that evolution is real!*... turned out to be nothing but a forgery. The guy went as far as to chemically stain and file down the teeth. With the advance in science for fraud I think we might want to think twice what we accept and do not.

The single tooth Nebraska man. Supposed to be prove that we evolved from monkeys (maybe you did but not me ;) ) turned out to be nothing but a wild pig tooth.

But more then anything should be how the Neanderthal image has changed. Starting out as not much more then a walking money. Not very bright knuckle dragging imbecile for lack of better words. Now we find out arthritis and rickets were rampant in that society. Explaining the hunch in the walk. That the dumb Neanderthal was actually skilled hunter's with their own surgeons. Not so monkey like

Everyday life contradicts the evolution theory... everyday.

An Erased One
03-02-2003, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by Astral
The evolution theory is flawed on many level's. If we followed the "theory" then we would let our weaker part's of society die and not try to find cures. We would not try to save animals going extinct but let them die off "let the strong survive". According to evolution we should be killing off people with diseases so we can evolve.

As far as I know Evolution was never really meant to be applied on self aware humans... we can decide to keep the sick and old alive.
Animals did not have that option.
You may be right, though - maybe, from a evolutional/genetical point it really might be better to make sure that "weaker" people cannot pass their genes - but wouldn't be a very nice world to live in.

Astral
03-02-2003, 05:10 PM
What?

So evolution has no bearing on "self aware humans?"

I think you might find a serious disagrement there. It was meant for every single "species" on earth including you and me.

Just like religion evolution is full of leaps of faith, gaps, and half truths with some historical backing. At least that is what -->I<-- found but hey... I could always climb a tree pretty well :scream:

googlo
03-02-2003, 08:38 PM
The evolution theory is flawed on many level's. If we followed the "theory" then we would let our weaker part's of society die and not try to find cures. We would not try to save animals going extinct but let them die off "let the strong survive". According to evolution we should be killing off people with diseases so we can evolve.

Possibly, but I don't think that is really true.

If it weren't for complexity and diversity brought about by shortcomings (like diseases, physical weakeness, etc) in other humans and each other, we wouldn't have an as technologically advanced society as we have today because it's by the very need to overcome those shortcomings through invention that we overcome our weakness and accomplish what we couldn't accomplish otherwise. And then those inventions to solve one problem, lead to better understanding of certain principles or the discovery of new ones, which can be applied to other problems, which lead to more understanding which can be applied to other problems and even more understanding/results, and it just keeps branching out like that more and more.


What is also ironic is that I think it's the very lack of need to change that 'locks' other animals in their evolutinary state. If they are well suited for their particular environment, there is no need for change, so they just stay 'stuck' in their niche, just existing and reproducing, with little if any evolutionary changes taking place.

I think the difference between us and them is the ability to be self-aware and think. In this case, just the simple addage of 'the weak perish, the strong survive' isn't as black and white anymore because with being self-aware and able to think, we aren't shackled to relying just on our physical abilities alone. We can manipulate the environment to fit our needs for survival instead.

It's like a paradox. To have evolution, there needs to be a 'need' for change (whether it's means intellectual or just physical), but at the same time, the very act of evolution itself solving for those needs, stops change, like an equilibrium gets met. This is why diversity in the environment is important because it promotes change and evolution, like back to the people and their weaknesses issue.

For shortterm survival, it might be good to throw grandpa away because of his diseases and it's tax on resources to the family unit, but with the advent of intelligence, it's obviously better for all of our survival if we figure out what is making grandpa not useful anymore, fix it, and then move on. So grandpa becomes healthy and contributing again, and it also means that whatever made grandpa incapable, will also never makes anyone else incapable because it was fixed, so we all survive and benefit as a result of keeping grandpa around and trying to fix his problems instead of just throwing him away.

See how it contributes more to the whole survival of the species this way?

I think the key is self-awaredness and intelligence. It provides a means for this kind of thing to happen, otherwise we would be just dependent on the environment weeding people out, in which case survival of the fittest is true. It's still that way now, but in a different context than before.

This is just my take on it with the idea of evolution.

BiTMAP
03-02-2003, 09:06 PM
so by a series of accidents we become something that could think and better ourselves and from there evolution has basicly stopped?

googlo
03-02-2003, 10:31 PM
No. Evolution doesn't happen by accident, it happens by natural process. Like a rock rolling down a hill, or paper burning. Just because the idea of life evolving naturally is fantastical or impressive to us, doesn't mean it actually is.

I'm not saying evolution has stopped. I'm saying that it's more than just about survival of the fittest now in our context as humans, because through intelligence we can actively take control of our own survival without having to rely on natural selection to passively shape our future and surival for us. That's why we can heal nad take care of ourselves in ways that survival of the fittest never could, it would just drop the organism if it couldn't survive. And the arguement was that taking care of the weak seemed to go against evolution, in which case my stance was that in the process of taking care of the weak we become smarter and that increases our ability to survive as a whole and hence is what evolution is all about. It's a different kind of evolution, besides just survival of the fittest.

Where I did mention evolution slowing down is in cases where organisms adapt so well to their environment that their evolution remains largely unchanged, like sharks and alligators for example. They've really had no selective pressures for them to adapt to, so they have remained relatively unchanged for thousands of years. Animals evolving to fit their environment is like an equilibrium act.

edit: I should also say that I'm arguing from the stance of evolution and trying to maintane the logic and reasoning behind it philosophically because of this whole arguement or debate. I have other ideas too though :).

Astral
03-02-2003, 11:38 PM
You are not arguing evolution they teach in science. Self aware has never been a issue. That is such a sidestep. Do we need to break out the book's?

To say we evolve in other way's is such a joke. Of course we do but not in the scientific meaning. You are using a mix of you're own philosophy and that is fine but it has nothing to do with the issue of scientific evolution.

Nahaz
03-03-2003, 12:43 AM
Please excuse me for not reading every post. I'd like to add my thoughts on the subject of creativity and art.

I believe that creativity is essencially about learning to communicate better. Relationships of all kinds take alot of creativity to work well.

I use my imagination to envision lots of different senarios based on my possible actions. I then choose a course of action that best serves both myself and others.

Each of us are great living works of art. There's no reason why we can't sculpt ourselves into anything we desire.

I am convinced that life is an illusion, no less real than a dream. That you and i are the same being, experiencing ourself as separate individuals. Only from this point of illusionary separation we can know ourself.

googlo
03-03-2003, 12:50 AM
Astral,

Self aware has never been a issue

You honestly think that self-awaredness has no impact on the evolution of a species?

A species evolution isn't just shaped by weak vs. strong. Most people only know about the very basic precepts of evolution, but their are many more factors involved than just survival of the fittest. Seriously, go pick up some modern books about evolution, complex adaptive systems, social evolution, etc.. It's a complex play of factors that shapes a species evolution, it's not just survival of the fittest. Species have reinforced traits amongst themselves based on sexual attraction alone, species have reinforced traits amongst themselves and another species in a symbiotic relationship. It's even being postulated now that some species have BECOME part of another species by coevolving together from a symbiotic relationship.

Astral
03-03-2003, 01:14 AM
I have read more then my fair share and whatever makes you happy eh.

These huge book's you are writing here have more of you're philosophy in them then any evolution theory paper I have ever read.

Take Care

An Erased One
03-03-2003, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by Astral
What?

So evolution has no bearing on "self aware humans?"

Pretty much, yes.

We do not really need to evolve anymore.
As googlo said, Humans use science and Tools to solve their Problems. Let's say, for example, there are some humans living in very cold enviroment. Now, without sciencentist inventing things to keep uns all warm (housing, heating, etc...), only the people somehow better adapted to the cold would survive in the long run. That would be evolution: The ones who are better adapted pass their genes on, the others do not.
But now, pretty much anybody can live in near-polar regions, because we'll just build a house and heat it up.
Now the factor that forced the less adapted people away or killed them is suddenly overcome - in a much shorter time than any evolutioneary consequences in the young generations of our polar population could show.
(That example is a little simple, I know... but it shows the idea)
Of cource, not every Problem can be solved that way, and certain things will "evolve" in future generations, but probably slower than without science and tools.

googlo
03-03-2003, 01:48 AM
These huge book's you are writing here have more of you're philosophy in them then any evolution theory paper I have ever read.

What I'm talking about I have learned from reading books, taking courses in college, and watching programs on the Learning Channel and Discovery Channel, etc. . Of course I'm adding my take on it all, just as everyone else is here, but what I'm saying isn't all made up out of my own opinion, it's based on things that I have learned. I'm not side stepping the issue at all. I have presented ideas with very good reasons behind them.

Astral
03-03-2003, 02:09 AM
ok.. :rolleyes:

Nonquad
03-03-2003, 05:26 AM
addressing googlo:
(on the irrefutability of autonomy) But see, that is all based on an assumption, that has to be proven wrong, when it's not even known if it's really true in the first place.

Of course; by "irrefutable" I simply meant that in a litteral sense, the concept cannot be refuted. I did not mean to imply that the irrefutability was a proof in itself.

What he is saying is true in an abstract or mathematical form, but it's not true in reality.
The human brain can't have more physical connections in it than there is matter to make those connections.

I think you are misinterpreting the quote. Surely by a "connection", he means a way to get from point A to point B; by which definition connections can overlap.

For example, if you draw two dots on a page, there is only one connection; three dots, three connections. Four dots on a page and link them all, you will find first of all, that it is possible to make six direct linkages; but moreover those six links allow at least 18 connection paths, without ever crossing the same point twice. Possibly more; I didn't pursue the problem very rigorously. But the point is, as you add nodes to the network, the overall complexity expressed in possible routes, grows at a staggering rate. It's the old "traveling salesman" problem. This is what he meant by connections.

(in response to uncertainty and the brain)The uncertainty principle just says that you can't know the momentum/position of a particle with unlimited accuracy by bouncing photons off of them.

As I expressed in my edit/footnote, I was thinking of the copenhagen interpretation, not the broader uncertainty principle, when I wrote this. And the copenhagen interpretation suggests true indeterminacy, not just immeasurability.

Although, realistically, it's just two ways of stating the same thing. If the universe is deterministic but immeasurable, then you could still include free will, defined as the ability to modify the outcome of the system by influencing the (unknowable) initial state =) There's no proof that we can't modify the initial state, even though our perception is looking at a different point in time =)

So you can factor in free will either way; it just makes more sense to look at it from the perspective of indeterminacy.

There is a big difference between how things proceed at the quantum level as opposed the macroscopic level. Just because at the quantum level processes may indeterminant doesn't mean that at the macroscopic level systems are going to be just as indeterminant. .... In fact, despite the ineherit indeterminability (is that really a word? ) of certain events at the quantum level, most processes at the scale of our everyday world are entirely determinable or predictable.

But then, we're not arguing about "most processes".

In this case, the macroscopic system, the body, is tied directly to the function of an unfathomably intricate network operating at microscopic scale.

The brain doesn't operate at the quantum level of subatomic particles, it's a macrostructure, relying on the interaction of cells, tissues, and organs. That's why I don't think it really matters having to know the quantum state of all of the particles making up the brain, I don't see why you would have too.

True, the brain is a cellular organ, but it certainly operates at a lot smaller scale than a car engine; your counterexample. Not to mention the brain uses electromagnetic impulses which probably could be best described in quantum terms. Regardless, the point is that minor changes are going to be amplified a lot more in a complicated network like the brain, than they would in a relatively innert medium like for example a bowling ball. So while you can say that a bowling ball appears to act in a deterministic way, you cannot necessarily just dump that same logic onto the brain and expect it to hold true.

People can be made to behave in controllable and predictable ways just through brainwashing and/or with psychoactive drugs. The only defense people really have for free will is a lack of knowing how the brain fully operates.

You can also make people behave in an even more predictable way by killing them; neither example refutes the possibility that free will existed before you destroyed it.

Likewise your point about avalanche is fair enough, but I don't see how lack of total control proves lack of any control.

Like the idea of Schroedinger's cat. Regardless if the person opens the box to find the cat dead or not, the cat IS going to be dead or alive, regardelss if the person opens the box to find out for her or himself. The cat's fate isn't truely dependent on the person's perception of it like the wave collapse idea makes it sound like it is.

Not according to the Copenhagen interpretation. Its theoretical implications may only be philosophical, but it is valid to the extent that it does fit with the facts.

Obviously the universe doesn't work like that, as in, it works apart from our perceptions.

If you can prove that, I will give you a cookie =)

(on math).... and then for some reason, decide that that's how reality actually is, forgetting that it's only an abstract model in the first place

You may have caught yourself in a trap there. Because if abstraction is not accounted for as an aspect of the universe, then you have some extra-universal factor wreaking havoc with your determinism.

I think that, on the contrary, abstract math and the universe are fundamentally the same stuff. And most math profs I've spoken to seem to share the sentiment. They fit together far too easily for the relationship to be easily dismissed.

(edit)
In any case, if you look at the last two quotes I've listed, you'll see that you are guilty of precisely what you complained about:

You have convinced yourself of the inherent truth of a specific abstract model (that the universe has absolute states), and are deriving conclusions based on that, even though a more general model will also agree with the facts.

naughty googlo! =p
(/edit)

Processes and events just occur and will continue to occur, regardelss of whether we are there to observe them or not.

And this is where we just fundamentally dissagree. As I see it the only definable distinction between something that is "real" and something that is "not real" is whether or not it has an effect that can be measured by an observer. If something can never be observed, either by lack of effects or lack of observers, then it meets every definable criterion for being "not real". So that is how I address the subject.

It may not seem like common sense to you, but common sense doesn't seem to solve this problem in either direction really. You may say that you are trying to take the most objective viewpoint possible, but the fact is, if it takes an act of faith to believe in our own existance, then it certaintly is just as much an act of faith to propose that the universe would meaningfully exist without us. Regardless of which side you take, a certain amount of faith is prerequisite just to participate in the argument. It might be nice if it wasn't, but we work with what we have.

I will agree with you that the brain is a biological machine. I do not agree about the output being predictable over any significant span of time. What it all comes down to, is the question of whether the universe is essentially determinist or indeterminist. Given what we know so far, to the extent of my knowledge it's certainly possible to read the universe as indeterminist.

I find it harder to read as deterministic, since determinism itself doesn't seem to mean anything unless you can have a universal "present" time as a sample point; an idea agreeable to newton, but flatly contradictory to relativity.



astral:
I think you might find a serious disagrement there. It was meant for every single "species" on earth including you and me.

Evolution was never intended as a social program, although some people have tried to use it as such; the result being "social darwinism", a philosophy which darwin himself would no doubt have found repugnant.

In any case, to reiterate, Evolution is a theory to explain an effect that happens; not to justify systems designed to take advantage of that effect. The way you are reading it now, is mixing two very different concepts in a way that confuses the discussion.


back to googlo

Good points in your response to Astral.

bitmap:
so by a series of accidents we become something that could think and better ourselves and from there evolution has basicly stopped?

Not really stopped. The path our species takes is probably in for some twists though.

It's worth considering that natural selection is not the only force in evolution. For example there is sexual selection; sometimes a particular trait will seem attractive to members of the opposite sex, and therefore it will get preference.

For example, firm breasts and strong hips are, to some degree, evidence of a good, healthy potential female mate. Human males came to recognise this, and started to select these traits; to the point that they are now overemphasised. Now human females are curvier and lumpier than strictly necessary, because males have favored those traits as being "sexy".

(As a side note, modern medicine stresses in the opposite direction, by allowing women with smaller waists a better chance to reproduce normally. Which is a good thing; but it does lead to the slightly spooky possible that we may eventually evolve our species into a position where we are totally dependent on technology to assist us with basic life functions like reproduction. Kind of borgish, no?)

Likewise, human males have evolved to say "hey baby, what's your sign?" because... wait. That's something else entirely. Or maybe not. Maybe women prefer men who are socially inept, and easy to tame, and so over the ages they have bred us to be klutzes =)

Anyway the same trend is even more dramaticly emphasized in birds, with ridiculous and beautiful plumage -- some of which may even be a disadvantage in terms of evading predators, but the plumage continues to be emphasized because it is sexy.

Regarding intelligence, it's probably true that our attempts to provide health care are reducing the weight of natural selection as an evolutionary factor; but that factor will never totally evaporate. Healthy humans are always going to have an inherent advantage.

In the meantime, the complex social situation we have arrived at, probably provides just as many stressors as it replaced. Our brains are likely to continue getting more powerful; possibly at an increasing rate. Arguably, this would be a sexual factor; after all, it seems reasonable that smart people will fare better in today's complex society, and earn more money and therefore be more attractive mates.

On the other hand, intellectuals are probably more likely to exercise sexual restraint, while those with less control are probably more likely to mate excessively. That's one of the downsides of evolution; it always tries to optimize for the current situation, not plan for the future. When a species becomes suddenly successful, it can easily wind up proliferating too well and depleting its own resources. Humans, as the example, obviously evolved under conditions with a high mortality rate and frequent breeding to compensate. Now that we no longer have a high mortality rate as a species, we are in significant danger of expanding too fast.

It would be nice if we could find a way to harness the power of evolution, in a way that respected the goals of society (in this case, to promote restraint, teamwork, and preservation of resources) while at the same time respecting the rights of individuals. Unfortunately, the pertinent ethical dilemmas are not easy to avoid. More than likely, we will avoid the controversy and just let nature be nature, until the whole world reaches a crisis point like China, and we wind up with no choice but to impose legislation on reproductive rights. Not a fun thing to think about.

Anyway, to sum things up, evolution will always continue. Not necessarily always at the same rate, or in the same direction, or even with the same rules (strict reproductive limits like china's will surely have a strange effect on the ways and speed with which beneficial traits can propagate across the species) but it will always continue.

astral
You are not arguing evolution they teach in science. Self aware has never been a issue. That is such a sidestep. Do we need to break out the book's?

Yes please. In my experience, even the most basic introduction to evolutionary theory will recognise that "natural selection" in terms of survivability, is just one of many possible stressors that can cause evolutionary change -- and any decent textbook will also draw a clear distinction between evolution and ethics/sociology.

Both are points on which you seem to dissagree with the general consensus. In that light, I would very much like to know where you are getting your perspective from.

Astral
03-03-2003, 05:32 AM
ok... :rolleyes:

:applause:

spm
03-03-2003, 11:46 AM
ah, nice. i knew i was right :D. everything, even our mind and soul are just chemistry and physical reactions followed by consequence :)

somlor
03-03-2003, 12:41 PM
I haven't sat down and read this whole thread yet, but on the topic of determinism/free will I enjoyed Daniel Dennet's comments in his very well done book on the subject entitled "Elbow Room: Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting". I found a reference to the passage here:

Imagine someone arguing, "Since determinism is true, thermostats don't control temperature," or "Since determinism is true, planets would move in ellipses even if there were no gravity." Determinism "works through" the thermostat; it works via gravity. In a similar way, Dennett is claiming, it can work through deliberation. A causal sequence which does not pass through the deliberative process we label "inevitable;" if it passes through deliberation we call it "preventable," or "avoidable." Hence "inevitable" doesn't mean the same as "determined," and "avoidable" doesn't mean "non-determined."

So Otto is incorrect in saying that if determinism is true then all events are inevitable. Some events (though determined) involve deliberation, and it is with respect to these events that we can "make a difference."

In other words, I don't find it necessary to build a theory on quantum indeterminacy as the basis for some spastic hiccup variety of "free will" which IMHO doesn't end up sounding much different than spiritual/religious "explanations".

[s]

Nonquad
03-03-2003, 07:30 PM
Fair enough point, although for my own part I think it's been a fun exercise.

Really, the quote you've provided just makes a claim about the nature of deliberation; it doesn't try to defend that claim. It accepts it on faith.

So, if you characterise other arguments as being essentially religious in nature, at least recognise it's a camp we all share.

For my own part, I don't think I would be really destroyed as a person if the universe were proved to be determinate. It might even be psychologically liberating, in a way.

But that's the problem. It's not so much about my own reaction to free will, but about the great usefullness of free will as a means to describe the relationships between individuals and society. Take away free will, and what use is democracy? What use is law, even? Take away the general belief in free will, and society degenerates to a really ugly state of affairs. In a society that thinks it is driven entirely by fate, nobody really deserves any respect, and probably nobody is really happy.

So it does matter to me if there is at least some scientific basis for arguing that the universe could be indeterminate; even if it doesn't explain how free will works (which, you are right, my argument doesn't even approach) there is something reassuring about having at least some counterargument against the assertion that everything is predetermined. So that even if we can't explain free will, we at least are within reason to suppose that it might exist. So for me, my argument is not so much an explanation, but a launching point from which I think it is fair to make a little leap of faith.

BiTMAP
03-04-2003, 05:33 AM
I really don't even see the point in argueing how the world started as thats something we all agree that we wern't around to wittness... HOWEVER I do agree that their has to be some explination for Free will, I think its needed and that sure somethings we can't control, but somethings we can... we can't all go into ONE camp on this, we have to admint somethings are in essance out of our control and happen regardless, and somethings we can change slightly but not totally avoid (volcano, we can't stop it, but we can get away from it).

Now PERSONALY I believe that it was Infact an eternal God who started the world, and will end it, and that HE infact gave us a free will to decide what we DO in each situation, but there are things like the forces of nature and physics that he set in place and decided to not change. so YOU personaly may not put a God behind it, but at least look at the "scientific" view that is behind it, its quite sound. (really I'm not that much of a raving nut!)

StevenR
03-04-2003, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by parallax
2 guys talking about the existance of god:

"how do you know for sure, that god exists?"

"well, it says so in the bible"

"How do you know that what is written, is true??"

"Well, that is also written in the bible"



so now i carry around a little book that says "god does not exist"


I dont believe in god, i never met him.

:applause:

That's pretty funny :D
And here's the evolutionary geology version:
"How do you know how old the fossils are?"

"Because of where they were in the rock."

"And how do you know how old the rock is?"

"Because of the fossils it contains."

Okay, okay, perhaps not in a literal sense ;)

Or how about the big bang:
"There was nothing, and it exploded."

These debates ultimately change no one's mind. I've participated in quite a few in the past year or two. They're certainly fun to watch, however.

I don't believe in Evolution (Capital L) because it doesn't make sense. I'm another one of those bible-toting fundamentalist Christian wackos. However, I'm not against science. Science is great; I build web sites for a living. Biblical creation is far easier for me to believe than random occurrences over billions of years.

Also, if the universe was created by chance, then everything happens by chance. We're making these posts not of our own volition, but due to random pulses of energy in our brains. The very knowledge of self-existence makes it self-evident that chance is not the only force at work in this universe.

You guys can be descendants of apes if you want. I'm perfectly content to just be human.

Steven Richards
sgr1986@hotmail.com

somlor
03-04-2003, 01:38 PM
Nonquad: Hehehh... you bring up a good point that was actually made in the book I referred to. If everyone stopped believing in free will it would have such a drastic impact on society and individual motivation that it would confirm the level of influence believing in free will has on our destiny.

StevenR: But what about the dinosaurs? ;)

[s]

Astral
03-04-2003, 01:41 PM
I ate them for dinner :applause:

That was back before I evolved into my monkey shape ;)

Nonquad
03-04-2003, 04:05 PM
Or how about the big bang:
"There was nothing, and it exploded."

It is funny isn't it?

But also consider that time and space are the same stuff. "Past" and "future" are directions only defined within the medium of spacetime. To hypothesise about anything "before" the big bang, even "nothingness", is kind of like trying to imagine what's north of the north pole. It's not a question of what you would find there (santa's factory, actually, isn't it?); the problem is that the place itself can only be defined in terms which have been taken out of their context, and have no meaning.

It is hard not to think about it in those terms though.

StevenR
03-04-2003, 07:50 PM
Originally posted by somlor
StevenR: But what about the dinosaurs? ;)
[/B]

What about the dinosaurs?
I see no reason they couldn't have lived side-by-side with humans, or fit into the Creation beginning. The Bible describes two animals on Job that certainly fit the category.

If that's not what you meant...? :)

Nonquad: The question still remains: where did the matter involved in the Big Bang come from? The only viable answer is that it was there 'forever,' which is still impossible, even without time being present (or with time being heavily dilated). Why? Because there's still the question of where it came from, even if the question of when is irrelevant.
It doesn't matter how far you go into speculations on spacetime, alternate universes and the like; there's always a base level where it just can't be explained any more.

The same applies to Biblical Creation, but it's taken one notch further by assuming that a supreme being created the universe. Again, you reach the base level of "where'd the supreme being come from?" However, Creation seems far more plausible to me. If I look at the computer I'm using (this is a rehash of an old argument), it's immediately obvious to me that it was designed and built by intelligent beings, and not randomly assembled over the last million years.
This is obvious to everyone, as far as I know. Yet we look at our entire universe, infinitely more complex than anything the human race has ever devised, and we say it came about by chance. The odds are so overwhelmingly against such an occurrence that it seems blatantly ridiculous. I am utterly unable to comprehend how any person can actually believe this to be the truth.

Order does move towards disorder over time. Houses fall apart. Machinery wears out. People get old and die. Information is lost from the genetic code over time due to harmful mutations (a category in which almost all mutations reside).

So, in short, I don't know how the universe came about. Anyone who claims to know 100% is lying through their teeth. All we have are bits and pieces pointing to the answer. And thus far, all the bits and pieces point to an orderly, controlled Creation.

Nonquad
03-04-2003, 08:34 PM
The question still remains: where did the matter involved in the Big Bang come from? The only viable answer is that it was there 'forever,' which is still impossible, even without time being present (or with time being heavily dilated). Why? Because there's still the question of where it came from, even if the question of when is irrelevant.
It doesn't matter how far you go into speculations on spacetime, alternate universes and the like; there's always a base level where it just can't be explained any more.

I completely agree that there is always going to be a base level where things just can't be explained anymore. At some point or other, you run out of context.

But the question does not remain, "where did the matter come from", because the operative there, "come from" implies causality, which is taking the idea out of context.

You're saying there is no answer to the question.

I'm telling you that the words you have assembled are not a coherent question to begin with.
I'm not trying to be critical of you; it's a freaking tough problem. I can't phrase a coherent question about it either. It's possible that our language is not even capable of representing a coherent question on the subject, because the subject is so alien to us.

StevenR
03-04-2003, 08:58 PM
The only possible answer is that the matter 'was always there,' and you would be correct in that even that isn't a proper answer, as it implies time.

As this is also the stock answer given when people question the origins of a supreme being, it seems fair to a certain extent (though the two are not perfectly comparable, as the proposed supreme being is an intelligent being, whereas the big bang proposes dead matter).

The big bang still makes less sense than the rival option, however, since as the 'story' goes, God would have created time, space and matter instead of them just 'happening' somehow with the big bang theory.

This is almost enough to give me a headache :eek:

Like I said before, I can't explain it. You're right in that a coherent question can't really be formed. We weren't there, so we're missing essential elements in the equation to form such a question. Elements such as whether or not time existed in the form we understand it to, or if the laws of physics were the same 'then' as they are now.
I've thought through all of this before, and eventually came to the conclusion that we as humans will never be able to be completely sure of the origins of the universe (unless Biblical Creation is true, in which case we'll find out at the end ;)). Again, it's just a matter of picking the option that best fits the evidence we do have.

Unfortunately, the use of the scientific method is fundamentally flawed, as it assumes that the supernatural does not exist. If the supernatural truly doesn't exist, then that's fine, and science can come to perfect answers in the long run. But if the supernatural does exist, there are things out there which science can't explain. That science can't explain anything (gravity, for example) at its basest level seems to make it evident that there must be forces other than the natural at work.
Secular scientists are crippling their own work by using a definition of science that brings with it unprovable assumptions.

[/philosophy]

It just occurred to me that Evolution (Capital L) is not a science; it's a philosophy.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=philosophy

Nonquad
03-04-2003, 09:25 PM
continued...

Yet we look at our entire universe, infinitely more complex than anything the human race has ever devised, and we say it came about by chance. The odds are so overwhelmingly against such an occurrence that it seems blatantly ridiculous. I am utterly unable to comprehend how any person can actually believe this to be the truth.

Well, first off, I think you are unfairly cramming a bunch of perspectives together there.

abiogenesis by chance is a lot different than "chance mutation" as a function in evolution, which is in turn a lot different than saying the whole universe came about by chance, etc etc etc.

A lot of people would say that IF the universe came about by chance, then that would be the best evidence ever in support of divine design. What better demonstration of divine power, than to create one simple function with such broad and spectacular ramifications?

Incidentally, in my oppinion chance is a beautiful thing, whether one interprets it as divine or not. If you're going to criticize chance, are you at least familiar with the weak anthropic principle? If not, look it up some time.

I did a quick search for you, and stumbled onto a nice site that has some great outlines of all the stuff we're talking about here.

Good links for everybody here.
anthropic principles : http://www.meta-library.net/ghc-bb/analy-body.html
determinism, indeterminism : http://www.meta-library.net/ghc-div/deter-body.html
law and chance : http://www.meta-library.net/ghc-div/lawch-frame.html

Astral
03-04-2003, 11:09 PM
All you have is a bunch of theories that in the end no one can prove. Simple as that. Take you're pick

StevenR
03-04-2003, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by Nonquad
Incidentally, in my oppinion chance is a beautiful thing, whether one interprets it as divine or not. If you're going to criticize chance, are you at least familiar with the weak anthropic principle? If not, look it up some time.
Oh dear...metaphysics. :)
I'm not criticizing chance. I'm saying that I don't believe the universe came about by chance. If God set the universe in motion, that act means nothing has actually happened by chance, even if He wandered off after the initial poke. It just doesn't work.

Which brings up, of course, the issues of free will and predestination ;)

As for WAP...well, I'm not sure what bearing it has on this discussion aside from the 'many-universes model,' which is so complex and unprovable as to be irrelevant other than as a nice 'what if.'

Final rebuttal? :) Enjoyable as it is, this could go on until the end of the world, so I'll withdraw here. Thanks for the intelligent discussion. :thumbsup:

Nonquad
03-05-2003, 12:54 AM
The big bang still makes less sense than the rival option, however, since as the 'story' goes, God would have created time, space and matter instead of them just 'happening' somehow with the big bang theory.

So the question is, what would the creation act look like, if not a big bang?

The universe is expanding. If you extrapolate into the past, the big bang is unavoidable. We can see the light from distant galaxies; light which has been in transit for billions of years. If those same galaxies were created recently, their light would not yet have reached us.

But I guess you are proposing that everything came into being, recently, and in place? And in motion? Including the light (created in transit) from distant galaxies? It certainly wouldn't be a new idea; it's been suggested before...

But the question is, if god created the universe recently, why did he choose to design approximately 14 billion years of history into it?

And the real kicker is, if God designs a history for something; one which is measurable by us in terms of its relationship to the present, how can you define that history as anything but "real"?

For practical purposes, one can only say that the "real" past is the past which agrees with the present in terms of causality, according to the laws of the universe.

And that past leads directly back to a big bang several billion years ago.

Sure it's just theory, and it's based on mathematical modeling based on laws, which in turn are based on interpretation of evidence, not divine knowledge... but it has also been tested with greater scrutiny than just about any idea ever proposed.

When the idea of the big bang first started to develop about 70 years ago, it caused a huge rift in the science community. A lot of people really really hated the idea from a philosophical standpoint. This includes Einstein, who wanted an infinite universe and had previously gone to considerable lengths to attempt to model it that way; but he was eventually swayed by the increasing evidence against him. Another famous critic was british astronomer Fred Hoyle, who continued to oppose the Big Bang until his ongoing attempt to find countertheories eventually rattled apart in a rather spectacular way. It's a fascinating chapter in the history of science. I suggest you check it out sometime for amusement. Here's a page to get you started. The history bit starts about a fourth of the way down.
http://ssscott.tripod.com/BigBang.html

But anyway the point is, some of the best and brightest people in the world HATED this theory, and scrutinized it from every possible angle, attempting to find fault with it and refute it. But the theory has survived for over half a century now in the face of all of that, and rather than being discredited, it has become a more or less total consensus among the people in the field.

And so, in my oppinion, it is about as trustworthy as any human conjecture possible.

The same could probably be said for evolution, or very nearly so, but it's more fun to argue about evolution, since it isn't all math =)

Nonquad
03-05-2003, 12:58 AM
Oh dear...metaphysics. .... Enjoyable as it is, this could go on until the end of the world, so I'll withdraw here. Thanks for the intelligent discussion.

Oops, seems I was typing during your last post.
Well, cya round then, I've enjoyed the company!
:beer:

StevenR
03-05-2003, 01:32 AM
Originally posted by Nonquad
Well, cya round then, I've enjoyed the company!
:beer: [/B]
I'll drink to that (Dr. Pepper, to be precise). :p
:beer:

Nonquad
03-05-2003, 01:44 AM
.....

And thus began the great "Cola War" thread :p

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