Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:56 pm

...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.

No, you have it reversed. It exists the way Truth does, whether there is anyone there to recognize it or not. Learned? How do we learn laws? We don't. We learn of them, then how to apply them, which is the discipline you speak of, but the laws exist before we come to them.


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.

Time is different in substance and nature from Logic. Time gives us no understanding of reality, Logic does. Time is a concept only, Logic is a concept and a system for deriving knowledge. Logic allows us to derive knowledge we could not have any other way, time can't do that. This (comparison to time) is a false analogy. If there were no brains in the world, it is still true the world exists. In fact, truth is not contingent on material reality to exist. If nothing existed it would still be true nothing existed. Therefore Logic does exist without hardware to perform the task, the same way Truth exists without hardware.

It cannot exist, however, without objects to change (evolve, devolve, decay) over time.

Now, I re-quoted this part because I have to point out a problem with your reasoning. You attribute properties to "time" that it cannot have. You say it "changes" objects. This is the fallacy of reification. In order to be able to "change" things, time would have to exist independently, not contingently. If what you say here were true, you'd contradict yourself where you said time is only a concept. You are arguing against your own points. Time is nothing more than a way to say all things change, but it's not time that does it. Logic however, can provide us with the means to know how things change, differentiating it from the concept of time, as it affords us an ability to understand the true nature of reality, where time is only a self-evident observation that things change.

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.

Quite concisely, in fact. For the purpose of demonstrating that machines can only do what machines do. The determinism of nature dictates that logic would be different for each of us if it were nothing more than the expression of our own unique bio-chemical reactions. (If Evolution were true, no matter how many times you deny this) A chemical reacts the way it reacts. It does what it does because of what it is. If Evolution is true, we are just very complex chemical machines, and don't really have an understanding of the universe around us, it's just an illusion. We are an expression of nature, not an independent observer of it.

Of course I hold we can be taught to use logic. Some people can and some can't use it, but all can learn, because Logic exists independently of material reality. Yet, none of this says anything about where the laws of logic come from. We come to them (The laws) already extant when we learn how to use them. They are assumed. (premise one)


No, I am not. See above.

Yes, you were back to describing Logic as a function of the brain, but you also said "Similar brain chemistry", which presupposes dissimilar evolutionary results in individuals, and therefore dissimilar logic if your presuppositions were true. (that logic were biologically based) On one hand, you say logic is conceptual, on the other you say biological. If it's organic, it has to be dissimilar, if it's Law like, it's universal. Organic, physical, inorganic, metaphysical.

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.
Emphasis added.

Steg defined naturalism, remember? Since I am using his definition, I can't be simple minded unless his definition is simple minded. My point is perfectly accurate as an example of the law of the excluded middle. Lacking a physical basis makes something metaphysical. There are only two choices. The "either- or" must emerge according to logic. This is the third law in action. It's how logic helps us derive knowledge about reality. If a worldview does not have a metaphysical component, yet asserts metaphysical things exist, then where else would the metaphysical things come from? It's important you answer this question, because you are trying to claim another realm of reality exists independent of the Physical and Metaphysical when you say that a thing not being Physical does not necessarily make it metaphysical.

None of this is "god of the gaps" as you suggest. As I have pointed out elsewhere in this debate, I am not using this argument to claim that my worldview is correct, I am using it only to show that Evolution/naturalism is irrational. If I were to extend the argument to say "yours is wrong, therefore mine is right", I would be committing the fallacy of "false dilemma", an improper use of the third Law of logic. I find it interesting you keep trying to wedge my argument into your previous understanding of other arguments you've obviously had or read. The only reason you aren't 'surprised' is because you misunderstand that at which I am driving. This is not "g of g" because there is no "gap" in knowledge here that I'm trying to fit 'God' into as an explanation. This is something that you aren't grasping yet. I am simply saying naturalistic (evolution) worldviews are irrational prima facie. They make truth claims based on the assumption of a metaphysic they implicitly deny can exist. There's no need for me to go the extra step of then putting "God" in the resulting vacuum.


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

So then you ARE saying logic is not physical. See, you go back and forth.

I will agree that logic is a concept.

Good, now that you've taken that step, you should be able to see how logic does not fit into a Naturalistic worldview.

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.

Yes they can, laws exist whether we are aware of them or not. the same way truth exists, whether we are aware or not.

It's not a robust argument,...

It's not an argument at all, it was only your unsupported statement of opinion.

but then neither is your argument that anything not naturalistic must imply a supernatural component.

Yes, mine is an argument, it makes use of the Law of the excluded middle. If not natural, then supernatural, if not physical, then metaphysical, if not yes, then no.

"God of the gaps," again, is not an argument.

I didn't say it ruled it out as a "naturalistic way of thinking". I said it rules it out as a component of a natural universe. It demonstrates that a metaphysical reality exists that a natural worldview cannot account for. Don't change my argument, I never said we don't scientifically have the ability to describe and understand how we use Logic, I said you cannot show where it comes from without a metaphysical explanation.

Again, this is not 'god of the gaps' as I am not claiming this proves God exists, I am only claiming that it demonstrates an inconsistency in the naturalistic worldviews, which makes them irrationally held beliefs. (Premise two) My argument is not "g of g", it's "excluded middle".


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.

Sorry about the snark, couldn't help myself, but interestingly enough, you give me too much credit when you say it is beneath me. I thank you for the compliment, and high assessment of my character, but I am a sinner, and I do "snark" at times. It's not beneath me. I apologize.

Despite your reiteration, you provided no argument your claim is true. You left it at "metaphysical" does not equal supernatural. One does not lead to the other", which is only an opinion if not supplied with an argument. My counter, is that one does lead to the other, because if we properly apply the third law of logic, (the excluded middle) we can see that if not one, then the other must be true where there are only two possibilities. The "Either/Or" must emerge in order to help us make sense of the world.


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

Well, you are 'reminded' inaccurately. You see, if we take your question and apply the possible answers to it, either "yes" or "no", we come out with the exact same meaning. I.E., 'you beat your wife'. If you answer my questions, it is entirely possible to get answers that have real meaning. Yes or No applied to my questions obtain different meanings, so despite what they "remind" you of, they are substantially different, remain valid inquiries, and don't amount to the meaninglessness you dismissively implied.

However, since Logic is conceptual, we can now place it in the proper realm of reality, (metaphysic) Since in logic, to get reliable results we need to apply the third law, there can only properly be considered two possibilities. In our particular discussion, these are Physical and Metaphysical. Since Logic cannot be placed in the Physical realm, it must be Metaphysical. Since it is metaphysical, it cannot come from a Naturalistic worldview. (Premise Two) Therefore, when a naturalist uses Logic, he is tacitly acknowledging the existence of a realm his worldview explicitly denies exists. This is inconsistent, and makes all his "truth" claims about reality irrationally held beliefs.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:58 pm

Neon Genesis wrote: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?

No, he won't, because as he has explained several times, it's not germane to his argument. Perhaps we will address this in another thread sometime. If I ever get time. Or get bored with this one and stop posting, which I am sure some of you will interpret as my concession. (Not to mention the fact that your asking this is the Evolutionists version of the "God of the gaps" argument, because you'd say since I can't prove it it must mean my 'God' didn't do it.) I have absolutely no intention of arguing with you. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

But we're arguing now.
No we're not.
Are too.
Are not.
We are, an argument is a series of propositions and supporting facts stated in order to prove a point.
It is not.
It is.
I'm sorry, I can't argue with you, you haven't paid.
But you said this wasn't the argument clinic.
I did not.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:07 am

Objectivitees wrote:No, you have it reversed. It exists the way Truth does, whether there is anyone there to recognize it or not. Learned? How do we learn laws? We don't. We learn of them, then how to apply them, which is the discipline you speak of, but the laws exist before we come to them.

"Truth" is a concept dreamt up by humans. Like the free market. Or true love. Or infinity. Or nothingness. Or logic for that matter.

Human concepts, meaning they didn't exist before some human came up with them. And they continue to exist because there are brains to ponder them. And in the absence of said brains they will no longer exist. Everything that you would put under "metaphysical" is basically something someone made up and passed on. This is what I mean when I say that without the hardware (the brain) nothing metaphysical (meaning not physical) can exist.

The "laws," to use your term, did not exist before we came to them. They couldn't. No one was there to conceive of them.

Time is different in substance and nature from Logic. Time gives us no understanding of reality, Logic does. Time is a concept only, Logic is a concept and a system for deriving knowledge. Logic allows us to derive knowledge we could not have any other way, time can't do that. This (comparison to time) is a false analogy. If there were no brains in the world, it is still true the world exists. In fact, truth is not contingent on material reality to exist. If nothing existed it would still be true nothing existed. Therefore Logic does exist without hardware to perform the task, the same way Truth exists without hardware.

Logic allows us to derive knowledge in the same way writing something down allows us to pass that knowledge around. Would you say that writing is metaphysical too? They're both things we made up at some point in the past.

It cannot exist, however, without objects to change (evolve, devolve, decay) over time.
Now, I re-quoted this part because I have to point out a problem with your reasoning. You attribute properties to "time" that it cannot have. You say it "changes" objects.

The problem perhaps exists in your misreading my sentence. It's not time that does the changing, the objects do that on their own. Instead of "objects to change" I should have said "objects that change." That might have made my point clearer.

The comparison of time to logic is quite apt. They're both concepts--something someone made up, and something that could not exist without brains to think of them.

Quite concisely, in fact. For the purpose of demonstrating that machines can only do what machines do. The determinism of nature dictates that logic would be different for each of us if it were nothing more than the expression of our own unique bio-chemical reactions. (If Evolution were true, no matter how many times you deny this) A chemical reacts the way it reacts. It does what it does because of what it is. If Evolution is true, we are just very complex chemical machines, and don't really have an understanding of the universe around us, it's just an illusion. We are an expression of nature, not an independent observer of it.

Actually, we are very complex chemical machines. Again, how complex we are is something we're just beginning to understand. You could define that view as a naturalistic one. And evolution IS true. Viruses should be proof enough for you but the examples are all around us. The fact that there are people that fail to understand that is stupefying to the rest of us who do.

And actually, to be honest, we don't really have an understanding of the world around us, and yes! It is just an illusion. Ask any Zen Buddhist. A very astute observation on your part. If only you truly understood that. Smile

Of course I hold we can be taught to use logic. Some people can and some can't use it, but all can learn, because Logic exists independently of material reality. Yet, none of this says anything about where the laws of logic come from. We come to them (The laws) already extant when we learn how to use them. They are assumed. (premise one)

All can learn because we humans pass the discipline around to one another, not because it "exists independently of material reality." And where did it come from? Someone (or a group of someones) made it up and over time it was refined.

Yes, you were back to describing Logic as a function of the brain, but you also said "Similar brain chemistry", which presupposes dissimilar evolutionary results in individuals, and therefore dissimilar logic if your presuppositions were true. (that logic were biologically based) On one hand, you say logic is conceptual, on the other you say biological. If it's organic, it has to be dissimilar, if it's Law like, it's universal. Organic, physical, inorganic, metaphysical.

I am actually not "back" to anything. I have never wavered from my point. I have never said logic was biological. I said the hardware needed to create and use the concept of logic were biological.

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.
Emphasis added.

Steg defined naturalism, remember? Since I am using his definition, I can't be simple minded unless his definition is simple minded. My point is perfectly accurate as an example of the law of the excluded middle. Lacking a physical basis makes something metaphysical. There are only two choices. The "either- or" must emerge according to logic. This is the third law in action. It's how logic helps us derive knowledge about reality. If a worldview does not have a metaphysical component, yet asserts metaphysical things exist, then where else would the metaphysical things come from? It's important you answer this question, because you are trying to claim another realm of reality exists independent of the Physical and Metaphysical when you say that a thing not being Physical does not necessarily make it metaphysical.

None of this is "god of the gaps" as you suggest. As I have pointed out elsewhere in this debate, I am not using this argument to claim that my worldview is correct, I am using it only to show that Evolution/naturalism is irrational. If I were to extend the argument to say "yours is wrong, therefore mine is right", I would be committing the fallacy of "false dilemma", an improper use of the third Law of logic. I find it interesting you keep trying to wedge my argument into your previous understanding of other arguments you've obviously had or read. The only reason you aren't 'surprised' is because you misunderstand that at which I am driving. This is not "g of g" because there is no "gap" in knowledge here that I'm trying to fit 'God' into as an explanation. This is something that you aren't grasping yet. I am simply saying naturalistic (evolution) worldviews are irrational prima facie. They make truth claims based on the assumption of a metaphysic they implicitly deny can exist. There's no need for me to go the extra step of then putting "God" in the resulting vacuum.

I'll be getting to this below.

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

So then you ARE saying logic is not physical. See, you go back and forth.

No I do not. You fail to grasp the concept of a concept and that concepts CANNOT exist without the brains to come up with them. I go back and forth on nothing, except answering you point by point. Which is excruciating.

So let us get down to it. Your premise that the existence of logic proves that an evolutionary viewpoint is irrational is simply untrue. As above, it is the result of not understanding how human brains ("meat machines," as Minsky called them) create abstract concepts. It is also the result of not understanding how science works, since science is essentially how we derive a naturalistic viewpoint. Science is what we use to explain the world around us. Plato (if I remember correctly) called physics "a likely story." The same holds true for all of science. It's the best guess we have based on evidence. This means it is also self-correcting and leaves room for "I don't know."

Logic is a concept, you bet it is. Like every other concept, somebody dreamed it up once and passed it on and now we use it. It never ever existed before that point and without the means to pass it on to more humans it will cease to exist. Only someone who believes that something as abstract and conceptual as a "god" could exist while lacking any evidence would believe otherwise. Or someone uncomfortable with the notion of "I don't know."

How did the first someone(s) come up with logic? What machinations did their brain do? I don't know. But as neuroscience tells us how concepts are created in the brain, I'll have a really good idea how it could happen. Until then, I don't know. And that is not irrational at all. That is the very heart of scientific (and naturalistic) thinking.


Last edited by jgrow2 on Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added to last point.)
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:36 pm

Objectivitees wrote:
No, he won't, because as he has explained several times, it's not germane to his argument. Perhaps we will address this in another thread sometime. If I ever get time. Or get bored with this one and stop posting, which I am sure some of you will interpret as my concession. (Not to mention the fact that your asking this is the Evolutionists version of the "God of the gaps" argument, because you'd say since I can't prove it it must mean my 'God' didn't do it.) I have absolutely no intention of arguing with you. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
Why is it unimportant to the argument? If you disprove evolution, you can't just leave it at that and expect everything to magically make sense now. If logic didn't come into existence through evolution, you still have to explain how. Imagine if scientists disproved the theory of gravity and suggested, "Oh, we don't have to come up with an alternative explaination. If we just believe magic is pulling us down, then everything will make sense!" You're essentially telling scientists don't bother coming up with any explaninations for anything at all, magic will take care of everything.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:31 pm

The comparison of time to logic is quite apt. They're both concepts--something someone made up, and something that could not exist without brains to think of them.

No, it's not apt. You say that both time and logic are strictly conceptual, therefore don't exist in physical reality. You say this because you want to claim that Logic was "created" by a brain, and did not exist prior to a brain evolving that could conceive it. You say that because, you want to describe logic as something less than law like, because if it is less than a law, you can make your point that it was "created", rather than arrived at and understood, as I suggest. Mostly, you do this to escape my challenge that you need to provide a physical correspondent in nature for Logic in order to refute my second premise. This is all well and good. You should be trying to either refute my premise, or on an inability to do so, refute the necessity to do so. (The latter being the route you have chosen here)

The problem for you is that your analogy is a bad one. I tried to point out your reification before, and you corrected your choice of wording, which technically accomplished the goal of avoiding reification, but you still allowed the analogy to stand. You then came back to it in your next post, reiterating that the analogy was valid, and that Time was conceptual just as Logic is. There are two problems with this, (If I accept your reification was unintentional, if not there are three)

First, If logic was created by a brain (as you say), and naturalism is True, (as you say) the brain was made by the process of Evolution. But if this is the case, the brain is wired by stimulus from and response to it's environment, geared towards nothing but survival and reproduction. The mandate of survival and reproduction say nothing for the need of an accurate perception of reality. If logic is the result of these processes, (as you claim) it does not have to give you an accurate perception of reality to accomplish the goal of survival and reproduction, (it might for example tell you that time is only a concept) and therefore cannot be relied upon to give you accurate evidence that Naturalism is true. I can illustrate it this way;

An organism that runs away from a bear in the woods perceiving the bear to be a bumblebee and wishing not to be stung, survives, even though it's evolved mechanism inaccurately relays aspects of reality to itself. This devastates your version of logic, (which is also a straw man) and completely incapacitates it (your version of Logic) to help you determine the nature of Nature, and conclude, "Evolution is true". How can you rely on a system of logic that is only "designed" to allow for survival and reproduction, to give you accurate results when it doesn't need to?

Second, and more directly to the point of your analogy, Time is not only conceptual. You say that since Time is a concept, and needs no correspondent in physical nature, as it was "created" by a brain, that therefore Logic needs no correspondent as it also is only a concept, thus neatly avoiding my challenge to demonstrate it's physicality.

Albert Einstein showed us long ago that time is physical space. The physical correspondent of Time is Space.

So, since Time does after all, have a correspondent in a strictly Naturalistic worldview, you still have to show me the physical correspondent of Logic in a strictly Naturalistic worldview, but only if you want your analogy to stand.

You have not refuted my second premise, nor have you done away with the need to.



And actually, to be honest, we don't really have an understanding of the world around us, and yes! It is just an illusion. Ask any Zen Buddhist. A very astute observation on your part. If only you truly understood that.

So now you are using a religion that emphasizes the Metaphysical to argue your point that Naturalism is true? If nature is all there is, how can a metaphysical claim (from a religion no less) justify it? I don't know what more to say to that.

All can learn because we humans pass the discipline around to one another, not because it "exists independently of material reality." And where did it come from? Someone (or a group of someones) made it up and over time it was refined.

Here, you claim that logic is biologically based, as "someone made it up".

I am actually not "back" to anything. I have never wavered from my point. I have never said logic was biological. (Yes you did, above) I said the hardware needed to create and use the concept of logic were biological.
Emphasis added.

And here, you oppose yourself yet again, as you make the distinction between the hardware, and the concept itself, claiming it is not biological. If someone "made it up" how is that not biological? If you need the 'hardware' to get the concept, the concept is hardware based. (Biological) You do go back and forth, you just don't see it.

... ("meat machines," as Minsky called them) create abstract concepts.

I see, 'meat machines' do metaphysics in a universe where metaphysics don't exist. You can't have it both ways sir. Naturalism (and therefore Evolution) presuppose that matter is all there is. If matter is all there is, there is no conceptual or metaphysical realm.

Time is Space.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:52 am

Objectivitees wrote:Albert Einstein showed us long ago that time is physical space. The physical correspondent of Time is Space.

So, since Time does after all, have a correspondent in a strictly Naturalistic worldview, you still have to show me the physical correspondent of Logic in a strictly Naturalistic worldview, but only if you want your analogy to stand.

So now you are using a religion that emphasizes the Metaphysical to argue your point that Naturalism is true? If nature is all there is, how can a metaphysical claim (from a religion no less) justify it? I don't know what more to say to that.

Admit you don't know the first thing about zen and leave it at that. That much is obvious from looking at your website. "The truth is simply black and white?" Hardly.

By the by, you're quoting a scientist who did not believe in god, the supernatural or the metaphysical in order to make your point. And you have the nerve to complain when I use zen to make mine? Breathtaking. But understandable, see previous paragraph.

You mistake Einstein's theory of relativity for something that validates your nonsensical premise concerning logic. And it is nonsensical. It assumes that logic can exist without brains to use it, which is as ridiculous as the chicken and egg question.

You created a straw man when you refused to accept evidence as part of the debate way back when, admitting that your idea cannot stand scrutiny outside its own narrow realm. Defining naturalism as being strictly about matter and insisting it's a valid definition is also a straw man. Our collective mistake has been playing along.

I have explained how concepts like logic work in a naturalistic, scientific, rational worldview without resorting to (or even needing) the supernatural or even a "physical component" (though I did try to explain how concepts need a brain to exist). I don't have to give you a physical component because one is not required in a naturalistic viewpoint. Not everything in a naturalistic viewpoint needs a physical component. Your insistence that it does is merely your opinion. You continually fail to grasp the concept of a "concept", and now I understand why.

I have come to the realization that this whole thread has been about your absolute definitions of things in the world, and your insistence that these absolute definitions are how the world works. Nothing is absolute, and only a child would think otherwise. Nothing is black or white.

Logic cannot exist without the brain(s) to use it. It has no existence other than that. End of story. Your insistence that it can be anything else is and has been mind-boggling. And, as has been pointed out elsewhere, completely irrelevant to the subject in the thread.

In spite of that, you did succeed in your original reason for being here. You have shown why Christians might resist belief in evolution: They refuse to see the evidence, rely on narrowly defined word games to make their point and demonstrate an appalling lack of understanding of science. I think we all knew these things already but you've put it in stark relief.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:31 pm

Admit you don't know the first thing about zen and leave it at that.

Lol, my daughter is a Zen Buddhist, and I have four books on my shelf explaining it, two of them, gifts from her.

That much is obvious from looking at your website. "The truth is simply black and white?" Hardly.

Hardly? That's your argument that truth isn't black and white? Just "Hardly"? Setting aside the fact that bringing up my website is an obvious distraction technique which in itself demonstrates you have no argument, "hardly" is merely your opinion on the topic, and as such, is the fallacy of 'bald assertion'. But don't bother responding with an argument claiming Truth is not black and white, because I won't go after that red herring here, but you may if you wish, start a topic on it on my site, and I'll be happy to go there with you.

By the by, you're quoting a scientist who did not believe in god, the supernatural or the metaphysical in order to make your point. And you have the nerve to complain when I use zen to make mine? Breathtaking. But understandable, see previous paragraph.

What do Einstein's personal beliefs have to do with the veracity of his scientific achievements? Nothing. There's a big difference between what I did, and what you did. Your worldview does not allow metaphysics, therefore using metaphysics to support your point in an argument defending your worldview is off limits. Einstein is not metaphysics, and therefore relevant to a discussion on the physical nature of things. It took no nerve to "complain" about your use of Zen, it was simply obvious to me that if naturalism don't believe in metaphysics it can't appeal to them to justify itself , breathtaking to me that you don't get it.

You mistake Einstein's theory of relativity for something that validates your nonsensical premise concerning logic. And it is nonsensical. It assumes that logic can exist without brains to use it, which is as ridiculous as the chicken and egg question.

No, I did not use it to "validate" my premise, I used it to INVALIDATE your claim time is strictly conceptual. How can logic exist without brains to use it? The same way time does.



You created a straw man when you refused to accept evidence as part of the debate way back when, admitting that your idea cannot stand scrutiny outside its own narrow realm. Defining naturalism as being strictly about matter and insisting it's a valid definition is also a straw man. Our collective mistake has been playing along.

No, if you look carefully at the posts, you'll see I did not say we wouldn't use evidence, I said we won't have an evidence based argument, and use evidence the way you (steg also) proposed. I clearly said evidence will play a role, just not the one you are used to. There is no straw man, there is no "narrow" realm. You may use any physical evidence you wish to refute my premise, just as I used the evidence of relativity to demonstrate that your analogy was bad.

With respect to your claim I have "narrowly" defined naturalism, I'll remind you once again, that Steg defined it, I accepted the definition, and have been working under it ever since. I think that makes five times now I have had to remind someone here of this fact.


I have explained how concepts like logic work in a naturalistic, scientific, rational worldview without resorting to (or even needing) the supernatural or even a "physical component" (though I did try to explain how concepts need a brain to exist). I don't have to give you a physical component because one is not required in a naturalistic viewpoint.
Emphasis added.

Yeah, I know, you keep saying that, but you haven't demonstrated it. Natural worldviews presuppose matter is all there is. That is completely consistent with the definitions you so graciously provided.

Not everything in a naturalistic viewpoint needs a physical component. Your insistence that it does is merely your opinion. You continually fail to grasp the concept of a "concept", and now I understand why.

Yes, everything needs a physical component when matter is all there is.

I have come to the realization that this whole thread has been about your absolute definitions of things in the world, and your insistence that these absolute definitions are how the world works.

Umm, once again, they were "your" definitions. If you really think that Naturalism doesn't presuppose only nature (matter) exists, then I invite you to consult a dictionary. As defined in mine, it reads "the system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and LAWS, without attributing moral, spiritual, or supernatural significance to them".


Nothing is absolute, and only a child would think otherwise. Nothing is black or white.

If that's True, then why are you here trying to prove to me that your view is absolutely true? I'd be happy to accept that as your concession that you can't prove your point. Since nothing is black and white, then I guess your take on the nature of the universe is not absolute either, meaning "your take", is just your opinion. Which is what I said early on in the argument, (premise two) when I pointed out logic tells us that unsupported assumptions are mere opinion, and therefore irrational. Thank you for finally agreeing that Naturalism is your opinion, and therefore an irrationally held belief.

Logic cannot exist without the brain(s) to use it. It has no existence other than that. End of story. Your insistence that it can be anything else is and has been mind-boggling. And, as has been pointed out elsewhere, completely irrelevant to the subject in the thread.

Irrelevant? My "insistence" has been all along that it is metaphysical in nature, unlike yours, where you have bounced back and forth from logic being physical to not being physical. You claim on one hand it is created by the brain, which would mean it is biologically based, then go right back to claming denotatively that it is not biologically based.

In spite of that, you did succeed in your original reason for being here. You have shown why Christians might resist belief in evolution: They refuse to see the evidence, rely on narrowly defined word games to make their point and demonstrate an appalling lack of understanding of science. I think we all knew these things already but you've put it in stark relief.
Emphasis Added.

For the sixth or seventh time, I'll remind you, I did not provide the definitions. I see here you've finally resorted to the "word game" rescuing device you set up before we actually began discussing my argument. Can I remind you that you don't think it's all about word games, and you do actually believe truth is absolute? When citing the "mountain of evidence" for Evolution/naturalism you said...

The issue is not a matter of opinion, really,...

Which does not demonstrate my appalling lack of understanding of science, (since you graciously provided definitions to 'educate' me) as it does your appalling lack of understanding of philosophy and the presuppositions of your own worldview.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:35 pm

Objectivitees wrote:

If that's True, then why are you here trying to prove to me that your view is absolutely true? I'd be happy to accept that as your concession that you can't prove your point. Since nothing is black and white, then I guess your take on the nature of the universe is not absolute either, meaning "your take", is just your opinion. Which is what I said early on in the argument, (premise two) when I pointed out logic tells us that unsupported assumptions are mere opinion, and therefore irrational. Thank you for finally agreeing that Naturalism is your opinion, and therefore an irrationally held belief.

You see? This is why I have repeatedly asked him to explain to us how God created logic if not through the process of evolution because the momenent you say you can't know for absolute certain something is true, he automatically presumes this means his belief is absolutely true and in comes the God of the Gaps argument and immediately presume "Magic did it!" without explaining how magic did it. He thinks if he can disprove one theory it somehow magically proves a completely unrelated belief is true and I knew all along he would do this. It's a common tactic creationists love to use to get you to admit you can't know everything because then they think that means they suddenly know everything but won't explain how their belief works. My word of advice is when you debate a creationist is to avoid saying "I don't know" as much as you can because it never fails that every time they will pounce on their favorite phrase as their window of opporutunity. Growing up in a fundamentalist church, I've seen these tactics all my life and can predict when they'll use them.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:38 pm

Objectivitees wrote:Lol, my daughter is a Zen Buddhist, and I have four books on my shelf explaining it, two of them, gifts from her.

Books to explain it are not the same as actually sitting zazen. Read them, but jam your tongue to your palate and sit sometime. Not for a few minutes, but for hours. Oh, and ignore the monkey mind as it chatters meaningless.

In any case, good for your daughter on following the pathless path.

My reference to "word games" was never a "rescuing device." I saw this devolving into word games from the outset when you admitted what you did about evidence. Which is really all that philosophy is without evidentiary data. Just BS over coffee. Meaningless, and not necessarily in the Zen way.

I mention your website because it makes clear to me the uselessness of communicating with you. Had I gone there earlier I would have discovered the hopelessness of reasoning with you and realized you and I are at an impasse. And finished this long ago.

I have actually explained my perspective repeatedly. And consistently. You see it as bouncing from physical to conceptual as though they have always and will always exist in the absence of one another. While that's true of the physical world of muons and electrons--it exists without needing us in it--That's not true of the metaphysical, conceptual realm. There are concepts because of the physical world which gives us human brains. I have never said logic was physical. Ever. You see it that way because you seem to believe that these non-physical abstractions have some definition beyond your skull. Or mine. Or anyone else's.

We derive patterns in nature that give us logic. We derive patterns in nature that give us time. But both are only products of our brains and nothing else. This is what I mean when I reject your view of the existence of the metaphysical, or the worthiness of it. Sure, we can drone endlessly on about it, but next comes the laundry. Which is also where zen comes in.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:32 am

he automatically presumes this means his belief is absolutely true and in comes the God of the Gaps argument and immediately presume "Magic did it!"

Excuse me?? Can you even read girl?? Just where did I presume my belief was right? God of the gaps? Where again did i say god exists? I said evolution was an irrationally held belief. Wow. No wonder i never responded to you. At least Jgrow and Steg can stay on topic.

I have actually explained my perspective repeatedly. And consistently.

right. You said it was created by a brain. That's a biologically based thing then. Then you turn around, as you are now, and claim it's not. That's about as inconsistent as it can get. If a brain created it, it's biological. And you say I'm playing word games.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:07 pm

Objectivitees wrote:

Excuse me?? Can you even read girl?? Just where did I presume my belief was right? God of the gaps? Where again did i say god exists? I said evolution was an irrationally held belief. Wow. No wonder i never responded to you. At least Jgrow and Steg can stay on topic.
First of all, I'm a guy, not a girl. Second of all, I already quoted you where you tried to claim naturalism as an irrational religious belief , implicating that your belief in creationism was the rational right one
Thank you for finally agreeing that Naturalism is your opinion, and therefore an irrationally held belief.

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:19 pm

Objectivitees wrote:
he automatically presumes this means his belief is absolutely true and in comes the God of the Gaps argument and immediately presume "Magic did it!"

Excuse me?? Can you even read girl?? Just where did I presume my belief was right? God of the gaps? Where again did i say god exists? I said evolution was an irrationally held belief. Wow. No wonder i never responded to you. At least Jgrow and Steg can stay on topic.

I have actually explained my perspective repeatedly. And consistently.

right. You said it was created by a brain. That's a biologically based thing then. Then you turn around, as you are now, and claim it's not. That's about as inconsistent as it can get. If a brain created it, it's biological. And you say I'm playing word games.

A purely philosophical discussion is about as close to "word games" as two adults can get. You are discussing things that exist only in your head, and have no bearing on the physical world whatsoever.

And again I have never wavered in my perspective, or in explaining it. You fail to see the distinction. Again. Or as always. You need to calm yourself. No one here agrees with your basic assumptions. Get over that. Because your premises are so inextricably linked with your personal opinions of what concepts like logic are, no one but you will see things your way.

The existence of logic proves nothing but that humans are capable of abstract thought. That is consistent with a naturalistic view and very consistent with my view as I have explained it. It's your ability to interpret it, and to get it past your personal opinions, that keeps this thread going.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:57 am

A purely philosophical discussion is about as close to "word games" as two adults can get. You are discussing things that exist only in your head, and have no bearing on the physical world whatsoever.

Which is why we didn't have a purely philosophical discussion, evidence and arguments were introduced, such as when I pointed out to you that time is space. How does that not equal evidence? You introduced plenty of evidence as well, so how you now claim we did not use evidence is beyond me and open to inspection of the written record here.

You need to calm yourself. No one here agrees with your basic assumptions. Get over that.

I'm not uncalm. I already know no one here agrees with my basic assumptions. Trust me, I'm over it, I was over it before you assumed I wasn't. The thing you still refuse to see is, that you base Logic in biology, (Human brains created it) and then you turn around and claim it has led you to your infallible conclusion that Evolution is true. If a brain created it, how can it have a rational reason to trust it is accurate? (How do you know what you know? Epistemology is necessary to any worldview.)It does not need to be accurate, it only needs to help the brain survive and reproduce. (in a natural "only" world) Whatever mistakes in perception that exist and coincidentally aid survival, won't ever be corrected, but yet you still use Logic as though it were absolute in it's ability to help you interpret the "evidence" correctly, and make your truth claims. (even though you claim nothing is absolute) That sir, is self-contradictory. When you claim Evolution is true, you are making a philosophical claim, that's why we have philosophical discussions, despite how much you may wish to have a discussion of the 'evidence' with respect to the observational sciences. Remember, after you observe the evidence, you still have to make a claim as to what it means.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:59 am

First of all, I'm a guy, not a girl.

Sorry. Must'a been that effeminate looking avatar you had.

Second of all, I already quoted you where you tried to claim naturalism as an irrational religious belief , implicating that your belief in creationism was the rational right one

I claim naturalism is an irrationally held belief, which implies (not implicates) nothing of the sort. Since there are many possible alternatives to natural worldviews, I certainly couldn't be implying mine was the correct one. That would be an incorrect use of the excluded middle. You seem to want to force this idea that because I argue one belief irrational, mine must be right , but that's not what I am doing here, you just can't accept that, because it would be so much easier for you to be able to claim I was making a false bifurcation, wouldn't it? Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not going to explain this to you a third time. Since there are many different possible versions of creationism, my argument here against Natural worldviews does not imply mine is right if natural ones are wrong, it only places mine in a category of possibilities, while excluding yours.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Neon Genesis on Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:40 am

So are you saying then that Christianity is only an opinion?

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:19 am

Objectivitees wrote:I'm not uncalm. I already know no one here agrees with my basic assumptions. Trust me, I'm over it, I was over it before you assumed I wasn't. The thing you still refuse to see is, that you base Logic in biology, (Human brains created it) and then you turn around and claim it has led you to your infallible conclusion that Evolution is true. If a brain created it, how can it have a rational reason to trust it is accurate? (How do you know what you know? Epistemology is necessary to any worldview.)It does not need to be accurate, it only needs to help the brain survive and reproduce. (in a natural "only" world) Whatever mistakes in perception that exist and coincidentally aid survival, won't ever be corrected, but yet you still use Logic as though it were absolute in it's ability to help you interpret the "evidence" correctly, and make your truth claims. (even though you claim nothing is absolute) That sir, is self-contradictory. When you claim Evolution is true, you are making a philosophical claim, that's why we have philosophical discussions, despite how much you may wish to have a discussion of the 'evidence' with respect to the observational sciences. Remember, after you observe the evidence, you still have to make a claim as to what it means.

Your stratified thinking is what leads you to not see my point, I am afraid. Logic is a means to an end, and is a mental process (again), nothing more, nothing less. And I never said my conclusion was infallible. Just correct according to a mountain of evidence and observation. If there is anyone here who has claimed logic to be absolute--something other than brain-based--it's been you. All along.

And to answer your question, if a brain created it, how does it know it to be accurate? Well for one thing, we check with other brains for a consensus. We use repeatable experiments and try to poke holes in arguments. In short, the scientific method. By ourselves we can believe anything is true. Ask any bible-clutcher.

But when we apply labels to things, it's important to understand they are just labels. Nothing absolute. A shaker chair is also a nice assemblage of bits of wood, or a matrix of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and other atoms and a whole lot of empty space. Labels are there to keep the discussion on point. But that's all they are. Labels, like the labels of space and time Einstein used.

You are correct but too simplistic in your belief that the brain only needs to do what it has to in order to survive and reproduce. A typical view of someone who subscribes to the narrow definition of naturalism you do. All the brain does throughout ones lifespan is collect data and process data. Over and over. The actions that come out of how that data is processed are what keeps the organism alive. The accuracy of the conscious world-model our brains use to move us along is variable--why eyewitness accounts are the least reliable pieces of evidence in court. They're accurate enough to generally keep us alive, and capable of such precision that a kludgey design like the human eye is made workable. As far as we can tell, that is. I don't know what happens in anyone else's skull but mine.

I claim logic is the product of a biological object, the brain. It's a process the brain uses, a bit like using diodes as logic gates in a circuit. So too is time. We remember events (accumulated sensory data) and ascribe to those the label "before." This is mainly because we can never seem to remember ahead--"see into the future" as we call it.

Now we can use labels like logic and time, here, there, before and after as shorthand to keep the conversation going. Basically, these are agreed-upon labels for concepts we each may/may not observe in the same way. but that is all that they are. Labels. Treating them as Platonic ideals is sweet but misleading. Doing so leads you into a world of absolutes, which is purest delusion.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:18 pm

If there is anyone here who has claimed logic to be absolute--something other than brain-based--it's been you. All along.
And what makes you think I am saying anything different now? I don't deny that. It's you that can't see the obvious contradictions in your own arguments, even with the help of my quotes.
Well for one thing, we check with other brains for a consensus.

Oh, well gee then, in that case I'll just remind you part of your earlier argument included attempts to claim that evolution had so similarly formed various brains that each of us has the same formulation of Logic. If as you claim they are so similar, how do you know all the other similar brains aren't wrong too? Since you all inherited the same ability, perhaps you all see the same answer. So, checking with others doesn't help, does it? Unless logic is universal and transcendent, it is based in biology, and therefore inherently unreliable, as it only needs to keep you alive, it doesn't need to keep you accurate.
Labels, like the labels of space and time Einstein used.
Oh, I see now, words don't necessarily mean what they mean, they only serve to keep discussions on point. So space isn't time now that it's inconvenient for your argument. Now who's playing word games?

I don't know what happens in anyone else's skull but mine.
Which is another way of saying what I've been saying all along...you can't know anything in a strictly physical universe without metaphysics. (except what is in your head, but then, you can't know what is in your head reflects reality)Thanks for clarifying my point.

Doing so leads you into a world of absolutes, which is purest delusion.

Delusion is claiming there are no absolutes, and then trying to convince someone your point is true. Jgrow...are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:48 am

Objectivitees wrote:Delusion is claiming there are no absolutes, and then trying to convince someone your point is true. Jgrow...are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. No one can be sure of anything. It is highly unlikely that absolutes exist outside mathematics. Or theology. But absolute thinking is delusional thinking, in my opinion. Infinity, for example, does not exist outside mathematics or theology. It's an abstract and unprovable concept from an empirical standpoint. Believing in something that is infinite in nature is delusional for that very reason.

But then, I am not the one defending absolutes here.

Unless logic is universal and transcendent, it is based in biology, and therefore inherently unreliable, as it only needs to keep you alive, it doesn't need to keep you accurate.[/i]

Actually, if accuracy is part of what keeps you alive to pass on your genes, it's very much a selection pressure. Not just "staying alive." And "inherently unreliable" is merely your opinion. Unreliable compared to what?

And metaphysics, like anything non-physical or conceptual, is a product of the human brain. Again. And is worth nothing more than any other nifty thought. You may *think* it's "universal" or "transcendent," but it's a consensus view among brains at best. That's it. You may wish it were transcendent, but again, at best it's a consensus agreement.

As for space and time being labels, I never claimed otherwise. You were the one who invoked Einstein. Besides, special relativity states among other things that neither space nor time is absolute.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  JFett on Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:13 am

Hello Hello!
Well, post number, two or three. I suppose this one will be called “The Best of Objectivitees” Seeing as he'll be the main focus for the following refutation. I have perused the last few pages and decided to pick out some of the rather glaring mistakes the lone creationist (assuming he is... i'm still not sure exactly what he affirmatively supports) has made. I don't mean to join the gang of foaming-at-the-mouth secularists, I just figured I'd respond from the perspective of a trained Evolutionary Biologist and parallel the other fine, likely highly science-educated minds, who have been refuting you thus far.

Objectivitees wrote: (asked if he would accept if a debate on Evolution should fall on the evidence)
No, I would not. Here’s the reason. A discussion on the empirical evidence alone already presupposes my position is wrong; therefore I would be foolish to accept those terms. How would it be possible to make a reasonable defense of my position if I concede at the outset it is wrong?
You see, the problems lie not with “the evidence”. They lie in our interpretation of the evidence. Since we have different and diametrically opposed interpretations (Evolution vs. Creation) we will quite naturally interpret the evidence differently. Each of us would be correct in our interpretations, within the parameters of our own belief systems. So, to avoid a fruitless argument where we talk “past” each other, without understanding each other, what we really have to discuss is the nature of our “belief systems.” We have to determine which system best accounts for the evidence, not who has the “correct” interpretation. The only way to do that is through the use of our reason and logic. Empirical evidence will have a part to play, but not a deciding one.

We all have a set of assumed (presupposed) beliefs through which we interpret this ‘evidence’. (You called them ‘belief systems’, I call them ‘worldviews’) The question is, which set of presuppositions/belief systems/ worldviews is the most reasonable? Which set of presuppositions best accounts for the position concluded? (Evolutions’ presuppositions, or Creations’ presuppositions?) If the thrust of your post here was to suggest logic insufficient to the cause, I have to wonder why you use it in the attempt to prove your point?

Very briefly, the argument will, in fact be settled on the evidence. The reason that this is so is because we know that some interpretations can be found to better explain the evidence than others. The addition of evidence is usually what is required to produce a more refined interpretation. For example, before Pasteur, the best evidence seemed to support the hypothesis of spontaneous generation. When he was able to demonstrate through experiment and measurable data that a sterile environment will not produce life, the idea that maggots spontaneously generated on raw meat had to be revised.

What you are saying is right, though: the Theory of Evolution has been developed from the scientific method. The scientific method works given the assumption of naturalism. (The same way the Pythagorean Theorem works given the assumption of Euclidean geometry) I'm not so sure why this is a problem. But I'm sure you'll have more on it later.

Objectivitees wrote:
Ok, I’ll try, but I don’t think you’ll like my answer. I’m kind of ‘agnostic’ with respect to the history of the earth, and age of the universe. I don’t think it is the 6k yrs old that some “creationists” claim, nor do I think it is billions of yrs. Old either. As far as I am concerned, the jury is out on that one, so I don’t discuss dating theories with respect to their relevance on a specific proposition being discussed, (such as “Is evolution true?”) but rather I ask: “do the presuppositions of the person using this line of reason comport themselves with conclusions logically drawn from their expressed worldview?” So these kinds of arguments (strict evidential) don’t apply here, (because we need to discuss ‘which worldview is more rational’, not ‘does the evidence support my conclusion over theirs.’) In any case, I don’t believe my personal view on earth’s age/history is relevant to which set of presuppositions are more reasonable.

I just liked the irony of this post. Objectivitees, you seem opposed to the idea of the “Evolutionary worldview”, which should be better called the “scientific worldview” (as it is the only accepted explanation for some of the total natural data, namely biological diversity, discovered by science).

I'm curious... if you had to find out the age of the earth, how would you do it? Better yet, how would you do it without using Science, and the associated scientific method?

(...then some arguments over whether or not logic can stand independent of empirical confirmation, not really my cup of tea... blah blah blah)

Objectivitees wrote:
Evolution is only an origins story when it comes to the origin of biological species on Earth, given that life already exists. That's the extent of it. All the other origins (the origin of life, the origin of the elements, the origin of solar systems, the origin of the universe, the origin of the laws of physics, etc.) are dealt with in other theories, and not by evolution.

Steg, you cannot separate Evolutionary theory as an origin story of biological species from the origin story of “All the other” origin stories because without explaining the origin of matter, you don’t have a basis for explaining the origin of life (abiogenesis) and thus, Evolution. Therefore despite your claim, Evolution does stand opposed to Creation as I posited earlier, and as the OP implies.

Not only can we seperate Evolutionary Theory from Abiogenesis, we must. Inorganic matter does not evolve through natural selection. The process that creates diversity of living things is not the same process that created the first “living” thing.

As far as explanation is concerned. The absence of a robust theory of abiogenesis does not, in any way, contradict the existing theory of evolution.

Scanning through the majority of your posts, Objectivitees, it seems that your main argument is whether or not methodological naturalism can account for logic. Good question. It doesn't have anything to do with debating Evolution against Creationism.

Here's why: methodological naturalism comports with reality.

You could just as easily pick any other scientific theory that has been painstakingly outlined using the necessary assumption of methodological naturalism; let's take for example Gravity.

You could say that the theory of Gravity, because it is built upon the presupposition of methodological naturalism, and therefore cannot account for logic, is then logically unsound. Even though the request is backwards (equivalent to asking the Pythagorean Theorem to explain Euclidean geometry), let's allow for the objection.

Very well, drop your pen. What happened? Why did that happen? What explanation do you have for the phenomena you witnessed? And how might you answer these questions with any sort of usefulness without using science and the associated methodological naturalism?
Evolution by Natural Selection (and Genetic Drift) is simply defined as a change in gene frequency within a population of organisms over time. It is not naturalism (it is smaller than naturalism). It is not abiogenesis (abiogenesis is inorganic->organic). It is not gravity (though it is at least well supported by evidence). And it doesn't explain anything more than why the earth is covered with organisms that are incredibly diverse in scale and ability, and yet, all fundamentally related.

jgrow2 wrote:
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. No one can be sure of anything. It is highly unlikely that absolutes exist outside mathematics. Or theology. But absolute thinking is delusional thinking, in my opinion. Infinity, for example, does not exist outside mathematics or theology. It's an abstract and unprovable concept from an empirical standpoint. Believing in something that is infinite in nature is delusional for that very reason.
In the interest of fairness, jgrow2, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is probably a bad example. The principle simply refers to the inability to accurately measure the position and momentum of a particle simutaneously. It does not mean that there is “randomness”. Schroedinger's Cat is probably a better argument for “randomness”, even though it is even better used as an example of quantum strangeness and simply the inadequacies of our minds and/or data to understand quantum mechanics.

Additionally, he's got you pegged when it comes to absolutes, at least absolute truth (defining truth here as that which comports with reality). For you cannot make the (absolute) claim that no absolute truth exists without contradicting yourself in the same breath.


Objectivitees, I'm not sure if anyone has asked you this yet. How do you explain the evidence for Evolution?

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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:23 am

Welcome, JFett!
JFett wrote:
jgrow2 wrote:
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. No one can be sure of anything. It is highly unlikely that absolutes exist outside mathematics. Or theology. But absolute thinking is delusional thinking, in my opinion. Infinity, for example, does not exist outside mathematics or theology. It's an abstract and unprovable concept from an empirical standpoint. Believing in something that is infinite in nature is delusional for that very reason.

In the interest of fairness, jgrow2, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is probably a bad example. The principle simply refers to the inability to accurately measure the position and momentum of a particle simutaneously. It does not mean that there is “randomness”. Schroedinger's Cat is probably a better argument for “randomness”, even though it is even better used as an example of quantum strangeness and simply the inadequacies of our minds and/or data to understand quantum mechanics.

Agreed, Schrodinger's cat is probably a better example. I invoke Heisenberg because it implies the fact that, whether because of our limitations in understanding quantum mechanics or the limitations of our equipment, we can't know anything with certainty at that level.

Additionally, he's got you pegged when it comes to absolutes, at least absolute truth (defining truth here as that which comports with reality). For you cannot make the (absolute) claim that no absolute truth exists without contradicting yourself in the same breath.

The argument he makes is that logic, being "universal and transcendent," is proof that an evolutionary (naturalistic) worldview is irrational. So, I get too focused on absolutist thinking. I appreciate you reminding me.

I believe you've managed to cut through that argument rather succinctly, so a fresh set of eyes is wonderful, especially with your background.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  snafu on Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:19 pm

Regarding absolutism there can be facts about the world which have an absolutely true answer, it's just that we may not be able to know for sure whether our theory for something is in fact the true answer. We may well indeed have the correct answer, but we won't know. Our theories must therefore be held as provisionally true in the technical sense. So the theory of gravity is strictly viewed as provisionally true, because it could be contradicted somewhere, although this hasn't happened to our knowledge yet. If it does, the theory will need to be refined.

So I can suspect that some questions have absolutely true answers, but I cannot know that I have the absolutely true answer with absolute certainty. I can only recursively improve my theories based on new evidence, holding my currently best explanatory theory as provisionally true. This however doesn't mean I can't argue for my theory at any point in time, based on its explanatory power.

For theories that have held up very well over time, like gravity, or atomic theory, we can tend to drop the "provisionalness" in our thinking. But they are still provisional, and we need to remind ourselves of this. The theory of evolution is another example. The creation myth/story/theory whatever you want to call it, should also be thought of as provisional, and also be subjected to the same processes of 1) refinement (bit hard to do that with scriptural explanations, if you believe the scriptures are the word of god) or 2) abandonment (throwing out the theory altogether) if a better theory explains the data.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:55 pm

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. No one can be sure of anything. It is highly unlikely that absolutes exist outside mathematics. Or theology. But absolute thinking is delusional thinking, in my opinion.
Thank you for acknowledging it's your opinion.
Infinity, for example, does not exist outside mathematics or theology. It's an abstract and unprovable concept from an empirical standpoint. Believing in something that is infinite in nature is delusional for that very reason.
I don't see how this applies to anything I said. You seem to be implying my argument says something "infinite" exists, I believe in it, and am therefore 'delusional'. Absolutes exist, they have to. The statement "No absolutes exist" is self-contradictory, as it is absolute.

But then, I am not the one defending absolutes here.
True, you're defending meat machines doing metaphysics in a universe where metaphysics don't exist.



Actually, if accuracy is part of what keeps you alive to pass on your genes, it's very much a selection pressure. Not just "staying alive." And "inherently unreliable" is merely your opinion. Unreliable compared to what?
Unreliable compared to complete accuracy. Are you saying evolution has reached the point where your "map" is so accurate as to be absolute in it's conclusion evolution is true? I agree accuracy would be of help in an evolutionary world, however, no organism can ever be completely accurate, as that would necessitate perfection. If the organism were perfect, it would be the God Naturalism claims does not exist.

And metaphysics, like anything non-physical or conceptual, is a product of the human brain. Again. And is worth nothing more than any other nifty thought. You may *think* it's "universal" or "transcendent," but it's a consensus view among brains at best. That's it. You may wish it were transcendent, but again, at best it's a consensus agreement.

And products of the human brain are grounded in nature and must be physical, if naturalism is true. The fact it's a "consensus view" at best is exactly what I have been trying to show you. Glad you came around. Since it's a consensus, that means according to you in your evolutionary view, logic is a "consensus view" as well, which is what I said, when I pointed out that if it is not metaphysical, (universal and transcendent) there would be different formulations of logic. Evolution, being 'trial and error', would not necessarily endow every individual with the same construct. Differences in chemistry mean differences in thought process. Meaning you can never be sure which process provides the best "map" whether or not you have consensus.

As for space and time being labels, I never claimed otherwise. (Umm, you claimed time was conceptual, not a "label", the "label" part of this came in when you tried to worm your way out of the idea words have meaning) You were the one who invoked Einstein. (Yes I did, and quite effectively as well, as I was able to defeat your claim time is only a concept) Besides, special relativity states among other things that neither space nor time is absolute.

Well, since I didn't use relativity to prove there were "absolutes", your point is irrelevant. I used it to show time and space were the same thing, and time is physical in nature. Interestingly though, since you point out T&S are not absolute, that would mean nature is not absolute. Since nature is not absolute, (according to you) how then can you make absolute statements about it such as "Absolute thinking is delusional thinking" when such statements are absolute in themselves? For the third time, I'll ask you...How can you know anything when there are no absolutes?
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  jgrow2 on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:30 pm

Objectivitees wrote:Absolutes exist, they have to.

Why on earth do they "have to?" Explain this, please.

True, you're defending meat machines doing metaphysics in a universe where metaphysics don't exist.

You bet. That's all we are, that's all there is. And metaphysics (AGAIN!) have no other existence than in the human brain. They do not exist outside thought.

Actually, if accuracy is part of what keeps you alive to pass on your genes, it's very much a selection pressure. Not just "staying alive." And "inherently unreliable" is merely your opinion. Unreliable compared to what?
Unreliable compared to complete accuracy. Are you saying evolution has reached the point where your "map" is so accurate as to be absolute in it's conclusion evolution is true? I agree accuracy would be of help in an evolutionary world, however, no organism can ever be completely accurate, as that would necessitate perfection. If the organism were perfect, it would be the God Naturalism claims does not exist.

I am not the one who contends absolutes exist. You are the one who seems to want "complete accuracy," otherwise you would not be so dismissive of something "biological" in nature. I claim that degrees of accuracy in perception can be a selection pressure. I also do not claim perfection exists either. Perfection is a subjective claim, so unquantifiable as to be meaningless.

And finally, I am insulted by your choice of words. I haven't "wormed" out of anything. All you have done in this entire ten-page thread is insult and twist words and badger anyone who does not subscribe to your limited point of view. You ignore points made by many people in this thread that punch holes in your view. You have proven nothing.

How can you know anything when there are no absolutes?

How can you know anything at all? Scientific method is a "best guess that fits all the evidence." You state that things like "logic" and "truth" are universal and transcendent. How do you know? Where's the evidence? And "time" is NOT physical. Entropy is physical. radioactive decay and the motion of the sun are physical. "Time" is not. time is a label we put on those things, and a concept describing that in shorthand. I am not "worming" out of anything.

Again, all you can do when someone doesn't agree with you is INSULT them. Your remarks at Neon? Insulting. Your remarks at me and everyone else who's posted on this thread who doesn't agree with you? Insulting.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  Objectivitees on Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:55 am

Why on earth do they "have to?" Explain this, please.

I already did. but I guess i'll repeat it again for you. The statement "There are no absolutes" is absolute.



You bet. That's all we are, that's all there is. And metaphysics (AGAIN!) have no other existence than in the human brain. They do not exist outside thought.

Thoughts, in a natural world, are only bio-chemical reactions in a brain. If Logic is created by a brain, it must then have a basis in the physical nature of the brain, which you should be able to point to. Which neurotransmitters are Logic? Which structures? Which reactions?



And finally, I am insulted by your choice of words. I haven't "wormed" out of anything.

Yes you have. You wheedle back and forth. Insulted? Come on now, If anyone here should be insulted it's me. You have questioned my integrity, my intelligence, my sanity, (a couple times) my intent, my methods, and my 'choice' of words, all while I let your consistent insults pass without comment. One of the sure signs someone has lost a debate is the descent into ad hominem.

And "time" is NOT physical.

Not according to Einstein.



You ignore points made by many people in this thread that punch holes in your view.

The anger is palpable in your writing. I did not ignore anyone without reason. reason one, I am posting alone here, I literally do not have time to respond to every repeated argument by different members, or off topic posts. I chose to respond to you and steg, because you were on topic, and not nearly as nasty as you have now become, early on. If anyone here ignored anything it's you. I asked direct questions, often repeatedly, which you never answered with anything more than mere assertions of opinion, which in debate, is considered no answer. If I ignored someone who "punched holes" in my argument, it's either because they were off topic, or I had already addressed the issue with someone else.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

Post  snafu on Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:48 am

The statement "There are no absolutes" is absolute."

Doesn't that only show that statements can be made in absolutist language? "There are no absolutes" is absolutist, and so is "There are absolutes", and so is "There is no God", and so is "There is God".

Just because statements can be made in absolute language (which is evidence of absolutism in language only) does not mean that this can then be extrapolated into other arenas as evidence for other kinds of absolutes existing in those other arenas. It does not follow.
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Re: Why Christians Might Resist Belief in Evolution

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