Evolution is wack;God is the only way that makes sense! - Part 2

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by garbonzo, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    this seems unscientific. It is assumed that certain species need diversity to survive, others homogeneity. How can we have diversity if the same neurons are firing in each brain, and enough similarity in synapses exists to effectively have everyone thinking the same thing?
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    eek!...did you not read the bit about DNA diversity with out the need for personna diversity?
    each human different UNique DNA but with same personna [ why need unique personna?]
    Just having a different locational and time perspective woud be sufficient to create diversity of memory and thus thought...well certainly enough to sustain survivorship...
    so why evolve the delusion of values beyond mere survival?

    When prehistoric man raised his hand in the fire light in his cave and painted it's silhouette using spittle and mud on the cave wall, why did he value what he just did?
    What purpose was behind the evolution of such a delusion?
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  5. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    And your descriptions of the machine are saying nothing concerning morals, you can only generally speak of morality as "this thing mammals do, that functions in this way" or whatever. It doesn't say x is good, or x is bad, it only says x is x. Evil is reduced, in your explanation, to a biology error, or even a biological success. This is the kind of science IS meaning thinking that the fundies, correctly in this case, call out as amoral. A lack of God clearly does not result in an amoral worldview, but lack of a philosophy certainly does.
    Also you are dumbing down the questions to a great degree - humanity may accept the existence of an "angry" duck, but does humanity accept the existence of an "evil" duck, or an "evil" primate?

    (I think we could have a better possibility of learning something if we leave the fundies out of certain questions. It is like people are stuck on ".0000000000000000000000001 % of christians bomb abortion clinics, so religion is bad", it is illogical.)

    EDIT - also QQ I am not sure how you find it scientifically acceptable to say a brain could have totally different chemical connectors while maintaining the same persona. We most assuredly would not get the level of diversity we have achieved biologically as a species if we all had the same personality. We would probably just bomb each other over the one boy or girl the whole world loved at any given moment. Like helen of Troy for real. I think it is fair to say personality diversity seems to be a necessary factor for survival.
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  7. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    it is quite a complicated matter, because some people might believe in God a little but not be especially inclined to be a drug abuser, for example. Another person may be a recovering drug addict who believes in a concrete way that God came down in a white light to them, who is having a hard time keeping away from a life of drug abuse and the accompanying complications of said lifestyle. The over-simplified ratios of behavior to belief are often misused by believers to create a false sense of pride in modern churches, but there is also the bible verse about "at least i am not like that guy" Luke 18:11, so it is nothing new.
    i'll admit i am having far far fewer of those nights now than i used to when they were constant worries. At this point i have come to terms with my doubt to a large degree, and feel any further progress towards concrete belief is probably going to necessitate some intervention on God's part, or a major shift in my cognitive process. I am not saying i am happy with my mental relationship to the concept of God - i want a blinding light experience of pure knowing. I am not needing it though. I think God is ok with me being stuck with a cognitive process that leaves me highly skeptical of the use of the word "know", in more areas than just religion, at least for now
    i'm sure God isn't bothered by me saying, if x is happening, and i don't know whether it is or not, it is god's fault. Especially since i am always ready to be proven wrong.
  8. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    All of that is cultural construction. The underlying biological principle (relating to the thread topic) is empathy which is found in lower animals. If your hypothesis were true, then primitive people with no religion or philosophy would lack empathy, which is clearly not the case.

    What's dumb about biology?

    That's a cultural construct, principally based on religious ideation. Change "evil" to "pathological", and, problem solved.

    This topic would not exist were it not for fundamentalism. I wasn't addressing attacks on abortion clinics, but, rather, attacks on science and esp. on the teaching of evolution, which is what the thread is about.

    How so? The most obvious differences - racial differences - are owed to aspects like genetic drift in isolation, plus adaptations to the pressures of the niche, such as sunlight availability vs Vitamin D production, or immunity from malaria v. sickle cell anemia. There is no personality attribute that I can think of that is conferred genetically, nor any unique personality type found in one race or region.

    Bombing comes at the latest, shortest episode in world history, and only after a long period of acculturation. If we were to step back to the era of the emergence of H. sapiens sapiens, I doubt we could identify how diversity of personalities affected their survival.
  9. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    Conscious people have philosophy. If we are going to talk about discernible reality and not unknowables, let's not include pre-historic fringe ideas that we can't comment on. Perhaps we don't know what level of philosophy is involved in a conscious primitive. You certainly couldn't put one in a zoo.
    Humans socially construct to incredible levels of abstraction. You want to poo-poo constructions? Humanity breathes them like air, so what species can we discuss without using them. Not humanity.
    trying to use it to negate philosophy, by trying to devalue "constructs". Math is a construct. It is an abstraction. Pretty useful stuff though. I personally value other meta-analyses and symbol sets too.
    change evil to pathological and you aren't talking about the same thing. Evil implies responsibility, a pathology is a medical condition. If I am mentally ill and i go kill cats for fun, does criminal law prosecute me as a responsible party, or throw me in a psych ward? Mentally ill people are categorically different according to the human "construction" of justice. Is that construction meaningless or not? If you tie my hand and force me to pull a trigger with a mechanical device, am i homicidal?
    i didn't know people here wanted to discuss this based only on the original topic. I would imagine somebody could have cleared that up on the first page, so we could move on to more complex ideas. Did we not get past that, or did people actually have trouble defending the theory of evolution? If you want to go back to the original thread idea, I can refrain from posting until you've got that worked out.
    My point was raised in protest to an imaginary world where DNA could be diverse, but brain development would occur in such a way that all various DNA types had the same personality. I find that hard to believe possible, based on the fact that DNA changes have such a radical effect on brain chemistry and personality in the real world. And yes, there is DNA that pertains to predisposition to depression for example, which would certainly affect personality.
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    yeah according to science we are no more than halucinating zombies...[chuckle]
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Here you would need to define "conscious" and "philosophy". Brain stem activity alone, which appears to be the seat of consciousness, would not be adequate to endow a person with philosophy. The intellect is needed to acquire the requisite logic. Acculturation would be necessary in order to arrive at principles that are based on a regime that maximizes "the public good". Plato's Utopia illustrates this. But some of Utopia's principles, like leaving children with low birth weight on Olympus to die, rather than to burden society, also illustrate the many paradoxes woven into any philosophy that tries to be practical. Nature, on the other hand, is pure practicality--and clearly abhors a paradox (at least above the quantum reality).
    I'm not speaking of anything in the fringe. Nor does the primitive mind have to reach to pre-history. Anthropology became a science during the era in which there were still primitive cultures untouched by civilization. Thus, we have some actual evidence to go by. My remarks were referring not only to the iron and bronze ages, but to those more recent tribes who happened to avoid the need to civilize as we commonly think of the term.

    That would not be the opinion of some of the New World explorers, who likened natives to animals (one was Darwin, speaking of the Fuegians). However, your point was that they needed philosophy to develop an ethos. My point is that in such such cultures that lack any common reference to what you probably mean by philosophy, there would still be empathy. The necessary care and feeding of infants and children is a basic animal trait that requires no philosophy. It would certainly exemplify the biological causes of empathy.

    Not sure what you mean by all of this. You were insisting (I think) that empathy can not exist without philosophy. I disagree. I think philosophy is founded upon empathy (and logic, another gift of biology). (There are obviously other branches of philosophy, including all of math and science which rely purely on the intellect.) To test your hypothesis, you might consider what kind of philosophy would exist if humans were by nature solitary creatures, that is, limited by a biological trait--perhaps akin to autism, but without the human being locked inside. This would make for a very different kind of world. Presumably there would be no civilization, no speech except for perhaps a growl. In all respects you might call these creatures animals, even though they could chip flint, hunt, build fires, seek or build shelters, conserve for the winter and perhaps even develop arts and crafts, albeit devoid of the language and sentimentality we currently associate with the arts. I suppose even such a race could develop an ethos, such as one that maximizes the value of territorial boundaries. Perhaps they would have only property law with no concept of crimes against a person.

    Culpability is also a cultural construct. Consider the society that believed that eating the brains of an ancestor perpetuated their soul in the bodies of the descendants, and you see how laws are relative, arbitrary and even political constructs or else they are mere artifacts of civilization and the practicalities of organizing masses of people into cooperative living. Justice (as in the institutions thereof, laws and courts, etc.,) is an artifice of philosophy which is an artifice of logic and empathy, which are biologically imbued powers of nature. This is why I think the Enlightenment was correct in dispensing with the need to tie ethics to religion.

    Side note: the insanity plea has very specific boundaries, but will fall to the discretion of forensic witnesses and the court itself. Thus the woman who drowned all of her children is not in prison, whereas the man who ordered the butchering of Sharon Tate is. I would argue that the question you're attempting to answer has been deferred, simply by establishing that discretion will rule over all statutes. To this day no one knows for sure where the boundary lies between mental health and insanity. The legal definition barely comports with the medical one, and the medical one is less concerned with the subject of ethics than it is with prophylaxis. We could turn to philosophy but it tends to operate in a vacuum with respect to the natural sciences. For purposes of this discussion, I was offering the disordered mind (not the present definition of mental illness) as a template that removes the subjective aspects - the ones that make people want to hate the perpetrator as much as the crime. If anything, the supposition that every kind of guilt can be distilled and administered its proper medicine, is merely another kind of absence of empathy. I think it's not only irony to the point of paradox, but it's highly illogical, to assume that the base instincts that make a mob want to put up a scaffold or throw a rope around a tree justify the same instincts at work in the committees that write criminal justice bills, and in the righteous indignation seen in the opinions of judges, juries and witnesses. In a word, I would subscribe to the notion given in sci-fi, that in the future all human misconduct will be regarded as the predictable result of disordered thinking, which is curable--and without the present-day remnants of the Byzantine era as a system model.

    Again, my remarks are designed to relate the commentary to the thread topic. I was trying to sort out your meaning from the story you told which was so particular to a specific life experience.

    Depression can have all kinds of causes. The genetic ones that come to mind are the predisposition to a debilitating illness that may lead to depression, by some combination of chemical imbalance and the stress of coping with disease. But depression can also be attributed to the evolution of nocturnal sleeping habits in lower animals, or hibernation during the winter. Birds who become animated and appear to be very socially interactive in sunlight, will become lethargic and non-responsive at dusk. By this analysis, there is a natural cause for reducing the heart rate and blood pressure, just as the cause for pumping adrenaline during flight from a predator, or the hormones involved in during estrus and rutting, all have their underlying evolutionary causes.

    But evolution itself would not seem to favor diverse personalities, which was an opinion you offered. That I think is more of a fringe idea than anything else. I think that the personality takes up residence on the platform, blending with socialization and numerous physical and mental phenomena. I think it's that platform itself that rises to its present form through evolution, whereas personality would necessarily require imprinting and acculturation to arrive at the state you probably are referring to. That platform would carry basic hardwired programming to include instinctual urges and fears, empathy, and all the dimensions of intellect, from speech to the ability to draw inferences.
  12. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Science isn't too good with metaphors. How would you say that objectively? That the illusion of a body is dispelled by microscopy, which reveals an underlying vestigial metazoan. That this metazoan, after perhaps a billion years of natural selection and genetic drift, evolved over perhaps millions of stages of adaptation and random branching in phenotype. That one of millions of such succession of branches retraces the history of human evolution. That such a retracing explains the many ways the metazoan population reformulated its interfaces and functions. That by such optimization under the constant pressures of millions of opening and closing niches, the interfaces and functions within creatures arrived at milestone successes, such as the protein, the tissue, the organ and the system, each of which produced survival advantage and were subsequently written into the genotype. The flatworm was perhaps the first creature to centralize sensory and motor functions to a primitive clump of nerves, from which the primitive brain arose. With central processing came the clustering of all sensation into the phenomenon we call sentience. It appears to lie in the pathway between stimulus and perception, as if only given to its nature by the fact of pulses passing through it. But the advent of cortical processing added a new dimension, learning. In the human phenotype this presented with traits ascribable to a neural network, akin to the notion of engrams, or forming inferences and abstractions, some of which apparently builds upon speech, spatial processing and the many levels of pattern classification these employ. Behavioral traits appear to rely in part on the instinctual drive to imprint to the parent, thus propagating behaviors that have been successful. Necessary behaviors include empathy, first seen as a means to bear altricial (helpless) young, but also completing a system of transmitting successful behaviors. (That is, the atricial young and the empathetic parent forms a complementary pair that enables the imprinting to occur.) However the switch from imprinting to self-sufficiency is problematic, so the altricial young gets pushed into its juvenile stage (the reproductive cycle of the kangaroo is most interesting in this regard). Part of that push can only succeed from a pull from within, hence a basic tug-of-war is established in the juvenile that affects the mature human mind. This may be manifest as mood changes or to something pathological like delusion.

    I guess I can leave it at that, noting that delusion within a child of the metazoa would come close to hallucination in a zombie.
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Aqueous id, the issue I am investigating with the few posts is not so much the evolution of the biology to support these "abilties" but the reasons why value is attached to those abilities.

    When a "lesser" animal can quite easilly have empathy with out needing to value empathy. Humans have a delusion* of value that seems to have evolved and I question why pragmatic evolution would require such evolution if the basic premise for evolution is one of pure necessity.

    As far as I can deduce at this stage the evolution of "value consciousness", can be seriously counter productive to the necessity of survival.

    *edit: I use the word "delusion" as a dialectic way of highlighting what I feel about the theory of evolution as proposed by Science. [ which I believe at this stage, fails to explain the evolution of "Value consciousness" in a way that is compatable with the reality of their own theory. Hence from an evolutionist perspective the reality of obvious "value consciousness" has to be considered as a delusion.
    Basically why evolve a value cosnciousness when that same "value consciousness" grants the evolved the ability and due to the values placed upon that ability, the potential to destroy all and any evolution that has occurred to date....?
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    If the worlds human population had evolved only by necessity as evolutionist suggest, we would have heaven on Earth already... no poverty, no starvation, not too many people either, probably a couple of billion or so...super ecconomical societies where necessity of survival rules only. Infantacide would be common as would Euthanasia, capital punishment [ruthlessly delivered]. No values would exists for anything else beyond necessity, such as music, art, dance, video games, warfare, nuclear weapons, etc etc... or the need nor value attached, to explore Mars or the galaxy etc

    We would be perfect little bunny rabbits all getting along fabulously...with out a trace of boredom....

    I just realised, the reason I bring this up in context of the thread title is that often the "human Soul" is considered as our source of "values", it is also considered a delusion by scientists.
  15. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Evolution doesn't require anything per se. Maybe you're asking what kind of pressures would select for the trait?

    If you define "empathy" as the biological trait, and connect it to something easy to recognize such as nurturing the altricial young (an innovation by mammals), the survival advantage becomes more obvious.

    That's ridiculous. Until you can solve the origins of the Galapagos finches, you have no choice but to choose Darwin's explanation. There simply is no other plausible solution. You are merely ascribing "delusion" to something you neither understand nor want to understand.

    All this says is that you have no idea what Mendel and Darwin meant by traits.

    That's fallacy to the point of absurdity. There is no "evolutionist perspective". There is only knowledge or ignorance of what evolution is. "The reality of obvious value consciousness" is a bogus hypothesis from which the conclusion "has to be considered as a delusion" does not remotely follow.

    You're assuming that this is a trait, and one subjected to niche pressure. Or, you simply have no idea what any of this means.

    You're failing to distinguish between social construct, trait and ability.

    --which is, what, a social construct?

    Now you're really off into the weeds.
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    So you feel there is no "value" in discussing the delusion of values? [chuckle]

    simple question: [hard to answer I bet]
    How does the evolution of the value to humans of nuclear weaponry and other WMD's benefit the necessity of global survival from a Darwinistic point of view?
    btw I do understsand if you wish ot to discuss it....
  17. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    That sounds like a question in sociology, which is far afield from biology.

    "Value" has no meaning in this context. The value is the trait set that favors survival. Empathy permits altricial young, but also supports certain cooperative behavior within the species.
  18. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    No, you simply misunderstand. Ideas are not traits.
  19. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    all of which seemed to have something to say about what is good or bad, and what makes the sky go boom, etc, you must admit. I think we are using different definitions of philosophy here. You seem to be using the definition -the study of thinking, while i am classifying the primitive's philosophy as those constructs which are studied by philosophy.
    it is a mistake to anthropomorphize animals. We are human because we can say so collectively as a species. Being human is also a construct.
    Well, you can have animals performing actions in service of the genetic propagation of the species. You seem to like to call that empathy. I am still reticent to use a moral term for the biological imperative.
    no they just growl remember? no legal system. no art. You certainly wouldn't call every breathy whispered, "hi there", that occurs in every bar, art. Not to say that art can't be sexy noises to entice a mate, but we just don't call everything art, at least not in intellectual traditions. Art is a human concept, like philosophy. Calling a spider an artist is considered a metaphor, not a concrete description as far as I know.
    So just to zoom back out here, you are also saying biology is amoral, or rather that morality is just another aspect of biology which has the final word? And I think biology is amoral, and meta-analysis, which can include biology if it has something to add in a particular case, is necessary for morality. i feel we may be using different definitions of biology. i call it the study of living organisms, you seem to be calling biology the study of that, PLUS the life and all parts of the organism itself.
    straw detector going off, beep beep beep
    i can dig that i guess. very buddhist. when we get to anything resembling that, we will have to start this conversation again from the top. The difficulty in your idea arises from the decision process for what counts as disordered. So, if you mean a totalitarian state, i have an american bias against calling that utopia, (although i have to admit that if i were to be the one in charge I would be willing to take responsibility if necessary to avoid what appears to be a human propensity for disregarding each other's human rights. )We would have to define totalitarian better here first I guess, before saying anything serious about that, but that is just an aside anyway.)
    yes, like i said, there are personality traits that are affected by DNA.
    Evolution in certain types of species clearly favors diversity. It would be quite difficult to say that diverse personalities are not a result of other genetic diversity and are merely a byproduct, although your discussion of other purposes for depression, lowering heart rate blah etc., would actually give more credit to the idea that there may be purposefully selected traits that relate to personality. - this whole "personality" via DNA thing is not something i am hinging my points on BTW, it was brought into the conversation by QQ's idea that the ego delusion is not a necessary "selectable trait" for evolution, and i responded as i thought it was interesting, but it isn't a part of my idea that Biology (the study) would have a problem with claiming the final word on human issues. -

    EDIT - i think it would be a good idea for people who don't deny the science of evolution, but who think that there is some metaphysical actor in the process, to be clear on that and not just say they have a problem with the science. Rather say, the science may be adequate, but there are other non-scientific aspects to be added to a complete description of it.
  20. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Call it what you will, it doesn't change the reality.

  21. Balerion Banned Banned

    And, what, you think we have empathy for different reasons than animals? Now you're trying to argue against the biological in favor of the supernatural.
  22. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    no, it is some of you people who are trying to mix the two together as one discipline, so the two can be argued "against" each other.

    Here is an example of something i could (quite spuriously and in error) say - "biological ideas of morality don't include why we don't kill people with disability, so science is useless" to which you could reply, "but if we have a surplus of resources, providing aid to the needy will only increase our level of happiness and thereby our survivability." I am not ANTI-science, don't even try to pin that on me. It is you guys who can't understand that the natural sciences and metaphysical ideas are not fighting each other. EDIT - because you want to throw the baby (metaphysical) out with the bathwater (fundie anti-scienctific religion).

    Please note that my point is that natural science is a different map than the metaphysical (an untestable), and some of you people keep trying to smear them back together so you can claim the metaphysical (and logically you would have to include the other untestable disciplines here, which you don't) is being argued against by science.

    EDIT please forgive the editing i was in the middle of a phone conversation i had to continue.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    as one has to assume that all factors are the subject of evolution I question why the "value" of happiness woud have evolved at all....
    so there for the notion and value of "happiness" must be a halucination or delusion of some sort....
    As you can see I am taking the "strictly science" approach and not mixing it with delusional value systems that seem to be endemic to the human race.
    To me, as a scientist, it woud be far more economical and effective to evolve a human that had no "value for happiness", so why would this delusion have evolved.

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