Atheism Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design Philosophy

What’s Your Evolutionary Quotient?

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Let’s consider that atheistic, Darwinstic materialism is true. Let’s say that what we believe and think are evolution-generated phenomena, the result of the physics of biology as it interacts with the environment.  For instance, if I believe in God and think demons are real and that putting my socks on before I put my pants on brings me good luck, I think those things for no reason other than that I have been compelled by the cumulative interactive physics of billions of years of physical processes to believe such things and think such thoughts.

If this is so, am I responsible for my beliefs and thoughts in any significant manner other than, say, I am responsible for what color my skin is or how tall I happen to be? One might say that because “I” (this particular amalgation of physics/biology at this particular location) “have” or “am” those thoughts, that I am “responsible” for them; but if that is true, then I am equally responsible for the color of skin I have.  These qualities of the “I” are just what a long line of interacting molecules happened to generate via evolutionary processes – same as my skin color, height, etc.

Q1: If whatever I think and believe is as much an evolutionary product as the color of my skin, how is criticizing what I think/believe any different than criticizing me for my skin color?

Let’s say that Darwinists hold “success of progeny”, or our meaningful “evolutionary quotient”, if you will, as the only significant measure of the success of evolution in any particular species unit.  By this standard, features that provide evolutionary success are “better” than features that diminish one’s successful progeny rate. The only real measure, then, of how an evolutionary feature is “better” than another is determined by thie evolutionary quotient differential (in terms of successful progeny).

Q2:  If we hold that “success of progeny” is the only significant measure of the success of evolution in any particular species unit, and thoughts and beliefs are evolution-generated features, why argue about whether or not any belief or thought is “true”, when what matters is only if the biological entity with those beliefs produces more successful progeny than those with different beliefs?

and —> Q2.1: If all of the above is true, then isn’t arguing about the “trueness” or “validity” of a thought or a belief the same, categorically, as arguing about which shape of leaf is true, or which pattern of freckles is “true”, or “logically valid”?

Q3: Why isn’t the first question an evolutionary materialist asks in a debate something like:”How many offspring are you responsible for?”as a means of determining if whatever their opponent believes is something they should consider believing?

BTW, my EQ (evolutionary quotient) is 18 (children and grandchildren, so far), which means – roughly – that you should take whatever I say and consider it worth 18 times the value as what someone says with no offspring. After all, it doesn’t matter how intelligent or rational I am, because we simply don’t know if those things are – by themselves – advantageous towards evolutionary success. The only fact we have to determine the value of anyone’s argument – under the Darwinistic paradigm – is how many successful offspring they produce. IOW, their Evolutionary Quotient.

What’s your EQ?

26 Replies to “What’s Your Evolutionary Quotient?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    If theistic evolution or evolutionary creation (or whatever the latest label is) were true, how would that change the content of your questions?

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    The remarkable thing with the advent of man is that it is now possible to have descendants that are not merely biological. It’s possible to have as an ancestor, or as a “father,” a person not in your biological lineage.

    How awesome is that?

  3. 3
    Neil Rickert says:

    Let’s consider that atheistic, Darwinstic materialism is true.

    What does that even mean? I normally take “truth” to apply to sentences or propositions, rather than to stances or philosophies.

    Let’s say that what we believe and think are evolution-generated phenomena, the result of the physics of biology as it interacts with the environment.

    Evolution gave you your genes. It did not give you your beliefs. As far as I know, there are no beliefs encoded in the DNA.

    I think you are erecting a strawman?

  4. 4
    JWTruthInLove says:

    If whatever I think and believe is as much an evolutionary product as the color of my skin, how is criticizing what I think/believe any different than criticizing me for my skin color?

    It gets even better. People are just molecule-compounds interacting via the natural forces. So how is cutting off a head of a man any different from critizing a movie? And how is cyanide any different from apple juice? It’s all just molecules in motion.

  5. 5
    William J Murray says:

    JWTruthInLove:

    Baby steps!

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    Is it true that there is no DNA in brain cells?

  7. 7
    JWTruthInLove says:

    Are brain cells true?

  8. 8
    JGuy says:

    My EQ is zero, so far. 😛

  9. 9
    JWTruthInLove says:

    I suggest a new metric, which I will call BEQ (Better EQ). Since siblings share lots of genes their descendants shall also be considered.

    BEQ := EQ({me}) + lambda * EQ(siblings).

    However we must also consider that the man/woman which was used to produce the babies might be a lying fool. How do we take that into account?

  10. 10
    JGuy says:

    If Darwinian Materialism (DaMi) is true:

    Q1: If whatever I think and believe is as much an evolutionary product as the color of my skin, how is criticizing what I think/believe any different than criticizing me for my skin color?

    Answer: It’s different as a chemical reaction that’s taking place in a beaker could be taking place in a boiling flask.

    Q2: If we hold that “success of progeny” is the only significant measure of the success of evolution in any particular species unit, and thoughts and beliefs are evolution-generated features, why argue about whether or not any belief or thought is “true”, when what matters is only if the biological entity with those beliefs produces more successful progeny than those with different beliefs?

    Trick Question!!! You presumed significance. You “evil” theist!

    and —> Q2.1: If all of the above is true, then isn’t arguing about the “trueness” or “validity” of a thought or a belief the same, categorically, as arguing about which shape of leaf is true, or which pattern of freckles is “true”, or “logically valid”?

    Presuming significance actually can exists in DaMi: That seems truish.

    Q3: Why isn’t the first question an evolutionary materialist asks in a debate something like:”How many offspring are you responsible for?”as a means of determining if whatever their opponent believes is something they should consider believing?

    Because his/her first question is a artificially selected random opening statement. … So, why is the EM at the debate anyway?

    Moral of the story, don’t be a DaMi! 😛

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil Rickert @ 3 states:

    Evolution gave you your genes. It did not give you your beliefs.

    But that’s the whole point Mr. Rickert,,,,

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase), ‘If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.’ Well that condition has been met time and time again. Basically every gene, every protein fold. There is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in a gradualist way. It’s a mirage. None of it happens that way.
    – Doug Axe PhD.

    Nothing In Molecular Biology Is Gradual – Doug Axe PhD. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5347797/

    Could Chance Arrange the Code for (Just) One Gene?
    “our minds cannot grasp such an extremely small probability as that involved in the accidental arranging of even one gene (10^-236).”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com/epoi_c10.htm

    Doug Axe PhD. on the Rarity and ‘non-Evolvability’ of Proteins – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/9243592/

    From Jerry Coyne, More Table-Pounding, Hand-Waving – May 2012
    Excerpt: “More than 6 percent of genes found in humans simply aren’t found in any form in chimpanzees. There are over fourteen hundred novel genes expressed in humans but not in chimps.”
    Jerry Coyne – ardent and ‘angry’ neo-Darwinist – professor at the University of Chicago in the department of ecology and evolution for twenty years. He specializes in evolutionary genetics.

    ,,why do you, Mr. Rickert, since you have ZERO evidence of Darwinian processes producing EVEN ONE gene, personally believe that it is true that Darwinian evolution produced your genes??? Since your belief cannot be purely the product of logical deduction from empirical evidence, since you have no empirical evidence to support your belief that genes arise from Darwinian processes, is your belief derived from some deterministic state of your material brain or perhaps, is it derived from something like a ‘atheist gene’ that you have no control over? i.e. were you born that way?

    Notes:

    Out of the mouths of babes – Do children believe (in God) because they’re told to by adults? The evidence suggests otherwise – Justin Barrett – 2008
    Excerpt: • Children tend to see natural objects as designed or purposeful in ways that go beyond what their parents teach, as Deborah Kelemen has demonstrated. Rivers exist so that we can go fishing on them, and birds are here to look pretty.
    • Children doubt that impersonal processes can create order or purpose. Studies with children show that they expect that someone not something is behind natural order. No wonder that Margaret Evans found that children younger than 10 favoured creationist accounts of the origins of animals over evolutionary accounts even when their parents and teachers endorsed evolution. Authorities’ testimony didn’t carry enough weight to over-ride a natural tendency.
    • Children know humans are not behind the order so the idea of a creating god (or gods) makes sense to them. Children just need adults to specify which one.
    • Experimental evidence, including cross-cultural studies, suggests that three-year-olds attribute super, god-like qualities to lots of different beings. Super-power, super-knowledge and super-perception seem to be default assumptions. Children then have to learn that mother is fallible, and dad is not all powerful, and that people will die. So children may be particularly receptive to the idea of a super creator-god. It fits their predilections.
    • Recent research by Paul Bloom, Jesse Bering, and Emma Cohen suggests that children may also be predisposed to believe in a soul that persists beyond death.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....god-belief

    A little known fact, a fact that is very antagonistic to the genetic reductionism model of neo-Darwinism, is that, besides environmental factors, even our thoughts and feelings can ‘epigenetically’ control the gene expression of our bodies:

    Genie In Your Genes – video
    http://www.genieinyourgenes.com/ggtrailer.html

    Anxiety May Shorten Your Cell Life – July 12, 2012
    Excerpt: These studies had the advantage of large data sets involving thousands of participants.
    If the correlations remain robust in similar studies, it would indicate that mental states and lifestyle choices can produce epigenetic effects on our genes.
    http://crev.info/2012/07/anxie.....cell-life/

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    as to EQ:

    An atheist said the following in response to Dr. Plantinga’s devastating evolutionary argument against naturalism:

    ‘Creatures inveterately wrong in their inductions have a pathetic but praiseworthy tendency to die before reproducing their kind.’

    Yet we find that,,,

    Children are born believers in God, academic claims – Telegraph – November 2008
    Excerpt: “The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children’s minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose,”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....laims.html

    ‘Believers’ gene’ will spread religion , says academic – January 2011
    Excerpt: The World Values Survey, which covered 82 nations from 1981 to 2004, found that adults who attended religious services more than once a week had 2.5 children on average; while those who went once a month had two; and those who never attended had 1.67.
    Prof Rowthorn wrote: “The more devout people are, the more children they are likely to have.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sci.....demic.html

    Why do atheists have such a low retention rate? – July 2012
    Excerpt: Only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults. This “retention rate” was the lowest among the 20 separate categories in the study.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....tion-rate/

    No wonder militant atheists have to be so persistent, and dogmatic, in ‘evangelizing’ their false nihilistic religion. Even their own children have a inherent tendency to not believe what they are saying.

    Verse and Music:

    Psalm 139:13
    For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

    Gungor “Beautiful Things” – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyPBtExE4W0

  13. 13
    JWTruthInLove says:

    @ba77:

    Even their own children have a inherent tendency to not believe what they are saying.

    Actually William J Murray gave a good explantion for this in his post here: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....easonable/ (155):

    A materialistic atheist can believe whatever he wants regardless of its truth-value. So he/she stopped believing in atheism and began to believe in spritualism, trinity, Islam or idol-worshipping.

    Is William J Murray really a theist or is he still an atheist who believes anything he wants?

  14. 14
    William J Murray says:

    One wonders why atheistic materialists bother debating at all. What’s the point? To convince a fig leaf to convert to magnolia-leafism? Yippee, the materialist atheist rearranged some molecules!!! His necessary and sufficient causes must be so proud!

  15. 15
    JDH says:

    Neil Rickert@3 – Neil, are you really that lacking in logic? Do you not see that if particles and forces ( materialism) is all that there is, then your beliefs can only be a by-product or your biology. To admit more than this, to consider your beliefs as part of some being independent or emergent from your biology — is to contradict the principle of materialism.

    “Emergent” is only a term of obfuscation invented by fools afraid to face the facts and abandon their foolish initial assumptions.

  16. 16
    Mung says:

    JGuy:

    My EQ is zero, so far.

    Well, that may be what you believe, but that don’t make it so.

  17. 17
    Joe says:

    Neil Rickert:

    Evolution gave you your genes.

    What “evolution” are you talking about? Was it Intelligent Design Evolution that gave us our genes or blind watchmaker evolution? How can you tell?

    It did not give you your beliefs.

    What? Behaviours and beliefs cannot evolve? Are you daft?

  18. 18
    Mung says:

    We don’t have free will, at least not in the way everyone thinks we do. We are biologically determined creatures … Our brains – and therefore our choices – are as biologically determined as are our livers or kidneys. … Biological determinism is a fact.

    – Jerry Coyne

    Biological determinism is a fact, just like evolution is a fact.

  19. 19
    William J Murray says:

    This reveals an obvious categorical disconnect that many – if not most – atheistic, darwinistic materialists don’t understand about their own position.

    Why are they arguing?

    The necessary implication of their argument is that what they are arguing about is true, something outside of the scope of (1) their premised capacity, and (2) their premised objective. Even if they could discern “what is true”, what difference does that make in evolutionary terms, when the best feature in such terms may be a belief that completely ignores reality. If some “truth” about our existences would cause humanity to wipe itself out, is “the truth” good in terms of our evolutionary prospects?

    The materialist, atheistic darwinists (MADs) are collectively stealing the concept whenever they make a case that something they believe is true, because under their paradigm “true” is not something worth arguing about, nor is it something we’re capable of ascertaining.

    An argument about whether or not something is “true” depends upon non MAD assumptions (that truths exist and that we’re capable of discerning them); the implication that “what is true” matters per se in any significant way depends, again, on a non-MAD existence.

    IF one is MAD, there is no reason to pursue truth, to argue it, or to expect it to matter in evolutionary terms. There’s no reason to try and convince anyone of anything, to judge the truth-value of other arguments, or to even care what others believe, since all beliefs are from the same ontological origin and “pursue” the same ontological goal – survival of the species.

    A true MAD-man would embrace and support diverse beliefs of all sorts, since such species diversity would help evolution pursue all sorts of belief-mutations towards the ones best for our survival. If some wanted to establish creationist science, or reincarnation science, or redefine science to include the supernatural .. why not? It’s no different than nature “trying out” different kinds of spot patterns or leaf designs.

    Right?

  20. 20

    William J. Murray:

    I’m not going to reveal my EQ, but I think you raise some very significant questions in a slightly new light. Thanks for the post.

  21. 21
    billmaz says:

    There are so many logic mistakes in the arguments above that I don’t know where to begin. First of all, our beliefs are not the product of evolution. We started out ignorant of how our environment works. As our brains evolved to be larger, we began to imagine what our environment means – the sun may be a god, the moon a goddess, the wind, the sea, all gods. But as our rational minds evolved to be able to undertake scientific investigation, which involves not only theorizing but gathering evidence and proposing experiments which turn out to have predictive value, then our understanding of nature (the moon is a satellite revolving around earth, the sun is a ball of gas, etc) helped us become the dominant species on earth. So it’s our rational mind that has been so successful and which evolution has created, not any one belief system. I don’t think there is anyone here that denies the fact that our brains, and its ability to discern the rational truth about our world, is the main cause of our success as a species.

    Secondly, the idea that we are “responsible” for our ideas in the same way that we are for the color of our skin is a ludicrous argument. Our ideas change as we gather more data about our natural world. If our conclusions are correct, we can manipulate our world better and have an advantage over those species that can’t. The advantage our brain gives us is rationality, the idea that one can understand the natural world around him and survive better than those that can’t. The ‘trueness’ of an idea is tested, it is not simply a belief. If it is wrong, a new idea, taking into account new evidence, is tested. Not all ideas are created equal. Putting on your socks first, and believing in a God who constantly creates new species without any evidence is not the same as quantum physics which has been tested and found true more times than one can count.

    Let’s stop using childish arguments.

  22. 22
    William J Murray says:

    billmaz:

    Unless you can refer to some cause exterior to biology and physics, the same biology and physics that produces minds that believe god has been tested and proved true more times than one can count, produced your mind that makes the same claim about physics. The same causal resource that makes you feel certain about your views concerning science, caused as many or more minds that feel certain about astrology, demonic possession, and the existence of angels.

    BTW, you have a habit of stealing the concept when you refer to “we” and “our”; under materialistic, atheistic materialism, “we” and “our” are just substitute terms for “biology & physics”; so if biology and physics changes thoughts and beliefs, they may do so on a quicker timetable than they change skin color, but it is still the same thing categorically. Thus, criticizing some thoughts or beliefs is no different than criticizing skin color or height; it’s criticizing something generated by biology & physics.

  23. 23
    billmaz says:

    Yes, WMurray, we may all start out with our beliefs which we think have been proven scientifically but in the end the evidence of how nature actually works will provide the truth. I don’t think it helps us arrive at the truth by arguing that all our beliefs are equal because they all occurred in a mind based on biology and physics. As the history of the human race has progressed, old superstitions have been replaced by evidenced based science. If science proves the existence of God or a designer, I’ll be the first to accept it.

    I may accept God because I may believe that the universe could not exist without a cause outside of it. Or I may accept Him because I experienced Him subjectively. Or because I believe that love is the basis to the universe. But all of that is not science. Science, as you well know, has rules of evidence, reproducibility, etc. Until I can prove that proposition based on those scientific rules, it remains as faith and philosophy. That’s why when one asks if I believe in evolution or ID or Creationism I answer that the question is wrongly stated. Belief has nothing to do with science. The hypothesis is either supported by evidence or it is not.

  24. 24
    William J Murray says:

    billmaz,

    You miss the entire point. You keep using the term “I” and “we” as if those things are something other than physics and biology, as if truth and evidence are generated by something other than physics and biology and are something other than physics and biology. For you to say one thing generated by physics and biology (belief in god) is less of a truth than some other thing generated by physics and biology (science), is the same as saying that a cucumber is more true than a rock.

    You’re stealing the concept in every line you write and you apparently don’t even know it. Materialism is incoherent – it has no argument it can make, nor does it have any argument worth making.

  25. 25
    billmaz says:

    WMurray, You are saying, if I understand you, that there is no absolute truth outside of ourselves, that because everything exists in our minds and our minds are the product of biology and physics, that therefore all our beliefs are equally valid. Your view, it seems, is that no absolute truth exists or that if it does exist we can’t see it because we are the product of biology and physics. If that is your argument, OK, there is philosophical precedent for that idea, that the universe is a creation of our consciousness. Even quantum mechanics says a version of that.

    I don’t happen to agree the idea that truth does not exist outside the mind or that we can’t understand it. I think there is an objective truth which we are trying to understand. If we fail, then we don’t survive as a species. The fact that we have succeeded means we have been very successful in understanding the truth of our physical world outside of ourselves. Materialism may not be the entire truth, but viewing the world in a materialistic way has allowed us to put a man on the moon and to figuring out the Big Bang. So we must be doing something right. To say that materialism is incoherent means you discount all the success of the past two thousand years in bringing our knowledge of physics and biology to where it is. What am I missing?

  26. 26
    William J Murray says:

    No, billmaz, you do not understand me.

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