10 Replies to “Evolution’s “Stunning Falsehoods”

  1. 1
    Joseph says:

    I predict much folly (kewl entertainment) from the anti-IDists’ bloviations of this article. I know this subject (the article, ie morals) has made the rounds on the internet but somehow it is different coming in that format and from a (former) judge.

    IMHO IDists should demonstrate that the design inference extends beyond biology, then no one could say we are just “picking on ‘evolution'”. That seems to be one objection I hear most…

  2. 2
    aldo30127 says:

    You know what gets my goat? The notion that somehow directly elected government officials somehow automatically have authority over indiretly elected ones. As if the fact that the SCOTUS isn’t directly elected they don’t have authority to review laws. It’s kind of in their job description, regardless of how they got the job. Judical overreach can be a problem, but reducing it “elected” v. “unelected” cheapens any real criticism. I have never heard anybody criticize the Secretary of State’s actions because she is an “unelected” official…

    Yeah! How dare those 9 Georgia citizens on the Cobb county school board who were directly elected by Cobb county voters to set Cobb county school policy be considered superior to the opinion of one unelected federal judge appointed by a President from Arkansas. The nerve of some people to question the almighty federal judge. Everyone knows the constitution was ratified so that that a handful of people in Washington could micromanage and usurp at will every bit of local decision making authority. That really gets my goat too, Aldo, that people dare question the way things work now. 😆 -ds

  3. 3
    ftrp11 says:

    Judge White says: “In other words, sow secular humanism and survivalist mentality in the fall, expect a Columbine harvest in the spring.”

    This silliness makes it hard to take this man seriously. For one thing, a “survivalist mentality” has nothing to do with secular humanism. Is he then implying that the best natural explanation for the spread of life on Earth breads this survivalist mentality? If he is then he is demostrating a profound lack of understanding of both evolutionary theory and humanity.

    ET is not responsible for eugenics, the holocaust, Stalnism, or social Darwinism. It is people and their cultures that are responsible for such evils. If these evils rely on ET at all they rely on a perverted interpretation of it. Human society does not, and has not for many thousands of years, operated by the rules of the rest of nature. The more social and a creature is the more important cooperation and self sacrifice become. Survival of the fittest is a pop term from the nineteenth century that has stuck around much to the chagrin of scientists. It grossly misrepresents ET in most cases and is an oversimplification in every other.

    It is people like this, on both sides of the debate, that get the other side up in arms and justifiably so.

    Uh, excuse me for asking but what exactly about survival of the fittest isn’t survivalist mentality? It’s the epitomy of survivalist thought! ET certainly IS the theory behind eugenics. If man is nothing more than tool using apes and fitness the result of natural selection it makes perfect sense to use the intelligence that evolution provided us to take over our own selection criteria to make our species into a super-species where successful breeders aren’t selected by nature in a haphazard manner where progress is measured in spans of thousands and millions of years but through scientific selection for health, strength, intelligence, and longevity where the results can be obtained in a matter of just a few generations. Sure, it’s cold and calculating but the Darwinian view of nature is exactly that – cold and calculating where the calculation is differential breeding success. It’s you that doesn’t understand science and Darwinian evolution. You’re trying to put a compassionate face on something where compassion plays absolutely no role in how it works. -ds

  4. 4
    aldo30127 says:

    Yeah! How dare those 9 Georgia citizens on the Cobb county school board who were directly elected by Cobb county voters to set Cobb county school policy be considered superior to the opinion of one unelected federal judge appointed by a President from Arkansas.

    So if the judge had been directly elected by the populus, you’d have absolutely, positively no problem with the decision he made or his authority to make that decision?

    Just because I understand why the voters in Cobb county would be justifiably upset by the intrusion of federal magistery on something that should be a matter of local legislation and/or adjudication doesn’t mean I disagree with the need for an independent judiciary. This never should have been a federal matter in the first place. The federal government of the United States was formed to provide for a common defense, a common currency, and to regulate interstate commerce. I fail to see how any of those federal imperatives applies to adjudicating stickers critical of evolution in high school science books. Color me as an advocate of states rights; a strict constitutional constructionist. -ds

  5. 5
    BarryA says:

    Just yesterday Reuters reported that North Korea routinely engages in eugenics. There are no disabled people in the country reports a defector. They are killed at birth or shortly thereafter.

    http://reuters.myway.com/artic.....TS-DC.html

    The Marxist/Stalinist worldview of the North Korean regime rests squarely on Darwinist assumptions. Case closed.

  6. 6
    George says:

    It’s you that doesn’t understand science and Darwinian evolution. You’re trying to put a compassionate face on something where compassion plays absolutely no role in how it works.

    True, science has absolutely nothing to do with compassion. Science is a tool. The way that it’s used is where the compassion comes in.

    ET certainly IS the theory behind eugenics.

    Yes, it is. And atomic theory is the theory behind nuclear energy and weapons. If someone detonated a nuclear bomb in the middle of New York City, would you be calling for an end to teaching atomic theory in schools? Of course not. There is a big difference between tools (science) and their uses.

    There is no moral philosophy inherent in evolution, no more than in any other branch of science. “Survival of the fittest” is a scientific statement when used in the context of evolution, not a moral one. The perpetrators of the Columbine school shootings were no more influenced by evolutionary theory than were the 9/11 terrorists influenced by the science of aeronautics.

    Any tools or ideas can be used badly in the hands of evil or crazy people. Even Christianity (Spanish Inquisition, anyone?)

    Sorry George, but your analogy with physics doesn’t hold up. Physics doesn’t teach that people are animals. NeoDarwinian Evolution (NDE) does. Physics doesn’t teach that living things are the purposeless result of random accident. NDE does. Physics doesn’t teach that success at life is having the most offspring. NDE does. Physics has no inherent moral or religious implications. NDE does. And the capper is that physics brings us things that raises our standard of living and makes the human condition more bearable. NDE doesn’t. No good comes from it. Experimental biology, the study of living tissue, produces all kinds of benefits. No so with evolutionary biology. As far as I can tell it’s a worse than useless occupation. -ds

  7. 7
    ftrp11 says:

    Dave Scott:

    I strongly disagree with you on this point.
    you said:”Uh, excuse me for asking but what exactly about survival of the fittest isn’t survivalist mentality? It’s the epitomy of survivalist thought!”
    &
    “If man is nothing more than tool using apes and fitness the result of natural selection it makes perfect sense to use the intelligence that evolution provided us to take over our own selection criteria to make our species into a super-species where successful breeders aren’t selected by nature in a haphazard manner where progress is measured in spans of thousands and millions of years but through scientific selection for health, strength, intelligence, and longevity where the results can be obtained in a matter of just a few generations.”

    I stated that survival of the fittes is a deplorably innaccurate and misleading way to describe ET. Your second point about how man might as well develop the super race (eugenics) is as I stated reliant on a perversion of ET. Nature itself is a-moral. There is no such thing as justice in nature. Such a notion is a human construct. Human society is necessarily moral. To pretend that human society operates or should operate according to the blind dictates of nature is both perverted and absurd in its impossibility for success. Morals change along with human society, but such a gross change in morals as was attempted multiple times in the twentieth century is doomed to end in either failure and societal self destruction.

    I will agree with you that compassion plays no part in how nature works. Complex social creatures are capable of compassion though. There are morals of a sort in place in ape and chimp “societies” because there relatively complex social structures demand cooperation and behavior in line with keeping peace in the group. Surely if our significantly dimmer cousins find it necessary to have social mores than humans demand a much more complex moral relationship with eachother.

    Tangent: I fear that a form of eugenics may rear its ugly head again sometime in the not so distant future. As genetic fine tuning becomes a reality for proplr I fear that it is inevitable that designer humans are only a matter of time. It willbecome a necessity to compete in society. This would be a new perversion of survival of the fittest and the most insidious yet. In our society we are capable of advancing on our merits. These merits are divied out rather unfairly and until now have been thought of as God given. What does it change when they become gifts that humanity bestows upon itself?

    There’s no perversion. NeoDarwinian Evolutionary theory describes a purposeless mechanism responsible for all the forms of living things we see. It describes competitition amongst living things for resources and struggle against the elements as the means by which they change and adapt over time. You should fear the consequences of people believing this is all that life is about. Believing life is a purposeless accident where the winners are the ones who produce more offspring leads to nothing good. -ds

  8. 8
    rpf_ID says:

    ftrp11 said. “Nature itself is a-moral. There is no such thing as justice in nature. Such a notion is a human construct. Human society is necessarily moral. To pretend that human society operates or should operate according to the blind dictates of nature is both perverted and absurd in its impossibility for success. Morals change along with human society, but such a gross change in morals as was attempted multiple times in the twentieth century is doomed to end in either failure and societal self destruction.”

    Humans construct our own morality? Yes, that is correct. We actively construct our own morality. Well, I would like to strongly disagree because you are assuming that nature is all there is which is the very topic under debate, is it not? As a college student I am always hammered with this idea that humans construct there own reality, but that begs the question. Is the theory that humans construct there own realities also a human construction and therefore no more reliable than our constructed morals, beliefs, truths? I won’t go into any more detail because this really doesn’t have anything to do with the topic at hand but I will leave you with something to think about. Usually people don’t understand morality because they have to reduce it to a product of some physical entity which leads to statements like, “Nature is a-moral,” which is just an objection to something being non-physical in nature instead of physical.

    Thanks,
    Ricardo

  9. 9
    ftrp11 says:

    I am not assuming taht nature is all there is. I do not believe that either. I am convinced that morality does not exist outside of humanity. I did not address whether there are supernatural moral truths or not. Personally I think a material world explanation for maorality is convincing. Given what we know and can reasonably surmise about early human society through the present it certainly appears that morality is a human product. I would have to ignore or discount a lot of knowledge to think otherwise.

    This is kind of getting into Gil’s problem with anthropology. It is true that there is story telling going on, but they are the best, most cogent stories we have given what we know and can reasonably surmise.

  10. 10
    rpf_ID says:

    If you believe that nature is all there is then why is it not Ok to claim morality is more than a mere physical property? I fail to see your logical connection between thinking there is more than the physical world and not accepting universal morals. This view implies a view of humans which is purely reductionist and seems to conclude that consciencness is the product of complex structures, such as the brain. However, I do not think that showing that different cultures have had different values as an indication of there not being a moral code. There are many different cultures throughout the world but this says nothing about the shape or structure of the earth. Just as it also says nothing about the structure or shape of morals. Also, it denies the human ability to choose something which they may know is wrong and to act as they wish regardless of there feelings. In other words it denies that humans can choose something that they actually know is wrong.

    I think the view that many cultures have differed takes a great ignorance to how morals can be expressed in different cultures. For example, in culture A: People believe in an afterlife where you have to work hard for the gods, so a young death is not viewed as a tradegy in the same sense that we would call it. In culture B: the people do not believe in an after life and thus, do not see the death of a young person in the same way as culture A. Notice that each cultures morals don’t change, valuing human life or the tradegy of losing someone, but that it depends greatly on what each culture views as true. In other words, many cultures have different views on what is absolutely true and thus morals are expressed differently. However, on closer inspection the same moral is being applied in a different context. Again an example is that in some eastern cultures it is polite to burp after a meal while in most western cultures it is viewed as rude. However, in both circumstances the individual is trying to show respect to the host family. Another example is the Aztek’s. They made human sacrafices to there sun god but this does not mean they didn’t value human life. They actually did (read up on the aztek culture) but they believed that the truth of the matter was that the sun god demanded this and thus they had to comply.

    ftrp11: “Given what we know and can reasonably surmise about early human society through the present it certainly appears that morality is a human product. I would have to ignore or discount a lot of knowledge to think otherwise.”

    You first off would be making an assumption about what a human is and what constitutes a human. Second, a call to authority is not an argument no matter how many people say something is true. Perelman calls this a co-existential Quasi-logical argument.

    Finally, I think the point being made in this blog is not essentially that outright ET led to evils but that it allowed them logically. While I believe that ET does not lead to eugenics it does not exclude the idea either. The point is that there is literally no ground to stand on if you were to try and convince someone that eugenics is wrong because it would make perfect logical sense coming from the ET view.

    Thanks,

    Ricardo

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