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Evolution is a Deterministic and Fatalistic way of looking at the world. Free choice and the freedom to "Plan Your Own Future" trumps "Evolution Shaping The Destiny of Individuals and Changing who we are." Yes?


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Initial post: Oct 26, 2012 4:33:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2012 4:33:43 PM PDT
DRM says:
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Posted on Oct 27, 2012 12:52:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012 1:46:48 AM PDT
DRM says:
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Posted on Oct 27, 2012 2:40:09 AM PDT
Evolution is not a way of looking at the world. It is simply and solely a theory in biology about how species arise from other species. It is not an ethic, a worldview, or a political prescription. Anyone who tries to get those out of it is missing the point. There are, indeed, those who try to make a philosophy out of it (e.g. Dawkins, Dennett, Bergsen), but the vast majority of scientists know better.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012 9:20:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012 9:22:54 AM PDT
RR says:
DRM,
" Robotic Organisms Shaped and Controlled by Evolution. Changed by Forces Beyond Their Control."

Absolutely right! But why stop at birds & reptiles? I say, free will for slime mold! Bacteria too! Why can't it have the right of choice because of stupid evolution?

DRM, give your gut flora the freedom to choose! Why do you constrain them? Are you a communist?????

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012 10:04:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012 10:27:57 AM PDT
MMX says:
BPL: "Evolution is not a way of looking at the world."

MMX: Disagree with both you and DRM,

(1) I accept that DRM is a dolt, someone who doesn't understand evolution one-little-bit. And, because he doesn't understand evolution, he ascribes to it properties-that-it-doesn't-have.

For example, evolution does dictate that "Anyone who doesn't understand evolution, who doesn't know how the need to reproduce strongly influences (and nearly controls) the majority of his choices, is doomed to be controlled by his need to reproduce." But DRM twists this admonishment into, "Everyone, including those who understand evolution, are doomed!"

(2) But when you say, " It is simply and solely a theory in biology about how species arise from other species. It is not an ethic, a worldview, or a political prescription." , I disagree. Politically-speaking, do we prefer a human population which is doomed to blindly seek its own genetic interests OR do we prefer a human population which can put aside the satisfaction of their own genetic interests in order to better cooperate?

Doesn't the fact that I CAN ask this question imply that it's not quite true that "Evolution is not an ethic, a worldview, or a political prescription."?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012 10:41:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2012 10:46:43 AM PDT
RR says:
MMX,
" I disagree. Politically-speaking, do we prefer a human population which is doomed to blindly seek its own genetic interests OR do we prefer a human population which can put aside the satisfaction of their own genetic interests in order to better cooperate? "

Are you contending that humans don't cooperate or don't cooperate enough for your tastes? The evidence is overwhelming that we do. The only issue at debate is whether it has a genetic basis or not. But clearly, cooperation is one of the hallmarks of human success.

Given that 99% of children in developed societies live to reproduction and world wide survival rates have been increasing for at least a century (due to sharing of technologies), I'm unsure what your problem is.

Any other survival beyond survival to reproduction is invisible to evolution.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2012 1:42:17 PM PDT
MMX: Doesn't the fact that I CAN ask this question imply that it's not quite true that "Evolution is not an ethic, a worldview, or a political prescription."?

BPL: I don't see the connection.

Posted on Oct 28, 2012 6:06:14 AM PDT
Ambulocetus says:
By DRM's logic, both Newton's laws of motion and the germ theory of disease remove agency from organisms and are therefore atheistic, deterministic, soul-destroying theories.

One would have thought that "souls" were made of sterner stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 6:35:45 AM PDT
noman says:
"Evolution is a Deterministic and Fatalistic way of looking at the world. Free choice and the freedom to "Plan Your Own Future" trumps "Evolution Shaping The Destiny of Individuals and Changing who we are." Yes?"

**Rubbish. Newton didn't invent inertia or gravity. He observed the universe *as it is* and then codified these observations within a theory. Pasture and Koch didn't invent *germs*...they made observations, conducted experiments and developed theories that had explanatory powers. You also apparently don't understand that deterministic causes (like throwing a ball) can have random outcomes (what kind of bounce does the ball take) and vice versa.

"Free choice"?
Choice to be born? No
Choice of genome? No
Choice of Phenotype? No
Choice of disease or accident? Some choice, within limits.
Choice of education, job, and etc? Some, but still within limits. You might *want* to go to Harvard (I think Duke is a better choice but it takes all kinds) but lack the money, SAT scores, social connections and etc. Or your car might break down and you miss a critical interview or...
You can sit down to watch television and die of a heart attack or pass away of a cerebral hemorrhage sitting on a stool in the kitchen and no one notices for several hours.

Brain research (V. S. Ramachandran and others) indicates that the concept of "self" may be an illusion. In one interesting experiment researchers monitor brain activity of subject and ask them to wiggle a finger at *any*time during a ten minute interval. A spike in brain activity occurs 1/2 to 1 full second *before* the subject makes a *conscious* decision to move their finger. Obviously this is not conclusive, but it's very interesting that what appears to be simple *conscious* decision to wiggle a finger is
preceded by something at a level below consciousness. How much "free choice" is involved if the actual decision is made at some level that can be
consciously perceived.

The Emerging Mind
Reith Lectures
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/lecturer.shtml

AND

"In "The Zombie in the Brain," Ramachandran approaches the so-called binding problem of a unified perception of (in his example) a ball-whether there is "some later place in the brain where all this information is put together"-as involving "logically flawed assumptions about the visual process" (pp. 80-81). In sports, we "release [the] zombie" (p. 83) of our "how" pathway. In contrast, a patient with Balint's syndrome from bilateral parietal damage (p. 80), with only the "what" pathway intact, focuses on and recognizes only the small object that is in her foveal vision. A patient with dissociation between her what and how pathways (p. 79) can interact with the world spatially but is "unaware of the shapes, locations and sizes of most objects around her" (p. 79), and Kluver-Bucy animals and patients, who lack bilateral temporal lobe function, are indiscriminate about objects yet move about without bumping into walls (p. 78). Because there are a "multitude [of zombies] inhabiting your brain" (p. 84), it follows that "your concept of a single `I' or `self' inhabiting your brain may be simply an illusion-albeit one that allows you to organize your life more efficiently, gives you a sense of purpose and helps you interact with others" (p. 84). The authors state that this will be a recurring theme in the book. "

The American Journal of Psychiatry, VOL. 157, No. 5
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=174141

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 6:50:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 6:51:43 AM PDT
noman wrote:

"Newton didn't invent inertia or gravity. He observed the universe *as it is* and then codified these observations within a theory. Pasture and Koch didn't invent *germs*...they made observations, conducted experiments and developed theories that had explanatory powers."
=======================================

That is completely erroneous, noman.

Had Newton, Pasture, or Koch did what you claim that they did, they would not be humans. Those three scientists extrapolated or integrated, or refined what has accumulated up to their days from prior experiences.

They did not observe, did not invent, and did not develop theories based on experiments. They developed experiments based on prior theories, most of which described in the Torah, Bible, and Quran as the main three books that depicted man's perception of God, creation, and the universe, in the Middle East.

You cannot separate Newton, Pasture, or Koch from Christianity, unless you are biased.

Mohamed F. El-Hewie

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 7:53:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 7:57:56 AM PDT
noman says:
MFEH fantasizes from a parallel dream world:"They did not observe, did not invent, and did not develop theories based on experiments. They developed experiments based on prior theories, most of which described in the Torah, Bible, and Quran as the main three books that depicted man's perception of God, creation, and the universe, in the Middle East.

You cannot separate Newton, Pasture, or Koch from Christianity, unless you are biased."

**Please quote passage(s) that give Newtonian Mechanics,Calculus, molecular asymmetry, microscopy,and etc.

SUMMARY:There may have been one or two more egregiously ignorant lunatic post been made, but I don't think there can have been three. But then, never bet against creationist lunacy.

EDIT: You might also point out exactly where God slots into the formulas for force and motion or enzyme kinetics.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 8:24:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 8:25:19 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 8:57:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 9:00:28 AM PDT
Ambulocetus says:
Newton, however he was positioned by his admirers later, was NOT a slavishly Baconian inductive thinker, concentrating ONLY on the data. He is remembered for his Principia, but his alchemical writings were also quite voluminous.

Further, if you don't believe that the empirical sciences are inextricably connected to religion throughout much of their history, just look at the reviews of Darwin's 1859 book.
Darwin and His Critics: The Reception of Darwin's Theory of Evolution by the Scientific Community

Again and again, the most respected naturalists of the age take Darwin to task for ignoring "final causes" (teleology) in nature, or for not doing justice to the rational harmony (clearly the product of God's creation) in the cosmos. It is hard to imagine in our post-Darwinian age, but these men (Bowen, Sedgwick, Agassiz, and others) saw teleology and rational harmony as phenomena to be explained scientifically, just as they saw the presence of backbones in some animals but not others as a phenomenon to be explained scientifically. In their view, Darwin had failed to explain them, but was instead engaged in explaining them AWAY.
http://darwin-online.org.uk/reviews.html

The belief that scientists all the way back to Newton have looked only at empirical fact, never allowing personal, sociopolitical, or religious factors to interfere in their investigations, is a myth. If you doubt this, just look at the writings of Robert Boyle, an original founder of the Royal Society, especially his "A Free Inquiry into the Vulgar Notion of Nature" and "An Inquiry into the Final Causes of Natural Things" (pp. 106ff, below).
http://preview.tinyurl.com/9doy36l

Great scientists like Copernicus and Darwin have frequently made strides in scientific knowledge by overstepping religion. Equally frequently, however, it is precisely the religion of men like Newton and Boyle that motivated their search for knowledge of God's Other Book, the universe.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 12:29:24 PM PDT
MMX says:
RR: "Given that 99% of children in developed societies live to reproduction and world wide survival rates have been increasing for at least a century (due to sharing of technologies), I'm unsure what your problem is. Any other survival beyond survival to reproduction is invisible to evolution."

MMX: Oh, I know that.

My objection, though, is that we don't HAVE to look at the world in those terms.

One of my favorite authors stated, "If we decide that the purpose of being human is to live long and happy lives, then we're dramatically departing from our genetic legacy." (Not that there's anything wrong with this, but - when you depart from your genetic legacy, you're demanding a lot from nature AND are bound to notice that many of your "natural instincts" and "natural desires" are counter-productive.)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 12:57:21 PM PDT
Deckard says:
DRM said:
"They utilized Free Choice and proved that you don't have to be Helplessly Subjected To Forces Beyond Your Control."

You mean forces like a vengeful god who will send you to hell forever if you exercise your free will?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 1:08:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 1:09:11 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 4:41:45 PM PDT
noman says:
Oh yeah...why no mention of Place Value or Zero in the texts? Why did "Zero", unarguably the most fundamental mathematical concept of all time seem to only ever originate with the(drum roll please) Hindu? (there is,as always some argument about this)However- "Christian mindset" apparently was asleep at the switch.

History of Zero
http://webspace.ship.edu/msrenault/400%20Presentations/Presentation%203%20Zero.pdf

The Hindu-Arabic System (800 BC)
http://faculty.atu.edu/mfinan/2033/section6.pdf

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 6:07:19 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 6:27:58 PM PDT
noman says:
RE: "Why pick on the tests and other when you are scared of showing your real name?

Mohamed F. El-Hewie"

**
1) You brought up the "alleged" connection
2) I've read your violent racist misogynist narcissistic rants and seen your public court record. I prefer the term "cautious", but then again,IMO,it's not unreasonable to be at least a bit fearful of a dangerous lunatic.

Posted on Oct 28, 2012 6:28:16 PM PDT
Jacob King says:
Of course no one has free will the thing that the human brain does best is rationalise and explain events. It is an interpretor and not a decider. WE experience our life in hindsight even if we are only looking back a micro second. Dreams are just the random firing of neurons yet we can tell people what we dreamed "about" in the form of a story. There is no reason to believe that waking life is any different to this. The swallow has all sorts of excellent reasons for flying south (its cold, food is scarce, everyone else is doing it) and is unaware that it is driven by its unconcious impulses are humans any different?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 6:39:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 6:41:32 PM PDT
Jacob King wrote:

"Of course no one has free will the thing that the human brain does best is rationalise and explain events. It is an interpretor and not a decider. "
===================================

The human brain cannot do what you claim, in void. The human brain does not rationalize or explain.

The human brain resonates with the waves generated by a mass of creatures. If that mass reduces to zero, our brain ceases to reason.

You cannot cerebrate in void. You must belong to a herd in order to resonate and vibrate.

As a result, what makes such bulk of wave in the first place?

Historic memory does it: Bible, Torah, Quran before statues and paintings.

The best sculptures in the world, and the most elegant piece of music would never rise to the eloquence of a script from the Bible.

It is that innate historic memory that ignited science into genius.

Mohamed F. El-Hewie

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012 9:46:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2012 10:33:27 PM PDT
Jacob King says:
Wow, you touch on so many different things, first I was making a point about how our self awareness, and freedom, may be illusory and after the fact which does not preclude the possibility of art, science and religion it only repositions them as subjective understandings of stimuli within the objective and inaccessable world. Inaccessable by humans who can only experience reality through their subjective experience. How do we know that what i see when i see the colour red is the same as what you see - we don't and it probably isn't.

One evoloutionary theory positis that humans are evolved to look for water in forest environments therefore the talent of spotting sparkly objects has been selected for over millenia. Diamonds and gold have little objective value but are highly prized, to the point of murder and war, by our species. Is this becauseof the evoulutionary imperitive to find water reinterpreted by our brain into a concept of wealth?

We can never really know another human. Far from being part of a herd we are always alone creating out of our friends and neighbours characters to give meaning for our own personal narrative we tend to cluster in groups with a similar values and norms so this is not generally a problem. People rarely change religion for example.

There is a whole school of philosophy, existentialism, that looks at the subjective nature of human experience. If life is meaningless or absurd then it must take on the meaning we give it but that doesn't mean that our particular meaning could be found without our own unique perspective. Truth is relative - obviously.

You brought up art. There are lots of evolutionary explanations for art such as a form of mating display like that of the bower bird but one interesting thing is the way that people are attracted to the same sorts of images - things like sex and violence, the same stories across cultures

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012 6:44:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 29, 2012 6:45:27 AM PDT
Jacob King wrote:

"what i see when i see the colour red is the same as what you see - we don't and it probably isn't. "
========================

I stopped and thought about the above concept. If two people speaking two different languages, try to convey the meaning of color red, they might resort to objects and images to communicate their shared perception of red.

Yet, complex concepts, unrelated to objects, are hard to communicate. For example, how would you argue an issue about god letting our loved ones die, our enemies live and prosper, when god should exemplify mercy? There are many neat arguments on that exact topic in all religions, that are hard to communicate across cultures without life-long connection to the herd in concern.

Mohamed F. El-Hewie

Posted on Oct 29, 2012 11:14:29 AM PDT
The Weasel says:
DRM,

So, when bacterium develop anti-biotic resistance it's because "they want to"?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012 11:45:20 AM PDT
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  88
Initial post:  Oct 26, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 8, 2012

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