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Subject:  Re: Skeptic Mag on Global Warming Date:  5/21/2008  6:20 PM
Author:  bdhinton Number:  14752 of 27171

So when you say you have no “issue with "evolution" writ large”, what exactly do you mean by that?


Things change. Microevolution. Natural selection weeding out the unfit. Rare beneficial mutations.


Are you really claiming that you understant the scientific arguments enough to objectively evaluate the different arguments, or are you just selectively picking the editorial positions that best fit your religious beliefs?
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I think you start here with a misconception of what I'm arguing. But no, I don't claim to be able to evaluate the arguments at the same level you or Anthony could. But I can sure evaluate the logic behind many of them, and I can tell in many cases when a scientific article gives testable detail or only Dawkinesque story-telling-as-science.
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I don't think you can if the bulk of your information is coming from web sites that are promoting a particular point of view. No offense, but I think you let other people do your thinking for you.
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I don't take offense. I've read a detailed description of the biochemical reactions that take place when a photon hits the retina. I've read so-called detailed descriptions of the evolution of the flagellum. There is absolutely no comparison in level of detail or testability of steps.
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We know more about the evolution of flagellum than we do about the cause of autism. Does this make the latter more likely to be due to non-natural causes than the former? I don’t see why. There are lots of things we don’t have a detailed molecular mechanism for, but most of us don’t use that as an excuse to reject natural causation.

So why aren’t you intellectually consistent with your argument? If the lack of a sufficiently detailed molecular description justifies in your mind serious consideration of intelligent design to explain life’s origins, then you should be making the same intelligent design argument for psychosis, autism, hurricanes, earthquakes, changes in stock price, timing of influenza outbreaks, many cancers, male-pattern baldness, etc. Less is known about these things than the evolution of species. So why aren’t you advocating that science take seriously the possibility that Katrina was intelligently designed to destroy New Orleans?


Hopefully now that I've put my comments in context, you can see that your questions have nothing to do with my prior statements. I've made no arguments to the effect that detailed descriptions are necessary before I believe something.

How about the fact that DNA has a level of complexity AND specification that is only known to originate in an intelligent source?
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How do you know this? Why can't I use DNA as an example that specified complexity of the sort you allude to can arise naturally? Afterall, DNA is found in nature, was here before humankind, and there is no evidence that a biotechnology company existed a billion years ago.


Certainly you can use DNA as an example of a naturally arising source of specified complexity. But it would be question-begging to do so, since the origin of DNA is exactly what is at issue.

You don't know the origin of DNA, so it is presumptuous to assume that the origin is natural. You and I both know that specified complexity is created by human intelligence. We know of no other PROVEN source. You are just speculating that DNA has a natural origin.

Why does the fact that humans can manipulate DNA suggest that DNA must have had an intelligent origin?

I didn't say it must have an intelligent origin, rather we have a precedent now of intelligence creating it.

Only humans are known to pile rocks really high. Does that mean that the Himalayas were designed by intelligence? Only humans are known to be able to play with nuclear fusion. Is that evidence that stars are intelligently designed?


Do you know the difference between primary and secondary causes? I'm satisfied that natural causes can explain mountains and stellar burning, at least as secondary causes. There is no specified complexity in a mountain range, so I don't see the point of arguing about these particular examples.

-Bryan
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