(split) Atheism and acceptance of science

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by S.A.M., Jul 10, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,433
    Well, when you do have some idea what neo-Darwinism is (regular old Darwinism filled out and detailed according to the recent discoveries of the mechanisms of inheritance), you will understand why there is no "inherent contradiction" there.

    Meanwhile, you are not learning anything here. You are making exactly the same errors of reasoning and mistaken assumptions you have been making for many months now.

    How could inheritance by genome, with "the gene" as the unit of inheritance (more or less by definition), prevent said genome from governing the development of an organism that can learn to override "inborn" traits? The only possibility I see as a basis for such a presumption is some notion that the gene is controlling the "inborn" behaviors in action, that genetic inheritance of behavioral traits implies the behaviors are being governed by the genes as they happen. "The gene did it" as a parallel to "the devil made me do it" or "god did it".

    And for that framing of the world - that there is a puppetmaster, and the Darwinists are claiming the gene is it - I tend to blame an upbringing in dogmatic theism.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Yeah, thats what I find ironic.

    Is there "inheritance by genome"? I think instead of these kind of constructs it would be more useful to think of evolution as a system, where environmental cues and gene alleles play an equally important role in fitness and speciation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    I'm pointing out that not all ecological /survival / evolutionary challenges for all organisms can be overcome with learned behaviour. Some are simply pass/fail on the basis of genomic constitution. Some are proportionally related to the elements of the genome, but not controlled by it at 100%.

    (I'm always appalled at people who either won't let me write "controlled proportionately by quantitative genetics" in an article. No one grasps the niceties of the mathematics of evolutionary ecology, preferring the simplistic "all-or-nothing" interpretation. "Either it's genetic or not genetic", they seem to imply, when in fact it's partially "genetic".)

    If the driver has already mated and passed on these genes, then it's irrelevant.

    (More accurately, one could say it was irrelevant if one wished to give the issue a strict binary interpretation. Yet, persistence means more mating opportunities, so it would be best to say that the gene's survival is probably proportional to the persistence of the driver. You could say that the fitness of 'good' genes for better reaction time and so forth are actually greater than proportional to the driver's persistence, since they confer greater benefits. Yet: the driver's persistence will be augmented by these genes, also.)
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,433
    The ESS dates back to the early 70s, as a general concept (Fisher's pioneering stuff in the 30s was not generalized until years after the "Theory of Games" in 1944). Dawkins published "The Selfish Gene" in 1976, and he had to write it. So he did not invent the approach, but he was in the mix pretty early.

    I know. That's why I find you clueless in this matter, and your inability to grasp the basic theory worthy of analysis. It's not rocket science - it shouldn't be this difficult to get the mule to drink.
     
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    Oh, fair enough. He's still an ass, though, and his deplorable wife.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    But they can by excellent inborn traits?


    That seems to hold true for every paradigm, its why we have what is known as a "normal distribution"

    Its easier to frame questions in an all or nothing equation. Imagine the consternation that would accompany any paradigm where probability was an issue. Oh, wait...
    Because his genes have passed on intact?

    So people having more children in poorer countries is an advantage over people having fewer children in less poor countries. Seems like there is something lost in translation as related to "best genes". Or is there a paradigm for best genes that self select against improved fitness?

    Sometimes even leading the mule to water doesn't work, they want you to drink for them too.
     
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    Sure, in some cases. Not every case is the same. Some trials are purely physiological. Some have survival phase space alloted to environment. Some might be dealt with purely environmentally. The latter is more likely for some challenges dealt to K-selected organisms that perceive their environment as fine-grained.

    Quite: though not all distributions are normal.

    But not more correct.

    Yup.

    In some instances, yes. But is it genetic? This would need to be proven, which relates to your next point:

    Couldn't say. But those genes which confer net advantages to survival will probably prosper, all things being equal.
     
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Basically a will to survive and propagate. Is such a will genetic?
    Correct, hence another useful assumption.

    One needs to prove that passing on your genes to a greater number of offspring is genetic?


    But how are we measuring prosperity? If fitness equals greater number of individuals with your intact genes [ie minus the effects of sexual reproduction on variability], then it would seem that an increase in intelligence works to nullify this fitness.

    Why would that be?
     
  12. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    Well now: will is a different thing. A trophy hunter once said that man could simply outwalk any other animal by force of will, then shoot it. But this is a different issue from environmental grain. Bears roam widely and are endotherms large enough to shrug off minor changes in environment. Salamanders, not so much. What you appear to be arguing is that will can overcome any genetic challenge. This isn't so. Sickle-cell can kill you. A poor melanin gene can render you visible to an attacking bird. These are but a couple of examples.

    Is will itself genetic? What makes up willpower? Is it simply more efficient mitochondria? Possibly. But again, I think a lot of your argument is imply interspecies fitness or population dynamics rather than intraspecies dynamics.

    Nope. One needs to prove that a gene for passing on a greater number of children exists. (Fecundity genes in themselves are relatively rare, if we take Roff at his word.) If you're talking about relating this to evolution, that's the difference you'd be interested in.


    Why not? Perhaps people are too intelligent? Perhaps they've hit a societal node of high intelligence without functional intelligence? Not everything is genetic either.

    Why don't you lay down a hypothesis and we can discuss it?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,433
    Depends on the cull. Perhaps greater wealth will prove decisive, and greater fecundity little help without it, this time.
    Or maybe the "fitness" of greater intelligence outperforms the "fitness" of greater fecundity, and is thus the better investment this time. It's an odds game, after all.
    It does seem to be major stumbling block for comprehension.
    Doubtful if it even exists - there seems to be little or no "will to propagate", and the "will to survive" is complicated.
    Nonsensical question.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    Am I being too forthright here? Am I wasting time, I wonder? Perhaps I'm giving the argument more credit than it deserves.
     
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Interspecies fitness?

    Quick recap:
    What is interspecies fitness?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!




    I think having the greater number of children is what defines [relative] fitness. Or are we talking at cross purposes here? How are you defining fitness?



    So intelligence is not genetic now? What is non-functional high intelligence? Could you give me an example?

    I am actually wondering wtf is being argued here. A hypothesis would require some basis for argument.

    Apparently its a free for all where concepts in evo-bio are concerned.

    I agree, it seems like a pointless exercise. We can both agree that evolution happens and leave it there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,433
    Time to quit "thinking" and start listening.
    Nothing is being argued - the basic concepts of neoDarwinian evolutionary theory are being explained, piecemeal, at least in attempt.
    Not the concepts - the applications to hypothetical circumstances, maybe. The concepts are fixed - you should check them out sometime, when you have a couple of hours. They are elegant, both deep and widely useful.
     
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    Species succession, if you like. Small wolves outlasted dire wolves. Homo sapiens outlasted (or ate) Homo neanderthalensis. I think people shy off of it because of the forbidden implications of forbidden group selection, which is forbidden.

    The same way. But mere reproduction does not guarantee long-term persistence. Genes that promote physiological superiority, for instance, also might not of course.

    ? Did I say that?

    Sure. The ability to flick on MTV, when one could instead be studying, bettering the fitness of close relatives, or doing anything positive.

    Well, your argument appears to be that evolution is unimportant if the organism itself is superior. This is my impression from what you've written so far. This isn't so: but, as you say, we can leave it at that.
     
  18. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    So you have no notable relevant expertise, as such.

    "Surrogacy?" Your attempts at cultural analysis are, as usual, both laughably ham-fisted and offensively bigoted.

    What has happened in the United States (there is no monolithic "West" in terms of the sociopolitical relevance of evolution) is that opposition to evolution has become a touchstone for religious fundamentalists. More specifically, evolution education is a touchstone issue for religious fundamentalists who are in the politics game.

    And so, in reaction, defense of evolution (and specifically its instruction) has become a touchstone for those who oppose religious fundamentalists with political agendas. This includes not just atheists, but also many enlighened faithful. It mostly consists of scientists, who are in turn mostly believers.

    I'm coming to understand that by "ironic," what you mean is "a superficial conflict between terms that S.A.M. misapplies to entities that S.A.M. misconstrues."

    What is ironic is that you're fighting on the side of the same forces of darkness that would love nothing more than to eradicate your own religion through violence.
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Outlasted? Isn't it better to say some were better adapted to their environment? Why is it a given that any are meant to last?


    So there are ways of ensuring long term persistence that do not include reproduction? How do you explain societies where much of the population is ageing and the young are not inclined to reproduce? Will they persist in the long term if the young continue not to replace their populations? Or will they be replaced by populations that do reproduce?

    So it is?
    Because that directly affects how many children you have? Who do you think has more children? Those flicking through channels at home or those who are studying?

    How does the organisms "superiority" make evolution unimportant?

    Never claimed any.


    Seems to be a chicken and egg issue. How did evolution get associated with religion in the US?

    In my own short sojourn in the states, I have seen the issue hammered in more by atheists than theists. The entire movement of associating an acceptance of evolution with atheism seems to be pro-active in prominent atheists

    By pointing out that atheists conflating atheism with science is detrimental to science?
     
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    24,433
    Standard evolutionary theory has run into problems from fundie Abrahamic theists everywhere they exist in large proportions - including every single Islamic country, and a large fraction of the Muslims in the US.
    When you don't know what you are talking about, ask honest questions - and listen to the answers.
    "Conflating"? "Pointing out"?

    And your responses here and throughout this forum, on the subject of evolutionary theory, are going to be my example A when discussing the problematic influence of dogmatic theistic upbringing on the acceptance of "science", from now on. The insistence on deriving purpose and cause from the top down, the inability to recognize any option besides God, cause, and chance, the terminal confusion about the ordinary evolutionary approach to the inheritance of behavioral tendency , these are classic, I think.

    There is apparently a reason for the steadily increasing proportion of atheists as one moves up the prestige and accomplishment ladder in science - theism appears to be fairly hazardous, and frequently crippling.
     
  21. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    Never claimed you did.

    Fundamentalists have had a problem with it ever since Darwin. Any science that challenges their (narrow, overly literal) understanding of the scriptures is relentlessly attacked, in the political arena. These guys want everything - the family, the school, the church, the state - under their divine control.

    Probably the big turning point was in the 1920s in Tennessee, when the state passed the Butler Act, a law prohibiting any state-funded educational institution from teaching "any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible." This culminated in the Scopes Trial, which sufficiently embarrassed Tennessee to get them to repeal the law (although a subsequent Supreme Court case affirmed that such laws are indeed contraventions of the Establishment Clause).

    After that it died down somewhat for a while, with even the Pope coming around to the side of science (sorta), until the current intelligent design movement got up and running. This - again - represents a systematic, politicized attempt by religious fundamentalists to interfere with science education and policy, at the local, state and national levels. For example, Kansas's removal of evolution and the Big Bang from science cirricula, Georgia's attempt to remove the word "evolution" from the science cirricula, etc. There are church-funded "student clubs" at every major (and most minor) universities in America dedicated to legitimizing intelligent design and other creationist hooplah as legitimate subject material, along with national marketting and outreach organizations to back them (all of it funded by religious fundamentalists).

    In my lengthy life in the States, I have never seen the issue "hammered" by anyone other than evangelists.

    I do know plenty of scientists and educators (of all faiths) who are sick of having their occupations hammered by ignorant fundamentalists, though.

    There is no such movement - generally the message from the non-fundie side is about how evolution is totally compatible with non-kooky understandings of religion. The only people I've ever heard equate evolution with atheism are the religious fundamentalists trying to outlaw teaching of evolution (and the Big Bang, etc.). What you are doing here is endorsing the framing of the religious fundamentalists: that all those who oppose them are godless heathens. This is the crucial lie, on their end, since most religious people in the US do not share their agenda, and so must be marginalized in order to empower the fundie campaign to speak for "religion."

    And there aren't any "prominent atheists" in the US. We have no Dawkins, for example.

    Not that the concept of a "movement" being "pro-active in" a person makes the slightest sense in the first place... presumably you meant to refer to people pro-active in the movement? Again, however, there is no such "movement." The organized campaign is entirely on the fundie side.

    No, by evangelizing absurd fundamentalist suppositions like that one. You have yet to produce an example of an atheist conflating atheism with science (or anything else). All you've got so far is one theist (yourself) misconstruing science and insisting that this is somehow a critique of atheism.
     
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Just spend a few days in the religion subforum here.

    Or google "accomodationism"

    Also here is common logo of atheists

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    a parody of the Jesus fish

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    I think this post is a good example of conflating atheism and science.
     
  23. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    I have, and haven't seen what you claim to.

    Not that the religion subforum here is representative of any larger culture, let alone specifically the US.

    No idea what that's supposed to have to do with anything.

    No, that's the logo of Darwinists (or, more specifically, people who support the teaching of the theory of evolution). A great many of whom are religious.

    It's stupefying, how you insist on equating evolution with atheism, and then pretend that it's atheists equating themselves with evolution.

    Which is intended to convey that it is a reaction to the fundamentalist campaign to outlaw evolution and other scientific theories.

    And I, in turn, view this post as conclusive evidence that your assertions about said conflations are baseless rhetorical ploys.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page