Theory of Evolution

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by bearer_of_truth, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    For God's sake why?

    I tried to read it from beginning to end once, and got bogged down in the 'bagats'. Of course I'm not a Christian and had no motivation to read it beyond curiosity. I have read most of it at one time or another (I majored in philosophy and religion so I felt that I should) but not straight through, cover to cover. There are still probably a few of the more obscure OT books that I've never read.

    My scriptural interests these days are focused on the Pali canon. (I don't know that anyone has ever read that straight through, it's just too voluminous. Maybe a few monastics.)

    Duck didn't mention planets. He mentioned plants. Genesis one says that plants (seed bearing plants no less) were the first kind of life created, and that they appeared before the creation of the Sun.

    That's not how modern science imagines it. The Sun was there first. The Earth is currently estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old. It's early days were hellish, as it was constantly bombarded by asteroid impacts. The Moon may have been torn from the Earth by an impact with a Mars sized body. So the Earth's earliest days wouldn't have been very conducive to the formation of life. The division of land and sea had to wait for the Earth's surface to stop being molten.

    It appears to us today that the first form of life on earth was some crude kind of procaryote close to 4 billion years ago. (In the 3.8-4.1 bya range, it appears.) Simple bacteria or archaea. These microscopic organisms were life on Earth for most of Earth's history. They were all the life there was around here. Eucaryotes only appeared much later, and multicellular organisms much later than that, perhaps 600 million years ago.

    Flowering plants are multicellular eucaryotes and they are comparatively recent, derived from a line that branched off the gymnosperms (pine trees and their relatives) about 200-250 million years ago, with the first flowers appearing about 160 million years ago.

    So, bottom line, there seems to me to be a basic inconsistency between the Biblical and scientific sequences. Even if we play around with the time-scale, reinterpreting 'day' to mean 'eon' or 'undetermined period of time', the differences in the order of appearance of fundamental things remains.

    One might still try to argue that the precise order of events isn't as important as the fact that Genesis 1 was an evolutionary account of a sort, at least in the sense of being a sequential ordering of events.

    I'll introduce Greek speculations about the origin of species for comparison. The fact that some of the Greeks imagined something very close to the idea of natural selection is applauded as an illustration of their intelligence and proto-scientific acumen. And that's despite the fact that the precise details about the speculative history of life that they generated with their natural selection idea are no more consistent with modern science than Genesis 1 is. So if an inconsistent sequence isn't a deal killer for the Greeks, why should it be for the Hebrews?

    I have a couple of comments about that. First, Genesis 1 isn't unique in any way, since pretty much all of the ancient cosmogonies were sequential. It isn't the first evolutionary account, or the prototype of evolutionary thinking or anything. It's just an illustration of a whole class of ancient myths.

    And more importantly, what's drawing applause to the Greeks isn't the history of life that they produced, it's how they went about trying to produce such a history. The Greek accounts (at least some of them) were naturalistic. They sought to explain events and states of affairs in this world by the observed principles of this world. They didn't fall back on hypothetical divine interventions.

    I'm not sure that's any more brilliant than what the Hebrews were doing, it was just a different set of metaphysical and epistemological assumptions. The purposes of the speculations seem to have been different, for one thing. The Hebrews weren't trying to create a modern-style biology or cosmology. They were just trying to say (in the ancient 'mythical' idiom in which philosophical ideas were presented in the shape of stories) that everything that exists is dependent on God's will, God's choice and since it comes from God, is therefore good. (It's leading up to Genesis 2 with its garden of Eden story about how bad came about, how mankind became estranged from God and God's reality and how suffering came to be.) The underlying message of Genesis 1 seems to me to be ethical.

    The Greeks on the other hand were trying to uncover the abstract principles that they believed underlie events in the physical world (what they might have called the world's logos, its "logic"). That's a more metaphysical and less ethical motivation and it's more in keeping with the motivations of modern physical and biological science. The Greeks were more interested than the Hebrews in underlying mechanisms and in how the principles of the world bring events about. What people applaud in these Greeks is what appears to be the origin of science's methodological naturalism.

    Admittedly methodological naturalism is just a philosophical assumption about how to go about understanding the world, and not a metaphysical revelation about what does and doesn't exist (that's the error of metaphysical naturalism). But the assumption that the natural world needs to be understood in natural terms has proven very fruitful pragmatically over the years, especially since the 'scientific revolution'.

    If we agree that Genesis 1 is inconsistent with modern scientific understanding in its detailed sequence, and very unlike science in its method, style of presentation and purpose, is there anything of Biblical understanding that isn't swept away by science?

    I suppose that if the basic idea is not only that reality is dependent on God's will, but that everything God wills is fundamentally good in some ethical-evaluative sense, that message needn't be swept away by modern science. And if that was the original underlying motivation of the Genesis 1 story, then it can probably be argued that the message of Genesis 1 can still hold true, even if we agree that the sequence of creation and how we should go about understanding the universe's behavior have next to nothing to do with Genesis 1.

    One might even argue that a feeling for the beauty and mystery of the universe (Carl Sagan's reverent "billions and billions") is another way of expressing a very similar feeling, the feeling that reality is something good, something with transcendent possibilities, something that mankind should seek to know.

    I think that might be the best way to harmonize Genesis and modern science. (Not being a Christian, Muslim or Jew, I don't feel any need to do that myself.)
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Well, OK. Essentially then, you are a proponent of natural evolution - the type that believes God set the wheels in motion, then let it go on its own.

    It if helps you to retcon Genesis so that it is not falsified by modern evolutionary theory then more power to you.

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  5. timojin Valued Senior Member

    No. But let me mention change in sheep skin due to environmental condition . You can find it in Genesis ? When Jacob was serving his father in law.
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  7. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Wow, Sorry I definitively disagree with the Nile comparison . Don't you believe that once in time in the beginning our planet the earth was covered with water ?
  8. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Thank you.
    Do you now withdraw your claim?

    That story is nonsense.
    1) There is no evidence whatsoever that this actually happened.
    2) If it did happen it certainly wasn't due to any visual stimulus.
  9. Mysticlling Registered Member

    The sort of links I would have given are in the Dean Radin dept. but I don't think you are keen on him.

    Don't you think it’s odd that you haven't (assuming) experienced psychic phenomena & others with equal ‘Intelligence’ have? The bottom line is some get to see it & some for some reason don’t. I mean it's just 'chance' that you haven't had a NDE that would/could dramatically change your world view. Do or can you look at it like that?

    There are people ‘just like you’ that have experienced a reality more real than the present one. Don't you see this as at least a little white crow? Have you read ‘Irreducible Minds’? It seems to me that when we lift our arm it's an example of Pkenisis.

    Let’s look at the Sheldrake/Wiseman *‘Dogs that know when their owners come home’. It seems to me that Wiseman got off murder on a technicality. Anybody looking at the data (without a ‘fundamentalist’ problem*) could see the bleeding obvious. & then Wiseman contradicts himself (in principle) by say “according to ‘ordinary’ science telepathy etc. has been ‘proven’……………(but extraordinary claims…….)” it’s in the ‘UK Daily Mail’ (the words or similar to my words if you know what I mean). These experiments* where simply ‘ordinary’ science.

    How can these be extraordinary claims when 60% of the population don’t think there extraordinary?

    A common naive saying “Why are they still trying to prove these things……….” I always think of the “dancing frog” in one of the Bugs Bunny cartoons. It called the experimenters effect.

    Take the ‘presentiment’ experiments this is ground breaking stuff that’s come about by a tiny handful or scientists. It’s taken in some way seriously by Henry Stapp, S Hameroff etc.………. Just think that if we put a few thousand scientists into this area we would make big progress.

    If the results are so direct and measurable, it should be fairly straightforward to devise an experiment that sceptics simply can't argue with...

    You are assuming that the process of evaluating evidence is a rational process. It isn't. As Bayesian statistics shows if one's prior beliefs exclude the possibility of psi, then no amount of additional evidence will change anything. This seems ridiculous, but it's true. Radin

    Can you honestly say that you would not have a serious emotional crisis if Telepathy was or allowed to be given the all clear? This is what is called fundamentalism: All the intellect in the world won’t guard you against childhood programming. You’ve come across religious fundamentalists that can be otherwise highly ‘intelligent’. It's this mechanism that is holding back open minded science or: to look at the what is without infecting the data.

    The ignorance theory (for what it’s worth)
    “A 2001 nationwide poll cited in the NSF’s [National Science Foundation] 2002 report asked the question, ‘Some people possess psychic powers or ESP. (“conclusion in my words: the more educated one is the more likely one is to ‘believe’ in WOO but it’s a TaBOO.)

    Anyway I know I could be best friends with you as long as we don’t mention the war.
  10. bearer_of_truth Registered Senior Member

    What does evolution have to do with biology and genetics when evolution is only theoretical? Or are we discussing theoretical biology and genetics?
  11. bearer_of_truth Registered Senior Member

    By the way, the amount of intelligence and education a person has does not make him/her a better person. The information could be invalid and their intelligence make them better liars.
  12. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    So you're not going to give the links you said you could provide.

    Dean Radin is practically certifiable - he makes claims where no evidence exist.

    1) I have had "psychic experiences".
    2) Being intelligent I didn't (and still haven't) assigned a supernatural cause (that contradicts know, workable science).

    There are people that claim to have had such experiences.


    Do you mean Irreducible Mind (no terminal "s")? Not so far.
    Then again, who really wants to read a book that is "painstakingly redundant, astoundingly arrogant in its claims and intents" and accepts "reports of paranormal phenomena and wild claims at face value, utilizes "quantum babble" and forms an ignorant "soul of the gaps" argument"?

    Then this is yet another example of your ignorance.

    All of that is somewhat incoherent.
    Please state clearly what you're talking about.
    (I should point out that Sheldrake is about as certifiable as Radin).
    I would definitely ink a link to where Wiseman states that "telepathy etc. has been proven", since this is not actually the case (and the only places I can find that he "said" anything even close to that are crank sites that don't provide any links at all)..

    Oh right...
    42% of Americans think astrology is science (as of 2102)
    44% of Americans think (2014).
    80% believe in miracles and 75% in the Virgin Birth (2013).
    Argumentum ad populum doesn't mean that a claim/ belief is correct.

    Ah, yes. A study that "many psychologists ... find ... insufficiently persuasive".

    Given that Stapp is an associate of Deepak Chopra I don't think he needs to be taken very seriously. Hameroff appears to be almost as bad.

    The problem here is that the results aren't so "direct and measurable".

    No, it's boll*cks.

    Why the f*ck would I have a "serious emotional crisis"?

    Um, that's a statement not a question.


    I doubt it.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Funny you should mention dishonesty:
    No, evolution is a fact.
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    As Dywyddr points out, evolution is a fact. It is demonstrated in the wild, in domestication, in breeder's kennels, in fish-breeding tanks and in petri dishes. We literally see evolution happening in real-time.

    What is a theory is evolution by natural selection. It is irrefutable that animals evolve, but it is not factual is what factors are driving this evolution in nature.

    This is again why you need to educate yourself before dismissing things. Your authorities are lying to you.
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    He's not dishonest; he is repeating what he's been taught. It is his teachers who are dishonest.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  16. timojin Valued Senior Member

    # 1 Who can certify ,That the earth was not a fugitive planet in our Galaxy. Why we have such a large amount of Uranium in our planet . Is that an indication that earth was a planet in some other solar system ?
    Does the sun have a iron core ? we have . In order to have heavy metals higher then Iron the system have to go to a second or third supernova, that is saying that material in the earth have gone more then twice.
    Our earth have the highest density , the sun and the other large planet in our solar system have lover density . Why , is it not that they accrued more light density atoms because they are younger systems ?

    I would not question the earth had some collision to produce the moon , and at that point there is an agreement that earth obtained a lightening for night and for the day the sun. I am curious if they finaly obtain water on Mars if the water will have the same ratio of DOH/ H2O as on the earth, because of the collision .
  17. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

    I am curious by what logic you conclude that evolution is "only theoretical"... we have quite an abundance of information PROVING evolution is a fact. Perhaps you are claiming macro-evolution is theory?
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Reported as off-topic.
  19. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Therefore someone was dishonest...

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  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Why? Genesis 1 describes the yearly flood of the Nile almost perfectly.
    It's covered with water right now; 72% of the Earth is water. It's been covered with water for most of its existence. Sometimes it has been covered 100% with water (i.e. "snowball Earth") but those times were rare; most of the time it's varied from between about 60% and 98%.
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Indeed. Which is why critical thinking skills are ... critical.

    Don't take any one person's word for it.

    And - not to put too fine a point on it - that includes your own sources of information.

    Everything on evolution posted here can be verified. In fact, those who want enlightenment to be universal strongly encourage you to verify everything.
  22. Kittamaru Never cruel nor cowardly... Staff Member

    This idea that Religion and Science must be mutually exclusive is disappointing. Everything with a grain of salt I say...
  23. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member


    What makes you think it's a "large amount"?
    Uranium is no 52 of the 78 most abundant elements in the Earth's crust.


    A small one, apparently.

    What does that have to do with whether or not the Sun has one?

    No, the heavy elements come from supernovae outside of the Solar System, not from our Sun going supernova.


    What makes you think we didn't have night and day before the collision that produced the Moon?

    Like this:

    Why would the collision have anything to do with water on Mars?

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