Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Nathan Barley on Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:53 pm

"the limits of your imagination (or mine for that matter) do not determine whether or not something needs explanation"

1. So the fact of a circle being round is something that requires explanation?

In you view, saying "A circle would HAVE to be round" is not a truism or tautology, but is instead a failure of our imagination? This doesn't make sense to me. It's not that I can't imagine a square circle, rather that such a thing could not exist, by definition. It's self-explanatory. This has nothing to do with 'the limits of our imagination'.

2. Couldn't one equally say: "If you can't conceive of a way for logic to arise from naturalism, that just shows the limit of YOUR imagination?"

3. The reason posters here keep insisting evolution is not a worldview, and why your argument still doesn't refute evolution, is that evolution is not inconsistent with a non-naturalist view of the world. This has been pointed out to your several times.

One could believe that logic comes from God, and STILL accept the evidence for evolution. One could believe logic is generated by goblins, Thor, logic fairies or Jesus, and still be a PhD in evolutionary biology.

4. Your argument basically comes down to a) asserting that logic is supernatural, and b) claiming that one should therefore reject any explanation of ANYTHING that doesn't explicitly involve the supernatural - (from evolution, to soil erosion, to photosynthesis, to the workings of a toaster), even it these things are compatible with a supernatural worldview.


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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:07 pm

The problem with debating whether or not religion is compatible with evolution is that religion is all made by humans and all humans have a different understanding of what God means to them.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:45 am

Objectivitees wrote:Unfortunately, your response does not refute my claim. If logic were as you claim, “a mental process”, which humans obtained through the process of evolution, then everyone’s “logic” would be the result of a biological process, or brain chemistry. Everyone’s “logic” would be different, because everyone has evolved slightly different, and has different brain chemistry…Similar, but different. This is a problem for your position because the use of Logic implies the ability to choose and discriminate between the propositions based on which is more rational. If logic were an evolved trait, our brain chemistry would simply be telling us which proposition we believed. (Whether or not that “belief” resulted in enhanced survival) We would not have a choice. Since the use of logic requires a choice, it cannot be an evolved trait. Since logic is not demonstrated by nature in this way, my second premise stands.

The human brain is a relatively recent evolutionary development. You might say it's part of that two percent of DNA that separates us from chimpanzees, our closest cousins. It stands to reason then that, evolutionarily speaking, our brains actually would function the same from human to human, since there has not been enough time for us to evolve so you'd see otherwise anatomically similar humans with markedly different ways of dealing with the world or defining logic.

The pre-frontal cortex, which controls our ability to reason, to make determinations on abstract or concrete things, including logical reasoning, will actually be similar in every human being currently alive and going back to the beginning of logic as a discipline because it's that new.

So there is actually a physical component we can point to and say "without that, there is no logical reasoning." And that region of the brain is something that is the product of evolution because it does not exist to the same degree in other species. There are case studies of people with injuries to this part of the brain who show marked personality changes and the inability to make reasoned judgments. Their ability to "be rational" rather than to "be irrational" is impaired compared to otherwise healthy brains.

Now offhand I would say this would invalidate Premise 2, as we can point to a physical component of the brain that controls the ability to think logically and rationally, and provide evidence that this is the product of evolution.

To go a step further, the mental process we call logic can only be "metaphysical" if you believe that there is a "soul"--an intangible something that exists outside empirical reasoning that is essentially "you." That aspect that seems to be unchanged throughout life even when the physical body has changed dramatically through age or injury.

This is another area where neurobiology has made great inroads, making observations that little by little provide very naturalistic explanations of how the brain turns the agglomeration of sensory inputs and remembered data into what we think of as the "self." This also has the effect of removing, little by little, the various things that we used to point to and think of as the "self," and therefore the "soul."

No soul, then nothing to go to an afterlife. Nothing that can survive death because little by little, those things that we thought must survive death have physical components to them that, when damaged or removed, eliminate those very things.


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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Apostecstatic on Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:58 am

Objectivitees, this has probably already been noted before, but you seem to be muddling together two different ideas of logic in this thread. The first is that "logic" exists, or that things behave in an orderly fashion. The second is that we, if we are indeed purely natural beings, can comprehend that logic.

It should also be noted that while you have very thoroughly criticized naturalistic conceptions of the world, you have yet to advance a creationist conception that deals adequately with the two ideas. You've hinted that your conception does so, but I'd like to see it, and see that it does not tack on multiple and problematic premises.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:04 am

Apostecstatic wrote:Objectivitees, this has probably already been noted before, but you seem to be muddling together two different ideas of logic in this thread. The first is that "logic" exists, or that things behave in an orderly fashion. The second is that we, if we are indeed purely natural beings, can comprehend that logic.

It should also be noted that while you have very thoroughly criticized naturalistic conceptions of the world, you have yet to advance a creationist conception that deals adequately with the two ideas. You've hinted that your conception does so, but I'd like to see it, and see that it does not tack on multiple and problematic premises.

Objectivitees will of course have to say for sure, but if I am not mistaken, I think it comes down to "god did it," or "god gave it to us."
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Stegocephalian on Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:52 am

Objectivitees wrote:
that is very briefly expressed in the latter half of my post before the last one. (Not the post before this one, but the one before that.)


Also, could you please, please, please, get off the “Evolution is not a worldview” kick you are on, I have graciously allowed you to substitute “Naturalism” for the word “Evolution” where it appears in my argument. This eliminates any contention that I am equivocating, evading, or not understanding the concept, as I have also allowed you to define those terms. (And many other terms) I am really tired of repeating this, it would shorten your posts considerably by eliminating all the redundant explanations of what ‘Evolution’ is and isn’t, thereby allowing me to shorten my response as well, by not having to point this out many times.


Well, the problem is that after you've said something like the above, you go on, in the very same post, to say things like:

It’s also an argument against Atheism, Naturalism, Empiricism, Evolution, Philosophical Naturalism, Methodological Naturalism, Evidentialism, and a few others I have not yet mentioned. It is an argument against them because they all have to explain the existence of things by natural means. Whether or not you think it “good” is irrelevant. You have to prove it unreliable by refuting the second premise.

I have already given you reasons, in quite some detail, why that is not true. Why your argument does not apply against evolution, methodological naturalism, or anything besides philosophical naturalism. I will not repeat myself - I have already given you reasons why this is not so, and all you seem to be doing is ignoring those reasons and insisting that you are right anyway.

I'll try another approach then - one, which I'm sure you'll appreciate - requires me to write much less. IF your argument is a good argument against evolution, and it is, as you put it:

Objectivitees wrote:
...Right, glad you agree with me here…they (methodological naturalists) don't have to have a theory of reality that is "fully naturalistic" but that's only because a person can behave inconsistently with their own beliefs...

Then I challenge you to point out the inconsistency. Tell me specifically what the inconsistency is, say, in fully accepting that evolution is true, and believing that logic was created by an eternal, suprenatural entity. Where is the inconsistency? I certainly cannot see it. If there is an inconsistency, as you maintain, it shouldn't be very difficult for you to point it out to me.

Also, explain to me why then does this inconsistency not apply when it comes to, say, quantum physics or germ theory? They both are just as committed to methodological naturalism as evolution, or any other theory. Are you saying then that these too must be rejected by anyone who believes in God, in order to be consistent?

Can you answer those questions?

Whereas your argument against philosopical naturalism, and philosophical naturalism alone goes, Nathan Barley already well addressed your response to my point that logic does not require an explanation - in his post immediately after your last response, and I agree with that post of his entirely, so I'll spare you the repetition and refer you to that post.

P.S. I might be offline for a few days - I'm going away for the weekend, and am unsure whether I'll have internet access for the duration.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:43 pm

The pre-frontal cortex, which controls our ability to reason, to make determinations on abstract or concrete things, including logical reasoning, will actually be similar in every human being currently alive and going back to the beginning of logic as a discipline because it's that new.

You are confusing a person’s ability to act rationally or not act rationally with the actual existence of the metaphysical construct of Logic. My claim is that Logic is universal. A person’s ability to choose to act irrationally has nothing to do with the ‘nature’ of Logic itself. Ironically, if what you were claiming to be true here, that Logic is ‘similar’ in all humans, as it were the result of ‘Evolution’, then we would see different formulations of ‘Logic’, because brain chemistry is different in all individuals. We don’t see different formulations. My point is that Logic is a “discipline” not as a result of Evolution, it's not something determined by nature, because if it were determined by nature, no one would agree with what Logic is. We’d all have ‘similar’ but different notions.

Their ability to "be rational" rather than to "be irrational" is impaired compared to otherwise healthy brains.

“Being” (acting / behaving) rational has nothing to do with what Logic is. I’m asking you to explain Logic’s existence and substance, not how people can behave irrationally. I already accept people can behave irrationally. But their behavior has no bearing on what logic is. The explanation of an irrational behavior is not that “Logic” has changed for that individual, but that the individual has a damaged brain (Or the individual chooses to act irrationally). Brain problem or not, Logic still remains unchanged.

Now offhand I would say this would invalidate Premise 2, as we can point to a physical component of the brain that controls the ability to think logically and rationally, and provide evidence that this is the product of evolution.

It’s doesn’t. Logic is still what it is, regardless of the physical (chemical/evolutionary) makeup of the individuals brain.

To go a step further, the mental process we call logic can only be "metaphysical" if you believe that there is a "soul"--an intangible something that exists outside empirical reasoning that is essentially "you." That aspect that seems to be unchanged throughout life even when the physical body has changed dramatically through age or injury.
Emphasis added.

No, I could say Logic is ‘metaphysical’ if there were no natural explanation of it’s existence. It’s just that you can’t. For you, (Naturalists) there are no metaphysics.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:28 pm

Well, the problem is that after you've said something like the above, you go on, in the very same post, to say things like:

How’s that a problem?? I said you may consider Evolution to not be a worldview, my claim was that these things need to explain in terms of the natural. You made naturalism the worldview, not me. I never said in the response you quoted, that these views were worldviews. It’s your definitions we are working from, ok? I said they need to explain by natural means.

I have already given you reasons, in quite some detail, why that is not true. Why your argument does not apply against evolution, methodological naturalism, or anything besides philosophical naturalism. I will not repeat myself…

No you haven’t. You have not once said why Naturalism does not have to explain by natural means, or Evolution, Atheism, Philosophical naturalism, Methodological naturalism, Evidentialism, or Empiricism for that matter, whether you see them as worldviews or components of worldviews. Therefore when you do make that attempt, you won’t be repeating yourself.

Then I challenge you to point out the inconsistency. Tell me specifically what the inconsistency is, say, in fully accepting that evolution is true, and believing that logic was created by an eternal, suprenatural entity. Where is the inconsistency? I certainly cannot see it. If there is an inconsistency, as you maintain, it shouldn't be very difficult for you to point it out to me.

So, you’re now claiming that a supernatural entity could exist? Hmmm, I thought that was antithetical to Atheism, but your personal beliefs aside… the contradiction is this… as the OP points out, if Evolution is true, then Christian Theism (Creation) is (in his words) “Bollocks too.” Remember we eliminated the possibility of “Theistic Evolution” at the outset of this thread, and what you suggest here, is a version of that. You were right, that wasn’t very difficult.

Also, explain to me why then does this inconsistency not apply when it comes to, say, quantum physics or germ theory? They both are just as committed to methodological naturalism as evolution, or any other theory. Are you saying then that these too must be rejected by anyone who believes in God, in order to be consistent?
Emphasis added.

Of course not, don’t be silly; we aren’t “flat earthers” for goodness sake. I never said they had to be rejected by anyone, that’s something you read into my position. I said, those who don’t have a metaphysic reality, as part of their worldview, which is capable of imparting knowledge of physical reality, couldn’t explain them rationally. My argument is not about whether I perceive them consistently; it’s about your (naturalists) inability to explain them rationally from the point of your own worldview, because you can’t explain Logic’s existence.

Whereas your argument against philosopical naturalism, and philosophical naturalism alone goes, Nathan Barley already well addressed your response to my point that logic does not require an explanation

Yes it does require an explanation in order to be expressed rationally. I pointed that out to you when you attempted to use an “ontological” argument for the existence of Logic, when you won’t accept an “ontological” argument for the existence of God. A point I see you have chosen to ignore. You don’t get to invoke a double standard. I find it interesting here that you claim it does not need justification, then (your earlier post) propose an argument for justifying it. (Arguing it's self evident nature and an inability to be any 'different' than it is, justifies it) You contradict yourself.

Additionally, your claim logic does not require an explanation is part and parcel of my premise one. It is assumed. The problem with a “bare” assumption, is that you have no reason to believe the assumption is valid. Therefore all knowledge derived on the basis of the assumption alone, is also an assumption, and therefore an irrationally held belief.

It is only with the belief that a metaphysic reality exists which can impart knowledge of the “nature” of a physical reality that one can rationally express the existence of logic, and then, rationally use Logic, to gain that knowledge.


P.S. Enjoy your trip, be safe! See you when you return.


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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:42 pm

Apostecstatic wrote:Objectivitees, this has probably already been noted before, but you seem to be muddling together two different ideas of logic in this thread. The first is that "logic" exists, or that things behave in an orderly fashion. The second is that we, if we are indeed purely natural beings, can comprehend that logic.

I'm not 'muddling", you are. I never defined Logic the way you have above, when you equated it to "things behave in an orderly fashion." That would be a naturalistic explanation, or "redefinition" of Logic, and therefore an equivocation. As to your second point, it's Naturalists who make that contention, not Creationists.


It should also be noted that while you have very thoroughly criticized naturalistic conceptions of the world, you have yet to advance a creationist conception that deals adequately with the two ideas. You've hinted that your conception does so, but I'd like to see it, and see that it does not tack on multiple and problematic premises.

My argument does not require the elucidation of a specific Creationist worldview to work, it only requires a worldview which acknowledges a metaphysical reality exists that can impart knowledge of a physical reality. That belief can only be held by inherently Creationist worldviews. The details are unnecessary in order to show that natural worldviews cannot rationally explain the existence of logic, and therefore maintain irrational beliefs. That's as far as my argument goes. The discussion of whether my personal worldview adequately does this, is another discussion entirely, and therefore a red herring here.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Nathan Barley on Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:57 pm

Objectivitees wrote:if Evolution is true, then Christian Theism (Creation) is (in his words) “Bollocks too.” Remember we eliminated the possibility of “Theistic Evolution” at the outset of this thread, and what you suggest here, is a version of that.

Evolution only rules out the biblical account of creation, and therefore only rules out a strict literal reading of Genesis, which a vast number of Christians already rule out anyway. So the poster's point stands, which I'll repost here:

"Tell me specifically what the inconsistency is, say, in fully accepting that evolution is true, and believing that logic was created by an eternal, suprenatural entity"

Objectivitees wrote:"My point is that Logic is a “discipline” not as a result of Evolution, it's not something determined by nature, because if it were determined by nature, no one would agree with what Logic is. We’d all have ‘similar’ but different notions. "

This has been answered so many times now that I think you are deliberately not understanding everyone's rebuttal.

Objectivitees wrote:Logic is still what it is, regardless of the physical (chemical/evolutionary) makeup of the individuals brain.

There's a couple of rocks lying on the ground, one's round, the other triangle. A conscious, thinking, evaluating mind can say 'That rock is circular. Those rocks are not NOT rocks. One of those rocks added to the other one makes two rocks. The first rock is not the second rock'. These are all logical statements. But without the mind there you've just got a couple of rocks. Why is the supernatural required to explain this?

Objectivitees wrote: Of course not, don’t be silly; we aren’t “flat earthers” for goodness sake.
As a side point, we have as much evidence for evolution as we do for a round earth. Scientifically, being a flat earther has as much credibility as being a creationist.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:19 pm

Glad you're back, Objectivitees. Been waiting for you.

Objectivitees wrote:You are confusing a person’s ability to act rationally or not act rationally with the actual existence of the metaphysical construct of Logic. My claim is that Logic is universal. A person’s ability to choose to act irrationally has nothing to do with the ‘nature’ of Logic itself. Ironically, if what you were claiming to be true here, that Logic is ‘similar’ in all humans, as it were the result of ‘Evolution’, then we would see different formulations of ‘Logic’, because brain chemistry is different in all individuals. We don’t see different formulations. My point is that Logic is a “discipline” not as a result of Evolution, it's not something determined by nature, because if it were determined by nature, no one would agree with what Logic is. We’d all have ‘similar’ but different notions.

Actually, a person's ability to think rationally is at the very heart of logic. Without those areas of the brain (which are products of evolution), neither reason nor logic would even exist. Also, the fact that brain chemistry is "different" in individuals would not lead to "different formulations of logic" because one has nothing to do with the other. Brain chemistry does not affect the ability for someone to employ logic. Similar brain constructions allow us to all agree on the rules that make up logic. God doesn't do it.

But you bring up a very interesting point. If logic is a discipline, then it would not be a product of evolution in the same way that, say, the backbone is. However, the fact that it is a discipline does not make it metaphysical. Nor by the way does that make it the product of a god. It's a nonsense argument.

Their ability to "be rational" rather than to "be irrational" is impaired compared to otherwise healthy brains.
“Being” (acting / behaving) rational has nothing to do with what Logic is. I’m asking you to explain Logic’s existence and substance, not how people can behave irrationally. I already accept people can behave irrationally. But their behavior has no bearing on what logic is. The explanation of an irrational behavior is not that “Logic” has changed for that individual, but that the individual has a damaged brain (Or the individual chooses to act irrationally). Brain problem or not, Logic still remains unchanged.

Now here, I am a little disappointed in you for taking me out of context. That last sentence was part of a larger explanation of the physical component that makes reason and therefore logic possible. You took off on a tangent for nothing.

Now offhand I would say this would invalidate Premise 2, as we can point to a physical component of the brain that controls the ability to think logically and rationally, and provide evidence that this is the product of evolution.

It’s doesn’t. Logic is still what it is, regardless of the physical (chemical/evolutionary) makeup of the individuals brain.

Logic cannot exist without a rational brain (or set of brains) to use it. So, the physical makeup of those brains is vital. In the absence of brains capable of rational thought, logic would not exist. In fact it could not exist. Without humans to design and evolve the concept (in the same way any discipline evolves as a learned skill), logic wouldn't exist.

To go a step further, the mental process we call logic can only be "metaphysical" if you believe that there is a "soul"--an intangible something that exists outside empirical reasoning that is essentially "you." That aspect that seems to be unchanged throughout life even when the physical body has changed dramatically through age or injury.
Emphasis added.

No, I could say Logic is ‘metaphysical’ if there were no natural explanation of it’s existence. It’s just that you can’t. For you, (Naturalists) there are no metaphysics.

Not to put too blunt a point on it, but so what? If logic is metaphysical (and it isn't, actually. to quote good ol' Wikipedia, it's "[m]ore specifically...defined by the Penguin Encyclopedia to be "The formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning."), I as a naturalist do not need to provide an explanation for it other than that it is a discipline created by humans who are themselves the product of evolution by natural selection.

If you want to call it metaphysical, fine, though you are egregiously misusing the term "metaphysical." That does not make it explainable from a creationist standpoint, and I already gave you the naturalist explanation in the previous paragraph.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:20 pm

Nathan Barley wrote:As a side point, we have as much evidence for evolution as we do for a round earth. Scientifically, being a flat earther has as much credibility as being a creationist.

Well spaketh, thir. Very Happy
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Nathan Barley on Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:35 pm

"So, you’re now claiming that a supernatural entity could exist? Hmmm, I thought that was antithetical to Atheism"

I think you're trying to be smart now, and possibly deliberately mis-reading people's points.

Pointing out that "a supernatural entity makes no difference to this hypothesis" is not the same as saying that entity could exist.

Hypothesise that a God exists and we can follow through the logical ramifications and see how it affects an argument. In this case, the poster was showing that it does NOT affect the evidence for evolution, making His existence moot to the argument.

Leaving that aside, atheism does NOT mean you believe Gods CANNOT exist. It just means you reject claims that they do, without ruling out that future claims might come along that you do not reject. Given current evidence, I don't think a God exists. Show me evidence and I'll consider it. It's not my philosophy that Gods are impossible.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:19 am

Objectivitees wrote:

Additionally, your claim logic does not require an explanation is part and parcel of my premise one. It is assumed. The problem with a “bare” assumption, is that you have no reason to believe the assumption is valid. Therefore all knowledge derived on the basis of the assumption alone, is also an assumption, and therefore an irrationally held belief.
.
Can you please explain to us how God created logic if he didn't use evolution?

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Nathan Barley on Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:39 am

"You have no reason to believe the assumption is valid."

We have no reason to believe that logic is valid? How is one supposed to 'not assume' logical absolutes? Not assuming is itself a logical process. Questioning whether or not God created logic is a logical question. We might equally accuse you of 'assuming logic' to make the assertion that God created logic, making your argument circular. In fact how could God 'create' logic, when 'creation' itself is a logical process. God himself would have to 'assume the logical absolutes'.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:19 pm

Besides which, I thought according to the book of Proverbs, Sophia created logic, not Yahweh?

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:40 pm

Sorry guys (and Gals) I can't post this week, Dr. appts. Children performing at Mondavi, and the "Brothers" are gettin' the band back together...Objectivitees will be playing slow blues all day...just so you know I have not abandoned the discussion... C U next week. (or maybe sooner if I can find a spare moment during the workweek)
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:50 pm

And then my computer died... sheeesh.

Actually, a person's ability to think rationally is at the very heart of logic.

I'd say logic is at the heart of a person's ability to think.

Without those areas of the brain (which are products of evolution), neither reason nor logic would even exist.

Then how did organisms acquire knowledge before there were brains evolved enough to have it? You are saying it is a physical part of the brain, right?

Also, the fact that brain chemistry is "different" in individuals would not lead to "different formulations of logic" because one has nothing to do with the other.

So now you are saying it isn't physical? First you argue that the structure of a sufficiently evolved brain is what created logic, and Logic would not exist without the brain, but now you say one has nothing to do with the other? If Logic were the result of evolution, brain structure and function aka chemistry would have exactly the result of differing views. We'd not so much as have knowledge as we would be the "vehicle" by which nature expresses itself, whether right in some individuals, or wrong in others. Machines can't be anything more than what they are and can't do any more than their "design" allows, regardless of what you assert here, and if Evolution is true, then we are nothing more than highly complex self-replicating bio-chemical reactions, "designed" by the laws of Physics acting on matter. Each of us is built differently, therefore we'd have different understandings, or "formulations" of Logic. You keep switching from logic as a physical aspect of the brain to it being an abstract. Which is it?

Brain chemistry does not affect the ability for someone to employ logic. Similar brain constructions allow us to all agree on the rules that make up logic. God doesn't do it.

See? Now you are back to it as a physical construct. If what you say is true here, and chemistry does not affect Logic, then it is the universal construct I propose, not a physical one.

But you bring up a very interesting point. If logic is a discipline, then it would not be a product of evolution in the same way that, say, the backbone is. However, the fact that it is a discipline does not make it metaphysical. Nor by the way does that make it the product of a god. It's a nonsense argument.

First, I have not argued that Logic not being Physical, makes it a “product of god”. I argue that not being Physical makes it Metaphysical. I argue that not being Physical, it can’t be a part of a Naturalistic worldview. I argue that if it is not part of a Naturalistic worldview, it must be part of a worldview that incorporates Supernatural possibilities for Causation. I argue it is not a part of an organism by means of Evolution, or we should be able to point to its physicality. Naturalistic worldviews require all knowledge to be derived by natural means, as any other means would not be part of a natural universe. “Any other means” would necessarily be supernatural. (Excluded middle) If we use means that are not natural we contradict the presuppositions of our worldview. (If a Naturalist uses any other means, he contradicts)


Now here, I am a little disappointed in you for taking me out of context. That last sentence was part of a larger explanation of the physical component that makes reason and therefore logic possible. You took off on a tangent for nothing.


No, I did not take it out of context, you used it as a way to demonstrate that Logic is a physical part of the brain. I showed you that Logic exists even if that physical part of the brain is destroyed, no ‘tangent’ here. A thing is what it is, even if there are no brains present to comprehend that fact. (Law of Identity)


Logic cannot exist without a rational brain (or set of brains) to use it. So, the physical makeup of those brains is vital. In the absence of brains capable of rational thought, logic would not exist.

So now we're back to it being Physical again? Or are we? Are you arguing brains have to be sufficiently evolved to use Logic, or evolved enough to "create" it? Is it conceptual or concrete?

In fact it could not exist. Without humans to design and evolve the concept (in the same way any discipline evolves as a learned skill), logic wouldn't exist.

Ummm, yes it can and it does. You agreed to that in premise one, without that agreement, you take a Nihilistic stance on our ability to have knowledge, and therefore right out of this conversation. Unless you can demonstrate a physical characteristic of the brain that is Logic, mapping which parts of the brain are active when thinking logically no more demonstrates where Logic resides in nature, than mapping my brain’s activity when thinking of chocolate cakes demonstrates where a chocolate cake resides in my kitchen. There are two components at play here… the concept of a ‘chocolate cake’ and an actual chocolate cake. You demonstrated the concept of Logic, but have not shown the actual logic, and you can’t. Therefore Logic is purely conceptual or Metaphysical, which rules out the possibility it is part of a naturalistic worldview. Naturalism/PN/MN/Atheism/Evolution/ are all Naturalistic worldviews. They all have to explain things in Natural terms. There can be no Metaphysical realm of knowledge in a natural world.


Not to put too blunt a point on it, but so what? If logic is metaphysical (and it isn't, actually. to quote good ol' Wikipedia, it's "[m]ore specifically...defined by the Penguin Encyclopedia to be "The formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning."), I as a naturalist do not need to provide an explanation for it other than that it is a discipline created by humans who are themselves the product of evolution by natural selection.


Don’t worry; your point was not blunt. The problem with your “dismissal” of the need to justify Logic’s existence is that your ‘definition’ is a functional definition of what we use logic for; it is not a Law of Logic itself. I have challenged you to show what Logic is, (from Nature) not what we use it for. We all know what we use it for, but not all of us can explain where it comes from. You have to demonstrate what the physical difference between a brain that evolved Logic and one that has not is, in order to point to the physical nature of Logic according to your (sometimes) natural argument.



If you want to call it metaphysical, fine, though you are egregiously misusing the term "metaphysical." That does not make it explainable from a creationist standpoint, and I already gave you the naturalist explanation in the previous paragraph.

Egregiously? You are quoting Wikipedia and you think I am using it inconsistently? The Greek plural noun-phrase ‘ta meta ta phusika’ is in Medieval Latin the singular noun ‘metaphysica’. “Ta meta ta phusika”—“the after the physicals”… Therefore, when I say ‘metaphysics’ meaning a conceptual but not physical type of knowledge, or metaphysics as opposed to physics, I am being perfectly consistent. This has been a general understanding of metaphysics since Aristotle.

Now, all that aside, you are starting to confuse me even more with your contradictory assertions with respect to the "nature" of logic, so let's get some clarity before we proceed further... will you answer a couple simple questions for me?

1) Logic is physical construct. True or false?
2) Logic is not a physical construct. True or false?
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:47 am

Objectivitees wrote: I'd say logic is at the heart of a person's ability to think.

...and there I would say you have it reversed. Logic is a discipline, a learned thing, like playing bass or writing. It is a way of reasoning. Maybe I haven't made that distinction clear enough. Can it exist without a brain to employ it? NO.

Without those areas of the brain (which are products of evolution), neither reason nor logic would even exist.

Objectivitees wrote: Then how did organisms acquire knowledge before there were brains evolved enough to have it? You are saying it is a physical part of the brain, right?

No. I am saying that it could not exist without the physical hardware to perform the task. Except as a concept. Time is also a concept. It cannot exist, however, without objects to change (evolve, devolve, decay) over time.

Also, the fact that brain chemistry is "different" in individuals would not lead to "different formulations of logic" because one has nothing to do with the other.

Objectivitees wrote: So now you are saying it isn't physical? First you argue that the structure of a sufficiently evolved brain is what created logic, and Logic would not exist without the brain, but now you say one has nothing to do with the other? If Logic were the result of evolution, brain structure and function aka chemistry would have exactly the result of differing views. We'd not so much as have knowledge as we would be the "vehicle" by which nature expresses itself, whether right in some individuals, or wrong in others. Machines can't be anything more than what they are and can't do any more than their "design" allows, regardless of what you assert here, and if Evolution is true, then we are nothing more than highly complex self-replicating bio-chemical reactions, "designed" by the laws of Physics acting on matter. Each of us is built differently, therefore we'd have different understandings, or "formulations" of Logic. You keep switching from logic as a physical aspect of the brain to it being an abstract. Which is it?

Well on the one hand, you describe human beings concisely if a little simplistically. We *are* nothing more than highly complex bio-chemical reactions. How complex we are is something we are just beginning to understand. We are built differently, but not so differently that we cannot each be taught how to use logic. So no. One *has* nothing to do with the other.

Brain chemistry does not affect the ability for someone to employ logic. Similar brain constructions allow us to all agree on the rules that make up logic. God doesn't do it.

Objectivitees wrote: See? Now you are back to it as a physical construct. If what you say is true here, and chemistry does not affect Logic, then it is the universal construct I propose, not a physical one.

No, I am not. See above.

But you bring up a very interesting point. If logic is a discipline, then it would not be a product of evolution in the same way that, say, the backbone is. However, the fact that it is a discipline does not make it metaphysical. Nor by the way does that make it the product of a god. It's a nonsense argument.

Objectivitees wrote:First, I have not argued that Logic not being Physical, makes it a “product of god”. I argue that not being Physical makes it Metaphysical. I argue that not being Physical, it can’t be a part of a Naturalistic worldview. I argue that if it is not part of a Naturalistic worldview, it must be part of a worldview that incorporates Supernatural possibilities for Causation. I argue it is not a part of an organism by means of Evolution, or we should be able to point to its physicality. Naturalistic worldviews require all knowledge to be derived by natural means, as any other means would not be part of a natural universe. “Any other means” would necessarily be supernatural. (Excluded middle) If we use means that are not natural we contradict the presuppositions of our worldview. (If a Naturalist uses any other means, he contradicts)

I think you are being incredibly simple-minded in your definition of "naturalism." If something is not part of a naturalistic worldview or lacks a strictly physical basis that does *not* make it part of a worldview that requires the supernatural. At all. Your leap is entirely without basis. It's classic "god-of-the-gaps," which while disappointing to see here, is not entirely surprising.

Objectivitees wrote: No, I did not take it out of context, you used it as a way to demonstrate that Logic is a physical part of the brain. I showed you that Logic exists even if that physical part of the brain is destroyed, no ‘tangent’ here. A thing is what it is, even if there are no brains present to comprehend that fact. (Law of Identity)

Actually, no I didn't. I used it as an example that the ability to reason and therefore to employ logic is physical.

...

Objectivitees wrote: Ummm, yes it can and it does. You agreed to that in premise one, without that agreement, you take a Nihilistic stance on our ability to have knowledge, and therefore right out of this conversation. Unless you can demonstrate a physical characteristic of the brain that is Logic, mapping which parts of the brain are active when thinking logically no more demonstrates where Logic resides in nature, than mapping my brain’s activity when thinking of chocolate cakes demonstrates where a chocolate cake resides in my kitchen. There are two components at play here… the concept of a ‘chocolate cake’ and an actual chocolate cake. You demonstrated the concept of Logic, but have not shown the actual logic, and you can’t. Therefore Logic is purely conceptual or Metaphysical, which rules out the possibility it is part of a naturalistic worldview. Naturalism/PN/MN/Atheism/Evolution/ are all Naturalistic worldviews. They all have to explain things in Natural terms. There can be no Metaphysical realm of knowledge in a natural world.

I will agree that logic is a concept. But that does not rule it out of a naturalistic way of thinking. Concepts cannot exist without brains to conceive of them. Simple as that. It's not a robust argument, but then neither is your argument that anything not naturalistic must imply a supernatural component. "God of the gaps," again, is not an argument.

Objectivitees wrote: Egregiously? You are quoting Wikipedia and you think I am using it inconsistently? The Greek plural noun-phrase ‘ta meta ta phusika’ is in Medieval Latin the singular noun ‘metaphysica’. “Ta meta ta phusika”—“the after the physicals”… Therefore, when I say ‘metaphysics’ meaning a conceptual but not physical type of knowledge, or metaphysics as opposed to physics, I am being perfectly consistent. This has been a general understanding of metaphysics since Aristotle.

Aside from your snark at my using Wikipedia (not inexcusable but beneath you), I do appreciate you clarifying your use of "metaphysical." However I reiterate that "metaphysical" does not equal supernatural. One does not lead to the other.

Objectivitees wrote: 1) Logic is physical construct. True or false?
2) Logic is not a physical construct. True or false?

Have you stopped beating your wife yet? Yes or no? That's what this reminds me of. Smile

I have clarified myself already above.


Last edited by jgrow2 on Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:44 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added a smiley-face.)
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:17 pm

Will Objectivitees ever answer my question, how did God create logic if it wasn't through the process of evolution? What is the creationists' alternative theory to evolution?

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  NedStark on Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:26 pm

How about this:

The Bible says that God created the "earth." This would include the rocks on the earth, does it not? If so, then it would also include the many types of rocks we can actually observe being created by volcanic processes. Obviously, there is no reason to believe that God actually has his hand in creating every single individual rock, arranging the atoms in a precise way in order to make that exact shape. I would venture to guess that even the most Bible-brandishing evangelical Christian would concede at least that God created the natural volcanic process to take care of his rock-making duties. So here we have rocks, created entirely by a natural process, even though the Bible says that God literally created the earth. So how does that preclude God from using a natural process (like say...evolution) to create human beings?

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:28 pm

I'm reminded of this article: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512
KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

Proponents of Intelligent Falling assert that the different theories used by secular physicists to explain gravity are not internally consistent. Even critics of Intelligent Falling admit that Einstein's ideas about gravity are mathematically irreconcilable with quantum mechanics. This fact, Intelligent Falling proponents say, proves that gravity is a theory in crisis.

"Let's take a look at the evidence," said ECFR senior fellow Gregory Lunsden."In Matthew 15:14, Jesus says, 'And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.' He says nothing about some gravity making them fall—just that they will fall. Then, in Job 5:7, we read, 'But mankind is born to trouble, as surely as sparks fly upwards.' If gravity is pulling everything down, why do the sparks fly upwards with great surety? This clearly indicates that a conscious intelligence governs all falling."

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Sosa on Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:29 pm

Wait, if logic was created by god, wouldn't he need to posses logic to create it? or am I wrong?
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Nathan Barley on Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:27 am

And still no answer to the fact that God could have created logic, and then billions of years later evolution could have happened exactly as scientists believe it did, making the whole 'logic' issue completely irrelevant to the forum's topic.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:59 pm

Sosa wrote:Wait, if logic was created by god, wouldn't he need to posses logic to create it? or am I wrong?

Yoo betcha! *wink!*
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

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