61% Believe in Evolution

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by sandy, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    So God as an idea has a history. So what? Scientology and Mormonism both have a history and a mythology, does that mean they are any more valid? We know the analogy of FSM and Russell's teapot are made up, but can anyone show that these made up ideas are any less valid than historical religious ideas?
     
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  3. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

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    I started a related thread here.http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=79339
     
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  5. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    To start with, the FSM can immediately be discarded because it's a known fallacy. There's no confounding discussion at all Richard Dawkins doesn't really believe there is any such thing, and has not reported the existence of any such Monster as an actual creation - he admits from the outset that it is fallacious. There is an arguable observational history for God, and a reasonability for a Spinozan God. There is no such naturalistic accountability for the FSM which, as I mentioned earlier, flies off into the sunset to sup from Russell's Teapot, dragging Dawkins' preconceptions behind it. It would have as much bearing as me saying "Oh yeah? Well there's another god who insists that this first God is real. So there." It's completely - and this is no exaggeration - unrooted.

    So the idea of God - if you insist on testing it - must rise and fall on the merits of its own evidence. I'm not familiar with Scientology or Mormonism to any great extent, but I gain a personal impression of their fallibility when I read their works - the former being based on a sci-fi novel and the latter having, I seem to recall, a passage-by-passage comparison between one of its chapters and a couple of books in the OT, which suggests special pleading or a psychological need to cover all bases. So, on that basis, I feel reasonably secure in doubting their claims. But disproving their theological ideas completely is something a bit beyond our capacity, and mine. I rest my case on an informed NOMA, as Gould generally did.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2008
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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You do not know for certain that the FSM was invented, rather than divinely inspired. Not even its alleged inventor knows.

    You find it very easy to argue from circumstance and evidence against other people's beliefs. You do not accept from others the kinds of defensive arguments - from sincerity of belief, from number of believers, from unreasonably high standards of evidence - that you employ for your own beliefs.
    Darwin knew what he had, in his theory. He had no fear of being forgotten, or ignored, or dismissed with mild contempt and simple ridicule. He had (if correct, and he was very confident) solved one of the great problems of his age, one that was what we now call a "hot topic".

    He feared the consequences - the social and personal consequences - of confronting the theists in his community with his theory.
     
  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Geoff, it doesn't matter that the fallacy of FSM is known. You can still compare the two ideas, and in so doing point out that the basis of each is flawed. You can't know that there is no God without examining the entire universe, likewise you can't know that there is no FSM without a similar examination. You cannot know there is no FSM, EVEN IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE MADE IT UP. There is a small probability that it is real, regardless of it's origin.

    Therefore, when someone uses the untestibility of God as support for their view (Norsefire), know that an infinite number of ridiculous ideas are also untestable.
     
  10. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Evolutionary theory removes the need for a creator. That was clerr to Darwin, Huxley and those who came after them.
     
  11. Enmos Staff Member

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    The theists just back up a bit and say the universe was still created by God. And he knew abiogenesis and evolution was going to happen inevitably.. :shrug:
     
  12. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    I agree. And he was influenced by Lyell who, in turn. was influenced by Hutton. It was common knowledge that Hutton faced ridicule when he attempted to show that the earth had to be more than 6. 000 years old. His well presented argument was simply dismissed. This could, in part , account for Darwin's delay in publishing of his work. It is difficult for us to imagine what it meant to stand out against the Establishment in those times. Worse, even, than teaching evolution in Kansas today.

    Hutton has not received the attention he deserves; he appears to be known only to geologists.
     
  13. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    That argumnt makes sense to anyone who refuses to even consider. let alone understand, evolutionary theory.
     
  14. Enmos Staff Member

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    Well.. lol
    Do you expect anything else from them ?
     
  15. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Based on my experience to date no. All it takes is a bible and a closed mind.

    I agree with Russell who said " most people would sooner die than think; and they do "
     
  16. Enmos Staff Member

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    Yep, a bit crude.. but most likely close to the truth

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  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    I'm willing to take his frank, spoken admission for it. I think this would be a reasonable contingency on the probability for it.

    Good Lord! I had no idea. To what am I referring, when I apparently do this?

    If I do ridicule unjustly, then I apologize to all those so ridiculed. Myuu may, indeed, be real. But I don't postulate so far as I recall the absence of scientific evidence for the existence of the deities and entities of other people's beliefs. I might poke fun, but I do adhere to NOMA in actual, sober reflection. In all seriousness, I would actually like some examples of such statements by me; if they could be specific to the instances above that you mention - i) sincerity of belief, ii) from number of believers, iii) from unreasonably high standards of evidence - that would be best.

    It certainly does matter, and I can know to a much greater interval of confidence whether or not the FSM exists, particularly as the inventor made it up. (Again, this contrasts with theists, who don't say their god is made up.) Admitting the fallacy of God would be the refutation of the theory and, thereby, the "null" hypothesis in this case -> Ho: no God. How else could the theory possibly be falsified in the practical sense? I might conclude from a genome scan that there is no QTL for the prefrontal lobe in a particular chromosomal region, and there might well be one anyway, but from the practical perspective I can't go around saying "no evidence for a QTL on Chr V...but let's pretend for a moment there was one just because". That's special pleading. We already know that the farcical FSM isn't real, because someone just made it up in front of us. But the evidence for the Abrahamic God - however strong you care to call it - must reasonably be said to be a lot stronger, even forgetting the fact that Dawkins already invented it.

    To further employ the logic of its creater - a man infatuated with likelihood and Bayesian probability, or so his comments tell us - if there were some absurd FSM (the meaning of the "F" depending on time and speaker) fluttering about, it would quite a bit more unlikely that it would be denying itself than if it weren't, unless it has some kind of serious personality complex. The evidence for it is so far removed from that of the Abrahamic God - however you care to denigrate such evidence, or not - that the entire premise is unrooted from the get-go, and so the FSM - hopeless monster that it is, to paraphrase Goldschmidt - chases its own tail until it poofs away into a miasma of complete unreasonability.

    The ideas have to be reasonably ridiculous before they can be described as such.
     
  18. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    But doesn't obviate the existence of one. That was clear to Spinoza and Einstein.
     
  19. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Spinoza believed god was everywhere but, as I understand him, he uses god in a metaphorical sense; that is why he had problems with the Jews and Christians of his day. Can you cite in which of his works he talks about a creator?

    Einstein never spoke of the need for a creator. His remark that "god does not play dice " is often used by theists to claim that Einstein believed in god. There is no evidence that he did. Are you aware of any ?

    As an atheist I will sometimes say something like " god almighty", but I am speaking figuratively.
     
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    No, but neither do I know of any works in which he described God as a carpetbagger, either. Are you aware of any?
     
  21. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    What a weak answer. Do you make a habit of misquoting others when it suits your purpose? What are you hoping to achieve ? Are you overlooking the fact that some of us read more than the bible ?
     
  22. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    If I said I saw the FSM, then the evidence for it and for God is the same, merely personal anecdotes.
     
  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Sayeth the king of the one-liners. I'm simply pointing out the massive firewall that exists between faith and religion under Gould's NOMA, which I consider a very fair measure. So what exactly are you attempting to achieve? Who am I misquoting, for example? Are you aware of the fact that I myself have read far more widely than the Bible? Why would reading further than the Bible necessarily have anything to do with my position? Do you not know that philosophy may fall on either side of the issue? What inner anger is motivating your responses?

    And so on. I don't know why I bother giving your arguments fair treatment, when you immediately take the position of the umbraged athiest. What is the chip on your shoulder made from?

    Very well; then write up the description of your no-doubt quite earnest encounter with the FSM - Dawkins' resurgent Rocinante - and call the faithful to their pasta plates in all trepid holiness. Yet, if you will permit me, I shall use my reason to divine my own path to Elysium without either needing to fawn at or explain the scales of a beast that never was, written up by a man who literally knew it wasn't.

    Best regards to the both of you,

    Geoff
     

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